The best (unexpected) weight loss plan ever!

Yesterday was our 20-week checkup. Everything is stellar, including Arthur’s heartbeat and my blood pressure…and my weight!

*Ahem*…what I mean is, I haven’t gained a pound since getting pregnant. As a matter of fact, I am still relishing a net loss of 1.5-2 pounds since my annual checkup in February 2012. Everybody’s primary response has been “Um…is that bad?” but I assure you, all is well in babyland.

The thing is, and I’ve mentioned it before, I started this pregnancy with a little extra junk in my trunk (and no, I am not talking about the crap in my car – which I also have). I wasn’t all that surprised at my 12-week visit, when the nurse told me I dropped four pounds in four weeks. The emesis annoyum had kicked in full-force and absolutely no food looked appealing. I ate just enough to satisfy my loved ones that I wasn’t going on a hunger strike. Since then, though, each monthly trip to the scale has been a progression of “Okay, I had to gain weight this month…*step on*…nope (or, a teeny bit)!” I’m not complaining and neither is my doctor, who gave me a target calorie count and some best practices to follow rather than a diktat to only gain X pounds. As far as we’re all concerned, Arthur’s growth and progression are normal and I’m not passing out from malnutrition, so if I get to substitute some of my own weight for his in the next few months it can only be a good thing.

Pregnancy really has turned into the best unexpected weight loss plan ever. I can only hope that breastfeeding lives up to its hype…

Advertisements

Halfway there!*

*We’re officially at 19 weeks, 5 days, rather than 20 weeks today. We’ve still gained a net of 3 days from the original gestational age, which would put me at 19 weeks, 2 days.

What a day!!

We had our (hour-long) anatomy scan yesterday afternoon at Ahuja Medical Center. I can’t wait until they open a full maternity ward, by the by, because it’s a beautiful facility and I would LOVE to deliver there one day.

Our baby is just…beautiful. If you ever have the chance to sit in on an ultrasound, I highly recommend it. In the 20th week, baby’s skin is still translucent enough to see all of the body’s systems functioning together. A perfect spinal cord, delicate little ribs and arms and legs… We counted 10 fingers and 10 toes, and even got to see the four chambers of baby’s heart as it pumped blood through the body (which we also got to see – and heart rate was a sturdy 164).

We saw our baby’s brain.

I can’t even put into thoughts, let alone words, how comforting and awe-inspiring it is to see this perfect little person, nestled safely inside of me, moving around to a rhythm inaudible to the rest of us. It put to rest the major fears I’ve only just now been able to voice to anyone, including myself, that I would do something wrong without even realizing it and *poof* – my healthy little baby would leave us.

Perhaps it’s taboo to even write that out, but I believe that the truest writing must encompass the darkest thoughts as well as the happiest – and pregnancy, as light and wonderful an experience as it is, is also a time when the mind works overtime thinking of all the ways this phenomenal journey could come to an abrupt and upsetting end. Yes, I’m just a worrywart, and I know this well enough to not give the dark thoughts too much of my attention. It’s still a huge moment of relief when I can see for myself that everything is just fine.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

You may have noticed that the blog is now blue. We are celebrating our son, Arthur!

19/20 week bump; Arthur's most recent profile; and the surprise!

19/20 week bump; Arthur’s most recent profile; and the surprise!

 

We had dinner with our parents last night to share the news. The “Hello, my name is…” sticker in the picture above was our vehicle for revelation: I stuck the half-page-size sticker to my camisole (under my outer layer) and, when I went to sit down, oh-so-casually lifted my outer shirt to reveal their grandson! Everyone was thrilled (mostly for happy and healthy, of course) and now planning is underway for our heir to join the family.

I’m giving a “Facebook press conference” to coincide with this post going live, and if you’re visiting from that press conference than the following information will seem redundant. Oh well, it’s awesome.

The final results of our informal poll, taken between Wednesday and Thursday:

  • Boy: 27
  • Girl: 22
  • Other (Intersex/hermaphroditic, non-human [Dalek and Borg, specifically], and transgendered): 5
  • Undecided: 3
  • I don’t care, as long as it has superpowers: 3 (His midichlorians are off the scale, by the way.)
  • Nolan Ross (a very specific subset of the “boy” category): 1

Full points will be awarded to those who voted “Boy” and “Nolan Ross” (come on, how else would I dress my kid?). One half point will be awarded to the two votes for intersex, as well as the vote for transgendered as “born boy” was specified. Those who requested superpowers now have the great responsibility of teaching him to use them wisely.

Funny story of the day: while our ultrasound visits have been to Ahuja, my OB practices at Suburban (5.5 miles away). Despite telling Brian 3 times that this appointment was at Ahuja, I called to tell him I was waiting in the parking lot to which he responds, “How are you there already?” Good thing he wasn’t where he thought he should be, and was still en route, and extra good thing that we padded our travel time to be on the safe side. Fortunately for him, all of our visits should be in the same place from now on, so no more confusion. (And we were still early for the appointment.)

Onward and forward!

Emesis annoyum

We’re still hearing in the news about the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospitalization for and ongoing recovery from hyperemesis gravidarum in the first few weeks of her pregnancy. It’s a great and horrifically obnoxious problem to have (ha, just typed “heave” first, pun totally intended apparently), depending on whether you’re asking me (I hate vomiting) or my OB (lots of hormones! Baby should be growing well!)

Poor Kate.

As for me…I have emesis annoyum. The morning sickness finally started to taper off around week 14.5, only to return with a vengeance on a few select occasions. (Last Thursday, it was so bad that I almost called off work.) It’s been more than a week now since my last episode, and I was just thinking about how lucky I was to be rid of it this morning when the familiar rumbles started. Here we go again…

It’s always when I’m trying to brush my teeth. I know the joke about toothbrushes and gag reflexes, but really?

Here’s hoping that today was the absolute last battle between the heaves and me…and expecting that we still have a way to go before that happy day.

 

Baby bumps and non-alcoholic wine

Happy New Year! Just like last year, I find myself so thrilled that the calendar has flipped and now I can say that the moment we’re waiting for (okay, a baby this year instead of a wedding) is IN THE SAME YEAR!! I might let myself get a little too excited, don’t stop me now!

I finally had my first baby bump picture taken, on Christmas Day at 15 weeks (and some days, but who’s counting?) because we bought my mom a new digital camera for Christmas and she was itching to try it. I’m slacking on Week 16 but I still have a couple more days…and I can’t do it now because I may or may not be wearing the same sweater I wore on Christmas. Don’t judge. (It is, however, one of my new awesome maternity shirts from Motherhood Maternity, so hooray for not showing off the goods anymore!)

Today was a pretty exciting day – I had my monthly prenatal appointment, which like last month’s went extremely well (and fast). Last month I actually lost 4 pounds, and this month I went up by about 1.5 pounds. I blame at least half of that on my snow boots. Kid A is happy and healthy, AND we have clearance to go for the ultrasound in just 22 days! I was hoping that the imaging center would get us in two weeks from today, but they want to wait until a solid 19 weeks to make sure everything is, ahem, developed. Either way, the family is already on alert for the “Meet the Prince(ss)” dinner to take place that evening, and I’m already plotting ways to make the big reveal…

It’s so nice to look in the mirror and see a bona fide baby bump looking back at me. I was already a bit round when this whole adventure started, but now when I put my hands on my belly I can actually feel the hard bump of my uterus – and maybe, just maybe, the beginnings of baby flutters…

Als0 – if you didn’t know that they make wine with the alcohol removed, here is your PSA – Fre has a good flavor, despite going down like a glass of real wine that’s sat out just long enough for the fizz to be gone. It also makes for some pretty entertaining blackmail pictures if your friends can remember to take them! (Sometimes it really is amusing to be the sober person in the room…)

That does, though, lead to this month’s pet peeve: my friends, well-meaning and playful though they are, sometimes come across like they think pregnancy has made me an idiot.

It has. But still.

If I’m at an event called Wine and Canvas (SO MUCH FUN), it’s safe to assume I’m not participating in the “wine” part of the program. If I post that we bought paint for our house (did I mention we bought a house for Christmas?), it doesn’t mean I’m about to suit up and start throwing that paint on the walls without any thought to Kid A’s safety or my own. (After careful research, I am helping to paint the nursery – but I’ll leave the bulk of the work to others.) Yes, I’m pregnant and that means there are things that I should think twice before doing – smoking, drinking, playing with potentially toxic substances – but I’m not dead. I still want to live and to have a good time with reasonable boundaries, which may mean I’m at an event that prominently features alcohol or getting my hands dirty helping Brian make our house a home. I take my vitamins, eat reasonably healthy meals, and don’t take rides from strangers. PLEASE have some faith that I have at least this part of parenting figured out.

So, I get that my response to the above is more than likely my hormones getting the best of me. It just rankles me sometimes, even though I know that my awesome friends are only looking out for me (and, more importantly, their awesome nephew- or niece-to-be). And I love them for that.

Pictures as soon as I can get them…including one of the adorable sleeper sack my mom bought the kid for Christmas!

 

 

Turning the corner

Whew…second trimester. I never thought I’d see you…

What’s that? You’re just like the first trimester, only with headaches and dizziness?

Great.

That may be a bit of an overstatement. I am feeling better than I have, for the most part. There are still lingering symptoms from the time before, and I still have to use toothpicks (ouch!) to keep my eyes open most of the time, but we’re making progress.

It’s also been a busy time in our world – yesterday, we signed papers for our new house! Tonight we’ll get the keys, and begin a six-week redecorating campaign so we’re ready for the big (last, for awhile) move in February. I can’t wait to see our ideas come to life inside the walls of our house – no longer subject to year-long leases and restrictions on creativity! Most of all, I can’t wait to get into the room that will be little one’s nursery, to make it a haven for him (or her) to learn and grow.

Our last appointment was two weeks ago, along with the first check/nuchal translucency ultrasound. Everything looked wonderful, and it was simply amazing to watch little one dancing around inside me. I’m just about at the point where I think I’m feeling the tiniest flutters of movement, so the next few weeks will be even more exciting as those flutters become more apparent. We also heard the baby’s heartbeat on Doppler for the first time – that little train engine sound nearly broke my heart. Brian didn’t quite pick up on it, but he knows what he’s listening for so next time will be a definite treat.

Since we’re right in the middle of the holiday season, we’ve seen a lot of our families and have made plans to see still more of them. It’s hard to believe that this is our first married Christmas together, and also our last Christmas as just a pair – the next time we put up the lights and place the star on our tree, we will be three.

There will be more to follow, but for now we’re just moving forward.

Sometimes, I hate being pregnant.

We’re almost at the 12-week mark. Next week I go for a nuchal translucency screening and our next OB appointment, and I’m still nervous but now more cautiously optimistic that everything is still going well. I feel safe enough in this pregnancy to add The Bump to my daily reading, and even to put some things in a baby registry on Amazon.

Still, sometimes I hate being pregnant.

I don’t hate carrying our child. I don’t ever wish for a moment that this wouldn’t have happened. In fact, after the issues my mom had trying to get pregnant with my brother and me, I consider myself to be immeasurably fortunate that we conceived without any issues at all – really, without even “trying”.

Still, sometimes I really hate being pregnant.

I hate that I’m so tired I can barely drag myself out of bed…that I yawn through my entire day at work…that once home again I usually lack the strength to even make dinner or tidy up before I’m yearning for my bed. I hate that by 7:30 or 8:00 pm I’m down for the count.

I hate morning sickness, and the general all-day unpredictability of nausea and if/when it will hit. Some days it’s little more than a nagging feeling, while others (like this morning) I’m worshiping at the porcelain throne before I’ve had a chance to even grab my glasses off the nightstand. Foods that seem okay will make me sick after three bites, while others I miss dearly are completely off limits. (I get sick just thinking of – or typing the word – “bacon” [gag].)

I hate (okay, more “dislike”) crying at every. little. thing. Have you seen the Carter’s commercial with the little girl getting ready to start school, where she narrates the last five years of her life with her mom? Yep, gets me every time. The song “You Will Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins? I’m a weeping mess in my car. Don’t get me started on puppies and kittens. The strong, stoic woman I used to be is no more; instead, meet the walking bundle of hormones that wears my clothes and signs my name at the store.

Oh, and the clothes. Even though I’m not really showing yet, I’m growing EVERYWHERE. Mostly the bust, and I was a busty lady before this all started. I’m working my way through my baggier clothes, and by this time next month I wouldn’t be surprised if my entire wardrobe is from the maternity section.

I do love a few things, though.

I love that in less than seven months we will get to meet our beautiful little girl or boy, and this will all have been worth it.

I love that I have a caring and considerate husband, a partner who not only steps in to care for both of us when I just can’t manage but who also lets me know in other ways that he loves and appreciates me when I don’t feel like I deserve it. (Just this morning as I was brushing my teeth he thanked me for “suffering through this so we can have a family.” Kind words really do make a difference.)

I love that there are communities like The Bump where they address these things so expectant mothers like me know we’re not alone. The article Pregnant & Miserable provides a sympathetic look at the not-joy many pregnant women feel, and presents excellent advice not only to get through the worst moments but also to determine when a woman’s feelings are normal and when to ask for professional help.

But there’s one more thing I hate. I hate that in the comments section of such an understanding article, where Bumpies should feel safe sharing their less-than-glowing pregnancy thoughts, other women jump in to tear them down and try to shame them for having COMPLETELY NORMAL EMOTIONS. I get it – if you’ve had a hard time conceiving, gone through IVF, etc., then you may consider every icky feeling to be minimal compared to the sheer elation of finally having that baby you’ve wanted for so long. Where one expectant mother may long for her first post-pregnancy glass (bottle?) of wine, another may be perfectly content to steer clear forever just to see their child’s face. Your feelings are legitimate…for you. My feelings (and those of others who feel as I do) are legitimate for us. Get off your soapbox, stop sipping the haterade, and go back to enjoying your back pains and nausea.

In the meantime, I’m going to sit here and yawn…after I get back from the loo.

Sort-of cravings and my new superpower

I am highly susceptible to the power of suggestion. Well, at least the little nugget is.

Saturday I was sitting on the couch at my mom’s, and a commercial for Campbell’s tomato soup came on. I really want tomato soup, I thought. Later, I also expressed a craving for Lorna Doone shortbread cookies. (De. Li. Cious.) “You’re definitely pregnant,” Brian said.

Here’s the problem – I can’t actually eat the tomato soup. It smelled heavenly when I made it (1:1 soup and water, stay away milk fans), and the first spoonful was just perfect. After that, though, the soup started to taste less like the marinara in my favorite lasagna and more like the ketchup I dipped a fry into at Wendy’s and promptly rejected. I gave it another go with some bread for dipping, but it was no use…for the moment, no more straight tomato soup for me.

I’ve been having a lot of those “sort-of” cravings, where I swear I really want one thing in particular to eat or drink but balk when I actually have it in front of me. None of my desires are extraordinary or too stereotypical (my only reference to ice cream and pickles was a TOTAL JOKE), they’re just…imaginary?

And it gets better – I have smell aversions to food that I desperately want to eat. Pasta salad was this week’s experiment. I can eat it just fine, no side effects, but that’s only if I can handle the smell long enough to get it on my plate.

The best part of all of this, so far, is my brand new superpower: I can tell that you’ve been drinking, even if I can’t smell anything else on your breath. (It’s like I have ESPN or something!)

Disgusting, right?

Poor Brian – on three different occasions he’s leaned in to give me a kiss, only for me to cringe and ward off the beer breath like that whole vampires-and-garlic thing. It isn’t as if he’s downing a case, either; we’re talking a single beer, four hours beforehand, with a cup of chili in between. I didn’t smell the chili, but I caught the beer as if he’d just chugged it before walking in the door. I’ve determined a compromise, however: if he starts drinking good beer, I’ll put up with the smell of it.

At least I can still handle Gatorade. I’d be sad if I had to give that up.