Midwife Appointment Today

Today I had a regular check-up midwife appointment. I met with Bonnie, as my usual midwife, Michelle, is on vacation. She was very nice and the appointment was rather straightforward. First off, my weight (as mentioned) has gone up but she said it was absolutely fine. Easy for her to say. My blood pressure was also good. We listened to Babykins’ heartbeat, which was awesome – it was 138bpm. She also felt for my uterus and said it was a “good size” and showed me with my hand where it was and what I was feeling, which was cool. We have a fetal doppler at home, so we listen to the heartbeat every couple of days, so it wasn’t as exciting as I think she wanted it to be for me, I felt kinda bad and tried to act more amazed than I was.

My next appointment will be around Week 20 just after my ultrasound where they do the full anatomy scan of all the organs and parts to ensure there are no issues. Hopefully all will be clear! I also did the blood work to check for spina bifida and holes in the abdominal wall. I bathed myself in folate/folic acid starting two months before our cycle, so I’m not too worried, but still good to get it checked. Then I got my monthly thyroid blood work done – so far so good on my thyroid which is great. Some people have erratic levels which can impact the pregnancy, but also make you feel like crap.

All in all, not terribly exciting but as the nurse said to me today, every healthy pregnancy is a blessing!

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15 Weeks Pregnant (+1 day)

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What a week!! So this was the first entire week where I have felt like myself. I got up and went into work Monday-Thursday, had two long days with my whole team for our quarterly business review with our director, and never once lost energy! Even in the 10-hour+ session yesterday, I was engaged – not distracted by the fact that I might fall over at any time. Second trimester, I heart you.

So with that, it’s time to get some things in order. I have officially gained weight – I am up 9 pounds as of this morning, which I’m telling you in order to publicly shame myself. This is way too much for me, since I was not skinny to begin with, and can be directly attributed to the mass carbs I’ve been ingesting for no good reason, other than they are tasty. It’s not like I’m suffering from morning sickness, or having food aversions – it’s simply that I like bagels. And sugar. So, I’m on notice. I cannot gain weight at this pace! Adjusting back to how I should eat – which I don’t mind, I just also like carbs. More veggies, fruit and protein, less of the ‘white stuff’ including bready things and sugar.

Exercise on the other hand has been ok. I am mostly doing 3-mile walks around Greenlake, at least 3x/week – while not exactly hardcore, it’s something and (sadly) feels like real exercise. I would like to get to the gym and just ride the bike for 30 minutes as well a few days a week to actually break a sweat. I’ve also been blowing off yoga for a variety of reasons, mostly being schedule. So back to it now because I love yoga and it’s good for me mentally and physically.

Ok, self-scolding session complete. In other news…

My boobs are huge. Sorry if that is an overshare, but it’s true.  I mean, they were already markedly larger, but this past week they’ve seen quite a growth spurt. Yesterday in my long meeting they were painful, itchy, hot. I had a look at them last night and there is no denying it, they have grown. Again. I know it’s not even close to what they will become, but the new bras I got are started to hit maximum capacity. Some of my regular clothes are simply not fitting now because of my boobs, not my belly at all!! I’d be ok with it if they didn’t hurt to the point of distraction, I mean, they look good, they just don’t feel good!

Well here I am at 15 weeks and I feel a bit proud of myself. I don’t know why, but somehow I feel like I’ve done a good job getting to here and excited to be at the 4-month mark (of 10, technically) next week. I realize I am not the first person to gestate a baby, but I guess when it’s the first time doing this, it does feel pretty momentous!  I can’t wait until I show – while my belly is bigger, two women at work in the restroom said “oh you are not showing at all. that’s not a bump, you just wait – one day it’ll be undeniable…” Then I felt inadequate. I realize I’m one of those who could’ve hid it until 20 weeks or something. But it’s ok. I know Babykins is in there kicking and swirling all around.

Babykins is the size of an orange, though this is somewhat misleading in that he also only weighs 2.5 ounces – so maybe it’s more like a hollowed out navel orange. 🙂

Bustin’ Out the Fat Pants!

Well, today I wore maternity clothes for the first time – a full outfit – pants and top. I felt so…pregnant. Mind you, I’m still fitting into most of my regular clothes. But putting on those black, stretchy work-pants-that-feel-like-pajamas was awesome! I want to wear maternity pants forever now. And the top could pass for non-maternity, but it’ll fill out nicely as Babykins grows.

This is not the most riveting post, but nonetheless and milestone. So, now you know!

 

14 Weeks Pregnant (+3 days)

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Last week went fast! I traveled for work to Toronto (from Seattle) and it felt long but easier than I’d thought it would be. I likely have one more trip there in late March, and then potentially one other work trip, then hopefully I can ‘ground’ myself for the rest of this pregnancy (unless it’s a fun trip for us)!

As of today, I have 179 days to go. I grew up in Pennsylvania where we had a 180 classroom-day school year…so I have the equivalent of a grade of school to go. Yikes! Yet, it’s March! I look at a calendar and August doesn’t seem that far off, the time is going fast. My next midwife appointment is on Friday, March 8th – it’s just the next ‘regular appointment.’ I don’t know what all to expect, but nothing earth-shattering is on the radar. We’re meeting with a different one as my main midwife is on vacation, there are 5 total for us to meet before birth.

I think my belly is officially pregnant-looking. I have gained a few pounds for sure – I think my illness-induced carb-fest wasn’t the best thing, so I’ll be dialing those back now that I’m feeling better. We’ll do our weekly photo later today…and someday, I will share them with you :). I definitely look down and see a protruding belly, and from the side, it’s starting to look more “pregnant” and less “pudgey.” I have been waking up NOT feeling hung-over – what a delight! I still seem to run out of steam sooner than before, but I think the second trimester “energy” may be creeping in finally. I walked a Greenlake double yesterday (~6 miles) and did an hour of fairly strenuous yardwork today! It’s the little things…

We found an excellent consignment shop this weekend! I got a handful of maternity shirts, coupled with the batch my pal Kirsten gave me, and a few goodwill purchases, I’m feeling like I’m pretty well set except for bottoms. I need to get some jeans and a skirt or two for work. Fortunately, no one really “dresses” where I work, plus I work from home a couple days a week, so I will get by with a minimal wardrobe – but the time has definitely come to start thinking about this more! The forgiving jeans I wear the most are starting to leave red lines on me when I take them off, and, I noticed a bit of a muffin top in the dressing room yesterday. Abhorrent! Meanwhile Jill continues to outfit our little man and got another stack of garb for him – some super cute picks!

We get married in 6 weeks! Our focus is on the wedding and being ready for it. We were going to take a trip in March, but cancelled it. Instead, I’m going to take a week off to do stuff for the wedding (and some stuff around the house). After our wedding, and a potential little honeymoon the week after, we will focus on the nursery and other matters for Babykins!

Right now, we have a few theme ideas for the nursery – 1) stars/moon/outer space or 2) animals (jungle). We’re mulling it over. The room is already blue, so it’s staying that way. And I’ve been trolling Craigslist for furniture, though we’ve not found much yet. The other big stuff – furniture, stroller, carseat…overwhelm me! I want a baby consultant to just tell me what to buy. But I’m sure when I focus on it, it won’t be that bad.

Last, we continue to discuss names. It is hard to name a little human! We had to hang out with our cat for a few days before we named him – so we figure it’s fine if we don’t ‘pre-name’ our son before he is born. We have a short list going for the first name – and we know his middle name will mostly likely be Maxwell or Montgomery (Jill was born on Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL) and the baby will have my last name. We are open to ideas! Our criteria: No weird “u-neek” spellings; No made-up/fake names; Nothing in the top 100 or “on the rise” names (says Jennifer born in the 70’s, when 1/3 of the girls in my state were named Jennifer); nothing in a foreign language. We want that sweet spot – familiar but not common, different but not weird, normal to say and spell, and nothing he’ll get made fun of for. Go!

13 Weeks Pregnant & First Trimester Wrap-Up!

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I’m through the first trimester! While some say it ends at 12 weeks, others 13, and still others are very technical and say 13w3d, at 13 weeks, developmentally our baby is 1/3 of the way to being fully cooked.

Overall when I reflect on the past few months, I would give the experience a B, or maybe B+. I really didn’t suffer too much morning sickness – just a few weeks of feeling yucky – but that cleared up around week 8. The fatigue on the other hand was profound at times and my overall energy level has been very…un-Jenn. Being so sick for 2 weeks didn’t help things – that whole time feels like a blur. I still don’t feel totally normal, but I feel a little more awake now. I’d say the other other big symptom I experienced was just feeling a lot of crampiness for most of the first trimester – period-like cramps often, especially in the early weeks and up to week 10 or so.

As far as my health overall, I gained about 1-2 pounds, which technically I shouldn’t have gained any, but still I’m not unhappy with that. My eating has been decent, fortunately I’ve not had mass cravings for junk food – my biggest cravings were red meat in the earliest weeks, and lots of oranges in the later weeks. I’ve not dieted or counted calories or tracked food, though I’d planned to. Instead, I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. Not rocket science, but somehow this approach has felt much more effortless pregnant than it did before. I am just now starting to get heartburn even after eating a reasonable amount of healthy food. Bummer. I’ve had to eschew hot sauce and am now being more conscious about eating acidic foods, especially without a buffer of some sort.

My right hip sciatica was there before, so it’s just ebbing and flowing for now but sometimes it really hurts and makes it hard to want to exercise. That said, outside of my head cold/ear infection time, I’ve been getting 2-3 lake walks in a week and will resume prenatal yoga shortly. I had been in a good rhythm before getting sick. I also want to get back to the gym second trimester, just some 30-minute bike rides and some weights/squats, etc. to help me be strong for labor. I’m having moments now of feeling like myself energy-wise, so I hope (hope hope!) this is a sign that I’ll have that energetic, great-feeling second tri everyone talks about.

My body has changed for sure, my belly feels really full and looks pretty big from my vantage point. I think all of the excess space in there has been filled out and now things are starting to grow. I wouldn’t say I’m showing in the sense that anyone would know I’m pregnant, but I can certainly tell, as can Jill. I still struggle a bit with feeling/looking fat, and this is mostly old stuff for me and my history around weight issues. So far reminding myself of this fact has helped me feel ok about it and not go down any rat holes of struggle in that department. I know the weight gain is necessary and for a good cause 🙂 – it’s still hard, but manageable. Lately I’ve been having a breakfast sandwich (made at home with eggs from our hens), second breakfast around 10ish (yogurt, fruit), lunch varies but I’ll admit usually involves carbs in a way I would not have before, afternoon snack is usually small (pretzels, an orange, nuts, etc.) and dinner is usually some sort of meat and veggies. I’ve had some sweets but nothing off the hook – a few bites of fruit crisp or a square of chocolate. And, the new heartburn symptom is helping to keep quantities in check.

Jill was especially thrilled to find out the sex of the baby! Knowing he’s a ‘he’ has been a big shift for us in that it’s just made the whole thing so much more real. She certainly takes good care of me, understands when I’m not 100% Jenn, and checks in on “how is the baby today?” a lot. She has loved “pregnant Jenn” in that I like to have lie-downs, take naps and go to bed early. If you know Jill, this makes sense. She loves to be horizontal and will tell you so. She’s going to be a great mom, and already we went to Goodwill and she got him some very cute outfits. I feel like we love each other more than ever, and we’re just falling over ourselves being crazy in love with our little baby together. It’s an exciting time for us as a couple no doubt!

Babykins himself is doing well as far as I can tell. I have briefly found his heartbeat with our at-home fetal doppler, but it’s not consistent or easy to find. I just check in now and then. I refuse to worry when I can’t find it. All of the early testing we did came back without issues – so we know many chromosomal defects have been ruled out which is great. Knowing that he is getting good prenatal care, and that I am working hard at having a very healthy pregnancy makes me feel pretty confident in him coming out a very healthy baby. It’s nice to have the peace of mind. It’ll be so great to feel him moving and especially when Jill can feel him!

Meanwhile, we are working on names and starting to ponder the nursery theme. I’m totally overwhelmed by the baby stuff out there – so we haven’t built a list of wants/needs yet, but we are keeping an eye on Craigslist for a few things and otherwise we’ll get this done in the 2nd tri. I’ve also amassed a small group of pregnant friends via online, two of Jill’s peeps, and a former coworker. So, I’m hoping to leverage some of their research too :). I wish I could hire a consultant to just tell me which stroller, carseat, etc. to buy.

Well first trimester, that’s a wrap! On to Babykins Trimester 2!

12 Weeks Pregnant (+um, 6 days…whoops)

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I am very tardy for last Thursday’s post – but I did want to write a little something to reflect on the last week. Finding out we are having a boy was HUGE. I didn’t realize it would overwhelm, consume and fascinate me as it has. I’ve also spent time lamenting the little girl I had conjured up in my mind – not that I’m sad or upset. In early pregnancy, it’s almost like you envision boy/girl twins – you put energy, consciously or not, into your potential little baby boy and your potential little baby girl. So I think I’ve had to spend a little time letting go of our potential little girl, and that is ok, because now our potential little boy is an *actual* little boy!

On Saturday, the day after we found out, Jill wanted to buy him an outfit. So we went to Goodwill and for $30, she got him many, many outfits. The best is a jean jacket with a built in brown hoodie-like-hood, a button down short sleeve collared shirt, with a little sweater vest featuring a dog. Jill will clearly be driving the little dude’s “look.” I’ll admit to being sad that there won’t be a pink explosion…I do love pink! And girl stuff is sickeningly cute. But on the upside, I think him being a boy is a financial win! I won’t be so inclined to buy everything, because boy stuff just isn’t quite as cute as girl stuff. And, Jill has a vision and I think our little guy is gonna look smart and cute.

Otherwise, we announced our pregnancy on Facebook, which was fun! It feels official now. I also let the floodgates open at work, so most everyone knows or else will figure it out soon enough. We used the above photo which we quite enjoyed – Jill set up the shoes, and Manny joined in to make it a lot more fun/organic. He is our little helper 🙂 We keep telling (er, warning?) him that we are having a little pet human for him. We’ll see how that goes.

My ear infection is mostly gone, I still can’t hear all the way but close – my antibiotics finish off tomorrow, and I’m definitely back to feeling “just pregnant” and not sick and pregnant. This is a win! I still have a bit of fatigue/lethargy, but I have walked around Greenlake twice lately with no problem (but have slept 10-12 hours after!). I’m hoping with the first trimester ending this coming week, I’ll see that burst of energy I’m told about, and feel more like myself for a couple months. Even still, reflecting a bit on the first trimester, it’s been just fine. More on that next post!