Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: Symptoms

What are your cravings? 
Being only in the first part of the second trimester and knowing this is bound to get worse as the pregnancy progresses, I can only give an "up to now" update.  So far, my main cravings have been peanuts/peanut butter, and sharp cheddar cheese.  Not together.  I have had other cravings too, including potatoes (done any possible way) ice cream, chocolate, Dorito's chips, pickles, and salad.  I have craved Chinese food on several occasions and pizza a few times too.  

Do you have morning sickness?
Not to the extreme that some women experience it.  I read that any kind of nausea is considered morning sickness, and if that is the case, I have had it.  It's pretty much gone now, but for most of the first trimester, I felt nauseated pretty much all the time.  And the heartburn when I did eat something was pretty bad.  I had to take medication for that and am still taking it.  Even drinking water would give me heartburn!  I haven't thrown up at all, though.  And for that, I am very grateful.

What other pregnancy symptoms do you have? 
I have experienced a few food aversions, mostly grilled chicken and cooked vegetables.  The exhaustion has been pretty bad.  Even before we found out I was pregnant, I was getting sleepy before 9 pm.  That trend has continued through today, except I can sometimes actually stay awake until 10!  It's very nice when I can do that.  I pay for it the next day, though.  Sooo sleepy...
I've had some emotional symptoms too.  I'm more irritable than usual, and less likely to tolerate stupid people.  That's always been a problem for me, but now it's magnified about 100 times!  I'm crying at odd things, too.  Sad news stories, TV shows, movies... they are all getting to me like never before.  And if I see a baby, I'm squealing like a little girl.  "sooooo cuuuuuute!"  Sometimes I don't recognize myself!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quad screen results

Today, while driving home for lunch from work, I got the call I had been waiting for - rather anxiously waiting, in fact.  The results of our quad screen were in, and the nurse said they were "totally normal."  That's such good news!  I can't say just how freaked out I had been about whether or not our baby was going to be healthy.  Now that I know he/she is (with a slight chance of the results being false) I can relax a little and enjoy the rest of the pregnancy!  Of course, we would love a baby no matter what the issues were, but it is nice to have some reassurance that everything is fine, according to the blood work.

So, that was our good news for the week!!

Dear Baby (16 Weeks)

Dear Baby,

We are 16 weeks into our journey, and now things have really gotten great!  I'm not feeling sick anymore, I'm not as sleepy all the time, and when I look down at my belly, there is more than fat there.  There's you!  Only a little, but I can certainly see a difference.  And really, the best thing in the world has happened over the last few days.  I can feel you moving around!  You are really active, I have to say!  It's just a little movement - not kicks or punches, but more of what they call "flutters."  These flutters come every so often and most of the time they catch me off-guard.  When they come, I have to stop what I'm doing and concentrate for a second on the fact that you are there and making your presence known at that moment.  It's pretty neat!  Your dad is a little jealous that he can't feel you yet, but I told him that will come soon.

We are making plans for your arrival: researching strollers, playpens, and high chairs, looking at patterns for cribs, deciding on a theme.  It has been exciting and fun so far, and I am sure it will only get more exciting and fun!  I've read that you can hear my voice by now, so I'm talking to you and singing to you throughout the day.  I hope this means you will recognize my voice when you are born!  I'm going to start reading to you too.  There is nothing more wonderful than diving into a good book and enjoying the story.  I hope you like to read the way your daddy and I do.

We love you already.

Can't wait to meet you in October!

Your Mommy

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bib for Pintsize!

My first completed bib for the baby!  Well, it still needs the velcro so it will close, but otherwise it is done!  The pattern actually calls for buttons, but I didn't really want to put buttons on something for a baby.  So here's the first bib for baby!  I finished it today and immediately started a new one.  My plan is to make a bunch of these, all different kinds and different colors.  I want our baby to have some things that are hand made by me, so this is the first thing!  Well, besides the blanket using the same yarn.  I finished that not too long ago.  I love how the variegated yarn made its own pattern.  Jon said it looked like a heartbeat.  That works for me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

First Second Trimester Dr Appointment

So it turns out I have only gained 5 pounds during this pregnancy so far.  I'm pretty impressed with that, actually!  With all the carbs I've been shoving down, I expected it to be more.  Yesterday's appointment was actually pretty funny.  The OB wanted to listen to the heartbeat with her doppler, and she had just as much trouble getting Pintsize to sit still as we do at home!  At one point, she asked us which one was the stubborn one in our relationship.  I retorted that baby would be getting that particular trait from both sides!  She did finally get him/her to be still long enough to record a heartbeat, which was in the high 150s and was very strong.  She said it sounded perfect.

After that, we talked about the quad screen, and since we opted out of the NT scan because my insurance wouldn't pay for it, we decided to go ahead with this screening test.  It will tell us what our odds are of certain birth defects.  We have already decided we just want to know so we can be prepared, not so that we can take any measures to terminate the pregnancy.  So I guess we will be getting those results at some point soon, and I'm hoping the odds are so low that there is no doubt that our baby is totally healthy.

Best news is that we scheduled our anatomy scan for May 14, the day after Mother's Day.  That's when we will hopefully find out if it's a boy or a girl.  We don't currently have a preference, as long as the baby is healthy.  I would love one of each, but if we are not able to do that, it won't be a disappointment.  So in less than a month, we will know what we are having.  My joke has been that I think it's a girl, but Jon still thinks it's an alien.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Playing "Find the Baby"

So we bought a fetal doppler so that we could hear the baby's heartbeat anytime we want.  It came in the mail right when we crossed into our 12th week and tried it immediately.  We did find what we thought was the heartbeat, but it turns out it was actually just me.  The next week, we absolutely found the heartbeat.  We knew because it was super-fast!

Now, we have pretty much gotten the hang of finding it, as long as Pintsize cooperates.  We look for the heartbeat one or two times a week now, and it has become a fun game for us.  I lie on the bed propped on some pillows, and Jon looks for the heartbeat.  He has been known to chase the baby all the way across my abdomen and back with the doppler wand.  It's a really nice bonding activity for us, and I think it helps him feel more involved.  I'm trying to be very aware of how men feel a little "left out" of the baby-growing process and am including him in as many of these kinds of experiences as possible.  I want him to bond with our baby too.

So anyway, he will sometimes find the heartbeat for something like 2 seconds and then Pintsize will run away and hide.  So he looks for it again!  Sometimes we spend 30 or so minutes chasing the baby around trying to get to the heartbeat.  I've made it into a game called "Find the Baby."  We've recorded it on my phone a couple of times.  It's so much easier to calculate the bpm when you do it from a recording rather than live.  So here's a video I made using recorded heartbeat of our baby last night!  I'm so excited when I hear this.  It makes everything so much more real!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Naming of Babies

The most difficult decision thus far.  I'm so glad we have a lot of time for this one.  I don't think I ever actually realized how difficult it is to name a baby.  We have discussed this at length, have created a google document to aid in our decision, and have liked and disliked each other's thoughts.  As with everything else, we have a list of important criteria.

Our criteria:
- Needs to be uncommon enough to be unique without being strange
- Needs to be easily spelled
- Needs to mean something good/important/interesting
- Needs to go well with our last name
- No initials that spell horrible words, or names with bad nickname potential
- Would be nice to use an Irish name, as that is a heritage that we share

Not a horrible list, right?  Not too impossible?  I guess it will be easier once we know the gender, but for now, we have a list for a boy and a list for a girl.  It is proving to be more difficult than we thought it would be at first.  It's not like we are fighting over the name, it's just that we want it to be perfect and that's difficult.

So far, we have agreed on middle names.  For a boy, we want to use James or Graham.  James is my mother's maiden name and Graham is a family name on Jon's side.  For a girl, we are looking at Anne, (my mom's middle name) Elisabeth, (my middle name) or Rose (my grandmother's middle name.)  I'm leaning more toward Rose at this moment to honor my grandmother, who passed away several years ago.

It seems like every name we come up with is either taken already by someone we are close to or someone we don't like, or is the name of a notorious celebrity.  For instance, we liked Bryant Graham for awhile, until I thought about Kobe Bryant and realized I didn't really want that connection to my child.  Jon still likes it for the Bear Bryant connection, but I'm just not sure.

I really like Westley Graham, but Jon is afraid the poor kid would be spelling his name his entire life (because of the "t" in the middle)  I thought it would be cool, and his nickname could be "West."  But I agree - it would be hard on him to have to spell his name all the time.

So we are still on the drawing board on this.  Of course, we will come up with something before Pintsize is born, otherwise, Pintsize is going on the birth certificate!  I can just see all the crap he/she would get for that!

Dear Readers - how did you name your children?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Terrible Dreams

I've been having awful dreams lately.  I've read that bad dreams can be a pregnancy symptom, so I guess that's one I'm having.

Two nights in a row over the weekend (Friday and Saturday) I dreamed that someone shot me in the stomach six times.  They had blonde hair, but I couldn't tell if they were male or female.  The most disturbing thing was, it was someone I didn't expect to do something like that.  It was someone I knew in the dream and it was a total surprise that they shot me (six times!) in the stomach.  But when I look back on it now I can't tell who they were, only that they were blonde.  But it was the same person both nights and it progressed the exact same way.  I was in a public place and they just showed up, walked right up to me, pointed their gun at my stomach (I was pregnant in the dream) and shot me.  I begged them to stop, but they shot me five more times.  As I fell to the ground, dying, I asked why, but the person just dropped the gun onto my body and walked away.  I woke up crying both times.  It was horrible.

And then last night, I dreamed a wasp nest (that was shaped more like a bee hive) fell onto my head.  It was stuck there and I couldn't get it off my head.  The entire time, the wasps were stinging me in the face, over and over.  Just the face, though... nowhere else.  When I finally got the hive off my head, a piece of it was stuck to the top of my head, along with a hundred or so wasps that refused to leave.  They were stinging me in the face and on the head.  I jumped into a body of water to drown them, and was finally able to pull the pieces of the hive off my head, but in the process, actually pulled parts of my scalp and skull off too.  Exposed brain = never a good thing.  And my face was so swollen you couldn't even tell who I was.  I woke up this morning with a pounding headache.

What does this mean?  I have no idea.  But they were both disturbing in very different ways.

I have been under some stress lately due to certain situations in life.  I wonder if that could be part of it?  Or maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones making my brain chemistry go all crazy.  I don't know.  Stress usually makes me have bad dreams, but they have never been this bad before.  I kind of long for my recurring dream of not being able to get into my school locker, though!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: Finding Out

When did you find out you were pregnant?
On January 25, 2012, I woke up and took a pregnancy test.  There was a line, but it was so faint I could barely see it.  I didn't tell Jon because I was afraid he would think I was an idiot.  I already had some signs of being pregnant - namely some pretty rough exhaustion and the sudden urge to throw up after grilling some chicken.  I decided I would wait a few more days to take another test, just to see if the line got darker.

Later that day, I told him about it because I couldn't stand it anymore.  He fished the test out of the trash and looked at it.  He saw the line too!  But I told him not to get too excited and that I would test again on Friday.  It was the longest three days of my life.  But Friday morning I tested again and the line was much darker.  It was confirmed.  There would be a baby in October!

How did you feel the moment you found out?
Honestly, I felt a little overwhelmed the moment I found out.  We were trying, but I think the enormity of it all actually hadn't hit me until I saw that little line form.  And really, the enormity is still hitting me on an almost daily basis as I think about the many ways our life is about to change.  And the amazing moments we have in store for us.  I sat in the bathroom and cried for about a minute.  Not sad tears, happy ones - the realization of a dream I've had for many years.  The fact that so many of my dreams are coming true in just one year: marrying the love of my life, buying our first house, and having our first child - well, it's just so much happiness to experience all at once!  And I couldn't be happier if I tried!

Who was the first person you told and their reactions?
The very first person I told was Jon.  I had the little plastic baby from a King Cake that we had at work that I swiped for this very reason.  I put the baby, the positive pregnancy test, and a little card in a box.  Here's what the contents looked like.

I didn't say anything when I handed him the box, except that I got him something special.  He opened the box and for a second didn't say anything.  But then, when the full meaning came over him, his whole face broke into the largest grin I've ever seen.  His eyes brightened and he just kept repeating over and over: "I'm going to be a daddy."  It was such an awesome moment.  He was sitting in a chair and I was standing up, and he hugged me, with his head near my stomach.  It was really sweet.  We told our parents a little bit later.  We bought them a pacifier and a pair of baby socks and wrapped them up in a box - one for my parents and one for his mom.  They all asked the same question when they opened their boxes: "Are you trying to tell me something?"  My mother started to cry.  My dad shook Jon's hand and said congratulations.  Then he hugged me and said it again.  Everyone else we have told has been super-excited too.  We are more than excited.  We are thrilled and can't wait to meet our baby in October!