Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birth Story - If you're so inclined

As my due date drew closer and closer, I kept getting more and more anxious! We thought for sure she would come early! I made my final trip to the grocery store about 3 days before my due date.

At 5:30am on August 28th (Ashley's due date), we were laying in bed and I felt somewhat of a small gush. I knew it felt different, so I got up to check it out. I thought it was my water breaking, and was actually worried that as I got out of bed that I would leak all over the floor! Luckily that didn't happen, but there was quite a bit of clear fluid that had leaked out. I cleaned up and changed and told Cuong what had happened. I told him that he had better stay home from work because that definitely wasn't normal!

I didn't feel any contractions start, so I tried walking around our bedroom and eventually headed downstairs to try walking around down there. I grabbed some toast to eat and then called Labor & Delivery. They ask you to call so they can let you know if one hospital is too busy and you need to go to another one. I spoke to the Triage nurse and told her what had happened. She told me to take my time, take a shower, eat something and that I have up to six hours to come to the hospital. I did what she said. Cuong and I took a walk up to the park to try to get contractions started, took a shower and then had some more toast to eat.

We headed to the hospital a little later and check in at the Labor & Delivery Triage center. They brought me into an observation room and hooked me up to a monitor to check the baby's heart rate and for contractions. I was having inconsistent, non-painful contractions and Ashley's heart rate was perfect.

A Midwife came in to verify that my water had actually broken and told me that I should have come in right away when my water broke. I told her that the nurse told me I had up to 6 hours to come in and she said, "No, we want you to be in ACTIVE labor by 6 hours!" Hmph, so much for listening to what the nurse said! At this point, I was about 1 1/2 cm dilated.

Since I wasn't having consistent contractions, they recommended that I be admitted into a Delivery room and started on Pitocin (12pm). I really didn't want to have to get Pitocin while I was in labor, but I knew that it needed to be done since my water had broken and they like to get the baby out within 24 hours after that. So I got a huge, nasty IV put into my and and they started me on some fluids and Pitocin.

After your water breaks, you're more susceptible to infection, so they try not to check you for dilation as often. Three hours after they started me on Pitocin I was only 2 cm dilated (3pm).

Normally people would be up out of bed, walking around to try to entice labor to become more active, but since my water had broken, I was still leaking a little bit of fluid whenever I would get out of bed. I figured it wouldn't be a pretty sight to have the leaky girl out in the hallways!

Three hours later she checked me again and I was only at 3cm (6pm). She told me that she was going to insert an internal fetal monitor instead of using the one that was strapped onto my belly. That way they would be able to see the baby's heart beat and the contractions better and know whether or not they needed to up my dosage of Pitocin. After inserting the internal monitor, the Midwife told me that since it was a "foreign" object, it might actually increase the timing and pain of the contractions. The L&D nurse told me that I could get the epidural at that point if I wanted it. I told her I would think about it since I was only 3cm dilated. It just seemed too early to me to get it. About a 1/2 hour later, I told Cuong to get the nurse because I needed the epidural! It was amazing how fast the hard contractions came on! The nurse had to give me a bag of fluids before I was able to get the epidural, but she paged for them to come down when I was ready. The doctor came in and administered the epidural and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be! Phew! It was definitely a relief to get! (7pm)

At about 9pm, the Midwife checked me again and I was only at 4cm. At this point, I was starting to get worried. I was progressing only 1cm per 3 hours! I really didn't even want to think about having to have a C-Section! Luckily the Midwife said that you're considered in "active" labor when you reach 4cm and she was anticipating that things would move more quickly now.

After getting the epidural, things were great. I just had to keep my eye on the clock and make sure I turned to the other side about every 45 minutes to keep the medicine from only flowing to one side of my body. Like clockwork, after another three hours, the Midwife checked me again and I was at 8cm! Woah!! Now that was fast! (approx Midnight) It made me feel much better though to know that I was progressing and ALMOST there!

I started to feel more pressure as Ashley was moving further down. The nurse was monitoring the contractions and Ashley's heart rate and saw that every time I had a contraction her heart rate was dipping. To counteract that, they had me breathe with an oxygen mask on. Thankfully that helped and her heart rate remained fairly steady throughout the contractions.

A little while later the Midwife came in and checked me again. I was at 10cm, but she wanted me to "labor down" a little bit and allow Ashley to move further down the birth canal so I wouldn't have to push as long. She estimated that I would be ready to push in about an hour. She said that first time moms generally push for anywhere between one to four hours.

About a half hour later I told Cuong and the nurse that I felt like I was ready to push. The nurse checked and said that the baby had definitely made her way down. She went to go get the Midwife to deliver the baby....but she was delivering ANOTHER baby right at that moment and wouldn't be able to come in. She said that I could go ahead and start pushing. She must have figured that it still would be a while.
The nurse came back in and said that I could start pushing with each contraction. So I had Cuong on one side of me and the nurse on the other to help hold my legs. After pushing for a while, I think the nurse was starting to get nervous because Ashley's head was getting closer and closer! After I had pushed for about 40 minutes, she paged for the OBGYN who was on call. He came in and about 10 minutes later, Ashley made her debut.

She came out with her eyes wide open and ready to greet the world with a good loud cry!
She weighed 7lbs, 6 oz. and was 19 inches long.
While she was under the baby warmer she reached up and grabbed onto Cuong's finger with a good strong grip! She was so alert and beautiful!

More to come later....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Officially on Baby Watch

Good Morning!

We just got back from a doctor's appointment and the midwife says that we're officially on baby watch! Ashley is in position and will be considered "full term" on Friday (37 weeks). My hospital bag is packed, car seat is installed and the nursery is ready! I haven't had any consistent contractions, so there's no impending labor! Don't worry!

Over the past 2 months, we've had 4 baby showers!! They were all so helpful and wonderful!

In June we had a shower with my Warmington work friends at our house. It was great to have everyone over to check out the house and give everyone a chance to hang out together outside of the office. One of the gifts we received was the carseat!

Next, in July, we had a shower with Cuong's co-workers from Santa Fe Springs. We had lots of fun...and we got the much needed stroller! Yay!
The very next day I had the shower that Jen planned!! Everything was SO adorable! Jen did a "Pink Paris" theme complete with lots of Eiffel Towers and French themed food (croissant sandwiches & Parisian salad, etc). Plus, a very delicious cake!

It was a great chance to see some of my friends and family friends that I hadn't seen in a while! I couldn't believe how many gifts we got! We were just barely able to squeeze everything into the car! It was so much fun going through everything; hanging up all of the tiny clothes and organizing all of the baby items.

To round out the weekend, we headed down to Oceanside for a final shower! It was a co-ed & family friendly shower complete with games for the kids and the guys! Who wouldn't want to race to see who can suck down beer out of a bottle the fastest?! It was fantastic to see all of the support from our friends down there.

Monday, July 13, 2009

33 Weeks

So I'm in the 33rd week (out of 40) and we're heading into the home stretch! In one way I feel like it's gone by so quickly, but then in another...I'm ready to have my little baby.

I've definitely been getting bigger as the weeks go on. Cuong helps me put cocoa butter on every night and he said that he's able to tell a difference when my tummy grows a little bit more.

My ribs are getting pretty sore now. I think it was just a fluke thing that may last a day or so....but it still hurts. She likes to get up under my ribs and then kick hard or just push on them. Luckily when I lay on one side, gravity will pull her to the other side. At least it gets her away from one side of my body so she can push on the other side! :)

Baby showers this weekend! Can't wait! It should be fun!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Woohoo!! I'm famous!!

Haha, Just Kidding! My sister-in-law just let me know that my Shades of Summer scrapbook page made it onto Elizabeth Kartchner's blog!!
Last summer she mailed out 10 boxes around the U.S. with a pair of yellow sunglasses and instructions on what to do next inside. Apparently my group's box was the only one that made it back to her after it had been sent to all of the assigned recipients.
I remember how much I looked forward to receiving that box on my doorstep, so I'm glad that everyone followed through and got all of our pages back to her.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rest in Peace, Grandpa

Grandpa & I, circa 1984

After a long 84 years here on earth, my grandfather passed away on Wednesday, June 10th.

He definitely had a great & memorable life. He was married to his sweetheart for 62 loving years, had to children, 3 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren (including Ashley). He was fully aware that Ashley would be born in August and I think he was trying hang on just to see her be born and grow up. Now he can look down from heaven and see her anytime he'd like.

After learning that he had been admitted to the hospital on Monday night, I drove down to San Diego on Tuesday afternoon. Due to a leak in his feeding tube that was tapping into this stomach, he had developed a massive infection in his abdomen area. Because of his age and condition (suffering a stroke about 3 months before), the doctors were unsure about even administering antibiotics to him. He definitely would not be able to survive another surgery to try and remove any of the toxins.
When I arrived to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, my grandma, mom and uncle were already in his room. I walked in and my grandpa opened his eyes. He looked at me and said, "I love you". My grandma asked him if he knew who I was and he quietly said, "She's one of my sweethearts." After his stroke he sometimes had a hard time recalling peoples' names, but definitely knew who they were and that they were important to him. Those were the last words he said to me. We left the hospital that evening and headed back to my grandma's house.
The next day (Wednesday), we headed back to the hospital after we at breakfast. By then, my dad and great-aunt had joined us at the hospital. My brother had left Arizona around 9:00am and was making the 7+ hour trip to San Diego. My grandparents' pastor had spoken to the family earlier in the week and encouraged everyone to tell him that you loved him, tell him that we will all be okay and take care of each other and it's okay and he can let go.
I think it was one of the most heart wrenching ordeals I had ever been through. I went through plenty of kleenex, that's for sure. To see my grandma go up to his bedside and look into his eyes, tell him she loved him, and that it was okay to let go...that just got me all worked up. You could see the deep, unending love in both of their eyes and just feel the love and power between them. I couldn't imagine having to do that.
We had been at the hospital for a few hours and lunch time started to roll around. We were hesitant about leaving, but my grandma kept telling us that we needed to eat. She and my great-aunt said together in the room where my grandpa was. Reluctantly, my mom, dad, uncle and I headed to the hospital cafeteria. We had just barely sat down and began to eat when my great-aunt comes rushing in and tell us to pack up our stuff and come back to the room. He was nearing his last breaths. She darted back to the room and we began to pack up our food and head back. By the time we reached his room, we were probably about 20 seconds too late and the nurse was confirming the lack of heart beat.
It was a very tough thing to have happen. Cuong called shortly after he had passed and I could barely compose myself to tell him what was going on. A little while later, Cuong met us at the hospital.

He will most definitely be missed. He was the type of grandpa who had unending stories to tell. I don't think I had heard very many of them twice. He would tell us about his days serving in the Army in WWII, in the Philippines and in New Guinea. About the native people they would come across, the wild animals they would have for dinner, the gigantic snakes in the trees, the beautiful orchids that were covering the waterfalls, etc. He had so many experiences and so much knowledge to share.
Things won't be the same without him, but I know he is in a much better place now. He can look down on all of us and we'll know he's always there. He'll be there in the thunder (bowling a strike!), in the gentle breeze and in the refreshing rain.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hummingbird Nest

Just like last year, we have another hummingbird nest in one of the trees in our backyard. We started seeing the nest a few weeks ago, and now it's definitely apparent that some babies will be in there. The mother is VERY territorial. We'll just be watering or walking around in the backyard, and she'll try to swoop down on us or hover above us.

I had to take this photo from about 10 feet away. Thank goodness for our camera's zoom! Hopefully we'll be able to get a shot of the babies soon.

Gestational Diabetes Test

Last Thursday morning I headed to the lab to take my 1-hour gestational diabetes test. Before you went, you weren't supposed to drink anything except for the glucose drink they gave you. It tasted like flat, extra syrupy orange soda. Not horrible, but not something I would want to drink very often.
My blood had to be drawn an hour after I finished the drink. I felt fine after the test, but just like my stomach had a huge sugar overload. I didn't want anything sweet to eat or drink the rest of the day.
Turns out, my blood sugar level came out at 135 and they don't want to see anything higher than 130. So since it was higher than their maximum level, I had to go for the 3-hour test.

I had to fast for 12 hours prior to going into the lab. So I had to stop eating on Monday night at 8pm (which is hard for a pregnant chick!). We got to the lab on Tuesday morning around 8am and I got my blood drawn so they could see my "fasting" blood sugar level. Then the lady who drew my blood gave me another one of those orange drinks that I had to down in front of her. Then I had to come back in an hour to get my blood drawn again. When all was said and done, I had 4 holes in my arms!
I got an email from Kaiser yesterday afternoon and it looks like all of my levels came out below their maximum levels. Yay!!! Now I need to try to avoid my cravings for sweets and try to eat a healthy diet.

4D Ultrasound

Last Thursday, May 28th, we had an appointment at a 4D Ultrasound Center in Anaheim Hills. We weren't totally sure what to expect, but we were very pleased with the results.

We headed in to the "Ultrasound Theater" which had a comfy bed for me and a plush couch for Cuong. There was a huge 42"+ screen on the wall which allowed us to easily see what was going on during the ultrasound.

The girl who did the ultrasound was SO nice!! She said that she had been doing these ultrasounds for a few years and had seen tons of babies. We were happy to hear that she thought the "conditions" for the ultrasound were great. She said there was plenty of amniotic fluid which allowed her to see Ashley more clearly and there was plenty of room for her to move around.

The tech confirmed the sex for us and then continued on to show us our little girl inside the womb. It was really amazing!!

Here are a few of the images she captured. We got to see her stretching, moving around, and opening her mouth:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I was tagged!!

What is your current obsession? After today it will be getting the room ready for the baby! We're hopefully going to confirm the sex today!! Yay!!

What is your weirdest obsession? I get random urges to majorly clean. I don't know where that comes from! haha

What are you wearing today? Jeans and a black shirt and used to hide my tummy. Now I can't really hide it.

What's for dinner? Most likely Zito's Pizza. Mmmmmm. My parents are coming over and I don't think my dad can come into the city of Orange without having Zito's. He's addicted. hehe

What would you eat for your last meal? I had some toast and chocolate soy milk this morning after my Gestational Diabetes test this morning. I get the results on Monday. I really hope they come out okay! I would HATE to have to do the 3 hour test!

What's the last thing you bought? Some groceries at Target

What are you listening to right now? Nothing, just the hum of the laptop.

What is your favorite ice-cream flavour? I think my all time favorite it Mint Chocolate Chip. But I love Rocky Road and any combination of chocolate & peanut butter.

What do you think of the person who tagged you? She's wonderful!! Best sister-in-law I could ask for! I'm excited that she'll be an Auntie and be able to see her niece more often than she sees her nephews.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be? Shoot, I agree with Connie! Why not Hawaii??

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? I would love to go to a tropical island and lay on the beach (minus a preggo belly!)

Which language do you want to learn? I wish Vietnamese was easier to learn!

What's your favorite quote (for now)? "God won't give you more than you can handle"

What is your favorite colour? I like blues, greens & pinks

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? Jeans and comfy shirts

What is your dream job? Stay at home mom and maybe making some money on the side doing something I enjoy.

What's your favourite magazine? I always get so excited when my scrapbook magazines come in the mail and I also like Real Simple mag.

If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on? If someone conveniently gave me $100 right now, I'd use it to buy a gift for someone. Otherwise, I'd probably just go shopping for some clothes that I can wear during summer.

Favorite designer? I generally don't buy anything "designer" that's a tough question. I'm trying to think if I have anything "designer" in my closet! haha

Do you admire any one's style? I admire bits and pieces of a few people's styles, but I don't know if I'd be able to pull it off.

Describe your personal style? Simple, Comfortable, semi-cute. haha

What are you going to do after this? Take a shower

What are your favourite movies? Any comedy, romantic-comedy, etc.

What's your favourite fruit? Green apples, asian pears, plums, pineapple, kiwi, mango

What inspires you? In life - lots of people; for creativity - blogs,, scrapbook mags

What is on the walls in your bedroom? We have a mirror on the wall and a painting of a flower

Your favorite book ?Of all time? I like Nicholas Sparks books.

Do you collect something ? Does hording scrapbooking supplies count?!?

The rules :
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag three other people.
No pressure but if any of you or anyone else would like to take part please do! Just post a link in the comments so I can come read your answers. Have a fun day!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tomas Drew Mendoza is here!

Congratulations to our friends Paul & Yolanda!!

After a long, hard 14 hour labor, Tomas Drew Mendoza was born:

3:57 in the afternoon

Monday May 25 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange. (On his actual due date!)

6lbs 14oz and 20 inches long

We had a chance to visit Yolanda & Paul at the hospital last night and saw Tomas when he was only about 3 1/2 hours old! Yolanda will be in the hopsital for another day or two and then she'll be discharged to go home.

We can't wait to see little Tomas as he grows!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ultrasound Pictures

I'm finally getting around to scanning some of the ultrasound pictures we got a few weeks back. This was from when we went in hoping to determine the sex of the baby. They're both profile pictures of our baby girl.

We're hoping to make an appointment for a 3D ultrasound within the next few weeks. They suggest coming in between 26-28 weeks when the baby is more "filled out". I'm 22 1/2 weeks right now, so a few weeks to go.

In the 2nd picture, a little hand flew by, so you can sort of see it above her face/neck.

New Car!!

Woohoo!!! We've been looking to get a Honda Pilot for a little while, since we know having two 2-door cars probably wouldn't be the most convenient when the baby arrives!

We thought we had found one last week. It was everything we wanted and more, and for a decent price. Turns out the guy ended up selling it to someone else. It must not have been meant to be!

Cuong called me before I left for work yesterday and said that he had found another Pilot (a newer year, with fewer miles) that was at a small dealership in Fullerton. Our plan was to eat dinner quickly and then heading over to check it out.

Once we got there and test drove it, we decided that it was the car for us! When we first started looking, we had no idea that we would get one that was fully loaded...but hey, it's a definite plus! This car has leather interior (good for kids), navigation system, and a rear back-up camera. Plus it has heated seats for those chilly Southern California mornings. hehe

Now we just need to sell Cuong's car. 1995 Accord anyone???

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

100 things

Feel free to do this too! You can even post it in the comment section!

Copy this and BOLD everything that applies...

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain. I rock climbed a huge rock, does that count?
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. I haven't sang one, but I've played some on my trumpet
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you're not sick. Rarely
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run. On a tiny field
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. Does Illinois count? haha
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to truly be satisfied. Working on it
38. Seen the leaning tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant. Hopefully one day
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served in a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Been to the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the paper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House. I saw the grounds, but we didn't get to go inside.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had Chicken pox.
89. Saved someone's life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby. Working on that one too.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We're wheelin' and dealin'!

Lately Cuong and I have been trying to save as much money as possible by using coupons. Did you know that there are actually blogs where people tell you what coupons to use or match up in order to get things for FREE? That's right, FREE!

We made a trip to Target the other week and picked up a few items and handed the cashier about 10 coupons. I think we ended up saving $18.00! Our final bill totaled $8!

Here's a picture of all that we got:

We used our $5 off Huggies coupon to get the bag of 187 wipes for 99 cents. The salsa, pledge, and applesauce were completly free. I think we paid a few cents for the fruit chillers, and the same for the Cheetos. Normally for a bill totaling $8, you'd be able to buy the Fritos cheese sauce and the salsa. So essentially, we got everything else for free!

We discovered that is a great way to print your own coupons at home! You just select which coupons you want to print, and then you're ready to go!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

19 1/2 weeks

Last Friday (4/3/09) I was officially 19 weeks pregnant! The baby weighs about 1/2 a pound and is about 6 inches long. I'll be 20 weeks tomorrow! Half way there already!

She's definitely moving around a lot more. Every few hours I'll feel some little kicks and punches. The other night I rolled over and had my tummy against Cuong's back and she went crazy! So he definitely felt her then! It was pretty funny and exciting.

I started feeling her move around at about week 17. I wasn't sure at first if I was feeling the correct thing, but since it kept happening, it had to be the baby!

Last night we were sitting on the couch together and I lifted my shirt up to put my hand on my tummy. I was shocked to see that my stomach was actually MOVING every time I felt a little kick or punch! It's so bizarre and amazing at the same time!

Here are some pictures that we took the other night (about 19 1/2 weeks):

I think my tummy is getting bigger as each week passes by. According to what I've been reading in books and websites, my belly button might start to get sore soon. My uterus will be moving upwards and actually start creeping behind my belly button. They say that it will be rubbing against the back of it. We'll see how long the belly button ring stays in.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's a...


After a long ultrasound appointment and some confusion with our ultrasound tech, we ended up having to go back last night to take capture a few more images. I asked the 2nd ultrasound tech to try and determine the sex. The first time around the baby had her legs crossed! Little stinker!

The 2nd ultrasound tech said it looked like a girl to her.

We had only picked out boys names, so now we need to start looking at girl names!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Connie!!

A quick birthday shout out to my Sis-In-Law, Connie!! Hope you have a wonderful day today! You deserve it! :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Week 16

On Friday, I was officially 16 weeks pregnant. Now I'm about 16 1/2.

They say that between 16-20 you may start feeling the baby move. I'm not really sure what I should be looking for. Some people say it feels like bubbles popping, butterflies, or just hunger pains or gas bubbles. I think I've been feeling something lately though, more like bubbles popping. I can't wait until they get stronger and I'm sure of what I'm feeling. From what we've been reading, the baby's bones get harder as it approaches 20 weeks.
I scheduled my ultrasound with Radiology for Tuesday, March 31st in the late afternoon. At that appointment, they'll be checking the size of the baby, the development of the major organs, and the sex of the baby. Woohoo! I can't wait.

Cuong took some pictures of my belly last night, so I figured I'd share. It seems to be growing as each weeks go on.
Warning: I really need a tan!!

Baby Shower

I'm helping Yolanda's friend Dana (or doing most of the work) for Yolanda's baby shower in early April. I don't mind, but I just hope she doesn't take the credit like she usually does. I just want to make sure that Yolanda enjoys herself and feels like we're celebrating her and Tomas.

I've been working on putting together the games, game prizes, favors, desserts, and more. Since I have the time, it's pretty convenient for me. I went to Costco today to pick up some candy to put in the favor bags. I was excited to put them together since I had used my Xyron sticker-maker to make the the little tag to attach to the bag. I was so excited to get it done that after they were finished, I realized that I hadn't even put away my groceries from Costco yet! Whoops.

Here's a sneak peak! Plus, I plan on making cupcakes (per Yolanda's request) and I've already put together cute toothpicks with a monkey on top to put on the cupcakes. It's similar to the tag on the favors. It should be adorable. Now I just need to learn how to do the fancy frosting on cupcakes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Ultrasounds! 14.5 weeks

We just got back from the doctor's office this morning. There wasn't much to do at this appointment. First she was just using a doppler to find the heartbeat. It worried me a little when she was having trouble finding it. She ended up "cheating" and using a little ultrasound machine. I didn't mind too much though since we got new pictures of the baby! These are even better than the last ones! Now I'm almost 15 weeks pregnant.

She put in an order for an ultrasound in the Radiology department for the big ultrasound to check for the vital organs...and sex. So my appointment will probably be towards the end of the month. I can't wait! I hope the baby is in a good position so we can find out the sex.

Here are the ultrasounds we got this morning. I added some text to make it easier to figure out, but it's getting much easier now that the baby is getting bigger and looking more human!

Monday, March 2, 2009

14 Weeks

Today I'm almost 14 1/2 weeks pregnant. In my doctors appointments thus far, they've decided that I'm progressing to a new week either each Wednesday or Friday. Who knows. That's the confusing part.

Either way, I'm just happy to be progressing well.
Cuong took these pictures last Thursday (Feb. 26th) to show my belly. I was surprised to see how fast it was growing. I've been hearing that everyone grows differently. Some pop out really quickly and then don't grow again until towards the end. Some don't grow much until the end...and some just continue growing throughout! Who knows what will happen to me!

Note: This shirt was very clingy, so it exaggerated the bump. But my stomach definitely looks different than it did in the past!

At 14 weeks, the baby is about 3 1/2 inches long - about the size of a lemon.

GREAT Grandparents

Each February, my Aunt Rita and Uncle Mike from Illinois (my mom's brother) come out to visit California. This year was no exception. They brought along their daughter (my cousin) Julie and her daughter Celia. Julie's husband is a Deputy Sherrif and was stuck at work, so he wasn't able to escape the cold weather this year. They were all staying at my grandparents' house in San Diego.

Since I'm not working, my mom decided that she would take a day off work and asked me to join her to visit them down in San Diego (Feb. 11th). They wanted to make a day trip of going to Coronado Island. Even though I've lived in California, I had never been to Coronado before! So it was a new adventure to me.

I wanted to tell my grandparents about the pregnancy, so before we headed out for Coronado, I gave them a little gift.

I had picked up a plain white metal mailbox in the $1 spot at Target and embellished it with some scrapbook papers, stickers and jewels. Inside I had written them a little note, stuck the ultrasounds in and given them a sweet treat for Valentine's Day.

My grandma had my grandpa read the note outloud. After he read it, he gasped and got a big smile on his face. My grandma was crying, gave me a hug and said how happy she was! My grandpa was a little teary eyed, gave me a hug and said how lucky he was. My grandma then turned to him and said, "We made it Paul. Now just hang in there!" They're so funny. My grandpa has been in and out of the hospital a lot in the past few years, so I was really glad to be able to tell them this good news while he's still healthy.
This will be their 2nd great-grandchild, but Celia lives all the way in Illinois and they only get to see her once a year.

The big announcements!

Now that I was further into my 1st Trimester (about 11 weeks), we felt safe announcing it to our families. With the high rate of miscarriages and the fact that my mom had about 3-4 miscarriages during her pregnancies, I was a bit worried about announcing it too soon. I wasn't sure what I would do if we had already told people and then something happened.

Phew! Luckily we made it! Go baby!

We first announced to each of our parents on the weekend of Feb. 6th-9th. Cuong's parents were planning on coming up that weekend, so we asked my parents to come up to help us out with some electrical and plumbing issues we were having.

We had made a trip to Babies R Us during the prior weekend to pick up some matching bibs in order to make the big announcement.

On Friday night, Cuong's parents came up and brought some yummy crab and his mom made one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes! Yum! After dinner, Cuong went upstairs and grabbed 2 gift bags. He told them that we had gotten them matching gifts and them asked them to open them at the same time.
Cuong's dad was so excited, he jumped out of his chair, ran over, gave me a big hug and said, "THANK YOU!" It was so great to see such an enthusiastic reaction! :) Cuong's parents were so happy to be having a 4th grandchild and then reminded him that he needed to help out around the house and make sure I wasn't carrying heavy things or reaching up too high.

On Sunday, my parents came over to the house. We had some delicious lunch at Zito's Pizza, and then we headed back to the house to figure out our electrical and sprinkler problems. After successfully figuring one of them out, we headed back into the house. Now it was my turn to go upstairs to get the gift bags! Once again, we said we had gotten them matching gifts and to open them at the same time. My dad, being a smarty-pants, said "Why do we have to open them at the same time if they match? Just have mom open hers!" Grrr! To which I responded, "Just open it!" My mom was surprised and then gave me a hug and said congratulations and then commented that she couldn't believe she was going to be a grandmother!

Doctor's Appointments

After I got my positive home pregnancy tests, I called to make an appointment with my OB/GYN. I wasn't sure how quickly (or not) I was supposed to see her. They told me that they would set up an appointment with their Nurse Midwife so she could do my first pre-natal exam. I went on January 7th to see her. After I filled out tons of paper work, I went into the exam room to see Lisa. She was a very nice and intelligent lady.

She told me that she was going to request for me to go to the lab and have some blood drawn for all of the different tests they needed to run. She explained about different races/ethnicity having a higher rate of carrying genes for diseases, etc. Towards the end of the appointment she said that she was going to do an ultrasound. I was in shock! It was only 7 weeks pregnant, why would she do an ultrasound? I had just told Cuong that he didn't need to come with me because the book I read told me that all they would do was just check vital signs, blood work, etc. Boy was I wrong!

Lisa went ahead and did an ultrasound. I could see a tiny heartbeat going at a rapid speed. It just looked like a little dot inside an egg sack. She told me that it was about the size of a jellybean!

My second appointment was about 3 weeks later, January 29th. This time my appointment was with my OB/GYN. She talked to us about genetic testing during the first trimester to check for the possibility of having a high or low risk of birth defects. There was also an option to wait until the 2nd trimester to do the testing. We decided that the 2nd trimester was better suited for us. It gave us more of a choice of what would happen even if the test came back saying that there was a higher risk.
My blood tests came back and everything looked normal as far as being a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis or being anemic, etc.
At this appointment they were able to do another ultrasound to check the baby's development and heartbeat. The doctor said that things looked to be progressing normally and that the heartbeat was strong. The baby looked a little more "human" during this ultrasound. Believe it or not, the head is on the right side and the legs were still developing on the left side. The doctor said she could even see a little hand!

Our next appointment is this Wednesday, so we're excited to see what else we can learn!

I'm back!

It's been a while since my last post. Some exciting things have happened, and now it's all out in the open!

After I was notified that I was being laid off, Cuong and I decided that despite me losing my job and the economy going into a recession, it was the perfect time to get pregnant....right? :) Pretty ironic. None the less, we started trying and within 3 weeks or so, I was pregnant!

On Tuesday, December 23rd, I got out of bed at the same time that Cuong usually gets up to go to work. I had picked up a 2 pack of pregnancy tests at the store the day before. Since I had missed my period we decided that I should take the test.

I went into the restroom and did my thing, and then set it on the counter. The directions said it would take about 5 minutes until something showed up. I bought one of the "digital" tests so there was no mistaking lines or colors. After putting the test on the counter, I went into the closet and started folding some clothes.

Cuong, meanwhile, was doing his usual routine to get ready for work. He had gotten dressed and headed to the sink area to do his hair. I heard him get quiet and then poke his head in the closet and say, "I think you'd better get the camera!". I of course told him to "shut up" and that it had only been about 2 minutes and the directions said it would take 5 minutes. So he told me to come out and have a look for myself.

Sure enough, when I looked at the test it said " YES +". I was in complete shock. I ran and got the camera and took a picture. I was still in disbelief at what I saw on that little stick. Could I have really gotten pregnant? We hadn't even been trying for that long! is the proof.

Since I still couldn't belive it, I ended up taking the 2nd pregnancy test later in the day. I called Cuong to tell him that it definitely said YES on it too!

Talk about a Christmas present!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama Inauguration - Jan. 20th 2009

Since I'm at home, I was able to watch the inauguration of our new president, Barack Obama. It really was a huge event. Newscasters and other people were comparing it to the excitement of the JFK inauguration. Never before had so many people descended upon Washington DC for a presidential inauguration!

It was a good feeling to see a new president take office. After the swearing in, the President and First Lady headed out for their parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Many people had talked about how emotional they were when Obama won the election and was sworn in as our 44th President. I didn't feel too much more than just happiness and thankfulness. But as I was watching Barack and Michelle walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, waving at the crowd, I feel an overwhelming sense of sheet amazement. It's been a long time since people have felt hope for a better country (definitely not within the past 8 years!).

About 1 million people were in Washington DC to witness the inauguration. It was incredible to see how many people lined the street to at least get a first close-up glimpse of the new President and his lovely wife.

Christmas Decorations

Since we were living with my parents during last Christmas, all of our decorations sat in storage and finally got pulled out for this Christmas. We had forgotten some of the things that we actually had.

Our Christmas decorating actually started on Thanksgiving! One of the neighbors rents a big crane every year to put up the 2nd story lights on the houses of nieghbors that would like to participate. Our time slot was scheduled on Thanksgiving morning. Even though it was quite cold and rainy, they were still able to put the lights up in about a 1/2 hour. It turned out really nicely!

After Thanksgiving it was full speed ahead with decorating! I pulled out all of our decorating boxes and went to it. We ended up donating some of our decorations that just wouldn't work in the house.