Thursday, April 25, 2013

16w3d: I Have a Son!

We had our elective gender scan yesterday, and without much further delay, IT'S A BOY! :)

And he is QUITE the boy:

Needless to say, my husband is very proud of himself. The tech let us see and listen to the heartbeat first, which was neat because now you can see all four chambers of the heart beating. It's just amazing how much babies grow in such a short period of time. The baby squirmed this way and that when she was trying to get to the heartbeat, which was funny.

Next, she said, "Let's go straight to the goods!" As soon as she dragged the doppler around, I could see we were clearly having a boy. I don't think my husband quite understood what he was looking at, at first, but I picked up on it right away. When she announced the gender and pointed to the penis, B lit up like a Christmas tree.

She showed us some 3D/4D photos of the baby boy with his hands over his ears, acting like we were disturbing him (which, I am sure we were). Such a petulant little thing so far. :)

While we were watching the baby, B reached over and grabbed my arm, and for my husband, who is pretty much as emotionless as a man can be, I could tell he was over the moon. As much as I wanted a girl, I am really glad we are having a boy. It means a lot to my husband in ways I probably won't ever understand, due to the fact he didn't really have a good father figure growing up.

I called my dad afterwards and told him he was having a grandson. His reaction was priceless as well. He kept saying, "You are sure? There's no questioning it?" And I replied back, "Trust me, there's no questioning it." He was very happy too.

My mom was a little disappointed if only because she kept trying to tell me that it's not normal for people to find out the sex for their first baby. I'm 100% sure that she makes things up sometimes. She and my sister wanted it to be a surprise, but I don't think they realized there is no way that it'd ever be a surprise unless they never spoke to me again until October and chose to opt out on the baby shower and the like.

Anyway, here are some more pictures of our son. The one on top is of him smiling and covering his ears, and the one on the bottom is of him being clearly annoyed that we are bothering him.

Monday, April 15, 2013

15 Weeks: Going Strong!

Well, I've hit 15 weeks! Yay! I'm so excited to be here, and I am so thankful for every day I get to experience this pregnancy. After suffering from infertility and so many failures, it is hard for a woman to be truly comfortable in her pregnancy. To trust it. To trust our bodies to do what they are supposed to do when they weren't before.

I have been very reluctant to buy any maternity clothes or baby supplies because of this. I know there are women out there who have bought these things before they were even pregnant, maybe because it gave them hope, but to me, it felt like I'd be jinxing it if I did so. I didn't want that symbol of crushed hope looming over me, so I never bough either. Hell, I got mad at myself for purchasing What to Expect When You Are Expecting before I was pregnant, and I had to hide it after every failure I faced.

Last week, a friend told me about the upcoming "Totswap" at the local fairgrounds that would happen over the weekend. She is a week ahead of me and was going to check out their maternity clothes and maybe some baby items. At first, I hesitated about going myself. Again, I didn't want to jinx anything, and surely, going to a consignment sale with a ton of other "real" moms would be doing that, right?

But I also knew that I had to get over this. So, I was practical about it. I told myself that we are trying to save money, and maternity clothes are very expensive, and that I'd be doing me and my husband a favor if I bought some second-hand maternity clothes from this Totswap. At first, I even convinced my husband to go with me, but on Saturday morning, I realized that I wanted to go by myself, because this was a moment I'd need to handle on my own. I wanted to be alone during it.

So, early on Saturday morning, I woke up and got dressed and headed to the fairgrounds. I wanted to get there when they opened because it's sort of a "first come first serve" sort of thing. When I arrived, there was a line of moms (and some dads!) that curved around the building. I parked and joined the line, listening to the conversations around me and watching little kids try to jump into puddles when their parents weren't watching.

When it came time to actually go in, as soon as I crossed through the door, I realized that I was doing something that I'd never do before. I was surrounded by baby clothes, toys, sleepers, rockers...everything! And I was doing this willingly! And? I wasn't even upset. Sure, I felt out of place, but I knew that I wasn't out of place at all. This was my place now. With all the other moms.

I zoomed to the maternity section and started to go through the clothes selection, cramming items into my oversized Ikea bag. I realized about halfway through that I had no idea how to buy maternity clothes, and wondered if half of what I was buying was going to even fit me. I thought about asking another nearby mom, but I didn't want to sound stupid, so I kept snatching clothes and hoarding them in my bag instead.

When I was done, I decided to go roam around and look at the other baby things. I think I really needed to do that for myself. In a way, it was reaffirming that I am actually a mother to an actual baby. I looked through crib bedding and a mountain of baby baths. I looked through the baby toys, the baby packs, the diaper bags, the cribs. I wove through the aisles of baby clothes, separated by boys' and girls' clothes, and pretended like I was looking to buy an outfit. Then it hit me: Why not actually buy an outfit?

This was the biggest obstacle of mine. I mean, sure. I made a baby hat and one baby bootie, but I don't actually have ANY baby things. At all. So, I chose a gender neutral Calvin Klein onesie set, and a pair of footie pajamas with duckies all over them, and I happily shoved them into the bag as well.

When all was said and done, I spent about $120 and bought 8 or 9 maternity shirts, four maternity pants, and the baby items. I made out really well! And I walked out feeling like a real mom. :)

So, how am I feeling lately? Great! My back isn't hurting as much as it did before, and seeing as that was the most painful issue, I'm happy about that. I still have to work on eating more. Most of the time, I don't finish my meals or neglect eating at all. It's not that I feel sick when I eat, it's more that I have no desire to eat. I'm not hungry. And when I am hungry, I lean toward foods like fruits because I am ALWAYS thirsty, and I don't like eating things that make me thirstier.

Needless to say, I still haven't gained any weight. My bump keeps becoming more and more distinguishable, and that's all baby because not a single pound has been put on. :P I am happy to have a bump, though, because it makes it more believable...or my husband and I. I'm enjoying our interactions more and more, and I know we are both becoming more excited about this little one joining our lives. :)

I will make sure to post some pictures later!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

RESOLVE Walk of Hope Donations? (And a bump picture!)

I thought I reach out to my readership here, many of whom are struggling through or have struggled through infertility.

I am taking place in the Walk of Hope in Washington D.C. on June 22nd. It's a walk to help raise money to support RESOLVE, the national infertility organization. RESOLVE helps many families a year in many ways, and I wanted to show my support in whatever way I could.

You can donate securely on their website here if you also wish to support them. I'd truly appreciate it!

Also, here is my 14w4d bump picture. Excuse the messy hair. :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

14 Week Appointment: Not Impressed

Had my second prenatal appointment today. I had to have blood redrawn because apparently they put my results in another person's e-file, and the lab refuses to switch it over. They are lucky I don't care about needles or blood draws anymore.

The nurse took me into the exam room and said she was going to try to find the fetal heart rate on the doppler, but not to freak out if she couldn't. I told her that I've been listening to the heart rate at home and could tell her where the baby was, but it moves around a lot. She was really happy that I could do it on my own, and it was funny because as soon as she found the baby, it swam away. She laughed and went off searching again for little Baby R. Heart rate was between 150-160, which is perfect. :)

When the midwife finally arrived, she asked me if I had any complaints. And this is where I became much less impressed with her. I told her about the back pain that I've been having, and she completely waved it off and said that it "can't be pregnancy related" because I'm too early. Okay. Except that pregnancy hormones release a chemical that loosens your ligament muscles, which sometimes results in inflammation and the like. There's no set time that this happens. It just does. So, she told me to see a chiropractor. Thanks.

Next, I brought up the migraines and asked her if there was anything I could take or do for them. She told me I could take Imitrex, and I informed her that it makes me sicker than when I have the migraine. So, she shrugged and told me to ask my neurologist, and it's something I'll probably have to deal with. Thanks again.

Finally, I brought up my blood pressure and told her that I am worrying about it being so borderline high on a daily basis. She told me that my blood pressure was fine and to stop worrying.

She measured my uterus, and it's measuring just fine. She told me that I lost five pounds since my last appointment and asked if I've been eating okay. I told her that I eat less because I'm really picky about what I want to eat, and most of the time I am thirsty. So, when I do eat, I want to eat things that are juicy, like fruit, and fruit burns through your system quickly. I will have to work on eating fuller meals.

 At the end of the appointment, I pretty much felt that it was useless. I go back in four weeks. I asked to be scheduled with the OB this time. Maybe she'll be more responsive to my concerned.

But, Baby R is doing well, and that is what matters. I will have a new belly picture at the end of the week. :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

13w3d: Second Trimester!

Since no book or website can agree when the hell the second trimester actually begins (some say 12 weeks, some say 13, some say 13w3d and some say 14), I have set 13w3d as my second trimester date.  I have made it to my second trimester! I am so happy to be here, too. It's like a big sigh of relief.

So, what has been happening lately?

I have gained no weight. At all. In fact, I've lost weight, which isn't unheard of in the first trimester. It's probably because I've become a very picky eater, and most of the time, I don't finish my meals. Lately, my go-to foods have been pears and toast with real butter. Because that makes absolutely no sense. But, I've told myself that no matter how stupid the foods are that I want to eat, and how stupid the time is that I want to eat them, that I have to eat, so that's how I manage.

My back has been killing me, and it is getting progressively worse. My next appointment is on the 9th, at 14 weeks, and I am trying to make it there without wanting to confine myself to the bed. Except the bed makes things worse. So does sitting.

It's my lower right back, right near my spine. Yesterday, I arranged my first prenatal massage because the pain was so unbearable. I told the massage therapist that I was right at the second trimester, and I needed relief from the pain, so she let me come in. She told me that the point where I am having pain is right at where the hips are separating to support the baby. She also said that usually this pain doesn't happen until later, since the hips don't move until later, but anything is possible. Sometimes, I already catch myself waddling, which is the sign that the hips have, in fact, moved, so I guess mine just couldn't  wait. The massage was wonderful, but when it was done, the therapist told me that if it continues as it is, I have to let my midwife know.

Today, I was expecting to wake up feeling bruised because I did get a deep tissue massage the day before, and that is normal. Instead, I woke up with the same back pain, just worse. It's getting to the point where I don't want to drive or anything because getting from a seating position to a standing position is very painful.

I feel the baby move around more, though it's still infrequent. It's about the size of a tangerine now, so I didn't really expect to feel it much at all, but I think it just likes to let me know its there every now and then. My next scan is probably at 20 weeks, and though I haven't seen the midwife yet, I do know that there's no well in hell that I am waiting until 20 weeks to see my baby again. The way I see it, I have been a patient enough girl to have gone through all of what I had to go through to get this baby. I shouldn't have to be patient anymore.

So, B and I have decided to schedule an elective scan done soon to determine the sex of the baby. I am not giving a date, because I don't want people to bother me about it. :) We are going to go to a center in Pikesville that does elective scans for just this reason. There are different packages that we could choose from, but we went with the cheapest one, which is $75 for 10-15 minutes of a 2D/3D/4D sonogram, gender determination, and three or four color prints of the baby. This is the cheapest center I could find in the area, and they are very popular and have gotten high ratings, so I'm good with going there.

Hopefully, though, my midwife will offer to take a peek in the office and maybe we won't have to get the elective scan at all. Can't hurt to ask. I have a million other things to ask her, such as:

1. When will I have to hire a doula?

    I am getting a doula because while I love my husband dearly, he's not the best at empathy. I want a doula there for extra support for the both of us.

2. What can I do about my back pain?

3. Should we keep a better eye on my blood pressure?

   This is really important to me lately. Ever since my migraine hospital visit, I have worried about my blood pressure. For the most part, it's been okay since then. In fact, one day it was the lowest it has ever been, and B got worried that it was too low and that my pulse was too high, until I told him that low blood pressure and a high pulse in pregnancy was normal.

   Last night, I started to feel kind of strange, like there was a heaviness in my chest, so I took my blood pressure. It was 126/60, which is great. A couple hours of later, I felt a pressure in my head, much like the auras I get before a migraine onset. I took my blood pressure again and it was 141/74. Not so good. B told me to drink some soda to ward off the migraine, so I poured a cup of soda and slowly drank it. Forty minutes later, I took my blood pressure again and it was 116/72. The top number is good, but the bottom number sort of sucks. The pressure in my head was getting better, but was still there. Before bedtime, another forty minutes later, I took my blood pressure one more time and it was 131/75. Meh.

  I have read that a fluctuating systolic number is not as bad as a fluctuating diastolic number. In fact, the bottom number seems to be more important to doctors, and while my bottom number was in the 70s, that's not actually too bad. Above 80 is bad in the diastolic range.

 This morning, before breakfast, I did my blood pressure again and it was 137/79. That's not good. I'm thinking of letting the OB office know earlier than the 9th and maybe they can get me in this week? I don't know. :/ I hate calling the doctor...I really do.

4. Is there a migraine medication that I can take during pregnancy?

So, that's about it for now. I think I'll give my midwife a call and see what she says. If she wants me to come in sooner, that's fine. Can't hurt to ask, right?