28 weeks: Merry Christmas!

7 months, y'all. Not much has changed since last week. I still feel great! My belly button is kind of neither in nor out, and I haven't had a cheeseburger in like a week. Go me! We're going to get ready for baby this month {I think}. We finally ordered a crib. And I ordered some fabric swatches for the bedding. That's about as far as the nursery has gotten.

Speaking of which, if you missed my Facebook post, let me update you on the nursery. It is my belief that there is a dead animal inside the wall in the nursery. It stinks to high Heaven. If the door is left open, the dogs go and stand in the closet and sniff. I mean it's bad. We have looked everywhere. It's got to be in the wall. I don't know where it is or what it is but it is dead. And it is rotting. Not quite sure what we're going to do about that. To be continued...

This week has been so different this year. I worked 12 hour days the entirety of Christmas week, so part of me felt like I just totally missed it. I barely got the Christmas decorations up before Christmas (and only half of them, at that). I ordered most gifts online (which didn't arrive until after Christmas Day). I didn't get to go to church. I forgot to get the dogs' Christmas gifts (trivial, maybe, but still). And kudos to all you Pinterest-inspired people who have blogged about your cutesy Christmas-themed baked goods. It was Dominos and take-out for the Newmans this week. I think I cried at least twice. 

Then my good in-laws showed up on Christmas Eve, and I came home from work to prime rib, presents stacked under the tree, candles lit, and people not wearing pajamas. My dad, my sister, and her fiance joined us for dinner. It was so nice, and I finally felt like it was Christmastime. We opened gifts with Matt's parents that night, and it was so much fun opening things for baby girl! I didn't take many pictures, and I realized later that I didn't even take a family photo. Fail.

On Christmas night, I got off work and we headed straight to my dad's for a late Christmas dinner. 

The day after Christmas, I had to settle for speakerphone happy-birthday-singing with my family to my mom since I was not around wi-fi and couldn't FaceTime. (FaceTime has really become an integral part of my life, and I think it's the best invention ever.) I think this is the first time I've not been home for her birthday. They even took a picture of her holding the phone up so I was "in" the picture.

I finally finished my week-long stretch of work on Friday night, and we headed South for Christmas at my grandparents' and then with Mama and Mike. 

I love listening to my mom play the piano. It's one of my favorite things in the world.

Apparently, my precious little sister drew this fine piece of artwork at some point in our childhood. My grandfather kept it, and he pulled it out and showed it to us this weekend. I must say, it's pretty funny.

After I nearly died from overeating, we opened gifts and played our traditional game of Dirty Santa. I scored some Trap-A-Crap (a spray made by Poo-Pourri to cover up your bathroom stench). I tried it out before {someone} went into the bathroom. Evidently, you're supposed to spray it into the toilet. I sprayed it in the air, and {someone} said I was trying to kill him. Whoops. It's made with essential oils, and it's guaranteed to work.

Round 4 of Christmas was back in Hattiesburg. Special shout-out to my sister for being patient and waiting 3 days to celebrate Christmas because I had to work. Katie got me a bracelet with the March birthstone (because Charlotte is due in March). Mama said, "Well, what if she isn't born in March?" Katie said, "Well it's a good thing Laura was born in March too because I never thought of that." Haha. We got way too many things this year. I'm so thankful that we were able to spend time with all of our families even though I worked so much. We have the best families, and I'm so grateful for them.

Animal print from Aunt Katie. Duh.

Santa, aka Mama, had the flu this year during Christmas. Wrapping presents in her state of illness and delirium, she labeled everything "From: Sick Santa" which I thought was weird and hysterical.

Charlotte's first ornament on Mama's tree! She truly is the best gift we could ever have asked for. I absolutely cannot wait to hold her, and I love her so much my heart may explode. I can't believe this time next year we will have a precious little 9 month old crawling around!


I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!


Weeks 26 and 27

We didn't take a 26 week picture since I was working nights most of the week then was blessed with the stomach virus (thank you, pediatric ER). I mean I finally stopped puking from pregnancy, and then I get the stomach virus. The universe hates me. I got dehydrated and had a few contractions, which freaked me out a little. After a little IV fluid, all that chilled out, thank goodness.

So here we are at 27 weeks. Matt refuses to paint my toenails for me, and my belly button is now flat. It's going to become an outy any second now. In fact, one day, it did stick out a little. But it has since retreated. I don't expect this to last. Also, I have upped my middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom from 2 to an average of 3. 

We went to the doctor Monday, and all is well. Charlotte's heart rate was 147 bpm. Just perfect! I've gained 18 pounds total. We'll see how that number escalates over the holidays... We start going to our appointments every 2 weeks now. OH MY GOSH that means we're having a baby soon. Do we have a nursery? Nope. We do have one pack of diapers and some dang cute clothes. I.e., we are not ready.

In other news, we have had quite a week! My sister graduated college on Friday, and I only had to get up from my seat to vomit 3 times. We are so proud of her!! Perhaps I will post the cliche picture of her in her cap and gown later, whenever someone in my family shares their pictures with me. I was too busy trying to keep my gastric contents inside of my body to handle my own camera that day. Even without photographic evidence-- go Katie!! You're gonna be the best teacher ever :)

If that wasn't exciting enough, on Saturday, Katie and Wes got ENGAGED! We are so happy for them! Welcome to the fam, Wes. 2014 is going to be out of control and fabulous. Again, this phone pic is all I've got.

It's almost Christmas, y'all. And I'm about as ready for Christmas as I am to have a baby. I have purchased ZERO gifts. I've really got to get it together. 


25 weeks

I am feeling LARGE these days. I painted my toenails earlier this week, and let me tell you, it was a struggle. I also have been having difficulty bending over and getting my boots off, and I've noticed my ankles are a little swollen at the end of the day. Despite my largeness, I feel fantastic! 

I am still loving cheeseburgers and milk, and I've also become obsessed with the peppermint chocolate chip milkshake from Chick-Fil-A. I have no self control whatsoever. I had 4 in one week. FOUR. Pregnant or not, that's just not okay.

This was a big week for us! I was offered {and accepted} a fellowship position in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at UMC! I am beyond excited! 

Matt made that day so incredibly special. I came home from work to all of my favorite things--roses, a box of my favorite cookies, cupcakes, my favorite dinner, and the sweetest card. He is so supportive, and for that I am so grateful. Finishing in 2015 and going into private practice would by far be the easiest road for us, but Hem/Onc is my dream, and Matt is so understanding and encouraging. So here we go--three more years of training. Have I lost my mind??


24 weeks

I don't have a single picture of anything Thanksgiving related because I spent my Thanksgiving on call at the hospital. I was really grumpy about that for a while. However, we have so much to be thankful for this year, and I tried to remember there are definitely worse reasons to be in a hospital over Thanksgiving. Matt did bring me lunch, and we spent a lovely 30 minutes together, which consisted largely of me inhaling food and answering pages. Oh, residency. Gotta love it. Sometimes the dream. Sometimes a nightmare.

Of course, more than anything, I'm thankful for my baby girl. Every time I feel her kick, my heart just swells. All of our ultrasounds and tests have been stone cold normal, and for someone who knows a little too much about what can go wrong with development, I'm so thankful for her health so far. Matt and I are so, so excited to be parents, and we're so grateful for this gift!

It goes without saying that I'm thankful for Matt, but I just can't put into words how wonderful he is. He's just such an amazing, supportive, loving, thoughtful husband, and he's going to be the best daddy. I can't imagine my life without him. Charlotte and I are two lucky girls!

It has just been an incredible year for us. We are so blessed, and our hearts are so full. 
I can never express how thankful I am for my family.
And for our great group of friends.
And Grayce and Oscar Bob.
Central heat.
Our home.
Our jobs.
Maternity jeans.
Cheeseburgers and milk.
And I honestly am thankful for FaceTime. It's how I've spent every major holiday with the rest of my family this year. 

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:18


Weeks 22 and 23

{Don't miss Grayce sneaking in the bottom of the picture.} 

I can officially only wear maternity pants now. In this picture, I'm wearing my regular pants with a belly band. The day before, I wore a similar pair of slacks to work with the belly band, and it was totally fine. Charlotte must have put on an few grams overnight, because the next day I wore this outfit, and let's just say it was most unpleasant. Never again.

I still have the cheeseburger craving! Too bad my cravings don't include carrots and celery. I am concerned that this milk thing is going to become a problem. I'm pretty sure I had a kidney stone a few weeks ago, and my OB switched me from prenatal vitamins to straight folic acid to cut down on the calcium. And now I can't stop drinking milk. Great. 

I'm so thankful that I haven't been sick in a couple of weeks! I've had a little lower back pain, but otherwise {9 weeks into my second trimester} I feel great! Woo hoo! Finally. 

Oscar Bob is a hot mess these days. I keep promising him I'll get him groomed. But isn't he cute all shaggy and homeless-looking??

Apparently I don't know what a mango is. I thought it was a small orange-like fruit. Evidently they're big and they can weigh more than a pound. Which is why a mango is currently comparable to my baby. Who knew? Not me.

As of 23 weeks and 3 days, I've gained 13 pounds. I'm surprised it's not more, given the whole cheeseburger problem. I'm way too tired and overworked to exercise, but my doctor said she's happy with my weight gain, so whatever. Yeah, yeah, I know, exercising would make me feel better. Blahh. I'll work on that when I'm not working 80 hours a week.


21 weeks

Week 21 was pretty fantastic. We got to see what Charlotte is looking like these days, and my mama came to town for Mistletoe Marketplace! 

This picture cracks me up. We were taking a little break and sitting on this bench chatting. Charlotte was kicking a lot, and mama put her hand on my belly to feel her. We were in the midst of our little mother-daughter moment, and these two ladies in a booth right across from us just yelled out, "Is it a boy or a girl?!" We looked up and they were watching us, hands clasped and heads tilted, telling us how precious we were. It made me laugh. Then they insisted that they take our picture. So they took a picture of us and apparently she kept on snapping and caught this candid. It is a blurry phone picture, but it may be one of my favorite pictures ever! 

Earlier in the week, our friend did another just-for-fun ultrasound, so we got an extra sneak peek at baby girl. She measured her and estimated that she weighs almost exactly one pound! Look at that sweet little nose. I just love these pictures. I look at them about 50 times a day. 

And this third picture... I mean, who is this baby? Please note how the first two pictures look like the same child, and then there's this picture. This looks like a different person. I know it's just the angles and the fluid and whatnot, but it makes me laugh a little. 

And YAAAAAAAAAY for not being sick anymore!!!! Hallelujah. 


20 weeks

I can't believe this pregnancy is halfway over! It has been going by so fast. Sweet girl kicks and squirms all day, especially after I eat, and for some reason she's always really, really active right before I go to bed at night. I thought I had finally kicked the sickness {at 20 freaking weeks}, but this morning I puked. Again. Oh, Charlotte. Mama does not appreciate this anymore. Also, Matt has been able to feel her move for about a week and a half, and he just loves it! As far as cravings... apple cider and cheeseburgers. We have a Keurig coffee maker in the lounge at work, and I keep apple cider K-cups in my locker. I've been trying not to indulge in the cheeseburger craving too much, and everyday on my way home from work I have to consciously make an effort not to bee-line to Wendy's. On that note, I think my booty is growing as fast as my belly, which is quite unfortunate. I'm going to try to start exercising again after about a 16 week hiatus. I dread it, but it is so necessary.

Funny story. I was in my clinic one afternoon this week, and I was also on call for the hospital service. I was wearing scrubs, and I had my pagers clipped to the waistband on my scrub pants. While I was seeing a patient, my pager went off at least 6 times. This is the conversation that went down between my patient's mother and I:

Mom: "Are you pregnant??"
Me: "I am!"
Mom: "Girl, why you wearin' those beepers right up against yo' belly? You wakin' that baby up all the time with all that beepin'!"
Me: "Well, that has never occurred to me before..." 
Mom: "You need to let that baby sleep. Can't nobody sleep with all that beepin' goin' on next to their head. She gonna get you back after she's born! She gonna wake you up all the time!"

She's right. Can't nobody sleep with all that beepin'. 

On another note, let me give you some advice. If you're almost 21 weeks pregnant, don't try to wear non-maternity leggings to work all day. Even if it's Halloween. Even if you really want to be festive. Just get a hat or something.


Gender Reveal

Last week, four of my friends and my sister threw us a gender reveal party. It was so hard for us to not find out baby's gender at our appointment, but I'm so glad we waited! Finding out with our family and our closest friends (minus a few of our besties that live out of state) was a precious moment that I'll never forget. 

As a whole, we got it wrong!

In honor of our little peanut.

I don't know why I'm holding my belly awkwardly like that.

This may be my favorite picture of the night. Pap and I comparing our bellies!

The anticipation was killing my sister. This picture cracks me up. I also think at this point my dad (on the left) was still trying to figure out what the heck a gender reveal party is and what was about to happen.


One of my hostesses and dearest friends.

Two more sweet hostesses! Thanks for making our night so special, friends!

We are so pumped!

I'll be back soon with an update on 20 weeks and the status of my belly button.