Saturday, December 24, 2011

Did someone order a miracle?

Because ours arrived today!

Mr M. and I are currently in a NICU "rooming in" room with Ethan, preparing to take him home tomorrow! That's right, on Christmas day!

Apparently yesterday the whole "eating is FUN" thing finally clicked for him and he has been eating like a champ ever since! Today I finally had the opportunity to try to nurse him as well and he has a great latch! My milk supply is still low so I'm supplementing with pumped milk and formula, but it is an amazing feeling to nurse my son.

Tonight we stay in the NICU with him as a kind of trial run. We do everything ourselves but the nurses are nearby if we have an issue. Tomorrow morning he gets circumsized (poor guy) and then we take him home!

I am so grateful to be taking our son home, regardless of the day. I am so ready to be done with the running back and forth across town to the hospital every few hours and just be HOME and stay there. I can't wait to watch his great-grandmother hold him for the first time. I can't wait to take a family photo with EVERYone in it.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day.

Merry Christmas to all of you. Never give up. Keep hoping and praying and believing. Because sometimes, miracles happen. I'm looking at one right now.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Still Here/There

Well, I'm still here. And Ethan is still there. There being the NICU. Chances are very slim that he will be home with us for Christmas. Yesterday I bought a tiny blue stocking with an embroidered letter "E" on it and hung it in between mine and Mr. M.'s. I feel like our sweet boy needs to be represented but I am almost regretting the purchase because every time I see it it makes me sad.

The jaundice is finally gone after days of roller coasting up and down. The IV is gone, a MAJOR blessing since they had it stuck in the middle of his forehead and it was awful to look at. He is digesting all of his feedings and producing poopy diapers like a champ.

Now if only he would take his damn bottle. I fought for them to let us try doing every other feeding as a bottle feeding and won, but he won't consistently take the whole bottle. Once he gets every other feeding down they switch to every feeding by bottle (he still has a feeding tube in) and have to watch him for a couple of days.

Let's face it. My baby will not be home in my arms on Christmas, and it is really, really sad.

As for me - I'm exhausted, depressed and SO sick of my daily schedule of home, hospital, repeat, with some errands thrown in. I've had a terrible stress headache for five days straight. I'm sad. And frustrated. And struggling (obviously) to be positive. No one outside of me and M had held our son since he was born (hospital rules) and it hurts my heart.

But I still thank God every night for the blessing that is our sweet boy. I can't believe that we are lucky enough to be his parents.

Here's hoping for a Christmas miracle...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Results

Ethan's X-ray looked better this morning and his labs were good, so they are going to start feeding him again tonight at 5:30. They will start with very small amounts (10 mls or so) and see how it goes. I've probably pumped around 25 mls total so far, so hopefully his first feeding can be breast milk.

His jaundice level went up a point, so he is still baking under his big blue light, but they aren't high enough that the doctor is worried. Jaundice levels peak and then begin to fall naturally so we are hoping and praying that they begin to fall soon.

Sitting in the NICU right now waiting for lactation to come talk to me. Hopefully they can help me increase my supply for this sweet boy.

And here is a photo for you:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NICU Update

Your thoughts and prayers are still needed as our little one continues his struggles in the NICU. He seems to have gotten worse instead of better.

He started out having trouble eating, a common problem in early babies. Eventually they started alternating bottle feedings with tube feedings, and Mr. M. and I were able to give the bottle feedings if they were at the right time.

Then he started having trouble digesting - after a feeding too much of the formula was remaining in his stomach. They tried switching to a soy formula in case it was a lactose intolerancy, but the results remained the same. He was also diagnosed with jaundice and put under a little blue light.

They ran an X-ray to check for bowel obstruction and did lab work to check for an infection, the results of which were all fine.

Last night they called and said they were stopping all feedings in order to give his little body a rest and a chance to re-boot. His jaundice level had also gone up so they switched him to a bigger light. They started an IV to give him fluids and glucose while his belly was resting.

They will re do the X-ray and labs in the morning, and if everything still looks okay they will slowly start to try feedings with him again. Please, please, please say a prayer that his results are good and so he can try eating again.

Right now we only get to hold him twice a day because he can't be out from under his light for an extended period. Today his nurse let me do some skin to skin time, and I am not exaggerating when I say it was the best 45 minutes of my life.

I am hanging on to my sanity by a thread but trying my best to stay positive. Today is day 4 since I gave birth and my milk is just now slowly starting to come in. It has been an agonizing wait because I know my milk can help him so much at this point in time but there was nothing more I could do to make it arrive sooner.

He is the sweetest, cuddliest baby with a full head of sandy brown hair. Having a baby but leaving him at the hospital has made this whole process so surreal - I look back on my labor like it was a dream sequence or something.

Mr. M. and I are fortunate to have the support of so many wonderful family members and friends to help us through this very difficult time. I pray every day that I might be able to bring my baby home by Christmas.

Fight on, little one. Your mommy loves you so much.

Monday, December 12, 2011

He's here!

Ethan was born last night at 10:40 pm. 6 lb, 10 oz.

He is currently in the NICU since he arrived at 35w4d but appears to be doing well. I got to hold him and give him his first bottle.

More about his CRAZY birth story later, but for now we need your prayers for a healthy baby.

We're so in love...

Photos to come.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sleepless night...

Would it surprise you if I said that I didn't get a lot of sleep last night? Because I didn't. Like, none. For realsies. I lay in bed tossing and turning and getting up every so often to pee or knock over a water glass (thanks to Mr. M. for cleaning up after me). At 4:30 I finally climbed out of bed, poured a bowl of cereal and started making lists. I guess the act of writing things down put my mind at ease, because at 6:30 I climbed back into bed and managed to snatch a few fitful hours of rest.

Mr. M. and I spent most of yesterday in shock, as did a lot of our family members AND my bosses (their reactions were pretty funny). He wouldn't leave my side at all during the holiday party, which I still managed to enjoy despite some pretty uncomfortable cramps (result of my cervix check) and spotting.

Today my grandmother came to town. She's literally my favorite person in the world. I was raised by my grandparents after a car accident killed my father and left my mother permanently mentally and physically disabled when I was 6 months old, so she is my "person." There is no other person I have ever met that has the grace, strength and wonderful spirit that she does.

Today was originally going to be a Christmas shopping trip but it turned into a baby shopping trip. After lunch with my good friend L, we hit the small BRU located inside the TRU in our town. She had made me promise to ride in my mom's lightweight wheelchair, so I did. I felt totally ridiculous but know that I need to take it as easy as possible. From there we went to T.arget, where I had my own electronic wheelchair with a basket. Again, feeling ridiculous but knowing it was worth it. She ran me by the salon to get my eyebrows waxed (gotta be groomed for birth photos!) then to a fabric store to pick out some fabric for the bassinet she is re-purposing for us. It was hers when she was a little girl.

If you're interested, the things we picked up today included: bottles, pacifiers, diapers, diaper pail refills, no-scratch mittens, burp cloths, cloth diapers (to use a burp cloths), mattress protectors and other smaller items that I can't remember. We even picked up a couple of Christmas outfits in newborn since, unbelievably, it looks like Baby J will be joining us before Christmas!

I was pretty exhausted after the day so came home and crashed. Mr. M. has been very sweetly waiting on me hand and foot and even cooked (!) dinner for us. I'm still spotting a lot, but I called L&D (I LOVE their triage nurses - they are always willing to take questions by phone) with some (TMI) questions and everything is well.

Tomorrow Mr. M. and I have to go to the big BRU about 30 miles away to complete our registry and get our completion coupon. He has also reserved a new iPhone for me so we'll be picking that up as well. Again I'll be walking slowly, sitting often and taking it as easy as possible.

No contractions yet, which is good, but I am very aware that I could literally go into labor at any time, and when I go it is going to be FAST.

Hopefully I can get some sleep tonight...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm at WHAT????!

35 weeks 1 day and four. Mother-effing. Centimeters. Dilated.

Holy. Shit.

*Edit: Also. 90. Effing. Percent. Effaced.

She went to check my cervix and I groaned in pain and she said, "Oh my gosh, you're a four centimeters!" I was totally shocked and had no idea if this was a good thing or a bad thing! Both the Dr and the nurse were congratulating me and saying it was a good thing because it means when I go into labor it will go super fast. They said it's really rare for a first-time mom to be so progressed.

For some perspective - I was planning on holding out on my epidural until I reached 4 centimeters once I went into labor, and I'm ALREADY there.

Dr. A said I could stay at four for a couple of weeks or so, but if I go in next week and I'm at a five they will send me to the hospital. !!!!!! Guess Mr. M. is going to that appointment with me just in case!

I explained about the pain in my ladyparts and she said it is because baby has dropped so far. So at least that explains it.

The doctor said I would have bloody show, too, and man did I. I had to stop at a pharmacy and get some pads because I only had little liners in my purse. They told me I would bleed/spot for a couple of days. I have also had really bad cramps ever since the check which I know is normal but OUCH! I have barely taken any meds this whole pregnancy and I downed two T.ylenol as soon as I could. While I was at the pharmacy I got my (preservative-free) flu shot because I hadn't done THAT yet either.

HOLY CRAP!

Mr. M. and I are both, understandably, shocked. Bless his little heart as I tried to explain everything to him. We now have a LOT to get done before baby makes his entrance.

My grandma is coming up tomorrow for what was supposed to be a Christmas shopping trip but will now be a baby shopping trip. Then on Sunday both mom and grandma are coming up to help me around the house with things like laundry and organizing the baby's room. My friend L is coming over on Sunday as well to help me make some freezer meals to have on hand.

I would really like my little guy to bake a little bit longer, at least until 37 weeks. I know the chances of complications are lessening with every passing day, but it would sure make me feel better.

Holy crap, I could have a baby by Christmas!!!

Please send some thoughts, prayers, love and light or whatever our way for a)Baby to bake a little longer and b)Mr. M. and I to be able to prepare for him without totally stressing out. Much appreciated!

I will post if anything...um...happens. EEEEK!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

35/35 today!

Something is wrong with me. For the past three days I have had a CRAZY amount of energy. I guess this is "true" nesting because I feel like realistically I should be shuffling around like a zombie. It has been nice as I have had a super busy week. Maybe the energy will carry me through the rest of the craziness of the week.

I am so excited to have reached the 35/35 mark today! If you're unfamiliar with the term, it means that I am 35 weeks pregnant and have exactly 35 days until my due date. WOW that is soon! So much left to do. I might need to post a to-do list on here to keep myself accountable. I love reading other peoples' to-do lists, menu plans, grocery lists etc. (I am apparently some form of super nerd) so maybe you'll enjoy reading mine.

Busy busy day at work today planning for tomorrow night's holiday party. I'm on the party planning committee and we have 250 people coming when we originally planned for 170 or so. Yikes! Has been pretty interesting. So not much time as I have to rush home a few minutes early and then throw together an appetizer for my Junior League Christmas party. But here you go:

How Far Along? 35 weeks

Maternity Clothes? All maternity all the time! The pairs of jeans I bought early on are (wince) getting a bit tight, so I stick to knits, cords and lightweight pants most days. Lots of soft T-shirts with sweaters to layer over them.

Weight Gain? Um. Yeah. A lot. We'll see how next tomorrow's appointment goes and then MAYBE I'll tell you how much. Perhaps. We'll see.

Stretch Marks? So far so good! Still search suspiciously for them every day but none have appeared...yet. My belly button, which was a deep innie, is starting to look awfully funny but I don't think it's going to "pop."

Sleep? Lots of restless nights right now.

Best Moment of the Week: Reaching 35/35!

Weirdest Comment: SO many people have been asking if I'm having a Christmas baby and SO many people have been exclaiming things like, "He's growing!" and "You're so BIG!" Fun times.

Movement? Of course! Baby is head down so I get lots of movement up under my ribs (not painful yet, just weird feeling) and little punches down in my abdomen. When I lay on my side he usually goes nuts. I have begun to have a few more painful jabs every so often. He also gets the hiccups a LOT. My OB nurse told me that what they want at this point is ten movements in ten hours, since the baby spends so much of his time sleeping at this point.

Gender? A boy!

What I miss? Being comfortable at my desk. I just can't get there - feet up, feet down, leaning back, sitting forward - all get uncomfy after about ten minutes. I miss being able to get up and down easily. I miss having the freedom to do and eat whatever I want without worrying about anything else.

Symptoms: Acid reflux, weight gain and general tiredness. Aching shoulders and back. Lack of mobility, hormonal craziness and insomnia. Constipation. Swollen fingers (rings came off today, I think permanently)and ankles. I am really only comfortable when I am sitting up very straight (perched on the edge of my office chair right now) or laying down on my side.

Milestones: 35/35!

Emotions: Very nervous and excited to meet our little guy! Overwhelmed by all that I have to get done!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh. My. Ladyparts.

I don't know WHAT is going on down there, but as of yesterday the ladyparts are SO sore and ouchy. I don't know if this is the infamous "round ligament pain" or what, but I do know that it hurts! Not so much when I'm sitting, but definitely when I get up after sitting for a while. I have to walk like a granny for a minute.

It's both embarassing and hilarious at the same time.

Last night I told Mr. M. "I'm just so sore today." And he asked "Where?" And I told him where and his face went kind of comically blank and then he said, "Oh, well I guess I can't really help you with that." SO funny. He has been very good about giving back rubs when I ask. If only it was easier to get him to give foot massages!

So anyway, just sharing. Probably an overshare. But still. OUCH.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BFing and Being a SAHM

I admit it. When I first started learning about br.eastfeeding, I was judging moms who didn't. ESPECIALLY those who didn't even try once. It seemed terribly lazy to me for any mom to not a least try when you learn about the benefits to both baby and mom. A friend who was a SAHM gave up after eight weeks and I was like, "Really? You don't even WORK and you gave up?" I was full of plans about pumping at work once I go back after twelve weeks (I have an office door I can shut and have complete privacy). I was going to MAKE it happen for myself and my baby.

However, as the time to actually DO this BFing thing approaches and as I learn more about it, my opinions have changed. Apparently, this BFing thing is HARD. It is time-consuming. It is messy. It is super challenging if you have problems with the latch of the baby. It is inconvenient. And it adds a LOT of stress to the life of the mom, especially a first-timer.

I have now changed my plans. I am no longer going to try to attempt to BFeed once I go back to work. I am happy and confident in this decision and have no regrets about making it. To me, having to take 20 minutes out of my day, at least three times a day, and worry about storing and transporting the milk, pump and accessories just sounds awful. My days are never the same due to the nature of my job and I need to have flexibility to deal with emergencies, attend meetings and rearrange my daily schedule at the last minute. A co-worker and new mom who tried doing this very thing said it was a good decision - she only lasted a week.

Yes, it was mostly a selfish decision on my part and I am comfortable with that. I work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday and my commute is at least 45 minutes each way. I do not want the added stress.

Plus there are many other things that lead me to think stopping is ok: not worrying about having enough stored and frozen and letting others be able to easily feed the baby, being able to eat and drink what I want without worrying about it affecting the baby in any way, not having to worry about leaks and stains during the day, not stressing over my supply and if the baby is getting enough, being able to make love to Mr. M. without spewing all over the place, etc. Also, just generally getting control of my body back. I have been so restricted on what I can do this entire pregnancy, and I am ready for my body to be MINE and mine only again.

These are my reasons, and I neither expect others to agree with them or judge other people who have chosen differently. I am, however, much more relaxed now that I have figured out my plan. I won't be buying a pump but will be renting one from the hospital for the few months that I am at home. So flame me if you will, but I am firm in my plans and while I appreciate the concerns you might have, they will not sway me. If I was a SAHM, it would be an entirely different story.

Speaking of being a stay-at-home-mom.

Will you think me a terrible person if I told you that I never, even for a second, considered being a SAHM? Because I haven't. I have always planned to return to work.

I do have some experience with staying at home, albeit not with a baby. After Mr. M. and I got married I was still trying to find a job (tough in my market with my degree) so I stayed home every day with the dog, making trips out to the gym or the bookstore or whatever.

I was miserable. Despite my tendencies to be kind of a private person who enjoys being alone, I hated it. I felt guilty that I wasn't contributing to the household income and Mr. M. had to carry us both. I was depressed that I couldn't find a job after all my years and expense of college. I was bored with no one to spend time with during the day. I slept in until 11 after staying up until the wee hours of the morning, consoling myself with junk food (in a very sneaky way since Mr. M. would already be in bed) and occasionally (I am hesitant to admit it) taking a painkiller of some sort to dull the ache of loneliness and uselessness.

I know that staying home with Baby would be a completely different thing, but I still don't think I would enjoy it. I have watched my friend who is a SAHM and she seems to alternate between exhaustion and desperation to find entertainment for herself and her young daughter. She always looks tired and harried and it just doesn't seem like she is enjoying it at all. I admire her a LOT for sticking with something she feels so strongly about.

I have a pretty strong feeling that after 12 weeks of being alone with baby I will be happy to return to work. Happy to be able to work and accomplish things for my organizations and to interact and socialize with my wonderful co-workers. Happy to have an hour lunch break with no baby to run errands or make a trip to the employee gym without having to go before or after work while hauling baby around. Happy to have the peace and quiet of my little office around me and no thoughts of formula, diaper changes or naptime.

This is the best path for me, and I know it.

So there's my two cents on bfing and being a SAHM. What are your thoughts on these issues when applied to your life? I welcome thoughts and ideas, but please don't be nasty. Show respect for the choices others have made just as I show respect for those who choose opposite of me.

34 Weeks and Overwhelmed!

Holy. Crap there is a lot going on right now. And a lot for me to do.

May I first begin with the great daycare debacle? Apparently in the town where I live, you have to put your name on the waiting list for daycare BEFORE you're even THINKING about trying to get pregnant so that there is the tiniest sliver of a chance that you might get a spot. I, happy in my ignorance, had no idea, and of course when I started researching daycare centers last month everyone I talked to was aghast and agog that I was needing care in APRIL and hadn't signed up before that. You could practically hear the sneers in some of their voices at my pathetic ignorance.

We found THE daycare, the one that we love and want. Originally the director seemed optimistic about finding a spot in April, but when we went for a tour she seemed pretty doubtful that it would happen. It was very frustrating as both Mr. M. and I are totally in love with the school. We're on the waiting list so we'll see what happens.

In the meantime I've been researching the other options in the town. Of the other "good" centers (meaning they come highly recommended from friends), one assured me that they won't have an opening until at least August, one said there were 30 people ahead of me on the waiting list for infant care, and one said they currently have ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY people on their waiting list. In desperation, I called several in-home caregivers recommended to me, but of course none of them answered and none of them have called me back.

Frustrated beyond belief, I took to F.acebook and posted that I was "beating my head against the 'there is no infant care available in (town)' wall". I immediately received numerous helpful responses and suggestions, some of which I had already tried, some which I hadn't.

So, long story short - a girl I went to college with (who has an education degree) said she works at a center and I should check them out. I called the director, and they have. An opening. In April. I could NOT believe my ears. They are a privately-run Christan center with only four spaces in their infant room, which I like. So I have been "slotted in" for April and will be going by to tour the center once I can arrange for some time off.

I can't describe what a HUGE relief it has been. We still want to go with our first choice, but this center has a good reputation and will suffice until our first choice has an opening.

Daycares without openings remind me of doctors who don't have available appointments for weeks at a time - what's the point? What do you do if you are actually sick? (I asked my GI doctor's nurse this after my THIRD week of suffering from what turned out to be an intestinal parasite, and the answer was "go to urgent care or the ER." Well, thanks for caring, asshole). What do people do with their children if, like us, they have no family members available to watch their kids and can't find a daycare opening?

On to other concerns. We still need a lot. Of stuff. For me and this kid. And I'm talking necessities. Diaper bag, diaper genie, and of course the actual diapers. Bottles. Crib mattress. Bedding. N.ursing b.ras, pajamas and a couple of tank tops. The stupid little practical things like b.reast pads, maxi pads and hand sanitizer. I have yet to make any freezer meals for right after baby. Need to stock up on toilet paper, paper towels and the little household necessities we won't want to run to the store for. With Christmas coming up, the price tag is going to be hefty, and while we can afford everything without any hardship, it is still stressing me out and making me feel somehow guilty.

Oh, and when I got on the scale at my appointment last Tuesday I nearly fainted. I gained a HUGE amount of weight in just two short weeks, and it was a huge shock to me as my weight gain throughout this pregnancy has been fairly slow and steady. So now I am trying to be even more super careful about what I eat, which is SUPER hard because all I crave is sweet and salty things! Sigh.

Oh, and apparently there have been TWO recent break-in attempts in our nice quiet middle-class neighborhood. Two. Now I'm terrified I'm going to come home and find the house emptied out and my precious puppies gone forever.

Oh, and my husband's grandfather keeps letting himself get swindled my crooks over the phone and my poor mother-in-law, who is beyond stressed already, just learned he gave TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to crooks in Panama which he can never get back. He thought they were going to send him a check for $450,000. The whole family is very worried about him, as this is NOT the first time he has been taken in by schemes like this.

Argh! Okay, enough whining. I'm going to post my weekly update now. If you made it allll the way to the end of this blog: bless you. :)

How Far Along? 34 weeks

Maternity Clothes? All maternity all the time! The pairs of jeans I bought early on are (wince) getting a bit tight, so I stick to knits, cords and lightweight pants most days. Lots of soft T-shirts with sweaters to layer over them.

Weight Gain? Um. Yeah. A lot. We'll see how next week's appointment goes and then MAYBE I'll tell you how much. Perhaps. We'll see.

Stretch Marks? So far so good! Still search suspiciously for them every day but none have appeared...yet.

Sleep? Actually have been sleeping better lately, which has been nice. Only waking up once or twice to pee. I'm trying to get most of my water in by 4 p.m. to reduce nighttime pee trips.

Best Moment of the Week: Loved spending Thanksgiving with my wonderful family. Then Mr. M. and I holed up in our house all weekend and did nothing. It was AWESOME.

Weirdest Comment: A lot of "When are you due???" type questions (as in, 'aren't you about to POP?'), and today a co-worker said "it feels like you've been pregnant for forEVER!"

Movement? Of course! Baby is head down so I get lots of movement up under my ribs (not painful yet, just weird feeling) and little punches down in my abdomen. When I lay on my side he usually goes nuts. He also gets the hiccups a LOT. My OB nurse told me that what they want at this point is ten movements in ten hours, since the baby spends so much of his time sleeping at this point.

Gender? A boy!

What I miss? Being comfortable at my desk. I just can't get there - feet up, feet down, leaning back, sitting forward - all get uncomfy after about ten minutes. I miss being able to get up and down easily. I miss having the freedom to do and eat whatever I want without worrying about anything else.

Symptoms: Acid reflux, weight gain and general tiredness. Aching shoulders and back. Lack of mobility, hormonal craziness and insomnia. Constipation. Swollen fingers (about time to take off the rings, I think).

Milestones: Every day is its own milestone. This week his little t.esticles are descending, which is cool! Nature fascinates me...

Emotions: Very nervous and excited to meet our little guy! Overwhelmed by all that I have to get done!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seriously????

Okay, so (kind of) funny story.

We went to childbirth class last night - the subjects covered were birth interventions and post-partum recovery. We learned about the use of vacuums and forceps (REALLY hoping to avoid both of these) and then we covered C-sections.

I was worried that we were going to have to watch an actual live C-section birth and was very relieved when the video just covered the reasons you might have one. Then it showed a (non-bloody, non-gory, totally chill) animation of a C-section - where the incisions go, what happens before, during and after, etc.

I managed to do fine, although the part where they separate the abdominal muscles made me wince. Mr. M. held my hand during that part.

So, the lights came back up and the RN started going over C-section recovery details, and I noticed Mr. M. leaning forward in his chair. I put my hand on his back and it was burning hot through his sweater. I heard him taking some very deep breaths.

I asked if he was okay and he said he felt terrible, very sick to his stomach. Remember, this was while class was still going on and there were seven other couples in the room. After several minutes of breathing and leaving forward I convinced him to go out into the hall.

He looked TERRIBLE. Absolutely no color to his face and covered in sweat. It was much cooler in the hall so he took off his sweater (had a T-shirt underneath it) and lay on a couch with his feet up for a while and immediately felt much better.

After he was feeling better we determined the cause of the sickness.

My husband has apparently chosen this very opportune moment to turn into a complete and total WUSS.

He has always been a little squeamish about injuries to other people but I had no idea it was this bad. He couldn't even stomach an ANIMATION of a C-section with no blood or fluids or anything! How the heck is he going to survive even a v.aginal birth? That's a LOT more nasty than a C-section. The stupid thing is that we have WATCHED several v.aginal birth videos in class and he seemed fine. Argh!

Good thing we have my grandma as back up in the birthing room in case he hits the floor or something.

Seriously shaking my head. This guy needs to man up because he is NOT getting out of changing poopy diapers, cleaning around the cord and circumcision, mopping up vomit and all the wonderful things that come with childbirth.

I love the guy, but - SERIOUSLY???

Friday, November 18, 2011

Maternity Pics

Here are some of my (anonymous)favorites so far. My extremely talented friend L took them at my grandmother's house this past weekend.








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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

32 Weeks!

In the words of one of my favorite bloggers: HFS!

I promise I WILL post some maternity photos on here, but first I need them without my photographer's trademark on them. They are beautiful!

How Far Along? 32 weeks

Maternity Clothes? All maternity all the time! The pairs of jeans I bought early on are (wince) getting a bit tight, so I stick to knits, cords and lightweight pants most days. Lots of soft T-shirts with sweaters to layer over them.

Weight Gain? As of last week I am up 27 pounds total, which my OB is VERY pleased with. I only gained two pounds in the past four weeks. I don't own a scale at home so only ever get checked at the doctor's office.

Stretch Marks? So far so good! Still search suspiciously for them every day but none have appeared...yet.

Sleep? Sucks. I am up a bunch of times each night to pee, even though I try not to drink a lot of water right before bed.

Best Moment of the Week: Having some beautiful maternity photos taken and enjoying a shower with some of my favorite people in the whole world!

Weirdest Comment: People who haven't seen me in a while keep saying things like, "Wow!" or "You're getting BIG!" Um...thanks?

Movement? Of course! Baby is head down so I get lots of movement up under my ribs (not painful yet, just weird feeling) and little punches down in my abdomen. When I lay on my side he usually goes nuts. He also gets the hiccups a LOT.

Gender? A boy!

What I miss? Sleep! Ohhh, sleep sleep sleepy sleep sleep how I miss thee. Also I miss just being generally comfortable during the day, which I most certainly am NOT right now.

Symptoms: Acid reflux, weight gain and general tiredness. Aching shoulders and back. Crampy abdomen. Lack of mobility, hormonal craziness and insomnia. Oh, and constipation is a new thing I am dealing with. Fun times. But ALL worth it. :)

Milestones: Every day is its own milestone.

Emotions: Happy and relieved, but overwhelmed with all the things I need to get done within the next 6-8 weeks!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baby Shower #1 recap

Just wanted to post a quick recap of baby shower #1, aka the "Books and Blankets Shower", which happened on the 6th. It was hosted by my lifelong friend L and three other dear friends. This one was mostly for friends my age, although of course my mom and grandmother, my mother-in-law and several relatives came. It was wonderful and so much fun!

When the guests walked in, they signed a register and then were encouraged to write some advice for me as a new mom onto a card and tie it onto the tree centerpiece. At the end of the shower I read them all aloud. A lot of the advice was very helpful, and some of it was just hilarious.




Example: "Don't dangle baby over balcony. PR nightmare." (I work in PR)

"Don't ask J and C to babysit." (from two married friends who are SUPER nervous around kids."






After enjoying some delicious food (did I mention my sister-in-law is the head decorator at a cupcake boutique?) we played a quick game. L had a large paper sack filled with baby items, and you had to blindly reach in and see how many you could identify. Out of ten items, I got seven right, and tied with my MIL for the win! However, the prize went to me by default since she just started guessing what might be in there and writing things down before she even felt around in the bag! Sneaky sneaky MIL!

After that there was gift opening, which was a LOT of fun. I felt so bad all day due to my cold, but I medicated up and powered through, managing to look only slightly out of it in the photos.

Here's a photo of the gifts, laid out for everyone to look at after opening. I have to say that was MUCH easier than trying to pass each gift around.



I seriously need to count how many blankets I have now. :) But I have a pretty good idea of what to do with some of the extras...we shall see.

That day and at my shower this past Sunday, I just felt so blessed to have so many generous, loving, supportive people in my life. I know they will shower Baby with as much love as they show me each and every day.

Next post - maternity pics! Will I get brave enough to post one of my face? We shall see!

Friday, November 11, 2011

31 weeks and updates!

Argh! Where does the time go, seriously? I have SO much stuff I could/should have written about in the past week, but now am way behind and will have to resort to the old bullet-style writing style.

-Mr. M. and I had a wonderful 5th anniversary. We saw Be.n F.olds perform live and had the BEST seats - 4th row and on the left. We could see his face, the piano AND his hands. We stayed overnight in a swanky hotel and spent the next day shopping for rocking recliners (for the living room) and buying our glider (we wound up with a Shermag from BRU).

-Mr. M. gave me THE sweetest anniversary gift - he picked out a C.oach handbag for me and also bought an outfit for baby! If you knew him you would know that both of these things are A-mazing.

-Unfortunately, he also gave me the cold he had been fighting for two weeks. I'm now on day 7 of coughing and hacking. My OB checked my out yesterday and said it's just a virus and I'm going to have to suffer through it. I am medicating with C.laritin, Mu.ci.nex and Ro.bitussin, which have all been approved by Dr. A. Took a sick day on Monday and just stayed on the couch with the puppies all day, which was nice.

-I had my first baby shower this past Sunday and it was SO wonderful! This one was mostly friends my age with some family thrown in. I was actually a little disappointed because I only received a few outfits for baby. Mr. M. has (meanly) been stopping me from buying baby clothes because he keeps saying "You'll get tons at your showers." Instead, I got blankets and books! I am a TOTAL book nerd and always have my nose stuck in a book. So three copies of Goodnight Moon and two copies of Cat in the Hat later, baby's library is looking quite well-stocked. :)It just shows that my friends know me well. I felt bad for coughing and hacking the whole time (literally had to take a break during opening presents for a cough drop) but had a good time.

-I have a baby shower tomorrow in my home town (about an hour from where we live) and am super excited about it! My God-sister (Godmother's daughter if that makes sense) is hosting it at my grandmother's house. This will be an older crowd filled with family and church friends, some of whom I haven't seen in years! I love seeing everyone together.

-We will be taking maternity photographs this weekend with two different photographers - my best friend and then our wedding photographer. I am excited but a little bummed because my face has definitely gotten bigger the past few weeks. I hope they turn out well!

And now for the "week" update thingy:
How Far Along? 31 weeks

Maternity Clothes? All maternity all the time!

Weight Gain?
As of yesterday I am up 27 pounds total, which my OB is VERY pleased with. I only gained two pounds in the past four weeks.

Stretch Marks? So far so good!

Sleep? SUCKS right now because of my cold. I can't sleep on my back and get all stopped up so have to get up every hour to blow my nose.

Best Moment of the Week: Lots this past week! My first baby shower, our anniversary together, and a glowing health report for both me and baby yesterday at my check-up.

Weirdest Comment: None to report!

Movement? Of course! Baby is head down so I get lots of kicks up under my ribs (not painful yet, just weird feeling) and little punches down in my abdomen. When I lay on my side he usually goes nuts. He also gets the hiccups a LOT - some days up to 6 or 7 times! I asked Dr. A. about them and she said that's "good."

Gender? A boy!

What I miss? Sleep! Also I miss just being generally comfortable during the day, which I most certainly am NOT right now.

Symptoms: Acid reflux, weight gain and general tiredness. Lack of mobility, hormonal craziness and insomnia.

Milestones: Every day is its own milestone.

Emotions: Happy and relieved, but overwhelmed with all the things I need to get done within the next 6-8 weeks!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting Schooled

I had my first breastfeeding class last night, and it was definitely an eye-opening experience (literally)! While I understood the basics of breastfeeding, it was great to learn all of the many, many things I didn't know!

This was the first class in a series of two. We talked about the benefits of breastfeeding, how it works, what makes a good latch, breastfeeding positions and lots of other things. I loved the LC who taught the class (you have to be comfortable with yourself to spend 2.5 hours grabbing your boo.bs in front of a room of strangers). Everyone seemed to pay attention, although this one guy across the aisle from me kept snickering at the pictures of n.ipples. Really, dude? Seriously. I was one of only 3 in the class who didn't bring their partner with them, but to me it wasn't a big deal. I told Mr. M. I wouldn't make him attend as long as he promised to read all of the materials. He was VERY grateful.

I thought I would pass along what I learned to anyone who maybe isn't taking a class, is a clueless as I was, or is just curious in general.

First, and most importantly: The Benefits of Breastfeeding

-Complete and superior nutrition for the infant. The baby uses every part/nutrient in the milk.
-Mutual needs of mom and baby are met. The tactile contact with mom and physical stimulations aids in baby's brain development.
-Excellent development of baby's jaws, teeth and gums.
-Cost savings compared to formula. Breastmilk is FREE!
-No preparation required. No heating, storing, freezing, bottles, etc.
-No problem with baby having constipation. This is because baby absorbs ALL of the nutrients from the milk.
-Fewer allergies, colds, ear infections, diaper rashes and eczema. Baby gets the helpful antibodies he can't make on his own yet from mom's milk.

Pretty great list, huh?

Instead of boring you with textbook-like talk, I'm just going to make some bullet points of things that either 1) I didn't know or 2) I think you might find helpful.

Did you know that...(I didn't)
-Your n.ipples actually STRETCH OUT when you feed? I didn't and it looks CREEPY! :)
-Milk usually comes in 3 days after a v.aginal birth and 4-5 days after a C-section.
-Your ribcage will shrink after you give birth so you need to make sure your nursing b.ras have room to tighten.
-You are supposed to wait 3-4 weeks after birth before offering baby a bottle or pacifier (unless directed otherwise by a medical professional) so he establishes a great latch and has no confusion.
-You aren't supposed to wash or scrub your n.ips while BFing because it strips off the protective layer of skin cells that help you from getting rubbed raw.
-You don't need to worry about baby not being able to breathe with his nose all smushed up on your b.oob. If he can't breathe, he will let go!
-For sore n.ips, the only approved treatment is anhydrous lanolin. There are two kinds - Lansinoh or Tender Care by Medela. Our LC prefers Tender Care.
-You should unswaddle the baby during feeding time - just leave him in a diaper and onesie or sleep sack.
-You should ideally try to BF within the first hour after birth, when baby is most awake and alert. After the first couple of hours he will get VERY sleepy and stay that way for 24-48 hours, making feedings difficult. This is why babies lose weight after birth.
-The LCs at our hospital actually prefer for new moms NOT to bring B.oppys or other nursing pillows to the hospital. The prefer to use their bed pillow. That was a helpful heads up and one that I don't really mind.

That's all I got besides the actual techniques and positions, which are covered in every childbirth book, etc. It looks like cross-cradle and football hold are the best when learning to feed, and cradle hold and lying down work better once feeding is established.

Hope this is helpful to someone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Just Fell in Love


Here he is, at 30 weeks, measuring right on and perfectly healthy.

He sleeps with his right hand up by his face, just like I do.

I just fell in love.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Updates!

My sincerest apologies for being SO behind on updating this blog. Between frantically trying to organize our house (nesting, my a$$, more like panic-induced OCD) and being incredibly busy at work, blogging has been off of my agenda. I am still reading all of my favorites, though, and the tone seems to be increasingly positive.

All right. Since writing this all out in long-hand would take forEVER, here's the condensed version of the past few weeks.

-I failed my one hour glucose test and was TERRIFIED that I was going to have to deal with gestational diabetes. I don't mind the healthy eating part; I've been doing that for so long that it comes easily to me. It was the four finger pricks a day that I was scared of. During all my chemo, radiation, everything...the WORST part was having my finger pricked every time. Luckily, I passed my 3 hour test (and completed a sewing project while I chilled in the waiting room. So WHEW!

-At around 27 weeks I started noticing what I thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions. The lower part of my abdomen would feel all tight and kind of crampy for a little while, then go away. They started coming more frequently so I decided to ask Dr. A. about them at my regularly-scheduled check-up. And then I FORGOT. TO. ASK. The next day they seemed even more frequent (as in several times an hour) so I called the Dr. and was advised to go to Labor & Delivery. I was NOT happy about having to go because I was pretty sure they were Braxton-Hicks, but I went just to be safe. I got hooked up to the monitors on my belly (which baby HATED - he immediately started kicking like crazy) and his heartbeat was good. The nurse checked my cervix. Have I mentioned that having your cervix checked with a retroverted uterus SUCKS BIG HAIRY BALLS? Because it does. It hurt SO bad and I was trying really hard not to cry out. Cervix was good, but uterus was diagnosed as "irritable" (which is the same thing as BH). Luckily the contractions had decreased the next day and have been quiet ever since.

-I finally finished my baby registry. My showers came together super fast and I literally had one day to register in order to give my guests at least two weeks to shop. Mr. M. couldn't go so I took one of my best friends with me. That turned out to be a mistake. She is not a very patient person and was either rushing me to make a decision or distracting my by saying "Oh, I've heard these are good" while I was looking at something totally different. We were at BRU, it was a Saturday and super crowded and the store was HOT. The second hour went better than the first and we got most things done (and had fun despite a kerfuffle over a diaper bag that I wanted that was one the clearance rack but they could NOT find in their system despite trying for 20 minutes), but after I got home I immediately went online and did some re-arranging. Then this past week I went back by myself to finish and it was WONDERFUL. I will not be stalking my registry like so many of the women over at T.he B.ump do, because I think it kind of ruins the surprise for the giver and for me. I accidentally saw one thing purchased when I made an adjustment this week, but oh well.

-After MUCH nagging and finally an all-out fight where I decided I was too tired to care about Mr. M.'s sensitive ego (seriously, the man is like a GIRL when you criticize him), he finally got Baby's room painted this weekend! I guess when you get in a fight with your wife and she doesn't come home after work (I got dinner and went to a bookstore because I didn't want to go home and deal with his laziness) it makes an impression. By the time I did get home, he had the room totally cleared out and taped off. He painted most of the room the next day while I was at work and I helped with the trim and edging when I got home. I love that man dearly, but I swear he is SO lazy and SUCH a procrastinator. Plus he is super finicky so whenever he does something it has to be done just right and SOOOOO slowly. Anyway. The room is painted (it's a Behr color called Gray Morning if you're curious), the tape is removed and it looks good! I am determined that no more junk will go in there - it's where we've been storing overflow from the house clean-up. From now on, only baby stuff in the baby's room! We are waiting on our furniture and still have to pick out a glider, but it finally feels like things are coming together.

-We have our 30-week growth scan ultrasound coming up this Wednesday. I am really excited to get to see Baby but of course also very nervous that everything goes well. We will be 30 weeks on Wednesday and HOLY COW that means Baby is coming SOON!

-I have a really fun weekend coming up. Friday is our five year wedding anniversary and we are celebrating all weekend! Thursday night we're going to go see B.en F.olds play with the OKC Philharmonic (eeek so excited about that) then staying overnight in downtown OKC. Friday we're going to go furniture shopping (glider for nursery and recliners for living room), have lunch and then have a nice dinner out. Sunday is my first baby shower and I am really excited! I honestly couldn't care less about the gifts, but I do love to see all my favorite people together in one place. I'm thinking of booking a massage for that morning and just having a lovely, relaxing day.

That's all I can think of for now. I promise to be a more constant presence on here, and maybe I'll even post some bump pictures if I get brave enough. Thanks so much for hanging in there with me!

One sad note: I would like to send my sincerest condolences to Miss Conception (whose blog I found after I had already named mine, so apologies for being a copycat) on the loss of her sweet twins. I cannot imagine what she is going through but she gives every appearance of being a resilient, strong person and I pray she finds her way to healing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ruthless Efficiency

*cracks knuckles*

This pregnancy thing is a total mind trip. Especially with my early complications, it was a mantra of "just make it one more day, just one more day" and then "make it to the second trimester, make it there" and then "make it to 24 weeks, you're so close."

And then you get to 24 weeks and realize that holy SHIT, you're going to have a BABY in 10-16 weeks and you have way too much crap to DO!

Mr. M. and I finally made one big, important purchase this weekend - the crib! We wound up going with this crib and we both think it's perfect. It was a little back-ordered but they will have more in stock starting October 21 so hopefully it will get here in plenty of time.

We also ordered a dresser similar to this one. It was complicated - we saw this dresser but Mr. M. wasn't crazy about it. We went to the next store and they had a slightly different dresser from the same collection, but they don't make it anymore. Our wonderful sales rep called the warehouse and they still had some in stock, so we got one! It looks pretty much the same except it has a cabinet on the right side and doesn't look quite so formal. Both pieces are in the "cognac" finish.

Mucking out the spare room is happening in a slow and rather unsteady way. We still have a couple of huge old televisions we want to donate to a church or other charitable organization that could use them. Then there's my gigantic pile of scrapbooking stuff occupying the corner, and a closet full of wrapping paper and random electronic stuff. And then a tall dresser full of more random electronics, stationary, instruction booklets...

Mr. M. spent yesterday going through the old electronics, which we will donate or recycle. My completed day's chores list was this:

Do LOTS and LOTS of laundry
Do dishes and clean kitchen
Sort through all the crap that came out of my old car
Condense all party supplies and decorations into one smallish box
Organize the two huge cabinets in the kitchen where I store all my kitchen electronics, etc. I was AMAZED at how much extra room I had once things were organized and not just shoved in there willy-nilly.
Organize my hall closet (moving a lot of servingware and bakeware into the aforementioned large cabinets) and store party supplies, seasonal decorations, candles and candleholders
Organize my drawer of food storage containers, plastic wrap, etc.

Not a bad day's work if I say so myself!

I also made a big pot of homemade turkey chili. I was SO tired and then, of course, I couldn't sleep. I was restless and awake and my mind was racing so finally I got up and went to the couch for a couple of hours. I got back in bed at about 2 and finally managed to catch some sleep.

The new car continues to be pretty awesome and I continue to be terrified of messing it up.

I feel like at 25 weeks I should have some idea about possible baby showers but I know NOTHING. My friends in town mentioned throwing me one early on but I've heard nothing more. A lady in my hometown offered to throw one (the offer was made to my grandmother) but when I asked Grandma if she was still going to she was all, "Oh, I don't know." It's REALLY frustrating to me because it is so tacky to be all, "Hey, are you guys throwing me a shower or WHAT?" but that's kind of how I feel. I dropped a tiny little hint in an email to my BFF today so we'll see what happens. I am really excited about having a baby shower and will be super dissappointed if it doesn't happen. At this point I'm assuming it's going to happen, but afraid it will be in a hurried and last-minute way and the type-A crazy lady in me is NOT okay with that. Oh, well. :) I'll get over it either way.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (and 25 weeks)

Well, times are a-changing in our household! While our progress in getting ready has been excruciatingly slow, last night we took a BIG step...and it was a doozy! I traded in my muscle car for a "mom-mobile."

I LOVE sports cars - my first car ever was a bright red Mustang. When that one died in an accident, I had the joy of picking out my first ever brand new car. I settled on a dark red D.odge C.harger. With a hemi. That's right. It was a totally bad-ass car, and I'm not going to lie and say I didn't love flooring it on the highway (within legal limits of course) or seeing how fast I could go from zero to 60.

Last night I said farewell to that car and was surprised at how emotional I was. It was a great car and we had lots of great memories with it - trips, surviving a blizzard, evening summer drives.

Now don't go thinking I went ALL soccer mom. I didn't get a mini van. I will never get a mini van. Despite their awesome, handy, helpful features, I can't stand them. They are far too boring for me. I don't care about prestige when it comes to car names - I don't want a Lexus just because it's a Lexus and a status symbol. I would much rather have a car that's cool, interesting, and just a little bit bad-ass.

I got one.

It's a 2011 T.oyota 4 R.unner. I'm not gonna lie - it's the nice one, the Limited. I don't think I've ever written a check with that many zeros on it before. Mr. M. may deliberate for months over a car purchase, but he weighed the pros and cons and decided that the full-time four wheel drive was a must-have. I agree - driving the 30 miles to my job after a snowstorm last year in my rear wheel drive car was absolutely terrifying.

It has all kinds of dazzling features (this whole smart key thing is crazy), more buttons than I know what to do with, and a lot of extra storage room. It comes complete with a LATCH system for our car seat, which was very important to us. Also has a slide-out cargo tray in the back, as in you slide the tray out, load your groceries on and then slide it back in without having to lean all the way in to load stuff.

I'm kind of in love with it, and also very terrified to mess it up - classic new car fear of rocks and pot holes and parking lots.

In other news, the Great Crib Search continues. Last week we found a crib that we like at BRU, but we want to check out a couple of smaller stores in town before we totally decide. At least now we have the capacity to load it up and bring it home when we find it!

T.he B.ump tells me that Baby is now the size of an eggplant - yikes! I start a new week of pregnancy every Wednesday, and it never fails that Baby is super quiet and not moving a lot on Wednesdays, which of course totally freaks me out. Luckily he's been super active today, which is reassuring.

That's all for now! In case you're interested, here's a weekly update.

How Far Along? 25 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? All my pants are now maternity! I've bought some fall weather maternity shirts and am mixing and matching with non-maternity knits that still fit. I also wear dresses on the warmer days - they are my favorite because they're SO comfortable.

Weight Gain? 18 pounds total as of my last weigh-in (at 22 weeks). I don't own a scale and I am happy not to.

Stretch Marks? Haven't seen any yet! I can see the faintest of lines starting to develop down the middle of my belly.

Sleep? Not sleeping as well as I had been - seems like I wake up a lot more and spend more time tossing and turning.

Best Moment of the Week: Mr. M. FINALLY felt the baby move this week! Just once, and then he stopped kicking, but it was quite a relief!

Weirdest Comment: "Are you STILL pregnant?" Said by an adorable older man at work in a joking manner, but still...??

Movement? Yes! Lots of kicks low down, especially when I'm sitting with my feet up or laying in bed. Getting more movement higher up now, too - I'm assuming the low movements are kicks and the higher movements are punches.

Gender? A boy!

What I miss? Still craving soda and would really like a fresh margarita!

Symptoms: Acid reflux, weight gain and general tiredness. My fingers swell when I exercise (light walking) and my feet will swell a little bit when I'm on them for a while.

Milestones: Every day is its own milestone.

Emotions: Happy and relieved, but overwhelmed with all the things I need to get done within the next 10-12 weeks!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

24 weeks. We made it.

Yesterday we finally, gratefully, prayerfully reached the 24 week mark of our pregnancy. It seems like I have been striving for and looking towards this goal for so long, and to finally have made it is more than a little surreal.

Of course, Baby decided to be very quiet yesterday and not move a lot, which made the joyful day a rather nerve-wracking one for me. I was on my feet practically all day so I'm sure it had something to do with it. Last night and today, however, he has been kicking up a storm and it has been very reassuring.

I have a more detailed post about reaching 24 weeks brewing in my head as the result of some very ignorant, mean-spirited posts on T.he B.ump, basically ripping into pregnant ladies for celebrating 24 weeks. It needs to percolate a bit more before I can write it out, though. Maybe tomorrow.

So for now, here's a weekly update for you (if, indeed, anyone is still reading this blog).


How Far Along? 24 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? All my pants are now maternity! I've bought some fall weather maternity shirts and am mixing and matching with non-maternity knits that still fit. I also wear dresses on the warmer days - they are my favorite because they're SO comfortable.

Weight Gain? 18 pounds total as of my last weigh-in (at 22 weeks). I don't own a scale and I am happy not to.

Stretch Marks? Haven't seen any yet! I can see the faintest of lines starting to develop down the middle of my belly - can't remember the term for that.

Sleep? I have been sleeping SO well, even when I don't feel particularly tired. I have a hard time staying awake past 10 p.m. Sleeping on my side is still a challenge - I often wake up on my back, having moved the wedge pillow sometime during the night. My OB says it's fine as long as I turn over as soon as I realize I'm on my back.

Best Moment of the Week: Reaching the 24 week mark at long last. Also feeling him move a lot on his most active days.

Weirdest Comment: My grandmother told me I had a "big fat belly" and my husband called my stomach "plump." WTF??!! NOT great words to use on a pregnant lady already struggling with body issues! ;) I chastised them gently, forgave them and now can (almost) chuckle about it.

Movement? Yes! Lots of kicks low down, especially when I'm sitting with my feet up or laying in bed. Getting more movement higher up now, too - I'm assuming the low movements are kicks and the higher movements are punches.

Gender? A boy!

What I miss? Still craving soda and would really like a fresh margarita!

Symptoms: Acid reflux, weight gain and general tiredness. My fingers swell when I exercise (light walking) and my feet will swell a little bit when I'm on them for a while.

Milestones: Made it to 24 weeks!!!

Emotions: Happy and relieved, but overwhelmed with all the things I need to get done within the next 10-12 weeks!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

22 Weeks

I had a GREAT check-up today, and baby and I are both right on track! Just two more weeks until we hit that viability mark...

How Far Along? 22 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? All my pants are now maternity, with the exception of a few that I wear with a belly band. Still loving dresses because they are SO comfortable. Making my non-maternity shirts work until the ones I ordered come in.

Weight Gain? 18 pounds total, and up only 3 lbs. from my last appointment four weeks ago. My OB said she is very pleased with where I am with my weight, which really reassured me!

Stretch Marks? Haven't seen any yet! I keep using my Palmer's in an attempt to ward them off.

Sleep? I have been sleeping SO well, even when I don't feel particularly tired. I have a hard time staying awake past 10 p.m. Sleeping on my side is still a challenge - I often wake up on my back, having moved the wedge pillow sometime during the night. My OB says it's fine as long as I turn over as soon as I realize I'm on my back.

Best Moment of the Week: Some dear friends of ours helped us move furniture around so we now have an almost empty nursery! My grandma and I have a big shopping trip planned for next week and I really hope to find some bedding that I like then, so we can pick out a paint color. Another favorite is feeling those kicks every day! Also, today was the first OB appointment when they measured my belly - and baby was measuring spot on at 22 weeks!

Weirdest Comment: Nothing too weird, although I did have my first really awkward belly rub. Luckily it was a friend so I could ask her to stop. She started rubbing and that was fine, but then she just...kept...going and it was weird!

Movement? Yes! Lots of kicks low down, especially when I'm sitting with my feet up or laying in bed. He is more active in the evenings. I love it!

Gender? A boy!

What I miss? Still craving soda and would really like a fresh margarita.

Symptoms: Acid reflux, weight gain and general tiredness.

Milestones: No big ones this week, but we're getting closer to the big 24 week mark!

Emotions: Very happy right now. Still get a little stressed from time to time, but I am trying to slow down and really enjoy the pregnancy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pee, Breathe, Repeat...

Seems to be the order of my life currently, especially on the days when I drink a LOT of water. Technically, I'm supposed to drink a lot of water every day, but some days it's easier than others.

Yesterday was an A LOT of water day. It was ridiculous. I went to the bathroom before I went to the gym, then walked the five minutes to the gym, and after 10 minutes on the treadmill I had to LEAVE the gym (very small employee facility), walk to the nearest bathroom, then go back. Ten minutes later I had to go AGAIN. But I gritted my teeth and made it through the next 30 minutes (at a very slow incline walk) before quickly stretching and rushing back to the bathroom.

My first couple of nights sleeping with a little pillow under my back to keep me from rolling over onto my back have gone okay. It hasn't really seemed to affect my sleeping, but I toss and turn a lot so there's a lot of pillow moving done each night. My back has been a little sore each morning, but not too bad.

I love, LOVE feeling the baby moving around and kicking. I feel them more when I am stationary - one of my books says that when you are up and moving around the motion kind of rocks the baby to sleep. Of course, now when I am still and realize I haven't felt anything in a while I get nervous. Today after lunch and a sweet lemonade he started moving - I guess sugar gets him going.

Every time I feel a little movement I smile. Just felt one now, in fact.

My attempt at prenatal swimming the other night was a TOTAL fail. The info on the YMCA's Web site was so confusing that I called them with a question. I'm glad I did because I was informed that this week is the ONE week each year when they completely drain the pool and clean it. Sigh. I guess I will try again on Monday.

Wearing my first pair of maternity jeans today. They're pretty comfortable, but I'm having a hard time getting used to the big stretchy panel and keep messing with it. I wish they had a little more stretch in the thighs - I am a pear shape and have a hard time finding a good fit.

Lucked into a HUGE sale at M.otherhood M.aternity today - they had a 40% off sale on already marked down items PLUS shipping for only $6. I wound up with two pairs of workout pants (which is great because mine are getting too tight in the belly), a pair of work pants, a pair of corduroy pants, three sweaters and a wool coat for...are you ready?...a total of $139.25. I still can't believe it! The sale is going on through early September so head over there if you need mommy clothes!

I am SO ready for it to be Sunday. I have a training to run for my local charity organization tomorrow morning from 7:30 to about 2, then I plan on going home and collapsing. Sunday I have a baby shower to go to and then am dropping Mr. M. off at the airport for a business trip. I will have four whole nights of the house ALL to myself, which I am looking forward to! I won't have to cook dinner, or watch car shows or soccer games...I can just park on the couch, graze and watch the R.eal H.ousewives.

Every day brings us one day closer to viability. Hope you have a great weekend, bloggers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Terrific Twos and Taking the Plunge!

Well, folks, as of this morning I have made it to 20 weeks - halfway there! My pregnancy ticker informs me that Baby J. is now the size of a cantaloupe, which seems QUITE sizable to me! I am excited to reach the halfway mark, to have made it to the 20s, but I am still very focused on that 24 week mark.

As for taking the plunge...tonight I am headed to a prenatal water fitness class at my local YMCA. My OB is familiar with the class and has specifically given me permission to attend. I admit I am pretty nervous! I'm never one to love being in a swimsuit in general, and the whole added element of uncertainly is making it worse. What will the class be like? Will the other ladies be nice? What if I go to the wrong place? It's always nerve-wracking the first day of a new fitness class, but I know that once I get it out of the way I will feel much more comfortable.

I will say that it is HARD to find a maternity swimsuit for exercise-based swimming. Sure, there are lots of frilly tankinis and teeny weeny bikinis, but for a solid athletic suit I had to search forEVER and wound up paying $70! I know it will be a worthwhile purchase that I can use for (hopefully) future pregnancies too, so that helps.

That's all I've got for now. It's only 9 a.m. and today has already been a super crazy day! But here's my very first little pregnancy update thingy if you're interested...

Wednesday, August 24
How Far Along? 20 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? Mostly right now I'm in dresses, maternity and regular. My belly has "popped" recently and even my stretchy non-maternity pants aren't fitting great. I bought two pairs of maternity jeans last week which I haven't worn yet. I need to invest in some work pants (can't wear jeans to work). Most of my regular shirts still fit.

Weight Gain? About 16 pounds at my last appointment.

Stretch Marks? None yet - I'm using the cocoa butter in an attempt to stave them off!

Sleep? As of tonight I can't sleep on my back anymore (according to my OB), which is going to be a challenge. Sleep comes and goes. For some reason I have been out like a light the past two nights, which is awesome!

Best Moment of the Week: Finally feeling what I know are the kicks and flutters of our baby! Mr. M. can't feel them yet, but I sure can!

Weirdest Comment: No weird comments that I can remember.

Movement? See above. Ready for it to be more regular and definite!

Gender? A little boy. :)

What I miss? Soda and occasionally wine.

Symptoms: Acid reflux, cramping (have been since the beginning), wakefulness, occasional hormonal rage...

Milestones: Halfway there!!!!!

Emotions: Hanging steady so far. I have a really busy week to survive and then things will ease off for me a lot.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wassssup ICLW?

Welcome ICLW folks. I have been a lamey lame-o blogger here lately but have recently decided to jump back into blogging with a vengence. So, lucky you!

I survived cancer at the age of 17. This year, I did some pre-baby blood tests to see if the treatments had affected my fertility (I am now 26). They had. I was diagnosed with High FSH, which means my eggs were diminished in quality and/or quality. Before we even started trying, we were told we would have challenges. My OBGYN did not pass go and immediately referred me to an RE, who didn't have an appointment available for a few months.

I dove headlong into the world of infertility - books, diets, supplements and, most importantly to me, found this wonderful online community of bloggers. The strength and courage of the women I found was so inspiring even as I looked down what I thought would be a long road of treatments, doctor's visits and, possibly, heartache. The whole while I just kept thinking how unfair it was, for me to have beaten cancer nine years ago (and beat it soundly, might I add) only for it to come and bite me in the ass again.

In the long wait before the RE appointment, we decided to try naturally. To see what I was doing, click on the "What Worked for Me" tab. I basically was doing the S.outh B.each diet (my OB said it's the best diet for fertility), taking prenatal vitamins, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and strenuous exercise, etc.

I was (I thought) finishing my first natural cycle off of birth control. I had temped and done an OPK, with timed intercourse the day before, of, and after ovulation. About two weeks later, I was waiting for AF (Aunt Flo) to arrive. Since it was my first cycle off the Pill, I had no idea how long it would take for her to arrive.

She never did.

But THIS happened:


It was the biggest "holy shit" moment of my entire life. Read about it here.

I'm going to be honest here and tell you that it wasn't easy. Right from the start I had complications - my luteal sac (a cyst that provides the baby with progesterone in early pregnancy) ruptured. My doctor called me and described the pregnancy as "iffy" and put me on STRICT restrictions and progesterone suppositories. A few days later I drove myself to the ER because I was bleeding. Mr. M. and I were both sure it was over. Miraculously, it wasn't. I continued to bleed/spot throughout early pregnancy, but mercifully it stopped at about 11 weeks.

My OB and I are determined that this baby will make it. Between her, my perinatologist and my oncologist, we are doing everything we can. I am almost to 20 weeks and my eyes are focused permanently on that 24-week marker.

Last week we found out that Baby J is a boy, which I had felt all along. He is our true little miracle, and we hope and pray for him to be born healthy and happy come January.

I invite you to follow us on our journey as the story of our miracle continues to write itself...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's a boy!

And a beautiful, healthy boy at that! NO problems or abnormalities discovered on this morning's scan. What a relief! Photos coming soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eeeeep!

I was trundling through this semi-busy day just fine, excited about tomorrow's big scan. But all of a sudden 4:30 hit, and I got so nervous I almost threw up.

Pray for us tomorrow. Please. So many things could go wrong.

Please God, show us a happy, healthy baby.

Please.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Maybe It's Make Believe

Hello all. Still here. Still (I think) pregnant. Slowly losing my mind from waiting.

I find myself at an odd time in the pregnancy. For so long it was just striving and pushing and praying to make it to the second trimester. Then I got here and...nothing happened. No bells sounded, no celebration ensued, no magical sense of "Well, NOW everything will be JUST fine" arrived. My cramping, while still present, has finally started to ease off. My terrible fatigue has faded, except for days when I am running around a lot at work.

So the thing is...I don't really feel pregnant. I don't really feel different, to tell you the truth. I just feel like me, the same old me, with a slightly larger belly. While it is larger, it hasn't really "popped" in that oh-so-recognizable way. It's just...bigger. The pregnancy doesn't really feel REAL to me at all right now. It's a very surreal place to be, and a very scary one as the wait time between ultrasounds and appointments stretches on.

I have had some little thumps and flutters that I think might be movement, but it's hard to tell. I think that when I can feel the baby move regularly I will be reassured, but then I will just have something ELSE to freak out about if he/she moves more or less often than previously. Geez!

The BIG NEWS is that the BIG ONE is coming up this Wednesday. By that I mean the anatomy scan. In the past when I've heard people ask expectant moms, "Do you want a boy or a girl?" and they have replied, "It doesn't matter as long as it's healthy," I've allowed myself a snigger and a "yeah, right." But OMIGOD it's SO true! Finding out the sex is SO much less important than showing me that the baby is healthy; all limbs and organs accounted for and functioning. THEN tell us boy or girl and we will celebrate either way! I'll confide that I have had a "feeling" all along that it's going to be a boy, and many of my friends/relatives have agreed. If it's a girl I will be SO surprised and VERY excited to go clothes shopping! :)

Today at work I have done nothing but browse thebump.com, Babies R Us and infertility/pregnancy blogs. I cannot concentrate on a single thing other than willing the minutes to go by faster. It has been seven weeks since our last ultrasound and while we have heard the heartbeat since then, we haven't seen the baby. I am distracting myself tonight with a pedicure and eyebrow wax (MUCH-needed as they are taking over my face). Tomorrow night, when I will be going REALLY nuts, my friend L is taking me to a movie. The scan is at 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday mornings. Mr. M. is going with me, of course. We are both very excited and very nervous!

Sorry for such a long time between posts. Once we get Wednesday out of the way I will hopefully feel a little better and more inspired to write.

And now back to watching the damn clock...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where do I belong?

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis.

If you've been following my blog, you know the crazy story of how I wound up pregnant. In case you haven't, here's a brief summation:

I mentioned to my OB, Dr. A., that Mr. M. and I were thinking of starting a family in the near future. She decided to run some tests to see if my cancer treatment at the age of 17 (I am now almost 27) had affected my fertility. It had. My blood work came back showing high Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Now I'm still not sure how it works, but basically the higher the number is, the more diminished your eggs are in quality and/or quantity. People with high FSH are often diagnosed with DOR (diminished ovarian reserves) or POF (premature ovarian failure). Dr. A. referred us straight to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) in the area who accepts high FSH patients. Many REs don't accept high FSH-ers because it lowers the success rates of their clinics. Yeah. It's that scary.

In the 2.5-month wait for my RE appointment, I dove headfirst into the world of infertility. Remember, this is all before we had even started trying to have kids. I bought five or six different books on infertility, went on the S.outh B.each diet because Dr. A. said it was great for fertility, started taking prenatal vitamins. I also ventured into the world of infertility blogs.

What I learned amazed, inspired and frightened me. I found so many women struggling with infertility, sometimes with multiple devastating diagnoses stacked up against them. I discovered Mo, a fellow Hodgkin's survivor who has suffered six, yes SIX miscarriages and more tests and treatments than I can imagine. With some help from her husband, Will, Mo has navigated infertility with a grace and hope that touched me deeply. I read her entire blog in one sitting, barely moving.

I read heartbreaking stories of unsuccessful treatments, the horror stories of injections and egg retrievals and two week waits. I read the devastating stories of loss and grief. And somehow, through it all, there was an undercurrent of hope, and strength. These women were not accepting their infertility. They were conquering it. They were fighting back and looking forward with hope.

I looked into my own future with dread - the injections, the disappointment, the astronomical costs when your insurance covers NOTHING to do with infertility. It scared me. I turned to the infertility community and found battle-scarred women who took pity on the new girl who (scoff) hadn't even TRIED yet and supported me with enthusiasm.

And then something extremely strange, and wonderful, happened.

I got pregnant.

Determined to make the most of the time before the RE appointment, I bought a basal body temperature thermometer and a ovulation predictor kit. Not even sure that I would ovulate at all due to my high FSH, I cautiously entered my first cycle of trying to conceive. The day I got my positive on the OPK I jumped up and down and screamed for joy. We, um, you know on the days we were supposed to, and then I waited for my "monthly curse" to start. I wasn't sure how long my cycle would be since it was my very first off of birth control pills.

I waited, took a pregnancy test. Negative.

Waited some more, another pregnancy test. Negative.

Still waiting, one more spur-of-the-moment pregnancy test.

POSITIVE.

So, I'm pregnant. It hasn't been easy, including a ruptured luteal sac that caused Dr. A. to describe the pregnancy as "iffy," endless days of gross progesterone suppositories, a trip to the ER due to bleeding, and more terror and stress than I have ever experienced.

I can't shake the feeling that this might be my ONLY chance, my one chance to have a child. And I really, really don't want it to go wrong.

So where do I belong? Not with the determined infertiles who have tried for years and spend thousands of dollars to get that one positive pregnancy test. And certainly not with the "smug fertiles" of the world who complain about being pregnant, gripe about their kids and just in general make infertile women want to punch them in the face.

Is there a separate category for me, like "Infertility-Sensitive Unexpectedly Fertile"? Or "Miraculously Fertile but Terrified"? Where do I belong?

I plan on "coming out" on F.acebook this weekend if all goes well at my appointment on Wednesday. I am trying to figure out how to announce it in a way that reminds people that is isn't always easy for everyone, and that not all pregnancies are simple and complication free, while still being joyful. Any thoughts?

One thing I DO know is how much I appreciate the support and encouragement from women to whom my miracle pregnancy must be a bitter pill for them so swallow. So thank you, ladies, for your kindness and patience with me during this time.

If you were wondering about the oncologist appointment, all went well and she doesn't appear to have any concerns related to my prior treatment. It was a stressful day but one I am glad to have behind me.

Regular OB appointment with Dr. A. this Wednesday. I am, of course, VERY anxious to hear the heartbeat again for reassurance. If all goes well on Wednesday, I will be OFFICIALLY in the second trimester and will breathe a very small and very cautious sigh of relief.

Hang in there, ladies.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oncology Appointment Jitters

Tomorrow I meet with the oncologist. Just typing that gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

In case you're new to my blog - I had cancer when I was 17. My OB, Dr. A., thinks cancer is what caused my high FSH. She wants me to meet with an oncologist to discuss any possible risks or side effects that could be caused by my previous treatment, to do a health check and make sure things are good, and to advise us on things to watch for during this pregnancy.

I had been nine years since I went to my first oncology appointment and close to eight since I went to my last. I recognize how incredibly lucky I was in that my treatment was short, effective and (relatively) painless. But sitting in that office waiting room (which I have already done once in order to drop off paperwork) and watching a woman without a foot being wheeled in was bad. And watching a woman on an oxygen tank coming out to her car, sobbing and being consoled by her husband, was almost more than I can bear. Those are the realy faces of cancer. I in my good health feel like an impostor and an intruder. My heart aches for them. And I shudder to be back among their ranks, however briefly.

My first day back at work after the three day weekend did NOT start out well. We got in late last night so I was pretty exhausted. Then, as I was driving to work, my accelerator stopped working. Just like that. No acceleration. Then I noticed my power steering was gone. Thank God the brakes still worked. I coasted to a parking lot where I waited in the heat for FIFTY minutes for Mr. M. to come get me. He pulled up, looked under the hood, started the car and...it worked perfectly. No problems. SERIOUSLY??!! So I drove on to work and will be running the car to the shop this evening just so they can check it out for me. The GREAT thing about being stranded was I found a very sweet lost dog and after some detective work and many phone calls (PLEASE put tags on your dogs, people) was able to reunite her with her tearfully grateful owner. So there's a positive thing that happened from a very negative situation.

In happier news, tomorrow I will be 13 weeks and let me just say HELL YEAH! Just one...more...week and I will be out of this seemingly never-ending first trimester. I have an OB appt. on the 14th, and hearing the heartbeat on the Doppler will be the best birthday present of all (I turn 27 on July 16). If all goes well, I will be "coming out" to everyone on my birthday. I will make the phone calls to my loved ones and friends first, and then probably post something on F.aceb.ook.

I've been one of the amazingly lucky ones who don't get morning sickness, but this past week I have noticed that my appetite is majorly decreased. If I don't eat often enough I will start to feel sick and food makes me feel better, but I'm just not getting hungry anymore. I can't eat as much as I used to and (horror of horror) even ice cream has been making my tummy upset! I have been trying really hard to be moderate in my eating so am curious to see what the scale will say at my OB appointment next Wednesday.

I have also been getting more heartburn/reflux type stuff going on. And pain in my tailbone when I sit, even on something really soft, for a long period of time (see: my job: every day). Cramps still come and go but are in general better.

I had a GREAT 4th of July weekend. My whole family was at Grandma's yesterday (it is rare that every single person shows up) and we had so much fun playing cards, eating LOTS of food and shooting fireworks off in the driveway.

We also spent time with Mr. M.'s family, which I will call "A Tale of Two 4 Year-Olds." Saturday we were at Mr. M.'s grandpa's with his mom, her sister and her family. Her sister has a 4 year-old boy, Z, who is THE cutest! He is polite, minds his parents, is full of energy and fun and is just a joy to be around. Sunday we were with Mr. M.'s dad's family and there was another 4 year-old, K. He was a total terror. Screaming, yelling, jumping on things, banging on things and some genius had decided it was a good idea to buy him a DRUM. Sheesh! I just found myself hoping that our little one, boy or girl, turns out like Z and not like K!

Whew that was a long post! I will write again after my oncologist appointment. TTFN!

Friday, July 1, 2011

12 weeks (with photos)

*Warning: This is a pregnancy-related post, so if you're feeling a bit sensitive about pregnancy you might want to avoid reading it. I never, ever want to cause pain to anyone.Don't forget - I was told I might never have kids naturally, so if anything take hope from my story!

Well, on Wednesday I reached the 12 week mark, and now I have less than two weeks before I am FINALLY out of this blasted first trimester!

I have been doing well (although I cringe to write that in case I jinx myself). Haven't had any bleeding or spotting for quite a while, and while I still have cramps, I have almost gotten used to them by now.

Since I haven't had any morning sickness (thank GOD for big mercies), I have also gained some poundage! When I first got my BFP, I was on Phase 1 of the S.outh B.each diet and I was down about ten pounds to 181. At the last doctor's appointment I was up to 188, so up seven pounds. That's not too worrisome to me, because my "normal" weight (as in, trying to be active and eat fairly well) is about 186. So I am only two pounds above what is "normal" for me. At least that's what I keep telling myself. ;)

In other news, my little bump is finally starting to show! At my 11 week appointment Dr. A. said she could feel my uterus starting to poke up a bit. I had to wait for the bloating from the blasted progesterone suppositories to go down, but finally on Wednesday at exactly 12 weeks I saw a little bit of a bump! What do you think, bump or bloat?



I'm still not sleeping very well. Not so much the having to get up to pee but this SUPER annoying ringing in my ears! It's really bad when my earplugs are in, but I have to put them in or else Mr. M. and the dogs keep me up all night with their snoring and whuffling. The good news is that I think I am finally starting to get some of that much longed-for energy that comes with the second trimester, so I'm not too exhausted.

Heading out of town this weekend for the 4th. Should be a good time even though I'll have to stay away from the beer.

Still waking up with thanks on my lips for making it to another day with this pregnancy. Keep praying for me!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Oh happy day...

Saturday night something happened. Or rather, didn't happen. And it was a big. Effing. Deal. Ya'll.

I took my last! Progesterone! Suppository!

Ahhhh, the glorious freedom of NOT wearing a pad that crackles like a diaper if you're listening hard enough. The freedom of NOT waking up an hour early every day to insert the blasted thing. And the sweet relief of NOT feeling like I'm bleeding all the time because of the stupid stuff leaking out of me.

Of course, in that very "sane" way of pregnant women, I'm now scared that something will go wrong because I'm not taking it anymore. My cramps have been a little worse today, and even though my books assure me that the baby is DOUBLING (yes, you read that right) during the course of ONE SINGLE WEEK and even though I KNOW my retroverted uterus causes me to feel more cramps...I still worry.

Today was THE craziest Monday I have had in a while. It's 4 p.m. and I am just sitting down to my desk for the first time since 9 a.m. I am going to go home, put my feet up, NOT take a progesterone suppository, and whine until Mr. M. cooks me dinner.

Aaalllmost to twelve weeks. Grow, baby, grow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

All is well!

Yesterday's appointments went SO well, and were very reassuring to me!

The nurse at the OB picked up the heartbeat on the Doppler right away and said it sounded right on.

And then, at the MFM doctor, the ultrasound showed that the amniotic sac had grown just like it was supposed to and was looking great! We even got to see the baby moving its arms around which was SO adorable.

The doctor did an NT scan as well. Now, he didn't even really tell me what he was doing and I only figured out what was going on once I Googled "NT Scan" today. ANYway, the nasal bone and neck fluid were both looking good and had no indicators of a chromosomal problem.

He did ask if we wanted to do the blood screening test for Downs and Edwards syndromes. After talking with Mr. M., we declined. We both felt it would only add to my stress at this point, and I am trying SO hard to stay relaxed and de-stressed. Plus, if the baby has a syndrome it already has it and there's nothing we can do. If it has Downs, it won't affect our decision to carry the pregnancy to term. If it has Edwards it will most likely die and there is nothing we can do. It was a very stressful decision, but ever since then I have been at peace and feel like we made the right choice.

So now I have to endure the SEVEN WEEK WAIT until my next ultrasound on August 10. I will be 18 weeks and hopefully we will be able to tell what we are having then! I see the OB again in three weeks so at least she will check with the Doppler, which will provide some reassurance.

If all goes well I am planning on having the ultrasound tech write down the sex and put it in the envelope so we can give it to the host of our gender reveal party. Should be fun!

Right now my goal is to make it out of the first trimester which will be "official" on July 13.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where am I?

I know, I know...I've been a pretty sucky blogger lately.

I don't know where I went. I feel like before I got my BFP, I had a lot more...personality or something. I saw humor in things, I had spirit and attitude and a zest for life. Now I feel like all of those personality traits have fallen into the background and have been replaced with one all-consuming feeling: SCARED.

First off, let me just say that as far as I know, things are OK with the pregnancy. Today I hit 11 weeks, which according to The Bump means the Baby J is about the size of a lime.

Now let's talk about why I don't WANT to talk.

I've been feeling hopeful, which has me terrified. I feel like I don't have the right to be hopeful.

I feel terribly superstitious about EVERYthing. My pants and clothes are tightening up due to bloating, lack of exercise and the blessed progesterone. The other day I even walked into a maternity store at the mall to look for a belly band of some kind, but had to leave after I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. I just knew that as soon as I bought something directly related to being pregnant and took it home with me, something would go wrong and I would end up bursting into tears every time I saw it again.

The closest I was able to come was yesterday, when I bought three shift-like dresses that will be super cool and comfortable to wear to work and around town during the summer. Stretchy knit dresses are really ALL I want to wear right now.

I was going to write about how last Thursday, June 16, would have been my first appointment with the RE if I hadn't gotten pregnant. But I couldn't. I could only imagine writing that post and then having to call her the next day for another new patient appointment.

I should write about how I haven't had any bleeding, any at all since my last post, but I know I can't since I might be jinxing myself. (I went to the bathroom right after writing this and was SURE I was going to see blood).

Tomorrow I have two back-to-back appointments: one with my OB and one with the MFM (high risk pregnancy specialist). In a way, this is a good thing, because by the time I get the first appointment over with I will know where I stand and won't have to be as nervous for the second appointment.

So that Mr. M. doesn't have to take off work, my grandmother (who is for all intensive purposes my mom) is going with me. She has never been able to do the whole "see the baby on the ultrasound" thing so she is excited. I am just hoping everything is still fine. Especially hoping that the sac around the baby has grown like it was supposed to. *fingers crossed*

And now, time for a [RANT]:
My husband is lazy. I know this and have always known this. He works long hours at a stressful job and like nothing better than to come home in the evening and collapse on the couch with his Xbox.

Now. I'm pregnant. I'm high risk. I'm supposed to take it easy. But he is doing next to nothing to help me pick up the slack. The first time I ask him to do something, he'll kind of roll his eyes and agree to do it (in a humorous way, not an aggressive way). But the more I remind him, the more pissy he gets, until when he finally gets around to doing it when it's all dramatic sighs and bad attitude.

It makes me want to kill him.

I was off work Monday, and used the time to tidy and clean the house. I'm talking dusting, cleaning countertops and windows, etc. I cannot STAND when the house is messy and it certainly adds to me stress.

Yesterday, AFTER working a full day, I went to the grocery store even though he is technically supposed to go with me so I don't have to lift heavy things. I unloaded the groceries from the car, put them all away, put a steak in to marinade and asked him to please unload and re-load the dishwasher "some time tonight." He said okay. A little while later, I cooked dinner then cleared all the plates. I am totally exhausted, but I don't want to remind him because then he'll just sulk. My grandmother is coming to stay with us so the kitchen really needed to be clean. So at 10:15, I went into the kitchen and very calmly started doing the work. I wasn't sulking, or clanging things around - I just wanted it done so I figured I needed to do it myself. About two minutes later he comes storming in and snarls, "I'll DO the dishes," and starts "helping," which meant throwing things into drawers, clanging them around and having SUCH a bad attitude that I finally told him to go away.

He went to the bedroom and collapsed on the bed with his hand over his eyes (he is SUCH a drama queen) and later apologized in a very passive-aggressive, "Well, I'm sorry I made you mad and I'm such a horrible husband." AND HERE COME THE SWEEPING DRAMATIC STATEMENTS, FOLKS.

I was so. Mad. He simply CANNOT continue to be this selfish and lazy. I am super stressed already and he is just. Not. Helping Me. Especially if we have an actual child, he is going to have to man up, grow some balls and help me without bitching and whining about it like a freaking three year old. Does he not realize how unattractive that is in a grown, successful man? Sure, you can THINK those whiny, "why me?" thoughts, but actually saying them out loud is just...juvenile.

I was planning on cooking dinner for Mr. M. and Grandma tonight, but I called her and said I just want to go out to dinner with her. I need a break from him. I grew up an only child and very much appreciate space and alone time, of which I have NONE. He never leaves me alone and is always...there. It would be the same with ANY person I spent this much time around - I need some time to be alone and to breathe.

[END OF RANT]

If you made it all the way through that whole post, you are a rock star. Thank you for hanging in there with me!

Fingers crossed, prayers said, love and light sent, etc. for me tomorrow, please! I will update as soon as I know something.