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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Saturday, November 29

And the answer is...

It's a BOY! We were wrong. For some reason, Jim and I (I don't think we were the only ones!) were sure it was a girl. But the Ultrasound technician was about as certain you can be that it is a boy (his goods were out in plain sight for all to see!). It was so amazing to see him moving all around in there. Everything looked good to the technician. We will go over the results with the doctor at our next appointment (which is on Wednesday). Now that we know we are having a boy, we are so excited and feel so much more connected with our baby. Jim already decided the baby's room is going to be sports' themed, which I'm fine with (especially since cousin Austin loves sports so much and will have lots to teach our little guy).

Kelsie is going to school for Ultrasound, so next month, we are going to go in and have her do a 3-D ultrasound for us. It is much more detailed and gives her the practice she needs! We can't wait. I will be posting the ultrasound pics on the photo page as soon as Jim can scan them in for me (probably late next week...he is traveling Monday-Wednesday). We got a few really good ones.

Ah, I can't believe we are having a boy! It seems so much more real now. For all you doubters who told us we shouldn't find'll never know the wonderful feeling(s) we are experiencing right now. I wouldn't have done it any other way. I can't belive we are halfway done with the pregnancy already. The first half went crazy fast.

Between grandpa Ron, uncle John and daddy, our little guy will be playing basketball before his first birthday! Sorry, basketball in the crib!

Thursday, November 27

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks

How your baby's growing:
Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now [they thought about 13 oz at the ultrasound]. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel [they thought about 11 inches at the ultrasound]— the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)
He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).
How your life's changing:
Congratulations! You've hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy [already?]. The top of your uterus is about level with your belly button, and you've likely gained around 10 pounds [as of this morning, I've gained 9, so I'm pretty much right on track]. Expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on. Make sure you're getting enough iron, a mineral that's used primarily to make hemoglobin (the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen). During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your expanding blood volume, as well as for your growing baby and the placenta. Red meat is one of the best sources of iron for pregnant women. Poultry (especially the dark meat) and shellfish also contain iron.
If you haven't already signed up for a childbirth education class, you may want to look into one, especially if you're a first-timer [please, we signed up a few weeks ago; our weekly classes start January 20, I think]. A structured class will help prepare you and your partner for the rigors of labor and delivery. Most hospitals and birth centers offer classes, either as weekly meetings or as a single intensive, one-day session.

More information to come on the sex and ultrasound later!

Wednesday, November 26

Happy Thanksgiving

We know what we're having, but until we can tell our immediate family in person, we are keeping it a secret. Check back late this weekend or early next week for the wonderful news!

Our Thanksgiving plans:
Wednesday: Stacy going to Wild hockey game AGAIN (I've gone more this year than ever before combined!)
Thursday: Jim's family at his aunt DeAnn's in Burnesville
Friday: shopping early (for Stacy, Becky and Kristine), KMS (Jim and Stacy's highschool team) State Football Championship game at 1pm, Stacy's family at Kristine's in Corcoran after the game (we are sad we had to miss the Smith celebration)
Saturday: Stacy's Dad's family at her uncle Tony's in Hudson

Compared to last year, that isn't too bad. We want to wish you all a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving! Be safe.

Monday, November 24

Movin' Like Crazy

Okay, so we went from nothing to ALL THE TIME! I felt the baby move once last week and once this week...until today. It has been moving ALL day long! At first I thought it was because I was hungry, but it wasn't growling like usual. It felt different. Then it kept happening every so often. Definitely the baby. I have a feeling I'm going to be wishing for the pre-movement times before long, but for now, it is awesome. I keep stopping and saying, the baby is moving! Jim and Becky freak. It is really cute. They are both going to sit on each side of me for the next month and a half until they can feel it on the outside. I guess I'll stay warm from their body warmth. Ha, ha.
Two days until our ultrasound!
Oh and Jim's car is broke AGAIN! That darn thing. Too bad I don't have a job so we can get him a new one. I guess he'll have to suffer a while longer. Sorry, babe!

Sunday, November 23

Go Gophers?

Well, the Gopher football team had their final game of the season on Saturday night. It was also the last game played in the Metro Dome (they have a new outdoor...burrrrrr...stadium next season on campus; good riddance Dome!). We went with Mike and Jim's dad. They definitely went out with a bang...they lost 55-0 to Iowa. Terrible. Jim didn't get in a fight, arrested or kicked out, so I'd say it was a successful evening. We stayed to the bitter end, which was a good decision since all fans left by the middle of the third quarter (made for easy traffic on the way home). I hope the Vikings come through for us today.
My wonderful sister Becky went maternity clothes shopping with me for the first time yesterday. We went to Motherhood Maternity since Nicki said they have the most comfortable jeans, which was the reason for the trip. I found one really cute pair of jeans that fits well and a few other things. I have to go through what else I already have before I get any more. It was tiring, but Becky kept me on track and focused. She should be a personal shopper for people. Seriously (I am the world's worst shopper). She took a few pictures of me with the preggo belly on, so I'll upload them shortly. It shows what my belly will look like in three months.
Update: Click on the "our pictures" link on the left for the updated preggo pics!

Friday, November 21

Wild Game

We (Jim and Stacy) went to the Wild game last night with Jim's friends Mike and Nate. It was really fun, even though they lost. There was good food, which is pretty much what my life revolves around now days. Got home and couldn't sleep, so played on the computer for a few hours.
John and Kelsie close on their new house today. How exciting (and scary...I remember that from a little over a year ago!). Can't wait to see the new place.
Baby is doing well. I haven't noticed any more movements. I'm sure they will get more regular in the next week or so. Looking forward to Wednesday's ultrasound appointment. I can't believe it is almost here already! Look here next week (after we tell our families obviously) to see if we're having a boy or girl!

Thursday, November 20

Your pregnancy: 19 weeks

147 days to go!

How your baby's growing:
Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.
Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

How your life's changing:
Think you're big now? {No, I haven't had to transition into maternity clothes yet} You'll start growing even faster in the weeks to come. As a result, you may notice some achiness in your lower abdomen or even an occasional brief, stabbing pain on one or both sides — especially when you shift position or at the end of an active day. Most likely, this is round ligament pain. The ligaments that support your uterus are stretching to accommodate its increasing weight. This is nothing to be alarmed about, but call your practitioner if the pain continues even when you're resting or becomes severe.

I've been feeling a little emotional lately and short (especially with Jim). I'm sure it is all the hormones, but I'm not used to feeling this way. It probably doesn't help with the added stress of losing my job on Monday! Yup, lost my job (cut backs). Oh, fun. Now we're working through that, but on the bright side, I don't have to get up early to go to work!

I'm hoping to convince Becky to go to Motherhood Maternity with me this weekend to get some jeans and/or comfy dress pants (I tried with Jim, but I needed a girl with me). While I'm still not wearing maternity clothes, my size 10's will not be fitting for much longer! I saved some size 12's from before I lost the weight, so I can always transition into them (but I hear that maternity pants are WAY more comfortable).

I will be taking a belly update picture next Wednesday (and then maybe every two weeks after that as the requests for updated pictures keep coming in!). Jim and I did a cute pose last night (belly to belly), but didn't take a picture. Hopefully he will let me recreate it so I can have Becky take it and then post! Too cute.

I also think I felt the baby for the first time this morning in bed. It was very faint, but it probably was the baby. Yeah! I was starting to wonder if I ever would!

Wednesday, November 19

Your pregnancy: 18 weeks

(as of 11/12/08)

How your baby's growing:

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now.

How your life's changing:

Hungry? An increase in appetite is pretty common about now. Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline grow. <started going through Becky's preggo clothes last night...might need to take a trip to the maternity store in the next week or so!>Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during this trimester your blood pressure will probably be lower than usual. Don't spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy. <I learned about this at the Gopher games...oops!>
If you haven't already had a second-trimester ultrasound, you'll probably have one soon. This painless procedure helps your practitioner check how your baby's growing, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, determine whether the due date you're working with is accurate, and see how many babies you're carrying <better be one!>. During the exam, you might see your baby moving around or sucking his thumb. Bring your partner along, and be sure to ask for a printout for your baby's first photo album!

I haven't felt the baby move, but they said any time between now and two weeks I should. Can't wait! My tummy has definitely "popped" out this week. I think I will feel less "fat" once I transition into maternity clothes. Still feel tired, headaches still a problem (coke has been working, which I take it!), but overall I feel great!