Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Thirteenth Week

Here we are at 14 weeks!

This is universally the beginning of the second trimester, so I guess I'm officially in it!  Can you tell I still kind of can't wrap my head around it?  Actually, that's something that could be an entire post in itself: my continuing disbelief that things are really okay and that I'm actually having a healthy pregnancy.  I still haven't announced it on Facebook (I'm not sure I'm going to) or anything, and although I'm not really hiding the news, there are a lot of people that still don't know, because I haven't shouted it from the rooftops or anything.  I guess that's a normal way to feel for someone who has had two miscarriages.  I'm still kind of scared and cautious about the whole thing.  Not to mention, I feel kind of weird about posting a ton of stuff on Facebook about it, knowing how much that used to drive me nuts when we were struggling- to be bombarded with constant updates, ultrasound photos, and belly pics of others I knew that were expecting.  I just don't know if I want to be THAT girl.

Still, on the flip side, I'm doing more thinking, planning, and preparing than I ever have before during pregnancy.  My thirteenth week kicked off with a trip to the For Every Season Consignment Sale with Erin and Lindsay.  This is a big baby consignment sale held a couple times a year in my area.  The girls had been before and knew what to expect, but I will admit I was a bit overwhelmed.  I am just starting to research baby stuff and don't really know what I need or want yet, or how I want to decorate the nursery, so I think it was a bit premature for me to be at this kind of sale because I didn't really have specific things in mind to look for yet.  Also, we are planning on finding out the sex of our baby, and since I don't know what I'm having yet, I found the selection of gender neutral stuff to be pretty limiting (it was mixed in with the girl and boy specific clothes).  I only ended up buying one neutral onesie, while Erin and Lindsay cleaned house on the baby boy and girl clothing.  In addition to the onesie, I ended up with a maternity dress and a bouncer chair.  Many friends have told me that a swing or bouncer is a great thing to get on consignment because you don't know til you have the baby whether it will even like the bouncer, the swing, or anything at all.  I paid $20 for my bouncer and it looks practically new :)

The belly is still kind of fluctuating between showing a little and not.  Depending on the day or time of day, I can fit into certain bottoms and other times I can't.  My friend Melanie sent me some maternity stuff from Kohls, which was so thoughtful.  I kept most of it (some bras and tank tops), but one pair of yoga pants were very similar to some others I have (that will still work with pregnancy) and they were too big, so I decided to exchange them and got my first pair of maternity jeans (Oh Baby by Motherhood).  I LOVE them!  I wore them for a while on Sunday and they are so comfortable.  I also went by the mall and checked out the maternity section at The Gap and ended up with one peach colored collared shirt for work.

Maternity jeans!

As for how I'm feeling, I'm good.  I feel like for a while my "morning" sickness what kind of random and would show up at any random time of the day.  Recently it really has become strictly morning sickness and I feel some nausea most mornings, but it's usually gone by lunchtime and doesn't reappear.

I have had a huge craving for pancakes, like the really fluffy restaurant kind, so Sunday I convinced a couple friends to meet me at the Original Pancake House to satisfy this craving.  Mmmm, they were so delicious :)

PANCAKES!  Plus eggs, bacon, and OJ.

Other, than pancakes, I've been the usual stuff- fruit, potatoes, carbs, cheeseburgers, ice cream....

That about sums up week thirteen!  I know I need to work on posting about other stuff during the week, but it just feels like time is kind of flying by.

Oh, also, I'm starting to collect lists of baby essentials, so if you've done one on your blog, can you link it in the comments?  If you're not a blogger, but you want to tell me stuff you liked/didn't like, you can email me a list at lifeinaholdingpattern (at)  I am a sponge for this information right now, so I'd love your opinion!  Thanks guys!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Twelfth Week

Well, I'm 13 weeks pregnant!

12 weeks 2 days

Week 12 was pretty good!

The highlight of the week was my NT Scan and 12 week ultrasound.  This is the the scan where they take lots of measurements of the baby to determine if it looks normal or if it looks to be higher risk for Down's Syndrome.  I also got a finger prick so they could test my blood.  I don't have the official results yet, but the ultrasound tech said everything looked really good to her.  I will admit, I had a tiny bit of anxiety going in for this because it was my first ultrasound back at my OB office.  I even had the same tech that had been there for at least one of my miscarriages, and she remembered us.  It was great to finally have a good ultrasound there and be able to feel like that was out of the way.

As far as the actual ultrasound went, it was a cool one.  This was my first time having an ultrasound on my stomach instead of the trans vaginal, so I had the goo squirted on my stomach like you usually see in movies. The baby definitely looked bigger and more developed than the last two ultrasounds- more like an actual baby.  The tech would shake or push on my tummy to get the baby to move and it would float around til it was in the position the tech wanted to measure.  It was really cool to see the baby with an actual facial profile and knees bent and legs kicking.  The heartbeat was still sounding good too, about 169 BPM.

We won't have another ultrasound til the anatomy scan, when we find out the gender, around 18-20 weeks, so it'll be a long while til we get to see our little flutterbug again.  I do have one appointment before then, and the nurse assured me we'll use the Doppler to check the heartbeat then.

Upon leaving the appointment, things suddenly started to feel very REAL.  I feel like all of the first trimester I've just been waiting to get over that hump before I committed to getting really serious about planning for this baby.  All the sudden I got this overwhelming sense that we need to start figuring things out!  Greg and I are discussing some options of how to handle nursery furniture.
  • One option would be to use some our bedroom furniture (we have a long dresser that's the right height to double as a dresser and changing table) and try to find a crib that matches, which would enable us to get new bedroom furniture.  Greg really wants a king sized bed and is kind of over our stuff, so his logic is that this would kill two birds with one stone.  The problem I see with this are that we'd have to find a crib that matches our dresser really well (because I'm anal).  Also, the idea of finding all new bedroom furniture kind of overwhelms me.  We have SIX pieces of bedroom furniture, so that is a lot of new stuff we'd need to replace.  Finding us new bedroom furniture in the middle of planning for a baby might be a lot.
  • Another option is using a dresser and book shelf we saw at IKEA and like.  This again would entail finding a crib that matches really well and that we like, and I think that might be difficult, as the wood was for matte on the IKEA stuff and from what I have seen, most cribs seem more shiny/lacquered.
  • The third option is just to get a new crib and matching dresser.  This might be easiest option since we don't have to match anything else, but maybe not the cheapest option.  
We also really need to start visiting daycare centers and choosing one, which will probably be difficult with Greg's schedule.  The good news is that I have confirmed that I can take SIX months (WAHOO!) of maternity leave, so we have about a year before we need childcare.  Still, I've heard the waiting lists can be long, so I want to get the ball rolling anyway.

This wasn't my best food week.  I didn't have too many strong cravings and had a lot of times when nothing really sounded appealing.  At the beginning of the week I got sick a couple times.  At the end of the week I did have a strong craving for rotisserie chicken and fresh corn on the cob, so I made that happen and it was like the best meal ever!

Weight gain is still practically nothing, but I do think the tummy is growing, even if it's still not very noticeable.  I wore a pair of pants to work that usually have some room in and they were so tight I could not wait to get them off by the end of the day.  I think I'm "retiring" them til after birth.  I have one pair of work maternity pants on standby for that day when I go into my closet and can't find anything that fits.  I'm not there yet, but I can tell it's coming.  I'm also definitely gravitating towards flowy clothes, like the top in the picture below.

I finished off the week by visiting my friend Sara and saw and held little Elena.  Seeing babies is starting to feel really different to me now.  I find myself asking a lot of questions and trying to soak up all the new mom knowledge like a sponge.

Elena is a sweetie!  Such a good baby.  She let me hold her for a while and was very alert and looked at me for a while :)  Sarah seemed to be doing well too.

That pretty much sums of week 13!  Can't believe I'm entering the second trimester now!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sarah's Bridal Shower

Next month, my good friend Sarah is getting married.  Sarah and I have known each other a little over three years.  We met in my running group, which is where I've met most of my close Charlotte friends.  I was there when she met her fiance, Tim.  I was part of the group of friends that sort of "plotted" to set them up during several group outings.  It was funny :)  I'm going to be a bridesmaid in the wedding (this is my 4th time).  This weekend I helped in hosting a bridal shower luncheon for Sarah at Pewter Rose Bistro.  Sarah's aunt kind of took the lead and wanted to bring in some table decor, including a runner and beautiful flower arrangements.

The guests started to arrive and we enjoyed drinks and a nice hummus platter.

Our menu was set with four options: quiche and salad, breakfast (scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage), chicken salad, or turkey.

I went with the quiche and salad, which also came with potatoes.  It was pretty good, but I've discovered that I sort of have an aversion to peppers during pregnancy.  I thought it was only green peppers, but the red  peppers in the quiche didn't really taste good to me.

After our meal, Sarah opened presents.  I gave her some stainless steel pans off her registry.

One last photo of Kelly, Sarah, me, and Josie.

I'm excited to be part of Sarah's wedding next month.  Sarah is also pregnant and due about 6 weeks before me in January, so we have raising kids close in age together to look forward to as well.  We're just hoping our dresses for the wedding will fit since we both bought them before we got pregnant!  I'll keep you posted on that :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Eleventh Week

Wow, 12 weeks pregnant.  I can't believe I am here!

So this week was interesting.  At the beginning of the week I would say I actually felt like I had less symptoms than some of my previous weeks, but towards the end I got hit hard.  I spent Monday home from work because I woke up with a killer headache and then threw up.  Whether this was due to the 10 hour Sex and the City marathon and half a box of Sour Patch Kids I consumed on Sunday or actual pregnancy, I'm not sure.  Both maybe.  Sleeping most of the morning seemed to help a lot.

My nap partner.

By dinner time I was able to meet up with some great friends at Bad Daddy's for sort of a Charlotte Blogger reunion.

Ha!  Me reacting to Katie's story.

Based on the reaction of my blogger friends, it's apparent that I am still not really showing yet, which I already kind of thought, despite my husband frequently telling me he thinks I am.  I feel like at certain times you can see a bit of a bump and at other times it's not really noticeable at all.  Monday night was definitely one of those less noticeable nights.  Here's a couple self portraits from the week.  I think we still have more of a beer gut going.

In other news, I went to a maternity store this week and bought one of my first maternity articles of clothing, a dress to wear to a wedding shower this weekend.  The dress doesn't really look maternity, but works for normal bod or pregnant bod, so I figured it was a good buy.  I'll show a picture next week when I wear it to the shower.

I've been still craving cheeseburgers, and red meat in general, fairly frequently.  The other day I got the idea to make tacos and they tasted so good!  Clyde is definitely on board with the meat trend, as I usually rarely cook meat at our house.

A new snack I'm into is Pirate's Booty.

Oh my, this stuff is like crack!  I usually have a small bowl of it as my evening snack.  It has replaced my potato chip craving for the time being.  I'm also into cherries and apple slices with peanut butter.  I actually did have more of an aversion to veggies this week.  I can't eat green peppers at all, and spinach also didn't sound appealing this week.  I did cram down a couple salads, but they didn't usually sound that good to me.

I'm starting to wonder if my scale is broken, because apparently I still haven't really gained any weight, which surprises me with the amount of cheeseburger and carbs I continue to cram into my mouth.  I guess eventually it'll creep on?

Until this week, with the exception of the crankies, I have avoided most of the emotional weepies of pregnancy that every talks about.  This week, I definitely lost it when I read Katie's post about Waldo.  I started all out bawling, with out a tissue in sight.  It was not good.  I followed that up with a few more tears shed this week while watching various things on TV.

To cap off the week, I told my boss I'm pregnant.  He actually had the best reaction possible and was really excited for me, which was awesome.  His daughter was conceived through IVF and he's aware of my struggles to conceive and overcome miscarriage, so I know he shared in the victory of me being pregnant.  He is also on board with my maternity leave plans, so now I know I can get the ball rolling on checking into day care options now that I have a time line in mind.

I'm looking forward to my 12 week ultrasound (NT scan) on tomorrow and hoping for a good one.  I think this one will really help to solidify that everything is really going well and reinforce it even more for me.  I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Things That May Have Helped This Time

After my second miscarriage, I really had to reevaluate what was going on.  I was no longer willing to chalk it up to a fluke that this had happened to me twice (even though it may have been), so I started to obsessively research and think about things I could do to improve my chances of having a healthy baby.

What frustrated me was I thought I was already living a moderate to healthy life.  Heck, I associate with the Healthy Living Blogger niche.  I know my PB's, avocado, oatmeal, and protein powders better than the average person, right?  I work out, I use a lot of non toxic products, and I'm just conscious in general of things I'm eating, doing, and trying to be pretty healthy.  I am sometimes guilty of choosing less healthy options (hey, I like my ice cream and cupcakes!), but I'm okay with that, because I think that healthy living means everything in moderation, but choosing the healthy options more often, which is what I was doing.

One thing I became more anal about was buying Organic.  I'm not perfect and sometimes the option isn't there for what I'm looking for in my local stores, but if both the Organic and regular option exist, I tried to buy the Organic.

I also quit caffeine.  I hadn't been drinking much in the past year anyway, and it wasn't a big deal to me to stop drinking coffee, tea, and caffeinated soda, just in case.  I switched to water, juice and a few other decaf beverages.  I've pretty much avoided decaf coffee too, because I've heard the caffeine is replaced by other chemicals and I wasn't too crazy about that idea (although this week I did have a decaf mocha coconut frapaccino and it was awesome).

The other thing I did right away after the second miscarriage was to buy some vitamins that are supposed to help with fertility issues, specifically the issue we thought I might have, which was egg quality.

I know a lot of people advise against spending too much time online doing research, but I felt so helpless I just wanted to be doing something that might help us conceive a healthy baby.  Through the forums on Baby Center, I learned about taking CoQ10 and Royal Jelly, which are thought to help egg quality.  I also kept taking the prenatals and added Baby aspirin at the advice of my doctor.  Plus B-12 and B-6.  I don't know if any of it helped, but I was taking all of them for almost exactly 3 months before I successfully got pregnant, which is the length of time it's thought you need to be taking them for them to take effect.

I'd also already been converting my beauty and cleaning supplies to more natural options, but went even further with that.  I actually use quite a bit of hair spray on my fine, fly-away hair and after hunting through Earth Fare, I found a less toxic hair spray option that I really like.  It doesn't leave me breathing in a cloud of smelly toxic stuff.

The other thing was that the month I conceived, I really thought about TTC a lot less than I had in a while.  I felt like I had a good hiatus from TTC for the few months after the miscarriage in March.  I ran more, drank more beer if I felt like it, I focused on me, and just kind of did what I wanted, not thinking that we really had much of a chance of conceiving that month.  I knew the next month was the month we'd planned to start treatment and that month would be different, but May was kind of my do-what-I-want-and-not-think-much-about-TTC month.  I think taking the pressure off myself helped.  As I mentioned before, I didn't really know when I ovulated or focus that much on it when we "tried".  It may have been my least obsessive month in the last year and half of trying.

I also think it helped that I went to the RE.  Even though I never actually received drug treatment, the tests that they ran gave me piece of mind that there wasn't something inherently wrong that was causing our problems.  I had heard that the HSG dye test makes people fertile by cleaning them out, and this may have been the case for me since I had one right before we conceived.  I also liked that the responsibility became shared with the doctors and nurses there, that also took a lot of pressure of it all being on me.  I liked that from early in the pregnancy they had an immediate game plan of putting me on progesterone, administering Beta HCG tests to check the progress of the pregnancy, and early ultrasounds.  I just felt more comfort knowing they knew how to handle a person with a high risk pregnancy and had certain protocol, whereas in the past, I didn't feel like my OB office really handled my kind of situation that well.

I know my husband still believes that it's all just a crap-shoot.  He was never that keen on me visiting the RE and thought all along that it was just a numbers game, that eventually we'd have a healthy pregnancy if we just kept trying.  He may be right, but if one of the things I did made the difference this time, I'm glad I did it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Tenth Week

Hey guys!  I'm eleven weeks pregnant now!  I thought I'd do a recap on the past week.

I touched a little bit on my other posts about not having a lot of pregnancy symptoms, but when I think about them cumulatively, I guess I do have a bunch.  Some of the ones I have are:

  • Acne.  I usually rarely get acne, but ever since getting pregnant I have had at least one or more zits at a time, usually on my chin.  This also might be related to the summer weather and excess oil.  I switched to a moisturizer for sensitive skin and I'm hoping this will help some.
  • Cravings.  Potato chips are a regular one for me, but in the 10th week I also had cravings for milkshakes, cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, and fruit (thank god, they're not all unhealthy cravings!).  I don't really have any major aversions, but CARBS pretty much always sound fantastic and veggies are kind of just ok.  I really just eat them because I know they're good for the baby (and myself), not because I want them.
  • Tiredness.  I kind of power through my days during the week, but on the weekends I usually take an afternoon nap.  If you know me, I'm NOT a napper at all, so this is unusual for me.
  • Crankiness.  Probably related to tiredness.  I tend to get irritable and cranky, especially closer to bedtime.
  • Nausea.  I tend to think I don't really have this one because I have heard of so many women being SO SICK all day, which I am not.  I'd say usually about once a day I do get some nausea though.  For me it happens more after a meal, then before.  I have actually gotten sick a handful of times.  Brushing my teeth is another thing that often can make me gag or throw up.
  • Mucus.  I have general allergies anyway, so I'm kind of a chronic nose-blower, but pregnancy has taken it to another level.  I often wake up with tons of mucus clogging my nose and throat (sorry, gross, I know).  This is actually the reason I have gagged/gotten sick a couple of times- trying to clear that out.

I have what I would describe as a "beer gut" right now.  A few pairs of shorts and jeans are too tight now, but I would say for the most part I can still fit in to most of my clothes, and it's not obvious I'm pregnant to anyone yet.  I actually haven't gained any weight yet, despite feeling like a blob, so I guess my body is effectively using what I'm eating!  I have said from the beginning I have a feeling I will show kind of early though, so we'll see if I'm right.

The "beer" gut

In terms of exercise, I'm really just walking and not really doing much else at this point.  I don't think I'm going to be a pregnant runner.  It just doesn't feel that comfortable to me, and I'm still pretty paranoid about everything so I worry about getting my heart rate up too high.  I do want to get back into lifting weights though.  I'm in a wedding next month and I'd like my arms to look a little more toned.  I'd also like to do some prenatal yoga at some point.

To cap off the week I had my first appointment back with my OBGYN practice yesterday.  I basically had to have the full workup of blood work and STD tests (pelvic exam), which is just their policy, even though I've had it twice already in the past year.  The midwife surprised me by suggesting we get the doppler and try to listen to the heartbeat.  I was actually kind of scared to try, because I worried she'd have trouble finding it and then I'd be in a panic.  It took a minute, but she found it!  So cool!  The heartbeat was about 177 Beats Per Minute, which she said sounded good for where I am.  I've got another ultrasound scheduled for next week- the NT scan.

Now that things are really progressing so well and I'm starting to really believe we are going to have an actual baby, I'm starting to think we need to figure out childcare/maternity leave.  That'll be on the agenda soon.  I feel like I'm really starting to gain some confidence now that I've had so many good appointments in a row.  I'm still appropriately nervous, but I think I'm doing a lot better than I was a few weeks ago.  The end of the first tri is just around the corner.  Crazy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

For Those In The Trenches

Wow, your comments, tweets, and reactions to my news have blown me away.  You guys are awesome, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I didn't really know how to break the news, which is why I have waited.  I have actually had that post in the works for a while, and sort of wrote it/updated it as things went along.  It's not a cute or creative announcement and there's plenty of details I left out, forgot, or didn't include.  Eventually, it just felt like it was time to let you guys know what was going on though.  I just couldn't wait anymore and decided to publish what I had and fill in the rest later.

One thing I didn't talk about enough was what a long road it's been to get here.  I guess I assume you guys know from following my journey.  I want to reach out to those of you who are still struggling with infertility, miscarriage, or just really want a baby and it's not happening right now.  I've thought of you a lot.  It sucks.  I know.  I'm sorry if my news causes you heartache.  I totally get that.  I have been upset, jealous, and angry so many times when I have heard of other people getting their miracles, while I was struggling.  Nothing about infertility is fair, at all.  I have learned that lesson over and over again.  The past year and a half has housed some of the darkest times in my life.  It's isolating in a way that not many people understand.  I was irritable, lonely, sad, angry, and exhausted from fighting the battle of infertility.  I kind of still am.  It definitely changed me.

Like I said in my last post, I don't feel like I'm out of the woods yet.  My problem isn't getting pregnant, it's staying pregnant.  I'm further than I've ever been before, but it doesn't guarantee that I'm going to have a baby in the end.  It's still REALLY scary.  Every ultrasound, I'm holding my breath.  I'm constantly wondering if my lack of symptoms means something is wrong.  I question everything I eat, do, etc...  I'm still very paranoid that something could go wrong.  I don't know if this will ever change.

I am hopeful though.  I've learned to be more patient than I ever have been before, and to keep going even when it's just based on blind faith and hope that everything will be okay.  Every slight wave of nausea, spot of acne, and good ultrasound helps me to be more hopeful.  I hope some of you will gain hope from my story.  I think sometimes you have to go through hell to get to the good stuff.  Sometimes I think the miscarriages happened to me so that I will really appreciate my baby when times are tough, Greg is away flying, and I feel like being a mom is the toughest thing ever.  I'll always have that struggle to conceive ingrained in me to remind me how lucky I am to have a baby.

Anyway, to all of you still struggling.  I'm sorry, and please keep hope alive.  Do what you have to do to survive.  For me, going drinking with some of the guys from work helped a lot.  Running helped.  Basically anything that distracted me from all the people around me that were pregnant and had babies.  Sometimes you do need to distance yourself from all things pregnancy and baby.  But don't discount those friends.  Some of my pregnant friends and those with babies were the most understanding and helpful ones.  Just hang in there and try to keep believing you will get there eventually.  I know it's tough!
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