Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas and such

Well, I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!

Our first Christmas as a married couple was completely wonderful, although somewhat exhausting (who knew the combination of having a million places to go, stress of traveling, and being pregnant could make you so tired?!?!). I was ready for bed by 6pm! I cannot imagine what next year will be like with a 9ish month old baby in tow, even though I can't wait to find out! Even so, all I could think about this Christmas was Max and how blessed we are to be looking forward to his birth and the years to come. I just love our family so very much, and I can't wait to see what this new addition will hold for all of us :)

I just thought I would share some pictures from our first Christmas as "The Brown's"...enjoy!

All of my siblings, plus Nick and Chelsea on Christmas Eve at my parents'

Me and Max in front of the Christmas tree at my parents'

snow! Max's "first Christmas" was definitely a white one! This picture was taken at Granny's

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 17th Ultrasound

We are so very thankful that even though this pregnancy hasn't exactly been completely normal (but then again, what pregnancy IS normal?) God has really been watching over us and baby Max.

Our second ultrasound of many was on Friday, and we will be having one every 4 weeks from now until Max is born to keep track of his weight gain and development (if you are out of the loop you can catch up here).

The really good news? He is still perfect :) Right now he weighs about 1lb 10oz and is right on track with development. His estimated weight puts him in the 65th percentile for his "age", which is amazing. I couldn't be happier! It was really interesting to see how much he has changed over the past 6 weeks or so, even to the untrained eye. It was also neat to see him move on the ultrasound and be able to really feel him move at the same time.

I love that sweet little boy already...more than I ever imagined I could.

The next time I go to the doctor will be January 13th, and I will be having another ultrasound, along with my glucose tolerance screening. In the mean time, keep praying that baby Max keeps up the growing, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

23 Week OB Appointment

I just got back from the doctor, and everything is great :)

After our ultrasound I was pretty worried about the umbilical cord abnormalities they found, despite Dr. Taavon assuring me everything was going to be fine. So I came back today with lots of questions (of course). He explained to me that they were worried about Max being smaller than average (which he is not right now), but he also said that from his experience this is not usually the case. Almost all of these babies are born with no complications and their weight and development is within normal ranges. Thank God! During the last appointment he had also mentioned to me that I would likely be induced early, around 38-39 weeks, so I asked him about that as well. He told me that we would keep an eye on Max to see if he should be delivered earlier than my due date, but that his main concern was that I should be delivered BY my due date. He said that hopefully I can go into labor by then on my own, which would allow me to use less medication during the delivery (definitely my preference).

The really awesome thing about today is that I really was not nervous going into my appointment. Now that I can feel Max moving around a lot more I am much more certain that they will be able to find his heartbeat and that everything is okay.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Did that really just happen?"

I have been feeling Max move for a few weeks now, but recently his movements became a little more distinctive. Sunday night Nick and I were on our way home from dinner and I REALLY had to pee (which didn't surprise either of bladder has been on overdrive for a while now). The interesting part about it? I could feel Max either kicking or punching or elbowing my bladder. And it was definite. Before that the movements felt more like butterflies in my stomach or gas bubbles and half the time I really wasn't even sure if I was feel Max or if it really was my gut. However, THIS was definite baby movement :) Although it left me feeling uncomfortable and longing desperately for a toilet, it also made me feel like the happiest momma in the world for that moment.

Well, last night we reached yet another milestone...and I know that all you experienced moms are probably thinking "you are crazy...there is no way that happened at 21 weeks" but I am telling you, IT DID. Nick was in the shower late last night and I was sitting quietly admiring our Christmas tree that we had just finished putting up. And...I felt Max kick or move or whatever you want to call it. But it felt different this time. I put my hands on the spot I had felt it, and YOU COULD FEEL IT FROM THE OUTSIDE. Again, I did not believe it. I thought I was feeling my pulse or a weird gas bubble. But then I realized that there was no pattern to the movement I was feeling, and also realized it was definitely not a gas bubble. IT WAS MY BABY.

I have desperately longed for this moment for a while now. I have wanted to be able to share the joy of feeling our little tiny baby move with my husband since before I had even felt those first little flutters. So I freaked out a say the least. I was yelling for Nick and saying he had to come there NOW and he thought something was wrong. Of course by the time he got out of the shower and had come into the living room sneaky little Max had quit kicking around. BUT I am sure that sometime in the very near future I will be seeing the look on Nick's face when he first feels those movements. Of course now that Nick is at work Max is having a little party in there :) I have never felt more joyous in my entire life. I'm sure that many more moments will outweigh this one in the future, but the love that I feel for Max and our little family is currently enormous and I am so happy and thankful. I already love being a mother :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Half-way there, names, and life :)

I simply cannot believe that 20 weeks is already here! I am now a little more than half-way to our sweet baby boy, and I am sure he will be here before we know it. I feel like he is getting bigger every day consequently so am well as my appetite! many of you already know, we have picked a name for our sweet little one :) I just have to tell you how this name came about:

...probably a month ago or more, I was having very vivid dreams every night (and still am!). These particular dreams were about the baby after birth and our lives together as a family (common during pregnancy, I know...since all that I can think about is babybabybaby). I NEVER had a dream that we had a girl. It was always a boy, always the same baby, always the same name. I dreamed about him at least 5 nights in a row. And ever since I have not been able to get his name out of my head! Luckily, hubby likes it too :) His name, you ask? Max. Not Maximillion, Maximus, Maxwell, or any of those. Just Max. I am already so very in love.

In other seems like our lives are so busy these days! With the Holiday season almost officially upon us, we have something going on all the time, and I could not be happier about it. Thanksgiving and Christmas are by far my favorite holidays because of the time I get to spend with those I care about the most. I have started crocheting Christmas presents like crazy already (I would so much rather give you a handmade gift than something store-bought), and pretty soon we will start decorating our little house for our first Christmas as a married couple. This Saturday kicks off the Thanksgiving celebrations for us with a potluck dinner at my parents' house with all my wonderful aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents from my mom's side of the family, and I can't wait to see everyone :) This is sure to be an amazing end to a completely wonderful year!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baby projects!

I LOVE to crochet...and this morning I completed my first baby project for our little one :)

Yep, it is a bootie for Baby Brown :) I thought booties were supposed to be hard, but I knocked this one out in abut 45 minutes! I still have the other one to make (of course) but hopefully it will be complete in the next hour. Who knows if they will actually ever fit him or be useful, but I love them anyway :)

PS to those of you who are probably already wondering about baby names...we are pretty sure what he will be called. I have already started referring to him by his name actually, but I am just not quite ready to announce it all over the internet! I have almost let it slip on here several times already and it is a hard secret to keep, so I am sure you will all know VERY soon!

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a...


Today was the day :) Our ultrasound was such an awesome experience and I LOVED getting to see HIM move around and know that all his little body parts are there and working. He has 10 fingers and 10 toes and his heart has 4 chamber (normal for you non-medical folks) and everything was perfect.

The only abnormal thing (which is apparently pretty common) is that the umbilical cord has 3 parts instead of 2. This just means they have to watch the baby more closely to make sure he is on track in the growth department, so we will be seeing a lot of him over the next few months on the ultrasounds! This also means that I will most likely have to be induced at 39 weeks or I suppose we will be meeting our sweet baby boy around the end of March :) BUT no worries...Dr. Taavon assured me that everything is going to be fine and that I have no reason to worry any "extra." Just PLEASE pray for us that he is right and pray for me to NOT worry about this! Even though he says not to, of course I am (I worry about everything).

I am working on getting the ultrasound pictures up on here...but without a scanner all I can do is take a picture of the picture (on my phone...still no camera charger!) and upload it, so this will have to do for now! We just love him to death already!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The countdown

Never in my life did I think I would be SO anxious and excited about having an ultrasound. Seriously. I thought I would just go with the flow and let things happen as they happen! Yea right...we now have 4 days left until our ultrasound appointment where we will hopefully find out if we are having a boy or a girl. AND. I. CAN'T. WAIT!

Of course this week is crawling by, even though I am working every day and have things to do to keep me busy. When I first found out I was pregnant I wasn't even sure I wanted to know the sex of the baby before he or she was born. I thought it might be kind of cool to keep it a surprise. But then when we started looking at baby stuff at Babies R Us and Target we quickly realized that NOTHING is unisex anymore. At this point I am also about to lose my mind calling my baby "it" instead of "him" or "her"...and it will also drastically help us in the name department.

To all of you who didn't know ahead of time...I just don't know how you did it!

Also...please be thinking of us on Monday and praying that everything will go smoothly. Even though I am as excited as I could possibly be, that little bit of worry is still in the back of my mind.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Car seats and strollers and carriers, oh my! (Part 2)

Let me start off by reminding you that I am a huge advocate of "natural" parenting. I don't mean so much the "green" bit, even though I would consider myself a bit "green." What I mean is that I am sort of a hippie in my way of thinking about parenting (which I have mentioned before). We plan on using a co-sleeper with our infant rather than a bassinet, making our own baby food, and carrying our baby instead of our baby's car seat. That being said, if you think anything in this post may offend you, stop reading NOW. :)

I have learned from my parents, who have adopted 4 girls (1 from China and 3 from Ethiopia), that the importance of bonding with your child should never be underestimated. Although it is more of a challenge with adoption than with biological children, I have learned to appreciate the difference between parenting the way my parents have and parenting the way most of America does. They are anything but overprotective, but have taught us ALL to be loving, caring and fun kids... and to be responsible as adults along with all the other stuff too. Having siblings that are much younger than me (we range from age 5 to 22!) has allowed me to learn first hand how to be an awesome parent. Sure, their "style" of parenting has changed over the years, I am sure! But that means that I have learned from their mistakes that they made when they first became parents with my brother and I by watching them be parents to small children NOW...if that makes sense. A lot of people question me about "isn't it weird that your sister is 5 and you are pregnant?" but honestly, I think it's awesome, and it will make me a better parent. are probably wondering what this has to do with carriers and strollers and car seats...

First of all, the process of deciding on all the baby gear was extremely overwhelming to me. What is REALLY necessary? How do you pick a car seat? Stroller? Carrier? My parents have talked to me about this endlessly. And I don't mean shoving their ideas into my head with no turning back. They know me and Nick, and they take our points of view into consideration when advising us...unlike a lot of other people I have come into contact with that think that the way they parented their children is the ONLY way. Plus they have had recent experience with all of this. My mom spent almost 2 hours in Babies R Us with me on Sunday trying to help me sort through all the mayhem (Thanks Mom!)

As far as carriers go, I learned from my parents how important it is to have a good carrier. One that doesn't hold the baby up by his/her "between the legs area", provides skin-to-skin and face-to-face positioning, and is comfortable for both baby and parent. This is all part of that natural parenting bit...carriers that make your baby face away from you are definitely not natural. In my opinion carriers are there to only help you hold your baby and I don't think anybody would normally carry their child so that they were facing away from you. I also want to be sure that if it is just me and baby running errands around town, etc that I can actually put the carrier on myself without assistance.

I originally thought I wanted a Moby Wrap(pictured below) for our infant and then something else for a bit larger child. It is pretty much a long piece of fabric that you wrap around yourself and your baby. But then I realized that I wasn't sure I would feel like my baby was stable in the carrier, and wasn't sure if I could get it on by myself.

My mom had already offered to give me the carrier they used with Toby Ann (an Ergo carrier) but I didn't think you could use it for infants. Boy was I wrong! Ergo makes a special insert that goes in their carriers that promotes a carrying position for infants that allows them to develop properly and of course takes up a bit of extra room in the carrier so it doesn't swallow them. If we get this insert we will be able to use this carrier from birth to 45 pounds comfortably! You can also use this carrier to carry your baby face-to-face, on your back, or on your hip. Check out their website!

Car seats and strollers and carriers, oh my!

Another mostly uneventful week is now complete and we are 17 weeks now!

We have spent most of the past week doing research on the important baby gear that we are going to car seats, strollers, and baby carriers. Who knew this could be so complicated???

Last week at this time we had our minds set on a travel system of some sort, but after going to Babies R Us twice last week (once with hubby and once with Momma) and testing some out we decided that wasn't for us. The strollers are huge and bulky even when folded up (we both drive small cars), and the way the infant seat sits in the stroller is awkward. Lets also keep in mind that I plan on being a "baby-wearing" mother rather than a stroller mom, at least for the first while (more on this later...), so the infant stroller portion of the travel system wasn't AS important to me. We started back at square one, and eventually decided we wanted a Britax infant car seat...only to discover that they are large and will not fit in either of our cars. So what have we decided on? The Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat! It allows infants to be rear-facing up to 30lbs, comes in awesome colors, and has amazing safety ratings (obviously important for our little bundle!).

We still have yet to decide on a stroller, but we do know that we want something light-weight, compact when folded, that works for infants to toddlers.

We HAVE decided on the perfect carrier for us though! The baby carrier post may be a bit long, so I will post it seperately :)

****11 days til we find out what little bit is! Boy? Girl? Any guesses? We can't wait!!! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blood Work Results!

The results from my blood work came back yesterday and...everything came back normally! Praise the Lord! :) The majority of neural tube defects (something like 80-95% depending on the type) are diagnosed by those tests, so that makes me feel much better.

Sorry for the extra short post...just wanted to share the good news!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sorry for my recent absence.... at this point there is just not a lot going on honestly!

Oh, minus the fact that I am getting huge...and yes, I am aware that I am going to get much much larger and that to all of you out there I probably still look small. BUT it is so amazing that I am finally starting to look pregnant, even to those who don't know I am! (Disclaimer: horrible picture...I can't find the charger for my camera battery so this is from my phone...better than nothing! :))

I also had to go back to the doctor this week for that dreaded blood work... which didn't turn out quite as badly as expected. The phlebotomist that drew the blood did an awesome job, AND it was only one fairly small tube! For those of you who don't know me very well...I HATE shots, blood work, and pretty much anything else involving a needle. I can give shots and draw blood and start IVs all day on other people, but when a needle comes near me that is a different story.

This blood was drawn to test for neural tube please pray that everything is going to come back normally :)

I can't believe how quickly everything is going...just a little more than 2 weeks til we find out what we are having!

Monday, October 11, 2010

getting ready for baby

When we found out about Baby Brown being on the way, we started analyzing our house. What do we need to change? What do we need to get rid of? What do we need to add? etc etc....and surprisingly there is a pretty long list. There are the usual safety concerns that come with having a child in the house, not to mention the huge list of things we have been meaning to get around to fixing or doing or adding for what seems like centuries. Yesterday, we tackled the living room! I have been cleaning out closets and junk drawers of stuff that just never found its place for a few weeks now (I am a freak about organization, so this definitely took some time!) and yesterday we rearranged furniture. We also replaced an old lamp that had seen better days, and added a rug. In my opinion, the rug is definitely necessary with a baby in the house!

This is the "semi-finished" product...some of the furniture still needs to be painted and some of the walls are a little bare for my liking, but it is 100% better already!

Much more to come, be sure of that! This is just the very first step :)

Have a lovely Monday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

14 Weeks/Doctor Appointment Updates!

I NEVER thought the day would come when I actually look forward to going to the doctor! But when it means you get to hear your baby's heartbeat and get that reassurance that everything is okay, I guess it is only natural to LOVE going to the doctor! :)

I was extremely nervous about going to the doctor this morning. So nervous, in fact, that while I was sitting in the waiting room to be called back I really could have vomited (and no, I am not developing a late case of morning sickness!). I hate the feeling of not really knowing what is going on, and at this stage in my pregnancy the only reassurance that I have that everything is going well is my growing mid-section and my occasional OB naturally, this bothers me. I can't wait until I can feel the baby moving so that I can know that things are okay! Also, Nick did not go with me to the doctor today...he offered, but I decided since it was just an in and out thing that I could be a "big girl" and go alone. Probably did not help with my nervousness!

We got lots of good news at the doctor today! :) First of all, I heard the heartbeat again! 155 (which is normal) and still going strong! The nurse actually had a hard time getting the heartbeat to stay on the Doppler for very long because our little one is already very active apparently, and the pressure on my stomach from the Doppler sort of startled him/her...or at least that's what the nurse said...I have read that if you "poke" your stomach even early in pregnancy it causes the baby to move around. Then Dr. Taavon came in to see me, talk to me and answer questions, and measure my stomach. Turns out I have only gained 2lbs so far, which is awesome!

The next time I go back will be in 2 weeks for blood work to detect birth defects, and of course hear our little one's heartbeat again!

I am so blissfully happy :) It is amazing how much you can love a child before they even enter the world! Life is wonderful, and we are so blessed!

Friday, October 1, 2010

i hate pink and other news :)

Nick and I have very slowly begun to put the nursery together, so I have started doing research
and looking up pictures for modern and magical nurseries. I am not the kind of person who is just going to run out to Babies R Us, pick out a bedding set, and base the entire room around it. I just itch to be a little more creative and start from scratch. (Disclaimer: if you ARE the type of person to do this, that is wonderful! I have nothing against it, but my creative genes- thanks, Mom- are getting in the way!) I also hate pink. If we have a little girl I will lose my mind if we somehow end up with an entirely pink nursery. Pink clothing is fine, just not a pink room! Again, more power to you if you have a girl and a pink room. It's just not for me.

I picture a girls room more like this(my absolute favorite...its from Serena & Lily and the bedding alone comes in at $995, BUT its beautiful and completely re-creatable, and I especially adore the cranes!):

The other challenge is that we can't paint the walls in our apartment, so the "light and airy" color scheme definitely appeals to me.

On another note...I have had a horrible sinus infection this week! There are a few things that I can take for it while pregnant including Benadryl and Sudafed, but being the "green" mother that I am (or as Nick lovingly refers to me as a "hippy" mom...either way is true!)...I just don't really feel comfortable taking either of those medications. I have only taken 4 doses of Tylenol during this entire pregnancy. My remedy for this sinus infection? Herbal tea (which is caffeine free!) and a NetiPot, and of course lots and lots of rest. AND it works like a charm! I think I would actually choose this route of "getting better" over medication even if I wasn't pregnant! :)

AND the countdown is also on...5 weeks til we find out what our little one will be! Boy? Girl? Either way I am happy, but can't wait to find out which we will be welcoming in April!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I will be spending mine in my hometown of Wilkesboro at the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival along with my brother, Tucker, and his girlfriend Chelsea who also happens to be one of my best friends! Don't forget the rest of my huge family...I can't wait to see everyone!

Friday, September 24, 2010

12 weeks

Wednesday marked 12 weeks for little Baby Brown, and he or she is definitely growing!

According to my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" app for my iPhone(what is this world coming to?!?!) our little one is up to a peach size :)...or 3 inches long, head to bottom that is.

We are slowly but surely trying to get our second bedroom/storage room ready to be a nursery, and have been thinking about how to make the rest of our house look more complete and baby proof at the same time (since I have heard that once baby arrives so does the company! but...I love company so that is definitely a good thing!) There is lots of work to do for sure! We will be making plenty of trips to Goodwill to get rid of all the unnecessary "junk" around here, and I am sure there will be lots of projects underway within the next few weeks. I can't wait to get started!

Here is another "bump" picture...promise I won't be documenting this every week, but I am just amazed at how quickly it is growing!

And THIS is the beginnings of the "Granny square" blanket I am making for our little one. Yes, I know it is blue. I was going to make it green and white or yellow and white, but I was not a fan of the colors I found. I picked blue. I really think this particular blue can go either way :)

Monday, September 20, 2010


So...since we were keeping everything kind of "hush" to begin with, I thought it would be good to update you on our previous doctor visit, etc!

We picked a great doctor here in Greensboro at Wendover OB/Gyn thanks to a suggestion from a knowledgeable nurse/friend. His name is Dr. Taavon, and from what I can tell/what I have heard he is the best there is.

Our first OB appointment was September 3rd during my 9th week. And...we got to hear the heartbeat! I was so very nervous about this appointment, but the nurses and other staff at the office really put me at ease. They pulled out the Doppler first thing so we could hear our little one. It took them forever to find the heartbeat, and I was getting really worried. Turns out the little booger was just being shy and the Doppler had a ton of static (not helping!)...and they finally found it! 160 and going strong!

Everything else went great at the appointment and just like normal. We go back on October 7th for a regular OB checkup, and then the first week in November we will find out if it is a boy or a girl! We can't wait!

As we are coming up on the end of the first trimester, please keep us in your prayers that everything will continue to go smoothly.

Oh...and keep Nick in your prayers today. He severely sprained his ankle about 3 weeks ago at work and has been in a walking boot. His workers comp claim was denied, so he has been out of work for the last week because he "can't do his job 100%" and he is going stir crazy from being at home! If the doctor releases him today, he can go back to work! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby bump!

So...last week about this time I was only slightly uncomfortable in my regular jeans and only very slightly larger than usual in the midsection. But this week...there is a completely different story! HELLO baby bump!

I just got some maternity jeans, sweaters, and other awesome clothes from Old Navy, thinking it would probably be a few more weeks before I was in them. Good thing they came earlier than I expected! And...PS...they are AMAZING maternity jeans...cotton panel, and they look like "the real thing" (just in case any of you are in need of maternity jeans anytime soon! haha)

Another Brown is coming to town!


I am 11 weeks pregnant, and our due date is April 6th! We thought creating a blog would be a great way to share ultrasounds, baby news, and keep you up to date on what is going on with Nick and I :)

We can't wait to start our little family!

ps...the picture above is of the blood pregnancy test from the doctor's office on August 9th