Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All Natural

December 21, 2009
Another doctor's appointment, another waste of time. Seriously. Last time I had an appointment with this doctor I had to wait over an hour. Today's appointment was also about an hour wait. I had my weight and blood pressure taken (I've gained five more pounds and the blood pressure is normal), Husband was invited in after I told the nurse I felt safe at home, and then the doctor did her two second measuring tape bit, listened to the heartbeat, and told me all seemed fine. I could have told her that! The only beneficial part of this appointment was that Husband and I were able to obtain the necessary documentation to put in for leave when the baby is born.

I think I was rude during this appointment, too. I asked Husband afterward if he thought I had been, but he said I was fine. Before the doctor had come in, the nurse showed us to the waiting area and told us the doctor was running late with another patient. I asked the nurse if the doctor was chronically late, and she gave me an apologetic smile and kind of shrugged. Then she showed herself out.

By the time the doctor showed up I had snagged the next pregnancy monthly letter that they normally give me and both Husband and I had read through it. Separately. The doctor asked me if I had received the flu shot or H1N1 vaccine and I told her no, and she couldn't talk me into it. So she tried. She told me all about how pregnant women are in the highest risk category, and one out of three end up in the Intensive Care Unit due to the virus. I told her I still wasn't interested. Husband chimed in and told her that talking to me about it was like talking to a brick wall. Thanks, dear.

In case you haven't noticed, I am trying to be as natural as possible during this pregnancy. This includes refraining from injections containing tiny bits of viruses and preservatives. If I do so happen to catch something, then I do. If I don't, then I don't. I will try my best to be careful of who I am around and to wash my hands at every opportunity, especially before eating, but I refuse to purposefully inject alien particles into my body.

My next appointment is on January 12. I told the scheduling nurse that I did not have a preference of doctor. Maybe I will see someone else for the next appointment. As it turns out, choosing a doctor does not mean that specific doctor will deliver the baby. Instead, whoever is on duty at that time will deliver the baby. I don't really mind. I figure they are all very well trained and know what they are doing. I would prefer a female, though at the time I don't think I will care. I told Husband that it was up to him to see that my wishes were carried out (i.e. tell me what they are doing when they do it, don't give the baby any formula, don't take the baby out of the room unless Husband goes with them, etc.). We will just have to wait and see who I get. Besides, my doctor told me she will be in Hawaii during my due date, so unless I can hold out for two weeks after, there is no chance she will be tending to me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My ER Visit

November 29, 2009
Remember how my ribs were hurting me? I was having a lot of pain on the upper right side of my ribcage for some time. Any pressure on it caused intense pain, also brought on by standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Well, Husband and I decided to go shopping on this particular day. We walked around the mall and went to a few different stores. My ribs were starting to hurt more and more. Husband went to try on some clothes and while I was waiting I was practically in tears. I figured that perhaps I should go to the hospital to see if something could be done. I had to return to work the next week and could not imagine working in that condition.

We went to the ER of the hospital and I told them that I was having rib pain and was six months pregnant. As soon as they heard I was pregnant a nurse magically appeared with a wheelchair to whisk me off to labor and delivery. I told them that I thought the baby was fine, it was just me. They said that anytime someone over 20 weeks pregnant comes in, she should go straight to labor and delivery. Husband had to drive the car around to meet me there.

The nurse pushing me through the halls was really nice. There was a weird couple who were trying to find the cafeteria and followed him asking for directions. I was thinking, "Can't you see he's pushing a pregnant woman in a wheelchair? Do you really want to stop him and question him for a few minutes?" Luckily I really wasn't in labor.

I was checked in to the labor and delivery department. I filled out an admittance form and then gave a urine sample. I was put in a bed and hooked up to a few monitors. One was to check me for contractions, one was to monitor the baby's heartbeat, one was to monitor my pulse, and another was to check my blood pressure.

The nurse came in and asked me the "do you feel safe at home" questions before she would allow Husband to come in with me. She asked me questions about my pain and showed me what the computer monitor was recording. On one section was the heartbeat, and the other was my stomach. The stomach line was nice and low and even. No contractions. The baby's heartbeat was very steady as well. The nurse thought that it should be a little more erratic. Whenever the baby moves she is supposed to excite herself and increase her heart rate. My little girl is generally calm, I suppose. Takes after her mother. The heartbeat was well within the normal range. I was rather hoping to have another ultrasound to see the baby, but apparently that was not an option.

I was monitored for about an hour and a half and the nurse came in periodically to check on me. She had two patients at this time and both of our stats were on the computer (I guess you could say all four of us, if you include the babies). Husband and I watched the other patient and compared data. Her baby was much more active and its heartbeat was more up and down. She was also having some small contractions.

Eventually the doctor came in and basically said there was nothing he could do for fear of hurting the baby. Everything seemed fine. He mentioned that sometime the position of the baby can push internal organs up against the ribs, causing pressure. If I wasn't pregnant, they would do an X-Ray. If I wasn't pregnant, I wouldn't have this problem!

The doctor offered a pelvic exam, since I was already there, but I declined. I'm not having this baby until February. I feel pretty confident about that. I was unhooked from the machines and discharged.

I felt pretty silly after the experience. I told Husband it was practice for when I really do go into labor. Now we know what the room looks like and all the machines I'll be hooked up to. I do feel like my visit was a waste of time for the nurses and doctors. Granted, my pain is very real, but I'm rather frustrated that there doesn't seem to be an explanation. This is the time I'm supposed to be enjoying the pregnancy, not in so much pain that it makes me cry. Grr.

I signed up for more prenatal yoga classes, and those seem to help. Google has shown me that other women have been through the same experience with also no relief until the baby is born. Prenatal chiropractic care has also been mentioned, although I'm not sure if I will pursue that route. In the meantime, I've given up wearing bras because those cause pressure, which causes pain. I'm glad it's winter time because I can wear lots and lots of layers and a scarf as well, just to be on the safe side. Hopefully the baby will drop soon, and maybe that will relieve some of the rib pain (although it might cause pain in other areas!). I told Husband we can adopt the next child.

Lab Results

November 27, 2009
I checked my lab results online. I couldn't resist. So far all the levels were well within the normal range. After all four of the results came in the doctor emailed a wonderful one-liner: "You do not have gestational diabetes." Thank goodness. I was really starting to get upset over the fact that I might not be allowed to have sugar. Seriously, those of you who know me know that I am a sugar fiend.

I'm curious if I will ever get that call from a diabetes counselor, but it doesn't seem like it. I guess I will just cut back on my sugar intake and make sure I'm snacking a little more to keep it from fluctuating too much. I have no idea why my first test was so high, and the others turned out fine, but I feel no need to question the results at this point in time. Donuts, here I come.

Three-Hour Follow Up

November 25, 2009
My phone call from the nurse came yesterday afternoon. They scheduled me to come in for the three hour follow-up to test my blood sugar levels. I was required to eat a half sandwich of my choice and drink a glass of milk between 10 and 10:30 pm. Then I had to fast until my appointment time. I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, drank my glass of milk, then went to bed. My appointment was scheduled at nine in the morning.

I checked into the lab at the hospital where they took an initial sample of blood. This was from my left arm. Then I was given a clear bottle of fluid to drink within five minutes. I was told this drink contained twice the glucose of the first one I had taken. It was definitely sweeter. The nurse told me all about how important it was to be healthy during pregnancy and how detrimental gestational diabetes is. She asked if I had heard of the woman who has no legs and rides around on the skateboard. Apparently she was a product of gestational diabetes ignored and untreated. Yikes. I just thought the babies were born bigger. I didn't know it was that serious.

Then I went to the waiting room to hang out for an hour. I still wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything for the next three hours. I was, however, able to use the restroom (I asked). Thankfully I had brought my own reading materials. An hour later I went back into the lab and had a vial taken from my right arm. Same nurse. Then back to the waiting room. Another hour passed and my blood was taken from the left arm. Different nurse. This was a male, and I wasn't quite sure if the stereotype about male nurses applied to him or not. This time I bled through the little cotton swab they stuck on my arm. I wasn't sure if I should mention it or not, but the bleeding stopped, so I didn't say anything. One more hour in the waiting room then back into the lab. My arms were both sore at this time, and the right one really hurt, so I asked to get pricked in the left again. It was the male nurse again. After that I was done.

I drove home and started to feel really shaky and a little light headed. This had never happened to me before. I got home and wobbled out of the car. I figured that perhaps I needed to eat something. I went inside and had to lie down. I held up my hands and they were literally shaking. I got up and made myself a sandwich to eat, then lay down again. I took a nap and felt better, but it was definitely a weird experience.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Not a Hypochondriac

November 23, 2009
The hospital emailed me today in regards to my lab tests. Based on my results, I am slightly anemic and will be receiving a call from a diabetes counselor fairly soon (See, I am so not a hypochondriac!).

The doctor suggested I increase my intake of iron to help with the anemia. I will also be contacted to go in again to take the three hour test for my sugar. I am not looking forward to this one. Maybe if I eat really really healthy before my test, I'll be totally fine and able to have my chocolates for the holidays...

Anemia and Gestational Diabetes


November 21, 2009
I need to stop checking my lab results online. Husband calls me a hypochondriac, but I am usually right. I don't think I'm a hypochondriac, just a good researcher.

The hospital emailed me my lab results. They don't email any explanation, just the results and what the normal range would be. Usually if there is a problem a nurse will call within a few days. In the meantime I get to become crazy mother-to-be who scares Husband with her moodiness.

According to to my blood tests, I am not in the standard rage. Of course I googled what they meant. By my non-medical definition, and I could be totally wrong but I am usually right, I am anemic and have gestational diabetes. With the anemia thing I could be slightly wrong. My numbers were only off by .1 on the first part and one point something on the second part. Although the internet did say some of the symptoms of anemia are leathargy and fatigue. I definitely fit that bill. I have been really really tired lately. I just thought maybe the baby was going through a growth spurt and stealing all my energy. Not having enough iron could be another cause, though.

The glucose test I am pretty sure of. My numbers were much higher than the standard range. That means (if I'm right) I get to go back in and have a three hour sugar test done to see how I react to sugar over an extended period of time. I will also get to talk to a dietitian or nutritionist or something.

Now I'm totally bummed and worried about what this means for the baby. I heard that babies who come from mothers with gestational diabetes are larger. I don't want a big baby. Nope, I'll take a nice, healthy, little one please.

Since I was researching my blood tests, I decided to research the RhoGam shot as well. Whoever said ignorance is bliss wasn't kidding. Why do I do this to myself? Curse you, internet wealth of information. I found quite a few sites against the shot that stated it does more harm than good and may be linked to neural disorders and maybe autism. However, the second child a person has is usually fine. So it's like sacrificing the first child to have another. Now I'm filled with irrational fears that I may have unintentionally harmed my baby, although I'm pretty sure that everything will be fine, it's that little voice in the back of my head saying, well what if?

Another Appointment

November 20, 2009
Yet another doctor's appointment. With yet another doctor. I thought I chose a specific doctor? Apparently that means nothing. It means that maybe I will see her and maybe I will not. Most likely not.

I drove with Husband to the appointment (we both had the day off) and checked in. The nurse at the counter handed me a form to fill out about my mental health, which I had filled in at my last appointment, and thus informed her of such. She said we are required to fill them out three times during the pregnancy, and the second one is done around this time. I guess because I transferred in late, I got to do two in a row. No, I am not having suicidal thoughts. Yes, I feel fine. No, I do not need to speak to a psychologist. Yes, I am feeling tired lately. I'm growing a human being inside of me. It seems to suck all my energy.

I filled out my form and prepared my little urine cup, required at all appointments. Then I was called in. My blood pressure was fine, but I gained about twenty-five pounds overall so far. Twenty-five pounds! That's insane! And I still have a couple more months to go. I am going to be huge! I have never weighed this much in my whole entire life! I know, I am growing a child. It just means I will work very hard after the baby is born to lose it all.

The nurse then gave me an orange soda type drink to gulp down. It really wasn't that bad. It tasted like an actual orange soda. Gulping the whole thing down was tough, though. It's full of sugar or glucose or something to check my body's response to the amount of sugar. Blood is drawn an hour after consumption to see how I handled it.

Husband got to wait outside while the nurse reassured herself that I felt safe at home, then he was called in to wait with me. The doctor came in and introduced herself. Then she measured my stomach (once again I forgot to ask what the measurement was, they do it so fast). She spread the goo on me and we got to hear the baby's heartbeat, which sounded very healthy and rhythmic. We could also hear mine in the background, much slower. We had never been able to hear both before. It was pretty cool. She asked if I was getting the RhoGam shot today, and I asked if I had a choice. She didn't know how to respond to that. She was like, "You always have a choice. I mean, you're scheduled to get it today." Yes, I was getting the shot. I just thought it was funny that she asked it as a question and not a statement.

I asked her about my aching ribs, and she said there's really not much to do except try to get the baby to move to relieve some of the pressure. She said lying down encourages the baby to move and gives it more room. She also suggested tylenol and warm compresses, but said that was about it. Lying down works at home, but it's not like I can randomly lay down at work. That would be rather odd.

I was given a pile of paperwork to fill out while I waited to give my blood. I filled out a preadmit form into labor and delivery (what smart people! I would hate to wait when I'm in labor because I had to fill out admittance paperwork), an informational page about the epidural that I had to sign to acknowledge that I got it, and a checklist for my birth plan. Yay! I was excited about this one. It was broken up into sections, such as environment, labor, etc. Did I want the lights dimmed during labor? Do I want drugs as soon as possible? Do I want anyone in particular to cut the umbilical cord? Do I want the baby cleaned in front of me? Do I want all medications and shots explained at the time (uh, yeah)? And so on. I enjoyed filling out my preferences (although they could all go out the window during the actual delivery), and Husband was not allowed to give input since I'm the one going through it. I did ask him if he would cut the cord, and he hesitantly agreed. We'll have to wait and see if he is able to go through with it. He is very squeamish.

While waiting for my hour to be up, I also visited the Health Education department. Remember how I was told by Women's Health to go there to find information about the classes I need to take because they did not have that information? Well, I went and the lady behind the desk told me to ask at Women's Health for the specific information I needed. Hmmm...

My hour was up so I went into the lab for my blood draw. The nurse asked if a student phlebotomist could draw my blood and of course I agreed. How else are they going to learn? Plus, I've had it done a million times already, and if she did a terrible job I could ask for a real nurse. The student actually did a fantastic job. She took her time finding a vein that looked capable and slowly inserted the needle. Yes, I am one of those crazy people who like to watch. Then she took about four or five vials from me and patched me up with a cotton swab and piece of medical tape. After it was done I made sure to tell her she did an excellent job. Next I had to report back to Women's Health to get my RhoGam shot.

Husband and I waited in the waiting room and watched all the other pregnant women come in and out. There was another girl who came in who was as far along as me. Yes, she was bigger. Then there was a woman who was forty-one weeks pregnant. She was complaining that she just wanted the baby out and was welcoming being induced. It didn't look like her baby was going anywhere, though.

Then I was called back by another nurse. She gave me the information about why I have to get the shot (read a previous post about that one) and commented that my blood type was extremely rare. Yep, and I'm proud of it. I had to sign something to acknowledge what I was getting, and asked her about side effects. She said it was pretty much the usual side effects that one can get with shots-soreness, redness, and potential allergic reaction. If I had an allergic reaction, it would be within the next thirty minutes and I needed to rush to the nearest hospital. Next she gave me the shot in my butt. She said the needle was too big for anywhere else, so that's where it had to go. My butt was sore for the next day, too!

I also asked her about the information for the classes. She said I should have gotten that at the beginning. I explained to her that I had transferred in later, so she went and hunted it all down for me, and then some. She was fantastic! Apparently she knew more than the other nurses and doctors I had asked previously. Thank you, kind nurse.

Now home to await the test results and hope I don't go into anaphylactic shock.

Dentist Appointment

November 20, 2009
I had a dentist appointment today. I had received information from the doctor about what I could and could not get. I could get local anesthesia, but that was it. Even if I had cavities, I decided I would just wait until I was done being pregnant to get the Novocaine and get them filled.

I showed up for my appointment and the secretary had me fill out a questionnaire. It asked a few general questions as well as if I had any new medical issues, to which I replied, "pregnancy." The secretary was so excited after that and told me all about her new grandbaby at home. Then the hygienist called me in.

Because of my pregnancy, I was not allowed to recline in the chair normally. The whole issue with being on your back and cutting off circulation. So she reclined the chair and had me lay on my left side. Then I tilted my head toward her. I remained in this position the entire time of cleaning and whatnot. It wasn't uncomfortable, just kind of awkward.

It turns out I did not have any cavities, but my gums are not very healthy. This often happens during pregnancy. Gums become swollen and bleed easily. The cure is to apparently floss more and try to toughen them up. I'll attempt to work on that. I'm not a very good flosser to begin with, although I know it is very important.

Then I was done with the appointment. I sat up and felt really dizzy. It was very weird. I also had a pain in my neck, obviously from the position I had been laying in. I didn't want to tell the hygienist that I felt dizzy because I didn't want to get a lot of attention, so I just took a few quiet, deep breaths and followed her out. The dizziness eventually subsided.

On the way out I scheduled my next appointment with the secretary. It will be in March, after the baby is born. The secretary gave me a stern look and told me I needed to bring the baby in to show off. Bring my baby to a dentist appointment? I told her that probably would not happen, so she demanded a picture at least. I guess I have to remember a picture of my child at the next appointment.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rib Pain

October 21, 2009
There was a period of about three weeks or so when I actually enjoyed being pregnant. Now, I'm not so sure. I started having pretty bad pain in the side of my ribs recently, right under the bra strap. The only things that helped were taking off my bra and laying down. I've had minor pains for a while, just at short bursts, but they never bothered me that much. These pains are definitely troubling. It even got so bad that I had to unsnap my bra at work and just work with it unsnapped. I knew I had to do something after that.

What do I do? I google it, of course! Pretty much all of the information I found talked about the ribcage expanding to make room for my organs since the baby is growing and taking up more room. They also said there really isn't anything you can do for it, besides stretching and yoga-type activities (therefore I took up prenatal yoga. Guess what? It works!) and getting a larger bra.

The morning before I was going to get a new bra, my ribs were really hurting. So much so that I did not want to put my bra on for any reason, even though we were scheduled to go out. I tried no bra, but things were too visible. I tried layering a tank top with a shirt, but I was still too visible. If I had Band-Aids, I would have used those. I didn't have any, but I did have packing tape. Yes, I taped myself down with packing tape. The only problem was that you could see the outline of the packing tape through my shirt. I tried larger pieces. I tried smaller pieces. Husband tried making an X with the pieces. No luck, but I was still determined not to wear a bra. In the end I layered my Bella Band (pulled up extra high), with a tank top and my shirt. It was still a pretty warm day or I would have been able to wear a sweater as well. I was still slightly visible through the shirt, but I passed it off OK. Husband said he could notice, but I don't think I received any odd looks from people. Some of you might be thinking that I should have been fine through all those layers, but I gotta tell you that I am going to be excellent at nursing.

That afternoon we went bra shopping. First of all, I hate bra shopping. I feel so self-conscious. I know it's natural, but that's how I feel. I tried on a bunch of different sizes and found an ugly one that fit the best (not perfectly, but better than any of the others). I needed something to help me out. The problem, though, is that my cup size really hasn't increased. I don't happen to be one of those females who miraculously gets a larger chest. I've always been on the small side, and I was hoping for the larger chest, but maybe I'll get one when my milk comes in... Anyway, it's my ribcage that has expanded, making my bra too tight. I made husband measure, and it's rounded itself out to be an extra four to five inches in circumference. No wonder I hurt!

I also discovered bra extenders that you can add on to the band. That solves the problem of increasing the band size without increasing the cup size. I was getting pretty frustrated trying bras on and not finding anything that fit. It even says on the package that they are good for maternity wear. Since buying them, I have been much better. I still hurt at times, but I try not to wear my bra when at home and to do my yoga exercises to help. Thank you, company with the pretty pink packaging.

Wasted Evening

October 16, 2009

Doctor appointments are a waste of time.

On this day, I met up with Husband to go to my appointment, as I usually do. Upon arrival we were informed that the doctor was running about a half an hour late. Well, we didn't have much choice, so we waited. I peed in my urine cup and hung out with Husband. This day also happened to be one of the days the flu shot was being offered. As we sat in the waiting room we overheard screaming, crying children whose parents were attempting to comfort them. We also sat across from a few teenage girls who were pregnant. I do believe they were still in high school. What is it with all these pregnant teens? One had a five or six year old with her already, and I think he was hers! I couldn't believe the way she spoke to him. Her friends were playing with him and every other sentence she said to him sent mixed messages and contained a curse word or two. No wonder our children are anxious and confused.

After about an hour of waiting, I was called in to the hallway. There I was weighed, where I discovered I weigh the most I have ever weighed in my whole entire life! Granted, I have a wonderful excuse, but the number just shocked me. Then I was led into the little office where my blood pressure was taken (normal). I asked if Husband could come join me, and they said they had to ask the usual safety questions first; Do I feel safe at home? Yes. Am I being abused? No. Do I feel like I am bringing my baby into an unsafe environment? No. Then husband came in and waited with me.

More waiting. We could hear the doctor talking next door, but it probably took her another half hour, at least, to come over to us. Finally, she came in and introduced herself. This was a doctor I had never seen before. She said she used to be the head of the Women's Health department, but stepped down to be closer to patients. She seemed very efficient and matter of fact, not scatter-brained like some of the other doctors I've met.

She put the goo on my tummy and we heard the heartbeat. Then she measured my stomach. I had never realized before how this was done. In my mind, the circumference of the stomach was measured. Nope. Apparently they measure from the pelvis to the belly button, or close to that. She did it so quickly and I didn't realize what she had done until after the appointment, or I would have asked what the measurement was.

I asked about signing up for classes, and she told me to go the Health Education Department for the information. She also talked about my Rh factor (my rare blood type) and the need for the RhoGam shot. She stated that normally every Rh negative pregnant woman (that's me!) would automatically get the shot to help protect the fetus; however, there is a worldwide shortage of the shot, so she asked Husband to get his blood tested to see if we were a match and maybe I wouldn't have to get it. I was very excited about this. I had to have my blood drawn multiple times and undergo weeks of vomiting. Now he could share in a part of it! Doctor drew up a lab request for us so we could go after the appointment. She also said she had openings on her patient list if I was interested. I was, despite the long waiting time for her, so I added myself to her patient list. Now I have an actual doctor assigned to me.

That was pretty much the whole appointment. Over an hour of waiting and five minutes with the actual doctor. What a waste of time. I can tell you if my baby is growing or not. Just watch my stomach. I can also weigh myself and measure my stomach. If I have questions, then I can just call. No need to waste an evening waiting around.

Next we went to the lab and Husband had his blood drawn. We got the results a few days later and he is O+. Definitely not a match. Guess I have to get the shot after all. Bummer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let Me Count The Ways

October 14, 2009

What do I like about being pregnant?

The attention. I LOVE the attention. This may be why I am offended when nobody notices my tummy. Well, it's certainly growing now. Please feel free to comment and smile at me because I am contributing to the human race and growing a wonderful creature inside of me.

The adoring, loving looks my husband gives me. I think he's proud; he's proven his manhood. Granted, he does deserve some credit.

The small kicks and movements I feel inside of me. They prove that something is really in there. I might change my mind about this one later, when the kicking becomes stronger and starts to hurt, but right now I like it.

People offering to do things for me because of my "condition."

Being able to eat large food portions.

Yeah, that's about it. Other than that, I don't fancy being pregnant. Some women love it. I think they are crazy. Read my earlier blogs for reasons why.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Maternity Clothes

October 9, 2009

I went to Target with husband today in search of more maternity clothes. A new Target opened up by us and I was hoping they had a better selection. As a matter of fact, they did. I was able to get a couple of shirts, but I am still lacking in the pants department. I tried on the smallest sizes and they were still too big. Guess I am just destined to wear designer bottoms!

We went to check out and there was a pregnant girl two people in front of us talking to the cashier. She looked like she was straight out of the eighties. She was wearing bright pink leggings and a neon green sweater shirt. She also had multiple piercings on her face. I think a lip ring and maybe a nose ring. She looked really young, about seventeen or so. I overheard her tell the cashier that she couldn't find any maternity to clothes to fit her because she was too small overall. I could totally relate. Then, she told the cashier she was five months pregnant. Her belly was twice as big as mine, and I'm five months! I was rather dumbfounded.

I turned to Husband next to me and declared my eavesdropping, "Honey, that girl is five months pregnant! Look at her and look at me!" I gestured to both of us. I think he may have been embarrassed at my outburst, but I don't think pregnant girl noticed. The guy in between us did and stared at me. I'm still at the stage where you can't really tell unless you know me. With that girl, you could totally tell.

Then it was my turn with the cashier, and I think she gave me a funny look when she rang up my maternity shirts. I bet she was trying to decide if those shirts were for me or not.

I'm not sure how I feel about having a small tummy. Does that mean my baby will be smaller? That would be nice, as long as she's healthy. Granted, I still have four months to go, so who knows what will happen. I do seem to be growing exponentially, at least compared to what I have been. It would also be fun to be the pregnant person at the store that everyone smiles at, instead of the one they stare at to try and figure out if she is pregnant or not. I'm going to try putting my hand to my belly more and smiling at people. Maybe they'll get the hint. Or maybe they'll think I have indigestion because I ate too much.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pregnant, Spoiled, and Loving It

October 4, 2009
Today husband convinced me to go to the mall for some maternity clothes. I had been dragging my heels in for a while on this now, but after going through all of my regular clothes and finding that nothing was fitting, it was time. Plus, I had been given some maternity items by generous girlfriends who had recently had kids, but none of the jeans fit me. Don't tell me I will grow into them. My thighs and butt are not going to grow five inches, I don't care what you say.

We went to a maternity store in the mall and were greeted by the saleslady. She congratulated me on my first pregnancy (one of the best parts of being pregnant is the attention!) and told me about the store. Up front they had the fancy designer clothes and in the back they had the more affordable clothes. She didn't say the actual word "affordable," but that's how I interpreted it. She then asked me where I normally shopped, so she could help me find clothing around that same type. I gave her a blank stare. I don't normally shop. Really. I go with other people who like to shop, but most of the items I own are actually hand me downs from friends or my stylish sister who loves to shop. Where the items come from I have no idea, but they work for me. I glanced at husband for help and he gave me nothing. I told the lady that I really don't shop and she gave me an incredulous look and proceeded to explain which stores correlate to which section a little more.

Husband went to sit down in the comfy chairs in front of the flat screen tv while I was whisked around the store. It was quite an experience, and I definitely gave my opinion. I was there for a pair of jeans. No, I don't like the distressed look. I want flare or boot cut, not the straight leg. My size? Um, small or medium, maybe? Well, apparently I am an extra small or smaller, so my choices were a little limited. I followed the lady as she wandered around the store pulling items out and laying them across her arms. She then passed them off to another saleslady who set up a dressing room for me and came back to relieve the first lady.

The second lady was really great. I need to find their website and write a compliment for her or something. I asked her to guess how far along I was and her guess was about ten weeks off. She was amazed at how far along I was and how small I remained. We then talked about ways to help show off my tummy and she introduced me to ruched shirts. Very cool. They are elastic at the sides so they hug the right curves. I definitely liked those, although once again everything they had was too large. I'm going to have to hunt some of those shirts in another store.

I then ventured into the dressing room where I tried on a bazillion pairs of jeans and a few shirts. The saleslady stayed by the door the whole time and we discussed every item, as well as showed them off to husband. I was also brought water to drink in the dressing room, how cool is that? Saleslady then had to leave and another came and helped me. I was able to try on "the belly" which is basically a velcro belly to strap on with the clothes to check if they will fit later on. Yes, they will.

I tried to get husband to take a picture of me with the belly on, but he refused. We will just have to wait and see if I actually do get that big! As luck would have it, none of the affordable jeans fit me. I guess I am just designer material. So I caved in and spent the most amount of money I have ever spent on a pair of jeans in my entire life, and probably the most I will ever spend on a pair of jeans ever, and they are maternity that I am only going to wear for a few months. But they are so cute and I am so happy with them and I swore husband to secrecy that he will never tell how much they cost because I do feel slightly guilty about the amount. So for those of you who see me during my pregnancy, yes, I will be wearing the same pair of jeans. But I will definitely look fabulous!

Husband's Turn

October 3, 2009
Husband was able to feel the baby move this morning! I woke up and could feel her moving around, so I made husband put his hand on my tummy. "Did you feel that?" I asked him. "Yeah," he said. He didn't seem too excited. I think I was more excited than him. I'd been waiting for him to be able to feel her for a while.

I'd been able to feel little pokes from the inside for a few weeks now, but they haven't been strong enough to feel from the outside. Plus, I wasn't even sure of what I was feeling. I didn't think they were anything else, but it wasn't the way that I had heard it described. People have described the movement as "eyelashes" or "soft butterflies inside your stomach." Oh no. I don't feel that at all. I feel small little pokes here and there. That's the only way I can think to describe it. It's like being poked softly from the inside of my tummy at various times and in various spots.

Now every time I feel her move I try to grab his hand so he can feel. She hasn't been moving around that much though, lately. Or if she does, she stops when we try to feel her from the outside. Shows you she already has a mind of her own (must take after her mother).

Boy or Girl?

September 25, 2009
Ultrasound day! I was excited and a little nervous all day long. The appointment wasn't until late afternoon, so I had a million thoughts going through my head. Will everything be ok? Will we be able to tell if it is a boy or girl? Should I find out? Should I keep it a secret? What if there are more than one? Maybe the doctor will find a second baby hiding in there!

Anyway, I met Husband at the other hospital facility (remember that my current one does not have an ultrasound machine, so they send me to the next town over). It is a brand new facility, so it was really nice inside and out. It had clean floors, a calming atmosphere, and no people. I wasn't sure where to go, so we found a map and wandered around until we found the women's health section. There the nurse told me to go back downstairs to radiology. Apparently that is where they do the ultrasounds. I checked in and they sent me across the hall to the waiting room.

Husband and I sat waiting- he played on his iphone and I hung out. A girl about my age came out and met a friend. We saw her sobbing and heard her complain, "She was so mean! She wouldn't even talk to me." I wasn't sure what she meant, but it did make me a little nervous.

The doctor called me in next, and I lay down on the hospital recliner thing. I don't want to say bed, because it's not a bed, but it's a thing you have to lay down on, so I'll call it a recliner. The doctor then spread the goo on my tummy and told us not to ask questions because she had to do her job. Wait, what? Don't ask questions? We are about to see our child on a screen in front of us, how can we refrain from asking questions? No wonder the girl before me came out crying. I would have, too, if Husband had not been there. How rude! Well, we controlled ourselves. The doctor also asked if I had anything to drink about an hour before. Nope, not really. Nobody told me anything about how to prepare for this thing. I was just sent a card in the mail that said show up at this date and time. I'm not sure why I would have had to have a full bladder. She was still able to see the baby. Something to do with taking measurements of something or other. A fact to google, I suppose, although I don't really care. Last time I went in with a full bladder it was really painful. I don't want to do that again.

Doctor lady had a list of items she had to find with the wand thingy, and take pictures of them. I tried to watch the screen the whole time, and could vaguely figure out what things were. It helped that she labeled some of them, and I was trying to interpret the codes she used. It was pretty cool to see the baby on the screen in black and white. It was much bigger than before! At one point, she was trying to capture something, and I thought to myself, are those the balls? Is it a boy? Turns out it was a nose. Oops. I don't think I'm very good at reading those.

We were able to see quite a lot of detail. We saw bone development, legs, arms, and the baby's lips and nose (She explained that she had to check for a cleft lip. We are in the clear!). She also measured the hearbeat and we got to see the soundwaves come up on the screen. It measured about 132 beats per minute, which was less than the 150 we heard at the last appointment. I had a smile on my face the whole time she was moving the wand around on my tummy. That living thing is inside of me! Amazing!

Towards the end she asked if we wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl. I think we decided at that moment to find out if we could. I asked her if she could tell, and she said that yes, it was very obvious. Then she showed us. Just like you hold up a baby's legs to change it's diaper, that was the position my baby was in, showing off its parts. Any guesses yet? As a matter of fact, it's a girl! She explained what the girl parts were and told us that it was a very definite thing. We're going to have a daughter!

Based on the computer measurements, the baby weighed about 11 oz. She said everything else seemed healthy, and the only thing to note was that the baby is breech (head is near my belly button when it is supposed to be upside down). She then printed out a bunch of pictures for us to take home. We got a cool picture of the baby resting her arm on her leg, two of her sucking her thumb, a really cool foot picture where you can see the bottom of her foot, another one of her arm, and one of her looking at us. The doctor pointed out that you can see the lens of her eye in that, which is what is developing now, so it was a good thing.

After the appointment Husband and I decided whether or not we wanted to tell people. We made the decision that we would, but we wanted to be together when we told everyone. We got home and called his family. We started off by making them take a guess as to the gender of the baby. Most people guessed boy. They were very excited, though, when we told them we are having a girl.

Husband went online and ordered our first pink onesie, he was so excited. I thought it was cute! The next step was to decide how to spell the name. We had agreed on names a while ago. That was one of our major decisions we had to make before we could even become pregnant. Names are a big deal to both to us, so we had a lot of negotiating and discussion before we finally agreed on a boy and a girl name. Then we got pregnant.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Sorry Officer, I'm Pregnant"

September 24, 2009
Nineteen weeks and still throwing up! Although today was the first day I had a police car pull up behind me when I was parked on the side of the freeway. I didn't have my handy dandy plastic barf bags, but I did have a kitchen towel that I usually place on my lap to catch any spillover. I used that. It was gross. The police officer came up to my window and got to see me in all my splendor. I am not pretty when I vomit. My face gets red and splotchy and tears stream down my cheeks. Not to mention the vomit coming out of my mouth.

He asked if I was ok, and I told him I was pregnant and had to pull over to throw up. He asked if there was anything I needed, and I told him I didn't need anything, but thanks. I'm not sure if he knew what to think of me. I wonder if I'll be a topic of his conversations later.

Anyway, I called in sick yesterday because I just wanted a day off, so I didn't feel right taking a day off today. I went in to work and ended up throwing my no-longer-nice kitchen towel away.

Tomorrow I have an ultrasound appointment. We're not sure if we are going to find out the gender yet. I like the idea of being surprised, but husband really wants to find out. Then I thought about just he and I knowing and keeping it a secret from the rest of the world, but we're not very good with big secrets. Plus, people will have an easier time buying us baby items if they know what we are having. It's hard to find neutral items. I think we'll just go in tomorrow with an open mind. Who knows, they might not even be able to see anything.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chloasma

September 21, 2009
I threw up last week on the way to work (yet again). This was right before I got on the freeway, so I quickly got over a lane so I could get to the side of the road. There I spent about ten minutes dry heaving and vomiting bile before I felt better. Not fun. All I had for breakfast before that was about five bites of a bagel. Thankfully I had good aim on this one. I think it might have something to do with my prenatal pill. I'm switching to taking it at night (although I've skipped the past few days and I haven't thrown up!). Don't worry, I'll take one tonight.

Another thing I haven't mentioned yet is a condition called chloasma. This is when dark spots appear on the skin. I got a dark spot in the middle of my forehead about the fifth week of my pregnancy. It's still there, and calling some friends to come join it. I have another spot above my eyebrow. My mother came over one day and told me I had some dirt or something on my face. I tried to wipe it off, and realized it was part of my skin. It's supposed to disappear after delivery. Something about overactive hormones, which we all know my body doesn't react to very well.

I'm still not showing to those who don't know me, but sometimes the bump is more visible than at others. Usually I think it is larger at night. Something to do with gravity? Or bloating throughout the day? That would explain why I still have to pee ten times a night.

I have also been feeling a little movement! It feels like something lightly poking me from the inside. It usually happens when I am sitting (such as in the car), and there are loud noises (such as bass). Therefore, I feel the baby most often when I am driving. It seems to make itself known while in the car. Does that mean the baby will like being in the car? Or not? We shall see!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Baby's Heartbeat

September 11, 2009
I had my appointment on Wednesday. It was at the new facility, close to my work. Even though I called in sick, I still had to make the drive out to that general area. Husband got off of work early, picked me up, and we headed out.

I got there and checked in. They gave me a cup to pee in, so I did that in the bathroom around the corner, then sat and waited to be called.

About twenty minutes after my scheduled appointment I was called in. I asked if my husband could come with me (he'd been able to every other time), and they said they would call him when we were ready. I got my blood pressure taken (normal), and my heart rate and weight. I've gained three pounds since the last time I was weighed. I guess you are supposed to gain about a pound a month during the first trimester, and then about a pound per week during the last two. I think I am right about where I am supposed to be, despite all the vomiting.

After taking my vitals, they sent me into the little room and said they would summon my husband when the nurse was ready. I did not have to change into a gown at this point, so I sat and waited. (During this time, husband thought they might be asking me questions about my safety and the baby's safety, and whether or not everything is fine at home. There was none of that, I just think they didn't have a lot of room in the weighing area. It was pretty tiny. Husband's guess makes sense though, especially for the area we were in.)

Finally the nurse came in. She looked me up on the computer and asked me if I had taken the class. The class? I had no idea what she was talking about. She explained that it's a four hour ordeal where they go over the paperwork and what to expect. I told her I had already filled out the paperwork at my last facility, and a nurse went over it with me. I wasn't sure if that counted. She seemed confused, as was I with her questions. She asked if I'd had my ultrasound yet. I told her I had ultrasounds at every appointment I had attended. Wasn't I getting one there? She told me that they don't do ultrasounds at the facility, and since I was around twenty weeks, I needed to schedule mine at another facility within the next week or so. Sheesh.

She tried to do it on the computer, but for some reason she couldn't so she told me I would be receiving a phone call soon to schedule. So far no phone call.

She left and the nurse practitioner lady came in. She was very pregnant. Husband was called in soon after. She asked if I had any questions, and I asked about some sensations I had been feeling below my ribs. She told me that wasn't normal and that it might be my gallbladder (but that's only on one side, so I don't think she understood), and to get it checked out by my general practitioner. I think it's just my insides and muscles stretching away from that area. I am certainly growing there.

Then I lay down and she spread the gooey stuff on my tummy. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat on the monitor thingy, which was cool. She said it was about 150, and sounded very steady. I was surprised at the way it sounded. I thought it would sound like a regular heart beat; boom-boom, boom-boom. But it sounded more like woosh woosh woosh woosh very quickly. It was cool to hear, but I was disappointed I didn't get an ultrasound. I was really looking forward to getting more pictures! I guess I had been spoiled at the last facility.

After the appointment we went over to Babies R Us and walked around to price things and see what we liked. We played with the strollers to see how easy they were to fold up. I think we picked out the one we will get. We also picked out the car seat, playpen and bassinet. It's nice that husband and I have similar tastes. The only thing we disagreed upon was the bedding and theme for the room. Looking at the options there, it was hard to find something neutral. Plus, it's all really expensive! We looked in the clearance aisle, but there wasn't anything we liked together. Oh well. We didn't buy anything, but we took pictures of the brands we liked so we can shop around for the best deal on them. Basically, any large baby item (crib, dresser, stroller, playpen, etc.) average somewhere around $200 is what I've found. Craigslist is cheaper, so I'm also going to search on there.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Car Vomit, Yuck!

September 9, 2009
I thought I had won the battle with morning sickness. I thought I had chased it off for good and it had decided never to show its ugly face again. Well, it's a little sneakier than I gave it credit for. It left me alone for a couple of weeks, making me start to feel secure again, and then it snuck up and grabbed me unexpectedly.

I threw up breakfast in the car on the way to work yesterday morning. Breakfast only consisted of a banana and something to drink (water, maybe?). I also took my prenatal pill in the morning. After eating that banana, I felt it coming, so I grabbed my handy dandy barf bag and heaved. Granted, I was in the fast lane on the freeway at the time, so I turned on my hazards and pulled over to the side of the road until I was done. I sealed my breakfast remains, and was quickly back on my way to work. Nice and neat. "This,"I thought, "is how morning sickness is supposed to be. I could have handled this all summer." There was no nausea involved, it was a nice and neat process. I thought at the time that the vomiting could be attributed to the prenatal pill, since those are also supposed to cause queasiness. Plus, my usual heavy breakfast of a bagel and cream cheese (healthy, I know), was unavailable. I thought I might also have some leg cramps later on, since I didn't get my banana dosage in, but I was ok for the day and evening.

This morning I decided to try a different approach. I skipped my pill (don't worry, I'll take it before bed), and made some toast with jelly. This should be similar to my bagels that I've been able to keep down for a while. Well, on my way to work there was no warning. Up it came, spilling out over the hand I had clasped around my lips, onto my seatbelt, my lap, my chair, the passenger seat, and the cupholder. I had a little bit of a break, and I yanked my barf bag out and continued into that. I took the nearest exit home, dangerously swerving the whole time as I continued to bring up breakfast. Why didn't I pull over? I was covered in it! I wanted out as soon as possible!

I got home, threw my bag away, and ran into the house to wash off my hand and face. I left the car door open to let it air out, and threw my clothes into the washer. After I felt a little better, I went back out and cleaned the car. Not fun to scrub off remains of toast and jelly from the interior of a car. I used cleaner, though, so now the car smells sanitary.

I have an appointment scheduled at my new facility this afternoon, so hopefully all is well. I was starting to get a little worried since it's been so long between appointments. Plus, someone told me a story of a friend of a friend losing her baby, and she was about the same time as me. Someone else told me I should be feeling the baby move already, and I'm not sure if I have or not. So those things rather worried me. Plus, I don't really see my stomach growing. I think the baby was talking back to me the past two mornings to let me know it is still in there, and not enjoying the food I was attempting to eat.

I will give an update after the appointment today!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Swelling and Peeing

September 3, 2009
Last night I took preventative measures. Husband graciously massaged my calf muscles, and I stretched them out as best as I could. I also took my prenatal vitamin before going to bed since google had also recommended calcium and magnesium. So did it work? Yes! I did not wake up in the middle of the night writhing in pain (only to pee a bazillion times). I am going to attempt to recreate the situation tonight. Husband was already warned.

Today I also experienced swelling for the first time. My hands and feet swelled. I think it was a combination of being pregnant, the heat, and not enough water. I noticed that my fingers were quite large, and I couldn't take my wedding ring off. Normally I can slide it off pretty easily, but today it was stuck. I looked down at my feet, and they also looked a little wider. After I got off of work I was able to sit and gulped down as many fluids as I could. My fingers and feet returned to normal.

I had another first today as well. I was driving home and I seriously had to pee! Before I got in the car I thought about going, but I had gone about fifteen minutes prior, so I figured I could drive home. Well, I started driving and realized I couldn't wait that long. I contemplated all the places I could stop on the way home. Starbucks? McDonald's? Could I wait to get to my parents' house (they are about halfway home)? Did I have something to pee into in my car? I know that sounds gross, but I was getting pretty desperate at this point. But how would I get out of my pants while driving? Too complicated.

I made it to my parents' house, but couldn't stand up straight to walk. I was seriously bent over on my rush to the bathroom. After I relieved myself I felt much better! I was surprised at how much came out. I mean, I had just gone. It was probably from all the swelling going down. Moral of the story? When a pregnant woman's gotta go, or even thinks she's gotta go, make sure she goes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Leg Cramps

September 2, 2009
Leg cramps, also known as "Charlie Horse," have been plaguing me lately. The past couple of nights I have been awakened by excruciating pain shooting through my calf muscles. Last night was the right leg. The night before was the left leg. Any guesses about tonight?

I googled muscle cramps during pregnancy (because I google everything!), and this is totally normal. Who knew? This symptom was definitely not mentioned in my What to Expect book! I thought it was supposed to cover every symptom. I'm very disappointed. Anyway, the next logical step would be to determine the cause of these cramps and find a solution. Well, google was not very helpful. Apparently the cause is unknown, and solutions are pretty basic (massage the muscles, drink lots of water, relax, etc). Where is my miracle cure? I know, on the same shelf as the no-more-morning-sickness tonic.

This is very frustrating to me. My nights now consist of waking up at least three times to urinate and once more to roll around and attempt to relax my overly tightened leg muscles. Now, getting up to pee was fine. No big deal. I can practically use the toilet in my sleep. Come to think about it, I probably have lately. But with these leg cramps I actually wake myself up completely and get some adrenaline going while I writhe in bed. Anyone wonder why I am tired and cranky and want to go to bed at seven every night?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Birthday as a Non-Mom

August 31, 2009,
Happy Birthday to me! It's weird to think that next year I will have my own six-month old child. I went to the beach this past weekend and purposefully wore a bikini so I could show off my tiny baby bump. People said I didn't even look pregnant, just like I had eaten a big lunch or something.

My stomach is growing, but it's growing up, not out. That's what the doctor said would happen, though. It helps if I want to hide it, but not if I want people to notice. Husband says I don't make any sense. But at work, I don't want people to notice. It's everyone else I want the attention from. Is that too much to ask? The best part about being pregnant is the attention you get from everyone, and it's an instant conversation piece. There are a million questions people can ask and discuss. The attention helps counteract the negatives (nausea, vomiting, body aches, irritability, fatigue, etc.).

Yes, I've been irritable lately. I remember when one of my best girlfriends was pregnant and she was easily annoyed. I didn't understand at the time, but I totally get it now. I don't quite understand it, but little things can make me angry or upset. Usually I'm a pretty mild person, so now with being pregnant I think I am turning into a normal "girl." Although I haven't burst into random tears, sometimes I can almost feel them. It will happen any day now, don't worry.

I can't wait to feel the baby move! Since I haven't had any appointments lately, I'm feeling kind of worried. I want to make sure that something is still alive and kicking in there! I heard a story about a friend of a friend whose baby's heart just stopped beating at about fourteen weeks. That scared me. She was taking some type of thyroid medicine, though, and they think that may have affected it. I will feel better after my ultrasound next week. Being pregnant really plays with my emotions! How will I ever be with a real child that's no longer attached to me?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hip Pain

August 26, 2009
The hospital has restored my faith in its services. A nurse called me yesterday to set up my next two appointments. September ninth and October nineteenth have my name on them.

The latest development in my pregnancy is growing pains. Yup, how old am I? At least, I think they are growing pains. I'll find out when I ask at my next appointment. Anyway, I've been having the pains in my hips. Not really the hip bone part, but more in the back. It's hard to describe. But it will hurt when I walk, or move my legs. Usually it is after I have been working, so I will just come home and try not to move. I think it is my pelvic cavity expanding and making room for the baby. I hope it is, anyway. My mother has had some hip/joint problems that she had to seek medical attention for, so I hope this is not something related or genetic.

I'm also having some weird sensations right under my ribs. At the beginning of the week it was right under my left ribs. The past two days it has been right under my right ribs. Like I'm being poked or stretched or something. But it seems too high to be my uterus expanding. Maybe the ligaments are all attached there? Another question for the doctor. I need to write this stuff down!

Other than that, just the occasional bout of nausea. I haven't thrown up in over a week now, though. I think that's a pretty big accomplishment! My stomach is starting to swell more. It seems to be larger in the evening. From gravity?? Who knows.

My newsletter this week also told me how I am supposed to be sleeping. On the side is best. Laying on the left side increases circulation. Laying on the back is a big no-no. I guess it blocks some major blood flow and I am warned against laying on my back for more than three minutes after sixteen weeks. This is a problem for me since I have been most comfortable falling asleep on my back. I need to convince Husband to buy me a body pillow now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Appointment Confusion

August 20, 2009
Sometimes all this automated hospital stuff is nice. I'm one of those people who dislikes calling places, scheduling appointments, and talking to random strangers. If I can do something online, I'm on it!

I attempted to transfer my medical appointments to closer to my work for transportation reasons. My last doctor told me I needed to schedule an appointment with them, and that I could do it online. I filled out all the information and set up an account. After spending who knows how long navigating the webpage, I could not figure out how to transfer facilities, so I broke down and called. I was connected to quite a few people who were not able to do what I wanted, until finally one told me to go online and do it. I asked for explicit directions on how, since I was unable to do so previously, and she kindly gave them to me. It turns out that I had to request a new doctor at a new facility, and then I would be able to switch. So I did.

The next step was to schedule an appointment. I had received a generic welcome letter in the mail and there was a number to call. It said it was available twenty-four hours a day. I called, since Husband has been bugging me to schedule as soon as possible. Well, that was confusing! I decided to go online instead. That was a little better. I randomly scheduled an appointment for late September. Then I noticed I could look up the notes from my old appointments. I did so, and the note from my last appointment said to schedule my next one for early September. Oops. I tried to go back to reschedule, but it said it was unable to do so at the time. Hmm... I'll have to attempt to figure this one out. Should I schedule another appointment for earlier in the month? Or try to reschedule later? Or call the advice nurse? I think I'll sleep on it.

Second Trimester

August 20, 2010
Fourteen weeks! How in the world did that happen? Time is really starting to fly by, especially since I started working again and am counting down the weeks of work. My next appointment isn't until about twenty weeks, so I get some time to just hang out with the baby in my belly before he or she gets prodded again.

I am now officially in the second trimester. Everything I've read said that this is the best trimester. Morning sickness is supposed to ease up, frequency of bathroom trips is expected to lessen, and the baby is said to make itself known through the protruding belly and little movements it will eventually make.

I have to say that I am feeling so much better, and the nausea seems to be a thing of the past. The memory of it is even starting the fade (Don't worry, I can always reread my blog to remember!). My tummy is growing, and I've started to feel a little pain like my insides are being stretched. I've heard that it is called ligament pain, from the ligaments stretching to accommodate the baby. It comes and goes, and I feel it mostly in my side and by my belly button. My belly button, by the way, has also become a little larger. I can see a little bit more of the inside of it. I have a mole in there!

Now that I'm in the second trimester, it's time to start looking for baby items. A friend of mine loaned me a book on baby bargains. It's comparable to the consumer reports, only purely baby items. It's a little overwhelming, actually. Who knew there were so many baby companies out there, and so many names that are really the same people, or owned by other people who go by the same name? I do think some of the things I read are helpful. For instance, who knew that there were different types of cribs? There are some with sides that drop down, and some with sides that have a hinge, and some you can drop down by a knee push, and others you can drop down by a foot press, and others that don't drop down at all. Then there are the unique round ones, or those that are modeled after sleigh beds (apparently fashionable, but not practical as the crib bumper doesn't fit). All these things to keep in mind! I read the first section on cribs, then set the book aside. Too much information to take in at once. I need a break.

Pounding Headache

August 17, 2009
I had a headache when I woke up this morning. A pounding one. So bad that I decided to take a Tylenol. This was a big step for me. I have tried very, very hard to be completely natural and not take any drugs or medications of any sort. But this morning I couldn't handle going to work with this bad of a headache, so I took the Tylenol, then felt guilty (even though it is supposed to be the ONLY thing a person can safely take while pregnant). Well, it was effective and I made it through my day at work.

Started feeling nauseous on the drive home from work, though. Thought it would help if I munched on a snack. I have many snacks lying around my car: boxes of raisins, the little hundred calories snack packs, donuts (they were on sale!), etc. I opened a box of raisins and started to munch. Then, I got the feeling. Lately I've been able to control it, and maybe I will just gag a little and nothing will come up. Not this time. I gagged, and then felt more coming up. I was in the middle lane on the freeway so I grabbed a cup from my cupholder (leftover from my breakfast, which had included a cup of milk and a bagel while driving to work). I consider myself to be pretty talented, able to heave into a plastic cup while still navigating the freeway. Anyway, I was feeling miserable and I was close to my parent's house so I stopped there to lay on the couch and attempt to feel better before driving home. I curled up with the dog and took a nap. A few hours later I drove home to crawl into bed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Wear a Milk Mustache Proudly

August 11, 2009
Have I had any cravings lately? Milk! I love milk! I ran out one night and ended up dreaming about drinking gallons and gallons of milk. The next day Husband stopped by the store and picked me up some more. I think I average two to three tall glasses a day.

On another note, I am starting to show more. Most of my pants aren't fitting as well, and I have to wear loose fitting tops. However, I still look like your average American girl who eats too much fast food, as opposed to my formerly skinny self. My brother in law came over the other day with a friend. He asked his friend, "Does she look pregnant to you?" His friend stated that I did not, and brother in law said, "Well, I can tell. She used to be a twig!" Ahh, brother in law. That statement totally made my day.

I'm also starting to have small pains in my stomach. I read that it is most likely my ligaments stretching to accommodate Baby. It's rather painful, though. Most of the time I feel it at night. This could be because I am distracted by work during the day, but I have been stopped in my tracks by a sharp pain at work.

Indigestion is another side effect I have. I didn't realize this until I visited with my mother and she pointed it out. I thought I was just burping a lot. A lot a lot. Apparently that is known as indigestion. Heartburn usually accompanies indigestion, but I haven't had that. Let's hope I don't!

No Chinese

August 7, 2009
Ah, vomit. My old friend is back. Husband really wanted to order Chinese, which is really one of our favorite foods of all time. Baby, however, does not care for Chinese food. At first sniff, I had to hide out in the bedroom. Eventually I was able to eat some, but halfway through it all came back up again. No more Chinese food for me and Baby!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tissues and Growing Belly

August 5, 2009
Boogers. Lots of boogers all over the place. I guess when you are pregnant your body produces more mucous. I keep blowing my nose and try to make sure I have tissues around. They say nosebleeds are also common, but thankfully I haven't had to experience that.

Morning sickness has become so so so so so so so much better! I no longer feel sick all day long. If anything, I might throw up a little in the morning and be done. I do still wake up in the middle of the night feeling nauseous, but my days are starting to become more bearable. I have occasional moments of feeling really weak and disjointed, but those pass quickly. Maybe this part of pregnancy will be more enjoyable!

I've been trying to work out bathroom breaks, especially during the day. Two weeks ago I had to go practically every hour, but this week it has lessened and I am able to last two to three hours. At work I try to stop by the restroom every time I pass it (which isn't very often since my classroom is three minutes away!). My night breaks have lessened, and now I only get up two to three times, instead of every two hours.

My back has started aching, probably because I am standing all day. It's looked down upon in my occupation if you are found sitting. I do a lot of walking, though, and prop my feet up during my lunch break.

I am a little more tired. I think I've been getting about nine hours of sleep lately. It's nice. My stomach has also started growing. If I pull my shirt tight, and to those of you who know me, it's easy to tell that I have a bump. My pants won't button anymore, so I bought a BellaBand thing at Target to hold them up. I decided I don't really like it. It keeps riding up when I move around (and I move around a lot with sitting and bending and twisting), and it just feels constricting. So instead, when I can, I use a hair band to wrap around the button of my pants to keep them closed. I'm only off by about an inch or inch and a half.

Overall, things are looking up. I am able to function again and have a life, although it was really tough there for a while. Husband and I actually went out for dinner last night, and I didn't have to throw up! He has been wonderful, and I'm glad to see him so excited about our family.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Perfect Little Uterus

July 28, 2009
I had yet another ultrasound today. I believe this has been my third ultrasound so far, and maybe my fifth or sixth appointment? I've lost track. Normal people would have had one at this point in time. Normal people would probably also have an easier pregnancy than mine. But I digress.

I had been given a little cup to pee in at my last visit so I could collect my morning urine. Apparently that is the most pure. Since I get up to use the restroom a bazillion times during the night/early morning, I decided to collect my 6am sample. Then I put it into a ziploc baggie and two Safeway bags. Eight hours later I was on my way to my appointment.

I registered on the third floor, since that was where I had to go last time. The clerk sent me down to the second and told me it changes all the time depending on the doctor one has the privilege of seeing. I was meeting someone new today.

I sat in the waiting room and people watched. Across from me was a young Hispanic girl with her boyfriend, they looked about 16, maybe. An African American woman came in and complained to the clerk about how tight Medical is getting and how they want to verify everyone's information. I'm thinking, "Good, they better! My tax dollars are paying for you, lady." The Hispanic girl was called in, then it was my turn.

The nurse had me step on the scale (I have gained back one pound from what I've lost.) and took my blood pressure (normal). She dumped out practically all my well preserved urine and put a stick thingie in just a tiny bit. The stick thingie turned multiple colors and she showed me how it compared to the norm. Everything matched except the pink one. She told me I needed to drink more water. Then she led me to the doctor's office or checkup room or whatever those things are called and gave me a gown to change in to.

This was the first time I had been asked to change into a gown. Previously I had only to strip from the waist down. Today I was totally out there. I sat on the little bed for about twenty minutes fiddling with the back of the gown to try and cover myself before the doctor finally came in. I stared at all the posters and information on birth control (there are like ten different manufacturers out there!). I also saw some diagrams of a dilated cervix, starting at one cm and going to ten. It's huge! They expect me to stretch that far?! Oh boy.

The doctor came in and introduced herself and went over the paperwork I filled out last time about family medical history. She asked if I was getting headaches (yes) and said she recommended quiet bedrest (hehehe, wait til I tell my husband!) and that it is ok to take a couple of regular Tylenol. Honestly, I'm trying to avoid drugs at all cost, even if they are safe. Maybe I'm just punishing myself, but I feel better about myself that way. She also talked about my rare blood type, of which I am totally aware, and said she would give me more information on that.

Then the doctor told me that today she was going to check my thyroids, my breasts, my uterus, and I forget what else. So she did. I had to lift my arms above my head while she felt around, which was really awkward. And I had forgotten to shave under my arms today, too! Note: when pregnant, hair and nails grow really fast. Shaving becomes an everyday thing for those of us who could get away with it every few days. I just happened to be lazy today of all days.

She used some painful device to get samples to check for chlamydia and gonorrhea, although I thought they already checked for that. Then she felt around on top of my stomach with one hand, while the other was inside to feel my uterus. She told me that I had the "perfect little uterus" and that the medical students should come see it. Fortunately, they were not there today. Otherwise, would I have said, "OK, sure, I'm fine with a bunch of people touching me in my most intimate areas."? Hmmm, I probably would have said yes. It's medical teaching, and I am ok with that. On a scientific note, I also want to donate all my organs and the baby's cord blood for science and healing. But this is for another blog. Note: Husband was not there today or he may have freaked out at that point.

Next, the doctor called in the nurse to help with the ultrasound machine. I've done this multiple times, but this time was painful! I think it was because my bladder was really full. I thought I might be forced to pee again, and I wanted to be ready. But it really did hurt! It was easy to spot the baby right away. It took up practically the whole screen, and actually looked like a baby. She moved the wand around and we saw the baby's heart beating, its little hands and feet moving around, and even the top part of its head where the brain was divided into two sections. The baby rolled around a couple of times and the doctor took pictures when she thought she had a good one. It was really cool! I was very glad when it was over, though. Next time I am not going in with a full bladder unless I absolutely have to.

After all that, I got dressed while the doctor went and got me this months pamphlet all about the baby and what I should and should not be doing, and a CD about childcare, and a brochure on being AB-. She also talked about prenatal screening for birth defects and and the different methods they have. If I decided to go with the newest, most accurate one, I could do it today. I decided a while ago that I am not going to do any screenings, so I turned her down. We are having a baby, and we are going to love it no matter what.

Then I was sent to the lab to give another urine test to make sure my bladder infection has really disappeared. I hope so, although I'm not so sure. I know I'm not drinking enough water. It seems to gross me out lately. I like it really cold with ice, but our water has little white floaty things in it that make me gag. Yuck. Plus, I'm not sure how much of the antibiotics I actually kept in my system. Remember morning sickness? I tried to keep them down... Well, the doctor told me she would call if there was anything there.

My next appointment is supposed to be at a new facility, closer to my new job. I have to call and make an appointment for an ultrasound six weeks from now. At that point they will do a closer inspection of the major organs. The doctor was sad to hear that I probably wouldn't be seeing her again. She said all the good ones leave, and she gets stuck with people who come in slippers and pajamas. I wonder if they shave.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Words Cannot Describe

July 25, 2009
I had to adjust to a regular schedule this past week. I had to go in to a work training Monday through Thursday from 8-4. I was dreading it, because of the nausea and bathroom breaks, but I think it worked out ok. Every morning I would wake up, eat breakfast, get ready, and drive to the training. There was a ton of food, so I was able to munch on donuts and fruit in the morning, eat whatever was provided for lunch, and then indulge in carbs such as chips or cookies, or more fruits or vegetables in afternoons. I read that having a full stomach helps with nausea. I'm really not sure if it helped or not. I do know I wasn't hungry this past week!

I had to use the restroom pretty much every hour or so, but it wasn't a major issue. I am concerned with bathroom breaks once school starts up again. It's not really possible to leave the children every hour, so I will have to figure out a way to fix the situation. I also felt pretty well most days, in regards to nausea. It seems to have gotten better, and now doesn't hit me until the afternoon/evening time. A couple times during the day I would feel a wave of it wash over me, but I would sit there and ride it out. I only had to throw up before leaving one afternoon. That was after attempting to munch on a carrot.

Monday night was the worst. I came home and crawled into bed, the nausea was so intense. It felt like I had started experiencing morning sickness all over again for the first time, like it had been the first week. It was awful. The rest of the week wasn't as intense, although I did have to pull over to the side of the road on the way home either Tuesday or Wednesday. I don't remember exactly which day. Pretty much every day I would head home, maybe stop and do an errand or visit family (My brother washed my car for me one of the days- he's so sweet!) then attempt to eat something and take a nap when I got home. I would lay in bed for a while, then maybe eat some more, and go to bed for the night. For information on how the nights are, please read my last blog.

I feel bad that husband only gets to see me when I am nauseated, and I can't really do anything. He would love to be able to go out to dinner, or just go out when he gets home from work, but I really don't feel up for it because I am focusing too much on keeping everything in my stomach. I feel that if I go anywhere, I will throw up in the car, or be so distracted by not feeling well, it's not even worth it.

I've been asked what it feels like, so I was trying to come up with analogies to compare to how I feel. Hopefully this will get the picture across:

I feel like I was on the Tea Cup Ride at Disneyland for hours and hours and hours...

You know when you sit in the backseat of a car for a long journey through treacherous, windy roads for hours on end with a scary driver and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach....

Having a stomach flu, for weeks on end, with no possibility of relief through medication.

Wanting to feel normal again, but knowing that no matter what you do, you're stomach is still going to revolt.

Fear of going into restaurants or places that have strong smells, because you might throw up and everyone would stare at you and get grossed out.

Grossing yourself out and remembering the images every time you throw up. I have a mental library of what different foods look like in reverse. Ew.

For some, the sight of blood, or seeing someone else throw up, or watching a major surgery and not being able to turn away.

I think those are some pretty good analogies. Maybe now you'll get a better picture of how I am feeling.

I have another doctor's appointment on Tuesday. Hopefully all will be well.

Disney Precious Moments Minnie You Are My Cup of Tea Figurine

Monday, July 20, 2009

Night Time

July 20, 2009
I've written a lot about my days, but I've failed to mention the night experience while being pregnant. Let me enlighten you. I make sure I have water, Saltines, and peppermints on my nightstand within easy reach before I settle into bed. I usually try to go to bed around ten or so. After much tossing and turning and readjusting pillows because it's really hard to get comfortable, I fall into a deep sleep. I am awakened suddenly around 2 am with the room spinning and an uncontrollable urge to pee.

On top of that, my throat and mouth are parched and insanely dry. I use the restroom, try to control my nausea, drink some water, try a piece of a Saltine, and suck on a peppermint to attempt to put myself back to sleep. Meanwhile, my brain mulls over anything and everything, and I try not to move so I don't make myself sick. I might drift off about an hour later.

Around 4 am, the same scenario ensues. Pee, nausea, settle back in and lie awake for at least an hour, usually more. 6 am the cycle repeats. Husband starts to wake up around this time and I listen to his getting-ready-for-work sounds while I try to find solace in sleep. After he leaves around 8, I use the restroom, drink a little more, and am finally able to fall into a deep sleep again. I'll wake up for the day anywhere between nine and eleven, where I run through the cycle again and stagger out into the kitchen to have breakfast. This is pretty much how all of my nights have been for the past few weeks. On the plus side, I have been able to watch many sunrises through our east facing bedroom window.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Locked Out

July 16, 2009
Today started out pretty well, actually. I felt really good after waking up so I decided to go for a walk. Husband has been taking my car to work, so he took my keys and left me his. I grabbed his keys and my cell phone and took off. We have a really nice path behind our house that loops around the neighborhoods and a few parks. It's peaceful and well-shaded, something important in the summer heat. I passed a neighbor when I went outside, and he mentioned that he has seen me walking out here a lot. I wasn't sure how to reply to that, so I told him yes, I have been walking lately. Then I was on my merry way.

I came home and went to let myself into the house when I realized I was missing the front door key. What to do? I called my brother-in-law and left him a message that went something like, "Help, I've locked myself out. Come rescue me!" He lives in town and has a spare key, but he didn't answer or call me back right away. I looked at the keys I did have and figured one of them must be for the back door. I went around the back and opened the door, letting myself in. I called the brother in law who had gotten my damsel in distress message and was about to come over. I told him thanks, but I was good to go. He decided he would go back to sleeping in.

A friend of mine came over and we went through some of my work items. She will be teaching the grade I taught last year, so I gave her everything grade specific that I had. I was thankful to pass it on, since it means less boxes I need to move tomorrow.

I was still feeling really good, so I actually started to plan for this upcoming school year. Around three, my feel-good-wave died and nausea started to take over. However, I had already agreed to dinner plans, so I figured I could take a nap and hopefully feel better. Husband came home and felt bad about the key situation. We went to Target where I bought one of those BellaBands for when my pants don't fit anymore. Plus, we checked out all the overpriced baby stuff and wondered how in the world people are supposed to afford everything.

After Target we went to dinner with friends. I wasn't feeling the greatest, but food made me feel a little better. Something about having a solid substance in my stomach, I guess. However, right at the end of the meal I told Husband we needed to leave. I had that feeling and didn't want to make a scene in the restaurant. He started to drive home, and sure enough, all of my dessert (yes, I had dessert!) and dinner came up. Thankfully I am prepared and haven't yet made a mess of the car. Poor Husband drove home and I ran in to the bathroom to finish.

I had really hoped to make it through, especially since I woke up feeling so well and was able to accomplish some work during the day. The difference, though, is that in the past after I throw up, I don't feel better. I still feel sick. Today, I threw up and I actually did feel better! That's how I thought morning sickness would be this whole time. You know, feel sick, throw up, feel better. Not the feel sick, throw up, still feel sick cycle that I have had for the past month. Maybe I'm getting better? I think it also helps that I am no longer on antibiotics, a side effect of which was nausea. Hopefully I will be able to feel well tomorrow when I move my stuff into my classroom and start to set up walls. I am very thankful for friends and family who give me support, whether morally or physically!

The other night I went to dinner with a group of girlfriends (we attempt monthly dinners or so to catch up), and I was so surprised when they brought me some gifts for the baby and me! It was such a sweet gesture and I definitely felt the love : ) I now own some actual baby items! Now, when I am feeling sick, I go and take a peek at the baby clothes and items in the closet and know that this is going to be worth it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nine Weeks

July 14, 2009
I figured I should post something since I haven't written lately. Pretty much everything has remained the same. I keep trying to sleep in as late as I possibly can to sleep off the nausea, if that's even possible. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to help. I still feel sick all day long. Plus, I've confined myself to the bedroom lately since the smells of the kitchen and living room make me sick. Any time I have to go to the kitchen, I hold my breath or breathe through my mouth so I don't smell anything.

I had a time period of about two days where I didn't throw up at all. I still felt sick, but nothing came up. I thought that was an improvement. That ended this morning with a vengeance. Breakfast went down the toilet.

One of my good friends came by to visit me with her son this morning. She picked me up and we sat and chatted at Starbucks for a while. It was nice to get out. Then she had to leave, and I thought I would attempt some errands that my husband had asked me to do (get gas, go to the post office, the bank). I got gas and cleaned out my car. I had a McDonald's bag in there and debated throwing it away for fear I might need it as a barf bag. Oh well, I should be fine. I tossed it.

I went to the post office and mailed a package. Next stop, the bank. On the way there I started to get that feeling. I popped a peppermint, since those usually help. Then what should I do? I pulled out a handily stashed plastic bag from my purse just in case. I also figured I could pull over to the side of the road if need be. Well, need be. I got sick while driving and had to pull over to finish throwing up anything that was left in my stomach. Thankfully I contained it all in the plastic bag. Very gross, I know. I hightailed it home as fast as I could, and here I am now.

I really did think I was starting to get better, but apparently baby has other plans. I'm supposed to go out to dinner tonight...not sure how that will pan out. I am also scheduled to fix up my classroom on Friday. Thankfully I have good friends and family who will be helping me. I really don't think I could start it alone, given the way I feel.

I'm a little over nine weeks right now, so less than three to go! Bring on the indigestion and heartburn (that is supposed to start up right about then when the morning sickness goes away). I'm a little frustrated, and I know husband is starting to get frustrated with me too (even though he would never admit it) because this is just debilitating. At least I'm not as bad as some people who have to be hospitalized because they throw up ten times a day. Something to be thankful for.

Friday, July 10, 2009

AB-

July 10, 2009
The walk the other day was a great idea (Thanks, Mom for dragging me outside!). I was actually able to do some laundry and chores that day. Husband was quite pleased. I need to be walked every day now. Anyone?

My sister also stopped by to visit me. Somebody told me she felt sorry for me because my blog is so depressing. I didn't think it was that bad. It's my current reality. If it causes you to think twice about getting pregnant, then I have done my job. This is really not fun and I don't think I want to do it again. We can adopt if we want more.

(Warning- Graphic paragraph to follow)

I think my morning sickness is getting worse. I've tried eating every hour or two to keep my stomach full, but I think it just gives me more to throw up at night. Last night was pretty rough, I started dry heaving because I ran out of stuff to throw up. Lovely, I know. Tonight, Husband and I actually went out to a nice dinner with friends. I made it through the meal and started to feel sick toward the end. I rushed Husband out of there and ended up throwing up in the car on the ride home. Good thing I had my handy dandy barf bag stashed in my purse, or it would have been a major disaster. I do have leather seats, though. Once home, I continued to review my dinner in the toilet. Three weeks or less and this part is supposed to end, right? That will put me into the next trimester when the happy times are rumored to begin. I want the happy times.

(OK, graphic part is over.)

I also discovered through my various lab tests that I am part of 4% of Caucasian women. I have rare blood, AB-. Remember how they used to do blood tests before you got married? It was to make sure you and future husband were compatible to have children. I think they stopped because now they have drugs to make you compatible.

Back to me being rare. A person can be either positive or negative blood type. This is called your Rh factor. If my husband has the same negative Rh factor, then our baby also will, and everything will be fine. The chances of this are super slim. If he is positive, baby will most likely also be positive. This is fine, unless something happens and my blood and the baby's blood mixes (usually this doesn't happen until labor and delivery). If our blood mixes, my body will think the baby is an intruder and build up antibodies to get rid of it. Not a good situation. So doctors got together and developed a drug or something called Rhogam, which tells my body not to build these antibodies. I get a shot of this between 20 and 28 weeks, I believe. So first baby should be fine. However, should we choose to have another, my body might build antibodies right away, or already have them since first baby was delivered. Thus, the second pregnancy will be considered high risk and I'll be closely watched. I asked the doctor if my husband should get his blood tested to find out his Rh factor, and she said I would be getting the shot regardless as a precaution, so he didn't have to get tested. They will check me later on to see if I have built up antibodies, and we will go from there.

Am I just a wimp, or is pregnancy really this complicated?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Morning Phone Call

July 8,2009
After throwing up all my dinner, half my lunch, and my prenatal pill, I retired to bed last night. Not a fun night. Plus, I was worrying about my self-diagnosed infection. Husband says I'm a hypochondriac. I told him that wasn't nice. However, he still brought me ice water like I asked him too and rushed to my side when I was throwing up (even though I told him he didn't have to, he said he just wants to make sure I'm all right). I married a wonderful man. : )

This morning I was woken up by a phone call from... a nurse! She was going over my lab results and (surprise!) I have an infection. I need to go pick up some prescription drugs (which are safe for the baby), and take a few pills a day for a week. The infection should clear up in a few days.

Yay! Maybe I'll actually start to feel better, and pregnancy really isn't this bad? Perhaps my infection was just making me feel worse, and when it clears up I'll start to feel at least a little more normal. One can hope.

Feeling a little more optimistic and motivated, I am going to take a walk now.