Monday, February 27, 2012

OB appointment!

24 weeks 3 days
Aw, I got an ultrasound today!! And I got to see our boy's face! At our anatomy scan his face was hidden by my placenta. The image is still a little skeletal looking, but I think he is so cute! :) 

I left the office today feeling SO thankful and happy that everything is going smoothly with this pregnancy. Heart rate was 143, my cervix was really long (YAY!!), the fluid around the baby looked good, and blood pressure and weight were on track (at the office I was +18 lbs today). I am just so thankful my boy is growing well and my body is doing what it needs to do to keep him healthy in there!

During the ultrasound, I was amazed at how much bigger he is than at the anatomy scan at 18 weeks. She put the wand on one side of my belly and saw his head, and then moved it waaaay across to the other side and saw his feet. Then she went alllll the way up high and saw his back...it just seemed like a huge amount of surface area! My OB also commented that my belly really popped since she last saw me. :)

She asked if I was feeling movement and I said I definitely was. She told me I should be feeling it at least once a day at this point, and I had to laugh because if I only felt him move once I day I would be freaking out since he moves so much more than that. Even during the ultrasound the doctor sounded a little surprised because she felt him move a few times externally and kept commenting, "Wow, I felt that," and "I felt him again! He is active."

My OB also told me that the new wing of the hospital (that includes labor and delivery) opened this month and that it is beautiful! I have heard a lot of great things about the new building from others, too, and am excited to see it during our tour in April. It was crazy to think about the fact that I will (Lord willing) be giving birth there in +/- 15.5 weeks! Also, I have one more appointment in four weeks and then I start going in every two weeks - and I already scheduled the first two!

Friday, February 24, 2012

{24 weeks}

24 weeks
Size of baby: ear of corn (approx. 12.5" and 1.25 lbs.)

Total Weight Gain: +15.5 lbs
Continuing symptoms: Round ligament pain, slight nose congestion, back ache if I stand too long
New symptoms this week: None pregnancy related. I do think I caught a small virus that caused some...uh... bathroom issues for 4 days and left me really exhausted. I took two naps - which I hadn't done since the first trimester. Thankfully I am feeling better.
Maternity Clothes: Looking forward to warmer weather to wear some of my tank tops and short sleeve maternity shirts (you know, going from 60 degrees to 75 degrees makes a big difference, haha)

Sleep: A little insomnia one or two nights this week....otherwise fine.
What I'm Eating: Continuing to feel hungrier but trying not to over do the eating. Loving Puffins Peanut Butter cereal in the mornings - I wake up hungry and can't wait to eat a bowl!
Cravings: Puffins. And chocolate malts. And ice cream. But I'm only eating Puffins. (And one chocolate malt this week).
Movement: He is still moving quite a bit but it hasn't seemed as frequent this week. However, every time I start to get nervous because I haven't felt him, he gives a few strong kicks. The movements are definitely much stronger!

Special pregnancy moments: VIABILITY!!! VIABILITY!! I have been counting down to the 24 week mark. I know there are no guarantees even still, but knowing that if something did happen and our boy was born he would have a chance at survival means so much to me. I am so thankful he is still growing away in my womb today. This week I heard about a friend of a friend who was a week behind me and lost her boy this week. I also read about people who lost their babies at 26 and 28 weeks - gah. These tragedies mixed with my own hyper awareness of the viability date approaching made my week more difficult and I struggled with fear. My boy seemed to be moving less, and I was having 'bathroom issues' that can also be considered early labor signs. But every time I wanted to freak out he would move vigorously, I would feel better physically, and I just prayed for God's peace. Needless to say I am SO thankful to be at the viability point and know that each day forward our boy is getting even bigger and stronger!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Pregnancy Club

Before my friend miscarried, she pointed out that she could already tell there is a "pregnancy club" that she has become a part of since becoming pregnant. You know, the special hugs, the swapping of pregnancy stories, the symptom talk, etc. among other women. And when she said that, she said she got a glimpse about how hard it was for me for these past few years being "excluded" from The Club.

But now....well, now I am a bona fide member. I guess it happened when I conceived, but it certainly didn't feel like I was a member then. I had such a long way to go through the first trimester, and even then it took longer for my head and my heart to catch up and actually comprehend that I was pregnant. So I think it has been a gradual process to actually count myself as pregnant, and a legitimate member of The Club.

However, I also still resent The Pregnancy Club. I can still feel the pain of being an outsider in the club, and I hate that my friend who miscarried is now an outsider looking in with pain and longing, too. In The Club's defense, I know it is not a formal group and that women don't intentionally seek to exclude others....but sometimes the members do lack compassion and common sense about how to talk to others inside and outside The Club.

Even though I am a member, I find myself resisting membership at times. This weekend I went on a Girl's Weekend getaway with a group of eight friends, and had a wonderful time. But I was amazed at just how much pregnancy, baby, and kid talk occurred over the weekend...it's like you get women together that is the main topic of conversation. And on some level, I enjoyed the opportunity to talk about my pregnancy - it is such a joy to me that I DO want to talk about it a lot - but, I also shied away from talking about it and found myself trying to change the subject. My friend who miscarried was there, as well as two single friends who would also love to be married and become mothers....my heart hurt for theirs.

Another example is that a group I met with weekly in college to pray together is pregnant - all five of us (well, the first one just had her baby a few weeks ago). January, March, May, mid-June (me) and late June. I only keep in close touch with a couple of them, but it is pretty neat that we are all having babies. However, one of my friends keeps sending emails with things like, "I can't believe we are all pregnant! What made us all drink the water? Was it turning thirty?" over and over....and I just don't feel like I am part of that. I didn't drink the water - I had been trying to drink it for almost 4 years - but this is simply God's timing in my life. Maybe the rest of them turned thirty and decided to go for it...but I resist her grouping me together with them.

And then there is this blog. I don't think I have written about this tension here, and perhaps some of you have resented that I jumped into The Pregnancy Club so quickly and easily. And despite the examples I listed above, once I gradually understood that I am indeed pregnant, I did become a member to some degree. I still experience the tension and remember the pain, but I also wanted to let go of that and enjoy this pregnancy to its fullest. I have a profound sense of what a brief but amazing gift this pregnancy is, and I did make a conscious choice to thank God by experiencing the joy of it. I didn't want to spend these nine months clenching onto pain, jealousy, and all the other negative feelings that came with infertility. I also wonder if it was a little easier for me to "join" because I had already somewhat removed myself from infertility - and had accepted never being pregnant - by moving towards adoption. I had already experienced much healing and was feeling much joy about adoption when I had gotten pregnant, rather than in a "last ditch" IVF cycle or something.

Either way, I know we all experience infertility differently, and we will all experience pregnancy after infertility differently. To those of you who are able, thank you for sharing in this joyful season with me. And to those of you who are unable, I completely understand and pray your joyful season is just around the corner.

Friday, February 17, 2012

{23 weeks)

23 weeks
Size of baby: mango (approx. 11.5" and 1.1 lbs.)

Total Weight Gain: +14 lbs
Continuing symptoms: Round ligament pain, slight nose congestion, back ache if I stand too long
New symptoms this week: None - I'm feeling pretty good!
Maternity Clothes: I think I am at the stage where I can wear all of my maternity clothes and look good in them - the cute little bump. :)

Sleep: I slept well this week and am feeling pretty comfortable.
What I'm Eating: I felt a little hungrier this week like my appetite has increased.
Cravings: I haven't had any yet but I would really like some dill pickles (I know this is a classic pregnancy craving, but I always like pickles...)
Movement:I have nothing to compare it to, but this boy seems active! I feel like he is moving all the time, especially at night before bed. Last night I was trying to "spoon" with my husband (it's a little hard with the belly but still half do-able), and he felt our boy move on his back! Ha!

Special pregnancy moments: I am getting a lot of stranger comments now! I am trying to make my infertility journey into a book or PDF (just for myself - not to be published or anything!), and skimmed through the last 3 years of my blog...and was so thankful at God's faithfulness throughout! And knowing that our boy is the "end" of that story filled me with such joy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On names

I think we have chosen the name for our son!

However, the process to deciding on that name was much more complicated than I had expected. You see, when my husband and I were newly married (or maybe even engaged or dating - I can't remember) we talked about possible baby names. I said names I liked and he agreed - perfect! So easy! Clearly we were a good match. :)

Then we started the adoption process, and the names became more concrete rather than an abstract list. And along with that came the reality that my husband did not like nearly ANY of my girl names, nor did he have many suggestions for ones HE liked. We were stuck, but I hoped that as he sat with some of the names he would warm up to them. My boys list, on the other hand, was much shorter and he liked nearly all of them.

Then I got pregnant, and the concept of naming a baby that actually existed took our name conversations into even more - and often more frustrating - directions. Even the boys names felt shaky, and I really had no idea what we would do if this baby were a girl!

Amazingly, when we found out he is a boy the name seemed to just fall into place. And, really, how could we have considered anything else?

But who would have thought it could have been so difficult to agree on a name when it looked so easy from the dating/ engaged/ newly married days. Kind of like trying to conceive, ha!

(I know it is a little mean of me to write all of that and not tell you the name, but I want to keep something a surprise :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

{22 weeks}

22 weeks
Size of baby: spaghetti squash (approx. 11" and 1 lb.)

Total Weight Gain: +12 lbs
Continuing symptoms: Round ligament pain, slight nose congestion
New symptoms this week: My back is starting to ache. One day this week I did some shopping, and my lower back very suddenly started to hurt quite badly and it made me feel generally unwell (hot, clammy, uncomfortable, weak). Once I sat down I felt fine, but it was scary and a little weird. I think I had just been on my feet too long.
Maternity Clothes: Yes, I think I am nearly exclusively in maternity clothes now, except for a few long regular sweaters that look great and cardigans/ long sweaters to go with my maternity shirts.

Sleep: I actually slept pretty well this week with only two nights with a little insomnia. I am trying to sleep on my sides (especially left) but keep waking up finding myself on my back...which is strange since I rarely slept on my back per-pregnancy!
What I'm Eating: Still enjoying a glass of milk before bed and loving Mexican food.
Cravings: I really really wanted a chocolate malt this week...and got it.
Movement: All the time! Still loving it!! I have felt him now even when standing. I haven't really noticed much of a pattern to his movements. I can feel him pretty high sometimes, too - around or just above my belly button. But other times he feels super low as well.

Special pregnancy moments: Getting some baby clothes as gifts. Having our son prayed over at church on Sunday. Talking to the baby and telling him we love him.

Monday, February 6, 2012

And the baby leaped in his mother's womb...

One thing that has been amazing during this pregnancy is just how many people's miracle this is. Of course, this is probably one of the biggest miracles my husband and I will ever experience other than the miracle of our salvation, but this pregnancy has been a huge miracle to so many others, too. Our family, our church family, our friends, and even many blog readers (thank you for your sweet comments) have expressed such joy and wonder at seeing how God has worked and created this life.

Yesterday at church my husband and I were near the front of the sanctuary during communion so people could come up and receive prayer, which we do about every 6 weeks or so. A woman who also does prayer from time to time came up to us, and she is one that we have gone to for prayer over the years as we waited on God to give us a family, but she is not in my immediate circle of friends. As she approached, she told us she had recently heard about our miracle, and that she has been joyfully thanking and praising God ever since. She told us she wanted to pray for our little one (even though we were technically the pray-ers that day :), and began to pray.

I have to say that this woman is one that I look up to tremendously as a woman of God who is close to his heart in prayer and scripture. As she prayed, she quoted so much scripture of praise to God, of his ability to create, and of his gracious love for us that I was overwhelmed and began to cry (and she was already crying). She then placed her hand on my belly and prayed for our son beautiful, God-glorifying prayers that he would know the love of God and be a blessing to others in his life. The words just flowed from her mouth and I felt awe-struck at the gift of our son all over again.

While she prayed, I even felt our boy move, and I was reminded of this scripture:

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”  Luke 1:39-45

I know I am not carrying the savior of the world, but I certainly do feel blessed among women! :)

I wish I had been able to record her prayer for myself AND for our son to hear from time to time down the road, but I already cannot remember many specifics. But I am cherishing that time of prayer in my heart and praising God with renewed awe at this miracle all over again. I am also so thankful for a church-family that feels like they are a part of this miracle with us, because SO MANY people had prayed for us. And what a gift it is that they will also be walking along side us as we raise our boy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

{21 weeks}

21 weeks

Size of baby: banana (approx. 10.5" and 12.7 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +10 lbs
Continuing symptoms: Round ligament pain, slight nose congestion
New symptoms this week: It was a pretty uneventful week symptom-wise!
Maternity Clothes: I guess it's true with any wardrobe, but there are some of my maternity tops that I love and others just don't look that cute. Maybe I will fill them in more later and they will look cuter?

Sleep: I actually slept pretty well this week and my hips didn't ache as much when I woke up.
What I'm Eating: Still enjoying a glass of milk before bed and loving Mexican food.
Cravings: Refried beans!
Movement: All the time! I still don't really feel him when I am walking around or doing something, but I feel like he is an active little guy. I also think I started feeling him on my bladder this week. His movements don't make me have to pee or make me uncomfortable yet (he's probably still too small), but it's just a weird little twinge I have felt a couple times when my bladder was a little full.

Special pregnancy moments: As you know, I had already started putting together the nursery before I was even pregnant because we were adopting. After getting pregnant I just couldn't go in there. I think it was mostly part of the first-trimester anxiety, but I also think I needed some space from it to process the change of events that occurred so suddenly. Now I am going in the room all the time, and am getting excited to hang pictures and put the finishing touches on the room. I have also been sorting, washing, ans putting away clothes which has been so much fun!