Everything Is Still Going Well!

I had my first midwife appointment yesterday! I was really nervous. Partially just because it was my first appointment and I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never seen a midwife before (I’ve always planned to, but I never bothered with my other pregnancies because I knew we were moving so I was waiting till after that). But more because there was a chance they’d refuse to take me as a patient because of my losses. In some cases they’d consider having had two to make me high risk, and midwives don’t see high risk patients. In my case I felt like it would be okay because I’ve tested negative for the types of issues (like blood clotting disorders) that make you high risk, but I couldn’t be sure. But she seemed totally unconcerned when I explained my history. So hooray! Though one always wishes you hadn’t wasted so much time worrying about something that wound up being a total non-issue. Oh well.

I LOVED the midwife practice. They gave me a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth, which looks like is going to be right up my alley. I love reading in general, so right now I’m loving reading anything pregnancy/baby related. 🙂 There was also virtually no wait. The nurse was actually waiting for me initially, because I had to fill out paperwork. The midwife did take a few minutes to come in once I was back in the room, but she apologized profusely. And honestly, I’ve waited longer pretty much every time I’ve gone to any doctor. The ob I was seeing here took a LONG time both in the waiting room and once I got back. So it was really awesome to not have that with them. Everyone was super nice and friendly, and the midwife stayed talking to me for a good long time. She made sure I had all my questions answered and I never felt rushed at all. She also made a point of making it clear that if I get nervous at all, I can come in any time between appointments and she’ll check the heartbeat (once I’m to 10 weeks; they can’t reliably find it with a doppler before that). I appreciated that a lot, though I don’t anticipate taking advantage. They drew some blood for the usual initial checks, and had me pee in a cup and all. Nothing different really from a doctor, except it all felt much more friendly and personal. And they generally asked me things, instead of telling me. I knew exactly when I’m due and how far along I am, so I didn’t need them telling me. (My ob really made me feel like they thought I knew nothing, and it frustrated me because I’ve made an effort to educate myself a lot.) They also asked if I wanted genetic screening instead of declaring that I’d be coming in for that when they said. I think I’ve had unusually crappy experiences with ob’s, so I’m biased, but I am very happy with my choice to go with this midwife practice.

My first ultrasound will be Monday, February 10th. I’m pretty nervous, since there’s always the possibility that they’ll find something wrong. But I was really nervous before my first ultrasound that was totally fine too, and I don’t really think it’s any worse now that I’ve had losses. It’s just kinda scary this early on since if something’s going to go wrong, it’ll probably be soon. They actually offered to have me come in for it any time in the next 2 weeks, but I chose to push it out as far as I could. I just really wanted to get past 9.5 weeks (when we found out we’d lost the first) before going in. I’m not sure it’s really rational, but oh well. I’ll be 10w2d when I go in, and that seems like a good time. As close to 12 weeks as they’d let me go (they prefer to date things early, when growth follows a pretty set timeline), so if things look good, odds are really in my favor that everything will continue on to a happy, healthy baby in a few months. (Also, small side note, last time the baby stopped growing at 7 weeks, so on some level I’m very happy to be past that, even though we didn’t find out last time till 9.5 so rationally I don’t even actually know that we did get through 7 weeks safely.)

Everyone keeps asking how I’m feeling, unsurprisingly. 🙂 I’m actually feeling mostly good. I do get occasional bouts of nausea, but nothing that’s had me anywhere close to vomiting. Part of me isn’t happy about that, since statistically pregnancies with lots of morning sickness are less likely to end in miscarriage, but I’m mostly just choosing to enjoy it. I’ve also read that magnesium can prevent morning sickness, and I’ve been taking magnesium for, ah, digestive regularity, for a couple years now. So I do wonder if that has anything to do with it. And while I’m not sick most of the time, I am really freaking exhausted. I was fine up until early last week, and then it just hit me out of nowhere. It’s rather frustrating, because everyone just sort of expects you to man up and deal with it when you say you’re really tired, whereas you get sympathy if you’re really nauseated/vomiting. I’d prefer to be tired, obviously, but it’s really not much less debilitating sometimes. And if Christopher says, “you slept 10 hours last night, why are you tired” one more time, I will be forced to hit him.

Actually, my number one symptom right now is hunger. I feel like I’m constantly starving! (Just like last time!) Sometimes I sit down and eat more in a sitting than Christopher, other times I think I’m super hungry then can’t finish hardly anything. But I constantly feel SO hungry. Mostly for meat (mmm, steak) and spicy stuff. Though we watched a show on Food Network yesterday where they were making fries, and I’m seriously considering going out to Checkers right now to get some. That sound so delicious!

Other than that, nothing feels too different. I had some major breast soreness, but that’s gotten better over the last week or so. Possibly related to the fact that I switched to a sports bra full time, possibly coincidental. They have definitely gotten bigger, which is not surprising since that happened last time right around this time. I’m also seeing a definite bloat baby belly going on. I’m wearing yoga pants pretty much exclusively at home, and my “fat” jeans from when I was heavier when I go out. I would pull out the maternity jeans, but it’s too cold! I’ve been wearing leggings under my jeans when I go out, and that just doesn’t work very well with the panels on maternity jeans. Plus my comfiest pair is actually capris. That should come in handy soon, since we’re going on a cruise when I’m right around 12 weeks! I may not “need” them then, but I can guarantee you I won’t fit in my somewhat on the small side normal capris by then, so I’ll be busting them out!

I do actually have more to write about that’s not baby related (we’re buying a house!), but I have enough to say on that topic that it probably needs its own post. Plus, I think I really do need some fries, like NOW. 🙂

8x11All is well

Spooky Baby!

We like to have a sort of “placeholder name” for the baby. We don’t know the gender (nor will we, until s/he is born), so we can’t use their actual name even if we have them decided, and we want something to call them. So this little one is Spooky. S/he was conceived on Friday the 13th (yes, tmi, sorry), and someone on Hellobee commented when I mentioned it that we were having a spooky baby. Christopher is also calling them “Boo,” both as a play on spooky/ghosty, and because that was what he called one of his grandfathers. Also, I keep calling this one a her in person (no real reason, I just keep saying it), but I’ll probably just use him and her interchangeably. I don’t like it or them.

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Some Ramblings

So, I said before that we were waiting to announce until I got blood tests done to confirm things were going well (or not, depending). I’ve given it some thought though, and honestly I really don’t want to have the blood tests. For one thing, they’re not a guarantee. If getting back good numbers would tell me that this was definitely going to be a pregnancy that ends in a take home baby, then it’d be worth doing. But all it means is that things are currently on track and I won’t have another really early miscarriage like the last one. And honestly the thought of sitting and waiting for those results just freaks me out. I remember how my stomach just dropped every time the phone rang when I was waiting for results last time, and that was before I even had reason to be worried that they’d be bad. Right now, I feel really good about this pregnancy. Everything feels like I expect, and like I remember from my first (which, yes, didn’t make it, but it did make it a hell of a lot further than the second). I feel positive, and hopeful. But I just know that once I know bad news could be coming, waiting for results, I’ll turn into a big bundle of nerves. Saturday (exactly 5 weeks) I took another test on a whim. My hands were shaking for the 20 seconds it took for a nice dark line to pop up. If just taking a normal test got me that worked up, how stressed will I be waiting for hours or days to find out what a blood test shows?

Of course, one drawback to not getting the blood tests is that now I (we) have to decide when to announce. I definitely need to get through tomorrow first. Tomorrow is 5w3d, which is how far I was when I started spotting the last time (though I already knew the numbers were bad). I’m not really worried about it or anything, there’s just this sense that I need to get past it. I felt sort of the same on the day my period was due. No reason to think there are any issues, just need to be through it. However, since I have no intention of waiting until 9w4d (when I started bleeding with the first, and found out there was no heartbeat), I have to figure out a good time.

At first I was thinking maybe Saturday, because I’ll be 6 weeks. For some reason 6 weeks seems big (maybe because I didn’t get there last time. Or maybe because the heart should have started beating by then), and like a good day to announce. Then I realized that Saturday is the 11th, which was my due date with my first. So I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, perhaps it’s better to let that be a day of mourning, and save the celebration for another day. On the other hand, perhaps it’s better to reclaim that day, and let it be about joy as well as grief. I’m not sure. I know that I’m much less emotional thinking about it now that I’m pregnant again than I was before. I’ll admit, I was pretty worried I wouldn’t be pregnant again, and that it’d make the day that much harder. It’s harder to feel as sad about it when I’m feeling so hopeful about this one. I’ve also read that a lot of women who had losses felt much better about them once they had a baby. Because in order to have had the baby from the original pregnancy, they wouldn’t have been able to have the baby they did have, and they can’t imagine it any other way. I’m really counting on having that feeling someday. And for now, it helps to remember that that is coming, and that as sad as it is, this is the path I need to be on to have the baby that I’m meant to have.

Wait, I’ve lost track of what I was talking about. Oh yes, when to announce. Obviously, it’s also not entirely up to me, so I’ll have to get Christopher’s input. I haven’t really had much time to talk to him, because I’ve been crazy sick. Do NOT catch a cold while pregnant if you can help it, because it’s super not awesome to not be able to take any medicine. Pretty sure my FB friends think I’ve lost my mind because I’ve been talking about/looking for natural remedies. It was not because I didn’t want medicine, I assure you. Natural remedies are great, but they were not nearly enough for how sick I was. But I am feeling better, finally. All that to say that Christopher and I usually discuss things like that when we’re walking the dogs, or sometimes when we’re in bed before we fall asleep. I haven’t been walking the dogs with him since I’ve been sick and didn’t need to be out in the cold much, and I’ve been sleeping on the couch so I cold sleep partially sitting up. So I need to make some time to talk to him soon.

It’s also rather weird to be having this whole rambly post about when to announce when I won’t post this until after I announce. So no one will read this till after they know the results of this little debate. Oh well. Whenever we decide on, it’ll be soon, so I can stop doing the drafting method of updating. 🙂 And whenever it is, I can’t wait!

Here We Go Again!

Time to write another of those “write the draft then don’t post it” blog updates. Yep, I’m pregnant again! But since I haven’t had any blood tests, I’m waiting to make any announcements. Hopefully I can get those tests out of the way this week and announce soon! But I definitely need to write out all the details of finding out sooner rather than later. It’s amazing how quickly the exact details fade. So here goes.

This time the story starts around 3dpo (days post ovulation, try to keep up). For some reason right around that day I started feeling like I was just SO sure that this was our month. I just knew I was pregnant. Last month I felt pretty down and definitely not as optimistic as I’d like, so I thought the change was interesting but put no stock in it. The confidence did, however, make it way harder for me to not test early. Last month I gave in and tested pretty early, and the negatives were really not fun. So I initially planned on to wait until at LEAST the day my period was due. I was really certain I’d be better off waiting. But then I was just so sure that it would be positive that I couldn’t wait. I started at 7 or 8dpo (with no expectation of a positive that early), and tested every day. I don’t recall for certain, but I think it was Monday, 2 days before Christmas, I think in the evening, when I got the first super, SUPER faint line. (Seriously faint guys, like I look at them now and absolutely cannot believe I thought that was enough to be even optimistic. I refused to even show them to anyone because I was sure anyone but me would see nothing.) I tried to tell myself I didn’t take it seriously, but looking back, I think I was fooling myself. I already KNEW I was pregnant, and that line, however faint, was all the confirmation I needed for myself. Not enough to tell though.

The next day (Christmas Eve, 10dpo) Christopher went shopping with his buddy (not that he needed to; he’s very good about getting his shopping done early), so he was gone before I got up. I tested again, and got another crazy light line. Again, way too light to show anyone. But when he called for some reason it came up in conversation and I mentioned I’d had a super light positive, but not dark enough for me to be willing to say anything for sure. I think it says something about where we are in this journey that I didn’t even care about making the announcement to him exciting, and he just breezed past it and didn’t bring it up again till well after he got home. Anyway, took yet another that evening, and got a line that was finally dark enough for me to tell him I was sure. (Not dark enough, however, to even consider showing him, and looking back, again, seriously? That was dark enough that I was willing to call it?) Not dark enough, however, to tell my mom, since she would be far more excited, and therefore far more disappointed if I was wrong.

But! Christmas morning (11dpo) I did get a line dark enough to tell her. (Though still not dark enough to show anyone, because I 100% believe(d) no one would see it. I really don’t think I’m impressing upon you sufficiently just how faint these were. It’s ridiculous.) Unfortunately that was a hectic morning, so I couldn’t tell her before I left the house. I do wonder if she thought I was acting odd though. I went to the bathroom immediately after waking up, but didn’t have time to stand there and stare at the test waiting for a result (lines that faint don’t show up very quickly) because I had to go get the sausage pinwheels in the oven. I was so nervous/excited that my hands were shaking, because I felt like if I didn’t get a dark enough line to see a this point, I was probably imagining it. But, like I said, the line was there, so I pulled her aside at our family Christmas breakfast to tell her. Not the worst Christmas present ever for Nana, right? 🙂

We had a ski trip to WV planned with Christopher’s dad and some of his family, so after Christmas with my family we headed over to his dad’s house. We did go ahead and tell his dad and stepmom, but no one else. Mostly I wanted to be sure if I was acting weird/got sick/whatever they knew why. After “doing Christmas” with them, we got on the road (7 people plus luggage in one SUV, fun!). The plan was to stop at a casino/hotel for the night, to break up the 8.5 hour drive. I actually don’t care for gambling, so I was able to relax in the room alone (I’m a HUGE alone-time person, so being around all those people all day stressed me out badly). I figured it was a good time to test again, and I finally got a line I could sort of show Christopher. I say sort of because his response was to stare at it, and tell me he didn’t see anything, then when I showed him where to look he decided he might have seen something. This was excellent validation for my decision not to show him the earlier ones.

Okay, this is getting long, but try to stick with me just a little longer. The next morning I (of course) tested yet again, and got a surprisingly dark line, compared to the others. But that evening I got one that was way lighter, and freaked out a little. Upon lots of inspection, I realized that a- the unexpectedly dark one also had a much darker control line than the others. This would strongly suggest that there was more dye in that test. And b- the one from that afternoon was darker than the one from the previous night, even though my pee was MUCH less concentrated that afternoon (come on, I’m talking about pregnancy tests, pee was gonna come up eventually). So that was good. But it bothered me enough that I wound up deciding not to keep testing. I felt like the emotional rollercoaster I was putting myself through trying to compare lines (on tests that were never intended to be used that way- they’re a strictly yes/no kind of test, and I was getting definite yes’s) wasn’t worth what little reassurance I was getting from continuing.

I did give in and take one last test today (16dpo, with the last one having been on 13dpo), with afternoon, so semi-concentrated, pee, and got a good line. Not “dark,” but if you take out the one dye-heavy test, exactly in line with what I’d expect for a normal progression. So for now, until I get a blood test, I’m just going with I’m pregnant, and everything seems good! I gagged a bit on dinner last night, which is not normally something to celebrate, but when you’re trying to symptom spot in early pregnancy is super encouraging. And my boobs hurt, woohoo, so I’d say I’m feeling pretty darn good about things. I think the most encouraging thing for me right now is that the confidence I started feeling at 3dpo hasn’t gone away. It seems weird, but I do believe it’s possible that having been pregnant twice, my body/unconscious mind knows what those hormone changes, even that early, feel like, and was letting me know. And if I’m still feeling good, hopefully that means my body still feels on track.

Oh, and I guess I should mention, I’m due just 4 days after my birthday on September 6th, 2014!

Happy New Year!

Given that it’s already the second, I’m a bit late on this, but I’m sick so I refuse to care. I saw this list on HelloBee, and liked it, so I’m using it as my format for my resolutions this year. I gotta admit, resolutions seem a little silly since practically no one sticks with them, but I’m going to try to keep these reasonable so that I can actually pull it off.

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A bad habit I will (try to) break: Being lazy around the house. I’m currently a housewife, there is really no excuse to leave dishes unwashed, etc. (Sometimes maybe, but not on a regular basis.) (Not sure why this has “try to” added in. Isn’t the point of resolutions to do, not to try? (Yay Yoda!))

A new skill I’d like to learn: Something related to homesteading? I ordered my first kombucha starter, so definitely making kombucha!

A person I hope to become more like: My husband! He is SO patient and hardworking and financially savvy and a thousand other things that I admire him for. (He also doesn’t read my blog, so no, I’m not just sucking up!)

A good deed I’m going to do:  When I have extra money, do that whole pay for the car behind you thing!

A place I’d like to visit: Well, we’re going on a cruise in February (HUGE thanks to Christopher’s dad and stepmom who are paying for it!), and the company trip this year is to Orlando, with one of the events at Harry Potter World (squee!!), so definitely going to those places. If we do anything else, like for our 5 year anniversary in May, I’d really like to get a cabin in the Smokies.

A book I’d like to read: All of them! Seriously, I go through about a book every 3 days, so this isn’t a question I can limit to just one answer. Some more books on being crunchy and homesteading and that sort of thing? And I really want to read Gender Neutral Parenting. I anticipate not being super gendered will be really hard, so I want to give myself as much help as I can!

A letter I’m going to write: One to our first LO when we finally get a sticky baby!

A new food I’d like to try: Um, all of them? I have Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (Selective Eating Disorder), so I’m trying REALLY hard to get more variety into my diet by trying new things. It’s hard, but I’m making progress! In the last few months I’ve discovered that I like pistachios, fried green tomatoes, and some sushi!

I’m going to do better at: Being grateful! I am so much better off than I would ever have imagined being at this age, but sometimes it’s easy to forget all the wonderful things in my life and focus on things like the losses. I need to work on that.

This is a good list, but it isn’t everything. The biggest thing I want to work on is getting healthier. Related to the trying new foods, I have GOT to start eating healthier. I was making huge strides before the first m/c, but junk food is my comfort food. And then add the stress of the move from Denver to Nashville, and the fact that the nearest Whole Foods or other healthy grocery store is a crazy long drive, and my eating habits have gone out the window. But those are all just excuses! Natural Mother Magazine on FB posts this image fairly frequently, and it makes me feel so guilty every time!

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Not that making anyone feel guilty is their goal, of course, but it definitely hits me hard. I know I’m not doing anywhere close to as much as I should to provide my body with the nutrition it needs to make a healthy baby, and prenatals aren’t going to make up that difference by much. Right not my goal is to go 80/20 on eating healthy. I’ll allow myself less than healthy options 20% of the time, but I need to do well the other 80. I think that’s a lot more realistic than just vowing to completely change my eating habits cold turkey.

Also related to the plan to have a baby this year, I need more than anything to get in better shape. I took one yoga class right before we found out I was pregnant the first time, but I never went back. That will change (though it’s going to wait until I can get over this stupid cold!). I really enjoyed it, and it’s good for me. I’ve also got to figure out how to get some cardio and possibly some strength training. From what I’ve read, going through labor is similar to running a marathon, in terms of the strength and endurance required. Since having a natural birth is very important to me, it’s also important that I start preparing. If I wind up too exhausted, even a midwife may decide that I need an epidural so I can get a break, and that’s something I do not want. So exercise is very much on the list.

And lastly, I want to get back to getting serious about getting all the chemicals out of my home. For Christmas I got a large cast iron pot and skillet, and I already have a smaller skillet. I’d like to get a 1 or 2 quart pot (preferably one of each) as well. That will give me the basics I need to stop using my non-stick cookware. (Why I prefer to get away from nonstick) Cast iron has the added benefit of helping prevent anemia, which one has a higher risk of during pregnancy. We also got some stainless steel mixing bowls and colander, as well as some glass measuring cups. We already have glass “tupperware.” Ultimately the goal is to eliminate most, if not all, plastic in the house. I also want to work on making some more cleaners. I already use vinegar for most things, but I want some more options. I’m going to look into castille soap. One of my plans for the year is to, every month, spend a little of my allowance (we budget $100 each per month that we can spend on whatever we want without having to consult each other or the budget) on something natural or green for the home. Things like dryer balls, reusable “paper” towels, and an essential oil diffuser are on the list. This is a rather vague resolution, but it covers a wide variety of things. The hardest part is getting Christopher more on board. We plan to buy a new mattress this year, and I really, REALLY want to get an organic one, but I have no idea how to convince him. Oh well. Every little step matters!

Anyway, there you have my goals for this year. Some aren’t really much different from last year, but mostly it’s because they’re a continuation, not because I totally failed at them last year. (Okay, the getting more exercise, yeah I failed at that, but I did make a lot of changes to get away from chemicals last year!) I feel like they’re do-able as well. I think I’ll talk to my best friend Jo and see if she can help hold me accountable. It’s always good to have some help!

Hope everyone had a great holiday season and is ready to move forward in 2014! It’s going to be a great year!