30 Weeks – A Baby Shower

Saturday ushered in both the 30 week mark and the baby shower my SIL threw for Catch. I’ll be honest—I was dreading it. I still felt slighted by the whole invitation scenario, and I just couldn’t get past it. To top it off, last week was a long, tough week dealing with major house-buying anxiety & difficulty, and then I had to add baby shower anxiety to the pile. I was really not handling it well.

That said, it ended up being a lovely day. Exhausting and completely overwhelming in every way, but absolutely lovely. I was totally amazed by the sheer number of people who were there. My sister in law, mother in law, and all of Catch’s aunts worked so hard all day, and everything turned out perfect.

Catch and I were both unprepared for the incredible outpouring of love and excitement for this baby girl. We had a brief reprieve for about an hour after the shower and before dinner reservations with my MIL and SIL, and we both just sort of sat on our couch and marveled at the day. Catch couldn’t stop smiling. It was so nice.

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The gifts were all thoughtful and perfect—and pink. (SO MUCH PINK.) Catch’s aunts bought us our bassinet and a whole bunch of little baby necessities. My mom made the cutest little burp cloths. Catch’s mom embroidered a sweet little onesie and tiny little booties, and is buying our nursery furniture for us when we move. There were onesies and books and toys as far as the eye could see. So many presents. (Soooo many thank you cards to write!) I’m still pretty floored by all of it.

Also, there were nuns. Two of them. At a lesbian couple’s baby shower. Not something you see every day.

All I heard all day was that my belly isn’t big enough. In between those comments, one of Catch’s aunts spent an inordinate amount of time insisting that none of the onesies that were hanging as decoration were going to fit our baby. So apparently, my belly is tiny, but I’m expected to give birth to a gigantic baby who can’t fit into a 6 month sized onesie? Hmm.

The shower my mom is hosting for us with my side of the family is next weekend, and while I am mostly looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate with my family, I have to confess—I am also really looking forward to the opportunity to eat more cake.

It’s been a bit shocking to us that we’re at 30 weeks all of a sudden. Time is really flying, and as the escrow insanity continues and we start preparing to uproot our lives and move to a new home, I know that time isn’t exactly going to slow down. I wish it would, though, because I finally feel like we’ve reached the good part of this pregnancy.

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A Bit of Stress

My sweet little Twix is at the vet this morning with pancreatitis and a possible bowel obstruction. She’s in a lot of pain, and I feel awful. Her heart rate is 200, and should be closer to 120. All she can do is pace around because it hurts too much to lie down. The vet wants to keep her there today, but we know she’d be so much more comfortable at home (she is SO FREAKED OUT at the vet), so poor Catch is there trying to figure things out.

On top of that, we made an offer on a house yesterday and we are positively dying to hear something. They have 3 days to decide. We know they have multiple offers, and we made ours as attractive as we possibly could. Honestly, I would have thrown our entire budget at them for this house, but our realtor warned us that we could run into problems with the loan and appraisal if we do. Our offer is over asking, but not dramatically so—I just hope it’s enough that they’ll at least give us an opportunity to counter if it comes to that because I want that house. This wait is almost as bad as a 2ww. At least it’s only 72 hours.

On the bright side, we got to see our baby girl on Friday. Look at that face. I am so in love. I absolutely cannot wait to kiss those cheeks. (I mean, I CAN wait. I WILL wait. I’m just excited for July.) It’s amazing.

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Now universe, if you could just make those first two things work out I swear will be the happiest mama on the block. I know that expecting a healthy baby, a healthy dog AND our dream house all simultaneously is asking a lot, but… pretty please?

27 Weeks

3 days until we kick off the 3rd trimester, folks. 3 days.

I sent this to Catch the other day and she told me that I have ruined sex for the rest of my pregnancy because she can’t look at me without thinking about the cats. Hah.

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I am both shocked and terrified at how the weeks are flying by lately, but even more than that, I am just plain grateful to be here with this little one still tucked safely away.

We have a growth scan scheduled for Friday afternoon, so I’m looking forward to seeing this little munchkin. I hope the tech has an easier time seeing her this time. She’s been in a transverse position for several months, but I’m pretty sure that she flipped yesterday based on the location of her kicks. A darn good thing too, because my hips have been KILLING me and I don’t think the fact that baby was using my hip bones to support her personal uterine hammock was helping any.

Here’s this week’s shameless office bathroom bump picture:

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The belly is definitely growing and I’m starting to get a bit uncomfortable, but I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. (Dear Universe: It would be great if it was a small-ish iceberg.) I have this great new thing where if I stand or walk for longer than 10 minutes, my left thigh goes numb. Because that’s not weird or anything. I am really hoping that the issue will be at least somewhat alleviated by baby’s new position.

Aside from that, morning sickness seems to have made a comeback. I’m not throwing up but for the last week or so, I feel nauseous and generally awful until 11 or 12 o’clock. After that, I’m absolutely fine. It’s like it’s true morning sickness this time. It’s kind of throwing me for a loop, but from what I see around the interwebs, this is fairly common. Yay. It would be great if it wasn’t permanent, or if it could at least not get any worse.

I haven’t been working on knitting for baby girl because I was busy knitting for one of the girls at work. Her baby shower was today, and this is what I gave her.

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I think they turned out pretty cute.

Also, the garden is growing! We found our first little tomato the other day, and our carrot seeds have officially sprouted. We totally scaled down the garden this year because of moving and baby, but I’m glad Catch talked me into at least doing a few veggies. The garden always makes me so happy.

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26 Weeks

I feel like I have a gazillion things to say, but it’s all a jumble in my head. I’m going to try to give you a bullet point update with some pictures, because the last few weeks have been a whirlwind.

  1. I passed my glucose test today! You have no idea how stressed I was about this. I know that PCOS increased my risk, but my result wasn’t even borderline. I’d like to thank my pancreas for cutting me some slack on this one. Ice cream for dinner! Actually, my wife said no to that because she said she’s gaining too much of my baby weight, but whatever. I’ll get some ice cream in there somehow.
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  2. At 26 weeks, baby girl supposedly weighs about 2 lbs and is about the size of a butternut squash. I love watching that tiny little hand get bigger. It’s the best.
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  3. Baby girl’s blanket is complete and I love it! In fact, I love it so much that I started another one with a gazillion different colors of leftover yarn from my pre-carpal-tunnel days when I used to sell baby hats on Etsy.
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  4. Our beautiful baby book arrived from Rag & Bone Bindery with special pages for two moms.  I really love the page with “the story of our path to you.” I can’t wait to write that one.
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  5. At my OB appointment last week, my total weight gain was 14 pounds. It is seriously hard to jump straight from weight loss mode into pregnancy. All I can think about is the 50 pounds I lost before IVF, and the scale is just messing with my head. I’m trying REALLY REALLY hard to get over it.
  6. The belly was also measured at last week’s OB visit. At 25.5 weeks, I was measuring 24.5 weeks. If I compare practically identical belly shots from 24 weeks and 26 weeks, I see no difference at all. I know I shouldn’t be complaining about this, but I just want to throw it out to the universe that it’s OK for baby girl to start really staking her claim on my midsection. Really. (And yes, I bought that Old Navy dress in every color. Shut up.)
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  7. I took some much-needed vacation time last week while Catch was on spring break. We did a lot of spring cleaning & de-cluttering to try to make some room for this baby in our precious 600 square feet. Fortunately, we got word that we can start house hunting again at the end of the month! Exciting and terrifying all at once!
  8. When I returned to work this wek, I sat down with HR to discuss maternity leave. I will be able to take 16 weeks off to be with our baby girl, and I am thrilled. Most of the girls in our office only take 12, but I have enough vacation time to pad my 12 weeks and still have some extra time in the bank.
  9. Do you like lemon bars? Make these lemon bars. You will not be sorry.  (Note–I did not build up the crust on the sides of the pan, I just flattened it. I also didn’t bother chilling it before baking.)
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  10. Lastly, we are currently 95 days from my due date. Double digits. It feels fantastic.

I hope you are all in the midst of a great week!

Hi Baby

So, I had an ultrasound yesterday. It was requested by my perinatologist a few weeks ago because she had a few minor concerns. Can you even believe I managed not to mention that?

The issue was that although my OB said my anatomy scan was “perfect,” the perinatologist saw some blood accumulated behind my placenta, which is indicative of a placental abruption. It was small and it didn’t seem to be causing any issues, but she wanted a follow up scan at 24 weeks to make sure it was healing.

I was able to be very zen about this particular development because the anatomy scan she was working from was done at 19 weeks. At 21 weeks, I had that car accident and I ended up in labor & delivery where they were specifically looking for signs of abruption. I really believe that if there was anything to worry about, labor & delivery would have seen something on their scan.

Anyway, I haven’t heard from the doctor about yesterday’s scan, but I’m not worried. The up side to all of this is that we got to see our baby girl yesterday, and I will NEVER complain about a chance to see this little one.

She was lying sideways with her head at one of my hips and her butt at the other one, so the poor tech was having a really difficult time getting what she needed from her. After a bit of prodding, she was able to get her to move her legs enough to give us one more confirmation that she’s a she. (A little reassurance before the baby shower invitations go out was kind of nice!)

She wouldn’t tell me how the baby was measuring which kind of made me crazy, but the top of our picture says 24w2d (when I was really 24w5d), so I’m guessing that answers our question. That puts her 3 days behind. She was 2 days behind at our anatomy scan. I don’t need to worry about a couple of days, do I? She’s still pretty much on track, right?

Also, I learned yesterday that I have an anterior placenta. No one mentioned it before (?). She said she was having a hard time getting clear photos because the u/s doesn’t like to penetrate the placenta. It actually makes me feel a bit better because although I feel baby girl moving pretty regularly, I don’t feel her as much as I think I should. I kept telling myself she’s just a lazy baby, but if she’s hiding out behind the placenta, it makes sense. Most of the strong thumps I get are VERY low or off to the sides.

We told the tech that we were hoping for a better picture of our baby girl this time. The one they gave us at our anatomy scan was kind of terrifying to look at. (I never even posted it!) Since she was in such a terrible position, this was the best she could get, but it’s INFINITELY better than the last one. She’s holding her hand up near her chin.

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I am counting the minutes until I can meet her and flip the pregnancy anxiety switch OFF.

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Edited for Lindsay to add:

19 week anatomy scan. I can’t decide if it she looks like something out of a horror film, or like one of those images of Jesus that people see burned into their toast.

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24 Weeks

24 weeks

It feels like pregnancy has been a constant reality check for me. At this point, the “holy shit, I’m pregnant” moments have morphed into, “holy shit, we’re having a BABY” moments. They hit me about as frequently as my cravings for chocolate donuts. I’ll let your imagination do that math.

The other day, I was changing a few things on our baby registry and I realized that people are already buying things. Shower invitations haven’t even been sent yet. It’s madness. Baby girl has presents. Holy reality check, donut man.

Yesterday, I filled an entire page of my office notebook with doodles of our daughter’s name in various ink colors. And I work in design / marketing, so I have EVERY ink color. Suddenly, I was sitting there feeling like one of the stalker girls from junior high who would write “Mrs. <insert crush name>” all over their book covers. I was afraid I’d accidentally flip to that page in a meeting and people would wonder what the hell was wrong with me, so I ripped out the page and threw it away. Catch is mad at me for not taking a picture first.

The point of that whole tangent being that we have a DAUGHTER. One who is now considered medically viable! And she has a NAME. And presents. Because she is REAL. Holy shit, chocolate donuts, etc.

So here I am, 24 weeks (and some change) pregnant. I thought it might be time to finally share the bump. Shameless bathroom selfie warning! I happen to be wearing a particularly bump-friendly dress today, so you’re in luck that it actually looks like a bump. Most of the time, it just looks like I’ve gained back the 50 pounds I lost pre-pregnancy. Just this week, one of my coworkers said, “Wait, you’re PREGNANT?” I was in fine form (NOT) when I replied (in my best bitch voice), “Did you think I was just getting fatter?” Awkward.

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I Never Read the Warning Labels

I have a confession to make:

As badly as I wanted to be pregnant, I was absolutely not prepared for pregnancy. Not one bit.

It’s mostly my stubbornness to blame. It’s not like people didn’t try to warn me that pregnancy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They did. I just didn’t listen. (Really though, when you want a baby so badly, are you even capable of being rational about it? I think not.)

They tell you there will be morning sickness. You think you understand, but quickly realize that you absolutely did not understand. You had no idea that the 24/7 nausea would render you useless and miserable. You had no idea that you could sustain yourself for SO many weeks on a diet of sugary beverages and food with no color in it.

They tell you that you’ll be tired. Of course you’ll be tired, you think to yourself. Growing a human is hard work. But tired can’t be all that bad, right? And then the next thing you know you’re breaking a world record for most naps taken on a single Saturday.

They warn you of impending moodiness as they glance knowingly at your poor, unsuspecting fool of a partner. You think, yes, yes—hormones. DUH. Then suddenly, you are angrily hurling laundry at that poor, unsuspecting fool of a partner as you run out of the room and throw yourself on the bed sobbing. You barely even recognize yourself. Your partner has no idea which of your moods is coming or going. You are either madly in love with him/her or you are blinded with (temporary) hatred because of the way they swallow their oatmeal.

And then there are the things that no one really warned you about. The headaches. (Not everyone gets them, but I sure as hell do.) The constipation. The hair—OMG, the hair. Clearly the bearded ladies of circuses long past were all just pregnant. And let’s not forget the sleeplessness!

Sometimes, it’s all a bit much. I had to lie down after less than an hour of light work in the garden yesterday because I was suddenly so sore and crampy. Last week, I had to stop and rest on a neighbor’s retaining wall 20 minutes into an evening stroll with Catch and the dogs. I constantly have to force myself to be even vaguely productive. I have no desire to see friends or do—well, anything.

There are these moments, though. Like last night when I was curled into Catch as she absentmindedly played with my hair and our baby girl was kicking away inside me. Or when my mom excitedly told me how the wall that she’s never been able to find artwork for has officially been declared the grandbaby wall. It’s those moments that make me wonder if there is any better feeling in the world.

Sometimes, I look at pictures from a year ago when I was running like mad and drinking wine with abandon and I crave that life like a pregnant woman craves donuts. (Trust me—I know.) On the surface, all of those photos look so idyllic that they can almost fool me into believing that the girl holding that glass of wine while the sun shines in the vineyard isn’t actually sadder and more desperate than she has ever been in her life. But I know the truth.

Now here I am—miserably and blissfully pregnant with a pounding headache, a wiggling baby girl who just reached viability, and a heart more full than it has ever been. And I’m glad I didn’t really pay attention to all of pregnancy’s warning labels because I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.

(Although having said that, will you hold it against me if I trade the headache for a couple of Tylenol?)

Alien Belly, etc.

Poor Catch has been really frustrated because every time I tell her that baby girl is moving, the movement stops the moment Catch’s hand reaches my belly. I feel bad, but her movement is just so erratic that it’s hard to know whether a thump is going to be just a thump or if it will be a string of thumps.

Tuesday night, I was lying in bed while Catch was brushing her teeth. Baby girl was being pretty active, but I was hesitant to say anything because I didn’t want Catch to be upset if she ran over and the activity stopped. This time, though, I happened to be looking down at my belly and I realized for the first time that I can actually see this little monkey’s movements from the outside now. I really never paid attention before!

I laughed because it was just so incredibly bizarre (and amazing) and Catch came into the bedroom asking what was so funny. She absolutely didn’t believe me. Fortunately, she sat down next to me and watched for a moment and she was able to see for herself! Once she saw a thump from the outside, she put her hand on my belly and finally felt this little one move for the first time. Cue the smiles.

Two milestones in one evening. It was pretty wonderful.

I guess technically it was 3 milestones if you count the 5 minutes she spent using my bladder as a trampoline while we were watching TV on the couch. That was a first, too. What a crazy sensation that is!

Totally unrelated to all of that, I finished knitting baby girl’s little green dress yesterday. It still needs washing, blocking and some embellishment, but seriously… it’s a tiny dress. For my very own tiny human. I am in love.

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And speaking of clothes for tiny humans, I found a really cute (and brand new) Etsy shop (AelaAnneandCompany) via Instagram the other day. I bought a tiny little raglan shirt that says, “#TEAMTWOMOMS,” but I am equally in love with their You Are My Sunshine shirt.

WHY ARE MINIATURE CLOTHES SO IRRESISTIBLE???

23 Weeks

We reached 23 weeks on Saturday, which is a bit crazy to me. Didn’t I just get pregnant yesterday? When did the weeks stop dragging and start flying?

Baby girl is now about 12 inches from head to toe, and she weighs about a pound. I do not want to know what I weigh at the moment. I had the most intense craving for chocolate just now (probably because I have a horrible headache) and ended up using the work vending machine for only the second time in the 8+ years our office has been here. Even though I clearly don’t make a habit of it, I still wish I didn’t know that damn thing was there. Although I do feel a tiny bit better, so maybe we’ll just consider it highly caloric Tylenol and leave it at that.

Sleep is becoming ridiculous. Between getting up to pee and absolute insomnia between 3 & 5 am, a good night’s sleep is starting to feel like a distant memory. I can handle the bathroom trips, but the insomnia is killing me. Often, it comes along with severe anxiety over some silly thing that feels like the end of the world in the middle of the night, but in the light of day is actually no big deal.

My engagement ring is still on (for now), but my wedding ring came off last week. It’s about a quarter size smaller than my engagement ring, and it was starting to get very uncomfortable by late afternoon. I figured it was time to tuck it away for a while.

I haven’t been feeling well the past couple of days. It’s possible that it’s something I ate, but more likely that it’s some sort of a bug since people seem to be dropping like flies around the office. When I got home yesterday, I was absolutely miserable and I went straight to bed. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because Catch had to leave to play softball and I didn’t want to be alone, but as I was lying in bed baby girl gave me a few good thumps. It was a perfect reminder that I am anything but alone. She’s always there with me, and vice versa. As anxious as I am to have her on the outside, I sort of love that right now I have her all to myself.

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The baby blanket is coming along. I finally finished with the boring colors and got to start on the pink last night. Right now it reminds me of neapolitan ice cream. I love that it covers my belly as I’m working on it. I look at it and all I can think about is wrapping up our perfect baby girl in this blanket that her mommy made her. Something tells me that it will be getting some pre-baby cuddle time with me once I’m finished with it.