Friday, November 25, 2011

{11 weeks}

11 weeks
*Sorry for the camera phone picture today - I'm at my in-laws right now. :) I am feeling a little bigger these days, but some days the "belly" seems like more than others.

Size of baby: fig (1.6" and .25 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +3?
Continuing symptoms: gassy (less this week), br.east tenderness (even less this week) & enlargement, starving (especially at night) sometimes, indigestion and inability to eat other times
New symptoms this week: round ligament pain - I think! I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my lower left abdomen after I sneezed a few days ago and googled it, and it sounded like round ligament pain except everything said it usually starts in the second trimester. But then I have had a similar feeling again when I stood up from bed and coughed - all the things they list for round ligament pain - and I am pretty close to the second trimester. Also, I think  I can feel my uterus in my abdomen - a hardness that seems like what I read about!

Sleep: Sleeping well, thankfully
What I'm Eating: Overall eating pretty normal. The starving-like-crazy feeling has been less as the week progressed. On Thanksgiving I ate a really light breakfast so I would have room for the two Thanksgiving meals we were going to eat that day, but became starving right before lunch. When I did eat lunch I ate a small amount, but as the afternoon went on I felt more and more full. By dinner I could hardly eat anything, and had terrible indigestion and heartburn. Thankfully we're eating left overs tonight so I won't completely miss out on a Thanksgiving meal with a decent appetite. :)
Cravings: None.

Special pregnancy moments:  Getting closer to the second trimester! Sharing the excitement of this pregnancy and the baby to come with both of our families on Thanksgiving - they already knew, but it was fun to talk about together. My mother-in-law took me maternity clothes shopping! I don't need any yet, but she is going to wrap the items up and give them to me for Christmas. Trying them on made me really look and feel pregnant, even if there is not much of a belly yet to fill out the clothes. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My cup overflows

I found out this weekend that one one of my closest friends is pregnant and only a few weeks behind me. When she told me, I jumped up and down and squealed with joy. I hugged her and immediately started dreaming of sharing this pregnancy experience and being mothers together. Wow!

It was strange to think that only a few months ago, pregnancy announcements still brought those dreaded feelings of sadness, jealousy, and longing. It was almost like an out of body experience to now be the girl who delights in a friend's pregnancy, but it felt so good. I am thankful.

In full honesty, I think much of my joy was for selfish reasons. Of course I am happy for her and thankful for the miracle of new life, but, ironically, this was a surprise pregnancy for her and she is still processing the emotions that come with that. As she told me, she was not beaming with joy, but her face displayed shock that I know she is struggling with. She is thankful for her pregnancy, but it is interesting to walk through the opposite of infertility with somebody. As infertiles our "plan" to conceive fell apart, but for her, her "plan" to wait to start a family has been dramatically changed, too. (Also, the poor thing is pretty nauseous and sick. Seeing her made me extra thankful for my lack of morning sickness.)

But back to my selfishness. :) As months turned to years while trying to conceive, I felt like everybody was passing me by. That all of my friends would be mothers without me, and that by the time I did become a mother their children would be much older. And this has been true with some friends, but I have also been amazed at how many sweet friends are pregnant right now.

And now this friend! She is one of my closest friends, but one that I never expected to raise children with. She is younger than me, and my husband and I were trying to conceive before she was even married. I knew she wanted to wait to start a family, so it always seemed like one way or another I would enter parenthood well before her. Really, if both of our "plans" had worked out - if we had both conceived when we wanted to - I would have an almost 3 year old and she would still be a couple years away from trying to conceive.

But now! Now we are both pregnant and due within weeks of each other. I have faced years of grief and she is processing her new reality, but both of us shared yesterday what a tremendous joy it is that we get to walk this new road together. Finding out she is pregnant was almost as amazing, unexpected, and joyful as when I found out I was pregnant. God giving me this pregnancy was a dream come true, and now giving me this dear friend to become a mother with feels like another dream come true.

God has blessed me beyond belief. I have already felt like my cup is overflowing with blessings, and now it is spilling all over the place. I am so thankful. God's timing is beautiful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

{10 weeks}

10 weeks

Size of baby: olive (1.2" and .14 oz)
Total Weight Gain: +2
Continuing symptoms: mild cramping off and on (but less this week), gassy, br.east tenderness (less this week) & enlargement, starving!! (especially at night)
New symptoms this week: headache

Sleep: I slept well, except when it was difficult to fall asleep because I was so hungry.
What I'm Eating: I'm continuing to have a good appetite without food aversions. I'm loving snacking on tangerines and cheese sticks with crackers.
Cravings: None.
Special pregnancy moments:  The post-pap bleeding/ spotting stopped! Waking up today and announcing to my husband that I am TEN WEEKS today - double digits!! I remember a few days after I found out I was pregnant (a few days into my 5th week), a close friend emailed me a sweet, sensitive-to-the-infertile email to tell me she was over 9 weeks pregnant. I remember thinking she was SO far into her first trimester and how lucky she was to be that far....and, well, here I am! Only two or three weeks to go, depending on how you count :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful and happy...

...that the post-pap smear bleeding and spotting has stopped. I'm feeling quite happy and relieved! Thanks for helping to get me through a rough couple days!

In other news, my very few symptoms seem to be even fewer this week. However, on Tuesday night I ate a regular sized dinner and a small bowl of ice cream. A couple of hours later we went to bed and I was SO hungry it was almost unbearable. Like my stomach hurt from hunger pains kind of hunger. I laid there for a while debating about whether or not to get up and eat something, but ultimately I decided I was too tired to face getting out of the warm bed and dirty my clean teeth. Thankfully I was able to fall asleep and woke up in the morning still starving, but I was willing to satisfy my hunger at that point. I have never experienced hunger quite like that, and love these little reminders that I am indeed pregnant!

Oh, more good news! The doctor just called and said my pap smear came back normal! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

A little better

Thank you for your prayers and encouragements these past 24 hours. I have had some low moments where I felt nearly overcome with fear, but I have also had moments of peace that I know are from the Lord. I am asking him to help me trust him because I certainly can't do it on my own.

I called the doctor this morning. I tried to call at 8:00am when the office opened, but the voicemail came on and said the office wasn't open yet (although the message said they opened at 8:00...). I tried a few more times and finally got through around 9:15am, and left a message with the receptionist asking for the doctor or nurse to call me back. The office closed at 5:00, so I called back at 4:15pm and said I hadn't heard from anyone. The receptionist said she had passed the message on to the doctor, but if she has a busy day she sometimes calls back in the evening. So I continued to wait. (I am a little disappointed that it took so long to hear back from my doctor...)

The doctor called at 6:30 tonight, and I do feel a little better. She said my cervix is extra 'vascular' during pregnancy, and that mine was even more so than most (she said maybe because I am taking prometrium va.ginally, but she's not sure why). So she said it doesn't matter what color the bleeding is and that I may spot for up to two weeks (Lord help me!), and that as long as I don't soak through a large pad in two hours it is fine.

I continued to spot bright red today, and it may have been less. It it is hard to quantify since sometimes it seems to be disappearing and then it is back the next time I go to the bathroom.

I feel less like crying after hearing my doctor say it is ok, and knowing that it might be like this for awhile makes me want to stop over analyzing every trip to the bathroom. I need to just buckle down and accept this spotting. Perhaps the Lord has given me yet another opportunity to grow my trust in him and refine this tendency of mine to worry.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Struggling tonight

After my pap smear on Friday, my doctor specifically said not to worry if there was some bleeding afterwards. So when I started spotting later that night, I was calm. I spotted through out the next day (Saturday), but still felt like it seemed "normal" after a pap smear, it wasn't heavy, and it wasn't accompanied by cramping, so I was doing fine.

But then this morning (Sunday morning) I woke up at 5:00am to what felt like bleeding. It was terrible. It really wasn't *that* much, but there were two gushes of bright red blood. I was only wearing a pantyliner, so it also probably seemed like more than it was since it got everywhere. I tried to tell myself it was just from the pap smear as I cleaned myself up (and changed the sheets...), but as I crawled back into bed I laid awake waiting to see if I started cramping. In my heart I felt like the baby was ok, but I felt like if I started cramping and bleeding more the baby might not be. As I laid there I went through some of the comforting verses I have memorized, and I think after an hour or so I managed to doze off for a little bit.

I woke up tired and on edge. Thankfully there have been no more gushes of blood, but I have continued to have red spotting all day that continues to be unsettling. The day has felt long. As I type this I feel crampy - the regular period like cramps I have had all throughout this pregnancy - but accompanied by the bleeding episode last night and the red spotting today it is even more upsetting.

I think I will call the doctor tomorrow. Part of me knows she will just say it is normal from the pap smear, and I don't even necessarily want an ultrasound at this point - all of these ultrasounds might get expensive, and I feel like the baby is ok and that this is just my darn cervix (and maybe the bleeding is worse because of the cysts?!). But hopefully hearing her say it is normal (or saying I need to come in for an ultrasound) will ease my nerves.

Praying there is no more bleeding and that the spotting stops ASAP!!

PS - Leah, thanks for sharing your bleeding post-pap story. It has been a serious comfort to me this weekend! And if anyone has any scary stories, please don't share since I don't need anything to add to my worry...thank you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

{9 weeks}

9 weeks
*I feel like my "belly"/ bloat is smaller this week :)

Size of baby: Grape (.9" and .07 oz)
Total Weight Gain: +2
Continuing symptoms: mild cramping off and on (but less this week), gassy, br.east tenderness & enlargement
New symptoms this week: starving!

Sleep: I slept better this week with less tossing and turning. There were a few nights that I slept like a rock! I usually get up once to pee, but occasionally make it the whole night. (Frequent urination isn't a symptom I have I guess).
What I'm Eating:I haven't had that "full feeling" like I did in the earlier weeks. Instead, I become ravenously starving and need to eat. After eating I sometimes don't feel that much better. I'm trying to eat more frequent, small meals that include fruits and veggies so I'm not picking up fast food all the time. (But I have eaten fast food twice this week...)
Cravings: None.
Special pregnancy moments:  Continuing to feel less anxious and experiencing more excitement and joy about this miracle pregnancy! Seeing our baby via ultrasound again and seeing him or her move her legs. Crying as I heard the heart beat. Going to an OB's office because I am pregnant!

9 week ultrasound!

Our baby, growing strong at 9 weeks with a heart rate of 172bpm!!

I am so thankful and happy to share about my first OB appointment. Of course, seeing our baby and hearing the heart beat were the happy highlights that made me cry with joy. We even saw the legs moving around!

I had never met this OB before but knew that a lot of my friends had had her as their OB's, and both my husband and I had a very positive first impression. I felt like she listened to what I said. I mentioned that my mom had an incompetent cervix and had delivered me at 28 weeks, and expected her to simply say it's not hereditary. She did say that, but she also said to ask my mom if she had taken any medications during her pregnancy with me, and said that she would monitor my cervix more closely.

A few of you asked why I was having this appointment today, and I guess it is just this OB's practice to see women for their first appointment around 8 or 9 weeks. They took my weight, blood pressure, and a urine sample, asked about my medical and fertility history, did an ultrasound and pap smear, and gave me a flu shot. I will now go in every four weeks until I am 30 weeks pregnant, and then I will go every two weeks from 30-36 weeks, and then every week from 36 weeks on until the baby is born.

The only bit of bad news we received (don't worry, it's not the baby!) is that I have a lot of small cysts on  my cervix. The doctor seemed pretty surprised about it, which is never what you want to see. :/ However, she did say that the cervix is very engorged during pregnancy, and this just could be how my body is reacting to that. But because of the cysts, she did a pap smear that she otherwise would have waited to do because it can cause bleeding. She said not to worry and not to Google. Of course, it is a little hard not to worry (and to let your mind go to the "C" word...), but honestly I was SO happy that the baby was fine that those feelings have overshadowed any worry I might be tempted to feel. Plus, I know my RE saw my cervix during our IVF cycle six months ago, so I know they have developed since then at least. (But if you have any scary or bad stories about cysts on the cervix please refrain from telling them).

But we are happy, happy, happy and oh so thankful for our sweet babe! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Oh, Joy!

As the days tick by and I move further along through the first trimester, my anxiety has continued to decrease and has been replaced by tremendous joy. Joy that there is a life growing inside of me (although it is still difficult to believe many days), joy that God has given us this gift that we don't deserve, and joy that I am experiencing pregnancy like I had always dreamed. I am so thankful.

I also "feel" more pregnant these days. My symptoms are still minimal and I can go a couple of days with almost none, but my body certainly feels different. My br.easts are fuller, and my pooch feels bigger. At night sometimes my abdomen feels huge (to me), and I generally feel some heaviness down there.

While my lack of morning sickness increased my anxiety earlier on, I am now very thankful that I feel as well as I do and am counting myself blessed! Instead of food aversions and vomiting, I have moments (and sometimes days) of extreme hunger. I do not have particular food cravings, but a sudden need-to-eat-right-this-second feeling that, if not satisfied, can make feel rather yucky...not nauseous, but just yucky. I must confess to a McDonald's run for a second lunch of a small fry and a 4 piece chicken nugget the other day! However, yesterday I was utterly starving for dinner, wolfed down a burrito, but the yucky feeling continued and my body didn't seem to like that I had eaten a burrito. But thanks, baby, for reminding me that you are there! :)

The only downside to this pregnancy symptom could be that I gain much more than baby weight. And, for the record, I have eaten salads and fruit this week, too - just so you don't think all I'm eating is McDonald's and burritos, ha!

Tomorrow afternoon we are going to our first OB appointment! I honestly never thought I would set foot in an OB/ Gyn's office again because those are mostly for pregnant people, and I could just get my annual pap from a family practice doctor. Yet, here I am meeting an OB for the first time because I am pregnant! I have moments of nervousness about the appointment and getting bad news, but overall I am quite excited and hopeful!

PS - My husband got home from work as I was typing this post, and when I hugged him to welcome him home he said it felt like I had a belly (albeit small)! That made me squeal with joy and hug him another time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

{8 weeks}

For comparison...the first "belly picture" I made my husband take of me at 5 weeks (he thought I was crazy but he is already glad we did it, haha) and a self portrait I took at 8 weeks:

5 weeks

8 weeks
I have read that it is still way too early to have a "baby belly" but that there is "bloat" in the first trimester instead. It looks like I have it?! Craziness. I really don't expect to show early since I have a *very* long torso, but I'm surprised I do have the bloat anyway!

Size of baby: Raspberry (.63" and .04 oz)
Total Weight Gain: +1
Continuing symptoms: mild cramping off and on, gassy, br.east tenderness & enlargement
New symptoms this week: first heartburn experience

Sleep: Sleeping well but waking up earlier than normal many days. I tend to toss and turn more and don't feel as comfortable all night.
What I'm Eating: Anything! Thankfully I am having no aversions and my appetite is normal. I do tend to feel full faster and get starving -hungry more suddenly.
Cravings: None.
Special pregnancy moments:  Telling a couple more close friends and seeing them tear up with happiness. Feeling less anxious about the pregnancy and enjoying it more. My husband kissed my "belly" for the first time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The ups and downs

Thankfully, there have been a lot more ups since hearing the heart beat on Friday, and the downs have been less extreme. It eased my mind tremendously to know that after so much spotting and the lack of symptoms, the baby has continued to grow and thrive on track.
UP: These last few days I have enjoyed the fact that I don't feel sick. I have a had a couple random times where the thought of throwing up appealed to me even though I didn't feel nauseous (or maybe was a tiny bit because I was hungry) - how weird is that?! And a couple times I coughed and thought I would gag. So weird things happen from time to time, but I can go a couple without experiencing any symptoms. I must be one of the lucky 25%. :) I have a dull lower back ache, some bre.ast tenderness and fullness, and an abdomen that just feels fuller (even though it doesn't look it). I also have cramping on and off that seems like normal "uterus stretching" from what I can tell, and it never feels intense. Although sometimes it is pretty strong and makes me wonder if it is "bad" cramping, but usually it just is a pleasant reminder that there is a baby growing in there. :)
DOWN: How can I always find something to scare me? (TMI warning) A couple nights ago I inserted my progesterone pill and felt like I hit my cervix....but all of the other times it has felt high and far away. Cue internal temptation to freak out. I felt like God carried me through that one because I read my verse on my phone, prayed, and managed to go to sleep without worrying. The next morning (and everyday since then) the cervix has been high...
UP: Listening to the heart beat on my phone. :)
DOWN: Getting a cold. So far it's not too bad, but it is difficult to manage without taking any decongestants. I woke up early Monday morning and felt so much pressure in my face that I got scared I was getting a sinus infection. I stayed home from work, breathed steam every 2 hours, and started using a nasal rinse twice per day and it seems to be helping.
UP: Going out to dinner on Friday to celebrate hearing the heart beat and not feeling like I could eat because I'm pregnant. It wasn't because the food didn't look or taste good (it did!), but I just felt full after only a couple bites. I don't want the sickness, but these occasional reminders that I am pregnant are nice. :)
DOWN: I was supposed to fly to St. L.ouis today to visit my best friend from high school. She and her family are moving out of the country in January, so we had planned this as the last big visit. Also, her husband was going out of town so I was going to help with the kids. Well...I had already started freaking out about going because I'm pregnant (nervous to fly, nervous to be away from home and DH...)....and I was getting stressed about it. The doctor said it was completely fine to fly so I just planned to go. But then I woke yesterday with that pressure in my face and decided I just couldn't do it. I'm not that sick, but I don't want to get worse, and missing sleep, traveling, etc. with a cold just seemed like too much. I don't want to get a sinus infection and need antibiotics, you know? And I just can't push myself like I normally would and risk it. But I felt terrible canceling :(
UP: Everyday that goes by feels like a gift from the Lord, and I continue to thank him daily for this baby and pregnancy!