Friday, December 30, 2011

{16 weeks}

16 weeks

16 weeks - first maternity outfit I wore (actually wore it at 15 weeks 3 days)
**My husband keeps commenting on the belly this week - it's starting to get very real and noticeable! :)

Size of baby: avocado (4.6" and 3.5 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +4.5 lb
Continuing symptoms: Round ligament pain, br.east enlargement, feeling hungry but then really full quickly, indigestion if my clothes are too tight
New symptoms this week: Dizziness
Maternity Clothes: I received some maternity clothes for Christmas, so I wore my jeans and a shirt the day after (outfit pictured above). I can still wear most of my non-maternity shirts, but it was fun to put it on and I think it accentuated the pregnant belly a little more. I even got my first stranger comment (kind of)! We were at a bagel shop with our in-laws, who are regulars at this place. I was drinking decaf coffee and they were out, so my mother in law went to the counter to see if they had some brewing. The man behind the counter filled my cup, and my mother in law double checked that it was decaf. He responded by saying he made sure it was because he sees we have a little one of the way. :)

Sleep: Sleeping well.
What I'm Eating: Normal eating habits. This week felt a little off because of traveling and being at family members' houses, so I couldn't eat like I normally do. This resulted in some moments of getting really hungry and weak feeling, but then when I would finally eat I got full way too fast and felt uncomfortable. One particularly heavy meal the day after Christmas did not sit right with me and I almost wished I could just throw it up (but I wasn't nauseous).
Cravings: Nothing in particular.
Movement: Not yet but looking forward to it!

Special pregnancy moments: Wearing pregnancy clothes for the first time and having a stranger notice my pregnancy. Anticipating Christmas next year and imagining our 6 month old. My husband noticing my growing belly and constantly touching it when we are at home. Signing up for a birth class (Me?! Giving birth?! It is still surreal most of the time).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gender guessing game!

The gender countdown is on and we will hopefully find out whether this baby is a boy or a girl two weeks from today!! For some reason my mom is unhappy that we are finding out, but it is something I just always knew I would want to do. I totally respect those who want to wait, but for us it will be a huge surprise to find out if we are having a son or a daughter in two weeks and then we figure we will have another surprise finding out what he or she looks like on the day of his or her birth. Plus, we can't wait to pray for and talk about him or her using the proper pronoun - we figure that will make this pregnancy that much more real.

I thought it would be fun to have a gender guessing game on the blog, so I have added a poll to the top of the sidebar. Feel free to join in and guess. :) I will share my guess and my husband's closer to the ultrasound.

I made a chart showing some of the old wives' tales that indicate gender:

Boy Girl
No nausea Chinese Gender Chart
dry hands Heart rate high
clear skin prefer sleeping on my right side
no weight gain in face crave citrus
left br.east larger crave sweets

not moody carrying high?

location in early ultrasound
carrying in front
don't want bread heel (never did though) 
Not stealing my beauty (haha)

**From Amy: "Location in uterus at early ultrasound. It has to be around an 8 week ultrasound though. If transvaginal baby on the right - boy, left - girl. If abdominal baby on the right - girl, left - boy. It's been accurate for everyone I know :)" - Ok, so my 7 week ultrasound is here - looks like the baby is more to the left of center, right?? That would mean girl!

(I got some of these from Parents Magazine and others from blog readers)

Happy guessing! :) 

ETA: If you have other Old Wives' Tales that you want me to add, let me know in the comments and I will!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Refelctions on Christmas

What a difference a year (or 4) make.

Christmas had always been the most difficult holidays for me as an infertile. Mother's Day wasn't a big deal, but Christmas...Christmas! How I longed to begin creating Christmas memories with our little one. As the years went by, I longed for the change that a baby would bring, but every year felt like a marker in time that nothing was changed and that, very likely, the next Christmas could be exactly the same.

But this year, on Christmas, we thanked God for the miracle of new life growing inside of me - something that by Christmas last year I had given up hoping for. This miracle is certainly not the baby Jesus or the Savior of the world, but he or she is a beautiful example of God's goodness, faithfulness, and that he can do what we think is impossible.

This year, we talked with our families about having a baby at the Christmas celebrations next year. The youngest child in my husband's family is ten, and my 8-month-old neice lives too far away to be here for Christmas, so this will be the first baby/ small child around in quite awhile. It was so fun to imagine the day with everybody passing around our little one and the joy that he or she will bring to our families.

This year, my husband and I started dreaming of how we would like to celebrate Christmas with our child. Once he or she is old enough we would like to have Christmas morning at our house. And as we thought of this, we imagined the face of a little toddler Christmas morning running through our living room with bright eyes and the sheer excitement that only a child can have.

For those of you still waiting, I hope your next Christmas is filled with the wonder of a child or anticipation of a child. We are so very thankful and blessed for this gift that we were not expecting.

Friday, December 23, 2011

{15 weeks}

15 weeks
*It doesn't look like my belly really grew much this week, although I felt bigger for whatever that is worth. :)

Size of baby: naval orange (4" and 2.5 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +2.5 lb
Continuing symptoms: I felt quite normal this week, minus the new symptoms below. Thankful to be feeling so well!
New symptoms this week: This isn't completely new since I had this a couple times early in the first trimester (probably when I had a cold), but this week I have caught a cold again. It is very mild and started in my throat. Yesterday I kept having a tickle in my throat and needed to cough constantly, and every time I coughed I gagged. This must be a pregnancy thing because I don't think that ever happened prior to being pregnant. Thankfully the cold feels like it has moved into my chest and I haven't been coughing (or gagging) as much today. Also, I must confess to peeing my pants (only a little) a couple times - my bladder was just really full, and when I stood up to go to the bathroom a tiny bit leaked out. I have been trying to empty my bladder earlier now, but I am kind of surprised since isn't this the trimester when the baby/ uterus is not pressing on my bladder?!
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but I gave up wearing my jeans altogether this week and have been living in yoga pants (I don't need to dress up for work since I am by myself in a home office!). I can definitely still button my jeans, but I just felt soooo uncomfortable by mid-day that I decided it wasn't worth it to wear them. The last night I wore my jeans I sat through a 2 hour choral concert (thus I couldn't unbutton them), and by the end I had terrible indigestion! I can't say for sure it was entirely connected, but once I stood up I immediately starting feeling better, and then once I unbuttoned them in my car I felt completely better. Weird.

Sleep: Sleeping well.
What I'm Eating: Normal eating habits. I'm loving a before bed snack of a glass of milk, and an english muffin - one side with butter and the other side with an almond cocoa spread from T.rader Joe's (it's like Nu.tella but doesn't seem as sweet but is pretty much as unhealthy, haha).
Cravings: Nothing in particular.

Special pregnancy moments: Seeing my high school best friend for the first time in a year (and obviously since being pregnant), having her notice my tiny bump, and getting to talk about the pregnancy with her. Having a few other friends notice my tiny bump, too. Being off of progesterone for over a week and NOT spotting - yeah!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Heartbroken for my friend

Remember my dear friend who told me a few weeks ago that she was unexpectedly pregnant? The one I was so very happy to be experiencing pregnancy with and anticipating becoming mothers together? Yesterday they found out they lost their baby.

I am so heartbroken for her and her husband. There are almost no words. They had their first appointment at 11.5 weeks of pregnancy and discovered the baby only measured at 6 weeks (which, by the way, isn't that a crazy long time for her body to hold onto the pregnancy?! She was still experiencing morning sickness!). Thanks to my own suffering through infertility I feel like I can be an empathatic friend to her, but I also know I have not (thankfully) experienced a miscarriage. So devastating.

And, of course, there is the part of all of this that I am now the pregnant friend who will always be about as far along as she would have been, whose baby will (God willing) be born around when hers would have been, and my baby will hit milestones and birthdays at the same times as her baby would have. We have already had a good talk where I said I completely understand if she needs space from me because of that, and I think she will be able to tell me if or when she does. But, for now, I am just trying to be there for her as much as possible through phone calls, keeping her company, and anything else she might need.

Sad, sad weekend.

Friday, December 16, 2011

{14 weeks}

14 weeks

Size of baby: lemon(3.4" and 1.5 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +2.25 lbs - same as last week. I love my new scale!
Continuing symptoms: gassy, br.east tenderness (even less this week) & enlargement, indigestion (only a tiny bit), and cramping. Still a little tired but nothing extreme.
New symptoms this week: None. My first trimester was really mild (no throwing up, I think I gagged slightly a couple times when coughing, and maybe had nausea once or twice for brief instances...but now I wonder if it was just me hoping I had nausea in those early days of just wanting to feel pregnant), and so far the second trimester feels even more symptom free.

Sleep: Sleeping well.I woke up this morning with a lower back ache, so I'm not sure if I slept funny, did something to it yesterday, or it's just a pregnancy thing.
What I'm Eating: Normal eating habits. I make sure I always eat some breakfast with a glass of orange juice (unlike my pre-pregnancy days where I often skipped breakfast).
Cravings: Nothing in particular.

Special pregnancy moments: Sharing our news publicly and receiving many joyful reactions!! Continuing to check out my tiny belly in the mirror all the time and loving that there is a little something there. Changing to a different doctor for my anatomy scan (the other one wasn't contracted with my insurance) and getting an appointment 12 days earlier (January 12)!! And, yes, I will do a poll on the blog for you to weigh in and guess the gender - so fun! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We are public!

This week marked a huge milestone for me...we went public with our news! This has been much anticipated for two reasons: 1) I am so over the moon excited about this miracle that it is hard to not want to shout it from the roof tops (other than that pesky first trimester anxiety that certainly kept any shouting in check) and 2) We can finally answer people's "How's the adoption process going?" question directly.

During our trying to conceive years, if I would have conceived nobody would have really asked me any questions during the first trimester because few people would have known. Even after an IVF cycle only a select few people would know, and thus we could have gone through that stressful first trimester only answering simple, "How are you?" type of questions. Even if we had gotten the random and awkward, "So when are you going to have kids?" question, that one never really deserves a real answer anyway (unless it's your best friend, but then she probably already knows what's going on...).

But in our situation, everybody and their mother (quite literally - I have had so many people tell me their moms were praying for us - ha!) knew we were adopting. This led to everybody wanting to hear how the process was going, which was actually really fun to talk about...until I suddenly found myself pregnant. Now we felt like we were lying...or being purposely vague...every time the question came up. Church on Sundays was the worst. It wasn't a huge problem, but it actually really drove my husband crazy! So, with that said, it is nice to be able to respond, "Well, we've actually put our adoption on hold because I'm pregnant." :)

We've made three "announcements." The first on was on Monday to both my husband's and my small groups of high school seniors (I have written about them before, but in case you're new we are volunteer youth group leaders. We started with this group of kids when they were entering 7th grade, and they are now in 12th!). We had conveniently planned a joint Christmas party with the guys and the girls groups, and I was so excited to share that we made the announcement early in the evening. We told them we had an update about growing our family, and when we actually got to the part where we shared that I am pregnant, we were met with blank stares for about fifteen seconds because they were completely expecting something adoption related. Once the news sunk in, however, there were many squeals, a few tears, and a mob-like group hug with all my girls around me. Love.

We then announced to our adult Bible study last night. We have been with this group for about three years, and they have supported us and prayed for us extensively as we did infertility treatments and pursued adoption, and I actually remember going to this group crying on the day we found out our male factor diagnosis and receiving prayer. Needless to say I was particularly excited to share with them! We were supposed to bring a white elephant gift that night, so I simply wrote on a small piece of paper, "The (insert last name's) are pregnant! Baby is due June 16, 2012!" on it, wrapped it in a box, and brought it as one of our white elephant gifts. Fortunately it was one of the first gifts opened, and the person who opened it decided to pass it around for each person to read themselves. It was so fun to see every person's face and hear the different "Oh!'s" as the little box went around the room. Thankful.

Lastly, I emailed all the ladies who were invited to my baby shower back in October (the shower that actually happened on the day of my missed period!). It was fun to be able to write out the news and praise God, since I feel like I express myself better in writing. And it has been amazing to get email responses throughout the day filled with joy and praise at this miracle. Humbled.

Before making these announcements, I did email the six women I know in real life who are facing infertility. Thanks for weighing in on how you thought I should notify them, and while I am sure there is some degree of personal preference, I am happy with the decision to email them. It is difficult to know that my news was most likely painful for them, but all I can do is be as sensitive as I can and continue to pray that their arms would be filled soon.

I continue to be so thankful and amazed that I am in this place. That I - Hillary - just made pregnancy announcements. Thank you, Lord. And now that these announcements have been made, I am sure word is out!

Friday, December 9, 2011

{13 weeks}

Ok, I went a little crazy with the photos this week because I am in a happy shock that this little belly is actually growing! :)

First, my standard picture:
13 weeks

Now this is the same shirt I put on last week to show how not-pregnant I look in most of my regular, less form fitting clothes. But now I can see a tiny bump in it!
13 weeks

This shirt is from an order of Old Navy maternity clothes I got this week! It was probably a tad early to order them, but they were all on sale plus an additional 40% off as a Cyber Monday promo! Anyway, the looser type shirts just look huge on me at this point, but when I put this one on my husband said,
"You really look pregnant!." (By the way, do you think I should return this shirt? It doesn't seem like it would have much room to grow in, although I really like it for right now....but not sure how long it would last?!)
13 weeks

And lastly, this is a regular non-maternity sweater that I was going to wear yesterday. I ended up not wearing it because I saw how warm it was as I was leaving the house and changed to something with more layers, but anyway...
13 weeks
Size of baby: peach (2.9" and .81 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +2.25 lbs. I know I said last week that I thought I had gained 5 lbs, but when I went to the doctor this week I had gained only a quarter of a pound in the last four I really think our scale is just a piece of junk!! It's always 10 lbs. off, which I accounted for, but now I'm thinking it is just plain inaccurate and hard to read. So I actually bought a new scale yesterday in hopes of a more accurate weekly measurement. I wasn't too worried about the weight gain, but it was still a little nice to know it hasn't been as much as I thought.
Continuing symptoms: gassy, br.east tenderness (even less this week) & enlargement, indigestion (only a tiny bit), and cramping.
New symptoms this week: None - the cramping was a little more this week with some new sort of jabs and stabs that made me a little nervous before my appointment. But apparently it's just the uterus growing...

Sleep: Sleeping well.Thankful.
What I'm Eating: I never really lost my appetite or changed my eating much, but my eating felt especially "back to normal" this week.
Cravings: None. But still loving that glass of milk before bed!

Special pregnancy moments: THIRTEEN weeks! Even more officially in the second trimester!! Seeing the baby again at my appointment and having a great appointment overall. Getting an over-the-belly ultrasound because I am farther along. Starting to wean off of the progesterone (I'm taking one every other day until Wednesday). Scheduling the anatomy scan. My belly growing (I still can't believe I'm going to have a belly - eek!!) and even having a friend (who knows I'm pregnant) point out that she noticed my belly. :) Feeling a tiny bump even when lying on my back. Sharing the news with a few more friends and having a friend so excited she called, emailed, and texted at the same time to get me to call her back right away - so cute. Anticipating telling "the world" in the next few days!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Appointment today!

So very thankful to report that the baby looked wonderful at my appointment this afternoon! I did have an ultrasound (yay!) but she forgot to print the picture and I forgot to ask (boo!)....but the baby looked so much bigger and just plain perfect. :) Heart rate was 154bpm and the arms and legs were moving around. I felt like such a big girl because the ultrasound was over my stomach this time!

I am really having a baby...! Wow. Thank you, Lord, for this precious gift!

I was a little crampier in the last few days leading up to the appointment, and I think the general pre-appointment jitters were making me hyper aware of it. But last night I woke up during the night and put my hand on my stomach, expecting it to feel flabbier than usual but still pretty flat when I am laying down like it has. But as I ran my hand over my stomach I felt a small bulge and got so excited I couldn't go back to sleep. It felt like confirmation that the baby is growing and helped me to be calm today leading up to the appointment.

I even scheduled the anatomy scan - on January 23rd we should know if this baby is a boy or girl! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Telling other infertiles

Last week, I shared the news of my pregnancy with a fellow infertile I know in real life who is also waiting to adopt. Her journey has been very, very long and her wait to adopt has been very, very long. It was hard to know what to say in the email to her - I understand all too well the pain, sadness, jealousy, and longing that comes with a pregnancy announcement. My heart aches for her.

I told her a little "early" because I was supposed to see her (we don't live in the same area), and knew we would talk "adoption talk" and I didn't want to have to lie or be fake. However, before we start sharing our news publicly this weekend, I have a list of six others I know in real life who are struggling or have struggled with infertility, and I am going to email them the news. My heart aches for them.

There are few words to say that comfort, but I pray for them - and any of you who are waiting - that God would make them - and you - a mother soon and ease their suffering. Much love to each of you who are waiting. My heart aches for you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

{12 weeks!} {12 weeks!}

12 weeks
I do feel like I am starting to "show"! Not to the extent that anybody who doesn't know me would notice, and even those that do know me haven't noticed, but *I* notice. :) I think it completely depends on what I wear, too, and I don't wear super tight clothes generally.

12 weeks
This picture shows how completely non-pregnant I look with normal clothes on. But even when I wear that shirt I can just tell how much tighter it is around the stomach!

Size of baby: plum (2.1" and .49 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +5 (!)  I think. I am looking forward to making sure my scale is correct at my doctor's appointment this week, but I am a little shocked that I have gained more than the 2-4 lbs. recommended in the first trimester. I counted calories for a couple days this week after realizing that I may have gained 5 lbs., and I don't think I have been eating more than I should be on a day to day basis (I'm sure there are days I do, though, but I had those pre-pregnancy, too!).
Continuing symptoms: gassy, br.east tenderness (even less this week) & enlargement, tired,  indigestion, and heartburn.
New symptoms this week: None - the heart burn seemed to be a little worse, but otherwise it was a fairly symptom-free week.

Sleep: Sleeping well. I had one night where I woke up at 4:00am and couldn't fall back asleep for awhile....not sure if that is pregnancy related or not.
What I'm Eating: Eating normally overall. I started drinking a glass of milk before bed that always tastes really good and helps me from feeling starving during the night.  I can't really figure out what triggers my heart burn - both times this week when I had it really bad I had eaten a pumpkin black bean soup that I had made, but I had also been starving before I ate the soup. I'm wondering if it was something in that recipe or just the eating on a stomach that is too empty...
Cravings: None.

Special pregnancy moments:  TWELVE WEEKS!! 12 weeks!! I know there are multiple ways of calculating the end of the first trimester, but usually I read that the most miscarriages happen in the first 12 I think that's a good reason to call phase one done. :) I am so thankful, happy, humbled, and shocked to be here at 12 weeks. Twelve weeks! It seemed so very far away after first finding out I was pregnant and facing so much anxiety, but these last few weeks feel like they have gone by quickly. I have my next appointment this Thursday, and after I receive the confirmation that the baby is still doing well we will openly share the news of this miracle - I can't wait!! Thank you, Lord!