Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

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.