Well I entered week 30 of this pregnancy last weekend and to mark the milestone (I can usually find an excuse to call each week a milestone if I really want), I thought I'd post a new belly shot...
The main reason it's a milestone is because 30 weeks is when Clara entered the world. Baby #2 is now as old, as developed, as Clara was at birth. She was 3.2 lbs and Baby #2 is roughly that same weight. It's really amazing to think about it, especially because it reminds me what a miracle Clara is.
So I've been dealing with pregnancy aches and pains for a while now, but yesterday it reached new levels. I felt like I was huge and had a hard time getting up off the couch. It was so weird!
My back is also really painful, especially starting in the evenings, and I have newfound respect for people who deal with chronic back pain (like my husband). I don't know how they do it. It messes with my mind and makes me crazy!
I have pretty much figured out that my back pain is due to wearing a bra. In my theory, the bra distributes weight to my upper back, the same part of my back that is currently carrying some of the load of my growing belly. Does that make sense? I know this to be true because when I don't wear one, I don't have pain that evening. But oh, let me tell you, not wearing one is not easy. I'll leave it at that (and of course I wear one when I'm out. That is NOT an option).
Last night I was in so much pain in bed (back pain and side pain as well) that I woke up all night long, switching from side to side (and usually ended up on my back, which makes it harder to breathe). I'm exhausted today. I think it's come to the point where I have no choice but to buy that expensive pregnancy body pillow, the one that looks like a candy cane (a purchase I was hoping to avoid). Has it worked for any of you?
Sorry if it seems like I'm complaining! I still love being pregnant and I love that I'm getting bigger, despite whatever extra discomfort comes with that. I think I just need to voice it because it's amazing to me that it's happening. I don't think it'll ever sink in that I'm pregnant! Well, maybe once labor starts..
Well Clara's napping so that means shower time for me. Better late than never.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Well I entered week 30 of this pregnancy last weekend and to mark the milestone (I can usually find an excuse to call each week a milestone if I really want), I thought I'd post a new belly shot...
Sunday, September 26, 2010
What a blessing this weekend has been, and what an answer to prayer it was as well.
Clara was baptized yesterday in a beautiful ceremony at our parish, and our family and friends came from far and wide to celebrate with us. We were so thrilled to have everyone here for it and so thankful they all could make it.
I wasn't sure how a nearly-ten-month-old baby would react to being baptized, especially at 6:30 in the evening (not her best time) after already sitting through an hour-long Mass. But she did great. She was quite talkative at the very beginning, but as soon as the first hymn started playing (Be Thou My Vision, which almost made me cry), she fell asleep in her Godfather's arms. She slept the rest of the time, even through the water being poured over the head and the only time she really woke up was as we stood on the alter at the very end and everyone clapped for her. She opened her huge eyes, clearly startled, and looked at everyone, only to fall back asleep about two seconds later.
The baptism was so special, from start to finish. I actually almost cried a couple times, especially when our priest said during his homily that before the foundation of the earth, God had written it for her to be our daughter. I almost lost it with that, as did Ryan.
After the baptism, Father came up to me and commented on how incredibly blessed we are, and how it wasn't that long ago that I sat in his office for spiritual direction and things were very bleak. Now he was baptizing our daughter, with our son in my womb. It really is amazing.
The day and ceremony went by so fast, but at least I can savor the moment every time I smell her oily hair. I'm not going to bathe her again until tomorrow.
Of course, I have pictures. GIMH was kind enough to take a bunch with my camera...
Her Godparents (and their three beautiful children) were kind enough to travel from Upstate New York for the occasion.
Walking to baptismal font while chanting the Litany of Saints. A friend of ours even served as cantor for the baptism. It was so beautiful!
Not even being baptized with Holy Water could wake Clara up.
Receiving the blessings of the mother and father at the Marian chapel.
My parents (left) and Ryan's parents (right).
She finally woke up at the very end, just in time for her party!
We are so thankful to God that our sweet little baby was able to receive her first sacrament. I was not sure when this day would come, and for her to receive it sooner then we expected was such a wonderful blessing. We love you, dear Clara. Welcome to the Body of Christ!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
So lately I've been told a number of times I don't look pregnant yet (even by my endocrinologist the other day). Since I've dreamed of looking pregnant for so many years now, I have anxiously awaited being at the point where it was obvious. Plus, I've gained a ton of weight, so I'd like to know at least some of it was being distributed to my belly area.
Well, finally, at 30 weeks, someone thought I looked pregnant enough to just assume it and ask when I am due! This made my day!
I was getting a pedicure (thanks, Mom!) and the woman doing it asked "When are you ready?" I didn't know what she meant, so she asked again, this time pointing to her stomach.
She knew I was pregnant! Bless this woman! I was thrilled.
On a side note, this is especially poignant because a couple years ago I was getting another pedicure from a different woman who said she could tell I'd never been pregnant because of my build. This gave me quite a laugh because a) not all previously-pregnant women have the same body type, b) of course the ultra-sensitive infertile girl gets told she even looks barren, and, c) if she meant I was slight in the hips or something, well, that's not something I had ever been accused of before and I'll take it! I definitely concentrated on 'c' at the time :)
So, apparently, I finally look pregnant. At least to someone!
In other news, Clara's baptism is tomorrow (well, technically, tonight since it's past midnight). Praise God! I'll hopefully post pictures in the next couple days.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
For the past week or so, Clara has quieted down shortly after going down for her afternoon nap. This was quite a change, since for the past several months she has cried for up to 30 minutes before falling asleep.
So the other day, being a bit curious, I decided to check in on her. Was she really falling asleep right away, like a good little girl? I had my doubts.
I opened the door a crack, and this is what I found:
Imagine my shock! I thought I'd find my sweet baby fast asleep. Or, at the very least, lying awake, cooing quietly to herself. But no. Instead of napping, she was hanging from her mobile! And being very quiet at it, no less!
So like any good mother, I grabbed my phone and shot some video.
Of course, after documenting it, I marched in and, to her dismay, removed the mobile for good. Maybe I should have seen this coming, but it seems like just yesterday she was a tiny baby swaddled tightly in her big crib, with no hope of movement whatsoever, let alone reaching her mobile. They really do grow up so fast!
This just cracks us up. What a little stinker she is!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I'll be 29 weeks tomorrow. We have eleven weeks left. Eleven weeks.
It's funny because in most situations, wouldn't eleven weeks seems far away? Goodness, I think the forty days of Lent seem to last forever! But the last eleven weeks flew by and everyone assures me the next eleven will too. Although as much as I cannot wait to meet our baby, I do love being pregnant. It's weird to think I won't be soon!
Speaking of baby boy, he sure is active lately. And not just kicks and punches; I feel like he's constantly doing the worm in there. And tonight I actually saw and felt a limb poking out. I freaked a little when I felt it! I know I feel him all the time, but something is extra surreal about feeling like you're touching his little hand through your skin.
I've also been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions in recent days. All of a sudden I feel my whole belly painlessly tightening, and then it's gone. And it's happening all day long, it seems.
I'm also really feeling the physical affects of the third trimester. My back aches. It's so hard to bend over. Hard to sit at a table. I wake up early every morning, in pain. I feel like I'm walking funny. And I know my belly is only going to double in size. So will the pain and discomfort, I'm sure.
Right now the heating pad is my best friend (I'm currently laying on it for my back pain), although I can already tell it's not working as well as it did at first for my side.
The pain is now entering into endo pain territory. While I wince and yell at times, I can, for the most part, do things to lessen it, like stand up (it usually happens while sitting), lay on my left side, or grab the heating pad. But it's hardcore, serious pain and I have to force myself to breathe through it.
Enough about the aches and pains (which, of course, I gladly accept overall. I just need to do better in the moment!).
We went to our labor and delivery class last Saturday. Anyone else ever see the video where the wife is walking the halls during labor and has her husband get on all fours and become a table for her to lean on during a contraction? Hands down the highlight of the class. I broke out in uncontrollable laughter and actually had to think negative thoughts to stop giggling! And just for the record, Ryan will not be making a table for me, no matter how badly he wants to.
Meanwhile, Clara is doing great. I don't know when I last updated what she's been up to, but she's been pulling up on everything for a couple weeks now and cruising. And she's just so confident! I thought she'd walk really late, just because she was born so early, but maybe she'll be walking by the time her little brother is here after all. Do I want that? I tend to think not!
She's also so vocal lately. For the past few days, it sure sounded like she'd look at Sophie and say "dog" (well, actually more like "dawd"). I didn't think much of it because I knew I hadn't taught her that word, so I figured it must be a coincidence. Then last night she did it again, so I asked Ryan about it. Turns out he had been working with her on it! Of course, she hasn't said "cat" yet, which I work with her on constantly. She is such a daddy's girl.
So that's what's been going on with us (oh, and I have to mention that the nursery's done! Pictures coming soon). It's funny because I'm really starting to realize that even though I'm a mother and even though I'm pregnant, the ups and downs of life are still present. But at least now they're set against the backdrop of joy rather than sadness. And I'm a huge fan of joy.
Monday, September 13, 2010
So I haven't done a meme in ages, but I thought I'd give this one a try (and it wasn't easy! I'm pretty average and not very surprising). I was tagged by Julie from Andrew and Julie's Adoption Journey. Here goes...
Ten Surprising Things about Me:
1) I don't drink any alcohol. I hate it. I've had my share of beer and liquor in the past, but I've never had a glass of wine. Yuck! (Although I like the idea of liking wine and wish I did). The only thing I like the taste of is a piña colada, and even that needs to be weak (yes, I have actually ordered it "weak" before. I'm not embarrassed to do it!). And don't be like my husband and tell me it's an acquired taste. I'm 33. I think I would've acquired it by now.
2) Ryan and I used to be co-anchors on the local tv news (I didn't think this was surprising, but it seems like whenever it comes up, people are always shocked! I forget most of our current friends didn't know us back then). We anchored a show together and were dating at the time, and no, we didn't always get along. We even had a fight or two during the commercial breaks! But, overall, it was great working so closely with him. If I can find a tape and get around to converting it to a digital file, I'll post it.
4) Ryan and I each saw each other for the first time on tv. I saw him while I was home for spring break my senior year of college. I told my younger sister I couldn't believe she didn't tell me about the cute new sports guy (which was crazy because she probably didn't even watch the news) and that I was going to meet him one day. I believe I said "marry him" but she doesn't remember it and Ryan never believes me. Meanwhile, I got a job at the competing station in the same town after graduation, and Ryan watched my debut (which was probably pretty shaky) with all his co-workers, who all told him he needed to ask me out. Which he did, and the rest is history!
5) After we got married, I worked as the host, producer and editor of a local real estate show. Two of our closest friends own a production company and so I worked for them. It was like a show on HGTV. Well, a very low-budget version of that.
6) I can paint but only from photographs (or any other image I can copy). I realized I could do this around age thirteen and, despite the fact that no one believes me, I assure you I can't paint something from my head. I think it's a self-confidence issue, but I also think there's a chance my brain is just wired to be able to copy photographs and that's it.
7) I produced my first feature film at age ten. It was called Mall Madness and starred me, my best friend and my sisters. I was a tough director. I also composed a rap for it that my whole family can probably sing to this day.
8) I like rap. I love Tupac (especially his really mean, hard stuff, oddly enough. Hit 'Em Up is my all-time fave!). And at one point I knew all the lyrics to Rapper's Delight. But, unlike most people, I don't listen to a lot of music and will often drive with the radio off.
9) I can't listen to someone talk when the tv or radio is on. I can only handle one thing at a time. My sister's the same way and a friend checked her hearing and said she's fine. I know mine is too, I just think it's more of a focusing thing.
10) I interned at Da.vid Letter.man for a summer in college and was even in a sketch with him, but it was cut out before the show aired (although the audience got to see it during the taping of the show and, luckily, my dad happened to be there that day. Plus, we have a tape of it). The sketch was a staff talent show and my talent was playing the saxophone ("talent" is a term I use loosely). Dave was next to me eating an apple and then plugged the sax with it, causing my head to explode. Not too funny. No wonder my part was cut!
I love reading these on everyone's blogs, so if you haven't done it yet, go for it!
Friday, September 10, 2010
I can't believe that is a post title on this blog. My blog. I know I should've seen this coming for, say, 24 weeks now, but I honestly don't think that, for a while at least, I let myself believe I'd get here.
I have believed it for a while now. I better, since I have a crib sitting in a box in my son's nursery that we'll be putting together this weekend and we're going to a labor and delivery class tomorrow. But even when I started acknowledging the fact that I'd actually be giving birth (which, if you're curious, probably started to feel real around week 19 or 20), the third trimester still seemed so far away. Something that I couldn't imagine happening to me. And the big pregnant belly? I'm getting there, but that is hard to imagine too! Although it becomes a little less difficult to picture every day.
And this surrealness doesn't have anything to do with infertility, at least for me. From what I've experienced and heard from others, I believe it's normal. Pregnancy is mind-blowing. I think it's hard for most people, even fertiles, to wrap their minds around it, especially the first time.
So here I am, so thrilled to be here. I'm 28 weeks and have less than three months to go. Thank you, Lord for getting me this far!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Everything's fine! Thank God. And thanks for all your supportive comments and prayers!
The pain is essentially unexplained, which means it's most likely due to my expanding uterus possibly combined with adhesions, gas, or both. The tech even checked my kidneys (which she said she was doing off-the-record, because she used to check them where she used to work and knows pregnancy can put a strain on them) and they were fine too. It was so nice that she did that because if she couldn't check, I'm sure it would have been in the back of my mind whether that was the cause of the pain. Now I know for sure it isn't.
She couldn't see my ovaries because my uterus was too large (and let's not forget u/s techs can't find my ovaries when I'm NOT pregnant!), but she said she looked in the region and if there was anything large on them she would've seen that. That was good enough for me.
She's so sweet, and funny. I could hear her, kind of under her breath, saying, "Look at that spleen. Beautiful!...Ah! What a gorgeous gallbladder!" Haha.. she must really love her job!
I actually had pain while lying on the table and tried to ignore it so I could focus on my baby on the ultrasound screen. He looked so big! So much more formed than last time (which, of course, he is!). He weighs 2 1/2 lbs. and is measuring at 27 weeks, 4 days. Right on track!
He's still a boy, that's for sure :) And she also showed us hair on the back of his head. Isn't that wild?!
We also learned he is still breech, 'frank breech' actually, where his legs are flexed up by his head. His arms are too, which is also where they were at 20 weeks. There's a ton of time for him to shift around, though.
I love seeing him!! It's still so unbelievable to me and will NEVER get old.
So we're thankful this evening that everything's normal, baby boy is healthy, and I also don't have gestational diabetes (more great news!). I can now deal with the pain so much better knowing it's nothing serious (I can try a heating pad and/or Tylenol when it's bad). It's actually flaring up now, so I'm going to give that a try.
I'll leave you with a shot of Baby Boy's foot. I just cannot wait til I can smooch those toes!!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I had my 27 week OB appointment this morning, and my glucose test. And while I was there, I told my doctor that my right side pain was getting pretty unbearable. While it didn't get too bad over the weekend, I already had an attack this morning.
She asked me all about it and based on my symptoms (and lack thereof - no throwing up, for instance) and explanation, she doesn't think it has anything to do with the baby, praise God. She thinks it could possibly be a few things - my uterus causing normal, albeit severe, pain; adhesions from my three previous surgeries stretching as my uterus grows; or possibly a cyst on my right ovary.
The thing is, I don't tend to grow regular cysts. I grow endometriomas. But I know, and my doctor reiterated, that endometriosis is supposed to be helped by pregnancy. So why would one grow now? And if it's a regular corpus luteum that has been growing since my last ovulation, why wouldn't it have been seen on one of my three previous pregnancy ultrasounds?
Adhesions seem like they would make sense, but a year ago after my last surgery, the surgeon told me I didn't have any adhesions from my first two surgeries. I guess it's possible I now have some from the third.
So she wants me to have an ultrasound tomorrow (the first I could get in). I'm trying to think positively, and focus on the fact that I get an ultrasound when I thought the one at 20 weeks was my last. But that's actually what worries me - my doctor told me early on I should be glad if my last u/s is at 20 weeks because that will mean that I had a non-eventful pregnancy.
She didn't act worried at all, but my paranoid self passes that off as her trying not to get me all upset. I cried when I left the office and Ryan probably thinks I'm nuts (but he's used to it).
I do have a bad habit of blowing things (especially medical things) completely out of proportion and letting my imagination get the best of me. I'm fearing the worst (the worst outside of something being wrong with the baby, of course, which she successfully convinced me not to worry about) - that there's some massive tumor in there causing the pain. I'm also concerned it's my ovary twisting and I'll need surgery to remove it (can I have surgery this late?).
Hopefully it's just pain from a growing uterus that means nothing. Or, my first instinct, trapped gas. Hopefully Ryan is right and I'm overreacting.
I guess we'll know tomorrow.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
We were blessed to celebrate our sixth anniversary yesterday. And for the very first time since we've been married, the day no longer also marked a more solemn anniversary - the anniversary of trying to conceive. Not that I wasn't excited to be married one more year each September 4, but I couldn't ever manage to untangle the two. They were intrinsically connected. And I usually made a point to sulk about it all day.
But this year couldn't have been any more different. I spent the day with a baby in my arms, and another in my womb, and I couldn't get over how much had changed in one year. That's something I rarely ever am not thinking about, but it was especially poignant yesterday.
We spent the day with my in-laws' and then in the evening they watched Clara for us while we went out to dinner (using a gift card they gave us, too! We were thrilled!). We also did some shopping for Baby #2's nursery before dinner, my new favorite past time.
Clara had a fun time with her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousin, great aunt, and great greatparents while we were out. They sent me pictures of her periodically, always with a huge smile, except in the ones where she was sound asleep.
We had a delicious dinner (even better when you don't have to pay!), and I was thrilled to see that Clara was sleeping on her grandma when we came home, because I missed the little sweet pea and was hoping she wasn't already in bed.
I am truly so blessed in so many ways, not the least of which is my wonderful, loving husband. I feel like I have been hard on him lately, with the hormones and all, but I am so grateful for everything he does for me. Seriously, he picks up my slack in so many ways and takes wonderful care of me. I love him more each and every day and I never lose sight of the fact that he loves me more than I will ever know (I really, really lucked out in that department). And now to see him as a father, and how madly in love he is with Clara, and how excited he is for Baby #2, it's like a dream.
Thank you, God, for blessing me with the love of my life. And thank you, R, for loving me, taking such good care of our family, and for being the wonderful man that you are. It's been an amazing journey these past six years and I wouldn't have wanted to have anyone else by my side.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Clara turned nine months the other day, and while I was thinking this age marked when she will have been out of the womb longer than she was in it, I guess I overlooked the fact that she was only in it for roughly 30 weeks! She passed that milestone in July!
She is getting so big. I did her measurements today and she is at exactly the 25th percentile on the growth chart for weight, length and head circumference. And that's compared to full-term babies! She is truly a miracle, because sometimes preemies who were born that early don't catch up until age two. The 25th percentile is pretty good, in my opinion!
She started saying "mama" a few days ago, and while most of the time it is when she's crying ("mmmmmm...mamamamama...mmmmmm...mamamama"), which apparently is a developmental milestone of its own, she also does it when she's happy. This morning she looked at me and squealed, "mama!" It was so exciting!
Here are some pictures from the last couple days:
This is from our parish's moms' group the other day. As soon as I set her down, she took off! She loves to crawl and explore. No separation anxiety here!
I'm realizing lately that little girls absolutely love Clara, and she seems pretty into them too! This little cutie was talking very intently to Clara, clearly making some very important plans. Then I watched as she ran to that orange thing in the distance and looked back at Clara, looking very confused as to why she didn't follow. Little Clara just sat there, totally clueless! I had to laugh!
Clara loves her play area, and so do I! It gives me time to get stuff done, when she's in the mood to play in it (which seems to be at least twice a day). And here's what I mentioned the other day - her toys are always up against one of the sides. I hope she's this organized as she gets older!
This is from this morning. I swear she's bigger than she was yesterday! Love you, my little sweet Clara!