10 weeks – a new milestone

So here we are. I’m past my loss point (9w5d). I have to say I wasn’t quite as nervous as I feared I would be. I checked every wipe a bit more closely than usual and still do, but that’s about it. However, I think now that I’m past my loss point I’m a little more nervous than I was before passing it. Don’t ask me why – I really don’t know. Every day I get closer to twelve weeks I seem to get a little bit more nervous. Maybe it’s not really that I’m scared but rather excited that I’ll be in a safer zone soon. Either way, this pregnancy is getting more real with every passing day. DH and I have been taking belly pictures since I was 4w2d. I’ve compiled the pictures from 6w2d, 7w2d, 8w3d, and 9w4d. So after I’d I finally put all those pics side by side, I could see the difference between the first three and the latest. There is a very first bump there – how exciting is that! While my belly is evenly “bulged” in the first three photos, in the last one I see just the lower part bumping out. That’s so encouraging to see! For those of you who are not so familiar with this science: The lower part of my belly is where the uterus is currently at. Within the next couple of weeks it will begin to move up. I’ll add the collage at the end of the post.

This weekend we had a lot going on. First, I had my very first prenatal appointment with my new midwife on Friday afternoon. It was great! She asked me some questions, answered my questions, took my blood pressure and my pulse and tested my urine-all in the comfort of my home (My midwife comes to our house for those visits). We also talked about nutrition again, which is great. She gave me a nutrition plan, but said she won’t hold me to it. I do try to follow it as best I can. It’s almost like a game: how many boxes can I check off today? Among others: whole grains, dairy, extra protein, extra vitamin C, extra vitamin A, dark green leafy vegetables, fats and oils, eggs, snacks, and especially: water. Sometimes that really helps me drink more-sometimes. Because I want to check off those little boxes haha!

Saturday DH and I got a huge break financially – which we really needed. I’m so relieved. We have our tax-returns done professionally and found out we owe no more than ~$700 (+$1250 which we had already paid last year in advance). Last year we owed a total of over $8000, which made me cry as we were just planning to start a family. We went on a payment plan and got it all paid off within a year. Sweet! I feel so much better, now that that burden is off our shoulders. And that’s good because stress is a bad thing for baby. We don’t want to teach the baby what stress is before it is even born, right? 🙂

After our tax-returns were done, we briefly visited MIL and BIL. Then we went on to a dealership we had gotten some advertisement-mail from. Due to traffic problems caused by construction, what should have been a ~45 min. ride took over an hour. Why did we want to drive 45 min. to go to a specific dealership? Are we thinking of buying a particular car? No. It was all just because of the advertisement. Supposedly we’d won something. I’m going to go into more detail in a little bit – trust me when I say the message as to how and what we won (on the ad) was more than misleading. I was certain we won at least $100, which was the smallest of four possible prizes. But it wasn’t quite like that. There was a number in big bold letters in the middle of the add. The other number was hidden digitally. You had to pull the strip to reveal the other number, and they had to match. Ours did match, so I called the dealership and asked about it. He said, yes it means you won. I asked what I won but he wouldn’t tell me. He said he’d have to see the number. Of course that was just a way to lure us into the lion’s lair. So we go there and are asked by a salesperson to sit down. The salesperson points out another number (much smaller print and rather hidden), which is the actual winning number. In order to win anything (nope we did not necessarily win anything just because the two big numbers matched – cuz everyone’s does, as he actually told us), so in order to win anything our small print number had to be within the range of two numbers printed on a piece of paper at the dealership. THEN we get a Target gift card ($5 woopie) and a scratch ticket. We have to scratch 6 of a billion squares and find 6 keys – we will win something if we find all six keys, and only then. So we scratch. Didn’t find 6 keys of course. After we left, I scratched the rest – since the scratch ticket was now pretty much useless. There were 6 keys there in fact. So IF we had gotten 6 keys, we then had to see whether we won the grand prize ($25000 or a vehicle), the second prize ($15000 or a vehicle), the third prize ($500 Target giftcard), or the fourth prize of $100. We’d see that by scratching off a certain section of the ticket, which would reveal either one, two, three or four stars (ours was one by the way).
So you see how much a person had to go through to actually win one of those four prizes?! (one of which was listed in the small print at an almost 99% chance, by the way, and of course the whole scratch ticket thing wasn’t advertised). Ridiculous. Of course, before we could see what we won, we had to go through the whole “I’m trying to sell you something” -process. We actually got to test-drive one of the cars they had available.

Well, anyway, sorry for this rambling. Making a long story short we walked out 1 1/2 hours later with a $5 Target gift card. Not really what we’d intendet to spend over 1 hour in traffic for. So we went to Target, which would have been our next stop regardless, because they owed us a $20 giftcard. I won’t tell you why or how they owed us that. You’ll just have to believe that one :p

We walked around the store and ended up buying my first two maternity clothes! How exciting! I have to tell you, I look awesome in maternity clothes haha! Even though my belly is not really showing just yet, not much anyway. So we bought a violet shirt for the summer (also well designed for breastfeeding) and a black dress. I don’t have any photos wearing them yet. I’ll show them once I do.

Okay, here are my preggo symptoms for this week:

Morning sickness: I definitely spoke too early two weeks ago. I’m still getting nauseous, especially if I eat too much. The frustrating part is, I get nauseous also if I eat not enough… Also, I found out this past weekend that baby seems to be almost vegetarian. We already know he/she doesn’t like white meat, chicken, turkey. Well, he/she also doesn’t seem too wild about veal – I’m assuming it’s veal. I had some meatloaf from H&K Saturday (and leftovers Sunday). Beef hadn’t bothered me up until then, so I thought it was the veal. And it might yet be, although we had homemade cabbage soup on Monday with hamburger in it, and I couldn’t eat all that hamburger either. Hamburger definitely doesn’t taste the same anymore. However, a hamburger patty on a big mac seemed fine! Baby is really picky.

Cramps: felt some on Sunday, though I’d really not call it cramps. It was more like a feeling of tenderness in my lower abdomen. Things must be starting to move.

Other pains: Definitely feeling ligament pain more often since last Friday. I feel them when using the toilet mostly, but sometimes also when I laugh. The backpain returned. It had disappeared slowly and was gone on the day I had my prenatal appointment with my midwife. She also guessed I may have just slept wrong. But now it’s back, and I feel it every now and then-especially when I lie on my back for too long.

Breasts: I can’t believe how sensitive they are now! I actually have to be careful how I lie, when lying on my side, or else it becomes painful. The itchiness seems gone for the most part. I haven’t been using the Calendula ointment recently to see if the itchiness has ceased. I’ll be watching that.

Frequent urination: Yea, still have that a little bit, but not so bad now. Mostly during the night. I have to get up once or twice to urinate. When I really had to go often during the day, I generally slept through the night – so I guess it’s just taking turns at this point.

Weight gain: For the past four days my weight has been steady at 146.8 pounds. Today I was shocked to see 149.4! Where did that all come from just overnight? Wow! Have to see what happens tomorrow, but I’m guessing it will be back down in the 147 range. Still only 1 pound gained thus far on average.

Other symptoms: Had some heartburn last Wednesday evening. I swear my eyes have become more susceptible to light. I just look into the clouds on a nice day, sun hiding somewhere, and it hurts my eyes. Not sure if that’s due to my hormonal changes or my body just being silly. This morning I woke up totally gassy. I don’t think I’ve ever been this gassy in my whole life! So maybe the extra 1+ pound on the scale was actually more air stuck in my intestines haha!

That’s it. So here are my belly pics (in turn -belly exposed&unexposed-6w2d, 7w2d, 8w3d, and 9w4d). Click on the image to enlarge.

Baby Bump weeks 6-9

9 weeks – getting close

So here we are at 9 weeks. Wow, what a ride! I have to say I still have mixed feelings. I’m very confident our baby is well and will be in our arms in October, but I’m also still scared–anxiously awaiting the day the development of the placenta is completed. My gyn wants me to continue using the progesterone gel until I’m twelve weeks along, at which point the placenta should take over progesterone production. Another five days from now, I’ll be reaching my loss point. I’ll probably get more nervous the closer I get to that day, although in my head and in my heart I know it will be all right.

Friday afternoon I’m having my first prenatal appointment with my new midwife. It’s not my first prenatal appointment for this pregnancy, but the first one with this midwife. I’m very excited!

Here are this week’s preggo symptoms:

Morning Sickness: I think I spoke too soon last week. I thought it was getting better, but not so much this week. Saturday was terrible. I was truly on the edge of vomiting. I almost did throw up. I don’t want to go into details but trust me when I say it was not a great moment. I think it may be my own fault, too. We’d been out for dinner with friends that day (to our favorite restaurant: the Olive Garden) and I’d ordered noodles in Alfredo sauce with an addition of some broccoli florets. I already know baby doesn’t like cheese, should have figured he/she wasn’t too much into creamy sauce either. At the time I thought it was the best and mildest choice. At first I didn’t think it was that, but a couple days later I had my leftovers and while I’d been feeling fine all day, I feelt nauseous again after eating my leftovers. So there you have it. Hah!

Weight gain: Still in the 146-148 pounds bracket, which tells me I’ve gained a pound overall so far, as I haven’t seen 145 on the scale in over a week. 1 pound is pretty good for 9 weeks, as far as I’ve learned. I’m curious what the next three weeks will bring.

Fatigue: Getting tired a little more often during the day now. Still not very much, but let’s say about 2 times a week I get really tired anywhere around 2-5 pm. Been taking some nice walks the last three days with DH in this nice summer-like weather. That should help with the fatigue a little bit. Maybe.

Breasts: I can’t believe how they just get more and more sensitive. I thought I’d already been at the max. here, but they just keep getting more sensitive. Wow! They also have been getting a little bit fuller. Just bought a couple new bras for the itchy-issue. Gyn advised me to wear cotton bras, which will aggravate them less. Found a couple of nice Calvin Kleins at Macy’s on a fantastic sale.

Other symptoms: Nothing else really going on, except today I’m having some really bad backpain in just the lower left area of my back, and only if I move and/or strain my muscles a certain way. I’m going to mention that to my midwife on Friday. Maybe I just slept wrong last night.

Mood: I’m incredibly happy. I don’t think I’ve ever really felt better in my whole life. Even though I’m still scared of losing our little one again and I still check nearly every wipe for blood, I could just fly off right now. This experience is lifting me up. I can hardly believe I’m going to be a Mommy soon! Wooohoooo! 🙂

Week 8 & the decision of homebirthing

Today I’m 8 weeks and 2 days pregnant (8w5d according to the radiologist). Everything is looking great. I had another ultrasound done yesterday morning. I couldn’t believe what DH and I saw! With my miscarried pregnancy I had my first ultrasound done at around 8 weeks as well, but the baby looked about as big as it did at 6 weeks with this new pregnancy. Yesterday our little bean was amazing! We could already make out tiny little legs and arms! Our little angel was very excited too: his or her heartbeat was a bombing 169 bpm! The radiologist assistant – or what you might call the lady who did the ultrasound – said he or she is moving around a lot. Busy little teddybear! And our baby is definitely not camera-shy 🙂 We got some really neat pictures. They will be at the end of this post.

Let’s look at my pregnancy symptoms.

Morning sickness: still there, actually I dare say it’s gotten ever so slightly better. I’m avoiding fatty food for the most part, as baby seems to not like it very much. I’m avoiding white meat, and having red meat only every now and then. Lots of cereal, eggs, fruits. Some veggies, ice cream once in a while. And while I’m a total chocolate-lover I’m surprised I really don’t feel like eating chocolate recently.

Cravings: Nothing yet, really. Well, one could say cereal, as I seem to eat that a lot these days, but it’s not like I just HAVE to have it.

Weight gain: During the last week my weight mostly fluctuated between 146 and 148 pounds. So I guess you could say I gained a pound. However, this morning it was 146.2 and the scale almost wanted to show me 145.8…. soooo, really nothing still in the weight gain department. I do look a little bit bloated once in a while.

Fatigue: Yesterday for the first time I felt reaaaaally tired and just wanted to take a nap around 3:30/4:00 pm. My eyes were getting heavy right in front of my laptop’s screen. I actually did lay down then for about 30 minutes, but it wasn’t really a nap, because my homeowner (=my cat :D) decided to sleep on top of me and pinch me with her claws as a way of showing mommy how comfy she is.

Breasts: Very sensitive. I have to be careful hugging DH, cuz a hug that’s too tight may hurt my breasts. Apart from sensitivity as a symptom, I’m still dealing with the itchiness of my nipples. I think it’s getting better, but will have to watch that a little longer.

Cramps: none whatsoever.

Other symptoms: definitely feeling ligament pain when going to the bathroom. Had a nosebleed some time last week. That was quite a bit of blood that came out when blowing my nose. It was still dark (early morning), so the blood looked like a black ball of goo to me. I think I would have really been shocked if I saw it in broad daylight. Nose bleeding is normal in pregnancy. The body produces a lot more blood and the nose gets dry, which it has been. It was the only occurance so far, but I really hope it won’t happen again, because even though I know it’s normal, it did scare me a little bit.

Mood: Fantastic! After seeing our little one yesterday, I am soooooo happy. Our angel is doing well, is healthy, active and super-cute. Also, I finally dared writing into my baby-journal yesterday, which I had started for my miscarried pregnancy. That journal is eventually going to be handed down to our child, when the time is right. I had hesitated for a long time to write in it, due to my supersticious nature, thinking I might mess it all up just by being too confident, too happy, and too optimistic about this pregnancy. I think I’m past that point now. I’m another week and 3 days away from my loss point (the time I lost my other pregnancy, which was at 9w5d), but I’m positive that I will pass that point with a healthy baby, which I will carry to term! 🙂

So, do any of my preggo symptoms bother me? Yes and no. They can be annoying, but they don’t drive me insane. I’m actually glad to have them, because it reassures me every day that our little angel is doing well inside me.

Before the u/s yesterday, I went to my gyn’s office to get resupplied with progesterone gel. The assistant said to me she wanted to wait until the doctor comes out and wanted to ask her if she still wanted me to continue with the gel. I knew my gyn would want me to, but still, the slightest doubt crept up in me and I got stunned a little. I thought, what if she says no?! This gel (I know, I’m really bad) keeps my pregnancy going right now! Who knows, really, I might be fine without it, but it gives me strength and reassurance just using it. And you can’t overdue it with progesterone, so no harm in that. Luckily my gyn said yes, she wanted me to go on, so I received some more packages.

Yesterday evening we met with our potential new midwife for the first time. My current gyn doesn’t go farther than the first trimester, so we had to look for a new healthcare provider for the second and third trimester. Since we were considering homebirth, we looked at midwives. Well, there aren’t too many on the Cape. But fate winked at me, as I was working at CCCC. I met a woman in the writing center, who knew a midwife she recommended to me. What a coincidence! I didn’t know this woman, I just happened to help her with her paper and we started talking about babies. What are the odds, really?

Before meeting with the midwife, we’d been watching a documentary that interviewed nurses, doctors (OBs, gyns), midwives, and moms. It scared the hell out of me, seeing how horrible a hospital birth can be. It just reassured me that what I wanted was the right way to go. I wanted a waterbirth regardless of whether I give birth in a hospital or not. The only one nearby that offers that is Jordan Hospital in Plymouth though. Hearing from many women (apart from seeing the movie) how terrible their hospital-birth experience was, and how calm and fantastic and empowering their natural homebirth was, I pretty much set my eyes on water-homebirth.

After meeting the midwife yesterday, I’m 100% convinced that this is the right way for me to go. I don’t need stress when I do the most natural thing my body was built to do. The only way I’m ever going to see the inside of a hospital during labor is if I have serious complications, or if I happen to give up and go – which I think is highly unlikely to happen. Everyone who knows me, knows how stubborn I can be. If I want something to work a certain way, I’ll make it work – I’ll never give up. So if I need my body and/or mind to cooperate to give birth in my own home, I’ll do anything and everything to make that happen. I’ve been researching hypnobirthing a little bit and talked to a woman who’s done that. It seems like an interesting option. We’ll see. I want this to be a magical, stress-free, relaxed experience. I want to hold my baby in my arms when it comes into the world. I want myself or my husband to get the chance to catch it as it comes out. I want the comfort of my home around me. I want the liberty to walk around, eat, drink, and do whatever I want or feel necessary to ease the process of labor. I want those around me whom I choose. I don’t want pain medication. I don’t want chemical induction. I don’t need all that. I’m not afraid of what my body is made to do. A completely natural thing women have been doing for thousands of years. I want this to be natural.  And I can only get that doing a homebirth.

The midwife we met yesterday is very nice. I really like her, and I think DH and I have pretty much already decided to have her as my midwife. She is a very natural lady, just like myself, and understands all of our concerns and wishes. I can’t wait for our prenatal appointments in the very near future.

Our little bean will be happy about our decision, too. Now, here is our little angel:

Bean at 8w1d

Our little angel at 8 weeks 1 day

Bean at 8 weeks 1 day

Our little one was not camera shy

Our Angel at 8 weeks 1 day

So adorable!! Heartbeat was 169bpm. The white round spot is the yolk sac.

Week 7 & a fateful day

Today I’m seven weeks along! Wohooo! Only five more weeks in that scary first trimester!

Yesterday was the day I call “a fateful day”. Yesterday I was, obviously, 6 weeks and 6 days along. Last year when I got pregnant with my miscarried bean I began to spot at 6w6d. I’m a terribly superstitious person and so I made a big jump of joy in my heart when yesterday was spot-clear! No spotting whatsoever, yay! And because I’m so superstitious, I feel now more than ever that this is my sticky bean! Nothing can happen to my little one, it’s safe and snug inside me! Sometimes superstition is a good thing, I guess. This makes me even more confident and optimistic.

Pregnancy updates for week 7:

Weight gain: nothing yet – bouncing forth and back between 145 and 147 pounds. Though the last two-three days the little bean has made it quite clear that it’s extra hungry. I’m getting a loud scream for food in the morning, which almost makes me feel sicker than just having morning sickness. And I seem to need more food throughout the day.

Morning sickness: oh yes – still don’t have to throw up but definitely get the sick-feeling, especially in the evening around dinner time and after – had to get up around 2:30 this morning to go to the bathroom and felt it even then! Thank god I sleep through most of that haha

Cramps: cramps have pretty much stopped. As I said a while back, I shouldn’t get them too much this time, as my uterus had just stretched already a few months ago for my first pregnancy. I had to lay down only about 3 times to deal with the cramps. Other than that they haven’t been that bad at all, more like an annoyance than a pain. But I haven’t really felt anything for quite some time now. I’m guessing that it will pick up again in the second trimester.

Frequent urination: yea, I do still run to the toilet like a crazy person. Sometimes it’s really bad (like every 10-30 minutes), sometimes it’s not bad at all (every 60-90 minutes).

Fatigue: not yet. I haven’t felt as tired as I did with my miscarried pregnancy. Got the morning sickness instead, I guess.

Cravings: nothing really noteworthy yet. I do have the opposite going on though. I really can’t stand even the thought of white meat at the moment, chicken and turkey – chicken in particular. It makes me really sick. It’s funny because usually I just loooove chicken. I seem to be fine with beef, and recently I really feel like having a good salad! Will get some peppers, cucumbers, and lettuce this Friday! I also picked up some peaches last Friday – though I wouldn’t account that to the pregnancy yet. It may have just been a whim of mine 🙂
Also, cheesy things seem to get me sicker than the healthy stuff. And yesterday I indulged in three bowls of plain cornflakes with milk! Guess baby likes healthy food – that’s a good sign! 😀 (though he/she doesn’t seem to mind ice cream haha)

Mood: I feel fantastic. I’m happy about my pregnancy, excited, curious and optimistic!

I think that’s pretty much it for preggo symptoms at the moment. DH and I are also currently exploring our options for birth and are quite seriously considering home-water-birth. We live only 5 min. drive from the hospital, so I’m not too concerned. But more about that next week.

A little miracle growing

I haven’t posted in a while now, because much has been happening in the last few days, and I wanted to wait until after my gyn appointment.

First, I had a third blood test done, and was shocked to hear that my progesterone level was now only at 19.20 (down again, from 22.85). At that point I didn’t care what anybody said or would say anymore and started using the progesterone gel I still had at home (leftover from the last pregnancy). In fact I was so shocked that I used it twice a day – overkill. (but not harmful)
After speaking with my gyn today (I finally got to see her), I received more sample packages of the gel for the coming two weeks (since according to the pharmacy it’s not available from the manufacturer anymore). She wants me to use it only once a day though. I know twice a day is not really necessary. That was just me over-reacting 🙂

My hCG however was a nice 16308! (bloodwork was done at 5w5d) I never even got that high with my other pregnancy (the highest I got there was at about 7-8 weeks and it was a little over 9000). I do notice the difference in hCG level through my symptoms. I’m starting to get nauseous a lot more often now and for longer periods of time. It’s not as bad as having to throw up yet (and I hope it won’t ever get that bad). I’m still eating, disregarding the feeling as if food was still in my esophagus.

My gyn called me that night about the blood test. She said the numbers were looking good and there was nothing to worry about – phew! She scheduled an ultrasound appointment for me, for yesterday morning. I’m adding a picture to the bottom of this post. The u/s went well, everything is looking great. It was, once again, my right ovary that released the egg. This time I knew for sure it was the right one, before the u/s technician told me, because I felt ovulation pain on my right side when I ovulated. (and actually, based on that, I can assume we BDed like 30 min. before I ovulated – what kind of awesome timing is that?! 😀 No wonder DH’s swimmer latched right on to that eggie – it was basically shot up straight at the egg haha!)
There is a small cyst on my right ovary, which according to my gyn is normal. She didn’t examine me because it was still too early (6 weeks). She wants me to have another u/s done in two weeks and then see me again after that. Our little bean’s heart rate was at 99bpm which is also normal considering it is only 6 weeks along – the heart basically just started beating not long ago!

There is one concern I’m heaving that regards my nipples. About 1 1/2 months after my m/c my nipples began to itch, first only one, then the other as well. When squeezed, they discharged a white substance. I had mentioned that to my gyn this January, and she had told me to not squeeze anymore. She said it’s probably milk production (the secretion), which I thought it was too, but she still had me get a blood test to check out my thyroid, as that could be causing it as well. My thyroid turned out to be fine. Milk production does make sense considering my uterus wasn’t completely cleaned out until about a month or so after the m/c, so the body must have thought I was still pregnant for quite some time after miscarrying, and the gyn said squeezing will make it produce more. The discharge stopped a while ago but the itching still occurs every now and then. And pretty nastily sometimes. I also noticed some of my skin peeling off. I mentioned that to my doctor today. (she had already examined my breasts last time I told her about it and felt nothing wrong). My gyn said she thinks I have an eczema and wants me to use a washing cloth in the shower to clean/scrub off the skin, and use a particular cream (Calendula Cream – anyone know this one?) to keep the nipples moisturized. I really hope this works itself out before giving birth, so it won’t interfere with breastfeeding!

Soooo, sorry to make this so long today. Below is a beautiful u/s picture – my favorite out of three pics. Enjoy.

first u/s at 6weeks
our little bean at 6 weeks

The black spot is the uterus. The two white spots form the sac, the upper white spot of those two just mentioned is our little bean cutely snuggled inside the sac.

Click to enlarge.