TWENTY-FIVE weeks!

25 weeks?! Seriously?! My third trimester starts in 2 weeks and I have 15 weeks until R enters the world. Should I start the countdown now? 😉 Time has been flying by and I blame my husband’s work schedule. I feel like he just came home and then he had to leave again on Saturday. It’s only 4 weeks this time AND I get to see him in 10 days BUT I was not ready for him to leave again. I just keep reminding myself that because I am traveling to Louisville for the baby shower, the amount of time separated is greatly shortened and once he gets home in 4 weeks, he doesn’t have to leave again until March or April, at least a month after R is born. 
It has been a pretty rough week for me emotionally and energy-wise. I am still struggling with the change in my body and comments about how big my stomach is getting don’t help. I get that it is supposed to get bigger but I haven’t fully accepted the results in the mirror. I hadn’t quite reached my weight-loss goal prior to this surprise so now that my stomach is expanding rapidly, I don’t exactly like how the remaining 15 pounds are shifting. It’s all superficial, of course, and I (probably) won’t care as much once I meet R but right now it’s an issue I am dealing with. 
My biggest problem currently is the anxiety I am experiencing. I’m not sure if anyone truly understands what I am feeling. I am a first-time mom-to-be living in a brand new city with a husband who isn’t home all of the time. My friends (the ones with whom I am most comfortable) and family are far away and I can only have a one way conversation with my mother (what I wouldn’t give to have her here). I have moments where it occurs to me that I am alone and pregnant and anything could happen and it scares the shit out of me. I have to stop and breathe and fight the tears and anxiety. I’ve never had panic attacks but that is what I feel like is happening. It’s not something that I can prevent and it’s not a feeling I have 24/7 but when it occurs, it’s overwhelming. I can’t even put the feelings of the anxiety in words. I’m not just sad because Edwin’s away on a silly four week trip. I’m scared because this is new, uncharted territory for me, because I have pregnancy hormones, because I am alone, because I can’t control any of this, because I don’t have anyone telling me what’s normal and what’s not, because I feel like I don’t really have anyone to turn to because I’m afraid of talking their ear off/annoying them. 
All of the resources I have read state that the 2nd trimester is supposed to be easier, less emotional, and full of energy and that the 3rd trimester is the one where you sleep all the time. Nope, not true for me so far. The waterworks have been on full blast (I teared up when talking to a coworker about how I might actually miss the feeling of R kicking me from inside) and bedtime is between 7:30 pm  and 9:00 pm. Edwin has been wonderful about accommodating me but I can’t help but feel bad about the amount of time I’m losing with him because I can’t stay awake any longer. I’m hoping that maybe I’ll have more energy in the upcoming weeks but I just don’t think that will happen.
In terms of new symptoms I am having: leg cramps and Braxton Hicks. The cramps occur at night in my left calf and have terribly disrupted my sleep – some nights I have 2-3. The Braxton Hicks are irregular, of course and were what I originally thought was the baby moving. The internet (oh, how Edwin hates me using it to look up every pregnancy symptom) sites like American Pregnancy, WebMD, and BabyCenter all describe Braxton Hicks as a tightening of the uterus that lasts for 30-60 seconds and can be relieved with water and movement. They don’t hurt and don’t increase in frequency/follow a pattern, all of which is true for me. I had several the other night but walking around and downing some juice and water made them stop. Of course, to be safe, I am watching out for them and will be reporting at my next OB appointment. 
 
I don't look too pregnant from the front. The shirt is from the Mama collection at H&M.

I don’t look too pregnant from the front. The shirt is from the Mama collection at H&M.

But sheesh, from the side! That belly is getting big!

But sheesh, from the side! That belly is getting big (even though it doesn’t look real to me in this photo)!

I made R this bear this weekend. I was almost in tears during the process.

I made R this bear this weekend. I was almost in tears during the process.

A gift from a coworker!

A gift from a coworker!

24 weeks

I want to try something new this week. I’ve been journaling a bit and figured I’d just add some of the entries since I last posted.

Monday

Today we felt R’s butt, back, or head. I was reclining in bed and felt a hard lump about the size of a tennis ball (maybe a tad smaller) in my lower abdomen. I had Edwin feel it. And then a few minutes later, the lump was in a different spot. I felt some strong kicks as well as an uncomfortable shifting. The lump moved about three or four times!

I know R’s brain development isn’t capable of this yet, but I feel like the little munchkin has been playing games with me. I will feel some kicks but when I rest my hand so that I can feel those feet/hands/elbows on my hands, all movement stops. I continue pressing for a few moments but feel nothing and as soon as I move my hand away, the kicks return! Edwin described R as “being an ass like Daddy.” Lol!

Tuesday

R wasn’t active as much today, only a few kicks. I guess the little one needed some rest after many days of what seemed like constant activity. I hated not feeling the movement as much, though. It’s a comforting feeling right now so when it’s absent I worry, though I know it is too early to be counting kicks.

Wednesday

R was back at it again today, kicking away! Dinner (steak and baked potatoes) must have been satisified or R was just trying to tell me that there was no more room! 😉

I came home from work to four packs of Huggies size 3 diapers, 6 bottles of baby oil (I think I’m set for a lifetime), 4 bottles of baby powder, and a bottle of baby shampoo that was given to us by one of our friends! I was so excited!

Image

Thursday

An older gentleman came into work today and asked if I had read anything good lately. I sighed and said, “No, my pregnancy has left me exhausted so I don’t feel like reading much.” He said, “Oh, congratulations, I couldn’t tell. You must not be far along.” I laughed and replied, “Well, I’m just about 6 months pregnant.” His eyes widened and he said, “You don’t look it, you look great!” He was probably just being friendly but words like that are greatly appreciated. I don’t think people who aren’t pregnant realize how much moms-to-be worry about their looks. Sure, we have “an excuse” to gain weight, but I don’t see it like that. Everyday is a constant struggle to make sure I’m getting enough water and healthy foods. I feel bad if I have a little bit of soda or tea here and there. And then we have to worry about losing the baby weight. I actually broke down in tears tonight because I haven’t had the energy to work out like I did before pregnancy. These 40 hours a week (plus alternating weekends) kill me. I’m moving around constantly while working that by the time I get home at 5:30 or 7:30 depending on the day, I barely have the energy to cook. I’m rambling but the point is that pregnant women are just as concerned with their weight as non-pregnant women and when people tell me that I look great, I feel pretty good. But tomorrow is weigh-in day. Eeek.

Today I felt R above my belly button for the first time! The kicks are usually concentrated in my pelvic region so when I felt them up high, I was caught off guard and excited!

Friday

Today was my OB appointment! I look forward to these appointments because I know I get to hear R’s heartbeat. Everything is going great still. I’m measuring 24 cm (fundal height), which is right on track since I’ll be at 24 weeks at the time of this posting. R’s HR was 147, just like last time. My weight gain was right about on target. I’ve been told a pound per week is average and I’ve gained about 5 lbs in the past 4 weeks for a total weight gain of -2lbs (For those of you who aren’t aware, I lost 10 lbs. in the first 3-4 months of pregnancy and I’ve only gained 8 of those lbs back). I’m not going to beat myself up over the extra lb. I know R is about 1.5 lbs and then I have to throw some ounces at the fluids, placenta, boobs, etc. Edwin keeps telling me that I haven’t gained much so I guess I should start listening. 🙂 I also got my first flu shot in nearly 15-20 years. I have my glucose test in a little under 3 weeks and then my next OB appointment is in 4 weeks.

Bump Shot & Questions:

bumpy

How far along: 24 weeks – holy moly, I am only 3 weeks or so away from my third trimester! Where is the time going?!

How big is baby?  1 1/3 – 1 1/2 lbs and just about 12 inches… or the size of a canteloupe/ear of corn.

Baby’s milestones:  R’s lungs are developing.

Symptoms:

  • HELL-O exhaustion!
  • slightly swollen fingers, but the ring is still on
  • weepiness
  • foot and leg cramps (think charlie horse style!)

Sleep: I can’t get enough. Seriously. 8+ hours just isn’t enough.

Food cravings: root beer floats.

Looking forward to: my baby shower in 3 weeks!

22 weeks.

My husband came home on Friday and we had a nice dinner at PF Chang’s where we celebrated my birthday and discovery of the sex of Baby R.  A friend made us a cake with colored candy in between the layers. As soon as we saw the color, I started crying and then immediately opened the envelope with the ultrasound photo inside. I wish I could share with everyone because I just want to shout it from the rooftops, but I promised my husband I would only tell those who asked so there can be some element of surprise. I am so looking forward to buying things for R and beginning the nursery!

Today has been a little rough. I’ve been letting comments at work bother me – these hormones are overpowering. And I’m sick on top of it. A cold front has been moving in which has brought congestion, a bloody nose, and a migraine. On top of that I am utterly exhausted. I have 18 weeks to go, or 4 months and 3 days. The third trimester is almost here; the countdown is on! 

Bump of the week, or BOTW: 

Image

How far along: 22 weeks

Total weight gain: still haven’t weighed in.

Maternity clothes: this is frustrating. I’m still in my maternity jeans and pre pregnancy dresses/skirts, but the dresses are getting shorter because the belly is growing too quickly. Shirts are a problem. I have a couple of maternity tops I’m rotating but normally I just wear a maternity tank with a cardigan over. I’m terribly depressed about my clothing situation. I can’t really afford to purchase new shirts and the old ones are quickly becoming too small. 

Stretch marks:  still no new ones that I am aware of.

Sleep: I’m ready for bed by 9:30/10:00 but I wake up every morning by 5 to use the bathroom. -.- 

Best moment of this week: definitely finding out the sex. 🙂

Miss anything: My pre-pregnancy clothes!

Movement: Lots! Slightly low, in the pelvic region. Mostly at night, when I’m hungry, and right after I eat. The kicks last about 20 min to an hour and occur at 15-45 second intervals. Some tickle. 🙂

Food cravings: more salad, root beer. Today I wanted an Italian Beef Croissant from Portillo’s. Too bad I’m not in Chicago.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not lately.

Have you started to show yet: haha 

Gender: it’s a surprise (to some). 

Labor signs: Nope.

Belly button in or out: Still in. 

Wedding rings on or off: on. 

Happy or moody most of the time: lately I have been scared out of my mind. I can’t explain it – just feeling terrified at random moments. I cried a little last night and when I woke up.

Looking forward to: my day off tomorrow.

It’s not all glow and excitement!

I’ve been working on a list of the pregnancy symptoms I’ve had to date for those who might be interested. Any new ones will be added to the regular blog.

 Tears on tears on tears. I’d be happy one minute, and crying the next. I remember apologizing to my husband for my odd behavior but explaining, through the tears, “I’m not sad. In fact I am really happy but I can’t stop crying.” I contributed it to feeling overwhelmed from having just graduated and moved several states away and looking for a full-time job. In reality, it was pregnancy hormones.

 Uncontrollable hunger/unsatisfied hunger. This started before I found out and comes and goes. I was in the kitchen with the pantry and maybe the kitchen door open. In a 5 minute span I had eaten pickles, girl scout cookies, and maybe chips? They weren’t cravings, I just couldn’t figure out what to eat and I was STARVING. My husband laughed and even said, “Are you sure you aren’t pregnant?” My response was typical, “Definitely. I just don’t know what I want to eat.” This hunger came back at the beginning of the 2nd trimester. I would eat several small meals throughout the day and then by the time I crawled into bed, I was in so much pain from hunger. Tips for this? String cheese or Ensure (I can’t drink anymore of these – too chalky – blech).

 Morning sickness. I had it for about 5 or 6 weeks non-stop in the first trimester. There were a few weeks before and after that period where I was nauseous and vomiting but it wasn’t on the daily. My sickness was always in the AM and then every couple of days I would get sick throughout the day and well into the evening. Looking back, I can say with certainty that it was because I woke up with an empty stomach. And then it was because I drank milk or orange juice. Or because I waited too long to eat. And then later, it was due to an 3 day long migraine. I remember job interviewing during this time. Hard candy, sprite, and graham crackers (you WILL get sick of all crackers!) were on me at all times! I was so nervous that I would get sick during the interview! I still get moments of queasiness here and there at 20 weeks but I have Zofran in my purse. I haven’t had to use it in a while, thank goodness.

Food aversions. Ha.Ha. There were only a few things that I hated (and still hate) but I had more of a problem of nothing sounding good when I was hungry which resulted in me hitting up whatever restaurant had the one thing my body wanted at that moment. My husband was concerned about how much we were eating out but let me tell ya – it’s going to happen. Do not think you can plan 2 weeks of meals early in your pregnancy. I went out and spent at least $100 on food that I didn’t even want near me for 3 weeks. So what have I avoided? Eggs. Chicken. Sushi. Milk (for a while). Water (I had to force myself to drink it – it made me sick). Pickles. Crackers. Red pasta sauce. And countless others. I don’t know about other women, but this didn’t last for me but when it was happening, you could not have paid me to eat any of that stuff… which leads me to…

Food Cravings, or what I like to call, ‘the only s*&% I would eat.’ mashed potatoes and gravy (particularly KFC), macaroni and cheese, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, salad, French fries, watermelon limeaids from Sonic, pizza, Chinese food, Mexican rice and refried beans, chips and salsa. That was all during the first trimester. The pregnancy books, websites, and e-letters all state that appetite goes back to normal after 12 weeks. I am happy to say, that while I am still avoiding chicken, eggs (I will actually pick out the egg from my McDonald’s breakfast burritos), & sushi, it is true. I will eat just about anything these days. Right now, some favorites are water (yay!), root beer (not so great, but at least most are sans caffeine), oranges/clementines, Gala apples, pasta, salad (all day, every day – bonus if it is from Texas Roadhouse, Golden Corral, or Panera), and still pizza. I try to get the veggies in there, like broccoli and carrots, and my salads are almost always with dark leafy greens, red onions, cucumbers, and peppers.

Migraines. This has been the worst symptom (read: complication) of my pregnancy. I have a history of migraines but pre-pregnancy I only got them about once every five or six months and would take 800 mg of Advil to get rid of them, easily. And then, mid way through my first trimester a strong one came on. I tried the Tylenol we had on hand and that didn’t work. Neither did cold/heat/dark rooms/increasing my water intake. I called my OB and she called in a prescription for Tylenol 3. If that doesn’t work, she said, head to the ER to see if something is wrong. I took the Tylenol 3s and 45 minutes later, they hadn’t helped. I headed to the ER where they gave me Benadryl and Reglan as well as fluids through an IV. It worked while it was in me but by the time I got home, I still had a slight headache. The second one came a few weeks later and after throwing up 4 times, my husband pretty much made me go back to the hospital where I got the same treatment. Finally, my OB put me on Fioricet. I was taking 1 pill each time I got a migraine (at this point it was once a week) which seemed to help. But then, around 16 weeks, they were happening every 1-2 days. After a six day migraine with no relief, my OB referred me to a neurologist. He recommended 400-500 mg of magnesium supplements every day (as a preventative) and 2 Fioricet pills each time I get a migraine. The magnesium hasn’t helped but the increase in dosage of the Fioricet does (*fingers crossed!*). One thing I have paid attention to during most of my migraines is my blood pressure. Normally, during pregnancy, the doctors are looking for high blood pressure when expectant moms complain of headaches (due to preeclampsia and such) but my blood pressure has actually been low. Though lower blood pressure is normal during pregnancy, I have noticed that when I have a migraine, mine is usually sitting around 90/51, while without one, my systolic number is around 100. The doctors aren’t concerned, though, so neither am I. It could honestly be a coincidence.

 Other not-so-pleasant-but-nearly-unavoidable symptoms: the usual gas, constipation, bleeding gums, irritability, weepiness, round ligament pain, interrupted sleep, congestion, and belly button pain (from my uterus moving up).

The best symptom? Definitely quickening and feeling those kicks get stronger by the day. I’m sure in a few months I will be complaining, but this is the calm that I need. The movement lets me know, without seeing my baby, that everything is okay.