Posts Tagged ‘first trimester’

My Pregnancy Week 14

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Pregnancy Week 36: Making Time for Me Before Baby ArrivesOne trimester down, two to go! Lately I’m in the spirit of reflection with this being our last kiddo. In my reflection I’ve found a handful of things I will and will not miss, for whatever that is worth.

I’ll miss:

  • The fruition of hope and trying. Our journey over the last five years includes surprises, planning, hoping, and hopes dashed. Emotionally charged, sometimes joyous and other times ridden with pain, that part of life is likely over for us.
  • The finding out. The trips to the dollar store for pregnancy tests and that last gold standard test purchase that led us to here today were exciting. The waiting was a test of patience, even endurance. But the moment of finding out, pure joy.
  • The anticipation. The butterflies in my stomach, waiting to hear the heartbeat for the first time. The second time, I think, was just as exciting four weeks later as a further confirmation there was, indeed, a babe. With each of our children we had an ultrasound in the 1st trimester. I still remember the one I had at twelve weeks with one of the children. I lay mesmerized at the little stubby arms moving about as I was used to the 8 week blob of embryo or the 20 week more-proportionate baby.
  • The secret knowing. The quiet talks I had with the baby while walking down the Target aisle, or early in the morning hours. The making up seemingly legitimate reasons to not have a glass of wine or other such details for the sake of buying a little time before spilling the beans.
  • The sharing. As fun as it is to have a secret, I’m more of a no-surprises kind of gal. Sharing the news for the first time with family and friends warmed my heart anew and almost made the news of a new baby new again to me.

I’ll miss not-so-much:

  • Not knowing and uncertainty. The waiting… oh the waiting. The two-week cycle of waiting to try again when no baby came of last month’s attempts. The waiting to take a pregnancy test. The waiting to see the doctor, to hear the heart beat, to hear the heartbeat again, to share the news. Waiting and anticipation are part of the double-edged sword of time.
  • Keeping a secret. I’m not great at keeping a secret. I often tell my husband his Christmas presents as soon as I buy them… in November. I don’t do secrets well.
  • A drinking buddy. This one is from my husband. We aren’t big drinkers, but when you want a glass of wine with dinner it’s nice to have a mate in that.
  • Nausea. Enough said.
  • Exhaustion. I suppose this one will return in about 15 weeks… and will last until 2018 or 2034, depending on who you ask.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. Yup, still tired.

My Pregnancy: Week 13

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

My Pregnancy Week 13Now that family and friends know about our upcoming bundle, we’ve been more open sharing with our children. Our just-turned-two year old could really care less. He says “ba-beeee” and walks on. He vaguely understands when we say to be “gentle” with mommy as he plows into my belly for story time, tickle time, or just because he’s so inclined to ram the ones he loves.

We held off telling our 3-½-year old until we told family as we feared he might spill the news sooner than planned. Daniel Tiger came on with re-runs of its second season opening week when Daniel Tiger gets a little sister.  Our conversation began with introducing a baby. That led to explaining belly where food goes is different than baby that’s “down low.” Then came the week-long clarification that baby is in MOMMY’s belly, not his belly. Since we heard the heart beat last week we’ve had more than one conversation about the heart. The heart, you see, is located “up here” and “this is where the food goes in the belly and mommy has a baby growing, too!”

This led to an on-going conversation about the heart. Somewhere, somehow, he got the memo that hearts break. One day while instructing him to go to nap he informed me his heart was broken. Luckily a kiss and lullaby fixed it. He shan’t be so lucky in 15 years, but that’s for me to know and him to find out.

Just like most anything important in life, the baby is an ongoing conversation. He mostly remembers to be gentle with baby, even giving my belly a hug and kiss when he forgets and roughly falls into my lap. Last doctor appointment he most looked forward to the doctor making his lovey feel better (lovey had a headache). Now he mentions wanting to “know the baby’s heart” (hear the heartbeat).

The University of Michigan Health Center suggests a number of ways to help a child adjust to a new addition. Things like introducing our son to others with babies, books with babies, and shows like Daniel Tiger with new sibling storylines can help. Including him in doctor appointments takes extra effort on my part (and the doctor’s) but I enjoy that my doctor takes an extra few minutes to play and include all my children. I’ve shared photos and videos of him as a baby, younger brother as a baby (the one he most easily recognizes), and daddy and me as a baby. I’m sure some of these will continue and other opportunities will arise to include our sons in planning for, anticipating, and adjusting to the littlest sibling.

As my husband includes in his earliest, four-year-old memories the birth of his brother, I am keenly aware that something around this new baby could be our oldest son’s first memories. I can’t control everything (anything?) but am mindful that my husband and I can help create an environment that will help everyone adjust into this new world we are already in and will soon fully realize.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. This just in, she’s still exhausted with a gut that is prone to picky outbursts. 

My Pregnancy: Week 12

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Cat’s out of the bag! We are officially having a baby. We are at about 1 person hoping we have a boy, 3 who don’t care, and 47 others who insist, hope, and even pray that we have a girl. I nod, smile, and say I’d really be excited either way. It’s the truth. There is the possibility that when we find out in a couple of months I will feel some disappointment. Right now I can see great joy in having another little guy or a little gal. No matter what our family make-up, it’s the love that makes us complete.

Of course there was the woman who said we “need to have a girl so that [our] family is complete.” There are the two family members who refer to my fetus as a “she” as smoothly as if it were true. These, predictably, come with the comments about knowing how babies happen and now we’ll really go crazy.

Only one single person of the fiftyish who have made a comment actually asked what I wanted and just listened to my response. There were a few who asked and when I said I’d really enjoy a girl or a third boy, they would follow up with “well I really hope you have a girl.” It definitely felt like they just dismissed my feelings and almost felt like fake interest, asking me only so they could then espouse their thoughts on the matter. I feel a little like a point of interest mostly for the sake of other people’s opinions. I feel a little lost, unheard, and annoyed.

Not to mention the smidge of rage I feel at some of the borderline sexist comments of two boys and a girl being just perfect. Do we still live in the time of an heir, a spare, and the lone girl as a political pawn to be married off for advantage? But maybe that’s not what they mean at all. Maybe they just go with what we have and believe in the value of reproductive anatomical variety. I try to just assume the best but often wonder if that is feminist of me. These could be opportunities to confront silent sexism, you see. The sociologist (and woman!) in me regularly considers investigating further.

I have many wise sisters-in-law. I refer to them often. The eldest, with three boys and a girl, gave me some advice upon my request. In asking how to deal with all the comments she said she tried to remember people were just trying to connect to her. We often don’t think to connect by simply listening; we also aim to connect by sharing stories, thoughts, and opinions. I could make the pregnancy a time to talk only about me (or at least a little about me!) but I can also see it as an opportunity to connect with other people.

I’ll be honest that I’m still struggling a bit with the idea of connecting because it feels like I’m giving a whole lot in all these conversations and so few people are listening to me in return. But I’ve concluded it’s not kind for me to take the compounded annoyance I have built up from conversation after conversation and put that bitterness on the next person who shows interest. I have snippy remarks I’ve considered and even put out there a time or two. They leave me as dissatisfied in the end as saying nothing at all.

The only person who doesn’t care is our three-year-old. He has learned a lot about anatomy lately. First he learned that mommy has a baby in her belly, and he does not—a very important clarification. He then learned there is a stomach for food and a womb for baby in the belly. Now he knows we all have hearts “way up here,” and got to hear the “wooshymoosh” of baby’s when at the doctor this week. When asked if he wants a brother or sister, he thoughtfully replies, “I just want a baby!”

Me too, son. Me too.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. If only she could find time for even more sleep. 

Photo Credit: Peaceful Parenting

My Pregnancy: Week 11

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

IMG_1996Hubby is tagging along with me again this third time around. For the other two pregnancies he was a great teammate, never letting me feel guilty for lying on the couch in the early months, the comparison shopping and buying and planning of the middle months, and the chill of the final months. We spent a lot of evenings in our last third trimester laying Tetris and listening to the radio. This first trimester has hit me in the gut and wherever the source of exhaustion is in my body.

He’s charming in new ways to me just as the baby is newly charming to us. He was telling me yesterday about baby fingerprints and DNA. He was involved with the previous two pregnancies but I think he has a new appreciation for a baby in the womb because he has now seen personally, through our own blood, sweat, laughs, and tears, how embryos become fetus, newborn, infant, toddler, and preschooler. It’s more concrete and tangible to him in a way that he says didn’t connect before we had children.

He’s our baby-name finder. I have a few names I always liked or that strike me, but he’s our primary source of creativity. We’ll be in the car, lying down to sleep, or walking in the door from work and he’ll just start asking what I think of this name and that name and so on. The other day he asked me, “How’s our little one?” I said, “Well, I was just saying he poured out the whole cup of water and bag of chips on our mail.” Then he directed me to the little one attached to me. Oh, yes. Our littlest one.

So this week, we’re just continuing through more of the same: excitement, sickness, exhaustion, and so forth. But I do think in all of my accounting for this pregnancy, I need to account for my teammate. There are so many moments that he helps to make even more special.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. If only she could find time for even more sleep. 

My Pregnancy: Week 10

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

My Pregnancy: Week 10I am an awesome employee. Except that day I put my head down on my desk at 11:20 AM… and picked it back up forty-three minutes later.  Oops?

I was tired in the first trimester with all three pregnancies. With the first, I remember grading research papers slumped over our coffee table. With our second, I remember laying much of the day watching our first master walking. Now working, with a one- and three-year old, I am trudging through. I’m lumbering along because I can’t find enough slumber!

My pregnancies were similar in terms of early symptoms. This third pregnancy has more of a huge-rock-in-my-stomach feel than nausea, so I can get rid of the sick feeling but not the “lump on my bump” as I now call it. So here are the secrets that made the first trimester of all three pregnancies survivable:

  • A wonderful, loving husband who picked up some of the slack when I would arrive home a heap of nothing on the couch after a long day at work. His day was longer, but mine was times two people. Help, whether by significant other, family, or friend, is a secret to success.
  • Mint. In particular I find the Winterfresh gum to have some magical power over me even though I don’t know if it contains actual mint. Iced water or tea with mint leaves in it is also quite delicious. Ginger tea blends are also yummy with a side of calming.
  • Salt, sour, and vinegar. Salt and vinegar chips rock my world. Pickles work for others. Preggie Pops are also my friend.

The new, necessary secret that allows me to get through this first trimester without losing my mind involves expectations. Ultimately, I just stopped caring about some things. My work is emotionally demanding in that I am a source of emotional and spiritual support for people in the hospital. It can be physically grueling when I cover on-call night shifts about once a week. I care about my work. I care about my family. I have temporarily stopped caring about the state of the house. I slough off on Facebook and my inbox went from tidy to full of weeds. I also think Netflix feels abandoned though it won’t admit it.

And the house… oh the house. That’s what the nesting phase is for, you see. In the nesting phase you have enough energy to clean up all you left dirty during the exhausted phase. The first two pregnancies were difficult but I think I had the benefit of being allowed to rest on a couch for a few minutes without breaking the rules (except the rules of my child’s wants). So when I fell asleep at work, I realized I needed to let some things go. I gave up my “me time” in the evenings and went to sleep shortly after the children at 8. And you know what? No one has noticed! There is the little voice in the back of my mind judging me from time to time. I told her to chill; she clearly needs her rest.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. If only she could find time for even more sleep.