Sunday, November 30, 2014

38 weeks... winding down!

We have now made it to 38 weeks and the thought that she could arrive anytime now is crazy!  I think about it and it scares me just a little bit, but I am so excited too.  Ryan is just plain excited.  He wants her to come tomorrow. :)   I would like her to arrive sometime between December 10-15 and would really like if it was on her actual due date of 12/13, but she will arrive when she pleases!  In any case, she needs to keep cooking right now. 

My last appointment took place last Tuesday and it went well.  Blood pressure is still right on track, baby sounds great, and she is measuring how she is supposed to.  I lost almost 2 pounds since my last visit making my total weight gain only 15 pounds.  I am hoping to come out of this pregnancy gaining less than 20 pounds!  The doctor said I very well could as you don't tend to gain much more at this point in the game.  It was confirmed by a quick ultrasound that baby girl is in fact head down.  I am not dilated or effaced yet, but the doctor was able to feel her head right there.  Things could change at any moment.  My next appointment isn't until Thursday, so we will see what happens! 

Ryan and I were able to make it down to Rochester on Wednesday to see my mom after her brain surgery.  I am so thankful that baby girl hadn't arrived yet or didn't think she needed to arrive while we were there!  My mom's surgery went as well as it could go!  She had an MRI two days after surgery that came back showing that the entire tumor was removed.  She is doing very well and was discharged to home from Mayo today.  We are SO SO SO proud of her.  The courage and braveness that you have to have to go through something like this is outrageous -- and she has it!  I had a little freak out moment in the shower yesterday thinking about labor and being scared and I immediately stopped and thought, "What do I have to be afraid of?!  Look what mom just went through!"  She is an inspiration.  She is my hero.  I love you mom!  Now baby girl just needs to give her at least a week or so to rest up so that she can meet her when she arrives! 

37 weeks in front of mom and dad's Christmas tree!

Overall, I am feeling pretty good.  I am really starting to slow down and things like putting on my shoes, bending over, rolling over, getting up out of chairs and out of bed, etc. are getting harder by the day.  On Thanksgiving night I got out of the shower to find that my feet were swollen for the first time!  Yikes!  I hadn't even been standing on them all day!  Turns out that those dorky socks that I have been wearing everyday work!  I hadn't worn them for two days and it showed!  I am sleeping well at night despite having to get up 3-4 times to pee.  I fall back to sleep very easily.  I also have issues with reflux during the night and have to take at least one Tums every night.  Ryan is a little annoyed with me because my snoring has gotten progressively worse the further along I have gotten in the pregnancy.  Sorry dear!  

Baby moves all of the time and lots of the time I need to lean back so that she has more room!  She is all up in my business, but I am sure she thinks I am not giving her enough room!  I keep telling Ryan it will be so weird when she isn't in my belly anymore.  I am so used to all her movements and jabs.  It is such a wonderful feeling.  I even feel her hiccups at least once a day.  So exciting!  

Now a little bit about this guy!  I can't even begin to say how wonderful he is.  Many of you know how overwhelming being pregnant can be sometimes and he has made it so much easier.  I am so thankful for all the wonderful things he has done and how helpful he has been getting ready for this beautiful baby girl.  Over the course of this pregnancy we have painted 3 rooms in our house, laid hardwood flooring, changed light fixtures and water faucets, among many other things and the work he has put in has been phenomenal.  Early in the fall we deep cleaned our entire house and HE helped me.  Some of his guy friends told him he was crazy for doing it.  I told him he was exceptional.  The baby's room looks the way it does because of him!  He put up Christmas lights outside for me and helped me put up my Christmas tree.  He has put together all of baby's gear and attended 5 childbirth classes with me.  He has comforted me when I've been scared (especially with all of my mom's stuff) and he has told me that I am going to be a good mom when I doubt myself.  I am so thankful for him and I am so excited to see him with our new baby girl.  If you know Ryan and how good he is with kids, you know that he is going to be an excellent father.  My baby girl is going to be so lucky, just like me. I can't thank you enough Ryan.  I love you!  

 38 weeks in front of our Christmas tree! 

Stay tuned for updates!  It is hard to believe she could make her appearance any day.  Please continue to send prayers for my mom.  She has a long recovery ahead of her and needs to take it day by day.  If she is anything like me, she has a hard time taking it easy and that is what she needs to do!  Also pray that we have a safe labor and delivery with a very healthy baby.  Thank you so much! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

36 weeks - Nursery is officially finished!

Here I am, 3 days into 36 weeks.  Woa!  I can say that this weekend we were able to get officially ready for baby to arrive!  Mentally?  Not so sure!  I am super excited, but I am scared as well.  It will be here before we know it!

Friday night and Saturday afternoon was spent finishing up the shopping for baby's remaining items that were needed as well as last minute household items that we may need so that we are all stocked up.  I did mention to Ryan that after a day of being home from the hospital, I am sure there will be a few things that we still need!  We closed out our registries at Babies R Us and Target and were able to get some great deals on things. 

We spent Sunday putting together any of baby's gear that still needed to be put together, dusting and vacuuming the house, putting away baby's goodies, and getting the car seat put in my car.  Our bags are packed, freezer meals are made, sheets are washed, baby's room is complete, and our Christmas tree is even up!  We did that yesterday too.  We are officially ready for baby girl to arrive, but we would like her to stay in there and keep cooking until at least December 10 or so!  :)  We'll see if she listens.  I have had some talks with her.  :) 

Here are the much awaited photos of her room. 

Ryan was so patient and put all of the frames and wall hangings on the wall.  I can't thank him enough for all the help and work he did to get ready for baby.  He is going to be a wonderful daddy.  The wall hanging with nothing in it will have her birth stats on it with a photo of her inside.  And obviously the frames will have photos of her and us in them!  That beautiful quilt was made by my mom.  I love it.  

Ryan did such a wonderful job making her closet functional.  It used to be just one shelf and a bar and he made it into that!  Her closet and dresser is already full!  And you can't see it, but the entire right corner of the closet is FULL of diapers!  The wall hangings on the right side were made by my Aunt Peggy and has the "I'll Love You Forever" quote on one of them.  The rocking chair was mine as a child from my grandpa and grandma Niemeier.  The "You are My Sunshine" sign special to me because my mom always used to sing it to me and over the past 3 weeks, I have been singing it to Baby Girl a few times on the way to work everyday.  

Again, thanks to Ryan for putting everything on the walls!  I am totally taking credit for putting the diaper genie together though!! Pretty proud of myself. :)  The musical bear on the very top shelf was mine as a baby and it shows it too!  This room has the electrical box in it and our friend Brandon made us that very nice cupboard door to hide it.  We even put up a radiant heater to give her room a little more temperature control.  

Thanks to my wonderful friend Andrea for the pink sign that has the Bible verse, "For this child we have prayed and God has granted what we asked of him."  I teared up when I opened it and it really means a lot to me.  I made the other two.  The one on the right has the quote "Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue.  And the dreams you dare to dream, really do come true."  She is our rainbow baby and I can't wait to meet her.  

So here I am at 36 weeks.  I am still feeling really good.  I am feeling lots of soreness in my upper thighs and just a "full" feeling.  My appointment last week went great.  No swelling.  Blood pressure is great.  Baby is head down and sounds good.  No dilation or effacement yet.  

Please continue to pray for my mom and pray that baby girl doesn't make her appearance until into December.  I am determined to make it to Rochester for mom's surgery next week.  I am beyond bummed that I won't be able to stay with my mother and take care of her after her surgery and I know that she feels the same way about not being able to stay with us and the baby right away.  I am so thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives who have volunteered to stay with her and take care of her after this very extensive surgery.  We will never be able to thank you enough.  Again, I can't wait to see Baby Girl in her Nana's arms.  Love you so much mom!  

 And I'll leave you with a photo of our spoiled cat.  He knows something is up and he is not too sure about it.  :) 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

35 weeks!

When we first found out we were pregnant, it seemed that it would take forever to get to 35 weeks!!  Here we are!  The time has gone by so fast. 

I have still been feeling very good this week!  On Monday I picked up some jobst stockings at work, dorky I know.  My feet aren't swelling (yet), but at the end of the day at work my feet would start to ache a little bit.  They have definitely been helping! 

On Tuesday, Ryan and I ventured out into the beautiful sunshine and wind and took our maternity photos.  We are looking forward to seeing them!  It was kind of ironic.  The day we took our engagement photos it was very windy, our wedding day was slightly windy, and the day we took our maternity photos was very windy too!  Oh well, I know they will turn out great.  :) 

I spent Saturday morning for a couple hours making freezer meals.  I was able to get 3 meals completed and into the fridge!  I am planning on doing another 3-4 meals today as well. 

I am also finishing up getting baby girl's room all in order so that I can post some photos.  Last weekend we finished putting a couple more things up on the walls and I had another shower yesterday, so I am working on putting all that stuff away.  As well as packing baby girl's diaper bag for the hospital.  I also found a really cute wood crate thing at Michaels and Ryan is spray painting it for me.  I am going to put her name on it using my Silhouette Cameo and I am going to use it to hold all the rest of baby girl's books that do not fit under her night stand.  She has a ton and I am loving it!  She is going to love books! :)

35 weeks!!! 

On Saturday my sister threw me a wonderful shower with my great friends.  It was a lot of fun to just sit and visit with my friends.  We each brought a snack that we craved during pregnancy or that time of the month.  I brought pickles!  :)  It was such a fun time and I am so thankful for such wonderful friends.  Thanks to all of you!  

Aren't they a great group!  Love them!  

The Andreas ... Tall One and Short One! :) 

And my beautiful sister! I Love you so much! 

Things have been going so wonderful with this pregnancy.  We are so blessed.  Baby Girl is moving around all the time and we are getting closer and closer each day to meeting her.  We are getting very excited for her arrival, but before that time comes, our family is preparing baby girl's Nana for a major surgery.  This week we found out that my mom will undergo brain surgery to remove a benign tumor that is partially wrapped around her left optic nerve.  The surgery will take place at Mayo on Wednesday, November 26 - the day before Thanksgiving.  If I could ask for anything, it is prayers.  Please send your prayers for my mom and our family.  I have faith that God will take care of her and this Thanksgiving we will have SO SO much to be thankful for.  I'm looking forward to the day I get to see Baby Girl in Nana's arms.  

Stay tuned for an update next week!!  This week I start weekly OB appointments and on Thursday, exactly one month from Baby Girl's due date, Ryan and I are going to the Garth Brooks concert!  I've heard it is a good time.  :)  Thanks for your prayers!   

Sunday, November 2, 2014

34 weeks and feeling great!

Well, here we are at 34 weeks already!! Where the time has gone, I am not sure.  What I do know is that Baby Kuenzel's due date is 6 weeks away.  Wow!  It is so hard to believe.  It is exciting and scary all in one! 

The past two weeks have been busy as usual.  We finished up prenatal classes last week which feels really good.  We have been doing them the past 5 Tuesdays and the past 3 Tuesdays they have taken place in St. Paul.  It will be very nice not to make that trek anymore!  Needless to say, we learned a lot and it was very eye opening.  It was good to get us thinking about everything and what we specifically want in our labor and postpartum experience. 

About a month ago I woke up freaking out with the thought, "What if the baby isn't a girl?!"  It was really bothering me.  Yes, I know I could never *really* know for sure until she comes, but I just had to have some more reassurance.  So I put matters into my own hands.  The first thing I did was go online and compare my photo of her gender to other girl ultrasound photos.  Yep, looked alike!  Definitely a hamburger sign present.  Second, I took my ultrasound picture to my physician to get her opinion.  She also concurred that it looked like a girl and not parts that of a boy.  Then she suggested having another ultrasound done for free by the students at Argosy University in Eagan.  Not only could they confirm the gender, but I was told I would be able to have a 3d ultrasound as well. 

33 weeks!

On October 21 Ryan and I went to Argosy to have the ultrasound.  We were both expecting to be in a room with a student and an instructor.  Nope!  We walked into a classroom with a bunch of students!  I laid on the table and the instructor started first and checked everything over and then each student took about 5 minutes practicing.  It was kind of neat and I totally understood what they were going through.  They need to practice too!  I was not able to have a 3d ultrasound because of my anterior placenta.  Baby's face is right up in it and you wouldn't be able to see anything.  It all makes sense.  I often wonder why our ultrasound pictures don't look as clear as others - it is because I have an anterior placenta.  I asked if they could tell me about how big she was.  Nope, that is diagnostic.  What we did find out besides of course being able to see her?  She is a big mover!  I feel her all the time, but if I didn't have an anterior placenta, I can't imagine what I would feel.  She is very active.  We got to watch her breathing and her heart working perfectly.  We got to see some hair on her head and we CONFIRMED she is in fact, a girl.  If she comes out differently, I will be surprised.  It was fun to do. 

On October 25 my mom threw me an amazing shower!  It was just perfect and we received so many wonderful gifts.  We are so thankful for all of you and your support.  We appreciate it very much.  Here are some photos!

Such a cute summer outfit from Nana!

Absolutely beautiful quilt made by Nana!  Love you! 

Super soft and adorable baby blanket made by cousin Danni!

Fabulous quilt made by Auntie Peggy!  Matches baby's room perfectly.

Love this onesie from Auntie Shannie!

Table centerpieces made by Auntie Peggy!  Great job! 

And my family picture - because I love them! :)  

On Sunday after the shower while Ryan went to help in the field I put away all of baby's new goodies and washed and folder her clothes.  It is overwhelming, but it is so exciting too! 

Instead of baby stats this week, I am going to do something different and answer 
Frequently Asked Questions:

1.  How are you feeling?  I am feeling great!!  Seriously.  I often wonder if this is weird and I shouldn't be feeling this well.  I know I am getting larger, getting out of bed is becoming a struggle, bending over is a lot of work, I run out of breath easily, I am dealing with acid reflux and a little heartburn, but seriously.. none of this is worth complaining about.  I feel really good and I hope that it continues.  I am thankful.  

2.  Are you ready to be done?  Of course not.  God has blessed me with this baby and I want to keep her in there as long as she sees fit.  Am I excited to meet her?  Yes!  But after what happened, I can't even begin to complain about being pregnant or wanting to "be done."  I know it helps that I feel so good.  I know that it won't be long and I will start to become uncomfortable and I will long even more to meet her, but I don't ever want to phrase it as "being done."  Honestly, this is my most disliked question and it is the one I hear the most... and I am only 34 weeks. 

3.  Are you sure it is a girl?  Am I sure?  Well, you tell me.  Last I knew there was no way anyone could be 100% sure.  This is kind of like "Are you sure there is only one in there?"  ha. 

4.  Do you have a name picked out?  Yep!  Honestly, we had a boy and a girl name picked out since our last pregnancy.  Both names were the same names that we chose for this baby as well and since we know it is a girl, well, it is STILL the same name.  So technically we have had her name picked out for about a year and a half!  We really like it (obviously) and we pretty much made it permanent a little over a month ago when I ordered something with her name on it.  :)  

5.  Do you realize how much your life is going to change?  Did you just ask a pregnant woman that?  Of course!  Do you know how much I've thought about that?  A lot.  I think about it all the time.  Those who have asked me that often say it like it is a bad thing.  It bums me out.  Is everything going to be roses and sunshine?  No, but we are going to have a child, a child of our own, that we get to love for the rest of our lives.  What a blessing and a WONDERFUL change to our lives.  

6.  What is the baby's name?  Sorry, we aren't even telling our mothers this one!  

7.  Are you getting an epidural?  Yes, I am a fan of western medicine.  They made it and I am using it! 

8.  What is the theme of the nursery?  Theme?  Uhhh.. baby?  Right?  I wasn't about to put monkeys or other characters all over her walls and then have to change it in a year.  It works for other people, but not for us.  It is my practical side. 

9.  Are you going back to work?  Of course I am.  

10.  Are you going to breastfeed?  I am planning on breastfeeding and I am praying all the time it works for us.  We understand the commitment that it requires and we are willing to do it. 

11.  Is this your first baby?  This question is always so hard for me, but I always say yes.  I know no one wants to hear my story, but sometimes I feel guilty saying yes.  We do have an angel in heaven and we will never forget about that baby.  

12.  What has been your favorite gifts?  Handmade blankets and gifts.  I will cherish them forever.  

If you have been pregnant before, I am sure you were asked many of these and others as well.  Most I don't mind, others baffle me.  The ones that baffle me the most, I didn't share. 

We have another busy week ahead of us and on Saturday my sister is throwing me a shower!  I am very excited.  I even started packing my hospital bag this week.  I have been scared to do it in fears that she will show up early.  We are pretty excited and it just blows my mind that our due date is only 6 weeks away!  Crazy!  Stay tuned!