All Things Baby

23 Weeks.
February 7, 2013

How far along? 22 weeks, 6 days
Baby is the size of: a spaghetti squash
Total weight gain: Down by 9 from start weight. (same as last week)
Gender: GIRL!
Name: Her name has officially been changed. Just looking for a middle name now.
Stretch marks? Yes, 😦  Some faint horizontal ones are starting.
Sleep: Not so good.

Have you started to show yet:

Maternity clothes? All set. I officially commandeered my husband’s night pants to complete my comfort selection.

Movement: Heck yes! She is all over the place about 4 times a day now.

Best moment this week: Chilling,watching 7 Psychopaths with my husbands hands on my stomach while baby girl moved around like crazy.

Worst moment of the week: Getting sick yesterday and today. So over it.

Miss Anything: Not being nauseous.

Belly button in or out? Mostly out
Food cravings: Sweets this week.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Life.
Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks and a few times I’ve experienced some intense pressure combined with hip pain and numbness in my right leg.
Symptoms: Easily tired.
Upcoming appointments/events: Feb. 14 appointment
Happy or Moody most of the time: Less easily frustrated but still emotional.
Looking forward to: Maternity photo shoot.


22 Weeks.
January 31, 2013

How far along? 21 weeks, 6 days
Baby is the size of: the length of a carrot!
Total weight gain: Up 3 more pounds. (still down by 9 from starting weight)
Gender: GIRL!
Name: While we thought we’d settled on a name, we are revisiting the issue.
Stretch marks? Yes, 😦  Some faint horizontal ones are starting.
Sleep: Sleeping pretty well, but not enough due to Aaron’s schedule.

Have you started to show yet:
bump 2 shopped

Maternity clothes? My favorites are my black maxi skirt and my maternity jeans with a fitted shirt to show off the belly.

Movement: Heck yes! She is all over the place about 4 times a day now.

Best moment this week: Finding a fancy maternity dress that I feel great in for a special evening out with my guy.

Worst moment of the week: Yesterday. My emotions boiled over and I exploded on my poor husband.

Miss Anything: Not being nauseous.

Belly button in or out? Just poking out a bit.
Food cravings: Sweets this week.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Life.
Labor Signs: No, but I have noticed some Braxton Hicks starting up.
Symptoms: Easily tired. Oddly enough I also feel like the blood drains from my limbs really quickly when I’m walking or using my arms above my head.
Upcoming appointments/events: Feb. 14 appointment
Happy or Moody most of the time: Less easily frustrated but still emotional.
Looking forward to: Maternity photo shoot.

Gender Reveal Postponed.
January 11, 2013

How far along? 19 weeks exactly
Baby is the size of an: 6 inches which is about the size of a large tomato.
Total weight gain: +3 lbs, still down 12 lbs from starting weight.
Gender: Find out in 5 days!-our appointment last week had to be rescheduled because my husband’s work scheduled him for our appointment time and the boss was out when we asked for a change in schedule to the requested day off.
Name: We have the girl names finally narrowed down to two we like. I would like to keep my options open and name her when we meet her, but realistically, I’m a planner and will probably feel too uneasy without having it settled before labor.
Stretch marks? No new ones,.
Sleep: Sleeping great still.

Have you started to show yet:
bump 2 shopped

Maternity clothes? I’m all set for now.

Movement: Definite movement this week. The baby’s position makes the sensation vastly different than with the boys. I notice it best when I have my legs curled up, putting some light pressure on the lower abs.

Best moment this week: Today. Cub came in while I was changing and saw my bare stomach. His response: “Whoa.”

Worst moment of the week: Yesterday was one of the most stressful of my parenting life, but had nothing to do with baby-to-be.

Miss Anything: Fish. I know I can have it in moderation…but I don’t want it in moderation. I want fried fish with rice and peas 24/7.

Belly button in or out? Just about flat
Food cravings: Gorton’s fish
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still some nausea in the morning. Not too bad though.
Labor Signs: Thank heavens, no.
Symptoms: Been a good week other than the morning sickness and some lingering sinus pressure.
Upcoming appointments/events: Ultrasound 1/16. Next appointment 1/23.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Easily moody but ok–provided things are pretty calm.
Looking forward to: Gender reveals! I am SO excited to let people know in a very cool way. Well, I think it will be cool.

January 4, 2013

How far along? 18 weeks exactly
Baby is the size of an: 5 1/2 inches which is about the size of a bell pepper.
Total weight gain: +2 lbs!!!
Gender: Find out in 5 days!
Name: We have the girl names finally narrowed down to two we like. I would like to keep my options open and name her when we meet her, but realistically, I’m a planner and will probably feel too uneasy without having it settled before labor.
Stretch marks? No new ones,.
Sleep: Sleeping great, especially since the 2-yr-old stopped waking up every 45 minutes.

Have you started to show yet: The bump has arrived in force. Getting out of the car the other day even felt effortful. I had to sort of swing the belly over. It was awesome!

Maternity clothes? Um…yes. See this post for all the details.

Movement: I’ve felt something, but not really the flutters I typically feel first. It has been more shifting where I can feel a hard ball-type bump. It’s either the baby or that stomach-alien from Spaceballs. I’m hoping for the first option there.

Best moment this week: Week 17 was terrible for energy, but it may have been the holidays. I’m doing much better this week. I even got up before the kiddos today.

Worst moment of the week: Three nights ago I was in bad shape, but nausea meds and sleep fixed it.

Miss Anything: NO! My awesome (and also pregnant) sister discovered that sliced meat IS an option if it is cooked an sliced on-site (like Jimmy John’s and Arbys. It’s something about the packaging and storing of sliced meat that encourages listeria growth, so YAY! The turkey sandwich craving has been quenched…temporarily.

Belly button in or out? In, but not as deep.
Food cravings: No. Eating right now is a chore.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Being full.
Labor Signs: Thank heavens, no.
Symptoms: Sinus pressure-type stuff. Peppermint tea is helping, though. I am having increased joint dislocations, but thankfully my back isn’t too bad yet.
Upcoming appointments/events: Ultrasound 1/9. Next appointment 1/23.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy. Content and not terribly stressed. Never been more thankful to be an at-home mom. All of the stuff working moms-to-be have to suffer through without being able to curl  up on the couch or nap amazes me. I can’t believe I did that.
Looking forward to: Gender reveals! I am SO excited to let people know in a very cool way. Well, I think it will be cool.

Highs and Lows
December 20, 2012

This week has been a little difficult. I don’t feel very well. I am having a difficult time falling asleep. Round ligament pain is making simple moving very uncomfortable (although it does mean I am finally getting a bump!) and I’m exhausted. I mean really exhausted. Cub has started getting up at 6 a.m., and from the time I pry my eyes open until nap (usually around noon) I feel like a zombie. I have a hard time concentrating. I have no energy, and worse, no patience. On the other extreme, some days I feel like I have too much energy. On Tuesday i did more around the house than I have in months!

I will post pics-hopefully tonight.

Our next appointment is December 28th. I don’t think we get to find out the sex, but I sure hope we do.

Ok, here’s something I stole from another blog I follow. I think it’s a great, concise way to say all the info you may be curious about.

How far along? 15 weeks 6 days
Baby is the size of an: Almost an avocado. About 4 1/2 inches long and getting ready for a growth spurt!
Total weight gain: -6.4 lbs since I weighed myself about 3 weeks ago. 😦 This really has me concerned. I’m down 22.1 pounds since the day I found out I was prego.
Gender: Hoping for a girl, happy with whatever. Although another boy for me would mean that there would be 5 little boys around any time my sister and I got together! That’s a little nerve-wrecking to consider.
Name: I’m crazy about names. We have so many girl choices, but I have to say I’m not in love with any names that we can agree on. The boys name is pretty well set at Miles. It would be another literature name since I got it from Tuck Everlasting.
Stretch marks? No new ones, just leftovers from babies before.
Sleep: I actually sleep like the dead once I finally get there. Falling asleep is a little tricky right now.

Have you started to show yet: Yes! Finally 4 months pregnant, and I finally have a bump. Well, I’ve always had a pooch, but now it’s firmer and definitely baby instead of Mama.

Maternity clothes? I have a few staples, but I really want some skinny jeans from Old Navy and some form-fitting shirts to show this bump off. I’m over the whole empire waist thing.

Movement: Nope. Nothing yet.

Best moment this week: My energy is returning sporadically so I was able to complete all of my chores, make dinner and watch a movie with my hubby on Tuesday. That isn’t something I’ve been able to do in a while.

Worst moment of the week: Maybe this morning. My stomach doesn’t feel so good on top of the morning sickness. Bleh. And the meds for the morning sickness makes me sleepy…er.

Miss Anything: Yes! Turkey sandwiches form Bread CO. I have been craving them but they are off limits right now because of the lunch meat. It makes me very sad.

Belly button in or out? In
Food cravings: Meat. Steak, turkey sandwich mentioned above.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Being upright.
Labor Signs: Thank heavens, no.
Symptoms: Sensitive stomach to foods. It’s causing all kinds of issues. Being hungry all the time but I’m unable to find anything I can tolerate eating.
Upcoming appointments/events: December 28th!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Seriously depends on the day. Exhaustion is causing more trouble than anything. I have noticed that happy things-happy books in particular-are making me tear up at an annoyingly frequent rate.
Looking forward to: Not hurting. Being able to feel the baby kick. Seeing another ultra-sound or at least hearing a heart beat. (With the weight loss, it’s still kind of surreal sometimes). Setting up the nursery. Letting the boys feel the baby move. Continued pampering by my hubby!

“Mild” Pregnancy Complications.
November 26, 2012

Today is a day when I’m reminded to be grateful. Things can always be worse. My stepmom lost her dad today after an excruciating battle with Alzheimers and everyone’s hearts are breaking. I didn’t know him very well, but still, this loss reminds me that I have so much to be grateful for. Not only are we healthy and happy, but we are lucky enough to be pregnant again! Our lives are on the ‘up’.

That being said, some complications have recently arisen in this pregnancy. More than anything a veil of silence about certain issues has left me feeling betrayed by the medical community, my body, and honestly, previous generations of women who viewed their code of propriety as more important than preparing younger women for what could happen to their bodies. My mother is open about sharing, and I used to resent it, but looking back, I wish I had valued her more. So often I blew off her talks because they were “embarrassing” or because I thought it would never pertain to me (my mother lives with MS), but now I see how many opportunities I missed to get answers to my questions.

Really two issues have shown up, and though they are inter-related, I will tackle them one at a time.

First of all, since about age nine or ten, I have lived with daily pain. It wasn’t until after the birth of my first child that I was diagnosed with hypermobility at age 21. Basically the ligaments which hold my joints together are too flexible. In children this is beneficial. It keeps them from breaking bones or sustaining serious injury as they learn to motor about, but in adults, joint hypermobility mean frequent dislocations often without cause. It also means constant muscle pain because the muscles surrounding weak joints begin to compensate for the ligaments and try to hold everything together. This condition worsens with pregnancy due to the release of the hormone progesterone which allows labor and delivery to actually happen by relaxiing tendons and ligaments.

At the time of my diagnosis, I was told that I did not have the more severe form of the disease, Ehlers-Danlos, which is great. However, I was also told that there is no cure or even treatment. Basically, I have to live with it. Physical therapy can help a person with HMS learn what the normal range of motion is for a joint, but even that doesn’t really help with things like hip dislocation during sleep.

Even more frustrating than being told my pain is unavoidable and endless is my perspective now, looking back. At the time of my diagnosis, I had already given birth. I was having serious pain management issues, and it was interfering with my daily life and my ability to work. The doctor, however, at no time explained to me that pregnancy and childbirth would not only worsen my condition, but could be very dangerous.  At no time was I told that I would be at a 30-to-40 percent increased risk of the second issue I am now dealing with.

I will say that I have not returned to a rheumatologist since that initial visit for a myriad of reasons, number one being a complete lack of hope that my hundreds of dollars in co-pays would actually lead to any relief. I have also been without insurance off and on in the intervening years.

Since pain is subjective, I am including a chart here.
0-3: no pain
4: Can detect pain, but ignorable
5: Painful, can’t ignore
6: Painful and distracting from what you’re trying to do at the time
7: Lots of pain – can’t focus on anything except making it go away
8: Too much pain to think straight, all-encompassing
9: Too much pain to move
10: Too much pain, can’t breathe/blacking out

I live every day at a 5. I am constantly aware of pain. My hips, right knee, left hand and upper back give me the most constant trouble. Other joints join the party occasionally just for kicks. Some days, like yesterday, I was at a 6-7.

I have mostly learned to live with the pain. I take Tylenol and IB Proufen when I can, but the fear of liver damage looms large. Plus, Ib Proufen is out while pregnant. Being a stay-at-home mom has really helped the most. I am able to take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks. I have freedom to change positions, and I can skip certain things that aren’t vital.

Now that you understand my history, here’s the present. My crappy ligaments are causing more problems. The baby is in no direct danger, but there are major lifestyle adjustments ahead for me. The possibility of major surgery is hanging in the air right along with my fear, confusion and sense of betrayal.

I won’t go into too much detail here, but for those of you who really want to know, I would be happy to answer you in a private message. Like I said, I think the secrecy needs to end…but I don’t want to talk about my lady parts in this public format. If I am fortunate to have a daughter, however, I will be talking about these things with her.

What I’m going through is common, and I think that’s the most offensive thing. It is TWICE as common as the erectile dysfunction we are all so familiar with thanks to an over-abundance of commercials and advertisements (40 percent vs. 15 to 20). But no woman even knows this is a possibility until it happens to her. No books about what to expect or magazines deal with this very real issue. None. I find this to be a horrible case of ignorance because there is no payout for those who would be in charge of informing. There is no pill to take or pump to push that fixes this life-altering issue for women.

In short, approximately 40 percent women are left in the dark, to find out for themselves that their bodies will not always function as they had been led to believe. More frightening is our society’s rather rash jump to surgery as the end-all, fix-all in every situation. Often times, a woman is told that the only solution is a major surgery on the same day she is told that this commmon condition even exists in the first place.

I am scared an sad and angry. I can only hope that more research is done and that as much money is poured into making women well as is poured into making men feel sexually gratified. Pipe dreams I suppose. All I can say is women, do your part–tell your daughters if you experience trouble, even if it’s embarassing. They need to know. They need to be able to tell their daughters. They need to not feel like freaks.

And doctors, do you freaking job and tell the women with a high risk for complications what those could be and how they will be handled.

Awesome Sibling Things
October 6, 2012

J is an awesome brother, and I never expected him to be anything but thrilled about adding another baby. Afterall, he’s been asking for a sister since we had his brother. So, his excitement is appreciated, but not entirely surprising. Still, this kid is like a funny quote machine. Here are just a few of funny Baby 3 quotes that I managed to write down.

On the morning we told him, we were on our way to get a toy he’d worked two months to earn. Suddenly, he piped up and said
“I’m more excited about this baby than about getting a toy!” That’s’s a big deal for a 6-year-old.

When offering suggestions for names (which included Daisy for a girl and Fire Battle for a boy) he said, “Maybe if this baby looks like Cub, we can give them all his name and all the babies that look like him. That way you can just yell one name and all the babies will come!”

And tonight when S was giving out good-night hugs and kisses and I told him to say ‘night-night’ to the baby, he kissed my stomach! It completely caught me off guard in the very best way possible.

Bragging alert: I have the best kids. I know you think you do, but really it’s my kids.

First Month News & Catch-Up
October 5, 2012

For those of you who are just tuning in, I am newly pregnant and stupidly excited about it. Though it will be our 3rd baby, it will be our first since our marriage, so it’s a pretty big deal for us. For a couple of kids who made a lot of mistakes, we feel like we’re finally getting things on track. It’s tricky. The road is uphill. Finances are tight and getting tighter, despite the addition of a second job for my husband, and we haven’t got it all down yet, but this is one little miracle that I can’t keep hidden! By putting things on a separate page, I can keep you interested folks up to date on our progress, but my other readers don’t have to deal with it if they don’t want.

For those of you who have congratulated and cheered on, thank you! It means more to me than I can say.

So, here’s how things have been going so far.

Sept. 18
– I got my first inkling that I might be pregnant. I was enjoying a back massage from my lovely husband. When I got up to get a drink, I experienced something that is a singularly ‘pregnant’ and all too familiar-round ligament pain on my right side. I know that it’s insane and that most people only feel those things late in the second trimester. I have joint issues, though. My ligaments are weak, and I think that must be the reason for feeling them so soon. Anyway, the RLP has continued to this very day.

I was so excited for the little hint. I have wanted more than anything to be able to announce this baby on my terms with pride and gusto. The head’s up gave me time to plan out the picture you all saw on the last post.

I wasn’t supposed to test until Oct. 1, so it was an excruciating wait.

Sept. 20 Never one for patience, I tried testing on the 20th, knowing it was way too early. Of course, it said Not Pregnant. I learned something interesting, though. If you get a Not Pregnant on the digital EPT, the words eventually fade away altogether.

This used to say ‘Not Pregnant’ but it went away.

Sept. 27I went out and spent money on the First Response tests. I know it was silly, and a few days would have saved us about $16 but I was going crazy. This time, I got a yes! A very faint positive, but still!!!!

I wanted to trust my body. I wanted to believe it, but I wasn’t convinced by that very faint line.

Sept. 28I tested again, this time using the method prescribed on the box (first thing in the morning, etc.). Better results.

Sept. 29Just for giggles I took another test.  This was a tricky day to coordinate.

Such a comforting word.

And then I borrowed a car from my mom, with a pretense of needing to do some errands while my hubby worked. Then I took the boys out to my in-laws for an overnight. I actually ran some errands: went to Wal-Mart and Dollar Tree for some random household things. I then went to Walgreens to pick up 22 copies of the announcement (yes I was being presumptuous and excited), and lastly headed to Planned Parenthood to receive confirmation of pregnancy (mostly for insurance purposes).

My husband and I had a date night planned for that night, and I planned to show him the announcement in some grand way. I wanted to put the photo in a gift back with one of the four home tests

Yes, 4.

I also thought about simply adding the photo to our photo wall and casually mentioning to him that I’d added a new picture over dinner.

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Hubby had worked the late shift at job 2, and the early shift at job 1, so by the time he made it home he just wanted to crash for a bit-especially with no kids in the house. Before he headed off to bed, though, he started talking about all his plans for the evening. He wanted to have dinner out and then go clubbing. It’s something we have only done twice in our marriage, but we both really enjoyed it.

Regardless, it threw off my plans! I knew he’d wonder why I decided not to have a drink while out, and I had already waited 10 days! I couldn’t wait anymore. So I simply handed him the picture. I was shaking and he was exhausted, so he didn’t really get it at first. Then I said “We’re having a baby! I’m pregnant.”

His response was unforgettable. He smiled hugely and just said “We are?” His excitement and joy was evident in his voice. I couldn’t have hoped for better.

Since then, I have been feeling pretty good. I’m not sleeping as soundly at night, and I’m exhausted periodically through the day, but no morning sickness yet. It would be freaking sweet if that skipped me altogether this time.

I know I can’t tolerate multivitamins-prenatal or not, so I’ve been piecing together a prenatal on my own.

2 Flintstones + 1 Fiber (gummies, yay!) + 1 folic acid=just about dead even with the big name prenatals I found.

So, now you’re caught up! Thank you, again for all the well-wishes! Until next time.

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