Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Week 17: The BLESSED Week -- 1.6.12 - 1.12.12


***FYI:  There has been some confusion about how far along in the pregnancy I am due to the way I format my post titles.  Week 17 is the 17th week of my pregnancy but it starts at 16w 1d and goes through 16w 7d.    So it may seem like I am a week ahead of myself.  Okay, hopefully that is clear.

***I haven't had a poll on this blog for a while but I wanted to give it a try again for fun!  I need a little fun in my life right now!  Please take it -- just takes a click.  It is on the right hand side of the blog.  It is about baby girls hair color.  I'm picturing red with curls but we will see!

I am calling week 17 the "BLESSED" week because even though it started out pretty cruddy, I've realized that Mike and I are truly blessed in many ways, but especially in the relationships we have made with the most giving and gracious individuals.  Some who barely know us at all!  We've had so many people offer to help us with food, cleaning, grocery shopping, taking Eli for a few hours and most importantly, in prayer!  It really has given me a renewed outlook on how truly WONDERFUL human beings are!  Thank you to everyone who has offered help and pray -- it touches our hearts in a way I can't put into words!

I want to write a special paragraph to specifically mention my parents.  They have literally taken shifts at my house each and everyday so that I can rest.  It has been a great fortune to Mike and I and of course baby girl.  Eli really loves them and I feel comfortable sitting/laying around knowing he is with them.  My mom has done this all week with an upper respiratory infection!  She's a walking blessing!  They have also brought over many lunches and dinners for us to enjoy.  I have no idea how I would be coping with out their ongoing help!  That being said, I know Mike's parents would do everything they could if they weren't 1,500 miles away.  They have been a great emotional support for him and I.

Eli having fun with my pops!
We are all cheering you on little girl!  Cook, baby cook!

Quick SCH Update

Last Saturday night I started to cramp really bad and went to bed early.  I woke up to blood, but this time it was more brownish.  From all the research I had done, I knew this was fairly normal and could actually be a good sign that your body is trying to drain out the clot.  Plus, brown means old -- which could mean that the bleed I was having has stopped.  See -- research isn't all bad!!  I've continued to bleed (brown) all week. With the bleeding comes these annoying cramps; sometimes pretty uncomfortable, sometimes non-existent.  I guess it is my uterus contracting to open my cervix and let the blood out.  (I know way to much about female anatomy now).  Anyways, I did call my doctor who said I didn't need to do anything about it unless it was bright red, filling a pad an hour, or had cramps to the point of being crouched over in pain.  Haven't had this.  I've asked women in an SCH support group on FB (yes, FB has a group for everyone!) how long their brown bleeds have lasted and few said up to TWO months!  :(  No one likes to see blood when they are pregnant, even if it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Baby Milestones this Week: Baby's skeleton is hardening, changing from rubbery cartilage to bone, and fat is finally accumulating around it. The umbilical card is getting thicker and stronger, and her little fingers and toes are now topped by one-of-a-kind prints.

Best Moment of the Week:  On Friday, my mom and I went to breakfast and took Eli to Music with Mar.  It was SO good to get. out. of. the. house!  Of course, my mom helped Eli in and out of the car and I was sitting most of the time we were out.  And, she did all of the activities with Eli at music class.  They had a really good time and it made me happy to see Eli having fun with other kiddos his age!

Obsessions of the Week: Listening to baby girl's heart beat on our newly-borrowed at-home doppler!  Shout out to Carrie Wilke and friend for lending it to me!  During my 15 and 16th week I thought I was feeling baby quite a bit but this week it has really slowed down.  So I looked into buying a doppler.  Then, I had a wonderful idea.  I asked if anyone had one they would lend to me on a FB group for moms in my neighborhood and sure enough, within a few hours Carrie said her friend would lend me hers!  We were able to see and hear her HB right away thumping at 150ish bpm! Mike likes to find the heart beat -- it is pretty cute.

Symptoms this Week: Bloody gums.  I have some serious gum issues during pregnancy and they have roared their ugly head this week!  My dentist even gave me prescription strength mouth wash and still they are bleeding.  It is spontaneous too not just when I am brushing away, all of the sudden -- out of no where -- bloody mouth.  People would think I've been hanging out with the Cullens!  Ha!

Epiphany this Week:  Bed Rest SUCKS!  I feel so bad for anyone who is stuck in bed for any reason for a moderate to long duration of time!  You feel like life is living with out you and there is nothing you can do about it.  Praying for those people right now.

Last Baby's 17th Week Epiphany (written 4.10.11):    :):):)
This baby could be a boy.  In fact, there is a 50% chance.  When people have asked if we are going to find out the gender I always say yes and then tell them why.  Because if it is going to be a boy I need to give myself some time to cope with the idea of a "him."  I know this sounds really bad but ever since I was a young girl I've always dreamed of having baby girls.  All my dolls were girls and the one doll I had that was a boy (My buddy Doll) I changed into a girl!  However, lately, I think the Lord has been preparing my heart for a boy.  It is weird but the idea of having a boy has become more and more appealing to me the last couple of weeks.  Maybe it is just because I would love to see Mike with a son, or because my poor dad was stuck with all girls and I'd like to see him play with a grandson -- I don't know.  All I know is that I am flirting with the idea more and more.  We'll know in less the four weeks!  

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Week: Having an appointment with the Perinatologist on the 17th (Thurs) and getting lots of questions answered.  Hoping and praying that the blood clot has greatly reduced in size or -- even better -- disappeared!  Wouldn't that be a miracle?  Sheepishly, I admit that I'm a little worried that the doctor will say -- so you are having a boy!  We were only 14w 5d when we had our other u/s.  That is still really early to tell the gender...  I know this worry seems so minuscule when you think about what we've been going through.  And, it is.  But, I've been thinking of pig tails and bows and dresses and ruffles a whole lot lately and I just don't want to be disappointed if it is a boy.  If she grows a penis between now and Thursday -- Lord, will you prepare my heart like you did last time?   

What is different this time around? Last time around it was early spring and I was looking forward to taking Sammie for walks after school.  This time I'm stuck in bed or the couch.  It sucks!  I want to be up moving, stretching, maintaining my muscle strength -- but no, instead, I am withering away on the couch.  The only thing that makes it worth it is knowing that it is helping me keep this baby girl growing strong inside my womb!  I guess when you look at it that way there isn't much to complain about!  

Oh, and I get to be pregnant with Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian?!?!  As well as my childhood best friend, TWO college room mates, several church friends, and blogger friends -- something is in the water people!

Week 17 Belly Pics:
I look six months pregnant!  Don't be fooled, it isn't all baby -- there is definitely some chub under there!

Last time around...
With much love and gratitude,

Ali Stephens


  1. You're such a neat person, Ali! I love reading about your adventures!!

  2. Awe, thanks Shara! Can't wait until baby Lainey arrives! Any day now!