Pregnancy Photos: 35 Weeks!

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Pregnancy Photos: 32 Weeks

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Pregnancy Brain

Need a good laugh? Single Dad Laughing has compiled this absolutely hilarious and almost unbelievable list of pregnancy brain moments. You know, those times when that tiny human growing inside of you has apparently commandeered so much of your brain juice that you can’t even remember your own name (that actually is one of the stories!).

I think the worst I have done this pregnancy was to put something strange in the fridge (and of course I cannot remember what it was). I did that before I even knew I was pregnant, so I guess it was an early sign, along with clumsiness as I broke a dish a few minutes later and spilled ketchup all over the carpet…

These days if I laugh too hard for too long, I just start crying. Not laughing-so-hard-tears-run-down-your-face, but actual crying. I don’t even know. Hopefully no one says anything funny in public because it could get embarrassing really quickly. Welcome to 11+ weeks of pregnancy??

Anywho, whether your pregnant laughter turns to crying or peeing, I promise these stories are worth it! Bonus: they’ll totally make your own brain lapses seem like no biggie. 🙂

First Trimester Part 1 (Weeks 1-7)

I’m in the first week of my second trimester.  Wow!!  There were days when I felt I wouldn’t survive to say those words, but here I am!  It would have been great to be posting about the first trimester as it happened, but one advantage of looking at it from the other side is that I have… perspective.  This basically means for my readers that I can talk about first trimester in a somewhat positive way instead of writing posts that say something like “Pregnancy is the worst!  Don’t do it!  Haha ha…. ha”. Ugh.  It was rough.

But let’s start from the beginning.

0-3 Weeks:

The first time I got pregnant, I blogged about our conception attempts during month #1 and #2 in great detail.  I’m really glad I did because I love to go back and look at my charts and our conception story.  Hopefully reading about what we did will help others who are trying to get pregnant.  I get a lot of hits on my blog from people looking up information about pregnancy tests from Dollar Tree, which I used a lot of this time.

This time, however, I don’t really feel like going over it in such detail.  We mostly just did the same stuff, anyway, or at least part of it.  I actually did not do any temping this time at all, mostly because we were in the middle of our move and my thermometer was in storage.  We did do ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), cervical mucus checks, and of course I paid attention to the unique little twinges that I get at ovulation.  Those are what actually prompted me to use the first OPK, and it’s a good thing I did because I surprised myself by ovulating much earlier than I’d expected.  I actually got positive OPKs for 3 days in a row, which was pretty confusing, so when calculating my ovulation date I’m mainly relying on the other clues.

These were my OPKs. I skipped a day between the last and second to last tests.  I wish I'd taken one on that day, though, because I think that's actually the day I finally ovulated.

These were my OPKs. I skipped a day between the last and second to last tests. I wish I’d taken one on that day, though, because I think that’s actually the day I finally ovulated.

Much to our surprise and delight, we got pregnant on our first month of really trying!  There were a couple of months before that when we were pretty lazy about preventing pregnancy and even thought we might be pregnant.  When we weren’t, I think the disappointment really prompted us to say “Ok, let’s do this!”  I had wanted to wait to get pregnant until Alex was at least 18 months old.  When that time finally came, however, we were right in the middle of our big move from Michigan to Oregon, we were living in a temporary apartment, and we hadn’t found a house to buy yet.  That’s what made us wait a couple more months.  We found out we were pregnant just 3 days before we moved into our new home!

4 Weeks:

I took a pregnancy test at exactly 12 dpo (days past ovulation), just like I did with my first pregnancy.  I got a good strong positive!

My Big Fat Positive with Baby #2!

My Big Fat Positive with Baby #2!

The moment you find out you’re pregnant is one of those that will stick with you forever.  This time I just felt an overwhelming sense of thankfulness.  I just thanked God over and over and over for the miracle of this baby.  I think knowing what it is to have a child really gives new meaning to the beginning of a pregnancy.  I spent the next few days looking lovingly at my Alex and wondering at the thought of being blessed with another beautiful precious child.  It’s difficult to believe that there is another angelic baby being formed in me right now.

My early symptoms were definitely different than the ones I’d had with Alex.  Instead of big boobs and terrible acne, I was exhausted and hungry, with a little clumsiness thrown in.

RIGHT after I found out I was pregnant, I got this huge giant crazy bruise on my shin!  What?!  This never happens to me, so it must have been pregnancy related.  Low iron, maybe?  I made sure I took all my vitamins after that.

RIGHT after I found out I was pregnant, I got this huge giant crazy bruise on my shin! What?! This never happens to me, so it must have been pregnancy related. Low iron, maybe? I made sure I took all my vitamins after that.

Right at 4 weeks I also felt completely dazed and out of it.  I panicked a little, remembering the feeling from before and wondering if I’d feel like that the entire pregnancy.  I just didn’t feel like myself!  It was like losing your glasses and not really being able to see all day.  Thankfully the feeling didn’t last.  In fact, the very next day we moved into our house, I got busy cleaning and getting ready for my parents to visit, and I almost forgot I was pregnant for awhile!

I didn't take quite as many pregnancy tests as I did with my first pregnancy, but only because I ran out and couldn't sneak away to get some while my parents were in town.  :P

I didn’t take quite as many pregnancy tests as I did with my first pregnancy, but only because I ran out and couldn’t sneak away to get some while my parents were in town. 😛

5 Weeks:

At 5 weeks, lime slices were still helping....

At 5 weeks, lime slices were still helping….

5 days after we found out about the pregnancy, my parents arrived for a week-long visit.  I was SO sad that I couldn’t just tell them I was pregnant, but it was still so early.  If we’d told them, we would have needed to tell other immediate family, and I just didn’t want to risk having to break everyone’s hearts if we had a very early miscarriage.  Three times I almost spilled the beans, though.  The first time was really all the time as I had such a huge appetite and was eating SO MUCH that I was worried my parents would notice, haha!  Another time, I was unpacking a suitcase while talking to my mom.  I saw an unfamiliar-looking shirt of Alex’s and held it up, puzzled.  Then I saw that it was the “Big Brother” shirt that I’d bought to tell my husband the good news and quickly tucked it away!   A quick glance reassured me that my mom had been looking the other way and hadn’t seen it- Whew!  Another time was when I was telling my parents how ever since my pregnancy with Alex I always felt a bit nauseated after breakfast (I thought maybe this would be a clever preemptive strike in case I started looking a little green, plus it’s actually true!).  Then my mom said, “Well, maybe you ARE pregnant!”.  I’m so glad my oh-so-clever response of “HA!” managed to satisfy her….

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At 5 weeks we all drove up to the Seattle area to attend my cousin’s wedding.  So many of my family members were there, and I was keeping a huge secret from them!  Thankfully, other than needing to eat on time, I was feeling pretty great still, so I didn’t give anything away.

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Alex and his cousin at the wedding.  Adorable!

Alex and his cousin at the wedding. Adorable!

Right at 5 weeks 3 days, feeling great began to disintegrate.  It was the same story as my pregnancy with Alex.  It was two days before my parents left, and I was still able to act pretty normal, though fixing meals was definitely making me feel more and more green.  They left just before things went from bad to worse, never guessing they had been in the presence of their unborn second grandchild.  🙂

6 Weeks:

By the time I hit 6 weeks I was remembering all too well what “morning” sickness was like (and how I resent the inaccurate name).  I threw up for the first time at 6 weeks, 1 day.  Lovely.  I think I’d lulled myself into thinking that maybe I’d feel great all pregnancy, or maybe I’d only feel a little bit nauseated, or maybe I wouldn’t throw up.  Yeah, no.  I was throwing up like a champ and already counting down to the end of first trimester.

7 Weeks:

On the way to the wedding, I noticed that I'd developed a tell-tale pooch!

On the way to the wedding, I noticed that I’d developed a tell-tale pooch!

At 7 weeks we went to another wedding, a whole-weekend affair that was 7 hours away.  I know.  Really bad timing.  When we’d promised to attend, we’d known I’d probably be pregnant, but we figured it would still be fine.  Right up until we left my husband was still saying “Are you sure you want to go?  Should we just stay home?”  He was worried that I’d be miserable the entire time, but I really wanted to go.  A friend who’d just had a baby and had a daughter just 2 months older than Alex was going to be there, and I wanted to spend time with her and give Alex a chance to play with his friend.  I was also hoping that having some fun stuff to do would be distracting enough that I would actually feel better.

Well…. thankfully, I was right!  The weekend turned out really well, and I actually felt pretty great most of the time.  I loved talking with my friend about pregnancy (I let her in on the secret), Alex and my friend’s daughter were just super cute playing together, my husband and my friend’s husband found plenty to talk about, and the whole weekend was so much fun!

The only bad part was that we’d chosen the “camping option” instead of staying in the dorm or guest rooms at the camp, and it was about 40 degrees at night.  We were the only fools camping.  Yeah, so….  camping with a toddler is probably fine.  Camping with a toddler when it’s really cold isn’t such a great idea because they can’t keep their own hats on in the tent at night and you end up waking up every time they move to put it back on for them.  Camping with a toddler in the cold when you’re also pregnant is an even worse idea because of the peeing.  Have you ever been camping, all snug in your sleeping bag and then realized you had to pee?  Sucks to get out of your warm bag and trek to the bathroom in the cold, right?  How about doing that multiple times a night?  😦  I will confess that I didn’t walk all the way to the bathroom because it was about 10 miles away.  I just squatted on the other side of our car.  That is how it is done.  Baby wipes and a wet bag work really well for that kind of midnight bathroom excursion.

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The wedding was beautiful, and it was also the only day during the weekend that I threw up.  I thought it must have been because of all that delicious egg and potato casserole I’d eaten at breakfast, but as it turns out it was a harbinger of things to come.

Sunday evening we went and slept in a hotel because we’d had enough of the tent of torture (Am I making it seem worse than it was?  My husband would probably think so.), and Monday we made the long drive home.  And I felt so terrible.  I’d thought my “morning” sickness (do I have to keep calling it that??) had reached an apex at 6 weeks, but apparently that had been nothing.  That phenomenon where a little distraction made me feel so much better?  A thing of the past.  As soon as we got home I took to my bed and pretty much stayed there for the next several weeks.

And now, to illustrate how long those weeks felt, I will end this post now and you will have to wait until part 2 to hear more about my misery.  I’ll bet you can’t wait.  😛

My view from our bed in the living room (we had to sleep there for a few weeks while we were painting bedrooms).

My view from our bed in the living room (we had to sleep there for a few weeks while we were painting bedrooms).

38 Weeks, 6 Days: Labor is Closer!

December 9, just 10 days from our due date!  Everything is so exciting now because I know that birth can happen any time and that the more time goes on, the closer we are to meeting our baby.  🙂  My sister and her boyfriend were here for the weekend, so that was really fun!  It also pushed us to go ahead and finish up all the big stuff we had to do before Baby is born.  We still have some little things we wouldn’t mind finishing, but I think both my husband and I feel pretty relaxed now and ok with the baby coming at any time.  I would like for my mom and sister to be here, mostly because I know that they really want to be.  I’m sure that I’ll really appreciate their support as well when the time comes, but the thought of it just being me and my husband doesn’t bother me at all.  Our midwife talked to me at her visit last Wednesday about when to call her and that she wouldn’t want us to be panicking that she wouldn’t get there in time…. Yeah, that doesn’t worry me at all.  I would almost feel fine about no one but my husband being there, but because I’ve never had a baby before or even seen a birth I feel that it’s smart to have someone there to know what’s normal and what’s not.  Our midwife will also know what to do in case something is not normal.  But I definitely don’t worry about her not arriving in time (such as if I had a crazy fast birth or something, not that I expect that at all).

The midwife also told me that she doesn’t expect this baby to be born much past the due date (she knocked on wood as she said it, lol).  Her reasons for thinking this are that that baby is in a great position and already very low, I’ve been contracting for months now, and I’m not a large person (I guess that makes babies more likely to want to be born so they can start getting some milk and keep growing 🙂 ).  I don’t have a whole lot of water, she said, but the baby has a very reactive heartbeat (it goes up every time he moves) and is still moving around a ton, both signs that Baby is doing just fine.  I’ve been feeling a bit paranoid about my water levels, and I’m really trying to drink enough water every day.

For a few nights, Baby was kicking me so brutally that it was becoming an extremely painful experience!  I was getting clobbered in the ribs, belly button, round ligament, sciatic nerve, bladder, and cervix- sometimes all at once.  I kinda dreaded going to bed because I knew I’d be attacked from the inside again as soon as I lay down.  One night it was so awful and I was so frustrated that I finally just sat up in bed and cried.  My midwife suggested not eating late (and indeed, I had eaten a whole plate of food right before bed the night it was really bad).  I tried her suggestion, and I think it might have helped some.  Either that or baby is finally accepting the lack of space and settling down a bit.  I’m still getting plenty of movement, night and day, but it has felt a little gentler lately.  Whew.

I keep feeling like the baby may be early, but we are getting so close to the end of “early”, so maybe not.  Still, there are some new things happening that I feel signal labor is closer.  Yesterday morning we had sex and afterward I had some quite crampy contractions all during church and lunch.  Braxton Hicks have been feeling lower down and crampier at times for the past week ever since I really noticed how much Baby has dropped, but yesterday’s were just a little bit stronger and more noticeable.  We had a choir concert for church and I really loved it when the crescendo of the voices matched the peak of my contraction- makes me wish I could have a choir sing to my labor- ha!  😀  By last night, however, most of the crampiness was gone.  I feel like I have a tough time telling whether I’m having cramps because something is happening with my cervix or because I need to poop (yeah, we’re going to talk about that).  Pooping is feeling a little different lately, and sometimes quite painful, probably because the baby’s head is so far down in my pelvis that he is totally crowding all my vaginal and rectal space.   Silly baby 🙂

This morning after breakfast we watched a little TV with my sis and her boyfriend and the whole time (a couple of hours) I had rather painful Braxton-Hicks-like contractions, but it only hurt on my right side.  I assumed it was my right round ligament being all tight, or maybe the baby was in a position that pressed against my ligament during a contraction.  Either way, I felt a little distracted from the TV by what I was feeling.  I sat on my exercise ball and moved my hips in circles for a long time.  I experienced this same feeling last Wednesday night while I was trying to go to sleep- every Braxton Hicks (and I was having a lot of them) made my right side hurt like a fire poker.  I finally got up from bed, walked around the house, did hip circles while sitting on my exercise ball (and I feel super tired in an almost drugged way the whole time, which was weird), the cat pose exercises my chiropractor gave me to do, and finally was able to get to sleep.  I assumed that was my round ligament too, but who knows.  I love for these cramps and pains to be a sign that something is happening with my cervix!  I’ve done some self-checks lately, but while I’m able to feel the baby’s head with no effort at all, I can only just barely reach what I think is the very edge of my cervix.  I can tell that it’s extremely soft, but I can’t get to the middle of it to see if I’m dilated at all.  Oh well.  That will happen when it will.  I think as soon as my family is all here we’ll start having as much sex as we can to help my cervix soften up really well.  It’s tempting to start doing stuff like that now, but I really have no reason to rush the start of labor (as if I could), so I’ll just wait.

My nipples are really leaky tonight too.

One thing I’ve found strange lately has been the lack of cervical mucus.  I thought I’d have TONS of it at this point in pregnancy, but I’ve had even less than I did earlier.  So weird.  I’m hoping at least that will make it really easy to tell if I lose my mucus plug.

I put plastic under the sheets on our bed (just a simple shower curtain), a towel beside the bed, and have begun sitting on a towel in my car- all ready in case my water breaks in a gush!  I kinda down expect it to, though, because my mom’s never broke before labor.  Hers never broke spontaneously, actually, because during both her births they ruptured it in the hospital.  It will be interesting to see when mine breaks.  I wouldn’t mind it staying intact during the first part of labor if it will make things a little easier on me.

I feel that I’ve done just about as much preparing for birth as I can do.  I’m still reading Birthing From Within, so that would probably be a good book to finish, but even if I don’t it’s ok.  I’ve also ordered a belly mold kit that I’d like to be able to do, but there will hopefully be another baby if we don’t get the chance.  I think my husband and I are both starting to feel pretty ready to give birth so we can see our baby…. bring it on, labor!

37 Weeks, 5 Days: Irritable Much?

So….. For some reason I’m starting to feel extremely irritated by everyone. I’m dreading the endless comments I get from people at church. Their eyes are all over my bump (not so much their hands, thankfully), and the only things anyone says to me are about the arrival of the baby: “When will this little one make an appearance?, when’s the baby going to come?, how much longer?”

How should I know?? Baby will come out when the baking is done!

Of course I UNDERSTAND why no one can focus on anything else when they look at me. I’m all baby right now, and I have and would do the same to any other pregnant woman (nothing else in life really trumps the soon arrival of a new baby). For some reason, though, knowing the logic behind this does not keep my stress and irritation from rising with every well-meaning comment, question, or piece of advice.

I’d like to be invisible while I try to make it from the sanctuary to the bathroom. I don’t want people to see the shape of my tummy, the baby’s kicks, or (especially) the lumpy nature I take on during one of my oh-so-frequent Braxton Hicks! My husband is the one I want to see this stuff, and he is basically the only one, other than certain close friends (and children- I LOVE their comments, touches, and questions!)

So that’s honestly how I feel today and how I have begun to feel more and more in recent weeks, but I feel SO guilty for feeling this way! Is it some kind of maternal protective instinct? Will I feel less hostile when I’m no longer pregnant? Will I feel MORE this way?? Yikes….

I’m sure also that if people didn’t say anything I’d be irritated as well, and that makes me feel irrational. I think I’ll just declare irrational my new normal and go with that…

36 Weeks, 5 Days: Engagement, Birth Pool, and Thanksgiving

Time is kinda flying by now.  And standing still.   I vacillate between wanting the baby to come RIGHT NOW and wanting to hold off until everything is “ready” (which will never really happen).

Our midwives visited Wednesday, and will come at least once a week from now until Baby arrives- it’s the big time now!  Everything was good:

  • I’ll get the ridiculous one over with right away… Our midwife took her shoes off at the front door! 🙂  Not sure if it was the fun sign I posted or the millions of shoes in the entryway, but it worked and I was relieved.  Even more so when she put them back on and I noticed they were really dirty, leaving dirt clods everywhere.  What cracked me and my husband up was that she somehow bypassed the huge tiled hallway space available and had her feet on the carpet while putting on her dirty shoes!  We waited until they pulled out of the driveway and then my husband had to vacuum that spot.  It’s ok, though.  At least she didn’t track that all through the house!  I feel a tad more respected now 🙂

  • Baby has dropped!  That’s right, we’re in a GREAT position and engaged at about zero station.  I couldn’t really tell from looking at my belly or anything, but I guess I am having a little better time breathing during those nighttime Braxton Hicks.  And someone at church last week did comment  that I was carrying super low.  Our midwife told me that Baby could descend further at this point, into +1 or +2 station (or is that the other way around at -1 or -2?….), but then I’d just be super uncomfortable for the last month of pregnancy, so the way things are now are really the best we could ask for.  Did my chiropractic visits help this happen?  I guess we’ll never know, but they couldn’t have hurt.  My pelvis is getting looser and I’m going longer between visits now.  My round ligament is still tight and I can kinda tell because Baby has begun to punch it- ouch!
  • We got our birth pool!!!  Yay!  The mom who was “in line”  to use it before us gave birth the day before they came, so it worked out perfectly.  We had to blow it up to finish drying it out, so we got a good look at it.  It looks so nice and I’m excited that I get to birth in it if I want to!

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  • Everything is good with me and the baby.  My midwife mentioned fluid intake again, but said she isn’t worried.  I told her I’ve been making sure I get at least a minimum of 8 cups/day (although I think I should be drinking more and probably actually am). I drink half my water at night because every time I get up to pee (every 1-2.5 hours) I feel so thirsty!   The only reason she mentions it is that she can easily see from the outside of my tummy how the baby is lying, especially when I’m contracting.  I wonder though if part of that is just that I have no fat layer to smooth things out?  It’s just skin, uterus, baby.  Anyway, I’m sure she has had moms like me before, so I’ll just keep paying close attention to my fluid intake and trust her that everything is fine.
  • We talked about some other stuff (our midwife really likes to talk in long-winded paragraphs- hopefully she knows how to shut it when I’m in labor 🙂 ), including the newborn screening test.  My husband thinks we should do it.  The only negatives: heel poke, extra $98 cost, and the possibility of false positives.  The last negative is the only one I really don’t like, but I guess we’re going to do it, and I’m fine with that.  The only thing we have to decide is whether we want our midwife to do it or a pediatrician.  I don’t really want to have to take the baby out to a doctor in those first few weeks, but my husband  thinks insurance may cover the test if we do.  The whole pediatrician thing is something we still need to decide on, though- do we want to establish a relationship with one right away or wait until/if Baby actually needs to see one?  I’m not feeling like a huge fan of pediatricians right now, but we do have some recommendations for some non-traditional options.  I just need to check them out.
  • We showed our midwife the birth plan we wrote, and she seemed really happy that we wrote one (which made me feel relieved because I was feeling kinda anxious about it, for some odd reason).  She read through it and talked about each point.  She had a few minor suggestions (if I transferred to a hospital for a cesarean, for example, I’d probably have a spinal instead of an epidural), but for the most part I didn’t change anything.  Most of what she said was explaining how she agreed with what we’d written (her particular biases are against  induction, separation of mom and baby, and… one other one that I can’t remember) and would never do anything differently, which is what I’d figured.  She took awhile with her explanations, and the whole visit lasted about 2 hours instead of 1!
  • Both midwives keep telling us that they don’t think my labor will be very long.  Their reasons are they that think we have a great attitude and a particularly healthy pregnancy.  They see that we don’t expect it to be easy (we know it will be hard work and will probably hurt), but we also are relaxed about it.  I appreciate the vote of confidence 🙂
  • I haven’t had any internal checks my whole pregnancy, but our midwife told us that my husband or I could check me if we want- both to feel the baby’s head and check for cervical dilation- and she described what to look for.  I can VERY easily feel Baby’s head through my vaginal wall, near my pubic bone!!!  It is the coolest thing ever, and also crazy weird.  It really made me feel like Baby is so close to our outside world and helped me picture how birth will happen.  Try as I might, though, I couldn’t reach my cervix.  I guess that means it’s still very high and posterior.  Apparently it does that during pregnancy to protect itself and will then move down/anterior closer to delivery.  I never knew that before.  I’ll maybe try to find it again in a week, just out of curiosity, though I know that being dilated or not dilated at this point will really be no indication of when labor is to begin.  I used to to cervical self-checks all the time when we were TTC.  After I got pregnant, I did feel my cervix once and was shocked at how different it felt- not nose-like anymore, but gushy like puckered lips!  I was a little taken aback.  It was also very high and I could barely reach it (pre-pregnancy my cervix was always very low and super easy to find- right where the baby’s head is felt now, actually!).  I think that was first trimester.  During second trimester I looked for it once again and couldn’t reach it.  Anyway, maybe my husband would be able to check since he wouldn’t also have to do contortions around a huge belly, but he surprisingly declined and thought it would be “weird”, saying maybe another day….  Ok, whatever.

For Thanksgiving we went to my husband’s brother’s house.  I felt soooo out of it all day!  Just super sleepy and tired, and couldn’t figure out why.  I felt badly for not being very sociable or helpful.  My niece kept wanting me to play with her and I did, but then I’d have to take a break to sit in a chair with a back.  I felt so zoned out.  I actually took about a 2 hour nap in their guest room after lunch while everyone else watched the football game (which didn’t interest me at all).  Anyway, during the night my throat felt super dry and scratchy, and the next morning (yesterday) I woke up coughing weirdly and feeling rather sick.  So I guess that explains my extreme tiredness.  I also hadn’t taken all my vitamins the day before, and as soon as I took them yesterday and drank my tea, I magically felt sooo much better!  It was like some kind of miracle cure.  I actually feel quite normal and well today, but I still stayed home from church because I was so tired this morning I couldn’t seem to wake myself up enough to know if I was well or not.  I feel like such a lazy bum for staying home, but maybe it’s good that I did.  I might take a nap in a few minutes.  I couldn’t sleep again last night and can’t wait for my next chiro adjustment on Monday so I can zonk out before 2 am…..

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