Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Today, my little girl is 24 weeks old. This is a huge day in a pregnancy. At 24 weeks, the baby is considered viable: they are much more likely to survive outside the womb (about 70%). Granted, giving birth right now would not be good (so don't go thinking we're ready to see you quite yet Ms. Liliana), but it's still nice. As a pregnant woman, I've been waiting for today for quite a few weeks. I wanted to breath a sigh of relief. Ideally, I want this little baby girl to go full term (at least 37 weeks), but for some reason, when someone tells you: your little girl is SO advanced that she would have a great chance of surviving, so much pressure is off. Even more so, suddenly, she seems even more like a person. Another positive aspect of this week 24 mark is that each week, her chance of survival only gets better and better! Therefore, Mami just gets happier and happier!

In honor of Liliana's viability day, I thought I should FINALLY post some updated pictures (below find a belly pic and quite a few of her ultrasound pictures). Please note, I really dislike bare belly pictures. I don't know why, but they kinda creep me out. But, I know that I spend SO much time looking up bare belly pictures to see what I'll look like at a certain stage. For instance, I'll be 28 weeks at my San Antonio shower, so I've been looking up those pictures wondering what my dress should look like and how big my belly will look. Therefore, for those other Mom's to be, I'll post a bare belly week 24 picture. I'm sorry if you're horrified by it...just keep scrollin baby.

Week 24 Belly Picture

Here are her ultrasound pictures.  We've gotten film back from week 8, week 12, and week 20.  By week 20 she was so active that it was much harder to get good shots.  

Liliana Week 8 Picture
At this stage, she was just a little bean, but it was SO reassuring to see the heartbeat because I had spotted the day before this ultrasound.  Hearing that heartbeat nearly brought tears to my eyes...

Liliana Week 12 Picture
I thought this picture was INCREDIBLE.  In just four weeks, look at all that progress.  All that morning sickness didn't matter as much after I saw how gorgeous she looked.

Liliana Week 19 Picture
Here's our gender shot: that bright white spot is an arrow pointing to the lack of ... umm... male parts.  It was for sure.  Grandma had told us she was a girl 4 weeks prior when she did the ultrasound on Christmas Eve, but this was the film we got at the Doctor's office in Lubbock.

Liliana Week 19 Picture
This is the best profile picture they were able to get us.  It's not the best shot in my opinion, but she is so active that the lady had a heck of a time getting us a nice shot.

We won't be going in for another picture until Week 34 (they want to see just how big Liliana is because her Daddy was born nearly 4 weeks early and at well over 8 lbs.).  Of course, I can't wait to see her again, but only in a picture...again Liliana...not sooner than 37 weeks! Listen to your Mommy!! : )

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 23 Survey

How far along? 23 weeks, 5 days

Maternity clothes? I would say I'm in maternity clothes over half the time. If I'm in non-maternity clothes, they look tight. When I wear non-maternity pants, I can only wear ones (completely unbuttoned and zipped of course) that were big before I was pregnant.

Stretch marks? None still. Although I have to admit, I never use the "anti-Stretch mark" creams. I've read in many places that they have never been proven to work, so why waste my time. If I'm gonna get them, I'm gonna get them.

Sleep: The first few days of the week were REALLY hard. Liliana moves so much that it keeps me up a lot during the night and then my back would start KILLING me. So finally Evan decided he would give me a 2 minute back rub every night before bedtime and I'm stretching twice a day. The last two nights, my back pain has gone from a 9 to a 4...big improvement!

Best moment this week: This morning when I woke up, my uterus had really tilted over to one side. This happens many times a day and I always show Evan, but I told him "wow it's really tilted right now" and I moved the blanket aside. Unintentionally, he let out a horrified "OH GOOOOD!" We had a great laugh afterwards.

Movement: This was one of my favorite parts of this week...she moved so much that I never had my "worrisome Mommy" moments where I thought "oh, she hasn't moved in a while!" The whole week I knew she was doing well and moving lots...how nice.

Food cravings: Nope, but I did finally have a bigger appetite a few days this week. Evan thought it was hilarious when 2 hours after I had eaten I started saying "hmm...I'm really hungry!"

Gender: A GIRL! Evan and I are really in love with this concept. We think having a little girl first fits us perfectly.

Labor Signs:
less Braxton Hicks this week, thankfully. That, or I just know what they are now and don't freak out when they start.

Belly Button in or out? In and not much change since last week.

What I miss:
Moving my body around freely without worrying about "oh, is this going to stretch a muscle and give me round ligament pain?" We had a bowling tournament for ALJ yesterday and I bowled with a 7 pound ball and even then, I still had to move really carefully.

What I am looking forward to: We're going to San Antonio this weekend, so we'll see Abuela (Abuelo will be in New Orleans...booo)!!

Weekly Wisdom: Don't eat just to eat! When you're hungry, your body will let you know. I'm finally starting to gain some weight and I wish I wouldn't have TRIED to gain weight earlier in the pregnancy...it's just more to lose after she comes out!

This was probably the most baby drama free week we've had in a LONG time. She moved constantly, my cramps were subsided, and I felt great overall. Let's keep this up until June 15th Liliana!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Possibility of Being Excited is Beyond Scary

I've been really reluctant to post about my subject today. I have a huge fear of failure. I don't want to admit how badly I want a job after I graduate...especially one I'm proud of. But in all honesty, I would feel like the biggest failure if I graduated and six months later, was staying at home with Liliana. I could have done the same thing without going to law school. I would feel like I let myself down, I let the school down (what a waste of a scholarship), I let my husband down, and you know what, like I let my daughter down. I want her to be proud of her mama...and I know that being a lawyer isn't going to do that, but if I'm a confident person, I'll be happier and more successful in life (not just a money thing, just life in general). Those qualities make it easier to be proud of me. I want her to know that the world is her limit. She can do whatever she wants. I worked for my goals, and I want her to know she can work towards hers, whatever they are.

So here goes...

I've been working at a firm here in Lubbock since July. I interviewed with them through OCI and was beyond thrilled when he called to say that they chose me out of thirty applicants! Out of thirty...I couldn't believe it. These people had better grades and I thought I had bombed my interview, but he saw something, and I was hooked with this place (not to mention the pay was more than I had made in my life, so Evan started calling me his sugar mama immediately and that lasted until August, which I gotta admit, felt pretty damn good). They worked me hard over the summer, but I was in heaven. I finally felt "lawyerly" and when I came home, I was beaming...I had seen so much, done so much, and challenged myself so much. I was happy. So I, very timidly and after millions of dry runs in my head, asked the hiring partner if I could stay on throughout the school year as a third year law clerk. After all that deliberation in my head, he said yes without a problem.

Once the fall semester started, I told them I was interested in an associate position after graduation and they told me they would consider it at their partner meetings (held once a month). Some things to note: there are 8 partners - all male, all white. I definitely stand out like a sore thumb at the firm, but I'm happy there. I could see myself there. I asked all the other associates when they were hired, and they said between April and June, so I realize I still have so much time left to wait...but it's hard.

When I told one of the partners I was pregnant, he offered a very quiet Congratulations and I never heard anything about it again, still haven't really. Not one partner has congratulated me (not that I expect people to be proud of it or anything, but ignoring it, I dunno, doesn't seem right either. I don't know what the right response is, I'm just typing my thoughts). I had to take two days off last semester when I had some spotting and was put on bed rest. So of course, all I thought those two days was how much this was killing my job chances, which truly, is unfair. It sucks being a girl sometimes.

This semester started and I asked them the status of my chances and the prognosis wasn't good. They don't know if they have the money to hire an associate this upcoming year, which is incredibly common with law in the United States. In fact, I had honestly expected to hear a flat out NO as most firms are doing in Houston and Dallas (heard of hiring freezes?). I went home rather defeated, but at least had started coming around to the fact that most likely, coupled with the pregnancy and their lack of enthusiasm (and yes, I'm aware this is against the law if they consider it, but if law school has taught me anything, it's that the law isn't always followed, so I better start learning how to deal with this retribution now), I would have to search for a job elsewhere. Last years graduating class had a 36% hired rate after graduation, so I would just have to do what the great majority of law students have to do...live off of absolutely NO MONEY until you get licensed in November (yes, that's 6 months after graduation) and start job hunting.

Well, this week, things changed. One of the female associates got another job and is leaving the firm. They didn't know this when they told me that the money might not be there and of course, they have more work that will need to be done by someone. Plus, she does probate work (my favorite!). This could potentially, be my dream job, but I don't know if her leaving chances anything.

SO, here I am again, with the hope I had months ago...and I don't know what to do. Do I go in a couple months and ask again what my chances are? Do I go ask them sooner? Do I put in EVEN MORE hours at the firm so they can forget my huge belly and notice how hard I work? Is that worth it? My mind tells me not to get excited, but I can't help it. In the mean time, I've possibly set myself up for a huge feeling of failure. When that happens and they officially tell me NO (which won't be for a while and which, to be honest, I think is what will happen), I'll write a blog post hating myself for writing this one in the first place, and I'll feel like a failure.

But you know, life works in funny ways...if I don't get it, it wasn't meant to be (or so I'll keep telling myself right?). I know I'll get a job somewhere. It doesn't HAVE to be there. I'll just have to search...but that'll happen at a later time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wow, That Took a While

I have so many topics I could blog about:

(1) top 20 things I want to teach my daughter
(2) start the first of a few "before we're parents" book/series so that I can be held accountable when our children are grown and can say "I said I would never do that"
(3) discuss my decision to be a working mom instead of being a stay-at-home mom
(4) the debate between breast feeding and formula feeding
(5) my complete hatred already of the bar exam for not even giving me a week of maternity leave etc. etc. etc...

However, today I thought I would write about my blog makeover. I realized yesterday that I needed to make this blog look cuter. I searched different people's blogs and kept noticing a website called, "cutest blog on the block." I finally found a template I liked, uploaded that with a few problems, and then on to the banner. Ugh, what a pain in the ass. I couldn't get the stupid banner to match up to the size I wanted, I finally figured out how to do that, and now...tada...what do you guys think of the new look? I'm aware it's actually nothing that special, but it's baby steps people. I had to download a program called paint, do layers and type the name of the blog, and somehow, this took time!

SO, after I worked on this for about 40 minutes during my Crim Pro class (yes, I realize my grade in this class will probably reflect my lack of attention), I showed Evan when I got home. His response? "Oh, cool." It wasn't an "OOOOOH COOL" it was more a "does that even look different?" cool. After I was so proud of doing all that work, Mr. Fancy Pants not only "oh cool"ed me, but then he did this to his blog. Now, his looks cooler than mine! Grrr...oh it's on...haha, j/k.

Next time I feel like a makeover, I'll do a more fancy lookin banner with pictures, but for now, this will suffice. It's all I had time for, and it's all the patience I had without going insane too. So for now, I like this makeover...and I'll be proud. Darn proud.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What Can I Say...He's a Romantic

My husband is a romantic.

He's always been the most romantic guy I've ever heard of. And, well, I happily accept that trait.

Our Valentine's days are always filled with lots of laughing, food, and relaxing. This year was obviously special. It was our last year as just us two in the house. While we're beyond excited to have our plus one with us next year, we definitely took advantage of this last year and made sure to enjoy our time together.

On Saturday, we went out for our Valentine's dinner to a steakhouse in Lubbock called Las Brisas. Yes, this dinner was out of our price range, but next year, we won't be able to go anywhere since we'll have a 8 month baby with us, so I figured we could split the cost of the next two Valentine's, and suddenly it didn't look so expensive! : ) Evan, again...remember...the romantic, had gone to Blockbuster and rented a few romantic movies and had planned our evening out. We went to Las Brisas (and when I opened my car door, there were a dozen roses...sigh...I'm a lucky gal) knowing they would give us at least a 1.5 hour wait. After they did, we went home with candies and sodas (we live about 45 seconds away from this restaurant). We cuddled on the couch, watched the DVD rentals, and lazily strolled back for dinner once our wait time had passed. My favorite part of the meal was how little we talked about the future. Lately it's been hard to not talk about my growing belly, but it was nice to be reminded of who we are without that. We're a couple that never runs out of things to talk about, things to smile about, and things to laugh about.

Yesterday, Sunday, I woke up with the ingredients to make homemade cinnamon rolls. We made them together (FREAKIN DELICIOUS. Find recipe here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/cinammon_rolls_/) and watched the Olympics. Last year Evan made our house "Hotel Lacefield" by drawing a bath and using our guest room as a massage parlor. I was in love with that idea and he knew full well that if there was ever a year where my muscles could use the relaxation, this was it. So Hotel Lacefield came around again better than ever!

Evan and I have a $20 limit to our gifts and he always stretches his bucks. He gave me "Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul." These books are really near and dear to my heart. When I turned 13, my Mom bought me "Chicken Soup for the Teenagers Soul" and when I got engaged she bought me "Chicken Soup for the Brides Soul." Evan and I have always read these stories to each other by choosing a random page number and reading that story. We had to start marking which stories we had read to each other because before we knew it, we were hearing the same stories multiple times. Evan's second gift was continuing a picture book he gave me two years ago. He made this photo album documenting our nearly 8 years together.

After a bath and gift exchanges, we made Asopao together (my favorite Puerto Rican dish) and it was amazing. After dinner, my masseuse was ready and Evan gave me a great massage (even my hands and feet got a massage! Glorious!).

Do you know who else got a Valentine? Liliana! Daddy wrote her a sweet little card asking her to be his forever Valentine. I'm getting teary eyed just thinking of the sentiment...

I love Valentine's Day. It doesn't have to be with a significant other. I just love the idea of making sure to take time to tell people you love them, to take the day as a mini-vacation for love. I know you should do it everyday, but who has time for that? People get busy and I don't know about you, but Evan and I don't regularly get the opportunity to spend 6 hours together without any interruptions.

Next year, we'll have our additional cutie patooty Valentine by our side. I can't wait.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

22 Week Survey

How far along? 22 weeks, 4 days

Maternity clothes? Yep, those maternity pants are coming on more and more these days. In fact, I plan on going to the stores some time today or tomorrow to buy another pair of slacks. I don't like spending the money, but having to wear the same pair of slacks every single day got old after just one week.

Here's my 22 week Belly Picture! I've grown a lot more in the last four days. Sorry I don't have any "bare belly" pics...I'm not the biggest fan of them, call me traditional.

Stretch marks? Not that I can see, but I don't think I'll get lucky enough to do without them. My belly grew quite a lot this week.

Sleep gets harder and harder. Sometimes, I just wake up in the middle of the night and am completely awake. I try to turn my pregnancy pillow around (which is a huge ordeal) and readjust, but I think the baby is starting to kick so much that it's making me wake up.

Best moment this week: This weeks best moment wasn't actually baby related. We made our decisions for who will be on the board for ALJ next year and although it took forever, I'm glad to report that the journal will be represented by 7 great students.

Movement: she slowed down for a couple days there and I'm not gonna lie, it got Mommy worried...but I'm glad to report that I counted over 150 movements yesterday! : )

Food cravings: still none.

Gender: a girl who is gonna melt her Daddy's heart.

Labor Signs: those Braxton Hicks contractions really came about this week! They're not too too painful, but more irritating. Out of no where, you think, hmm....my uterus feels really hard and it's just uncomfortable.

Belly Button in or out? Belly button didn't make a big change this week.

What I miss: not over analyzing every movement in my stomach!

What I am looking forward to: Tomorrow is Valentine's...that's fun. This week will be slower than last week, so I'm looking forward to eating dinner with Evan this week instead of coming home at nearly 10 o'clock.

Weekly Wisdom: When you feel that you've taken yourself too far, sit back and make sure to relax! I had really long hours this week and finally had to tell some of my classmates that I had to put my feet up...they were more than accommodating. Make sure to tell people "I need to slow down."

Milestones: I am done with the "in between stages" of pregnancy ... I am nearly a full-time maternity pants woman.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Law School Classes

As I sit here in Criminal Procedure, a class that I happen to greatly dislike, I thought blogging about law school classes would be helpful to some people. Since I've started law school, I've come to realize how little people know about what lawyers actually do. Not to toot my own horn, but we're pretty damn useful. Pretty much any topic in your life includes the practice of law. For instance, Evan and I went to a new restaurant in town last week and I told him that I had heard the restaurant cost over $1 million to build. Evan thought that was a ridiculously high number and probably incorrect. Well guess what? At work yesterday, one of the attorneys wanted me to write a Summary Motion to Remove Lien because a sub-contractor is wanting some money on that very restaurant! While looking through the documents, I saw how much the general contractor has paid thus far, and would you believe it, it's over a million dollars!

Anyway, I thought I would write out what classes I took as a law student for any other law students that happen to read this blog. I'll tell you which ones I recommend and which ones I don't. Hope this helps with your planning!

First Year
First Semester
Civil Procedure - I thought this class was beyond boring, but it's required for all law students.
Contracts - this class, while one of the hardest in law school, is incredibly useful. It's also a great way to get clients after graduation because lots of family members can have contracts questions.
Property - this is another really useful class and was my favorite first semester. It's a tough class, especially what's called future interests. My main advice for property is that if you get to choose who your professor is, go with the guy with the best reputation...not the easiest one. Property is heavily tested on the bar exam so whether you learn future interests now or then, you'll still have to learn it. You might as well have an expert teach you as opposed to your teaching yourself.
Legal Practice I - legal practice is an important class, but I happened to have a horrible professor. More than anything, I think it just prepares you for clerking and making you familiar with writing briefs, etc.
Second Semester
Constitutional Law - my favorite class my first year (I also did really well in this class, so yes I admit, that's part of why I loved it!)
Legal Practice II - look above from Legal Practice I
Criminal Law - I dislike Criminal Law so much it's not funny. I know I do not want to practice Criminal Law, but obviously, everyone has to take this class.
Torts - This class finally has fun cases to read. It talks about your "typical" cases that you hear about before starting law school - slip and fall, malpractice, etc. It finally was what I thought I'd be hearing about full time. That's the surprising thing about law school...torts is the only class ever covered on television shows. ha.

Second Year
Law Science Policy & Evidence - this, obviously, was one of my electives, but I really enjoyed it. I learned about an entirely new area of law: microorganisms, forensics, etc. I wrote a 40 page paper on electronic waste and what happens to all the televisions, etc. that get thrown out. The United States just sends them to other countries instead of dealing with them and it's causing serious environmental and health problems, particularly in China.
Discrimination in Employment - this class was great. I recommend every law student take an employment class, if nothing else, to at least to help yourself in the future.
Correctional Health Law - I really liked this class. The correctional system is the current day mental hospital. It made me feel so bad for those with psychological problems that are labeled as criminals, when truly, you can't say a schizophrenic is a bad person. For instance, schizophrenics are released with 2 weeks of medication (each week after that is over $100).
Wills and Trusts - oh wills and trusts...I love you. I found my love in Wills and Trusts. Probate law is amazing to me, but I know not everyone loves it. Either way, it's required, so take it and then fall in love with it just like I did.
Income Taxation - this class is useful and you mainly learn how to fix problems that occur after people or CPAs incorrectly file tax returns (that's exactly how my professor put it at least). That being said, I found tax boring.
Second Semester
Bioethics - I wouldn't recommend people take this class. I did the "Health Law Certificate" in our school, and while I will be certified in health law, I don't think this will help in my job search. It's probably my greatest regret in law school. If you do need an advanced writing requirement, I still don't recommend this class because you had to do a 75 minute presentation and write a 30 page paper. Some classes don't require as much.
Public Health Law - Look at my notes from Bioethics.
Evidence - Evidence is required, but obviously, it's useful. The only problem with evidence is that people start thinking they're lawyers in their second year (my pet peeve). As law students, we know nothing. I probably won't feel competent enough as a lawyer until I've been practicing for a few years...so what would convince others that they're qualified to spit out legal information after sitting in class for a few hours a week?
Business Entities - most people hate this class: mergers, acquisitions, LLCs, corporations, etc. However, I think it's beyond useful! As a clerk, I get at least two projects each week that involve some form of business entities.

Third Year
First Semester
Health Law - look above for my thoughts on too many classes on such a narrow topic
Commercial Law - this, in my opinion, was the hardest class I took in law school. I was just happy I passed. Unfortunately, it's useful and I wish I would have tried harder. This class involves security agreements, check fraud, check forgery, etc. I think what made it so difficult was that it is an entirely new language. I had never heard of half of the issues so was teaching myself a new language and a new set of laws. I wish I had taken a better professor, one that actually cared, but either way it would have been hard. P.S. Doesn't sound fun? Too bad, it's required.
Professional Responsibility - It's ridiculous that this is a full 3 hours course. This class could be taught once a week and be plenty. As a law student, you have to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) before the state will issue you your law license (this is a separate exam from the bar exam). Taking this class before taking the exam is recommended. I tried taking the exam before taking the class, but of course, I hadn't studied hard enough. Once you've at least studied for the final, you'll be more prepared to take the MPRE. Then, passing should be a breeze.
Estate & Gift Tax - I took this class since I enjoy probate so much, and while it's useful, I found it boring and don't recommend it unless you want to practice probate. Side note: as a brand new associate, you're rarely afforded the opportunity to practice the kind of law you like. If you're fortunate enough to get a job (this economic climate is very hard for law students), you do whatever kind of law the firm wants you to do...and you do it with a smile on your face.
Second Semester
Criminal Procedure - ugh...required. Look above for my thoughts on Criminal Law.
Marital Property - LOVE this class. The first half of this class talks about homesteads, which to those of you not in law school, talks about what you could do with your house after your spouse dies. In Texas, if your spouse dies and he leaves your house to his lady friend, she is quite out of luck...you get to live there until the day you die! ha...I'm leaving out some parts to this of course, but this sounds more tantalizing.
Texas Estate Administration - LOVE this class. You work through how to administer someone's estate and I happen to have Professor Gerry Beyer, one of the best probate experts in the nation.
Law Office Management - honestly, I needed another two hour course so that's why I'm in it this semester. However, if you're thinking about starting your own law office, take this class. It talks about advertising, how to get clients, etc.
Family Law - I took this class because it's tested on the Texas Bar Exam, but so far, I don't mind it too much. I wouldn't want to practice Family Law (hear people arguing about their child support, alimony payments, etc.) but if you want to hear about all this stuff (cause some people love it), then take this and enjoy.

Hope this helps! : )

Monday, February 8, 2010

Being Pregnant During Law School

As soon as I found out we were pregnant, I started looking for blogs to tell me "you can do this. You can be in law school and be pregnant." I was, quite honestly, terrified.
Fortunately, I did find a couple blogs where women have gone through the same thing (some of the women intentionally getting pregnant this early, unlike us). That calmed me down. And yes, if people do happen to find this blog and they're in a similar position, it can be done. However, you need to get a few things clear.
(1) Grades will likely go down.
Mine did. A lot. I had horrible morning sickness while studying for finals and also the 8 weeks leading up to them. So, I had my doctor call me in some Zofran to help with the nausea. That sounded nice, until the medicine got me beyond constipated and I had to time myralax between the finals and would stay up all night going to the restroom. Long story short: it wasn't fun. At all. And, oh yeah, my grades DEFINITELY went down.
(2) You need support.
We all have great husbands, boyfriends, partners, etc. etc. Yadda yadda. No, I'm talking about REAL support. I didn't cook or clean for over a month throughout finals and the morning sickness. Any energy I had, I had to use while studying. Fortunately, even though my husband is probably busier than pretty much anyone else I can imagine (he only worked about 85 hours a week throughout his OB/GYN rotation some weeks...ha...yeah I told you...BUSY), he came home, stroked my hair, told me to relax, and knew I was doing all that I could. He knew I was unhappy just laying on the couch with the wastebasket underneath me the whole day. He knew that I missed working out and that if I could, I would be up doing it. I thank the lord for his support because even though my grades went down, had he not at least fed me those days, my grades would have dropped, AND I would have starved to death. Not a pretty combination.
(3) Things NEVER go as planned.
So even if you planned this pregnancy, or even if you're like me and think "well at least it was late enough so that I graduate on time," some things NEVER go as planned. Six weeks in to the pregnancy, I had some spotting, got put on pelvic rest (which means no hanky panky) for 3 days, and was worried sick for a few days. I hadn't planned for that! Now, there was a few days where school work just went out the gutter. Then, we made this surprise trip to San Antonio where fortunately my Mom gave us an ultrasound (she's a radiologist). Whew...everything looked wonderful. Well then, at 8 weeks, spotting again. This time, I was put on bed rest and pelvic rest (so I had to call in to work and couldn't have sex again for a few days...geez...if I'm gonna call in to work, at least let me have fun!) This time, my OB here in Lubbock wanted us to go get an ultrasound. We did: everything looked great. I thought, finally we were done with the unplanned visits, calling in to work, feeling sick, etc. WRONG. At 19 weeks pregnant, I fainted in the grocery store. I had unfortunately gotten a horrible cold from my niece and I got sinusitis, strep throat, and it threw off my balance too much. But as you guessed, this was another trip to get some care. I called Evan, he had to step out from seeing a patient, rushed home, and took me to the E.R. for the next 5 hours. Again, nothing will go as planned. I promise.
(4) Even with insurance, you're gonna spend money.
Having insurance when you're pregnant is an absolute must. We are lucky to have great insurance through the school, but even with that, our medical bills have already surpassed $1500 (including an upfront $700 fee for all the visits with your OB). And for those of you that think we're going to Covenant (the private hospital), wrong. We went cheap-o and are at the University hospital. So no matter where you go, get ready to spend money.
(5) NO ONE at school will understand.
In general, once people started hearing our news around the law school, people were nice about it. BUT, the MOST common things I heard were:
(1) Don't worry, I did it, you can do it too - I had ALL males tell me this. Not one female. It infuriates me. No, you haven't been pregnant in school. Your wife is the pregnant one, and not one of them have the stress of finals and pregnancy at the same time. So please, even though you're trying to be nice, don't tell me "you've been there too." You know what it's like to a certain extent, but you by no means are in the same boat.
(2) I don't know how you'll do it. You're so brave. - is this a compliment? When you get the positive on the test, you don't know how you'll make it either. There's really no other option. I saw it as "ok, now I have to make this happen. Let's go. I need to kick some ass." My only response to people is, "there's nothing like this pregnancy to make me realize that I'm not brave one bit. There are things SO much bigger than law school and taking the bar." And I mean that...even if I have to repeat it to myself on a daily basis. : )
(6) Screw any of these negatives, you're pregnant...enjoy it, love it, we are so lucky.
Yes there are negatives to this...but aren't there negatives to everything in life? Even though grades went down, I kept thinking to myself, would this have been ANY easier as an associate? I don't think the answer is yes. I think even though this hasn't been easy, it's never easy. I am so lucky to say I'll be a Mom soon. As long as we keep things in perspective, I realize that everything else doesn't matter.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

21 week survey

How far along? 21 weeks, 5 days

Maternity clothes?
I buckled down this week and started wearing some maternity pants. I was so much more comfortable. The pants are still big in some areas (particularly at the top of my legs), but thankfully, the belly part is stretched enough and feels fabulous.

Stretch marks? None still...thank you very much.

Sleep: Sleep is getting harder every single week. My lower back really hurts if I don't use the pregnancy pillow, but when I do my neck occasionally hurts too. I tend to use the huge pregnancy pillow 5 times a week. Unfortunately for Evan, that means the cuddling has really cut down because the pillow is huge. Fortunately for me, my husband is great and completely understands.

Best moment this week: We had another maternity appt. and got to hear that everything still looks great. We also got to hear her heart beat again, which is always a blast.

Liliana is an amazing mover! Our OB seemed really impressed that we saw her move so early, and we were like "yeppppp...that's our GIRL!!" : ) Some hours, I've counted 35 movements. My OB told me that eventually I'll notice a rhtyhm to her movements. So far, she ALWAYS moves at 11 pm and then again at 7 am. I'm telling myself that it's because she sleeps in between for 8 hours straight.

Food cravings: I think I've been either incredibly rare, or most women just make up cravings because they can, but throughout the pregnancy I've had the same cravings that I do through my normal months.

Gender: We're having a girl. I've finally really started feeling that she is a girl. It's a perfect girl we have growing in my belly.

Labor Signs:
I've had quite a lot of uterine pain the last two days. I worked out yesterday and got some pretty serious round ligament pain so Evan drew a bath for me and that did help some. I'm taking it easy today though. I'm not sure if some of these are the infamous "braxton hicks contractions," or not, but either way, they're not fun. They're not incredibly painful...they're just worrisome.

Belly Button in or out? Still in, but each week it really does come out a little more...it's kinda cute. I like feeling it through my clothes. It's such a big change.

What I miss: I miss working out the real way. I do the Jillian DVD's still, but can't do nearly half of the exercises because they hurt my belly. I feel so darn boring.

What I am looking forward to: Next weekend is Valentine's weekend! It's our last Valentine's EVER without being parents, so we're going to spend all Saturday and Sunday together.

Weekly Wisdom:
Take baths! Taking my bath last night was amazing. I had only taken one other bath throughout the pregnancy, but Evan was saying that he's gonna start drawing baths for me once a week to make sure I actually calm down enough and do it. Is he going to be a great Dad or what? : )

Milestones: No huge milestone this week...we did make it through another OB appt. which is always great. I don't have my next one until March. After that visit, we start going every two weeks, as if I have the time to do that!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Liliana Rose

Quite a few people have asked me why or how we got her name. No, I'm not obsessed with flowers (although I do like them quite a lot). We've always known that the girl's middle name was going to be Rose (my Mom's name is Rosa) and the first boy's middle name would be Daniel (my Dad's name is Daniel). So, that was set.

Now, for the first name. We wanted something: unique, Spanish sounding, beautiful, not too difficult to pronounce, and a name that when shortened, was still cute. Evan was particular on not wanting anything too Southern sounding - ex: MacKenzie, Bradlyn, etc. and that worked for me because as I said, I wanted something that incorporated her heritage from her Mother's side as well. My family is Puerto Rican.

My husband's last name is Lacefield. Mine is Ramirez. WHAT? Was I one of "those" that kept her maiden name? haha...yes. This will take some explaining and getting off topic, but here we go. It's not that I don't love my husband. It's not that I'm not honored to be his wife. It's not that I don't consider us to be a family. It's just that my Puerto Rican heritage is very important to me. It's just that I don't see why I have to change MY name. I completely understand why most people do change their name. I've just known, since I was young, that I was born and would remain a Ramirez. After Evan and I got engaged, I decided he should know my decision. Our conversation lasted a whole 8 seconds. It went like this:

Cristina: So hon, I've decided I want to keep my maiden name after we get married. I don't want you to be offended, you know I love you, it's just that

Evan interrupts Cristina. Evan: That's fine. I don't care. Will our kids last name be Lacefield?

Cristina: Yeah.

Evan: Ok. Hey, I'm hungry, let's eat.

And, that was it.

ANYWAYYYYY...back to my baby girl Liliana's name. Since she was getting Lacefield as her last name, I wanted something Spanish as her first name. This wasn't an essential trait, just a desired one. We went on the internet after searching through some baby name books (we found ZERO names we liked in the books). On the internet we found three names we liked for our first girl: Liliana, Gabriella, and Ella. Ella is too popular now, so that was out. It was in between Liliana and Gabriella. We liked both Gaby and Lily (when people gave her a nickname). Then, the second that they told us it was a girl, we both knew...her name was Liliana.

People thus far have LOVED the name choice. We've heard "oooh, that sounds like a heart breaker." : ) And, we are in love with our name choice...just like we're in love with her.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Homemade Nursery Decorations

Well, we did so much work over the weekend on the nursery and man it felt great! We started with a nice bright green on the wall behind the crib and I immediately fell in love with that paint color. Then, for the other walls I wanted a nice, calm cream color to compliment the green. Evan started painting (I did try and help as much as I could, but kept getting lightheaded and we couldn't open the doors to ventilate because it was approximately 10 degrees outside). Then, I told him: "that cream looks like sunshine." BUT...it was too much sunshine. The room was BRIGHT. My eyes just hurt looking at it. Fortunately, Evan is the most patient man in the whole world, and he really agreed. We suddenly realized we had chosen the wrong color and that the name "Chenin Blanc" was for a reason. Ha. So we went back to Walmart driving through icey roads and picked up a "cream ware." We finished painting the remaining three walls and it was love at first sight. Calm, yet fun. Perfect.

Here is the room in a complete mess. We can't believe how far the room has come. Just one month ago, this was our study with a dark green wall, a huge desk, etc. Now, it's ready for our baby girl. : )

Here I am, with our new stroller, Liliana's "abuelita" doll inside her stroller, and her crib in the background. On the other side of the nursery are the rocking chair and the dresser. It really is coming together.

So for now, we're mainly done...but we both have SOME projects left. Evan, even though he's going to be a surgeon, loves woodworking. He built a hall tree and two night stands for our house and they're, of course, some of my favorite pieces in our home. Therefore, I wasn't surprised when he told me he wanted to build a toy chest for our baby's room. He's decided to take this design. We're not going to paint it the same, but are just going to stain it instead. Then, we're going to put a big colorful cushion on top so that people can sit with us while visiting.

I have two smaller sized projects. First, I'm going to paint her name above the crib. After searing prints I could purchase on Etsy.com, I drew up my favorite four and decided to paint Liliana in this design. I think it's going to look amazing. If I can't quite get it, I'll just order it. For now though, I love the idea of us doing homemade projects for Liliana AND saving money all at the same time.

My second project is a "picture board" I'll put together by buying lots of bright fabrics and placing them together. The idea is that I'll put pictures up of anyone important in Liliana's life as they come to visit her. I'm planning on putting it above the dresser.

Either way, at least the room is really coming together. Slowly but surely, we'll get her room coming together. Our main baby shower is on March 20th, so I'm sure I'll come back with SO much stuff that I'll be out of room. In the mean time though, I like how empty the room looks...how peaceful...and how much that little room is hers. We sit in the room just thinking about her, how wonderful our life is going to be with her in it, and how lucky we were to get that surprising news that evening.