8 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

Today you are 8 weeks old. Or I am 8 weeks pregnant. Whichever. This last week has gone incredibly fast. I am thankful for that! We go back to the doctor in less than 2 weeks. It was snowy and icy here this week. I was getting out of the truck and fell on the ice in our driveway. I was scared, but thankfully I halfway caught myself on the running boards and just knocked my elbow and tailbone pretty hard. It could have been much worse! Everyday you are changing so much, and it is exciting to think about how much you've grown and developed already!

We started emptying out the office in our house so that you will have a room when you arrive! Your daddy worked really hard on it last weekend, and I think we'll have it completely empty after this weekend! Until next week, keep doin' what you're doin', and I'll do my absolute best to keep you safe and healthy!

Love, Mommy

P.S. I forgot to write earlier that I have had several doctors tell me I would probably never be able to have children. You are such a blessing and our little miracle. After almost a year, you have made us the happiest people ever. We have planned and planned for you and tried and tried, and now that it's finally here, we couldn't be more happy or feel more blessed. You will forever know how badly we have wanted you and how long we have tried and waited on you. You are our miracle and I thank God each and every day that He sent you to us.

How your baby's growing:
New this week: Webbed fingers and toes are poking out from your baby's hands and feet, his eyelids practically cover his eyes, breathing tubes extend from his throat to the branches of his developing lungs, and his "tail" is just about gone. In his brain, nerve cells are branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways. You may be daydreaming about your baby as one sex or the other, but the external genitals still haven't developed enough to reveal whether you're having a boy or a girl. Either way, your baby — about the size of a kidney bean — is constantly moving and shifting, though you still can't feel it.


7 Weeks

I wrote this last week, but forgot to post it here!

Dear Baby G,

This week I went to the doctor for the first time. Your daddy, me, and my mom all got to see your heartbeat and hear it also. It was fast and strong, so keep up the good work! You looked teeny tiny on the screen, but knowing your heart was beating was wonderful news! We got a picture of you to take home, too. We have been showing it to lots of people.

I told the kids in my classes at school about you yesterday. A lot of them are excited too! You just already have so many people who are anxiously waiting for you. You will be surrounded with love no matter if it is from your family or those who are close enough to be your family. We can't wait until our next appointment to see you and hear your heartbeat again!

How your baby's growing:
The big news this week: Hands and feet are emerging from developing arms and legs — although they look more like paddles at this point than the tiny, pudgy extremities you're daydreaming about holding and tickling. Technically, your baby is still considered an embryo and has something of a small tail, which is an extension of her tailbone. The tail will disappear within a few weeks, but that's the only thing getting smaller. Your baby has doubled in size since last week and now measures half an inch long, about the size of a blueberry.If you could see inside your womb, you'd spot eyelid folds partially covering her peepers, which already have some color, as well as the tip of her nose and tiny veins beneath parchment-thin skin.

Both hemispheres of your baby's brain are growing, and her liver is churning out red blood cells until her bone marrow forms and takes over this role. She also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion. A loop in your baby's growing intestines is bulging into her umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from her tiny body.


6 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

I can't believe another week has flown by! Time is passing so quickly, but I'm not complaining! In about 4 days we will go to our new doctor for the first time. We are hoping we get to hear your heartbeat since it's about time for that! I have figured out this last week that there are a few foods that I just need to stay away from... if not, I am sick, sick, sick! I am still nauseous and tired all the time, but it makes me smile knowing the reason.

Along with the day we got married, the day we found out you were coming into our lives was one of the best days of our lives! We are all so very excited about you. Even your daddy, although he doesn't show it to me a lot, I've heard from quite a few people who say he's really excited. It melts my heart and I can't wait for you to meet him. Last night we watched videos of him when he was a little boy. He thinks it'd be fun to have a miniature Aaron, with the same personality as him when he was young. Don't tell him, but I think it would be too.

We love you with every ounce of who we are already. That love will only grow stronger each and every day.


How your baby's growing: This week's major developments: The nose, mouth, and ears that you'll spend so much time kissing in eight months are beginning to take shape. If you could see into your uterus, you'd find an oversize head and dark spots where your baby's eyes and nostrils are starting to form. His emerging ears are marked by small depressions on the sides of the head, and his arms and legs by protruding buds. His heart is beating about 100 to 160 times a minute — almost twice as fast as yours — and blood is beginning to course through his body. His intestines are developing, and the bud of tissue that will give rise to his lungs has appeared. His pituitary gland is forming, as are the rest of his brain, muscles, and bones. Right now, your baby is a quarter of an inch long, about the size of a lentil bean.


5 Weeks

Dear Baby G,

Another week down, which means another week closer to meeting you! We've endured one week of those horrible shots. Spicy foods are in high demand right now. I have been blessed with all day sickness and I'm completely exhausted!! I also started teaching this week. I'm still trying to talk your daddy into finding out if you are a boy or girl, but I don't know if that's working or not! Keep growing and holding on and I'll do all I can to protect you.

How your baby's growing:
Deep in your uterus your embryo is growing at a furious pace. At this point, he's about the size of a sesame seed, and he looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. He's now made up of three layers — the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm — which will later form all of his organs and tissues.The neural tube — from which your baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout — is starting to develop in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to his skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel.His heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, his tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form your baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue.The third layer, or endoderm, will house his lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as his thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.



God definitely answered a prayer for us today. I am taking injections of Lovenox once a day until September. These injections cost $1000 a month without insurance. We had some issues with our insurance Wednesday when we went to pick them up. However, our insurance changed yesterday to a new company, so today I went to deal with the pharmacy again. I was able to get 30 shots for $40. So instead of paying $1000 for one month, we will only have to pay $40! This is such a relief!


4 Weeks

Dear Baby G (as Alyssa has so affectionately termed you),

Your daddy and I have been anxiously awaiting this moment. We found out one week ago that we were expecting you. It has not been an easy road, and the next 34-35 weeks will probably be a little tough too. You see, I have lupus and that makes it a little more complicated to bring you into this world.

Today I took my first injection of Lovenox in my stomach. This is to protect you and keep my blood from clotting. I know I wouldn't be able to give myself a shot in the stomach if I wasn't getting you in the end. You are worth all 260 shots I will give myself by September.

You are so very loved already. There are lots of people that can not wait to meet you! I promise we will love you and care for you each and every day of your life. We can't wait until the day you arrive and we bring you home to meet all of your family and friends, and of course: Bruiser, Daisy, Charlie, and Roxie. You will be the most perfect addition to our family.


How your baby's growing:
This week marks the beginning of the embryonic period. From now until 10 weeks, all of your baby's organs will begin to develop and some will even begin to function. As a result, this is the time when she'll be most vulnerable to anything that might interfere with her development.Right now your baby is an embryo the size of a poppy seed, consisting of two layers: the epiblast and the hypoblast, from which all of her organs and body parts will develop.The primitive placenta is also made up of two layers at this point. Its cells are tunneling into the lining of your uterus, creating spaces for your blood to flow so that the developed placenta will be able to provide nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby when it starts to function at the end of this week. Also present now are the amniotic sac, which will house your baby; the amniotic fluid, which will cushion her as she grows; and the yolk sac, which produces your baby's red blood cells and helps deliver nutrients to her until the placenta has developed and is ready to take over this duty.