Thursday, April 12, 2018

17 Weeks

How preggo I am: 17 weeks. I've been pregnant for 35 of the last 52 weeks. That is 67.3%  of a year already. Whenever I feel whiny and annoyed about that, I try and remember it's ok, that's fair. I can be less than thrilled about it.

Baby size: Pomegranate or turnip sized. About 5 inches long from head to bottom and 5 ounces.  That seems crazy huge.

If you're on a phone, check out this baby hand estimation. It's pretty nifty I think. And kind of a mind blowing visual when you think about it. 

Morning sickness: Quite a bit better actually. Occasional moments but generally just morning and pretty manageable (unless I have a bad headache or have to clean up an animal mess then it's vomiting for sure). So getting better a good 10 weeks before it did with Lyra. But I refuse to let my guard down. I am braced for dealing with it for much longer because who knows how next week will be.

Food cravings/aversions: Mostly I'm just able to eat food again with regularity and it's nice. I'm not sure I really am at the really enjoying food again point, but I'll take it.

Other symptom: Well not pregnancy related but, allergies. I have never had such terrible seasonal allergies as I do in Nevada. Like, it is actually a factor in whether or not I want to live here long term. It's truly that bad. I have to have tissues with me at all times, and mornings are the worst. I feel so gross going out in public when I'm sneezing and so snotty. I've tried nasal sprays and I'm taking elderberry and the over the counter antihistamines...I tried it all. I'm going in for an allergy test next week and probably will need allergy shots. I'm trying to remind myself that the (excessively) high cost is worth it for not being miserable half of the year but it's really frustrating. I'm an example of why living without health insurance would be terrifying.

My headaches/neck pain is actually manageable this week. But it's this insanely long list of things and rituals to help. I have my pillow I must use but that doesn't 100% cut it and I'm researching replacing. I think that would make the next biggest difference. I still am icing and heating my neck whenever I can. Tylenol whenever I think I feel a headache. I've been using some peppermint and Lavender oils which at least feel soothing topically. I can't really use the kinesio tape frequently because it irritates my skin, unfortunatly. And Travis has to give me a massage at least once a day. And it isn't a cutesy massage like you'd give your new partne to make them like you. It's this super intense one where you'd think he's angry with me and I'm shocked he hasn't left bruises. He stops when his hands hurt, not when I can't handle it anymore. It's reminiscent of the osteopath treatment, he's just not professionally trained, obviously. But also he doesn't charge 400 dollars every time and he's available every day. And on top of all that I try to watch my posture really closely and not drive too much or sit too long or lay down too long, etc. It's kind of insane how much effort I'm putting into babying my neck.

Movement: Definitely! Week 14 to 15 I had a few questionable twitches that I'm still unsure about. Maybe, but probably not, that's still really early. Week 15 to 16 I had little "I'm 90-95% sure that was baby but this is way different than with Lyra so I'm confused" movements that in hindsight were definitely baby. This week (16 to 17) I was positive I was feeling him when I sat fairly still and paid attention. Going into week 18 I'm pretty confident I'll be able to feel him from the outside on occasion this week, if I'm not already, there were a few I couldn't tell if I was feeling from the outside or just from the inside, it's kind of hard to tell at first. I think the main difference that is letting me feel him earlier than I felt Lyra, is the placenta location. This one is mainly posterior (minus the stupid part that's covering my cervix...) and Lyra's was anterior, which means in the front of the uterus and therefore muffling movement. I think that's why I can feel this baby earlier, and why it took me longer to decide I was actually feeling him. He was a lot smaller than Lyra was when I started feeling her. With Lyra I was 19 weeks before I felt anything and I went from, "NOPE. Nothing." to for sure feeling her move in a single day. And a week after that I could visibly see her move in my belly. I've also noticed I feel him less consistently than I felt Lyra. Lyra started moving and has not stopped, up to this day, she has not stopped moving for 30 seconds except very occasionally while sleeping. I attribute this to both his size/the earliness I felt him and the desperate hope/desire to have a chiller and lower maintenance child who does things like sit still and sleep. Plus also I'm so busy keeping up with Lyra that I can't always pay attention. Sorry, kid, get used to that I guess.

It's reassuring to start feeling him move, for sure. But I also feel like I should acknowledge the fact that it hasn't erased my fears about miscarriage and loss and I still have some feelings about it that I didn't have when I had Lyra and I'd never lost a baby. I don't really know how to put it in words exactly, but it feels like I'm a lot less naive maybe. I have thankfully never lost a baby this far along and hopefully won't ever have to do that. But I can't help but think how horrible it was at just 12 (10 weeks since it was a missed miscarriage) and have in the back of my head an idea of how horrible it would be now. Not to say that anyone who has had an early miscarriage had it any easier than someone with a later one. Everyone is different and for me, the late miscarriage was so physically hard and mentally dramatic and traumatizing that it's just something I've thought abouti. So it's just my personal feeling on my experience of it, I guess.  It's both reassuring to get this far and much more terrifying than you might expect. And I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I'm just jealous of people who never have to experience it firsthand.

Weight gain: Possibly nothing? I thought 1 or 2 pounds last week but maybe not. I also don't know if my scale is accurate.  This is why I'm trying to stay not too bothered about weight gain. The baby is growing just fine, so who really cares how the weight goes. I didn't track with Lyra and now I'm kind of curious if I gained much at first, I just assumed I did but maybe I didn't until later and just grew a bump without weight gain. On that note, I'd really like to share this link my doula shared that illustrates that bump size doesn't actually mean anything and doesn't affect the baby's size.  There's a lot of misconceptions about it out there and I hate seeing mom's get insulted or lectured for being too big or too small. And also it's a good illustration of how someone could be pregnant and not know, that happens and I absolutely believe those people.



Lyra helped with photos this week. 

Sleep: Lyra is something else this week. I shared this video on my page but it's too true to not share again. She tried to fake cough and give me a "Mommy I'm sick," lie and that was the final straw that broke me about nap time. I finally got her to nap for the first time this week by pulling out the pack and play and telling her she'd have to sleep in there if she couldn't handle napping in her bed. I wasn't even bluffing.  Guess who went down in under 30 minutes with little effort on my part? But yeah, sleep has been a struggle this week.

Also my dreams are crazy still. I had one where Oprah was giving me all sorts of gifts that I had to store in the stroller. The best part was it was all weird contraptions to use to take random new drugs. So weird. And then I had one the next night where I was in a bank filled with roller coasters. All of a sudden I had the,  "I think I'm dreaming," thought. Usually at that point I get to fly around for a while which is always neat. Not this time. This time dream Miriam was like, "I have to pee but if this is a dream I don't want to wet the bed. But if I'm not, I really need to find a toilet. Maybe I'll do something weird and see how people react to decide if I'm dreaming first." And that's how I came to have a dream where I wandered around with no pants on in a bank filled with roller coasters. Unfortunately, my dream self couldn't remember if it was normal or not to be in public without pants on, so that didn't help me figure out anything. Last night I dreamed I had an ultrasound that projected a virtual newborn sized baby next to me. That was kinda weird but also kinda cool and thankfully, not creepy.

More stories loaded
Mood: Normal unless it's nap or bedtime and then I feel like Te-Ka from Moana. 100% lava monster at those times.

Names: Still Finley Everett or Everett Finley are the two in the running. I really like the nickname Finn but I really like Everett as a first name. And Travis likes Finley as a first name. So it's probably just up in the air for the next 21 to 25 weeks

And on another post loss feeling about things, just something I have been thinking about and trying to sort out exactly what it is I'm even thinking or feeling...it's been weird (again a moment I'm not sure there is a word) adjusting to this baby being a boy. I just have feelings about it. Knowing the last baby was a girl, there's both some good and bad feelings finding out this one is a boy. I think it was a bit of a relief because I did not want to feel any sort of "this is my baby I'm getting back," and sort of push away or minimize the last loss. And I don't know what the first baby I lost was, maybe that was a boy, but since I don't know, it's less concrete. There's also the other side to it that is sad because Lyra was getting sister. But now she isn't. But again, I don't know if she was getting a brother that first time around. And either way it was always someone different regardless of anatomy and chromosomes. Not to mention all my normal feeling I have about gender and sex and how I'm raising Lyra and how I will raise this one with the main idea being they're just little people either way and the not or girl thing is not the defining characteristic to sum them up anyway.

Lyra stats: My best Lyra story was the nap one this week. I did take her to see Paw Patrol Live this week which she enjoyed. It was a stage production of one of her favorite cartoons. I think her mind was blown that these characters actually exist.

What I miss: Lyra taking naps reliably. I hope this stage passes.

Best moment this week: Honestly, probably just not having a terrible headache once this week. I had 2 or 3 but they were the types that I actually got to go away and they never progressed to the vomiting stage. I don't remember any other week that's happened so far since getting pregnant.

Looking forward to: Summer. That feeling will last maybe another 8 days until it gets hot. Also my parents are coming to visit the week after next which will be fun. My dad is going to help us tile the master bath and bedroom (who puts carpet in a bathroom???) which will be so nice to get done.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

16 Weeks: Doula's and Hospital Tours

How preggo I am: 16 weeks

Baby size: So the majority of sources say avocado sized which is what my phone app said last week. My phone app now says dill pickle. How useless. That's the vaguest description I ever heard. So somewhere between avocado and dill pickle of unknown size.

Morning sickness: Still feeling it. Mostly it seems to be in the actual early morning now and it fades after a bit. I run into trouble really only when I have a headache now. Which is like at least 1 out of 3 days. If I have a headache then I feel more nauseous which makes me throw up. That makes my head hurt even worse which makes me feel more sick and I get locked in this cycle of not being able to keep anything down for a couple hours. So I have a pretty rigid routine of trying to ice or heat my neck any chance I get, several times a day. And sort of self osteopath treatment. Painful massage basically. It sucks.

Food cravings/aversions: I've eaten way too much corn on the cob. I can't stop, it's so good. And our Easter dinner was basically a hodgepodge of cravings I had. Currently, I'm on the hunt for rosquillas, this Nicaraguan pastry thing that I think is corn based and has some sort of sweet stuff baked onto the top.

Other symptom: The heartburn/acid reflux stuff is starting up. I'd gladly trade morning sickness for that though.

Movement: Nothing yet I don't think. Every now and again I get a questionable maybe baby feeling. But also I have this crazy weird muscle twitch that's been coming and going for weeks now up by my left rib. It's crazy, it's like having hiccups in my ribs. 100% not baby, just super weird.

Weight gain: 1 or 2 pounds, but I definitely popped this week. With Lyra I remember it being more gradual. I feel like there was longer of the "Do I look pregnant or not?" stage. This one it was like that but then one morning I woke up and it was like, "Yeah, no...I can't suck that in anymore." And now I look for sure pregnant all the time. I also found a pretty cool breakdown of weight gain. It makes me feel tired just thinking of all the work that goes into making that stuff.

For an average 25 to 35 pound gain (super generic blanket reccomendation there by the way) here's the breakdown.

Baby: 6-8 lbs
Uterus: 1-2 lbs
Placenta: 1-2 lbs
Amniotic fluid: 2-3 lbs
Blood: 3-4 lbs
Maternal fat/protein storage: 8 to 10 lbs
Breasts: 1-2 lbs
Other bodily fluid (I'm really curious what this is exactly): 3-4 lbs

I think my body has given in to the inevitable.

Sleep: I've been done sleeping through the night for the next few years since finding out I was pregnant basically. I'm mentally accepting it slowly.

Mood: Eh, not too bad? I feel more mood swingy than usual but less grumpy generally (I think?) since I've felt better some days.

Names: I think barring some drastic change of heart, there's 2 names in the final running. Really at this point it's the order that's up for debate. We had originally had Orion tentatively picked out as a boy name since way back, before we knew if Lyra was a boy or girl. But we're still undecided on the number of kids we'll have eventually.  If we have more than one boy, we'll run out of constellation/space boy names anyway since Travis has questionable taste and doesn't agree that Draco and Scorpius would work. If we have another girl, the top favorite name (Lyra' s almost name) has never been a space name. Plus when you get down to actually naming kids, you change your mind from theoretical names a bit. I know we went with Nova for the last loss which is still kind of a theme but eh, I'm ok with just going with individual favorites over over-arching themes. So anyway, this boy is (99% probably) either Everett Finley or Finley Everett. Travis and I are not in agreement about which is best right now.

Lyra stats: She's been hanging out with me too much. I have a tendency towards drama lately when I feel crappy and I may have said the phrase, "I'm dying," during one or several of the puking/headache episodes. Lyra was getting fussy in the car this week and all of the sudden started complaining loudly, "I'm dying! I'm dying, I'm dyyyyying!!!" when I wouldn't let her out of the carseat on the highway. It was too funny. Also due to an unfortunate accidental mispronounciatuon by Travis while reading Mulan, Lyra thinks the main villain is called "Sham-Poo."

What I miss: I want a beer.

Best moment this week: Well Travis got a promotion and is now Chief Metallurgist at the mine he's been at since we moved here. Which is quite an accomplishment 6 years out of school, well before he's 30. So that's cool.

Also, I found a doula I want to use. A doula is the emotional and physical (not medical!) support during pregnancy, labor, postpartum and even loss, that you might have from female family members or close friends back when humans lived more in close communities and everyone birthed at home. Not that I don't have family and friends but some aren't close by and having ones who are trained is helpful. I really like her and hopefully will either have extra support no matter which way my birth turns out. I also think I really am going to do my doula training after this baby is a bit less of a fetus/newborn. I was totally derailed in that plan by moving. But that was possibly for the best, I couldn't have handled it while having miscarriages.

I went on a hospital tour as well and probably picked which hospital I will use if necessary. I'm hoping for a homebirth but a c-section is still very much a possibility. If my placenta moves off my cervix but isn't very far off, I may well want or need to be in the hospital if I'm going to attempt a vaginal birth. Or if some unexpected other complication comes up, who knows. So I want to know all my options and have my research done for as many scenarios as I can. I'm still waiting on another tour at the end of the month of the other hospital my OB uses to make a final decision. This one I just went to is the smaller of the two but there were several things I really liked and my doula had some helpful advice and things to consider. This hospital is smaller and less busy. The OR, nursery, labor and delivery rooms, and postpartum rooms are all on the same floor. There isn't a limit on how many people I can have with me during labor, at the other hospital you're limited to three. That seems like a lot until you consider I want a doula and birth photographer, plus my mom and Travis' mom may both be around in addition to Travis. This hospital also has wireless fetal monitoring (so I could move during labor) and tubs. The larger one doesn't, which surprised me. The way the doula put it, "When this hospital had money, they put it into things to make women more comfortable and not new paint to make it look fancy like the other hospital." That's stuck in my head for sure. Plus, the doula said she's had more luck with being allowed as a second person in the OR during c-sections. Not a garuntee, but that's a big thing for me. If Travis has to go with the baby to the NICU, I don't want to be left alone, wondering what the fuck is happening, I want someone who's priority is me and can help me get info and explain what's happening. Plus, the nurse we met there was really nice and mentioned she loved working with the doula I picked out.

Looking forward to: Movement! I want to start feeling this one for sure. I felt Lyra for sure about 3 weeks from this point and her placenta was in the way. I want some dang baby kicks already. It's been almost exactly a year since I found out I was pregnant the first time since having Lyra. It was Easter last year. It's weird to think about how much longer the process has been this time around compared to having Lyra. I've been pregnant 34 weeks out of the last 52. Only 22-26 left. SHEESH.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

15 Week Update

How preggo I am: 15 weeks. About. Finally have somewhat settled on a due date. Which is obviously still just a guess but whatever. My last period due date was the 26th of September and the ultrasounds have put it at the 22nd, the 16th, and the 19th respectively. I think my best guess that we'll probably go with this the 19th. He's consistently measuring ahead and I got my positive test soooo early. Plus that's the easiest to remember. I switched over weeks on Wednesdays with Lyra and with this baby up to now, that date is exactly a week ahead. Good middle guess date all 4 guesses considered. Clearly Lyra was my prompt type A baby who measures right on and arrived on her due date. She takes after me and this one is possibly a Travis clone. He'd prefer to be cryptic and not inform anyome of his plans.

Baby size: Apple or avocado sized. About 4 inches long from head to butt. (Crown to rump, scientifically speaking.)

Morning sickness: Yes. Still. Bleh. Plus, my neck has been bugging me a lot more (seems to get a lot worse during pregnancy unfortunately) which leads to headaches which leads to more naseau.

Food cravings/aversions: Nothing specific to be honest. But smells have kind of been a craving. Basil smells excessively good. And Lavender. I bought like 4 lavender scented things lately.

Other symptom: Nothing too much, the naseau and headaches kind of overwhelm everything else. I have started to have that weird sensation of feeling like there is an unyielding ball in my belly when I bend over or really have to pee or something. Which, makes sense, seeing as there basically is. I can recognize it as my uterus from remembering how it was with Lyra.  It's hard to describe but it's exciting that it's all feeling a bit more real like it's actually going to happen this time.

Weight gain: Nada. Though I do think I'm starting to get a real baby bump. About a week or 2 before I found it noticable with Lyra.

15 week bump, I can't suck it in any more than this these days.
This was me at 17 weeks with Lyra, for comparisons sake. 

Movement: Nothing yet but I'm hoping any day now. My placenta is posterior (in back) this time instead of in front like it was with Lyra.

Sleep: I swear if Lyra doesn't stop standing by my face quietly in the dark I'm going to start having nightmares. Like, just say something or poke me, don't just stand there quietly staring.

Mood: Well I was quite cheerful and relaxed when I got to go on my girls trip. A couple days relaxing by the coast in Sonoma. I had a whole spa day that I'm absolutely doing again if I have to have a c-section. I was distinctly not cheerful late last week when I went to the first check in visit at the OB. Now, I didn't actually get to meet him at that visit. Luckily after meeting him early this week, I don't mind him. I'd prefer my midwife/home birth plan but a backup is a good idea either way. Plus the extra appointments and checks are reassuring at this point. Anyway, the first visit turned out to be all paperwork and super oversimplified (for me at least, I'm pretty well informed when it comes to pregnancy basics, I've thoroughly done my research) pregnancy overview. The whole day was awful from the get go. First, I was running late because I had a horrendous headache/vomiting start to my morning. Then I got lost trying to find the office. By the time I showed up all hot and sweaty and without breakfast (I dropped it on the way out the door) I was 15 minites past my check in time. Still 15 minutes before my appointment but late nonetheless. I ended up waiting in the waiting room for 45 minutes anyway. And then nurse who was doing the intake appointment was clearly very anti-midwifery. She made a few comments that really rubbed me the wrong way. The worst was regarding the Panorama blood test I did a while ago. "I was just saying the other day that it's crazy they let midwives order that test. They'll just let anyone do it." I didn't even know how to react to that. I was also given a sheet on the benefits of breastfeeding. The top bullet point of the list of benefits for mom was, "helps with weight loss." Bottom of the list was "helps reduce risk of postpartum depression." Ummmm.....PRIORITIES, people. Reduces risk of cancers, helps minimize postpartum hemmoraghing, any of those seem to be a lot more important than dropping weight post baby but all were listed later. The sheet was printed from the local hospital system which is actually not the same system as the OB's office so I am going to have to look into where I need to complain about that bullshit. Just rearrange your bullet points for fuck's sake. Needless to say, I was not a particularly happy camper by the end of the day. By the end I was on the phone crying to my mother. But I do feel much better after meeting the OB. He seems like a decent doctor even if the attitude towards birth around here is not ideal.

Gender: Besides the DNA test, there was officially a penis on an ultrasound. I'm growing a pair of balls.

Lyra stats: This kid. I have another example of how she's definitely my mini me, type A little kid. So I went on my girl's trip and expected exciement when I came home because it was the longest we have ever been apart. And I got it, I'll give her that. But midway through our reunion, she noticed I hadn't put away my shoes and she insisted I take a pause from hugs so that she could put them back in the closet where they belonged.

Also, other random anecdotes. The falling apart baby monitor has been upgraded and now we can speak to her through an intercom like system on the new video monitor. When she gets out of bed and you tell her to lay back down and take a nap or go to bed, she kind of listens. She lays down immediately on the floor where ever she's at in her room. It's kind of hysterical.

She now says "Mommy" instead of "Mama" about half the time. Out of nowhere, I'm not sure where she learned it. I had not realized how much more whiny it's possible to make "Mommy" sound rather than "Mama." It has to be the "y" sound. I'm not a huge fan for the most part.

What I miss: not having debilitating neckpain. I'm basically attached to a heat or ice pack whenever possible and trying any sort of remedy I can think of. The latest is KT taping which surprisingly seems to help take the edge off. It's a lot stronger than I thought and almost seems like it acts a little like a brace. But if anyone knows any tips or weird suggestions for cures, let me know. I'd try witchcraft or Amazonian tree oils or basically anything at this point. Osteopathy helps somewhat but that's absurdly expensive. Chiropractic care seems to make it worse, last I tried. I'm probably getting a massage membership. I do have my muscle relaxers but those are last resort and can only be used if I'm not alone and can sleep all day. Anyway, neck pain is the worst.

Best moment this week: During the last ultrasound this week at the introductory back-up OB visit I got an extra ultrasound. This is the third one, I only got 3 total with Lyra, this one will get a minimum of 4, more if the placenta doesn't move by the 20 week scan. Anyway, Lyra had been at the emergency ultrasound for spotting and we told her it was her baby brother she could see. I told her again the morning of the ultrasound that we were going to see baby brother. So the instant the ultrasound picture popped up on the screen this time, without any prompting from anyone she yelled, "Baby brother!" and pointed at the screen. Soooo cute. She may actually be getting it.

Looking forward to: Hopefully finally just having a few mundane weeks. I'm sure that won't happen though.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Week 11-13 (I don't know), A Sex Party, & The Bleeding Scare Update

How preggo I am: Nearly 12 or 13 weeks. I was late on this supposed to be 11 week update for several reasons. First I had the headache from hell, then I figured I might as well wait until we announced the baby's sex, then I had spotting and was in crisis mode and didn't want to update until I had ultrasound results. The short story with that is baby is measuring ahead by 9 days, has a good heart rate and wiggles around already but I have placenta previa, where the placenta is covering the cervix. More on that later.

Baby size: Lemon sized which is a huge jump from the last time I wrote. That's according to the 13 week measurements from the ultrasound yesterday. Baby has little limbs and appendages and looks a lot more baby like. With a huge head. I can also feel the top of my uterus low on my stomach, I noticed earlier in the week.

Baby face

Morning sickness: Still hanging in there.  I'm hoping it goes away second trimester but realistically I'm betting I'm in for the long haul again.

Food cravings/aversions: Super cliche but I made Travis go buy like 4 types of pickles one evening.

Other symptom: I had the worst headache ever this week. It's been on and off for about a week and a half at this point. It set in hard for good on Wednesday afternoon and by Friday morning I was in urgent care. I ended up trying a muscle relaxer (safe for pregnancy, category B) and basically slept the day away and felt better by Saturday morning finally. It did come back with the stress from spotting on Sunday but I was too freaked out to take more meds, even though they were supposed to be safe. I took some last night though because I've had enough headache and I'm thoroughly convinced they aren't the cause of my spotting now. I'm hoping it's finally done now.

Weight gain: Nada. But I feel the bloat on and off for sure.

Mood: So stressed and not a good week overall. Sunday during the middle of our sex reveal party, the day before my birthday, which was also the day before family came to visit, a few days before my planned girls trip, a few days before the 12 week milestone where I last miscarried, basically the absolute worst time for it, I started spotting. I felt a gush and I was just like, "Nooooo, that can't be what I think it is." But sure enough when I went to the bathroom to check, blood. I freaked out harder than any of the previous times. Every time you just think, this can't possibly be happening. I started shaking and hyperventilating a bit and called Travis back to the bathroom to call the midwife and my friend who was at the party sans kids to come comfort me. Then I just tried to move on with the day and see how it went.  Luckily, my friends all know and I didn't have to pretend everything was perfect, so that worked out. Still a bummer to bring down my party mood a lot.

It just sucks the more often this happens because you feel less hopeful every time. I feel like I was less hysterically upset and more contingency planning from the get go. Like "Ok if this is another miscarriage, this is the plan, this is the testing to talk about, this is what I want to push to get done." Etc. It's way more morbid too, I immediately started thinking, this is how big the baby is, this is what you need to prepare yourself to see, potentially. Pack bags for the ER in case we need to go there in the middle of the night and notify the friends we would leave Lyra with. I knew I'd have trouble sleeping and Travis suggested unisom but I wanted to be alert enough to be able to differentiate between drowsy from drugs and drowsy from blood loss. Miscarriages really put a damper on your pregnancy experience.

But the ultrasound place got me in quickly at least. Baby is measuring even more ahead so I don't know yet if my due date will change. Measuring at 13 weeks instead of 11 weeks and 5 days. Wiggling a bit and a heart rate if 152. So that was a good birthday present even if the rest of the news wasn't. The complete placenta previa they found is very likely the reason I was spotting. And I may or may not keep spotting due to that. So that's a big bummer. Hopefully, the placenta moves but frankly, I have shitty luck lately and I don't want to bank on that and just be disappointed. So I'm processing that. And mentally preparing.  I had Lyra unmeducated at a birth center and it was a great experience. Pregnancy kind of sucks for me to be honest, and the birth thing was what I was looking forward to. With placenta previa you can't give birth vaginally and you don't want to go into labor because you'll bleed and put both yourself and the baby in danger. I had a fairly quick labor (at least the dilation part) with Lyra and we live 45 minutes from the hospital so that makes me nervous.

I just can't seem to 100% win in the placenta department. I had an anterior placenta with Lyra, not a big deal just a bummer because it dulls movement in the front at first so I had to wait longer to feel her move. Then with that second miscarriage I had retained placenta that landed me in the ER. Now this placenta previa. Stupid jerk placentas.

Obviously, I'm glad I have a healthy baby right now but my birth experience matters a lot too and I'm upset about possibly losing my homebirth and having a c-section. Not to mention the epidural part of birth and surgery are at the top of my list of "things I'm incredibly terrified of" and at the top of my "exactly how I do not want birth to go" list. The universe is testing me once again it would appear. I mean there's still hope but I'm preparing for my worst case scenario.

I got the double whammy ultrasound too. I had the bladder crushing stomach ultrasound and the awkward twat wand ultrasound both. "I'm just going to put this protective non latex covering on the wand." Let's just call it what it is, a condom on a stick, slathered in KY jelly. Plus I can't see the screen from that angle so where am I supposed to look? What am I supposed to do? Just  lay here and think about life? What a fun day to turn 29.

Gender: We had our sex party! It turned out ok, even with the drama. We had a taco bar and meatballs and weenies. I forgot to set out the pork for the tacos. My friend later was like, "I thought it was kind of weird you didn't have meat for the tacos but I didn't say anything." What a time to get polite on me.

I made everyone wear pins with their guesses.

Nuts or no nuts?

Turns out it's hard to make balloon penises and vaginas but an effort was made.

We had penis cookies and vagina fudge. Technically more like vulva fudge but whatever. They didn't turn out the best, they were mostly a little mangled with made for some great jokes.

The cookies and the slightly mangled fudge

 "The first batch turned out the best, there's nothing like your first vagina."

"Those ones just look like they went a few rounds with big red." (Referencing the giant red balloon penis Travis made out of those ballons you use to make balloon animals.)

"These ones are just fine if you dim the lights a little."

And everyone felt like terrible parents for letting their kids innocently eat the ginger snap penis cookies. I decorated with penis and sperm confetti  It's annoying how hard it is to find vagina confetti. And by that I mean, impossible. There's a kickstarter for some called "Clitter" but that's it.

The confetti

Right before the party started, Travis managed to drop a single piece of sperm confetti in the meatballs and weenies. We never did find it,  unfortunately. And we did our actual reveal with a baking soda/vinegar experiment.

We're having a boy! XY chromosomes this time. 

Lyra stats: Lyra scared the shit out of me one night this week. She sleeps in her own room but when she does wake up, she's generally loud, slamming her door and then mine and stomping down the hall like an elephant. So I know when she is on the way. But one night this week she went for stealth.  I rolled over and must have opened my eyes and half woke up. It was one of those times where your brain registers you're seeing something before you really process what's happening. All I knew was I woke up to someone standing in the dark next to my bed, staring at me. So I screamed, hit Travis to wake him, realized it was Lyra and yelled, "Oh my God Lyra what are you doing? Travis, put her back in bed!" and ran off to pee before I wet myself with my heart racing. I calmed down a bit, realized I'd scared Lyra and went to talk to her. But sheesh. One of my nightmares is waking with someone standing over me like that. It was terrifying.

Best moment this week: Reassurance that this baby is doing ok right now.  Both with the home Doppler and the ultrasound. That was nice to know this week. I feel like i made it past my last miscarriage mark

Looking forward to: My first visit with the midwife tomorrow, I have a lot of questions now. And the girls trip I'm going on this Thursday. It will tie with Vegas for the longest I've been away with Lyra and will be a weekend of relaxing, chatting, massages, spa treatments, and good food.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

25% Done!

How preggo I am: 10 weeks. I'm a quarter of the way there. Unless I go over, which Murphy's law says I will this time.

Baby size: Lego man size. Or prune sized. 1.25 inches approzimately

Morning sickness: I was going to say better and I think that caused a jinx.

Food cravings/aversions: I don't want to speak about food right now.

Other symptom: Sleeping through the night is no longer a thing for me again. I either have to pee or just have insomnia.

Weight gain: WELL. I have a story. I'm going to throw my mother in law under the bus here because lets be honest, she likes me more than she likes Travis at this point because I return her messages and keep up the supply of Lyra photos. Travis on the other hand has either blocked his mother on his phone or its got some mysterious malfunction he can't fix. So anyway, Travis is holding the tablet during a video chat with his family and panning around the room so they can see Lyra as she runs around. I am momentarily filmed and Meemaw (her grandma name) says something to the effect of, "Oh show Miriam again, are you showing??" I could practically see Travis do the face palm, "Mom...what...noooooo, why would you say that?" Now I wasn't greatly offended but I like to make people squirm. And because it is early and I'm not really showing. Like, sure my uterus is swelling up and shoving all my organs up a bit (check out this sweet interactive organ squishing tool) but I don't really want to think about that because it's as unpleasant as it sounds. So then she back pedaled for a while ("It was just the angle!") and I'll just keep this in my back pocket in case I need ammo.

The bump shot is hard with a toddler

Mood: I think I'm starting to feel the unpredictable crying coming on. I watched Cast Away for the first time and kind of lost my cool with the ending. Specifically, the unopened package. If you haven't watched it, the basic premise is man stuck on deserted island with a few assorted fed ex packages from his plane. He opens all but one that he keeps unopened with him for over 4 years and all the way through being rescued off his raft and returning to normal life. He returns it to sender without opening it. Who doesn't open a package for that long?? Seriously. I had to Google internet theories to find a satisfactory answer. Travis kept intentionally trying to argue with me about whether I really did know the answer to what's in the box. I was like, "Do you want me to wake you up at 2 am to argue about the contents of the box because I'm still so mad at you I can't sleep?" Sheesh.

Gender: So I really want to change this to say "sex" but then on first glance it looks like I'm writing about my sex life and that's not something I'd blog un-anonymously. So disappointingly enough the Panorama test results will not be back within the 5 to 7 calender days as advertised, they take more like 2 weeks according to their online tracker, my midwife, and various internet stories. Which is understandable but I'm mad they advertise differently. Also, I want to be clear here that the reason I'm anxious and kind of annoyed is not just I want to know if the baby is a boy or girl. I think I haven't necessarily made that very clear and I've focused on that because that's the fun part. That's not why I did this test. I think I've come off as impatient or superficial or something of the like. I did this test because I've had 2 miscarriages in the last year and I want to do what I can to know if this one is healthy or not. Finding out in 5 to 7 days meant finding out now, at 10 weeks, which when my last baby stopped having a heartbeat. Getting the all clear then would have been a huge relief. Finding out results in 2 weeks means finding out at 11 weeks after I have a week to wonder. I still should know before I hit 12 weeks which is when I actually miscarried that last baby, but its just frustrating to have been counting on reassurance that won't be coming. I haven't been dwelling on it too much, honestly, in all likelihood everything is fine. But it's hard not to wonder. The results from the genetic testing I was able to do from the last miscarriage was Turner's syndrome (only one X chromosome) which is generally a one time thing and not genetic which means we had bad luck. However, I did look into it a bit more with a much calmer, not clouded, not fresh off a miscarriage state of mind. Verrrrrry rarely Turner's can be genetic. And the last miscarriage happened from my side of things, the sole X chromosome Nova had was from Travis. The teeny fraction of Turner's syndrome that's genetically passed down happen's when the X chromosome deletion thing is isolated to the mom's egg cells. Now I'm not a geneticist and there wasn't much info I could find, but I'm pretty good at biology and I think I have the general idea. So generally, when the eggs are formed they split through meiosis and get left with one set of chromosomes (23 instead of 46 each) so that when they combine with the sperm cells (also 23 chromosomes) the little embryo gets left with the proper number of chromosomes, 46, and becomes a standard human. It is my understanding that with the genetically passed down Turners syndrome, the starter egg cell ( I don't recall the proper term) would start with 45 chromosomes (only one X chromosome) and it would be a 50/50 crap shoot if the final egg cell is the cell that ends up with the X chromosome or not. So I mean, could be possible I would think, I could still have a healthy kid (like Lyra), it would just be a luck of the draw thing. It seems to be rare enough that there isn't a bunch of research and really I don't have to worry about it. But it's that back of my mind thought that the genetic testing will put to rest soon which is why I want the dang results. So that was a long winded explanation but there you have it. I'm not just obsessing over baby boy or baby girl results, I just am slightly traumatized by the last couple pregnancies and I'd really like a reassurance that this one is free from the common chromosomal disorders. Or at the least, a heads up that things aren't going to go well. In any case, it's more pleasant to think about the penis or vagina thing.
Update: So after that rollercoaster, the Panorama results got back to my midwife last night. Everything came back low risk for the common genetic disorders! Definitely reassuring. And I know what I'm having! I'm still planning my sex reveal party for my birthday weekend to share that news.

Lyra stats: Lyra's new morning ritual is to cuddle in bed with me and watch stuff on the tablet for a while as I try and not vomit and motivate myself to wake up. Sometimes I feel guilty but I feel less so after the point Travis made when I mentioned that she's being raised by TV lately. He says it's fine because Daniel Tiger has better morals than we do anyway. Really it's for her own good.

What I miss: When Lyra was tiny enough to fit into all the old onsies I sorted through this week. Just kidding, I like her growing up. And this is why I'm having another one.

Best moment this week: The sweet freaking deals we got on baby gear because its sale and tax return season. Babies-R-Us does this trade in thing  twice a year where you bring in old stuff and get 25% off a new thing. Plus combined with making a registry and opening a card, it was an insane deal. We got the stroller that we can click an infant car seat into plus a couple extras for it (the second seat kid will be a purchase later this month with additional stuff we trade in) and a car seat for Lyra (I was not a fan of the old one). All told that should have cost us nearly 1000 but we got it all for 560. Less than the cost of just the stroller itself. Basically got a solid discount on a stroller plus a free car seat. Very much a win. I didn't really want to buy the double stroller this early but the deal was too good and right now it can work perfectly nicely as a stroller just for Lyra. I also caved and bought a rainbow newborn bonnet that will only get 2 weeks of use before the baby is too big. I don't know if I've mentioned but the theme for the nursery is rainbows. Gender neutral in my book. And also rainbow baby is the term for babies after loss, the metaphorical rainbow after the storm and all. Fitting even more considering I'd jokingly nicknamed Nova, "Stormageddon" before we knew she was a she.

Looking forward to: My sex party! And also I get to hear a Doppler heartbeat in 2 weeks. And go on a birthday girls trip. March should be a good month. About damn time, 2018. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

9 weeks!

How preggo I am: 9 Weeks. And a day because I'm late writing this. Which also means I have no obscure time  measurement either.

Baby size: Pecan or grape sized, about an inch long and weighs 2 grams. Also the baby no longer has a tail and is starting to develop genitals. Weird.

Morning sickness: Slightly better? I'm still puking less which is a plus but I feel nauseous probably like 90% of the time. Blehhhh.

Food cravings/aversions: So weirdly tomatoes are ok right now. I've always liked tomato based things a lot as long as I can avoid the chunks of tomatoes. I'm not a fan of the texture, it makes me feel kinda queasy when I'm not pregnant. But it it somehow not a problem right now in the midst of morning sickness. I'm not going to question it.

Other symptom: Still so tired, having crazy dreams, peeing all the time and I think I'm getting some hearburn and bloat going on now. My life revolves around making sure I eat food and trying to not feel terrible after eating food or while too hungry. I'm tired of thinking about it. And my boobs hurt. Lyra is constantly digging her elbows into them when she leans against me or tries to lean on me to stand up or whatever. Toddlers know where you're weak spots are, I swear.

Weight gain: Who knows?

Mood: Still kinda moody....

Gender: I should know in a week! I took the blood test yesterday. I think the guy was inexperienced because my arm hurts real bad now. Also, I'm throwing a sex party. Not that kind. Seriously though, I'm having a taco bar and meatballs and weenies and having friends over to reveal what this one is. I got penis cookie cutters in the mail and vagina candy molds. I have so many good ideas for this. pictures will be included in one of the next couple posts.

Here's a cute picture of Lyra. Just so that the next 2 pictures aren't the default pictures that show up when I share this post :)

Vagina candy molds. I'm thinking gummies or ganache maybe.

And of course, penis cookie cutters. 

Lyra stats: This week was a boycott nap week, it was rough. Also, she's noticed she has nipples this week. Inexplicably she's started calling them "kks." I have no clue why or how she came up with this. She refers to my boobs as "boobs" or "milk" and I've never called nipples anything cutesy in front of her and I've even explicitly said to her, "Those are your nipples." But the consistent reply I get from her is, "No, mama, those kks!" Followed by her hysterical laughter. I guess she thinks she's making a joke?? Another weird Lyra habit lately is her tendency to lick people. Mostly because I always shriek, "Stop that, you weirdo! What are you doing?" and she thinks that's funny.

What I miss: Mimosa brunch.

Best moment this week: Today when Lyra fell asleep 5 minutes after I laid her down for nap.

Looking forward to: Finding out if I'm growing testicles or another vagina.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Captain's Log: 8 weeks

How preggo I am: 8 weeks. Only 0.9545 days on Mercury. Mercurian days??

Baby size: Wild strawberry, Pygmy seahorses, jelly bean sized. It's a little hard to visualise to be honest.

Morning sickness: The good news is I've been puking less. Still pretty constant nausea though which is not pleasant. I'm trying to drink an Ensure every morning before I get out of bed. Seems to help a teeny bit. But also I poured some all over my hair and in my ear one morning which was less than helpful.

Food cravings/aversions: Everything tastes awful with a few exceptions. I'm having trouble eating enough. It's this vicious cycle if I'm too hungry or too full I feel sick. But when I feel sick, I don't feel like eating.

Other symptom: I am still tired and having weird dreams. But nothing much else yet. My almost 5 week bout of viral illnesses is finally over. It's also crazy how different my pregnancies have all been. There hasn't been much in the way of bloat this time yet and that was never much of a problem with Lyra. The 2 miscarried pregnancies the bloat was awful. My boobs are starting to hurt this time but it's nowhere near as awful as the 3rd pregnancy. Though I was still nursing Lyra then so that may have contributed.

My thus far non existent bump. Not even a bloat bump like last time. I'm smiling funny because I can't feel half of my upper lip in this picture. Woohoo for dental work. 

Weight gain: Nothing so far as I know.

Mood: Still somewhat grouchy but not as bad since I'm feeling a bit better physically.

Gender: Unknown. One week until I take the test. I think it's a boy. My reasoning is that 2 out of the last 3 were girls (I don't know about the other one though) and I was wrong in both those cases. Therefore, it's about time I had a boy and it's about time I guessed right. So it's a boy. That's my guess.

Lyra stats: She cracks me up. Yesterday she got up from nap, came to the doorway of my room where I was relaxing in bed, and stood there for a good five minutes. Farting. Refused to come in which was fine by me once I realized what she was up to. Also she's been successfully transferred sleeping from her carseat to bed in the evening twice. Literally this has never happened before. And she got a new haircut with bangs. I think she looks a little like Matilda.

What I miss: Really, all I miss still is not feeling sick And enjoying food.

Best moment this week: I dyed my hair pink! That was fun. I do have a worst moment for the week too. So yesterday was my last old due date. I was paranoid something would go wrong and just sad about it. Because I should have been having a baby today or soon or have a newborn already. Instead I'm still in the middle of morning sickness and I have a month to go before I get past the last point I miscarried. So anyway, I decided since the day was crappy already I'd schedule a dentist appointment. Not sure if that was the right call or not. I have some fairly severe dental anxiety/phobia, especially since getting my wisdom teeth out. Also, morning sickness and heightened gag reflex plus dental work is not my favorite combo. I told my dentist that I would rather give birth than do wisdom teeth again so I think he realized I was nervous. It wasn't the worst, it turns out. But they had to use a hell of a lot of anesthesia shots. We went the overly catious route at first and ended up using some of the slightly less gentle anesthesia because I was not taking chances after a while. The kicker? My cavities are in weird unpredictable not patterned places and I have great teeth otherwise. So the dentist says pregnancies are probably to blame becuase apparantly that's another thing in your body that children affect. But anyway, success, didn't puke on the dentist or have a public meltdown or whatever. The bar is low.

Looking forward to: I'm getting a fetal Doppler in the mail! One of my friends actually won it for me so I'm not turning that down. That will hopefully be reassuring in a few weeks once I figure out how to track down the baby's heartbeat.