Category Archive : pregnancy

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Pregnant Girl

I made it! We are officially in the 2nd trimester!

If there is one thing this pregnancy has done, it has done a number on my emotions and self-esteem. As much as I want to eat healthy and make amazing choices for my baby, I also have this driving desire just to get through the dang day. Sometimes that means potato chips. And popcorn. And despite my stomach’s revulsion to it, frozen yogurt. I’m going to gain weight. I don’t want to, but it is inevitable. I am constantly reminding myself that I weigh 40 pounds less than I did when I was pregnant with my Jackson. It is a constant battle in my brain every day that all of this is OKAY.

I signed up for the Healthy Living, Healthy Pregnancy program through my insurance and employer. On the upside, I get tons of free shit like the Mayo Healthy Pregnancy book and a $50 Visa Gift Card after I give birth. I have a dedicated nurse that will call me every 6-8 weeks and I can call her anytime as well. Sounds great, right? Well, I got a little pissed off at nursey in my initial consultation. Here’s the deal. I have an amazing OB. Yes, technically I am still considered overweight despite my massive weight loss efforts over the last 2.5 years; however, she knows in hindsight that I was 40 POUNDS HEAVIER when I was pregnant with Jackson. She told me where she would like me to keep my weight gain and that was that. There hasn’t been another discussion about it. So when I told nursey my current weight, I got nothing but lecture about my risk for gestational diabetes (which even when I was a fatty in my first pregnancy, I didn’t have) and high birth weight for my baby. I of course got defensive. The very last thing I need right now is this self-righteous, script reading nurse judging me. And don’t get me started on her breastfeeding lectures… I was at 12 WEEKS during this conversation. Really?? REALLY?? The jury is still out on whether I will try breastfeeding again, give the baby some via pump or just save myself from my PPD risk and bottle feed. Anyone who tries to question me or lecture me on this subject WILL feel my wrath. It is my choice. Period. End of story. I will not be bullied into breastfeeding if it isn’t right for me. Anyway…  I digress… Basically, I will entertain nursey every 6-8 weeks. I just want the free goods. Pretty sure because I am in a high risk pregnancy that I’m more than being taken care of. Geesh. Back off lady. I’ve done this before.

This nurse just made me so mad. My whole life I have made excuses and defended my weight.

“I’m big boned” (that’s a favorite)
“It’s just the way I’m built”
“I like sweets and just want to live and be happy”

I’m so grateful that Medifast never shoved BMI down my throat. Their goal weights are based on so much more than that and when I hit the normal range on my biometrics (which was still considered an overweight BMI) they said, STOP. You are at goal. This is your normal and you look amazing. I am athletic. Muscular. So the excuse, “It’s just the way I am built” isn’t a lie or an excuse. It is my truth. I have accepted it. But, it still sucks to have to defend this to someone who knows nothing about me or the journey I went though to lose so much weight.

Beyond my issues with my weight and gaining weight, I am feeling okay. I still have bad days where the nausea is beyond overwhelming and nothing I do seems to be able to fight it. I definitely do not take my good days for granted! True excitement is settling in as we start making our lists for the things we need. Even Jackson is getting into it. He even picked a name if it is a girl. Ummm… Not sure what to do about that one??

Here is 14 weeks and I’m feeling pretty cute!

2nd Trimester is Just Around The Corner

I am 13 weeks pregnant today. It feels like it has taken an eternity to get through this 1st trimester. The 1st trimester for me has been a total mixed bag. Besides the 24/7 nausea that has plagued me, I have teetered between super overwhelmingly excited to complete shock and confusion. Tack on the constant worry? Oh yes. Past miscarriage plus a combined nearly 7 years of infertility = constant concern over every little twinge. Am I ready to be done with week 13? Hell yes. Unfortunately, as I learned the first time around, the 2nd trimester isn’t magic. I may still be feeling sick for weeks to come. However, I have hope. I have made it so far.

I went in for my 1st trimester screening and genetic counseling. Part of that screening is an NT scan. What is the NT scan you ask? It is a screening via ultrasound where they determine your baby’s risk for Down Syndrome, other chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart problems. Yikes, right? Many women do not even bother with this screening as they say knowing of these conditions would not affect the outcome (i.e. going to full term and keeping the baby vs. termination). While I agree to an extent in terms of knowing we will keep the baby no matter what, I also feel like it is important for us to be educated as well. I would want to be fully prepared to parent a child with special needs. Also with these results, we could know ahead of time whether or not we’ll need PICU care or even surgery for our baby at birth. My husband and I are planners, so it is important for us to have all the facts about our baby as early as possible. Should our NT scan come out with unfavorable results, we will likely do further testing to know exactly what is happening. There is amazingly cool technology available today where they can take a blood draw from the mother and be able to separate the fetal blood from the mother’s blood thus being able to test the baby’s blood for these abnormalities. They can also determine the baby’s gender from this blood draw! I find this absolutely intriguing and amazing. While it would be awesome to know definitively early on what the gender is, our want and our hope is that the NT will show us at a very low risk and we can simply move on with a happy, healthy pregnancy. In my head, I look at this as just another excuse to see my little nugget. We will have our results later this week.

Without further ado… Meet my miraculous little nugget. No guesses on gender. Baby wasn’t willing to show even a little bit of its goods. We will find out that fabulous nugget of information on August 8.

On a more positive note, I have been feeling better. My good days have started to outnumber the bad ones. I am working on my self-image. Gaining weight and just “looking” bigger has kind of done a number on me so I am embracing my growing belly and no longer hiding it. I desperately need more maternity clothes but despise the thought of spending a lot of money on them. Even Target seems expensive. The one thing that has really changed in this week number 12 is my hunger. OH my god. I am like a bottomless pit! Now that I have been feeling better I am REALLY trying hard to focus on making smart choices. I kid you not- I am hungry within 30 minutes of eating and if I don’t eat? My stomach rumbles and the nausea makes a return. Overall, I am ridiculously excited. We announced on Facebook (which is a big deal because that’s a lot of people to tell). I feel FREE to be able to talk abou this now! My husband is over the moon. Even Jackson is excited and tries to “listen” to the baby in my tummy (which then he hears my tummy rumble and assumes the baby is making weird noises. Best mommy trick ever). He did say that he doesn’t want to see the baby come out of my tummy. Thank god for that.

I’m a little behind on my belly pics, but here is week 11.

Yes… I was in a dressing room shopping for maternity clothes. Bought those pants. 

And… yes, I missed week 12, but here is week 13.

Kind of hard to see.. but yeah, the belly is definitely expanding! 

Now, I can’t be forgetting about baby!! He or she is the size of a peach this week! So tiny! (So why am I so big??? LOL)

Oh The Guilt!

The one thing I have encountered with this pregnancy that I don’t ever remember having with number 1 is the overwhelming guilt I feel all the time.

Infertile Guilt
First and foremost, I have infertile guilt. That is, the guilt that comes with getting pregnant against all odds when so many others cannot. Those friends of mine both IRL and online who have struggled who have to endure yet another success story… I feel an overwhelming amount of guilt over my miraculous, “how the hell did this happen” pregnancy. I didn’t try. I didn’t go through months or even years of grueling infertility treatment. I have no magic potion for how I got pregnant (other than the good old fashioned unprotected sex method). No matter how much I am celebrating, I still cannot help but just feel… sad. As for me, over the last four years, I was undeniably jealous of anyone who was pregnant no matter how easy or difficult. However, I never showed it on the outside. There was another part of me who was thrilled whenever I hear of another infertile getting pregnant or even those who have successfully adopted- they always gave me so much hope. There is no easy way to ever announce to these people that you were able to get pregnant against all reason, medicine, science. I know for me, I hated it when anyone walked on eggshells around me. I’m not made of glass nor have I ever been bitter. When one of my best friends, also infertile like me, got pregnant (against all odds, reason, science) I was beyond thrilled for her. For real. All I can do is throw it out there. No sugarcoating. No walking on eggshells. I can only hope that my infertile friends will not hate me for my luck. The guilt is kind of endless in this area.

Work Guilt
No doubt being sick 24/7 has taken a toll on my work. As I sit like a zombie most days just trying not to barf all over my desk, I know that my productivity and motivation has crumbled. My incredible boss has been most understanding (she has 3 young children of her own), but that doesn’t make me feel any less guilty for not being able to pull my own weight. I absolutely love my job and want to do well here so I am frustrated with myself that I have been less than stellar with my performance. I am praying to be able to turn this around soon.

Family Guilt 
More than all the other guilt is my family guilt. By the time I get home from work at the end of the day, all I can think about is plopping my ass down on my couch with a big blanket and zoning out. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to play. I don’t want to clean. Seriously- God Bless my amazing husband for putting up with me. He has taken over so much of the household chores to allow me to be a pregnant zombie. He has been taking the kiddo to swimming and soccer (swimming more importantly because the heat and smell of the swim school does NOT sit well with me). He has been entertaining Jackson more often than not. But, I feel guilty. I should be doing these things. I don’t want them to think I’m using the pregnancy as an excuse to checkout. However, my misery is real and I apologize endlessly for my lack of attentiveness.

On a Positive Note
At 10.5 weeks I do feel like the morning sickness is turning a corner which is wonderful considering I was sick until at least 25 weeks with Jack. I now have good days and bad days. I recognize what my nausea triggers are and try to avoid them like the plague. I take full advantage when I am feeling good; however, that often means that I overdo it a bit too (like walking the 5K Electric Run last Friday followed by soccer and a school function the very next morning. Am I nuts?). I do feel like I am coming out of the fog and it is nice to be able to regain a little focus on the things that matter most like family and work.

Photo from the Electric Run in St. Paul- this was my last paid for running event of 2013. Big, HUGE thanks to my girls for walking it with me. Love you!

I did have an OB checkup yesterday and it was fantastic! I was insanely nervous heading in there. Not knowing if they would be able to find the heartbeat. Being rushed to ultrasound. I didn’t want to go through it. I didn’t even want to think it. To my delight, my NP found the heartbeat within seconds and I swear, it was the sweetest sound a mama-to-be can ever hear. I just closed my eyes and relished in the moment. Nugget was moving around playing a little hide and seek with the doppler, but we got a good catch and listened for up to about a minute. Heart rate was at 160 and everything is going perfectly. I’m pretty happy (and a little surprised) that I have not gained any weight so far given my horrific diet of pretzels and potato chips.

So despite my sickness woes and overwhelming guilt, I feel ridiculously blessed and beyond excited about our growing family!

10 Week Belly Pic (still mostly bloat… but definitely at the point of not being able to hide it anymore):

A Touchy Subject: Let’s Agree To Disagree

So, reports are brewing that Gisele is pregnant again. I made a comment of my distaste for her on Twitter and got a reply by someone who didn’t like my remark, saying that she thinks Gisele is a great mom.

I feel the urge to clarify. 

I never said she isn’t a good mom. Like every other mom in the world, she does what she needs to do. What is right for her. What makes sense for the world she lives in. It’s her condescending comments that I don’t care for. These ones: She didn’t “treat her body like a garbage can” in pregnancy, we all know she thinks everything other than breastfeeding should be illegal and she had her baby potty trained at 6 months. Well, we should all be so lucky to be such fucking perfect mothers.

I appreciate parenting advice. I do. When I was pregnant, I sought it out. I was clueless and needed to know anything and everything. I had no idea who was right or wrong, which opinion I should listen to. Then I became a Mom and it mattered. Is it advice or is it just someone on their high horse?

Advice is one thing, but  I still don’t appreciate feeling judged. Inadequate. A failure. That is how Gisele’s comments made me feel (and really… the entire modeling industry as a whole makes normal everyday women feel like total shit). As the victim of shitty overweight genetics, I was already predisposed to becoming a total fat ass after having a baby. Ask any woman in my family. Seriously. I didn’t treat my body like a garbage can (as a matter of fact, I was sick as hell for 25 weeks) but I still gained 35 pounds. As far as her not needing any pain medication during labor? Again, good for her. There wasn’t a moment after my epidural that I wasn’t thanking my lucky stars for it. But, I guess to some (like Gisele) that makes me weak. Oh, and let’s see… I’m a full-time working mom which meant my boobs (or bottle in my pathetic case) weren’t available to my son 24/7 so I couldn’t hold him over the toilet after all of his feedings to ensure he was potty trained before he turns 1. I have already beaten the breastfeeding subject to a pulp so I’m not even going to go there other than to say my inability to do so was one of the greatest causes of my PPD. I already feel guilty enough so PLEASE stop making it worse.

GOOD FOR GISELE for having the time, money and availability to do all she has done for her child. I just don’t want to hear it anymore. Does her having another baby subject us to more of her painful, self-righteous opinions?

After nearly 4 years, I am FINALLY at a place where I KNOW that I am a GREAT mom. My son is smart, growing, thriving and he LOVES me. He really does. I don’t need to justify any of the decisions I made in his earliest days because he is doing amazing. I don’t know how it took so long, 36 years to be exact, to be able to brush aside small-minded opinions and learn to just love myself. Flaws and all. I’ll never be perfect and thank god, because that is a lot to live up to. 

For the record, let this be the last time I have to justify my disdain for Gisele and her comments. You do it your way and I’ll do it mine. We’ll agree to disagree. But we’ll ALL agree that what we’re really trying to be at the end of the day is a good mom and there is no right answer for how to do that. It is what is in your heart.

To Conceive Or Not to Conceive

We always thought we wanted 2 kids. The perfect little family.

The longer it takes to conceive #2 the more and more we are talking ourselves out of it.

Our friend’s beautiful baby boy.

We got the chance to visit our friends over the weekend and meet their adopted newborn baby. He is so adorable with big huge eyes and sweet heart-shaped nostrils. I got that familiar rush of baby fever. I loved listening to all of their stories and hearing all about their process. Most importantly, I loved the look on their faces: that sheer utter new parent bliss. In my head I was thinking… wow. I wonder what it would be like to have a newborn without the postpartum stuff. She can sit. Anywhere. She can bend over to pick baby up out of the crib without that shooting pain from the epidural spot. She’s not crying every two minutes over absolutely nothing. Sounds amazing. Can I do it that way next time? She even confessed that things were going great and that the transition was relatively easy- and it was likely because she’s not having to physically recover from childbirth. They are going to be such wonderful parents and I am so over the moon for them!

I was around 8 months preggo here.

I have this love/hate feeling over the whole pregnancy/childbirth experience. I loved when I was midway through my pregnancy and I had the perfect bump. Just big enough to say “Yes, I’m pregnant, stop staring at me,” and small enough not to feel as though I could topple over at any moment. I loved the feeling of the human person growing inside of me and feeling so incredibly protective over him. I loved that only my husband and I knew his name and talked to him as though he had already arrived. I LOVED feeling his kicks. I didn’t love the morning sickness (evening for me actually) which plagued me for 25, YES 25 @$##@$ weeks. I didn’t love that my weight creeped up 30lbs despite the fact that I was puking my brains out every night. I didn’t love the weird taste in my mouth that made everything taste funny. I didn’t love heartburn and reflux. I didn’t love the fact that my blood pressure was creeping up dangerously high and I was at risk for pre-eclampsia by week 30 and had to go in for checkups every week and in the last 3 weeks, I was going to the doctor twice a week (thank god for a great boss who took pity on me who was more concerned about my health and the health of the baby than what hours I was punching on the clock). I didn’t care for the fact that I could barely walk.

Funny thing is. I didn’t mind childbirth. Once I got the epidural, I was in wonderland. Meeting my son for the first time was the most amazing experience of my life. I didn’t care for the 6 weeks of postpartum recovery. As a matter of fact… that was worse than everything else. I do feel a little bad for even remotely complaining about any of this stuff seeing as I had to deal with several years of infertility as did many close friends of mine. Regardless, having a baby isn’t a cake walk and trying to convince yourself otherwise doesn’t make it all better.

Would I do it all again? Yup. In a heartbeat.

My Big Boy.

So why the indecision? The older and more independent Jack gets, the less we want to have a small baby in the house again. Part of me feels like it would be easier the 2nd time around- since I already had the experience, it wouldn’t be as challenging (ha!). The other part of me feels like we keep saying “When Jack gets older we will…” He’s getting older and we are now able to do a lot of the things we have longed to do with our child. I feel like he should have a sibling, yet I think he would do just fine as an only child. Childcare is expensive, we worry how we would pay for two kids in daycare. We worry how we would pay for two college educations. Yet… there is that little voice in the back of my mind that says to keep trying.

I’m not getting any younger. I turn 35 in a few months which is supposedly like the dreaded “deadline” age for childbearing (which is funny because I take 10 times better care of myself than I did 10 years ago…). For now, we are compromising. 2012 is our deadline. If we are not pregnant by then, we will be done and more than content with moving forward with just our beautiful boy.

How did you make the decision to have or not to have more children?

Fertility Testing Sucks

Since it has officially been a year since Mr. Joe and I started trying to have a baby (not counting the 3/28 miscarriage) we made the decision to have some fertility testing done. “Joe” did an SA (*whispers* semen analysis)- we’re still waiting on his results. As for me… let’s just say a woman’s testing is far more invasive than a man’s is BY FAR. My results so far have all been positive- I’m relieved that I have a normal functioning thyroid, and after undergoing an HSG (hystersolpingogram… i.e. an x-ray), I have no tube blockage and everything looks normal and good. Now, why do I complain? As I write I am doubled over in pain from this HSG. It was, in a word, horrible. Dye is injected through the cervix in order view and take pictures of the uterus and tubes and make sure that the dye runs through showing no blockage. I’ve posted photo (not me) to show what this x-ray looks like- this is very similar to what I saw today!
This procedure sucked rocks though. The dye they insert is incredibly painful. Was it worth it? Absolutely. To know that I have a healthy uterus and tubes and to know that there isn’t anything causing a fertility problem is worth the agony. The other incredibly horrible part of this process is the drugs. They currently have me on Clomid to see how I react to the drug and if it works to induce and strengthen my ovulation. The drug SUCKS. I spent the better part of the past 2 days incredibly nauseous (even vomited once), sore boobs, and the worst part of the side effects, the depression. I’ve been incredibly down and emotional since I’ve started taking it. So, basically, I’ve been trying to avoid people in general to spare my loved ones of my outbursts. Again, is it worth it? Absolutely. If this drug is going to help me have a much wanted baby then it is worth it to me. Starting on Monday, I will start a series of ultrasounds to ensure that my follicles and eggs are developing correctly. We should know within about a week, two at most, if a problem was pinpointed. If nothing on either side? Joe and I just keep baby dancing and praying that we will be blessed with one of these little miracles.

If all this sounds absolutely confusing, well, it is. I had hoped so much I would just be pregnant by now so I wouldn’t have to go through these things. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject of TTC, fertility, infertility, pregnancy… you name it. It has been a tough year for Joe and I. However, I am proud that I have stayed strong and and pushed forward. I’m proud that I tracked down a physician who agrees that it is MY choice to be tested for infertility- never questioning my early miscarriage and being forward in the fact that she’s going to “Get me a baby”. I hope my positive outlook and attitude will serve as some sort of inspiration and comfort to other women who are having trouble conceiving. I want them to know that I understand. I want them to know that I, too, get sick of people saying “Just relax, if you’re not thinking about it, it will happen.” When you’ve made this decision and you’ve been through so much, it is hard not to think about it. Sure, I get sad. My due date would’ve been Monday, November 27th had I carried my baby to term. Instead of having HSG’s I would be breastfeeding and enjoying a beautiful new life. This week has been a tough one. I think my peanut in heaven planned this out for us though. He wanted us to start this testing at this exact time to help us have our baby.

I’m still confident and I’m still hopeful. Let’s be honest though people… If this doesn’t work out for us- is a trip around the world with the man I love such a bad alternative?