Wanting another baby

This was the second most amazing day of my life (November 21, 2012), the day that Connor was born, and these photos of Elsa meeting him for the first time are some of my most treasured photos.


It was in early October of last year, so almost a year ago now, that I finally worked up the courage to tell Jody that I really really really wanted to have another baby. I had been thinking about it for months already, had gotten so excited about it, and had convinced myself that he wouldn’t say no to something that I wanted so so so so so so much. He said no and I was devastated. But he said no but left open the tiniest little door of hope in my mind that maybe he would think about it and maybe maybe maybe it was still a possibility.
 
 In March of this year, I finally brought it up to him again. I was terrified because inside I knew he wasn’t going to go for it. I laid out all my carefully thought out reasons, and expressed to him just how desperately I wanted this, that I didn’t know if I would ever be able to not have the regret if we didn’t have a third baby. He was completely emphatic in his no this time. And also made me feel really shitty in psychoanalyzing why I felt the need to have another baby. It was a really hard time. I can’t even remember how long it took me before I could start being a little happy with him. My heart was so broken.
 
 So it’s been about six months now since I’ve had my definitive “no”. I still almost daily get sad when I see a pregnancy photo or newborn photo on Instagram. I get really down whenever I hear someone announce a pregnancy. That sounds awful of me and I know it is. I’m happy for them but the most intense emotions are jealousy and sadness. I feel really selfish and awful even admitting that. I can imagine that any woman in my shoes would understand, but to most other people I probably sound mean, bitter, and a bit pathetic for holding onto this sadness.
 
 At the end of May I decided to give myself something else to focus on. I started a Beachbody program, so daily 30-minute workouts and eating very well, and in coming up on four months, I’ve lost 15 pounds and almost 15 inches. I feel more amazing and confident than I’ve felt in years, and it has definitely helped to take the intense desire for a baby out of my mind a lot. There are some days when I think I’m getting used to the idea of just two children, and feeling okay with it.
 
 But it’s still there. A week ago I managed to convince myself that there was a tiny possibility that maybe, just maybe, I could have gotten pregnant. Logically I know that Jody is hardly a 20-year-old boy who can’t control himself, but my mind manages to convince me that because we had sex right before I ovulated, then just MAYBE I can get a surprise positive. It’s ridiculous when I really think about it, but it’s all I’ve got right now so I’ll sometimes have a week where I convince myself that every time I’m super tired or every little feeling is because I’m pregnant. I wait for the day I should get my period and am so conscious of every feeling in that area, just willing no period to come. And then when it does, I feel devastated.
 
 I read that little saying “choose happiness” and I think that probably it’s going to eventually have to be something like that, where I CHOOSE to be totally fine and happy with just two kids. And really, I adore my family. Any friend or Instagram follower could so quickly tell how much I love being a mom to my two amazing little loves. I love that they get along, I love watching them together, I love that I can sometimes have time for each of them alone, I love that at 3 1/2 and 1 1/2, they are at such a fun age where they still need me and are with me all the time, but it’s also so easy to do things now. So I so totally get how lucky I am. Really amazingly lucky. Like, really lucky.
 
 But I still wish. And hope. And am sad sometimes and cry sometimes and dream sometimes and feel jealous sometimes. And I really wonder when and if that is ever going to go away. Will I have to wait until I’m in menopause and then the possibility is gone? Wait until I’m in my 50’s? When will I stop so wishing I could have another baby, be blissfully pregnant one last time, have one more sweet tiny newborn to watch grow up, have a billion sweet moments between Elsa, Connor and the new baby. It’s just so much always there, always in the back of my mind at least, so so strong. I just don’t know when it will go away. And I’ll keep hoping every month for an accident, even though I only have another year maybe before I’ll feel I’m really finally too old to be thinking about more babies. Maybe then it will be a different sadness, because it’s not a possibility but it’s still as much of a desire. When Connor, my baby, is in preschool and then real school, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. And I worry I’ll be jealous of every mom with younger children still at home. At least right now, with Elsa in preschool, I still have my little toddler on my hip to carry and be my baby.
 
 I have no good answers yet. I just had to get this all out. I don’t really talk to anyone about this. Very occasionally to one of my friends but a) she’s pregnant and b) she knows just how much I wanted and want another baby and I know she doesn’t like to bring it up and feel that she’s making me sad. So it’s all in my head, I feel sad alone and put on a happy face. I get briefly teary and then come back down to do the dishes.
 
 I so wish just one more. It would be amazing. Three kids.
 
 Anyway, this will probably be a recurring theme here because it’s my only place to talk about it. And yes, I know how lucky I am to have two beautiful kids already and be staying home with them. I know I sound like whiney baby sometimes. It’s just something I’ve wanted so much and it’s really hard to let it go.
 
 
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Starting over

I haven’t posted on this little blog in almost 2 years.  Too busy with two kids during the day, and in the evening I usually just want to relax on the couch for the little time I have.  But I’ve been making a lot of positive changes over the last four months – losing 15 pounds and almost 15 inches so far, eating way better as a normal way of life, not watching nearly as much TV (of course it was summer so there was only Bachelor in Paradise for a guilty pleasure to watch).  I’m determined to keep it up with making positive changes.  I’m cutting back the number of TV shows I watch even more this fall, to 2 or maybe 3 and that’s it. And I want to start reading more, and also writing more on here.

I’m going to switch all my old posts to draft status because they are so old, and all of them are so long, and are mostly just about trying to get pregnant or pregnancy updates.  I don’t want to lose all those thoughts but I want a nice fresh start for this blog of mine!

I’m excited to clean up around here and get to it again!  And because of my limited time and to try to make things more readable, I’m going to really work on writing short little posts, too, instead of the suuuuuper long ones I’ve always written in the past on any blog I’ve ever had!  And I need to search but I’m hoping WordPress has an app, because if I could post from my phone then I would have NO problem sticking with it, and no problem being able to post photos.  So fingers crossed on that!

See you soon for more!!

Weekly Update: 29 weeks!! AND 3D ultrasound tomorrow!!!!

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WEEK: 29

MONTH: 7

TRIMESTER: 3

GENDER GUESS: Tomorrow we’ll find out!!!!!!  I am guessing it’s a girl.  I’ve taken so many online gender predictor quizzes and all of them say girl to varying degrees, and I think my stomach looks more like a basketball in there than a watermelon (although I’m starting to second-guess that).  I don’t really know of course, but I feel more like it’s a girl and with all the gender predictors favoring a girl I can’t help thinking that.  I think my belly is similarly shaped as with Elsa, and I think I’m carrying high.  My leg hair is growing super slow which seems to favor a girl.  My hair does not look great, and I get little pimply things on my face sometimes which favor a girl.  I crave more sweets or fruity things as opposed to salty or heavy foods which favors a girl.  So all these things point to a girl.  Oh and the heartbeat has always been above 140 which favors a girl.  The pregnancy hasn’t been exactly the same but similar to with Elsa.  I haven’t has as much bleeding of the gums but have had it, I don’t think my acid reflux has been as bad, but it’s been getting a lot worse over the last couple weeks.  And no kankles or swollen legs yet, but that could just be because I wasn’t ever out in such hugely hot heat as with Elsa, and wasn’t on my feet shooting hardly at all this summer.  Anyway, I am going in with the guess that it’s a girl, so I’m more expecting to hear that.  I will be quite shocked if we see a little penis and scrotum sac, that will take me awhile to process.  But if it is boy, I will immediately start looking for a few cute outfits to buy so I can hang them up and get excited about that!

BABY’S HOMEWORK THIS WEEK: Right now the baby’s head keeps growing bigger and bigger to make more room for its brain growing (and that’s why I keep having to go to the bathroom more and more often, too!)! The baby’s skeleton keeps hardening more each day during this whole trimester, and to help with that, at least 250 mg of calcium are deposited in the baby’s bones each day! The baby is working on developing its eyesight more and more all the time, too. (via babycenter.com) Baby also is getting more and more active (this I can feel!), and is practicing breathing movements by rhythmically moving its diaphram. And the baby’s brain is now able to regulate its temperature, so it starts losing the fine hair that’s been covering its body to keep it warm. (via StrongMoms).

BABY’S SIZE: Baby weighs between 2.5 and 3 pounds, and measures between 15 and 17 inches long! It’s SO amazing to think that the baby is so long already!  Just incredible that it’s pretty much a full baby already, it just needs to put on a bunch of weight and keep developing a bit more, but it’s already our little baby in there!

BABY LOOKS LIKE:

BELLY PHOTO: Here’s a photo taken today:

 

WEIGHT GAIN: I’m now up to over 25 pounds.  With Elsa I had only gained 21 pounds at this point, and I even had 10-15 extra pounds this time of baby weight I didn’t lose, so the numbers on the scale are not at all making me happy.  I’m going to have a lot to lose this time, and I’ve always heard it’s harder to get off after the second baby, so I’m in trouble.  And with less time even than before, and with a toddler and a newborn.  The ONE good thing is having the baby in December will give me some good time to start losing before the dreaded summer months come around and I have to bare much more and not hide behind black and long sleeves.  But I’m nervous already about being able to lose enough to feel okay about myself in the summer.

SYMPTOMS: Bleeding gums are getting a little bit worse, acid reflux is definitely getting worse, especially in the evenings.  Sleeping is getting harder sometimes – the body pillow usually helps for sleeping on my right side but sleeping on my left side is usually really uncomfortable.  And whenever I have to turn over I need to sit all the way up to do so, feeling more like a walrus.  Sleepiness sometimes, but I’ve also been staying up late most nights.  Still dry hair and dry lips, and very slow growing and soft leg hair which I love!

I started going to a chiropractor last week who specializes in pregnant women, and I’m sooooooo happy with her!  She examined me first and had her assistant do the scan, and reported that the left side of my pelvis wasn’t moving properly which was throwing the whole thing off, and which explained all the pain I was feeling on that left side.  I’ve seen her 6 times in the last two weeks and I see such a change already.  I feel better and have less aches and pains, and way way way less ligament pain.  She often will run her fingers in little tiny movements along with lower ligaments pressing on them lightly, it’s slightly uncomfortable but I have so much less ligament stretching pain now so it’s really working.  And I’m just so happy that she’s getting everything all moving correctly and the pelvis being open and all that, so I can hopefully have a nice smooth delivery!

Other than that my belly just feels bigger all the time and some days I really feel it growing and stretching.  It’s harder to sit with Elsa and harder to cuddle her if she’s not hugging me, so often now I need to have her sitting right next to me with my arm around her snuggling her as close as I can.  When I have her sit on my lap I have to have her sitting to the side, and then if I want to be close to her like I want to be I need to hunch over so much which is pretty uncomfortable with the belly.  So I can now officially say that although I love my belly so much and am not ready at all for it to be gone and for a baby to here, I do really miss getting to hold Elsa on my lap like I used to, and having her lean back into me when she’s sleepy and watching something on tv or playing with my phone.

CURRENT MOOD: So so so so so so excited for the ultrasound tomorrow!!!!!  So so so so excited to know if it’s a little boy or girl and be able to start planning and envisioning things and going through the baby stuff and washing it and folding stuff in the baby’s drawers and getting all ready.  I feel like I really can start getting ready once I know, and pick what to hang on the walls and sheets and find a carpet and all that!  And I keep even forgetting that tomorrow we’ll get to SEE the baby, too!  We’ll see its little face and little arms and legs and that will be so amazing and special!!  I’m so focused on the gender thing that I forget about actually seeing it!!!  I will LOVE having little photos of its face to look at for the next 11 or so weeks, it will get me so excited and so help me bond.  With Elsa even though her 3D ultrasound was done at 26 weeks when she had no body fat and looked like a little old man, I still so bonded with those photos and would stare at her little face over and over again and be so in love!!  So yes, I’m so so so excited now and so anxious and can’t believe the day is finally here tomorrow!  We get to know if it’s a boy or a girl, if Elsa will have a brother or a sister, if I can wash all her old pink clothes or start looking for some cute little boy clothes, etc.  It’s such an exciting day!!!

Besides that, there is just one other thing on my mind.  I see my OB a week from tomorrow and I already had the glucose test done last week (instead of before the appointment as he said) and also my thyroid levels were tested at the same time.  A couple weeks ago I had a curiosity of whether off thyroid levels could result in a bigger baby and maybe that’s why I’m measuring bigger.  What I found absolutely terrified me.  Nothing to do with big or small baby, but way bigger and more important.  I found that low thyroid levels have a direct result of lowering the baby’s IQ.  Of course very low levels lower it more than slightly low levels, but even slightly low levels can lower the baby’s IQ by a couple points.  And it noted that most pregnant women need higher levels of the thyroid hormone when pregnant.  With Elsa, he automatically upped my dose at the first appointment and tested me a couple months later to see if it was correct.  With this pregnancy, my general physician had actually lowered my dose just before I got pregnant based on a test, and my OB has never had me tested and never increased my dose in all this time.  At my last appointment I asked him about it and he thanked me for reminding him and ordered the test, but that was the one he said to get at this next appointment coming up.  Anyway, I am a bit paranoid now that my levels have been low through the whole pregnancy so far and thus I’ve hurt my baby from the very beginning.  I’m really nervous about it, and really stressed when I think about it.  And mad at my OB for dropping the ball on it, I feel like he’s not on top of things this time since he recently stopped doing deliveries so he’s maybe on his way to retiring and dropping the ball a bit because of it.  I’m anxious to have my appointment next week and find out the test results.  It would be amazing if it came back saying my thyroid was perfect, but I don’t see how it could considering my dose was never increased despite being pregnant.  So then I will always have a guilt knowing that my child could have been just a tiny bit smarter had I researched this earlier and gotten on my doctor to test me or raise my dose.  This causes me so much anxiety when I think about it.  But I’ve gotten to the point where I know I can’t do anything about the past so I can’t change the last few months, and I’m just anxious for my appointment next week so I can get on the proper dose going forward.

CURRENT FAVORITE FOOD OR CRAVING: None.  Really.  I don’t consistently crave anything.  I have made muffins a few times over the last week, and I still want something sweet in the evenings or after dinner, but that’s no different from normally.  So no big cravings that I can think of.

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS: 3D ultrasound tomorrow!!!!  And OB appointment next week Thursday.

BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: I’ve been generally happy this week because of going to the chiropractor, and feeling much more positive and empowered that I’ll have a fine labor now.  And I also am loving all the baby’s movements that I feel so well!

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO: Tomorrow’s ultrasound!!!!!!!

WHAT I’M MISSING: Having Elsa sit easily in my lap, being able to lay on the ground with her or lay any way in bed with her, being able to move around easily and be comfortable.  And I miss being able to cuddle close to J on the couch when we do, cause right now it’s hard cause my body can’t be twisted at all so it’s hard to find a comfortable position.

Weekly Update: 27 weeks!!

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I’m almost to the third trimester!!  That’s so exciting!!  And crazy cause somehow this pregnancy seems to have gone so fast, or at least so much faster than my first one!  Yet three months still seems like a long time.  Although then I remind myself that I want to be all ready a month early so that means just two months left to get everything done.

Today I’m feeling like I really want to DO things.  Big things.  And cross big things off my list that will take a lot of time to do but I want them done NOW.  Like picking all the photos from the last year and designing photo books for Christmas presents for the grandparents.  And ordering a canvas for my parents.  And ordering a puzzle for my grandma.  And ordering Christmas presents for my grandpa (I’m going to get him something from Norwex I think, some anti-bacterial something).  And buying a sewing machine and learning to sew.  And finding a perfect Halloween costume for Elsa.  And putting together all Ikea furniture we bought.  And picking a paint color for baby’s room and buying it and having J paint it ASAP.  And cleaning my office.  And cleaning Elsa’s playroom that’s really a junk room right now.  And having the basement finished.  And cleaning the house again.  And finding places to put everything that’s just laying around.  And finding an outfit for family/maternity photos (that won’t be done for at least a month).  And figuring out what to get J for Christmas.  And so many other things.  Instead for now I’m going to type this update cause that’s also on my list and I can cross that off.  And maybe then I’ll clean my office if Elsa is still asleep.

WEEK: 27

MONTH: 6

TRIMESTER: 2

GENDER GUESS: I feel like it’s a girl.  I felt that way early on, then in the middle I didn’t know and hoped so much for a girl that I worried it was a boy.  Now I’m still hoping it’s a girl but I’m feeling that if it’s a boy I’ll be fine and bond with that idea pretty quickly.  But I still feel more like it’s a girl, and when I take online gender prediction tests they all say girl, with varying levels of probability.  I feel like my belly is shaped more like a basketball than a watermelon, like with Elsa.  And I’m craving more sweet foods like sherbet ice cream which is the same as with Elsa.  So I just feel like it’s a girl. But then of course I instantly second-guess that feeling! I more want a girl, but I’m happy to report that a small part of me actually hopes it’s a boy.  So I feel like I’ll be fine either way!

BABY’S HOMEWORK THIS WEEK: Baby’s brain is developing more tissue and forming grooves on the surface, and it is moving into a more regular sleep schedule now.  It’s lungs are also continuing to form and are formed enough to possibly be able to work with help if born.  If it’s a boy, his testes are migrating into his scrotum, and if it’s a girl, her clitoris is beginning to form.

BABY’S SIZE: About 14-15 inches long and weights about 2.25 lbs.  It’s so big already!

BABY LOOKS LIKE: I think this may be the position of the baby right now, too!

BELLY PHOTO:

WEIGHT GAIN: Over 20 pounds now.  :(  I think I’m around 22 pounds.  And belly grew over an inch in the last two weeks.

SYMPTOMS: This last week was pretty good actually.  I definitely felt stretching in my belly often as the baby and belly are growing.  And sometimes the extreme pain right above my vagina area when I stand up, usually in the evening.  I’ve been a little tired and more lazy in the last week, sometimes just having no energy at all.  My acid reflux is definitely getting worse.  I need to go out tonight and get a new bottle of tums, even now I feel it and it’s getting more and more uncomfortable.

Other stuff that is sort of symptoms.  I can’t remember if I talked about my boobs two weeks ago or if I noticed it since then.  At night when I take off my shirt and I’m moisturizing everywhere, I noticed that my boobs look like something out of a horror film – I see every single vein in them, and in my chest and running down my arms and even in my belly.  It’s so freaky and it really shows up in the dim light!!!  And I also realized a few days ago that I can’t see my vag area at all anymore for shaving.  No more leaning to the side or somehow pushing my belly one way or the other, now it’s all just on feel!

I’m feeling much bigger movements from the baby now!  Sometimes seeing my belly move, or seeing a big hump appear on my belly and have it be extremely lopsided while I feel lots of pressure!  I THINK it’s the baby’s bum that is doing that, it’s sort of on the middle to top of my uterus and on the left side.  But today I was just feeling kicking really high up on that side, so I’m trying to figure out exactly how this little baby is facing right now!

CURRENT MOOD: Pretty good!  I’m so happy to be 27 weeks, and almost in the 3rd trimester.  I’m calm right now about the baby being fine and so excited for the 3D ultrasound in 2 weeks and 1 day!  I’ve decided to find out the gender at it.  This was a MAJOR internal debate!!  J adamantly didn’t want to know the first time but this time he’s fine either way with what I prefer.  I LOVED not knowing the first time and wondering and anticipating, and that moment when Elsa came out and J said tearily and so excited “honey, it’s a girl!” – words can’t describe how much that memory means to me.  But a) if it’s a boy I kind of feel like I need to know and prepare for that mentally and get excited about it, and b) this became the biggest factor – I feel like I need this sense of control.  I have so much anxiety about how it’s all going to work this time with having a toddler and a newborn, how Elsa will adapt, how I’ll feel, what the baby will be like personality-wise, how I’ll deal with the guilt of not feeling like I’m giving either of them enough time, how my mood will be, how I’ll get used to taking two kids out of the house in the middle of winter to get us out of the house and get Elsa some changes of scenery at least every couple days.  Just so many unknowns and so many anxieties.  So when I think about knowing the gender this time it actually calms me down because I can have the room perfect, I can have all the proper baby items for the first couple months washed and folded in the dresser, I won’t need to go out to the store for anything, I can bond with the idea of whichever gender it is, I can feel as prepared as possible beforehand, etc.  So, I have finally made the decision to find out.  It will be different of course and a different experience, and I think it will probably make labor less exciting since we know.  But emotionally it’s what I want to do this time.  And now that I’ve made the decision, I absolutely can’t wait to find out!!  And to see the baby’s little face and hopefully see a cute little baby and fall in love with its little face!  We’re having the ultrasound when I’m 29 weeks so I know the baby won’t be really pudgy yet but hopefully it will be okay.

I’m also excited to see the baby then because I have these fears right now that the baby is huge, and maybe too huge or abnormally huge, and then I think that will make it be ugly too and deformed.  My doctor just under two weeks ago told me that I’m measuring large and he seemed shocked at how big my uterus was, how high up in my belly it is already.  I’d wondered myself if it was big cause it seemed early to be feeling the baby kicking so high up already.  So I was really concerned, and of course when I got home I googled measuring big and reasons and found all these scary possibilities along with the general “or it could just be a big healthy baby”.  I had a terrible day that day crying tons and sure the baby was going to be deformed or something wrong with it.  The next day I felt better, but I’ve still had these little fears inside.  I’m feeling mostly better and fine these days, but it’s still there a little.  So I really am anxious to see this baby, to hear that it’s somehow in the normal range as the baby moon people can sort of gauge based on all the babies they see, and I’m anxious to see its little face and hopefully see a normal little baby and hopefully it will be relatively cute.  And yes now I can’t wait to find out the gender!!!!

CURRENT FAVORITE FOOD OR CRAVING: Nothing strong, but when we’ve gone for ice cream I’ve wanted sherbet flavors.  And I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve really felt satisfied by a meal of any kind, or snack of any kind.  Yes it satisfies my belly, but nothing ever seems really perfect or just what I wanted.  I don’t even know what I would have if I could have anything right now, nothing seems perfect.

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS: My next doctor appointment isn’t for another 3 weeks still.  I’m going to call and ask if I can come in early, like next week, and do the glucose test and thyroid test instead of waiting for when I come in – since I’ll be 30 weeks then and it seems a little late for that, and I’d rather my doctor has my test results already at the next appointment.  And next anything baby appointment is on Thursday, Sept 20 to see the baby in 3D and find out the gender!!

BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: The big strong feelings I’ve felt in the last few days of baby moving, and seeing my belly move or be pushed out on the outside!

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO: 3D ultrasound in just over two weeks!!!

WHAT I’M MISSING: Probably little things mostly like looking good, feeling skinny, not having a big bum, and having more energy.  But I’m feeling good mostly!  Although starting to get nervous about how hard it will be to lose the baby weight this time, and when I’ll start working out and how I’ll manage to fit that in.  I don’t want to spend the whole next summer feeling terrible about myself though like last summer.  This time I would reeeeeeallly love to feel like I’m in pretty good shape by the time summer clothes season is here, so I’ll have to start working out and eating right I’m thinking 2-3 months after the baby comes.

Weekly Update: 25 weeks!!

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Last week we were in Michigan visiting my family so I really didn’t have time to sit down and write an update or even take an official photo.  But now I’m 25 weeks, that’s so exciting!!  It feels so far along but yet not too far yet.  I love where I am right now!  But I was just thinking how I have just over 2 months now to get everything done on my to-do list so I can spend the month of November just relaxing and not stressing and cooking and baking and nesting and all that good stuff, and possibly potty-training Elsa if I think she’ll be ready for it!  2 months is not a long time!!!

WEEK: 25

MONTH: 6

TRIMESTER: 2

GENDER GUESS: Gender has been a big thing for me over the last week.  I have in my mind that it’s a boy because of some of the differences in this pregnancy – not as much weight gain in my butt and hips yet, slow-growing leg hair (even though most places say it favors a girl, I didn’t have that with Elsa), belly getting so big so fast.  So I keep thinking it may be a boy but I can’t let go of my dream for a second girl and to have two little girls running around together.  I’m actually really considering finding out the gender around 30 weeks when we go for a 3D ultrasound, so if it’s a boy I can do my mourning of the dream of two little girls and then move on to get excited about and bond with the idea of a little boy, and all before the baby is born.  It sounds so silly saying all this, how I really want a girl and would need a mourning period if it’s a boy, but I know how way over-emotional I was the first week and maybe two weeks after Elsa was born so I don’t know how I’ll be this time, and especially if it’s a boy.  I may be totally fine and just immediately bond with a perfect little boy, but what if I’m not??  Actually over the last couple days the idea of a boy hasn’t been so bad to me as it was last week.  I’ve remembered how little boys often are cuddlier than little girls, I think of my friends and acquaintances who have little boys and just adore everything about them.  But then I also think how little boy clothes are nowhere near as cute as little girl clothes, how the boys will grow up to be not cuddly with their moms, how they’ll find girls and get married and not be nearly as close with us (usually) as daughters usually are.  Of course so much of this comes from my own family and similar personal experiences, I know some sons who as adults stay really close to their parents.  But it still isn’t the same I don’t think.  And I’d have to eventually go through all Elsa’s clothes and start giving some away and that will be SO HARD!!!  Anyway, I am really going back and forth on finding out the gender this time.  I wouldn’t want to know right now, I like the wondering, but I’m thinking about maybe finding out in a few weeks.  We’ll see how I feel between now and then.

BABY’S HOMEWORK THIS WEEK: Baby is working on it’s breathing and is making breathing movements with its lungs.  Its brain has also developed enough now that it shows a response to touch and light, and can now hear sounds outside just my belly.

BABY’S SIZE: Around 1.75 pounds and it’s about 13.5 inches long from head to heel.  It doesn’t weigh much so would be teensy skinny in there but it’s pretty long already!

BABY LOOKS LIKE: I’m always amazed that it’s such a real baby inside me already!

BELLY PHOTO: I never think these photos really show just how big it looks, I swear it always looks bigger to me.

WEIGHT GAIN: I think I’m now around 20 pounds.  I’ve gained a lot in the last couple weeks.  And the baby isn’t even 2 pounds yet so I have another probably 5-7 pounds that will just be the baby, let alone I know I’ll gain more weight just on my own.  My belly has grown another half inch too I think.  It’s looking more and more round all the time now!

SYMPTOMS: The biggest symptom that I’ve had over the past week has been feeling lightheaded and slightly nauseous sometimes.  It happened twice on vacation and I needed to kneel or sit down to feel better, standing made it keep getting worse.  Yesterday morning it happened again and I’d keep kneeling and then standing up and quickly doing something (getting Elsa’s food, cat’s food, food for me) until I could just sit.  And today it happened again but lasted much longer.  I went upstairs to take a shower and immediately when getting upstairs I started feeling it and sat down on the bed for awhile while Elsa played on the bed, and I laid down a little, and then I decided to try for the shower anyway but I ended up spending almost all of the shower either kneeling or crouching cause standing up made me feel sick right away.  I put my lotion on while sitting, and we went downstairs (thankfully Elsa can go down on her own now) and I sat for a long time while we snacked and then it was mostly gone.  I haven’t figured out yet exactly when it happens and what triggers it cause especially one of the times we had just eaten a big meal.  I hope it doesn’t keep getting worse cause right now I’m even nervous to leave the house after this morning.

I’m having many more aches and pains over the last week or two as well.  Sometimes when I first get up after sitting it’s SO tight and painful way down low, like right above my vagina, that I can hardly walk until it loosens up.  And a couple times after I’ve peed or pooped it’s just been so strongly achy down low in my abdomen that I have to just sit or lay until it passes, which can be 5-10 minutes.  I think my back is getting achy sometimes too after sitting in one position for too long.  And I can’t twist my body the same as I could before without it being really uncomfortable.  Bending over and standing from sitting on the ground and even rolling over in bed are getting progressively harder.  And I sometimes miscalculate how big my belly is when walking by things or opening things and sort of hit my belly.  I’ve noticed also that standing at the sink isn’t fun anymore now in the kitchen, cause my belly sticks out far so I have to lean over a bit to get to the water and just that tiny bit of leaning that’s required is uncomfortable and straining.  So I wonder how uncomfortable it will be in a couple months!

My feet still haven’t swelled but definitely sometimes when I’m sitting a lot I can feel them getting slightly puffier and strained so I need to make sure to keep my feet up a lot when sitting.  My belly button is a total flatty and very stretched already, and sensitive to the touch.  Oh and over the past three days I’ve been really sleepy and tired – I’ve slept so well at night, it’s been so hard to get up in the morning, I’ve wished for a morning nap, I’ve wished for or sometimes taken an afternoon nap with Elsa, and I’m very tired early in the evening.  It feels really similar to how I felt during first trimester.  But it shouldn’t be happening until third trimester and I’m still 3 weeks away from that!!  It makes me really wonder if this baby will come early like Elsa since everything seems to be happening faster this time.

Also, I’m starting to get the nesting bug.  I want to bake, I want to make soup stock and freeze it, I want to make chili and freeze it, I want to bake cookies and cupcakes and find recipes I like and then freeze some batter.  I want to get the baby’s room painted and Elsa’s room looking perfect (in less than two weeks we’re moving her to her big girl bed so I need to get a few more things for that as well).  I want to have the basement done so I can start organizing toys better and set up a craft area down there and an art wall and figure all this stuff out.  I want to meet with Jody’s designer friend who will help give me ideas for our terrible living room area and maybe dining room.  I want the house to be prettier and more complete.  I want J to save a lot of money on this garage he’s building so we have more to go towards the house itself which I care way way way way way way way way more about.  I want to get ready for Christmas already.  I want to get a nice fall sweater and some shoes I can wear even when pregnant.  I want to get Elsa all set for fall and winter clothes.  I need to have more money to do a lot of this.

CURRENT MOOD: I don’t like the new lightheadedness that I’ve been getting.  I don’t like feeling tired already three weeks before I even hit third trimester.  I’m worried about having only 2 months plus a little over a week to get most everything done that I want to do, including a lot of things that J will need to do like painting the room, helping build furniture, finishing the basement, finishing at least part of the basement bathroom, etc.  And I need to have some late nights to get photo stuff done and go through all the photos from the past year and even Elsa’s first year so I can put albums together (and I’m so picky and so indecisive so I know it will take a long time).  And I’m stressed about whether to find out the gender and whether it will be good or whether I’ll regret it.  I’m leaning more towards finding out though, at least right now, but still maybe just 65/35 towards finding out – and I will only tell a tiny handful of people if we do find out, I still want it to be a surprise for everyone else!  And I’m nervous about having so many aches and pains already.  I have an actual list to talk to my OB about on Thursday morning at my next appointment, and I’m looking forward to when I can start seeing him every two weeks instead of every four.  And I’m already a little nervous that something will happen so I can’t get an epidural, and I need to start doing kegels again, and also start seeing a chiropractor to get all straightened out for labor.

CURRENT FAVORITE FOOD OR CRAVING: Not much.  I’ve craved my chocolate milk a bit over the past few days but that’s all I can think of.

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS: I have my next OB appointment in two days.  I’m definitely looking forward to it, to hearing the heartbeat, to knowing all is okay, and I think the baby is big enough that he’ll try to feel it’s position and I’m curious to know if I’m right cause I think a week ago it moved to definitely being head down.  I sometimes feel a lot of pressure down there, and I feel lots of movements low which I think are the hands and maybe even hiccups, and I feel some occasional movements higher up which I think are the feet.

BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: I haven’t really had a best moment this week, just whenever I feel lots of movements from the baby which is usually in the evening after Elsa goes to sleep and I’m sitting on the couch.  Those are the best baby moments cause I get excited and I feel like everything is all okay since I’m feeling good movements.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO: My OB appointment in two days, and being 27 weeks so baby has a 50/50 chance of survival if it were born, and to having the 3D ultrasound so I can see it and bond and also stop worrying about it having a super flat forehead and not being cute (hopefully the ultrasound will show a cute baby!)!

WHAT I’M MISSING: I’m a little bit missing looking skinnier and feeling not so heavy and like it’s hard to move.  But that’s only a little bit cause really I’m so happy to be pregnant and I love being pregnant and I love how I am now – big perfect belly and obviously pregnant but not near the end yet so I still have a long time left to be pregnant!  I get REALLY sad when I think that this may be the last time I’m pregnant.  It’s such an exciting and miraculous time and knowing all the changes my body is going through to grow this little person moving inside me is so humbling and absolutely amazing!

Weekly Update: 23 weeks!!

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I didn’t realize until just now that I never wrote a 22 week update.  It was my birthday on 22 weeks but I somehow thought I wrote it!  And I even have ultrasound photos to post of the baby!!

WEEK: 23

MONTH: 6

TRIMESTER: 2

GENDER GUESS: Right now I’m wondering if it’s a boy.  A couple people said I was glowing and beautiful in a recent photo and that means it’s a boy.  And I have a girl name I love and a couple others I love as well, but not a single boy name that excites me.  And on the baby name forum I tend to click on way way way more girl name posts than boy.  This all worries me that I’m having a boy.  Which really, it would be wonderful of course, and I’ve heard that in general little boys are more cuddly than little girls.  But I would soooooo miss not being able to use my girl name, and sooooo miss the cute cute adorable girl clothes and pink and all that.  I’m so torn.  I feel like I would be happy with a boy but still be jealous then of anyone who had a girl – even though I already got my girl so I should just be happy with that!

BABY’S HOMEWORK THIS WEEK:  The baby is busy putting on weight this week, about 6 oz now every week! It’s slowly putting on more fat, and it’s organs, bones and muscles keep growing. The baby has eyelashes and eyebrows now, too, and probably some hair – although all the hair is white because the pigment hasn’t come in yet, so we wouldn’t be able to know yet what color hair it will have. (via What to Expect). Also, this week the baby is really working to prepare itself for breathing after its born. It’s lungs are producing something called surfactant that keeps the lungs from collapsing or sticking together when breathing, and blood vessels in the lungs are growing and developing more as well. And the baby is even making breathing-like movements and inhaling amniotic fluid in and out of its lungs! (via StrongMoms).

BABY’S SIZE: Baby is around 8 inches long (head to bum) and weights a little over a pound!!

BABY LOOKS LIKE: It’s such a little baby in there!

AND, here are a couple of the ultrasound photos from almost two weeks ago, baby was 21 weeks and 2 days old then (it already seems like it was so long ago and it wasn’t even two weeks ago):

BELLY PHOTO: I’m actually writing this at midnight on Tuesday morning, so I’m just now 23 weeks but haven’t taken my photo yet (will in the morning).  So I’ll attach my photo from last week, here is the belly at 22 weeks:

WEIGHT GAIN: Around 15 pounds I think, although I haven’t weighed myself since last week.  My belly is now 39 1/4 inches so it keeps growing between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch per week it seems.  A total steady climb, which is both exciting and scary cause how big will I be at the end?!

SYMPTOMS: Little bits of acid reflux here and there, usually when I lay down but this last week it’s come here and there even when I’m vertical.  My stomach definitely feels heavy sometimes, after I’ve been standing or walking for awhile I just FEEL it and I want to sit down and give it a rest.  I need to start doing some prenatal exercises, I have a couple yoga DVDs that I should do.  And maybe start going to a chiropractor now, too.  I think I tend to let my shoulders hang forward instead of pulling them down and back, and it affects my whole belly.  I definitely feel weighed down when standing up from sitting (especially on he floor), and leaning over to pick stuff up on the floor is really hard without doing a weird squat, but it’s uncomfortable now to just lean over.  A couple times in the evening when sitting at my computer, or after working a whole day at a wedding, I have felt like my feet were just slightly swollen and I look at them with dread in case, but so far I haven’t seen any kankles or signs of them.  What else?  I just feel more pregnant.  A couple nights I’ve had the stuffed nose again.  Hardly any bleeding gums though.

Oh – this may mean something, I need to look it up.  I realized just this weekend that my leg hair right now isn’t growing as fast.  I shaved on Friday evening and on Monday evening I feel a little soft stubble but it’s nothing like the hard stubble that I usually get even the next day.  I don’t know if this favors a boy or a girl, I must investigate!  It’s really nice though!

This last week I have been feeling the baby much stronger than before!  I can even feel it on the outside now I’m sure!  J tried putting his hand on yesterday but he only has patience to wait for a minute and the baby didn’t move during that minute.  At the ultrasound two weeks ago, the baby was laying horizontal across my belly.  It’s head was on my left side, it’s spine curved down low with it’s bum resting low, and it’s legs stretched out to my right side.  I think it’s still in the same position, yesterday I was feeling strong kicks on the right side there, and I feel probably the hands and arms around my middle and usually down a little lower.  It’s so cool!!!  I love feeling the miracle of a baby moving inside me, it’s such an amazing and special thing!  And although we haven’t talked about it or officially decided, it’s likely that this will be my last pregnancy and that makes me sad that I’ll never feel this again.

CURRENT MOOD: Happy, content, loving being pregnant and my big belly and the miracle of it all!  And just under 4 months until my due date now!  I’m happy I’m feeling as good as I am, although a little scared that some of the things, like the weight of my belly and difficulty bending over and such, didn’t happen until around 28 or 29 weeks with Elsa.

Also, and this may be weird to some people, but I’m worried that this baby is going to have a flat forehead.  Granted, the ultrasound tech was only able to show me the profile one time cause the baby had it’s little head so pressed against the placenta, but compared to Elsa’s ultrasound (and coming out with) a wonderfully perfectly rounded little forehead, this baby’s ultrasound photo shows a very flat forehead.  I need to make an appointment for around 32-34 weeks for 3D and that’s one thing I’ll be paying very close attention to.

I’m getting so excited for fall, too!  I know it’s just the beginning of August, but I’m getting so excited for sweaters and long sleeves and the crispness in the air.  Well for me.  But then I think of all of Elsa’s adorable summer clothes that I love so much and I don’t want summer to be over just yet, and I think of all the fun she has at the parks, and that I want to take her to more splash pads and swimming and all that, and then I don’t want summer to be over yet.  So I’m very torn between total excitement about fall and totally not wanting summer to be over for Elsa!

One other thing with my current mood, although not related to pregnancy exactly.  I’m sad that I’m the parent who has to deal with all of Elsa’s bad behaviors and work on inserting discipline into our day and telling her no and all that stuff, and occasionally yelling when she purposely throws her plate after I tell her not to, etc.  Whereas J comes home and is so happy to see her and gives her little bits of fun daddy time and makes her laugh and he seems like the fun dad whereas I seem like the mean and not fun to myself sometimes.  It makes me feel so bad.  It makes me wonder if she’s going to find me so annoying in a couple years and J will be her favorite and the one she wants to be with.  I get that it’s normal, and J comes home and spends a little bit of time with us, and then is doing stuff or out working on building the garage or whatever, so it’s always me with her and he just pops in for fun, but it’s making me feel bad.  And I feel a little more irritable lately and have a little less patience and I don’t seem to be doing new and fun and creative things with her and it all makes me feel like such a bad and boring and not fun and blah mommy.  I feel like I say no too much, like I’m telling her not to do things or asking her to do things too much, and not making her laugh enough.  I need to pick her up and make her fly even if I’m tired and feeling weighed down by my belly.  I get on the floor and play with her, I talk to her all the time, I say words to her and emphasize words all the time, I praise her for new sounds or trying to say things, I try to work on letters sometimes and numbers sometimes and try to teach her to act certain ways and not act certain ways and all that, it’s just hard to know whether you’re doing a good job or not sometimes, whether I have a good balance of everything or not, whether I’m setting a good example and making her happy and being right about setting limits and telling her no.  I am having all these doubts about myself as a mom and I think it all is stemming from me feeling like I’m not fun enough and not exposing her to enough things, and seeing J come in and be sweet and fun with her and not have to be doing the no or discipline thing with her.  Maybe I’m too picky and am not letting her be a toddler enough and saying no too much?  I don’t know, but I’m very aware of my nervousness with not being a good mom.  We go on vacation tomorrow, driving to Michigan, so it will be nice to have a change of pace and something new, and she’ll be around her grandma and grandpa and even my brother and his family are coming, so I’ll also get to see how my brother and sister-in-law are with their two boys.  Elsa also doesn’t always give me a hug and kiss on request anymore and that hurts, I know it’s her age and she has other things she wants to do then, but it feels almost like, in my subjective mind, she doesn’t want to because I’m not a good mom.  Oh so emotional when I think about it.  I love that little girl with my whole heart plus some, I don’t want to be doing things wrong and I don’t want to be affecting now how she’ll feel about me later.  Anyway, I should move this to a new post, maybe when we get back I’ll copy and paste it to a new post and have new thoughts as well.  This is a complicated paragraph with no good answers but just my worries and feelings.

CURRENT FAVORITE FOOD OR CRAVING: I don’t think anything.  I finally drank some coffee this last week though!  Twice, and both times I mixed decaf and caf grounds together.  I think usually I’ll just make decaf but a little bit of caffeinated grounds mixed in now and then will be just fine.

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS: Not for another couple weeks at least.  But I feel the baby lots so I’m not worried like I used to be!

BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: I think just all the moments where I have felt the baby this week, such stronger movements, it’s so wonderful and amazing!

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO: Hitting 27 weeks so there’s a 50/50 chance of survival if the baby were born early, and to watching the weeks tick by after that knowing that every week the baby gets bigger and stronger and the chances of it surviving go up just in case.

WHAT I’M MISSING: I don’t think I’m super missing anything right now.  Maybe sleeping on my stomach but I can sometimes still manage to feel like I am, at least for a little bit, by raising my leg up so high so it lifts my stomach off the bed when I twist a little more towards the bed that way.  Sometimes now it actually bothers me but sometimes it still works!  And I’m doing better with just sleeping on my side actually, too!

Things to do in the next 4 months

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It’s just a little over 4 months until baby will arrive.  That seems crazy now that I say that!  When I think that I’m 21 weeks so have 19 left, that seems like a long time.  And when I think that I still have 7 weeks to go before I’m in the third trimester, that seems like a long time.  But it’s almost August, and really I have the months of August, September, October and November and then baby arrives – so 4 months!

On the one hand I feel like it’s too early to be doing things.  I’m only just over halfway through.  But on the other hand, there are just 4 months left and in that time we have a week and a half vacation to Michigan, moving Elsa to a big girl bed (which I need to decide on), picking names, preparing baby’s room, buying things for baby’s room, going through all the baby stuff and cleaning it all and getting it organized, planning a 2nd birthday party for Elsa and getting her gifts, and preparing for Christmas – decorating house, buying Christmas gifts for J and Elsa, ordering Christmas gifts early for family and mailing (and I want to design little photo books for the grandparents from Elsa’s first year and second year).  And J will be busy during the summer and fall with building and finishing the garage, and finishing the basement, so most of this falls to me and since most of my day is spent being a mom to Elsa, I have limited time.  So now that I think of it, I really do need to start early!

This post is to help me organize my thoughts cause suddenly all the things that need to be done and prepared for are swimming around in my head.  I’m so bad at organization unless I make detailed lists (and even then I don’t always stick to them but it helps).  So hopefully this will help me get organized, and help me decide what things I can start doing now and make sure I’m getting everything done early that I can, so I’m not having the most stressful month of November ever and completely not enjoying the end of my pregnancy and all the excitement that comes with it!

Things to Buy:

  • big girl bed for Elsa – need to decide on and buy frame and bedding, possibly a thin mattress to go on top of what we have, a waterproof mattress pad, pillow, and guard rails.
  • birthday presents for Elsa, and also Christmas presents decided on and ordered
  • baby gift for Elsa – crib and change table for her baby, maybe something else?
  • new chair – either for Elsa’s room or baby’s room
  • carpet for baby’s room
  • decor for baby’s room
  • from Ikea for rooms – two dressers, two side tables, possibly cubby shelves
  • new change pad for baby’s room
  • get Elsa a halloween costume, and fall/winter clothes
  • furniture for basement

Things to Do:

  • Pick paint color and paint baby’s room
  • Set up baby’s room
  • Go through bins of baby clothes and supplies, clean, fold and put away
  • Go through baby toys and accessories and clean really really well
  • Plan Elsa’s 2nd birthday party
  • Go through hand-me-down clothes for Elsa and decide what she needs for fall and winter
  • Order birthday and Christmas presents for Elsa
  • decide on Christmas gifts for J and buy
  • make photo books for grandparents of Elsa’s first and second years, order
  • pick a couple other things to order for my parents for Christmas
  • pick names for baby
  • paint main floor?
  • design and decorate basement
  • decorate for Christmas in November
  • get Christmas cards all addressed and ready to go with just a photo needing to be dropped in (and letter)
  • start pottytraining Elsa if she’s ready for it?

I’ll add to these lists when I think of other things, I feel like there are so many more things.  And now that I think how I have only 4 months left it really pushes me to start!  Plus, I want the month of November to be as not busy and not stressful as possible.  I know I always say that and I always procrastinate and leave things to the last minute, but I REALLY mean it this time and need to push myself.  I don’t want to be so stressed the last month of my pregnancy so I feel guilty for not being a good mom and feel anxious about getting everything done before baby comes, and all that.  I FOR REAL this time want the month of November to be fun and relaxing, to be able to nest and bake and freeze lots of dishes, to be able to clean and read and enjoy the start of the Christmas season, and to be able to feel excited and ready for the weeks before baby comes.  I know I’ll have enough anxiety as it is then, with being nervous about labor, being nervous and anxious about being away from Elsa when I’m in the hospital, how Elsa will react to a new baby coming home with us, how stressful it will be the first couple weeks with the baby and having to care for Elsa at the same time, etc., and wanting to enjoy the Christmas spirit while I can.

Now I’ll try to do a bit of organizing what to do by month:

August:

We’ll be gone from August 7-17 on our trip to Michigan.  So I’ll set a very limited amount of things that I’d like to do in August.

  • finish M’s photos and deliver
  • do album designs
  • pick and buy Elsa’s big girl bed stuff (I want to try to move her to the new bed on Sept 1st)
  • pick Elsa’s birthday presents, Christmas presents, and present from the baby, and possibly place order already
  • buy everything from Ikea on way back from Michigan
  • set up new dressers and bedroom furniture in Elsa’s and baby’s rooms
  • decide what want to do for another chair (whether new chair for Elsa’s room or new chair for baby’s room)
  • go through hand-me-down clothes for Elsa, make list of everything we still need to buy
  • first go-through of names

September: 

I’d like to get a LOT done in September.  I’ll still be feeling relatively good, I’ll have the freshly fall spirit, and don’t have to worry about bigger things like Elsa’s birthday or Halloween or decorating for Christmas.  So September needs to be my biggest get things done month!

  • Design Elsa’s first year albums, order
  • Design most of Elsa’s second year albums
  • Pick paint color for baby’s room and paint room
  • Order all Elsa’s birthday, Christmas and from baby gifts
  • Buy a carpet for baby’s room
  • Try to buy another chair by end of month
  • Buy fall and winter clothes for Elsa
  • Buy change pad for baby’s room
  • Buy Christmas presents for J
  • Pick date for Elsa’s 2nd birthday party

October:

This is the month to finish up most big things, to have Elsa’s birthday party, and Halloween.

  • Plan and have Elsa’s birthday party
  • Set up baby’s room except for crib
  • Set up basement furniture and probably bed
  • Hang Elsa’s art on wall
  • Finish Elsa’s second year photo book and order
  • Order any other Christmas presents
  • Pick out and buy Christmas cards, address envelopes
  • Go through bins of baby clothes and supplies, do first wash and put away in drawers
  • Get out all baby toys and stuff and start cleaning them
  • Paint main floor? At least living room?
  • Buy year-long membership to Children’s museum

November:

Finish things up, decorate baby’s room a little, read a couple books, bake, clean, cook and freeze meals.

  • Finish cleaning any of baby’s toys
  • Wash all of baby clothes and blankets again and put away
  • Get Elsa’s present from baby ready to give her
  • Decorate for Christmas
  • Make meals to freeze – chill, chicken soup, frozen zip locks of slow cooker meals,
  • Clean everything in house
  • Mail out Christmas gifts to everyone
  • Read books
  • Enjoy Christmas spirit
  • Write a draft of Christmas letter in case baby comes late
  • Have basement ready for grandparents to sleep in
  • Clean breast pump and storage containers and have ready to go
  • Pick final names if already haven’t

December:

Baby arrives!  Get a family photo soon after, print, write/finish Christmas letter, mail cards.

 

Weekly Update: 21 weeks!!

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Last week, the day after I wrote my update, I started feeling the baby much more so my worries really subsided.  I had no leakage at all and everything seemed normal, so I have pretty much accepted that my water didn’t leak or break, and instead it was some left over sex stuff that came out in a gush when I was squatted down in such a compact position.  So I feel 1000 times better than I did last week at this time!!!  Yesterday I had an OB appointment and all looked good, and tomorrow I have my diagnostic ultrasound so I get to see the baby!  And I feel hugely pregnant and look it, too!  So I’m feeling wonderful this week!

WEEK: 21

MONTH: 5

TRIMESTER: 2

GENDER GUESS: I’m so hoping for a girl.  I feel so terrible and guilty feeling this way but I can’t stop myself.  Just like I was during my first pregnancy, I feel like if I have a boy, I’ll be so jealous of everyone else who I hear of having a girl.  And if I do indeed have a sweet little boy I’m sure I’ll feel awful for having said this cause I’ll love him with every bit of my heart.  But I just always picture us having two little girls and the little girls running and playing together, and running down on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought together.  So we’ll see!  Yesterday I had an OB appointment and baby’s heart rate was 155 beats/minute.  But Elsa’s was usually in the 150 range at my OB appointments, too, and she was around 160 I think whenever we’d have an ultrasound.

BABY’S HOMEWORK THIS WEEK:  This coming week, the baby’s lips, eyelids and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and little tiny tooth buds are developing beneath the gums. The baby is covered with fine hair now, and it’s working on developing its pancreas! (via babycenter.com). It may be practicing its touch and gripping skills by grabbing onto the umbilical chord, and it hears my voice, loud outside voices, my heart beating, my blood pumping, my stomach making noises, and also any loud sounds outside as well! (via What to Expect When Expecting).

BABY’S SIZE: The baby is probably about 7.5 inches long now (head to rump), or 11 inches head to foot, and weighs between 11 and 14 oz!

BABY LOOKS LIKE: A little person, it’s incredible!  I went through it once already and still I can’t imagine there being a little person around 11 inches long inside me!

BELLY PHOTO: Taken just this morning, at 21 weeks and 1 day:

WEIGHT GAIN: A couple days ago I weighed myself and I was 158 pounds.  That sucks cause it means I’ve gained around 14 pounds already.  But I was also 158 at the doctor’s yesterday and usually that scale says 2-4 pounds heavier than what my scale says.  Anyway, I’m hoping I’m more like 156 normally right now and maybe I had just eaten and drank a bunch of water then.  Belly is now 38.5 inches, it keeps steadily growing!

SYMPTOMS: I now have a little bit of acid reflux every night when I get in bed, right after I’ve laid down.  And even yesterday afternoon I was laying on the floor playing with Elsa and that caused acid reflux. I try to remember to take Tums before I go to bed and so far that totally helps when I do.  I seem to feel my belly growing and stretching every few days, too.  It’s not round ligament pain usually, but just a whole discomfort in my stomach on the outside, and I’m so aware of my big belly at those times.

It’s also getting really hard to bend over now or reach down for something, and I get winded just walking up the stairs and I don’t have much energy.  It’s not that I’m usually tired, but it’s just I can’t get up the energy to move a lot.  When I take Elsa for walks I so feel it, I have to walk slowly almost right from the beginning and by the end when we’re headed home it’s a constant awareness of how slow I’m walking and how each step seems hard and my belly feels so heavy.  I feel bad mostly just because I can’t be super active with Elsa then – I want to chase her around and make her laugh, and catch her and throw her in the air, that kind of fun stuff, but instead I can hardly ever force myself to do those things cause it just feels like it will be so hard, and standing or sitting or kneeling is so much easier.  I’m trying to be a good mom and I still take her places every day and give her a variety of things to do and teach her and all that, but the being really physically and fun active is really hard to do.  Also, sitting and reading to her is even hard now.  I feel so much better when I can be leaning back a little to give space to the belly, but when I read to her I of course sit up and even hunch over so she’s enveloped in my lap and arms and body (not smothering of course, but a closeness), so that’s hard to do after a couple books and I end up feeling almost sore in my belly after awhile.  Anyway, these new physical things and my awareness of them is the hardest thing on me right now.  I feel like I shouldn’t be feeling so slow and cumbersome this early in the pregnancy.  I still have 7 more weeks until I’m in the third trimester!  At this rate, how will I be feeling then and all through the third trimester?!  I’m hoping part of it is the summer weather – the heat and humidity, and when fall comes I’ll feel so much better.  This morning I took Elsa for a short walk to a little park and it wasn’t even hot out, but it was definitely humid and felt like a weight on me, and from the very start I had to walk so slowly and just didn’t have even a tiny bit of the energy I would need to walk even a step faster.

CURRENT MOOD: Feeling soooooooooo much better than this time last week!!  I’ve been feeling the baby every day for the past week, and heard the heartbeat yesterday at the OB appointment, and tomorrow morning I have my diagnostic ultrasound so I get to SEE the baby again!!!  I’m so excited for that!!  And I hope the technician will let me at least take a couple iPhone photos of the screen or a video so I have something to remember it by, and to show J of course.

I’ve also been thinking over the past couple days just how different this pregnancy is for me than the first one.  Not in my symptoms which are pretty much bang on, but in how I can’t sit around and read constantly about what the baby is developing each week, and read blogs and forums and all that – not unless I stay up really late at night!  And I can’t be spending so much time on the internet looking at all baby products and dreaming and planning.  It’s kind of sad for me, cause all that was so exciting and so contributed to the anticipation I was feeling.  This time my days are pretty much totally about Elsa and being a mom and all that, so it’s a treat when I even get to go to the baby name forum or make lists.  (I stayed up late a couple nights ago and was working on my preliminary lists of baby name options, so fun!).  On the one hand, we have most baby things and only need to get a couple baby things and then a few things for the baby’s room.  The most pressing thing is actually figuring out what to get for Elsa’s big girl bed and finding bedding for that in the next month.  And also, it seems a little too early to be doing too much – it even seems early to start going through names with J.  But I also hated how I never was fully ready with Elsa.  I had all the time in the world with her, but I am so slow doing things, and so indecisive, and I didn’t even get all my photography work done before she was born even though I had so much time to do it all.  I had wanted to read a couple books to prepare and didn’t, we finished her room (huge renovation) I think 2 weeks before she was born.  I remember at least being happy that I did all the laundry and had all the little clothes folded and put away and the baby stuff organized on the closet shelves.

But anyway, this time I’m way more busy with Elsa and really do have limited time.  I feel like it’s too early to start with things, but yet time may go quickly.  I’ll do another post of all my goals for things to buy and things to do, cause this all doesn’t really belong here.  But anyway my main point is that this pregnancy is different from my first in not having all this time to focus on it and plan and be so excited.  I do think about being pregnant MUCH more now though, just because of the big belly and physically feeling pregnant, and I love that!  And I’m also maybe slightly more anxious for time to pass this time, since it’s not all new.  I love feeling the baby’s little movements in there right now, but the movements have felt pretty much the same for the past 2-3 weeks, in intensity and location.  I’m ready for bigger and more solid movements now, and looking forward to when the baby is bigger and I can actually tell it’s position in me and know exactly what specific movements are.  And I’m already looking forward to getting to the third trimester – both so I know the baby COULD be viable if something happened, and so I’ll feel like I can officially start doing stuff – picking paint color and painting the room, setting up the dresser, finding a rug and chair, etc., and also going through all Elsa’s baby stuff and cleaning it and setting it up and folding clothes and all that exciting stuff!  I’ll also need to be preparing for Christmas during third trimester and ordering Christmas gifts for family early, and getting a Christmas card ready to go with just a photo needing to be dropped in it, and decorating, and having a second birthday party for Elsa – so third trimester, starting in mid-September, will be busy and I don’t want to be too stressed! Wow, lots of thoughts on my mood today!

CURRENT FAVORITE FOOD OR CRAVING: Nothing I don’t think.  Maybe chocolate milk a tiny bit, but I don’t know if it’s a craving or just it’s a sweet treat for me.

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS: OB appointment yesterday, all looks good! Baby’s heart rate is 155 beats/minute.  He’s moving his office at the end of this month so this was my last appointment at that office.  It’s was bittersweet, I was definitely sad which he thought was cute.  I have sooooooooooooo many memories of going there throughout my pregnancy with Elsa, and now going for this pregnancy with little Elsa.  I will remember where I always park, the walkway I take to the little mall that I have to walk through (I took a couple photos of the walkway and even of the patterns of the bricks yesterday), exiting the mall and crossing Portage, the small little lobby of the building and taking the elevator to the third floor, the lobby of the office (I would have taken a photo of it but I felt weird with the receptionists there who would have noticed for sure).  I took a few photos of the room (although all this art and credentials were already taken off the walls).  I will miss that old office.  Even more months after Elsa was born, even probably a year, whenever I would drive near the office or on the way to where I would park, I would get nostalgic.  Especially during my pregnancy with Elsa, it was such an amazing and special time, and all my doctor visits were a part of it.

Tomorrow morning I have my diagnostic ultrasound, I’m so looking forward to that!!!

BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Yesterday when I heard the heartbeat, and all the many times during the week when I’ve felt the baby move.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO: My ultrasound tomorrow, and feeling the baby make bigger and harder movements.

WHAT I’M MISSING: Sleeping on my stomach, or even half sleeping on my stomach.  Doing almost completely side sleeping is hard, and already my hips are getting sore and I have to move back and forth often.

Weekly Update: 20 weeks!!

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The last two weeks were hard to blog my updates, I was at my parents’ house and cottage for just over a week, and when I got back I didn’t have time initially and then I was already halfway to 20 weeks so I decided to just wait.

I’m not totally into writing this update.  I’ll do it as if I’m all totally fine and happy, but inside a part of me is so nervous and hoping everything is okay.  On Sunday night J and I had sex and a little after, I got up to clean up and went to the bathroom, then went back and laid in bed.  Ten minutes after that I realized I didn’t have the charger for the monitor upstairs, so I went down and got it and as I was squatting to plug it in behind my nightstand, I suddenly felt this little popping gush of liquid coming out of me that I had no control over.  My first thought was water breaking of course.  I stood up and went right to the bathroom, and as I was walking a little stream ran down each of my legs (I wasn’t wearing any underwear).  I cleaned it up and it was totally clear and I smelled it and it didn’t really have much of a scent but at the time I thought, “well maybe it could be pee”.

The next day, on Monday, the baby was more active than it’s ever been and I was feeling it way more than I have usually felt it, and I was pretty busy so I wasn’t too worried or trying not to worry, or really trying to put it out of my head and was encouraged by how much the baby was moving.  But that night I googled water breaking early, etc., and completely freaked myself out.

On Tuesday morning I called my doctor and he said it sounded suspicious but since I haven’t had any subsequent leaking of any kind, that’s good (if it was amniotic fluid).  He said that if I were to be leaking, they don’t do anything about it unless I’m 24 weeks and above, so I suppose there’s no use worrying too much about it cause it’s totally out of my control if it were.  But of course I can’t help it.  Yesterday I felt the baby move just a few times, which I think is probably more usual but since I’m feeling for it constantly, and since Monday was such an active day, it felt like hardly anything.  Today I’ve felt it move just a few times, not very often, and they have been smaller movements or didn’t go on for long, so I second guess whether I really felt anything at all.  I’m sitting here right now trying to push on my belly to wake it up so I can feel it move and it can make me feel better.

Next week Tuesday I have an appointment with my OB, and next week Thursday I have my 20-week diagnostic ultrasound.  I don’t think I’ll feel better until after both of those, first to hear the heartbeat again on Tuesday and know it’s still alive in there, and second to actually see it on Thursday and hopefully see a healthy and happy little baby and not be told of any red flags.  I have this huge fear now that something will be wrong in there and they’ll find a dead baby when they look, which is why I’m obsessed with trying to feel it move every once in awhile, or really more often than that.

So, with all that being said, I will write my 20 week update.  A good thing is yesterday my belly was definitely growing again, I could feel the stretching and it being just very uncomfortable.  And I’m trying to remember that it’s still tiny so I of course can’t feel many movements.  With Elsa I didn’t even feel anything until around 22 weeks so I’m lucky I can feel anything now!  And I’m also trying to convince myself that what came out was just sex stuff – his stuff and my stuff, and because of my hugely scrunched up squatting position it suddenly just forced it out.  Part of me believes that’s more reasonable for an explanation.  The other part of me is anxious and worried and nervous and just wants to know that the baby is okay.

WEEK: 20

MONTH: 5

TRIMESTER: 2

GENDER GUESS: I’m 50/50 right now.  Sometimes I think of it being a boy and sometimes a girl.  I’ll see what the heartbeat is next Tuesday and Thursday.

BABY’S HOMEWORK THIS WEEK:  Baby’s digestive system is developing more and it’s starting to swallow little amounts of amniotic fluid.  The whitish coat of vermix caseosa is beginning to cover its body to protect its skin while immersed in the amniotic fluid.

BABY’S SIZE: About 6.5 inches from head to bum, or 10.5 inches from head to foot.  And baby weighs about 12.5 oz.

BABY LOOKS LIKE: It’s incredible to me that baby is only half-way through the 40 weeks and it’s already this little human being, just smaller and not weighing much yet.

WEIGHT GAIN: I’m now about 155 pounds, so have gained over 10 pounds, probably around 11 pounds so far.  My belly is now a little over 38 inches and is taking on a more round and hard look than before for sure.

SYMPTOMS: I’ve just started getting a tiny bit of acid reflux over the past about three days.  I had it bad with Elsa so I was anticipating it coming at some point.  I also have some kind of insomnia at least half the nights.  And lots of peeing at night and more peeing than normal during the day.  My belly has ached sometimes, I think from the stretching and growing and at other times from round ligament pain.  Bleeding gums still but I know they aren’t nearly as bad as they were with Elsa.  And my bum looks like it’s getting bigger to me some days.

As far as the wives’ tale stuff, my hair seems just the same and certainly not some luxurious mass, I still have to shave just as often, my skin is pretty much the same but I get just a few little tiny tiny pimples every once in awhile.

The other big thing is I notice now it’s harder for me to move and bend and do stuff, it takes more out of me.  Walking up the stairs with Elsa has me very out of breath.  Bending over is harder and I have to bend my knees to the sides just a tiny bit to make way for my belly.  And as of this past week, I finally can no longer do a pseudo stomach sleep where I roll past just being on my side but one leg up really high keeps my stomach from touching the bed.  Now it’s too uncomfortable, this is brand new.  Last night was the first time I fully realized that I could no longer do it and had to just sleep on my sides.  That sucks!  20 more weeks (or around there hopefully) of no stomach sleeping, that’s hard!

CURRENT MOOD: Anxious and nervous, want to know the baby is okay.  Hoping that I was just overreacting and everything is completely normal.  Wanting to feel the baby move as much as possible but it’s been more quiet the last couple days, and of course that makes me so nervous and freaking out.  I’m so nervous something is wrong and there will be a dead baby in there at my next appointment.  I hope I’m being totally paranoid and in a week and one day after I have my ultrasound, then I can be very relaxed for a good while since I’ve just seen it.

I’ve also been down a bit over the past week cause of the weight gain and just feeling very ungainly and unattractive and frumpy and big.  My butt is looking big to me, my underwear are cutting into my hips so I need to go buy bigger ones, I don’t like my arms since I never lost all the baby weight the first time around so they just look big to me.  I’m looking forward to fall so I can cover up more.  And I’m also wishing I had super cute stylish maternity clothes to wear.  I meant to go to the mall today and look, but unfortunately we only made it to two out of three planned destinations and the mall was the one that got shelved.  So I’ll try on Friday morning to go.  I noticed a lot of pregnant women who I think dress so cutely wear little soft belts under their boobs so I’ll look for something like that I think.  And I saw a photo of a girl wearing a simple dark tank top and a flow-y long white skirt, and cute hat.  I know I still won’t like the weight, but at least if I could get just a few little simple things to wear that would add style then I’ll feel better about myself.  I love the roundness of my belly though, I think it’s absolutely perfect and gorgeous!!

CURRENT FAVORITE FOOD OR CRAVING: Not really anything.  I like my milk but I don’t crave it the way I did earlier.  I have been loving making my milk a little chocolate-y over the past week though and it’s sooooo yummy!!

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS: OB apt next Tuesday, ultrasound next Thursday.  They can’t come soon enough.  And if anything happens between now and then, or I stop feeling the baby move at all for more than a day, then I’m supposed to go to triage.

BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: I haven’t really had a best moment.  The last couple days have been stressful, and I’m feeling heavy and cumbersome and it’s hard to be active.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO: Next week’s appointments so I can hopefully see that everything is fine and lay all my current fears to rest.

WHAT I’M MISSING: Hot dogs and soft cheeses.

Weekly Update: 17 weeks!!

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I thought I’d only missed one week, not two weeks!  I’m glad I’m writing today when I’m exactly 17 weeks!  I know it’s still 3 weeks until I’m 20 weeks but now it seems so close to being half-way, it’s pretty exciting!!  I’m just waiting to feel the baby move.  Maybe I have, but I’m not definite about it so I hope in the next 2-3 weeks I start feeling it strong enough that I KNOW it’s the baby!

And I need to start attaching belly photos!  I’ll take a photo today or tomorrow and try to remember to add it in.

WEEK: 17

MONTH: 5

TRIMESTER: 2

GENDER GUESS: I still feel like it’s a girl, and I always think of it coming out being a girl.  But yesterday at my OB appointment the heart rate was 150 beats/minute so that could be a boy.  Although Elsa was always in the lower ranges and still came out a girl!  I just looked at my weekly updates from Elsa and at 17 weeks her, her heart rate was 140 beats/minute!

BABY’S HOMEWORK THIS WEEK:  During the 18th week, the baby will be making many movements, exercising and flexing arms and legs. Blood vessels are visible through skin, and the ears are in their final position. A protective cover of myelin is starting to form around the nerves – and that process continues for the baby’s whole first year! Baby’s bones are starting to harden now from soft cartilage to bone, and one of the first parts to harden are the bones in the inner ear so soon baby will be able to hear my heart beating or stomach growling.

BABY’S SIZE: Baby is about 5 inches long from head to bum, and weighs about 5 ounces!

BABY LOOKS LIKE: 

WEIGHT GAIN: Based on our scale here, I’m going to say I started at 144 pounds pre-pregnancy.  I’m now at 151, sometimes closer to 152.  With Elsa I’d gained 10 pounds at this point so I guess I’m okay with around 7-8 this time based on that!  My belly at belly button is still 37.5 inches, so it hasn’t grown in the last I think 3 weeks.  It’s huge compared to what I was with Elsa at this point!

SYMPTOMS: I’m having a really good pregnancy right now, I can’t complain about really anything!  I do have some symptoms but they aren’t bad right now, or at least I don’t feel like they’re bad at all.  I don’t have to pee a lot during the day but at night I get up usually 3-4 times, and often then have insomnia for a couple hours as well which is never fun.  Sometimes I have leg pains at night too.  I have a lot more energy now though, or maybe I wouldn’t say energy but I’m not exhausted all the time.  My worst time is probably mid-morning, I often get really tired again and soooo badly want to nap!  My gums don’t seem to bleeding that badly right now.  I’m getting a few little zits/pimples over the last week, and they aren’t nice easy-to-pop ones but more under the skin so make a bump, I don’t love those.  My nose still gets a little stuffy sometimes.    I just looked back to 17 weeks with Elsa and I was pretty much the same, not many symptoms and feeling good, just annoying gums bleeding.  So very similar pregnancy!

CURRENT MOOD: Happy!  I love feeling good again and I love that I’m nearing the halfway point!  Of course I know I have over 5 months to go still, but it still seems pretty exciting!  I’m excited and anxious to feel the baby move, I really want to start that part so I physically know it’s there.  Yesterday I had my OB appointment and Dr. Collister said everything looked perfect, my uterus is just where it’s supposed to be, and he found the heartbeat immediately!  That was so relieving cause having gone 5 weeks without hearing the heartbeat and with not yet being certain I feel anything, and also feeling so good, I had a slight worry that the baby wouldn’t be alive anymore.  So I now am excited and totally relaxed now that I know everything is going well!  I now sort of want my belly to start growing a little more.  My belly still isn’t pretty pregnant cause there’s some fat there as well, so I want it to get a little bigger and harder so it looks nicer and so people will know in a second that I’m pregnant when they see me.  They probably can now when I wear tight shirts, but sometimes it just looks like a round stomach but not for sure pregnant, and I feel like it makes my bum look rounder and bigger, too.  So I guess I’m just excited for the next few weeks!  To feel the baby, to have my belly grow a little, and to keep watching the weeks tick by!

CURRENT FAVORITE FOOD OR CRAVING: I really don’t have any right now that I can think of.  Sometimes I really want milk but that’s the only thing I’d say is close to a craving.

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS: Yesterday with OB.  All is good!  All tests so far are good and I had the triple screen blood draw yesterday so I hope I hear in the next week that the baby is low risk for any of the genetic disorders.  Baby’s heart rate was 150 beats/minute.  I have my next appointment in a month, and two days after that have the big ultrasound!  I need to decide whether I want to go to BabyMoon after that to get good images, or wait until around 32 weeks to go to BabyMoon and get 3D images.

BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Yesterday, hearing the baby’s heartbeat!  It instantly relieved all my worries and I now feel just pure happiness and excitement, and will enjoy this time of not having too big of a belly and having hardly any symptoms!  

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO: Feeling the baby move!  Sometimes I think I feel a little flutter but it seems almost like I’m feeling it too low.  I THINK it’s the baby that I’ve felt, but it’s just not strong enough to be sure yet so half the time I try to convince myself that I am feeling it, the other half of the time i completely second guess myself.  So I think I’ve felt it, but I want to be SURE!

WHAT I’M MISSING: Hot dogs and brie.  Last week Elsa and I were downtown and we walked around for awhile after my appointment and all the hot dog stands were set up, one on every frickin’ block, and the smell was wafting towards me and smelled sooooooo  good!!

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