Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bumpdate Weeks 17-19 plus the Anatomy Scan Ultrasound

I feel like I have really popped over the last 3 weeks.  It still isn't completely obvious to strangers that I am pregnant but it is getting closer!
Week 17, January 21st-January 27th, 2015
How I am feeling: Feeling pretty good this week.  I had some weird stomach pains on Saturday when we were walking around the city watching kids sled.  I wore the belly bandit (stretchy piece of fabric used to hold up your regular pants and turn them into maternity pants) for the first time and wasn't sure if it was that or something else.  I felt much better after I took it off.
Size of the Baby: 5.1 inches, Onion (we used an orange because the size was better), 5.9 oz
What is the Baby up to this Week:  This week the baby has mastered some simple reflexes such as swallowing, sucking and blinking.  The baby may even get the hiccups.  Fat is also forming underneath the baby's skin.
Best Moment this Week: Feeling more movement and stroller shopping!
Food Cravings: Sour candy
What I Miss: Not much. . . other than cookie dough :).
Most Looking Forward To: The upcoming body scan ultrasound that we have at 18 weeks 5 days.
Thankful for: Weight Gain/Loss: Stayed the same, so back to the starting weight of the pregnancy. (0 lbs total)
Clothing: Normal tops but I started wearing the belly belt with most of my pants like you can see in the picture above.  I have also used a hair tie to expand my pants a little and that works pretty well.
Sleep: Sleep is good.  Still working on trying to transition to sleeping on my side.
Movement: More movement this week!
Gender: It is a surprise!

Week 18, January 28th-February 3rd, 2015
How I am feeling: I feel great.  Jake felt the baby kick twice on January 28th!
Size of the Baby: 5.6 inches, Sweet Potato, 6.7 oz
What is the Baby up to this Week:  Many of the bones in the baby's body are starting to harden.  The inner ear bones are some of the first to harden which is part of the reason why the baby might be able to hear sounds such as my heart beating or my stomach growling.
Best Moment this Week: Jake felt the baby kick twice on January 28th! He felt the baby move more throughout the week.  He has been reading a baby book about calming the baby down and has been getting really excited about it.  He can't wait until the baby gets here so he can do different experiments to see what helps the baby calm down.  I'm guessing the newness of that might wear off pretty soon in the middle of the night when we are sleep deprived but I'm excited that he is really getting into it now.  I mentioned something to him about getting a massage for my shoulder (I have some serious should issues and knots that massage therapy helps with quite a bit) after the baby was born and how maybe that wouldn't happen.  He acted like I was a crazy person.  Of course I could go get a massage.  He would just stay with the baby and play and I would go do whatever.  I love his confidence!  We had our 20 week ultrasound/anatomy check (at 18w5d) and it went well.  We didn't find out the gender but we got to see our little baby moving all around.  I'll post more about that below.  I also told my students I was pregnant which was fun.  Most of the classes started cheering and clapping and wanted to help name the baby.  It was really sweet.
Food Cravings: Sometimes sour candy but almost immediately after eating it I regret it.  It just leaves a bad after taste to remind me I had something not very nutritious.
What I Miss: Actual Mexican food.
Most Looking Forward To: Going home to see friends and family before the baby is born and having baby showers now that we booked tickets for April!
Thankful for: Weight Gain/Loss: +2 pounds (+2 total)
Clothing: Wearing the belly belt regularly and tried the belly bandit but had strange stomach pains after wearing it.
Sleep: I've been having shoulder pain while I sleep which is waking me up.  I used to sleep on my right side until high school when I started having lots of shoulder pain.  I changed to a back sleeper and now I am trying to sleep on my left side but it still hurts my right shoulder even while sleeping on my left side, strange and annoying.
Exercise: I'm going to add exercise on here so I can remember what I did.  Up to this week I had maintained my normal routine of running two days a week and doing weights with cardio the other two days for about 30-45 minutes.  Around 14 weeks I slowed my running down after I noticed my heart rate was getting up higher than is used to (probably because of the extra blood I have in my body for the baby).  I also took off about two weeks of exercising for Christmas which I think made me a little slower to get back into it.  At 14 weeks, I slowed my run down from 10.5 kph to 7.5-8.5 kph which was more of a jog.  I still do weights but I stopped doing exercises on my back and crunches.
Movement: Jake and I can both feel the baby especially in the evenings.
Gender: It is a surprise!  We made it through the ultrasound without finding out the gender.  When they measured his/her legs we just looked at each other so I could hopefully make sure Jake didn't peek.  Our ultrasound tech said the baby's legs were crossed so she didn't know the gender either but I'm not sure how true that is or if she said that to make me feel better.

Ultrasound and Anatomy Check
We were both excited to see the baby again during the ultrasound.  I decided to eat a clementine and a piece of chocolate before the ultrasound to make sure the baby was active and moving.  That might not have been necessary :).  The baby moved quite a bit and she had a hard time measuring things a couple of times because the baby would move.  

Here is a video of the baby at the beginning of the ultrasound.  We have nicknamed the baby "Baker", you might notice in the title of the video, which I'll explain later but I like having a nickname instead of just saying he/she or it.
We were able to see 4 chambers in the heart and we saw the valves opening and closing in the heart.  She pointed out the aorta and the pulmonary artery.  It is amazing to me that they can look through my stomach and see the baby and then look into the baby to see the heart, brain, stomach, etc.
We were also able to see the brain.  We saw the brain at the 12 week ultrasound as well which was incredible.  This time she was looking for the cerebellum.
Here are a few pictures.

 The baby measured right where he/she should be which was great since I hadn't really gained much or felt like I was showing much.  The head measured a little big which worries me because of obvious reasons :) but also because I just want to make sure everything is okay.  The ultrasound tech didn't say it was bad to have a big head just that it was measuring a little big.

Week 19, February 4th-February 10th, 2015
 I kind of thought you couldn't tell I was pregnant in this shirt since it isn't very snug.  From the front you can't really tell but the side view isn't as secretive about my belly as I thought. 
And here are a few with my tank top so you can really see the bump.

How I am feeling: I feel really good and I am starting to enjoy the bump.  I haven't really had much of a belly (please don't hate - just got lucky with good genes and I am pretty good with portion control) so getting a belly is weird.  I love that I am getting to feel the little one move around as I watch my belly get bigger and bigger but it is still strange looking down and seeing it just sticking out.  It freaked Jake out a lot at the beginning and I'm sure it will continue to do so but there is something about a pregnant belly that is so beautiful.  I am growing a life, inside of me!  There were several months when I didn't think it would ever happen and I was starting to be okay with that but I am so thankful that it is finally happening.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid of what it will look like after I have the baby but right now I am trying to embrace the belly and gain weight in a healthy way for the baby and for me.  I started feeling a bit under the weather with a small cold but thankfully with lots of water and a few naps I think I'm back on the upswing.
Size of the Baby: 6.0 inches, Heirloom Tomato or Mango, 8.5 oz
What is the Baby up to this Week:  Many of the baby's senses are developing.  Millions of motor neurons are continuing to develop in the baby's brain allowing more controlled and conscious movement.
Best Moment this Week: We had our 2nd midwife appointment.  I have a feeling a "How to Have a Baby in Sweden" post will be in the near future or a continuing topic but going to see a midwife is part of it.  I had my first midwife appointment at 8 weeks and my second at 19w5d.  I asked her a whole bunch of questions about registering for parental leave, which hospital we should deliver at, how much weight I should be gaining, child birth classes, etc.  She told me that we need to pick a hospital by our next appointment which is in week 25.  I also found out I have to get my blood checked since I am B negative and we found out the baby's blood is positive.  After my d & c I had to get the RhD shot and it looks like I'll get one more while pregnant and then again after I deliver.  I was still pretty out of it from the surgery for the first shot so it didn't really hurt but I'm not so sure about the next one.
Food Cravings: Wanting some salty things like tortilla chips and peanuts.
What I Miss: Sleeping on my back
Most Looking Forward To: Going home in April and watching my belly grow!
Thankful for: Weight Gain/Loss: +0.5 pounds (+2.5 total)
Clothing: Wearing the belly belt regularly.
Sleep: I am getting better about sleeping on my side and having less shoulder pain after a massage and doing lots of back exercises.
Exercise: I think I am done running/jogging.  My stomach just feels weird like it is stretching out or something.  This week I decided to start walking with an incline and increasing the speed to walk as quickly as I can without running.  I tried the elliptical a few weeks ago when the treadmills were full and I felt like I was going to fall off and I hated it once I did get on.  So it looks like the treadmill and stationary bike might be my friend for the next 20 weeks.
Movement: Jake and I can both feel the baby especially in the evenings.
Gender: Still a surprise.  My students have been coming up with baby names for us which is really fun and helpful!  Today a student brought in an envelope with girls and boys names.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Italy: Questions & Answers

Where did we go?
We went to Rome for 3 days, Florence for 2 days and Venice for 3 days in October and November 2014.

Where is it and how did we get there?

We had a 2 hour and 15 minute flight from Stockholm to Munich, a 2 hour layover and then an hour and a half hour flight from Munich to Rome.
 We took a train from Rome to Florence and then Florence to Venice.  We had an hour and 25 minute flight from Venice to Frankfurt, an hour layover and then a 2 hour flight from Frankfurt to Stockholm.

How long were we there?
We were in Rome for 3 nights and two and a half days.  We were in Florence for two nights, two half days and one full day.  We spent 3 nights in Rome, two full days plus an evening and most of a full day before flying out.  I think we picked the right length of time for each city.  Spending 2-3 nights at the same place was great!  On most of our recent trips we had been spending 1-2 nights at each place so spending 3 nights at one place felt like moving in!

What language do they speak?
They speak Italian but most also speak English.  We didn't have trouble getting help or ordering food.

What currency do they use?
They use Euros.

Were things expensive?
Instead of comparing the prices to Stockholm, I thought I would just give an estimate of how much we spent on food.  Since we have been traveling we don't spend a lot on souvenirs because we don't have the space and we don't want to collect junk.  I did buy a purse for 15 Euros while we were in Florence but even if I only used it that first day it was worth it for my phone not to go swimming with Jake.  If you missed that story you can read about it here.  Breakfast was free because we stayed at Bed and Breakfasts so it was included and each place had a great breakfast.  I don't like to eat too much for breakfast so something light to start the day is great.
This was probably my favorite breakfast day because of that chocolate cake.  Definitely doesn't fit my "light" breakfast description but it was amazing!

Lunch varied between about $10-50 depending on how fancy it was.  Dinners were around $50-80 including dessert and wine.  Venice was more expensive since they have to ship everything in by boat but it really wasn't that bad.  There are definitely really expensive restaurants in each city but we tried not to eat at those since they usually have smaller portions and fancy food that wasn't exactly what we were looking for.

Would we be able to live there for a year?
I think we could possibly live in Florence but probably not Rome or Venice.  Rome was big and touristy and Venice wasn't very easy to get around in with all the bridges.  My friend Lisa lived in Florence for a little while and liked it.  Out of the three I would say Florence would be the best choice but even then I'm not sure.  I think I'd rather live in a less touristy place.

What was most memorable thing about the trip?
I think the most memorable thing was Jake falling into the water in Florence.  That still makes me laugh just thinking about it.  The next most memorable was probably our gondola ride in Venice.

What was the food like?
The food was great.  I had lots of pizza, pasta and gelato.  The pizza is definitely different than what we are used to at Pizza Hut but it was really good.  It is pretty thin but at least in Italy it isn't soggy like it is in Sweden :).

Least favorite food?
I felt like the gnocchi was hit or miss. I had it a couple of times.  It was too gummy and blah once and awesome another time.

Favorite food?
This is hard but probably the gelato :).  I also really like pasta with red sauce that I tried which says a lot because I do not care for red sauce typically.

Would we want to go back?

I wouldn't mind going back in several years but before going back to these three places we would both like to try a smaller city in the countryside.

What was I most surprised by?

I was surprised by how cool it was.  The temperature was supposed to be pretty similar to Croatia except a few degrees cooler.  I forgot that the sun would go down earlier due to daylight savings time happening right before our trip and that made the temperature drop quite a bit.

Did we do anything we thought we wouldn't do?

We didn't plan on seeing a concert in Venice but I'm really glad we did.  It was really good and a different activity that we hadn't done on other trips.

What did I learn about myself on this trip?
I learned that going on a trip with four people is more work than going on a trip with two people but we made a lot of great memories.  Taking time during the day at a coffee shop or back in the hotel room to rest for a bit is also really nice instead of just going non-stop.  I think Jake and I both learned that we might prefer less touristy cities which is good to know for future trips.  I'm still glad we went to these bigger cities because they were really beautiful.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about our time in Italy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Venice, Italy

The last stop on our trip through Italy was Venice.  If you want to read about our time in Rome or Florence click on the links.

Venice has been on my "must visit list" for a long time.  I love seeing pictures of Venice with all the canals and boats and I couldn't wait to see it in person.

We arrived in Venice at 6:35 pm on November 2nd which happened to be Jake's 30th birthday.  During the train ride I tried calling a few places to make dinner reservations but my phone wouldn't work so Jake took over and found a great place.  We had about an hour and a half to get to our bed and breakfast, drop off our things and then find the restaurant.
We took one of the vaporettos (water bus) to the Rialto Bridge stop and then walked about five minutes to our bed and breakfast.  The "streets" in Venice are very narrow and look more like alleys.  I felt safe walking around but there is a reason why people say to get lost in Venice . . . it is pretty hard not to.  I will say I don't think I ever got us lost when trying to get someplace (which was my goal after seeing how easy it was to get lost).  I used an app that we use every time we travel called Maps.me to help me figure out where we were and it was great.
  Our room overlooked a canal which was really neat and one of the TV channels had a live feed of the canal right by our room.  Our bed and breakfast was about a five minute walk to St. Mark's Square or the Rialto Bridge which are main tourist spots and made it a great location (and easy to find on the map).

After checking into our rooms we walked to dinner.  If you have taught with me or walked with me you know I'm a fast walker and that in general I like to go places with a purpose.  Since I was the navigator of the trip we walked everywhere with a purpose.  Sometimes the others had to remind me to slow down a bit ;).  Sorry!

We had dinner at a great little restaurant.  It lived up to our expectations of not being touristy.  We had great food and our waiter was fun.
After dinner we walked around for a little while before calling it a night.
The picture on the left is the canal by our hotel.  The window after the balcony is our room.  We found a few gondolas.

The next morning we walked to the start of the Grand Canal by the train station.  Rick Steves has an audio guide tour of the Grand Canal.  We got on the vaporetto line number 1 which is the slower line but he talks about all the buildings as you stop so it works perfectly.  It was really foggy this day which was a bummer because we couldn't see very far.

 Everything has to be delivered by boat and then workers use a dolly to take the boxes up and down all the bridges to the businesses (which is why the cost of living is so expensive in Venice).
A really short video of them taking boxes over one of the many bridges.  For a walking city it would be a pain if you had to use a stroller.

 I love all the canals!
 Rialto Bridge

During lunch Jake and I decided to get a little more creative with our picture :).  Love that he does dorky things with me.
 We walked through St. Mark's Basilica.
It was really pretty.  We weren't supposed to take pictures in there but everyone was taking pictures.  We were scolded by a lady who was giving a tour, which was also forbidden because it was supposed to be silent in the church.  I'm all for following rules until the rules don't make sense but don't tell me I'm breaking a rule while you are also breaking a rule.  I bit my tongue and didn't tell her she was also breaking a rule but I thought about it really hard!

We grabbed some gelato and then decided to try to take a gondola ride.  Yes they are cheesy, touristy and expensive but it was a must do for me.  I had read a lot about the hidden rules of getting a great gondola ride.  You were supposed to agree on a route, length and price all before getting on the gondola and if you didn't want the typical touristy one then don't get on one in a super touristy spot.  Well . . . we went to the gondola stand at St. Mark's Basilica, which is probably the most touristy spot in Venice.  I froze.  I couldn't make a decision.  It was 80 Euros for a 45 minute ride or 120 Euros for an hour ride.  I didn't want our ride to be touristy where there is just a train of gondolas and you don't have any privacy and the gondoliers just talk to each other.  We also decided before the trip that we would go on one without Jake's parents even though the price included up to six people in one gondola.

Jake and Janet talked to the gondolier and figured out the path and tried to reassure me that it wouldn't be crowded but I just couldn't decide.  It was a lot of money and I felt like we had one chance to get it right.  Jake's parents decided to go for it and they hopped in one.  We took a few pictures of them leaving and then I finally unfroze and said sure, let's give it a try.  We also didn't want to just follow Jake's parents since that would defeat the point of taking separate gondola.  

Jake got a smile out of me even though we were just fighting about a gondola ride (one of the reasons why I married him is that even in the heat of the moment he can make me smile).

Our Gondola Ride

Remember how I was worried we would be in a long chain of gondolas and it would be crowded and not romantic. I was wrong.  We were completely alone and it was awesome!  Yes it was expensive but it was about the cost of a dinner which usually isn't that memorable but this definitely was and I am so thankful we did it.

We also went at sunset which was great because we were able to get pictures in the light and some after it was dark.

This was our last view while on the gondola.  Not too shabby.

After the gondola ride we walked around for a little while.  We found a place for dinner and made a reservation for about an hour later so we could still see some of the city before dinner.  Once we made it to the restaurant for dinner we realized it was pretty fancy and expensive.  We decided to give it a shot since it got really good reviews.  Soon after we were seated, a huge party was seated close by us and there was a woman sharing her whole life story along with lots of health details in a very loud voice.  It was just too much.  The atmosphere wasn't great and nothing on the menu looked very good so we decided to leave.  It was a little awkward but I'm glad we did.

We found another place for dinner and it was really good.  I had homemade gnocchi (picture on the right) which was excellent.
The next morning we woke up to a little bit of water.  We were wondering what the short tables were in St. Mark's Square the day before and we were thankful for them this morning.

 The line to get into St. Mark's Basilica.

 We took a vaporetto to an island about 5 minutes away and had some great views of Venice.  It was clear, sunny and beautiful!

 Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square and Basilica
We took a tour of the clock tower.  It was neat to compare this to our tour of the Bern clock tower.

After the clock tower tour we walked around for a bit, got on another vaporetto since it wasn't foggy and headed towards to Accademia Bridge.
 We saw our gondolier from our ride the night before.

 Jake read about a gondola repair shop and he was hoping we could walk through it but it wasn't open to the public.  So we walked to the other side of the canal and watched them work instead.

We went to Campo San Barnaba to look at a Da Vinci exhibit and this happened to also be a spot where they filmed a scene in Indiana Jones.

 I love the clouds and the sunlight on the buildings.  We are standing on the Accademia Bridge.
 Thought this was neat artwork on the building.
I had a calzone for dinner and everyone else had pizza.  It was really good.
Accademia Bridge at night.
One of the top rated things to do in Venice was a concert so we went to on the night before we headed back home.  It was really good.  I was a little bit afraid I would sleep through it since it was late at night and I was tired (and pregnant) but they did a great job keeping me entertained and awake.  The cellist was very into the music and he was fun to watch. He didn't have any sheet music in front of him for the entire 2 hour concert.
On our way back to the hotel we noticed there was quite a bit of water and some places had walkways already set up.  We learned that the acqua alta or rising water would peak that night and then again 6 hours later.  Jake's parents had an early morning flight so they went to bed but we walked around to check out the water a little bit.
 St. Mark's Square
 Entrance to a hotel that started filling up with water.
 St. Mark's Square
 In front of St. Mark's Basilica
Jake having some fun with the narrow streets.

The next morning Jake's parents left bright and early and thankfully at low tide :) so they could make it out without too much trouble.  Jake and I spent the day touring Doge's Palace and modeling our super sweet, free rain boots our hotel gave us.

Standing on the Bridge of Sighs where prisoners walked to the prison and caught their last glimpse of Venice.

We had a few slices of pizza for lunch and Jake claims it was the best pizza he has ever had.  It was really good.  We went back to the hotel to grab our bags and then get on a boat to the airport.

We had a great time in Italy.  We would both love to go back to Italy but maybe to less touristy city.  I'm thinking more Under the Tuscan Sun type of a place :).
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