Tag Archives: family

The Next Chapter…

Dave and I have been keeping a little secret for the past two-and-a-half months, but last night we decided it was time to spill the beans to the world. Well, the Facebook world at least. There are some big changes coming to the Mathew household…in the form of a tiny human. That’s right, there’s a baby on the way! It goes without saying that I’m thrilled and excited for this next chapter in our lives.

Since we started spreading the news among the family, we’ve been getting a lot of the same questions. So today, I’m going to try and answer most of the things everyone wants to know after hearing the big news!

When are you due? February 18th, 2017. Side note: the “original” due date was February 9th, 2017 but it got pushed back NINE DAYS (eek!) after the first ultrasound.

So how many weeks / months along are you? At the time of this post, I am 13 weeks + 4 days. My weeks switch on Saturdays, if that helps anyone count. That also means I’m just past month #3, but please stop asking me in months because as any woman who has been pregnant will tell you….these things are never measured in months, always weeks! 

Pregnancy TestWhen did you find out? / How long have you known? We found out in the first week of June. At the time, we thought I was 5 weeks along….but it turns out I was only between 3 and 4 weeks along.


Ok, I’m going to stop and explain the “dating issue” that will keep coming up throughout this discussion. For anyone who isn’t familiar with how pregnancies are dated….they start from the first day of the last menstrual period. That means that the first two weeks are kind of “freebies” because you haven’t even ovulated or conceived yet. The medical world likes to use 28 days, or 4 weeks, as the perfect example of a menstrual cycle, with ovulation occurring smack dab in the middle at day 14 (two weeks). Look at any textbook, and that’s how a menstrual cycle is described. Talk to real women, and the vast majority will tell you that they do not have perfectly consistent 28 day cycles. Some might be longer, some might be shorter, it might vary in length for some women….it’s all different. So when pregnancies are originally dated (like, when you call your doctor’s office after figuring out you’re pregnant), they assume you have a perfect 28 day cycle to calculate how far along you are in the pregnancy. There are several problems with this, the main one being that many women (apparently myself included) don’t ovulate on day 14. For example, someone with a 30 day cycle should ovulate somewhere around day 16 rather than day 14. For this exact reason my OBGYN’s office schedules everyone for a dating ultrasound at the 8 week mark to check and make sure the dates are all correct. We went in for my ultrasound on what should have been exactly my 8 week mark and found out the pregnancy was dating at…..6 weeks + 5 days. Honestly, it was kind of a blow. Given the length of my cycles I was expecting to be maybe 2 days behind, which wouldn’t have been a big deal, but NINE days was huge, especially at that stage in the pregnancy. That’s nine extra days of waiting to get out of the period where your miscarriage risk is high. It meant that the embryo was actually closer in size to a sweet pea than a raspberry. It meant we had to “re-live” the end of week 6 and all of week 7, because we thought we had already passed those milestones. We were told that I probably just ovulated late, but it still made us worry because being 9 days behind was some seriously late ovulation. Additionally, when I got pregnant I was still on medication for my sleep disorder. It’s a medication that hasn’t been studied much in pregnancy so there isn’t a lot of data, but there have been two case reports of women who had taken the medication during their pregnancy and experienced intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). There’s no way to tell if the medication caused the IUGR, but it’s a possibility and of course we worried that was the issue. Because of that early exposure to the medication, my OBGYN set me up for a more detailed 20 week anatomy scan with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, and when their office contacted me to set up the appointment they also offered me a first trimester screening which would also include an ultrasound. I wasn’t super concerned about everything they test for in that screening, but I jumped on the opportunity to get another ultrasound to make sure everything was growing okay. We just had that appointment last week, at 12 weeks + 5 days (based on the dating from the first ultrasound), and the tech measured it around 13 weeks….which was perfectly on track with that first ultrasound measurement. So it looks like I just have a tendency to ovulate quite a bit later in my cycle than the average woman, and we’re not nearly as concerned about IUGR anymore! Phew!


Ok, back to the Q + A:

How have you been feeling? Honestly…..not fantastic. Morning sickness hit me around week 7, in the form of unrelenting all-day nausea. I guess you could say I’ve been lucky not to vomit, but there have been some very close calls. I’ve told myself over and over that pregnancy is a blessing, that the reward at the end of this is worth this period of feeling horrible, and often that makes me feel better, but there were a few moments when I flat-out HATED being pregnant. Other than morning sickness, I’ve also been hit with some overwhelming fatigue. It’s normal to be tired in the first trimester, but I’m getting the double-whammy of having to go off my medication for my sleep disorder, which means I’ve returned to zombie-like state. My new neurologist prescribed me….sleep. I was considering going back to work shortly before I got pregnant, but that’s off the table now that I need a nap almost every day, at least 10 (preferably 12) hours of sleep each night, and generally feel like my head is full of fuzz.

One of my favorite gender-neutral finds so far!
One of my favorite gender-neutral finds so far!

Are you going to find out the gender? Ugh. I wish I had an answer to this question. Originally I had no desire to find out the gender in advance and I wanted the surprise at the time of delivery. Dave hadn’t even considered not finding out, and his preference is to find out in advance. I will admit that it is becoming more and more tempting to find out because gender neutral stuff can be tough to find and isn’t even carried by some stores…and the gender neutral nursery stuff is so GRAY. Blech. I was expecting to be able to find a bunch of green stuff, but apparently green is so last year (at least according to the retailers). I’ve been trying to get Dave to make a good argument for why we should find out the gender in advance, but so far all he’s come up with is “I don’t want to be disappointed in the delivery room if it’s a girl.” If you think that’s the worst logic ever, I agree with you. Obviously Dave is team blue. I can’t decide what I want, so I’m going to be happy either way, but right now I’m feeling like it’s a girl. But hey, who knows, right? But back to the question at hand….we’re still up in the air if we’ll find out or not. I had a blood test last week that will be checking the fetal DNA for genetic disorders and will also be able to tell us the gender, and we should get the results later this week or sometime next week. We’ll have to make a decision if we want to know the gender results at that point in time, but even if we opt to not find out then change our mind later, the results will still be in the doctor’s computer system. 


I wrote a few “bump date” posts for the past few weeks, so I’m planning on posting those “en masse” in the next day or two. After that I’ll do my best to post weekly pregnancy updates on Saturdays, but I’m not promising that they’ll get posed on time each week because we’ll be on the road several times before we even hit the 20 week mark. In fact, I can almost guarantee that the upcoming 14-week post will not be going up late! 

Until later,
Ashlen

Summer Recap

Given that I dropped off the face of the planet and stopped blogging for a few months after my surgery, I missed blogging about a lot of big summer events. I’ve been debating on how to chronicle everything and catch y’all up, and I think the easiest way is to do a big ole recap post. Let’s get to it…

June

Abby’s Bridal Shower & Bachelorette

Ashlen, Niki, Abby & Katie

Abby is Dave’s cousin. They grew up in the same small town, went to the same school, etc. etc. Given that Dave is an only child, Abby and her sister Katie are the closest thing Dave has to siblings. They were in our wedding and they and their mom hosted my bridal shower. So when Abby got engaged, I knew I wanted to help out with her bridal shower. I helped host it with Dave’s mom at Wolcott House – the same place where my shower was held. It’s kind of a tradition for locals to hold sowers there and it’s easy to see why – there’s space to set up several tables, a kitchen to prepare food, space to play awesome bridal games….so pretty much everything you might need for a shower and no one has to deep clean their house and rearrange half their furniture. Continue reading Summer Recap

Family Shenanigans

For as much as I write on this blog, I don’t often share the little random things that are going on in our life. Frankly, that’s because our day to day lives are actually pretty boring. Yes, we’re building a house and that’s very exciting, but it’s not what consumes most of our time. Well, it did consume a heck of a lot of time while we were going through the selections process, but that’s done, so now it’s just approving the random little change orders that come through (or the big change orders confirming our selections). Only two parts of my day are really focused around house-building at the moment: when we go see the house in the evening and when I write about the house on the blog. So here’s a little update of the other things that are going on in our life. 

Bowling Continue reading Family Shenanigans

Labor Day Weekend Camp Out

Labor Day Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day (or Labour Day for my Canadian friends and family) weekend. We actually extended the long weekend back out a week and took a trip up to Canada to see my family. It was the first time that I had been back in over a year. I’ll post more about that trip later in the week, but we actually spent the first part of the weekend driving from northwest Ontario back to Indiana. On Friday we drove about 12 hours to Madison, Wisconsin and spent the night there. Dave happens to have a friend that lives right by the hotel where we were staying that night, and she happened to be having people over to watch the Wisconsin-LSU game on the night we were in town, so we headed over and managed to catch the last half of the game. Well, we chatted through most of the third quarter and then saw Wisconsin lose their lead in the fourth quarter. We took off from Madison on Saturday morning and headed for Dave’s parents’ land near Remington, Indiana (aka “The Pond”). We only made one quick stop at a Costco in Illinois to pick up some alcohol for the camp out before crossing back into Indiana where all alcohol sales are illegal on Sundays. 

Because of the traffic in Chicago we didn’t arrive at The Pond until 4pm, but everyone else got there around 3pm. After saying “hi” to everyone and relaxing for a bit we decided to set up our new tent. As I mentioned last week, we bought a new tent for this camp out because our friend had borrowed our tent and we were already considering upgrading to something a little larger than our old tent. I was really happy with our decision to buy the Coleman Montana 8. It did take us a little longer than our old smaller tent, but I think part of that was just because we were trying to figure out how everything went together for the very first time. I was really happy about the size of the tent, especially that we can stand up inside and that it is has much better ventilation. The “door” feature (versus a flap) is also a really nice touch. 

Coleman Montana 8 Tent Continue reading Labor Day Weekend Camp Out

Father’s Day 2014

Well, it’s Father’s Day, and just like Mother’s Day, I won’t be seeing either of my parents today (although I will be seeing my mother TOMORROW!). Dave and his dad celebrated yesterday with a round of golf. They were joined by Dave’s uncle, and it seems like everyone had a great time. The wives joined up with the men later for a steak dinner. I’ll be using FaceTime to catch up with my dad in just a little bit. Honestly, not having me around for Father’s Day is probably not too bad of a thing for my dad, because it will allow him to go and enjoy a day of fishing on the lake. Without me along, he doesn’t have to worry about me casting his favorite baits into the trees on the shoreline (which I may have done on more than one occasion…). 

I’ll let you in on a little secret about my dad. He’s a huge softy, especially when it comes to his girls. He’s surrounded by girls…not only my mom and me, but their little Mischa-dog, and of course his grand-doggy Katie. It’s a good thing Dave has entered the picture to give him some male companionship. Now that I’m out of the house, Mischa has somewhat taken my place as Daddy’s little princess. He spoils her rotten. Mischa insists on sitting on his lap every single night at the dinner table, and he obliges. He’s mastered eating around her head, and she knows that any food that’s on the plate is off limits. That said, any food that he drops or “accidentally” gets flicked off the plate is fair game. It’s a good thing my parents don’t have a lot of people over for dinner. As I said, he’s a big softy for all of his girls. 

That's my dad teaching me how to golf at age 4.
That’s my dad teaching me how to golf at age 4.

My dad has taught me a lot over the past 27 years. He was the one who first introduced me to golf. He also introduced me to fishing, but I didn’t take to that quite as well. I don’t really like touching the fish…yuck. That’s why he’s always in the pictures of me with a fish…someone has to hold my trophy! He taught me the importance of hard work. I saw how hard he worked for our family to have a comfortable lifestyle. He supported and encouraged me all through school, and believed in me at times when I didn’t believe in myself. He might have been happier than I was when I graduated with my Doctor of Pharmacy! Continue reading Father’s Day 2014

FIVE on Friday

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WE ARE PROPERTY OWNERS! YAY! We closed on our lot Wednesday afternoon. The lot has felt like it has been “ours” for a long time, but now it’s official. Our blueprint meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 10th. I would like to break ground before July, but we’ll see how it goes. At the property closing meeting the accountant for the building company said she expected that we would be in by the end of the calendar year, which would make me very very happy. I’m sure it would also make Dave happy, given that he almost had an aneurysm when he saw the rent rates we will be paying after signing (another) short-term lease in August. 

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I mentioned awhile back that I was considering a trip out to Buffalo, NY. The date isn’t 100% confirmed yet, but it looks like I’ll be making the trip in a couple of weeks. The good part is that my mom will probably come and keep me company, the bad news is that I’m going out there to get yet another consult on my back problems. It’s as good of a time as any to get another consult, because I’ve been in pretty bad constant pain since we returned from Las Vegas. My back gets angry when I walk a lot, and the LV strip and Fremont Street require some walking. I hate to limit myself or to miss out on anything because of my back, but I pay for it in pain later.  Continue reading FIVE on Friday

The One and Only

I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching lately. On more than one occasion people have described me as an only child. It’s true, I am an only child. The thing is, when I’m describing someone’s personality I don’t usually say “so-and-so is a first-born, he/she has two younger sisters” or something like that. Most people don’t think that’s really relevant to someone’s personality except when it comes to only children. Apparently we’re a breed of our own. 

Frankly, I don’t get it. Sure, the fact that I was the one and only child in my family is part of who I am, but does it really define me? I look around at the other “onlies” that I know – my father, my cousin, my husband, and my best friend from high school (just to name a few) – and in our totality we don’t seem to be that similar. We all have very distinct personalities. So am I missing something because I too am an only child? Are we all a bunch of lonely, selfish, social misfits and I’m just not seeing it? Is there a big scarlet “O” stamped on our foreheads that is only visible to people with siblings? 

Danielle, my best friend in high school, is an only child just like me.
Danielle, my best friend in high school, is an only child just like me.

Continue reading The One and Only