23 weeks

This morning, a couple of my girlfriends at work were saying that they feel like my pregnancy is going by really quickly.  I had to laugh because it does not feel that way to me.  I guess that’s partially because I’ve spent a lot of this year being pregnant and partially because I didn’t tell work people until I was about 16 weeks along this time. 

Although I feel like I’ve been pregnant for a long time, I do feel like this fall is flying by.  This seems to be a particularly busy time of year and my head is spinning trying to keep up. 

The report from my anatomy scan finally showed up on my online health record this week.  I never heard from my OB, so I assumed all was well, but it was still good to see it.  Everything was normal and Baby Bo was measuring pretty close to where he should be (about four days bigger).  It was such a relief to see. 

Symptoms:  After a long day of work or a particularly busy day on my feet, I’m starting to notice the heaviness in my lower abdomen.  I’m already finding that it’s hard to get comfortable and that sitting for a long time (even through a meal) is hard.  I know I still have a long way to go so I better get used to the discomfort.  And I’m still tired.  So friggin’ tired.

Clothing: No new shopping this week but I’m definitely enjoying the maternity clothes.  There is nothing better than pulling my pants up to my boobs.    

Fetal movement:  Bo is on the go a lot more these days.  The other night as I was reading in bed (anyone read the Divergent series?  Loving it!!) Bo started going crazy with the kicking and flipping.  At one point, I actually saw my stomach moving.  I love it! 

Other: I got my flu shot yesterday.  I don’t get it every year, but I know it’s recommended for pregnant women and I got it when I was pregnant with Littleman, so I felt like I should do it.  My arm is hurting a bit now and (I know this is unrelated to the shot) I’m feeling a bit off today.  My throat is a bit scratchy and feels kind of swollen.  And I’m a bit headachy.  Ugh.  I really don’t have time to get sick!

 

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Pregnancy brain (and other distractions)

Up until recently, although I’ve been extremely tired, I think I’ve been functioning pretty well.  But, I suffered from my first incident related to “pregnancy brain” this past weekend. 

D, Littleman and I spent the weekend at our farm.  Saturday was wet and cold, so I decided to make us a nice homemade mac and cheese casserole for dinner.  I’ve made it often enough that I don’t use a recipe.  I boiled the macaroni and started on the cheese sauce.  I shredded a nice big pile of cheddar cheese and got working on my béchamel sauce.  When the pasta was cooked, I mixed it into the sauce and dumped the whole thing into a nice deep casserole dish.  Then I thought to myself “I hope I saved some of the cheese for the topping”.  I looked over at my cutting board and realized that I had saved ALL the cheese.  Yes, I had forgotten to put the cheese into the cheese sauce!  Ugh.  Before me sat a huge macaroni and béchamel casserole!!

I managed to salvage the meal by stirring in the shredded cheese, but it just wasn’t the same.  Instead of a nice, smooth cheesy sauce, it had clumps of stringy cheese throughout. 

I guess it could have been worse.  I could have screwed up something at work or done something dangerous, but I realized that my brain is definitely starting to get fuzzier these days.

On top of the pregnancy brain, I’m also finding this week to be way too busy.  Work is getting in the way of all the things I need to do at home. 

With Halloween approaching, we’ve been busy stocking up on supplies and getting ready to carve our pumpkins.  I have a tendency to get a bit competitive when it comes to pumpkin carving (I’ve won a couple of neighbourhood competitions in the past) and I can be a perfectionist, so I find Halloween week kind of stressful.  I also decided I wanted to try roasting pumpkin seeds for the first time this year.  I was cursing that decision last night as I was trying to separate the seeds from the pumpkin gunk after we got Littleman to bed.  After wrestling with the seeds (they’re slippery little buggers), they have now been drying overnight.  I’ll try roasting them tonight. They better be damn tasty after all that work!

Pumpking carving with Daddy!

Pumpkin carving with Daddy!

Aaaannnddd, we’re also trying to sort out our spare bedroom which we plan to make into Littleman’s “big boy” room.  D is on vacation this week, so he’s working on assembling a full wall armoire/cabinet in our bedroom to hold his clothes (which are currently in a dressers and closet in the spare bedroom).  Then we can clear out all the other crap that we store in that room so we can start setting it up for Littleman.  I’m hoping we can move him into his new space well before the baby arrives so that he doesn’t think he’s getting displaced.  I really want to make it about him, so hopefully we can get our act together and get this done!

I won’t even get into the fact that we’re also trying to buy a new car…

So, needless to say, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed these days and the pregnancy hormones are not helping.  I think I will have to plan a few vacation days in the next little while to try to get some stuff done at home.  I hate sitting at work being distracted by all the non-work things I need to do.

This really can happen…

Have you ever watched the show I didn’t know I was pregnant?  I’ve seen it a few times but it always drives me nuts.  How can someone not know they are pregnant for an entire gestational period???  How could someone sit down on the toilet and push out a baby???

I was reading the newspaper yesterday and came across this article: Shocked Ottawa woman gives birth at home not realizing she was pregnant.

So, clearly, these things actually happen.  But, as someone who is pregnant for the third time, I find it really, really hard to imagine.  I know that some people have extremely irregular periods so may not notice the absence of a regular menstrual cycle.  I’ve read that some pregnant ladies spot throughout their pregnancy, so thinking you are getting a monthly period is plausible.  And I accept that many women don’t get any sort of morning sickness (myself included with my pregnancy that ended in miscarriage).

But how someone can carry an eight pound human inside them without knowing kind of blows my mind.  At 22 weeks pregnant (where I am right now) the average weight of a fetus is less than one pound.  And, even with a baby that tiny inside of me, there is no way I look anything but pregnant.

Perhaps (maybe?) I could convince myself that the movement I’m feeling inside my belly is gas or some other digestive disorder if I didn’t know any better.  And with an anterior placenta, it definitely takes longer to feel things.  But by the later days of my pregnancy with Littleman, I could actually see parts of his body popping out against my belly – an elbow, a heel, etc.  If I didn’t know I was pregnant, I would have completely freaked out, thinking that my organs were trying to escape or something.

My apologies to anyone who has been through this – I don’t mean to make light of it.  In fact, if you have been through this, I’d love to hear about it.  It is absolutely fascinating to me.  I suspect that most of us would absolutely love to stop by the bathroom and pop out a fully developed surprise baby.  If it meant not having to stress about heartbeats and ultrasounds and epidurals or dealing with fatigue and nausea and waddling, then it sounds pretty good to me!

22 weeks

I missed my last weekly update due to a horrible headache, which seems to be the theme of my second trimester so far.  The headaches are ridiculous!  It’s so frustrating when there’s nothing I can do about it.

Other than that, the last couple of weeks have been relatively uneventful.  I’m definitely growing faster now, though, with my belly expanding very rapidly.  I feel like I’m looking wider too, although my friends assure me that I don’t look pregnant from the back.  It’s possible they’re just being polite.

I’ve also been suffering from a bad case of raging bitchiness lately.  It’s mostly been directed at a relatively new colleague of mine (behind his back, of course) but I’m happy to report that he didn’t last and left the company yesterday.  Hopefully my hormones won’t decide to turn on someone else in his place…

Symptoms:  I’m starting to feel like I don’t have enough skin to cover my expanding belly.  Logically, I know that it will stretch, but sometimes it feels like I will actually burst open.  It doesn’t help that the colder weather means the furnace is turned on and the air is drier.  I was so itchy the other day that I scratched the crap out of my stomach to the point that I looked like I’d been mauled by a werewolf.

Clothing: I was finally successful in finding a pair of skinny jeans.  Yay!  Aside from the jeans and a new winter coat, I haven’t bought much else.  At this point, I think I’ll just have to make do with what I have. 

In other clothing news, the other day, I had an unpleasant reminder of how much bigger I’m going to get.  I pulled out a couple of pairs of pajamas that I wore throughout my last pregnancy.  They aren’t maternity jammies, just loose, stretchy pants and long-sleeved tees.  Anyway, rather than squeeze into my current pajamas, I tried on the old ones.  The pants literally dropped to the floor.  Yikes.  As big as I feel right now, I guess I still have a lot of growing to do!

Fetal movement:  Baby Bo is still pretty low-key during the day.  His most active time is right before I get out of bed in the morning.  He gives me the odd punch or kick if I’ve been sitting still at my desk for a while and sometimes I’ll feel what seems like he’s doing a somersault (kind of feels like my insides are flipping over).  I’m still waiting for some nice strong jabs that can be felt on the outside.

Hurtful words

I know that many of us have encountered rude people who said dumb shit throughout our TTC or pregnancy journeys, but sometimes it still catches me totally off guard.

For example, I was talking to my aunt last weekend.  To give some context, she’s in her 60s, never married, no kids and lived with my grandmother until she passed away a few years ago.  She’s from the Italian side of my family and they’ve always had some strong (and rather old-fashioned) opinions. 

Our conversation started with her telling me about her 28-year-old god-daughter who got married last year.  Then she says, “I told them they better have kids right away.” 

Comments like that really irk me.  It’s none of her business.  Maybe they don’t want kids.  Or maybe they do and they want to wait a bit.  Or maybe they’re already trying.  OR maybe they know they can’t have kids.

Before I could even respond to that, she continued on.  “Because you know what can happen when people wait too long to have kids.”

WHAT?!  Is she commenting on my miscarriage?  Holy shit.  She totally is. 

I’ve never been good at coming up with witty responses on the spot but I did manage to say something like, “things like that can happen to anyone at anytime.”   To which she replied, “yes, but…” and raised her eyebrows.

That is when I found an excuse to get up and walk away.

I know I probably should have educated her or at least pointed out how hurtful and disrespectful it is to make comments like that, but I really didn’t want to ruin my Thanksgiving weekend by getting into it with someone who would likely never be able to understand what I was talking about. 

After she left the next day, I told D and my mom about it.  They were both appalled, which helped confirm that my reaction was appropriate.  (For a while, I feared that my pregnancy hormones were causing me to overreact).   

I know that some people – especially those who have never struggled to conceive or who have never miscarried – may not always think about how the things they say may impact another person.  But I don’t believe that you need to go through those struggles to be able to have compassion.  I don’t always begrudge people asking if someone plans to have children.  I know it often comes from a place of caring and true interest.  However, to me, that’s different than offering “advice” like my aunt did.    When I hear obnoxious comments like hers, I feel protective of those on the receiving end, even if I don’t know them.  I know how much those kind of words can hurt.

I guess this was a good reminder to me that hurtful words can come from anyone at anytime, no matter how close they are to me or how unexpected.  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have said those sorts of things even without the experiences that I’ve had, but I also know that I’ve become more careful over the past few years about the words I choose and the questions I ask.  I’m going to work on standing up to people who say things that bother me so that, hopefully, they can learn from the situation.

Seven months (and 100 posts!)

It’s been seven months since we found out that we lost our baby, Puppet.  Sometimes, when I think about it, it’s hard to believe that actually happened.  I recently went back and read some of my early blog posts, written when everything was still so raw.   I’ve come a long way since then, but reading those words still brings back a lot of the pain from that time.

So, here I am 100 posts later.  Instead of having a one-month-old baby at home, I’m five months pregnant.  Instead of being a blissful (and sleep-deprived) parent of two, I’m a miscarriage survivor, who constantly worries that something will go wrong again.  I wouldn’t wish that situation on anyone, but I feel that it has made me stronger in some ways.  I realize how precious life is and how easily bad things can happen.  I also realize how lucky I am to have my Littleman and to be having a (so far) successful pregnancy.

I feel like I have a lot of things that I want to write about and I just can’t find the time.  Here’s a quick snippet of what’s going on these days: 

  • I missed my 21 week update on Wednesday because I was home with a brutal headache.  My Tylenol and coffee trick didn’t work so I spent most of the day in bed, nauseous and miserable.
  • There’s a man on the loose in our neighbourhood who is wanted by police for threats to elementary school children, among other things.  It turns out that he is a dad of a child in our daycare.  The daycare (and all the schools/daycares in the area) are taking many precautions but it is still really scary.
  • I bought a maternity winter coat the other day.  It’s big, black and puffy.  I bought the cheapest one I could find (thank you, Old Navy) and apparently the ugliest too.  When I put it on for him, Littleman said, “that’s not pretty!”
  • Speaking of Littleman, he got invited to a birthday party this weekend.  He’s been to birthday parties for family and family friends, but this is the first invitation he’s received for a kid that we (i.e. mom and dad) don’t know.  It’s a little boy from his daycare class.  He’s so excited to go, but I can’t help feeling like he’s growing up too fast!

Hopefully I’ll have some time in the next little while to write about some of the things that have been on my mind lately:  exercise, breastfeeding, support from family, etc.  Until then, thanks to all of you who’ve been around for my journey these past several months.

The guilt of remembering

Today (October 15) is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Although I expect that none of us who have experienced loss(es) need a specific day to help us remember our baby, I think it’s important to have a day to reflect on what we’ve been through.

I find myself in a bit of an emotional struggle these days.  I think about Puppet – the baby we lost in March – all the time.  As my September due date crept closer, I became more and more aware of what wasn’t there anymore.  Now, I wonder what my life would be like if I was at home with my newborn baby. 

But when I find myself missing Puppet, I start to feel guilty too.  If I hadn’t lost Puppet, I wouldn’t have Bo.  Bo is growing inside me and his movements are getting stronger every day.  I love him fiercely. 

I guess that’s why, for me, a day like today means so much.  I see it as a day that I can think about Puppet and what I lost, without feeling like I’m being hurtful to the baby that I’m waiting to meet.  This day can be about Puppet alone.

Well, maybe not quite alone.  Sadly, I’m just one of many parents out there who are missing their babies today.  My heart goes out to everyone – those I know in real life and the friends I’ve made online – who is remembering today.

Today I resolve to put aside my guilt and to remember the baby who wasn’t to be.  I know that Bo wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the loss of Puppet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love both my babies.

I miss you, Puppet.