Category Archive : belly pic

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

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!

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):