Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Post 106...Spoiler Alert!

Since I have been getting bigger, I have been a bit pouty about my size. Nothing makes me feel fatter than outgrowing some of my maternity clothes! Although, granted, the clothes I'm outgrowing are the first and second trimester clothes. But still...

With our up and coming baby shower, I've been wanting to get a cute new dress to wear (since I can't fit in any of my other dresses at the moment!). So to cheer me up and spoil me just for fun, my husband, on a whim, took me out last night to go dress shopping and to go out for dinner! It was wonderful! Not only did I get a cute new dress for the baby shower, but he also bought me two new maternity shirts (tank tops since my body is running warmer the bigger I get and since we're coming up on summer...although you couldn't prove it by the weather!). And the best part was: everything was on sale! We got the two shirts and the dress all for less than what the dress alone was originally priced for! Afterwards, we went out for dinner and enjoyed some delicious Red Robin hamburgers (although I was good and ordered a veggie burger on whole wheat! Healthy points for the win! Ding!) and came home to cuddle on the couch and watch Netflix.

It was a wonderful evening!

Today, I got to go to the store and pick out some new jewelry to wear with my outfit for the baby shower! I went to Target and got a cute new bracelet and a flower pin for my hair. I'm gonna look like one cute mama!

I have said it before and I'll say it again: I love my husband dearly!!! He is so beyond good to me! I don't know what I would do without his loving spirit!

Post 105...My Eggo is Prego!

For Easter, my husband and I decided to have a little fun with my tummy. When I was pregnant with Joey, I was hoping to paint my tummy to look like a pumpkin since he was due in October. But since that opportunity was taken away, I still wanted to find something similar to do with this pregnancy. Finally the idea hit me: I wanted to paint my tummy to look like a giant Easter egg! And so that's just what we did.

It was fun sitting back and watching my husband transform my bump into a colorful egg. A few times my husband had to pause and wait for Andy to stop kicking since it was causing my whole stomach to shift around from time to time.

On Easter day, we celebrated with my in-laws by having a wonderful Easter dinner. My husband and I also made sure to wear our Joey necklaces so it could be a full family celebration. Much to my excitement, not only did my in-laws spoil us with sweets and gifts, but they got an Easter basket for little Andy too! In his basket he had: a teddy bear, a stuffed animal turtle from Hawaii (my in-laws recently went to Hawaii for spring break), a new book, a shirt from Hawaii, and a cute little Hawaii outfit! Here are some pictures of Andy's first Easter basket!

Post 104...Hello Third Trimester!

I've got a little bit of catching up to do since I haven't blogged in nearly 2 weeks! Needless to say, it's been a busy couple of weeks...

For starters I want to say how extremely excited I am that we have successfully made it to our third trimester!!! I am now 28 weeks (actually 29 weeks this Friday!) along and things couldn't be going better. After having my blood drawn for the glucose test, I never receive any calls from the doctor so I'm assuming, like they told me when I took the test, no news is good news.

Last Tuesday we had another Eastside appointment. It was a longer one where we got to see more of little Andy and we even got some more DVD footage of the ultrasound. He is looking so big and adorable! Obviously he was quite comfortable with his arm draped over his face as he rested. My husband nearly jumped out of his chair, excitedly pointing out that it is the same position my husband will often sleep in. It warmed my heart. The nurse tried to get Andy to move his arm though so we could get a good picture of his face. But like normal, no matter how much she tried to jiggle him, he wouldn't budge. In fact, each time she would press in to try to move him, he would push his arm out against her in defiance. I pointed out to my husband that Andy's stubborn reluctance to waking up was very much like his father too. We both laughed.

We had a different doctor that day, since my usual doctor was out on vacation. She was a nice lady but I can't say I agreed with her medical expertise. For one, I'm already paranoid enough as it is, given my history. If it's not medical advice from my usual doctor, I don't trust it. Not even if it comes from the doctor's nurse. In my last pregnancy, I trusted the nurse's judgement and it ended up impacting the outcome of the last pregnancy. From the loss of Joey, I learned never to trust blindly and always to get a second opinion. Anyway...so the temporary doctor looked at my ultrasound and said that my amniotic fluid looked a little low. She said it wasn't anything to be concerned about and that it was probably due to some dehydration. She then recommended I increase my water intake to 7-8 liters a day.....Nope. That wasn't a typo. She said 7 to 8 LITERS of water A DAY! Yeah right! If I want water poisoning! Not to mention the fact that she says not to worry about my amniotic fluid being low when I've had a history of leaking amniotic fluid as a result of my incompetent cervix! Even though I have the cerclage in place, it is still possible to leak amniotic fluid. It would just be at a slower rate.

The next day, in all my paranoia, I called my Obgyn and asked to come in so she could make sure there was no leaking going on. Without hesitation, my husband came home from work in the middle of the day and immediately took me to the Obgyn. We weren't taking any chances this time. Luckily, my doctor got us in right away and did a pelvic exam as well as ran some tests on any discharge just to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid. Well, much to our relief, the doctor said everything looked fantastic. She said that my cervical length is still doing great and that the cerclage is holding together beautifully. There was no leaking of amniotic fluid at all. But she said it was great that we came in to double check! I also mentioned what the other doctor had said about drinking 7-8 liters of water a day. My Obgyn laughed. "Uh...no. I would not recommend that!" she said. "I would suggest drinking 4 liters at most throughout the day." After looking over my ultrasound from Eastside, she said that it did look like my fluid was a little low. But that could be a result of dehydration, or possibly even just an odd camera angle. If Andy was sitting at an odd position, it could affect the read-out on the amniotic fluid. So she wasn't worried about it since my fluid has otherwise been great.

So now I am making sure to drink about 4 liters of water a day, and happily growing and growing. I swear my tummy has exploded in size this last month! But it's fun to watch my stomach jump around when Andy moves! It was especially cute to watch Andy play "tag" with his daddy. After rubbing my tummy with belly balm, my husband sat there drumming one spot on my tummy with his fingers. Each time after he would drum his fingers, Andy would push back right on my husband's fingers! It was so fun to watch them play for a little while.

One thing I am learning really quickly about the third trimester, however, is that it is absolutely exhausting! I swear, as soon as we hit 27 weeks, my energy level has been dropping like mad! Almost every day, I am practically nodding off around 3pm. I might have to give in and start taking daily naps...as much as I hate taking naps! And with my belly getting bigger, my low back and my feet are starting to ache more on my walks. Today I went for a long walk, and by the time I was getting back, I felt absolutely drained! I have never felt so out of shape before in my life! Even though I have still been going on regular walks, it is suddenly getting harder and harder to keep up the pace. But as difficult as it is to move around, I wouldn't trade it for the world! My baby is making it full term and that means everything to me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Post 103...Medicinal Koolaid

I just got back from having my blood drawn for the glucose test. Luckily it was fairly quick and painless, although the glucose drink I had this morning tasted like medicinal Koolaid. But hopefully the test will come back clean. The lab technician said they should have the results of the test by tomorrow and that, no news is good news. If there is any indication of diabetes, then they will call me in for further testing. So here's hoping that I don't hear from them at all!

The only other news I have is that I started up a second blog. It's a food blog with recipes and more, so come check it out! Here is the link: http://thetastyspoon-gingerales-kitchen.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 11, 2011

Post 102...It's Story Time!

I am so excited! The book I ordered just came in today! It is a children's book that I adored when I was little and so I bought it on Amazon so I can share it with Andy. It's called "The Stories Julian Tells" by Ann Cameron. Even still, all these years later, I love this book!

I know I'm silly, but I had to do a story-time pic with the big teddy bear! ^_^

Post 101...Human Pin Cushion

Last week I had both an Obgyn and Eastside appointment. Both were fairly quick and said pretty much the usual: Yup...there's a baby in there! I'm happy to say my cervix/cerclage is still holding strong, Andy is getting bigger each day, and basically I need to keep doing what I'm doing until the baby gets here. Although, I was a little bummed to see my weight had gone up higher than expected. But as the doctor pointed out, since I've been exercising more this last month, it's very possible that the added weight could be muscle gain since I had otherwise been stuck on the couch for the previous months. So between the last appointment and the next, I'm going to continue to exercise (walking, swimming, yoga) and try to watch what I eat to see if it makes any difference in the rate of my weight gain. If it still keeps creeping up too fast, the doctor and I will take a hard look at what changes need to be done. For now, I'm keeping a food journal to see if I can pin-point any major red flags.

The only other news is that I have to take a glucose test. It's that time in the pregnancy where the doctor needs to check for any indication of gestational diabetes as well as check my blood for iron levels. Basically I will have to drink a sugary drink they gave me and have them test my blood about an hour later to see how well my body metabolizes the sugar. I'm hoping it goes well, but honestly I'm not looking forward to the test. Not so much because I think I will fail the test, but because I hate having my blood drawn! I am a total wimp when it comes to having my blood drawn. It's not even the sight of the blood that bothers me so much as it is the idea of being a human pin cushion! Anyway, reluctantly I will be taking the test tomorrow. I doubt I'll hear the results until later on in the month, but I'm still hoping and praying for a good outcome. The last thing I need is more complications in an already complicated pregnancy!

So aside from a glucose test that I am being a total wimp about, everything seems to be peachy keen! I can hardly believe that by the end of next week I will be in my third trimester! I am beyond excited to have made it so far!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Post 100...Stuck Between Mom and Wife

Wow, it's my 100th blog...neat! I feel like I should write some sort of celebratory speech but, eh. Why not celebrate my 100th blog by continuing what I set out to do: capture the journey of our second pregnancy.

Last night I thoroughly scared myself. Oh, before I dive into things too much, I give you my usual fair warning of TMI in case you don't want to read about things of a romantic/intimate nature. Anyway; around 21 weeks, some of you might remember that the doctor gave us the green light on being physically intimate. Though we were excited to hear the news, I couldn't help but feel ruled by fear. As much as I wanted to be intimate in that way with my husband, I was deathly afraid that the activity might affect the stitches in my cervix and cause complications. So at the time, we decided to hold off at least until 28 weeks when the baby's lungs should be fully developed. That way, if for any reason we went into labor early, Andy would have a fighting chance with his fully developed lungs. It may be a morbid thought, but these are the kind of things we have to take into consideration with every step of this pregnancy. Anyway, the doctor said it would be fine so long as we were gentle and that we should expect it to cause some mild cramping and possibly even some spotting (mainly because it would stress the stitches slightly, but nothing detrimental), otherwise it shouldn't cause any concern. Of course, we would have to monitor my body and make sure the spotting and cramping wouldn't get any heavier, which would indicate a need to go see the doctor immediately. How do you like that? It is completely fine if you have sex but be careful 'cause it could send you to the ER!!! Oi!

Well, last night, as I'm sure you can guess where this is going, we decided to test things out a little. After having a few weeks to adjust to the idea, I was feeling ready to give it a try.

[insert obvious insinuated action here]

When we were done, the first thing I noticed as some mild cramping. I wasn't terribly worried. It was what the doctor had said to expect. But what really threw me off was the spotting. Sure enough, right after it all, I went to the bathroom and noticed some spotting. As I sat there staring at the faded blood on the paper, my heart caught in my throat. I tried my best to force rationality into my mind. The doctor said there could be some spotting. And given that the blood was more of a brownish red, it indicated that it was old blood, probably blood that was leftover from the initial surgery that had just been knocked loose. But the sight of the blood still turned my stomach sour. As much as I struggled to be rational, emotion overtook me. All the memories of being at the doctors, first seeing the spotting that indicated I was about to miscarry Joey swarmed my mind. I made my way back to the bedroom and began to sob into my husband's arms. Quietly I kept repeating, "I can't lose another son...I can't lose another..." With each cramp I felt slowly tighten my stomach, the harder I cried.

After calming down a bit, I decided to take a Motrin pill--one of the pain pills they gave me to take after the surgery, said to calm down cramping and contractions--followed by some dinner. It quickly offered relief from the cramps. Although the cramps were very mild, their presence was enough to keep me on edge, so I was relieved to be rid of them. For a couple hours, my husband held me close, catching every tear, reassuring me that he would gladly wait to be intimate again once we are full term. It was such a hard feeling, wanting desperately to have that close intimate connection with my husband again and yet, needing desperately to protect our son. After seeing how much fear the slight spotting had caused me, we decided it would be best to hold off for now.

Only a couple hours later, the spotting had completely stopped. All through the night and today I have yet to have any other cramping or spotting at all. So I suppose the doctor was right. But the whole event was enough to scare me into waiting just a little longer before we are physically intimate again. I hate having to wait. I am extremely anxious for the time where I won't have to choose between being a wife or a mother, but where I can be both. However, I am more than grateful that I have such a loving husband who so willingly sacrifices and supports our family. Although, in a way, his understanding and willingness to support me through all this just makes it that much harder not to be intimate! But I wouldn't trade it for the world! He is my hero.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Post 99...How do we tell him?

Over the weekend, my husband and I began to clean out the room for the nursery. In practice of spring cleaning, we purged more than a car full of things to donate, and probably equally as much garbage.--Who knew so much trash could build up in all the little nooks of our apartment over the year?--And after an entire day of sorting and organizing, we finally have the beginning of a nursery forming. We still need to get the crib in place, which has been living at my parents home since we lost Joey. But otherwise, the room is ready for decorations and any baby shower gifts we get next month. I'm excited to see the room once everything is done and in it's final place!

It was an odd feeling, setting up the nursery. Over a year ago, we had started to clear out that same room in preparation for Joey. At the time, it was our office/computer room. But after the loss, it felt too strange to leave the room as it was. Our house seemed too ordinary, too untouched from the loss. It was uncomfortable how much our home was the same even after such a great loss. We needed to see that things were different, that things had changed. Leaving our apartment as it was only felt like we were ignoring the fact that everything in our lives had just changed completely. So we decided to rearrange the whole place. The office moved into the living room/dinning room area, and what would have been the nursery became more of a storage room.

Watching the room transform into a nursery at long last, the whole reason why we rented a two bedroom apartment in the first place, it felt so right and yet kind of lonely too. As we cleaned out the room I kept glancing up at the picture above the doorway; it is a picture from a magazine of an ultrasound where the baby is holding a video game controller. Next to the baby in the picture, I had written "Pickle" in silvery marker. It has been up there since we first found out we were pregnant with Joey. It never felt right to take it down. Even though the nursery was supposed to be his, we left the picture up as a reminder that he is looking down over his brother, loving and protecting him.

Once everything was in place, my husband and I sat in the room envisioning what it will look like in the coming months. I was excitedly mapping out decorating ideas in my head when I heard a soft sniff come from my husband. He was sitting in the nursery chair, holding onto the big stuffed teddy bear that had been sitting there before, softly crying.

"Tiny," he asked, "how do we tell Andy about Joey? Do we wait until he's older? Do we keep it between you and me? I'm afraid if we tell him about Joey that he might not feel as special, like he's not the oldest son."

I sat at my husband's feet and held his hands. "I don't want to drop it on him when he's older. I think it would be harder and scarier to accept if we wait too long to tell him. I think we should introduce Joey to him early. Even before he fully understands it all. We don't have to start off saying Joey's dead. That would probably just scare him and make him wonder if he himself is going to die like Joey did. No. I think we could start off by just saying 'brother Joey is watching over us in heaven.' Make him more like a guardian angle in a way. Or if we want, we can even start by introducing Joeybear (the teddy bear the hospital gave us when Joey was born). We can tell him that Joeybear is named after little Joey who was about the same size as Joeybear. And that, Joey showed us how to take care of Andy, telling us what we needed to do to make sure Andy could grow up big and strong. After he told us how to take care of Andy, he had to go away to heaven and watch over us from there so we could use the lessons he taught us. As Andy gets older, we can explain in more detail that mommy's body couldn't hold onto him long enough to finish growing so he went to heaven. And as Andy gets even older, we can explain it in even more detail the more he can understand it, if he wants to learn more about it. As for helping Andy to feel like the older child; we can explain to him that he is the first to be born 'older.' That, although Joey was born first, he was born much smaller and younger than Andy. Andy will be born bigger and older because he was in mommy's tummy longer."

As I spoke, silent tears fell from my husband's eyes. It was a hard conversation to have. How do you tell your child that they had a brother who died before them? How can you tell them about it in a way that won't scare them about thoughts of their own mortality? How do you show your love to the child you lost without making the other child feel jealous? I don't pretend to know the answers. But I pray that, when the time comes, I'll have the strength and clarity to know what to do.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Post 98...Baby Brunch

Last Saturday, my parents invited my husband and I, as well as my mother-in-law, to come over for brunch and discuss baby shower plans. I was reluctant at first, feeling like perhaps it was still too early to plan for the baby shower, but eventually excitement outweighed worry. Much of the baby shower will still be a surprise to my husband and I, but since we want a guys and gals baby shower, our parents wanted a few ideas on what we have in mind before they take over the planning. After tossing around our ideas and writing up a few lists, we got a general idea of how it will all go. Hopefully we'll have a good turn out. The trick will be convincing the guys to come to a baby shower. But we're hoping that, by tempting them with a video game tournament, they'll show up.

After working out the baby shower plans, my husband and I decided to go and update our baby registry. Since the baby shower invitations will be going out in April, we figured we should update things now before our registry information is sent out. We had actually started the baby registry back when we were pregnant with Joey. We had tweaked it a few times online since then, but otherwise we still had a good foundation to work off of. It only took us a little over an hour to add on the last few things we really needed before we headed home. It was fun looking over all the baby stuff, especially now knowing that we're having a boy. The last time we had gone in to register, we didn't even know Joey was going to be a boy, so most of the things on our list were gender neutral. This time, we had the fun of adding on all the little boy stuff!

Once again, it felt weird to be planning for Andy's arrival. It still feels too early to be planning for it all and yet, at the same time, it's very exciting! Just another step closer to Andy being here!