Category Archives: Week-by-week

25 weeks!

How far along? Twenty-five weeks.

Vital stats? 106 days to my due date. And we hit viability last week. I told Q. it was viability day and he looked right at my belly and said sternly, “You stay in there!” The baby is somewhere around 13.5 inches long and weighs around 1.5 or 1.75 lb. The size of an acorn squash according to one website (these food measurements really are not remotely helpful). I weighed myself at 24 weeks for the first time in a month and I had gained 15 lb, so am on track for a weight gain of around 30 lb. Little bit higher than with E., but whatever- it’s well within the ‘expected’ range.

How am I looking? Massive? Probably not. I just feel huge all of a sudden. I think I am carrying high again like I did with E. and there is a lot of belly out front. I really need to take a bump pic this weekend- I meant to last weekend and we just didn’t get around to it. My winter coat does not have a lot of space left in it, but I am hoping to get through to the end with it- come on spring! All my maternity clothes fit well.

How am I feeling physically? Better now that I have FINALLY emerged victorious over the cold-that-became-a-miserable-sinus-infection. That took ages to clear- it was sitting over a bowl of steaming hot water with a towel on my head, three times a day, for three days in a row, that finally was the deciding factor. I’m still not 100% but I no longer feel sick and I’m no longer going through what feels like a box of kleenex every day.

So something completely changed between 23 and 24 weeks. I don’t know if it was coming back to my work routine from the week I spent sitting around in the hospital, but starting last week it became WORK to be pregnant. I’m more conscious of carrying around the belly. Getting up is harder. Staying on my feet for a long time is harder. I feel well, but I am just much more fatigued than I remember being with E. I’m sure several factors are causing this: 1. I’m five years older. 2. I’m unfit and not exercising much beyond lots of walking. 3. I have E. and even though he’s at school it’s much harder to lie down and put my feet up the second time around. 4. I’m teaching three courses rather than TAing in one course, so my workload is heavier and I spend more time on my feet lecturing. But I don’t have any serious complaints.

I am also much, much slower than I used to be. When I walk (at top speed) to the station after dropping E. at school, I’m now passed by people. Usually I’m passing almost everyone as I’m a really fast walker.

How am I feeling emotionally? Starting to get a bit of the second-time guilt. It’s not that I forget that I’m pregnant, but I have huge chunks of the day where I don’t think about the baby at all, and then s/he will settle down into kicking the living daylights out of me and I’ll be reminded that s/he’s in there. The baby’s nursery is my study at the moment and we have made absolutely no effort to get it ready (and won’t until semester is over). I haven’t dug out any clothes. I’m not nesting. A lot of the women on my birth club are in full-scale nesting mode and the ones who aren’t are panicking, but I know we’ll get everything ready in time.

I ran into a work friend yesterday and she was asking me about the baby and whether I was excited. She didn’t know what had happened to my Dad, so I filled her in on that. I feel like this baby doesn’t get much attention from me right now because all of my extra energy goes into thinking/worrying about my Dad. The good news is I’m really not worried about the kidney issue. I do have all the usual second-time worries: will I love this baby as much as E.? How will E. adjust? How will we adjust? Was this a crazy thing to do?

I’m so glad to be pregnant again. The whole mess with my Dad has made me realize (again) just how much I love my sisters and how glad I am that we have each other as we try to navigate through our new reality and support our Dad as much as we can. Even though I know that E. and this baby will probably not be great playmates, and may not be close for a long time (if ever) because of the age gap, there is a big part of me that is just relieved there will be two of them in case anything horrible should ever happen down the line.

I ended up seeing a psychiatrist at the program- she had a last minute cancellation so I was able to sneak in. She was quite helpful and reassuring. She started out thinking I might be ok just seeing someone on an occasional basis but once we talked everything through and I said that I didn’t know how to manage things because if I worry about my Dad I worry I’m stressing the baby, she decided that I should have a standard counsellor and regular meetings. So now I’m in a waiting game again for one of them to call me. If I had an acute need to talk to someone I could see her again, but I’m not at that stage right now.

Movement? Lots and lots now. The kicks are big enough to make my belly jump around. Phaselus definitely has patterns of movement and the baby dance party at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. has continued. We were watching a film last night (James Bond- Spectre) and the baby kicked for almost the entire movie. My clingy cat was on my lap and she was clearly determined to ignore the bumping and jumping that was going on to one side. The baby is also terribly sneaky. S/he will kick and kick and kick and then the moment Q. or E. puts his hand on my belly, everything goes silent. E. still hasn’t had a chance to feel the baby yet, although we’ve tried a couple of times. I appreciate all the kicks, although the punches to the cervix aren’t that comfortable. Every bit of movement is reassuring though.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? Last time I had this to say at 25 weeks:

Q. has noticed that he has to slow his walking pace down- I hadn’t realized that I was that much slower than normal, but it’s a significant change. Bending over is definitely getting harder. And even though I’m starving all the time, I can’t seem to fit much food into my stomach- a normal-sized meal (pre-pregnancy) now leaves me absolutely stuffed to the gills and feeling a bit ill.

So that’s interesting that I slowed down at exactly the same point. Apparently I started feeling like things were getting tougher at 24 weeks, which is EXACTLY the same as this time. I am so glad I kept those records of E’s pregnancy- it’s so interesting to compare!

The food thing is the same as well, although I’m not really hungry that often- I just get full really fast. I eat maybe 1/3rd of what I would usually eat at dinner and just eat more snacks during the day. The baby has pretty much eased off cravings (although s/he still loves avocados, steak and fruit).

About movement, I said this:

Bub is really getting strong- even Q. has noticed the difference in the kicks he can feel. It’s nice to get some daily reassurance that there is someone in there- I can pretty much guarantee I’ll get movement when I roll onto my right side in preparation for falling asleep. It’s a nice way to end the day.

Q. has again noticed a difference in the strength of the kicks (at least the few he’s been lucky enough to get from his uncooperative unborn offspring), and I certainly have. Interesting that this baby wiggles around at exactly the same time of night that E. did.

On my mind? I accepted the postdoc and deferred it at the same time, so I can make that final decision later. My prospective supervisor was very supportive (and already knew I was pregnant because my PhD supervisor has a big mouth). Q. and I found out that our papers were accepted for our association’s annual conference in May, so we’ve been talking about the logistics of that. E. is going to hang out with my mum and stepfather, so it’s a question of whether we take the train or drive. I’ll also be hugely pregnant by then, so if anything is worrying I will pull the paper and won’t go. But I hope I can go- it’s where Q. and I got engaged, so the city has a special place in our hearts, and the conference that was there in 2010 was amazing.

Sleep? Sleep has been ok the last couple of weeks. I think I am too tired from work and worry to fight it, although sometimes it takes longer than I would like to fall asleep. I have a hard time shutting down my brain with my Dad’s situation- I tend to go to sleep thinking about issues and then wake up thinking about them again. But I am sleeping well and not waking up in the night, which is much better than how I was going last time around where at this stage I was up all the time at 4:30 a.m. and often couldn’t get back to sleep.

Best moment? Hitting 24 weeks and viability. Having the baby party through the entire film last night. Learning that my Dad is progressing much faster than anyone in the ICU expected him to and is making huge strides with learning to talk on the ventilator. He is a fighter and I am so proud of him.

Other stuff? This coming week is full of appointments. I have a meeting with a paediatric nephrologist on Monday, my first meeting with my backup midwife (including the gestational diabetes test) on Tuesday, and the next round of scans and consults at the hospital where I’ll deliver on Thursday. I will be happy to see the baby again, and will be glad to get the gestational diabetes test out of the way, but I am losing almost all my prep time to appointments, and I really really need the prep time. I’ve cannibalized as many lectures as I can from my friend, but I still have a few to write from scratch and there’s the small matter of the research seminar I’m meant to give on the 17th… I am taking it one day at a time, trying not to panic, and promising myself I will get it all done eventually.

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An overdue update

How far along? Twenty-three weeks. I had to go and look up how far along I was because in the total chaos that is now my life I had lost track. One more week until viability!

Vital stats? When I last saw my midwife (on the 10th), my blood pressure was still ridiculously low (82/56) and my heart rate was good. Phaselus’ heart rate was 148 bpm. S/he was head down, but it’s way too early for that to be the end position. Still, nice to know s/he is thinking about being sensible. The missing kidney is really not a concern for me anymore, mostly because we had the two extra scans and I have been reassured by countless doctors that the existing kidney looks great and is functioning just as it should. My uterus was measuring half a week ahead at the appointment, so all growth parameters look good.

How am I looking? Bigger every day. It’s more of an all around bump than a basketball, and I remember feeling the same way about E’s bump (although I am still bigger than I was at the corresponding stage of E’s pregnancy). I suspect I am going to have fewer options for work clothes in the second half of the semester because most of the shirts I’ve been layering under my sweaters are not going to fit as well. I finish teaching right as I hit the third trimester, so I should squeak through without having to do any more shopping.

How am I feeling physically? I have some rough points, but generally I still feel well. My hips have been a bit sore- I think I’m reaching the stage where I’m going to want to sleep with some extra pillows at night. I’ve also been woken up a couple of nights this week with leg cramps- I just get out of bed and walk around a few steps until they settle down. I’ve spent this week basically sitting in the hospital or sitting in a car going to and from the hospital or sitting at the house after being at the hospital, so I suspect I’m going to find all my usual walking a bit of shock when I return to my normal routine on Monday.

My jaw hurts, even with my mouth guard. It was fine the last two weeks but has been a mess this week, which I think is indicative of the extra stress I’m under, given I’ve spent the last week as the daughter representative for Dad (I’m heading home this afternoon and my youngest sister is getting in tonight to take over). It is hard, physically and emotionally, to be in the hospital all day. I am also not used to having to spend this much time with my stepmother without my father (or my sisters, or Q. and E.) as a buffer. She’s not my favourite person in the world. I’m sure this is part of the reason why my jaw is only now causing me problems.

How am I feeling emotionally? There is no easy way to answer this question. What’s happened to my Dad has obviously affected me (understatement of the century) and it’s also obvious that my emotional state is transmitted to the pregnancy at least in terms of my uterus getting very agitated on days where my body has been flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. My midwife and I talked about this, and she has reassured me that this is very normal- essentially the uterus is just a big, highly reactive muscle, so of course it’s going to respond. I know when I need to take time out to lie down or have a shower, and I’ve been prepped on the signs that things are not so normal. I’m trying to keep to an even keel as much as I can, but this week has been stressful, as my Dad has been on the full ICU roller coaster, and my stepmother has decided we need to enter a new stage in our relationship of total honesty, which, as far as I can tell, consists of her ambushing me on a daily basis with things I have done or said that have made her feel like her feelings are not important. I am not finding this helpful in the least, especially since my priority is my father, so I’ll be glad to go home this afternoon on that regard, although I’m finding it hard to leave Dad because I know I won’t be able to come back until I finish teaching in six weeks.

I’ve been referred to a program that specializes in pre- and post-partum depression and anxiety run out of one of the hospitals in our city. My midwife and I had discussed this program way back, before the anatomy scan and before the accident, because I felt like my anxiety probably had been at unhealthy levels after E. was born, and I was worried about coping this time around, especially since I wasn’t looking forward to the baby phase. I was going to make sure to ask for the referral after we learned about the kidney, but the accident happened first, and she and I both agreed that I am no longer having a normal pregnancy in any stretch of the imagination in terms of anxiety and stress levels, and that I needed to have some extra support in place. I had my initial interview over the phone this week and the questions the nurse was asking me (and my answers) made it clear that I do run on the high end of normal for anxiety usually, and getting help right now is the right thing to do. I should hear back in a couple of weeks about my first actual appointment.

I am concerned about the baby’s health. Not in terms of the kidney, but just in terms of how my anxiety and stress could be affecting him/her. I am hoping now that my father has come through surgery and is much more stable that I will be able to compartmentalize a bit more- the days where my uterus has been agitated have all been days where we’ve had a big procedure happening or he’s been fighting pneumonia and a high fever. I did find out the baby’s sex at one of the follow up ultrasounds. Q. wasn’t with me, and he doesn’t know I know (or at least he hasn’t asked me if I found out- he knew I was leaning towards finding out), so for now I have a secret. It has definitely helped to be able to think about this baby as a little person rather than just a baby.

Movement? Phaselus has been very cooperative at giving me regular, frequent movement. My midwife reiterated at my last appointment that they don’t expect us to feel consistent movement until 28 weeks. She told me just to enjoy it when I felt it. I had been worried because I’d felt the movement had been different from the previous week, but she said it was probably I found it harder to concentrate on the movement because I’d been so stressed about my father. I can tell when s/he moves around because the anterior placenta muffles the movement in my lower abdomen- I mostly then just feel kicks/punches to my cervix. If s/he is up higher, I get hammered all over (s/he is giving me a kick as I write this). I tend to get punched if I sit down and then lean over (like to tie my shoes). Thus far, s/he is a very sensible baby, as when I’ve been up in the wee hours of the night there’s been nothing. But Phaselus does seem to like to have a good old wiggle right around 10 p.m.- hopefully that will not continue on the outside because that is just not baby dance party time. It is nice though because it means Q. gets a kick or two right before we go to bed. My sisters have also both felt a wiggle while we were in the hospital two weeks ago waiting for our father to arrive.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? The big difference between pregnancies (other than how giant I am) is in the movement. Last time around I said this:

Pretty steady- I still notice something each day. Q. hasn’t felt anything yet, though.

Q. was able to feel the baby most nights before I left to spend this week with my Dad, so he had consistent movement before 22 weeks.

It also looks like I was an anxious mess at this stage (just like now) although for different reasons:

The problem is that I was never able to convince myself that this was going to work out. I’ve spent the entire time anticipating something was going to go wrong. I would miscarry, or have an incompetent cervix, or the 12-week ultrasound would show some terrible problem, or the anatomical ultrasound would suggest horrible anomalies. SOMETHING, according to my messed-up post-infertility brain, had to go wrong. I was just starting to ease up when we found out about the cyst, and that’s been enough to set me off again. Even though I know that it is likely meaningless and our baby is probably perfectly fine, I’m right back to where I was in the first trimester.

The cyst that caused so much stress last time around was, of course, a totally meaningless choroid plexus cyst on E’s brain. I think I eventually calmed down after I next saw my primary midwife and she reassured me that it did not mean anything in the absence of other markers (it is a so called soft marker). A couple of the mums on my June 2016 birth club have had a similar result and they’ve also freaked out, so I do understand where I was coming from. I’m just glad E. had two kidneys. I don’t know that I would have been able to handle that diagnosis the first time around.

I also said this:

In the meantime, I am trying to make my peace with the fact that it is probably just not possible for me to truly enjoy this pregnancy. My main hope is that once I get through it and the baby is healthy, maybe we will be so lucky as to get pregnant again. And maybe I will be able to enjoy that one. With this one, I’m just trying to survive it.

That makes me sad, but I also know that I did calm down about the cyst, and I did end up enjoying the pregnancy, especially the third trimester. When I look back at E’s pregnancy I don’t remember the anxiety and the insomnia. I mostly remember how great I felt all the way through, how happy I was to be pregnant, how much I loved feeling him kick and wiggle, and how amazing my birth experience was.

I know this pregnancy is going to be different because there is no escaping the fact that my life changed overnight when my father had his accident. But I am trying to take the time to enjoy being pregnant, rather than just worrying about the baby. I will not be pregnant again. It’s why I’ve made the time to do another one of these updates- my weekly posts from E’s pregnancy are so precious to me now. And this baby deserves the same love and attention, even if I’m incredibly distracted by other things.

On my mind? I have no idea what I’ll be doing next year in terms of how long a maternity leave I’ll be taking, or what I’ll be doing the year after. The unexpected wrinkle is I found out this week (Q. opened the envelope under the promise not to tell me unless it was time sensitive and then got excited once he had opened it and called me anyway) that I’ve won a major postdoc. It’s extremely competitive- I think this year the success rate was around 15-17%. I can defer it if I’m on maternity leave, but Q. and I have to think about whether it is strategic for me to step out of the contract system at my home institution for two years in order to do the postdoc. Yes, it’s prestigious, and yes, it’s a guaranteed income, but if taking it means I will never get teaching at my home institution again because I will have let other people get into the courses and build up their seniority, I may need to be more strategic. We’ll see. I need to email my prospective supervisor when I get home to tell her I’ve been offered it and tell her about the baby. If she’s happy for me to defer it (which she should be) then I can put the decision off for another year. I’m also allowed to teach one course a year while on the postdoc, and there doesn’t seem to be anything in the official guidelines that says that course has to be at the university where you’re holding the postdoc. So I might be able to keep my seniority ticking over AND take the postdoc, which would be the best of both worlds. Lots to think about. I’m still not even sure I want to spend another two years focused on research, although I can definitely see how this would be an advantage in terms of getting my book revisions done (which, as Q. pointed out, are not likely to get done anytime soon if I continue to teach three courses a semester).

Sleep? Sleep has been problematic. On the 5th, which was the day where my stepmother called me at 2:30 a.m. to give me the news of the accident and I hadn’t gone back to sleep and my uterus freaked out by the middle of the day, my midwife told me to take a Gravol to make sure I slept. I’ve taken one a couple of other times- the night before we were going to learn my father’s prognosis, the night he went in for surgery, and it has helped on those nights. Generally though my sleep has been ok. I do sometimes wake up too early, but I can usually fall back asleep, and most days I’ve been too tired at night to have trouble falling asleep.

Best moment? Anytime the baby moves a lot. I just love that reassurance that all is well in my uterus even though the rest of my life is crazy.

Other stuff? Not much on the horizon now that we’ve had all the extra scans and I’ve had my phone interview for the mental health program. I need a week without appointments as spending my reading week at the hospital means that I am heading into the second half of the semester (to say nothing of next week in particular) woefully underprepared.

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At the mid-point

How far along? Twenty weeks. Exactly halfway! (Or a bit more than halfway if this baby arrives a couple of days early like E. did.)

Vital stats? I’m great. I guess there has been some bloat or digestive issues affecting the scale lately as the reading yesterday showed I’m up 11 lb total, which means I haven’t gained any weight since getting back from Christmas, and I really did gain only 1.5 lb over the holidays. I could gain a pound a week from here on in and still be well within the recommended weight range (currently on track for 31 lb, which is still higher than with E., but I’m fine with that). I am going to try to weigh myself less frequently, but I always feel like I could weigh myself less frequently on Saturdays because I get on the scale on Friday mornings. By Thursday I’m twitchy.

Other than the obvious issue of a likely missing organ, as discovered in our anatomy scan on Tuesday, the baby otherwise looks great. The umbilical cord has three blood vessels, just like it should. My placenta is anterior (again) and clear of the cervix.

How am I looking? Ooh, rather pregnant. Definitely popped a little in the last week or so, which makes sense because the baby’s movements have really gone up a notch in frequency and intensity. I am still dressing creatively to try to avoid having to buy more work clothes and so far I’ve done a lot better than I thought I would. I am going to go and pick up some second-hand nursing tank tops this weekend that I found on a local buy/sell mothers’ group, which should come in handy to layer under my cardigans and will hopefully be useful in the summer as the shirts I lived in during E’s first few months I threw out a year or so ago.

How am I feeling physically? Good. Other than running out of breath whenever I do things that didn’t used to be strenuous (like stair climbing), I feel fine. I’m hungry, but not outrageously so, and have no real food aversions. Still getting some round ligament pain. This is the first week where I’ve been able to feel where the baby is in my uterus just by how heavy one side or the other feels as I’m walking around.

How am I feeling emotionally? Not how I was hoping to be feeling after the anatomy scan, obviously. I’m having a hard time with the constant stream of “I know someone with one kidney and she’s fine!” stories I’m getting from everyone (I think I am up to fifteen). I understand they are meant to be reassuring and I really do appreciate the sentiment, but I feel like I won’t be able to properly appreciate these stories until our baby is born and we know for sure the existing kidney functions. Because if it doesn’t, our baby isn’t going to be fine. S/he could well die. And while the anatomy scan indicated that, as far as we can tell, that kidney is working as it should, we can’t be sure until the baby is born. And so, while I’m not exactly freaking out, I’m not without worry. I’m glad we’re going to have another two ultrasounds in the next couple of weeks, as hopefully we will learn more each time as the baby gets bigger and things get easier to see.

I also think we might get the official word on the sex. I think I need something to help me start thinking about this baby as a person, as my child, and knowing his/her name will probably help. I would say I’m 95% confident I know the answer, but I’m starting to feel that I need that certainty.

The whole mess has definitely helped me with my ambivalence about the baby stage. I always do best when I can plan and learn and prepare and get organized, and this has really raised my mama bear instincts. By the time this baby comes out, you can bet I will know everything I can about the situation and will have all the tests s/he will need lined up.

That said, I’m still not remotely looking forward to the actual day-to-day of life with a baby. I am so grateful this will be another spring baby so we can get the worst part over with in the summer. I don’t even want to think about what it would do to my mental health to have a baby in November.

Movement? I remember reading last time around that the baby has a big growth spurt around 17-19 weeks, and I really feel like this baby has just done that. There has been a huge change this week in the type of movement I’m feeling. Previously the baby was easiest to feel in the evenings when I was relaxing on the couch. This week I feel the baby all the time. I even saw my stomach ripple when I was teaching on Friday. The kicks and pushes are getting stronger and it’s now pretty much impossible to ignore or forget about my extra tenant. I haven’t encouraged E. to try to feel the baby yet because with the anterior placenta it’s still touch and go for Q., and I don’t want E. to be disappointed. But I can tell in a couple of weeks there will be no doubt.

 

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? Last time around I was obviously pretty excited to reach the halfway point, although I did note:

I can’t wait for this pregnancy to actually feel real. I’m halfway, and it STILL hasn’t sunk in that this is really happening.

I remember the second half of the pregnancy going by much faster than the first and expect it will be the same this time around, especially since I’m going to be flat out until classes end in April.

Last time I was also upset that I didn’t look more pregnant:

I have been wearing my maternity jeans all week. They are pretty comfortable, although it took me a while to get used to them. I was actually really disappointed the first night I put on the maternity jeans and a maternity top- it really brought home that my belly isn’t all that big, and that it isn’t one of those stereotypical cute preggo bellies that just pops out- it’s more of an all-around belly. So I just felt that it made me look fat and apple-shaped.

Looking back at the pictures, it is obvious I did not look fat. This time I’ve been out of the pudgy stage (I feel) for ages now.

This was also the first week I was positive I felt the baby move:

I’m 99% positive that I’ve felt the baby over the last couple of days. It’s always on my left side, quite low down, and usually in the evening (8-8.30 pm). The first couple of days it felt like a centipede running across my insides, but on Monday I felt what I really think were kicks.

I’m glad I’ve felt the baby so much earlier this time, but it’s interesting that the kicks and wiggles became so much stronger this week. It must have been the same last time and E. was finally able to make his presence known.

On my mind? Maternity leave. I FINALLY managed to have a meeting with the union rep and the employer’s rep on Friday morning and it was very very interesting. The short answer is I have more options than I thought I did, because the way the employer is willing to pay out the maternity leave is much more flexible than what is actually stated in the collective agreement. But I can’t make a full decision about what I’m going to do until I know what teaching I can expect to have in the fall/winter, which likely isn’t going to be sorted out until May. But it’s nice to have options. I could take an entire year off, as I will have accrued enough hours to qualify for EI maternity and parental leave, but I would lose my incumbency in any courses (although I would still accrue seniority as if I had accepted any contracts offered to me). I can say with confidence I won’t do this, not only because I can’t afford to lose incumbency but also because the idea of being at home for a full year is horrifying. But I may be able to take the entire fall semester off and return to my courses in January. The students will be pissed off because they hate changing course directors, but it’s no different than what I’ve done with two of my three courses this semester. The employer’s rep was confident that we could find a good compromise between looking after the baby and protecting my seniority.

Sleep? Sleep is good. The baby likes to have a good big wiggle right before I fall asleep, but it’s not strong enough to keep me awake. I found with E. that his kicks and wiggles never kept me awake the way other mums-to-be would complain, which I assume was because of the anterior placenta. Hoping for a similar result this time around.

Best moment? Three this week. On Tuesday, before the anatomy scan started, I was lying on the table, poking at my belly (as I am wont to do) and there was this incredibly hard spot on the bottom right side. I kept poking it and poking it wondering what on earth was going on, and then it swam off. Sorry baby! That was the first time the baby’s been big enough for me to identify it from the outside, even though I’ve been feeling movement for a month now. And then on Thursday night, Q. is pretty sure he felt the baby while s/he was doing his/her usual nighttime wiggling. And there was this very cute moment when E. was unwell on Wednesday and we were talking about his medicine and I was saying that you can’t given Children’s Advil to babies and he asked me, very seriously, “Do we have a plan to get the baby medicine when it comes out? Because if it is sick it will need medicine safe for babies. And my medicine is not safe for babies.”

Other stuff? There will be a whole bunch more medical appointments coming up as a result of the anatomy scan. I currently have another ultrasound and then an appointment with a genetic counsellor scheduled for next Wednesday (I need to try to call them to move the appointment as it’s conflicting with both my teaching and Q’s). I think the hospital wants to do its own scan before sending me to the genetic counsellor. And then there’s the follow up ultrasound which should be in mid-February, and will be at the hospital where I will deliver, as that will make it easier to keep everything in the system. And lastly my midwife has referred me for a maternal fetal medicine consult, so hopefully I’ll get that appointment fairly soon too.

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Almost halfway

How far along? Nineteen weeks (+1, as I was too out of control yesterday to get a post up).

Vital stats? Everything, I assume, is good. Still up more weight than I would like, and still checking weekly since I’m afraid I’ll gain a gazillion pounds if I don’t keep an eye on it. I am certainly not eating more than I was before getting pregnant, and I’m more active in terms of the walking I’m doing, yet I keep gaining, even though my usual diet has had me in a happy pattern of maintenance for years now. I don’t know how my body is storing it. I know it should not be a big deal, but it is seriously bugging me.

Also not pleased about the giant salad recall for potential listeria contamination, since we purchase at least some of the exact brands that have been recalled every.single.week. But I do not currently have any symptoms and I know the risk is low and hopefully that will be that.

How am I looking? Clearly pregnant. I actually wrestled Q. into taking a bump pic today (first one of the pregnancy), but I haven’t had time to get the photo off my camera. I’ll post it this week. I went to E.’s winter concert this week (singing JK kids- adorable!) and took off my jacket and all the mums who know I’m pregnant were really excited because it was so obvious without my massive winter parka.

I’m almost positive the secretaries at work are on to me. The saga of hiding it from the chair is hopefully almost over as I did see the union rep on Friday and now we have a meeting this coming Friday with the employer’s rep to clarify exactly what my entitlements are.

How am I feeling physically? Still good. I occasionally get hit by a sudden burst of exhaustion, but in general my energy levels have been fine. I’ve survived three weeks of teaching (which is a quarter of the semester) and although the pace is a wee bit frantic at times, I am still getting enough sleep. Round ligament pain is becoming more frequent.

How am I feeling emotionally? Super twitchy about the anatomy scan. I’m also now processing a whole lot of emotions that I haven’t really been dealing with, because I’ve been expecting all along to lose the pregnancy. Now that this seems much less likely to happen, I am having to squarely face the reality that there is going to be a BABY in this house in June. And the truth is, I’m not looking forward to it. I will hopefully have enough time at some point in the future to unpack how I am feeling, but the short answer is: I want another little person and I know I have to suffer through the baby phase to get there, but I am not exaggerating my feelings when I use the word suffer. I know some people love infancy. I really, really, really hated it.

I am really excited to be pregnant, and I am really excited to be a family of four, but I cannot honestly say I am excited about going through the whole baby thing again. A couple of mamas on E’s birth club have just had babies (their third) and I don’t look at the pictures and think “Ooh, I want to cuddle that,” I look at them and think, “OH FUCK we’re getting one of those again.”

I am, however, entirely set for the toddler. I am awesome at toddlers. E. and I have been watching videos from the summer we were in England when he was two and his little high pitched voice where he only pronounces the first syllable of every word just kills me.

Movement?  Pretty consistent. Some harder kicks now. I think Q. probably would be able to feel them if he had his hand in the exact right place at the exact right time, but that hasn’t worked out yet. Lots of wiggles and pushes. It’s obviously swimming around a lot in there because the kicks are mostly up high and then it will head down and sit on my bladder for a while. I can’t really feel movement when it’s down that low, but I know it’s there because I then have to run to the ‘loo every single hour.

We really need to come up with a nickname for the baby. I don’t think we’re going to find out the sex, so I can’t use a name. And Q. just calls it ‘bump’, which is what we called E., which I think is weird. But calling it ‘it’ is also weird.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? Well, I called my nineteen week post last time “Almost halfway!” so I guess I felt pretty much exactly the same with where I was at. This was the week where I bought my maternity jeans (wearing a pair as I type).

I said this:

Definitely noticing that I run out of energy faster. This is probably the single biggest reminder that I am pregnant, as I will be belting along at my usual pace, and suddenly realize that I need to slow down or sit down. The insane hunger that started early last week seems to have tapered off somewhat.

This is exactly what happens to me every now and then. I just run right out of steam. Haven’t had the crazy hunger though- I still mostly get full much faster than usual.

I’ve made my peace with the fact that I’m not yet ready to be completely confident with this pregnancy, and that’s ok.

It’s not quite the same issue as last time around, but I definitely have not yet completely engaged with this pregnancy either. That’s ok too. It’s very hard for me to relax and trust things will work out. A good scan on Tuesday will help a lot.

On my mind? Still thinking about the birth centre/hospital issue. I am now maybe leaning more towards just going back to the hospital again. I think I thought the birth centre would be set up to handle more emergencies than it is (it’s basically stocked with the same equipment you would have available at a home birth). Obviously there are better facilities (showers/tubs/birthing balls/etc.) at the centre than there would be at home, and no mess in your house, but I wouldn’t ever consider a home birth (too anxious), so now I am not sure the birth centre will be a good fit. Need to book a tour and then see how we feel. One of the blogs I read just had a baby along with one of those crazy unlikely serious emergencies where the labour went from uneventful to emergency c-section in about 30 seconds. I know the birth centre is three minutes away from a hospital and they’d prep whatever was needed while we were in transit, but I am just not sure I have the mental fortitude to run that (small) risk, much as I would like to.

Otherwise I have been thinking mostly about work. Still out of control because E. ended up having to stay home from school on Thursday (bad cold), and I will miss my lecture writing time this Tuesday because of the scan. This week will be stressful but then hopefully, if E. can stay healthy, I will get a little bit ahead again (by which I mean not writing the lecture I have to give on Wednesday afternoons on Wednesday mornings, which is what’s going to happen this week).

I’ve also had a conversation with Q. about our savings priorities now that I am being paid again. (My first paycheque will be deposited tomorrow and I am RIDICULOUSLY excited about this. Keep in mind I haven’t been paid since August 2014, and not earning an income has been very bad for my mental health. The secretaries showed me on Friday how to look up my payslip online and I basically danced around my office afterwards.)

Sleep? Sleep is good. I am working really hard to make sure I don’t stay up too late working, because then I have a terrible time getting to sleep. I’m not usually getting up at night at the moment either, so I feel pretty well rested. E. was up a few times on Wednesday night (partly why he didn’t go to school on Thursday) and I was in a fog the next morning. I still find it hard to believe how well I functioned (or thought I was functioning) when E. was waking me up twice a night for more than year.

Best moment? Nothing stands out this week with the pregnancy. E’s winter concert was adorable. It felt a bit like a rite of passage, especially watching the grade eights who were the emcees (who towered over the kindies). He’s been doing really well in school since getting back from Australia. It’s possible it was because he was exhausted from jet lag and illness but I’m hopeful he’s just generally more settled.

Other stuff? My clingy cat has a runny eye, which she gets sometimes (it’s a feline herpes virus), but she’s having trouble fighting it off this time. We ended up taking her in to the vet just to make sure there wasn’t anything more we could do (which there wasn’t). I’m hoping she was just stressed with having me away over Christmas and the boys away. The alternative is that she’s stressing about the pregnancy- when I was pregnant with E. she went through this terrible phase of over grooming. I’m hoping she’s not going to start that up again.

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Filed under Me? Pregnant?!, Week-by-week

18 weeks

How far along? Eighteen weeks. For some reason I always feel like eighteen weeks is a big milestone, and it really isn’t. But it’s still nice to be here!

Vital stats? Blood pressure at my appointment with the midwife was its usual rock bottom 82/54. My uterus is right up to my belly button now, and when my midwife palpated it, she was able to feel where the baby was. All looks great on the growth end (the food/baby website comparisons claim this week that baby is the size of a sweet potato, which is yet another useless measurement given the wide variety of sweet potato sizes one encounters in a grocery store). When E. got home, he looked at me and said, “Oh my goodness, Mummy! You are so much puffier! Can you get even more puffy?” I laughed and told him, “Just you wait!”

Most importantly, I had a phone call on Thursday from my midwife and the results from the second round of my IPS testing were in. The baby has a 1 in 54,600 chance of a neural tube defect, which I suspect is about as low as you can get. Big relief for me, and hopefully the anatomical ultrasound (only a week and a half away!) will confirm this.

How am I looking? About the same as last week. Q. also commented on how big I’m getting and then asked (with notable skepticism in his voice), “And you’re still hiding it at work?” I was hoping to talk to my chair yesterday but the union representative didn’t turn up for our meeting (and then never replied to my email to explain his absence) so I spent yet another day wearing baggier sweaters and keeping my jacket on. I am not sure I am fooling anyone, but no one’s broached the subject yet. My supervisor, who does know, came back from his conference and was holding court in the main office when I ran into him, so we had to have a rather frantic hushed conversation about how I hadn’t told anyone else yet.

I have been able to make more of my non-pregnancy work wardrobe work than I thought I would, so I am not in a dire state for clothes. My friends on E’s birth club also reassured me that my students are not going to notice if I wear the same two pairs of pants every week. One of them said she spent her second pregnancy in two pairs of black leggings and one pair of jeans, and no one noticed, and she works in fashion! The issue of short-sleeved tops will arise eventually, but for now I can get by.

How am I feeling physically? Not too bad, although I was completely wiped out by the time I got home on Friday. I didn’t do extra walking or extra teaching, but it was just a day where I found it hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’ve been generally tired this week as my sleep has been disrupted by the jet lag affecting the other members of the household.

I had a terrible, terrible headache early in the week. At first I thought it was because I ran out of tea in the house (I have been drinking one caffeinated tea each morning). This really surprised me because normally when I only drink one cup of caffeine a day I can stop without consequences at any point. I realized what was actually going on later that day: it had been pouring rain all day and then the temperature crashed and the wind and snow howled throughout the night. My head is basically a barometer and that was too much of a change for it to cope with. I took tylenol that night and again the next day to try to get things back in order.

This is officially an avocado baby. I went out for dinner with my sisters on Saturday night and we went back to the Mexican near my sister’s apartment that I went to with her in December. The tacos were amazing, especially the grilled avocado with pineapple one, but I could have just sat there and ate chips with guacamole for the entire evening. The baby also really really likes fruit, so at least it wants food I’m happy to eat.

I’m still noticing how quickly I get full. I have a ridiculous teaching schedule on Mondays, where I’m out of the house for fourteen hours, so I’ve decided I’m allowed to buy my lunch on campus on those days. It’s extremely difficult for me to eat supper as between 4 and 10 p.m. I’m either teaching or in a taxi frantically rushing from one class to the next, so last Monday I ordered this huge plate of Indian food at lunch with three kinds of veggie dishes and rice and naan and a veggie samosa, and ate the entire thing. And then it was ok I struggled to eat anything other than a piece of fruit at any other point in the day, because that giant meal kept me fuelled. I normally try really hard not to buy food at work but to pack my own lunch, but I think Mondays require special treatment.

How am I feeling emotionally? Much better. My boys are back home, my IPS results were excellent, the baby is swimming around on a regular basis to remind me she/he is in there, and I’ve survived two weeks of the semester. Even the fact that it’s been real winter this week (and sometimes bitterly cold with the wind) hasn’t bothered me, because I’ve been enjoying walking in the sunshine (the cold days are usually the clear days, and December was so very very grey).

Movement?  I would say I feel movement every day now if I stop and take the time to pay attention. I don’t notice the baby when I’m busy teaching, walking, etc., but in the evening, or right before bed, if I sit down and put my feet up, there s/he is. A couple of times this week the wriggles and pushes and nudges have felt more like a kick. I tried getting Q. to feel one night, but it’s still too early to get them from the outside.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? I just checked and my results for neural tube defects with E. also came back at 1 in 54,600!

At eighteen weeks last time around I had this to say about how I was feeling:

Still getting headaches if I’m not careful about how much I drink and how frequently I eat. Just in the last three days I’ve become STARVING. Yesterday I ate my lunch at 10.30 because I was going to lose it if I just ate the apple that was my usual snack. I did read somewhere that the baby has a growth spurt around 17-18 weeks, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by how hungry I am. I am really starting to notice that I get more tired from doing lots of walking than would be normal. But otherwise, I feel pretty good.

The headache this week was a real aberration, so I think I’ve done a better job this pregnancy of staying hydrated. And feeling tired from normal activity is definitely something I’ve been noticing this week. I’m glad the university semester is going to finish right at the start of my third trimester, as I’m not sure I could keep up this schedule right to the end. I haven’t noticed myself feeling ravenous this week, but I’m sure it’s coming.

Also this:

I still think I’m in the stage where I’m not going to be obviously looking pregnant if I switch to mat clothes, but I’m definitely not looking like I used to. I have had multiple people tell me in the last week that I “look great”, “don’t look pregnant at all”, “don’t look like I’ve gained any weight”, etc., but I am my own worst critic.

That is the difference between first and subsequent pregnancies. The belly pics on my new birth club from first time mums often look like mine used to. Those of us who have been through it before look rather different.

I still haven’t taken a belly pic this pregnancy, so it’s time to start getting out the camera.

On my mind? Not much pregnancy related this week- I was too busy with teaching to really sit and think about anything else, especially since I lost almost all of my work time this week because E. was home from school with jet lag (he arrived home late Monday, so we kept him home on Tuesday, sent him for half the day Wednesday and Thursday and then sent him for the full day on Friday). Q. and I do need to think about where we want to have this baby. We’d be heading straight back to the hospital except our city now has a birth centre. It only opened a couple of years ago, so it wasn’t an option when we were pregnant with E. I’d like to deliver there, assuming everything in this pregnancy continues to be as straightforward as it was with E. I had an easy, uncomplicated delivery last time, so I know I’m a good candidate. I think Q. probably needs to see it to get his head around the possibility, so I need to book a tour. Q. did acknowledge that it would be a waste of the hospital’s resources to deliver there if it went like last time.

We’re also discussing what I’m going to do about our field’s annual conference. I didn’t give a paper in 2015 (did give one in 2014) and I’m hesitant to build too big of a gap on my CV. Plus it’s in a very very nice location. I’ll be in my thirty-fifth week at the time of the conference, and my midwife says she has no reason for me not to go- it’s entirely up to my comfort level. I wouldn’t even consider going if Q. wasn’t going to be there, but he has to go, and we can probably drop E. off at the grandparents on our way through. The abstracts are due at the end of the month, and I think what we decided is I’ll put in an abstract and then if any complications with the pregnancy arise, I can always pull the paper.

Sleep? I had some bleary moments this week, but they weren’t the baby’s fault. Q. and E. both slept through on Monday night, but then they were both awake for extended periods of time on Tuesday. Eventually Q. got out of bed, got E. out of bed, took him downstairs and fed him a snack and let him look quietly at a book, and then put him back in bed, where he fell asleep. Everyone felt pretty out of it on Wednesday as a result. Since then E.’s just rocked the jet lag and has slept through every single night, which means I’ve slept better as even though Q. has been waking up, I usually just wake up either when he gets out of bed or when he gets back into bed. It’s not the same as knowing your child is awake. Poor Q. is having a rough time of it though. He claims he’s more tired than he was when E. was an infant, which I suppose makes sense given he was never the one who was up in the night for extended periods of time.

Best moment? Coming home after teaching on Monday to find Q. and E. tucked up in their beds. It felt so good to have my family together again.

Other stuff? Nothing pregnancy related coming up this week. I have stepped back a little from my new birth club after getting into a lengthy vaccination debate (I really should know better but I just cannot keep myself from responding- it is like a red flag to a bull). I have picked out the women in the birth club whom I would be friends with in real life and there are days where I think I should just friend them and then quit because I’m not sure I have the stomach for all the craziness again. But sometimes it is nice to have somewhere full of women just as pregnant as I am, as I don’t like talking about it much on E’s birth club. For now I remain on the fence.

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Filed under Me? Pregnant?!, Week-by-week

17 weeks

How far along? Seventeen weeks (missed last week’s update while visiting family).

Vital stats? Despite eating a ridiculous amount of food (especially cookies) over the holidays, and despite what the scale originally said when I first got back home, in the end, once everything returned to normal, I gained 1.5 lb over two weeks, putting me up 10.5 lb total at this point. I am officially ceasing to stress about my weight as things have really settled down in the last month. I also made a change to my synthroid medication (up to 0.137 daily) this week after seeing my endocrinologist. I’m glad I’m being monitored so closely by him (and even happier that he totally missed my ridiculous weight gain (still bloated from Christmas and it looked like I had gained 12 lb in the eight weeks since I had last been there) when I saw him on Monday because he loves to lecture his patients about weight.) Some websites say the baby is the size of a turnip. Others suggest a pear. These two foods are not remotely the same size, and a pear is smaller than the naval orange suggested for fifteen weeks. I give up with the food.

How am I looking? Still pregnant, but less pregnant than over the holidays (much of that was bloat and digestive slowdown rather than baby). I saw a friend up at work (work! I am employed!) on Wednesday and she said she felt I could still get away with just looking like I had too much pizza and beer over Christmas. I am still trying to hide it at work because I haven’t yet been able to meet with my union rep to talk about maternity leave options, and I don’t want to tell the chair of my department until I’ll be able to explain to him exactly what my options are so we can have a good discussion about what makes the most sense for the department, and for me, both in terms of when the baby comes and my future opportunities. I’ve been wearing my winter coat, unzipped, around the office a lot, or keeping my scarf on.

I think I have to buy new bras. I have gone up to the ones I wore while pregnant with E., which two weeks ago I thought looked huge, but I think the fact that I started this pregnancy weighing five pounds more, and the fact that I had been running before getting pregnant with E., means that I need a different band size. They’re just not comfortable.

How am I feeling physically? Pretty good! I am really loving teaching again and I can tell I’m doing heaps more walking on the  days where I teach (walking to transit, walking to office, walking to class, walking in classroom).

I am also enjoying the novel experience of feeling really really hungry without also feeling really really full, which is pretty much how I felt the entire time I was away.

How am I feeling emotionally? I am SO OVER having Q. and E. away. I enjoyed going home (but not home) for the holidays, but coming back to the empty house (except for the cats) was a drag. The wedding was today (Australian time) and Q. and E. fly on Monday, so it is not too much longer until I will see them.

I was definitely ready to come back home (real home). Both sets of parents are in fairly dysfunctional relationship dynamics at the moment. One set’s issues are hopefully temporary (largely caused by knock-on effects from health problems that can hopefully be resolved at some point this year). The other set’s problems are well established, but my sisters and I decided that their general pattern of contempt and negativity has been masked of late because we now usually see them with E. in tow and they clearly put on their best behaviour when he’s around. I think we all came out of that visit a little shell shocked, and I can say that they better stay on their best behaviour when E.’s around because there is no way in hell I’m taking him to visit that house if that’s what they’re going to model for him. It did make me extra appreciative of a) the close relationship I have with my sisters and b) the great marriage I have with Q.

I’m getting a little bit twitchy about the anatomy scan at the end of January but am ok generally. I was much more nervous this week about starting teaching again (for the first time since April 2014, and I haven’t taught three classes at once since the 2007-08 academic year before I started the PhD). I had all my usual anxiety moments- worried I would get the time wrong, or the classroom wrong, or the technology wouldn’t work, or I wouldn’t have enough material, etc. etc. I was also worried about the mad-dash taxi ride I have to take on Monday evenings at rush hour to get from one campus to the other in time for my next class, but we had a smooth trip last Monday and hopefully I can keep using that cabbie, because he was great. Once I actually taught I felt better, and by yesterday, once I had taught all three classes (which are very different- one lecture, one seminar, one language class), I felt like I was right back into the swing of things.

Movement?  Definitely. It’s not every day, but most days I get some reminder of the little alien inside, usually in the evenings when I stop rushing around and park myself on the couch with my feet up on a cushion and my laptop and a cat on my lap. Still more nudges and pokes than kicks, but I would say they’re getting stronger.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? At seventeen weeks last time around I had this to say about maternity clothes:

Still nope, and I can still pull off both my pairs of jeans without undoing them, so I don’t think I’ll be needing new jeans for a while yet. My black pants are becoming problematic though- on Monday they fit really well until lunch, and then I had to keep them undone for the rest of the day.

Ha ha ha! I think that mostly tells you that I was wearing jeans that were way too big before I got pregnant. I cannot imagine wearing non-maternity pants right now.

Also this:

The funniest thing is how much the size of my belly fluctuates depending on the time of day- it is enormous by the late evening once I’ve eaten dinner and chugged back the rest of my three litres of fluid.

Very true. The belly grows over the course of the day.

And this:

Were it not for the fact that I get out of breath doing things that normally I would take in my stride, I don’t think I would even notice that I’m pregnant!

Also very true, although this time around I have the wee little reminders of the other person inhabiting my body. I’ve noticed how I get out of breath much faster than usual this week, I guess because I’ve been doing more walking at speed to transit (as opposed to leisurely strolls to see the llamas where my mother lives).

On my mind? Maternity clothes still. I even went to a mall yesterday and tried on a bunch of stuff but came away undecided. I need to buy a couple of short-sleeved shirts that I can wear into the spring and wear now to work under a cardigan, but the stores don’t have a lot of spring stuff happening at the moment. And I almost think I could get away with teaching in a pair of dark skinny jeans with boots, but I could not find what I wanted- the skinny jeans were all REALLY skinny and if I wanted leggings I would buy leggings!

I’ve also started wasting huge amounts of time thinking about the car issue. Q. and I don’t own a car. We were starting to waver on this decision even before getting pregnant because with E. getting older he’s more fun to take places and if we had a car we’d do a better job of getting out of the city to do fun things (go to the zoo, go apple picking, etc.). Plus my sister who was in the U.S. is now permanently domiciled a little over an hour away. Getting pregnant basically was the last straw as the thought of grocery shopping in the winter with E. and an infant and no car is terrifying.

Basically I don’t think they make a car that does what Q. and I want. We don’t want a minivan or an SUV or a crossover. Q. wants all wheel drive. I wanted a hybrid, but I feel less set on this decision after talking to my sister about it- I don’t think it’s a deal breaker for me. Q. wants it to have a lot of get up and go because merging on the major highways in our area is really crazy and dangerous. I would really really love to get a wagon, because then we could take the cats with us (this is usually in a doomsday, flee the city scenario). Most of our driving would be in the city, so we don’t want a giant boat of a vehicle that is hard to park.

This week I’ve reached a major decision, in that there is NO POINT in buying a car unless we can fit two kids and their car seats in the back along with an adult occasionally. This wouldn’t be our day-to-day normal, but if we were going to visit my sister who is outside the city, I would want to have room to bring my sister who lives in the same city with us. And if MIL comes to visit (as she is planning to do this fall), we need space for her. I can’t see the point of buying a five seater car that really only seats four if two are in car seats.

If you know anything about cars or car seats, you know that this is probably going to be the hardest criteria to meet. I found a great website that is looking at how to fit three car seats into one back row. That’s not our issue, but he gives dimensions of current seats on the market, and, more importantly, he also gives the dimensions of the back rows of any given car model.

I have a couple of ideas for options (including changing up E.’s seat to the Harmony Defender, which is a forward-facing seat that converts to a booster that lets them stay harnessed to 65 lb while still being relatively narrow at 17″ across), but I can see this is going to be a big pain. It’s just non-negotiable for us though, so we will figure it out eventually, even if it means we spend a lot of time dragging car seats to dealerships and trying to install them.

Sleep? The baby is not always taking up residence on my bladder these days, so when s/he is elsewhere, I sleep really well. I am occasionally waking up too early in the morning, but I just go back to sleep. And I’m in a bad pattern of staying up later than I should be messing around on the internet (researching cars!) and then having trouble getting to sleep because I’ve been in front of a screen right up until bed time. Time to snap out of that one before the boys get home.

Best moment? Nothing pregnancy related really stands out this week. I enjoyed seeing almost my entire extended family on my father’s side for my Gramps’ 85th birthday party.

Other stuff? I have a midwife appointment coming up this week (on Wednesday). Hopefully my IPS results will be back, as I did the second round of blood work last Monday. I know it’s a moot point as far as the trisomies go because the Harmony NIPT was negative, but I’d like to get my risk factors for the neural tube defects, as if they’re good, I think I’ll be less twitchy about the anatomy scan.

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Filed under Me? Pregnant?!, Thyroid, Week-by-week

The only present I wanted

How far along? Fifteen weeks!

Vital stats? Nothing to report on my end, but the baby is now apparently the size of a navel orange. I had told E. I thought the baby would be around the size of a very large tomato by the time he came back to Canada (when I’ll be seventeen weeks)- I’m realizing now that was probably a significant understatement.

How am I looking? I had to go up to work on Tuesday to sort out a bunch of administrative tasks before the new semester. I’m not ready to have a conversation about the pregnancy with my chair (because I need to talk to the union representative and understand what my maternity leave options are first). I wasn’t expecting he would be in, but I knew I’d see all the secretaries, so I squeezed myself into regular jeans and a baggy sweater. And then, of course, not only was my chair in his office, but he asked me in for a chat about a grant I’m going to apply for in January. I think it was fine- I didn’t see any of the secretaries giving me any double takes, and I haven’t been up there at all this semester, so they probably just assumed I’ve gained some weight.

The weird thing was I’d been wearing maternity jeans for less than a week. My other jeans fit a week ago, but they really did not fit on Tuesday. I’d had this idea I’d be able to hide the pregnancy from my students until after the anatomy scan at the very end of January, but I no longer think that’s likely to happen because I really popped. Both my sisters commented on it.

I think I took my first belly pic at 15w4d with E., so I will need to take one soon for comparison. There’s no comparison really- I am huge compared to last time around.

Yesterday I had a regular shirt on that I’d packed to bring home because it had still been fitting quite well. It still fits, but I’m going to need to put it away soon so I don’t stretch it out. The belly is a completely different beast than it was two weeks ago.

How am I feeling physically? Mostly fine. I am making more of an effort to spend a significant part of each day with my feet up to try to make sure my veins don’t become an issue (they’re currently not an issue at all- I’d just like them to stay that way). I’ve had a fair amount of round ligament pain this week, and I keep catching myself making noises when I’m doing simple things like standing up or bending over, so I guess I feel everything’s taking a little bit more of an effort.

The big change this week, which happened literally overnight, is I now have to pee all.the.time. I’m waking up at night because I have to use the bathroom, and I’m fighting the urge to head back in there all day long. Clearly the baby has taken up residence on my bladder.

I am getting a touch of heartburn in the evenings (mostly if I lie too flat after dinner to get my feet up) and if I try to eat my usual amount at any given meal I feel very very full afterwards. Christmas dinner was a bit of a mess (I should not have gone back for seconds of mashed potato but I just love it so much). Today the plan is to just eat leftovers, so I’m going to try to restrain myself.

How am I feeling emotionally? As good as I can. I went for a good, long walk with my mum yesterday and had a good, long natter about the baby (and other things- this is one of the advantages of being home without E. – I can have lengthy conversations with my mum!). Every day we move forward is a good day, but I’m not going to be completely at ease until this baby is born. For some reason it seems easier once the baby is on the outside. I guess it’s because then I have the illusion that I’m in control and I can protect him/her. I still worry about E. a lot, but it’s different from the worry I felt when I was pregnant with him. But I know that I carried him successfully, and there is every reason to think I can do it again.

Pregnancy, for me, is really about one long series of checkpoints. Next I have the bloodwork at 16 weeks to finish the IPS screening, and then it’s the anatomy scan, and then it’s 24 weeks and viability, and then it’s the third trimester, etc. etc. I am trying to take things one day at a time and remember to enjoy the moments, but in the back of my mind there is always the countdown.

I feel guilty about being pregnant because I’m home with labmonkey and Pea and she is not pregnant but she should be, and even though I know she is happy for me, and she knows that I know this, I still find it hard, particularly because I am really obviously pregnant now.

I have seen a couple of movies while I’ve been home alone (The Martian and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the theatre and a few more at home that I picked up at the library) and the end result is I think I just should not watch movies while pregnant. I am a crier at the best of times but right now it is just ridiculous.

Movement? Yes! I am 99% positive that earlier this week, when I was still at home, I felt the baby three evenings in a row while I was just hanging out on the couch after dinner. Nothing since then, but I think that’s because the baby has shifted lower and is now using my bladder as a trampoline. This is much earlier than with E. (I suspected at nineteen weeks but wasn’t sure until twenty.) With E. it felt at first like a centipede was skittering around inside, but this felt more like gentle tapping.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? At fifteen weeks last time around I wrote:

Still pudgy rather than pregnant, but the bump is getting larger. Uterus continues to climb upwards.

Not really the case now- I don’t think there’s any real doubt about what’s going on if I’m wearing a maternity shirt.

I was also refusing to wear maternity clothes last time, even though I didn’t think very much fit in my closet. Not this time! I’m very aware I will never be wearing them again, so I’m trying to get as much use out of them as possible.

Last time around it was around this stage where I needed new bras. I am starting to head in that direction now, but the ones I bought during E.’s pregnancy look really really big to me at the moment.

I need to do more exercise. By this stage in E.’s pregnancy I was using our exercise bike and I was about to start prenatal yoga. Now that I know my teaching schedule I should look for a prenatal yoga class as I really did enjoy it.

On my mind? Maternity clothes. I need more work clothes as I’m teaching three days a week this year, and I was only teaching one day a week when I was pregnant with E. One class I see two out of the three days, so I was very conscious that owning two pairs of work pants was probably not going to cut it. I bought two dresses from Old Navy on the 21st (they were both 50% off) that I think are work appropriate (I brought one home with me so my sister could vet it, but I didn’t have room in my bag for both). I also really want to buy a pair of skinny jeans, as I’m a bit bored with my jeans from last time, but I can’t rationalize spending money on something I’m only going to wear for six months or so. H&M also had the most adorable grey sweater, but again, I’m not convinced I really *need* it. I know I’m going to need to get a few t-shirts when the warm weather comes, as I only have one short-sleeved shirt in my closet. I was hoping to get some from my friends but they’ve all done too good of a job of getting them out the house after the last baby.

Sleep? I was going to delete this category because I thought it was so pointless, and then my sleep this week started getting disrupted. I’ve been up two nights in a row because I have to use the ‘loo, and I keep waking up after very very strange dreams. Luckily I’m not having any trouble going back to sleep afterwards (I woke up this morning at 3:45 a.m. to use the ‘loo and then at 7 because a dream was freaking me out, and then I went back to sleep until 8 when another weird dream woke me up and at that point I just got up). I’m also starting to have some trouble finding a really comfortable position.

I’m also not afraid to admit that I’m sleeping with my favourite stuffed animal- a cougar I’ve had since I was 2.5. He returned to the bed as soon as Q. left, and I brought him with me when I came home for the holidays. He makes the bed less lonely.

Best moment? Feeling movement.

This isn’t pregnancy related, but I also had a lot of fun travelling home. I took the train part of the way with my youngest sister and then we were picked up by my other sister and her fiance and we all drove the rest of the way together. It’s pretty rare for us all to be in one place, so the car was full of silly energy for most of the drive. I’m so excited labmonkey and Pea are going to be so close to us!

Other stuff? It was Christmas this week and although I’m very glad to be seeing my parents and my sisters and assorted extended family (including my 91-year-old grandmother who came out of her house for dinner on both Christmas Eve and Christmas, which is amazing), it has been weird. E. got his new Christmas pjs on Christmas morning, not Christmas Eve, which upset me far more than it really should, because I don’t think he cared and he’s certainly not big enough to understand how the tradition works. But I think it just drove home that we’re not together. He’s having a lovely time and he’s generally being fairly easy going (or as easy going as E. gets), which means Q. is having a nice time too. And thanks to Skype we can chat almost every day and I’ve been telling E. stories like I do at home.

I miss them a lot.

I found the lead up to Christmas much less stressful than in previous years (except for the whole Q. and E. overseas thing) because I convinced my family not to exchange Christmas presents with Q. and me (E. still gets presents). And I was really happy on Christmas morning just watching my family open their gifts (although my youngest sister completely disregarded what I’d said and got me this lovely cozy fleecy because she decided I would feel weird not having presents when I wasn’t at my own house).

I just keep thinking about last Christmas, and how sad I was at the end of 2014. When my sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I could only think of two things:

I want a job that will challenge my brain that I can mostly do during school hours.

I want another baby.

At the time, I didn’t think I would ever have either.

Right now, at this moment, it looks like in 2016 that maybe, just maybe I will have both.

And that is all the present I could ever ask for.

 

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Second Trimester!

How far along? Fourteen weeks! That is the second trimester, no matter how you count it.

How am I feeling physically? Much better than last week, as I’m finally coming close to declaring victory over this cold. Still a little stuffed up, but that’s nothing compared with how I felt before.

I had an appointment with my midwife on Wednesday, and she checked my blood pressure (84/56) and resting heart rate (60). So obviously no problems there, and we had a good laugh about how ridiculously low my blood pressure is. Generally I feel well- no nausea, I’m back on a regular eating pattern (although I still do get full very quickly), and my weight is stable (didn’t gain this week and have only gained one pound in the last two weeks).

My midwife did mention the dreaded compression stockings. I have a couple of varicose veins (due to a combo of crappy genetic heritage and years of standing to teach) that I didn’t have when pregnant with E. Right now they are not remotely problematic, but it’s early days yet. I am making an effort to get my feet elevated whenever I am home and resting and I will be more conscious about sitting down while teaching next semester. The idea of wearing pantyhose in June just seems miserable. I don’t even wear pantyhose now!

I broke out the maternity clothes this week. Most of my shirts now fit strangely, and even though the maternity shirts are a bit big, they’re still more comfortable. I tried on my maternity jeans and that was probably a mistake because even though my other jeans are still fitting, these are just SO much more comfortable. Then my sister pointed out that over Christmas everyone should get to wear pants without a waistband, so I think it might be game over for my regular pants.

How am I feeling emotionally? Good. Helps this week that I had an ultrasound at the clinic AND an appointment with the midwife where she found the heartbeat right away. I did think the baby had probably died in the minute or two of the ultrasound where the tech was taking pictures and not saying anything, but I think I will always have that moment of fear because of the ultrasound last time where everything went wrong.

I don’t have another midwife appointment for almost a month now. Q. & E. will be back before I see her again, and the anatomy scan isn’t for another two weeks after that, so I am going to just have to accept that all is likely well but I won’t know for sure. I am hoping to start feeling movement in the next month. That would be much earlier than with E. but women tend to feel second babies sooner. And maybe I don’t have an anterior placenta this time, which would also be helpful.

The big relief emotionally is my clinic FINALLY got my Harmony NIPT test results back and everything was normal. So the baby has exactly the right number of chromosomes- nothing extra, nothing missing. I’m aware that there’s still lots that could be wrong that only the anatomy scan will show, but this is still a big step forward and worth the money we paid to have that reassurance. We opted not to find out the sex, but the report will be copied to my midwife, so we could find out later if we change our minds.

I’m now officially bored of being by myself, so I’m glad I only have a few more days at home. I talk far too much to myself (I am used to always having conversations with E.) and I keep calling the cats by E.’s name. It has been nice having the extra time to myself. A few times this week I’d be making breakfast and I’d look out the window and wonder why so many people were on the sidewalk and then I’d look at the clock and realize that they were all walking their kids to school and if E. were here I’d be doing that too. It’s funny how something could be an integral part of my routine for three months and then within a week it seems completely alien.

I have been having a craving for cake, so on Friday I went to a bakery that serves many different types of cake and I agonized over the decision for about ten minutes and then chose a piece of cake and ate it and it wasn’t as good as I was imagining. I remember this exact issue with E.’s pregnancy (that time it was specifically for chocolate cake) and I kept trying cake and it was never good enough until we went on a mini holiday in March and I found this cake in this tiny town that was exactly what I had been imagining. I need to learn from this experience and just try to ignore the craving this time around.

My June 2016 birth club just had a woman lose her baby at 15w3d with a ruptured sack, and the other birth club I’m on for women who live in my city and are giving birth in spring/summer 2016 just had someone lose her baby too (reading between the lines, I think it may have been a medical termination because of the results of the anatomy scan). It’s really sad and scary to have people lose their babies so late, but it’s not sending me into a spiral of worry like it is with some of the other women because I already knew this could happen. I think I am up to six women I know personally who have lost babies after 20 weeks. All I can do is take things one day at a time and remind myself that I carried E. successfully to term and his birth was straightforward. I announced the pregnancy to our extended family this week, which was scary, but also necessary because I kept getting messages from them hoping I was having a nice time down under.

I reached out to the mum on my city birth club and gave her the email of a friend from E.’s birth club who also chose to end a pregnancy (her first) after the anatomy scan showed that her child had no chance at life (she later found out she was a genetic carrier and all male fetuses would be affected while she was pregnant again. That baby was a healthy girl, the same age as E., and she then did IVF and screened the embryos and has a second healthy girl). Anyway, she also lives in the same city, so I figured she would be a good person for this mum to talk to if/when she wants to talk.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy?

At fourteen weeks last time I wrote:

There’s a real bump now. And I can feel my uterus pretty much all the time, and can show Q. where to feel it. The coolest thing was this morning I realized the top of it has definitely moved up from where it was at 12 weeks!

Well, yes, there is definitely a real bump this time around! I still think I look closer to where I was at the 18-20 mark with E. My uterus is growing appropriately and I can find it without a problem.

I was still refusing to wear maternity clothes at this point last time, but I don’t see the point of fighting it. They’re just so comfy!
And this:
I get weepy more easily these days, and get overwhelmed by things that normally I could handle.
Yep! I am more emotionally generally now that I am a mother than I was before (and I was a weepy sort of person before) but it’s definitely made worse by the pregnancy hormones.

On my mind: Mostly work stuff. I am taking two courses over next semester that started in the fall, so there is a lot of work associated with the transition. One of the courses the other course director has been giving out A+s like candy, so I don’t think the students are going to appreciate the new regime.

Sleep? Sleep is back to normal. I am in a bit of a bad habit of going to bed later than I should (by which I mean 10:30 or 10:45 p.m.) and then sleeping in until 7:30 most mornings. I can’t see this changing over the holidays, but it’s definitely not going to work once I’m teaching, so there will have to be an adjustment period right after New Year’s. It’s just so hard to want to get up in the mornings when a) I don’t really need to and b) it is still dark out. I hate these short days.

Best Moment: So many great moments this week. I had a perfect day on Tuesday. I graduated from the clinic. Our Harmony results came back. I’ve been Skyping a lot with Q. and E., which is hilarious, especially when E. orders me off Skype “because it must be bedtime in Canada” (he’s usually right). I had a really fun phone conversation with one of my best guy friends from high school yesterday when he rang me up to say congratulations and “Are you crazy?! Have you forgotten the hell that is a newborn?!” (His son is 18 months and I remember also being NOT AT ALL ready to think about a second at that stage.) And yesterday I walked home in the dark and looked at all the Christmas lights and there was just the tiniest wisp of snow floating around in the air.

Other stuff:  I only have a few days left in the city before I’m off travelling for the holidays, so I have quite a lot of loose ends to tie up. And a lot of work to get done. But I’m making progress on the to-do list! Q. reports that E. is in a much better mood these days so he’s caught up on the sleep he lost from the flight. It sounds like they’re having a blast and E. is charming every relative he meets.

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Out of the first trimester, or not?

How far along? Thirteen weeks, so in that funny point where maybe I’m still in the first trimester and maybe I’m not, depending on what you read

How am I feeling physically? Wretched. It’s pregnancy-related, in a way, in that I have this miserable cold and because I’m pregnant I can’t take any of the things I would usually take to deal with it. I’m up every night hacking up brown/green junk from my throat and blowing my nose. 2 a.m. seems to be the point where my system gets too overloaded to sleep. While Q. was still here I ended up downstairs on the couch a few nights because I was badly disrupting his sleep and I didn’t think it was fair given he was about to face the horror of a 24 hour journey with E.

I am better during the day, although still with a runny nose. I don’t have a lot of energy and I feel pretty fuzzy from the sleep deprivation. I can mainline hot water with honey and lemon during the day, as I’m working from home right now. And that way I’m not sharing my germs with others.

I think I got it from E., as this is the second time this fall that I’ve noticed E. has the tiniest of sniffles and then I immediately get hit with a monster cold (the first was right when we found out I was pregnant). It’s a real reminder of how compromised my immune system is right now. (I am deeply, deeply pleased that we got E. through the entire semester without any illness- my Facebook memory prompts for the last week have included a chorus of vomiting toddler posts from the last two years. I guess nursery school really did help his immune system prepare for JK.)

Last night I hit my breaking point and I took a Neo Citran. A number of women on my birth club had called Motherisk, and were told it was fine to take occasionally. I was so excited to get a good night’s sleep. Instead I was up (again!) at 2 a.m. hacking up junk. Apparently this cold is stronger than Neo Citran.

My kingdom for a Tylenol Cold Nighttime. Just saying.

Otherwise, I’m fine. Virtually no nausea, weight gain has slowed down in the last couple of weeks, so I’ve now only gained three pounds more than I had at this point with E. (which was when Q. hid the scale). I think that’s pretty negligible. I’m concentrating on eating well for the next couple of weeks because I know Christmas will be a disaster. Delicious, but a disaster.

How am I feeling emotionally? Less anxious now that Q. and E. are safe in Australia. I didn’t have a scan this week- first time I wasn’t in at the clinic at some point during the week since I got the positive tests in October, so that was a bit weird. I’m now in that point where I can’t yet feel movement and I’ll go a few weeks between appointments with my midwives. I can see why so many women now seem to purchase Dopplers in early pregnancy. I can resist, but only because I had all that time at the clinic checking out the baby every week.

Also, I know I am pregnant because I cry AT EVERYTHING. It is beyond ridiculous.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy?

At thirteen weeks last time I wrote:

The main thing right now is resisting the cravings to eat a) chocolate, b) chips and c) deep fried things. Why must I crave all of them?

Umm, yes! The other day I went into Shoppers Drug Mart and they had a FIVE pack of Lindt dark chocolate on sale. It was a package deal with the 70%, 85%, orange, sea salt, and sea salt and caramel flavours. I really did not need to know that existed. I didn’t buy it but I really really wanted to.

Also, this:

What I miss? My waist! It has officially drifted into “either she’s pregnant or she needs to lay off the cookies” land.

Again, yes. Although it is hilarious because at 13 weeks last time around I am positive I was so tiny as to barely be noticeable (I didn’t start taking belly pics until 16 weeks). I look heaps bigger this time, and I still think it could be interpreted as “too much pizza” if you didn’t know that I don’t usually gain weight in that area.

On my mind: Going to get out the maternity clothes and wash them tomorrow. I am still ok in my pants, but I remember last time being so much happier when I made the switch, so I might try them on just to see how they feel. Also need to assess what is acceptable to wear when teaching, as I will be working more days next semester than I was when pregnant with E. I really don’t want to buy more maternity clothes, but I might have to pick up a couple of things to look presentable, and if so, I’d rather do it when the sales are on.

I have mostly finished Christmas shopping for E. His big present is from Santa (he wanted the Brio Roundhouse), and we’re getting him a train puzzle, an atlas, and some Lego. I’m still not sure where Q. and I finished with our discussions about presents. I think we mostly decided to just make the time to go on dates before the baby comes, but I will pick him up something small for under the tree too.

Sleep? Sleep is terrible. See above re: cold from hell.

Best Moment: Skyping with E. and Q. last night after they’d landed in Australia. They were safe at my MIL’s house and had finished lunch. E. looked drunk he was so tired and Q. was worried he would fall over or break something, but we had a good chat. The flight was relatively uneventful and now that they’re there, they should have a blast in a couple of days once the jet lag gets sorted out.

Other stuff: Next week is busy- I have my last visit at the clinic on Tuesday morning (STILL no Harmony results, which is now really annoying) and then an appointment with my midwife on Wednesday afternoon. I’ve also scheduled a few lunches with friends and a dentist appointment. And maybe I’ll go see a movie for fun one day, just because I can.

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Milestone

How far along? Twelve weeks

How am I feeling physically? Generally fine. Still tired much of the time, still crampy if I have a big burst of activity, but the nausea is pretty much gone at this point. I am still out of breath walking up stairs or powering along the sidewalk, but I remember that from being pregnant with E.

The baby apparently thinks it likes gross processed cheese. Think Babybel and Laughing Cow. I have not bought Laughing Cow in probably more than fifteen years. I do not like it. But I was in No Frills the other day and the baby thought it would be a GREAT idea. So I bought it, and I ate a triangle, and then E. ate the rest of the container because as he told me, “I like Laughing Cow! I am just starting to grow my Laughing Cow stomach.” It tasted about as bad as I thought it would.

I bought another bag of kale salad, and the baby thought that was ok, but didn’t think it was the finest meal in all existence, which is how it felt about that EXACT salad last week. This one is so fickle. It at least still loves fruit. It also really really approves of pizza. The bloat around the belly has gone down somewhat and I’m still showing, but honestly I think it could be mistaken for a pizza belly if you didn’t know me well. I am looking forward to that point where it’s obvious.

The maternity clothes are still in the basement. I thought about getting them up and washing them this weekend but I might just wait until I’m alone in the house because my pants still fit and I don’t think maternity tops are going to look right at this stage. Someone on my new birth club posted that bum fat is good for your baby’s brain, so I posted that this baby is going to be a genius. I am definitely expanding towards the rear. Whatever. I’m up about four pounds more than I was with E. at this point (plus I weighed less when I got pregnant with E.) but I don’t really care about it anymore. At least, I don’t care about it enough to stop eating pizza.

I rolled over in bed last night and was in total agony for a moment, so the round ligament pains have started. Again, I find them reassuring. Nice to know I’ve progressed far enough that things really do need to start making room.

How am I feeling emotionally? About as good as you can get when you have a history of infertility and you’ve lost a pregnancy before and you have lots of friends who have had bad outcomes. I know that getting to this point is a huge milestone and I also know I’m more likely now to have a baby with a severe birth defect (3%) than lose this baby (1% late miscarriage or stillbirth). But whatever. I’m going to worry at least somewhat until the baby comes out healthy and alive and then I will start to worry about the baby as a person, because when you become a mother you worry, or at least that has been my experience.

I am more nervous about sending E. to Australia without me. I hadn’t been that nervous about telling him, but I think it’s because deep down I thought something would go wrong with the pregnancy and we’d have to tell him that the baby had died, but then I could go to Australia anyway. It was actually a bit of a shock on Thursday when I realized we’d have to break the news to him. And obviously I trust Q. completely and he is equally competent as a parent, but I am not thrilled about being separated by an ocean for a full month, even if it will be fun to have no responsibilities for a while.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy?

At twelve weeks last time I wrote:

Heaps of heavy cramping from Saturday onwards, to the point that I got a little worried. It was almost like period cramps. And then yesterday I started getting queasy, so I think my ute or the bub must have had a big growth spurt, and my hormone levels changed again.

Same this time around too. Huge amount of cramping, followed by bursts of queasiness. I am so glad I kept those entries with E’s pregnancy. It can be very reassuring to see how I’m following along, even if I’m stacking more weight on.

On my mind: Just making sure to keep track of my appointments. Nothing on next week, but then once Q. and E. leave, I have an appointment at the clinic, a dentist’s appointment (I am overdue for a cleaning, which is naughty of me because my gums hate being pregnant), and the first appointment with my midwife after leaving the clinic.

Also thinking about Christmas shopping for E., because if I am going to send anything small for him to unwrap while he’s away, I need to sort that out now. They leave on the 10th, which has kind of crept up on me. I need to print photos for the photo frame ornaments for his grandparents, and there wouldn’t be a rush on that either, except that my deadline is the 10th for at least one grandparent.

I also need to finalize my two syllabuses for next semester so the secretaries can photocopy them for me before the university shuts down for the holidays.

I booked my train ticket to meet up with my sister and brother-in-law on the 23rd (and will then drive with them the rest of the way to  my mother and stepfather’s house. Because, you know, I’m not going to Australia because this baby is still somehow not dead. I know I sound like a broken record, but that is seriously how I think.)

Sleep? Sleep is good. One of our cats is being annoying right now by wandering into our room in the wee small hours, jumping on the bed and then scratching. This is mostly annoying because we figured out almost a month ago that our cats had fleas. They are indoor only cats, so we never treat them for fleas. We’ve had them for eleven years and this is the first time it’s been an issue (and also the time we learned that indoor cats can still get fleas). Anyway, because fleas were just NOT on our radar it took us an embarrassingly long time to realize they had them, especially since one poor cat is allergic to the bites and kept getting these scabby bits on her neck (which I thought were evidence she and the other cat had had a fight), so by the time we got them to the vet and got them treated we had a not insignificant flea problem in the house. It is 95% sorted now, in that if the fleas bite the cats they die because we’ve treated the cats (and will continue to treat them for another two months) and I’ve been vacuuming the house every two days to try to encourage the fleas in cocoons to hatch out and bite the cats and die, and then combing the cats daily (now down to every second day) to catch any stragglers. No one visiting will get bitten or bring fleas home with them, and no more fleas are being produced (only have to worry about the ones that turned into cocoons before we realized we had a problem) but I was occasionally getting bitten if one jumped off the cat and ended up on our bed. So scratching cats at midnight are annoying. (Closing the door means she sits outside at midnight and yowls, so we’re kind of screwed either way.) Fingers crossed, though, I really really think we are well over the worst of it now.

Best Moment: A good nuchal scan. It doesn’t get better than that at twelve weeks. It was great watching Q.’s face, because the last time he saw the baby at the clinic was at the six week “There’s a blob with a heartbeat” scan. It still blows my mind it can grow that much in five weeks.

Other stuff: We’ve been sorting out when to tell people. I will have to tell extended family once Q. and E. go to Australia, but I think I will keep it off Facebook until at least the anatomy scan. And it will get out at work in the next couple of weeks because a work friend has a housewarming party that I will go to and Q. will miss (being in Australia) and then I will need to explain why I’m there.

Up next: Nothing for next week, except taking Q. and E. to the airport (gulp).

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