I think it speaks volumes about how I have been feeling about this pregnancy that I started this at five weeks with E. and then at six weeks with the baby we lost. But I know I will kick myself if I don’t take the time to record how I am feeling as this pregnancy progresses. So I’m going to start, even though it’s scary.
How far along? Eleven weeks
How am I feeling physically? So much better than I was a couple of weeks ago. I still have occasional days where the nausea catches me off guard, especially if I haven’t eaten for a few hours, but it’s becoming much less common. I almost never find myself gagging while walking around the neighbourhood (which was happening every day around the eight/nine week mark). I’ve been working hard this past week to return to a more normal pattern of eating (i.e., not constantly) now that I don’t need food in my stomach to quell the queasies. This has proved challenging as my body is quite used to frequent snacks and sees no reason to change things. I spend a lot of time telling myself I’m not actually hungry, it’s just my body has forgotten what normal eating looks and feels like.
It’s helped that my body has stopped craving carbohydrates. It’s like the baby woke up one morning and decided, “Ok. I’m good with the Triscuits for now, thanks. What I really want is some kale salad. Actually, make that a GIANT bowl of kale salad. With a clementine on the side. Actually three clementines. And maybe a pear.” Kale salad and fruit are the things that seem most appetizing right now (along with bagels and cream cheese, which I didn’t want to eat at all for the first few weeks). I’m not that interested in meat. I did have a craving for a veggie sub from Subway (which was my standard craving with E.) this week, which I indulged, but I’m starting to think the craving was actually for the honey mustard and mayonnaise I usually get on it, as I think a large part of why I keep craving kale salad (I’ve eaten two bags of it this week) is the pre-made poppy seed dressing that comes with it. So apparently the baby wants fruit and salad dressing.
I’m hoping the shift in food cravings, along with my new eating regime, will help to curtail the truly ridiculous weight gain that has occurred thus far (to date: I’m up eight pounds, which is driving me crazy, especially since I was up a grand total of three at this stage with E.). I wish I could figure out where the weight is going. My pants fit exactly the same, and other than the pregnancy bump (which is looking quite a lot like a bump these days, far more so than with E.), I don’t think I look all that different. I think I’ll have to get Q. to hide the scale before he leaves for Australia, as otherwise I will just fret. I am doing lots of walking (just like I was with E.), and I haven’t been eating an outrageous amount for the last couple of weeks, but the scale just keeps ticking upwards.
The uterus has been doing a lot of stretching and cramping, which I am trying to treat as normal and not as an imminent sign of a miscarriage. It definitely complains if I do too much in one day. Its definition of too much and mine aren’t lining up just yet, so I am spending most evenings with my feet up on the couch.
How am I feeling emotionally? Fine from moment to moment. Still not really engaged with the pregnancy as a real thing that is really happening, despite seeing the baby every single week. When the technicians show me the screen, and the baby is there, obviously bigger and doing more things than the previous week (at 10w2d, it was kicking legs and waving arms around), my first thought is always: “Oh hello! You are in there!”, like I’m somehow expecting to have misplaced it since the previous scan.
About the only time I get really excited and really happy is when I tell someone else, because then I can just absorb their reaction and let go of my own worries. It’s been good that we took over a week to tell all of our parents (I forgot my father was travelling this week so it took me a bit longer to track him down). I’ve also told a couple of friends this week that I see every day at drop off. It was starting to bother me that I was keeping this from them. They’re obviously completely ecstatic (they both got teary), so that helped. Other people seem perfectly certain that this baby is coming in June. Their certainty helps keep me settled when I start fretting.
How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? Ha! With E.’s pregnancy, I wrote this:
Quite a lot of cramping this week- I guess the ute must be growing.
I still get a momentary panic whenever we tell someone else the news, but I am getting better at believing that this doesn’t jinx us.
I guess some things don’t change.
On my mind: Q. and I have started to wade into the name issue, albeit on a very casual basis. It usually consists of me randomly tossing out name ideas while Q. is trying to work in the evenings, and then he rejects the names, and then I go back to the drawing board. The problem is we never, ever found another boy’s name that we both loved, other than E. If this baby is a girl, we are set, as I am 99% sure we will use the name we had chosen if E. had been a girl. But if it is another boy, we are in real trouble. There was one other name we both liked, but it has a connection to one of Q.’s advisers from his doctorate, and five years ago he was worried it would look like we were naming the baby after that individual. I think we should revisit this, as I still love the name, I know Q. loved the name, it works with the last name, AND it sounds great with E., which is harder than one would think to achieve as we like Irish names because Q.’s last name is Irish, but now that we chose E., the really Irish names make it look like we’re building an IRA sleeper cell. (We had one evening where we settled on Seamus and then by bedtime we both agreed it was just too Irish when put with E.)
I am sure we will get there eventually, but part of me is sorely tempted to find out the gender just to avoid the entire painful debate if it turns out the baby is a girl. I know it is common to really struggle with a name for a second child of the same gender when you are certain you hit the jackpot with the first name, and I know everyone eventually names their children. But right now it would be so much easier if this baby were a girl (even if E. is convinced it will be a boy because “I am not sure what I am supposed to do with a baby sister”). E.’s name is perfect. Absolutely perfect. It seems impossible to do that again.
Sleep? I am debating keeping this category because I don’t have sleep problems. Ever since I fixed my insomnia (almost two years ago now), my sleep has been great. I am tired and I need more sleep than usual right now, but I have no trouble getting it, and even if I wake up at 5:30 a.m., I can go back to sleep for another hour.
Best Moment: Probably telling my Dad. I have been approaching the subject with my parents by asking if they’d like to have some more company over Christmas and then telling them I’m not going to Australia after all. This has led (every time) to cries of dismay before they ask me why not, and then I get to tell them that I’m pregnant. It is pretty fun. When I told my Dad, his response was: “Outstanding!” (which is SO my Dad). A bit later in the conversation he said, “You kept it really quiet that you were back at the clinic,” to which I gleefully replied, “We didn’t go back- this one was FREE!”, and he couldn’t believe it. It is an extra layer of fun telling people who know our history because it is just so crazy that we got pregnant on our own after all those years at the clinic.
E. has also been hilarious this week. He is very concerned about when the baby will be able to understand about trains, so he’s planning to “get out some of my track for the baby, but just a little bit of track, because the baby will not really understand switches or elevated sections. And I will build a small train for the baby with just a few cars, like my first train when I was little. And I will show the baby the picture of me with the steam engine we rode on this summer” (which is in a frame in our living room because he loves it that much) “so that the baby will know how the steam engine works when we take the baby to ride on it” (because obviously that is something we’re going to do).
Other stuff: Q. and I are already discussing work options for the summer and next year. The wild card is a friend of ours who outranks me in seniority at my university when it comes to contract teaching positions. Q. heard from another friend that this friend has announced he’s going to leave the city (and academia) at the end of this current year. If he actually does this, that will open the door for me to pick up his teaching, which includes at least one course that is pretty much guaranteed to run every year. The downside is I’d have to start teaching in September 2016 (and basically forego a maternity leave of any kind). But we both know if the door opens I have to walk through it, as I cannot afford to let someone else get ahead of me in the courses in my field. And given how much I hated being at home full-time with an infant the last time around, maybe teaching a course or two (especially if one of them I’ve taught before, which is a possibility) would be a good compromise. Anyway. There are waaaay too many variables to try to figure things out at this juncture, but Q. and I are on the same page about what I should do if opportunities arise. Now we just have to see what gets offered and whether our friend follows through on his grand statement.
Up next: Nuchal scan is on the 3rd (at 11w5d) and we should hopefully have the results from our Harmony test back by then as well. Fingers crossed for two good results. I think that will help a lot with my anxiety.