Week 23: Sh*t Just Got Real! Plus, Upcoming Baby Shower!

Tomorrow I’m flying to NY..for my baby shower! (Oh, and Thanksgiving, but who cares about that? Baby shower!) I had to schedule it for November, even though I’m only 5.5 months pregnant, because I wanted it to be in NY, and at the time when I was discussing it with my mom, I was under the impression that you’re not supposed to fly once you reach seven months pregnant. (Turns out that’s not true.) Since we’re staying in New Orleans for Christmas this year (since we did NY last year), I decided it would make sense to have the baby shower the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

And now it’s almost here!

Honestly, I am just really f*cking excited to be going home. It’s only been six months since I was in NY for Mother’s Day, but it feels like it has been years. I don’t know why it feels that way, but it does. Maybe because sooooo much has happened since then.

Anyway, since I’m having the baby shower earlier than is customary, I also had to prepare a baby registry earlier than usual. Holy effing crap – what a process that was! So overwhelming! But I’ll talk about that in another post. Eventually I got it done, just in time for the invitations to go out.

Yesterday I received the baby’s first gifts – a bouncer and a pack-and-play from my “cousin” Judy! The bouncer came first, and I took a picture of it and sent it to Dave, since he was at work. Afterward I just stared at the box, and all of the sudden, things became really real. I was struck by the fact that in a few months, that bouncer would be out of the box and THERE WOULD BE A BABY IN IT. I mean, I know there’s a baby coming, I can feel it inside me, and of course I’ve imagined the baby once it’s born, but it was still very surreal to think of my baby sitting in the bouncer.


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20 Weeks Down, 20 to Go! (and Finally a Baby Bump Pic!)

6 bumpies small

I finally made it to my halfway point! And more importantly, I finally look like I’m having a baby!

I feel like I JUST started showing, but in reality I’ve had some semblance of a bump since around week 14. The problem was that at various points during the day, that “bump” was hidden by my gut lol. I’d wake up with a bump, but it would disappear and reappear at various points throughout the day. It wasn’t until around week 17 that my bump was present at all times and I decided that I was finally starting to look pregnant.

I’ve been feeling the baby move since around week 17. Laying in bed with my hands pressed against my stomach is one of my new favorite things to do. Dave has only felt the baby once, though.

Last week’s ultrasound went really well. Baby is looking good according to the doctor. Right now he/she is measuring in at 13 ounces…I can’t remember if that was length or weight though! Lol. I have another appointment later today, so I’ll ask my doctor about it then. I think it was weight. Which would make the baby above average, which is 10.5 ounces at 20 weeks.

During the ultrasound I was surprisingly NOT tempted to find out the baby’s gender. The ultrasound tech would have us look away whenever she was in the crotch vicinity. When the doctor came in, the tech told her right away that we didn’t want to find out, so she also had us look away. She was going over all the baby’s body parts and and saying everything was normal, and when she got to the genitals she said “Well, since you don’t want to know if it’s a boy or a girl, all I’ll say is that the genitals look normal too!”

I got some really cute ultrasound pictures. I’ll upload them soon.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, those baby bump pics were taken in the Planet Fitness gym, NOT in my bathroom! At least three of my friends were like “Is that your bathroom??” Haha, no, I wish.

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I decided not to find out the baby’s gender!

Today was supposed to be the big day. I’m nearly halfway through this pregnancy, and today is the day I COULD be finding out if the baby is a boy or a girl. But I’m not. Because I’ve decided to wait until the baby is born. This was a huge decision for me, one that I’ve been wrestling with for almost two months.

Before I got pregnant, I was NOT the type of person to say, “I wouldn’t want to know, I would wait.” I thought people who waited until the baby was born were a little crazy, to be honest. Knowing makes things so much easier! Of course I would respect their decision and NOT call them crazy, but it would always take me a little aback.

(Not that it happened all that often. The majority of people I know found out what they were having beforehand.)

Once I got pregnant, that feeling didn’t change. OF COURSE I’m going to find out what I’m having. Do you even know me??

It didn’t even change when Dave told me HE wanted to wait! With his first son they knew what they were having ahead of time, and he said he would like this one to be a surprise. He said things along the lines of “It’s one of the few real surprises we have left in life.” I wasn’t buying it. I mean, I understood his point, but I didn’t think it was any less of a surprise finding out in October versus March.

But Dave is a smart guy, so he followed his opinions with, “But it’s up to you. Whatever you decide is fine with me.”

Then a funny thing happened. People kept asking me if I was going to find out, and I would reply, “I want to, but Dave wants to wait. I guess I should at least CONSIDER his feelings before doing what I want.” (Haha.) Then I’d explain why he wanted to wait. I think me constantly repeating his reasons for waiting had some weird effect on me, because all of the sudden, I found that I was no longer 100% sure if I wanted to find out! Fortunately I still had a while to decide (until today!).

Another thing that made me question whether I should find out was the fact that I REALLY wanted a girl, and I was scared that I would be REALLY disappointed if it was a boy (which is what my gut is telling me it is). So I started thinking, “Well, I won’t have any time to be disappointed if I wait until the baby is born, because two seconds later my baby will be in my arms.”

All of these different thoughts eventually led me to the decision that we WILL NOT be finding out what we’re having until the baby is born. I told Dave the other night, and he got really happy, and I soon as I said the words, I got this really weird euphoric feeling. So I think I made the right choice!


(P.S. – I’m no longer at the point where I really want a girl. For about a week I really wanted a boy, and now I’m legitimately at the point where I will be happy no matter what I have. So that’s a big relief!)

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Pregnancy woes: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop! (Peeing, that is)

I am so freaking tired of having to pee. SO. FREAKING. TIRED. Since about the sixth week of pregnancy, I think I’ve peed about a million times. No exaggeration, there are days when I literally pee 20 times in one day! Five times in an hour! Sometimes I’ll pee, walk out of the bathroom, and walk straight back in and pee again!

And I’m not talking just a tinkle here and there. No, these are full-on peeing sessions. And I’m tired of it.

No, literally, I am so tired. The peeing doesn’t stop because it’s the middle of the night and I’m sleeping. Nope, not at all. On the nights when I’m not awoken by nausea, I still wake up every few hours to pee. I haven’t slept more than four hours in a row since August. AUGUST. Do you realize how long ago that was?

I know there are normal, biological reasons for this – I’m drinking a shit ton more water now, there’s an influx of hormones in my body (HCG – I thought you were my friend!), and my cervix is pressing against my bladder as the baby grows. But I also think this is Mother Nature’s way of preparing me for life post-baby, when I’ll have to wake up every few hours for feedings and whatnot. So I guess this is a good thing…?

And apparently it all gets worse once you hit the third trimester. Gee, can’t wait.

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Thank you, Saltines, for helping me survive this pregnancy!

I am eternally grateful for the existence of Saltines crackers. These things have given me life soooo many times over the course of this pregnancy.

When I was around 5 weeks pregnant and morning sickness was starting to kick in, my friend told me to keep crackers by my bed at all times. This advice has paid off in spades. I think I’ve gone through five big boxes of Saltines since July. That’s a lot of effin crackers.

I can’t complain too much about my morning sickness, because from what I’ve read of other pregnancy experiences, my first trimester could have been so much worse. I haven’t thrown up once, so apparently I’m #winning. That being said, “morning” sickness has been kicking my ass since the summer, and my only defense has been my Saltines crackers.

It took me a while to realize the full potential of my Saltines. It wasn’t until my fourth or fifth time waking up at 3 am completely nauseous that I had the thought, “Try eating crackers.” It was like a voice from above. I mean, who thinks to eat at 3 in the morning?? Granted, if I’ve just come home after a night of drinking, then yes, I’ll eat at 3 in the morning (or 4 or 5, whatever, just give me some pizza or ramen please). But to wake up sober in your bed and lay in the dark eating crackers while your husband sleeps next to you, blissfully unaware of how much you’re suffering? That was a bit outside of my realm of normalcy. 

But not anymore! Now it is completely normal for me to eat Saltines in bed in the dark. Before I go to bed I open the package a little so that the crinkling plastic doesn’t make too much noise and wake anyone up (it is SO LOUD!!). Yes, they get staler faster, but I go through them so fast that it barely makes a difference.

Sometimes I wish they were a *tiny* bit smaller. They’re too big to fit in my mouth whole, but as soon as you bite them you end up with crumbs! Which I obviously don’t want in my bed. So I have to put my hand over my mouth to keep the crumbs in while I break it into two or three pieces. I’ll roll the chewed-up cracker around my mouth for about 10 seconds, then swallow. I swear, I can feel it make its way down my esophagus into my stomach. It’s weird. Once it reaches my stomach, it’s like magic – I instantly feel a little bit better. I repeat the process 5 or more times (I always need at least 6 crackers), and the nausea goes away and I can get back to sleep.

After I pee, of course. But that’s another post for another day. This post is all about you, Saltines. Thank you. I couldn’t do it without you. :-)

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Prenatal Screening: the Nuchal Translucency Scan (NT scan) (and my 13 week ultrasound!)

Since I’m 36 years old, I am considered a “high-risk pregnancy.” As a result, there are a lot of genetic tests that I’m “encouraged” to take, tests that screen for Down Syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities, and other genetic defects. This extra level of scrutiny that comes with being a “high risk” pregnancy has positives and negatives attached to it.

The positives: The extra genetic tests can only be a good thing in terms of catching anything that might be wrong with the baby. And nowadays the tests generally only consist of a blood test and ultrasound, which is safer for the baby (compared to an amniocentesis, for example).

The negatives: I am hyper aware of all the things that can go wrong and think about it wayyy more often than I otherwise would. Not to mention, way to make a bitch feel old!

So at my first doctor appointment, the doctor asked me if I was interested in genetic testing and specifically if I wanted to take this one test, MaternT21. He said these tests are done very early in the pregnancy in case the results would affect whether you would continue with the pregnancy, and also that my insurance would probably cover it since I’m “high risk.” I told him I’d look into it.

I went home and did research, and was not sure if I wanted the test. The problem is that none of these tests are 100% accurate. How can I make a decision based on that? If the test tells you everything is fine and it isn’t, then what was the point? Or, vice versa, it tells you something may be wrong and you get an abortion based on that wrong info, or you keep the baby and spend the rest of your pregnancy worried and stressed and everything ends up fine! It’s messed up.

My biggest fear, obviously, was getting a negative result. I finally decided that I WOULD take the test, but I would take ANY results with a grain of salt. Plus, this particular test says it can determine the baby’s sex at 10 weeks! That was enticement enough.

In the end, I didn’t take the test. Not because of any misgivings, but because I would have had to meet my deductable before my insurance kicked in, and in total I would have had to pay about $800. No thanks! I was not paying $800 for a test I wasn’t even sure I wanted.

When I went back to the doctor at 12 weeks, the nurse practitioner asked me if I wanted to do this other test, the NT Scan. This one also tests for down syndrome and other stuff, but while the MaternT21 test is (supposedly) 99% accurate, this one is only 85% accurate. However, this test was 100% COVERED by my insurance. So I decided to do it. After all, another ultrasound means another chance to see my baby!

A week later I found myself back at the doctor’s office getting an ultrasound. Dave had to work, so I brought my friend with me instead. I was a little nervous in case they gave me bad news, so I definitely needed some support! And it was so nice to have a female there squealing alongside me whenever the baby moved!

The ultrasound was amaaaaazing. It took about 15 minutes and was sooooo much better than my first ultrasound. The technician would press my belly hard with the ultrasound and you’d see the baby put it’s hands up like “Stop!” And I got to see all sorts of different angles – at one point it was an overhead view and I could actually see the outline of the brain. THE BRAIN! WTH! It was just so crazy. I posted a snippet to my instagram, if you care to watch (link is in the right panel).

No news on the gender front. I had hoped she would be able to see something, but she was quite emphatic that 13 weeks they don’t even attempt to determine the sex, and she barely even looked between the legs (although there were several between the legs shots and I didn’t see anything). However, she did say “he” and “him” a few times when referring to the baby, which I didn’t even notice until I watched the video later that day. Hopefully she was just speaking generically!

baby-13 weeks3blog

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My First Ultrasound

baby-9 weekslab

I had my first ultrasound on August 12, when I was 9 weeks pregnant. I have to say, it was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. Like I said before, it took me quite awhile to actually believe that I was really pregnant. And even when the doctor confirmed it and I logically knew it was true, I still had trouble believing it. It just didn’t seem real.

But then the nurse put that gel on my stomach and started rubbing it with the ultrasound machine, and all of the sudden there was an image of a baby on the overhead monitor. MY baby. It was moving around a lot, waving it’s little arms and legs, and I was just like “Holy shit, there’s a BABY in my belly!”

Dave was there with me, and at some point he scooted his chair closer to me and took my hand. I had been so focused on the monitor and processing the fact that the baby on the monitor was INSIDE ME, that I had forgotten he was there. For that first minute or so it was just me and my baby, nothing else. Then he took my hand and squeezed it, and instead of just me and the baby it was me, him and the baby, and that was a beautiful moment as well.

The ultrasound was amazing…but the pictures I got from it were meh. (In case you didn’t know, the ultrasound is the procedure and the sonogram is the picture it produces. I had to google that.) I had to label them before I sent them to people just so they would know what was what! But I started sending them out right away – first to my mom, then Dave’s mom. Then I sent it to my dad, along with the text “Hi Grandpa!” I hadn’t told him anything up to that point, so as soon as he saw it he called me up so excited!

So yeah, that was a really nice day. :-)

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