Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jellybean News

As of today, we can feel her kick from the outside when I lie down.

Now I can share a little bit with others :) Katie will be thrilled, I'm sure.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pardon the Interruption

But my anxiety wants the opportunity to speak for just a few minutes. If you are not into listening to a hormonal spew of nonsense and freak-outs, please just walk on by.

I have to say, the emotional component of this pregnancy has been - by far - the most challenging aspect. I knew it would be and anticipated it, but I don't think I could have ever fully understood just how emotional and how challenging it would be. On the one hand, I feel badly even expressing these anxieties as I know there are so many women out there who would kill to be in this position (myself being one of them had you spoken to me six months ago) because anxiety is so preferable to the depression and sadness that come from the losses, but anxiety eats away at you as well, and that can be really tough.

It's always been hard for me to watch and listen to those who enjoy their pregnancies so much and who love pregnancy because that's never been my experience. I love that I am pregnant and I absolutely adore the child that will come from it, but pregnancy is very hard on my body and makes it so unenjoyable that it affects my mental state. I have to keep reminding myself just how much I wanted to be pregnant, and I feel like I'm being two-faced in some way - talking about how desperately I want to be pregnant and then complaining about it. I don't know how many people could understand or relate to it, but that's one of the most challenging aspects. My body literally just hates me when I am pregnant and that's really tough - it's like everything in my body rebels against this little being inside me.

I know, I know. I always post that things are going well. They are. Nothing is wrong that would jeopardize the pregnancy at this point and nothing is so horrible that I can't function. I'm simply frustrated by all those people who love their pregnancies and I so badly wanted this to be the one that I did enjoy. But I do enjoy many things. I enjoy Jellybean dancing around and kicking me. I enjoy talking and singing to her. I enjoy Katie giving her kisses through my belly and singing lullabies to her. I enjoy the child, not the process, and I guess I shouldn't beat myself up about that.

I am very thankful that I can feel Jellybean and stop worrying so much about that aspect of the pregnancy. I still worry a lot about her heart just stopping or a placental abruption or pre-term labor or any of the many things that there are to worry about. It just feels like we have fought so hard to get here, and I don't want to lose her. I do all the shots, I eat like I am supposed to (even though Jellybean decided last week that we are now vegetarian...she and I need to have a serious talk very soon), I take the antibiotics and avoid all other meds. I try to sleep and I don't exercise vigorously (which is simply killing me as I would LOVE to be a bit more toned or in shape - let's leave weight out of it at this point as that's simply unrealistic).

I just want to protect her so badly and I'm scared. I'm scared because my body does react so badly to her. And I can't help but think about the others that I wasn't able to protect...I mean, they were there and then they weren't. I couldn't keep them safe...how do I know I can keep this one safe? It's good to know that we've gotten so much farther than we have in the past, but these are the thoughts that eat away at me...especially at night.

I suspect we all have an inner anxiety demon...mine is just lurking a bit more prominently lately and I need to get rid of him.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Been a while

But, thankfully, there hasn't been too much to report at this point.

Things are going well overall. I have been having more than a little trouble with this extreme heat wave. Just a couple of minutes out and about and I am zapped and done for the day, which makes it very difficult to keep up with Katie. I have been having a lot of pink and brown spotting lately which, again, could be nothing or could be not so good. It's not necessarily getting heavier, but it's not easing up either. The doctor had told me at the last appointment that the Lovenox can be the culprit because it can make the cervix bleed. Did you ever stop to think about how many times a day your cervix bumps against something - the back of your pelvis, the walls of your vagina, etc? I guess I always assumed that was a pretty stationary part of my body...clearly, I was mistaken and it's a hoppin' and jumpin' around in there every time I move. Who knew? In any case, any time it bumps, that can cause the cervix to bleed due to the Lovenox - it's like a million little cuts and bruises. I'm kinda feeling badly for the poor girl - it's not time for labor and delivery yet and she's already getting the crap beat out of her...

Oh, and please forgive the personification of the cervix. When I was in grad school, I used to go over to the student health center for my yearly exams and somehow always ended up with a woman I call the "cervix whisperer." During the entire exam, she would speak to my cervix. Not me - my cervix. And she'd say the weirdest stuff..."Oh, she's a shy girl...I just can't quite get ahold of her with my speculum;" "She just danced away from me..." "You're looking good little girl." Needless to say, it was really really creepy and I was always VERY happy I didn't have to go back there for a whole year. That's just wrong on so many levels...but some habits die hard, and I keep thinking of her as a her since then.

So, yeah - some bleeding. It's probably because of the heat and the fact that I've been lifting Katie too much. I honestly need to stop and take better care of myself, but I don't think until it's too late. You would think that after everything we've been through that I would be far more conscientious about this, but I guess I'm not that smart.

Jellybean is moving and shaking all the time now. I'm pretty sure she has her own Olympic size swimming pool or full gymnasium in there because she is doing forward rolls and all kinds of weird things in there. I'm very very happy with this development as I no longer worry all day about whether she is ok in there. She usually gives me some good reassurance within a couple of hours, and I'm very thankful for that. I'm also thankful to be moving into week 21. Each week that we go past 20 is another chance we have of bringing home our beautiful baby girl. We've started working on the room and getting our gear together, but I'm afraid of jinxing anything...I don't think I'll feel comfortable until she shows up perfect and healthy at 38 weeks.

Anyway, thanks for the good thoughts and your feedback. It's so wonderful to have a supportive community who doesn't mind hearing about my cervix :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jellybean Revealed

And so, we now know for (pretty much) sure who our baby is going to be. Thankfully, all the stars fell into alignment and the obnoxious little fetus within me cooperated (barely) enough to show herself. Yup, Katie got her wish and will have a little sister in a few months. She was so excited she squealed. It was pretty cute.

So, the little one was not in the mood to cooperate this morning. It was clear that she was sleeping and was NOT in the mood to be poked and jostled. Just like with Katie, she had her arms up over her face, so we couldn't see a whole lot of her face, but we did get a few good shots. She's measuring 10oz right now and all the big stuff looks good. Brain, heart, and spine are all good - all major limbs are in place. Unfortunately, as she was so stubborn and facing inward toward my back, we couldn't check a lot of the little things, so I'll be doing that at my next pre-natal appointment. The good news is that means we get to see her again in four weeks (when she's bigger and easier to forcibly manipulate if necessary).

So, for now we let her curl up and go back to sleep and Katie is dancing around and planning all the things she will do with and teach her new sister. Her main request right now is to share a room with her little sister. I will certainly be reminding her of that request in about five years :)

Now when we shop, we will be looking at girl patterns and colors - it won't be all pink (because that just gets obnoxious), but since it's pretty certain that another child is out of the question for us, we can safely buy gender specific items without guilt (which we had a hard time justifying with Katie). We appear to have arrived at the perfect name (in fact, it was so perfect and it fit so well that I realized over the weekend that this probably was a girl - it had to be), but we're going to keep that to ourselves. There should be some surprise at the end, and since we're going to have a pretty detailed and scheduled delivery, this is about all we can keep secret (of course, she could still show up earlier on her own, but with as closely as we'll be monitored, that's not too likely).

Good news for all :) A healthy baby for mom and dad and a sister for Katie. Life is good!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Katie and Jellybean: Episode 2

Katie and Jellybean had their first fight yesterday.

Ok, so it was a total accident and I was the only one who noticed, but it was funny.

Katie, in her usual way, was discussing something with great animation. Her stories only come with large gestures and physical movement anymore.

At one point, she popped me really hard in the stomach.

Immediately upon impact, Jellybean kicked the crap out of my insides.

When I reported to Katie that Jellybean did not care for being hit, even though it was an accident, Katie replied, "She had better get used to it. I'm just me."

And so it begins.

Monday, July 11, 2011

If you can't laugh at yourself...

Then why bother, right?

So, I had a good weekend, but Friday was a day that I'd like to forget. Everything was going well and I was feeling good, so I decided to do some "light" exercise to make myself feel a little better about these monstrous thighs and huge flappy arms. Full disclosure: I typically never do anything "light" or halfway, but this time I honestly did. I monitored myself very closely throughout and made sure I was never tired, achy, or thirsty. It was only about thirty minutes, and I was happy when I was done.

Unfortunately, my body was not. Within a half an hour, I was nauseous, dizzy, and I started developing some really horrible tunnel vision. Also (again, beware of TMI and full disclosure), I was leaking. I typically have a problem with heavy pregnancy discharge, but this was very different. I was soaking a pad with something clear. Putting all these signs together totally petrified me...and so we made the always unpopular decision to go to the ER since these did not appear to be good signs. (Thankfully, we got to go to our own ER, which is wonderful, and not the ER from hell.)

I'm going to cut through all the bull here...I could tell you about sitting and waiting or trying to keep a three year old occupied in the ER, but it boiled down to this: did my membranes rupture and was I about to go into premature labor?

Nope. Peed myself. Awesome. Turns out I had a very strange convergence of symptoms that, taken separately, are all absolutely nothing - however, the way they came together that day made it seem scary. The doctor determined I was having a migraine (hence the dizziness, nausea, and tunnel vision) and that the headache intensity plus the exercise loosened muscles elsewhere since they were focused on keeping the pain at bay.

A bit of tylenol and I was on my way home...red-faced to be sure, but on my way home.

So, yes, I am the woman who went to the ER for a headache and the ability to pee her pants. Of course, we are very thankful that it was not serious, but...well...I can't believe I even just shared that experience with you. That's a true sign of pregnancy right there - modesty is gone, apparently. But things continue to go well and we are excitedly awaiting our sonogram on Wednesday :) Hope your weekend was less eventful than ours!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I should have used a lot more exclamation points, but I think you get the idea.

You'll notice a small adjustment to the ticker above. The doctor has confirmed that we won't be going past Thanksgiving day, so I adjusted it to meet our new due date. I'm not technically 20 weeks yet, but I am halfway through my own pregnancy.

This is very very important for two reasons:

1. Getting this far is really really good. It means we have a good shot of continuing on with no problems (as we have so far) and that we could safely deliver a healthy baby. Hitting this point means that if something were to happen (God forbid!!), the baby may still be able to survive with intensive medical intervention - even outside my body. That's huge! Of course, we don't want any preemies or micro-preemies, but it's still a good thing to know that we're a bit safer.

2. I'm on the downhill slide (albeit the less comfortable one). Gone are the days of not feeling movement and not looking pregnant (although I think some people still can't tell if I'm fat or pregnant, but that's their problem) - it's all pretty apparent by now. Every day the movements are more frequent and stronger and my clothes are tighter and far more uncomfortable. I was able to get away with regular pants for a lot longer with Katie, but they really don't feel great right now. Anything with a non-stretchy waistband is very constricting. I think some of this is that I'm carrying this one higher (another indication that it may be a boy) and that after the last pregnancy and C-section, I have few stomach muscles to speak of - so I'm expanding quickly. On the bright side, I think I've only gained about four pounds total (I'm supposed to stay on the low end of weight gain - about 12-15 pounds total), so I'm on track with that.

It's also really nice to be halfway because I don't have to deal with too much of the "oh, you're still really early" or, my personal favorite "you're just barely pregnant." Uhm, no. Barely pregnant is first trimester and we're done with that. I've found that most people don't really consider you pregnant until about 20 weeks - once you can say 20 some, life is better. I can say 20 next week, which will be really nice. (My personal favorite was the urologist who forgot I was pregnant. I reminded him and he said, "Oh, but you're not really very pregnant." - whatever that means - and when I said 16 weeks he - like a man - said, "Yeah - you've got a LOOONG way to go." Thanks dude!")

So, in all, things are going well. We're prepping Katie for the idea that it is a brother baby since that's the one that's giving her trouble. We figure if we keep talking about a brother and referring to the baby as "he" then she'll start to adjust. I'm hoping that way that the sonogram will be more pleasant (no crying fits) because she'll expect a boy but be really happy and surprised if it's a girl. We'll see...the best laid plans...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

18 weeks

If we're shooting for 38 weeks as our prime delivery zone, then next week will mark HALFWAY THERE!! Thank God. It's been good, but still very nerve-wracking and stressful.

Just got out of my 18 week doctor's appt. Things are looking good overall. Baby JellyBean made a much quicker appearance via doppler this time, but still bounced around enough to give the doctor some trouble. Heartbeat appears to be between 145-150, which is good. Doctor is now in agreement with me that it is a boy, but we'll see. Had some talk about going to a more restricted movement lifestyle. Right now, I'm supposed to back off of anything extra. No extra walking, chores, etc. (which sounds like a good deal until you think about the fact that this includes things like zoos) and we'll see if that makes life a bit better. I've found that when I do anything out of the ordinary (even something as simple as unloading the dishwasher a couple of times in a day - instead of once - or doing several loads of laundry in a row) I really really pay for it. I get these massive pains in my back that wrap around and squeeze my stomach (sounds like a contraction, huh? my thoughts too).

Apparently, the culprit could be sciatic nerve pain (which the doctor says is more likely to show up with each subsequent pregnancy...all these things I never knew), but in any case, the cure is to take it easy. It brings some pink spotting with it, but the doctor thinks that's related more to the Lovenox and the fact that I can now gush blood at the slightest opportunity. In any case, I think I'm supposed to ease off to see if that helps things. It doesn't seem like there's anything serious going on, but we definitely want to avoid restrictions and bed-rest at all costs.

So, I'll be heading back in five weeks (normally it would be four, but they're moving offices) and then we'll be closer to heading into that final trimester. Sonogram next week - Wednesday morning - to find out who JellyBean might be. I'm really really ready for that :)

And that's all I have to report for the moment. Enjoy your summer days and try not to get too hot!