Pregnancy Update (Weeks 19 & 20)

I can’t believe that I’m halfway through the pregnancy! Words can’t describe my happiness, but we are praying everyday that things continue to go well. We have a big move (well, we’re only moving about 5 hours away and it’s only for about 9 months) coming up in just a few weeks, so I’ve been preoccupied with that and researching baby stuff. Time is going by SO much faster than it did in the first trimester, and I know with everything going on that things won’t be slowing down anytime soon 🙂 Anyways, I’m actually in my 21st week now, but let’s take a look back on weeks 19 and 20.

Maternity clothes? Since I’m not working, most of the time I get up, shower, and throw on nicer sweats, haha. I can still wear my normal work out clothes, but I only have a couple of pair of leggings that I can wear comfortably still as they were looser in the stomach area to begin with and stretch nicely without actually stretching out. Normal jeans can still be worn with the belly band, but sometimes it’s a pain…so I decided it was time to go find some maternity jeans! I’m anal about my jeans to begin with and it’s hard to find a nice pair that fit me well. Though I’m actually loving my changing body, I wanted something I could feel good in and not all saggy and frumpy. I purchased two pairs of jeans from Macys- one pair is by Jessica Simpson and the other by Indigo. I thought it was interesting that they use small, medium, large for their sizing and that kind of worried me, but the size small in Jessica Simpson and extra small in Indigo fit me well! No saggy ass, no extra material between the legs- I love them! Seeing that we live in the Southwest, it’s going to start getting hot in April so these two pairs of jeans will for sure be enough for the next couple of months.

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I also got a pair of black capri workout tights and just a plain white quarter length sleeved shirt. I want a pair of black maternity leggings, but the selection there sucked and I kind of ran out of steam to look elsewhere (I can only take so much shopping- I have to try everything on and we all know that’s a pain in the ass during the winter months!). I really don’t think I’ll need to buy any shirts as I have sweaters/short sleeved shirts that were already longer and looser that I’d wear with leggings. I’m sure I’ll buy a summer dress or two when the temperatures start getting warmer, but I have some maxi skirts that will hopefully work.

Stretch marks? Nope

Sleep: Good! I actually only had two episodes of waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep! I felt like shit the next day because of this, of course, but it was really nice sleeping through the night more! I’m using the Snoogle every night and I love it! I’d use that thing if it wasn’t so damn big even if I wasn’t pregnant 🙂 Wrigley loves it too as he snuggles up right against it…that’s a habit we HAVE to break within the next couple of months and it’s going to break my heart. Some people think it’s gross when dogs sleep in the bed with you, but he’s clean and I wash the sheets once a week and fluff them every morning…and when you’re husband is gone in the field or deployed for weeks/months on end, it feels damn good to have something that loves you and relies on you to cuddle with you every night!

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Yes, that’s a one legged bear on our bed. I use it to shield my stomach from Wrigley when we’re cuddling, haha.

Best moment: Having the anatomy scan done and finding out that everything looks great! I believe she said she’s in the 39th percentile for weight. My husband was an effing huge baby (like almost 10 pounds or something at birth) and I was 6 pounds 12 oz., and while a healthy baby is all that matters, I’d much prefer her taking after me! However, I know now is the time that the baby really starts growing and putting on weight, so we shall see 🙂

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I don’t like sharing ultrasound pictures, but here’s a glimpse of her little foot!!!

I turned 30 on the 9th and had the anatomy scan the day before and turned 20 weeks on my actually day which was pretty darn special.

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Shopping for maternity pants was also a great moment. It felt so awesome yet surreal to be doing it, and as I tried stuff on, I’d just stare and rub my belly in amazement that this was really happening. I may or may not have cried for a minute or two 😉

The absolutely BEST moment was feeling the baby kick- like really kick on the morning of January 14 (20w5d). I was eating breakfast and felt it (baby girl must love my homemade healthy breakfast sandwiches!), then instantly lifting up my shirt and saw the movements. I placed my hand on my stomach to feel it and just bask in the moment. I tried taking a video to send Tyler but she decided that was enough and stopped, haha.

Miss anything? No…besides the same food I mentioned last time. And I like sleeping flat on my back. While I don’t think I necessarily miss it, it’s just what I’ve always been used to and I sleep better that way.

Movement: See above! I learned at my anatomy scan that my placenta is anterior (meaning it’s in the way of the baby and my stomach), so movements are quite muffled. I was somewhat worried that I hadn’t felt as much as some people said they had at about 18-19 weeks, but after learning this, I felt so much better! I’m starting to feel flutters and ripples more frequently. It’s usually twice a day- once in the morning and then again in the evening or right before bed.

Food cravings: Still no cravings. Things will sound good, but it’s not crazy to the point where I must have them or else. My homemade smoothies have been good for an afternoon snack or if I’m running errands and need something on hand. Raw veggies (cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrots) with hummus or Greek yogurt ranch dip are good! Good cheese with whole wheat crackers and a sliced honey crisp apple. And sliced hardboiled eggs with (very little!) salt, black pepper, and paprika as well. I’ve never been a huge lunch person and smaller portions work better, so I often times make snack plates with a variety of this stuff! We’ve actually been making more healthy dinners (we need to use up all of our stuff before we move!) and it’s exciting that not everything in the effing world sounds awful anymore!

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Snack plate! Our kids WILL love veggies despite their daddy hating them. He’s going to have to pretend to be a big boy as I ain’t tolerating that shit with our kids, haha.

Anything making you feel queasy or sick: Red sauce, ice cream (pretty much all desserts), pasta (we made it one night and I had a little but felt sick and now I can’t even think about it!), and chicken is still hit or miss.

Workouts: Same as last post. Cardio (walking/walking with free weights) a few days a week (actually most days, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes. I’m obsessed with getting my steps in on my Fitbit, haha), light weights, and yoga. Although I don’t even think I’m gonna call it yoga anymore as it’s basically just stretching. I’m so NOT flexible and I don’t want to pull a muscle giving birth or some shit, so I’m hoping to gain some flexibility over the next few months.

Showing? Yes! You can definitely tell I’m pregnant and not just have a beer belly or gut!

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Gender: Girl 🙂

Symptoms: I don’t know how I forgot to mention this before, but my hair has been taking a beating during this pregnancy. My normal long, thick hair has been literally breaking off like in the middle- not from the root- since super early on in the pregnancy. I know I went from bleach blonde back to brown which is a process, but this shit has been nuts. I’m NOT complaining though! I ended up switching salons and went to an Aveda salon where the girl took me back to my normal dark brown color (I was a mousy brown for a couple of months and I hated it. It was like brown gray and seriously looked awful as it kept fading). She also gave me a deep conditioning treatment (I only wash my hair once/twice a week at home, don’t judge- my hair doesn’t get greasy fast! I deep condition my hair weekly with good stuff my mom sends me), but it was different than what I do myself. She ended up having to cut off quite a lot because of how damanged it was, but reassured me that it’s super normal during pregnancy to lose hair whether it’s at the root or breakage further down. I only use hot products on my hair a couple of times a month and never put my tools above 360 degrees, so I know it’s not from anything I’m doing on my end. My mom was a hair stylist for years so I’m no dummy when it comes to hair maintenance 😉 Anyways, I wanted to point that out since I always wrongly assumed your hair got even better when you were pregnant.

I’m also still sneezing a lot throughout the day. Then there’s the obvious- the growing belly and bigger boobs!

Belly button in or out? In, but it’s getting really flat.

Wedding ring on or off? On

Emotions: I’ve been much less moody during weeks 19-20, but way more emotional! Like crying over little things- even things I find heartfelt. Stress might have something to do with this as we’re moving two states over in a few weeks.

Looking forward to: Honestly, viability. I’ve set milestones throughout this pregnancy, and while I know nothing is certain, I’m hoping it’ll calm my anxiety a bit. But who are we kidding- it probably won’t! I’m also looking forward to the move. Luckily, the army is moving us, but there is still a bunch of shit we have to do. I found an OB that I want to go to out there (I will be seen by civilian doctors since the base is so small), and I’m eager to get to Arizona and meet with them and get the glucose test done (I’ll be just over 24 weeks when we move and will need that test done within 2-3 weeks of being there). While I don’t like the actual process of change, I’m looking forward to a new place and moving on!

What’s Going on with Baby: She weighs about 10.5 oz and is about 6.5 inches long- about the size of a banana. Her uterus is fully formed this week and her vaginal canal is starting its development. She also has primitive eggs in her tiny little ovaries now, seven million of them. By the time she’s born, that number will be down to two million (still more than she could ever hope to use) — all the eggs she’ll ever have.

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It’s Okay…and So Are You

***This post was written in early September right after we just experienced another failed medicated cycle (Femara). Little did I know that I’d miraculously get pregnant this cycle…with no medication, only herbal supplements for us both (when I was on a medicated cycle I never took Vitex or Fertilaid as it can counteract with it, but I’d still take Pregnitude, baby aspirin, and drink fertility tea. Tyler was on Fertilaid for men and CoQ10 to help count and morphology). I did eat the pineapple core after ovulation which I had never done before. Anyways, I didn’t want to post this after I got the positive pregnancy test and I debated whether or not to delete it altogether, but I as I sat hear crying while rereading it, I vividly remembered the pain I felt all those months. I think it’s important to share as trying to conceive is an emotional rollercoaster.

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I’ve had bouts of depression since high school. There, I said it. Now I don’t want to act like it’s been absolutely horrible because that’s certainly not the case, but it’s affected me and probably some relationships in my life at some point. Before I go any further, I want to say that I’m obviously no psychologist or therapist, but I’ve seen a handful over the past fifteen years or so. I’ve truly tried to analyze their perspectives and have taken what they’ve said into consideration as I’ve gotten older. One of the things that was often discussed was how I’d brush my feelings or problems under the rug and not deal with them. I acted as if they didn’t exist so I basically wouldn’t have to feel certain things…but then I’d get to the point of feeling so much, that I’d basically have a meltdown. Just kidding…kind of 😉

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I’ve fortunately learned to recognize my feelings and understand that it’s okay and actually important to really feel them- even the negative ones. It helps you grow and change for the better. Now, instead of holding in my tears when I’m sad, pissed off, or frustrated, I cry. This post portrays certain emotions I feel throughout the duration of a cycle.

I just want to say:

It’s okay to feel sad and disappointed when you get a negative pregnancy test. Month after month of one line gets fucking exhausting.

It’s okay to feel excited when you finally start a new cycle. Yes, you’re pissed off that you’re not pregnant, but this is a fresh start and could be the month!

It’s okay to feel content when you’re on your period. You know there’s nothing you can do to procreate right now, so you just enjoy these next few days (as much as you can, haha).

It’s okay to feel anxious when you start using OPK’s (I use THESE tests and sometimes the more expensive ones by Clear Blue). I start testing on cycle day 11 and every day after that until I get a positive…if I never get a positive, I stop testing after day 20. Not worth my sanity or money 😉 It’s disappointing when you see negative ovulation tests. I almost always think, “F this- I want some sushi” and flick it in the garbage. But you keep on swimming, hoping that the next day the line is darker.

It’s okay to feel over the fucking moon when you get a positive OPK. I’m almost always at work when I’m testing (second long held pee of the day), so I hopelessly take a test each day around the same time, and as they get darker, I want to go do cartwheels. For real. Nevertheless, I restrain myself and send my hubby the positive test photo. Funny how sexy pictures were a priority and always sent while dating (still do to keep it fresh!)….and how things have changed 😉

It’s okay to do whatever you think might help get those little men to your egg. Using Pre-Seed or Conceive Plus, doing various positions, propping yourself up with pillows afterwards while your hubby heats up your dinner and brings it to you (hope to God I’m not the only one that does this), doing handstands, using soft cups (Google it if you don’t know what they are, haha).

It’s okay to take it easy after you think you’ve ovulated. Working out has become less of a priority, but it’s great to walk, do light weights, and yoga.

It’s okay to also turn down invitations. I’ve learned that I don’t need to attend everything- just the important things. Don’t go to baby showers or gender reveal parties if you’re struggling. Honestly, who the fuck had a gender reveal party 10 years ago? Or even 5? Don’t get me wrong, they’re cute and all, but come on now. (Ok, these are cute, but I was upset).

It’s okay to seclude yourself if that’s what you need. I know- relationships are a two way street. Sadness should not consume your life and there will be good days and bad. However, just because you want to be alone or not engage in social activities, doesn’t mean that you don’t want to keep in touch or that you’re weak. You simply gotta do you right now.

It’s okay to get anxious as you reach the end of your cycle and to debate on whether or not you should test. Part of you still feels a glimmer of hope. When you test and it’s negative, you feel defeated yet again (although if you’re a maniac and test WAY too early, then it could be too soon to detect any HCG).

It’s okay to research the shit out of every random pregnancy related symptom that comes to mind (I’ve Googled some weird ass things people. #noshame ;)) But STOP YOURSELF. It’s okay a few times, but it’s going to drive you freaking crazy and only cause more unnecessary stress.

It’s okay cry after the test is negative. I’ve become numb to it so I don’t anymore, but that doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t sting.

It’s okay to drink a bottle glass of wine when you start your period. And order sushi To-Go. Then eat sunny side up eggs for breakfast the next morning and get Subway for lunch with turkey deli meat.

It’s okay to go home to your husband and just asked to be held. Not only do you feel disappointed, but you feel like you let him down again.

The point is- it’s okay to truly FEEL. Let yourself engage in emotions. I know when I bottle up feelings or issues I have kept inside for too long, it isn’t pretty, nor is it healthy. When you’ve been trying to conceive for months on end, you kind of become someone else in way. You think about certain things in life differently and your thoughts and actions often revolve around what time of the month it is. And you absolutely cannot relate to those that “weren’t even trying” or it only took one or two months for. In fact, it hurts hearing that kind of stuff…

Can you relate to emotions fluctuating throughout a cycle?

It’s a…..

My husband and I have known the gender since 14 weeks and I must say- it’s been a fun little secret to keep between the two of us. We told close family during weeks 18-19, and though this isn’t the sole reason we waited to announce on social media, I know how difficult it is to see pregnancy-related content during the holiday season, and I didn’t want to bombard people with that.  Anyways, my inclination of the gender was right! Tyler wouldn’t guess, haha. But in all honestly, we had ZERO preferences. I know many guys want a little boy and women want a little girl so they can each mold them into their “mini-me’s”…or to have a boy first so they can “protect” their younger siblings…or whatever. But our main concern was just a healthy baby.

With that, we are SO incredibly happy and excited to announce that we’re expecting a baby GIRL!

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This past weekend, January 9th, I celebrated my 30th birthday and being 20 weeks pregnant. We had a little photo session in our home which was is isn’t that easy considering the lighting isn’t great in most areas of the house and when we take pictures together we have to use the selfie stick, haha. I will for sure get professional maternity photos done later on! Anyways, we went out for brunch to my favorite local spot, then ran a few errands including a trip to Babies R Us. The evening was spent at home relaxing and watching House of Cards…and it was perfect 🙂

Although I was right with my guess, I was still surprised as I always felt like I’d be a boy mom. I’ve never been into princess-y, frilly pink stuff, haha.

We cannot wait to start this new chapter in our lives with our baby girl!

 

 

Old Wives Tales on Gender Prediction- What’s Your Guess?!

Although they aren’t accurate, it was fun to look up old wives tales and guess what we were having. Today, I’m sharing some of the things I looked up- let’s see how I compare!

1. Heart Rate. If the baby’s heart rate is below 140, it’s a boy. If it’s above, it’s a girl.

Ours has been consistently in the 140’s or 150’s.

Predictor says: GIRL

2. How You Carry: If you are carrying big, round and high, it’s a girl. Low and all in front is a boy.

I’ll probably get some eye-rolling here, but my stomach was flat and I had decent abs pre-pregnancy. That being said, I was bloated the first several weeks, but I didn’t notice a change until week 12 when I got a little pooch. Over the next several weeks, that pooch started to expand. I feel like I’m carrying in the middle but all in front…but I actually have no clue, haha. I’m sure it’s easier to determine if you’ve already had a kid 🙂

Predictor says: UNSURE

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Week 18

3. Acne and Skin Blemishes: It’s said that girls are supposed to “steal your beauty” and that your skin doesn’t tend to go crazy with a boy.
I’ve been lucky that I’ve never battled acne and just had a few zits here and there. However, my skin has definitely been breaking out. I’ve switched up my skin regimen as I wanted to use more gentle products on my face and not use anything with salicylic acid (I ensured nothing I was using had it when I found out I was pregnant. I could no longer use my normal daily moisturizer and face wash because of this, but Clean n Clear and my night time moisturizer were fine). I’m currently using Cetaphil face clothes, wash, moisturizer, and body lotion but didn’t switch to that until week 16. Seriously, I’m NOT complaining but concealer has been my best friend! My skin has gotten better since switching over to Cetaphil, but I still get them here and there. This week was pretty bad, but it may have been due to extra stress as well.

Predictor says: GIRL

4. Cravings: Sweet cravings means it’s a girl, salty and sour cravings points to boy.

I tend to normally have a sweet tooth, but I have NO desire to eat any sweets since my food aversions started in week 5.  I’ll eat sweets here and there, but I’m completely fine without them. I haven’t really been craving anything actually, although more bland carbs were the only things I could tolerate the first trimester. So, I guess I’m wanting more salty foods?

Predictor says: BOY

5. Morning Sickness: If you suffer from morning sickness, it’s a girl. If you’re feeling pretty normal, it’s a boy.

I had all day sickness since week 7, although it started to let up around week 15. I still have moments of feeling sick almost every day, but it’s not constant anymore.

Predictor says: GIRL.

6. Skin Test: Dry, rough skin means it’s a boy. Soft skin means it’s a girl.

It’s winter in west Texas, so that probably has a lot to do with it, but my skin has definitely been dry!

Predictor says: BOY

7. Chinese Gender Chart:
I used the one on Baby Center and it said boy. The one on The Bump said girl. These things are so dumb, haha.

Predictor says: UNSURE

8. Leg Hair: If your leg hair grows faster, it’s a boy. If not, it’s a girl.

I honestly haven’t noticed a difference, but I shave my legs literally every time I shower, so I never go more than a day without using a razor. I hate feeling stubble!

Predictor says: UNSURE

9. Mood: If you’re moodier than usual, it’s a girl. If you’re chill, it’s a boy.

This one isn’t that fair seeing that pregnancy after loss and infertility will definitely not make anyone “chill”. I have moments of being both completely chill and other times I feel like a crazy, possessed woman 😉

Predictor says: TOSS UP

10. What’s Your Guess?!

Based on what you read above or just your inclination, what do you think?

*****If you live away from your family and friends and can wait to tell them the gender, click the picture below to get a simple idea so that they can feel a part of the special time!

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I found this poem online and added the last four lines to personalize it to send to some family members earlier this week. I bought gender reveal scratch off tickets off Amazon to include with it! Had to get creative since we’re not home with our family and friends for a gender reveal party 😦

 

Pregnancy Update (Weeks 15-18)

I slightly changed the highlights as I’ve seen this layout on a few blogs and I wanted to give it a try. I feel like this month went by a lot faster, but that happens with the holiday season. Not complaining though- I’m glad it flew by!

Maternity clothes? Not yet, but my jeans don’t button anymore so I’ve been using the belly band which is awesome! The one I got on Amazon was kinda price ($30 or so), but it has elastic on it which helps keep it in place so I think it was well worth it!

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Wearing my normal skinny jeans with the belly band at 18 weeks.

Stretch marks? No…I use Burt’s Bee’s Mama Bee belly butter in the morning after I shower and then again before bed. I also drink (always have) a ton of water and heard that staying hydrated helps. I don’t even know if I’m going to include this one on here anymore. I mean, every woman hopes to avoid stretch marks, but it can happen and that’s totally fine if it does. Genetics influences this and my mom didn’t get any so we shall see.

Sleep: Good! Except for the nights that I wake up between 3-4 AM and cannot fall back asleep for an hour or two. I’m getting up once or twice to pee, but I’m sleeping well. I have regained enough energy where I don’t have to take a nap during the day anymore, but I’m in bed between 9-10pm and sleeping until 7am or so. When I wake up randomly in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep, it kicks my ass the next day and I feel much more nauseous.

Best moment: We announced the pregnancy publicly (Facebook, Instagram, and the blog) at 15.5 weeks! It felt great to get it out in the open and the amount of support I’ve gotten is amazing 🙂 I also had two ultrasounds done to check my cervical length- one at 15 weeks and one at 17 weeks. You want the cervix to stay closed and be between 2.5-5cm in length. Because I had two LEEP procedures done to treat precancerous cells in my early 20s (one at 19/20 and one at 22/23), my doctor wanted to see exactly how much of cervix was left. During a LEEP, they remove abnormal tissue by cutting it away with a thin electrified loop. I actually had my third abnormal PAP and they found precancerous cells again when I was 25, but my GYN didn’t want to perform a third LEEP because I was so young and hadn’t had children yet. I was on the medication, Aldara Imiquimod, for three months and it fortunately worked. Anyways, my cervical length measured 3.5 cm both times! I will have another measurement taken at 20 weeks.  And one last great moment- hearing the baby’s heart beat! It is always my absolute favorite thing 🙂

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Miss anything? No. Well, I miss certain restaurants from back home. Why the hell does El Paso not have a Panera Bread? I’ve been wanting some broccoli cheese soup in a sourdough bread bowl from there. Our Super Target sells Panera soups but that shit is NOT the same. I’ve also been wanting Gelsosomo’s Pizza and lemon rice soup with rolls from Broadway Cafe back home.

Movement: I’ve felt little flutters- it almost feels like waves- a few times, but that’s it. It’s not consistent and didn’t happen the same time every day or anything, so I’m not really sure.

Food cravings: Papa John’s cheesy bread during week 15. And everything I listed above that I can’t get here, haha. Vegetables finally started making a comeback during week 15! I got a veggie delite sub with extra pepper jack cheese from Subway a few times and it was super good! Raw baby carrots and cucumber with Greek yogurt ranch dip was sounding good starting at 17 weeks. I was also able to introduce cottage cheese back into my life which was exciting. Some people think cottage cheese is gross (perhaps it’s a texture thing?), but it’s a great source of healthy fats and protein! I’ve always eaten it with crackers- I don’t like mixing it sweeter foods, like fruits. Velveeta shells and cheese!!!!

Anything making you feel queasy or sick: Chicken. Red sauce pastas (although I can do pizza with light sauce). Sweets still sound pretty gross, but sometimes I’ll just want a bite or two of something sweet. A lot of things still sound gross that I normally like. We went to see Star Wars when I was 17 weeks and the theater was packed. Seriously, I think every single person in there was eating popcorn with jalapenos and the smell was horrific to me. I hate jalapenos to begin with though 😦

Workouts: Same as last month- walking a few days a week on the treadmill at an incline. The weather has gotten cold here and I’m a little bitch in the cold now so I haven’t been walking Wrigley outside 😦 Stretching and yoga as well, but I’m honestly not a huge fan of yoga. I think it’d be better if I was taking actual classes instead of laying on my mat in my bedroom in front of the TV or my ipad, haha.

Showing? Yes- a little! My stomach started getting rounder around week 12, but it became more noticeable to us around week 15.

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Gender:  We found out during week 14…we will share soon! My next post is about gender and old wives tales 🙂

Symptoms: Food Aversions, fatigue, sneezing a lot throughout the day

Belly button in or out? In.

Wedding ring on or off? On…but I only wear it when I go out. I’m not one of those women that wears theirs 24/7! Is that weird?

Emotions: Oh my god…all over the place. For real, I’m feeling normal one second then bat shit the next. My husband and I are both pretty stubborn people to begin with, haha. I actually asked my doctor if it was normal to go from good to raging to crying in a span of like 30 minutes. She reassured me it is 😉 I’m still scared and nervous, but each day has gotten a bit easier. I don’t cry as often from worry- I’m really trying to enjoy each and every day. I do have to say that I’m still emotional when going to my OB appointments. This might sound so fucked up, but I still get jealous when I see pregnant women with big ol’ bellies…I explained this to my doctor at 18.5 weeks and she also said this is completely normal when pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage and infertility. I actually have a post that I started which I’ll share soon regarding this.

Looking forward to: Our anatomy scan on Janurary 8th! I’m super nervous about it though. My 30th birthday is the next day, January 9- I can’t wait for it! (just kidding).

What’s Going on with Baby: The baby is about 5.5 inches long, weighs roughly 7 ounces, and can flex it’s arms and legs. Ears are in their final position and and protective layer of myelin is beginning to form around nerves which is a process that will continue for a year after birth. The baby can now be easily distinguished by it’s genitals 🙂

Annoying Things You’ll Hear While Pregnant

Last night I woke up at 3am and could NOT fall back asleep. I tossed and turned and finally grabbed my ipad and headed to the living room to browse the internet. I’m weird and look up pregnancy/birth articles sometimes, and I happened to come across this one: “The 10 Most Annoying Things You’ll Hear During Your Pregnancy”.  Some of them are kind of dumb and I can’t relate to them yet, but a few I completely understood…so I thought I’d talk about that today 🙂

  • Do you know what you’re having? I really don’t know why but this question drives me freaking mad. My husband says it’s completely harmless (which it is) and that it just might be used for conversation, but it really irks me- we just want a healthy baby. I was asked a few times before I even started showing! Yes, most people do find out ahead of time, typically at their anatomy scan between 18-22 weeks, so I was surprised I was asked this so early, especially because of our previous loss. We were able to get the genetic screening done and find out the gender when we got those results at 14 weeks. Finding out what we’re having made the pregnancy seem so much more real. Before then, I had a difficult time connecting with the baby as I was scared…but I realized that I’m always going to be scared- that’s just who I am and my past experiences have made me more weary and realistic of things. I’m glad we found out what the gender is and part of me wanted to keep it between Tyler and I the whole time, but it got too difficult to keep it from close family members. We’ll be sharing with the rest of the world soon. However, I should mention that it doesn’t phase me at all when people ask who were there for me during the miscarriage and while TTC- those that were involved and reached out every now and then to see how I was and how things were going.

Another thing, we plan on going gender neutral with pretty much everything, so if we are lucky enough to be blessed with another pregnancy someday, I might try to persuade my husband to not find out at all! I know this is odd, but I’m not a fan of the colors blue OR pink 😉 Anyways, I truly believe it’s one of the most amazing surprises in life, and I would love to experience something like that. I was NOT on board with finding out the sex the first time- Tyler and I had quite a few arguments about it because I wanted to be surprised (just being real- not everything is a fairytale 24/7!) and he had to find out. He said he’d keep it from me, but I thought that was absolutely ridiculous. However, after our miscarriage, I could’ve had the option to find out the sex…but I didn’t. I was too torn up then and I just wanted it to be over with- I thought knowing would hurt too much. But over the past two years, I’ve found myself thinking about the baby and wondering if the little one was a boy or girl…and that made me want to know this time around. I felt like I needed to. Alright, I’m crying now just thinking about it so moving on!

  • Do you have any names picked out? This one doesn’t bug me quite as much, haha. It was difficult for Tyler and I to talk about names- we actually didn’t the first three months. I’ve been thinking about names the past two and a half years though, so I had a running list of both boy and girl names in my phone 😉
  • Are you going to have to natural birth? Who cares? After reading a ton of articles and blog posts from others, I learned that mommy wars are a real thing. Breastfeeding, cloth vs. regular diapers, natural vs. medicated birth, vaccinations, SAHM vs. working mom vs. work from home mom, etc.- there are always going to be women that feel like what THEY do is best. This is actually a good topic for another post…I’ll have to revisit this thought soon and give my opinion on it, haha. I’m going to have whatever kind of birth is necessary. If I can’t take it and need an epidural, then I’ll do it. Obviously I want to avoid this as much as possible, but if the doctor feels that a c-section is best or that the baby is in danger, I’ll do it. So I really don’t know 🙂 My mom had natural births with all three of her children which I thought was pretty cool!
  • How are you feeling? This one doesn’t bother me at all. I think it’s kind when people ask how I’m feeling, although I’ve gotten “you’re still having morning sickness?!” and when I hear that, all the kindness is thrown out the window, haha. Yes, at 18w5d, I’m still experiencing some morning sickness, although it’s not all day anymore- it just strikes randomly. I know a few people who had bouts of sickness the entire time and my doctor says it’s alright and that every woman and pregnancy is different.

That’s pretty much it in regards to the article- the other ones are more for later on. We all know that hormones and emotions are soaring during pregnancy and I’m a bit sensitive naturally so it’s unfortunately sometimes easy to take things out of context 🙂

Have any of these annoyed you during pregnancy? Or anything else?

Did you find out the sex early?

If so, did you share the name?

Hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year! I’ll be in the kitchen today so we will be celebrating with “healthy” buffalo chicken dip, crock-pot Italian beef sandwiches, and homemade cinnachip pumpkin banana bread! I bought stuff to make kiddie cocktails and I’m sure we will just be relaxing tonight watching movies. Hopefully I make it to 10pm, haha!

 

Pregnancy Update (Weeks 11-14)

***I’m sharing two bump photos in this post!***

I think once I get caught up with these updates, I’m going to switch to biweekly. I’ve never been this pregnant, and I truly want to cherish this time and remember more of the little details which is difficult to do when covering an entire month. I’ll do one more pregnancy update covering weeks 15-18 and then go from there. We have a lot on the horizon early next year which I hope to share soon, so there will be more to discuss 🙂 I also may be changing the formats a bit next time. Alright, here we go 🙂

Food Aversions- Food aversions got somewhat better. I still couldn’t eat pretty much everything I listed before except whole wheat bread made a comeback. Marinara sauces sounded SO gross, but I could do pasta with a more cream based sauce. Sweets were not appealing at all. I ate so many damn saltines the first several weeks that they became an aversion around this time.

Food Cravings- Still no hardcore cravings…just foods that sounded decent enough. I did want cheddar bay biscuits from Red Lobster one evening, so we picked up an order of 6 to go 🙂  Bland foods were still the best, but I wanted a cheeseburger a few times…like a quality cheeseburger, NOT one from McDonalds or whatever, haha. Guess I’m high maintenance sometimes 😉 Red meat strangely sounded better, so I made crockpot Italian beef around week around week 12. I typically love cooking my husband and I healthy meals, but that went to shit pretty much the entire first trimester, haha. Luckily, he was a good sport and fine with simple, effortless dinners 🙂 He makes pretty darn good scrambled eggs, so he’d make me two with lots of cheese a few mornings a week. Scrambled eggs have been easy on my stomach, but the smell of them made me sick.

How I’m Feeling Physically- The all day sickness slowly started to dissipate around 14 weeks. I’d have a couple of days of feeling okay (basically, not throwing up) followed by several days of constant nausea. I felt worse in the mornings or if I didn’t sleep well the night before, so I’d basically wake up and have a bowl of cereal, shower for the day, then have a second breakfast of either scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast or a bagel with cream cheese. Showering early helped a little and it made me a bit more productive and just all around feel better. I’d also go from not hungry to ravenous in minutes!

How I’m Feeling Emotionally- Tyler and I were both really nervous between weeks 11-14. It makes no logical sense, but we kept saying, “We need to get to 14 weeks”. I had an appointment during week 13 with the high risk specialist who did a thorough ultrasound, and we walked out of the office holding hands, acknowledging that it was the most pregnant I had been 🙂 It was beautiful. I know he felt the same way, but probably almost every day I’d tell Tyler that I was scared…it’s just a feeling that you can’t help. Moodiness crept in quite a few times when I was really tired…or just hormonal, haha.

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I should’ve taken one of these photos right after we found out 😦 Week 12 is when I got a little pooch, more than just bloat. Not bragging, but my stomach was completely flat pre-pregnancy, so it was exciting when we started seeing a little change!

Sleep- Still getting between 9-10 hours of sleep a night, although I had quite a few nights where I’d wake up wide awake around 3 or 4 and wouldn’t fall back asleep until 5 or 6. I’d have a snack and try to think about calming things, but sometimes it was hopeless. I noticed that my morning sickness was always a bit worse the next day after nights like that, but thankfully, I could take a nap or relax when need be the next day instead of sucking it up and going into work. I would’ve been quite the treat had that been the case 🙂

Workouts- Workouts became a bit more frequent around week 12. I’d wear my Fitbit almost every day even if I was just staying at the house doing laundry, cleaning, or organizing. It’s fun to see how many steps you take during the day just doing normal things! I looked up some easy prenatal yoga videos on YouTube and started doing those 2-3 times a week. I’m not flexible AT ALL, and since I wasn’t running, I had forgotten how amazing it feels to stretch out your limbs! Walking at an incline on the treadmill and free weights are done 3-4 days a week. It’s nice to just be able to hop on the treadmill and watch and episode of House Hunters or call someone close once or twice a day. I enjoy walking because it gets your body moving and blood flowing, but I miss the feeling I’d get after I’d have a good interval running workout. Speaking of which, I’m still on the fence about investing in a jogging stroller. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Best Moment- My best friend came to visit when I was 14 weeks! This was awesome as we don’t get to see each other much other than a few hours once or twice when I come home. I went to Colorado with her and her family in August (which was noted in our pregnancy announcement video!), so I was extremely blessed to get TWO full weeks with her this year! Also, the day she flew into town was the day we got the genetic screening and gender results from the high risk doctor. He called me as I was driving to the airport to pick her up on December 2nd, and I cried the rest of the way there. I couldn’t wait to get home to share the news with Tyler! I didn’t do anything cute to tell him- we were focused on ensuring everything was good with the baby- knowing the sex was just icing on the cake!

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SO happy! And slightly rounder 🙂

Other Thoughts- I went back to a brunette around week 11! My outgrowth was horrible, and while the blonde was a nice change, it just never felt like me. Plus, it was a real bitch to deal with the upkeep and expensive. We told my paternal grandma (Baba) on Thanksgiving and it felt great hearing how excited she was (my dad’s girlfriend took a picture of her when I was telling her the news on the phone- a photo I’ll always keep and adore!).

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Back to brunette…might not be as fun or sexy, but I’m quite alright with that 😉

 

Dates: Coincidence or Fate?

There are a few things in in my life that I pride myself on: making amazing smoothies, being organized as hell, and remember dates (although sometimes birthdays can creep up on me quickly-oops). A little story for ya- I learned right away that Tyler is God awful at learning dates or just very selective on what he chooses to remember. We met about three weeks after my 24th birthday (my birthday is January 9th and we met February 5). Tyler had almost an entire year to remember my birthday and lucky for him, he did (though he probably had to ask my mom or my sister, haha) and made it amazing. However, during a conversation several months later, our birthdays were brought up and Tyler got a huge ass surprise- I was actually a year older than he initially thought. Then after we got married, he repeatedly kept putting down that I was born in 1985, but it was 86. I won’t even tell the story about when he thought our “wedding” anniversary was…but at least he got the month right 😉 Back to the reason behind this post.

Over the past two years, I had been noting my cycles and ovulation days even when Tyler was deployed so I had a track record of what my body was doing. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that you can learn SO much from this information, and that it’s extremely important when trying to conceive. I got a period a couple of days after returning home from Colorado which was the end of August. My cycles would run between about 29-35 days long, but when I wasn’t on fertility meds or herbal supplements and when I was  running a lot, they could sometimes be 40-50+ days apart. Anyways, Tyler was going to be leaving for the field on September 15, so we both figured it was worth a shot to try one last time before he’d be gone for a month (I’d start the birth control for the IVF process with my following cycle). I had a prescription for Femara, but after discussing it, we both agreed that I would just take the herbal supplements (I’d call if my fertility cocktail, haha) instead as I responded so well to it two months before. I also knew I was going to eat pineapple core five to six days post ovulation which helps increase blood flow to the uterus increasing chances of implantation.

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By the last day, I was seriously gagging trying to get the core down, haha.

September 10, 2013 was the day we learned that we had miscarried.

On September 9, 2015 I got a positive ovulation test in the early afternoon…which means I ovulated somewhere between September 10-11 (Tyler is adamant we conceived on September 11…so that’d be twice that date changed his path in life😑).

I know this sounds crazy and may not seem like a big deal, but I find it bizarre how we conceived this beautiful miracle just about two years to the date that we were told our first went to heaven. And, it brings me some strange comfort that our angel baby is watching over his or her younger sibling…

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Some people know that they conceived on their honeymoon (I was still on birth control until 6 months after we were married, lol!) or anniversary or some other significant date. That’s sweet and romantic and all, but those that have actively been trying to conceive for a while know that those tender thoughts are pretty unrealistic to us. The length of cycles, LH surges/ovulation tests, and blood work all dictate the fertility window, and all the sexiness, all the passionate, tender thoughts about baby-making completely vanishes. I used to envy those that weren’t really trying or that it just happened to, but I don’t anymore. We’ve both gained an immense amount of knowledge about the reproductive system and how everything has to perfectly line up for conception to occur (there’s a lot of shit involved!). Together, we’ve experienced heartache, monotonous months of trying and failing, heated arguments about treatment options, and a deployment where neither of us were sure if Tyler would come home.

But you know what? Despite the bad times- the times I’d cry on my husband’s shoulder after a failed cycle or after receiving news that I didn’t ovulate yet again…or the times we’d argue because I’d be moody and emotional after seeing several cute pregnancy announcements and think “Why not ME?!” and he couldn’t understand why…or the times I’d cry myself to sleep, praying that I’d see my husband again and that he’d be a father some day…I wouldn’t change our path for the world.

I don’t know if it was coincidence or fate as to how these dates lined up, but we’re so thankful for this amzing blessing.

Pregnancy Weeks 4-10

Today I want to start reflecting back on the past few months. To  be honest, I wanted to do week by week pregnancy updates but I was just too damn afraid. As crazy as it sounds, we didn’t want to jinx anything, and as awful as this may seem, I didn’t want to get too attached. However, I did jot down some things in the notes section of my phone, so I’m going to recap the first several weeks the best I can! 🙂

Before I begin, I’m in NO way complaining about anything. It probably sounds crazy to those that can’t relate, but I actually thrived on the morning sickness as it was a beautiful reminder that I was pregnant, and I would get worried when I had a few hours of no nausea. I’m honest in all of my posts, but you’ll never hear me say stuff like “I feel like such shit- I can’t wait for this to be over” or “I feel as fat as a house”. I’m not the best human being in the world, but I have enough common sense and courtesy to know that many women would do literally anything to experience pregnancy, and I will never take this blessing for granted, even if I do reach the point of feeling like a whale one day. My blood would boil reading pregnancy complaints on Facebook, and it took me everything not to leave a snide remark (I knew I was often times emotional and irrational as well).

Okay, here we go 🙂

Work Update- I was still working full-time until about two weeks after we found out. Once I got the positive pregnancy test and calmed down, I started thinking about whether leaving my position was for the best (if you recall, I was leaving to do IVF out of state and we were going to be doing a frozen transfer. I worked in management for a global retail company and time off and low stress during the holiday season is pretty much non-existent). We didn’t know how the pregnancy was going to go, but we did know that my OB was going to do weekly appointments to check the baby and I was going to continue doing acupuncture. I didn’t want to burden other managers with needing certain times off either. It was finally decided that it was best to leave, although my husband wasn’t wild about the idea. I know many women work full-time during pregnancy and it’s no big deal…but I wanted to do everything in my power to make this pregnancy work and not look back thinking “what if” if something bad happened again. While a dual income is nice, I’m SO thankful for the opportunity to stay home for the time being. We should be moving in early 2016 anyways…and I hope to never work in that field again, haha 😉

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One of my last days of work. I was SO tired, haha

Food Aversions- Aversions started around 5 weeks and morning sickness kicked in full gear around 7 weeks. If you know me, you know I eat pretty darn healthy 90% of the time. Well, that all went out the window and the thought of literally 99% of the things I used to eat sounded effing disgusting, haha. No vegetables, no fruits but apples, no poultry, nothing whole wheat, no Greek yogurt, no nut butters, and nothing with strong smell or taste sounded appealing at all. I’d literally lay there thinking of every possible food in the world that sounded okay. My husband is the worst suggestion giver by the way as he’d say things like Chinese or wings…shit I NEVER eat normally and that certainly isn’t bland, haha.

Food Cravings- I didn’t have any cravings at all during this time. I’d eat whatever I thought I could tolerate, and little meals throughout the day worked better (and still do!) to help manage the sickness.  So what DID I eat and drink?! Saltines, whole grain goldfish crackers, bagels with cream cheese, scrambled eggs with buttered toast, plain Cheerios (how these are normally appetizing to anyone is beyond me!), regular yogurt (low sugar), broth-y soup such as chicken and wild rice or chicken and dumpling (but I couldn’t eat the chicken in them) cheese and crackers, and mac and cheese. Basically a bunch of bland carbs 😉 Also, absolutely nothing sweet sounded good. I normally have a sweet tooth but the thought of any type of dessert would gag me. And I’d drink nothing but cold water, but plain ol’ regular milk sounded good around week 10, so I picked up a half gallon of that and had a glass every evening.

How I’m Feeling Physically- I got sick almost every day. If I didn’t actually throw up, I’d be dry-heaving (sexy, I know), and this went on all day and sometimes throughout the night. Eating meals and snacks high in protein are supposed to help with morning sickness so I tried the best I could to make sure I was getting some kind of protein throughout the day…but it was hard. The mere thought of even leaving my house to go anywhere sounded daunting and I’d often times bring a plastic bag with me just in case. Luckily, I never needed to use one! I had a handful of headaches which is very unusual for me, but I’d just drink plenty of water and relax when they’d come about.

How I’m Feeling Emotionally- Feelings of fear and anxiety surfaced every day. I’d cry because I was so happy and cry because I was terrified. My stomach would be in knots the night before and morning of each doctor’s appointment. Tyler and I also discussed when to share our news with close family, friends, and then let the news fly free on social media. In our first pregnancy, we told family very early on- around 6 or 7 weeks, and then publically announced it at 10 weeks. We both agreed we didn’t want to do it that early this time around. My mom knew from the get-go, and we slowly started telling close family members between 10-13 weeks. Although it’s such an exciting time, I didn’t realize how timid I’d be to share this news.

Sleep- Exhaustion kicked in almost immediately, and I’d take naps every day until about week 10. I’d typically sleep from about 8:30pm-6:30 0r 7am as well. Although I’ve had very vivid, weird dreams (people I haven’t seen or spoke to in years have found their way into them…freaking spooky!) and woke up typically 2-3 times a night to pee, I slept very well.

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Wrigley always napped with me 🙂

Workouts- Umm, running back and forth to the bathroom? Haha, not much on the workout front. I stopped HIIT workouts and long distance running when we started having trouble conceiving, so my workouts the past year and a half have been moderate interval cardio and weights. Nothing crazy, but I truly believe my body was just being worked so hard. I look back at photos and see how emancipated I looked at certain times, and I know it was due to over exercising, eating way too healthy, stress (I have no appetite when I’m stressed), and probably being slightly depressed. I worked out during the first pregnancy- running and doing weights 5 days a week, and while I know that didn’t contribute to miscarrying (my doctor said it was fine to stick with the same exercise regimen since I was doing it pre-pregnancy), I wanted to be more conservative this time around. I’d take Wrigley for walks and walk on the treadmill at an incline a few times a week and still did light weights. That’s it- and while I wasn’t feeling great physically, it felt fucking fabulous to just relax 😉

Best Moment- Hearing the baby’s heartbeat! Also, having Tyler home as he was gone the first two weeks.

Other Thoughts- This is odd, but I started sneezing SO much around week 7. This has continued since then. I’m not sick and my house is clean, but I googled it and it’s normal, haha. Around week 8 I started needing to spit. Like a lot. I know nausea has something to do with this- my mouth would instantly just fill up and while I tried my best to swallow it, the thought made me sick so I’d often spit (that sounds very wrong, haha). I googled that as well and it’s common during pregnancy so at least I know I’m not too weird 😉

So that’s it! I don’t have any bump photos from this time because there was no bump- just bloat 😉 I know some women include the weight gained so far in their pregnancy updates, but I’m not doing that. My priority is a healthy baby and a healthy me 🙂

Hope everyone has a great day!

 

 

The Most Beautiful Sound in the World.

*******I wrote this post when I was 6-7 weeks.

Early this morning (Tuesday, October 13, 2015) I had an appointment to see how things were progressing with the pregnancy. We knew I’d be about 6 weeks along at this point and would leave the the hospital knowing if our baby had a heartbeat or not. Last night, while we laid in the darkness, I cried while Tyler held me tight as I was filled with so many emotions. I was quiet, yet anxious as we made our way to the hospital, but Tyler kept reassuring me that everything would be okay no matter what.

After we were called back, I undressed from the waist down and the doctor and nurse promptly came into the room to set up the ultrasound. Tyler was sitting in a chair to the right of my head. As the doctor started doing the (vaginal) ultrasound, I looked back and forth between her face, the nurses, and the screen. Perhaps it was their blank stares and that I felt like it was taking a while, but I honestly thought that was it. It immediately took me back to the moment we had two years ago when we found out I had miscarried. I laid my head back on the bed and closed my eyes…then suddenly I heard her ask if we wanted to hear the heartbeat.

“There’s a heartbeat?!!!!” came flying out of my mouth and my husband stood up and grabbed my hand (he didn’t know what was going on as he didn’t have a good view from where he was sitting). Tears instantly started flowing down my face and the doctor continued on. She showed us the (very tiny!) baby, the heartbeat (125 bpm), and printed out some pictures for us. This was just the beginning of many, many milestones, but seeing and hearing the flickering heartbeat was the most beautiful thing in the world.

As soon as the doctor left the room, Tyler reached down to hug and kiss me. It’s tender moments like this that are so raw and unexplainable and that will forever be instilled into my mind. I’m by no means saying that our marriage is stronger or grander than anyone else’s, but I believe that the trials and tribulations that we have gone through together over the past two and a half years made that moment so much sweeter.

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7 weeks. I have since gone back brunette- thank goodness!

Based on my LMP (last menstrual period), I would be 7 weeks 3 days today. However, because I was still keeping track of my LH surge with OPK’s, I knew I ovulated around cycle day 19 or so which would make me 6 weeks 5 days. That time measures up perfectly with the ultrasound, so that is what the doctor is going with. Thankfully, my doctor is having me come in weekly for ultrasounds because of our prior miscarriage being so late into the first trimester.

I know this is just the beginning, and until we are holding our healthy baby in our arms, we will continue to hold our breath and keep one foot on the ground. This is the one of many hurdles we must pass, but each one that we DO exceed gives us inklings of hope.

****I wanted to note that I will not be sharing many ultrasound photos. We were lucky enough to get one at each appointment we had during the first trimester, but I know very well that seeing those pictures can be triggering. I did use one as part of our pregnancy announcement, but that day was SO special and dear to us as I had surpassed the first pregnancy and it brought us a sense of optimism and serenity that day. I will also note at the beginning of each post if I’m sharing a bump photo. XOXO.