Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 15 Weeks


I hope you're in the mood for a long post!  Judging by my notes I've written about what I want to share, this is going to be a lot!  I haven't done an official pregnancy post yet, so I have a ton of ground to cover.  But I figure after this there won't be quite as much to fill you in you on, and these updates will be a little shorter.

Baby's size: According to "The Bump," baby is the size of a navel orange this week!  He or she weighs about 2.5 ounces and is 4 inches long.  That's pretty big!  Especially compared to when I first found out I was pregnant and he or she was only the size of an orange seed.

What I'm wearing: I haven't even tried to wear any shorts or jeans that button/zip in a couple weeks.  For work and when I need to look a little nicer, I'm wearing dresses.  But most of the time these days I'm in workout clothes when I'm around the house or running errands.  I know I'm going to need to buy some maternity jeans I like soon since the months when I'm the biggest will be some of the coldest of the year.

Weight gained:  Using the weight from my first doctor's appointment in June as my starting weight, I've gained seven pounds.  According to my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book, I should have aimed to gain no more than four pounds during the first trimester and then about a pound each week after that, so it looks like I'm right around where I should be.  I was a little nervous this week because I lost a couple pounds, but since then I've gained one of them back, so I'm hoping it's just normal fluctuation.

How I'm changing other than my bump: Generally, my whole body looks different, but that has less to do with the whole growing a baby thing and more to do with the fact that I've stopped weightlifting since I found out I was pregnant.  At first, I stopped because I was worried about safety and wanted to do my research, but I haven't jumped back into it because I was too sick to exercise at all for a while.  I can see the lack of muscle tone all over, and I've especially noticed it in my legs, upper arms, and shoulders.  I don't think my face looks much fuller so far.  My boobs, however, are unrecognizable.  I'm definitely going to need to size up my cups soon!

Working out: Now that I'm feeling better, the dogs and I are walking every day (well every weekday - I've been taking weekends off) for about forty minutes.  I also try to do a safe workout video each day.  I alternate between three DVDs I bought at Target.  Two of them are Barre workouts that I can do with a few modifications (not doing anything flat on my back during floor work, not crunching my abs very deeply, and not twisting my middle too far during stretches) and the third is a prenatal yoga workout.  I like the prenatal yoga DVD because I don't have to worry about safety since the workout is just for pregnant women, and the stretching specifically helps with a lot of my new little pains accompanying the changes in my body.  But it is WEIRD... think full body leotards, calling your belly your "baby groin," and Kegel exercises.  It's a little out of my comfort zone, but it does the trick for an effective workout that I can feel good about doing.  Chris and I were hoping to get back in the gym this week, but his work schedule has been too busy, so we're aiming for next week.  I've been reading up a lot on what I can and can't do, and I'll definitely feel better with him spotting me when I'm using free weights, but I'm so excited to get back at it!  I'll fill you in on what I'm doing in the gym and my modifications after we go.

Apps we're loving: Chris and I are both enjoying the What to Expect When You're Expecting app and The Bump app.  They keep us updated on what's going on with the baby and have a lot of good resources and checklists.  We make an event out of watching the videos the apps post each week to let us know what the baby is doing in there and how his or her body is developing.

Symptoms: I've been astonished at just how many symptoms I have!  Pregnancy makes your body do some crazy things!  I haven't thrown up in a few weeks (knock on wood), but I still feel nauseated most evenings.  Starting about 5 pm, I have a nasty, too full feeling, and I start burping a lot.

Now that I'm not sick during the day, I'm STARVING.  I try to eat a healthy snack every two hours.  

My acne is pretty terrible.  I've struggled with it anyway for the last few years, but it's much worse now.  This may be partially due to my fear of using most of my facial care products (the medication can be absorbed through your skin!).  I'm washing my face with a gentle cleanser and that's it.

As far as fatigue goes, I haven't struggled with it yet like many women say they do.   I think this may be because I allow myself to sleep in until 9 or so on the mornings I don't have to go to work.  Before pregnancy, I would have felt terribly lazy for doing that, but now I don't beat myself up about it because it takes a lot of rest to grow a baby!  And it keeps me from having to nap later in the afternoon when I want to be productive.

Another common symptom I haven't experienced much at all is having to pee frequently.  If anything, I think I'm peeing less now than before I was pregnant.  I'm struggling to drink as much as I should because no beverages sound particularly good to me right now, so staying hydrated is a little bit of a struggle.  Sweet tea is one of the few things I do like to drink, but I have to limit myself so I don't go over the suggested 200 mg caffeine threshold each day.

I do have the typical pregnant lady lower back and hip pain.  It's mostly just where my lower back meets my left hip, and there have been times I can't even walk it hurts so bad!  Sometimes when I stand up it feels fine, and other times it feels like the joint isn't working quite right and I just have to take a break for a minute and try again.  Another issue I have occasionally upon standing is extreme dizziness.  I've read that's caused by lack of blood flow to my brain because it's being pumped to my uterus!  I try to remember to stand up slowly both for the sake of my back and to prevent the spins.

One "symptom" I did not expect when I became pregnant is a new feeling of self possession and confidence.  As my waist is growing bigger, I'm caring less about what I wear and how much make up I have on when I go out in public.  It's not because I'm letting myself go but exactly the opposite - I'm making a BABY with my body.  It might not be the perfect body, but it's pretty awesome for being able to do that.  : )  I'm hoping the "pregnancy glow" will make up for the lack of make up I'm wearing over my prenatal acne.

Days until my next appointment: Five!  My next appointment is this coming Monday, August 17th.  I'm hoping we'll be able to find out the gender then, but it may still be a little early.  We'll see!

Food aversions: I'm honestly not averse to much anymore.  When I was sick all the time, the only thing that was appetizing was terrible food, like fried chicken sandwiches, pizza, and such.  Now that I'm feeling better, I don't want to eat that kind of food anymore because I associate it with when I felt so bad - which is a good thing for both mine and baby's health!  The only foods I really,  really don't want right now are fresh fruit and water.  There's kind of a funny story to explain that - when I first found out I was pregnant and before I was feeling nauseated, I was determined I was going to go organic and perfectly healthy for this kiddo.  Every time I left work, I would go by the Fresh Market to stock up on fresh cut fruit, bottled water, organic crackers, etc., for snacking.  Well, the first day I felt REALLY bad, I had just gorged myself on water and fruit, and now I'm feeling nauseated just thinking about it.  So, for now, fresh fruit and plain water are unfortunately off the table.  I also don't like anything that feels really dense or heavy in my stomach, like broth based soups, since I'm still struggling sometimes with feeling way too full after eating.

Food cravings: Because I associate unhealthy foods with when I felt so yucky, I'm only really craving healthy foods (pretty awesome, I know).  Salads, crisp vegetables, brown rice, etc., actually sound the most appetizing.  It is kind of exhausting to constantly be trying to decide what sounds good to eat, though.  Every two hours, when my stomach is empty and ready for some more fuel, I have to pick out something else from the pantry or fridge.  I know that sounds fun, but after a few days, nothing really seems yummy anymore.  I've been sticking to fairly bland foods like yogurt, oatmeal, and low-calorie popcorn as my go to snacks when I just can't decide.  Oh, and I do crave Subway sandwiches (I have them toasted to reduce the risk of Listeria in the lunch meat)!  Thankfully there's a Subway right around the corner.  I usually grab a sandwich to have for lunch or dinner when I'm headed to work.

How I'm sleeping: Up until this week, my sleep hadn't really been affected at all by the pregnancy other than the discomfort I've felt in the evening with nausea and feeling too full.  But I can definitely sense some insomnia creeping its way in the past couple nights... I can only sleep in one position now - on my left side.  It's not safe to sleep flat on my back anymore and when I'm on my right side my reflux is really bad.  So, I'm restless from having to stay in the same position all night, and I can't seem to make my mind shut off when it's time to sleep.  I don't as much worry about the baby or anything like that, I just have a hard time completely relaxing and not thinking about random to do lists and such.  I don't fall asleep until 1 a.m. or so and then I wake up a few times during the night after that.  But, like I said above, I'm able to sleep in most mornings so my sleeping patterns aren't making me tired during the day yet.

What I'm looking forward to in the near future: Right now, I'm obviously most anxious to find out whether the baby is a boy or a girl.  I think everything will seem more "real" once we can officially decide on a name and start planning with more specifics in mind.  I'm also looking forward to having an official "bump."  Right now I'm in that awkward, in between stage in which people can't really tell if I'm pregnant or just developing a gut.  I'm ready to flaunt that baby belly!

Do we think it's a boy or a girl?  At first, I was sure this baby was a boy.  The Mister's family is almost all boys on both sides and that's always made me feel like we have a very slim chance of having little girls.  The Mister, however, is DETERMINED that this baby is a girl.  He only refers to it with the pronoun "she" and calls it by the name he wants to give it if it's a girl.  So, I catch myself thinking of it as a girl since he's so sure!  I wish I had a gut feeling either way, but I really have no idea.  Some days I lean more towards boy; other days I give in and go along with calling it a girl.  We shall see!  I'm so ready to be certain about it.

Whew, that's all I can think of to update you on for now!

Before I go, I have to share this article with you that made my mom, sister, and me crack up, like literally laugh out loud till we cried.  The humor is a little crude at some points, but if you're into that and one of your close friends or relatives is or has been pregnant, give this little gem a read.

Also, this meme and everything else from the Mommie Pickles facebook page made me giggle.


Lastly, I read online today that many women bring music with them to listen to while in the delivery room!  I never even considered that as an option. Of course, some women said they never noticed the music through their pain, but others said it really helped them relax and focus.  I'm going to start working on my labor playlist now!  Can't hurt to give it a try : )

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

There's a kegerator in my living room: marriage is all about compromise.

Well, actually it's a "keezer," a contraption home brewers make from freezers to keep kegs of beer cool and carbonated.  In all honesty, I was pretty relieved when my dad and the Mister built this thing.  Up until we had the keezer, we were bottling our beer instead of kegging it, and bottling beer is a long and tedious task.  And you don't always get a consistent finished product when bottling - achieving the correct amount of carbonation is harder when relying on the yeast and sugar to take care of the process itself in a bottle as opposed to easily being able to pump the right amount of carbonation into a keg.

However, I wasn't thrilled with the idea of a large freezer taking up residence in our living room.  Since we purchased our home, I've caught the interior decorating bug, and I take the appearance of our home way too seriously.  At first, my vote was for the keezer either going in Chris's office or out in the garage.  But the more I thought about it sitting on the white carpet in the office with the potential of condensation and leaks, it didn't seem worth the risk to hide it in there.  And I hated the thought of guests having to walk outside to the garage no matter what the weather to get a drink, not to mention the heat or cold could make it harder to maintain the beer at the right temperature.  Plus there's also the risk of the tubes inside the keezer freezing in the winter.  So, I caved and allowed the living room to be its home.  

I was surprised to find out that I actually don't hate the addition.  It does crowd the wall a little bit, but I dressed it up with a few plants, and the Mister stained some nice wood really beautifully for the collar.  Not to mention I get to color on it since he painted it with chalkboard paint!  The whole kegerator in the living room thing has grown on me - it's different.  And it got me thinking that the keezer is a great example of the fact marriage is all about compromise.

Not that I think I'm an expert on marriage by any stretch of the imagination... we are closing in on our second wedding anniversary (which is hard to believe), but there are lots of couples who have been married muchhh longer than that, including both of our parents and grandparents.  But I do think that I've learned a little.

For starters, I think it's important for couples to share interests, like our home brewing.  Chris did a lot of research while he was deployed on home brewing and came home ready to dive head first into it.  At first I wasn't sure about making our own beer, but I thought it was important to show interest in it since it meant so much to him, and I ended up really enjoying it.  Now we both have become "beer snobs" and fantasize about opening our own brewery when we hit the jackpot.  On the same note, Chris tends to give me free reign when it comes to decorating the house, but he's found that he really enjoys shopping around for antique furniture and fun items to suit our taste with me.  And he does love the finished product and that both of our styles are represented in the house.  Home brewing is not a cheap hobby, but we both agree on how much to spend and when to invest to keep supporting our beer fun.  In the same way, when I'm salivating over the new couch I want from West Elm, Chris doesn't tell me "no way," but we talk about how we can ask for gift cards for our birthdays and Christmas to make my sofa dreams a reality. : )

Of course, I don't think couples should do EVERYTHING together, even though it does seem Chris and I are that way at times.  I don't plan to ever invest myself in a video game hobby, nor do I ever expect him to join me at the yoga studio.  But we do take the time together to lift weights in the evenings (at least we did pre-pregnancy), another interest of his I've picked up, and we really do treat it as our opportunity to be together and catch up on each other's days while finding the time to exercise.

We compromise in other ways, too - mainly regarding time management and relaxing. Chris leaves for work around five in the morning and doesn't return home (on a good night) until six or so in the evening (that's a 13 hour work day!).  Whereas I only work part time and most of my world revolves around our house and our home life when I'm not at work.  So, it's easy for me to want him to help me with things here as soon as he returns home at night and during our free time on the weekends.  I'm the type who becomes obsessed with getting tasks done as soon as possible, as soon as the idea crosses my mind - this ranges from little things like taking the trash out to bigger tasks like planting our vegetable garden.  But Chris obviously needs time to decompress in the evenings and would prefer to relax on the weekends since his work weeks are so taxing.  So, I have to be understanding and remember that although I may have been focusing on rearranging furniture all day, Chris needs to have a moment to himself and do things on his own terms.  Likewise, sometimes he has to capitulate and do something as soon as I ask (like last night when he had to spray for ants as soon as he got home from work because I was about to have a breakdown due to the rogue fire ants finding their way in from the backyard).

I've found that those little things are how we show our love and commitment - not in grand gestures, but in him spraying for fire ants when he's dog tired, or me staying up late by myself doing laundry to make sure he has a clean uniform in the morning.

While I was sick all the time a couple weeks ago due to the pregnancy, we both had to sacrifice a good bit.  I had to "man up" and get on with life sometimes to make sure our house didn't fall into disrepair, and he had to cook his own meals and take care of me after working hard all day.  And I know those kinds of compromises are just going to increase once we have the baby.  I'm sure there will be some trying days with a newborn when Chris doesn't get home from work until eight or nine at night.  Similarly, it will be hard for him when I hand the baby over when he walks in the door exhausted because I'm dying for a shower or need to cook dinner.  But I know neither of us would trade the life we live now or the life we're going to live soon as a party of three for anything.

Wow, that was quite a dissertation that just started with a kegerator in my living room, but there ya go. : )  I'll be posting more pregnancy updates soon!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Big purchases for baby so far...

When I found out we were expecting, it was important to me to get our registry together asap.  Not because I wanted people to buy us things, but because I knew we'd be buying a lot of the big ticket items ourselves and I wanted to go ahead and have a list with which to budget and plan.

Even before I was pregnant, I'd decided to use the website Cricket's Circle for our registry.  I'd read about it online and loved the concept - each item on the registry has been narrowed down to the three best choices based on reviews by moms, so you can choose from the three "Cricket's Picks" for bottles, onesies, strollers, etc., with confidence that you'll receive a quality product.  Unfortunately, I got some bad news after the hours I'd spent creating my registry (it still takes a while even with only three choices for each item!).  I'd been emailing with one of their customer service representatives because I'd had some issues saving color options for my selections, and she revealed to me that I should probably move my registry due to the fact Cricket's Circle was shutting down their registry service. : ( She offered to help me with the process, but I hated for her to have to do that.  So I spent another day working on our registry online at Buy Buy Baby... Luckily they had many of the products I'd already selected from Cricket's Circle's site.  In the end, Cricket's Circle still helped me a lot with making decisions with reassurance I would be satisfied with my selections, even if I had to put in a little extra work (and I have to admit it's fun picking out clothes, gear, and toys for the baby, even if it's time consuming).

Of course, I was even more surprised than I thought I would be by the price tags on some of the baby items we'll be needing in the very near future, not to mention how lengthy the list is of items needed for the first year or two of having a kiddo.  So, we've decided to spread out the purchases and start buying things little by little right away.

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I had already chosen a couple baby purchases before completing our registry.  The first (and I ordered this almost as soon as I knew we were expecting) was a "Bringing Home Baby Bundle" from Freshly Picked.  The bundles are a collaboration between Freshly Picked (a company that makes the cutest leather baby moccasins) and Naomi Davis, the writer of one of my favorite blogs, Love Taza.  They are the sweetest combination of matching items for baby and mama to wear in the hospital, when coming home for the first time, and beyond.  Each bundle includes baby moccasins, a robe and socks for mom, a swaddle, a hat for baby, a cute bag to carry personal items to and from the hospital, and a laundry bag!  I love the idea of having these pieces of clothing that are especially for those first few precious hours and days together with our new addition.  It also gives me the the illusion of being somewhat prepared for our time in the hospital and delivery.  : )  The color choices of yellow, blue, and pink are also available, but I decided to go with the classic gray instead of waiting until we know the baby's gender to order the bundle.  I think we'll be able to get more wear out of the neutral gray moccasins than we would with a bright color no matter if the baby is a boy or girl.

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Another item I'd picked out a while back was our diaper bag - the "Carryall" by Storq.  I ordered it this past week, and I did a happy dance when it arrived in the mail just a few days later.  I'm admittedly more excited about this diaper bag than I've ever been about a purse.  It's made from 100% cotton canvas (that's usually used for teepees!) that's completely water-repellent.  It has a ton of pockets for all things baby-related, but it definitely doesn't look like a classic diaper bag!  It's minimal and black on the outside, and you can carry it by a handle on the top or as a backpack - which means the Mister won't be embarrassed to tote it around. I'm also planning on purchasing a couple pieces of Storq's beautiful maternity clothes as soon as I can - they're out of stock in my size at the moment.

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So far, those two are the only big purchases we've made for baby.  My plan is to order our bassinet in the next week or two.  The bassinet is going to be one of our most important buys early on because we're likely to be moving within a month or two of having the baby, so we probably won't be putting together a nursery at this house... which means the baby will be sleeping in the bassinet while we're here unless he or she out grows it quickly. 

HALO™ Bassinest™ Essentia Series Swivel Sleeper in Honeycomb
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I've decided on the HALO Bassinest Essenti Series Swivel Sleeper because it rotates to either be used as a classic bedside bassinet or with the baby resting on the bed as more of a co-sleeper.  I liked the idea of a co-sleeper instead of a bassinet, but the thought of accidents happening while we were asleep made me nervous, so I was happy to find this model with its sturdy sides that will help me worry less about rolling into the baby's space while we're sleeping.  And if we decide we aren't comfortable with co-sleeping or that we need some more space, we can turn the basket away from the bed.  I'll post some photos once it arrives and we have it set up!

After the bassinet, our next big purchases in September will be an infant car seat (definitely a necessity!) and a nice, warm coat/bunting for baby since he or she will be arriving midwinter!  I can't wait to fill you in on all of it!