Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I am still alive; and with a baby in tow!

Dear Faithful Readers-

Don't worry I am still here and doing well, just learning the ropes of being a mommy and caring for a newborn. I am sure you have all heard the news by now but Kyle Baxter Schardt was born on 30 July 2011 @ 3:12 a.m. weiging a whopping 9lbs 8ounces. I am in the process of writing the birth story so stay tuned...

Thanks again to everyone for the thoughts and prayers! We are so blessed to have a healthy baby boy! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am already learning my first lesson in patience as a parent. Waiting for Kyle to decide to make his appearance in this world is starting to drive me crazy. I feel like my belly is a ticking time bomb and everyone is on pins and needles waiting for it to go off :). Every night for the past week I have gone to bed with contractions wondering if tonight is “the night” and then before I know it I wake up and it is morning and my day starts all over again. Today is Kyle’s official due date, so hopefully he comes in the next few days. I felt really good this weekend and had a lot of energy, but yesterday and this morning I have had more, stronger, contractions and felt less energetic. Right now, I feel a lot like I do right before I am ready to start my period: crampy, crabby, and overall blah! So maybe that is a good thing and it means that active labor is near!

I had my 40 week doctor’s appointment yesterday afternoon and everything went very well. Since baby and I are still doing so good they are not going to induce labor until 42 weeks (6 August), however, we are praying that he comes before that point. While I really don’t want to be induced, it is comforting knowing that there is an official end date. No matter what, we will meet our baby boy on August 6th. If he decides to keep hanging out in my belly, I go back to the doctor for three different visits next week to monitor baby and me to ensure that we are both still strong and healthy. In the meantime, I am going to start working on some natural induction techniques that I learned in my birth class. There is really nothing that will definitely incite labor, but at least I will feel like I am doing something to speed up the process. My mom is coming down today to spend the day with me and I am going to have her do some reflexology on my feet. There are certain pressure points that simulate the uterus so maybe she will be able to wake things up a bit down there.

As always, thanks again for everyone’s thoughts and prayers, we are getting so excited and soooo close!

Monday, July 18, 2011

39 weeks and still pregnant.

So much for my post saying that I thought he was going to come early, must have just been wishful thinking. I don’t know why I want him to come so bad, I am really not all that uncomfortable, as long as I am in an air conditioned building I feel fine, and I am sleeping comfortable at night except for the hourly wake-up call from my bladder to hit the restroom. I think I am just really ready to experience all the hype of labor and delivering a baby. I have heard a range of stories from friends and family about what it is like to have a baby and every woman experiences giving birth so differently. No one story is the same, so it is hard to know what that actual event is going to be like and I am really ready to experience my own birth story. The anticipation of it all is killing me. I have continued to have light cramping and contractions daily for the past week, but nothing regular or intense enough to be considered active labor.

I had my 39 week appointment this morning and everything with baby and I is still looking good. He had a nice strong heart rate on the Doppler and all my vitals are measuring normal. After my doctor's appointment, I told myself that I really just need to start being thankful to have a healthy baby growing in me and stop being so impatient. So my new outlook from her on out is going to be gratitude.

Matt went back to work today after his two weeks of block leave and I am on vacation starting this week until I have the baby so I am working on creating a list of things I want to do to keep myself busy. I think number one on the list is going to be getting a pedicure. Well, that is about all I got for now. Thanks again for everyone’s messages and thoughts. I can’t wait to share the news of baby Kyle's arrival with you all!

39 week belly photo. Looking happy to get my picture take as usual..haha. As of today I have gained exactly 4olbs during the pregnancy. Needless to say, I am definitely looking forward to getting my pre-pregnancy body back :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Final Preparations

The nursery is complete! We got the rocking chair delivered this morning and now we have everything we need, except for the baby that is, (hear that Kyle, we are ready for you to come out whenever you want). Overall, I am pleased with how it turned out. It is a hodgepodge of different colors and things, but I think they ended up fitting together nicely. The room makes me smile when I walk inside and that was the goal when I started shopping for nursery items.

I also decide to outsource my nesting needs this past week and had our carpets professionally cleaned and sanitized and our house deep cleaned by a maid service. It has been worth every penny! It is so nice to be in a clean, organized house and not be suffering from the exhaustion that comes with doing a deep clean. I am sure Kyle also appreciated not having to inhale all the cleaning fumes :)

Our 38 week appointment went really well. Baby and I are strong and healthy and ready to go for labor and delivery. Out of curiosity, I opted for the pelvic exam during this appointment and was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. These number don't mean much at all in terms of indicating when active labor will begin, but at least I know my body is slowly starting to prepare for the big push :) I have been feeling pretty good these past few days, my energy has been up, and my body has been feeling pretty good for the most part. We had dinner with some friends in the Springs last night which was nice to get out of the house and enjoy some fun conversation. We also have an infant safety class tonight that the hospital offers for free to new parents. Keeping busy with little activities here and there has been good for my mental spirits. I find that I feel worse if I am just laying around in the cave waiting anxiously for labor to start.

Also, thanks for every ones thoughts and well wishes as we move into the final weeks. We are so blessed to have a great support system of awesome friends and family!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Full Term

Sorry for my lack of blogging last week. Matt and I were both on vacation and I decided to take a break from my computer. Unfortunately, we could not really go anywhere outside of the Springs with Baby Kyle due in a few weeks, but we enjoyed our time relaxing around the house and making last minute preparations for our little guys arrival.

While I am so excited to finally meet our baby, I am really trying to soak up this time with just Matt and me because very soon it will never be just the two of us again. It is kind of crazy when you think about how much our life is going to change in the new few weeks, but we are ready for this next chapter. It has been an amazing four years of marriage with just the two of us, and I know that having a baby is only going to make our life together that much richer.

According to the doctors, I am full term this week, meaning Baby Kyle is fully developed and could make his arrival any day. Statistically, most first time moms go all the way to their due date and often even a few days past, so the odds are Baby Kyle won’t come for a few more weeks. However, mother’s intuition says he is going to come early. I just have a feeling that he will be here soon. I have started to feel stronger contractions over the past few days. They are very irregular so it is nothing to get too excited about, but hopefully that means that things are progressing. It is such a mental shift from the rest of the pregnancy. You go through nine months praying not to feel contractions, cramping, or any of the other preterm labor symptoms, and then all of the sudden you hit 38 weeks and you start getting excited when you feel contractions, and are anxiously waiting for your water to break. I just keep telling myself to be patient. Baby Kyle knows when he is ready to enter the world.

Besides the occasional contractions throughout the day, I am still feeling pretty good. Fatigue has started to set in over the past few days, and simple chores like laundry and grocery shopping wear me out. I am not sleeping great at night so I find myself needing frequent naps throughout the day to maintain my energy. We have our 38 week appointment tomorrow and I will keep you all posted on how that goes. Here is to hoping that I post a blog about having the baby sooner than later…I am ready to start carrying baby Kyle in my arms and not in my belly :).

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One More Month

With the month countdown ticking, I am starting to feel very pregnant. I am not horribly uncomfortable, but I definitely feel large and immobile these days. My biggest complaint is having to spend so much time inside during the summer in my dark cave-like house. I get up early and walk Eros before the heat sets in so I get a little sunshine, fresh air, and exercise, but then it is back to the cave for the rest of the day. I keep all the blinds closed and lights off to keep things as cool as possible. I am also starting to feel Braxton Hicks contractions much more frequently these days. They don’t necessarily hurt, but they are a bit uncomfortable. I am trying to embrace each one because it means my body is preparing itself for real labor which is a good thing.

We had our 36 week doctor’s appointment on Tuesday. The good news is that baby is in the correct position for a vaginal birth so I am very happy about that, and praying that he continues to stay that way till he is ready to enter the world. The doctor also said after feeling my belly, that if she had to guess she felt like Kyle was currently 6 lbs which is right on track for an average size baby. We were also sent up to Labor and Delivery to have baby Kyle and I’s heart rates monitored for 20mins because Kyle’s heart rate was a little on the high side when she checked it on the Doppler. It is normal for babies heart rates to spike up, but they wanted to make sure it would eventually go back down and that he was not in distress. So I got myself hooked up to the fetal heart rate monitor and got to listen to baby Kyle’s heart beat for a full 20mins, while I was a bit nervous to have to be sent up for monitoring, it was neat to hear him beating around in my belly, and after a few minutes of sitting in the chair and drinking lots of water his heart rate was back to normal. I had been working a fundraiser for the Army out in the sun most of the morning prior to my appointment and probably did not drink as much water as I should have been, which is what the doctors said contributed to higher than usual heart rate. So, lesson learned, pregnant women need to drink A LOT of water in the summer and stay out of the heat as much as possible. I thought I was doing a good job of staying hydrated, but now you won’t find me without my giant hospital grade water bottle strapped to my arm. My next appointment is in two weeks for my 38 week appointment and then I go every week after that until he is born.

The doctor told us we should also make sure we have everything prepared for his arrival, because really the baby could come any day now. I packed my bag for the hospital last night and Matt installed the car seat so I think we are ready to go should he decide to make an early arrival. However, I keep telling him he needs to keep baking for a few more weeks. Matt and I decided that if he comes early he will have his father’s personality and if he comes right on time, he will have his mothers. Luckily neither one of us tend to be late people so let's hope he does not decide to pick up that trait. We will just have to wait and see…

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nesting and Fathers Day

All the baby gear we got from the baby shower last week put me into nesting overdrive. I hate clutter and piles of boxes lying around the house (whenever we move we usually have our house completely unpacked in 1-2 days) so I was itching to start getting the nursery ready. I washed all baby Kyle's 0-3 month clothes and folded them neatly in his drawers, organized all the diaper changing and bathing essentials on his changing table, built our stroller, and neatly organized his closet with all the other baby items we received. We still have to hang pictures, pick out a rocking chair, and install the car seat, but I would say that if Baby Kyle were to happen to come today we would pretty much be ready for him. I still have two more weeks until I am considered full-term and three more till my due date so we have plenty of time, but it feels good knowing that I am organized and ready to welcome out little guy into the world. I will post photos of the nursery on the blog once I get all the pictures hung in the next few weeks.

When I start to think about how close I am to the end I get a mix of excited and anxious emotions. I am beyond excited to meet the little man and get rid of this giant belly. However, I am also a bit nervous about becoming a mom. I hope I am good at it! I have very little experience with newborn babies so I will pretty much be learning by trial and error…hopefully I don’t make too many errors. Luckily, I have a great support system of family and new mom friends that I can ask for help. I am assuming that being a new parent is a lot like starting a new job. You feel awkward and unprepared at first, but every day it gets a little easier, and before you know it you have things pretty well figured out.

Well, before I sign off, I wanted to wish a Happy Fathers Day to all the dad’s in my life. I know I am a few days late, but these men deserve a shout out for all they have done for me over the years. Thanks Dad, Jeff, and Mike for being great role models and family providers. I am so thankful to have each of you in my life and I can’t wait for Baby Kyle to meet his Grandpas. Grandpa Bill will teach him the art of remodeling and handy man skills and ensure he keeps up on his math homework, Grandpa Jeff will give him a love for music and teach him how to sing and play the guitar, and Grandpa Mike will teach him how to play sports and understand the ins and outs of the games of baseball and football. I also have to wish a Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful husband. While he is not yet a father to a human baby, he is an amazing dad to our furbaby, Eros, and I know he is going to be an amazing father to Kyle! Baby Kyle can’t wait to go on adventures with his dad and learn all that he has to share about living a healthy, happy, fulfilled life. HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Showered With Love

It is not too often that you have the opportunity to spend an afternoon with all the people in the world who are most special to you. My sister, mom, mother-in-law, and great friend Nadia threw me an amazing baby shower with delicious food and great company this past Saturday! I am still in awe of everyone’s generosity! We got almost everything we need to welcome baby Kyle into the world. He sure is one lucky baby to have so many amazing people in his life. My mom took tons of pictures but I did not get them from her camera before I left to head back down to the Springs so I am going to have to post some pictures from the event in another post. THANK YOU to everyone who attended, especially those who traveled a long way to be there. It meant so much to me to have everyone there to celebrate with me.

Now our nursery is filled with bags and boxes of gifts that I need to sit down and organize. The nesting instinct is starting to kick-in and I can’t wait to start finding a home for all the gifts we got. I love organizing! Having all this baby gear is also making Baby Kyle’s arrival all that more real. For some reason when I pulled the car seat out of the box yesterday, it really hit me that I am going to have a little baby sitting in there in less than 6 weeks! It seems almost surreal to me at times. I have no idea what being a parent is going to be like, but I can’t wait to find out.

At 34 weeks, I am still feeling pretty good. I am starting to feel the baby put pressure on my bladder, especially when I sleep. I probably get up about 4 times a night to go to the bathroom. I am trying to do some “belly mapping” to determine what position he is in. I am pretty sure he is head down with his legs up. I can feel kicks in my ribs, but I also feel movement in the lower part of my uterus, so maybe that is his arms. I think his back and butt are hanging out on the right side of my belly right now because that side of my stomach is much harder than the other side. There is still lots of time for him to move around so I am not getting to stressed about his position just yet, I am just more curious than anything. I also finally bought some Tums the other day at the grocery store and have not had heartburn/indigestion since…at least I will be prepared if it creeps up again in the next few weeks. Well, that is pretty much all I have for this week. Thanks again to everyone for your generous gifts, I can’t wait to put them to use!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hot Hot Hot

We have all heard the phrase “bun in the oven” when referring to pregnancy. Well, with the heat wave we had this weekend; I really do feel like my belly is an oven! I have to admit that the heat is already getting to me and it is only the first week of June! We reached 98 degree temps this weekend and I am hot! Luckily, we have A/C in our house, but the insulation is not amazing and I don’t feel like it keeps all that cool, especially when it gets this hot. Matt and I invested in a fan over the weekend for our bedroom and that has helped with sleeping, but I have yet to feel really cool since the temperature started rising. I found myself actually enjoying my weekly trip to the grocery store because it was so nice and cold inside! I usually hate how cold the grocery store is and find myself brining in a jacket so I don’t freeze. It is an odd experience being so warm all the time since I am such a cold person usually. Next time around I should shoot for a winter baby. I could use this extra body heat in the winter to keep me warm :)

Well, that is enough complaining from me. As I enter into this last month and a half of pregnancy, and the discomforts start creeping up, I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be carrying a healthy baby in my belly. The miracle of giving the gift of life is not something every woman can do, and I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to carry this baby. When I think about it from that perspective, the discomforts of the third trimester hardly seem worth complaining about.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Martha Stewart

While I enjoy cooking and crafting, I am no Martha Stewart. I only cook using recipes and follow them to a tee, and crafts have to be very simple and straightforward. You will see no hand sewn items coming from this house; however, I would not mind learning how to use a sewing machine. I would love to make a quilt one day. My grandma Margret and Meersman aunts are great quilters and sewers and sadly the gene did not get passed down, or maybe it has just been untapped all these years, anyway, I digress. I have wanted to make something special for Kyle’s nursery and while I was in Michaels the other day I found the perfect project, painting the letters that spell Kyle’s name. The wooden letters came pre-cut and primed, so all I had to do was buy the paint to paint them. While I was in the paint isle, I stumbled upon already cut and painted animals that I could glue on the letters once they were painted. This craft was getting easier and cuter by the minute!

Matt and I spent this past Memorial Day weekend in Baggs, WY with his sister and brother-in-law who were in town visiting extended family on the ranch. Since riding horses and branding calves was not in the cards for this pregnant lady, I decided it would be a good opportunity to paint my letters. It was as easy as I had envisioned it and I am pleased with the end result. I can’t wait to hang them in his room, let’s just hope we have a Kyle in there and not a Kyleigh :).

The finished product

I also had my 32week doctor’s appointment yesterday and thankfully baby Kyle and I are still growing along right on schedule with no issues. I think I had my first "braxton hicks" contraction over the weekend. I thought it might have just been Kyle moving, causing my stomach to tighten, but after talking to my doctor about it, I am pretty sure it was a contraction. She said now would be the time I would be feeling them, and that they were a good thing because it means my uterus knows how to contract. She says it is good practice for the real deal in less than two months. We have our next doctor’s appointment in 4 more weeks and then we start going every week after that until he arrives. I can’t wait to meet him!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Impulse Buy

I have always prided myself on the fact that I am not an impulse buyer. However, there is something about Costco that causes me to lose my rational spending sense and buy the most unnecessary things. Giant dog bed for Eros, sure I will take it! Random Billabong hooded sweatshirt for $10.99, put it in the cart. Today’s trip was no different. As I walked in the store there was a box of GIANT teddy bears for $29.99. My cart was immediately drawn to them. They were so soft, so cute, so big, who could resist this deal??? Especially a pregnant woman looking for ways to decorate her babies nursery. Without much thought, the bear quickly went into my basket as I walked to the back of the store to purchase the cookies for tonight’s FRG meeting that were the reason for the trip.

It has been a few hours since the purchase, and with the bear sitting in Kyle’s nursery, I am very happy I made the decision to take him home with me. We don’t really have a nursery theme, it is more or less “things that Amy likes”. The mobile that came with the bedding has teddy bears hanging from it, so I suppose there is a bit of a bear theme going on. But I also bought this really cute alphabet canvas painting (possibly another impulse purchase) the other day with lots of different animals and colors on it. The bedding is sage green and cream and I also have some random cloth stars for above the crib. I will post pictures once everything is put together, but for now I leave you with a photo of the giant teddy bear.

As for an update on the pregnancy, I am 31 weeks and feeling good. Kyle is still moving around quite a bit, but his movements are much stronger these days. It no longer feels like a butterfly in my stomach. I can’t really think of a good way to describe it, other than it feels like a tiny human is swimming around in my belly. As my stomach grows bigger, I have been suffering from some indigestion and heartburn. I have to really watch what I eat and keep good posture while digesting or else my chest feels like a fire ball is going to explode. My back has been feeling pretty good these days and no other real aches and pains at the moment. I am praying that the discomfort stays at a minimum for now since I still have two months to go until my due date. I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Don’t forget to take some time to think of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We are all truly blessed to live in such a wonderful country!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Itching to Run

I just walked in the door from taking Eros for his afternoon walk and got a major itch to go for a long run. It has been rainy and cloudy here for the past few days, but while we were walking the sun came out and the breeze was still. It was perfect weather for a run.

During this pregnancy, I felt too icky to run the first trimester and when I finally got my energy back in the second trimester, I felt too out of shape to run and was worried my heart rate would get too high for Baby Kyle, and now my belly is just too big for it to even be comfortable. And while I was huffing and puffing walking up the small hill to our house this afternoon, my legs were itching to pound the pavement. I miss that feeling you get after a really hard workout. My body is craving endorphins! With spring here and summer approaching, race season in Colorado is in full swing and I wish I could be out there running with my friends.

I would say that I have been moderately active during this pregnancy. I have been walking every day, hiking on the weekends with Matt and Eros, and doing yoga once a week, but it is hardly the workout routine my body is used to. I plan to be a fit mamma once Kyle is born, I can’t wait to get rid of this extra weight. However, I am slightly nervous about taking that first step. I will definitely be starting out at ground zero. I just have to remind myself that I started out barely being able to run 1 ½ miles around Clement Park lake near our house before I joined the Cross Country team in high school and by the end of my senior year I was a running 6 miles like it was no big deal.

In the meantime, I plan to start doing some swimming these last few months of pregnancy. I hear it is supposed to feel really good on your body and be a great prenatal workout. I will probably look into joining a water aerobics class, look out grandmas here I come.! What a far cry from my spin class and kick boxing days…haha :).

As I get ready to hit "publish" on this post the weather it is back to grey skies and pouring rain. All I want to do now is lay on the couch and watch a movie. Thanks God for making my itch to run go away. :)

Trail running in Hawaii

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Busy Week!

I had hoped to write three separate posts by now, but life has been busy! So, I am going to split this update into three separate parts to cover everything I wanted to post about last week.

28 Week Appointment Update

Our 28 week appointment last Monday went well and Baby Kyle and I are both still growing right on schedule. The results of our gestational diabetes test were negative which is good news! My review of the “orange drink” is that it tastes like flat orange soda. Not terrible, but nothing I would ever voluntarily drink. My biggest complaint is that it gave me horrible indigestion the rest of the day. The most exciting part of the visit was the opportunity to tour the Labor and Delivery ward of the hospital. Lucky for us, Evans Army Medical Center just remodeled their Labor and Delivery ward last year so everything is brand new! I thought the rooms were beautiful and very spacious. It felt very clean and the nursing staff that we met that night was all very nice and helpful. We also looked at the recovery rooms you go to after you deliver the baby and they were very nice too! It is hard to believe in less than three months I will be checking in for the big event.

Change of Command

This is not a baby related update, but a pretty big event in Matt and I’s life at the moment so I figured I would post about it on the blog. Matt took Command of a Troop at work last week so he is now in charge of roughly 70 soldiers. This is a big milestone in an Army Officer’s career and I am very excited and proud of him! I know he is going to be a great Commander and his soldiers are lucky to have him leading them into this next deployment. In addition to being in charge of soldiers, Matt is also responsible for ensuring the families of the soldiers are taken care of and informed of news and events going on in the Unit, this is called the Family Readiness Group (FRG). I have taken on the role of the FRG leader for the troop to support Matt and am looking forward to working with the families. There is a lot of work ahead of us to get things up and running with the FRG, but Matt and I make a good team and hopefully we will have things organized before Baby Kyle arrives.

They Army is full of traditions so when you do a Change of Command they hold a ceremony to honor the previous Commander’s accomplishments and service to the troop and to welcome the incoming Commander and his family. The ceremony was held on a beautiful Colorado day and Matt’s parents and aunt and uncle were able to attend making it an extra special day. Matt and I hosted a reception for all the solders in attendance afterward, and thanks to Subway’s catering service, it turned out great!

Happy Mother’s Day

One of the perks to being stationed in the same state as your family is the opportunity to spend days like Mother’s Day with your family. We enjoyed a wonderful day and got to see all the special mom’s in our life. Ever since being pregnant I have had a whole new respect for moms. It is hard work making a baby and I have not even experienced the parenting part. I am extremely lucky to have three “moms” who have fulfilled my life in different ways. I would not be the person I am today without their love and support! Thanks Mom, Carrie, and Shannon for all you do! Baby Kyle is one lucky boy to have such amazing grandmas looking out for him.

This was also a special Mother’s Day for me because I am very close to becoming a mommy myself, and my family made me feel so special. It was pretty awesome because I got to enjoy all the perks without having the baby :). Matt and Eros treated me to a prenatal massage and pedicure at the Broadmoor Spa. It was so relaxing and just what I needed after a busy week!

Well that pretty much wraps up the past week. Lots of fun and exciting things going on these days. The first week of May flew by and I am hoping the rest of the month goes just as fast.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Royal Feast

Matt and I had bunch at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs this morning and it was delicious! For those unfamiliar with the Broadmoor, it is a five star luxury hotel located up against Cheyenne Mountain. It us unlike most hotels I have stayed in, the decor has a very regal feeling to it, and the grounds are immaculate.

During March Madness, Matt and I did a bracket competition between the two of us and the winner got to choose where we would go out for a date. I won, and quickly decided that I needed to try Sunday brunch at the Boradmoor. We had heard nothing but rave reviews from friends who have gone and I will now add my recommendation to anyone looking for a delicious brunch. The other great thing about the Broadmoor is the customer service, they really do make you feel like royalty from the moment you step out of your car. I think Matt and I may need to spend a night there for our “Babymoon” later this summer.

Anyway, after three trips back to the buffet line, my stomach told me it was time to stop. I will probably weigh an extra five pounds at my 28 week doctor’s appointment tomorrow but it will be well worth the extra weight. I think Baby Kyle enjoyed the meal as well, as he was kicking around quite a bit after I finished eating. It was also nice to go on a date with Matt. We have been so busy with family and Army functions these past few months that we have not made much time to go out to eat just the two of us. We will definitely have to remember to make date night time for each other once Baby Kyle gets here, thank goodness for lots of grandparents close by!

Like I said above, I have my 28 week appointment tomorrow. This is the appointment where I take the glucose test for gestational diabetes. I have heard mixed things about the “orange drink” you have to chug before they draw your blood. I will let you all know how it goes. Keep us in your thoughts for good results.

Finally an updated photo of the bump at 28 weeks. I am not sure I can call it a bump anymore, it looks more like a bowling ball is under my shirt these days. I can't belive that my belly is going to get bigger in the months to come...yikes!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Knowledge is Power

We have one more childbirth education class this week and then we are done with our 8 week series of classes on having a baby. Signing up for these classes has been one of the best things I have done for myself during this pregnancy. I am so thankful we decided to go with the 8 week series from a private teacher, than the three classes offered on post in an overcrowded classroom. There were 5 other couples in our class and it created a nice intimate setting to be able to learn and ask lots of questions. We also had a great teacher, who I would highly recommend to anyone in the Springs looking to take a childbirth education class. Before attending these classes, all I knew about having a baby I learned on TV and in the movies. Turns out, it is a much different experience, and there does not have to be intense screaming :). Now, I feel so knowledgeable about what will be happening to my body and Baby Kyle as I go into labor.

Often times for me, fear of the unknown is the greatest kind of fear. While I don’t know exactly how our labor will play out in the end, I have a good idea of all the different scenarios that could happen, and that is calming to my very active imagination. And while thinking about the labor and delivery of our baby does keep me up at night sometimes, I am comforted in knowing that my body was made to do this work, and no matter what the baby WILL come out, whether I am able to do it naturally or with hospital interventions, he can’t stay in there forever.

The classes have also been really effective in creating dialogue between Matt and me about the pregnancy and birth experience. I am so thankful that he was able to attend the classes with me. Having him aware of the good, bad, and ugly parts of labor makes me feel calmer and I know he is going to be a great coach! Lastly, I am thankful for all this knowledge, so I can make informed decisions about the care of myself and Baby Kyle during the labor and delivery.

This week also marks three more months of pregnancy for me! YAY! As I enter into the third trimester, I am definitely starting to feel pregnant. I am not too uncomfortable yet, but definitely feel like I am growing another human. I agree with those that say the second trimester is the best. You no longer feel tired and yucky, and for the most part feel like your normal self. Overall, I would say I had a pretty awesome second trimester. We found out the sex of our little babe and I got to feel him move for the first time, two very exciting milestones. I am hoping these next three months go by fast and are not too uncomfortable, but either way it will all be worth it in the end. I can handle the discomfort for the prize that is waiting for me at the finish line!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Counting Sheep

Sorry I missed posting last week, somehow the week and weekend got away from me. Although, I should have been blogging in the middle of the night instead of laying wide awake in bed. Recently, pregnancy insomnia has started to kick in. I find myself waking up between 2:00-3:00 in the morning wide awake and unable to fall back asleep. Often times, I just lay there thinking about what Baby Kyle will look like, what will it be like to be a mom, and how the heck am I going to push a baby human out of my body :). Kyle is usually awake with me, and I silently lie there feeling his little movements trying to imagine what he is doing in my belly. After a couple of hours of tossing and turning I am able to fall back asleep, just in time for Matt to wake up to head to PT and Eros to stat nosing around for some breakfast. I guess it is just preparing me for the middle of the night wake-ups with Kyle, and I think it is slowly starting to work. Anyone that knows me well knows how much I enjoy my sleep. I have never had a problem sleeping in until 9:00 in the morning, even after graduating from college. I always wondered when I would become and “adult” and wake up naturally between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning like my parents. I guess it just took getting pregnant to break me out of my deep sleep routine. I can’t remember the last time I slept past 7:00.

Not too much other exciting news to report this week. Matt has been out in the field training for the past week so it has just been me, Eros, and baby Kyle kicking around in my belly. At least I don’t feel so alone when Matt leaves. In fact, I never really feel alone anymore, Kyle likes to give me a little kick or punch in my stomach from time to time to let me know he is with me. My sister and Lindsey (a good friend from HS and College) also came down on Saturday and we enjoyed some quality girl talk while our three furbabies played for hours in the backyard. I had so much fun having them over and it was nice to have the extra company while Matt was away. We head to Baggs, WY for Easter weekend on Friday, and I am looking forward to spending time with family up there. I will try to remember to get Matt to take a belly photo this week; I just realized it has been a while since I have posted an update. Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Well Practiced

I forgot to post this link in my blog yesterday. While I was at the doctor I saw an article on the wall about the Ft. Carson baby boom this summer. It is approaching nine months since 3,500 soldiers from Matt's current unit got back from Afghanistan and as a result business is booming at the hospital. They have been delivering about 10 babies a day and plan to keep that pace through July! While, baby Kyle is not a "deployment baby" he will be born during the rush. At least the team of doctors and midwives will have plenty of experience come my delivery. Luckily, I have heard really good things about the Evans Labor and Delivery ward from many of my Army wife friends who have had babies there. They have newly renovated rooms and a wonderful doctor/midwife/nursing staff. We will take a tour of the hospital in the months to come and I will write more about it then.

Here is the link to the article if you want to read more about Evans Army Community Hospital where we will be having our baby.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

24 Weeks

I can’t believe I have been pregnant for 6 months! Before I was pregnant, I never understood why people counted their pregnancy in weeks and not months. When someone said they were 24 weeks, I thought, now I have to do the conversion in my head to figure out how far along they are. However, once I got pregnant, and every baby book and doctors visit is measured in weeks, I soon realized why pregnant women count by the week and not the month. Counting by weeks can get a bit discouraging. The other day I felt like I had so far to go still before meeting Baby Kyle, but then I converted to months and realized I am a lot closer than I think! With all we have planned these next four months, I am sure time will fly by.

We had our 24 week doctor’s appointment yesterday and everything checked out great. Baby Kyle’s ultrasound results were normal and we are both growing along on schedule. His heart was beating strong at 158bpm; I could hear it really well on the Doppler yesterday. He is also moving around a lot these days. My belly is huge so he better be enjoying the space! Matt can feel him now too which is cool. We both like trying to provoke him to kick around, sometimes we are successful, and other times he prefers to just keep sleeping. I am also still feeling good! There are times when my back start to ache a little after a long day of being on my feet, but for the most part I can’t complain. We go back to the doctor in 4 weeks for our 28 week appointment which includes the gestational diabetes test. I will keep you all posted on the results.

The nursery is starting to progress. Matt did an awesome job of building all the furniture and it looks great! I still need to get the mattress, bedding, and accent decorations, but I love seeing the start of a baby’s room in our house. Hopefully I can get our registry started this weekend or next, and I will let you all know once it is up and running.

Well that is pretty much the latest. Thanks for reading and hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

I never considered myself to be a picky person, but pregnancy has definitely created some strong “likes” and “dislikes” in my life. Here are a few of my favorite things right now. 1. Snoogle body pillow. A great investment, and helps give me a better night’s sleep!

2. Hot showers. I could stand under the running water all day. It feels so good and relaxing!

3. Stress Free Body Wash Aromatherapy from Bath and BodyWorks. To accompany my hot shower! Thanks to my sister-in-law Kate for giving me this heavenly sent for Christmas.

4. Hiking. I have not been much of a runner during this pregnancy, but have found hiking to be a great workout. It feels so good to breath in the fresh air while getting some good blood circulation through my body. My childbirth classes say that going for a walk/hike is like giving your baby a turkey dinner because of all the fresh oxygen they are getting.

5. Prenatal Yoga. I never really liked yoga before I was pregnant; I found it to be slow and boring. Now I am a yoga fanatic. My body loves getting a good stretch in and I find it to be so relaxing and comforting to be surrounded by a bunch of pregnant bellies. Kind of weird I know, but there is a great since of camaraderie about being with a bunch of other women who are feeling the exact same way you do.

6. Top It Frozen Yogurt. Matt and I just stumbled upon this little gem a few weeks ago. They opened up a new frozen yogurt restaurant right down the street from our house and I have a feeling that I will be frequenting this place A LOT come this summer.

7. Maternity Clothes. I feel like they make maternity shirts out of extra soft material, and I have been impressed by how fashionable maternity clothes are. I am not going to be sad to get rid of this extra weight once Baby Kyle is born, but I sure will miss my comfy maternity shirts and jeans.

8. Breakfast food. I have always enjoyed breakfast foods, but even more now that I am pregnant. I pretty much bring IHop to our house every morning and scramble up two eggs, with toasted whole wheat English muffins, and some sort of fruit (mixed berries, grapefruit, or oranges are my favorite).

9. Long and Lean Prenatal Workout DVD. I love this workout. It is only about 20mins and feels great after I take Eros for his afternoon walk around the neighborhood. It is very low impact and focuses a lot on strengthening your arms and legs.

10. Baby movements. I LOVE feeling Baby Kyle moving around in my belly. It has become my favorite feeling in the world and probably the one thing about pregnancy, besides the maternity clothes, that I will truly miss.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Whole New Respect

Last night at our childbirth education class we watched a live birth from beginning to end and all I have to say is, wow, I have a whole new respect for all you moms out there. Whether you have given birth naturally, had an epidural, or c-section, giving birth is an amazing feat! It is still hard to believe that I will join this special club of strong women later this summer.

Since the classes that Matt and I are taking are designed to prepare you for a natural childbirth the video we watched depicted a women giving birth without any drugs. It was inspiring to watch the process and see the support she had from her husband and other caregivers. Without them, I don’t think she would have been able to do it. So while the woman pushing definitely has the harder job, I give kudos so all the husbands and other support people who have been there during a loved one’s birth.

It also amazes me how the female body is designed specifically to give birth to babies. From the early labor contractions, to slowly pushing out the baby, it all happens in a very logical and necessary order. Seeing how the whole process works was definitely helpful in preparing me both mentally and physically for the big event. While I am going into the labor and birth experience with the decision to do it without drugs or interventions, my number one priority at all times will be to ensure that I don’t put Baby Kyle or myself at any health risk during the process. Hospitals, doctors, and advances in medical technology are there for a reason, and I fully plan to take advantage if it is necessary. That is why we are definitely having a hospital birth. I want the comfort of knowing that if something starts going wrong, I am right there ready for the doctors to assist me.

Also, on a side note, I would highly suggest they show live birth videos during sex education classes, I can’t imagine a better way to scare kids away from having sex :). If I was not in a mental place where I was ready and responsible to care for another life then that video would have totally traumatized me!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What’s in a Name?

Now that the news is out that we are having a boy, the next question on everyone’s mind is what are you going to name him. Some couples like to keep the name a secret until the baby is born so that people can’t naysay them for choosing such a name, because everyone has their opinions about names. It must be because names are so personal. We debated whether or not to share our name choices with friends and family, but we like our choices so much that it really does not matter to us whether or not people like/dislike the names we picked. I have had a girl’s name picked out since I was in college and luckily Matt like it as well, but we struggled a little more when it came to picking out a boy’s name. After tossing around a couple of different options we decided that we both really like Kyle Baxter Schardt.

So why Kyle you ask? We chose it for a couple of different reasons. We both just really like the name, and have never met a Kyle that we did not like. However, more importantly, Kyle was the name of Matt’s solider that was killed during his deployment to Iraq. When Matt suggested the name to me a few months back, it just felt right that we would name our baby Kyle if it was a boy. His middle name, Baxter, is also Matt’s middle name. Baxter was Matt’s Grandma Reba’s maiden name, and I have always liked it. We knew we wanted to have our babies middle names be family names and Baxter just seemed to flow really nicely with Kyle. I also like the option of calling him “K.B.” for short. So there you have it, the story behind our little guy’s name.

They say that finding out the sex of the baby helps the parents to start bonding while it is in the womb, and I would agree. Now I can call him Baby Kyle and not Baby Schardt, it just seems more personal. That, combined with his movements, makes it really feel like a tiny human is growing inside me. Hopefully, it will also help me appreciate the discomfort that is about to come as I enter the third trimester in a few months. Let’s just hope the ultrasound was correct :). Regardless, if out pops a healthy baby, I am happy. Luckily we have the girls name ready to go so we can make a quick adjustment if needed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's A...

Our ultrasound on Friday revealed that Baby Schardt is a BOY and Matt and I could not be more excited! I have to admit that I was completely shocked. Ever since Baby Schardt started moving a few weeks ago, I started getting vibes that it might be a girl. Matt was equally as shocked, he thought it was more than likely going to be a girl too, so you can imagine how excited and surprised we were when the ultrasound technician said, it looks like we have a boy. I don’t think the smile has left Matt’s face since he found out! There is always the caution that ultrasound readings are not 100% accurate, but when she showed us his lower half on the screen, it was pretty apparent to both Matt and I that we had a little boy on our hands so I am pretty confident in the news.

It was equally exciting to be able to share the news with our wonderful family and friends. Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and excitement for us, it truly does make this experience that much more special when you have special people in your life to share it with.

In addition to finding out the sex of the baby, the 20 week ultrasound is supposed to measure the growth of the baby, confirm the fetal age, ensure that all its vital organs are in place, and look at the location and size of the placenta. They take a ton of pictures of the baby; I was very surprised at how thorough the ultrasound was. We were able to see the heart, brain, spine, lungs, stomach, spleen, kidneys, and eyes all starting to develop. To be honest, most of the images she showed us of Baby Schardt’s organs looked like black blobs, but it was comforting to know they were there and growing.

Our little man was moving around quite a bit during the exam, and it was so cute to see his little hands and legs crossed as he posed for his pictures. One thing that definitely stood out to Matt and I, was his long legs. I think our boy is going to be a tall one, but I guess that won’t come as a surprise to anyone judging by the height of his parents. The ultrasound technician will send the report of the visit to the doctor for analysis, and when we go in for our next appointment in April they will be able to explain in more detail the overall health of our baby, but the technician said that all the measurements were right down the middle which is good, nothing was too small or too big. She says he weighs one pound and is about the size of a squirrel without the tail. She is also tracking our due date about three days earlier than the 8 week ultrasound, but that really does not matter much since babies rarely come on their actual due date. Overall, I could not be happier about the visit and I am so thankful to have a healthy baby boy growing inside me!

Below are some ultrasound photos. To save our little guy some decency, I will not post the photo of his boy parts but here are a few to give you all an idea of what he looks like.

Here he is facing down toward my can see his little spine and head pretty well (my apologies for the crooked scans).

This is my favorite photo from the batch she gave us. I feel like he already has his dad's lean, muscular legs...we may have a basketball player on our hands :)

And last but not least, a long awaited baby bump photo. I finally got around to getting Matt to take one of me.

21 1/2 week Baby Bump.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My FurBaby

My first taste of parenting has come in the form of four legs. Matt and I discussed adding a dog to our family long before we ever considered children. When we moved to Georgia we considered getting a puppy but then decided to wait until our move to Colorado to become pet owners. After much research and deliberation, we settled on a Belgian Malinois named Eros. We “adopted” him from a breeder in New Mexico when he was just about one year old. I still remember the excitement and anticipation as we drove 7 hours, through the night, to pick up the new little member of our family. We made all the arrangements to get him in Georgia, so we were taking a risk that he would be the perfect family pet for us. I still remember his little face as he walked outside the breeder’s house to meet us. As soon as we saw him and started playing a little game of fetch we knew he would be perfect for us. Later that evening we arrived back at our home in the Springs and the “parenting” began.

Eros was already a fairly well trained dog, but living the first year of his life on a ranch with 40 other dogs and only two others humans gave us our fair share of challenges integrating him into life at our house. With patience and persistence we have trained Eros to be an excellent member of our family, and within a few months of owning him, it was evident that our lives would forever be changed.

Our weekend mornings usually spent sleeping in were no more, as Eros enjoys waking up by 5:00 a.m. for his morning breakfast and potty break. Our adventures as a couple were tailored to include our four legged friend, and anytime spent away from the house had to be limited to 4-5 hours stints. Along with these changes came a deep love and attachment to the little pup that I would not give up for anything. He really is like our fist born child. Matt and I get excited and proud when he learns a new trick; we worried about him like crazy the few times he has been to the vet; we talk to him like he understands us. Basically, we treat him like another member of the family and have to remind ourselves at times that he is just a dog. Eros was actually the reason I started thinking about children. I thought, wow, if I feel this much love and nurturing instinct for a dog, then maybe I am ready to be a mom.

Well, here we are nearly nine months later expecting our first child and I have to thank Eros for helping prepare me for motherhood. I also have to start planning how I am going to integrate my only FurChild with our new baby. Eros loves being the center of attention in Matt and I’s world, and we love showering him with our love. However, when Baby Schardt comes, Eros is going to have to learn to share his attention with another person. I have a feeling that he is not going to like this too much. I am confident in time, that Eros and the baby will grow up to be great buddies, but it definitely won’t happen overnight. I have been reading some books and articles on Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby, and have been making some changes now in Eros’ life so that he does not resent the baby when it comes home. I also purchased a CD with baby noises (crying, cooing, tantrum, etc) to prepare him for some new sounds he may be hearing around the house, and soon I plan to start carrying around a baby doll from time to time just so he gets used to me paying attention to something else other than him. I will keep you all posted on how this transition goes. I love my Eros and I already love this little baby growing inside me, so I am making it one of my top priorities to ensure that the integration of the two goes smoothly.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Butterflies in my Stomach

I can definitely feel Baby Schardt moving around, and can distinguish between its little movements and stomach gas. The medical term for the babies’ movements right now is “quickening”. Early last week, when I was sitting quietly on the couch, I felt something in my stomach that I knew was not stomach gas. Like the books said, it really did feel like a butterfly was trapped in my belly. However, I would revise the description, to say a butterfly with very large wings. It really is one of the coolest feelings in the world!

Right now the movements are still somewhat faint. I usually have to be sitting calmly on the couch, or at my desk to feel them. I will usually just be sitting there and then all of the sudden a little “flutter” will appear in my stomach. Sometimes it is followed by a few flutters in a row, and other times it will be awhile before I feel it again. I often times find myself just sitting on the couch so I can feel baby moving. For some reason, being able to feel the movements has made me feel more connected and bonded to the baby. Before, I had to wait for our doctor’s appointments, where we hear the heart beat, to know that there is actually something inside my growing belly, but now I can feel it on a daily basis. Every week, I am in awe of the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. It is such an amazing gift. I also can’t wait for Matt to be able to feel the baby move from the outside of my belly. Friends have told me that around 21 weeks or so they were able to feel the babies’ movements from the outside so maybe not too much longer until he can.

Tomorrow Baby Schardt will be 20 weeks, and hopefully 10 days from now we will be able to find out if we are having a little boy or a little girl. It is crazy to think I have been pregnant for 5 months. Time really is going by fast; I am starting to get excited and a bit anxious about actually being a mom. For now, I am trying not to think about the pain of childbirth, sleepless nights, and overall stress that comes with being a parent, and just enjoy the little flutters in my stomach.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

19 Weeks!

This post is going to be a bit scatterbrained. I am a very organized thinker and it bothers me to write without a logical flow, but I want to post an update so you all know I am still alive and well.
We had our 18 week check-up last week and everything went very well. Baby is growing strong and healthy with a 153bpm heart rate. Matt was excited because he thinks the baby is getting in “better shape”. The heart rate was in the 160s earlier in the pregnancy. I am also healthy, and the doctor assured me that my belly is growing at a “healthy rate”. I was a bit concerned that I was putting on weight a little too quickly, but I am on track for a healthy weight gain at this point. The most exciting news to come out of the visit, was our appointment for the big 20+ week ultrasound. During this ultrasound we should be able to find out the sex of Baby Schardt, as well and ensure that all its vital organs are developing in the right place. I can’t wait! We have not seen our little one since the 8 week ultrasound and it just looked like a little blurred blob on the screen more than anything. Don’t get me wrong, it was the cutest blurred blog I have ever seen :), but it will be very neat to see the makings of a baby this time around. The big day is 18 March so keep your fingers crossed that baby Schardt cooperates.

I also bought our nursery furniture! I found a really great deal on a crib, changing table, and dresser online. After a week of thinking about it, I decided to make the purchase. It was a closeout sale, so I was worried that some of the items might not be around if I waited for too long. I will post photos once we get it all built.

We signed up for our Birthing Classes. They offer free classes on post for military families, but we have heard that they are not all that informative from our friends. I guess you pay for what you get, right:). So, we did some researching and found an 8 week series of classes through the Westside Birth Connection in Colorado Springs. We are hoping to have a natural childbirth (in the hospital) if everything works out as planned so these classes will help us prepare for the big event. They offer techniques from resources such as Dr. Robert Bradley, the Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth, author Sheila Kitzinger and midwife Ina May Gaskin. We start the first class this Thursday and I will keep you updated on the experience.

Finally baby is 19 weeks today! I apologize for not having an updated baby bump photo. Matt is in the field training right now and I forgot to get him to take a photo before he left. I will try to have him take one next week! But rest assured; the bump is growing. I definitely look pregnant these days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby Gear

Since I am getting close to entering the “half-way” point of this pregnancy, I decided it was probably time to start researching all the items we will need to have in place when Baby Schardt arrives. I have been good thus far and not bought a single thing for the baby because I know once I start buying stuff I won’t be able to stop.

Late last week I fired up my Google search engine and began pouring through pages of baby gear consumer reports and “top 10 must have registry items”. I was immediately overwhelmed at the amount of stuff that is out there for babies. I tried to keep my searching to the most essential “start-up” items like cribs, car seats, strollers, and breast pumps, but was quickly distracted by all the adorable nursery bedding, stylish diaper bags, and cute clothes. It is a good thing that I like to shop and that I am a fairly decisive person or getting the nursery in order would be a nightmare. The only problem is; I want to make sure that all the gear I am buying is safe for Baby Schardt. I feel like every few weeks there is a 20/20 report about cribs or car seats hurting and even killing babies. However, I keep telling myself, you can only do so much research and then you just have to trust that the product you are buying is going to be safe. I figure, if I combine research with a vigilant eye on our baby, hopefully they will survive the first few critical years of life.

After all my clicking around on the internet, I decided to make an excel spreadsheet that I am calling my”baby gear wish list”. This is helping me to keep organized with all the items I am researching, and more importantly, to get a tentative idea of how much all this baby stuff is going to cost so we can start budgeting. We have not started a registry yet, I figure I will do that once we find out the sex in a few weeks. For now, I am having fun shopping around and day dreaming about what it will be like to actually put the baby in the car seat, crib, or stroller. And I keep telling myself that our grandparents successfully raised our parents, who are all healthy, happy humans, and they sure did not have all the latest baby technology available to them.

Look at how much baby gear has carriage to baby travel system pro

In other news, Matt and I enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing four day weekend in Crested Butte this past weekend. It was nice to get away from all the stress and craziness of life and just enjoy the beautiful mountains. Baby Schardt, Eros, and I got some good hiking and snowshoeing in, and Matt was able to ski. We also enjoyed visiting with my Dad and Carrie who were up for part of the weekend, and we brought up another couple from Matt’s unit who we have recently met. It was fun getting to know them better and we enjoyed their company.

My boys playing in the snow

Hiking Peanut Lake Road at 17 1/2 weeks.

I am 18 weeks today, time sure is flying by, I don’t know where the month of February went! We are looking forward to our doctor’s appointment on Friday, it is always comforting to hear the babies heart beat and ask any questions to the doctors we might have. Iwill post an update after.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baby Movement or Stomach Gas???

They say that between 16-18 weeks you should start to feel your baby move. The books describe the feeling to be that of a butterfly/flutter in your stomach. For the past week every so often I feel a faint flutter like feeling in my stomach, but I can’t quite determine if it is Baby Schardt kicking around or stomach gas. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have had a fair amount of stomach gas this pregnancy so it is hard to tell. However, the flutter feeling is definitely a new feeling in my belly so maybe it is the baby.

I was thinking I would have an “ah ha” moment the first time I felt the baby move. My mom tells me the story of my first movement in her belly. She was listening to Boy George on the radio (did I mention I am an 80’s baby!), and I kicked her. My poor little one is going to be told that I could not quite tell if they were gas or not. Maybe, I will have “the moment” once the baby gets a little bigger and I can better feel its movements.

In other updates, “Happy 17 Week Gestation” to Baby Schardt! I love you little one! The books say that baby is about the size of my outstretched hand right now and is starting to put on a little fat. Every time I see sketches of the fetus, I am in awe that I have something like that growing inside of me. Pretty amazing! I am still feeling good and enjoying this nice warm week we are having in Colorado. Makes me ready for spring to arrive.

We have our 18 week doctor’s appointment next Friday where we get to schedule to ultrasound to find out the sex of Baby Schardt. I can’t wait. If all goes well, we should know by the middle of March. Maybe finding out the sex will end up being a St. Patties Day gift for Grandma Schardt.

Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Shout Out to My Valentine

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I thought I would dedicate this post to my husband and best friend, Matt. I may be slightly biased here, but I think I have the BEST husband in the world. I really hit the jackpot in the marriage arena. We starting dating in 2000 and 11 years later, I love him more than ever. This pregnancy has made me realize how incredible he is and how unconditional our love is. Here are just a few of the reasons why I love him so much…
  • He still tells me I am beautiful even though my body is slowly changing from its usual athletic self into a pregnant mamma.

  • He has taken it upon himself to read all about how our baby is growing and how to take care of it when it enters the world. I often times find myself learning things from him about our baby!

  • He tries as hard as he can to make all our prenatal appointments and holds my hand when I get nervous going to the doctor.

  • He is understanding of my unusually gassy state…sitting next to me some evenings is not the most pleasant experience, but he never moves away.

  • He can always make me laugh when I am feeling down.

  • He does not give me a hard time for spending all morning laying on the couch under a blanket as I muster up the motivation to start the day.

  • He is perfectly happy with a date night including Papa John’s pizza and me falling asleep on the couch to our latest Netflix movie pick.

  • He is understanding of my completely unnecessary and random emotional breakdowns.

  • He has fully committed to being my partner in this journey. It is awesome going through this experience knowing I am not alone. I truly feel like we are in this pregnancy together, while I am carrying the baby, he is equally invested and excited for the arrival of Baby Schardt.

Also, as promised here is a picture of the “bump” at 16 ½ weeks. (Note, I really am happy about this pregnancy, but I always feel so awakward taking these pictures that my facial expressions don't relay the happiness. I will have to post some less posed phots on here in the upcoming weeks.)

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes…

Welcome Family and Friends!

Thanks for following along in our journey toward parenthood. I am a little behind in starting this blog so I will try to catch you all up on the past 16 weeks. Here it goes…

About 11 weeks ago I took a test that would change Matt and I’s life forever. After a few weeks of not feeling quite like my normal self, Matt suggested that I make a doctor’s appointment to see what was wrong. I had been busy working a monster proposal for work and was chalking my extreme exhaustion and stomach pains up to overwork and stress. With Matt’s suggestion to see a doctor in the back of my head, I thought maybe I should rule out pregnancy before making the appointment. We had decided a few months earlier to go off birth control with the expectation that it would take 5-6 months before my system got itself on track for baby making.

I decided to take a pregnancy test that afternoon. Funny how such an easy test produces one of the biggest results one will find out in their life. Setting the stick down on the bathroom counter, I went to rest on the bed not really thinking it would show a positive result. Eros, our dog, started nudging me to get up and I figured I should go see what message had appeared on the stick. To my utter shock it said “Pregnant”. I looked again, and again, brought it out into different light, set it down, and looked at it again. Yes, still “Pregnant” the stick read. I really thought my eyes were fooling me. All of the sudden a sense of pure excitement and happiness overwhelmed me. My heart was beating out of my chest as I called Eros into the bedroom to tell him he was going to be a big brother (yes, I am a crazy dog lady, but I had to tell someone!). Matt was a couple hours away from getting off work and I could not WAIT to tell him the news. I paced around the house for the next few hours eagerly waiting for him to come in the door while periodically checking the stick to ensure that it still read “Pregnant.” Finally, he was home and I could share the news.

There are those moments in life that you picture in your head growing up, you see them played out in movies, and they are always perfect. Finding out that we were going to become parents was one of those moments that I had pictured in my head for the past few years, and telling Matt the news as he walked in the door with his hands full of Army gear was not how I had pictured it. But it was perfect nonetheless. He dropped his backpack and looked at me with a big smile on his face. We gave each other a big hug feeling a sense of closeness that cannot be described. Together we had created life.

With an incredibly thankful heart I had entered into a phase of my life that I will never forget: Pregnancy. Sitting here at 16 weeks, I am still undecided if I enjoy being pregnant. While I am thankful everyday for this gift that God has given me, pregnancy has definitely been an adjustment. I am constantly thinking about how my actions will affect little Baby Schardt. Working out, my eating habits, chores around the house, and my body, have all been altered. I was lucky to have a fairly smooth first trimester. I suffered from slight nausea here and there and extreme exhaustion, but don’t have any of the horror stories that some of my friends have shared. The biggest highlight was seeing Baby Schardt on the ultrasound screen at our 8 week appointment. Matt was able to attend with me and as he held my hand we saw a little peanut shaped object appear on the screen with a healthy beating heart. Simply an amazing experience!

8 Week Ultrasound

Now that I am a few weeks into the second trimester, I am starting to feel more like my normal self. My energy is back, and I am starting to enjoy food more. With increased energy has also come increased activity, which has been much needed in my life. It feels good to be able to get back into a workout routine! My body is also slowly starting to take the shape of a pregnant woman. My sister went maternity clothes shopping with me last weekend and it sure does feel good to be wearing some looser fitting clothing. I may or may not wear maternity pants for the rest of my life, or at least every Thanksgiving from here on out :). While watching the “bump” grow is exciting, it has been a bit stressful to see other areas of my body getting larger, but I guess that is all part of the experience.

13 week "bump" (I have popped quite a bit over the past 3 weeks and will post an updated pic soon)

Well, that pretty much covers the past 16 weeks. It has been a whirlwind of emotions and I am so thankful to have my best friend by my side during this experience. My goal is to post a new blog at least once a week throughout the rest of this pregnancy, so stay tuned for plenty of updates, pictures, and stories as Matt and I continue on this journey. I am so thankful and excited to share the experience with all of you!