Well, we have finally put the finishing touches on Baby’s room today by hanging her butterflies. There are still a few things to purchase, but if she were to come tomorrow she’d have a beautiful and comfy room to come home to. Check out our nursery!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Up to this point in J’s and my life, anything that sounded like “pup” was a good thing. Sure, I had some run-ins with some mean dogs when I was younger, but J’s family has always had loving pups in their household. However, our friendly relationship with pup-related things took a dramatic turn for the worse last Sunday.

We had just gone for a walk with our own beloved pup Lucy, when J noticed that her feet had red spots on them. We thought maybe she had stepped into some brambles or poison ivy. The spots continued to spread and became progressively more itchy over the two days that followed, and J was driven to distraction by the itchiness. She started to have trouble sleeping, which is difficult enough when one is 35 weeks pregnant anyway. She called her physician and set up an appointment.

In the meanwhile, we (mostly J) did some research online and found a pregnancy-related condition that sounded like it fit her symptoms: PUPPP. According to Baby Center’s website, “Up to 1 percent of pregnant women develop a condition characterized by itchy, red bumps and larger patches of a hive-like rash on their bellies. This is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy.” The more we read about the symptoms, the more convinced we were that this was probably what J had, which was nasty news indeed because the only cure for PUPPP is birth; as long as the baby is in the womb, the spots won’t go away. The condition does not affect Baby in any way, thank goodness.

Our visit to the doctor confirmed our suspicion. Interestingly, many nurses had not heard of it and/or didn’t know what to think about J’s condition. Fortunately, the nurse practitioner and (later) the doctor we saw had seen it before; unfortunately, they confirmed our suspicions. We left with some topical hydrocortisone cream and recommendations for things to try but without a cure.

Since then (Thursday), J has been having a rough time. She took Benadryl; it did nothing. She used the cream; it didn’t have any lasting effect. She used lotions of various kinds, all of which felt good a while but weren’t too helpful. The one recommendation we got from the doctor that has ameliorated the situation a little is Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap*, which I located at our local Sprouts. The soap has a powerful smell. J says it smells like beef jerky or a campfire; I think it’s more like a log cabin. In any case, scrubbing hard with the soap in a lukewarm shower does provide a modicum of lasting relief, praise God. J now takes two to three showers a day and sometimes throws in an oatmeal bath for good measure. It’s a pain, but it’s worth the effort.

We’re now at 36 weeks, which means  Baby could be here anytime after next Sunday and be considered full term! We are definitely rooting for an earlier birth (as long as Baby is healthy). As I might have expected, J has been handling this situation with amazing good cheer and determination. However, we definitely could use your prayers and well-wishes during this time. Aside from dreaming about our baby’s grand entrance coming up soon, our sole comfort is that we now have something to hold over Baby’s head for her entire life. Poor girl.

Thanks for the love and support.

*If you are reading this post because you or someone you know has PUPPP, we definitely recommend tracking Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap down. It helps.

A friend at work who is throwing me a shower designed super cute invites for it. After seeing them, I asked her if we could blow it up and tweak the design to create a poster for the baby’s room. I already had a poster hanging in the room but felt it didn’t really match the baby decor. She was more than happy to do so. Not only was this a fun piece for the room, it cost us practically nothing since we already had the frame and we got the 20X30 print at Costco for $8.99! To check out other designs my friend has created check out her website at http://www.CoreyWheeland.com.

The colors are not true to the actual design. But still so cute!

This weekend I did a little craft project to create some wall decorations for Baby’s room.  Aaron Brothers, a framing store, was having their buy one frame and get the second for a penny.  Nathan and I got a really great deal on six frames in pink, green, and blue to match the room.  I cut up some of the cute bags and paper that I saved from our baby gifts to create the artwork.  You may recognize your bag or paper below.

An "E" for Baby E

The pink sticky is covering up one of Baby's initials

Butterflies from a Gymboree box and wrapping paper

Baby needs her own Lucy

Adorable girl silhouette

Lovely blue tulips

I have two weeks until I am at the end of the second trimester. Neither Nathan and I can really believe it. Baby is going to be here before we know it! Yesterday I had my 24-28 week  visit where they took a measurement of my tummy.  Currently we are at 27 inches from pubic bone to top of uterus with the normal range being 18 to 29 inches. My wonderful doctor informed me bigger is better in this case. Below I’m publishing the tummy  pictures Nathan and I have been taking for the past five weeks of the pregnancy. Hopefully  they show our Baby’s amazing growth.

Week 21

Week 22

Week 23

Week 24

Week 25

Nesting. For the past couple of weeks I have had the urge to prepare Baby’s room with unrelenting tenacity. Two weekends ago Nathan and I cleaned out the walk-in closet in Baby’s room.  We reorganized a lot of stuff but most notably our photos. For about for a day and half I sorted and wrote on the back of every photo the year, the event, and the people in each picture. We had thousands of photos that we took between the years of 1998 and 2005 (when we got our digital camera). The undertaking was insane. Unfortunately that did not satiate the urge to continue nesting. More projects followed such as moving more furniture to our “basement” and painting a bookshelf, but this didn’t really make Baby’s room feel like her room to me. The second bedroom still seemed like a storage dumping ground for Baby things.

Thank goodness for family who sends gifts for Baby early! I don’t know how much more cleaning Nathan would have been able to take. Now I finally feel that Baby’s room is coming together.  Here are some of the photos we took while putting those lovely gifts together!

Nathan putting together the stroller.

Me practicing strapping in "our baby."

"Our baby" ready for a ride in her travel system

The crib. I was too excited to take putting together pictures.

The beginnings of Baby's dresser

Completed dresser

Baby's profile. Baby wouldn't completely turn.

On Monday afternoon Nathan and I had  our 20th week ultra sound. The technician took a lot of pictures of Baby E’s stomach,  spine, kidneys, heart, bladder, brain, legs and arms to make sure everything is developing well.  The technician asked if we’d like to know, if we were able to see, the gender of the baby. Nathan and I have been eagerly waiting for this day and were hoping Baby would be cooperative. At first it looked like the baby was going to be too modest to confirm the technician’s first impression. The technician went on to continue the rest of the exam and promised to come back later. Baby was quite squirmy making snapping pictures kind of difficult.  I have been feeling kicks from time to time for a couple of weeks but was surprised I wasn’t feeling more since Baby was all over the place in there.

Baby's foot

The technician tried to snap a cute photo of both of the baby’s feet when suddenly a hand came into the frame grabbing one foot and pulling it away, the other foot quickly disappeared then too. We were able to get a few shots but baby was not being very cooperative. After checking the last of Baby’s vital organs, we went back to see if we could confirm the baby’s gender. This time the baby was cooperating and the technician was able to say she was comfortable telling us that we were having a baby girl. Nathan thought the baby was a girl from the very beginning, and I had started using the her/she pronouns when talking about the baby a couple of weeks prior, so it wasn’t a surprise to us to hear the technician say that Baby was a girl.

Baby's face from the front with a little fist next to Baby's tummy.

Seeing our little lady  in the womb moving about also confirmed my feelings about her having a spunky personality. Both Nathan and I are so excited for our little girl’s arrival and are blessed to know that she is developing normally and healthfully. We plan on using this blog to keep you all updated on the happenings in our family.

Lucy’s Thoughts on Baby

Lucy

"What is my toy doing
strapped into that contraption?!
I want to tear up that big
fluffy chick. It's mine."