Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ever Changing, Always Growing

This pregnant body is an interesting thing. Last Friday, I wore my regular jeans modified with a rubber band (because while they fit, it was uncomfortable to button them). Sunday, I tried to wear the same jeans, and the wouldn't even zip! Two days, I tell you, and now I'm wearing maternity pants full time. I guess it's really more about the hips than the belly though, because the same maternity pants were still too big a week ago, and now they stay up with no trouble. I knew my hips had started spreading when I put on a pair of regular dress pants two weeks ago and they split when I squatted down. :) My butt doesn't seem bigger (though I admit I may be delusional), so it has to be the hips.

I walked Georgia last night for the first time in WAY too long, and it felt weird in my belly. It's starting to protrude and feel heavier all the time. I walk around all day long, but going for a walk for the purpose of exercise was different. I really need to make that a regular habit again so that I'm not completely exhausted just from walking around with a giant belly. Oh, and it definitely won't be long before I can't stand in the shower and shave my legs because my belly is in the way. I realized last night that I was already having difficulty with that task - when did that happen?! I'm just amazed at how fast some of these changes happen!

I'm still waiting on that burst of energy that's supposed to come in the second trimester. I'm beginning to think someone made that up to encourage pregnant women to survive the debilitating fatigue of the first trimester. I'm not exhausted like I was then, but I've had no super energy for anything. I was planning to use that burst of energy to scrub my house, but at this rate I better just suffer through it and then have a nap. :)

Dave has been having sympathy symptoms, though I'm not sure he's totally bought into the idea. He says he's gained weight (I can't tell it) and his feet are swelling and hurt all the time. He's been sleeping hard and fast, which is virtually unheard of for him. He goes to bed when I do and gets up with the alarm in the morning, and he's usually a nighttime wanderer.

I'm also still waiting to feel this baby moving - though probably not as patiently as before. :) Dave was leaning his head on my belly the other day and I asked him if he heard anything in there. He tilted his head like he was listening, then yelped and said, "It grabbed my ear!" He's crazy and I love him for it. It made me laugh and laugh. He's really good at that.

His parents have bought our crib and changing table, and it should be delivered next weekend. This is somewhat inspiring me to clean the house and start working on cleaning out the baby's room. We need to add some shelves and move some stuff out of there to figure out where to put the baby furniture. It's very early still, but I feel like time is flying by and I don't want to be caught unprepared.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

16 weeks

I am 16 weeks pregnant today - that means I'm starting the 5th month. All this dating stuff gets very confusing. Anyway, this is what my calendar says about the baby:

"The fetus is about 5 1/2 inches long and weighs 3 ounces. It can swallow! It has preliminary toenails and can move its eyes (though there's not a lot to see in there)." I'm not sure about the 5 1/2 inches because some things I read say 3 1/2 - who really knows?

Also, I found this more interesting information on another site:

"Genital organs clearly differentiated, grasps with hands, swims, kicks, turns, somersaults, (still not felt by the mother.)" Dave will especially like that bit of information.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1 Pound

I went to the doctor last week and I have only gained one pound in the four weeks since my last appointment. This is very good because last time I got a mini-lecture about gaining too fast. Most days I look pregnant rather than just fat now, but there are still some days that I just look fat. I'm starting to get significant looks from those who don't know, so I know that I'm at least making people suspicious now. Last week, I was in a meeting and I would bet my life that the lady sitting next to me turned to the guy on the other side of her with her hand covering her mouth and said, "Is she pregnant?" and pointed! LOL! I almost laughed out loud. I find it entertaining to watch people speculate. One of the guys that I worked with in Australia is here this week, and I'm pretty sure he's been told that I'm pregnant because when I walked up to shake his hand this morning, he immediately looked at my belly. That's another amusing thing for me. As soon as you tell someone, they look at the belly. Every person does that without fail.

Enough with that ramble. At this doctor visit, I sacrificed 4 tubes of blood (not as bad as the pint I was imagining). It took three pokes to find the vein for some reason. Usually they get it on the first try. Luckily, it doesn't hurt me and there are no ill affects unless I happen to look a the needle if it's in or near my arm - then I faint. I learned that the hard way the first time I gave blood and looked down at my arm while the needle was still in there. The next thing I remember, a cute boy was picking me up off the floor.

The appointment was quick and easy. I asked some questions and he checked the heartbeat and that was that. The heartbeat sounded good, but I forgot to ask what the rate was this time. I go back in four weeks for the big ultrasound - that will be on Valentine's day.

I still haven't felt the baby move yet. Dave asked me the other night, "What does it do in there?" I explained that it's moving all the time, playing and testing it's new muscles and reflexes and entertaining itself. That it probably sleeps when I'm moving around and plays when I'm resting, I just can't feel any of it yet. He thought that was really cool. I plan to drink some sugar and caffiene before the ultrasound so it will be doing something cool while we are watching. I have to wonder if the animals can sense the baby moving. Georgia was sitting in my lap the other night and she suddenly moved over so tht she wasn't directly in my lap, but leaning on me. I wondered then if the baby did something to cause that. It was weird.

Speaking of Georgia, she had a rather traumatic afternoon yesterday. It started nicely with a trip to the football field to play football. Georgia LOVES football. Then some dogs came to play. They did fine at first, but one was a Border Collie, and like most Border Collies, it was very dominant. They got along fine, but Border Collie kept herding her when she fetched the ball. The last time she did it, she (the Border Collie) bit Georgia's tongue. I think it was accidental, but it was still traumatic. Now, tongue bleeds look way worse than they are, so I was trying to get her to rinse her mouth to I could see the wound. She barely did and it just kept bleeding. Once we got her home, she started licking her leg (I think she got into some ants on the field) and that made it bleed more. I had to put a towel under her, and I still ended up cleaning blood out of the carpet. Side note - peroxide works wonderfully on blood stains. Anyway, once she quit licking, it quit bleeding and she passed out from sheer exhaustion. She was already tired when the dogs got there to play, so she was really worn out. I didn't even have to tell her to kennel up this morning, and she didn't wait to make sure I got her cookie. Once I caught up with her, she was patiently waiting for me to lock her in.

On the cat front, Jewel did NOT enjoy the snow. She tiptoed through it with her back arched while it fell on her and the look on her face clearly said, "What the crap is this stuff?" I'll post snow pictures as soon as I remember.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A New Adventure

It's possible that most everyone who reads this already knows, but just in case, Dave and I are expecting our first baby! I am 13 weeks along and due in July (10th, they say, but who really knows?). I'll be sharing the adventure in this blog, so proceed carefully lest it's too much information for you.

My pregnancy calendar says this about the baby: "Your baby is now about the size of a lime, roughly three inches in length, and tips the scale at around three-quarters ounce. Your baby's eyes will begin moving from the side of his head towards the front as his face begins to develop. At the end of this week, little ears will move to their proper spot as well. Your baby even has fingerprints now!" This translates into: "Your baby is starting to look less alien and more human." A couple of weeks ago I shared a picture of what the baby looked like at the time with Dave and he said, "We are having an alien?" :) He is getting excited, I think. He bought the baby a blanket for Christmas and wrote it a letter. It made me cry. The baby will use that blanket to go home from the hospital. He keeps asking me when I will have uncontrollable gas, because that's the part he is looking forward to - and apparently, that's the bit of knowledge he has retained in all the things he's heard about pregnancy. He's such a boy. :)

To answer the question, "How are you feeling?", which I've been asked 10,000 times already, I feel pretty good right now. There was some morning sickness in the first couple of months, but it's gone now. I have also recovered from my energy crisis - I have NEVER been so tired in my life. The exhaustion was almost debilitating at times and I'm glad that is over; it is weird for me to be so tired and unable to keep up my normal activities. After coming back from Australia, I was on a serious cooking strike because food wasn't at all appealing to me (yet I still managed to gain 6 lbs. in one month?). Now, I can cook again, and that's wonderful because it's good therapy for me. What I canNOT do is eat steak - nor can I smell it or look at it. I'm almost gagging while writing about it. It was one of my favorite foods, but NOT right now. I am craving salty things, especially pickles, pickle juice (don't DARE throw away a jar of pickle juice in my house!), and olives. It was Mexican and fast food for a while - as in that's all that sounded remotely appealing - but now I can eat most things without pause. This is good because 6 lbs. is too much weight to gain in FOUR WEEKS so I really need to be making healthier food choices. I do not subscribe to the notion that I'm eating for two (it just isn't true - the baby is the size of a lime right now), so I'm trying to be smart and stamp out my guilty feelings because I ate all of my snacks before lunch today. After all, I should eat when I'm hungry, I just shouldn't eat tacos and nachos and Mexican pizzas from Taco Bell.

My boobs have grown a full size already, and judging by the pain, I'm guessing they aren't finished yet. While I admit that I am excited about this part, it presents a challenge that I didn't foresee: most of my regular shirts (not t-shirts) don't fit right now. Hmm. However, for my sister's wedding reception (oh yeah, she eloped on December 1st) I will be wearing a dress that shows my new cleavage since this is the only time in my life that I will have any. Someone said, "But you will have a big belly, too." To which I replied, "So."

Which brings me to another point, just this week I've noticed that I'm a bit moodier than normal. Now normally I have a tendency to get fired up about things when I have a strong opinion, but I'm generally pretty stoic with my moods. Not so lately; there haven't been any drastic mood swings, no throwing of silverware (though it sounds like fun and I'm wondering if I can allow myself to use pregnancy as an excuse to throw something? It's so out of character.), no random and uncontrollable crying, but my level of irritability has increased. I wonder how bad this will get?

There are other random aches and pains, that sometimes catch me off guard and make me worry, but nothing too serious at this point. Those are called "round ligament pain" and that's politically correct for anything from mild stretching in the lower belly to sharp, shooting pain. I just had my first sharp, shooting one and it was interesting. Made my breath catch. I do find it more difficult to get comfortable at night, but once I am, I sleep as well as normal (well, except for the bathroom trips, those are new). I had to steal Dave's pillow to get comfortable, but I figured this was a worthy cause considering he can sleep upright if necessary. My belly isn't big yet (it just looks like I've gained too much weight right now), but it sure does feel heavy in the evenings. I can't imagine what it will be like when it's really big.

The most adventurous part of this adventure so far has been the surprise puke attacks. I said my morning sickness was gone, but the puking is not. My gag reflex is VERY sensitive, so brushing my teeth is always a sketchy scenario - this is when the surprise attacks happen. That's okay though, because I'd rather puke and be done than feel like puking for hours on end.

We will not be finding out (on purpose, anyway) if the baby is a boy or a girl. We both want it to be a surprise at the end. At my last appointment, I got lectured about my weight and I got to hear the heartbeat with the Doppler. As soon as he stuck it my belly, you could hear it - he didn't even have to look for it. It was 150 beats per minute at the time, which is perfectly normal. So far, everything looks good and healthy. I'll have my big ultrasound in February, and they will measure the baby and make sure it is developing normally. I was offered a blood test for Spina Bifida and Downs Syndrome at my next appointment, but I will decline. I don't want to know and those tests aren't accurate enough for me to worry about the results for the rest of my pregnancy.

In other news...
My sister got married on December 1st. I'm ecstatic for her and we are planning her reception for February.

Squirt no longer lives with us. He came home while I was in Australia and left again. I haven't seen him since before I left. I've given up on him. I know someone is taking care of him because there have been sightings and he is quite fat these days.

Gypsy has learned to catch and kill birds. She DOES eat them, but she also leaves the feathers all over the house and they are the devil to clean up.

Georgia has been glued to me since I got back from Aussie land. I think this is normal for pets of pregnant women. I can't wait for her to meet her new sibling. The cats? I'm less enthusiastic about them meeting the baby. I foresee trouble on that front.

That's enough for now.