The First Trimester

Weeks 3 – 14 (April 30 – July 16)

Symptoms

Let’s just get the big one out of the way – morning sickness. This is the most annoying and aggravating symptom. It started early this pregnancy, at 5 weeks, and has continued into the second trimester. You know how they tell you to eat before you get out of bed? To keep crackers or nuts by your bed? Yea, I tried this and unfortunately, before I even opened my eyes in the morning I was overwhelmed with waves of nausea and morning sickness. If I was not puking immediately, it was upon eating first thing. I e-mailed my primary care doctor requesting Zofran, as that was what I took with my son, and instead of hearing from my doctor, I received a curt reply from the nurse instructing me to drink ginger tea and informing me that morning sickness is normal. *major eye roll.* It was not until I finally saw a midwife that I was told to take Unisom and B6. While it works wonders for some women, it did not for me. I ended up losing around 15 pounds from puking.

The other first trimester symptoms were more temporary and less severe, with the exception of frequent urination. That just comes and goes. This baby definitely sucked the beauty out of me: acne. check. dull, flat hair. check. rashes. check. In fact, I had two bouts of rashes – the first as a reaction to my detergent I had been using for years and the second was a strange red spot on my nose that last a week.

I began wearing maternity clothes at 6 weeks because of the insane bloat and lost all of my energy around the same time. There was also about a week of unbearable heartburn.

OB Appointments

My experience receiving medical care at a military hospital has been considerably different than what I experienced with a civilian provider five years ago. For starters, I had to confirm my pregnancy with my primary care physician before being seen at OBGYN. I am a member of an Okinawa Pregnancy group on Facebook and had witnessed many mothers having a difficult time confirming their pregnancy with Family Medicine. Still, it was my only option, so a few days after I got my positive test, I called the appointment line and explained that I needed to confirm my pregnancy. The man who answered took down some information and told me that the nurse would call within 72 hours to confirm my pregnancy. Before that 72 hours was up, though, I had to make a sick appointment because of the first rash I received. It was getting worse instead of better and being so early in the pregnancy, I wanted to get it checked out and find out what was safe to take.

I explained to the corpsman and my doctor that I was pregnant but the nurse had not called yet to confirm the pregnancy. Wanting to be sure that I was indeed pregnant before they prescribed me any medication, they had me take an in office test, which came back positive. This sped up the confirmation process which included sitting down the with the same nurse who would later tell me morning sickness was normal. She was less than pleased to see me because to her I had interrupted her workflow (no, her boss interrupted it so that I could receive the best care possible). Her exact words to me were “They told you I have 72 hours to call you back, correct? Pregnancies are not high on my list of things to do and they are not an emergency.” What an a-hole. The result of this 10 minute sit down was orders for lab work, an Rx for a prenatal, and a referral to OB.

I did my labs the next day where they tested for everything under the sun: STDs, urine cultures and analysis, CBC, whether I am Rh- or Rh+ (fortunately I am positive), rubella and varciella antibodies, and cystic fibrosis (not a carrier).

My first OB appointment was not until 8 weeks (with Roman it was at 7 weeks and I had an ultrasound then). And even then, it was with the nurse only. She asked a lot of questions about my health and previous pregnancy and delivery and then ordered an early glucose test due to my BMI (also passed that).

The first appointment with the midwife wasn’t until June 15 – at 9 weeks and 4 days. At this appointment the midwife performed the dating scan where got to see our gummy bear for the very first time! Baby was incredibly active and had a high and healthy heart rate of 176!

There was so much relief after this appointment, as I had been overly concerned about miscarriage up to this point.

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Our “We’re Pregnant” Story

So we are due with #2. With Roman, we were a bit surprised that the first try resulted in a baby. For this one, we ‘tried’ on and off for a while but we did not put much of an effort in, honestly. There was a considerable amount of stress in our lives while stationed in Texas, especially once we received word we would be relocating to Japan. My husband and I were both working full time and going to school (him part time in between my full time classes). Additionally, I had a couple of health issues that got pretty severe in 2015 & 2016. Between January 2015 and July 2015, I had my appendix and gall bladder removed, bring my total number of abdominal surgeries in an 18 month period to three. Later that year, I developed IBS and a wheat-gluten intolerance. Throw in some severe anxiety and depression over the course of the next year and I ended up looking anorexic and all around ill. A change of jobs, a change in diet, and nearing the completion of my master’s degree improved my health greatly so we decided to try for our second baby.

But then we got orders to move to Japan which necessitated a lot of work – endless doctors appointments for us humans and our dog, a mountain of paperwork, and organizing and downsizing a household. To top it off, we had an 8 hour road trip for Thanksgiving, an even longer road trip to Disney World at Christmas (where we spent a week!), and then a cross country road trip to say goodbye to friends and family we knew we wouldn’t see for three years. We did not have the energy or time to commit to having a baby right then. Plus, a pregnancy might have complicated our travel overseas.

After we got to Japan in late February 2018, life seemed to settle down. I was sad to not get to use my recently acquired degree but such is life as a military spouse. After some soul searching, I decided it would be nice to get a break. I had been in school for 25 of my 30 years (kindergarten through graduate school) and had worked concurrently for the last 15 years, often 2-3 jobs while in school. Japan would allow me time to spend with our son during his last year before kindergarten. And fortunately, my husband agreed.

We began having serious conversations about having a second child. Our household income had taken a huge hit by use moving here but having another child would not be impossible. We would need to figure out where the biggest expenses would fall. With Roman, it was disposable diapers and that God awful Nutramigen formula. We decided fairly quickly that we would cloth diaper. To us, there is not another option. Our 4 year old only wears pull ups to bed and once he’s out of those, we refuse to buy anymore diapers to throw away. Cloth is the most economical and environmentally-friendly choice. As for the formula, Roman’s need for it was due to his severe allergy and the chances of a second kid having the same allergy is low. And though my postpartum depression is what turned me to formula before we discovered the allergy, I am in a much better and informed position to attempt breast feeding again.

So it was decided – we were having another baby! This time around it took two months of   actively trying to get a positive test. March was a bust but April ended up being our month. We did not chart basal body temps or use OPKs. Instead, I used other methods: tracking my cycle and cm. This had worked with Roman and I am too lazy to temp every single morning at the same time so we stuck with the same method this time around.

I was certain that I was out in April, though. Many of the symptoms I had experienced in late March, I felt again in late April and over the years I have learned not to place too much emphasis on symptoms as they are often the same as PMS. There were some differences, though. During one of my daily walks during this two week wait, I had a strange feeling that reminded me of how I felt when I first found out I was pregnant with Roman. I guess this is what people mean when they say they felt pregnant. Then, around 5-7 days after ovulation, I developed a random cold that no one else seemed to catch. I had a ton of post-nasal drip, a sore throat, hot flashes, and chills. This was my first clue but I still thought, maybe its allergies.At 8 days past ovulation, I was making dinner and could not stand the smell of the food. I just started whining and crying until my husband took over. I had taken two pregnancy tests already that turned up negative but the reaction in the kitchen led me to believe I had just tested early.

The next day, though, my lack of self-control got the best of me. I held out until 10 am when I finally said, “What the hell?” and tested. Now, I had read the instructions – wait exactly 3 minutes/any reading after 10 minutes is invalid – but when I only saw 1 line after 30 seconds I tossed the test in the trash and went about my business. Almost immediately after I left the room, a voice inside of me said to look again. When I returned to the test, I saw the faintest second line.

It was almost a blink and you miss reading but the line was definitely there. I immediately called a few people, including my husband, but I was not convinced. False positive. Fluke. Seeing things. They all saw it. And urged me to get a digital. Okay, okay, I told myself, tomorrow morning. The first test was with 2nd morning urine and digis are less sensitive so I should wait until the morning.

Remember that self-control issue? Yea, I immediately went to the store and bought a Clearblue digital. I made myself eat lunch and then I headed home to test.  And to my surprise, there was still enough HcG in my urine to turn that baby positive. Over the next few days, I took a few more tests, totalling to five. I had to make sure I was still pregnant, ya know?

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Extra big so you can see the line 😉

Returning for a Second Time

Well, it has been a good minute! So, let me give an update.

In February, my sweet boy will have another milestone birthday – FIVE years. Can you believe it? I somehow abandoned this blog years ago but it is now time to start again. Roman has been asking for a sibling for about 2 years now so I am beyond elated to give him one as an early birthday present next year!

When I last wrote – about four years ago – we were living in Virginia. In the time since, we set three years in San Antonio and are now six months into our 3 year stay in Okinawa, Japan. I have had several job changes and have completed grad school. My hopes of working as a library have temporarily been put on hold due to the low demand here on the bases within my career field. As a result, we have decided to take advantage of me being a stay at home mom and come closer to completing our crazy family.

Okinawa is a family-oriented island and whether its this attitude or the fact that most of us suffer from island fever, many of us military spouses find ourselves pregnant at some point during our time here. Pregnancy rates are so high here its reported that the military hospital delivers an average of 100 babies a month! That’s a lot of pregnant ladies. At our incoming briefing, someone presenting joked that if you are childless, you will have your first on the island and that if you already have a child or children, you will have another. Well, she was correct because in less than 2 month of us being here, I had a positive test! We will welcome this new one in mid-January.

Baby boy is nearly seven and a half months already! Time really flies by when you are a parent. I don’t remember where I left off the last time I posted but here is an update on Roman.

Allergy: Still has his milk protein allergy. A few weeks ago we gave him a few bites of baked apples that had butter in them and there was a small GI reaction. Additionally, he is allergic to soy. Recent research indicates that he could have it until kindergarten. I plan to speak to an allergist in Texas to see if there is a test we can do to see if he is likely to outgrow it. It is already difficult to make food for him that is absent of milk and soy, I cannot imagine how hard it will be one he is completely weaned from his bottle.

Food: we are starting finger foods. We have successfully explored the world of pureed solids and now Roman is very interested in what we eat but we can’t just give him what we eat (see above).

Movement: Roman began crawling at five months! One day he just figured it out and he hasn’t stopped yet! He seems so much older now that he’s mobile. He is also a pro at pulling up and cruising along furniture. And just the other day, as I picked him up from day care, he was standing and pushing chairs around the kitchen. Walking is right around the corner.

Teeth: we had a terrible time around five months where Roman was tugging his ear and screaming. I thought it was an ear infection but the doctor said his ears were perfect and that it was a bad case of teething. This lasted a week or two but nothing popped up. Fast forward to this past Thursday and we suddenly have a small white bump! No irritability or lack of appetite, which is strange.

Our little man is just getting so big. He is now in 9 month clothing and can fit in some 12 month items. At his six month appointment he was in the 55th percentile for weight, 75th for height, and 85th for head size. At the time, he weighed just under 19 pounds so I’m sure he’s at 20 now. Either way, I could no longer carry him in the infant car seat and the straps were too tight on him so we have moved him to a convertible car seat.

Update

A lot has happened in the past 5 weeks.

1st, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I thought I had the baby blues but they weren’t getting lighter. Instead, my feelings were heavier. I cried in the shower, walking through Target, visiting my OB… I was crying all the time. Sometimes I could explain – like the sadness with being unable to deliver vaginally and my decision to not breastfeed. Other times I couldn’t figure it out. I had everything I had ever wanted but I wasn’t happy. Anyway, I saw a therapist and then a PCM put me on Celexa. I see an actual psych next week. The celexa has worked wonders – I have few low moments and I can enjoy parenting now- but I want to visit with the doctor to talk about the outlook. Is this what I need to stay on? Will this dosage work? When can I discontinue the meds?

Roman has had a tough time, too. On day 4, he had the frenulectomy and now he can actually stick his tongue out of his mouth.

He has been fussy since week 2, which I’ve read is on par for his age, but then he developed thrush at week 3. His doc said it can make him fussy and gave is nystatin. Tomorrow is the end of his medicine but he still seems to have it so if it isn’t better in a few days I’m going to call back.

And then a few days after beginning the medicine, I found blood in his stool. At first it was a speck of bloody mucous with diarrhea. I thought he might have caught the stomach bug his father and I had a few days prior but then it continued for 2 days and more blood was produced with each BM (they were coming once an hour). I took him to the doctor twice. On the first visit she said it could be the stomach bug or an allergy to milk protein. She gave me Nutramigen (for those who don’t know, it’s an expensive hypoallergenic formula where the milk protein is broken down so that baby’s tummy doesn’t have to work so hard. It also smells and tastes TERRIBLE.) Roman had the hardest time getting used to it. He cried and fussed and refused it.

I didn’t think it was a protein allergy and when he produced a BM that was 75% blood, I took him back to the doctor. This doctor thought he might have meckels diverticulum, where the stomach lining exists inside the intestines and produces painless bleeding, and sent him for a meckels scan. Roman had to be put under and a gamma camera photographed his intestines. The procedure to correct it required surgery so I was thankful when his test came back negative.

After more research and two full days on Nutramigen with 0 bloody BMs (all of which were normal & solid), I determined it must be the milk protein allergy after all. Looking back, Roman met all the criteria for it: extra fussy, esp after eating, frequent loose BMs, bloody stools… He had it all. And after two days on the new formula, he seemed like a changed baby. Now he is only fussy when hungry or really sleepy. It’s just funny that this allergy is only in 2-3% of babies and mine falls in there.

It stinks that he’s on this expensive formula but I have a healthy baby and that’s all that matters. Most children outgrow the allergy by 1 year of age, thankfully. And on the bright side, it’s only 1 year of formula, so the cost is only temporary.

The last weigh in had Roman at 9 lbs 10 oz that was a week ago, so I’m thinking that he’s probably at 10 lbs now. His length and weight were in the 50th percentile and his head was in the 25th percentile.

He’s a cuddly baby who struggles to fall asleep on his back. He definitely prefers our arms or chest but his swing is growing on him. He sleeps (this week anyway) in 3-4 hour intervals at night and 1-2 hour intervals during the day. In the morning and evenings, he takes 3-4 oz of formula and during the day it can range from 1-2 oz. He eats every 2-3 hours, sometimes every 4 hours if he’s sleeping well. 🙂

Overall, he prefers being held, which can be taxing. I’m trying to transition him into sitting his chair or swing longer or even laying on his play mat.

I return to work next week and he starts daycare so hopefully that will help with his independence. I’ll be sad though. 😦

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Oh hey, I’m not pregnant anymore. :)

*note, I have been working on this post for a while but it’s been emotional so I have taken many breaks.*  

I started a 40 week entry a few days before my due date but didn’t get to finish it because my little man came on time! Let’s rewind.

Sunday night (February 9), my husband and I got through the mid season premiere of The Walking Dead without any baby interruptions. We also spent some time walking around and had dinner at CiCi’s around 6:00 pm. He’s not a fan but every now and then I crave it and the spicy Olé pizza. I joked “It might be my last meal…” I didn’t know how true that statement would become.

While we were out, we bought brand new bedding – sheets, pillows, and pillow cases. I made another joke as we were making up the bed that night: new sheets? Watch my water break.

I woke up to pee twice Sunday night/Monday morning. And then when I awoke for good, I thought, “I actually don’t mind going into work today.” I had worked the weekend and my body didn’t want to go at all but Monday was different. For the first time, I was content despite it being my due date. And then I rolled over.

At 7:00 am, I had a strong cramp in my stomach and then a small amount of liquid ran down my butt and legs. I said, “I hope that wasn’t my water breaking.” (why? Why would I say that? That is EXACTLY what I wanted. I hurried up and ran to the bathroom where I emptied my bladder. I looked in the toilet: yellow. Okay, pee. My legs were wet, though. And it didn’t feel like pee. Like any prego woman would do, I smelled the liquid on my leg. It didn’t smell like urine – it didn’t have a smell. I wasn’t sure. So I wiped and headed back into the bedroom where I told my husband, “You may want to keep your phone…” and then more liquid poured out. There was a stream running down my leg. My husband took one look and was suddenly in baby mode. He convinced me that it was definitely my water that was breaking. I was 100% sure when as I walked around grabbing things I needed the waters kept leaking… They continued through the car ride and for several hours after once I was at the hospital.

It was incredibly exciting – experiencing my water breaking, getting ready to go, and then heading to the hospital. I couldn’t believe it was happening for real.

I stopped at registration and was told to go ahead to the L&D desk. I was immediately taken to a room with my husband and then he was sent to the waiting room while they checked me and asked all the questions. The nurse then confirmed that my water was indeed breaking. I was also 2 cm and 80% effaced.

They started me on an IV and then moved me from triage to a labor and delivery room where they eventually started me on pitocin. It worked really well; the contractions picked up quickly and by the time I was at 4 cm, I asked for an epidural. The funny thing is, I don’t even remember how painful the contractions were at that point because when I reached 9 cm at 6:30 pm, my epidural had begun to wear off and they had to up it because those contractions were excruciating. 2 and a half hours later, I was still at 9 cm, 100% effaced and at -1. Some repositioning failed to assist Roman in descending further down the birth canal and his heart rate increased to the 170s and 180s.

I was instructed to push to see if we could get Roman to come down lower. I tried and tried but the little guy wouldn’t budge. He moved up, especially when they checked me.

My nurse, who I couldn’t stand, was slow as a sloth and really bad at answering questions. “What happens if putting my on my right side doesn’t work?” I asked. “I’m trying to keep the doctor out of here,” she replied. “But what happens if it doesn’t work?” I pressed some more. Silence. I knew the answer (c-section) but I wanted her to say it. My husband asked, “Can you give her more pitocin?” It had been working but when I reached 9 cm, my doctor requested it be shut off and from that point my labor slowed. “I’ll go see,” the nurse finally responded.

Fifteen minutes later, she returned with the doctor. My OB checked me. I held my breath… I knew it was coming… 9 cm. -1 station. And then she said what I had been dreading. “We are going to do a c-section.” As she explained the reasons (fetal heart rate, risk of infection due to my water breaking over 12 hours earlier) I began sobbing. I had done so much hard work. My water broke on it’s own! My contractions started before the pitocin was administered! I knew that the safest thing was a c-section but I didn’t want it! I wanted to PUSH my baby out. My mom had me via c-section and I wanted to be the first to deliver naturally – I had always been told I had child bearing hips after all.

They left the room to begin preparing and I just sobbed (I would continue to struggle once I was discharged – I felt like I failed as a woman). My husband tried to support me but I was devastated. I cried so hard that I threw up every last bit of bile in my stomach. An hour later, after the anesthesiologist drugged me up with some heavy general anesthesia, I was wheeled into the OR alone.

It was my first surgery and I was scared out of my mind. I immediately thought, what if I don’t make it? My husband would be devastated and he’d be taking care of Roman all by himself. Or what if something happened to my baby? I had to shut my brain off. I started drifting from the heavy dosage of anesthesia. They asked if I was okay. I said I was cold – very cold. They told me it was the medicine and then draped my arms with several hot blankets. The sheet went up, they asked if I could feel any sharp pains on my abdomen. No, only a sensation of being touched. I couldn’t really speak though. It was like my vocal cords were paralyzed. I thought, oh I won’t be able to talk to my husband. But then he came in and sat beside me and my first words were I love you. And he kissed me. And then we waited.

It seemed like an eternity but roughly 15 minutes after being wheeled back, my baby was born. 11:03 pm on Monday February 10, 2014. They confirmed Roman was indeed Roman. I smiled. I had my boy. I heard his cry and said, is that him? It didn’t sound like a cry. My husband said later that he cried on his own; he didn’t have to have a spanking to get him going. 🙂 The pediatrician came around and told me he was healthy. I waited and waited to see Roman. My husband at some point left to be with him – I don’t remember this. And then they brought him around.

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He was beautiful. I asked to kiss him and once I did, they whisked him to the nursery where they did some testing and bathing him. Meanwhile in OR: I was being fixed up. They removed my placenta and membranes and stitched me up. This was the painful part. It wasn’t sharp, just heavy, tight tugging. Not enjoyable at all. I winced and groaned and cried out. They injected me with more pain relief. And finally they were done.

45 minutes after Roman’s birth, I was wheeled to a recovery room. It was 11:45ish and I was told that I would remain in recovery for 45 minutes and then I would be taken to my room… 45 minutes turned to 2 hours. Edwin came down and sat with me while the sloth of a nurse pressed on my uterus every 15 minutes and took her sweet time doing whatever needed to be done. Roman was not brought to me during this time because he was getting his bath. 😦 I missed that initial window of opportunity to breastfeed.

At 2 am, I was finally taken to my room where I was left with an aggressive nurse. She wasn’t pleasant at all. I can’t remember exact details, but I didn’t like her one bit. Roman was FINALLY brought to me and we began breastfeeding immediately. He seemed to be latching pretty well but there was minor pain.

The next few days are a blur at this point – I had a multitude of nurses – some I liked, others I did not. I continued breastfeeding – all the nurse said he was latching on just fine and the first lactation consultant agreed. I didn’t get any sleep during my stay as someone came in my room roughly every 30 minutes – hour.

Roman’s weight began dropping in the hospital. By the time we had left he had lost 8% … he went from 7 lb 15 oz to 7 lb 4 oz.

The day before we were discharged, Roman was circumcised. Immediately following the procedure, a second lactation consultant came in and repositioned my son, who had been nursing fine. She must have thought I was doing it wrong as she kept repositioning him aggressively all while saying “he’s really tired from his surgery.” He became agitated quickly and was crying constantly. My heart was breaking. It was clear that my son was upset and did not want to be moved around so much, especially after his surgery. I was fighting back tears but eventually they gave way and I started sobbing uncontrollably but yet she persistently readjusted him until giving up and heading out. I hated her. I didn’t want her coming near me or my son. He had been doing fine and then she came in and made me feel like I was failing. I couldn’t follow her instructions and began doubting myself. And from that point, breastfeeding was an issue.

We went home on Thursday, our 1 year wedding anniversary. That night was awful. I was in so much pain while nursing and he seemed to want to nurse constantly. He wouldn’t stop crying and I was in tears from the pain and frustration. My husband called our pediatrician’s office, with whom we had an appointment the next day, to ask what we should do and if we could supplement with formula. The nurse said that the doctor would return our call. Several hours later we still had not spoken with him. I continued breastfeeding through the pain with hopes that Roman was getting enough.

On Friday, at 10 am, we met with Roman’s doctor (not the doctor that was on call the previous night). He had gained some weight – he was at 7 lb 5.5 oz which was reassuring. I explained to the doctor about our feeding problems. I told her that my nipples were bruised, cracked, bleeding – this hadn’t been the case in the hospital. She looked at Roman and determined that he was tongue tied which can cause problems in nursing. She scheduled a same day frenulectomy  at the children’s hospital to fix it. In the meantime, she told us to supplement with formula and pump and ordered me to sleep for 6 hours. Once the procedure was done, we could breastfeed if I had healed. I pumped throughout the day and Roman alternated between breastmilk and formula. By that evening, my nipples looked a lot better thanks to lanolin and medela soothing gel pads. I attempted to nurse Roman. He got through two feedings successfully, only minor pain, but the third was downright excruciating. Over the next few days I struggled with pumping. My nipples were worst than before I started. It was at this point that I decided that I needed to make a decision.

I had been considering switching to formula for a few days. I spent so much time focusing on breastfeeding. I had my heart set on it from the beginning. I didn’t even buy bottles because I was convinced it was the best thing for us. But like my delivery, this didn’t go as planned either. Even when it was successful, it wasn’t comfortable emotionally. I wasn’t feeling a bond or connection with my son. I couldn’t focus on hi, only on breastfeeding. I wasn’t happy. I was crying constantly about nursing. A sense of dread, resentment developed. Why wasn’t I happy to give my son what he needed? And when I pumped, my supply decreased over the few days instead of increasing. I knew deep down that I need to switch to formula. My mind had already decided that I wanted to formula feed as breastfeeding depressed me so much. But then I thought about how much of a failure I would be and I cried and cried. I went back and forth between pumping exclusively and formula feeding for days until one day, when pumping, my nipples went from healed to completely destroyed. I had to dump the milk from both sides due to the blood mixed in. I gave up. I finally decided that my son need a happy, healthy mother – not one who was emotionally taxed. So, after speaking with my husband, I decided to use formula. And initially, I felt guilty (I even had a coworker make me feel terrible when she voiced her opinion about me switching) but relieved. I could now see how much my son was eating. I could focus on him while feeding him.

I felt like a failure but I knew that this was the best for our family. I struggled with depression in the past and had a c-section, both of which increase the risk of postpartum depression. I already had the baby blues – crying, panic attacks, feelings of insecurity – and was so fearful that I would end up with PPD. Breastfeeding further upset me. Each day since I chose to switch has left me feeling exponentially better.

The baby blues have passed mostly but I still have moments every now and then. No matter how ready you think you are, nothing can prepare you for becoming a parent for the first time. It IS NOT easy. The sleep, eat, poop, and cry. It breaks my heart when Roman is fussy. I want him to be alert and all smiles all the time but he gets fussy about once or twice a day. He can be soothed rather quickly but sometimes it’s difficult to decipher what he wants exactly. Hunger is easy – as soon as he starts sucking his hands/rooting, I know that he’s ready to eat. But other times I have no idea what is bothering him and it makes me sad. On top of that, the monotony that comes with having a newborn is difficult to adjust to. Also, I hate being confined to the house. I try to get out every other day or so, even if it’s just for a few minutes but it isn’t enough. Winter keeps us from being outside. I need it to warm up so I can take Roman on walks. I need sunshine and outings. I’m not a homebody by any means. And finally, we had Edwin’s mom and sister here for about 2 weeks. It was absolutely wonderful having family here and now that they are gone, there is emptiness. I suddenly want to be near family. I feel like we are isolated.

With that said, parenting is definitely special. I love this little boy more than I thought. He’s the best cuddler. He makes awesome faces and when he smiles or coos, I light up. I look forward to those days when he laughs, when we can interact, when I can do something that makes him visibly happy. I look forward to all of the things we will get to do together soon like walks in the park and our family trip to Myrtle Beach in May.

39 weeks

I cannot believe that I am roughly one week from my EDD. Absolutely insane that I have been writing this blog for about 20 weeks.

Here are the pictures I promised you in the last entry (regarding my 38 week check up) – read about it here.

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See those two little spots above his head? Those are his fingers. He had his hands on the top of his head. 🙂

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Cute little lips & nose.

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the bump from the top – a little crooked. Where are my feet?!

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39 weeks, 2 days or 38 weeks, 6 days… depending on who’s counting – me or the doc. 😉

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A couple, who are friends of ours, gave us this changing table! It works perfectly.

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The panorama of the nursery – just need to hang the curtains (I have two more to make) and those photos sitting on the window sill.

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temporary swelling in my ankles and feet – hello sausage toes!

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Edwin & I had a final outing and I picked these up for Roman.

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less than $3 at Target! How could I not buy it? 😉

So I have news! I had my 39 week check up on Wednesday. I went in hoping for more progress but was disappointed to find out none had been made. I am still 1 cm. I was almost in tears as I dressed after the exam and I was sure that when I asked how long I’d have to stay pregnant past my due date, she’d tell me 2 weeks. Fortunately I was wrong here, too! In fact, I didn’t even have to ask her about induction. When I entered her office, she began telling me that my due date is next week and if I don’t have Roman by then, I can pick a date – any date after February 13th. I sighed with relief. I explained to her that this is exactly what I wanted to discuss, as I have family visiting on the 15th and I am trying to figure out my maternity leave. I told her I didn’t want the 14th because it’s Valentine’s Day. She said that her anniversary is the 12th and she will be gone on the 14th anyway so we picked Monday February 17th.

I was immediately relieved. You have no idea. The past week has been anxiety ridden because I just don’t know when anything is going to happen. I am a planner who needs to knowI can’t help it, it is who I am. I can do change – it doesn’t take me long to adapt – but I like to have deadlines. I now know that if my son decides to be stubborn, I will have him by a certain day. I have had a weight on my shoulders that I didn’t know was there. I feel like I can just breathe and enjoy these last few days (YES DAYS! 11 DAYS) of pregnancy. Instead of crying “how much longer” I can cry with anticipation of meeting him. I know my husband could see a difference in me from the moment he saw me after work. Of course, I would much rather go into labor on my own and it’s possible that it will still happen, so I am prepared in the event that it does.

I’m curious if the last few OB appointments are always as fast as this one. When I arrived, the waiting room was swamped – busier than I had ever seen it – and I waited at least 40-50 minutes before I was called back to see the nurse. Once, I saw the nurse, however, I headed to the lab and then was immediately whisked to an exam room to see my OB. The appointment, which was scheduled for 10:20, was over by 11:45. And then, when my doctor took me to the induction scheduler, she also had her schedule my last OB visit for next Tuesday and insisted she find me a spot despite being booked solid. Maybe I just got lucky?

In regards to the vitals and such, I had actually lost a few pounds (the # is debatable as the nurse didn’t let the thingy balance – but it was clear that I had lost weight) so the difference between my pre pregnancy weight and current weight is about 15-16 pounds. Considering Roman is about 8 of those and then you have to count fluids and placenta, I’m feeling freaking great. I don’t even care that I lost 10 pounds after getting pregnant, so in reality I gained about 25-26 pounds, because that’s still excellent! My blood pressure was still excellent and Roman’s heart rate was 146. How did I celebrate? Chipotle, of course. 🙂

Now that I have an induction date, people have started to ask me if I am scared. The first emotion I have is relief. The second, excitement. Third, some fear, yes. I don’t know if I have fully prepared myself mentally for labor. I can’t change the fact that it has to happen so I’m trying not to focus on how scared I am. I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. I’ve worked throughout my pregnancy and will continue to until next Friday or I go into labor, whichever is first. Millions of women have gone through labor over the course of history and been fine. I will be, too. I’m not going to stress over the labor. I will have my husband with me and likely members of our family. I have the support of friends and family near and far. I will be okay. 🙂

Survey:

How Far Along? 39 weeks!

Roman’s weight: at last week’s ultrasound he was estimated at 7 lbs 7 oz.

Symptoms: carpal tunnel syndrome, leg cramps, anxiety, heightened emotions

Sleep: constantly interrupted but I do fall asleep on the couch every night before heading up to bed.

Food Cravings: an oreo blast from Sonic. 🙂

Best Moment This Week: getting an induction date!

Worst Moment This Week: there really wasn’t one.

Movement: Still! Isn’t he supposed to slow down?

Labor Signs: nothing new.

Belly Button In Or Out? out

What I Miss: non tingly hands in the morning.

What I Am Looking Forward To: family coming in and meeting my son!!