Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's been a while...

Wow... I haven't updated since the end of my first trimester and here we are at 36 weeks. Almost TERM! Here are a few big things that have happened since I last wrote:
  1. We found out that we are having a BOY!! And we are naming him Ayden Matthew.
  2. We have decided to have a home birth.
  3. We've had our baby showers, his room is ready, his cloth diapers and clothes are washed and everything is set up, and ready for him.
What an amazing experience pregnancy has been for me. As we near the finish line (or starting line... depending on how you view it) I am filled with mixed emotions. Overall, I have LOVED being pregnant. I have been so fortunate to feel fabulous from the start and I don't think I ever want it to end. This, to me, is good and bad. Good because I can always look back on it so fondly; but bad because I always thought that the discomfort that pregnant women face toward the end of their pregnancy was there to give them extra motivation to face birth head on. As of right now I do not fear birth, but I don't want the "loss" of my pregnancy to hold me back during the process. This being said, at this point I am willing to accept any discomfort with open arms!!

I thought that I would want to document my pregnancy weekly, or maybe even daily, but when it came to it... there really wasn't much to share. I felt like myself most of the time and when I would try to think about what I could write or make a video about I would just have the same old stuff to say. I hope that I don't regret not doing more.

There are so many complex thoughts and emotions involved this late in a pregnancy. At least for me and my husband. We have both become more emotional overall. I guess the reality of becoming parents is hitting us and a wonderful and powerful way. We'll watch a movie and be crying saps by the end and this week he brought me flowers after a busy day and it made me cry (if you knew me when I wasn't pregnant, you'd know that sappy crying is a little out of character). Aren't they beautiful??

I just love him so much and am so happy to have him as a partner for this next chapter in our lives. Now that the end (or beginning) is near, my biggest concern about becoming a mother doesn't actually have anything at all to do with the baby. It's whether or not David and I will be able to maintain the strong relationship we have spent the past 11 years (12 in March!) building. I want our top priority to be to keep the perspective that we are a team and in this together. There isn't a single other person in the world who will understand, relate or support what we are going through with this little guy, good or bad, better than each other. As I've been reading countless pregnancy and child-rearing related books there has been a quote that has stuck in my mind (though I can't remember which book it actually came from):

"The most important thing for the baby is the health of his parents' relationship."

I would love to hold this as our mantra. Though it may be difficult at times, striving to keep each other as number 1 will be the best thing we can do for our son. It is as simple as that.

Here are a couple of comparison pictures of my belly thus far in the pregnancy. Total weight gained to date: 24lbs and NO stretch marks (yet... YAY!).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

First Trimester Reflection

13 weeks! Goodbye first trimester, hello second! Now that I am in the second trimester, it's time to start TRUELY enjoying this pregnancy :). Things can now slow down and take as long as they want. While I sit back and enjoy my decreased risk of miscarriage and my increase in energy (ummm... energy... are you there? This is your official invitation to come back!), I thought that I would reflect on my first trimester experience.

  • FATIGUE: This has been my most consistent symptom. Naps have become my friend! Come mid day I’ll look at a nice, soft spot of carpet on the floor and think it look as good as a goose down comforter to snuggle in...
    So what if I’ve napped on the floor a couple of times, don’t judge! My energy has not yet fully returned but I am looking forward to when it does!
  • "Morning" Sickness: I think I have been lucky overall nausea wise. I've had five bouts of dry heaves - two induced by hunger and three by rotten plants (more on that in a second...) and have totally tossed my cookies only once but it may not count since it was triggered by a sensitive gag reflex (guess I won't be brushing my tongue for the next 6 months) rather than nausea.
  • Aversions: I've only had one. As mentioned above, ROTTEN PLANTS and most green vegetables. Especially the highly nutritious leafy green ones that I used to eat all. the. time. This started happening around 7 or 8 weeks. I usually just tried to stay away from them but sometimes it's difficult. One gagging episode was triggered when I dumped an old vase from a bouquet of flowers (the stems had gotten moldy and the water STUNK), the second was cleaning out the produce drawer in the fridge which I had been avoiding. Avoiding it just made the problem worse but luckily I have a supportive hubby that cleaned out the rest after I had to take a gag break (he may or may not have found it a little humerus). The third episode was triggered when David dumped our compost bucket and I couldn't get the smell out of my nose. Nasty stuff!!
  • Cravings: Pimento cheese, salt & vinegar chips, wheat pasta with butter and parmesan cheese, blueberry bagels, blueberry waffles, also all other berries. I haven't indulged all of these but for the ones that I have, once I eat it once or twice it's out of my system. I think I'm yet to experience the TRUE power of a pregnancy craving...
  • Worry: I think most women are plagued by worry in their first trimester but it is especially when you aren't having the symptoms you are "supposed" to. All of the people I talk to and books that I read talk about how sick you should be Instead of being thankful that I felt normal most of the time, it just made me worry that something wasn't right.
  • Body Changes: Things are definitely changing. I had a breakout around my mouth and on my chin around 9 weeks or so but once it cleared up I've had nothing since. My chest is sore most of the time but some days more than others. David sure isn't complaining about the changes going on there... We started seeing belly rounding at around 9 weeks or so. I'm in the stage now where people who don't know me still can't tell and people who know me but don't KNOW probably think I'm eating too many blueberry waffles and salt & vinegar chips. I also noticed less than normal hair shedding in the past couple of weeks so maybe I'll finally have a thick head of a hair (for a little while at least)! I have gained about 3lbs. and they say that 3-5 is normal for the first trimester so I can't complain.
  • Headaches: "Funny" how you are more susceptible to headacheswhen you can't take much for them... I had a few doozies early on that I thought sleep would cure but they just woke me up throughout the night with their throbbing. They did eventually go away without medicine but they were pretty bad in the mean time.
  • Mood: Not too different. Maybe cry a little easier but nothing too crazy. (yet...)
  • Exercise: Jogging and yoga on most days. My doctor encourages patients to continue their previous workout regimen so I have. I'd like to keep lifting light weights but I need to find a pregnancy-friendly program to follow so I don't get bored (oh, and some energy!).
  • I also have just felt "weird" most evenings, especially if I can't get a nap in. I think it's been a combination of fatigue and low blood sugar after a long day.
That's the first trimester in a nutshell. The best parts by far were, of course, the ultrasound and going to my second doctor's appointment on June 29th at 11 weeks where we heard the heartbeat again, loud and clear:

Tata for now! :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

I've quit my job...

Go back to work or not go back to work? That was the question... With our due date falling in January, I had a few options to consider:
  1. Go back to school, take my 6 weeks maternity leave in January then finish out the last of 3+ months of the school year.
  2. Go back to school then take a leave of absence and not return after winter break.
  3. Don't go back...
As soon as we found out the news, David was on board with #3. We have been preparing for it so we are ready to swing it financially and he didn't want me to be stressed or overworked during the pregnancy (to be the teacher I want to be I put in 10-12 hour work days most of the time). We had also said, "If we get pregnant by May, I won't go back." We got our first positive on May 5th. I'd say that's pushing it but a plan is a plan and David was going to hold me to it.

I decided that #2 was out of the question as I felt that it was a very selfish option. Yes I would get tenure and would have super cheap health insurance for the pregnancy and birth, but my kiddos would have two different teachers for each half of the school year. Not an option in my opinion.

As for option #1, it would seem to be the most sensible for the average working person. I went back and forth about it for a while. The primary driver for this option was how early it was in the pregnancy. I just knew that something would go wrong the day after I submitted my resignation and then I'd be stuck without a baby or a job. David and my mom were quick to reassure me that, even if something did happen, things would still be okay.

When it came down to it, my life goal since high school has been to be a stay-at-home mom. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education because of this dream and it would be crazy for me to miss out on 3 precious months of my baby's life that I would never get back just to make some extra money and teach some other people's kids. I decided to go with option #3: don't go back...

It was not a decision that I made lightly. I understand that in current economic times, people are out of work and desperate to find employment. I felt so guilty just walking away from an amazing job with equally amazing benefits. I also felt like I was putting all of my eggs in one basket and walking into the unknown (which is still a little scary).

During our journey to conception, I had finally adopted the mantra of needing to live my life the way it currently is, not for what it could be. This helped me greatly when we weren't getting pregnant month after month and things weren't going as planned (and I was going crazy). Now that the tables had turned, however, it was more difficult to accept that I was finally pregnant and make the life changes for that reality.

My plan now is to work smaller odd jobs until mid-December then take that last month to finish baby prep, relax and enjoy my hubby until Baby comes. Sounds like an amazing plan to me!!!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hello, Baby!!

We had our first ultrasound when I was six and a half weeks pregnant. You may think this was early, which it was, but it felt like forever. I couldn't help but let the negative thoughts creep in and put a damper on any possible excitement. The chance of another molar pregnancy was just 2% but all I could think about was IF I have another, then the chance of having a third jumps to 25%!!

Our appointment was at 9:00am, nice and early, and David and I both took the whole day off work. We figured that either bad news or great news would make us want to spend the rest of the day together. We hadn't told ANYONE so we didn't have anybody anxiously awaiting a phone call with news afterward which was really nice.

Due to some crazy anxiety, I woke up a half hour before my alarm went off and also arrived for our appointment about 20 minutes early. The knots in my stomach continued to tighten as we got situated in the ultrasound room and waited for the technician. As soon as the ultrasound was underway, all of the negative feelings and anxiety just melted away. We saw the amniotic sack right away which immediately ruled out a molar pregnancy!! Then the technician let us know that there was a baby in there and showed us the most amazing flicker of a heartbeat. We heard it loud and clear, it was beating at 121 beats per minute which was nice and strong (they look for it to be between 110 and 170 around 6 weeks gestation)!

And now, without further ado, an introduction to Baby Ladnier:

Now... I know I'm a little biased but I think it's the cutest little jellybean there ever was!! I could have listened to its sweet heartbeat all day long. Here's to a awesome pregnancy and our journey to parenthood.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

We've done it!

After 1 year and 9 months of trying, we've finally done it! :

After experiencing a molar pregnancy last summer, our reaction wasn't quite the same this time around. I guess the best way to describe it would be... guarded. We are excited but just can't totally commit to the idea until after our ultrasound conformation (in 10 days...but who's counting?) One good thing that having to endure a molar pregnancy can offer someone is an early ultrasound, I'll be just a little over 6 weeks along for my first scan. The chance of having a subsequent molar pregnancy is 2% but I like to look at that as a 98% chance of it being a normal pregnancy which are great odds. Focus on the positive, right?!? According to my calculations, our estimated due date should be around January 15th.

If the ultrasound turns out okay, I'll have some big decisions to make. The biggest of which would be whether or not to work another school year. I am overjoyed that we've conceived again but the timing is a little akward where school is concerned. Oh well... I think that part of being a parent is making big, important decisions like this so I'll just need to get used to it.

Until next time!!