30 Weeks and Baby Shower

Today we have officially hit the 30 week mark! I can’t believe it! I know I keep saying that, but as we keep climbing up in weeks it feels surreal.

Last Friday I had a visit with my OB which went well. I got my flu shot, and will get Tdap next visit. I didn’t want to be a pin cushion and since my next visit is in two weeks, still within the recommended timeframe, I decided to do them separately and start with the flu shot. My fundal measurement was 32 cm, which she said was a “little larger than expected” but she reviewed the last ultrasound report, and since he was measuring in the 60th percentile, she had no concerns. I’ve gained 25 lbs. total now, which she said was still within the 25 – 35lb range she would expect. All went well and my next visit is a growth scan with MFM in two weeks. I will start having 3 weeks/month now – 2 with my OB and 1 with MFM for a growth scan.

Our baby shower was this weekend as well! It felt like our wedding in that it was a BLUR. I was having a bit of anxiety right up until the time we walked in. But once we walked in, and I got over the “deer in headlights” feeling and had a moment to collect my thoughts, it was much better. I really loved everything! My mom and friends really did a great job and everything was just lovely. There were I think… 60 people there! My mother went overboard in her excitement with inviting a lot of people, including some of her own friends whom I had never met, and then we had some people show up that originally responded no so I heard about the scramble to get extra place settings at some of the tables. It was a bit overwhelming at first, I have to admit. But once I got acclimated I really didn’t feel the anxiety or sadness that I felt earlier in the week. I’m glad I got it out of me before the shower so I could enjoy the shower.

We had a buffet for breakfast with all of our favorites – french toast, scrambled eggs, home fries and bacon, along with a chicken alfredo and salad for those that wanted a lunch. there was also a mimosa bar, which I could not take part in but would have been right up my alley. So needless to say I was a bit rushed all morning – first with going to all the tables and saying hi to everyone, then we were first for the buffet so we could eat and then move to gift opening while others were still eating, then the gift opening. My friends M and L were helping by writing down the gifts and givers and then moving stuff out of the way. I had to tell them I needed a break to even go to the bathroom and get a cupcake. We had chocolate cake and red velvet cupcakes! My best friend M’s aunt is a baker and made them. SO DELICIOUS. There were also a few games – a bingo game for the gift opening, a “Guess the size of the bump” game, and a “Don’t say the word ‘baby'” game. The prizes were cute – blue OPI nail polishes and nail files in a mason jar. The favors were mason jars filled with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (my favorite candy) and Hershey Kisses (The Husband’s favorite candy) in blue wrapping.  I was not able to take any pictures for myself, because time just didn’t warrant it and I felt like I was being pulled in 50 directions all morning (but in a good way) but I’ve had some friends forward me some. All in all, I think my nerves got the best of me leading up to the party and in the end I had a great time and I was so happy to see our family and friends, everyone seemed so happy and excited, and to celebrate our baby. I feel like he (and we) deserve it. And I definitely have enough to do to keep me busy for the time being, what with organizing and washing and assembling all of this good stuff. I am overwhelmed by the love and generosity and it is definitely very humbling, especially after all we have been through.

It was a long road to get to that point and I remember back to this time last year, when I thought this would not happen for us and I was feeling so low, and now I feel glad that I had a morning where I could feel genuinely happy and excited. If you had told me this time last year that we would have had that celebration this weekend, a day shy of exactly one year after our third loss, I would not have believed it. And now I am sitting in our brand new glider in our baby boy’s room and typing this. Someone pinch me.

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Game table

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Diapers galore!

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Completely overwhelmed by all these gifts!

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Cake and cupcakes, with two small diaper cakes

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Close up of the cake – little footballs and golf balls on them, since The Husband is an avid golfer

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Table set with the favors, diaper cake centerpiece and little blue pens to write out the bingo squares

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Bouquet centerpiece at another table

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Baby shower aftermath

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Aftermath Part 2

 

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So cute! I love this rocking chair and teddy bear.

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Our new glider and ottoman that The Husband assembled today! The quilt is a handmade gift from one of my aunts.

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All These Things I Carry Now, In This Bittersweet, In This Bittersweet Now

My baby shower is this weekend, and while I am mostly looking forward to it and excited, I have also been experiencing some mixed emotions as it draws closer to the date. It’s been an unlikely trigger and brought up some sadness that I thought I had mostly dealt with at the beginning of the pregnancy.

My mother has been very excited about everything, to say the least, and so the whole event has grown a little bit bigger than I had originally imagined. I have a large family to begin with, but she’s also invited some of her own friends (some of whom I’ve never met) and I feel like it’s a lot of pressure. Although this pregnancy has been completely different that my previous pregnancies and I am trying to have faith in my baby and my own body to bring him home safely, I still do experience bouts of anxiety and fear. I tried to avoid telling people for the longest time (even on this blog!) and now I am going to be front and center for a few hours this weekend and I’m having a little anxiety about that in itself. I’m not a person who necessarily enjoys being the center of attention to begin with – I think I do my best work under the radar if I do say so myself!

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to celebrate this (by all accounts) healthy baby and pregnancy, and I’m grateful to my mother and my friends/family who have helped her organize and plan the shower. I know how much thought and time they’ve put into making this a great day for me. And this baby deserves to be celebrated, he is my little miracle! But it is also bittersweet and has dredged up old feelings about my previous pregnancies. Those babies were never celebrated. Those babies never had a day when friends and family were excitedly anticipating their arrival. I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for me. And I’m trying to balance that with feeling happy and excited for this baby. Most of the time I have managed these different feelings well, but this week I feel like it’s been a fine line and I’ve fallen a little off balance. I tell myself that just because I am sad for my previous losses doesn’t mean I can’t be happy or excited for this baby and his impending arrival. He deserves to have people be excited for him. But I also don’t want to forget the three that came before him. During my first pregnancy my mother had gone so far as to book a date and venue for the shower, but then we lost that baby at 19 weeks and she had to cancel it. I’ve harbored that fear in the back of my mind that it would happen that way again – that she’d have to cancel it.

Anyway. I had my bi-weekly acupuncture appointment last night and that seemed to help me a bit. And I’ve kept myself busy with getting his room together (it’s painted, new lighting/ceiling fan installed, crib and dresser assembled, and a few decor items are on the wall now!) I’ve also been reading – I’m about 75% of the way through Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and next up on my reading list is Touchpoints. My next OB appointment is Friday, and I’m getting an “Expectant Mother Manicure” Friday in preparation for the weekend. I decided to take a long weekend off work – Friday and Monday, as Monday is our eight year wedding anniversary. We don’t have any special plans, and I imagine we’ll have a lot of organizing to do, but it will be nice to have the day off and spend it together. And after our anniversaries of two years ago and last year, I’m sure I’ll appreciate having a quiet day to ourselves. So I don’t want it to seem as if I am wallowing, because I’m not. I am grateful and happy and excited and I’m sure that most people wouldn’t even know or be able to tell that I have other feelings about it all. I am happy to be one week closer to meeting this baby! I love when I feel him kicking and moving! It’s just a little bittersweet as well.

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We are perfect angels!

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Our Souls Were Singing, Do You Remember, Never a Cloudy Day

Today I am 28 weeks pregnant! It really didn’t hit me until I was in the shower tonight, and I thought to myself – “Wow! I am in the THIRD TRIMESTER.” I almost cannot believe it. I look down at my belly, and feel the kicks, and I know it’s true. But mentally I can’t believe it sometimes. I almost feel like it must be some really vivid, lucid fantasy or dream and I am going to wake up soon.

We had a growth scan last week, and again everything is right on track. Baby Boy is measuring in the 60th percentile, which is exactly where he was four weeks ago too. Fluid levels good, heart rate good, he weighed approximately 2 lbs. 8 oz. and is “Completely average!” – another “No concerns!” from Dr. T. I brought up some of the fears and anxiety I’d been experiencing recently regarding placenta issues or cord issues and Dr. T was able to talk me down and explained some of the science and medicine behind how it works and the materials (for lack of a better word) that they are made of and also explained that, if there is a placenta issue they will catch it because I am going in monthly for the duration – and that if there was an issue right now, he wouldn’t be growing as well or consistently. She also mentioned a book she recommended I read, about infant/child growth and development after birth to turn some of the focus towards what happens after he’s born instead of dwelling in fears before he’s born so I’ve added it to my Amazon list and will be purchasing it with my next order.

I just feel so shocked every time I hear things like completely average, consistent, and no concerns when someone is talking about me and one of my babies. Shocked in a good way, and happy and excited, but shocked nonetheless.

Last weekend I also went on a “Girl’s Weekend” with my friend L. We visited Ogunquit, Maine – both of us have lived in New England our entire lives and neither of us has visited Maine. It was a quick two night getaway, with less action than our New Orleans trip last year (for obvious reasons), but a great time. We ate good food, went to the beach, read by the pool, and shopped. I really liked it and hope to visit again next summer. It seemed dog and kid friendly – lots of families, a cute trolley to ride around town in, and all “major” attractions within reasonable walking distance. The drive to get there was reasonable for us too – about 2 hours and 15 minutes. I think it was a great way to start bidding adieu to summer.

A lot of events are happening soon and September will be busy – my baby shower is this month, we are celebrating our eighth wedding anniversary this month, and one month from now we have our maternity photo session. I try not to get too excited and think too far ahead – one of the drawbacks of recurrent loss and feeling like at any time the rug can be pulled out from under you. I feel like this can be ripped away at any moment. But I am excited to celebrate with our family and friends, and see people I haven’t seen in a while. My mother had tried to keep all the details a secret, but today she caved and spilled some details and now I know when and where it is! I had it narrowed down to three dates, and my suspicions were correct, it was one of those dates. I’ve already purchased my dress for the shower, another PinkBlush Maternity purchase. Because I knew my shower was this month I went for a “Pregnancy Facial” on Saturday and it was wonderful. I think I might like facials more than I like massages. Football season is also back, and I can’t wait to see The Patriots and my favorite player Gronk back in action, although I am not as excited as most years because I am a bitter Patriots fan and I think it is very unfair and ridiculous and egregious that Brady is sitting out this month. #FreeBrady.

For all the good things coming up this month, it is also the month that I lost two of my babies – September 11th will be the second year “anniversary” of losing our second baby, and September 18th is the first year “anniversary” of losing our third baby. I am trying not to dwell on it too much, and to focus on the present and put more positive energy to the future, but it still stings a bit when I remember how low I was the past two years during this month. I still catch myself wondering what may have happened if either of those babies had been well and survived. I am trying not to let these thoughts detract from the good things happening this year, and I think about them every day regardless of the month, but it does make me a little sad.

We  did some work during this long holiday weekend in Baby Boy’s room, mostly today as it was a windy, rainy/cloudy day thanks to . I’ve been to Kohl’s and HomeGoods and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Not to mention countless hours looking for nursery decor, bedding, etc. online! I still haven’t found a mirror or hamper I like, and I am still waiting on my replacement nightstand (which annoys me every time I think about it) but I am happy with the way it is coming along. I just wish the nightstand was here so I could get the full effect. Our infant car seat is also here – my MIL and FIL bought it for us, and they dropped it off this weekend so she wouldn’t have to bring it to the shower. Things definitely feel like they are getting a little bit more real this week!

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Nubble Lighthouse, Maine

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My monster making herself comfortable with some of my HomeGoods purchases.

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All We Want Are the Facts, Ma’am

So as I go about researching and buying products for November the SIDS guidelines have pretty  much already been cemented in my head. Back is best. Flat, firm surface. Nothing in the crib/bassinet such as bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals. Don’t let baby overheat. Breastfeed as much and as long as you can. Sleep in the same room, not the same bed. Am I terrified about SIDS? Yes, of course! But first on my “terror list” is that my baby will die before he is even born, so I figure I have to get past the remaining 13.5 weeks of pregnancy and childbirth and actually give birth to a live child before I waste a lot of time worrying about this sort of thing.

A few days ago I received a text message from a well meaning friend with a link to the Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor suggesting I register for that. I mentioned that based on what I’ve read they weren’t considered “medical devices” that actually prevent SIDS, and that it’s not a replacement for following all of the AAP Guidelines – which, two of them are: “Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors to help reduce the risk of SIDS” and “Do not use products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.”

Then came the inevitable anecdote, “Well, my friend’s cousin’s sister in law’s baby got whooping cough somehow, had a seizure and stopped breathing and nobody would haven’t known if the device hadn’t beeped”

There are several of these options out there – the Owlet, Snuza, Angelcare, Mimo – and really, if I wanted to buy the Snuza it’s only $100 and that’s not a lot of money in the grand scheme of how much I’m spending on cribs and mattresses and strollers and car seats, and I don’t want to be a”bad mom” if I don’t buy this thing and then something happens. I could definitely afford one, it’s not about the money. But then you read how they are not regulated by the FDA and there are no scientific studies backing up any claims that they actually detect or prevent SIDS. All you have are people’s stories. Yeah, it might buy some peace of mind. But I can imagine that some people would get lax with it – “Oh, I have the monitor, so I don’t need to be as careful about other things because the monitor will just alert me.”

Would it hurt anything to have one of these? I’m guessing it probably wouldn’t, at least not for me because I know that even if I had one I would still be vigilant about everything else and wouldn’t use it as a baby sitter. It might “hurt” if it’s always giving false alarms and I’m worried constantly because of it. But I am definitely one of those people who likes the PROOF. Show me the research, the science. Prove it to me. Do I think it’s necessary? No, not in the sense that some things are absolute necessities – for instance, you can’t leave the hospital without a car seat. You can leave the hospital without one of these monitors. I guess I’m just put off that already I feel like not having  one of these would make me a “bad mom” or someone who doesn’t care as much as another person.

Articles I’ve read:

http://www.cnet.com/news/can-tech-really-solve-sids-its-not-so-simple/

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/11/19/365008409/you-can-monitor-your-babys-vital-signs-24-7-but-should-you

Don’t Count on Smart Baby Monitors To Prevent SIDS

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/06/a-gadget-wont-save-your-baby-from-sids/

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2014/02/mimo_and_other_smart_baby_monitors_don_t_protect_from_sids_so_what_are_they.html

http://www.livescience.com/48810-baby-monitors-pricey-false-reassurance-sids.html

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Ramblin’ Man

  • Two weeks ago I had my first growth scan at 23 weeks. My MFM specialist wants to see me monthly for growth scans throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. After the scan she said she had “No concerns!”. Baby Boy was measuring in the 60th percentile and weighed approx. 1 1/2 lbs. Next scan is in two weeks.
  • Yesterday I had my monthly visit with my OB. I did the one hour glucose test and had bloodwork done. I PASSED the glucose test, but my bloodwork came back “slightly anemic.” So I have to start a low dose iron supplement which I’ll take once a day. The nurse said that the numbers were not too concerning, just “slightly below the threshold” which she said is common at this point in pregnancy. I would much rather take an extra vitamin each day vs. having gestational diabetes or having to do that three hour test. No other concerns after my visit – heartbeat was strong and steady around 140, I’ve gained 19 lbs total at this point, which I’m just over 25 weeks (!!! – it’s still a shock to step on the scale and see that number go up and up), and we discussed the Tdap vaccine which I’ll get at my visit next month. The Husband already got his Tdap booster earlier his month at his annual physical.
  • Baby Boy is still nameless. We have a few names we like, and there is a middle name that I particularly want to use (it’s a family name), but no decisions have been made. This is one of the questions I get asked most frequently. We’ve already decided that, when we do decide, we aren’t telling anyone anyway and they can just find out when he’s born.
  • The nursery is painted, the window treatments are done and drapes are hung, the carpet is stretched, and the crib and dresser are here! The dresser is put together but the crib is still in the box. The nightstand also came in, BUT it was scratched and warped so I had to call and complain about that – luckily I was given zero hassle and a replacement order is already in the works, and prepaid Fedex label was sent to me so I can return the damaged/defective product (I really don’t think it was shipping damage – I think it’s a manufacturer issue.) AND I got my original shipping refunded. I was very upset when I saw it, but a nightstand is not a necessity in the grand scheme so I can wait a few extra weeks to have the room put together.
  • After much deliberation my MIL has decided she will be at my shower and they will be leaving on their trip after the shower. I won’t even get into this any further.
  • Not only do I love the robe I bought from Pink Blush, but The Husband does too! He gave me a random compliment on it the other night. I also went to a LuLaRoe pop up last weekend with my friend E, and got a pair of leggings. I was a little dubious while I was there, but man are they comfortable. I’m wearing them right now.
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25 weeks down

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24 Weeks and Crankypants

Today I am 24 weeks pregnant, and I’ve been cranky alllll day. The Husband and I got in a spat last night, mainly because I was not impressed with the speed at which he’s painting the nursery. I would help him, but he doesn’t want me to paint because of the smell. His father left on a business trip today, so he is doing extra work this week (they work together for a family business), which he thought meant he could slack off on the nursery… Which I was not happy with because the crib is here (this is the set we ordered), the dresser will be here soon, and I have a carpet guy coming over later this week to stretch the carpet (there are some ripples in it.) Obviously all the furniture that is in there now has to be out for the carpet guy to do his thing, so there isn’t much time to waste! He didn’t like the reminder!

So I woke up today and I was still in a bad mood. People at work annoyed me. My mom annoyed me (sometimes she just cannot keep anything to herself and tells people things that I’m not sure how they even come up in normal conversation, and then wonders why I don’t want to tell her everything.) I really just want to lay in bed and be left alone, so I’m alternating between watching The Olympics and playing on the computer while curled up in my Snoogle.

My last post was anxiety ridden, and this one is now me being a complaining crankypants. But it is not all bad. We’ve actually been doing quite a bit and made a lot of good progress in our preparations (getting the room ready, painting, signing up for birth/breastfeeding/infant basics classes at our hospital.) But today I am just not feeling it. To help make myself feel better I ordered some maternity pajamas and robe from Pink Blush (here and here), and a nursing nightgown off Amazon (here.) When in doubt, get out the credit card for some online shopping, right? Ha! I also booked our maternity photo session for October. I wasn’t sure if I should do maternity photos, and at times in the past the thought of doing them made me cringe. But, I don’t know if I will be at this point again. It’s been over three years since we first started trying to have a baby, and after three failed pregnancies I don’t know if I will have it in me to try again and live through the fears and anxieties of the first trimester and anatomy scan. It feels like the second trimester is going by so quickly (probably because I am not feeling sick/exhausted and spending all my spare time laying on the couch like I did the first 12 weeks), and I do want to remember this. I am taking bump photos each week, but those only include me! So we are doing a photo shoot and our little Layla will be included! The photographer said she is very comfortable working with dogs too and has done several shoots with dogs (I was able to see some of the photos in her portfolio.) So that made me happy. She won’t be in all the photos, but I do want to get a few with her.

Speaking of, here is her beautiful self while we were on vacation two weeks ago. Looking perturbed as we both attempted to stretch out on the couch of our room – she thinks the couch is just for her comfort and not anyone else’s! Not sure what we would do if we could not find pet friendly accommodations for our travels!

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“Mommy, get off my couch and give me some space!”

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The Fear is Real

I’ve been having a bit more anxiety than usual the past week or so. The trigger – it started after I read something on social media – a friend of a friend’s 3 month old daughter passed away in her sleep ten days ago. The parent’s friends started a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses, etc., and any extra would go to the SIDS Institute.

I’ve never met this couple before, and they have two older children as well that I have never met. I can imagine how pained and devastated they are. And I’m sure that, as horrifying as I think it is, whatever they are experiencing is worse and my heart broke a little when I saw their daughter’s picture on the GoFundMe page. Why?? There is no answer that will ever suffice. When I saw those posts my mind got immediately swept up in the vicious anxiety web and I was off and running on Google and blogs and getting myself into a panic. It is hard to break out of that feeling that, once you have been “the one” who experiences tragedy (three times no less), you will always be “the one.” I know that I will not always be “the one” and that I am not going to carry all of life’s burdens and tragedies. But I have moments where I feel like I will be and that it is just going to be my lot in life. Even when things are going well with my current pregnancy, I still don’t entirely trust that my good luck will continue…. because it does feel like good luck. Like somehow, during this one pregnancy, I got lucky. I hope that it continues and  I hope that I get many, many healthy and happy years with my son, but there are no guarantees for any of us.

And then I decide I just have to try to be present, in this moment right now, and be thankful that I have made it this far. Right now everything is okay. Perhaps it won’t be tomorrow, but there’s no use worrying about it now and wasting this moment. And I don’t want my baby to feel my anxiety.

I wonder what it feels like to be one of those pregnant women with no fears or doubts. The ones that think after 12 weeks, everything is just golden and there is nothing to fear. They are right, the majority of the time at least.

I don’t mean to give the impression that I am just worrying 24/7. We’ve been on vacation and to a comedy show and to Babies R Us and things are moving right along. We’ve even picked out nursery furniture!  I’m getting in light exercise and reading and following the dramedy that is our 2016 election (#NeverTrump.) We go out to dinner and have been to cookouts and are going about life. But yes, I do have those moments of agonizing fear – I’ve been through so much to get to this point and I’m so afraid of losing it.

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Wooooah, Livin’ On A Prayer

I am 21 weeks pregnant. Well, tomorrow I will be. I can’t believe it. It feels like time has gone by very fast since our first anatomy scan. And now I sit here typing this and I can feel kicks (or is it punches?) and movement. Last night we went to see Jerry Seinfeld perform at Foxwoods in Connecticut, and I was laughing up a storm (obviously). And he was kicking the whole time. Probably because I was laughing a lot, but I jokingly said to The Husband it means he’s already a Seinfeld fan.

I am still nervous and have my fears, but lately I’ve been channeling my anxiety into researching infant/baby products. I was feeling like a slacker and feeling, as they say, “behind the 8 ball” because I didn’t start thinking about anything until after our 18 week anatomy scan. I really just couldn’t. I felt like it was pointless to spend time reading reviews and reading about safety and coming up with nursery ideas until after we made it past that scan. I couldn’t wrap my mind around thinking about this stuff and beginning to plan for November until we knew whether or not there were anatomical anomalies or concerns.

So now we know, and I’m channeling my nervous energy to trying to learn as much as I can about cribs and car seats and strollers and baby wearing and nursery ideas, etc. etc. I’ve spent countless hours on websites and reading reviews, and a good friend of mine bought me the Baby Bargains book – and I’ve read almost every chapter now. I have many friends who have kids, but I was not well versed in any of the different products or brands. A total novice. Now I feel more educated and a little less overwhelmed. However, even after reading parts of the book, the first time we went to Babies ‘R Us was completely overwhelming. We spent HOURS in there and only decided on about three items. And it seems like everyone has an opinion to offer and they are all different – someone loved this, but someone else hated it. Someone’s baby wouldn’t sleep without ____, and another person’s baby hated it and they ended up selling it. So some of this may be useless until baby is here and I know what he likes. Maybe I’m making too much out of it or taking it too seriously, but I went through too much grief and heartache to get to this point and I want to make sure we have everything we need, and that it’s SAFE. My hyper-vigilance has turned from getting through the first half of the pregnancy to what is going to happen when Baby Boy is (hopefully) here with us, happy and healthy.

And I do say “hopefully” because I am painfully aware that just because we’ve made it this far, and just because things are going well, doesn’t mean that something can’t happen later in pregnancy. It will never escape me that there is no “safe point”… I am happy and thankful to have made it this far, but until he is here – safe and in one piece with all his fingers and toes – I will have that fear in the back of my mind.

Even though I still have my fears and anxiety, I do enjoy being pregnant for the most part. Well, now that I’m safely in the second trimester and am no longer nauseous and tired. I have energy and am walking, doing some light weight training and practicing yoga several times a week. I like watching my bump grow and feeling him move. Sometimes it’s strange when a large chunk of my abdomen feels like it’s shifting and moving, but I like feeling him and knowing he’s there. I like looking at nursery ideas, even though it overwhelms me. I’ve started wearing maternity pants more and more, and I like them because they are actually really comfortable and I wish I could wear them ALL THE TIME. I’ve been getting a chair massage every other week (we have a masseuse at work every Thursday) and I like taking that time out for me – and it helps my back (I have been experiencing some back pain.) I like my Snoogle pregnancy pillow, which I bought to help with my back pain and to help me fall asleep easier without tossing and turning.

One point of stress that I’ve had recently has to do with having a baby shower. I was ambivalent about whether or not I wanted to have one – the fears and anxieties that crop up after having three losses will make any celebration seem like a bad idea and a jinx. But I will also say that I don’t want to cheat myself out of happiness and celebrating our baby boy – I want my turn to celebrate my little one too. Sometimes I would also feel down on myself for not allowing myself to feel or experience the joys and excitement that “normal” pregnant woman feel. I would justify it by saying I would be happy and excited once he’s here, and it doesn’t matter if I’m happy and excited now. Which I still consider to be true and valid. But as time has gone on and I’ve tried to relax and enjoy this pregnancy more, I became more comfortable with the idea of a shower. So now my mother, aunt and friend M are off and running with it. BUT NOW… there is always a but…

Enter my MIL. My mother has been in touch with her throughout and they chose a date for the shower together, which works for both of them. Except now my MIL and FIL decided that they want to fulfill one of their travel bucket list destinations this year (instead of next year like they originally planned) and so she asked The Husband if I would be “mad” if she wasn’t at the shower. After she had offered to help my mother, had a list of friends she wanted added to the invitation list and has been itching to be a grandmother since we got married. The Husband is an only child, so we are her only shot at being a grandmother. For the record, we are not very close – we get along and have never had any disagreements or whatnot, but it’s not like we go shopping together or out to lunch together or hang out. So I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep. I just think it’s rude that they are considering changing her travel plans and it just so happens to coincide with the baby shower date so she won’t be there. She didn’t have this planned ahead of time – she’s planning it after knowing about the shower. It’s just annoying to me, and The Husband (trying to be the dutiful son) keeps trying to justify it – “Well, business is good for them right now so they know they can leave now with no worries – it might not be good next year.” Or “My grandfather has been sick lately but he’s doing better – he might be very sick next year and they might not want to leave then if he’s really ill.” And “Well, wouldn’t it be better for them to be around next year in case we need help with the baby? At least we don’t need help right now.” If, if, if. What if my aunt had balls? Then she’d be my uncle. One of her ideas, to make it up to me/us (just the fact that you feel like you have to make amends to someone for something proves that you know it isn’t exactly right!), is to throw a second shower when she’s back. It took me long enough to become comfortable with the idea of one shower, never mind two. I am not a fan of this idea – I really do not want two showers when one would suffice.

Okay, this post took a turn for the worse. If you read through all of that, please accept my apologies. Rant over. But if anyone out there has any recommendations on any products they had and loved/couldn’t live without, or that were a waste of time and money, I would love to hear about it.

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Sunshine Day

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Yesterday we had our 18 week anatomy scan. I am happy to say that, again, everything looked good! It is strange to keep getting good news, when in the past I feel like I’ve ever received bad news. And now, this is the furthest I have made it in any of my pregnancies. I almost don’t know what to do with myself now. I knew the land mines and what to worry about for the past 4 months; now what do I worry about? There has to be something.

Baby is still measuring a week ahead – I was 18w4d yesterday, he measured in at 19w4d. My cervix is still long and closed, at exactly 4 cm. Dr. T said that, because in each of the past two scans my cervix has been on the long end of what she was looking for – she said she was looking for anything between 2.5cm – she doesn’t think my cervix was damaged by any of the D&E’s, particularly the procedure I had at 19 weeks. Heart rate was steady at 155. We saw all of his major anatomy again – fingers, toes, kidneys, stomach, heart, brain, etc. Dr. T said everything looked beautiful and at this point she has no anatomical concerns, but she is going to be seeing me monthly for growth scans. She said that in any other patient, she would not see them or have a scan (unless there was an issue) until about 28 weeks. However, given my history, she wants to see me monthly and I am fine with that. Between my MFM visits and my regular OB visits I’ll continue seeing one of my doctors every two weeks and I think that has been working out well for me with quelling my anxiety and making me feel I’m getting the support I need/want.

I also started feeling movement about two weeks ago – not “flutters” but it feels like bubbles popping against the front of my abdomen. At first it was only occasional, and not very strong, so although I thought it was the baby I also thought it could have been just things stretching and pulling and maybe even gas! But now it’s been more consistent, and stronger, and it’s definitely baby moving. We could also hear him moving at my last OB visit, when we listened on the doppler. We could hear the heartbeat and then random other noises, and when I asked what it was she confirmed it was him moving all around.

I had my first obnoxious comment from a coworker on Thursday. I was walking towards our cafeteria, which is on the first floor and you have to walk past the main entrance to get there. One of the ladies who works in my department, but on another team, was walking in from her lunch break and walking towards me. I saw her looking at me, and then she stopped and waited for me to walk up to her, and with a teasing grin on her face and asked “Have you been eating one too many cookies?!?” And I just kept walking past her and said “Yep! I have a crazy sweet tooth!” And she laughed and stood there but I kept walking. She was clearly expecting a stop and chat, and no way was I going to stop and chat with her after that. She’s a nice woman in general, in her 50’s with grown children of her own, and I can’t imagine she would have said that unless she was thinking I would confirm that I was pregnant. But although I like her, we aren’t so close that I would confide in her and she is also very good friends with one of the ladies I supervise, and I haven’t told my direct reports yet. Also, the lady she is friends with is probably the most difficult, high maintenance of the three I supervise and I don’t feel like letting her know right now. Even though at this point I have a bump, it’s definitely out there and getting harder to hide. Oh well. So yeah, the cookies comment annoyed me and I went immediately to my friend N’s office to tell her about it and she was as outraged as I was. Another question I keep getting, from those in the know, is whether or not we have a name yet. No, we haven’t decided on a name (although we have a few we like), and when we do we aren’t telling people. I don’t want to get stuck with a name – what happens if we see him and think he doesn’t look like that name? And I don’t want to see people’s reactions ahead of time. I am not good at hiding my reactions all the time, and I don’t want to see someone’s face change when I tell them what we’re thinking of; I don’t want to know if they like it or not, I don’t want to hear their ideas, or hear “Have you thought about this?” blah blah blah. My mother has been the worst offender with this question. So much so that I tell her I’m hanging up the phone on her if she even asks again.

So, things are cruising right along for now. My mother has been a busy bee and she’s gone a bit nutty, buying me all kinds of maternity clothes from Kohl’s and Macy’s, not to mention the baby outfits. I told her I am going to take her credit and debit cards away. She’s also gone into high gear with my friend M in planning a baby shower. The thought of a baby shower makes me very uncomfortable; I guess because I keep thinking “What if something bad happens again?” in my head, and I can see how excited she and my mother-in-law are getting. And I know she just wants to make me happy and have a shower that I am going to love, but it’s hard for me to think about themes (I told her adamantly that Baby Boy is enough of a theme in itself and I DO NOT WANT ANY THEMES!!!) and registering and guest lists when some days all I can think of is getting through my next appointment. I am excited too, but more cautiously so. However now it’s starting to feel more real, and more people know (just our close family members and close friends, but that’s more than who knew a month ago) and now that we’re progressing further I feel like I have to start thinking about the nursery and strollers and car seats and things of that nature. There are so many options, and so many sources of information and reviews and safety guidelines, it’s like information overload and then it’s hard for me to make decisions. I’ll figure it out but I might lose a few hairs first.

I hope my Canadian friends had a great Canada Day yesterday! And that my US friends have a great Independence Day on Monday. We are going to watch some fireworks on my mother and stepfather’s boat, and I’m very excited to hit the high seas to watch the fireworks instead of dealing with crowds.

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Early Anatomy Scan

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Thank you to everyone who commented and had such nice words of  encouragement on my last post! It really was so nice to read during what has been a nerve-wracking time.

We had our early anatomy scan this past Monday with MFM. I am happy to say that baby has two kidneys and plenty of amniotic fluid! Dr. T said she was very, very pleased and encouraged with everything she saw – the heart, the brain/skull, kidneys, fluid, cord- all  looked well.  We could see everything from his little fingers and toes to the four chambers of his heart. He was also not shy at all and we got very clear views of his boy parts, so it was a good thing we already knew and didn’t want to be surprised. There were no signs of spina bifida, but she said it was too soon to definitively rule that out since I was only 16 weeks and there were still some parts that just weren’t big enough to fully see and measure, although he is still measuring a week ahead. She also recommended I have the AFP screening done at my next visit with Dr. F.

My two biggest concerns, obviously after hearing about the kidneys and fluid, was the position of the placenta and how my cervix was holding. Dr. T agreed that those were valid concerns and had obviously already thought of that (that’s why she’s the expert!) She showed me on the scans that my cervix was long and measured at 3.98 and I have a posterior placenta that is nowhere near the cervix right now and does not appear to be attached too deep, etc. Because it is posterior I should be able to feel movement soon. We have a follow up scan in one and a half weeks and she will be checking the cervix again to make sure it is still long.

All in all it was a good news day. I hope it keeps coming!

I still vacillate on when and how to tell people. On one hand I just don’t want to have the conversation, even though at some point it can’t be avoided. On the other I want to be in control of the information. But I am definitely showing a little bump now, so if it isn’t obvious to some at this point it will be soon, so maybe I’ll just wait it out.

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