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Friendly Insurance Company

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I just got done with a friendly call from the insurance company. This information may make some people cringe, as we've all heard crazy and unbelievable tales of people's bad experiences with their insurance companies.

We have our insurance through Aetna through John's work. Aetna has a program for expecting mothers that basically supports you through information and monthly phone calls throughout the pregnancy. I have really like getting these calls because my new friend Kathy lets me know what to expect at my next appointment. She also tells me things to ask in case they don't come up between the doctor and myself. Also, if there was ever an issue, like if I did have gestational diabetes, she would have assisted me in getting all of the necessary supplies/medication that were prescribed.

It is a pretty cool service, especially now at the end when she reminds me about the symptoms of pre-term labor. I figure at this point with this being my first pregnancy I would rather know more than less about what is actually going on with my body that I have no control over right now.

Anyways, I just thought it would be nice to share a positive experience that I had with my insurance company as they usually happen so infrequently!

Busy Weekend

Monday, June 29, 2009
John and I had a blast this weekend hanging out with his nephews Cole and Alex. Like we guessed, by Sunday we were both completely exhausted! Here's a rundown of all the fun things we did:

We picked the boys up at about 1:30 and headed to Target/Walmart to get tie-dye supplies. Then we went back to the house and set up a huge tie-dye studio in the garage. The boys had a great time dyeing t-shirts for them and onesies for baby Kate.
Next it was dinner time, and it was way too hot to cook inside so we all went over to the Blue Heron in Hugo for dinner.
After dinner we went back to the house, put the leashes on the dogs and walked to the playground next to the local elementary school. After all that playing any energy that the kids/dogs/I had left was long gone, so John ran back to the house and brought the car back to chauffeur us home.
To make sure the dogs didn't get heat stroke we decided to hose them down when we got home, while John was doing that Cole, Alex and I followed the water running down the street all the way to the drain (it is amazing what interests those kids sometimes).
Then it was bed-time, but not before the boys both figured out they fit through the cat-sized door in the gate we have at the top of the stairs (again, it's amazing what keeps them occupied)!

Cole, Alex, and I woke up at 6am and rinsed out the tie-dyed items to put in the wash. Then at 7am I told them to go and wake up Uncle John.
Next was a breakfast of pancakes and chocolate milk, and then we got ready to go to the race.
After packing everything in the car we made a pit-stop at the gas station to fill up and grab some gummy worms for energy.
We got to Minneapolis just in time to register for the race and get the boys to the starting line. They had a blast and even got their picture taken with some Vikings cheerleaders (their dad loved that one).
We then drove over to the Mill City Farmer's Market to grab some goodies, including some chocolate chip cookies for the boys.
Then it was back towards home but not before a quick stop at McDonald's for lunch and play time in the PlayPlace.
After lunch we went out to the Big Marine Reserve Park to play at their huge playground. It started to rain so we ran back to the car and drove over to the local farm that sells milk in our grocery store. The boys thought it was pretty cool to be at a farm, and got some cool activity packs to take home.
Finally, after going home and giving uncle John a chance to take another shower, we all took off to meet their mom and dad at John's parents' house.

I'm pretty sure that they had as much fun as we did...I will be posting some pictures soon!

Practice Baby

Thursday, June 25, 2009
As most of you now know two of my good friends, Heidi and Chris have each recently had babies of their own (and girls to boot). While I am really excited for the both of them and their growing families, this also makes me excited for myself.

This might be a tad selfish, but whenever I am around these two new ladies (Reese and Peyton) it is like I am practicing for our baby.

Just last night I was over at Chris's for our Wednesday walk. We didn't actually walk because of the weather, so instead I kept my eye on Peyton for a while so Chris could get some stuff done around the house, including feeding herself. : ) I noticed that I am getting a lot more comfortable holding babies, and moving them around. I still am a bit nervous, but getting a lot better!

I am hanging out with Heidi and Reese on Sunday and hoping that I get some good snuggle time with my new little friend. Until our baby comes I will take as much friend baby attention as possible!

Week 31

During this week the baby is over three pounds and about 18 inches long. On average from this point babies put on between 3 and 5 pounds over the current 3 for birth. At this point her brain is processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five of her senses.

Sleeping time has also increased which I have noticed through her more defined awake times.

I can't believe that we have less than nine weeks to go!

Doctor Appointment

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I have reached the point in my pregnancy that my doctor's appointments are scheduled every two weeks instead of every month. I had my first bi-weekly appointment today and all is well. The baby's heartbeat is in the 130's which is good and I am measuring at 31 weeks, which is a tiny bit ahead but nothing to write home about.

Other than that, John and I are staying busy this week getting the house ready for his nephews to come and stay the night on Friday. They are both so much fun that we love having them come over and stay with us. Though afterwards we are both usually completely physically exhausted, it is amazing how active little kids are!

On Saturday we are taking the boys to Minneapolis to run in the HeartBeat 5000 kid's fun run race. They did it last year and loved it, so of course a repeat performance is necessary! Cole, who is five told his mom, "I didn't win it last time, but this time I am going to!" It will sure be interesting anyways!

Week 30

Monday, June 22, 2009
The baby is getting bigger by the day, evidence of that is my quickly expanding waistline! She is now over three pounds and very active!

This week her little brain, for now, is starting to get its characteristic wrinkles and lines. This recent brain development has allowed her to begin regulating her own body temperature so that fine hair all over her body at this point will begin to go away.

I also found out that the heartburn may not be related to a hairy baby. There is a hormone in a pregnant woman's body that helps to relax muscles. The combination of that with the growing baby and squished up stomach can lead to major heartburn. I guess I won't have to look into baby electrolysis! (You have to know I am totally kidding!)

First Visit with Reese

Friday, June 19, 2009
Here are a couple of pictures from when John and I went to the Heidi and Craig's to meet Reese and have some lunch. She was less than a week old here and I think now is about four weeks old.

First Visit with Peyton

Here are a couple of pictures from when John and I went to meet Peyton. I think she was about a week and a half old at this point. The tiny little girl is now about six weeks.

Week 30 Belly Pic

Sweet Nora

Thursday, June 18, 2009
This morning was just one of those mornings for our male beagle Puller. His sister and litter-mate Nora had the toy dolphin that he most desperately wanted. No matter how sad and sweet he made his face look, how many times he barked and howled at her, how much he paced around in front of her, she would not share her toy with him.

Taking pity on him I sat down on the carpet to cuddle and give him some good petting for a while to try and distract him (it wouldn’t have been fair to Nora to take the toy away). After about five minutes, Nora came over with the toy dolphin and gave it to Puller. Puller then got up and walked over to another part of the living room to chew on the toy and Nora climbed right into my lap for some cuddle time of her own.

That has got to be the only time our overly possessive female beagle has ever traded any toy/treat/bone for cuddle time, how sweet.

No Gestational Diabetes!

I just got an email from MyChart (online medical tracking thing used by Allina). This email brought me great news, that my 3 hour Glucose Tolerance Test was normal. Yay!

Here were my results:

I think to celebrate I may just have to have something sweet and yummy this weekend, or maybe I could bake those brownies that have been waiting for me for two weeks in the box in the cupboard!

Sometimes You Just Gotta Dig

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Our baby has decided that one of her favorite pastimes is to "dig" away at my insides.

It actually feels like she is shoveling sand with her hands, or trying to. Usually it kinda tickles and just feels plain weird. Last night she was digging down and to the left which made it really uncomfortable to sit, lay down, stand, walk, etc. I kept saying "what in the heck does she think she is doing?" and John probably though I was going crazy! : )

She is definitely getting bigger and the proof of it is that she is running out of room, I believe which is causing the digging? Maybe? Maybe not? I can also feel her all the time, when she is awake. It's really cool, but I just hope she realizes there is some more room at the top of my belly and decides to stop digging lower.

Also last night John tried to see if he could hear the baby's heartbeat on the outside of my belly. According to the baby books this should be possible at this point. Instead he heard my stomach digesting the piece of chocolate cake that I had just eaten. Oh well, maybe next time!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009
So, does increased heartburn during pregnancy signify a hairy baby?

That seems to be the question on my mind lately. I haven't been having a ton, but a little every day. I found out this weekend that when John was a newborn he was pretty hairy, does this mean I am growing a monkey baby in my belly right now? : )


Monday, June 15, 2009
No its not only the name of a super funny movie that will make you second guess any dining trip to Bennigans, it is also how I spent my entire morning!

I had scheduled my three-hour glucose testing for this morning at 8:15, which meant no breakfast for me since I had to fast for at least 8 hours before the test. When I got to the doctor, they were having issues with the power and circuit breaker that was attached to the lab. Instead of rescheduling I decided to wait it out. Only about 45 minutes later I was able to start my testing.

First they took my blood. I then had to drink another 100 grams of the oh so yummy sugar beverage (this time it tasted like syrupy coke with just a tiny bit of carbonation). Then I waited an hour. Then they took my blood. Then I waiting an hour. Then they took my blood. Then I waited an hour. Then they finally took my blood for the last time and I was able to leave.

It wasn't so bad, since I had Bride Wars to watch on my Ipod, but I do feel that I look like I spent the morning shooting up from the needle marks I am sporting on both arms! : ) Thank goodness my blood runs freely or I may have had to be stuck even more!

I will hopefully find out that I am not diabetic in a couple of days, until then you guessed it...more waiting!

Week 29

Thursday, June 11, 2009

From week 29 to week 32, which is the seventh month of the pregnancy, the baby is about the size of a squash. Pretty unseasonal, I know, but it will have to do. : ) During this time she will range between 15.2 to 16.7 inches and weigh in around 2.5 to 3.8 pounds.

At this point she has tons of energy which is due to the fat deposits that are finally being stored underneath the skin. This month all five of her senses are finally functional, and her brain and nervous system are going through major developments.

Throughout the next 11 weeks of the pregnancy, the baby will more than double, maybe even come close to tripling her weight (hopefully she won't be too big!). This means instead of kicking, poking, and flipping, I will begin to feel her jabbing me with her knee or elbow instead.
I will work on getting the month seven belly picture up, and since there is supposed to be so much growing at this point of the pregnancy I will do my best to start posting them every two weeks instead of once a month.

Rh Negative

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I happen to have the blood type of A-.

Usually this just means that I have a slightly rare blood type, but when pregnant it means that I am lucky enough to need a shot in the butt at 28 weeks and then again after labor.

Yesterday was my lucky day, and I received the only shot in the butt that I can honestly remember receiving. Leaning over the bench in the doctor's office made me feel like I was in a movie and was weird, embarrassing, and funny all at the same time!

Anyways, I thought that some people would like to know why I had to get the shot, especially if they have a negative blood type and have not had babies yet.

Rh-factor is a protein that is carried in the blood. About 85% of the world's population has this protein and are considered RH positive. Those who don't, like myself, are considered RH negative. This would not affect my current pregnancy, but antibodies would be created that would attack any Rh positive babies I were to become pregnant with in the future. To prevent this the pregnant mother receives a shot at 28 weeks, the shot is of Rhogam. The Rhogam prevents my body from creating antibodies, so in the future if I were to be pregnant with a baby that was Rh positive, my body would not attack it.

Now, if the baby's father is Rh negative as well, then there is no chance that the baby would be Rh positive and no shot would have to be given or received. In our case John wasn't sure what his blood type was so it was better to be safe than sorry (or else he just really wanted me to get a shot in the butt!!).

Anyways, now that I have gotten the shot I can tell you that you barely feel it and it really ends up being no big deal.

I Failed the Test

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Today at my doctor's appointment I had to do the glucose level test. This basically means that I got to the doctor a half hour before my appointment, drank this nasty orange sweet drink, and then had to wait there an hour. After the hour is up they draw your blood and test your blood sugar. You either receive a pass or a fail, in my case it unfortunately was a fail.

A failed glucose screening means that on Monday I have to go back to the doctor for a three-hour glucose test. I'm not so worried about having the gestational diabetes, at this point if it is happening then I have no control over it. The major thing that I am not looking forward to is spending three lovely hours at the doctor, boring!

Ah well, good thing I can play tv and movies on my ipod!

Minneapolis is the 2nd Ranked Place to Have a Baby!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

According to Fit Pregnancy, Minneapolis is ranked number two in a list of the best cities to have a baby. I know we live in Hugo, but I think that this probably covers the entire metro area. Here are some reasons why this is such a great place to have a family:

  • According to data from the CDC, maternal mortality in MN is especially low.
  • MN allows greater dependent-related tax breaks than most.
  • The CDC reports very low infant mortality rates for MN.
  • Babies born in MN are 14% less likely than average to be born prematurely.
  • 21% of babies in MN are born via C-section, which is below the average of 27% for the country.
  • 16.1% of Minneapolis mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively which is higher than the national average of 12%.
  • There are more advanced fertility clinics per capita than average.
  • Minneapolis has one doula for every 37 live births.
  • Minneapolis has 42 midwives for every 1,000 births.
  • There are 24% more fertility doctors per capita here than average.
  • Minneapolis has more OB-GYNs than average.
  • Minneapolis has 39 licensed home day cares for every 1,000 children under 4 years.

There are some things that Fit Pregnancy says Minneapolis could use some work on:

  • Hospital costs here are among the highest in the nation.
  • Weather not conducive to getting out and working off the pregnancy weight gain (haven't they ever heard of a gym, or even the skyways?).
  • State laws do not require health insurance companies to provide or offer any fertility-related services.
  • Minnesota requires less visits by officials to home daycare centers than average.

That's pretty darn good if you ask me. I guess there are some good things to do with living in Minnesota! : )

Week 28

At this point the baby begins to turn around and will eventually be facing with its head down to be ready for labor (hopefully). She weighs around 2 1/2 pounds and should be about 16 inches long.

Some tricks that she is working on and should have mastered this week are blinking, coughing, sucking, hiccuping, and practice breathing. The baby also is reaching the REM cycle in her sleep, I wonder if her dreams are as crazy as some of the ones that John has been having, but that's a story for another post...

I guess it is time to start finalizing all of our stuff. We've signed up for our baby class, so I guess the next thing on the list is painting and putting together the nursery (the crib and dresser are already put together).

Third Trimester

We've officially moved into the home stretch of the pregnancy!

This morning when I reminded John what today was I realized that this baby could technically be here in 10-14 weeks. Crazy how fast this all goes! I remember back before 10 weeks thinking that 40 weeks seemed like forever, not anymore!

New Machine at Airport Security Gates

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Check out this link, if you are chosen out of line at the airport security checkpoint and do not want to be physically frisked, you will soon have the choice of being x-rayed. (Careful with the second picture, it unfortunately is a little graphic.


I'm not sure if I would be comfortable knowing that a stranger had access to that type of photo of me!


Well this morning I quickly realized that I have gotten to the point in this pregnancy where people that I do not know are beginning to notice that I am pregnant. This is 100 times better than people just thinking that I ate too many pieces of cake, which could also be the truth! : )

I was grabbing breakfast at D'Brian's and the woman behind the register asked if I was pregnant. I was surprised at how excited and happy I was to tell her yes. Strangers noticing this fact makes the day that she will come seem so much closer than before. Though I am nervous and worrying about every last detail, like normal, I am also getting more and more excited as the days go by.

Being able to meet and snuggle with my two friends newborn baby girls over the last couple of weeks definitely makes that waiting seem even longer! When holding Reese and Peyton I could definitely imagine myself snuggled up in the rocking chair or on the couch with baby Kate just sitting there for hours! Of course that will be interrupted by baby bathroom issues, feedings, beagle craziness, and the rest that life throws our way. It will all be worth it though and I can't wait.

Last week John told me that when she comes it will be "fun", and I am really starting to agree!

Grocery Shopping

Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Last night I stopped at the grocery store on my way home, I had to get the fixin's for nachos. Yum!

It is really hard for me to go to the grocery store before dinner and not leave with some sort of dessert. As I was going through the isles looking at cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream, etc every time I would stop to maybe think about grabbing something the baby would kick. This wouldn't be just a tiny kick, they were huge windup, see on the outside, kicks.

I left the grocery store without buying any dessert or sweet snacks. Looks like we may have a health nut on our hands! Maybe she could help us out!

Baby Tent

Monday, June 1, 2009
I have come to the conclusion that maternity shirts are not shirts but are actually baby tents. At least that is what they look like in photos. Here is proof (courtesy of Lucy) from Saturday!