Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On Sleeping and Scares

I was thinking back today of my previous pregnancies. When I was pregnant with Gracie, Bub was a daycare baby and I worked a full-time job. I got up every morning, packed a diaper bag, and commuted to an office in a downtown skyrise. I didn't nap. In fact, I had terrible insomnia and I hardly slept at all. Even when my pregnancy became high-risk and I was later hospitalized, I only dozed when the Phenergan kicked in.

When I was pregnant with Zachary, I had two kids in public school and I was very involved in their endeavors. We also decided the time had come to buy another house, so I toured homes through the week. We moved when I was about 15 weeks pregnant. I sorted and packed nearly all of our things on my own, we moved with minimal help, and the unpacking responsibilities were mine alone. Even then in the midst of actual physical labor, I had energy to spare.

Here I am now at 16 weeks gestation, and I can hardly keep my eyes open. I wake up from a full night's sleep still as tired as ever. At night, I fall asleep nearly as soon as my head hits a pillow. I could sleep nearly all day long if I had that kind of freedom. I thought I was supposed to have some sort of influx of energy here in the second trimester, but so far, I've had no such luck. I have rooms to redesign and rearrange, children to educate, company to host, and a life to live -- but hardly any energy to do any of those things. I'm hoping I get some rest before this baby comes.

Things could be worse, though -- I know that. My complaint is oh-so-small comparatively. In fact, last night when we used the doppler to hear the baby's heartbeat, I couldn't find it. I could hear the whoosh sound of the placenta working, but no baby. I listened in for quite some time, and after a while, I was concerned there wasn't a heartbeat to hear anymore.

James, in true form, was freaking out, wanting nothing more than to rush me to the emergency room. But I refused to go. Either there was a heartbeat and I, in a most unskilled way, couldn't find it, or the baby had died. There's nothing that can be done about that. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so there was no reason to rush to the ER when, even if the baby had died, they wouldn't do anything before then. On that note, I went straight to sleep (my head was on a pillow, so it couldn't be helped). Poor James stayed up nearly all night long researching doppler usage and various other topics that provided no comfort.

This morning, James woke me up long before it was necessary to search for the baby once again, and sure enough, there she was in the same spot she often is. I have to admit it was so comforting hearing her heartbeat after I thought it might have been gone for good. James, though, was most relieved of all. So relieved, in fact, it was hard for me to tell if he might cry or fall asleep. I could have fallen asleep right along with him.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Heart Dopplers and Hair Color

As of yesterday, I'm now 15 weeks pregnant. I'm beginning to feel some little scratches and tickles inside from time to time. Nothing predictable, and nothing strong, but just enough that every once in a while I think, "Holy cow! There's a baby in there!" I don't think I'd normally be able to feel anything just yet, but this baby's settled in way up high in my uterus, and that's consistently where I feel the teeny-tiny nudges. I'm excited about the sporatic movement -- it makes everything feel real.

We also bought a new fetal heart doppler from a dealer on eBay. It arrived yesterday afternoon, so last night, James and I found the heartbeat (in that same way-up-high location I feel the tickles) and listened in for a while. The monitor has a display indicating the heart rate, and baby's heart rate seems to stay in that 145-160 range, just as in the doctor's office. After a couple of minutes of just listening, James decided to talk to the baby. He put his mouth to my belly and said, "Hello, baby!" At first, her heart rate rose a little to that upper range, then she took off. She moved away from the monitor and his mouth. I eventually found her heart beat again, but it sounded far away. I think if we could've seen inside, we'd have found her peeking out from behind her umbilical cord. James felt bad for scaring the baby, but I thought it was an interesting experiment. I also think it's comforting to have the doppler -- particularly when I feel bad or worried, but not so bad or worried enough to call the doctor.

Now at 15 weeks, I'm totally, completely, officially, without a doubt out of the first trimester by every standard. I'm celebrating my getting my hair colored. Gah, it's about time! About the time I thought, "I really need to go in for a touch-up," I got the positive pregnancy test, and while I'm not perfect on every pregnancy account, waiting for hair color is one thing I will do. I know it sounds so silly, but I'm so excited to go in. I have to take the kids with me, and even that doesn't damper my enthusiasm. I really should get out more.

Cross Posted on Mandigirl Muses

Thursday, February 12, 2009

100 days

The President gets to celebrate it, elementary school children get to celebrate it, so why shouldn't I? I'm 100 days pregnant today -- only 180 days to go!! Perhaps I should make some sort of penny sculpture à la Truman now -- or maybe a sculpture of positive pregnancy tests. I probably took about 100 of them this time around.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dancing Along: Reporting on my 14 week Scan

Baby Girl at 14 Weeks
L to R: Baby head facing out, Arms bent at elbows with hands by ears, Well-endowed tummy

I saw the perinatologist today for my 14 week check-up and sonogram, and everything looks great. The baby measures 2-3 days ahead on all body parts, and a week ahead on length. Early ultrasounds are more accurate for dating and were spot on with my cycle dates, so the due date won't be changed by the current measurements. I guess it still holds true that I just make big babies. (Both Gracie and Zachary also measured ahead.)

As with my previous pregnancies, I've gained no weight in my first trimester. In fact, I've lost eight pounds since my first appointment. Because I have lots of poundage to spare and because baby looks good, that's not a matter for concern. I just too often have no interest in eating, or when I do have an interest in eating, I can never eat as much as I think I can without throwing up. That, or I prepare a meal for my family that suddenly disgusts me, and I'm too tired to make something new for myself, so I just eat a few carrots or crackers or go without eating anything at all. I need to be more proactive about having some non-nauseating food options ready and on-hand, but I need energy for that and I'm still waiting for that second trimester benefit to kick in.

Anyway, the appointment yesterday went really well. My cervix is still stable and has gotten even longer, and the baby is way up high. After waiting for the cord to move and for our little boogie baby (yes, still dancing all over) to slow down, the doctor was able to get two really good clear shots to show us that this baby is 100% girl. No doubt about it.

My doctor also spent a good bit of time talking about next steps and the long-term, and though that was all good stuff, it was a bit hard to process. It was hard to hear him talk about what to do eight days before delivery when I'm still thinking, "Wait, I'm pregnant?" As a planner extraordinaire, I'm thinking hoping this inhibition will pass with time.

Though it's not possible for me to plan for the future this early in the game, I had no reservations about doing a little celebratory shopping, picking up a "Sweet Baby Girl" wall hanging and the tiniest pair of silver dancing slippers.

Sweet Baby Girl

Silver Dancing Slippers

Cross-posted at Mandigirl Muses

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Good Riddance, First Trimester!

I'm 13 weeks and two days pregnant. There's a debate on when the second trimester officially starts. When I was pregnant with Gracie way back when, the second trimester began when the 12th week of pregnancy was over. Now, the 14th week is thrown into the mix for some strange reason. I heard from someone that her midwife said 14 weeks is now the number because the chance of loss is still high until that week is over. On the other hand, I've heard as soon as you hear that heartbeat, your particular chance of loss falls to less than 5%.

Because no one can give us a reasonable answer, James decided the second trimester begins at 13 weeks and 3 days. That's tomorrow for me, so today is the very last day in this roller-coaster first trimester. Goodbye, and good riddance!

To celebrate the end of the first trimester, I began throwing up. I'm a real party animal. Today, after Bible Study, I stopped by Kroger to pick up a few missing dinner ingredients. I was scheduled to make dinner for a family at our church who recently had twins. I'd been fine all morning, and felt fine in the store, but all of a sudden, while picking out a brand of shredded cheese, I became suddenly very nauseated.

Historically, I like to mix things up a bit by skipping the nausea in the first trimester and moving it to the second and beyond, but nausea for me does not always mean vomiting. It just means misery. I thought that might have been what this was -- by body moving on. I stood very still for a moment to see if it would pass. When it didn't, I thought I'd better scope out the closest restroom (while noting trash cans along the way).

As soon as I spotted the bathroom, I knew I had no hope. I hustled my confused children into the bathroom, and as I waved their questions away, I looked for an opening in the stalls. Both stalls looked full from the front, and I couldn't bend to look underneath without expelling my breakfast. Gracie thought to push on the door of a stall she saw was empty. No sooner did I hang up my purse and hit my knees than I began puking again and again.

The kids were outside of the stall, peering through the cracks, worrying themselves sick. "Are you okay mom?" they asked. "Is the baby okay?"

"Yes, kids," (barf) "Sometimes when a mommy (puke) has a baby in her tummy (ralph), the baby makes the mommy (hurl) throw up. (blech) I'll be just fine."

The lady in the stall next to me wasn't just fine, though. She finished up her business and hurried out the door. I peeled myself off the Kroger bathroom floor, cleaned myself up and finished up my grocery shopping, sipping a cold 7up along the way. I came home hoping it would pass, but it hasn't. I've been throwing up more this evening. Gracie also has become sick with a tummy ache and a low-grade fever.

So, now it doesn't seem that this is my body acknowledging the second trimester. Instead it's some nasty bug doing its best to get out. Needless to say, we cancelled our plans to take dinner to our friends. I've also cancelled our plans to attend a homeschool swimming event in the morning. If I feel tomorrow like I do right now, there's a very good chance I'll spend much of the day lying very, very still. Here's hoping whatever this is passes quickly, and that I have enough Phenergan to get me through!