Hello, and welcome back to another pregnancy update!
I can hardly believe that we’re already HALF WAY THROUGH this pregnancy! No doubt about it, the first trimester was full of fear and anxiety, but luckily that has calmed down some in the second trimester. Justin and I feel incredibly blessed and thankful for this sweet baby who is due to join us this spring.
As I mentioned in my September Recap post, we walked a 5K this week, and as a result my sciatica (or what I think is sciatica?) has been horrendous. My body is definitely not used to that much exercise lately, which is what I think caused it to flare up. The other night, I woke up to pee and get some water, and by the time I came back to bed I was in full blown hysterics. I had pulled myself up the stairs by the handrails because the pain was so bad I could barely walk, and then hurled myself into bed by kicking off the wall. Justin woke up in a panic, thinking I was bleeding (The anxiety never goes away, folks!) because I had just been in the bathroom. I explained the pain was so bad, and sobbed while he tried to rub my back. Neither of us got much sleep that night.
I reached out to my doctor the next day, and she said it’s common in pregnancy, and to try stretching with bands and don’t stay in one position for too long (ha! I work at a desk all day!). Baby only weighs 2 oz., so I don’t think he/she is putting pressure on the nerve. I’m really hoping it’s just irritation from our 5K walk, and the pain will subside soon. I’m taking this week off from exercising, obviously, but we will be more than busy anyway just trying to clean and prepare for this weekend.
What is this weekend, you ask? Why, it’s our gender reveal party!
I can hardly believe that we’ve been able to keep the gender a secret from everyone for 3 weeks now. When you’re as close with your family as I am, 3 weeks is an eternity! We are having lots of family over to our house this Friday for pizza, salad and dessert. We will be setting off confetti cannons in the back yard to let reveal the big news. Other than the sciatica, I’m dealing with some nasal congestion – which could be from an influx of hormones, or allergies, or simply stirring up the dust with all our cleaning this week.
We also had another visit to the doctor this week for an ultrasound of my cervix. Cervix looked normal – she didn’t give me a measurement this time, but had no concerns – and then we took a peek at the baby as well, which we were not expecting. Baby is measuring perfectly and saw its little heart flickering away. Dr. LeMasters let us listen to the heartbeat with the Doppler, and we were able to record it on our Build-a-Bear device that a friend gifted us (Thanks, Steph, if you’re reading!). I replay it every day, because that sweet sound just never gets old.
While knocking on wood, Doc said baby looks perfect, and so far so do I. My blood pressure is great, I’m gaining weight exactly on track, and so far we have nothing to be concerned about. While we still have bouts of anxiety, she expects we will be able to breathe around week 28 when baby reaches full viability.
Ironically, just one day after this blissful appointment, on October 1st we recognized the anniversary of our 2nd miscarriage and the due date of our baby #3. May you both (all three of you!) live on in our hearts forever and continue to look after the sweet baby in my belly.
Sweet baby is now 4 inches long and weighs 2.5 ounces! I know that still isn’t very big, but it’s the biggest baby we have ever had, and that in itself is exciting!
Justin & I were given such nice things at our gender reveal party that were completely unexpected! Sweet girl got some sleepers and onesies, first toys, blankets, etc. She’s so spoiled already, and this is only the beginning!
I was thankfully able to ignore most of my aches and pains and just enjoy celebrating this miracle baby!
Something clicked inside me this week and I dove head first into healthy eating and exercise. I’ve been hitting my step goal almost every day, and we’ve planed out healthy meals ahead of time to keep us on track. That way, when I get a craving for chocolate, I don’t feel as guilty!
Perfect example, and best part of this week: Mimi’s birthday! (Mimi is my mom, who will most certainly NOT go by “Grandma” LOL. My cousins call her “Auntie Mimi” already, so iit just works!)
Oh, and we picked out the paint color for the nursery this week which was pretty exciting too!
The walls will be a light gray color: “Hush” by Behr. You can see some swatches in the photos above. Be sure to stay tuned for more nursery updates!
Remember when I said that week 16 brought on the urge to eat healthy and exercise?Well, as a reward we kicked off week 17 with Mama’s first cold. Thanks, germ-y gym!
I woke up at 4 AM to a noisy Rudy, but from that moment on, the “faucet” that is my nose, turned on. I could not get my nose to stop running, kept getting up to blow it, and never could fall back asleep. I spent a half an hour in a hot, steamy shower trying to clear everything out but no such luck. I realized, this is more than just a little congestion – this is about to be a full blown cold. Luckily, we had an OB appointment later that morning and I was able to ask Dr. LeMasters what medicines are pregnancy safe.
We had our third cervical ultrasound and hopefully the last! My cervix measured 3.8 cm., is fully closed and not funneling – all great things! Dr. LeMasters believes we are over that hump for now and surgery won’t be necessary, but they will continue to keep an eye on me as pregnancy progresses. We got to take a peek at the baby today too!
Sweet girl was all curled up and laying across my belly. Justin said, “OMG She sleeps like me!” with her hands folded on her chest, and we were cracking up about it. He seriously sleeps like someone just laid him in a coffin, with his hands folded on his chest. It’s bizarre!
She’s measuring perfectly, weighs 6 oz., and still has a super strong heartbeat. She’s the size of an onion this week, Daddy’s favorite! 🙂 (For those of you who don’t know us personally, Justin has an extreme hatred for onions!) We are so relieved and so thankful that baby is healthy! We’ll return in two weeks for the full anatomy scan, but the ultrasound tech saw her lady parts and confirmed what we already knew from the blood test – she is definitely a girl!
I spent the rest of the weekend feeing miserable, rotating between Children’s Dimetapp and Benadryl, before eventually giving up on medicine entirely. I guzzled water and VitaminWater like my life depended on it, spent the entire weekend in bed, and suffered through what was one of the nastiest colds I can ever remember. I kept finding myself looking at the ultrasound photos and listening to her heartbeat, suddenly making every sniffle and sneeze feel worth it.
For the past couple weeks I have been hard core craving cucumbers and tomatoes with a little sea salt sprinkled on them. In the middle of the night I wake up completely parched, and craving “tiny ice” AKA crushed ice from our fridge. Pregnancy is weird, you guys.
Starting to get over that crappy cold, and I’m beginning to feel movement in my belly–or at least what I think is the baby moving! It’s really hard to tell what’s the baby and what is gas bubbles, because they feel the same. I’ve been getting some mild heartburn at night, and still guzzling ice water every time I wake up to pee. We got our AFP test results back this week and baby girl tested negative for Spina Bifida and Cystic Fibrosis. HOORAY!
Baby girl attended the Spirit of Construction Gala with me this week (hence why I’m all dressed up in the photo) and celebrated Rudy’s 11th birthday! We can’t wait to see how Rudy reacts once my belly is really big, and if he feels her kicks!
We also bought Halloween candy this week and I’m trying hard not to eat every piece of it before Trick-or-Treat.
This Doctor visit is one that I have been really stressing about, but also looking forward to, for months now–the anatomy scan. We got to spend about 15 minutes viewing our sweet girl, and I am so, so, relieved to report that every part of her looks healthy and perfect! We saw the four chambers of her heart, her brain, kidneys, bladder, stomach (which was full of my breakfast!), spine, and the cutest wiggly hands and feet. The placenta (posterior!) and the umbilical cord look great, and that beautiful, beautiful heart rate is still beating strong! THANK YOU, GOD!
We saw Dr. Parobeck this visit after our ultrasound, and she was pleased with all that she saw. Justin and I need to get flu shots within the next week or two, and get our hospital registration paperwork filled out and sent in. We won’t go back in for another month, so grow, baby, grow until then!
As for the rest of the week, Justin & I have been sticking to our workouts and making healthy meals, while still trying to avoid the leftover Halloween candy. 😉 I finally can eat chicken again without wanting to vomit, so that’s a success! My energy level has been pretty great, and I even managed to meet my 10k step goal more days than not. I went on a Maternity-wear shopping spree this week too, which was fun for me — not so much for my bank account.
FINALLY. I could not be more happy to have made it HALF WAY through this panic-stricken pregnancy. It feels so surreal to be reaching this milestone. The words “thankful,” “grateful,” and “blessed” are still not strong enough to capture how unbelievably thankful and happy I am to have made it this far.
For the most part, I have been pretty impressed with my ability to keep my raging hormones under control these last 20 weeks. Until, of course, this week’s full-on meltdown. Allow me to set the scene:
I had not been feeling a lot of movement, and slightly panicking. I read that this is totally normal to feel movement on and off, especially this early. Unbeknownst to her, a friend recommended an app to me which uses your iPhone’s microphone (while on Airplane mode!) to hear and record the baby’s heartbeat. Perfect! She’s not as far along as I am, but she was able to hear her baby with no problem, so I thought I would give it a go. I wasn’t able to hear anything that morning, including my own heartbeat, and decided I’d just give it another try later.
Skipping ahead a few days, Justin was out of town, and I was bored and unable to sleep. I tried for about 45 minutes to hear baby girl’s heartbeat using the app again and had no luck. I still couldn’t hear my own heartbeat either, only static and interference. I texted Justin about it, who mind you, had been drinking all evening at a basketball game, and he replied basically saying I’m insane for thinking this would work in the first place, and I should call my doctor so they can tell me to “chill out.”
Now, I was already panicky, but mixed with his unintentionally hurtful words, I was spiraling. I was so irritated. How dare my husband be so insensitive? I was freaking out, like any loss mom, that something could be wrong. I know all too well that the health of a pregnancy can change in an instant. I spent the rest of the night replying to his texts with sassy, one word answers, sobbing rather than sleeping until wee hours of the morning. The next day, I had the puffiest face and giant bags under my eyes to prove it.
It’s no question – pregnancy makes your hormones wild. But pregnancy after loss, or in our case, multiple losses, any little concern is amplified. Even now as I write this, I am struggling to hold back tears. I knew that my anxiety was entirely in my head and fears irrational (since I couldn’t even hear my own heartbeat with the app and I’m clearly alive and well!), it was simply my hormones taking over.
Luckily, on my drive to work the following morning, I felt “bubbles” in my lower belly for the entire hour long commute to work. While feeling sleep deprived, irritated by my husband and the impossible I-75 traffic, baby girl let me know she was there. That she’s OK. That she’s happy and healthy, and bouncing around in mama’s belly. Thank God. I so, so needed that, girlfriend!
As for the rest of the week:
- I first apologized to my husband for being a hormone-crazed jerk to him 😉
- We (by “we” I mean Justin) finally painted the nursery and I got emotional yet again, as we were filling the room back up with her things. Baby girl officially has a nursery in the works! It’s still so hard to wrap my head around the fact that she will be here in just a short, 4.5ish months, but it gets a little bit “real-er” every day.
Again, the color is “Hush” by Behr.
I just ordered new baskets for the cube organizer in the closet, and of course, more hangers because she has way too many clothes already! We are planning on shopping this weekend for a fluffy rug and curtains, so we can be as prepared as possible before her furniture comes home with me Thanksgiving weekend.
I’m convinced this nasal congestion will simply never go away. My belly button is starting to look weird – flatter, maybe is the best way to describe it? and my boobs are gigantic. Bleh. I’m feeling a little more movement on and off, and I’m definitely hungrier most days. I read in my app that baby girl’s uterus has fully formed this week, and has about 7 million primitive eggs in her tiny ovaries. That must explain the influx in crazy hormones! 😉
Regardless of all the normal ups and downs, pregnancy after loss is extra complicated. Even after we reach one celebratory milestone, I’m anxiously awaiting the next one.
“I’ll feel better when…”
- When we hear the heartbeat
- When we get to the second trimester
- When we get the genetic test results back
- When we see a healthy baby at the anatomy scan
- When I can feel her kick and move
- When she is tangibly here and in my arms
Thankfully, we are slowly checking these things off the list one by one, with lots of prayers in between. The joy in pregnancy is inevitably hard when you’ve experienced three consecutive losses like we have, and some days it still doesn’t seem real.
Thank you so much for your continued thoughts and prayers. Here’s to hoping the next 20 weeks fly by!