Monday, January 26, 2009

Week 23

Not too much going on this week.

Two Downs:
1. Big. Stretchy. Belly.
2. I've had low energy lately, not too bad but enough to affect me.

Two Ups:
1. I love feeling her move and I usually get at least two or three pretty solid kick a day. Nicholas also feels her move almost every day.
2. I'm right on track for weight gain and haven't gain much more than I wanted to.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


As you could probably tell from my preview, our Inaugural experience was less than expected to say the very least. We had decided to stay with my generous friend Amy Hille who only lives several blocks from the Capitol so that we could wake up early and get a good place in line. I received two now infamous purple tickets from my office and we had discussed the day before how thankful we were that we wouldn't have to deal with the masses on the Mall...oh how wrong we were.

We both woke up at 6am and Nicholas set out to scope out the situation and get a spot in line. When he arrived, the line was orderly and he was directed to the end of the line which reached down into an underground tunnel near the Capitol. He told me to wait until 8 or 8:30 to join him. When I started walking over there around that time, I thought I would start at the gate and then follow the line back to Nicholas. However, when I arrived at the gate there was no more line to be found and the entire block was filled with people with no movement. The gate should have been open for an hour at this point.

I waited for about 30 minutes to see if anything would happen. During this time, a woman fainted near me and they had to call a doctor from the crowd because there were no police or volunteers or emergency workers to be found. Finally, I decided that I just wanted to find Nicholas and leave and attempted to find the entrance to the tunnel where he was still trapped. When I attempted to walk that way, the street was completely block and people told me no one was getting through. I then turned around and called Nicholas. We decided to meet back at Amy's apartment.

However, when I went back down C St., they had opened a gate and begun to let a very small amount of people through an opening the size of two door ways. Since there was a crowd of literally thousands trying to squeeze through this entry, the crowd would surge everytime someone would get through, packing us all in tighter and tighter. At this point, I had no choice but to stay with the crowd. I could not move my arms much less turn around.

Far from being happy that I was getting closer and closer to an entrance, I started to panic as the pressure from all sides increased. Luckily, the people around me were calm and patient and tried to talk to me and keep me calm. It was just so terrifying to feel the pressure increasing, especially around my stomach, and I couldn't help but feel like I had put myself and my baby in a really risky situation.

I finally got through the gate to a near empy security screening area. I called Nicholas, who had gotten back to Amy's, and basically burst into tears. I didn't want to be there - not by myself - and I hated so much that Nicholas was missing it. I tried really hard to be positive and think that I could tell my daughter she was there. As the ceremony started, I just tried to focus on the moment. I was close enough I could actually see Obama on the podium, which was pretty amazing, and I did enjoy witnessing the event and hearing his speech.

Looking back, I realize now that compared to some other ticketholders Nicholas and I were pretty lucky. We hadn't spent our hard earned money traveling from far away. Plus, we both actually got to hear the speech live unlike so many others who got trapped outside the entry or in the tunnel. Nicholas says that at the end of the day we both saw the ceremony the way we wanted. I wanted to be there and he wanted to be on the couch.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A preview of my Inauguration post

I sent this to the Post:
4:46 p.m.: I had tickets to the purple North Standing section. My husband got in line at 6:30 and shuffled far back into the D street tunnel. I tried to join him at 8:30 a.m. and became stuck in the 1st St./C St./Louisiana corridor by Jones Day. When they opened the gates, I got stuck in the crush of people which got tighter and tighter as the crowd pushed their way towards the entrance. I am five months pregnant and the experience was completely terrifying…

Which is posted on their website here.

Week 22

So, this week we went back for our follow-up sonogram. As I posted before, they got the pictures of the heart they wanted no problem this time, which was very reassuring. The technician was about to wrap and leave the room when I requested one more gender confirmation. I had been paranoid since last week that they would tell me it was a boy. However, she found the gender and proclaimed it a girl with no hesitation. So, let the pink purchasing begin in earnest!

I also had my monthly appointment with my midwife this week. Everything seems right on track. She listened to the babies heart rate and measured my fundal height for the first time. She also took some blood to test my thyroid because I've had a pretty high resting heart rate lately. I'm pretty sure that's because (as I've been insisting to Nicholas daily) being pregnant is hard work!!!

We had a very fun date night Saturday night. We went out to see Adele at the 9:30 club, which was really great. We sat next to a lovely couple at dinner who have two daughters. They seemed a little traumatized by their teenage daughter's journey through adolescence, but they did offer some great advice. The best part was their youngest daughter's name is Sylvia, which we really like and immediately got added to the list.

As far as the concert, I'm a big fan of Adele and she was just as amazing in person as I had hoped. Although it was the first time I felt really old at a concert, which was kind of a bummer. She's only 20 and it really came through at times when she was chatting with the crowd. The funniest thing was at one point she's discussing her appearance on Saturday Night Live and how she got to meet Tina Fey. She described her as a "real nutter" and you could feel the confusion spreading through the crowd. Adele goes on to describe how she tried to avoid her but couldn't and how she was so glad we didn't "let her in." At this point, we all realize she's talking about Sarah Palin NOT Tiny Fey. I tell you it was a real relief for the hipster crowd who worships the crown Ms. Fey walks on. ;)

On Sunday, we had our lovely neighbors Laura and Danny over for pancakes. Afterwards, we all headed out to the big Inaugural concert together. We clearly waited way too long to get there and they shut down the entrances not soon after we got there. We ended up on the hill by the Washington Monument watching about half the concert on the JumboTrons, until we gave up and came home to watch from the comfort of our sofa!

Two Downs:
1. My congestion is getting really bad and with the dryness my nasal passages are pretty pitiful.
2. I'm exhausted with staying hydrated and maintaining good nutrition. There is so much pressure and guilt.

Two Ups:
1. I loved seeing my baby girl up on that screen again.
2. We got another great find on Craigslist - this time new in box!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sweetest baby ever

Baby Girl Holland
Originally uploaded by SarahorNicholas

We had our follow up sonogram today. They go the pictures of the heart they wanted and assured us that everything is 100% perfect.

Also, for anyone secretly hoping the universe would throw me a curve ball, I got one more confirmation that it is in fact a girl. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Week 21

So, this was a big week. We found out that our precious baby is a baby girl! I immediately bought the most darling little dress but have pretty much resisted baby girl clothes otherwise. We also purchased a Graco Playard off Craigslist for a very reasonable price.

We went away for a mini-babymoon over the weekend because we had our kitchen floor painted and I had to escape the fumes. We went out to a hotel in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Our room had a big bathtub for two, which was fantastic. We just spent the weekend relaxing - going to dinner, talking about the baby and baby names, and just generally enjoying each other's company. It was really wonderful.

Two Downs:
1. My stomach feels super-tight and crowded. I know this will only get worse and I'm trying not to think about it too much.
2. I started getting a sore throat on Saturday that has yet to go away.

Two Ups:
1. Nicholas felt the baby move for the very first time! It was so exciting and his smile was priceless.
2. Did I mention we're having a girl? ;)

Monday, January 05, 2009


Celebrating Baby Girl Holland
Originally uploaded by SarahorNicholas

Me: So, are you worried about being outnumbered?
Nicholas: I'm already outnumbered. One to one is outnumbered with you Sarah.

Was there ever any doubt?

Today was the big day! We had our first sonogram, where they look at all major organs and make sure everything is normal. We also found out the sex of the baby, but I know you all want a full narrative before the big reveal!

We had a student do the majority of the screen. She showed us the legs, toes, arms, and hands. Then she found the kidneys and stomach. She had a lot of trouble getting a perfect picture of the heart because Baby wasn't being cooperative AT ALL. She said she had an idea of the gender but the cord was between the legs so she was going to call in the main technician.

The main tech came in and was much more comfortable and seemed to get everything she was looking for. Towards the end, she says, "You don't want to know the sex?" and I reply loudly, "Ummmm...NO!" So she stars looking and she says the baby is not in the best position. I start getting nervous. Then, "It's a girl!"

Me: "Yeah!"

So I was super-excited when the doctor finally came in. She piddled around for a minute and said she also wasn't perfectly happy with the picture of all four chambers of the heart. She said she couldn't say 100% that everything was normal so she wanted us to come in next week. It was a little bit of a bummer but I had already figured they'd make us come back for something and Nicholas looked it up online and it seems pretty normal.

So, yeah!!!! Who's excited about a baby girl?!?! Nicholas and I are having pink cupcakes tonight in celebration. :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Week 20

Nicholas and I both had a great week back home in Kentucky. We spent the weekend at the Lake celebrating the holidays with the Allen and Skidmore families. We had such a blast eating my grandmother's specialties of lasagna and cinnamon rolls. (My cousin suggested she open a restaurant serving only these two items.) We played rousing games of Monopoly and Dirty Santa. We basically just enjoyed each other's company.

I basically spent the rest of our time in Paducah trying to pull my mother and husband away from the Wii. On New Year's Eve, we drove to Louisville to celebrate with several of our college friends. First, we had dinner with Annie and Kyle, which was wonderful as usual. Then, we went to Tim and Emily's for a great party packed with familiar faces from our time at Transylvania.

We drove home on New Year's Day and I have to say Nicholas's suggestion that we have the last couple days home to settle before returning to work was an excellent one. We've just been working around the house and going to movies and it's been fantastic. We saw The Wrestler Friday night and Frost/Nixon last night. Both were excellent and I'd recommend either.

Of course, tomorrow is the real big day because we go to our first ultrasound and will hopefully post the happy news that our baby is healthy. I'll also tell you the sex if you're really, really lucky. ;)

Two Downs:
1. I can't take any more gender speculation. I'm at the end of my rope with people taunting me that it will be boy or with one person saying the way I'm carrying means it's a girl and another saying it's definitely a boy. I'm just over the whole thing.
2. The sleepy rib continues and it's driving me crazy.

Two Ups:
1. My mom and grandmother both had me near tears with gifts for the baby. My grandmother found a little stuffed duck that looks just like the "Gaga" I carried around as a baby. If that wasn't enough, my mother found an exact replica of my childhood baby doll Baby Beth on ebay. I really was touched that they went out of their way to find such sentimental gifts.
2. Did I mention that we find out the sex tomorrow!?!?!?!?