Monday, April 25, 2016

22 Weeks!

Welcome to Week 22. It shall forever be known as the week I had bronchitis and felt like death.

My little buddy has had a cough and cold for the past week, but I normally don't catch what he has. Well, that was before pregnancy effed up my immune system. Apparently, not only did I catch whatever he's had, but my body decided to turn it into something even worse. Let me tell you, bronchitis during pregnancy isn't fun. I feel like every rib has been broken and my back has been repeatedly beaten.

Luckily, I had my monthly checkup today anyway. The doctor said I could take some OTC meds to get some relief at night... but not the "good stuff" if you know what I mean. Like I can't chug a bottle of Nyquil, which is all I really want to do right now. So sad. Oh well.

Despite the sickness, baby is doing well. His heart was beating just fine, and he's been moving around in there. He's probably annoyed at me for hacking constantly. Poor kid.

Since I had the day off today due to me being a gross sickly mess, I tried to be productive after my appointment. I got some important things done, including meeting with doulas! I've talked about doulas before, but if you don't remember what a doula is, you can think of her like a birth coach. Doulas aren't medical staff. They are more like counselors for women during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I might be biased, but I believe a doula is a valuable asset during this time and wish their profession was more widespread common knowledge. 

You might think it's a hippy-dippy thing, but the truth is that, for the vast majority of the existence of the human race, women have been helping other women give birth. Our bodies are made to do this. It is only in recent history that giving birth became a medicalized process. I'm not saying that medical interventions are never necessary during pregnancy and birth. Sometimes they are. But sometimes, some doctors jump the gun on medical interventions, and it can cause more harm than good.

The benefit of having an experienced, certified doula present is that she will be there to help, inform, and support no matter what kind of birth you end up having. Since I want to do things as naturally as possible, a doula will be there to help me focus, give encouragement, provide natural pain management techniques, support Eric, help him help me, and advocate for as natural a birth as possible. And if it comes down to an emergency or a need for intervention, she will help me process that and let me know that it really is necessary. In addition, some doulas help with lactation consultation and do a postpartum checkup to make sure you are doing well and check for signs of postpartum depression.

The doulas I met with today were actually recommended by my doctor this morning, which is great, because they were my number one contact anyway. The ladies actually told me that my new doctors and hospital are completely fine with moving around and limited monitoring and have a super low c-section rate. They work together frequently, and work well. This is a huge relief, seeing as a dueling doula and doctor (alliteration, woah) is the last thing I want when I'm in pain and trying to push out a baby.

So basically... I feel very good about this matchup. :)

How far along? 22 weeks
Total weight gain/measurements: Up one more pound from a week ago
Maternity clothes: I BOUGHT THE JEANS, GUYS. I did it, and they are SO great and worth it. Thank you for the birthday gifts! :D
Stretch marks? None yet
Sleep: WHAT. IS. SLEEP. I do not even know anymore. All I do vacillate between trying to doze while sitting up and coughing my lungs up.
Best moment this week: Boat day! I didn't feel like complete shit yet on Saturday, so we joined friends for a little outing on the boat. It was the nicest day ever with good company, and we even saw a manatee!
Feeling a bit self-conscious in my bikini these days.
Floppy hat and zinc oxide SPF 60+ is necessary for sun protection!

This isn't edited. It really looks like that here. Please come visit. PLEASE!
Miss anything? Yeah... NOT COUGHING.
Movement: He's an active little guy! I feel him most in the morning and at night.
Food cravings: Not really. I'm waiting to crave pickles or burgers or something I typically hate, but nope.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Still just chicken. I've been eating peanut butter EVERY DAY again. I'm baaaaaaack!
Gender: Boy
Labour signs: Nope
Symptoms: Not really anything physical, but I have noticed that everything must be clean and tidy or it drives me nuts. I am getting really into organizing things. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am NOT a tidy person. I thrive in chaotic environments. They say this nesting thing happens when you're getting further along... I guess this is it?
Belly button in or out? In, but not for long :(
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time: Well when you're hacking up your lungs and feel like you've been in the ring with Muhammed Ali, you're bound to be a little moody.
Looking forward to: Going home in early June! That's right. The doctor gave me the go-ahead to fly home one last time before baby is born. It'll just be for a long weekend, but at least I'll have more of a bump for you all to see this time. :)

Monday, April 18, 2016

21 Week Update

Well, after all the fun shenanigans last week in NJ, I expected to be feeling a bit down this past week, and I was right. It was SO. NICE. to step back into the warmth and humidity of Palm Beach last Tuesday night, but I really miss everyone. I have the blahs.

The one thing that kept me going was knowing I had my anatomy ultrasound coming up. :)

How far along? 21 weeks!

Total weight gain: I have gained 4 lbs. since my last appointment. That's 4 lbs. in just over 2 weeks. It is good to gain about 1 lb. per week each week during the second trimester, and I've gained 2 lbs. per week the past couple weeks. I am guessing this is actually a good thing, seeing as I lost weight during my first trimester. My body is doing a little catching up. I feel good about my body and my growing bump, which is where all the weight is going at the moment, but this is the first time during my pregnancy that the little voice in the back of my head started obsessing over weight. I KNOW I will combat this, because I know I am doing exactly what I need to do to keep myself and my baby healthy. I'm sure a lot of women face these thoughts during pregnancy, not just someone with my history. Our whole lives, society has conditioned us to want to be the thinnest, fittest, strongest, most "ideal"-bodied women we can be. That mindset carries over into pregnancy, at least for me. It's hard for me to be okay with seeing the scale go up so rapidly, especially when I see that I've gained more than what is recommended in a week, even though I know it is a good thing. Unless my doctor tells me there is a problem with my weight, I am going to continue doing exactly what I've been doing: eating when I am hungry, balancing healthy choices with treats, staying active, and only getting weighed at my scheduled doctor appointments.

Maternity clothes? Nothing new since last week. I might be taking a trip to the mall and doing some online shopping this week. ;)

Stretch marks? Still none.

Sleep: The usual.

Best moment this week: There were TWO best moments that made me forget about the blahs!

1. We registered at Buy Buy Baby! It was overwhelming, but it would've been a hell of a lot worse if we hadn't done our research ahead of time. We still need to put a bunch of little things on there, but we pretty much knew most of the big ticket items we wanted/needed. Eric zoomed the stroller around the aisles, and we kept referring to the Mamaroo as the "spaceship," because we are role model parental figures, obviously. We also set up our Amazon registry. We are nowhere near done editing and adding things, but it was a fun day.

2. ULTRASOUND! This morning we went for the anatomy scan. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I can feel the little guy flipping around in there, but I just wanted to SEE him. I needed to know if everything was going well. I am happy to report that he is doing GREAT! Every part seems to be developing properly and is located right where it should be. His heart rate is a healthy 143, he weighs 1 lb., and all his measurements are right in the 50th percentile. Perfectly average, which is exactly what we want. The ultrasound tech said he is a VERY active little dude. He turned every which way, except AT the screen. He refused to look at us. We poked him for about 15 minutes, but nope. He kept looking away and sticking his hand in front of his face. Already being a rebellious little devil. ;)

Here he is! My dude. That's his hand next to his face, because he's a pain in the ass. :)
Miss anything? The usual.

Movement: Yes! He moves A LOT. He had the hiccups during the ultrasound today. It was so cute. Any time I am sitting still, he starts moving. I can't wait til he's bigger and starts kicking my spine and bladder and cervix when he's annoyed with me. This guy is going to keep me on my toes!

Food cravings: Just sweet things. I've been eating apples and peanut butter again! HOORAY!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Just the thought of grilled chicken... ew.

Gender: 
HERE ARE HIS BOY PARTS! The tech said there is NO DOUBT he is a boy. She didn't print this picture for us, but the doctor handed it to us when we met with her, because she said it was a great shot of his anatomy. Hehehehehe.
Labour signs: Nope. 

Symptoms: Same old. I'm feeling pretty good!

Belly button in or out? In, but it's getting a little stretched... Eric commented on it the other day, so I know it's not just me noticing it. I have a shallow innie, so I bet it'll pop out in the next month. Ughhhhhh

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody this week, but that is to be expected when I leave NJ.

Looking forward to: Nursery decorating! We spent all yesterday organizing our bedroom and going through clothes. Today, I moved a bunch of stuff we had stored in the guest room closet into the newly made space in my closet. We are going to try to get rid of the guest room furniture and move the bed into the downstairs bedroom this week. Then, we can get moving on setting up nursery furniture and decor! The theme is: rock n roll, of course. I hope you weren't expecting teddy bears from us...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

28.

I am 28 years old. This is the first year since I've turned 15 that I didn't cry, or complain about getting older, or feel like my life can only go downhill from here.

Big progress, people. Biiiiiiig progress.

It's not like I think 28 is OLD. I don't even think 70 is old, honestly. And besides, I think a lot of "oldness" has to do with your attitude and mindset, not your age (still not a grown-up!). It's just terrifying to me that life can pass by so quickly. One minute, you're getting ready for prom, and the next thing you know, you're in your late 20s, married and pregnant. For the past few years, I have been making an extra effort to be present in the moment instead of worrying about the future. It's not easy for me, but I am getting better at being mindful and taking in every experience. It has really helped me feel like I am getting the most out of life, instead of feeling like it has passed me by every time I turn another year older.

I still hate the attention. But this birthday, I appreciated the fact that I've made it to 28 and have such great family and friends that have helped me get here and actually be HAPPY.

Eric and I have been home for the past few days, and by home, I mean the Jerz home. It has been a jam-packed whirlwind of a trip, but I think it has been my favorite visit home since we moved to Florida. We ate cheesesteaks when we landed on Thursday night. Yes, at 11pm. We got lunch with Eric's parents on Friday, headed in to Philly, saw Erin's very city Philly apartment, and went to Erica's place, where all the old roomies and that whole crew of friends got together. They surprised me with birthday cupcakes, those assholes. It was a late night, but totally worth the exhaustion. 

Saturday was CRAZY. We met Dave, Sunny, and Arya at the Pop Shop for lunch, where it proceeded to SNOW. Dave threw a snowball at me. I was mad, but we had a good time catching up. Arya was adorable in her little Darth Vader hoodie! We drove back to Eric's house, where the snow was basically blizzarding for the rest of the day (slight exaggeration, but you know). We watched the Flyers game with his mom's side of the family (PLAYOFFS WOOOO!), then went to see his dad's side of the family, where they sang happy birthday to Erin, Eric, and me. We had Coldstone ice cream cake, so I'm not complaining about this birthday acknowledgment. Then, we drove over to Speak's, where we partied with all our Pitman friends til 2am like old times.

On Sunday, I slept til mid-afternoon, because I'm pregnant and can't handle late nights like I used to, apparently. I had the worst headache of my entire life. But then my family came over, and we ate lots of Philly pretzels, stromboli, hoagies, calzones, and more birthday cake for me and Eric, and all was right with the world. My cousin brought his DOG over. A cute little pittie mix! The cats survived, which is good, because now I know they'd get over Nym being in the house if we brought her up for a visit. 

Yesterday was my actual birthday, and I just RELAXED. I sat curled up on the couch with a million blankets and my space heater. Eric and I went to catch up with Kim, Kadie, and Hannah later in the day, which was hilarious. Those kids are so great. We stopped at Meg and Carolyn's, where we discussed very adult things, like mattresses and property taxes, because we are good at adulting. Then, Eric surprised me with a birthday dinner! He got our families together at Mannino's, this delicious Italian place, where we gorged ourselves and didn't regret it at all. Back at my house, we met up with my Uncle Al and Nancy, where we had (you guessed it) MORE BIRTHDAY CAKE. Linny made this one all tye-dye swirly, so it was extra special.

I really don't want to go back to Florida today, even though I am freezing my ass off. I mean, I am truly, genuinely chilled to the bone here, and not very happy about it. And I know that everyone is all spread out now, and all of these get-togethers wouldn't happen every weekend if we lived here. But these visits paint such an idyllic picture of what our lives would be like if we lived here. Now that I am having a baby, I want him to grow up with this awesome support system that I have, and see his million aunts and uncles, blood-related and not, more than once a year. Everyone is so excited about this kid, and so supportive. I almost cried 24958 times over the past few days, because I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude (also, I'm overwhelmed with pregnancy hormones, which doesn't help). Guess we better get used to traveling with a youngin. ;)


How far along? 20 weeks! Halfway there! Holy shit, time is flying
Total weight gain: Uhhh I don't know. I feel like I've probably gained more since my last appointment. I bet I'm finally heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight now. ;)
Maternity clothes? WELL. I have a cute, fitted maternity dress that I wore on my birthday, and it made me feel so good about my belly! And I've been wearing some maternity tank tops and tees. Much more flattering for my little bump and boobs than regular shirts, especially when paired with the maternity jeans that I have been making work. BUT, thanks to the generosity of many family members for my birthday, I will go purchase those jeans that actually fit me, guilt-free, and I will feel confident and comfortable in my non-saggy, non-baggy pants! Thank you, family!
Stretch marks? I thought I noticed a few on my thighs, but I think they are old ones. No obvious dark ones yet, at least.
Sleep: Boo. Bad. Although I slept much better on my NJ mattress than our mattress in Florida. We are going to be purchasing a new one in the very near future.
Best moment this week: Can I pick all of it?
Miss anything? You already know what I'm going to say. I'm going to have a bottle of Shamong Red packed in my hospital bag.
Movement: Yes yes! He is flipping around in there on a somewhat regular basis. I sometimes get surprised by it and go "OH!". He's so cute, I can tell. ;)
Food cravings: Nothing specific. Just sweet stuff in general. But I don't like to SMELL it. Just eat it. Haha
Anything making you queasy or sick: Actually... not really. As long as you keep grilled chicken away from me, I'll be good
Gender: Dude
Labour signs: No
Symptoms: Very tired, headaches, round ligament pain, some lingering hormonal breakouts and aversions
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or moody most of the time: Definitely happy this week!
Looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery! Woot woot!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

19 Week Update

How far along? 19 weeks today

Total weight gain: 3 lbs. since last month! I have officially returned to my pre-pregnancy weight!

Maternity clothes? Okay, so. I went to the mall to try on some of the *nicer* maternity jeans, and HO.LY.SHIT. are they nice. They are so comfortable and hug me in all the right places. Why do any of us wear regular jeans? I'm just going to wear stretchy tummy maternity jeans forever. The ankle length ones are short enough for me, too. However, I still refuse to pay hundreds of dollars for one pair of jeans. So, I FINALLY found a pair of the cheaper jeans that sort of fit, but aren't great. They'll have to do for now, because my regular jeans are just not working. All of the shorts and shirts are huge. If anyone has any suggestions of where to find well-fitting, well-priced maternity clothes for petite girls, please fire away!

Stretch marks? None yet

Sleep: Ugh, terrible. I've been up since 4:30am. Kristin also loaned me her pregnancy pillow, which I hope will help me feel more comfortable. My back is killing me.

Best moment this week: THIS WAS A GOOD WEEK WITH LOTS OF GOOD THINGS!

1. My doctor appointment on Friday. It makes a world of difference to feel like a person and not like a number. From the moment I walked in to this office, I felt a huge difference in how things were run. The staff were organized and well-informed and greeted me by name before I even signed in (how did they KNOW?). They gave me copies of all my records from the other place, which they had already scanned in to their system. When I met with the doctor, he talked to me for a half hour, going over all of my previous records and progress so far, explaining all the testing I already had done and what was to come, and reviewing the timeline of when I should have future tests done. And he said all my tests have looked great so far, my uterus (ew sorry) is measuring right where it should at 18 weeks, and baby's heartbeat is a healthy 152! And he showed me pictures of his first grandkid, 11 weeks old, and said his son is my age and moving to Florida soon with his wife and the baby. So cute. Then, I met with an insurance lady, who explained A LOT of stuff to me very thoroughly. Thank god. I just felt so informed when I left, and very hopeful about it. Plus, I will be delivering at the nice new birthing suites in town instead of the meh hospital further south, which I am THRILLED about. I am hopeful that this will be a good experience for me from here on out.

2. Nym's post-op checkup yesterday morning! All the plates and wires are right where they should be, and new bone is growing in. She still has joint swelling unfortunately, so we need to keep her on pain and anti-inflammatory medication for now. But she can go for longer walks outside and even walk up stairs finally, so she got to come sleep in our room last night for the first time since her injury. She also got her yearly shots done, so she's all set for the year! What a trooper. AND WE GOT HER GROOMED AFTERWARDS! She is the fluffiest, most delicious-smelling giant teddy bear ever. She was so happy to go on her little adventures yesterday, and we are so happy to have our Nymmy closer to normal.

3. FRIENDS! A bunch of the Dees were in Boca for a friend's wedding, so we met up for a beach day/pool party night. First of all, it felt so good to sit on the beach without feeling like I am going to pass out. I think I can get some good beach time in now that the nausea has pretty much passed, before the summer heat sets in. The sky was clear, the water was blue, the breeze was... blowing sand all over us, but ya can't have it all, can you? I just bundled up in my towel and big floppy hat, and I was good for the day. Second of all, it's the best to catch up with friends, especially when they come to Florida. We live all over the country now, so it's way harder to get together, but it's always a good time when we do... even if I couldn't do jagerbombs as usual this time. :)

Miss anything? Alcohol. I miss it more as time goes on, not less. I realize I truly do sound like an alcoholic now, but it is the honest to god truth. Let me explain: It's not even necessarily the buzzed feeling. I hate feeling drunk, and I only really drank once per weekend anyway. It's just the KNOWING that I can't. You know how when you tell a kid they can't do something, and then they are determined to do it? At least that's how I was, hence the pink Sharpie hair at age 14... Well, that's how I feel about pregnancy. Oh, I can't have alcohol? Caffeine? Lunchmeat? Well that's ALL BABY WANTS, OKAY?!?! And I was never huge into the club scene, but breweries? Yes. And now, I must go and drink water, while everyone else drinks awesome, local craft beer. I just feel like I'm missing out, that's all. Damn you, pregnancy.

Movement: I THINK I FELT HIM! I really think so. It's not consistent, and it's not obvious, but I have felt a quick, fluttery feeling sometimes, or gas that ends up not being gas (get used to TMI, people). I think it's my little guy saying HIIIII MAAAAA!!!!! WAIT I THINK HE IS MOVING RIGHT NOW. Seriously, just as I was writing this. I just gasped "OOOH!" unintentionally, so I am 99% sure he is moving right now. He's doing flips or something in there. You go, little dude! This is the creepiest/coolest thing that has ever happened to me!

Food cravings: I have officially done a 180 and want sweets all the time now. I blame it on Disney and Easter candy. I got a red velvet milkshake from BurgerFi on the way back to the house after the beach today. Oops.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Peanut butter :( BUT GUESS WHAT I ATE THIS WEEK: GRILLED BBQ CHICKEN. It's a miracle.

Gender: We're all dudes HEY

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: Definitely round ligament pain more often now. Headaches, fatigue, blahblah the usual. 

Belly button in or out? Innie

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy usually. This was a  really good week!

Looking forward to: Seeing so many friends and family over the next couple weeks!