Great Expectations II: 20 weeks

How Far: 20 weeks (HALF WAY THERE! WOW, where has the time gone already!?!)

Weight/ Clothes: I was a little leery to jump on the scale at the docs this week after all the good food involved with Easter and visiting family and friends. Thankfully my midwife was very pleased with where I am weight wise...phew! Hopefully with carrying through the spring and summer and chasing after Levi my activity level will be up there my weight won't be too much of a concern. It never really was last time, so I should be fine.

I'm sporting full maternity wear these days. I needed to bust out my maternity jeans and capris this week because I'm sporting a full on bump these days. I also picked up some great short sleeve tops and a couple dresses since it's getting warmer and I don't have much in terms of warmer weather options since I was bigger through the cooler months with Levi.

Cravings: Nothing exciting to report...womp womp!

Gender: We had the big reveal on Wednesday. We went to the ultrasound that afternoon and right off I explained to the tech to please not tell us the gender because we'd be finding out that evening at the Red Sox/ Yankees game. She was tickled at the idea and kept commenting on how cool and idea that was. Even the doc who came in to look things over at the end of the appointment commented on how this was one of the coolest gender reveals she'd heard of. We were pretty excited that it was all lined up and going to work out!

For a few minutes the ultrasound tech commented on how the baby had his/her legs crossed...Adam wasn't sure at first why that was a big deal, but I explained that in order to see what we were having the baby would need to quit being so modest, haha...then he got it. Now that could have thrown the reveal for a loop...Adam and Jess you're expecting a ???...Thankfully she was able to see what we were having and we were off to Fenway Park with sealed envelope in hand. I passed the envelope on to a Red Sox foundation person and knew the announcement would occur first thing mid second inning when the teams switched who was at bat. Only a couple hours to wait for the exciting news...

It had been a rainy day, but thankfully the rain has cleared up by game time. The temperatures weren't bad, but we had roof deck tickets so it was quite breezy but we dressed for the occasion. I was so excited/ anxious to find out! Thank goodness the message was scheduled for early on in the game. The first inning went pretty quickly and next thing we knew it was time!

So we headed over to a prime viewing location and waited for the message...and drum roll....

It's a BOY. Levi is going to have a little brother! Adam said he was pretty surprised because of how different things had been this time around had he really expecting a girl. I was less surprised because as I mentioned last week I had started to lean towards a feeling that we were having another boy and the feeling was right. Nonetheless, we were both very excited! How fun that Levi will have a little brother to bond with and we have a name in mind too, which is nice.

Movement: I definitely feel flutters here and there especially at night when I'm getting ready to go to sleep since I'm really still at that point. The placenta is on the front this time, which will also affect how much movement I feel, but it's definitely fun to feel those flutters every now.

Symptoms: Yikes on the round ligament pain! At the ultrasound there was this super sensitive spot that she kept having to put pressure on as she was looking at the baby. I was able to breath through the discomfort and as soon as she moved on it was totally fine. WEIRD!

My face is broken out lately, which is much fun. I'm looking forward to the clear up skin was at its best EVER towards the end of my pregnancy with Levi. No break outs, my eczema cleared was AMAZING! My skin stayed pretty clear even afterward though my eczema did return especially with such a cold, dry winter but not nearly as bad as in the past which was great. I'm hoping for similar effects of pregnancy this time. Fingers crossed!

My eye twitches pretty much all the time now or periodically every day, so thankfully I'm getting used to it and I'm able to ignore it pretty well. Thankfully it doesn't hurt, it's just annoying!

Mental State: Early on in the week my mind was consumed with thoughts of whether we were having a boy or a girl. The second half of the week was spent processing the news that we will indeed be welcoming another little man into the world. This has left me wondering what to do with my feelings regarding the desire to also have a daughter we just plan on adopting? Is that in the cards since we don't currently have the space to do so through foster care in our current living situation or there's the expense of traditional adoption? Do we have a third biological child possibly and roll the dice, though I have a strong feeling we would have a third boy, which depending on how having two sons goes I might be okay with...I thoroughly enjoy Levi and I hear sons continue to be sweet to their moms and there's usually less drama involved...but we are definitely not making any decisions for all that until we have two and adjust to life as a family of four for a while. People have over the years asked how many children we would like to have and my response was always, "Well we'll start with one and see from there...and that has definitely become my philosophy." Perhaps I'm meant to be a boys' mom and that's God's will...guess we'll see! Only time will tell.

Appointment Updates
: Everything was perfect at the ultrasound. I am so thankful for a healthy baby because I know friends who on a few occasions have found out about health issues they'd be dealing with after the baby was born that in some cases even involved surgery. That is what is so nerve wracking at that appointment because it really isn't about finding out the gender at all though they are happy to take a look. The appointment is about examining every limb and organ to see that everything is forming properly. I am so, so thankful that Jellybean is healthy and developing beautifully. We are very blessed!

Best Moment of the Week: The GENDER REVEAL was EPIC!

Great Expectations II: 19 weeks

How Far: 19 weeks

Weight/ Clothes: I'm really showing funny how that happens. Hopefully I haven't gained too much in between appointments this month. We'll see. I'm going to make a really concerted effort to be more active this go round and it will help that the weather is finally getting nice plus Levi loves getting outside for a walk or trip to the park. It's the right cause for gaining weight, but I'd still like to make sure I'm within the zone that is healthy and keeps my doctors happy. Last time around I was right on the cusp of gaining too much, so we'll see if it's any different this time or if the heat of summer has a similar effect as the cold of winter. I know I'll probably deal with more swelling and such this time around since I'll be my biggest through the summer months. Thankfully that all gets better once the baby is born.

In terms of clothes, I am definitely feeing the need to wear maternity clothes these days. I pulled out my maternity pants finally even though I can still wear my low wasted regular jeans too and I pulled out my maternity tops. I'm still transitioning my wardrobe to make my maternity pieces easily accessible. I've realized I have plenty of sweaters, but I don't have many short sleeve or even three quarter length sleeve tops, so I see a shopping trip in my future to pick up a couple of the cute tees like the ones I borrowed from Thais while in Chicago. I also made a trip to Target for Easter basket supplies and found a cute maternity dress to wear on Easter and further into the spring and summer. They were have a sale, so I actually picked up a more casual cotton maternity dress while I was there too. I have a few dressy occasions coming up like my cousins wedding this June, so I'm keeping an eye out for the perfect dress to wear to that.

Cravings: Nothing interesting to report...I'm just not one of those pregnant women who get really strong food cravings. There are definitely foods I flock towards, but I've yet to want pickles and ice cream at a random time or anything really unusual like that.

Gender: The gender reveal for next week's Red Sox game is confirmed. We even scoped out the screen and where we'd be for the game when we took Adam's parents to the Red Sox game this Saturday. I know a few people are confused and think we're doing the game announcement just as a public way to then share the news...but to clarify...Adam and I won't know when we head to the game if we're having a boy or girl either. At least that is the plan unless the ultrasound person slips up or something, but hopefully we'll be just as surprised when we see the announcement on the screen as everyone else. My plan is to start the message with Adam's name making it one of the firsts since they go in alphabetical order and it should be just before the second inning, so nice and early in the game. We'll let you all know the news as soon as we find out!

What do you think? Boy or Girl this time? In the past couple weeks I've become really at peace with either option for different reasons...a boy would be great because we have lots of awesome boy clothes and room sharing will be a little simpler and it would be cute for Levi to have a little brother. After visiting with the Carter boys and seeing how much fun Levi has with them whenever we get together, it brought a lot of excitement about the prospect of having another boy. Plus Adam and I really like a particular boy name (sorry won't be sharing that news until Jellybean arrives), while we still haven't landed on a girl name that we both really love though we'll get working harder on it if we find out the baby is a girl. Having a girl however is definitely a different dynamic between a mother and daughter and even between a father and daughter especially as girls get older, and I would love to have some of those more girlie experiences with a daughter. If that isn't God's plan and I'm meant to be a boys mom then I'll just hope to have a niece to spoil someday!  Guess we'll see very soon!!

Movement: Feeling little flutters and the occasional pop definitely some movement, but it's really subtle, nothing Adam could pick up on yet.

Symptoms: Feeling very "full" these days. I think my stomach is very squished, which leads to that feeling and the KILLER heartburn I'm having all the time. It chokes me it's so bad. Tums is my good friend and I've started taking Zantac when it gets really bad. That will probably be back on my regimen in the coming weeks. Levi had some hair, so the wives tale was true in his case...perhaps this baby will have a head of hair too with all the heartburn I'm having.

The round ligament pain is still there but more occasionally now and I didn't have any sciatic nerve pain this week. YAY! The girls are hurting now though, which I didn't experience much when I was pregnant with Levi. He has completely weaned, so it's been strange because unlike my last pregnancy when they suddenly grew...this time they shrank a ton and now are getting back to there larger pregnancy state. Very interesting what pregnancy does to the body!

Mental State: The gender has very much been on my mind this week. Adam and I even had a date night while his parents were in town this week, which gave us the chance to chat about our thoughts regarding if the baby is a boy or girl. It was a really fun night out for appetizers, a mocktail for me and dessert. We are hoping to get into a better routine for date nights, hoping to have one once a month or so even if it's a nicer dinner date at home in the earlier months once Jellybean is here.

It was also a wonderful Holy week. I remember attending the different services last year, but Levi was still really little and in the carrier mostly asleep. I was definitely able to take it in more this year and be more reflective and observant since Levi was in the nursery making for less distractions. The Herndon grandparents joined us this week too, which was really fun. Levi loves all his grandparents and is so blessed to see them all as often as he has being that we don't live close by.

Appointment Updates
: The BIG ultrasound is next week! Praying everything looks healthy and perfect since the real purpose for the exam is not to find out the gender but to make sure everything is forming properly.

Best Moment of the Week: Celebrating Easter and seeing Levi's excitement as he opened his Easter basket. He knew it was for him and could not wait to check everything out. Next year there'll be two baskets, which will be so much fun and we plan to dye eggs with Levi then.

It was also fun to go to my first Red Sox game of this season...and Jellybean's first game technically... in utero. Levi went to quite a few both in utero and in his first year of life. Fans from an early age!

Great Expectations II: 18 weeks

How Far: 18 weeks

Weight/ Clothes: I'm definitely sporting a lil bump these days. I actually needed to borrow a couple of Thais's maternity T-shirts while I was in Chicago because I hadn't packed expecting days in the upper 70s. I had mostly tanks and sweaters to wear, but it was way too warm for those. I've busted out my maternity tops not because I really need to wear them since most of my tops have some give but because I might as well since they won't be seasonably appropriate for the most part come summer. It's funny though because some of them are on the bigger end and look ridiculous right now since I guess I wore them later in my last pregnancy. I'm still hanging in there pants wise....these low wasted jeans with a little stretch are still working pretty well even without a belly band most days. I bought a really cute maternity dress at Target to wear on Easter and I will probably pick up a few more tees like the ones I borrowed from Thais that aren't quite so big since I felt cute in them sporting  the bump.

Cravings: I had a serious craving from my favorite Thai soup, which I thoroughly enjoyed at Sunda when Thais and I had our adult girls night out in Chicago. It was delicious and the atmosphere was very chic.

Gender: It's looking really good for having the gender reveal on the jumbotron at the Red Sox game on the 23rd! I am so excited! I still need to confirm with this and that person at the stadium since I need to bring the envelope that day and I want to be sure they do indeed reserve a space for our announcement ahead of time...wouldn't want them to run out of space being that it is a Red Sox vs Yankees game. Can't wait to see if Jellybean is a boy or girl!!! EEEK!!! The big day is right around the corner now!

Movement: I felt the occasional pop here and there. Still feels like a muscle spasm, but I then remember oh no that is indeed the baby moving.

Symptoms: I've been waking up with some pretty serious round ligament pain. Thankfully it doesn't stick around all day. I also am still having the occasional sciatic nerve pain, but it too comes and goes depending on how much running around I've been doing for example on Monday when I was getting things together to head to Chicago for my Godson's birthday weekend I was really feeling it, but thankfully I was able to get everything together and then rest to let it calm down. The OB gave me some stretches that are also supposed to help when it's flaring up.

Mental State: I'm feeling great! It was a fun week visiting Thais, Heath and the boys in Chicago for James' birthday celebration weekend. Levi had a BLAST! He was exhausted at every nap from playing so hard all the time. It is always so much fun to watch him when he gets together with the Carter boys. Watching the posee definitely had me thinking about how cute it would be for Levi to have a little brother though he can be besties just as well with a little sister too.

It was pointed out how much Levi looks like more and more like me as he gets older and it is kind of crazy because it's like looking at yourself in a miniature version in the opposite gender. I was always told I looked like my dad, but I never fully got it until now. This observation also got me wondering what this new baby will look like and whom he or she will take after more. We shall see.

It's also amazing to see how much Levi is learning and changing every day! Last week we realized he could point out his head, belly, feet and hands when asked. AMAZING! When did he pick up on that?!? He can also give a kiss when asked...a nice open mouthed kiss, haha. He also started nodding "no", which is interesting and a bit frustrating at times when you need him to do something, but it also means he's becoming his own little person. It is all happening so quickly and I'm trying to take in every stage and enjoy each stage without wishing the time away while still looking forward to what's coming down the pike in the future. I have a feeling it will all go that much quicker when Jellybean joins the mix.

I also realize travel is going to become a little more challenging once Jellybean arrives since I won't be able to fly with two children in my lap, plus Levi is definitely getting more antsy these days on the plane. He still did well, but it was a very different experience this go round than any of the times before. Thankfully we had a whole row to ourselves on both flights, so he could move around some and then since both flights required early morning wake ups, he fell asleep for the second half of both flights. There was lots of snack eating too. There's still a few flight possibilities till Levi is two and we have to start buying him a ticket as long as Adam is coming too meaning one child per lap. We love traveling in this family to see family and friends, so I'm sure we'll figure it all out in each stage of our life as a family.

Appointment Updates
: The BIG ultrasound is a week from today!

Best Moment of the Week: Going to see the Carter's new house in Valpo and celebrating James' first birthday in Chicago. Levi was so funny because he would be a little overwhelmed at first in certain situations like bath time with the boys or playing in the bounce house, but them he would warm up to the idea in his own time. Amazing to see our kiddos' personalities as they grow and develop!

Great Expectations II: 17 weeks

How Far: 17 weeks

Weight/ Clothes: An actual maternity shirt in the picture...still normal jeans though.

I looked back at the last time around with Levi because I had an appointment this week and got weighed. I knew I had actually gained something over the past month since my last check up since I'm feeling better and hungry pretty often, but I was curious how it compared with my weight gain last time. Things look pretty similar in that department, I've gained 7 lbs thus far this pregnancy and last time I'd gained 9 lbs at 17 weeks.

I also think I'm carrying a little differently because looking back at the pictures from last time, I seemed similar size I think, but lower....hard to compare since the angles are different, but this time I definitely think I'm showing a little higher, which would also explain why I can still wear and button my non-maternity jeans whereas last time I was already wearing maternity capris and had just bought my first pairs of maternity jeans.

This week I also went ahead and wore a couple of my actual maternity sweaters because I might as well. It's not like they're going to get a lot of use this summer when I'm bigger. I definitely don't fill them out much, but I do look pregnant for the most part if I'm wearing something that clings to the bump...not enough that people would just assume, but they do wonder. I know this from a couple conversations at church with acquaintances who didn't know for sure, but upon my saying something about being pregnant then responded with comments like, "Oh I was wondering if that was the case." I've also already gotten a couple belly rubs...luckily from friends, not random people, which I don't mind.

Cravings: Still nothing to really report this week.

Gender: I emailed the Red Sox people in charge of the jumbo-tron and they said they'd get back to me next week since it was probably a busy time with opening day this week, so it wasn't a no, but not a definite yes yet. I'll keep you posted.

Movement: As of the middle of the week, I hadn't felt anything for sure, but the OB said I probably would any day now. Then over the weekend, while I was coordinating our church's apologetics conference there were definitely a couple instances when I had that charlie horse feeling where at first thought it was just a muscle spasm, but upon second though I realize it was most likely the baby moving.

Symptoms: Lots of eye twitching this week probably because I was very busy with final details for the conference which meant a little more stress and fatigue...nothing I couldn't handle just more of it than usual.

I also am starting to have more heartburn. I'm still managing it with Tums since it isn't always present, but I'm ready with Zantac if it gets worse and more often.

I've had some round ligament pain this week since things are beginning to stretch more and then some sciatic nerve pain Friday night after I'd been on my feet all evening for the conference running around taking care of last minute logistics and details. Luckily it was better on Saturday, thank goodness since it was my longer day to work.

Mental State: This was a very busy week since I was in the final days of coordinating the apologetics conference. It was very eye opening trying to multitask with Levi between different meetings, projects and correspondences. I'm thankful to not be working like this regularly because it was a lot to balance, but I loved the work itself. Adam was very helpful in taking Levi here and there, so I could run to a meeting and get things like name tags assembled and organized. I also had my fair share of last minute meetings in the church's toddler two room, so Levi could play and I could focus on tasks like the final conference budget and logistics for the weekend. Once the weekend rolled around, I was in full conference mode and Adam had Levi. Everything went beautifully. The weekend was well organized and things ran smoothly the whole time. We only had a couple technical issues that weren't really things you could have expected, and thankfully they were taken care of as quickly as possible.

Appointment Updates
: I had an appointment with the OB this week. He was very pleased with how everything is going. I had a few questions about things like my eye twitch, round ligament pain, a bout of light headedness (oh memories of high school) and sciatic nerve pain. He assured me that all these things are totally normal and will naturally happen earlier this time because of muscle memory. Isn't that fun!

The eye twitch is typically associated with fatigue and stress, so I just need to try and get good sleep. The round ligament pain is right on schedule as well. The light headedness only happened once and I just sat down to get the blood flowing to my head since I'd been standing behind a registration table in one position obviously for too long, which took care of things. The doc said to stay well hydrated and that circulation and sugar issues can be normal symptoms, so I just have to be watchful of standing in one place too long like back in the good old choir days and eat regularly things that won't make my blood sugar spike and go down too quickly. My almonds definitely fit that bill. He also gave me some stretches that could help with the sciatic nerve issue which only occurs when I've over done it and gotten myself pretty tired physically, so thankfully it isn't happening often.

The baby's heart rate was between 152 and 155 and is always wonderful to hear. I had my second blood draw for the series sequential, which is a screening for the potential for Down Syndrome. The results came back the next day and my midwife said everything looked perfect, just as it should be. i could not have had better results, so that's good.

Best Moment of the Week: Coordinating the apologetics conference and seeing things go off without a hitch.  This is the first time the church has hosted an event of this sort, so we weren't sure exactly how many people to expect beyond the almost 400 that pre-registered. We probably had well over 500 throughout the weekend. God is good. It was very exciting for things to be as successful as they were.


Purchasing our new double stroller on sale. We went with the Baby Jogger City Select in black. I'm very excited for it to arrive. It's one of the few items we'll need this time around.

Great Expectations II: 16 weeks

How Far: 16 weeks

We're representing for UVA this week in our orange and blue since my HOOS are in the sweet 16!

Weight/ Clothes: I'm starting to show a little higher and friends have confirmed that I indeed am beginning to look pregnant, not just chubby. I did pull out my first maternity items this week...leggings and a new maternity shirt that I picked up at H&M. It was the style of one of my favorites the last time around just in a different color scheme. Otherwise I'm still wearing my normal jeans and can even still button most of them comfortably based on where the bump is falling.

Cravings: Nothing in particular. Boring I know.

Gender: I figured out what I think I want to do for our gender reveal this time around. Adam had requested a smaller scaled event where it would just be the two of us rather than a big party, so I've been brainstorming cute ideas for the two of us finding out since I'd rather not just find out at the ultrasound. What have I landed on you may be wondering?? Well we are headed to a Red Sox vs Yankees game the night of our I have to look into whether this is even possible or reasonable to attempt...but I'm going to see if I can get the gender posted on the jumbo-tron at the game. You know the way they post happy birthdays and such. I wouldn't even have to know ahead of time because I could just deliver the envelope to the office of whomever takes care of those announcements. I also plan to have a back up envelope since I won't know the person posting this news and I'll want to be able to double check what the doctor wrote.  I'll keep you posted as I find out if this will become a reality or if I need to go back to the drawing board.

Movement: Nothing yet.

Symptoms: I'm feeling pretty good this week. The sickness stage of things seems to have passed and I'm getting my energy back, which was great timing since I had an overnight trip to New York planned by myself to attend my cousin's bridal shower.

My eye twitching has ALREADY returned!! I can't believe it since this didn't come on as a symptom until the last month or so with Levi, but here we are at week 16 and it's already started. It happens periodically in either eye...not usually at the same time thankfully. At least it's not painful, just REALLY annoying! I'm pretty sure it's related to fatigue, so I'm trying to rest when I can...nap when Levi naps and sleep well at night between trouble dozing off and waking to pee two-three times a night. At least I'm still perfectly comfortable sleeping once I manage to fall asleep.

Mental State: This was an exciting weekend! It was my first overnight away from Levi. He has pretty much weaned because my milk supply has changed drastically since becoming pregnant. This meant Adam could keep him overnight easily and I didn't need to worry about pumping. It was a great practice run because I'm planning a trip in late May to visit my friend Lindsey who is having her first baby and without Levi along for the trip I'll be able to truly lend a hand. It was so nice to know that I married Superdad...he checked Levi into the nursery during youth group Friday night (and it helped that he wasnt preaching that evening), sent me a morning video, took Levi to the park, a triathlon convention at MIT after which Levi took a 2.5 hour nap...we don't see many of those around these parts...and then they went grocery shopping, hung out, had dinner and Levi even got a bath. I got home late that night and was so thankful that it all went well. I don't foresee too many more trips on my own coming up beyond the May trip when my mom plans to come and lend a hand since I'll be gone for a few days and Adam works weekends with youth group Friday night and church responsibilities Sunday morning.

Appointment Updates
: My next appointment is coming up next week.

Best Moment of the Week: Hearing how well things went for Adam and Levi while I was away celebrating my soon to be cousin Paola. It was wonderful getting to catch up and spend time with my aunts and cousins on my Dad's side. The wedding is going to be so much fun in June!

Oh and I scheduled my maternity photos for this summer too!! They'll be in July right before Adam leaves for the Columbia missions trip at one of our local beaches on the North Shore. Adam was surprised I thought we should have another set done, but I explained that it's different this time because Levi will be in these this time around and this baby needs the same treatment as our first right!

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