Category Archive : pregnancy

A Baby Sprinkle & Maternity Photos

I have been a bad blogger lately. You would think with all my sitting around at night that I would have plenty of time for blogging, but sadly, that is not the case. So I guess I’m making up for some lost time!

My husband, an aspiring photographer, takes magnificent nature photos. He wants more practice on people photos so I allowed him to take some pictures of me as a maternity shoot. Bringing along the 5 year old posed a few logistical issues, but we ended up with some beautiful shots. I was hesitant to do a photo shoot of any kind in this body, but this is the last time in my lifetime I will ever be pregnant, so a little part of me wants to remember. These were taken at 29 weeks- I feel even a thousand times bigger than this now at 32 weeks! Here is a little sample:

Being that this is my 2nd baby, I was hesitant to allow anyone to throw me a shower. However, with my mom’s heavy persistence, the fact that we gave away the majority of Jack’s baby stuff after being told we’d never have another and that it is a girl- I gave in. I am so very glad I did! It was a wonderful day full of family friends and laughs. Everyone was so generous and I am beyond overwhelmed by all the love and support. I came home with a sea of pink stuff, so if this baby comes out with a penis, we are going to have a major problem!

Top L-R: My BFF, childhood neighbor(!), College roommate, sister, sister-in-law (brother’s wife), MIL & SIL (husband’s mom & sister), dear friend
PNP- biggest pain in the ass to put together EVER. But so cute, right?  We’re ready to bring you home Mackie! 

Motivation (Or Lack Thereof)

Despite my best intentions when I found out I was pregnant, I was not able to keep up with a workout routine and my diet crashed and burned in a fiery explosion of carbs.

There has been a lot of talk out there in the media about these women who continue to do crossfit and other crazy workout routines while pregnant and whether or not they should or shouldn’t be doing them. I don’t believe there was a single story that said they had no doctor approval and the truth is (and rule of thumb) is that if you were doing it before pregnancy, you should be able to continue with maybe some minor modifications. So, I say. GOOD FOR THEM. You go mamas! As always, talk to your doctor first.

Am I jealous as hell of these ladies? Yup. Not only am I AMA but I am also in a high risk pregnancy. Luckily I started out much healthier this time around (even somehow trudged through a 5K unknowingly when I was around 5 weeks along) so my blood pressure isn’t a concern at this point although carefully watched. The big concern was around the big fat endometrial cysts sitting on my one good ovary. The last thing we wanted, especially in the 1st trimester, was to disrupt them. So, limited physical activity was on the agenda for me. Being sick as hell through all of the 1st trimester and well into the 2nd, it pretty much equaled no activity for me. Could I have stuck to a better diet? I could have; however, I was in survival mode. I had to get through work. I had to get through being a mom. I had to live. That meant eating things that tasted good and soothed me. Things like… potato chips with french onion dip. Ugh. One of my local Twitter mama friends gave me props for continuing to work in my 3rd trimester. Trust me when I say, I would give my left arm to be able to work from home every day. Working in Downtown Minneapolis is taxing. The walk from my car to my desk isn’t exactly a short one and the commute… well… yeah. Horrific. However, I have always felt like I didn’t have much of a choice. This is my job. This is what I do. If I want to keep it, I have to learn to live with all of my pregnancy woes. Perhaps if my day job wasn’t so grueling to my body, I would have been more inclined to workout. I will say that I have better eating habits at work because my diet is limited pretty much to what I bring with me so I made it a habit to bring fruits and healthy snacks. I am happy that my work has been flexible with me working from home on the days of my doctor appointments (which now switch to every two weeks) and it is a nice break to sit and put my feet up in my recliner than trudge through the day in my uncomfortable office chair. I give my 110% at work during the day so I have pretty much fallen apart when I get home at night.

I have had a few good weeks of little to no nausea, but now that I am OFFICIALLY in my 3rd trimester (holy shit), it has started to creep back in. As if on cue, my pubic symphysis dysfunction also reared it’s ugly head. I was in so much pain on Friday that I was in tears. I couldn’t even take my pants off because that would require actually lifting a foot which basically sends shooting pains through my entire pubic and pelvic region. Awful Awful Awful. On Saturday, amidst my guilt of missing both soccer and bringing my kid to a friend’s birthday party, I was attempting to be productive and cleaning my bedroom. I was suddenly hit by a wave of dizziness, hot flash and nausea which sent me straight back to the couch. No lie, it was kind of scary.

So with 10 weeks left, I am giving in and giving up. I am no longer going to sweat over my diet (my limited stomach capacity seems to be helping in that area though). I am no longer going to worry about productivity (with the exception of my job which is still wicked busy given I only have about 10 weeks left). I refuse to feel badly about making my husband do things which are getting increasingly difficult for me to do no matter how much he grumbles. My motivation? I’m scaling a mountain growing a human and it’s hard on the body! That has to be my priority now.

28 Weeks (er… 31 weeks???)
I had my 28 week checkup yesterday and I am not surprised at all that:
a) My blood pressure is slowly rising (mostly stress related)
b) I am measuring at 31 weeks

My doctor of course said, “Just because your uterus is measuring larger doesn’t mean that you will go 3 weeks early.” To which I burst out laughing. I told her that it was like deja vu- she said the EXACT SAME THING when I was pregnant with Jack and wouldn’t you know it, HE CAME 3 WEEKS EARLY. *insert eye roll*. My next appointment will be a growth ultrasound so we can know exactly how big Mackenzie is and pinpoint more of an exact date.

I did get some good news in that my iron levels have increased and I am no longer considered anemic! YAY! So even though my diet isn’t the greatest, I did make some changes to increase iron and it worked. Phew!

I have noticed the puffy swelling in my hands and feet over the last few days and although my BP was slightly elevated (130/70), my doctor did not attribute the swelling to that. I now have to increase my 80oz of water a day to 100+oz a day. Can you say me and the bathroom are going to become intimate with each other?? I also have to keep my feet elevated whenever possible.

28 weeks also means that I need to start doing and logging daily kick counts. This freaks me out a little because Mackenzie’s activity is so sporadic. I can never pinpoint a time that I can just sit, be quiet and monitor her kicks as they can come at any time unannounced.

I am thankful that this pregnancy journey is on the final stretch. Obviously I’m uncomfortable, but more than anything, I am just so ready to meet this baby girl and make her a part of my life. Our whole family is ready! Jackson is by far the sweetest thing ever when it comes to his little sister, he talks about how he wants to share her with all of his friends and show her off to the family. His nightly ritual is hugging and kissing the dog, me and my belly. He even sang her a song through my “belly button microphone” the other night. The song was Cotton Eyed Joe… LOL.

28 Week Belly Pic:

Baby Mack:

I’m thinking she feels more like a pineapple right now… 

Puppy Love:

My doggie loves to nap on my belly!!! She’s been very protective of me lately. 

Pregnancy Has Made Me Scary

One of the things about pregnancy that continually takes me by surprise are my emotions.

Pregnancy has made me a total, scary lunatic. This is beyond feeling physically like I have a hangover every single day. I’m all over the place and my pregnant rages can strike at any moment.

Here are a couple of subjects and situations that have gotten my blood boiling:

The Kindergarten Birthday Date Cutoff BS 
One of the age old debates that I have been dealing with is my son’s September 11 birthday. If you have never had a child in September, then you’ll never have to understand what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the dumb date cutoff for Kindergarten being a “strict September 1.” So you are telling me that a child who was born maybe weeks prior to my son is more developmentally, socially and academically ready for Kindergarten? Why the “strict” cutoff date? He had to go through testing (seriously, the kid is reading and doing math at a 2nd grade level) and certainly has the ability to control himself in the classroom. Basically I think the date cutoff is the dumbest thing ever.

I’ve said a million times over that I love (LOVE) my son’s school. We have been there for 5 years since he was a wee 3 month old and even though we have never been named the family of the month (seriously… how does one achieve that level? I’m not sure), we truly believe in the curriculum. We have never felt like my son was “overexposed” to education at an early age. He’s always had fun at daycare without having education shoved down his throat. We chose to keep him in at this school for their private Kindergarten program. He adores his teacher and is rocking the program right now. We couldn’t be more proud of him! We don’t regret for a second the move to Kindergarten even though he is a whopping 11 days past the cutoff date. We intend at this point to continue moving him into 1st grade next year despite many parents who are having their children repeat Kindergarten who are in the same situation as Jack is with the age cutoff. Sure, he won’t be in the same class as many of the other kids he’s known for years, but if there is anything we know about our son, it is that he can hold his own.

Please stop this mad debate! You worry about your child. I’ll worry about mine. Ok? Thanks.

The Blood Pressure Raising Email
In the early evening on Sunday, I received an email from my son’s school’s owner (actually signed, “The Management Team”) that inspired an anxiety so deeply in me that I pretty much tossed and turned all night because of it.

It appeared to be a blanket email to all Kindergarten parents (however… it did look like it was sent specifically to me). It basically said that if your child is not part of the before and after school program that you are NOT to drop off before 9:00 am or keep your child there later than 3:30 pm.

It immediately triggered a fear deep in me… did we mistakenly register him wrong? What if he isn’t part of the before and after program? What if we try to get him in and there is no room for him? What will we do?? WHAT WHAT WHAT???!

I was ready for battle. We’ve had our child at this school for almost 5 years now with basically the same drop off and pick up time (that we have to enter electronically every time we drop him off and pick him up). Why would this have changed just because he started Kindergarten?

I put my husband on “Find out what the hell this is all about” duty. Turns out there were 2 other parents waiting in line with the same question for the school director. She basically said “You’re fine. You’re fine. And you’re fine. You shouldn’t have received this email.”


For the love of all things holy. I know these are new owners and I am trying desperately to cut them a break. If my husband hadn’t dealt with it, I would have gone all pregnant crazy woman on their asses. I hope there was a valuable lesson here? Don’t send out blanket emails unless it applies to EVERYONE.


So, Yes. I am Crazy. Be Careful
As my poor, darling, wonderful husband has learned, there is no way to know when my pregnant crazy will rear its ugly head. Some suggestions…

  • Do things for me without having to be told. Chances are if I have to tell you, it isn’t going to be pretty. 
  • When I say, “Ugh. I’ve gained so much weight thanks to all this constipation, gas and bloat.” You do NOT say under any circumstances “Yeah, I thought you looked a little puffy.” True STORY. Simply tell me I look glowing and beautiful. Period. 
  • If you cut me off when I’m driving? You will be honked at, screamed at, flipped off, cursed at… etc etc. If my darling newborn doesn’t come out saying the word “fuck” I will be shocked. 
  • If you park so close to me that I can’t get out of my car, you will get a nasty gram (one of the pleasures of working Downtown). 
  • If you criticize my daughter’s beautiful, chosen name Mackenzie I will likely disown you and rip you a new one.
  • Do not touch the belly unless I physically place your hand on it myself. 
  • If you witness me dropping something, please, PLEASE just help me pick it up instead of watching the hilarity that my attempting to bend over is. 
  • Just because I bitch about how much being pregnant sucks doesn’t mean I do not feel overwhelmingly blessed and grateful for the insane miracle growing inside me. If you insinuate otherwise, I will destroy you with my evil glare. 
  • I cannot walk fast. Skyway and escalator tailgaters beware (and I’m talking to the jerk who had to RUN down past me and was still waiting at the elevators when I walked up 30 seconds later). If you want to understand why I can’t speed up or run stairs, simply take a baseball bat with a blowtorch attached to it and hit yourself in the crotch over and over. You could also toss a bowling ball in your shirt and carry that around for awhile. That is what it feels like for me. As my husband learned, I got all PDA with him and took his arm in public *gasp* (he loathes PDA). I did this so he would walk WITH me and not 20 feet in front of me. Because, you know, walking 20 feet in front of your date and not together is super romantic anyway. 
I think it is important to note that while most of the above will trigger massive pregnancy rants and rage, I may also break down and cry because of any of them as well.

Your best bet is to just say “I’m sorry” and give me a hug. And probably a tissue. And slowly step away.

27 Weeks! 
So although I’m not “technically” in my 3rd trimester, given the very real possibility of an earlier birth, I feel like I am there already. I am BEYOND excited that I could be meeting my daughter in about 10 weeks!

I have acquired some new, fun symptoms this past week- leg cramps, braxton hicks and hot flashes. The leg cramps come without warning and I’m pretty sure the first time it happened and I screamed out in agony so loudly that I freaked out my husband. The hot flashes come without warning and a bottle of ice water is always on standby. Not that anyone in my house is complaining, but the AC is still going full blast despite the fallish-like weather. The braxton hicks of course freak me out a little. They are weird and uncomfortable. Not painful. I might have a couple a day, more if I don’t stay hydrated. I also think my skin sensitivities have multiplied- if any fake jewelry or metal touches my skin, I will most definitely break out. So much for the super sized fake wedding ring I bought myself. Is the green finger and bubbled up rash a giveaway that this thing is not real?

Thankfully, despite my growing belly, my weight seems to have steadied off (for now). I’m seriously trying not to worry about it anymore. My SPD (symphysis pubic disfunction- which means that the hormone relaxin which makes a preggo woman’s ligaments stretchy works a little bit too well causing imbalance and a shit ton of pain) seems to be okay for now; however, I’m sure the pain will start to increase in the weeks to come. I seem to feel better the more I move around, so I make a very valiant effort to get up and away from my desk at least once an hour (which usually isn’t hard given my bladder implications).

Jackson finally SAW the baby move for the first time- I don’t think Mackenzie cares too much for her big brother trying to snuggle with her mama. I seriously thought that foot was going to come out of my belly- biggest kick I have seen and felt yet. Jackson thought it was the most hilarious thing ever.

Being Wednesday and traditionally hump day, I am declaring it BUMP day for me! I have recruited my dear husband to take my professional maternity photos. I did not do this with Jackson and always kind of regretted it. As soon as I have them, I will post them! For now, it will have to be hideous bathroom selfies.

27 Week Belly Pic

Baby Mackenzie

Interesting that last week’s size comparison was a head of lettuce… which I feel is bigger than a rutabaga? Maybe I just don’t know my rutabagas very well?

He might be a big, tough 5 year old now, but he still loves to snuggle with his mama before bedtime every night. Best. Part. Of. My. Day.

Pregnancy: The Good Stuff

To combat the horrific amount of negative posts I have had about this pregnancy, I thought it might be time to do one that had some of the good stuff, in addition to some hints and tips for things to make preggo life better.

The Good Stuff:

Pregnancy Dreams
Another online preggo friend posted recently about the dreams she had been having. Since she is waiting to find out the gender until her baby’s birthday, her dreams have revolved around whether or not it is a boy or a girl. My dreams? Completely and utterly fucked up on so many levels. Here are my top 5 preggo dreams that I remember as if I had them yesterday:

  • I had a dream that my 5 year old was smoking. As we were walking along, his little hand holding my hand and the other puffing on a cig. He threw the cigarette in the grass and went to stomp it out but it started a huge grass fire.
  • I had a dream that my best friend had died and her ghost came back to talk to me. (Seriously. WTF?)
  • I had a dream that my sweet newborn baby girl was crawling and walking all within the first week of bringing her home and because she was so small I kept losing her.
  • I had a dream that I lost my 5 year old. We got separated at a school function (and he was weirdly going to a Kindergarten that was seemingly bigger than my high school) and I wasn’t able to find him. Que my terror. And waking up sweating. And checking to make sure he was tucked away safe and peaceful in his room.
  • This one is my favorite- I had a dream that Enrique Eglasias chose me to come up on stage to sing to me. He kissed me and then I got to go hang backstage. It was awesome. I’m pretty sure this dream would have put my sister-in-law into a jealous rage. LOL
  • Last night’s dream- Jackson, his best friend and I were trapped in a series of tornadoes. First, like the apparently super smart mom that I am, dragged them outside to lay on the grass. THEN we tried to drive away from it and at a stoplight, the tornado picked the car up and spun us around like we were on the Gravitron with me (unbuckled) turned around to hold the hands of these little boys and pray for their safety. Good god! Do I need to read up on weather safety? Did my dream brain EVER consider just GOING IN THE BASEMENT?? Now that I’m traumatized for another day… I digress. 

No Period
Not to get all TMI, but it is really fucking awesome not to get my period and be in agonizing pain every month.

Baby Kicks
I have said all along that I adore feeling her move. Her little kicks reminding me that she is there. Her big kicks making me flinch and bringing stares from my nearby co-workers. I love that when I am driving home at night with my radio cranked that I can feel her moving and grooving- I just know she is having a dance party.

Some ladies took pity on me when I saw the extensive line to the ladies room at the MN Viking’s game this past Sunday and let me cut in line. For as many who stare awkwardly at my belly, there are just as many who open doors, let me go first and give me extra food.

Some Tips and Hints:

Maternity Underwear
This seems to be a debate on many of my mama boards mostly being: what is the point? Can’t I just buy bigger underwear? Well, as I discovered, the amazing thing about maternity underwear is that is made to fit perfectly for big pregnant bellies and asses. It doesn’t slide halfway down my ass by the end of the day or ride up my butt (and if you are wearing thongs while you are pregnant? Well… I just flipped you off). My personal favorites are the Thyme Maternity undies- you can buy them in the maternity section at Babies R Us. They are amazing. They are lacy enough to be a little sexy, because hey, just because I’m hugely pregnant doesn’t mean I don’t want to be pretty and they are so, so soft. I love them. Best purchase ever.

Pregnancy Pillow
My sister asked me if my husband feels the baby kick when we snuggle at night. I chucked for a number of reasons. Firstly, he doesn’t come to bed with me at 9:30 (or even earlier these days with anemia kicking my ass). Secondly, he’s been replaced. By my Boppy full body pillow. I am able to wrap myself around this thing and it has produced some of the better sleep I’ve been able to get in weeks (which frankly isn’t saying much, but hey, I’ll take it).

Maternity Yoga Pants
I had some sweats from my “fat” days that I had been wearing throughout my pregnancy. I found that no matter how tight you try to tie those puppies below the belly, they still feel like they are perpetually falling down. In a recent excursion to Macy’s to escape from the office (and to buy a sweater because my office is liking living in the North Pole), I decided to try on some maternity yoga pants. Holy sweet Jesus! Amazing, most comfortable pants ever. I was tempted to change into them for the rest of the work day. Seriously, I will wear them so much over the next 3 months they will be falling apart by the time Mackenzie arrives!
Shop here for all cute and adorable things baby and maternity related. No, I’m not getting compensated in the least for saying this, but we got wall decals for like 60% off and the cutest little outfits for less than $10 each. Halo swaddle sleep sacks? Dirt cheap. I haven’t forgotten my little boy either- I got a $150 winter coat for the kiddo for $45. Sign up to receive your Zulily sale notifications NOW mamas!

Prenatal Gummies
I encountered very serious issues with swallowing and taking regular prenatal vitamins. They made me gag not to mention increased my nausea. I decided to give the gummies a try. Not only were they hella tasty but they got the job done… that was until anemia took over. Word to the wise… the prenatal gummies do not contain iron which means if you become iron deficient and therefore anemic like me, you have to go back to the regular ones anyway *sigh*. These are great if you are able to get away with it though!

Weekly Preggo Update
26 Weeks now! Wow. I’m just 2 weeks from my 3rd trimester!!! YIPPEE!!! At this point we still have a lot of nesting to do- things like cleaning out a cupboard for bottles and bibs for example. The only piece of “equipment” we feel we are missing at this point is a new pack ‘n play. We picked up a new video monitor and I LOVE IT. I can’t believe how much better these things have gotten in 4+ years! I will say that I find the microphone “Talk to Baby” feature is somewhat scary. I can see my husband using it to scare the shit out of me during late night feedings. In other news, I ate a strawberry walnut salad today without gagging on it for the first time in like 5 months. That’s progress, right? As you can see, I’m trying to keep this post as positive as possible this week without any mention of my horrific heartburn that has begun to plague my soul.

26 Week Belly Pic

I’m obsessed with this skirt. FYI- maternity compression tights are hilarious to try and put on! 

My kiddo took this pic of me and my pup (aka, stalker dog who won’t leave me alone. Ever.)

My gorgeous son. Just because. 

Baby Mackenzie!

This Time Is Different

I had an interesting conversation with my husband last week about all of our upcoming life changes, and he mentioned that he’s scared to death about this new baby. Not so much about how to be a parent, finances or anything like that, but more along the lines of our age and how to keep ourselves healthy for our children.

While 36 and 37 years old doesn’t really seem all that old, in parent years? We are pretty much ancient. In the obstetrics world, I am considered AMA: Advanced Maternal Age which we all seem to chuckle at every time I go in for an appointment. At 37 I am about a thousand times healthier than I was 5 years ago when I was pregnant with Jackson. Despite my morphed sense of reality (a.k.a, I feel as big as a house right now) comparing pictures from my first pregnancy to now helps a great deal. Even though I don’t feel like it, I am much smaller this pregnancy. With Jackson I threw up almost daily for 25 weeks, this time (and perhaps it is thanks to my good friend Zofran) it has been nausea. My tummy seems more rounded, high and pointy this time around and she is definitely positioned differently than I remember with Jack. Her kicks are low resulting in the most delightful jabs to my cervix and bladder. I also have zero issues sleeping. I had some major insomnia with Jack. Not the case this time. As a matter of fact, I could sleep anytime. Anywhere. I don’t think I even moved last night.

It is no secret that I haven’t enjoyed being pregnant. Frankly, I’m a disaster. I feel so limited in what I can do. Exhaustion following my 9 hour work days are taking their toll on my home life. All day, I have to find a way to “live with” my limitations (i.e. nausea, sheer exhaustion, discomforts). When I get home, I need a break. I need to let go and not have anyone expect anything of me. I want help without having to ask. I want to be babied and pampered.

Is this too much to ask? LOL

Besides the physical differences in my pregnancies, I have a completely different mindset this time around. With Jackson, I wanted to keep him in my belly as long as possible. Yes, there were a number of logistical reasons for this, but I was also kind of scared. I had zero idea what to do with a baby. I read every book, attended prenatal classes but was completely clueless the day I took him home. With all the lessons I learned the first time around, I feel so at ease with bringing my little princess into the world. I feel like I know what I need. I know what I’m doing. I remember feeling super overwhelmed when I started my baby registry for Jackson. Which bottles? Breastfeeding? Do I need that Pack N Play? What about a bottle warmer? This time around, piece of cake. I easily picked out everything I know I will want and need.

Probably the most important of differences, and one we didn’t have any control of with Jackson, is that we are in our home. We will not be in the process of moving and living out of boxes. We will have her nursery ready and her crib built. We will have a real home filled with love and memories to bring her into.

I’m not living in fantasyland. I know that a newborn is not all rosy and beautiful. I am aware that I will have sleepless nights and unnecessary trips to the ER. It will be a major adjustment going from one kid to two. Our very scheduled existence will be a disaster. Bickering will be at an all time high. PPD will likely rear its ugly face.

However, this time is different. I’m ready. I know what to expect. I’m not afraid.

With that said, we have had a very busy Labor Day weekend filled with plenty of labor and nesting. Baby Girl’s room was painted and new curtains hung. We made a couple of large purchases including her bedding set (the adorable Daniella by CoCaLo Collection) and the Graco Fast Action Fold Jogger Click Connect stroller and carseat (which by the way, Target is having a HUGE baby sale including 25% off strollers right now that I think ends on the 7th). We cleaned the house from top to bottom.

I also cheered one of my dearest friends on at the finish line for her first ever 10K which she rocked with a time of 1:07. I WILL be joining her for next year’s Women Rock 10K!

I am 23 weeks along this week! Just 3 1/2 months to go until my little princess arrives. Jackson says she is the best Christmas gift ever. Love him. Hey also likes to say, “Hey pregnant girl. I bet I can beat you up the stairs!” Yup. Pretty sure you can, buddy.

Is it December yet? I’m so excited!

The Pregnant Infertile

I have never kept it a secret- I am was an infertile. I struggled through 2.5 years to conceive my son. I was also told I would never be able to have another child after him. My infertile friends- I have been there. I know the sadness. I know the emptiness. I KNOW. Yes, I would get pissed when I would hear a pregnant woman complain about her pregnancy discomforts. I would get pissed when anyone had to leave early or take time off because of their kids. I was quite bitter for a long time. Then, something happened. My husband and I made the decision to just live, be satisfied and be grateful for our great life together. When we got pregnant with Jackson, sure, we were trying to conceive (ovulation kits, vitamins, calendars… yadda yadda yadda), but it was no longer the be all, end all. We were satisfied with our life no matter what.

Being that I have lived through the hurt and sadness of infertility and loss, I always swore that if I ever got pregnant I wouldn’t complain about it. If there is one thing I have learned out of my one and a half pregnancies, it is that I don’t do pregnancy well and damn right, I have complained. Probably even more so the second time around.

Being a pregnant whiner, I feel like a complete and utter failure to the infertile world.

Despite how I often dreamed of having the beautiful big belly and that I would feel like part of some exclusive club, it is not all butterflies and roses. I cannot for the life of me enjoy the following:

  • The constant worry that something could go wrong.
  • Obsessive TP checks in the 1st trimester.
  • Relentless morning sickness with no end in sight and not enough PTO or sick time to cover it 
  • Vomiting. Nuff said. 
  • Constant overwhelming exhaustion that easily rivals finals week during college.
  • Peeing every 20 minutes or when you least expect to like sneezing, coughing or shifting positions in your chair. Also the having to pee in the middle of the night thing. I really try to ignore it because I treasure my sleep, but it is painfully impossible. 
  • Excruciating pain in which I can only describe as what it feels like to have been hit by a baseball bat in the vagina. Over and over again. 
  • Weight gain. And a lot of it. Whether I like it or not.
  • Not being able to poop. Is this to prepare us for childbirth? 
  • The uncontrollable emotional roller coaster. No really. There’s no control. One moment I’m as happy as can be and the next I am sobbing uncontrollably. And I’m sorry to those affected on a daily basis. 
  • Uncontrollable burping and farting. Seriously. How gross am I?? I’m so gross. And now I’m crying about it. 
  • Heartburn. Jackson likes to make comments on my mommy candy (a.k.a. Tums) and that they smell good. (Really buddy? They don’t taste as good as they smell). 
  • It’s going to be 98 degrees today. And no I’m not talking about Nick Lachey. With a heat index of 105, my feet are going to turn into club feet with a Tempurpedic-type quality and may never go back until weeks after giving birth. P.S. Flip flops are not acceptable with my work dress code. 
In a conversation recently with another mom, she said that when she was pregnant, she never had any side effects whatsoever other than a belly which didn’t show up until she was close to 30 weeks. No morning sickness, no constipation, no…nothing. She said she even forgot she was pregnant sometimes. Holy fuck. My jealousy was palpable. I would give anything to be able to go about my normal, everyday life AND carry a baby at the same time. 
I guess my point is, I’m not going to apologize for how I feel. I feel shitty. Physically and mentally. I feel guilty about it. Guilty for not being a proper pregnant infertile. Guilty for not being a very good wife and mom while pregnant. Guilty for barely keeping up at an insanely demanding job. 
I won’t deny, I am lucky. Really lucky. While pregnancy might not exactly be a fantasy come true, there is a silver lining: 
  • A posterior placenta: What does this mean? The placenta is towards the back which means I get to feel movement ALL THE TIME. I know some women find the kicking to drive them nuts, but it is the one singular thing I adore about pregnancy. Girlfriend can kick me all day long and I will love every second of it. 
  • My pregnant belly. It is my badge of honor in a world darkened by infertility. It is the only time I am proud to look huge. 
  • I’m having a little girl. A GIRL! In a male dominated family, I feel ridiculously blessed to be having a daughter. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a boy and a girl. Yeah, yeah… the grass is not always greener on the other side and they could end up hating each other, but at least in my fantasy world, they are perfection no matter what. 
  • Feeling complete. It’s one thing to say, “I’m only having one kid,” and have that be your choice. It’s another to have someone tell you, “You will only be able to have one kid.” I felt guilty for feeling like Jackson wasn’t enough, God knows he is enough kid for about 10, but it just FELT like something was missing. Having this chance means our family is complete and whole. 
  • Jackson is super stoked to have a little sister and it warms my heart when he tells me he is excited to meet her. 
So even though I have complained endlessly about how miserable I feel, I have not forgotten the good things about it. I have also not forgotten what it felt like to be infertile. I have not forgotten the baby I lost back in 2006. 
It’s just… hard. I always want to be the best I can be for everyone- my husband, my son, my boss, my team. I physically cannot be my best right now. I struggle with losing the two years of running training I put in. I struggle with having to start over with my weight loss after this little girl shows up. I want to lie and say it is easy and the best time of my life. I want so badly to love pregnancy, but I just can’t.

The truth is, I just want her here. In my arms. Regardless of how miserable I am, all I want is for the next 127 (give or take a few) days to go quickly because I cannot wait to be her mama.

Here are some back-logged belly pics…

21 Weeks
22 weeks- side profile (Bad hair. Thanks weather)

22 weeks. Still rockin’ the heels. 

Just for fun… and because it makes me feel better about how I look now compared to 5 years ago (because I have been having some very major body image issues), here are some pics from when I was pregnant with Jackson:

In Bora Bora- 20 weeks pregnant 
Bora Bora- 20 weeks

My baby shower (and funny husband)- 33 weeks

Spoiler Alert! It’s A…


PROUD Big Brother Jack

The only time I will let anyone see her goodies. Ever. 

My princess

The long awaited day in my pregnancy finally arrived. The day we found out if Jackson will have a brother or a sister. The day where we either run to the store to pick up a bucket of pink paint or break out the crib bedding we used for Jack. The day that we can finally start giving this baby an identity rather than calling it “it”. While I lovingly referred to baby as Nugget in the beginning, the nickname didn’t stick and I long to be able to refer to it by the name we have chosen. We have chosen a name which will be revealed when she makes her glorious appearance into the world this December. I will tell you our number 2 & 3 girl names that got cut in the final hour: Kate (Katie) Marie and Alexandra Marie.

Thankfully, the VERY first question from our ultrasound tech was, “Do you want to know the gender?” We replied with a resounding “YES!!!” Without a bit of hesitation, she typed G-I-R-L on the screen and said, “It’s a girl!” Both my husband and I got pretty misty (okay, he may be have been misty, I was outright crying). All along, everyone kept asking me if I would “prefer” a boy or a girl and my answer was always, “Healthy. Doesn’t matter either way.” Deep down, I wanted a girl; however, I didn’t want to be disappointed either. Certain that it would be a boy in my very male genetically dominated family, I got myself pumped up for hearing the words, “It’s a boy!” We even picked out his name, Noah Andrew. I was so certain in fact that I stopped fantasizing about a girl altogether and starting getting really excited about it being a boy. So when I heard that word, GIRL, I was legitimately shocked. Of course in the best way possible. It’s a total dream come true. For my parents too- this is their first granddaughter. They have 4 grandsons.

I am thankfully halfway through my pregnancy and so anxious and excited for this little girl to be here and in our lives. I’m so ready for her. I have heard the rumors that baby #2 is a difficult transition. While I have no doubt going back to being up all night and changing diapers will be horrifically exhausting, I just feel more prepared to deal with it this time around. There are no surprises. There is nothing planned in December other than to simply have this baby (yes, I plan to do all of my Christmas shopping online this year not to mention buy a LOT of gift bags as opposed to wrapping all of those fucking presents). I felt like when I was pregnant with Jack that I had absolutely no idea what was really going to happen. No preconceived notion about what having a baby would actually be like. I was honestly clueless. I don’t expect to be the baby whisperer now that I have had some experience, but at the very least, I have some expectations going into it and some knowledge about what I need to do this time around.

Now that I know I am having a girl, soooooo many things in my pregnancy have become apparent. For example, the relentless morning sickness that I am pretty sure won’t go away until she makes her debut. The other part? Holy shit, the emotional roller coaster. It HAS to be the whole female growing in my body thing but I have been an absolute disaster this pregnancy. This week has been probably the worse week ever. My husband went on his annual fishing trip with the boys for the week. Now, normally, I wouldn’t have cared but let’s face it. I’m pregnant. Sick. Exhausted. My 5 year old is hella high maintenance. Please don’t judge me when I pull out the babysitter otherwise known as “Wii U”. Top it off with work stress. My company had a HUGE website launch, one that I will be pretty much owning from a content marketing perspective going forward, and it has been a complete and utter disaster. It failed on a disastrous level and any moment that I have not been catering to my son or sitting in traffic has been spent working. Even sleep has become secondary. It’s only Tuesday and I am just completely DONE with this week. I need a hug. Or perhaps a spa day.

Next year that trip WILL become a father-son fishing trip.

Here is me last week at 19 weeks. Wearing pink in honor of my baby girl of course.

From The Mouths of Babes

My (almost) 5 year old is one of the most hilarious people I have ever known. Some of the things that come out of his mouth… my gosh. I just have no idea where he gets this from! For example:

Getting up in the morning, we asked him to go potty and get dressed. He replied:
“Ugh! Why do you treat me like a child?”

Sometimes though, the things he says can be hurtful. He’s 5. I get that. He likely doesn’t mean it. Does he? This kid is so smart, I just have to wonder. Is he old enough to manipulate me?

Last week, we had a rough bedtime one night and he said to me in all seriousness (that a 5 year old can possess), “Mommy. I don’t like you. I like the rest of the family. I like my aunts and uncles. Grandmas, Grandpa and Papa. I like daddy. Not you.”

Ouch. I know it came from being mad at me about making him go to bed when he didn’t want to. He doesn’t like to hear the word “no”. I tried not to take it personally, but hey, I’m pregnant. Words hurt. Even from my 5 year old.

I know it won’t be the first time he says this. I will probably even hear worse things from him as he gets older. Sadly, he does often comment on my changing body. He’s made comments about my growing tummy, saying, “Mommy. Your tummy is getting so fat!” I’m not hurt, but it is a reminder of my need to keep things in check and as healthy as possible throughout the rest of my pregnancy. It is a reminder that I will have work to do after this new, precious baby comes to get back the “me” that I worked so hard for these last couple years.

This summer, I have become addicted to the show Extreme Weight Loss. Yeah, it makes me cry. Every week. While my weight has never been that extreme, I was in a place after having Jack that I never thought I would be in and even now that I am pregnant again, I don’t want to go back there. There was one woman in particular on the show that made a comment at the beginning of the show about being on “this awesome program where I can eat whatever I want”. She opened her pantry and it was entirely labeled in Weight Watchers points. She had been on the program for years. She was around 370 pounds. That is the danger of that program. I thought the same thing when I was on the program, but it is sooooo easy to cheat. There is no REAL accountability. Sure, you weigh in every week, but so what! After awhile, even that doesn’t feel like motivation.

YOU CAN’T EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT IF YOU ARE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!! If all you are eating is chocolate and donuts, is that going to be good for you??? REALLY? Is that real life? Is that the right thing to be telling a food addict? GAH. No. NO NO. Yes, Weight Watchers works for those who are innately self-motivated. Yes, it works when you are tracking EVERY little bite. It works even better when you make healthy, natural food choices over processed crap.

I will likely rejoin Medifast after my pregnancy journey. It worked AND, I indeed kept the weight off.

I am starting to feel better about my image in my pregnancy. At 18 weeks, I am obviously pregnant and not huge pregnant, but cute pregnant. I even got a belly compliment at work the other day saying my pregnant belly was perfect and adorable. I loved hearing that and NEEDED to hear it. I feel good about where I am at. I have gained 10 pounds so far in this pregnancy. I am aware I have about 20 weeks left and will likely gain a pound a week (which is average) which should put my total gain somewhere around 30 pounds. Average. I can accept that. Luckily, I haven’t had that overwhelming hunger and food pretty much still tastes like crap. I wish every day for things to get better with my nausea. It actually feels like it is getting worse? What the hell?

Baby’s movements get stronger and more regular every day and I LOVE it. I can hardly concentrate when I feel baby and pretty much stop everything just to feel it and treasure it. I can’t wait for my husband and Jack to feel the baby kicking too.

We are still on pins and needles for my anatomy scan. August 8th, this Thursday, is the big day we find out whether we are having a boy or a girl! My in-laws somehow think we know and are keeping the information from them. We passed on having the Harmony genetic test done after getting excellent results from the NT, so NO, we DO NOT KNOW THE GENDER yet. Cross my heart. You will all know when I know! We do have names. Those will be kept a secret until the day this precious one arrives.

Here’s to pretty much being halfway done (because we know babies from my tummy like to make early appearances).

I need to stop wearing black on my belly photo days! LOL

And yes. I am a week behind. I’m 19 weeks today. Oh boy. I need a vacation.

Family Summer Getaway

Many moons ago, my best friend and I had booked and planned a summer girl’s getaway. The plan was to stay at a rustic, off the beaten path cabin resort in Wisconsin Dells where we would drink, lay on the beach by the river, swim and party at the clubs all night. Fast forward a couple months to my shocking BFP and well… that plan is pretty much off the table. Knowing that 90% of the above would not be happening on this trip, I gave my bestie an out. I told her I would go on vacation with her but it would be mostly laying around with the potential of a lazy tubing trip down the river and a bedtime of around 9pm every night. To say she wasn’t enthused was an understatement. So, we vowed we would make this trip happen someday and I invited my husband and son to join me on this vacation instead.

At 16 weeks pregnant, I had hoped I would be feeling better, but alas, the exhaustion and nausea that has plagued me since about week 4 was ever present. We started our trip with the firm understanding that there wasn’t much I was going to be able to do much and my husband would have to take the bulk of chasing our sub-5 year old through the waterparks.

We stayed at the River’s Edge resort and it was perfection. Unless we visit in the middle of winter, we will be coming back to this place for many years to come. I was a bit nervous when we pulled up as there was a group of young 20-something girls in bikinis outside the main office smoking and drinking. I thought, oh god. What am I exposing my young boy to?? We made our way to our room which was somewhat like a studio apartment with a kitchenette, dining room table, two full-size beds (yikes… for those marrieds who are used to a king, a full-size bed may as well be a twin), couch, full bath and cable TV. What more do you need, right? The only negative about this place were the beds. They were pretty hideous. Both the hubs and I woke up with stiff backs every morning and despite our efforts to stuff the edge of the bed with pillows our wild child sleeper did fall out of bed and bonk his head on the end table one night.

On our first night, we decided to take the kiddo down to the river for a swim. I was happy to see TONS of families with small children so I know we didn’t end up at some crazy frat party resort. Jack had a blast swimming and jumping in the river- we had a hard time dragging him out!

The next two days to follow were full days at the waterparks. Day 1 was Noah’s Ark (and my personal favorite) and day 2 was at the Kalahari Resort. I spent most of my time hanging out in the lazy river and also doing a little child chasing as the kiddo hit the kids areas of these parks (which are actually quite expansive). I had a hard time keeping up with him. The boys had an absolute blast which was fun to watch. I HIGHLY recommend renting a cabana. It was so nice to have a place to rest out of the sun, a secure place to lock up our items and someone waiting on you. We didn’t have one at the Kalahari as the prices were outrageous, but I secretly wished we did.

Kalahari slide- this was Jack’s favorite of the weekend. 

Where I was when I was not on the lazy river. 

Chillaxin in the cabana

Lazy river! 

My boys. 

It turned out to be one of the best family vacations we have ever been on. It may have even trumped Disney *gasp* at least according to Jack. He said to me last night, “Mommy, I like Wisconsin Dells better than Disney.” Perhaps it was all the waiting in lines? Not enough time spent swimming? He was too young to truly enjoy the magic of Disney? Hopefully, he will change his mind as we are planning to go back in a few years. Needless to say, this vacation was a little bittersweet as it may just be the last time we have a vacation with just the 3 of us.

I ended the weekend on a fabulous note by seeing the NKOTB concert with my sister and sister-in-law! As always, it was a trip back to the past with Boys 2 Men singing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” (which I believe was sung at my high school graduation), watching hottie Nick Lachey strut around (although I found their set to be a bit boring) and of course NKOTB bringing me back to age 13. SO much fun!

My sisters

Having a beer on my behalf 🙂 

NKOTB! I couldn’t get a good picture for the life of me. 

On another note, the pregnancy is going well. Despite my illness, at my checkup this week my blood pressure is good, urine is clean (aka, not spilling any protein or sugar), I have only gained 10 lbs so far (no thanks to my neverending nausea and lack of desire to eat anything whatsoever) and baby’s heart is thumping away in the 150’s.

16 weeks from the front

16 week belly from the side

Baby is the size of an avocado this week and I’m starting to really feel kicks and movement! I don’t mind feeling sick every day just to have this experience. It’s wonderful!

P.S. I’m actually 17 weeks as of yesterday… just a little behind on my blogging. Just 2 weeks until we find out- pink or blue!

It’s Just Hormones. Right?

This pregnancy has seriously made me feel bi-polar. I have really high highs and really low lows. It seems just about anything will make me cry- even the happy stuff. I feel… a little cray cray. Don’t get me wrong here- I am beyond elated about this baby. However, regardless of how fantastic and wonderful it all is, it is still a massive life shift. I went from very honestly being at peace with our little family. Planning vacations. Planning to run a half marathon. It took a lot out of me to put the breaks on everything we were planning. I feel kind of bad saying that, but it’s the truth.

I also feel out of the loop. I know my friends understand. I haven’t been well for my entire first trimester. I haven’t made that a secret. I just feel sad… sad that I have to turn things down. Sad that I don’t have the energy or the will to spend time with them. On the same token, many of them haven’t made the effort to come to me either. It sort of made me realize what a giver I have been all along and how little I ask for in return.

It just seems as though my emotions are magnified by 110%. The things I miss… I often miss them to the point of heartache. These things range from old friends to running to even having a beer on a hot summer night. They are all kind of silly things to miss, I know this.

I am amazed at how quickly I can fly off the handle. My husband finds this hilarious. Probably my best rage to date was sitting down for a family lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings to not ever be waited on. 15 minutes. No server. No nothing. Nobody even looked our way. Telling someone was not an option. We were all miserable being in this busy place. As we were leaving, the hostess cheerily said, “Thanks so much for coming, have a great day!” To which I replied in anger, “It would have been a great day had someone actually waited on us.” We proceeded to Applebees where we were happily greeted, seated and served within less than 5 minutes. Fail BWW. Fail. And we loved you so much.

I have had a number of discussions with my husband about trying to deflect PPD this time around. I have to chuckle, because he talks as though it is mind over matter. It is so much more than that and virtually uncontrollable. Just like my pregnancy emotions. The hormonal response to pregnancy, birth and everything thereafter is crazy and believe me, I wish I had more control over it.

All I can do is apologize in advance and just remind everyone that comes in my path: I mean no harm.

At 15 weeks I have still had some bouts with some debilitating nausea. However, I have noticed that it seems to be driven by either heartburn or acid reflux (or both?). The good news, is that by controlling the heartburn, I can control the nausea. Food still tastes gross or at least, not exactly right. This is all food. How I have managed to gain 9 pounds to this point is kind of a mystery as my consumption has been WAY down in the last couple weeks. I have worked really hard to change some of my 1st trimester habits (even though I still don’t feel good) and take healthier snacks with me to work such as fruit, cheese and granola bars as opposed to a bag of chips. With 25 weeks to go, I am technically only allowed to gain 15 more pounds, so I need to watch it. I am also working on making nightly walks a priority. They don’t need to be far or fast, they just need to happen. I’m starting to feel the strains RLP (round ligament pain) as my uterus starts to grow and make room for baby and I’m not going to lie, it hurts. I have a feeling sciatic pain is coming too as my butt and legs are hurting after camping out at my desk all day- it is getting more and more important to move around.

Most importantly, I am excited. I look pregnant (currently in a cute little belly way). I was told by my intern that I looked glowing and beautiful (brownie points???). I always wondered if I had the “glow” and often wondered what the hell that actually means, but I’ve been complimented a lot lately so maybe there is something to it? Even my sweet Jackson told me the other day when I got home, “You look pretty, Mommy.” Aww! I bought baby’s first “item”- a newborn cradle/rocker that will be in our bedroom for the first month (or more..). An issue that we had with Jackson as a newborn is that he hated, and I mean HATED lying on his back. We swaddled him like a little burrito, played cricket sounds, lullabyes… you name it and nothing worked until we let him sleep in his carseat one night. He slept through the night. For like 8 hours. Bliss. I am happy they actually make safer items to reflect that some babies just sleep better with a little elevation- this sleeper is perfect and got awesome reviews. I’m so excited. We are a little less than a month away from finding out if our baby will be wearing blue or pink! I can honestly, HONESTLY say… I will be thrilled no matter what. I love my little boy and having another to love on me? How could I ever be disappointed with that. Probably the biggest milestone yet is the beginning of the flutters!!! By far feeling the baby kick and squirm around is THE BEST part of pregnancy. Therefore we have re-nicknamed our nugget to squirmy.

We are also excited to move Jack to his “big boy room”. Even though it is a little smaller than his original nursery, it will be his. He will get to pick out new paint for the walls, we got him a cool new ceiling fan and he is getting a new twin bed. The room is right across from “his” bathroom (hopefully that means no more bugging us in the middle of the night to use our master bath) and it will be far enough down the hall that he won’t be disturbed by a crying baby (we hope).

So despite all of these crazy hormone swings, I am in a good place.

Here is my 15 week belly:

And here is how big little squirmy is:
My little naval orange!