Tag Archives: 1st trimester

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.

She Says… Catching Up

Thank you all so, so much for the wonderful congratulations and sweet comments on last Friday’s post. Every one of your comments and tweets and emails made me a little more excited for this little person to enter our lives in 2013.

So, I’m pregnant! I feel like a little bit of a faker for not sharing the news earlier, but with the last pregnancy being such a roller coaster, and the fact that many readers of my blog now know me in real life (and my work life), I felt that it was important for me to make sure of which way things were going before I shared. That said, it’s SO fun to be “out” publicly.

I wouldn’t have been able to hide the news for very much longer. I may only be 12 weeks, but y’all, I am BIG. Like, the equivalent of my 16 week belly pic when I was pregnant with Owen. That’s nearly a MONTH ahead in terms of baby bump growth. I can only hope this super duper waist expansion tapers off at some point, and I don’t end up looking 4 weeks “bigger” at the end than I was at the end of my pregnancy with Owen… I think I was pretty much maxed out at that point (remember how big I was when we got our new car, only 2 days before Owen was born?). That said, looking pregnant so early is kind of a blessing in disguise. I had a VERY short period of looking “kind-of-fat-but-not-yet-pregnant”, and moved quickly into baby bump territory. There’s no denying the news now!

I hesitate to even write this, because I feel like some sort of bad juju is going to bite me in the arse (and I know many pregnant women have it so much harder than I have), but I have felt really, really good so far. Yes, there were little things like food aversions and indigestion, but overall this baby has been particularly good to me. I really can’t complain. I’m so darn THANKFUL to be pregnant at all that I will take it all with a smile.

The exhaustion, though, is another story. I remember being tired when I was pregnant with Owen. Sure. But at that point I had nothing going on in my life other than work and grocery shopping and going to the gym, so when I was tired, I sat down. I put my feet up. I took a nap. This time, with a rambunctious 2 year old demanding my attention every second (not to mention spending the last few weeks working through every kind of illness known to man), that’s just not possible. The exhaustion has pretty much kicked my ass. By 7pm every night when Owen goes to bed, I’m sore like I worked out at the gym all day long and ready to crawl in bed for the night. Out for the count. I seem to remember a huge increase in energy soon after Christmas with Owen (it’s so helpful to have their due dates so close, as I can remember when things happened and it will be roughly the same), so I’m crossing my fingers that comes soon. I am wiped.

So though I haven’t been sick, I have had some other weird pregnancy symptoms that took me by surprise (aka things that didn’t happen with Owen). My childhood exercise-induced asthma has returned. When I was a kid I used to huff and puff when I had to run (especially outside), and I hated gym class. I was also a little, uh, round, so I attributed it mostly to being out of shape. But I had an emergency inhaler and used it mostly when I had to exercise out in the cold, and given my family history and the fact that Owen likely got his asthma issues from me, I have come to terms with the fact that the asthma is real for me. Apparently pregnancy often exacerbates asthma, so it’s not uncommon that I’m finding my chest getting tight when running up the stairs or briskly walking outside. I’m starting to use an inhaler prior to exercising to keep it at bay, as it is relatively minor right now. I also am having random nosebleeds and patches of super dry skin on my hands. Weird little quirks as my body adjusts to pregnancy. Bodies are amazing.

The biggest thing I’m surprised to feel so strongly is guilt about what I’m not doing for Baby #2. We don’t have a cute nickname. I haven’t written a single letter or kept a journal. I haven’t spent hours dreaming about if it’s a boy or a girl, or what color we should paint the nursery. Frankly, and understandably, I was scared to get attached this time. I’m barely getting my inbox cleaned out since the holiday rush, and cooking dinner has become a chore, as I’m dead tired. It’s classic 2nd child syndrome. I knew it was going to happen. In my mind I KNOW it’s ok. But I also wonder if this child will grow up one day and wonder where his or her letters are, and weekly pictures in the womb, and wonder if I loved him or her any less than Owen.

Weekly pictures are not even on the radar this time, but I do want to make sure I chronicle this pregnancy in the same thoughtful, reflective and conscientious way that I did with my first.

Did you do the same sort of “tracking” with each pregnancy or did you do something different? Definitely open to suggestions!

She Says… Couldn’t Resist

So while I was shopping for my first round of maternity clothes over the weekend, I ventured into the Gap. And in this particular Gap, the maternity clothes were in the Gap Baby section. I was beelining for a cute sweater for me when something caught my eye. Something I just couldn’t leave the store without.

It was THIS:

I’ve been a bit superstitious up to this point, not wanting to buy anything until I was sure that the little babe was going to be around to enjoy it. Apparently I’m over that. I walked out with this tiny onesie in tow, and a huge, huge smile on my face.

She Says… Celebrate Good Times

A few months ago some friends of ours gave us a gift certificate to a fancy shmancy restaurant. When we were trying to conceive, I set it aside and decided that we would use it to celebrate when I [finally] got pregnant (Side note: Why is it that so many women/couples struggling to conceive often put off good things until that magical day comes? Live it up, ladies! You’re already dealing with so much stress, just buy that new purse or go out to dinner. Why make yourself suffer doubly?). But then we found out the happy news the day before Thanksgiving, a.k.a. before eating so gluttonously that we couldn’t imagine going out to another multi-course meal. And then the all-day nausea set in, and I wanted to go out to a lovely dinner about as much as I wanted to stick flaming hot pokers in my eyes. And then it was Christmas and we were crazy and traveling all over the East coast. So as the weeks went by, and I silently held my breath for the 12 week mark, I mentally reserved the gift certificate for that deadline.

Lo and behold, it finally came. 12 weeks, and the dinner I had so been looking forward to! On Saturday night, Benjamin and I got dolled up and headed out for a romantic dinner for two (well, three). This restaurant is a teeny, tiny gem hidden in a very cute part of town not far from our house. The food is based on pure ingredients, locally produced and sourced whenever possible, and prepared with the flair that only a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef could imagine. It was beautiful food in every sense of the word. We both took advantage of the 6-course tasting menu (I got the vegetarian, Benjamin got the meat-eater’s special… with suckling pig prepared three ways as the main dish!). What an incredible way to taste all of the creative concoctions the talented chefs came up with. We were in foodie heaven.

And, might I add, it was the most romantic date we’ve been on in, well, well over 12 weeks.

She Says… I’m back!

I’ve heard other women describe this point in their pregnancies before. Many say that all of a sudden, one morning around 12 or 13 weeks they woke up and felt fabulous. The nausea of the first trimester was mysteriously gone, their energy and sex drive increased, and they began to LOVE being pregnant. A few weeks ago, in the throes of all-day nausea, excruciating exhaustion and an intense fear that any minute something was going to go wrong with the tiny baby growing inside me, I really couldn’t imagine waking up one morning and having it all be gone.

And while it didn’t happen all in one morning for me, over the last week or so I have started to feel the fog lift. The nausea has passed, I have been able to make it through a normal work day without falling asleep at my desk, and hitting the 12 week mark has almost entirely eased my fears about miscarriage. Now, I’ll be the first to say that my 1st trimester experience was NOT THAT BAD. My sister, for instance, spent nearly 6 months puking every day with her current pregnancy. I never threw up once. But as I’ve started to feel more like my pre-pregnancy self over the last few days, I’ve realized just how out of whack I had been.

One of my favorite things in the world is cooking. It’s like therapy to me. It’s my passion. I love the process of menu planning, trying new ingredients, and the sounds and smells of chopping, sizzling, roasting, baking, etc. And I love having a husband who both appreciates my love of cooking, and is willing to try all of my new recipes with an open mind. The other night, after a run of pizza, frozen pasta with vegetables, and grocery store salad bar for dinner, he said to me, “Honey, I miss your cooking”. And that was that, all of a sudden I wanted to get back in the kitchen again. The lovely combo of nausea and exhaustion had pretty much kept me out of the kitchen for the last few weeks. Oh don’t get me wrong, you could often catch me with one hand in the pantry or rummaging through the ‘fridge, but I hadn’t made a delicious home cooked meal in weeks. Which is really unlike me. So I’m spending today flipping through my “Cooking Light” and “Every Day with Rachael Ray” magazines and finding the pages I dog-eared months ago, before I started wanting only crackers and bagels. It’s going to be a delicious week! I might even kick-start the week with some homemade bread today. Yum.

I know, I know, I used to write about exercising a lot. Somehow I went from someone who obsessed over just how much I could exercise while trying to conceive, to someone who barely went to the gym at all in the last 2 months. I blame it on the exhaustion. I could barely get myself to work and back without feeling like I was going to die. But, as with so many other symptoms, the exhaustion is disappearing and I’ve had the opportunity to hit the gym more often in the last two weeks. It feels awesome! I’ve always wanted to be the cute, pregnant lady workin’ it out on the elliptical, not the overly fat one sitting on the couch stuffing her face. I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I’ve been a bit more of the latter recently. But now I feel like a new life has been breathed into me. I’m back! I’m back at the gym, I’m back to yoga almost every morning, I’m back to enjoying breaking a sweat and feeling sore muscles the morning after a really great workout. I still have quite a bit of work to do to get back to my previous level of fitness, but I’m working up to it slowly and adapting my routine for my new pregnant body.

Not going to go into great detail here, since now all of our friends and family are reading (hi, Mom!), but let’s just say that the first trimester put a bit of a damper on our sex life. Between feeling pukey and being exhausted by 3pm, I wasn’t really up for a lot of action. Couple that with fear that sex will somehow increase the risk of miscarriage, and you have a recipe for, ummm, a bit of a dry spell. That said, I feel like the tide is turning. I’m sure Benjamin will be happiest about this new development 🙂

So, to all the ladies struggling through the 1st trimester… trust me, it will pass! And all those who have made it through this miraculous transformation can understand the relief and excitement I feel for the next trimester. Yay!

She Says… 12 Weeks!

You did it, Piccolini! You made it to 12 weeks!

I am so proud of you. And me, frankly. For most of 2009, I thought this day would never come. And for a few weeks of the first trimester, I thought I might not ever recover from being so incredibly exhausted and constantly nauseous. But we both made it. After this week, the risk of miscarriage drops to less than 1%. Those are odds even a very conservative gambler would take! I can finally begin to believe that you are real, and that I’ll see your precious little face in August.

As we move into the second trimester, you shift into the growth and maturation stage. After weeks of critical development, almost all of your systems are fully formed. Wow. Now all you have to do is grow, grow, grow! I’d like you to be a bit bigger than a plum when you join the world, mmmkay? You can now move spontaneously, suck your thumb, and even get hiccups! How cute. Although I might not think so when your hiccups shake my stomach in a few more weeks. Your vocal cords are completely formed and you can (and sometimes do) cry silently. That just about breaks my heart. But I know you’re not really sad in there, you’re just testing out your tiny body.

I am beginning to sport quite the little baby bump! My stomach has a soft curve that is slowly but surely looking less fat and more pregnant. When I stood up yesterday, a close friend at work pointed and smiled. She guessed! Apparently that means it’s no longer a secret. I made an announcement when I introduced myself to the group of new hires who I am training this week and it was SO MUCH FUN to say out loud, “I’m expecting my first baby in August!”. I only wish that your daddy could be having the same sort of daily excitement as I am at this point. My energy is coming back as I recover from my cold and my nausea is almost entirely gone, so aside from needing to eat often and less than normal at each sitting, I am beginning to feel like my pre-pregnancy self again. I think I’m going to like this next trimester 🙂

I’m so excited to share you with others as I begin to show. I love knowing that you’re nestled down in my tummy, and that you’re with me all the time. I love protecting you and changing my life and my habits to accommodate you.

You are already the best thing I’ve ever had a hand in making. I love you.

He Says… Weekend Escape

We have both been neglecting our blog duties, but we took a weekend away for a little rest and relaxation to my parents’ house in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Well it was not entirely restful, as Kate is almost getting over her week long cold, and I managed to finally get it from her, so we spent each night feeling extremely parched from the dry weather and sore throats.  There was a lot of nose blowing and foggy headedness.  Fun.  But we did manage to get out for some fun activities.  We had a couple friends up there with us and on Saturday I went downhill skiing with them (Kate stayed home as we decided downhill skiing was not a great idea for the pregnant lady).  On Sunday we all went cross-country skiing (which Kate and I both prefer over downhill anyways).

Despite our ailments it was a nice weekend away though, with lots of eating and drinking (I am still drinking for 2, don’t worry).  But now it’s nice to be back home again, and back to our normal schedules and back to blogging.  And Wednesday we (can I say we?) begin our second trimester which is very exciting indeed.

And I leave you with a picture of our big baby Schnitzel, who loves romping around in the snowy wilderness.

She Says… Waterworks

Tear_II_by_usedbybertxpng.jpg image by crazykd316I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again: I am not a crier. Well, the non-pregnant me is not a crier. The pregnant me? Wooo boy, better keep those tissues handy. I don’t know if it’s that I’ve become more sentimental, or if I’m holding in a lot of emotions about the pregnancy and I enjoy the catharsis of tears, or if it’s just those crazy pregnancy hormones… but I can’t seem to go a day five minutes without my eyes brimming.

Usually it’s happy things. For instance, I was watching a really horrible movie yesterday (while trying to nurse my nasty cold) in which Heather Graham finds out she has one egg left and two weeks until she ovulates to find a man to have sex with her to create the baby she’s always dreamed of. Now, anyone who has struggled with infertility (or has ANY idea about how babies are made) knows how absolutely ridiculous this premise is. But I kid you not, I cried anyway when she saw that little plus sign. Ok, and in the interest of full disclosure, I cried again when she announced the news to her [new] husband at his birthday party.

Sometimes it’s baby-related things. The other day I was on the treadmill at the gym, flipping through the first issue of my new subscription to Parents magazine (hey, you can never start too early!). I turned the page and saw the most adorable ad with a chubby Asian baby smiling up at the camera, apparently enjoying her new diapers or something. I couldn’t believe it, but my eyes teared up! And then I started laughing at myself for being SUCH a sap. And there I am, laughing and crying on the treadmill in the middle of the gym. I also downloaded an audio session of prenatal yoga to do several mornings a week. The instructor, in her low, raspy voice, says things like, “Make room for the little life growing inside you”, and I swear to you, the tears are streaming down my cheeks while I’m trying to hold a downward facing dog.

Rarely, but once in awhile, it’s sad/frustrating/pitiful things. Over the last few days I have been plagued with an awful, awful head cold. It’s been so long since I was sick that I forgot how horrible it feels to not be able to breathe through your nose, or, worse, to have to blow it all day long and still get no relief from the sinus pressure that just might make your head explode. Since I’m pregnant, I can’t take any of those magical drugs like Nyquil that help you get a good night’s sleep amidst the congestion, so I’ve been relying on old school methods like a humidifier, cough drops, and lots of tea. They are not as effective as drugs. Believe me. And a few times over the last few days I have found myself tearful at the thought of another minute with a stuffy nose/head, and crying with the frustration of not being able to sleep. I know… wah, wah, poor me, right?

For the first time since we met, I can finally give my emotional husband a run for his money 🙂  Only 11 weeks in, and pregnancy has already changed me so much.

She Says… 11 Weeks

My darling Piccolini,

11 weeks! I truly can’t believe you’ve been growing for that long. We are one week away from the end of the first trimester, the huge milestone for which I have been holding my breath since the very beginning of your dear, little life. Not to wish away these first few months, because they have been such an amazing time for me to grow and change with you, but they’ve also been pretty physically uncomfortable for me, overshadowed by all-day nausea and indigestion and filled with fear that something was going to go wrong and you would leave us. It will make me very happy to put that period behind us and move forward into the second trimester, when I can really start to believe that I’m going to meet you in August, and begin to realize just how much my life will change with you in it.

This week you are nearly 2 1/2 inches, the size of a lime! I could hold you in the palm of my hand. You still seem so tiny, but it’s incredible how much bigger you are now than you were just a few, short weeks ago. You now have a 1:1 ratio between your body and head, and you have skin so transparent that your blood vessels show right through it. Your fingers and toes are no longer webbed, and hair follicles, tooth buds, and nail beds are forming — you’re turning into quite the cute, little baby! I’m so proud to have played a part in creating you.

Last night I got the worst night’s sleep I have gotten in a very long time. But this time it wasn’t your fault! I have a terrible head cold. My sinuses are congested, my throat is scratchy and I have a dry cough that makes it hard to breathe. Yuck! Normally I would have taken some medicine, but I was too nervous about harming you with chemicals, so I stuck it out. I am rarely sick, and I had forgotten how frustrating it is to feel so helpless. It made me think of all the nights we will undoubtedly stay up together when you are sick. Although right now that seems a lifetime away, it really won’t be that long until you’re here and you need your daddy and I to take care of you. Staying up all night when you’re sick is never fun, but I will gladly do it with you whenever you need me to.

So hang in there for one more week and we’ll have a little party to celebrate your big accomplishment of making it through the first trimester. Dad and I have a special dinner planned already. Keep on growing and getting cuter!

I think about you constantly. I love you already.


She Says… Another First

Guess what I did for the first time the other day? I’ll give you a clue…

Yep, that’s right. I bought my first pair of maternity jeans. Now, I’m coming up on 11 weeks. And I know some women don’t need to get maternity clothes until a few more weeks have passed, but I am one of those lucky women who gains almost all of her weight in her thighs and hips. And therefore, the struggle to button my jeans for the last few weeks has now blossomed into a struggle to squeeze them up and over my hips when I have to go to the bathroom. Not fun. So I bit the bullet, buzzed on over to Target and bought some elastic-waist jeans.

The verdict? THEY ARE AMAZING. I have never been so comfortable in my life. Why doesn’t everyone wear stretchy-topped pants? It’s like wearing sweatpants all day. Only you look presentable. Cute, even!

The whole experience was SO exciting to me. Some women are disappointed and embarrassed when they have to move from their regular clothes into maternity clothes. Me? I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment for ages. I’ve been almost as excited about getting maternity clothes as I was to get pregnant. Ok, nowhere near that much. But seriously, I’ve always, always wanted to be the cute, pregnant lady with the round belly sticking out from her maternity shirt. And I’m well on my way. My shirts are getting tighter now too, so another maternity shopping trip is in my future very soon. And I don’t care that I’m only 11 weeks. I’m thrilled!

When did you start wearing maternity clothes? Which items did you find the most useful throughout your pregnancy? My budget is not limitless (though I sure wish it was!) so I need to buy strategically.