Tag Archives: 2nd trimester

She Says… The Easter Bunny Came!

Eggs were dyed…

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and eaten.

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The Easter basket was hidden (in the bathtub!)…

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… found,

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… and immediately dug through.

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Bellies were filled. Well, mine with a big, active baby (and a few Peeps and peanut butter eggs) and Owen’s with more chocolate and sugar than his little body has ever experienced.

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I regulated the treats well at home (only put 2 Peeps and 2 marshmallows in the basket, allowed him to choose ONE to have when he opened his basket, and then put the rest away as special treats to be awarded after eating good dinners).

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But I restrained myself from controlling him while we let him go wild on an Easter egg hunt at his Grammy and Grampy’s. I’m working on loosening my grip on stuff like this. Though they only put treats in a few of the eggs, Owen promptly stuffed his face with waaaaay more chocolate than he’d ever eaten in a day and didn’t eat a bite of dinner that night.

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On the ride home Owen started whining that he was hungry… then that he had to poop… then that he was going to be sick. Clearly his “dinner” of sugar didn’t sit very well.

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But in the end we made it home without any bodily fluid accidents and he slept like a rock, despite no dinner, a late bedtime and no bath (which may be the first time we’ve ever skipped bath since he was 4 months old).

Easter WIN.

She Says… Art vs. Science

Dear little one,

We are 24 weeks along in this somewhere-around-40-week-long incubation period (though since Owen only stayed put for 38, we’re thinking you may do the same). Although I was pretty tired in the first trimester and pretty sick for the month or two after that, you’ve made this INCREDIBLY easy on me so far. So easy that I fear that once you come out I will have to pay the price for having it so easy now. Let’s just stick with you being a piece of cake, eh?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I feel SO PREGNANT. I look consistently about 5 weeks “larger” than I did with Owen. Thankfully, so far at least, I’ve gained significantly less weight. So we’re doing pretty well in that department. I’m finding it harder to exercise this time around (no time! no time!), but I’m working on fitting in walks and quick strength training whenever I can do it. Better than nothing, but certainly not the “gym 4 times a week” regimen I was used to when I was pregnant with Owen. Still surprises me how much weight I gained while pregnant with him given how I was exercising.

Finally the sun has started to melt the crazy amounts of snow we got over this long, long winter, and I am seeing little reminders of what the warmer weather feels like. We’ll be strolling around town without jackets in a matter of weeks! Hallelujah! Still, it feels like it’s taking forever to get here and I’m so tired of wearing gloves and parkas. Also, we’re quickly approaching the “I can’t zip my coat” stage, so spring better come soon. Or else you and I are going to be 1) homebound to stay warm, or 2) wearing one of Daddy’s coats or a burlap sack, which is not a fashion statement I’d like to make, if possible.

I am so excited to know you are a boy, and to know your name. Daddy and I try it on for size after Owen has gone to bed or when we’re talking and it’s just the two of us. I love to say it, and to write it down. I’m fairly certain I’m going to let it slip to someone else by accident, since I’m getting used to saying it out loud, but we’re doing our best to keep it a secret. Our little secret. I hope you will love it too. I haven’t even met you yet, but I feel like it suits you.

I’ve noticed something that is remarkably different being pregnant with you. When I was pregnant the first time, I was consumed by the science of pregnancy. How those teeny tiny cells turn into a person. What was growing during each week and how your tiny body was forming. While I’m no less in awe of that process this time around, I am struck by how much less I am focusing on the science and how much more I am focusing on the art. Feeling you kick and roll and poke and arch inside me feels less medical and more magical. I’m barely reading the “what’s going on this week” emails and more just enjoying the simplicity and joy of keeping  you safely tucked away from the world. I’m thinking about the music and the voices and the sounds that you’re hearing. I’m noticing our daily routines and patterns and when you’re awake and when you’re asleep. I’m savoring every minute in a different way than I did with Owen. I don’t know how to describe it except to say that I am peacefully enjoying this time with you.

Growing you has been one of the greatest joys of my life so far. You are a masterpiece already.

I have one little request… can you calm down in there a little bit? It’s only week 24 and you are already so much stronger and more active than your brother. I really didn’t think that was possible. I fear for my internal organs as you get bigger.

All the love in the world… and then some,
Mommy

She Says… F is for Fail

… but it’s also for Fine.

I failed my 1 hour glucose screening. And not just by a little bit.

Surprisingly, the logistics of having Owen there with me were nothing at all to worry about. Instead of sending the sugary drink home ahead of the appointment time (as some people mentioned in the comments yesterday), my doctor’s office does the test on a day when you already have an appointment scheduled. So Owen and I checked in, I downed my drink (not that bad at all, for those who haven’t had it… just like a really sweet, flat orange soda) in the allotted 5 minutes, and then we headed upstairs to see my midwife for our regularly scheduled appointment.

Owen was totally entertained by tagging along, watching me get weighed and have my blood pressure taken and asking all kinds of questions about the room (“why is there paper on the bed?” “what does this button do?” “what’s that?” “and that?” “and that?” “Is she gonna use this ear thing on you?”). He goes to the doctor so much that he is really comfortable and loves asking about all of the tools. My midwife was so sweet and even let him help put the gel on the heartrate monitor and hold it up to my belly so we could listen to the baby’s heartbeat. I strung Owen along with snacks and a few minutes of playing on my phone at a time until the appointment was over, and then it was the perfect time to go get my blood drawn.

All in all, very easy.

You know, until I got my results this morning. Normal glucose screening range is 65-139 mg/dl, and mine was 181 mg/dl. Ouch.

Owen is back at school this morning (his breathing treatments and good sleep yesterday helped immensely) and I desperately need to spend my day getting productive work done, since yesterday was kind of a bust. So I’m forcing myself not to Google this all day long. The bottom line, as the nurse assured me this morning, is that 1) we will go ahead and do the 3 hour test to confirm, since many women fail the first screening and go on to have normal results at the full, 3 hour test after 8+ hours of fasting and 2) that even if I do have gestational diabetes, there is NOTHING I could have done to change it. It is not a result of my own diet or exercise, and “gaming” the test (eating/not eating) doesn’t really change the final results. And, of course, if I do have it, it’s better to know ahead of time so we can manage it.

So, while the 1st F word of the day is “Fail”, the 2nd is “Fine”. It’s all going to be fine.

Right? Right.

Thank you for all of your supportive comments and stories yesterday — I appreciate them so much!

She Says… Pile Up

I got “the call” from daycare yesterday afternoon. Owen had a fever over 102 after his nap.

In pure Owen fashion he was all smiles and acting fine, but when I picked him up I could see the puffy/red eyes and low energy level that always tells me when he’s not feeling well. The first thing he said was, “I get to watch tv? And drink warm water with honey and lemon?”. Ha!

(The answer was yes to both.).

Due to the high fever yesterday, he couldn’t go to school today. Fortunately I can work from home today and get almost all of my work done during naptime and after Owen goes to bed. Phew.

He’s been battling some serious congestion for the last week or so (as have I… mine is still lingering from my flu/sinus infection so many weeks ago), so I wasn’t actually surprised that it finally caught up with him and turned into something. It seems like a run-of-the-mill cold, but any parent of a kid with asthma will tell you that asthma can turn even the most minor cold into something very serious very quickly. At this point I’ve been through enough respiratory infections to know what to listen for, and although his breathing sounded a little thin, there was no wheezing or retractions. I also know better than to consider us “in the clear”, though, so I watched him really carefully.

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After a strict regimen of inhalers, nebulizers, humidifiers and lots of warm water with honey and lemon (a new favorite “treat” since I’ve been drinking a lot of tea to get rid of my own post-nasal drip), he seems to be doing a bit better. Lots of congestion, but his fever is down and his asthma seems under control, so I don’t feel the need to take him to the doctor.

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Well, except to MY doctor. My gestational diabetes test is this afternoon. You know, the one I’ve been stressing over. You know, the one where you have to wait for over an hour just to get blood drawn after drinking the sugary drink. You know, like, the hardest appointment ever to have to bring an under-the-weather 2 year old to. Where he’ll be forced to sit in a doctor’s waiting room for an excruciatingly long time, undoubtedly gathering more germs than he’s bringing in, while we wait.

Also? How cruel is it to schedule a gestational diabetes test late in the afternoon? When I was pregnant with Owen I did it first thing in the morning and had just protein for breakfast. No chance to screw up the test with carbs/sugar. Now I’ve had to eat all day (some people even fast to make sure they don’t screw up the results… but I would be crazy to fast all day, especially while pregnant!) and I’m about a million times more worried about the test than I even was before. Oh joy.

So, off to get 8 hours of work done in a 2.5 hour naptime. The clock starts… now.

Send me happy, low blood sugar thoughts for this afternoon!

She Says… Worries

This pregnancy (aside from the whole “getting” and “staying” pregnant, at least) has been so easy that a part of me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, I was exhausted in the first trimester. Yes, I had some food aversions and preferred bagels to salads for a few weeks. Yes, I’ve struggled (and am still struggling) with staying well while pregnancy seems to have zapped my immune system entirely. But in the grand scheme of pregnancy issues… these are tiny. I’ve had it easy so far, and every time I say it, I feel like I’m jinxing myself.

It can’t be this easy the whole time, can it?

Who knows.

I was very cautious and nervous in the first trimester, since it was only a few months after my miscarriage. I was scared of a million things, all with the same outcome: that this baby wouldn’t grow to be the healthy baby I dreamed of. But in a way this worry was easy to put aside, because the reality was that the worst had already happened, and I survived. If the baby wasn’t healthy, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. We would be ok. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and this baby has grown beautifully so far.

So now I’m past the point of worrying about the pregnancy being viable, and I’ve moved on to worry about other things. Believe me, I know something could still go wrong while he’s growing in my belly, but the odds are in my favor at this point.

So what am I worrying about now?

  • I don’t think I ever blogged about this before, but it was something I feared when I was pregnant with Owen as well. Benjamin was born with strabismus, which in his case meant that his eyes were crossed. I know a lot of babies look cross-eyed in the beginning, but his situation was more permanent and extreme and had to be corrected with multiple surgeries. Apparently 4% of kids are born with this, so it’s not crazy rare, and chances are there are even better treatments available for it now as compared to when Benjamin was born. Even though I know he turned out ok (kidding! he turned out more than ok!), it still scares me to imagine my beautiful newborn being born with crossed eyes and eventually needing surgeries to correct it.
  • Gestational diabetes. I don’t have any family history of diabetes and didn’t show any signs of it with my first pregnancy, but having polycystic ovarian syndrome puts you at higher risk for gestational diabetes, so my doctor is testing me earlier than is normal in my pregnancy (probably later this week). I exercise and eat pretty well (ahem, with a healthy dose of Girl Scout cookies and other treats!), but I’m still nervous about having the condition and having to closely monitor myself for the rest of my pregnancy. Not to mention the possible issues for the baby once he is born.
  • Breastfeeding. Those of you who were reading when Owen was a wee babe will remember that breastfeeding and the challenges we faced quite literally consumed me from the time he was born until I made the excruciating decision to stop when he was 3 months old, and then continued to exclusively pump for 2 more months. B-R-U-T-A-L, I tell you. I have pretty much blocked a lot of that time out of my memory, but recently I was reminded of it when I came across my tattered spiral notebook where I kept notes about every feeding and how it went, how long it took, how Owen acted, how much he weighed, etc. The pages are tear-stained and worn, and just holding the book in my hand brought back memories I would rather forget. I have heard so many uplifting stories about mothers who had similar struggles with Baby #1 and went on to nurse Baby #2 or other children successfully. I know it’s possible. I also know that I will NOT obsess and lose myself in the process this time around — I will do my best to make it work, and if it doesn’t, I will have the perspective to see that it’s ok (read: BEST!) to stop if that’s what works for my family. Still, I’m scared. I’m scared to try it again. I’m scared to fail again.

Oh, and I still have a weird phobia of having a child born with a full set of teeth (it happens!). Strange and unfounded, that one.

What did you fear while you were pregnant?

She Says… Names, Nurseries and Nesting

Let me start off by saying that I am crazy. I know I am crazy. I do not have to be thinking about this stuff so early, and there are probably lots more pressing things that should be on my To Do list. But hey. Everyone has their things that they love to do. That they love to go overboard on. For me, right now, it’s dreaming aimlessly about the baby.

NAMES
I hesitate to even say this because I know it’s not the case for most couples, but Benjamin and I are nearly 100% on the same page when it comes to baby names. Before we found out if Owen was a boy or girl, we had a boy name and a girl name (first and middle names) all picked out. No fighting, no convincing, no stress. We just… agreed.

We kept Owen’s name a secret until he was born, even from our families. I loved the idea of the surprise when we first introduced him to the world, and I hated the idea of anyone other than Benjamin talking to my stomach like it was a person. Ew. We definitely plan to do the same for this baby.

Last night we agreed on the new baby’s name. It feels so exciting to begin to think about him as a little person instead of just an idea. I wrote the name out a few times like a teenage girl practicing her signature if she married her high school boyfriend. Except in this case, I was thinking about possible things that could be wrong with it. Too long, too short, would people misspell it, do the initials spell anything strange, how does it look and sound with our last name, and on and on. Crazy. I know. Even though I did the same for Owen I did not realize until the day he was born that his first two initials are O.J. (Owen James). Yuck. Now I’m just banking on the fact that when he grows up, people won’t really talk about O.J. Simpson much!

While I am so, so, so excited for Owen to have a brother, thinking about names makes me feel a twinge of sadness that we may never get to use the girls’ names that we love so much. I guess we’ll just have to have a few more babies…

NURSERIES
Ah, the nursery. Yet another thing that I do not need to figure out immediately, but can’t stop thinking about. I remember having a yearning to plan Owen’s nursery when we found out he was a boy, and it was one of the most fun things we did to prepare for his arrival. Now that I’ve been through this baby thing once before, I know that you don’t really need things like matching bedding sets or even a crib in the early days, necessarily… but still, the process of creating a space just for this little baby is something that makes me so happy and builds the excitement for him to join us. So I’m going to do it anyway.

A while ago I started a Pinterest board with baby things I loved (after Owen was through this stage). This has become a great starting place for the new nursery plans. It’s fun to pin things that I like and then look at them all together and see that I already seem to have a design plan I’m drawn to, even though I hadn’t thought about it that way. So far it’s looking like gray and white with pops of orange. We’re reusing Owen’s crib and changing table (which I still adore) and perhaps even the rocking chair (though unfortunately I feel like the rocking chair was the only thing I picked “wrong” the first time around… it’s not terribly comfortable, which is incredibly important, especially if breastfeeding works out this time!). Any tips on choosing gliders, particularly for short people?

NESTING
The nursery planning is the beginning of the nesting I’m feeling, but yesterday I ventured up into our attic to find a book and saw the boxes of baby stuff I had put away after Owen was born. Now all I can think about is getting back up there to bring the boxes down and sort, wash, organize, etc. I know. I’m crazy.

Did you and your partner agree on names, or were you unsure until the baby was born? Was the nursery an important part of your “nesting” and prepping for the new arrival?

She Says… It’s a…

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Owen may be disappointed at first, since his little heart was set on a sister. But I must say, thinking of Owen and his little BROTHER growing up together makes my heart swell.

A little brother. Another baby boy.

We couldn’t be happier.

She Says… You! You’re there!

My little acrobat,

I felt you today! Whatever it was that I felt a few weeks ago was not really you, or, at least, it wasn’t as clearly you as this was. This morning, after wolfing down a bagel with cream cheese and some fruit (free breakfast on Fridays at work!), I was sitting at my computer going through my emails and it happened. It was just one, single tap. I froze, fingers hovering over the keyboard, and before I knew it I was smiling. Immediately I recognized what that feeling was.

It was you. Saying hi.

A few minutes later, there was another tap, deep down in my pelvis. And after that, one more, before you fell asleep or changed positions. And I have to tell you something. Something that I didn’t want to admit. I was worried that since you are the second beautiful little person that has grown inside my body that things wouldn’t be as exciting or as new or as special as they were the first time around. But you want to know something? I can assure you that is not the case. I am cherishing every move you make inside my belly and every breath you will take once you “pop out”, as Owen says you will “when you are bigger”. It is no less amazing simply because it has happened before. It’s always a miracle. I remember my mom, your Rah Rah, telling me that over and over again, but I feel it now, more than ever. Feeling you move today was just as awe-inspiring as it was with Owen, and perhaps even more so, because I knew exactly what I was feeling. I knew it was you.

Right now you are about the size of an avocado, which is ironic, because that has been all I want to eat recently. Well, not all, exactly, but I’d be happy to eat a whole one at every meal if I could. Straight up, a little salt, with a spoon. (When will you be the size of a jar of peanut butter? That’s my other guilty pleasure…). So far you have made this pregnancy incredibly easy on my body. Little to no sickness, and, as of yet, very little weight gain (unlike your brother, who had me packing on the pounds from the very start, despite the fact that my starting weight for both pregnancies was the same). The only way I remember I’m pregnant some days is my rapidly expanding baby bump! I’ve already grown out of some of the clothes I remember wearing until spring when I was pregnant with Owen.

Your blood is pumping, your arms and legs are growing to put you in the proper proportions, and you even have fingernails and toenails already. I’m looking forward to our growth spurt over the next few weeks!

I love you so, so much. And I’m so thrilled that you decided to make today the day you said hi from the inside.

Love,
Mommy

 

She Says… Hello, Little One

Hello, Little One.

I know it’s taken me a long time to write to you. You have been growing inside me for 14 weeks! It wasn’t that I didn’t know you were in there or that I was surprised by you. No, quite the contrary. Daddy and I hoped for you since before you even existed. I knew you were in there even before I got the positive pregnancy test. I just knew.

It’s taken me so long to write to you for two reasons. First, I have become deeply aware that things don’t always work out as planned with babies. There are so many things that can go wrong in the process, and I’ve learned once again, as I did with your big brother Owen, that I am definitely not in control of how/when the miracle of making a baby will happen. So for the first few weeks while I was in shock and awe that you were really in there, growing, I was also scared out of my mind that something was going to go wrong. I hope, when you are older, that you do not have to keep learning this lesson as I have. However, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel so lucky to have you and your brother (and any future babies, should they come along!), no matter what heartache brought you here.

The other reason it took me so long to write to you is that life is busy. Owen is a hilarious, curious, verbose, rambunctious, 2 1/2 year old ball of energy. He never stops moving, asking questions, demanding attention or cracking us up. Work is busy and Daddy’s work forces him to travel a lot. In short, you’re already a part of a crazy whirlwind of a family and it’s only going to get crazier once you arrive. I have no doubt you will grow to love our loud, silly, funny family and you will quickly find that although you’ve just arrived, it’s like you were always a part of it.

But don’t let that make you think, for a second, that you’re being forgotten. You’re not. In fact, you’re more like my best kept secret right now. Of course people can tell that I’m pregnant (boy, can they ever… you sure made yourself known very early on!), but there’s often so much going on that the only one thinking about you daily is me. I was stuck in bed last week with the flu (ugh, it was beyond awful) and though it felt kind of lonely when I couldn’t play with Owen or talk with Daddy, I knew you were there keeping me company. I even think I felt you move around in my belly for the first time when I was laying still in my bed. It’s like you were saying, “Hey, Mommy! I’m here!”.

You are no bigger than a lemon and I already love everything about you.

Owen is totally, completely, head-over-heels in love with you too. He talks about you all the time and often says he wants you to sit next to him when I strap him into his carseat in the car. He is also 100% convinced that you are a girl. A sister. Oh, how it melts me to hear him say that word with such love! I keep trying to tell him that you could be a boy or a girl, but he has stuck to his guns for the last month or more that you are a girl (which, if you know anything about two year olds, you will know is a miracle that he hasn’t changed his mind).

I keep going back and forth between dreaming of you as a boy and as a girl. If you are a boy, I can’t help but laugh thinking of all the wild and crazy shenanigans you are going to get into with your brother. There has been something so special about the mother/son bond that I have with Owen, that would be thrilled to be outnumbered by yet another little guy. And yet, the idea that you are a girl flutters my stomach and makes me dream of the things that only a mother and daughter share. And, as I said, the way that Owen says the word sister makes my heart break into a million little pieces. I am certain we will adore you, whatever you are!

I’m not one to have premonitions about things like this, but I’m kind of thinking you are a boy. Sorry, Owen. We will find out in a few weeks!

We love you, Little One. More than you may ever know. Don’t you ever forget it.

Love,
Mommy

She Says… The End is Near

And no, I don’t meant the end of my life (though, honestly, this flu has brought me pretty close to that!). I mean the end of this gosh darn flu. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It has been a week since I was knocked on my ass by this dreadful illness, and I’m just now emerging from my bedroom for the majority of the day. I’m still finding myself totally and completely worn out by seemingly innocuous things like getting out of bed and making breakfast, but at least I’m vertical for a few hours at a time before having to retreat to my bed to rest. I’m so tired of getting winded from walking up the stairs or telling Owen my body is too tired to run around with him.

We woke up to SNOW this morning (I was so excited about the snow that I threw open the front door with Owen and set off our alarm system — oops!). Maybe it was the snow, or maybe it was the fact that I’m going stir crazy after being quarantined for so long, but I was desperate to get outside today. I dropped Owen off at daycare with his snow gear and anxiously waited for the snow to stop falling so I could start shoveling.

I know shoveling is not the most highly recommended form of exercise for pregnant women or people with the flu, but Benjamin was out of town and I knew it had to get shoveled anyway, so I mustered all of my strength and went to work. It felt GOOD to move my body. Finally. My lungs were working hard and my nose was running, but I think it was good for me to emerge from the cloud of sickness I’ve been in and actually do something.

So I’ve turned a corner. Which means I should be back to regular blogging soon.

The one upside of having this awful flu (other than the fact that I actually painted my nails and was able to sit still until they were actually totally dry — something that never happens normally) is that I’ve had plenty of idle time to sit around and think about this baby. No, not the loud one who is usually badgering me with questions and demanding attention and making me laugh all day long, but the little lemon-sized one who is slowly and quietly growing within me, despite everything else going on. The one who I have not spent nearly enough time thinking about, writing to, imagining.

Although being stuck in my bedroom for the last week was a bit lonely, it also felt like it was the first time I was quiet enough to hear this little person. The first time I was really spending time with just him or her. Time I had so much of when I was pregnant with Owen, but is hard to come by this time around. So, thank you, flu, for helping me tune in to what I’ve been overlooking.

Letters and some sort of belly pic/image to remember these precious weeks are coming.