Saturday, December 16, 2006

Thinking of Michigan and winter

The front yard of my parents house in Michigan.

I took this photo of the ice (it was a partially frozen over river) near Lake Tahoe in northern California.

This is the backyard of my parents house with the AuSable River in the background. The wooden swing was a gift to my mom from my dad when she graduated from nursing school.

Friday, December 15, 2006

New Haircut

I want to get my hair cut before I leave for MI. I am looking at a new salon because my hairdresser at my old salon has not listened to me twice now and I end up disappointed with my haircut. Then I hate my hair and pull it back into a bun. So, I was doing some research and this is what I have in mind:

It's a layered cut with fringed bangs. I like the length (skims the collarbone) and the sweeping effect of the bangs. It's an ideal cut for an oval shaped face. I may even add some highlights for dimension. I really want to stop pulling my hair back into a bun (I keep getting mistaken for a 20 year old) and I want to try something new.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

For the sake of an A

Yarrghh.. I am in the last week of classes and then next week we have finals. I have three papers due in the course of 10 days. Not to mention an upcoming presentation, and a final. Last Friday I turned in paper #1 at a whopping 10 pages in length. The minimum was seven pages, but I went over a little bit. I am working on paper #2 that is due tomorrow. I have about 75% of it completed, and I should be finished within the next couple of hours. The minimum is four pages, but it looks like I am hitting the eight page mark. Then I have paper #3 due on Monday along with a final exam Monday morning. Lastly, a presentation on Wednesday, but that should be easy. I know that I shouldn't complain because I am sure much of this stress is due to procrastination, but with the continuous amount of work I've had this semester, (and my fatigue d/t pregnancy) I haven't had much time to work on anything else. I think after class on Friday I am going to take a nice nap, go shopping for some Christmas gifts and then go to Diego and Julie's Christmas party in the evening. I am going to take a break for one day to regain my mental sanity. Then onwards all day Saturday and Sunday.

Yes, I want to have an A in the class, but I also want to do a good job. I feel that I am in competition with myself and I want to perform well for my instructors. I want to present interesting work for them to read and I want to learn from these assignments. I know.. I sound like a nerd. I wasn't like this in nursing school (which was a bad thing) because I just wanted to complete the assignment and hope for a good grade. Maybe in my more mature state, I have changed and my outlook on learning has changed.

Back to my paper on Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Movement. I am going to finish up my idea, take a break for an everything bagel toasted with a thin layer of cream cheese, tomato, red onion and lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper on top. I am starving!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I need..

I need a body pillow. I feel so uncomfortable when I sleep and no longer can I sleep on my stomach. Maybe a body pillow would support me more when I am sleeping on my side.

Still craving sour stuff (especially lemon). I changed my toothpaste from the regular crest mint to crest lemon. It's really good. And I like to mix lemon spread from trader joe's into my nonfat plain yogurt. I really like macintosh apples. I eat at least one macintosh apple a day. Ralph's had a sale on blackberries. One carton for $2.00 . I bought two of them and ate them in two days.

I am drinking a lot of water, including water from the faucet. It tastes good, especially when it's freezing cold.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

When pregnant, don't look at old photos of yourself....

I shouldn't have done this, but I was looking at my old photos of myself taken from this summer. After gaining 8 lbs in the last 13 weeks, it was depressing seeing a thinner self. I know I shouldn't be saying these things, because it sounds really vain.. I'll get over this. I feel very fortunate to be pregnant and to be carrying a little baby inside of me that depends on me for it's growth and nutrition. This only happens a couple of times during a womans life.

I am officially in the 2nd trimester, so I am feeling better. No longer nauseated and crazy fatigued. I am looking into starting some prenatal yoga classes just down the street from me. The classes are 90 minutes and $15 per class. The prenatal yoga class will help strengthen my pelvic muscles and expand the pelvic cavity. The postures exercise the spine and reduce backaches, elleviate edema, and prevent varicose veins. I will also be able to meet other pregnant women too!

We will find out in February (20 wks) if it's a boy or girl. I have a feeling that it's a boy. And according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, it is predicting that I am having a boy as well (this is based on my age of conception=27 and the month that the baby was conceived (September).
So we might have a little Christopher Alfonso after all. :)

Alfonso is in Mexico with his mom. She has her citizenship interview on Wednesday, so now she will be here in the US. He will be coming back on Sunday night. I miss him, and I want him to be safe. He called me earlier today, so it was nice to hear his voice.

Love, Becky

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Our first doctor's appointment

After weeks and weeks of being pregnant, we had our first doctor's appointment in Los Angeles next to Cedars-Sinai. Alfonso had worked the night before, and was going into work for another night. After four hours of sleep, I woke him up at 12:30, and we left shortly after 1:00 to drive to Cedars.

Besides filling out all the new patient information forms, I had to leave a urine specimen. I will be doing this for every visit. The nurse weighed me (I've gained 8 lbs during my first trimester) and had me undress totally. I was only wearing two paper drapes and it was freezing in the room. We then met our physician who is a female and she was really nice and energetic. She spoke a lot on normal symptoms including weight gain, eating habits, drinking water, and what other physical changes to expect. She did a quick pap smear and then turned off the lights for the ultrasound. She did a vaginal ultrasound which was kind of weird but painless. I quickly forgot the strangeness factor.

For the very first time we saw images of our baby. It was so unbelievable and exciting! We could see the heart beating along with the outline of the body. We could see the arms, legs and feet. No private parts are apparent yet, so we won't find out the sex until later. What was more amazing was all the movement the baby was doing! The baby was kicking his legs and moving his arms. At one point, he had grabbed onto the umbilical cord and was pulling on it. The physician kept commenting on how much movement was taking place. I could only think about what it was going to be like in a couple of months when I am starting to *feel* this movement. We have several ultrasound photos and Alfonso took them to work to show to this coworkers. I have one sitting on my dresser that I keep looking at.

Since the ultrasound, we have just been amazed. Just seeing the baby ( expecially while moving around) was just aweing. I can't believe that my body is supporting this baby's growth. It's such a miracle. During the ultrasound I was laughing and crying and Alfonso was excited too. (Sorry Diego if this is getting too mushy for you :))

Our next appointment is January 10th. I think they are going to do more blood work (they drew for a bunch of tests today) and we can listen to the fetal heart tones with a doppler. I won't have my next ultrasound until February and that is when we find out the sex of the baby.

By the way, the ultrasound measured the baby to be 6.96 centimeters (almost 3 inches) and gave a gestational age of 13 weeks and 1 day.

Love, Becky

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This & that

This week has been really exciting for us. I bought maternity clothes at Target on Friday after I couldn't stand to wear my jeans anymore. After I buttoned the top button, my belly was squished and I felt really uncomfortable. I bought two pairs of pants (khaki and black), two tank tops, and three tops that are form fitting on top but skirt out a little after my bustline. The tops are really cute and look nice with the tank tops underneath. The pants are really comfortable and will give me room to grow. I bought size 6 & 8 since I wasn't sure if I will be able to fit into the smaller size in another three months. I also bought small and medium tops, but I think the medium is too large in the shoulders and arms so I may have to return it. I can't wait for spring so that I can wear dresses.

We have our first prenatal visit on Wednesday (finally!) and we are really excited. It may be a little early to find out the sex, so it might not be for another month. Last night when I was at work another nurse suggested that we listen to the fetal heart tones. She went down to the ER and picked up a handheld doppler. I was able to listen to the heart tones for the first time! It was so cool to hear the swish-swish-swish sound of the baby's heart beating. I wanted Alfonso to hear, so I went over to the ICU and Alfonso listened with the doppler. I felt that I could listen to the heart beating all day. It was amazing.

Alfonso is leaving on Friday for Mexico and he will be gone for 10 days. I am a little worried that he is leaving (just scared of something happening to him) so I just want to get through that time without worrying about him. I am at the end of my semester, so I will be busy with papers and studying. I am so ready for this semester to end. Then I will have five weeks of freedom and will restart at the end of January with two courses (instead of the four that I have now).

My sister was able to change some of my settings around in my blog and now the comment section is enabled. So now people can leave comments after each entry.

Love, Becky

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm not crazy

Much of my complaints during these three months of my pregnancy is my constant fatigue. This fatigue should wear off for the second trimester. I was talking to my mom last night, and she mentioned an article that a doctor that she works with forwarded to her. She sent me the link today and I checked it out. ( This part I found particularly interesting:

The rise of progesterone, one of the hormones essential for the maintenance of pregnancy, may be one of the reasons pregnant women feel drowsier than before they were pregnant. The soporific (sleep-inducing) and thermogenic (heat-producing) effects of high progesterone secretion from the placenta are known to cause fatigue and earlier sleep onset.

Mhhmm.. And the article continues by saying that women cannot sleep as well due to feeling uncomfortable with their body such as breast tenderness, frequent urination during the night, nausea (in my case, going to bed feeling nauseated, waking up in the morning feeling nauseated and waking up during the night feeling nauseated).

I take my naps because I have to and my schedule is busy. If I do not take a nap, I am a zombie and non-functioning. I hope that this offers insight as to why women are often fatigued during their pregnancy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

End of week #11

Here we are at the end of week #11. I can hardly believe that I am almost done with my first trimester! It's exciting to think about what will happen these next few months as my belly grows bigger. I am still wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes, but with much discomfort. At the end of the day, I have to undo the button of my pants and breathe! A couple of times I have felt fluttering (this was after Alfonso had put his face next to my belly and had spoken to the baby and another time a co-worker of mine had done the same). The baby was like "hey! What you doin?!" Nothing majorly new with symptoms; just fatigue and my gums feel a little sore at times. I love taking my daily naps, it feels so good to wake up and feel refreshed. Also, I am very hot at night when I sleep and I need to open the window and balcony door so that I don't sweat. It's been really hot here in Los Angeles this past month (90's at times) so that makes it worse. I know everyone back east is telling me to not complain- but 90 degree weather in November is a bit ridiculous.

This was my conversation with Alfonso earlier today before he left for work-
Me: Hey baby, do you know what tomorrow is?
Alfonso: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving... and the start of week 12 for us.

I am really big on dates and time periods, so I keep bringing up our progress. I mention it about twice a week, so I think he is well trained at this point. :)

Here is the development of baby for week 11:
Nearly all structures and organs are formed and beginning to function.
Fingers and toes have separated.
Hair and nails begin to grow.
The genitals begin to take on the proper gender characteristics - It will be just a few more weeks before your ultrasound can show if you are having a boy or a girl!
Amniotic fluid begins to accumulate as the kidneys begin to function - This fluid, consisting primarily of water, helps provide a cushion for your baby while she's nestled within your womb.
The muscles in the intestinal walls begin to practice contractions that digest food.
Your baby is about 1.61 inches (4.1 cm) long and weighs 0.25 ounce (7gm).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

House Shopping

We have decided that we want to buy a condo/townhouse in the next couple of months. Today was our first day of checking out the local real estate, and we also went to get pre-approval for a loan. We are in the market for a 2 bedroom/2 bath condo or townhouse that is $450,000-$500,000 in the area of Studio City, Toluca Lake, or Burbank. We could move up to Valencia, but this would be a 40 minute commute (w/o traffic) and we do not want to face the commute (not only for work, but other factors as well). We are also taking into the consideration that we may only be living in the condo for 5 years (once the baby is older and ready to start school) and then we will move to an area with better schools and larger homes (welcome to suburbia).

It went pretty well today- we met with three different real estate agents and liked the last real estate agent. We may go with her- she sat down and explained more to us and seemed friendly and knowledgeable. We went to our local Bank of America to apply for a pre-approval for a loan. After numerous questions looking at our credit reports, credit score and annual income it looks like we will have pre-approval for a $475,000 loan. It's crazy to think of a loan that size, but it's a reality out here in LA. I hope that this is something that we will be able to manage financially.

In two weeks we will have our first pre-natal visit. We will be able to find out the sex of the baby then, but then again, we may want to wait until the baby is born. There are so few things in life that are totally a surprise and waiting to see the sex of the baby is one of those. So, we may just be sticking with green and yellow until then.

Until next time, Becky

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Baby Development Week #10

So, we just finished up with week #10 and are heading into week #11. This is what happened this past week with baby:
  • Baby is now called a fetus in "medical terms". You, however, may have chosen the name "peanut," "angel," "jumping bean" or simply "miracle."
  • The most critical part of your infant's development is complete. Now you are headed into a period of rapid growth.
  • While a bit strange to envision, your baby's head is now about half its length - Soon the rest of the body's growth will catch up but this area is prepared to keep up with the rapid brain development!
  • Eyelids fuse shut and irises begin to develop - Eye color is also determined by this point.
  • Placenta begins to function this week or next - The placenta is the organ responsible for both the provision of nutrients along with the removal of waste to keep your baby growing strong!
  • Your baby will be about 1.22 inch long (3.1cm) and weigh 0.14 ounce (4gm) at the end of this week

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Week #10

We are finishing up week #10 and heading into week #11. Nothing incredibly new to report, but I think my around-the-clock nausea is starting to subside! I just feel a little tired, and take a nap once a day. In terms of my body changing, my tummy is sticking out a bit more and my breasts are getting bigger. I just woke up one day and my belly was sticking out. It was like I had a growth spurt over night. I am having some food cravings- lemonade, vegetarian pizza, subway turkey sandwiches, In-N-Out burger after watching my co-workers order it the night before (I regretted that one- I got some nasty burps after that), Ben & Jerry's chocolate/brownie frozen yogurt, popcorn (I think I was craving the salt), and Indian food (curry seasoning). I can still fit into my clothes, but they are slightly tighter around the waist. I weighed myself last week and I weighed 130 lbs, which is about 5 extra lbs. Eeek! I am drinking a lot of water too, I noticed that I feel more thirsty.

I am having a lot of stress with school, and I can't wait for my semester to finish. I will feel much better when I am done. I finally got my insurance situation sorted out through my job, so I was able to find an OB doctor. My OB is over in Los Angeles, just bordering Beverly Hills. It looks like I will be delivering at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, which is a good hospital. Alfonso and I wanted to deliver at the hospital that we both work at, but since I have HMO and I wanted a female doctor, my only option was to choose from the Cedars Sinai Health Associates group. Our first appointment will be December 6th, and I am hoping that we will be able to find out the sex of the baby then. Knowing me, my baby will be modest and not want to show himself!

Thank you for your emails and kind words. I am trying to figure out how to allow my blog to post comments. I've tried changing the settings, but it still does not allow people to post comments. I may have to reconstruct a new blog page if I cannot work this problem out. Here are some photos that I took just now in the mirror.

Love, Becky

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Miscalculation; we are in week #9

Ok, I made an error. I had initially told the doctors office that the first day of my last period was September 9th and we calculated my due date to be June 15th. That's fine. But, for the last several weeks, I thought that I was two weeks behind from what I actually was for my pregnancy. So, although I was actually seven weeks, I thought that I was at five weeks. You are considered pregnant even when you are not actually pregnant. Does this make sense? The first two weeks of pregnancy is the time of conception and implantation of the egg into the uterus. I was not taking those first two weeks into consideration. So I am officially in my 9th week of pregnancy (even better for us!) and 3 more weeks left of my first trimester!!

In terms of how I feel. Pretty much the same! Same nausea (at any time of the day), fatigue (I need a nap in the afternoon or else I am completely dead for the rest of the evening), food adversions (the thought of red meat or mushrooms makes me feel sick), food cravings (I had a sour craving today, so I bought some yummy lemonade), emotional changes (I was crying uncontrollably the other night when I was taking a bath and sometimes I get annoyed with Alfonso for minor issues- I am sorry baby!), and now I am seeing my belly stick out a little bit more. Also, my breasts are looking fuller and they feel tender! Ouch!

We finally got my insurance situation straightened out, since I was working per diem at my job before the pregnancy and then I switched to part-time with benefits after we found out. After four weeks, my insurance will start December 1st. Now I need to find a doctor (I have a few in mind) and make my appointment for the first week of December (the sooner the better and this will be before Alfonso leaves for Mexico to pick up his mom). By this time, I will be in week #13, so we might be able to find out if it's a boy or girl. I really want to know, since I am such a planning freak and the wait will kill me!

Alfonso and I have been doing a lot of financial planning lately. We are thinking of ways to put a down-payment on a condo for next year. The prices here are so expensive! We are looking at $350,000-$400,000 for a 2BR/2BA. Only in LA! I met with my financial advisors today at Ameriprise, and announced that I was pregnant. They were surprised and excited, and even more excited about planning for me and Alfonso's finances.

I have another 6 weeks left in this semester. I just want it to end. I have a lot of work ahead of me (3 papers and a presentation), so I just want to make it and then I can relax. I will be taking classes next semester part-time, and for the remainder of my program. So, I will have another three years after next spring, but it's ok. It will be one day a week, and I can also work part-time with the baby. Well, I guess we will see how this will work out. :)

I will have Alfonso take a picture of me this weekend, so you can all see my little belly.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Week #6

We are ending the 6th week. So far I feel the same; lots of fatigue, (naps to go along with the fatigue) nausea and bloating. I feel like my clothes are fitting just a little bit tighter, but nothing noticeable just yet. Alfonso doesn't see much of a change with my body, but I feel like I am just a bit bigger. I've been trying to exercise, but I've exercised only once this week because I've been so tired. It doesn't help that I also had two tests this week, and three assignments due for my classes at school. We went ring shopping for the second time on Tuesday. I chose a ring that I like, but the final product won't be in until next week (they are ordering it from another store) so we aren't sure until then. Here are the developmental updates for week #6:

The arms and legs continue to develop - These limbs are stretching out more and more. Later on you will be feeling those feet and elbows up close and personal right in your bladder!

Brain is growing well - Did you know that over the course of the remaining months that your baby's brain will develop over 100 billion neurons? This is just the beginning!

Lenses of the eyes appear - If you could catch a glimpse inside, you would notice your baby's appearance becoming increasing like a newborn's.

Nostrils are formed - The position of the nose seems to shift into its proper place as well. Soon, the nerves running from the nose to the brain appear.

Intestines grow - Initially these are actually located outside the baby's body within the umbilical cord.

Pancreas - Your baby is now equipped to deal with digestive enzymes and take on processing the insulin and glucagons the body needs to function.
Love, Becky

Friday, October 20, 2006

Week #5 of baby development

Hello, we are now ending week#5 and going into week #6. I am still feeling nausea, fatigue and bloating. I weighed 125 lbs last week, so I am going to reweigh myself tomorrow. I have been drinking a lot of water, but at times I still feel dehydrated. Sometimes I am moody; really happy and then scared and sad. Alfonso has been working a lot lately, so I haven't been able to see him as much. I feel better when he is around, but I am learning to cope and not feel so freaked out. Before I go to bed, I pray for a healthy baby and pregnancy. So far, so good. :)

Week Five
First heartbeats begin - If you have an early ultrasound you may not be able to recognize this tiny being as a baby, but there is no mistaking what it feels like seeing your child's heartbeat on that screen. That rhythmic beat is echoed in your own heart.

Umbilical cord develops - This is your baby's lifeline in utero. It bears the responsibility of pumping in oxygen, removing waste, and supplying the necessary nutrients for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Blood is now pumping - All four heart chambers are now functioning, insuring your baby's body will receive all it needs over not only the remainder of your pregnancy but throughout life.
Most other organs begin to develop - Your infant's lungs start to appear, along with her brain. Already your little one is preparing for a quest for lifelong learning!

Arm and leg buds appear - While they may not appear to be much at this stage it is ok to dream of the future. Just imagine your ballerina twirling and jumping around your kitchen floor. Or perhaps you will have the precocious boy that throws the perfect pitch -- right through the neighbor's window.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Week #5

We are in the middle of week #5. This is not an exact estimation, since I need to go to the OB/GYN to get a more specific date, but by my calculations I think we are in week #5. So far my due date is June 15th, 2007 (this is counting from the first day of my last period). I am feeling pretty good; just feeling nauseous and tired mostly. Sometimes I take a nap in the afternoon and then I feel better. I notice that I have some mild leg cramping, so I try to elevate my legs and do some morning stretching. I also take my prenatal vitamin every morning, and today I had a really yummy salad with vegetables.

I am taking classes this semester for my BSN in Nursing, so on top of being pregnant I have school full time and work (part-time Friday and Saturday night only). We are almost halfway through the semester, so I just want to make it to the end of this semester (and not to mention this trimester).

I have been watching a lot of baby shows on TLC. I love watching all of them; A Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby are really fun. I sometimes get emotional watching them, and I can't wait to see our little one.

Alfonso told his co-workers yesterday that we are expecting. Diego just about flipped out and I could hear the excitement in his voice from Alfonso's phone.

Here is a photo of me taken the other night. I'm feeling bloated, so my belly is sticking out a little bit. I think it's a little early to be showing just yet!

Love, Becky

Monday, October 16, 2006

Our sweet surprise

We found out last week (Tuesday, October 10th) that I was pregnant. I had missed my period the week before and had taken two home pregnancy test that looked faintly positive. I decided to go to the doctor's office and take a pregnancy test for the sake of assurance. As I sat waiting to be called back in for the results, my mind alternated between thinking that I was pregnant/not pregnant. Finally I was called in and sure enough, I was pregnant. I felt shock, surprise and felt emotional. After talking to the counselor and signing the papers, I drove myself to my 11:00 am class in Northridge. I sat through my class in a daze. As the day progressed, I started to accept the pregnancy and started to feel happy and excited. Alfonso was still sleeping (he had worked the night before and was scheduled to work again) so I didn't want to tell him until he had woken up.

I called my sister in Wisconsin, and told her the news. Initially I felt worried about my parents reaction, but my sister reassured me that they would be happy. I also told my good friend Katie (she has a three year old and is a nurse as well) and my roommate Cote. I couldn't wait to tell Alfonso, but I had to wait for him to wake up. I killed some time and went to Target and bought prenatal vitamins and the book set "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and "What to Expect the First Year."

I went over to Alfonso's at 5:00 pm, and woke him up by kissing his face. He opened his eyes and then snuggled back under the covers. I asked him if he was getting up soon, and he said in a little bit. I didn't want to wait any longer so we sat for a moment looking into each other's eyes and that's when I told him. Alfonso was surprised, he laughed for a moment and then we hugged and kissed each other. We spoke for the next hour until he had to get ready for work.

Afterwards, I called my parents in Michigan. I spoke to my mom first and she was happy and excited for us. I was worried that her and my dad would be upset that we had gotten pregnant before we were married, but they were happy and excited. My mom told me that I've always done things non-conventionally. She also said that I am at a good age to have children (27) and that I have a good career and we've been together for a long time. I then called my two brothers and told them that they were going to be uncles.

So far it's been really wonderful to see the joy expressed from our family and friends. Alfonso told his sister Saturday, and she called me yesterday to congratulate us.

We are planning for a wedding in March or April, and the baby will be due in June. I am experiencing nausea, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, and dizziness. I am in my fifth week, and looking at doctors (I don't like my current OB-GYN) and switched over to part-time with benefits at St Joe's.

We are going to use this blog to keep our friends and family informed of our progress. We will be posting photos, giving updates on the baby and letting you know how the baby is progressing. Please check back from time-to-time!

Love, Becky and Alfonso