Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let's Talk About Pregnancy {Second Trimester}

To read about my first trimester, go here!

I honestly don't really remember much of my second trimester, at least on the day to day level. To be honest, looking back on it, it kinda seems like a blur. But, I do remember some of the big things that happened:

-We packed up our apartment in Anchorage, loaded it all back in the camper and headed down the Al-Can.

I am so glad that my mom came to visit us a couple days after Thanksgiving, because the packing did not really get started until she came! I would try during the day, but, well, still being on the tail end of the first trimester meant I was still a little nauseous and a lot tired. She packed up most of our kitchen, and our books and DVDs. It was SO SO SO helpful! Moms are just the best.

After she left, I was starting to feel better, so was able to work a little bit while Luke was at work. Then once he was done with work, we hit it hard, packing everything that was left, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and stuffing everything in the camper. After a feat of mastery by my husband, we were ready to hit the road!

The trip was long. I threw up once in a gas station bathroom, but was able to keep it together for the most part. The biggest struggle was that I was hungry all. the. time. And nothing we had along with us was appealing to me in the least. So, that helped the ol' pocket book. And sleep was hard because we were determined to get out of Canada was fast as possible, so we slept in half of the back of the Explorer the whole way home (except one night). Let's just say by the time we got to South Dakota I was 1. so ready for a shower (6 days without - blech!) 2. so ready to sleep in a real bed, where both of us could stretch our legs out (and since I'm only 5' 5", imagine what my poor 6' husband had to endure!). Also, my body was rebelling by the end and I just hurt.

-We stayed with my in-laws for 2 1/2 - 3 weeks while we tried to find a place to live.

We moved back to the area that my husband is from, and so while we were looking for housing, we stayed with his parents. It was actually really nice to be able to let someone take care of us for awhile. His mom is an amazing cook and so I definitely benefited from that!

I was starting to show, so we started to take some pictures:

(taken 12/13)
{door courtesy of my husband's childhood room}


I was tired, but that's nothing new. I was enjoying having my little bump and eating again. At one point I got hit bad by a terrible stomach flu, which made for a couple of not very much fun days because I couldn't keep down water and I was SO THIRSTY! But I recovered.

This was also the time that I had to do finals, and of course, my computer died. Luckily we were living my in-laws, so I was able to use their computer. I felt a little bad, because I basically hogged it all day as I worked on multiple papers, tests, and projects. However, I made it through. Even though it was dicey for awhile because of pregnancy brain.

What's pregnancy brain you ask? Basically it is that special condition where you can't remember a blessed thing. Especially important things like deadlines. Deadlines for bills. Deadlines for classes. Any sort of deadlines goes whooshing away! In my case, it whooshed away twice. For the same class. I felt like a pretty big dolt emailing my professor for the second time to explain why I had not yet turned in a project that was due. Blergh.

-We moved into our new place! I would show you all sorts of pictures now, but I don't have any. Mostly because we didn't really finish unpacking until a couple weeks before baby (and even then, we're not entirely done). We ended up renting a trailer from one of Luke's cousins. It's in the country and the rent is incredibly reasonable, so we're enjoying it! It comes with its special quirks, including skunks living underneath (not fun for a pregnant nose!), and lots of manure for Miss Millie to eat, but it's home.

-I started my last full-time semester of school, got lots bigger and found a doctor! It was also during this time that my pregnancy aches and pains starting making their way into my daily life. During the Christmas season I went to the "city" with a friend to do some shopping and invested in a pregnancy body pillow (the Boppy one is case you're wondering) and a belly band. Such wonderful inventions!

{this wall is in our new place! it's the only one that looks like that. and there's Miss Millie!} 

{if you look closely you can see my Elliptical that we dragged all the way back from AK in the background. 
Yeah, that poor thing hasn't gotten a lot of attention in awhile}


- We found out we were having a .....


Because of Luke's new job and insurance stuff, I didn't go to the doctor here in SoDak until my 22nd (or 23rd?) week. We squeeked in just in time on the cut-off on the 20th week ultrasounds. Too much longer and they wouldn't have been able to tell stuff they wanted to tell. But, we got in, and they could tell, and he was perfect! The only item to note that developed as a result of my ultrasound was another due date (I think I had about 4 or 5 due dates by the end), but that didn't bother me. I had no idea of when he was conceived (TMI? perhaps, but true!) and I figured he'd come when he came (ooo how naive I was!).

Was there other stuff that happened in my second trimester? Oh sure, but I can't remember it! So, I guess this (massively long) recap will just have to do!

Click here to read about my third trimester!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let's Talk About Pregnancy {First Trimester}

I have always been fascinated by pregnant ladies. I was the girl who would shamelessly stare at their bellies, listen to their stories and poke their bellies trying to get baby to kick me (ok, that was only one time and she IS one of my closest friends).

In fact, I've always had this strange intuition about pregnancy. It's nothing I've ever tested, but there have many instances where I have considered a person and the fleeting thought "she's pregnant" flits across my mind. I don't dwell on it, I don't set out to prove it, but when a couple of weeks later there is an announcement I think back to that brief moment. And no matter what my college Psych professor thought, it was not because she had an obvious baby bump. It's just ... I don't know. Maybe the glow? Something in the eyes? There is nothing I know of concretely. It's just ... a feeling I get.

Anyways, enough about that. Suffice it to say, I was pregnancy's numero uno fan.

Until I got pregnant.

Now the first month wasn't bad. In fact, I had no idea I was pregnant the first month. I just knew that I was really, really tired. As in going to bed at 9:00 tired. But I blamed that on the fact that I had gotten a job (I worked for 6 weeks as a temp receptionist at a road construction company), and so got up early with Luke so we could carpool (we only had one car, and it was way better than taking the bus). I went from having no wake-up time to getting up between 5 and 6 so I could work out, shower, and be ready to go when he was. Then I would drop him off and go sit at a coffee shop and do homework until I went to work. I was also starving. ALL THE TIME. I ate constantly and always brought a snack to work.

Finally, towards the end of September/beginning of October we started to wonder. My cycle has NEVER been regular, so it wasn't too weird that I hadn't had my period. However, we always knew pregnancy was a possibility. We were 25 when we got married (well, I was and Luke was only 17 days away from it), and we knew that we wanted kids when we were younger. Plus, we are open to the possibility of a bigger family (as in 6 kids) and I knew I wanted to be done before I was 40. Add in the fact that I don't react well to birth control (which I discovered in college when doctors tried to regulate my irregular cycle), and we were flying free, so to say. We wouldn't have minded waiting a couple of years, but, well, I guess that just didn't happen did it?

{sidenote: we were married for 9 months before I got pregnant. even though we weren't trying, I was starting to wonder a little bit if we were going to have trouble conceiving because it had been awhile. and because I'm a woman and I think about that}

So, anyways, we started to joke that I was pregnant. Any twinge I got was blamed on being pregnant. But we weren't ready to find out for sure, so I didn't take a test. However, soon mornings became a bit of an issue. My coffee shop experience was no longer working so well for me because they roasted their own beans right there. And roasting beans to this pregnant lady smell like burnt popcorn. And then towards the end of my job, I was barely making it. It was a real struggle to get through the day without throwing up. And even though I enjoyed my job, and extra money was nice, I was SO SO SO glad when they told me they didn't need me anymore.

Pretty soon I was throwing up. And laying in bed all day because any movement caused extreme waves of nausea to roll over me. At this point we were pretty certain I was indeed with child. If not, then there was something really wrong with me! Finally, on October 22 I took a pregnancy test (it was 2 months from my last cycle) and let me tell you, the pregnant line showed up immediately. Even before the "control" line had time to show. Apparently those hormones were raging through my body!

And so I spent the next month trying not to throw up. It didn't work. I threw up most days and celebrated the days I didn't. However, even if I wasn't throwing up, I felt like I was going to. Poor Luke. That month and a half wasn't the easiest on him. It was a major success if I took a shower during the day, let alone actually cleaned or cooked something. The only reason I did laundry was so I was guaranteed clean comfy clothes (yoga pants, t-shirts, etc). I started a Bible study with the ladies at church and only made it to a couple because of how I felt. Even when I would go I just prayed that I wouldn't throw up while I was there.

This following picture is pretty typical of that time. Pretty sure I did not shower that day, as evidenced by my greasy hair, glasses and pj's. Also, note the unfolded laundry sitting on top of the dryer. Now, the reason for this picture? It really wasn't out of the norm ... except if you look closely you will see my laptop. Now, I did not normally take my laptop into the bathroom with me while I expelled copious amounts of liquid. However, on this auspicious occasion, I was in the middle of a required chat for school when the urge came upon me in a strong way. Since I figured my professor and fellow students would not necessarily appreciate that sort of information shared with them, I decided that I might as well just take my chat with me. So I did. They never knew and this is the scene that Luke came home to. Lucky guy!

The only time I was really worried was one morning when I threw up some blood. In fact, I called Luke and he turned around and came home. We called a couple of clinics to see if we could get in that day, but they weren't very nice and told us to go to the ER. Well, we weren't exactly rolling in the dough and it wasn't a lot of blood at all, so we didn't. I did ask Dr. Google and put a post up on a mom discussion board, and we came to the conclusion that it wasn't life threatening (which is obviously true as I am still alive). It was just unsettling. Especially when I called the clinic and they weren't nice to me so I cried, a lot. Then Luke took care of calling after that :-)

{sidenote: I was a member of a "mom discussion board" for 2 days before signing off and vowing never to return. women are mean!!}

So, anyways, that morning we did find a clinic who was nice to us so we decided to make an appointment with them. Unfortunately, the first they could squeeze us in was 3 1/2 weeks away. Yikes. Oh well, we made it. By the time my appointment rolled around I was starting to feel just a bit better, which was nice. However, even though I had just gone through a month and a half of nausea and throwing up, I still figured they would tell me that I was crazy and not pregnant. Until that little baby bean popped up on the screen. Then I realized "holy crap, I really am pregnant!"

 The doctor gave us an encouraging report and a due date of June 5th (according to baby's size during the ultrasound). Dating wise, due date is May 27th. He also gave me the all-clear to travel, which was good since we were planning on leaving the next week to move back to South Dakota.

We also had a nurse who told me that I really needed to watch my weight, because I had put on 10 pounds in the first trimester.  Of course, I had just spent the last 2 months-ish laying around in bed, trying not to die, and barely eating anything, but still put on 10 pounds without trying. Thanks lady. (I'm not bitter ... really).

After our appointment, the only thing we had left to do was figure out how to tell people. See, we hadn't told anyone (with the exception of doctor's office people and my supervisor at the temp agency). So, for the past 2 months that we had known, we hid it. My mom would call and I would talk to her while laying down in bed, trying not to move too much. I would FB and email friends in between throwing up sessions, and I outright lied to one friend who asked me if we were moving back because I was pregnant. We rarely made it to church, but I was able to fake it through the one hour on Sundays, so no one there really knew for sure either (I say "for sure" b/c we went to church with a lot of guys that Luke worked with and they all figured it out when I had him come home the one morning I threw up blood).

Our appointment was on Tuesday and Thanksgiving was Thursday. So, on late Wednesday night I sent an email to both sets of parents, telling them how thankful we were that they are our parents, etc (which we are. we are so so so blessed by our families!) and then I told them I had attached a picture for them that we thought they might enjoy.

Luckily for my sleep, my mother did not call me when she first opened the email (because of the 3 hour time difference it would have been 4:00 our time), but was nice enough to wait a couple of hours. My in-laws did not open the email until much later that afternoon (and according to my sister-in-law, she was worried that something seriously bad had happened when she heard my mother-in-law's reaction!), but then called right away. Let's just say both sides are very excited to add grandchild #3 to the mix!

After our families knew, I spent quite a bit of the rest of the weekend on the phone, FB message and Skype telling our closest friends the news. It was a fun way to end the first trimester!

Click here to go to my second trimester recap!