Monday, October 31, 2011

Week 15

My ever-trusty What to Expect When You’re Expecting book has this to say about the fourth month of pregnancy:

“[You may have] a feeling you’re not quite together - you’re scattered, forgetful, drop things, have trouble concentrating.”

Oh boy, do I know what that’s all about!  For the past several weeks I’ve been feeling like my brain is wrapped in fog, but last week I finally started to feel that lift a little.
This week has mainly been about trying to manage an old back injury that has come back to haunt me.  Late last week I started to feel a lot of tightness in my lower back but chalked it up to pregnancy aches.  I wasn’t too worried when my chiropractor was unable to adjust that area, since he is a little limited in what he can do.  We went camping that weekend, however, and I think setting up the tent was probably not a good thing for me to do….well, ACTUALLY we had to set up the tent twice, since our site neighbors decided that the hours of 9am-4am are a great time to act like complete idiots and we decided to move, but that’s another story.  Anyway, after coming back from that disaster of a camping trip, I was in quite a bit of pain – I could tell that I was way out of alignment, but another visit to the chiropractor proved to be unfruitful once again. 
By Tuesday I was in so much pain that I was unable to walk (or even recline in a chair) without a lot of discomfort, but for some reason I was still hesitant to call my caregiver.  I think I had gotten into a mindset that being pregnant meant being uncomfortable, and I missed the fact that I had moved from being uncomfortable into being in severe pain.  I sat there for about 20 minutes with the phone in my hand, going back and forth on whether or not I should call (“they’re going to tell me there’s nothing I can do about it,” etc.) but finally the pain won out and I called.  They were concerned and told me that this was more than just pregnancy-related aches and pains, and after discussing my options, we decided that acupuncture might be the best way to get me back on track.  It was something that I would never have thought to try on my own, and I have to admit I was a little hesitant at first, but I’m so glad I tried it.  I went for a session on Thursday and immediately felt a BIG difference.  I could WALK!!  Over the next few days, I would still feel stiff at times, but my pain levels were so much improved I could alleviate the stiffness I felt (usually after sitting for more than a few minutes) by stretching and strength-building yoga.  I really felt like the acupuncture got me to a point where I could work out the rest of the problem on my own, and for that I was so grateful!  I have to admit that this week I had several moments where my mind went off the “What-If Cliff” and started playing games with me…what if I have to deal with this kind of pain for the rest of the pregnancy?  What if it gets worse?  What if my back is permanently out of whack?  What if the baby goes all Twilight on me and tries to eat me from the inside??  Okay, maybe not the last one!

Other pregnancy updates:
The only thing I found myself craving this week was eggs.  I made a lot of egg salad. J  They say that when you crave something it’s usually because your body needs a certain nutrient, so that was one craving I was happy to indulge.  I can’t say that my cravings are any different than they were before I was pregnant – I mean, doesn’t EVERYONE have those moments when they think, “Dang, I could go for some ice cream right now.”??  I don’t see that part as being any different than before – I guess I was expecting cravings during pregnancy to be strong and uncontrollable.  I remember being a teenager and having our youth director drive 20 minutes to get his wife some mozzarella sticks at 8:30 at night…Mike has not had to do anything like that yet!  Although he is so supportive and wonderful that he probably would.

The poor guy hasn’t gotten much airtime on this blog as of late – here we are at a family wedding this month.  The sunset that night was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, doesn’t it look almost fake??

 Aaaaaaand here I am!  I’ve noticed that it’s also kind of cool to see my hair grow out too!

Cute story I’ve been meaning to tell: we were at church one day, soon after I was really beginning to show, and one of our friends asked her little girls “Do you know what Miss Jacki has in her belly?” The oldest girl, whom I think just turned five, said “A baby?”  “Yes, that’s right, a baby!” said mom.  Well, her little inquisitive eyes shot straight to my belly, then to my face, then to my belly, then back to my face…I could tell that she wanted to see what it felt like but didn’t know how to ask, so I told her that she could touch it if she wanted.  I wish I could have gotten video of what she did for the next minute or so – she was like a scientist, examining every inch of my belly!  And gently poking it in different places to see what it felt like, too!  It was so freaking adorable.  Although I’m pretty sure mom got some interesting questions later that day about how the baby got in there, lol!

 Mollie and Amanda wanted some bloggy love too!  Here they are, as squirrelly as ever.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 14

I reached the point where I can no longer sleep comfortably on my back – apparently as the baby grows it puts pressure on a vein in your back and prevents proper circulation, causing the blood pressure to drop and making sleep impossible.  I was trying to find out when I should stop sleeping on my back, and I read online that it was usually around 4 months, but the body usually lets you know because you won’t be comfortable on your back anymore.  Well, that very night, it happened!  I am usually a side sleeper, but unfortunately round ligament pain in my hips has been making that rather difficult.  Late in the week I was also having lower back pain that was unlike anything I had experienced before – it was very sharp and would hit me suddenly, always in the same two spots on either side of my spine.  My chiropractor said it was called sacrum pain, and that it was very common.  Between the hip pain and the sacrum pain, this week has been not-so-fun for me; there have been a few times where the pain has radiated down my legs and I am not able to lift my feet off the ground.  So I’m shuffling around like an old lady!  I really, really, REALLY hope this clears up soon…I just want to be able to do regular, normal, human activities, like laundry and loading the dishwasher!

Another new symptom that has cropped up lately has been a very sensitive gag reflex.  If I even THINK about brushing my teeth or swallowing a pill, I retch!  I am glad that this particular symptom comes and goes, so I get a break from it once in awhile.  Thankfully, the chicken aversion has also calmed down somewhat – I’ve been slowly trying foods that weren’t possible for me, just to see what happened, with some success.  The only true aversion I have right now is to fish – the other things I can’t eat right now are related to texture, like cooked broccoli, bananas, and casseroles.

 Seems to be smaller than last week....I must have been sucking it in!

Several weeks ago, I did a major clean-out of my closet.  I had several goals in mind while I was doing this:
·         Put away things I won’t be able to wear until after the baby comes.
·         Give away some clothes I know I will never fit into again (just keepin’ it real, folks!)
·         Give away work clothes I don’t need anymore, especially shirts with my old school logo on them.
·         Make room for maternity clothes in my drawers, so I can move them out of the storage tub I was keeping them in.  I was lucky enough to have a dear friend lend me some of the clothes she wore with her recent pregnancy, and I got a lot of good stuff!  Plus my mom is a champion sewer, and she’s made me some things as well.  One thing I really hope to get my paws on is some Gator-themed maternity clothes….I’ve seen some really cute ones out there!
·         Keep any non-maternity shirts out for now and put them into storage as I’m no longer able to wear them.
Well, this week I had to put away several non-maternity shirts because they no longer cover the belly!  It was kind of a cool moment  :)

This week I also sat down and wrote out a rough cleaning schedule, and that has been the best thing I could have done for my sanity – if I know that I will be sweeping on Wednesday, I can walk on my crunchy floors on Tuesday and not feel so bad about it!  While I am still limited in what I can do physically, it’s been a really nice way to put my mind at ease.  Just another part of the transition to becoming a full-time homemaker!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 13
On Tuesday we went to our second appointment at the place where we’ll be delivering, and it went really well.  We were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat this time, if only for a moment – I think we have a stubborn child on our hands!  He/she kept running away from the Doppler!  I find these appointments very reassuring above all things – yes, it’s normal to be experiencing fatigue and muscle weakness, it’s the result of hormonal changes.  Yes, it’s normal to feel uncomfortably full after meals; the baby is moving up closer to the stomach cavity.  Yes, we’ll gather around you to chant and sing if something goes wrong (kidding on that last one).

Before I got pregnant, the thought in my head was that I wanted to be as “normal” as possible throughout my pregnancy.  I didn’t want it to slow me down or keep me from doing things I would normally do, and I didn’t want to have to depend on other people to do things for little ol’ helpless me.  Since then, I’ve had to re-define what “normal” means for me.  And I’ve had to be okay with that.  For right now, “normal” means having to ask for help carrying my groceries from to the car because lifting the 10-pound bag of sugar from the bottom shelf almost did me in.  For awhile, “normal” meant Mike having to throw a frozen pizza in the oven for his dinner because I couldn’t go anywhere near food, and now I make dinner regularly, so I know that the symptoms I’m experiencing are temporary.  While I *do* get frustrated (like I’ve said before, slowing down is not in my nature), it’s for a good cause!  But I AM looking forward to starting to feel more “normal” by “normal” standards!

Here I am!  I was on a message board where many women were expressing angst over being between 18-20 weeks and not showing at all – I definitely do not have that problem!  I am really dreading the first time someone I don’t know wants to feel all up on my belly, because I fear I won’t be nice!    :)

Here are some answers to questions we’ve been getting lately:

When are you due? 
~Still April 14th!

Are you going to find out what you’re having?
~We already know what we’re having, it’s a……………….baby!  Tee hee   :)    But yes, we’re going to find out what we’re having, hopefully by the middle of November.  I honestly don’t see why anyone would NOT find out what they’re having if they have the option – my thought is, it’s still a SURPRISE when you find out, it’s just a few months earlier, so you have time to plan!

Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
~Really, (and I can say this honestly) we waited so long for this baby that I don’t have a preference - I’m just thrilled it’s on the way!  On one hand, we’ve seen how precious little girls can be with our sweet niece Sarah.  BUT, both of us came from families where the boy is the oldest, which is also fun.  In some ways, boys are easier, and in some ways, girls are easier.  What we really want is a healthy baby!

What names do you like?
~We’re keeping our lips sealed on this one!  Sorry everyone, but we’ve seen friends and family put up with having to hear unwelcome opinions on their chosen name for their baby, and it’s harder to analyze/criticize a name in the face of a sweet newborn!  We’re both making a list separately, and we plan on exchanging our lists once we find out what we’re having. We’ll each be allowed to cross off names we HATE off the other person’s list, and we’ll use the leftovers to build our short list.  I really don’t see myself deciding for sure until I actually see the baby – I reserve the right to change my mind! I’m having fun making my list  :)  SOMEONE else needs to start his, however….

I’m really enjoying writing this blog – already I look back on some of the very first posts and am reminded on things I had forgotten.  It’s also a good way to keep friends and family updated!  Sometimes I think I sound like I am complaining an awful lot when I enumerate my (sometimes long) list of symptoms, but hey, anyone who’s been through it can tell you that pregnancy can be tough!  I am still so very excited and thrilled for this baby! I cannot WAIT to meet him/her, and every day it becomes a little more real! 

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Week 12

Aversions: My appetite has been pretty good, but still no chicken for me!

Symptoms: I still have occasional bouts of nausea, oddly enough it’s usually in the late afternoon or evening, which sometimes makes getting dinner on the table a bit of a challenge.  My main symptom this week has been fatigue.  As a teacher, I became a champ at getting through tiredness, but this is different.  If I start to feel tired and I don’t lie down, the room starts to spin.  I’ve found that the most I can be on my feet at one time is about 30 minutes, then I have to at least sit down for short rest.  As a person who hates (HATES) not feeling productive, that can be a little annoying.  Late in the week I started having trouble sleeping, which I know is related to the daytime fatigue.  It’s a bit of a conundrum, because I know that when I don’t exercise, I don’t sleep as well, but my stamina is not such that I can really exert myself.  This being the last week of my first trimester, I’m hoping all this will be temporary!

Cravings: I have been craving’s my mom’s pot roast.  Weird, I know.

Bump check:
There it is!  Looking good…unlike my hair that day!

This week I got to visit and share a meal with some family, including this little ball of precious.  He’s the brand-new baby of my cousin and his lovely wife, who were kind enough to let me steal him, sit in a chair, and breathe in the cuteness.  I can’t wait until our kids can play together!  My cousin and I are only a few months apart and always played well together (apart from that time he started calling me Jack-O-Lantern in the second grade and coerced the rest of the class into doing the same - thanks for that, Nick!)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Vivacious Vandas

These Vanda Orchids hang under the oak tree in our front yard, and both of them are blooming at the same time!  They only bloom about once a year for me, but the blooms last at least a month.  This is the first bloom for the pink one, and the second for the red.

Also please check out the adorable maternity dress that I got at the Animal League thrift shop for one dollar - score!
Week 11

Aversions: pretty much everything.

Symptoms: Let’s just say it’s been a rough week and leave it at that.  My goal has been to just keep going and not let it stop me as much as possible.

Bump Check:

I really like my bump.  I haven’t been comfortable in anything but loose shirts up until now, but it’s prominent enough to start showing it off a little now!  I’m wearing nothing but maternity bottoms now, which I didn’t expect this early.

We had our first appointment on Monday at the place where we’ll be delivering.  They tried to listen to the heartbeat with a Doppler machine, but unfortunately the baby was stubborn (already!) and wasn’t going to make an appearance.  Even though I had already read that being unable to find the heartbeat with a Doppler is very common at this stage, of course it was still worrisome!  They sent me for an ultrasound the next day, and while I tried not to worry, it was such a relief to see this picture!

It was amazing to see the movement!  I swear I saw a Gator chomp at one point.  We also got to hear the heartbeat.  The way he/she measured that day put the EDD at April 17th – my birthday!  But my health practitioner prefers to stick with the original due date (the 14th) because it tends to be the most accurate.