Monday, August 1, 2011

40+4 update

Today, Elle is officially 4 days late, argh! Let me tell you, waiting around to give birth is a very, very emotional thing. You anticipate the baby's arrival for 40 weeks, that's a long time. Then the day finally arrives, you realize that you've dreamt of her so many times you already know what she looks like, and then the day ends, and the next and the next...Then, worry and doubt set in, "is everything okay, how could the Dr. miscalculate by that much?! How is this birth going to play out, are we talking major surgery like a c-section, or induction where there is still a chance that we can have our baby naturally." These are just some of the thoughts that plague my mind, especially when I'm making my 5th trip to the potty in as many hours in the middle of the night. I know that every birth is different, and every woman's body responds differently to that amount of stress.

As of our last Dr's apt today, I will only be pregnant for 2 more days at most. It is not safe for Elle to remain in my tummy after Thursday. We went for a routine NST where they measure the amniotic fluid, my contractions and Elle's heart rate. Well, the fluid is running low. At first our nurse was very concerned and thought about admitting us today and being induced today. But, she got a clearer picture on the ultrasound and remeasured and got a better reading. Still not perfect and on the low side but enough to make it until Thursday. When we got hooked up to the heart monitor there was no fetal movement for 12 whole minutes! SO terrifying! I almost lost control, but thankfully was able to hold it together so I could understand what that meant. So we had to poke her head with a device that provides a slight vibration, just enough stimulation/stress to wake her up. The device was placed just below my belly button and as soon as the button was pressed poor Elle startled awake, it was so sad, I could actually feel that she was frightened, but it did the trick and we were able to get a strip that was reassuring. Praise God!! I've never had a Dr. visit with so many scary things happen at once. So no more walking for me, it's only rest until Thursday 9am, that's when we're scheduled for the induction.

Just keep us in your prayers, I'm really nervous about this whole induction thing, I am really scared about having to possibly have a c-section. That thought freaks me out completely! Until then I'm watching Gilmore Girls and HGTV :) Hope this doesn't alarm any one, everything is okay and we will look into our baby girl's eyes in a few days. It still could be sooner if I go into labor on my own before Thursday, that's what I'm praying for!!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Oh my gosh, it's Monday and Elle is due Thursday! I can't believe how far we've come. I am just so ready to meet her and hold her and get to know her.

I am feeling about the same, maybe just a little more tired than usual. But still the crampy-ness and achy-ness are still there. We are still on watch for the mucus plug (eew!) and water breaking.

Me, Mark and my mom and dad get to go to a Padres game tomorrow night. Hope Elle doesn't decide that's her perfect time to introduce herself! :) it would be kind of funny though if I did go into labor at a baseball game, what a great story!

This morning Mark and I took Frankie for a walk at the Bay together. I got the opportunity to spring into action as a nurse when this older man tripped and smacked his head on the side walk. Blood was gushing from his face and people were quickly shuffling past him trying to pretend they didn't notice. Poor old man, so we helped him to sit on the side walk for a couple minutes to make sure he wasn't dizzy or going to pass out or anything. I was asking him questions to judge how coherent he was, if he was going to be OK or if he needed to go to the hospital. After the bleeding stopped, only 5 minutes-the cut wasn't bad it's just that the face tends to bleed a lot-I asked if he wanted to be taken to the hospital, his buddy was right beside us the whole time and they both said no, that he would be fine. Luckily their car was parked in a near lot so we walked as a group to their car and they profusely thanked us and then drove away. This situation really made me hope that if I'm ever hurt someone will stop and help me and not just step over me.

Tomorrow is the day that Mark predicts Elle will be born, I think it's this weekend. But as far as I'm concerned THE SOONER THE BETTER!! I'm really ready to not be fat any more :0) And these little teaser contractions need to turn into the real deal, waiting is so hard!

Friday, July 22, 2011

39+1 (39 weeks plus 1 day, just in case it wasn't understood)

I finally filled out a birth plan. I have been hesitating because when I was working on the labor and delivery unit during school, all the nurses would make fun of ladies that brought in their own birth plan. However, the more I think about it, the more I want to be able to communicate with all the members of my labor team. And I think it will be extremely difficult to lovingly share my thoughts and opinions while I'm trying my best to endure the most excruciating pain I've ever felt.'s just better that I wrote it down. I'm in the process of writing my mom and Mark a little letter letting them know exactly what I need from them during labor, nothing too crazy: lots of encouragement, some wiping away of my sweat, breathing with me when I forget to, and reminding that this too shall pass. And the most important thing for them to do is back me up when I tell the nurses that I don't want drugs (nurses can be pushy because they don't like to see their patients in so much pain :))

I think I felt a real contraction this morning! at 4:50 am I was jarred awake by a terrible, radiating pain that went high across my tummy and shot down ward. Then my back and low abdomen started to ache (ladies-it felt like intense menstrual cramps). I've been having a ton of pelvic pressure and achy-ness lately, especially when I walk for long periods of time. So today I decided to take a break from my usual hour and 10 minute walk. If I feel up to it, I will go in the morning.

Today I am savoring how fast my hair has grown and how healthy it is! And my finger nails too, I will miss the super growth speed when I'm not pregnant any more :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

39 weeks!

Alrighty! Let's get this show on the road. Every morning I wake up and think, "Could this be the day, do I feel different in any way, am I still pregnant?" Then I try to sit up and find that it's impossible to sit up with out using my arms, my stomach muscles are still stretched beyond belief cradling my bundle of joy.

Two evenings ago we had the great pleasure of having our "last supper" with our dear friends John and Jordanna. I love how easily the conversation flows with them, how it's so natural for the four of us to talk about the future and what it holds for us, all the time committing it to the Lord. On the drive home from Claim Jumper in La Mesa Mark and I reflected on how rare it is to find friendship like that, and how blessed we are to have several Godly couples that we call our friends. Thank you, Jesus.

Elle's official due date in July 28th, exactly one week from today. It's my goal to write something every day until she arrives. It should be easy because I'm feeling so nostalgic lately, I know a chapter of my life is coming to a close, a great chapter of freedom, no pain, really only worrying about myself and my well being. Every time I mention to a lady who's already had children that I'm so excited to start the chapter of my life as a mom and that I'm totally over being pregnant, they tell me to savor every moment Elle is still in my tummy because motherhood is nothing like what I'm thinking it will be like.  So that's what I'm trying to do, savor.

Last night, I got to savor one more of Jessi's "Girl's Night In" evenings. So amazing!! It was all of the girls from our old Bible study. I love how it worked out like that, it really blessed my heart! That's one of the things that I've been nostalgic about; leaving behind all my friendships. I was feeling like that would be taken away from me when Elle is born and when we move. Last night I received closure, I guess that's what you can call it. I feel like I've left that part of my life (staying up late, sharing stories, spending time with just the girls) in a wonderful place. I'm not scared or sad any more or grieving the loss of my freedom as a young woman. I was refreshed to realize that my friends will always be in my life, and I started to get excited to think about making new friends!

Enough of that, on to what being pregnant at 39 weeks feels like! Here are some pictures first. Graduation from nursing school and my baby shower. Enjoy!!

 Yay! I did it, officially I'm Katherine Ritter, RN
 At my pinning ceremony with Steve and Ladee, the smartest people I've ever met!

 Sky, Rachel and me waiting for our names to be called.
 at my baby shower, so fun!
 Elle's blanket that Toni lovingly made her. Can you see Elle's name spelled out?
 Aunt Vicki with pink hair (????)
 My favorite onsie that says "I melt daddy's heart". Can't wait to take a pic with her wearing it!!
Elle is fully developed and just waiting until the precise moment when she wants to show her pretty little face. My belly is as big as it's going to get (thank God!), I've already gained the weight I'm going to gain (33LBS at my heaviest, ahhh!) I'm happy, excited, impatient, and oh so scared about D-Day. Feeling that  much emotion at once is exhausting! Not to mention I have a little cold. Mark has it worse than me, but I still feel a little run down. But still I try to walk every day. I go to the Bay and walk for about an hour and 10 minutes. They say that's the best thing a pregnant woman can do. At our last Dr. apt (yesterday) my cervix was thinned out about half way and no dilation yet. I've been having "practice" contractions for a while now but they always go away. I'm impatiently anticipating that first real contraction that means Elle is on her way! EEEEEEE! that thought makes me so excited, I can't wait to hold her, to look at her eyes, to put her tiny hand in my hand, to kiss her tiny toes, oh! my heart melts when I think about her :) So far as early labor signs go: baby has "dropped" into my pelvis, loss of a couple pounds, nesting, low back ache, and lots of pelvic aches and pains. Now we are on the look out for the elusive 'mucus plug' that shows up when dilation begins. (I apologize if that's too much information for some of you! Pregnancy is kinda icky!)

Friday, June 3, 2011


OK, here are some pictures ranging from 29-31 weeks. Some are from Denver, when we visited Austin and Melody, others are on our family date to Coronado and the other one is me and my friend, Joyce. The one with me in my scrubs is right before I took my last final exam ever! Enjoy!!

 This one of my mom, dad and Mark was when I got the news that I passed nursing school, Praise God! We went to Old Venice to celebrate, they have the BEST manicotti I've ever, ever had :)

 This is Easter Sunday, family photo.

 Melody, Austin, me and Mark snuggled up on their couch watching a movie with the corgis.
 Melody and Austin, with Truman and Lily. Melody is holding up pictures of the ultra sound of Eisley!!

 I'm getting so huge!

 Soon, Mark will be looking at his new baby girl like that. Thinking about it breaks my heart (in a good way!)

This was taken when Frankie was about 5 months old, he will always be my first baby :)

Me and Joyce having lunch downtown, so fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cravings 'N Such

Hello, Blog Land, I've missed you! 

I am now in my 26th week of growing Elle. I have exactly 27 days of school left, one more lecture, one more clinical. I feel like I'm in a dream because things are progressing so fast, I feel like I can't keep up sometimes. I just read this morning about God's strength in our weakness. I admit it! I'm weak, I NEED my God to strengthen me, or carry me, which ever He prefers :) So if you get a chance, pray for us-me and Elle-because there is so much to do between today and May 11th. Thank you friends!


1) fruit, fruit and more fruit! 2) pickles (I know it's a cliche but it's so true!) 3) chicken tenders/nuggets 4) lucky charms 5) brownies (I've only had them twice this whole pregnancy, I know better than to keep them in the house) 6) beer (I hope you're not offended, I don't want to get drunk or buzzed or anything, just a sip of an ice cold, crisp beer) 7) really girly clothes and jewelry 8) high heels (I want to wear them all the time, even at home, this is crazy but I just want to get dressed up! Must be the hormones!) 9) COFFEE!

 Well I think that's it for the normal and crazy cravings. Now here's some info on baby Elle.
My baby book says she's about the size of a nice 2-LB chuck roast, plus long legs. She now weighs a full 2Lbs and measures 10 inches from head to butt. No wonder I feel her twisting and turning in there, she's getting big! "Another momentous development this week: baby's eyes are beginning to open. The eyelids have been fused for the past few months. (so the retina, the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus, could develop). The colored part of the eye still doesn't have much pigmentation, so we don't know the color of her eyes. Still, baby is now able to see! With her heightened sense of sight and hearing that baby now possesses, you may notice an increase in activity when your baby sees a bright light or hears a loud noise." This is so true. On Tuesday the 12th, we had a Dr. appointment. When our midwife put her Doppler thing to my tummy, Elle immediately kicked her! It was a huge kick, the midwife's hand jerked up. Mark and I started laughing and saying that she doesn't want to be bothered :)
Other exciting news...we finally found time to register for the baby shower! It brought back so many memories of registering for our wedding. We are registered at Target and Babies "R" Us. Target is so much more affordable, and in my opinion they have way cuter stuff! So be checking your email inbox, we will be sending out invites soon! It's May 28th, just to give you a heads up :)

That's it for now. Thanks for taking the time to read about us :) Here are some pictures, enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm in love.

21 Weeks!

Oh man, these last 8 weeks have been the most challenging I've ever faced. I've never been so busy in my life! But now I can relax, because the next 7 weeks of school (only 7 weeks left!!) are much calmer and smoother-praise God! Sorry it's taken me so long to post.


Mark and I are overflowing with joy :) We found out Tuesday, March 8th at 1:30 in the afternoon.  The tech that was doing the ultra sound had to take so many different measurements of our little girl. Finally I asked if she could see if it was a boy or a girl, she professionally informed me that she still needed to take several more measurements and pictures and then she would tell us at the very end of the exam. So we patiently waited...for 45 minutes! My heart and my mind were racing the entire time. Thinking of what we would name our child what nick-names we could use, if it would be tall or short, athletic or a brain. Oh man, so many, many thoughts. We are so blessed to be having a little girl. Her name is Elle Jasmine Ritter.

So far, I feel great, I really don't feel pregnant at all. Well, that's not entirely true. Every time Elle moves, I feel her. It's the most incredible and yet indescribable feeling! It's awesome, I'm in love! I call her my little horsey-girl because she kicks so much, like a baby horse. Her favorite time to kick and roll and turn upside down and right side up again, is of course, right at bed time. So I have to lie there for half an hour sometimes and just feel her moving. I don't mind though, not yet any way but I'm sure that will change when she gets bigger :) Mark got to feel her move for the very first time Saturday March 12th. He was shocked I think, he said, "No way, you can actually like really feel her moving in there, Cool!" This is such a fun time for us. 

We have now made a huge dent in the major things that we are going to need. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Mary, we have a boppy, swing, tummy time mat, a little bed thing that sings and vibrates, a baby bath tub, and several other things. We got a stroller, an infant carseat with two bases, a baby bjorn, and a co-sleeper. So fun to have all this baby stuff in our room :) oh yeah, and an awesome glider with a foot rest, super comfy!

Here are some pictures of my baby bump just taken today after working out so please pardon the sweat! ;) some ultrasound pics and some funny ones of Frankie. Frankie things that all the baby things are his! Hope you enjoy, feel free to leave comments if you want. Love you guys!