Just a little ray of sunshine

Just a little ray of sunshine

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A typical day spent with you

I fully plan on doing monthly posts for Maeve and will go back and touch on highlights from months one, two, and three but before I do that I wanted to write my little sunshine a little letter about our day today. Just a little glimpse into what life is like in the present with her.

My Dearest sweet little Maeve,

I will probably always call you my little Maeve, but really you are getting SO big! I love it and don't really love it at the same time. I look at you sometimes and wonder where my tiny baby went, but I love seeing you grow and show more personality every day. It just gets more and more fun. This morning you woke up at 7am after sleeping 9 solid hours in your crib (for the second time) and your momma couldn't be more proud of you! You flashed me the biggest smile when you saw me peek over your crib and pick you up. I melt a little bit every time you flash me that sweet smile when you see me. I can promise you it will never get old!

As I was feeding you, your breathing sounded a little wheezy a couple of times. This isn't completely out of character for you, but it still made me a concerned momma for a few minutes because you haven't made that wheezy sound for a long time. I put you back in your crib for you to catch a little more sleep and said a little prayer that I would know if something was wrong, because my world would just not be the same if something bad happened to you. I did a little google search, checked on you a couple of times and when you seemed fine, I felt okay again to go back to sleep myself. You have been my greatest priority since day one!

When you woke up a few hours later, we finished making pancakes together for breakfast. You really wanted some, but settled for some of momma's milk instead. Pancakes aren't quite in your diet yet unfortunately. I laid you down on your play mat so that I could eat my breakfast. You love your play mat these days because you've made good friends your stuffed octopus that hangs down in front of your face. We like to call him Oggie the Octopus. You are quite fond of him. I know this because you stare at him often, like to touch him, and sometimes even try to eat him. Unfortunately, octopus isn't quite in your diet yet either. I turned on the TV to watch a little bit of Boy Meets World while eating breakfast and noticed your eyes wandering to the TV. After a few minutes I turned your play mat towards me so you could look at me instead. I might be a little paranoid about your exposure to any screens while you are so little. Don't get me wrong, I know Boy Meets World is a great show, but I only want what is best for you of course. Someday I know you'll love it just as much as your momma.

We enjoyed some fun play time together after I finished eating. You were dancing around in my lap, showing off all sorts of tricks, and flashing that smile the entire time. You even giggled a few times and made me smile real big. I just love your little giggles. I sat there having so much fun with you and started to think about how you spend nearly all of your time with me. It hit me that just as much as you and your daddy are my everything, we are also your everything. It will always be that way, and I hope when you are more capable of comprehending things that you will feel in your heart that we mean the world to you just like you mean the world to us. As I had these thoughts I got a little teary eyed because that's what moms do. I hope we can give you the best little life.

You went down for another nap since you still sleep quite a bit. I got to do the daily pick up of the house and shower before you woke up again and flashed me another smile. I fed you in your rocking chair, which we spend a lot of time in together. When you were finished eating, you let me know your belly was satisfied, but you also let me know very quickly and clearly that you did not want to be on your back for more than 2 seconds. You were blessed with a really good pair of lungs from day one and you're not afraid to cry with everything in you when you are just a little bit uncomfortable. You're sort of my little diva, but I'm okay with it. You really prefer to be upright after you eat, so I quickly fixed the problem and you were very quickly okay again. Although you go from 0 to 100 in a couple of seconds, you also go from 100 back to 0 in a matter of seconds often too, and that makes me happy. Some music was on and as I changed your diaper I sang to you. This made you smile because you just LOVE music. Whether momma is making it, daddy is making it, or music is just playing you love it all. It soothes you on a regular basis when you're sad, but also just makes you happy in general so we listen to lots of music. As I was changing your diaper, I quickly put vaseline on you after wiping your little bum because I wanted to secure your new diaper on you before you might decide to pee some more. These days every now and then you enjoy peeing when your lady parts are free during diaper changes. Silly little thing. Luckily for me, we were in the clear this time.

As I sit here writing, you've been getting reacquainted with Oggie the Octopus and chirping like a little bird. Oggie must have hurt your feelings, because soon you weren't loving him anymore and have since been content in your swing. Quickly, you will grow out of your swing and I think that will make you sad. You have loved your little swing.

I'm certain that the rest of our day will continue on in similar fashion. We will enjoy more smiles and giggles with each other, you'll sleep some more, and probably have a good poop at some point. Daddy will get home and you'll be so happy to see him and have some fun with him too. You may get a little grumpy in the evening and start thinking to yourself, "but really why do I have to sleep so much?!" -- I will convince you that it's good for you and you will eventually drift off for the night.

I took these pictures of you today. They show how silly you are and that you think you're getting pretty big. I just love them.

These are our days as of late, little one. And they sure are fun and sweet with you around. I am trying to cherish every single day and every little moment because I know each day will continue to bring new things and our adventures will change as you change. I look forward to it all. Just know that you have my whole heart and always will. I love you to the moon and back!

With love,
Your Momma

That makes three.

The most beautiful creature I've ever seen made her grand debut and made us a family of three 5 weeks ago (um, actually 3 1/2 months ago now, oops - I wrote this in June and never added the pictures until now). Here I am blogging about her birth story and what led up to it. I might be biased, but I'm not so sure, because seriously look at that face!

Maeve Elizabeth McKarns
Born May 7th, 2015 at 7:33am
8 lbs. 4.5 oz. and 20 inches long
In one word: perfection.

So miss Maeve was a stubborn little thing in Momma's belly. I really wanted to go into labor on my own, but during the final weeks of pregnancy I started to have this feeling that she just wasn't going to budge for me. It made me a little sad, but I got uncomfortable enough at the end that I was just ready to meet her however it had to happen! There was still a part of me though that felt like she was going to stay in my belly forever, that I couldn't actually have a baby and become a mom. I mean, that's just too plain crazy.

Just shy of 38 weeks, I woke up in the morning feeling some wetness down there -- I'd heard that sometimes your water breaking isn't a total gush but can just be a little leaking so I wasn't really sure what to think. I shrugged it off thinking it was probably nothing, but then later in the day thought I should maybe just ask my mom what she thought. She told me I should just call the doctor and see what they say. The nurse there told me I should have called immediately that morning (oops) because it's always better to play it safe when it could be amniotic fluid leaking. So I ended up having to go to labor and delivery that afternoon to see if it was the real deal or not - sorta bugged me because I had always wanted to go to the hospital just once when I really knew I was having the baby and wouldn't get turned away. But at least I wasn't really going in under the impression that I was in labor. It was more just to make sure I wasn't, which made me feel a little better. When I got there it was strange hearing a nurse say that if the test to see if my water had broken came back positive I'd be staying and having my baby that day. Say what?! I was mildly freaking out while laying in the hospital bed waiting to get the results. I couldn't have this baby girl without my mom there yet and without insurance for the babe! I texted Adam to tell him what was going on. He seemed so calm, but later when I told him that the results came back negative he replied "Phew, I was really freaking out there for a few minutes" - ha.

At my 38 week appointment my new OB wanted me to do an ultrasound. He was a little confused on what my due date should be based on the information he got from my previous OB so I think he just wanted to see himself how she looked and get his own measurements. I was really excited for this ultrasound because I thought since she was so close to being fully cooked I would actually think she looked like a baby and be able to tell what I was looking at! News flash: wrong. The technician actually said that the bigger they got the even harder it is to distinguish what you are looking at because they're taking up so much more space in the amniotic sac. Sad day. Once again, I could barely tell what body parts I was seeing. Anywho, at the end she told me that everything looked great but that based on the measurements their best estimate was that baby girl was already 7 lbs. 14 oz., making her estimated arrival date April 29th instead. When my doc saw those measurements he told me he was nervous that she was already as big as she was given how small I am. He checked me and unfortunately my cervix was still completely closed. So he told me that at my appointment the following week if I wasn't dilating at all, we'd talk options.

I was so hoping that I would dilate on my own, but also still wanted to make it till May 1st without having her so our insurance would kick in that covered the baby as well so we wouldn't pay an arm and a leg having her. I also didn't want a huge baby. My emotions and thoughts were a bit all over the place to say the least.

April 28th rolled around and I went to the doctor. He checked me and still nothing had changed. Baby girl was holding on. He decided that if I didn't go into labor on my own before May 6th, then he wanted me to come in for another ultrasound and see how her fluid levels and weight looked and decide what to do from there. No signs of anything and May 1st had arrived. My mom had arrived at this point and the insurance had kicked in and I was ready to do whatever I could to go into labor on my own! I started walking lots up and down the stairs outside of our apartment, dancing, jumping in place and tried eating some spicy food that I could handle. I would say that I had a few painful contractions before May 6th rolled around, but they never became consistent. Chica just wanted to plump up.

So alas, I showed up to the doctor's office on May 6th at 1:30pm to do another ultrasound. Fluid levels were normal and she was now measuring 8 lbs. 4 oz. -- he went to check me and I was just waiting to hear the lovely words "you're dilated to a 2!" but sadly he told me I had only dilated maybe a fingertip. It was pretty clear to him I probably wasn't going to go into labor on my own at this point and baby girl was only getting bigger. So he told me he wanted to try putting a cervadil on my cervix to soften it and help it open up. As he told me this, he said that the chances of it working were pretty slim, maybe a 20% chance. Then he said that if it only helped a little bit then they would put me on pitocin and even that might do nothing... and if so, then he'd have to do a c-section on me. The LAST thing I wanted to have to do was a c-section so hearing this was worrying me a bit, but I figured it'd be what it would be and I'd survive. He wanted me to go to labor and delivery around 4pm.

I told Adam to come home from work, we put a few more things in our hospital bags, and off we went. They admitted me, asked me a million questions, and then at 5pm my doctor arrived to put the cervadil patch on. It was quite uncomfortable if I do say so myself, pretty sure he was digging up clear to my esophagus, but that's besides the point. What really matters is that after he was finished and said unsure of himself, "we'll see if this works and I'll see you in the morning" and then left, the nurses were telling me that all of his patients ALWAYS go into labor immediately when he inserts the cervadil. They were laughing saying he always will downplay how effective it can be, even though his ability to correctly insert that thing was better than anyone else they'd ever seen around. From what I was gathering, he was considered a cervadil guru of sorts by all of the labor and delivery nurses. Suddenly I was feeling much more hopeful. Sure enough, by 6pm I was having regular contractions, around 4 minutes apart. I was eating my already ordered liquid diet (and hating it because up to that point I still felt like my complete normal self wishing I could have more than chicken broth, jello, and juice for dinner) and watching an episode of Married at First Sight. My contractions quickly became even more consistent and painful and continuing to watch my show went out the window. I couldn't focus on anything when the contractions came on and had to shut my eyes and grit my teeth. They very quickly started happening 2 minutes apart. I started to think for sure that things were going to happen quicker than my doctor thought because there was no way in heaven I could have contractions like this through the night and into the morning. I had to be dilating! I had the nurse check me probably around 7:30 or 8pm and she said I still was just barely open more than a fingertip. I felt so discouraged and wanted to cry because of the pain I was already in and felt that had to be impossible. She could tell I was already in a lot of pain and put two different medications in my IV. BIG mistake. Within one second, I had the strangest sensation come over my whole body and I felt incredibly weird. For a second I thought I might be having an allergic reaction, but I guess the medication is supposed to help by making you feel loopy and drowsy. Well lets just say my eyes started looking really weird to Adam, I couldn't focus and felt incredibly out of it. It was as if I was in a dream world but then with each contraction was very much there still and felt the pain just as intensely. Needless to say, I will never be accepting any other form of pain management during labor besides an epidural with my future children. Long story short, 7pm to 10:30pm was basically torturous between the pain, loopiness, and peeing every 10 minutes (I was really regretting the liquid food at that point) and I finally told Adam I couldn't do it anymore through tears and told him I had to have the epidural. I could not wait any longer or else I was certain that I would lose my mind! Sounds dramatic, but in those moments, I honestly felt that way, like my body could not handle anymore of it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you that epidurals are heaven sent. I was not scared for a second for them to put it in because I knew for certain it wouldn't come close to hurting as much as the contractions and I needed relief from that. Sure enough, I hardly felt the needle going in, which was good since they had to put it in twice since it didn't go in correctly the first time. I didn't care one bit because within minutes I was on cloud nine. I could finally breathe again, felt like myself, and if I saw the man that gave me the epidural again I probably would give him a large sum of money and tell him that he's the reason I am having more children! Okay, I probably still would have had more anyway because Maeve is just too stinking cute, but anyway... things got even better because the nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 2! Booyah. I tried to get some sleep and did drift for a little bit but then started feeling really hot. The nurse ended up telling me I had a fever and bless Adam's heart for getting cool rags for me and switching them out regularly, so I could stay as cool as possible. At 1am, I got checked again and was dilated to a 5! I was thrilled with the quick progress. By 2:40am, I was dilated to a 7 and lost my mucus plug. The nurse couldn't believe how quickly it was all happening and she thought maybe she'd still be on shift when I had the baby at this rate! Around 6am, I had dilated to an 8-9 and they let my doctor know to come. At 7am he arrived and couldn't really believe it all, but broke my water since it still hadn't broken on its own and then told me it was time to push. I pushed for about 25 minutes and after 3 or 4 sets of pushes and an episiotomy, our beautiful baby girl came at 7:33am. After her head had come out, the rest of her body came out so quickly that I could completely tell she had made it, but I couldn't hear her crying yet. Right as I said to Adam, "she's not crying, why isn't she crying??" she let out her first cry and the tears just started flowing from my eyes too. I will never forget that moment. Never. It was incredible. They put her on my chest and I just couldn't believe she was mine. I was in awe as she already looked so clean, so perfect, so alert, and so beautiful.

She never left our sight for the rest of our hospital stay (which was short, they let us leave the next day at 4pm) and although we maybe only got 4 hours of sleep total in a 48 hr. period, I didn't care one bit because I just wanted to stare at her and take in each and every moment. Here are some pictures from our stay leading up to going home with her.

She's ours. And always will be. Our lives have changed for the better because of her. How grateful I am for that! We love our sweet little Maeve Elizabeth more than she will ever know.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

So long Utah, it's been nice.

Adam and I have some BIG news. After a lot of uncertainty, a ton of searching and applying on Adam's part, MANY prayers, and my belly only growing bigger all the while -- Adam has officially accepted an offer at the HDR office in Dallas, Texas doing GIS work. Yep.

We're moving to Texas.  

As I can probably guess your first question... "No way! When?? After the baby comes?"

Actually, March 25th. That would be in 12 days. 

Your next question is probably something along the lines of "Wow, are you crazy?" 

Yes, yes we are. Also excited and relieved - does that count for more?

We knew we wanted to try and get out of Utah and move closer to the east coast (where both of our families are) after Adam graduated in December and originally were hoping the move would occur closer to January so I wouldn't be quite so pregnant and could get established with a new doctor wherever we ended up (which we were hoping the most might be Kentucky or North Carolina - I have sibs in both places and Adam's family lives a few hours away from where my sister is in Kentucky). But, ya know, it's not always easy finding and landing that first job out of school exactly where you want to be.

There was one opportunity that would have put us in North Carolina and been really cool that was in the works during January and February but just didn't quite pan out and it took forever to hear back on every level possible which left us a bit frustrated and just hoping and praying that more opportunities for interviews would come along. About mid February we started to get a little skeptical and wondered if getting out of Utah before having our baby could even really happen... and we decided it would probably be good to give ourselves a deadline. We decided the end of March would probably have to be our cut off, which is about a month before my due date. Driving across the country to move to a new place would probably be a bit too crazy with any less than a month left in my pregnancy -- heaven forbid I go into labor in the middle of nowhere during our drive. Which of course could happen with a month left, but much less likely.

I started getting questions from some friends and other people on where I'd be delivering my baby. When I'd answer "oh ya know... if I'm still here in Provo, just at Provo UVRMC, but if I'm not... then wherever I am" and they'd pretty much look at me like I was crazy and that I should already know something like that and be settled at 7 months pregnant. I started a prenatal class last Tuesday and even at the beginning of that class the instructor wanted to know where I'd be delivering. When I answered the same way she said "......oh?....well lets hope you figure that out soon" - in other words, "you're a lunatic for not already having pre-registered at a hospital being 31 weeks pregnant"

I'm sure some people had thoughts like "if you don't know yet or haven't heard anything yet, I bet it's safe to say you're still going to be in Utah" -- which we knew was a definite possibility but still did all we could and patiently waited to see if something might fall into place just before the end of March. And lo and behold, Adam was extended an offer on Monday of this week and after praying about it and going to the temple, we feel good about it and that it is what's right for us! He accepted the offer today. His job will start April 5th, which is pretty perfect considering that my last prenatal class is March 24th and him getting the offer when he did allowed us to put in just perfectly two weeks notices at our current jobs. Also, it will give us about a week together to find a place to live, get our stuff unpacked, and start looking for some furniture before he is tied down to work.

Did we think we'd ever end up in Texas? No, not really.
Did we think we'd be moving just 6 weeks before our little miss makes her debut in this world? No, not really.
Are we feeling really blessed that it still worked out according to our timetable and really excited for a new adventure? Yes, 100%!

It really is bittersweet thinking about the last almost 8 years (can't even believe that) I have lived here in Provo, starting all the way back to freshman year at BYU. From my college years, to getting married, to being in the working world for a couple of years, there are SO many memories in this place that I will always hold close and never forget. Although it will be sad, I am so excited to close the door on this chapter of my life and open a new door to life as a mommy in a brand new place that ironically I have never even stepped foot in despite all the traveling I've done throughout my life.

With that, wish us luck that our preparations to leave will go smoothly in the next 12 days and that this 34 week preggo lady (at that point in time) will survive the move!!

Texas, here we come!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How the little jellybean inside of me came to be

Hey... hey remember me? It's been over a year. But it's still me. Except that now I can say I'm officially horrible at blogging and I can also say that I'm 7 months pregnant. Yep, that's right...

There's a baby in my belly. 
A mini McKarns if you will. 
A mini FEMALE McKarns. 

Pretty soon I'm going to be one of those mommy bloggers that posts cute pics of her kiddo and only talks about her kiddo. Which I'm sure you don't really believe because with my track record after this post goes up it will be a year and a half before another one shows up. I wouldn't believe me either. I guess we'll see. So how did I get pregnant you ask? Well, if you really need an explanation... I mean... just kidding. But I'm really finally writing this post because I knew years down the road I'd want to remember my journey of getting pregnant for the first time and how my pregnancy went. So if you don't care to know the little hairy deets, feel free to skip to the lovely pictures of me getting fat! In a cute, miraculous way of course... at least that's what we all like to think when we of the female population find ourselves pregnant and growing a nice round ball of baby above our pants. 

So I've pretty much wanted to be a mom ever since I was born. Yep. But the smart side of me knew it would probably be best to at least wait until I was married to act on that wish. And if I could have, I would have popped out a honeymoon baby once I sealed the deal with Adam a little over two years ago. But again, the smarter side of me knew it would make a little more financial sense to wait until Adam was done with school to have a baby since I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. So since he was finishing school in December of 2014 and we all know how long it takes to bake a baby from start to finish, we anxiously awaited the month of May to get the party started. 

And then May came... and May went. No eggo.
June came... and June went. No eggo.
July came... and July went. STILL no eggo. 
But August! August came... and little eggo decided to form. 

My precious little eggo - after all the sadness, tears, painfully slow waiting, and uncertainty that consumed those 4 months (side note: I know 4 months in the long run is really actually NOTHING and so many people struggle for years to get pregnant... and now I have the strongest empathy for them because really those 4 months were still so hard for me! I can't imagine having to wait any longer and really feel for those that women that do - you are rockstars!) I had finally gotten what I wanted. 

My cousin had taken a video of her and her hubby finding out together if they were preggo by looking down at her pregnancy test and I just loved that they found out such big, life-changing news together. So I decided that I wanted to do the same with Adam and include him instead of telling him after the fact. In May, my period started on time so we didn't even get to the point of taking the video But in June, I decided to take an early test since we were going to see my family... and well, let me tell you that you feel pretty stupid starting the video in the airport while you're waiting to get picked up by family thinking it will be a perfect opportunity to share such great news with them in person ...and you both end up looking down at the test to see just one line. And you realize there will be no exciting news to share so you stop the video. And trust me, you feel even more stupid when you are actually a WEEK late and so sure that you're bound to see that little plus sign that you have it all planned out. You'll take the test on a Saturday morning so you don't have to worry about hurrying off to work and then your sweet hubby decides to get up early and go pick up your favorite donuts for breakfast and some flowers, thinking it will be this grand special occasion that you never want to forget. But you start the video that time.... and still see one line. Yep, you do feel even more stupid and start to wonder why you ever thought it would be a good idea to get your reaction on video. And the water works flow! When August rolled around, I was so over it and so doubtful that I didn't even really have a plan except that I knew I would just go ahead and take a pregnancy test if I was even one day late, just so that I could take the test, get another no, and move on yet again. Because waiting a week to take the test like I did in July... oooh boy that was a loooong week. And I had nothing to show for it in the end. So on August 21st, I woke up by myself - thought for a second that maybe I should at least wake up Adam just in case - but then thought "yeah right" so I let him sleep and actually saw the little plus sign all on my own in our bathroom. I covered my mouth and couldn't believe it. I started to cry and all I could think to do was to just run back next to our bed and wake Adam up by saying "honey, we did it! We did it!" In his groggy state he was confused as to what "we did it" even meant and then I showed him the test and he just smiled and said "oh good honey!" Poor boy was still so out of it. So although it wasn't a glamorous reveal with both of us actually conscious enough and together in the moment... that was how we found out that morning. And although I'm a little bummed we don't have a video with our reactions, it's just nice to think that it happened the way that it did because our situation was unique to only us. It's our story and to know that it's ours and only ours is enough for me. :) And I'll still always remember that that's how it all happened! And I'll smile when I look at this beautiful picture of us that we took that morning, looking our finest of course, after we both realized we were really going to be parents. 

Such raw emotion. 

Up until that point I thought once I got pregnant, I could just check that one off the list. No more worries, no more waiting. I had accomplished what I needed to. Right? Wrong. It later hit me that day that I had to wait 3 months to even TELL anyone besides my immediate family and honestly to make sure our mini McKarns was actually here to stay. And then when that first trimester felt like an eternity, I realized how long pregnancy really is and how long it would be until we actually could hold our little sweet babe in our arms. And of course, hope that along the way everything went smoothly and she stayed healthy so that that day would really come. 

So here I am now, 7 months preggo and honestly can tell you that it feels like it's been ten years since that day we found out there was a baby in my belly. And I still have 2 1/2 months left. Two weeks ago I said hello to the third trimester. Bring it on third trimester! It feels more and more real everyday (probably since I feel her kung fu moves more and more everyday) and for the most part, the ride has been pretty smooth. Here are some things I want to remember thus far from my pregnancy:

First Trimester - Things were great for the first few weeks and I didn't feel any different at all really. I was downing tons of fruits and vegetables all day long and getting all of my folate from natural food sources. Little miss was being treated like a queen. Then one weekend, I decided to make some hummus. I even photographed it. And I even enjoyed it while I was eating it. Then the next day I thought about that hummus and nearly gagged. And then I couldn't get it out of my mind. Thoughts of hummus haunted me and I was constantly feeling sick at the thought, just thinking about the taste. I started to wonder why I ever made the stupid hummus and wanted to burn the pictures that I took of it. And then it was all downhill from there. Many of my beloved vegetables -- asparagus, broccoli (THE SMELL), bell peppers, spinach -- all started to sound incredibly gross. And beans - eww. I started to wonder how I was ever able to eat vegan 5 days out of the week. So for me, I wasn't having many cravings really, it was mostly just about those food aversions. I normally love cilantro and then poor Adam made something with a little too much cilantro once and it ruined it for me. I could only eat a few bites without wanting to gag. I grocery shopped on a daily basis because I could only make healthy things that sounded good right then. And unfortunately, sometimes I ended up eating those things and halfway through realized that I needed to stop eating them or else I probably would have thrown up. I had a few breakdowns along the way because it was just so frustrating that I knew I had to eat regularly enough to keep from feeling sick, but hardly anything sounded good EVER. I tried to eat as healthy as I could, but was sick of choking foods down, so probably around 8 weeks I decided to just eat what sounded good and kinda pushed my vegan mentality aside. I was a little sad that it had come to that, but I was soooo much happier once I started to introduce dairy and meat again into my diet. Through the rest of the first trimester, the hummus still haunted me from time to time and I had to eat every two hours to keep the nausea at bay (translation: snacked on lots of saltines) but otherwise it really wasn't too bad. And I am grateful for that!! If you ask me now how my first trimester was I will tell you it was pretty much a piece of cake. ;)

Second Trimester - once I hit 14 weeks, I was on the top of the world! I started showing a little bit around 15 weeks and pretty much all the nausea subsided completely. I was loving it because I started to feel like there was a really a baby growing inside of me AND I was feeling great! Win win! The only complaints I had from time to time were:
1. Really bad round ligament pain (I only experienced this one night really badly at 18 weeks and then mildly a few other times that week... kinda random. Ironically I also felt her kick for the first time driving home from work the day that that pain was horrible - which made me smile in the midst of the pain!)
2. Leg cramps some evenings
3. Feeling faint if I ever got too hot, my clothes felt too tight, or I got too hungry
4. Congestion (Picture this: its at its worst and I fail to blow my nose before swishing my mouthwash at night before bed and I'm expected to basically hold my breath for an entire minute because breathing through my nose is pretty much out of the question - so I'm nearly hyperventilating trying to get in any air through my nose at all possible trying so hard to last the entire minute. Then Adam walks into the room and wonders why it sounds like a lawn mower is going off in the bathroom and makes me laugh, spitting out the mouthwash prematurely. Probably has happened 10 times.)
But honestly, most of the time, I felt totally normal and enjoyed seeing my baby girl grow and feeling her move more and more! For the first week, her movements really startled me and I wasn't totally loving it (made me feel a little guilty) but then I got used to it and now I love feeling her move all around. It was sweet because Adam got lucky enough to feel her move for the first time just a few days after I felt her for the first time. It was so cute seeing his face light up when he felt her little kick. At 23 weeks, I started to see her movements from the outside of my belly which was really fun and to this day still makes me laugh sometimes. It really can look so funny.

Now that I'm in my third trimester, I've started to experience acid reflux a little bit more and sometimes it wakes me up in the middle of the night and I have to prop myself up for a bit. I just took my glucose test this week and found out that I passed with flying colors, although my iron levels are low. I'm not surprised though because lately I always want to eat ice (which I knew was a sign of low iron) and not to mention it probably also explains me feeling faint off and on throughout each week. But hey, I am just grateful that all I have to do is incorporate more iron into my diet and it should fix the problem and I'm grateful I don't have gestational diabetes!

And just so you know, your hormones really are pretty out of whack when you are pregnant. Like for instance, the time that Adam said something that made me laugh so hard and I thought it was so sweet that he can always make me laugh so hard that I immediately started to cry happy tears right after! Needless to say, he was at a loss of words in that moment. And then that other time that I felt completely fine but for some reason he thought I looked sad and asked me why I was sad, to which I replied "I'm not" and then started crying. Yeah, true story. These things happen(ed). Turns out, I might be the baby after all, not her.

Now for some pictures/videos. We all know that's really the best part of any blog post.

Here is us the morning we found out, in all our morning glory looking quite fine. I really do love this picture though.

We made this video about a week after we found out and sent it to our immediate families to share the news with them.

Just before I hit 13 weeks, we told my cousins at our annual cousin Halloween party. Adam was taking a picture of all of us cousins and after he took a couple good ones, he said "okay okay, just one more" and then took this video to reveal the news:

I am so glad we got all of their reactions. It's actually really funny if you watch it enough times to focus on everyone individually, because you realize that a few of them literally do not react at all, a few have pretty delayed reactions... and then there is Jen who just freaks out! Ha love her! And don't ask me why I'm nodding my head so awkwardly over and over because I have absolutely no idea.

Our dear friends the Morcos were then kind enough to do a little photoshoot for us so that we could reveal the news to the Facebook world. We had made these shirts to wear to our ward Halloween party as baseball players! Here's one of the photos we got that day.

When we went on a trip to Tennessee with my family in October, we happened to see this on the wall so naturally we had to take a couple pictures next to it. :)

Just getting some practice in with my newest nephew Zach... this will be us in just a few short months holding our own baby, except of course we'll be holding a girl, not a boy. And I just have to add that one could maybe believe that Zach was my baby but definitely not Adam's. He's got Whitmore in him for sure, but there ain't no McKarns in there anywhere!

We found out our sweet babe was a girl at 20 weeks and were literally shocked. We along with pretty much everyone else were convinced it was going to be a boy. So much for mother's intuition! Promise I'll still take care of ya, baby girl.

Proof that she's a girl (notice the arrow pointing to her parts):

We found out just before going to my house for Christmas, so we decided to make the reveal in person with them. Prior to that though, it just so happened that we had a ward Christmas party and I had a work Christmas party so I decided to make gender reveal cupcakes with what are supposed to look like question marks on the top and they had pink frosting in the middle to reveal it to all of them.

We bought pink silly string to spray my nephews to tell my family once we got to Connecticut. Here is the video of it:

Unfortunately, it ended up looking more white than pink, hence the somewhat delayed reactions... caused a little confusion, but oh well! What can you do! As you can see, they were pretty shocked. Just to illustrate how convinced they were that it was a boy, my brother had sent me a thank you card for his birthday present in September and he addressed it to "Meg, Adam, & male fetus" -- oops, sorry little missie. ;) We really are all happy that you are a girl, we promise!

And then later we took these photos to reveal the gender to the Facebook world on Christmas Day.

The first baby clothing purchase I made was these cute little ruffle bum leggings. I don't really like how they look so huge in the picture with both Adam and I, because I promise you they really are so tiny!

And now for the series of bump pictures we have taken so far:

Until I put all these up on here one after the other, I didn't realize that we ended up switching sides starting at 24 weeks... oops! We'll have to switch back to how it was before at 28 weeks. Which we actually did already take those photos, but I'm going to save that one for the next post.

I just have to post this gem too (which took a lot of convincing on my part) because this is the kind of picture I get first of Adam when I tell him it's time to take our biweekly baby bump photos...

He's crazy! And I love him for it. He hates this photo, but of course he's pushing out what he's got! He's just jealous of my bump. I'm pretty sure if our little miss (or Missy Higgins as he likes to call her - which evolved from little miss) comes out anything like him at all we're going to have a sassy, silly girl on our hands. :) And I sure hope that is what we get.

Oh and one other very crucial piece of information... maternity tights are the best thing since sliced bread and maternity garments are the worst thing since sliced bread. Those are facts. 

Hurry up little girl! Get here fast so that your mom can put an end to getting weepy in the car while driving to and from work just thinking about your greatly anticipated arrival. ;)