December 1, 2010

Uff Da!

So, today when I told my OB Nurse Practitioner that I wished pregnancy only lasted 8 months instead of 9, she explained that technically, pregnancy lasts 10 months. Don't I know it! I feel like I've been pregnant for 7 years. The last month is by far the worst...I don't care who you are. And to all of those women who talk about how fabulous pregnancy was and how it was the best they ever felt...I think you are all a bunch of dirty liars (Grandma T!). My back hurts, my feet are swollen beyond recognition (thank goodness for a mild Denver winter which allows me to keep wearing my flip flops), and now I have carpal tunnel in both hands. Carpal tunnel is all fun and games until you unwittingly drop your hairdryer on your foot because you can't gauge how tight you're grasping it. I know I know...the real pain has yet to begin and once it's over I'll forget all about it. We'll see about that!

The 36 week appointment was a success! The quick ultrasound confirmed what I already knew: Baby Girl Helgerahn's head is banging relentlessly on my pelvis. She is head first and ready to go. I got a quick peek at her heart and saw four little chambers beating like crazy. The NP said baby girl looks "perfect" (Thad already knocked on wood after hearing that...but if you feel the need to knock on wood as well...please do so!). Check out the little lady's fingernails...she's going to need a mani as soon as she is born:

Based on all of the measurements and lack of contractions, we're on schedule for a late December birth. That isn't going to stop us from wishing and hoping for an earlier delivery. Thad is already scoping out the speed bumps in the neighborhood for us to drive over and I'm looking for good deals on castor oil and hot sauce. It's all good...we're considered "full term" on December 4th!

I had my final baby shower at work on November 30th. It was fantastic! Baked Potato bar and chili potluck...YUM! My co-workers were far too generous. The baby's room is pretty well stocked at this point. Just need a few odds and ends...but if she was born today, we would be A-OK (hint hint little one)! I wanted to share photos of the nursery, but it's a little chaotic right now. We're waiting on the crib delivery, I have yet to finish up the decor, and I need to do some last minute laundry (see below):

I had washed, folded, and put away all of the little girl's towels and washcloths not realizing that I had created the perfect kitty-cave. Oh Dieter Kitty...we're going to have to keep a close eye on you!!

We've got some big, exciting changes on the horizon! Thanks to Thad's work bonus...we are going to upgrade the electric in our house! When we bought this house, we knew it did not meet the electric code. We were not concerned because the defect allowed us to negotiate a lower sale price and Thad's brother is an we knew we would be able to upgrade the electric eventually. I don't know all of specifics about how much electrical power we need versus how much we actually have; but what I do know is that we can't run the clothes dryer and the microwave at the same time...we can't run the bathroom fan, the iron, and my hair dryer at the same time...we can't vacuum and use the oven at the same time...etc. December 13th is the big day! In true family camaraderie, Thad's brother is going to do the upgrade for cost (with Thad working as the labor). I'm over the moon with joy! I will be able to run a space heater when needed...we are going to inherit a deep freeze from some friends to put in the garage...and best of all...there is talk of an automatic garage door opener in my future!!! Could this be the best Christmas ever?? It definitely has potential!

And the moment you've all been waiting 36 week belly shot. I'm not what you would call a "smiler", but rest assured, I am not unhappy...just very very enormous and very very uncomfortable:

And finally, here is a message I sent to Baby Girl Helgerahn during a moment of procrastination:

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Now bring on Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa!!

November 2, 2010

32 Weeks? No Problem!

Seriously...I could keep this up for another 32 weeks. The lower back pain...the swollen ankles...the constant need to pee...the heartburn (I LOVE TUMS)...the obnoxious weight's pure joy day after day! But in all honesty, this pregnancy has been a breeze compared to the nightmares I hear about from other women. I have yet to barf; my blood pressure has remained stable; the babe appears healthy and active; and that crazy low-lying placenta has migrated 3 centimeters away from the cervix and has found a much safer spot to rest in my uterus (how do you like that triple icky word whammy...placenta-cervix-uterus...BAM!).

On Friday, we had a 32 week ultrasound. While the radiologist was waving her magic wand, we asked to see Baby Girl's face. Since the ultrasound was not intended for anything other than checking the position of the placenta (see above paragraph for the results), we were warned that the image might not be entirely clear. Truer words have never been spoken. Below is a photo of our little lady:

No one could really tell what they were looking at when we showed them the ultrasound photo (including us at first) to make things easier, I utilized my spectacular photoshop skills to indicate where the eyes, nose, and mouth are:

Below are the 32 week belly shots. The first photo is hilarious! I believe Thad's response was, "Is that a missile in your belly?". Having a short torso is a blast! There's only one direction for the ever-growing baby to go, and that's out! Steer clear if you see me walking towards belly doubles as a weapon!

Halloween weekend was amazing! Grandma T and Grandpa Aaron drove out from Wisconsin for a quick visit. They packed up the car with all of the gifts from the September Wisco baby shower and hit the road. As some of you might know, the drive from Soldiers Grove to Denver is breathtaking. What's more beautiful than Nebraska via I-80? They were real troopers to make that drive twice in 4 days.

On Saturday, my cousin Megan hosted a baby shower for me at the City Park Golf Course. It was a wonderful gathering of my Denver friends and family...and there were cupcakes (Thanks Lizzie)! Below is a photo of me with three of my old co-workers from Community Reach Center - Lenora, Heather, and Shelly. I miss that job and all of the fabulous people I worked with!

And here are the fabulously delicious cupcakes...the majority of which were eaten by me (because I was forced at gunpoint to take them home after the shower):

Grandma T and I were able to arrange and organize Baby Girl Helgerahn's room over the weekend. This included washing, drying, folding, and putting away approximately 4 tons of baby clothes. The amount of clothes this child has already is overwhelming. Fortunately, I work next door to a women and children's homeless once the little lady outgrows her most adorable attire, we will happily donate them to the future little ladies at the Father Ed Judy House.

So now we find ourselves with only 8 weeks to go. A close approaching due date is stressful in general...when that due date is Christmas Day, the stress doubles. Not only are we reminded constantly that Baby Girl Helgerahn will be here soon, but we are reminded constantly that Christmas will be here soon as well (54 days away...oy ve!). Maybe she'll be a Hanukkah baby instead?

Hey Baby Girl Helgerahn, are you ready to meet your parents? Don't be'll get used to us!

October 3, 2010


And we're back! A lot has happened in the past four weeks! The basement carpet has been installed. A whirlwind trip to Wisconsin for a fun-packed weekend with friends and family. The baby's room is finally painted (three painful coats later). And we sold the futon (probably the biggest news of all)! Oh the sacrifices parents make. We really loved that our lifetime it has served as our couch, our guest bed, Thad's recovery bed after his ACL surgery, the cat's hangout, a place to pile crap on, etc. But, we need to make room for the little lady's arrival...which means some things have got to go. But I digress...

For those of you on pins and needles about the status of our basement...fret no more! The carpet has been installed! We are thoroughly enjoying the smell (or lack thereof) of the new and improved manland! And I am enjoying that all of the basement furniture has been moved out of the garage and back where it belongs.

The trip back to Wisconsin was fabulous and full! I (Kate) celebrated with several classmates at my 15 year class reunion on Saturday and then celebrated even more with friends and family at my baby shower on Sunday. The baby shower was to die for! Hosted by the Helgerson aunties (Mary, Maureen, and Patti), it was held at The Roth House in Soldiers Grove...a spectacular bed and breakfast that you MUST check out if you're ever in the area. Below is a photo of the Roth House and a photo of Uncle Tom's gift to Baby Girl Helgerahn (Thad was thrilled):

I finally found the motivation to paint the baby's room! I was partially unmotivated because of the large futon taking up valuable space and making it impossible to move a ladder around...but once the futon was sold, I was still unmotivated. I wasn't inspired until after the baby shower in Wisconsin. Having received an unnecessarily large amount of sweet baby gear from my beyond-generous family and friends, it was clear to me that there would need to be a place to put all of the gear once it made it's way to Colorado. So, I picked up the brush and the roller and got to work.

Here's a funny story about lime green's impossible (and yes, I used primer). One coat...not a chance. Two coats (fingers crossed) Go back to Home Depot and buy another gallon of lime green paint. Three coats...well, it's much better than two coats and the chances of me climbing up and down the ladder for a fourth coat were out of the question. So three coats it is! And to make it even more sassy...we decided to paint the closet hot pink! Just in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Check out Baby Girl's sweet digs:

We still have some work to do...but the foundation has been established.

And finally, the belly shot. I didn't take special belly shots this week because I've been covered in paint. Below is a very special photo of my friend Angie and I at our class reunion. We have been friends for an eternity (which translates to approximately 28 years). She is also pregnant...due on December 3rd. By the looks of this photo, I must be secretly due in early November...or Thad and I are having twins but the doctor hasn't realized it yet. Pregnancy sure is tricky!!

September 6, 2010

Happy "Labor" Day!!

Fortunately for us, there will be no "labor" this Labor Day, unless you count all of the labor we will be doing in the dreaded basement. It's the project that seemingly never ends...except that the virtual end is in sight, finally! Thad and his brother spent several days ripping up 800 square feet of carpet and even more square feet of ridiculously stubborn tile. And for the past few weeks I have been priming and painting every single stinky room in anticipation of the big event...NEW CARPET!!! Fingers crossed that the carpet installation scheduled for September 8th goes off without a hitch (am I jinxing it??? Probably.).

And a Happy 24 Weeks to Baby Helgerahn. As you can see from the look on my face, I am none too impressed with my ever-growing belly (and ever-growing lower half in general). We've also included a full-frontal for your viewing pleasure. My goal of wearing the same shirt for all of my belly-shots is clearly a pipe dream because there isn't much stretch left!

In pregnancy news, things are relatively normal. During the 20 week ultrasound, it was determined that I have a low-lying placenta. As it turns out, the word placenta either makes you uncomfortable or it doesn't. I didn't realize this until I started discussing my "condition" with co-workers, friends, and family. So without going into great detail (you can Google it if you're curious), and to avoid using even more icky words (like cervix), let's just say that the "Big P" should be higher up than it currently is. According to my OB/GYN, 15% of women have such a condition at 20 weeks...but only 0.5% of those women still have the condition at 32 weeks. What does this mean for us? It means we get another sneak-peek at Baby Helgerahn via an ultrasound in 8 weeks! If the "Big P" hasn't shifted by then, well, I guess I won't get to wear all of those halter tops and belly shirts that I have been looking forward to (Thank you, C-Section). The odds are on our side, however. I will likely get to experience hours and hours and hours of the discomfort and pain associated with natural childbirth.

August 8, 2010

We've Reached the Halfway Point!!

20 Weeks and Counting. The belly just keeps growing and growing. Depending on the time of day, it's even bigger than this.

Baby Girl Helgerahn has started to move....or rather, I have finally started to feel her move. I imagine she's been moving all along.

I have a strange feeling that the next 20 weeks are going to go faster than we are prepared for...

August 2, 2010

Baby Girl Helgerahn?

Say "Hello" to our little friend.
Baby? Maybe. Skeletor from Masters of the Universe? Definitely.

For those of you who aren't in the-know, the above photo clearly proves we are having a girl. Yeah, we're not sure either. Something about "three lines" and the absence of testicles and voila...we are the future parents of a daughter. This is yet another area where we just take the professional's word for it.

So there you have it. Baby Helgerahn is a girl...or at the very least, one of the musicians from the cantina in the first Star Wars movie, according to Thad (see below and judge for yourself).

July 14, 2010

There's a Baby in There!

Okay, so here it is. The 16 week pregnant belly! Unfortunately, for the untrained eye, I look more like I'm letting myself go than I look pregnant...but all my lady friends assure me that I will look pregnant enough in good time. The big news around here is that NONE of my pants fit me anymore. Not one pair. The local Goodwill employees and I are on a first name basis these days!

In other news, the exciting basement carpet plans have been pushed back by a month due to some unforeseen subfloor issues. Boo! Good things come to those who wait...or so I've been told. Patience has never been one of my strong suits!

July 3, 2010

The Newest Addition!

Since we're still in the early stages of Baby Helgerahn, there really isn't much to share. I thought about posting a belly photo, but I'm not ready to take that leap just yet. Soon...I promise.

Instead, I would like to take this time to thank Baby Helgerahn for the new carpet we are installing in the basement! It has been two long years of bravely enduring the "smelly basement" (that's what I call it...clever, right?). There is only so much Carpet Fresh, Febreze, and Glade Plug-Ins a basement can endure. We were delighted to see that underneath the stink carpet is the shabby-chic red and white tile that adorns our laundry area. The retro look will help get me through the end of the month while we wait for the big installation day.

New carpet in the basement opens up a whole new world for me. Look out Thad..."Man Land" might slowly turn into "Lady Land". Now where did I put those pink pillows?

P.S. We won't turn down any valid offers of help for furniture moving or carpet removal. Call for more details. =^..^=

June 19, 2010

It's Official!

On May 12, 2010, we saw the first image of Baby Helgerahn. The nurse practitioner assured us that the blob in the photo above is, in fact, a baby. Being the non-medical folks that we are, we took her word for it.

On June 18th the reality of Baby Helgerahn became even more apparent with the sound of a very strong and very healthy which I responded, "Yay Baby!". The OB/GYN naturally thought I was hilarious. Apparently the wee-one is a mover and a shaker, because the doc had to chase around the heartbeat with her magical doppler instrument. We better start getting into shape because it looks like we'll be chasing this one around from day one.

We're looking forward to August 13th when all of our most pressing questions will be answered. Is it a boy? Or is it a girl? Feel free to make your bets!