Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I learned in the first trimester

"How are you feeling" is the dumbest question anyone can ask. If the person asking has ever been pregnant than "still pregnant" is an acceptable answer. There really isn't more than needs to be said, they'll understand completely. If the person asking hasn't been pregnant than the chances are they don't really want to know how you're feeling. The only good answer is "good" or "ok" because the real answer is something like "I've never been so tired in my life and when I'm not stuffing my face -because I think I may be growing a tapeworm rather than a human - I feel like I'm on a really small boat in the middle of the gulf during a tropical storm and I really need to poop but all I can manage is this foul gas. My back hurts and my boobs ache and any kind of commercial that involves a child or baby animal of any kind makes me burst into tears. Now please excuse me because I have to go pee. Again". And let's be honest, no one really wants to hear all of that. I learned pretty early on that people's eyes glazed over when I gave them even the short version of the above answer so I learned to just grin and say "good" as I tried my best not to puke all over them. Now that I'm in my second trimester (Yay!) I can actually answer truthfully that I feel good. Not great. I don't love being pregnant. But I feel much much better than I did and I'm very happy about it.

So yes, I survived the first 3 1/2 months and even though I still have lots of fun things to look forward to (the bloody noses are fun and so is this shooting pain in my right lower back that I think may be sciatica) I am feeling really good about this pregnancy. I'm not as worried about everything - still worried about a lot of things but not such a complete stressball - and I've got a really fantastic support system that I'm thankful for every day. When I do start freaking out about something I have family and friends who will listen to me and talk me down from the ledge without laughing too hard in my face. It's amazing the things my brain comes up with to be nervous about now that I have this little bean to worry about.

So I haven't gained any weight yet  - I do strongly believe that I have re-distributed weight though, based on how my pants now fit. All my bloodwork and tests have come back normal and the baby is right on track, size wise. At my appointment Monday we couldn't find the heartbeat with the little doppler thing so they did a quick sonogram and there was the bean, waving and kicking away, heartbeat fluttering like a little hummingbird. This was my 3rd time seeing the baby and I still tear up every time. It is just so amazing to me that I have this little miracle baby growing inside me. And I can see the images really well for some reason, it is so clear to me that I'm seeing my baby. I always was really good at those hidden 3D image posters that used to be so popular back in the day...

The only bummer is that we won't find out the sex of our bean until January 5th. I was really hoping to find out before Christmas, specifically on my birthday, but the timing was off I guess and we won't know until 2012. I'm disappointed but if this is the worst things I deal with in the next 6 months than I'm one lucky and happy momma.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First belly pic

I'm not all that excited for this pic but I guess it is sort of mandatory. I've never had a flat stomach so I try not to take pictures of that general area. Right now I feel like I'm huge but my clothes still sort of fit - I'll find out tomorrow how much weight I've gained. I don't think I look all that pregnant but at least I have an excuse for not sucking in my belly for awhile!

Side note: tomorrow at my dr. apt. I will find out the date when we find out if our little bean is a boy or a girl!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dumb Day

Today is dumb. I feel huge - none of my clothes fit right anymore but I don't actually look pregnant yet. So that's annoying. And everything is making me cry today. I watched Elf, it made me cry. I heard a song I really like on the radio, it made me cry. Mike left for work and it made me cry. This is pissing me off and of course that is making me cry too. UGH! I'm going to find a movie to watch that won't make me cry and hopefully will be off to bed early. Dumb dumb day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Random facts about pregnant Ali

1. My sense of smell is ridiculous. I can smell everything. Smells I used to like smell too strong or just plain unpleasant now - hoping this is not permanent. I can smell the water coming out of my faucets. And it's Florida water so it smells a lot like Arizona water only less like dirt and more like mildew. This makes brushing my teeth extremely difficult.

2. I now have a gag reflex. I've never had a gag reflex and I hardly ever throw up. I can't make myself throw up, I've tried for various reasons over the years and no matter how far down my throat I stick the spoon or toothbrush or my finger or whatever, it just doesn't do anything (insert dirty jokes here). Now everything makes me gag. Smells. Taking vitamins. Hoping this is also not permanent. And it makes brushing my teeth extremely difficult.

3. Morning sickness is false advertising. I'm sick all day long. It actually is worst at night. Throughout the day I'll feel nauseaus but usually get some relief when I eat. But by the end of the day, usually right after work but before dinner, it is terrible and I still feel sick after eating dinner. I never puke, I just am in a constant state of seasickness. I'm lucky because it didn't start until the 8th week and is supposed to end next week sometime. Drinking Coke helps but it bugs me because I don't normally drink soda. If standing on my head underwater or cheering for the Flyers made it go away I'd do that too.

4. All I want is cheeseburgers. I am constantly craving cheeseburgers. Normally I don't eat fast food but now I find myself at Wendy's once a week. I'm wondering if I might not be anemic (since I have issues with iron anyway) but I don't crave steak or spinach, things I normally crave when my iron is low. Just cheeseburgers. Specifically Wendy's jr. bacon cheeseburger with no onions or mayo.

5. The cat loves sleeping on my stomach. I don't know if he knows somehow or has some weird bond with the bean already but even before I found out he had switched from his usual spot laying on my legs to laying right on my stomach. If I'm on the couch, the baby is laying right on top of my belly. I wonder if the bean can hear/feel the purring?

6. I go from 0-tired in no time. And not just tired but a level of exhaustion that I did not previously know existed. I've fallen asleep on the couch in the middle of things and Mike has had to actually put me to bed on occasion. Other than on nights when I work games (or we have a family function), I can't remember the last time I was up past 9pm. This kid is sucking every ounce of my energy and apparently this will continue for the next 18 years.

7. I have a whole new appreciate for pooping. I think that's all I really need to say about that.

8. Love songs make me cry. I haven't really experienced a ton of hormones (I hope I didn't just jinx myself) and any crankiness I exhibit is due to constantly feelng like I'm going to puke and being really tired. But hearing a sappy song on the radio brings me to tears on a regular basis. I'll take the exagerated sense of smell if I have to but I really hope this isn't permanent. 

9. Mike is the most amazing guy EVER. He has put up with every change, every minute of crankiness, every mess I haven't had the energy to clean, every meal I've had a craving for even if he doesn't like it, every night we could have spent time together but I passed out within seconds of sitting on the couch, and the list goes on. He has been so happy about this pregnancy from the minute we found out. He's come to every doctors appointment, even if it means he is missing out on sleep.  He's taken over cleaning the litter box of my cat, as well as keeping the house clean when I'm too exhausted to do it (luckily I'm too exhausted to make much of a mess but still). I just can't say enough good things about this man. Watching him talk to the bean and kiss my belly is the sweetest thing I've ever seen and I know he is going to be a fantastic father. I'm so lucky to be starting a family with such a wonderful guy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

This little bean is kicking my a**

So some days I don't feel different at all. Some days. Most days I'm nauseous and really tired at the end of the night but otherwise that's it, life as usual. But some days I'm very aware that my body is being taken over and sucked dry.

Last week was a rough one. I worked 54 hours. Which is no big deal, I usually work 60-70 during the season. But Wed I worked 13 hours and Thurs I worked 14 hours and by Friday I felt dead on my feet. I had a horrible headache, was exhausted, and still had a full weekend ahead of me with my grandma's 75th birthday party all the whole fam damily in town to celebrate. I ended up missing part of her party to take a nap because I was so worn out and went into work late today because I just didn't get enough sleep all week or weekend. What is this crap?!??!?!!?!? Sure the hours I work are exhausting but I've been working them for years and never had it affect me this much. Apparently those days are over. Luckily my boss is great and when I went to talk to him today about it he had already figured it out and taken me off a bunch of shifts.

I guess it was just sort of a wake up call. I've spent the last 7 weeks trying to wrap my head around being pregnant and having a baby but other than going to bed a lot earlier not much had really changed physically. I'm not showing yet and don't actually look pregnant so it was easy to sort of act like nothing was different. But now I have to accept that things are really changing and it isn't just all in my head anymore.

On that note, if I slow down and actually pay attention to my body, I've realized that it has changed. My clothes feel tighter (although my "fat" clothes are still too big, thank goodness!) and my lower back pain is a little different than normal - of course that could be because my boobs are now a size G. Yes, lucky me, I've already gone up a cup size and had to get new bras. Over the last few days I've also started to feel a weight in my abdomen that I think could be the baby. Either that or I really have to poop... But honestly, I think it is the baby. It's small but it doesn't come and go and it seems to be in the right general area. I hope it's the bean!

We still call it a bean, even though now is is supposed to be the size of a lime. I think it's so funny that they always compare the progress of babies growth to fruits.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Do?

"Are you and Mike going to get married?" seems to be the first question everyone asks these days. And it is definitely a legit question. And the answer is "I don't know...". Mike and I have talked about it before but I was always very hesitant to even think about it. My first marriage didn't work out and it taught me a lot. 

Not that I'm worried about being married again. I don't want to go through another divorce. Divorce sucks. Not like breaking up sucks, but in a different, worse, more public and very legal way. I've had my heart broken before. When Josh and I broke up I thought it was the end of the world. But I was 20 and didn't know better. When Casey and I broke up I was devastated; life as I knew it was ending and seemed worse than Josh somehow because we were older and living together and planning to get married. When my marriage ended it was different. Yes, my heart was broken for a little while but I figured out pretty quickly it was better for both of us - Jason and I were not good together and I think the love had gone from our relationship. But it was worse somehow. It's one thing to break up with a boyfriend but another to end a marriage. You have to explain it to work (name change, insurance change, taking time off for court dates), you have to explain it to family (who paid for the wedding, bought gifts, celebrated your lives together) and friends. And the law gets involved with lawyers and court and it gets ugly fighting over possessions and money. Maybe it's just me but it seemed so public and humiliating and I truly felt like a failure. 

So it isn't like I don't want to marry Mike. I just don't think I could go through another divorce. And of course no one gets married planning to get divorced but having gone through it once I can't pretend I don't think about it. I also don't want to get married just because we're pregnant. I want to get married because we love each other and want to spend our lives together. And Mike has never been married so I don't want him to feel like he has to marry me now. Granted, I know he wanted to get married before we knew about the baby. But I thought it would be at least a year or two. 

So aside from being gun shy, there is also the stress of paying for and planning a wedding. Having done it once, I know it can be very time consuming. And since my parents just finished paying for my first one, this one would be our financial responsibility. So on top of the expense of a baby now we would have to worry about a ring and a wedding (and maybe a honeymoon?). My first wedding was wonderful but small and far from the wedding of my dreams. And Mike has never been married. So I know we would want to plan a really nice wedding. Not anything extravagant but not a trip to the courthouse either. It just seems like a lot to take on right now. 

The final hurdle for me is the romance of it all. Having done it once in a very unconventional way, I have this romantic idea of how I'd want to do it again. I want a romantic proposal that is a surprise. I want to invite all my family and friends. I want to pick out all the little details. I want everyone to be happy for me instead of skeptical. And I want to be 100% sure, I want it to last. I know it is just a day and that the marriage is the important part. I know how to be a better partner and spouse and I know Mike is a better match for me. But I guess I'm still just scared to screw it all up. Oh, and I don't want to be pregnant at my wedding. 

So my family is happy for us and supports us getting married. His mom is pushing for it. And I know he wants to. So why am I still so un-sure? We live together, we want to be together, we are starting a family together. I love him with all my heart and can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. I guess it is just a lot to wrap my head around all at once. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

all things maternity (to date)

So my life has changed a crazy amount in the last 6 weeks and I should have started keeping track of everything sooner because I know there are feelings and thoughts I've forgotten but seemed huge at the time.

For the first few weeks I worried about EVERYTHING. Given I wasn't supposed to get pregnant in the first place, I was terrified I wouldn't be able to stay pregnant. Every time I went to the bathroom I prayed not to find any blood or anything that even looked remotely like blood. Every morning when I woke my first thought was "am I still pregnant? is the baby ok?". The doctor helped me feel a little better but I still went through an irrational time of not wanting to do anything but lay on the couch for fear I was going to screw this up somehow. I was supposed to run a 5k with some friends and I was too scared to do it. I made up some lame excuse about sleeping through my alarm because I also was worried that if I told too many people it would jinx everything.

My biggest fear was that I didn't know anything about being pregnant. I know a lot about kids. Between nannying and being a camp counselor I've had pretty decent experience with kids of all ages, newborn on up. But I don't know anything about being pregnant or giving birth. I felt like I showed up to class to find we had a test and not only didn't I study, I didn't even know about it! I felt like I had to cram as much knowledge as I could as fast as I could to catch up to where I should be, knowledge-wise, for someone who was almost 2 months pregnant. I read books, blogs, baby websites, talked to friends and family, and soon realized that there is no magic amount of knowledge. Things have changed so much from when my mom had me and things even continue to change. Trying to keep up with the dos and don'ts of what to do and eat, etc. is exhausting! I finally came to the conclusion that right now I need to just eat right, get lots of sleep, exercise when I can (and feel like it) and just take this a day at a time. I still feel like I have a lot to learn but I'm not as frantic about it.

Now I'm three months in and feeling somewhat less freaked out. Somewhat... I mean, there is still a lot to worry about. I have to come up with a birth plan (not that anyone I know was ever able to follow their's exactly) figure out how to decorate a nursery, figure out how to pay for a baby and the next 18 years of its life. Bank cord blood? Immunize? Daycare? Public school vs. private? Do I push them into sports? How do I make them love reading as much as me? Will they be smart and do well in school? What age do you have the birds and bees talk? Oh my God, one day they will want to drive my car! It is easy to get carried away and induce panic attacks.

One thing that has helped is the birth boards at babycenter.com. While I think most of the women in the May 2012 birth club are attention-seeking and self righteous idiots, I do find it helpful and reassuring to know other women out there have the same fears as me. I also have some wonderful friends who are great mama's and I am able to benefit from the fact that they've done it first. (Thank you all in advance for the next 6 months at least!)

So I'm sure I'll have many more things to freak out about as the weeks and months pass but for now I'm happy to be pregnant and excited to see what life has in store for me, Mike, and our little bean.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Knocked Up

Knocked up. Preggo. Preggers. The big P. In the family way. Bun in the oven. In trouble (well, I am technically un-wed). Blessed. Whatever you choose to call it, I'm pregnant and due 5/26/11. If you know me well than you can probably guess that I'm beyond happy, despite the stupid nicknames (I've alwasy hated those slang terms...) This blog will be my way of sharing my little miracle with some of my favorite people who happen to live way to far away from me. I'm sure I will share too much information at times and apologize ahead of time but...wait, you know me so I don't have to apologize. So here goes!

I wasn't supposed to be able to get pregnant due to my poly-cystic ovaries and this was a total surprise. I get my period 7-8 times a year if I'm on the pill, and taking it properly. I get it maybe 5 times a year if I'm not on the pill or screw up when I remember to take it. I've never really had a true pregnancy scare - not that I haven't taken pregnancy tests a million times when I've gone a month or too without a period and secretly wished it to be positive - so over the years I'd come to accept that it might not be in the cards for me. I've always wanted kids but figured I'd adopt little Russian orphans and raise a hockey team. Once I turned 30 my biological clock started to tick more loudly and I started really thinking about my fertility. I chose to go off the pill completely in January in an effort to see how my body did "naturally", without artificial hormones or screwing myself up by skipping pills. I wanted to see just how off my system was so that in 2 years or so I could start really trying to get pregnant and I could work with doctors to see what might help. I also went on a health kick this summer, cut back on drinking, started excercising, trained for (and ran) a 5k, and started eating right. I bought a home ovulation test to see if I even ovulated but could never seem to catch it; I wasn't ready to face the idea that I might not ovulate at all but that was my sneaking suspicion. I got my period on June 25th and not again until August 17th. So when September went by with no period but some sore boobs and fatigue I really didn't think much of it. I just figured I might be getting ready to start soon but I never could tell for sure. I was still excercising like a fiend and figured my boobs were sore from all the bouncing (despite 2 sports bras). I didn't really drink much, it just didn't seem appealing, and I even had a series of panic attacks in early September and took some  xanax to chill out. Never in a million years did I think any of it were signs of pregnancy.

Fast forward to early October when all of a sudden I couldn't stay awake past 9pm, and my boobs were aching like 2 big bruises. One day food started tasting weird. And then my sense of smell went crazy and I could smell the water coming out of my faucet - a very unpleasant smell that made me nauseaous ever time I brushed my teeth. So I decided to take a pregnancy test, knowing it would be negative like every other one I'd ever taken. I was waiting for Mike to come home from the gym so we could go to the Bucs game (Monday night football, huge game). It was the little plus/minus sign kind. And it was a plus. My first thought was that I'd done it wrong. Or that it was broken. I started shaking and had to sit becuase I thought I was going to faint. Mike came home and instantly asked what was wrong. "I think I might be pregnant". He was thrilled, I was a mess. All I could think about was how many things I'd done wrong - drank wine, taken xanax, gone on roller coasters, eaten sushi, ran a 5k (turns out the last one was actually ok). Other than having to wait 20 minutes for nachos, I don't remember any of the football game. I was convinced I wouldn't be able to sleep that night but eventually I fell asleep in Mike's arms.

My first thought when I woke up the next morning was "I hope this is real, I really want this baby". I don't know how I got through work the next day but somehow I did and after making a doctor's appointment I got another pregnancy test - a digital one that used words instead of cryptic symbols - and was releaved when it said "pregnant". The next day the doctor confirmed that I was indeed pregnant and I burst into tears. I had a hard time convincing the nurse they were tears of joy, I guess most people who cry are unhappy to find out they're pregnant. The doctor did an ultrasound and we saw our little bean for the first time. She also calmed my nerves about all the "bad" things I'd done and reassured me that my fertility issues (PCOS) were not related to my pregnancy and that so far I was healthy and right on track.

Then next 5 weeks were torture. My family and a few friends knew but I wasn't telling work and keeping it a secret was really hard. By week 8 I was morning sick all damn day and asleep by 8:30/9pm most nights. The hockey season had just started too so my work hours were crazy plus I had 3 of my 4 biggest events of the season all within the first 3 weeks. The whole things seemed so surreal, like I was dreaming. But somehow I made it through and here I am, 12 weeks along and starting to really believe I'm actually pregnant! Mike has been amazing (I've never seen a happier dad-to-be) and he is always kissing my belly and talking to the baby. He is going to be such a great father!

 So now that I'm in the "safe" zone (not that I'm not still a nervous wreck all the time but I'm getting better), I feel like I'm not jinxing myself to start talking about the pregnancy and the baby and decided to start this blog. I am so excited to be a mom and I know this next 6 months will drag on forever but my little miracle will be here before we know it :)
I seriously thought I had done it wrong, this was not the response I expected!
this one was a little more straight forward, hard to second guess!

First ultrasound: our little bean is the black smudge in the top left corner. My brother thinks it looks like a tropical storm depression. It sure doesn't look like a baby yet!