Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Little Too Close to Home

Do any of you watch Downton Abbey on PBS? It is in its third season but I am a newcomer to the show and I absolutely love it! My coworker gave me the first 2 seasons to watch on DVD over Christmas break and I couldn't get through them fast enough. Season 3 started this month and it has been as good as ever, until this last episode.

NOTE: If you have not seen the latest episode or are wanting to catch up on the series, do NOT read ahead. I am about to explain a major point in the plot.

The basis of the series is following a Lord and his family in England during in the early 20th century. Half of the series is from the family's perspective and half is from the servants' - the maids, butlers and cooks that work at the manor.

As I was watching the last episode, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The youngest of three daughters was pregnant and went into labor at the manor. Two doctors were there taking care of her - one that she had seen since she was a baby and who lived in their village and one that was a doctor to the royals. Once she was in active labor, the "hometown" doc realized there was a problem but the "royal" doc said there wasn't. The hometown said she had developed eclampsia and needed to deliver in a hospital immediately via C-section, not in the home like she was planning. The royal doc said there was nothing to prove that and suggested she stay at the manor. They fought over it and the Lord sided with the "royal" doc and Sybil gave birth to a healthy baby girl at Downton Abbey.

All seemed well and everybody was happy... until in the middle of the night when Sybil started having seizures and DIED. She died of eclampsia - exactly what the hometown doc had suggested.

As most of you know, my cousin died due to complications of childbirth that began with pre-eclampsia. I had no idea what was happening in the episode until it was over and I just sat there and stared at the TV. That episode hit way, way too close to home.

Just like one of Sybil's doctors ignored her symptoms and would not conduct a C-section, the doctors at Parkhill Women's Clinic did the same thing to my beautiful Leah.  She had severe pre-elampisa and let her go through hours and hours of labor, not ever preforming a C-section. I could not believe how similar the stories were and I CANNOT believe doctor's have been ignoring these signs for more than 100 years and it still happens in today's modern world.

I say all this to reemphasize the importance of choosing a doctor for any condition, not just pregnancy. I think about Leah all the time and constantly wonder what life would be like if she was still - if only one of those doctors made a different/smarter decision.

I find comfort in knowing that Leah and my mom in heaven already know what our little P-Nut is and is looking after him or her throughout this pregnancy. P-Nut is blessed to have some amazing guardian angels.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why We Are Not Finding Out The Sex

Yesterday we had another prenatal appointment and got to hear the heartbeat again - 161. Last appointment it was 160 so it is pretty consistent. I have only gained about 3 pounds so far, which worries me a bit. I asked the doctor about it and she just told me to eat more snacks. I feel like I am eating all day now but I will add a few more calories to the mix. Don't get me wrong, I won't mind not gaining the 50 pregnancy pounds, I just want to make sure P-Nut is growing like he or she should.

At our appointment we scheduled the 20-week ultrasound. Wahoo!! I am so excited for a couple of reasons:
  1. We get to see a picture of our precious baby again (haven't seen him or her since 8 weeks) and
  2. It is only 2 weeks between appointments this time, not 4 like usual. Two weeks after the ultrasound we go back for another prenatal. Which means we basically get 3 appts in one week rather than just one. 
I bet you were thinking I was going to say "because we get to find out if it is a boy or girl." Wrong! Hehe. As you might have heard, we are not finding out the sex of the baby. I wanted to take the time to explain why we are doing this because it is baffling to some people :)

Every time somebody asks me when we get to find out the sex and I tell them we aren't, they look at me like I am crazy and immediately say: "YOU, of all people, aren't finding out?" If you know me well, you know I am the planner of all planners, Type A to a T and don't feel my life is in order if everything is not organized, labeled and stored properly. 

I always have plans, I always have lists and I always want to feel prepared. But for some reason, this is the one thing in my life I am not worried about planning. Odd I know! Don't get me wrong - I am researching and learning everything about this pregnancy and planning for everything AFTER the baby arrives, but I just don't feel like this one part needs any planning. Even if I knew what I was going to have, I wouldn't do a pink or blue nursery - it would have always been neutral. Plus gender-specific clothes can be bought after the birth. Maybe this will make me buy the things that are necessary and not just cute outfits all the time. 

As a kid, the one thing I knew for sure that I "wanted to be when I grew up" was a mom. It took me a while to find a career path I thought I might be good at but I always knew having a family was my first priority. And as long as I have known that, I have also known that I didn't want to find out the sex of the baby. I never thought I would find out before. I absolutely love surprises! Any kind of surprise, small or large, gets me excited and giddy and this might be the biggest surprise of a lifetime so why not take advantage? This might be something that we never get to do again and I think it will make the birth moment even more special and thrilling. So far, all I can imagine about that day is Ryan walking into the waiting room - where I am sure we will have dozen of family members waiting - and pronouncing "It's a ____!" 

And if you are wondering, my husband is also a planner and it took a little convincing before he agreed not to find out. He knows how to make me happy.

Now, after saying all that, I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other. Ryan has said a girl from day one. Today I am agreeing with him but that is probably because we can agree on 100s of boys names but not a single girls name. 

After taking a gender predictor "test" it said our baby is 53% likely to be a girl. That's sure helpful! The symptoms that I am experiencing  below support both sexes:

  • heart rate above 140
  • craving sweets (not salty snacks)
  • craving fruits
  • face breakouts 
  • colder feet than normal
  • no nausea starting in the 2nd trimester
  • growing chest
  • husband has a brother, not a sister

As you can see - it is basically split down the middle between girl and boy. And of course we would be ecstatic with either. I feel like I know boys better but if we have a girl, she will have Ryan wrapped around her little finger for eternity, not to mention her grandpas and uncles. 

Sooo...that is my reasoning for not finding out the sex - I love the suspense, excitement and surprise and am throwing all planning out the window. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am taking it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Telling the Grandparents

We were so excited to share our baby news with the grandparents that we filmed both announcements.

As you know, we decided to tell them by wrapping up a onesie that read "Baby Pettigrew, July 2013."

We had planned on telling everybody the Monday night, after our first ultra sound (Nov. 26) but those plans changed. Ryan's dad had to be admitted to UAMS for treatment so they were off to Little Rock and then we found out my dear Papa passed away on that Sunday so my family was heading to Memphis on Monday. Ryan and I went the next day because of our appointment.

Anyway, we thought the baby news would be a much welcomed joyous celebration. On the way back from Memphis we stopped by Little Rock to "drop in and say hi." Ryan's parents had been down there for a month so we tried to visit a few times. When we got there, we said we had an early Christmas present for them....

We loved Kathy's reaction! She just kept screaming. Then we looked back over at Jerry, Ryan's dad, and he was crying, then of course I started crying. It was a wonderful moment and one I will never forget.

That weekend, my mom and dad came back from Memphis. It had been a rough week for us all but we were all so proud of mom for her strength. We told them that we wanted to come over and "check in on them...."

Dad got it right away and it took mom a second. I love how excited Daddy got. After we turned the camera off, mom sat down and started crying, like it actually sank it.

Both sets of grandparents have been DYING for their first grand baby and have been giving NOT so subtle hints. We SHOCKED both of them which was awesome to do. They both immediately asked "Was this planned?"

Telling our parents for the first time that we are expecting a baby is one of the coolest things we have ever done. It's like a gift we got to give them that only we can. We were also relieved to finally have somebody to talk to about it. It had been about 9 weeks since that first positive test.

Ryan and I "fight" over who has the best parents all the time. We were so lucky to be blessed with 4 people we can look up to and admire and who love us unconditionally. This little baby is so lucky to have these people as grandparents and even luckier that he/she has a 3rd grandparent in heaven who gets to watch over him or her daily. We can't wait to see how P-Nut changes their world!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Happy Birthday to one of the two best brothers in the whole wide world. I love you JD and so proud of you! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Couples Wedding shower 2011

Smith Family Beach Trip 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To Clarify....

So I wanted to clarify something that I have already gotten flak over from yesterday's post from a few people.

I am by no means going to be one of those girls that calls herself FAT for 9 months or can't stand her pregnant body. I have a feeling I will love how my body changes, and how my appearance will as well.

My self-consciousness is not about the beautiful growing baby bump, it is that anytime anybody sees me now, their eyes go directly to my mid section. That would make anybody uncomfortable I think. Just awkward.

I have never been one to torture myself about my appearance. Yes, I am not a huge fan of my nose and yes as a teen I was very aware of how tall I was,  but I have never thought I was fat or extremely overweight or ugly, etc. As everybody has told me and as I am beginning to find out, my height is my biggest advantage, like it always has been.

So to put everybody at ease and to redeem myself, I am not afraid of getting "fat"  - in fact, I am looking forward to it :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

17 Weeks

Today marks 17 weeks for P-Nut. This week the baby is the size of an onion and he/she now has completely unique fingerprints! That is pretty cool!

Last week I thought I felt movement but now I am not so sure because I haven't felt anything since. I was putting the stretch mark cream on my belly (does that stuff even work?) and when I was looking down I thought I saw my belly move in a weird way - like just on one side. Now I am thinking it was just me breathing (duh Meredith). I put my hand on that spot and thought I felt movement but again, who knows. The Doc said it would really be noticeable starting around weeks 19 and 20. I can't wait until I know for sure it was P-Nut.

I signed us up for our child birthing class this week. March 30 will be a day-long marathon of everything we need to know about the birthing process- or so we hope. The only thing I know about these classes is from the movies. It should be interesting  There is another class offered called "Baby Basics and Breastfeeding" that I am contemplating taking as well. I am one of those people that wants to be extra prepared - or as prepared as I can be.

Speaking of breastfeeding - it is amazing how many people want to share those stories with me. Yes I do plan on breastfeeding but no I do NOT want to hear your horror stories of bloody nipples and public feedings and no I really don't want to discuss my decisions with you. That is something I think is pretty private but others don't. I am sure I will feel differently after the fact but right now, I will keep those things to myself, thanks.

Another thing I have discovered about myself is that I love that I am beginning to show more but the moment somebody points out my baby bump or ask if I am showing I immediately get embarrassed and I have no idea why. I don't like a lot of attention and I think I am a pretty self-conscious person in general so that might be the reason but it is still a paradox for me.

I am working out again which is good for P-Nut but I never have and never will enjoy working out. It is not fun for me and the high after last only a few minutes and then I am over it.

I have started planning out the nursery as well. More on that to come later. Our next OB appointment is a week from today when we get to hear P-Nut's little heartbeat again. Can't wait!

I leave you with more belly shots. And yes I know how creepy it is to take pictures of yourself in the office bathroom but this is a special circumstance and for some reason I can NEVER remember to do it at home.

Side Note: Maternity dress pants are my absolute new best friend! They are so comfortable to wear. Why aren't "normal" people pants made with elastic waist bands?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Throwing up the Delta

Ok, am I so far removed from college that all of a sudden Tri Deltas everywhere are throwing up the Delta in a new way? Apparently it is now your pointer and middle finger used, back in our day it was the pointer and thumb. I am so confused! Why the change? Was our way not cool enough? This picture is of the 2 Miss America contestants who are Deltas: Miss Wyoming and Miss Oklahoma, who by the way BOTH made the top 5! No other sorority can boast that! Anyway, current Deltas, please help - is this the new standard?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Arkansas Loves Our Dogs!

Did you hear the "breaking" news yesterday? Arkansas outranks ANY other state in the country when it comes to dogs. We own the most dogs at 47.9% of all households having at least one furry K-9 friend according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. This doesn't really surprise me at all. Does it you?

So in honor of our esteem ranking, I wanted to share some pics of our pooches. They have been our babies for years and we have no doubt they will do amazing when the human baby arrives. Layla will go into full mother mode and want to protect the little one with all her might. Tackle will be interested and be as loving to P-Nut as he is to me. We got lucky with these two. 


Monday, January 14, 2013

A Pettigrew, A Prince or Princess and a.... Rapper?

It is going to be a busy month in July 2013 for new babies across the world! The most of important is, of course, Baby Pettigrew. I guess the second most important is the new Prince or Princess of England. Prince William and Duchess Kate are expecting and due in July as well.

Let's pause for a moment and does anybody remember this post? Yes, Kate was also wedding planning at the same time I was and now we will be pregnant at the same time and possibly even have the babies close together. I think they secretly want to be just like us. It is exciting that our babies will be close in age, especially if they are both girls.

The second "famous" couple to have a baby in July is Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Kayne is of course a rapper and Kim is....well....famous for some reason but not sure what it is. I have to admit, she can be pretty entertaining to watch on TV but needless to say, we would rather share birth dates with the royals of England and NOT the royals of reality TV.

We have also been finding out a few of our friends and acquaintances are having babies in July. I think its going to be a great month all around!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

15 Weeks and Growing

P-nut and I are 15 weeks now and both are continuing to grow! P-nut is the size of a naval orange and his/her body parts are starting to become proportionate. Funny thing I learned this week - the baby has developed a fur - yes a fur. A small layer of hair is growing all over the baby to keep it warm in the womb. Supposedly I will begin to feel kicks between 16 and 20 weeks, most likely closer to 20. I can't wait for that moment - I think I will finally feel like there is a tiny human growing inside me!

As far as mommy, I am growing too. I can still fit in most of my "normal" clothes but some are getting quite uncomfortable. For instance, yesterday I wore a skirt to work and around lunch time I unzipped it halfway and untucked my shirt. Classy I know but i couldn't handle it anymore! That skirt won't be worn again for at least 7 months.

I finally broke down and bought 2 pairs of maternity dress pants since that is what I am wearing most often now. On many people's advice, I tried the belly band but that thing was more uncomfortable to me than the pants. I bet that will change once I start getting bigger but for now, I just rather have elastic waistbands. I also had to make a trip to Victoria's Secret. Let's just say if my boobs are this big now, I can't imagine what they will be in 6 months. Yikes!

I have no more nausea and am starting to gain more energy. I am going back to the gym tonight for the first time in 3 months. Shameful. But I don't know how any pregnant woman can workout during the first trimester, if I wasn't feeling like I was going to throw up all the time then I was so exhausted I couldn't even get up off the couch, much less exert any kind of physical activity. I know how important it is to stay active not only for P-nut but also for me. Coach has agreed to be my personal trainer again for 1-2 days a week (with a modified pregnancy workout) and then I will go to my gym the other days. Wish me luck!

Most of the days you can't tell I am pregnant but today's outfit shows the tiny bump off just a tad so I thought I would share with you. Happy 15 weeks to us!