Nolie’s Birth Story 

Thursday May 11th:

Thursday I woke up relatively calm. I had an ultrasound at 1pm and an appointment at Baby and Company at 2:30 to go over the results. We needed the ultrasound because they thought Nolie was breeched. If she was breeched we could try an inversion over the next few weeks. However if that failed, we would be transferred from our birth center into the care of Vanderbilt for a C section. (Baby and Company as a rule does not handle complicated pregnancies, and this definitely qualified).

I had been extremely emotional, however that morning I woke up calm. I just knew in my heart that she had flipped! I spent the morning doing the usual and then Michael took me to lunch at one of my favorites, Chuy’s. We went to the ultrasound and she was perfectly positioned! I was so happy. We celebrated with ice cream and then headed to Baby & Company. The appointment started out great. We all celebrated her flip. However, suddenly everything changed. We mentioned some weird symptoms I was having and all of the sudden I was hearing words like“preeclampsia” and “emergency transfer”. 

They quickly started drawing blood and asking for samples. I was told that if I had it, we would almost definitely be sent to Vanderbilt the next day to be induced. We scheduled our appointment to check back in and they told us to bring our hospital bag.

That night we spent wandering around our house trying to stay calm. We both tried to come to grips with the fact that we could be having a baby in a few hours. We also tried to hold on to the fact that everything could be fine, so we shouldn’t get too worked up. (Guess how easy it is for a very hormonal, very pregnant woman to stay rational…)

Friday May 12:

I barely slept a wink, but Friday morning I still felt like I had ample energy. I couldn’t sit still! I did all the laundry and dishes in the house. I swept and mopped. I vacuumed and scrubbed. My house was spotless and it was only 9am. I went to the chiropractor and then to get my nails done. Finally, it was time to go to the doctors. When we got there our midwife came out to greet us. She informed us she wasn’t going to be the one meeting with us, but wanted to say hi. In my head I immediately thought, this is an indicator that I have it.

The woman who came to take us back had a Vanderbilt badge. In my mind I thought another indicator. At this point I finally gave in and let myself believe that it was happening. She had me lay down and said she would be back in ten minutes to check my blood pressure.

When she came back she checked and it was high. However, she also informed me that my preliminary labs came back clean! AKA no baby that day! To be honest, I was a little disappointed. After spending the whole night imagining what holding my baby would feel like it was hard to hear we still had almost four weeks to go. Michael was disappointed too, but he was adorably happy. He probably had a better mindset- he was just rejoicing that I was healthy! They asked for one more sample so they could run another test, but told me to just go about life normally and not to over do it.

Saturday May 13th:

Saturday was hard. I woke up sad because I thought I would have my baby. I also still had to waddle to the bathroom every hour, which was now becoming one of my biggest sources of frustration. We spent the day unpacking the car and running errands. It was so weird but the house felt incredibly empty.

Sunday May 14th: 

Sunday was Mother’s Day!! After spending Saturday dealing with all of my emotions I finally felt better. Michael gave me the sweetest day (you can read about it here). About ten minutes after I published that post we headed down to the pool. Michael took a nap and I played solitaire. Then I braved the chilly water and wadded around. The weightlessness of the water felt AMAZING on my back. And the cold water gave me so much relief in my feet. When it was finally time to head home we gathered our stuff. I checked my phone and I had a voicemail. It was our midwife.
She had asked me to call her back to discuss my final lab results. I called and she informed me that there was a problem with protein in my urine. Over the phone we were told that at this point I would not be allowed to deliver at the birth center. She asked if I was having any severe symptoms and if I felt we should go into Vanderbilt today. I wasn’t, so we scheduled for me to come in Monday to discuss the transfer process and to check my blood pressure again.  I hung up the phone in shock. I wasn’t sure what I was hearing. She made reference to inducing in the next week or so.

Emotionally I just felt numb. I think the on and off of the last two weeks had left me drained! We made a few calls, but decided not to deal with any of it until we had more information.

Monday May 15th:

Monday I woke up bright and early. My stomach was in knots. I just didn’t know how to feel! I didn’t want to get myself worked up, but the uncertainty of everything has really taken its toll. I waddled around the house cleaning up. (I figured if they put me in bed rest at least my house would be clean). Then I went and sat beside the pool to soak up some sunshine. Finally it was time to leave for my appointment.

At the appointment they informed me that I did have preeclampsia. They told me I was now a higher risk and couldn’t deliver there, but would be transferred to Vanderbilt. They scheduled me for a more in depth ultrasound Thursday morning and then an appointment with the Vanderbilt midwives that afternoon to officially complete the transfer process. We were told to bring our go bag again with us Thursday because the ultrasound results would set the stage for what day they induced. They said they like to induce as soon as baby is full term, and I would be full term – 37 weeks- this Wednesday. (The day before that appointment). Once again I was faced with a lot of uncertainty!

After the appointment I made my way over to Vanderbilt’s OB/Maternity ward. My dad came with me since Michael needed to be at work! He had called ahead and asked if someone could give us an unofficial tour. We walked around and then he bought me ice cream. What a good dad!

Tuesday May 16th: 

Restless does not even begin to explain how I felt when I woke up and realized I would have no more information about baby girl for two days! However, it was Michael and I’s two year wedding anniversary. So I did have that to celebrate! Michael had to work so I spent the entire day by the pool with a friend.

That night Michael let me pick dinner – I chose the Cheesecake Factory. I had been craving cheesecake for WEEKS, but had been trying to stay on my healthy eating. However, this seemed like a great excuse to cheat. We had a whole evening planned, but I felt really weird and tired so we ended up eating dinner and taking the cheesecake to go.

Even though we just went home, I don’t think I would have traded those peaceful moments with my sweet husband for anything.

Wednesday May 17th: 

Wednesday was perfect. I woke up and did some work and then met Sophie at the pool around eleven. We ordered lunch poolside and spent the afternoon day dreaming about our perfect little babies! We headed home around four and I showered. Michael was going out to dinner with a friend so I settled in for a quiet night. I made my dinner (peas and cheesecake- hey I was pregnant!) and started my Netflix binge. Around seven I started feeling weird again. I had a slight headache, but nothing major. I don’t know why, but suddenly I found myself calling the midwife. I told her when she answered that I wasn’t super worried but I did feel a little off. I remember even saying that since I had an appointment the next day that I was just updating her. She didn’t seem concerned at all, but said to be safe to run to one of the clinics by my house and check my blood pressure.

So I ran across the street. As instructed, I sat for a good ten minutes just breathing before taking it. The result was 176/119. The machine popped up a warning saying to go to the emergency room immediately. Surely, I thought, this was a mistake. I took it again three separate times over 45 minutes. Deep breathing between each time. I think I was in denial, so there I was yoga breathing and stretching in the corner of the clinic. My best result was still a 168/116. (185/120 at worst). I text the midwife and she called me back to say she let Vanderbilt know I was coming in. She said bring your husband and your go bag! I called Michael and he headed home.

I waddled around the house getting things ready. I finished the laundry just in time! When he got home we packs the car and headed down! We had to check into the emergency room, which at first was really intimidating. However, I ran into a friendly face from my dad’s church! My youth leaders husband was the one who triaged us! Then we got the okay to head upstairs.  When we got up they said they were very busy. Four women had arrived to the labor unit within ten minutes before me!

However, everyone seemed super calm. Honestly, it felt a little like they thought I was an over reacting young pregnant woman. (Michael and I laughing and smiling probably didn’t help- but we were nervous!) However, when they took my blood pressure the nurse got a lot more serious. They hooked me up to monitor baby, my contractions, and then a machine that took my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. Someone else came in and said we were inducing. And within an hour and a half we had a room and they were coming in to make a plan.


Thursday May 18th:

At midnight we began the pitocin. We were incredibly lucky in that when we arrived I was already dilated to a 2.5 and 70% effaced! So I didn’t have to take any medications to soften my cervix and we could just jump right in to the pitocin. She said that I would probably not feel any contractions for a while, but after thirty minutes it felt like my worst cramps. I labored from midnight until 11am. Then they came in to talk about an epidural. Apparently, they help lower blood pressure (mine was still dangerously high). Michael and I talked about it and we decided that even though I was terrified of the idea, that we would try it. Also, the fact they said I could have another DAY or so of labor was not very appealing. (Especially since I was experiencing what the nurse called back labor). At Baby and Company you can walk around and cope. I was hooked up to so much machinery I could barely sit up! All my ideas about pain management were not attainable.

Our amazing nurse, Vanessa, said she would get her favorite, Justin, to be our anastesiologist. He was a bright, happy man and put us at ease! There was a little concern because apparently the space where they put epidurals was incredibly small and tight in me compared to most people’s. But we got everything set up and we were good to go! Then I got my catheter. Michael laughed but that was the BEST part. The past nine or so months I’ve had to go to the bathroom at least once an hour. And while I was laboring that cut down to maybe thirty minutes. The problem was that I was hooked up to a lot of stationary machinery. I know the nurses were sick of coming in and helping me because one taught me how to unplug everything and said she couldn’t keep coming back in. (Embarrassing!!!) I was so thirsty, but I felt like I needed to limit my intake so I wasn’t constantly trying to to get to the bathroom.The second that catheter was in I drank an entire bottle of water and I was never so happy!!! Catheters rock. No shame!

Everything went smoothly until around 3pm. All of the sudden I could start feeling my contractions again and they were getting stronger and stronger! I let the nurse know and she called anesthesia team. We spent the next painful hour watching a lot of very confused faces and having them poke me asking if I could feel things. (The answer was yes. And mostly IN MY UTERUS). After a while they started something new in one of my IVs and said it was “the stronger stuff.” I don’t know what that means and I didn’t care to ask. After several hours of feeling nothing to suddenly feeling my labor I was so tired!! Thirty minutes later it was working a lot better. They gave me a button and said push it until it “won’t give you anymore!” I could still feel my contractions, but they were incredibly dulled- back to feeling like cramps. My own medical mystery, I guess!

Michael and I played some phase ten until around six. The midwife came in and said that when she checked me during the epidural event around 4pm, I was fully effaced but still not very dilated. She said she suspected that the baby wasn’t coming until Friday. Our nurse agreed and said if we got lucky maybe early morning. I was stuck at 5cm dilated. I asked if Michael should go get food now then. I could hear his stomach and I was in good shape. They said he had plenty of time! So I got my sodoku book out and Michael headed downstairs to the Caf. About twenty or thirty minutes later my nurse came in and I asked her to help me roll over. She started to when she suddenly gasped. She asked if I heard that pop? I said no, and she pulled back my blankets. Apparently my water had burst!! (Side note, she said she’s never heard one pop and the midwife later told us that in her several decade long career she’s only heard an audible pop twice before. How cool!!) It had “exploded” and sprayed everywhere.

She looked up and excitedly asked where Michael was. I told her he was at dinner, and asked why. She happily, and a little frantically said, “Because I see her head!”

At 6:46pm I called Michael and told him to run. By the time he got upstairs they had everything set up, a nurse was holding one leg up and instructing him to grab the other. According to our nurse, Vanessa, at 6:58pm we started pushing (she was laughing because the first thing she told me when we met was she didn’t deliver babies after 6:45pm because shift change was at 7pm and that is too difficult. Oh the irony). I pushed for 32 minutes and at 7:29pm our gorgeous baby girl was born.  (The average first time mom statistically pushes two to three hours so I was so lucky!! That was seriously not a fun part).

They later told me she would have come out faster, but she had her little fist balled up against her cheek! They immediately put her on my chest and for a few seconds I couldn’t see anything else. She was so perfect.

However, I was pulled back into reality when the NICU team came in. Suddenly, I could hear people saying she’s not screaming. Someone kept giving time, like they were watching a stop watch. They took her from me and suddenly she was lost in a sea of people. My nurse must have seen my panic. She told me Nolie was pinking up and had a great pulse, but they just needed her to make noise. All I remember is closing my eyes and in a whisper repeating the only prayer I could think of. “Dear God, please don’t take my baby away from me.” It feels like I laid there for hours- closing my eyes, praying with my entire soul, and straining my ears to hear that cry. After several minutes we got a whimper and then finally a scream. I’ve never felt so much relief in my life. I don’t know if anything could ever feel that scary to me as those moments.

When I was finally holding that sweet baby girl in my arms again I couldn’t comprehend how much I love her. She immediately latched on and I just stared at this perfect little person. I don’t even remember what happened until the next day. I just couldn’t stop staring and kissing her!

IMG_1915

// Enolia’s first picture! //
The next few days were incredibly stressful.  I was discharged Saturday morning, but baby girl had some more health concerns. They found us a “family room” to sleep in while she was a patient. Those were painful hours.  We were finally released Sunday afternoon, with appointments already scheduled for Monday morning.  However, I was just so happy we got to go home. She is doing okay now! Nolie is still jaundice and is losing too much weight (jaundice makes her sleepy, she won’t eat, it’s a bad cycle!) so any prayers would be appreciated.

Anyways. That’s how I met my baby.  ❤

 

IMG_1949

IMG_2033

// Dress & Bow: CharlieandWill 

Similac Membership Review

When I first found out I was pregnant I immediately signed up for every baby club or free benefit option posibble.  It was all so exciting!! I signed up online for a membership with a company called Similac on November 6th. I promptly forgot all about it until December 1st when I received a Similac membership card in the mail. That was all that was sent however, so I quickly forgot about it again.  Besides that the membership basically allows you to enter codes on product you’ve bought. Well I haven’t bought any of their product!

(Similac is a company that makes formula, which I have zero use for right now.  One, because my baby was unborn. Two, because I didn’t know if we were going to have to use formula. Finally, three, because I didn’t even know if our baby would be able to use this formula!) 

However, on April 24th our first “perk” package arrived! It was a cute box with two samples of their formula as well as a few coupons.  It was a cute little surprise.  The formula won’t expire for some time, so I put it up in the kitchen cabinet with Nolie’s bottles.  I’ll have to update this post later on if she likes it! 


Buy Buy Baby Gift Registry Review 

A few months ago we went to Buy Buy Baby to look around and to make a registry.  (We made quite a few, all set to private, so that I could review them for the blog). Our Buy Buy Baby experience was fun! However, also incredibly overwhelming.  There is so much stuff in that store! I found things I had never imagined but somehow felt I needed now.

When you register they give you a cute little gift bag. It included a few different things. One incredibly convenient thing was they provided registry cards with your code on them.  That would make giving your information to friends and family super convenient. They also included a copy of Fit Pregnancy Magazine. This is my favorite!! I have gotten one in the mail every month since at no charge. I sincerely love reading it.  They have great advice, fun stories, and even a coupon or two. (For me, that free subscription made the whole gift bag worth it).

The bags also included the following coupons:

  • $5 off a bundle babyorganics
  • Avent bottles (three coupons)
  • $20 off Shutterfly
  • $5 off purchase $15 buy buy baby

Also, the following samples (some had coupons too) :

  • Blue lizard Australian sunscreen baby .2fl oz
  • Noodle and Boo newborn hair and body wash
  • Noodle and boo super soft lotion
  • Babyganics hand wipe and laundry detergent (another coupon)
  • Dapple bottle and dish soap & $1 off coupon
  • Mustela .16 fl oz
  • 1 boogie wipe & $.50 off coupon
  • Weleda diaper rash cream .05 fl oz & $2.00 off
  • Lansinoh 2 disposable nursing pads & 2 breast milk storage bags
  • 1 boogie wipe & $.50 off coupon
  • Weleda diaper rash cream .05 fl oz & $2.00 off
  • Lansinoh 2 disposable nursing pads & 2 breast milk storage bags

Overall, it was a pretty cute gift and the product and coupons inside were great. I’m glad we made the registry, even if just to get the coupons! Buy Buy Baby also had an amazing selection. There was literally thousands of baby products available. That said, we decided not to use this registry as our public gift list. The actual store is 45 minutes from our house. Plus, the products there were in a higher price range. I compared some of the exact same products to Target and Target was a little less.  (Don’t forget to check out my review of Target’s complimentary baby registry gift bag!)

 

Where did you register? Did you love it? Comment below!

Nolie’s Nursery 

I can’t believe this week puts us at only seven weeks away from meeting our baby girl!! (Well, according to her “guess date”). Everything is basically ready and now all I can do is wait!! Meanwhile, her sweet nursery is only missing one thing- her!!

I have put a lot of thought and meaning into decorating it and I just can’t wait. I hope she can feel the love.  In case you missed it, we had a total blast restoring my childhood dresser, creating a matching mirror, and putting together a little craft to hang! We also have a piece hanging from our wedding above her bed!

//Changing Pad Cover: Little Unicorn (it can also be found at Spearmint LOVE, where you get free shipping & 10% off your first order)!

// Sheets: Little Unicorn  (it can also be found at Spearmint LOVE, where you get free shipping & 10% off your first order)!

// Ballerina: Target // Pillow: Target // Elephant: Target



I am so so excited to meet this little angel. She is all I can think about! I am going crazy with anticipation! 

Honest Company Prenatal Vitamins

Two weeks ago I switched prenatal vitamins. I decided to try a brand that I absolutely LOVE for everything else.  I started using the Honest Company’s all organic prenatal vitamin. My old ones made me unbearably nauseous. Plus, once I saw the brand I was very excited. If you read my blog you know how much I love the Honest Company (click here to read about their free sample and here to see my dedication to their diapers). I’ve been taking these every night, sometimes with dinner sometimes later, and I haven’t been sick at all. I am so impressed.  The only possible downside would be if you have a hard time swallowing pills… these are GIANT.


One thing I LOVE about this prenatal is that it has folate (vitamin B9).  So to clarify, when you’re pregnant the doctors constantly remind you to get your folic acid in.  Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate.  (Which, some people suggest is causing cancer). Folate is naturally found in foods like say spinach or liver (ew to both). So I’m over the moon that this is a better version!

Here is the list of daily values of the different components of the vitamin, based on the recommended amounts for pregnant and lactating women.

  • Vitamin A – 50%
  • Vitamin C – 100%
  • Vitamin D – 350%
  • Vitamin E – 100%
  • Vitamin K – NA, daily value not established Thiamin – 100%
  • Riboflavin – 100%
  • Nacinamide – 100%
  • Vitamin B6 – 1200%
  • Folate – 81%
  • Vitamin B12 – 100%
  • Biotin – 100%
  • Pantothenic – 100%
  • Calcium – 15%
  • Iron – 150%
  • Iodine – 133%
  • Magnesium – 11%
  • Zinc – 100%
  • Selenium – NA, daily value not established
  • Copper – 50%
  • Manganese – NA, daily value not established
  • Chromium – NA, daily value not established
  • Molybdenum – NA, daily value not established

The pills also include their Prenatal Wellness Blend that consists of the following:

  • Organic ginger powder extract
  • Organic spirulina (whole plant) powder
  • Marshmallow (root) powder
  • Plum (fruit) powder

If you’re not impressed then i’m shocked!! I love that these are so chalked full of goodness.  (In comparison, my old prenatal only contained ten of the things listed above). 

You can buy these several different places.  They are available at Target, Amazon, the Honest website, and a dozen other locations.
 

 I am so excited that I decided to try these!(: 

 

I’m Stockpiling Diapers and Saving Hundreds of Dollars! Here’s How:

Did you know the average household spends between $750-$1,000 on diapers per child!? That is literally so so crazy. It struck me that if I could save money here, we could substantially lower our out of pocket costs. I decided that stockpiling and couponing for diapers was going to be my new hobby!

To start, I went through dozens of Pinterest pins and online searches to find a few different mom’s charts on how many diapers their baby used. I ended up with four different sets of numbers. Two ended at size three so I decided to do the same.  Here are the averages per size for the following four babies.

Sample A: 

Newborn- 216 

Size One- 160

Size Two- 640

Size Three- 684

Total Diapers- 1,699

 

Sample B: 

Newborn- 252

Size One- 280

Size Two- 560

Size Three- 1,368

Total Diapers- 2,460

 

Sample C: 

Newborn- 196

Size One- 770

Size Two- 924

Size Three- 756

Total Diapers- 2,646

 

Sample D: 

Newborn- 234

Size One- 552

Size Two- 893

Size Three- 1,329

Total Diapers- 3,008 

 

There is a pretty HUGE range of diapers between sample A and sample D. So I decided the best way to approach it was to average out the numbers. I hope this helps to create a good reference to how many we will need. Here are my averages.

My Average Diaper Quantities: 

Newborn- 225

Size One- 440

Size Two- 754

Size Three- 1,034

Total Diapers- 2,453

I felt pretty confident so I decided to start buying according to those numbers.  Now the important part was to make sure I was getting my diapers at a great price.  I looked online for price averages, however that didn’t really help. A lot of people’s average price per diaper was a lot lower than I would be able to get because they were buying store brand diapers. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome. In fact I love it! However, since I was buying so far in advance I had to make some choices.

All of the people’s comments that I read online that were advocating to NOT stockpile diapers warned repeatedly about the same two things. One, apparently some diapers can expire. Two, they cautioned that not every baby reacts well with every diaper.  There can be allergic reactions, fit problems, etc. I did some research and we decided to only buy Pampers Swaddlers and diapers from The Honest Company. I chose the Pampers Swaddlers because out of literally a dozen different review sites and mommy blogs they were almost always the first pick, and if not, always second. A vast majority of hospitals use these diapers too. They also never expire, though exposure to light and extreme humidity can cause the slightest of discoloration (I wasn’t worried about that). I also decided to include The Honest Company because I love what they stand for and their commitment to healthy, great quality baby products. (I actually blogged about their house products free trial – they have one for diapers too – a few months ago. Since then I also have started using their lotion and we have their shampoo & conditioner! I really like this company)!

Choosing those two name brand diapers and choosing not to include any store brands DID effect my price point. Obviously, to start with these were more expensive than a Target or Walmart brand diaper. It is totally worth it to me, however. I feel confident in the brands I chose and that I won’t run into problems. (Just in case, I of course didn’t break the seal on any boxes. Most stores will allow for exchanges or store credit returns. Also, if I have a surplus of diapers many stores will let me exchange the box for a different size).

At the end of the day, the average Pampers Swaddlers diaper costs around $0.31 a diaper. I decided to try to never spend more then $0.20 a diaper. Generally I stayed a few cents below, but a few impulse buys did lead to going over that price goal by a few cents. To get discounts I combined store promotions, store discounts, manufacture coupons, and store coupons. The place I found the best deal on Pampers was always Target. (I didn’t think of it until literally this week, but I wish I had opened a Target debit card. You get 5% off of every purchase, so that would have been even more savings! We are talking about opening one soon). I only bought the Honest Diapers online so I could take advantage of membership benefits.

My best overall deals were from my short lived membership with the Honest Company. My husband and I each created an account and took advantage of some serious promotions before discontinuing our accounts. At the time they were offering one free bundle after you order your first bundle. So we payed for the 240 diapers, then got another 240 diapers free! Plus, when I referred my husband to the membership I was given a $20 credit. You can see how you could use this to your advantage. Our very best deals came from this! Plus, you can cancel at any time with zero fees.

As I mentioned before, we also had a lot of great luck with Target. Every other week or so Target offers a gift card when you purchase so many of the advertised product. If you have the patience to wait it out, every so often they offer a $15 gift card with the purchase of two boxes of Pampers diapers. On top of that you can use up to one manufactures and one Target coupon per box. This provides a great deal! Also, if the box has somehow been damaged (for example, smashed) they will extend a 10% discount, but only if you ask. I know that a slightly smashed box is not going to alter my diapers in any way, so I took advantage of this when applicable.

For sizes newborn, one, and two my averages out cost per diaper was $0.12!! (Remember, this is in comparison to the Pampers average of $.31 a diaper!!) That is nothing to scoff at!! We are currently working on our size three stash, but I’ll be sure to update this post once we have more data. I don’t know what to expect as our average for those diapers seeing as how the price per box remains the same, but quantity drastically drops. This will be where the coupons will really matter!

We plan on buying about half of our expected needs for size three, but then putting the amount of boxes we will still need on our baby registry. We also will register for size four and fives.  If people feel drawn to offer those as a gift, we will be spending even less on diapers! Overall, I estimate that we have saved about $335 on diapers so far. That is pretty great in my book. Overall, I am beyond thrilled with the success we have had with our baby on a budget progress!!

We currently have bought 1,879 diapers. Plus someone just gave us another 25 for free! I ended up buying a few more size two than I needed, but they were part of the free bundle so I didn’t mind at all! We might need them, and if not- I know several pregnant ladies who might be able to! I’m so excited to see how much savings we accumulate! 

To answer your questions, half of baby’s closet is entirely Diapers! Haha. That’s where we’re putting them! 

Gender Reveal Ultrasound Appointment- It’s A Girl!

December 20th we headed down to Nashville Baby 4D to do an ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby! I was so nervous. As we drive closer my heart was pounding. I just kept imagining it having an extra arm or something horrible that we would discover. 
Luckily the technician was super fun and I was soon at ease. The viewing room was so cool! It was set up almost like a movie theater. There was a large, high quality projector screen in front of some very comfortable leather couches. We were soon settled in and ready to go! 
The goop was glopped and the technician started. I let out some serious giggling the second the wand touched my stomach! You could immediately see the cutest outline of a baby ever! It was positioned just perfectly to where you could see it’s profile. I was in love. The tech also pointed out it’s heart. SO amazing! That had Michael in total awe! You could see it pounding away, it was out of this world. (145bpm- the slowest it’s ever been so far, even slower than at our 8 week ultrasound!) I started crying. It was so real watching that baby moving its arms and kicking it’s legs. It was amazing. 
The tech was busy snapping away pictures, cheerfully talking. She told us fairly soon after we started that she was almost certain of gender, but that the baby was holding the umbilical chord between it’s legs and until we got it to move the chord she don’t want to give us anything definite. She had me bounce around on the ball and drink some very cold water- the baby moved all sorts of around, but that chord was squeezed tight!! She showed us on the screen exactly where the chord was, it was so funny! 
After another go on the ball the sweet little one finally moved the chord. The tech took a few shots and then announced she was sure… It’s a girl!!! We both were a squeaking, laughing mess! I definitely started crying. It was so fun. She let us watch the baby for a few more minutes before we heard her next appointment walk in the front door and had to wrap it up.
In the end I was surprised to see that we had actually been watching the baby move around for almost an entire hour! Its was so captivating. The technician was so kind and totally had fun with us. It was amazing (have I overused that word yet?) and I loved it! I seriously am so thankful for the wonderful experience we had. I would highly recommend using them!

** Keep in mind that this center is considered “elective” and is thus not covered by insurance. However, after tax it only cost us $65 so I think it was ABSOLUTELY worth it to find out gender at 16 weeks, rather than 20 like my doctor has scheduled. (Technically, they can actually see it at 15 weeks. Also, if for some reason they can’t get the baby to cooperate you come again for free. The tech we talked to said she usually has the couple walk around and get food then come back. Seriously, not a bad deal at all!)

img_20161220_1_51img_20161220_1_42img_20161220_1_21img_20161220_1_2