19 weeks, really?

Almost halfway. I have been avoiding blogging this week because my symptoms are pretty gone and of course it’s stressing me out.

Weight Gain or Loss – a couple pounds total

Size of Baby – an heirloom tomato… seems oddly specific.

Pregnancy Milestones – 19 weeks. If the baby’s still kickin’ it in there, I could find out the gender (but won’t for a week)

Sleep – I sleep whenever possible. Pregnancy + graves = I have problems.

Exercise – I’m actually doing better. I try to walk every day.

Maternity Clothes – You betcha.

Best Moment this Week – A few days ago, I started feeling movement. (I’m not now.)

Movement – A few days ago but nothing anymore.

Symptoms – Persistent hunger, always thirsty, always tired, dry heaving when I brush my teeth. It’s bearable.

Food Cravings – I can eat pretty much anything except seafood, so no cravings.

Food Aversions – Seafood. It makes me so sad. 

Gender – I’ve been getting boy feels.

Names – Daphne or Emeline. (I’m trying to convince Steve of Emeline.) We’ll see. No boy names really.

Labor Signs – I think I had BH contractions the other day. It hurt pretty bad. 

I Miss… really, really good and yummy fish. 

I Look Forward to… gender appointment/baby still alive appointment next week

Weekly Wisdom – Miscarriage is really, really, VERY, WAAAAAAAY unlikely right now, according to my OB. But I still stress, especially because EVERYONE I KNOW has a story about someone who miscarried/had a stillborn in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. Thanks for sharing, y’all! :)

potty training conversations

Sometimes I have conversations with my three-year-old and I forget that A) She’s really only three years old (still relatively new to the whole “being a person” thing); and B) that the conversation is about pooping in her diaper (not getting to wear a Catarina Kittycat dress) versus pooping in the potty (getting to wear a Catarina Kittycat dress). 

Me: Why are you sad?
O: I’m happy and sad.
Me: Okay why are you happy?
O: Because you’re not mad at me anymore.
Me: Why are you sad?
O: Because you yelled at me. 
Me: I know, I’m sorry. I got frustrated because I forget  sometimes you’re not ready to do things I want you to do.
O: I know because sometimes you forget that I’m just your baby.

It’s easy to forget. Especially when your three-year-old has the attitude of a 17-year-old. But when she said that, it really struck me that she is just my baby and she always will be. We’ve had the “big girl vs. baby” conversation with her a million times and I think I’m just done trying to use that rhetoric with her. Maybe I’m not ready for her to graduate from babyhood. So do the potty training thing on your own terms, like you do with everything else, Loafs. We’ve got time.

preschool days

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Ophelia has just completed her first week of preschool. And she’s not an idiot! After she came home Wednesday with a worksheet of letters that she was supposed to trace, and they were all just colored in, I started to wonder if putting her in the level up class (3-4 year olds, instead of 2-3 year olds) was a good idea. Her communication skills (listening/talking) seem to be really good for her age and she communicates better with older kids than younger, so I wanted to put her in the older class. But when I saw the work she brought home, I wondered if that was normal or if my kid might not be advanced enough to be playing with the big dogs. (Although she’s a giant and towers over most of the kids anyway.) 

I asked her teacher about it after class today, if she thought that Ophelia was in the wrong class and she said no, not at all. She said “In fact, Ophelia is our best listener. She always follows directions and does just what we ask her to do.” Then she showed me pictures she had taken of Ophelia doing her “work assignments” because she thought it was so amazing! (I know, my mommy heart is glowing! Super Why and Daniel Tiger must be doing a really good job!)

Ophelia was the only one in the class who could identify the number six (I don’t know why that number specifically, she’s never given me any indication that she even speaks English when I ask her to identify numbers and letters), and knows A, B, and C, and what the sounds are. She showed me a photo of some play-doh activity that they did where they took pieces of the play-doh and used the pieces to trace numbers. She might have scribbled all over the tracing paper, but those play-doh chunks were perfectly organized. Her teacher told me she was amazed and that Ophelia was the only one who seemed to understand and actually do the activity.

Some other gems that Ophelia has picked up from preschool:

  • She now raises her hand when she wants to ask me a question. It’s not horrible.
  • She has two teachers, Rachel and Jamie/Angela. Rachel exists. There is no Jamie or Angela.
  • Ophelia’s favorite friend in preschool is Jack. There is no Jack in her class. 
  • A is for “Alligator! AAAAAAAAAHHHH! Give me back my apple!”
  • B is for “Bup, bup, bup, oh yeah, it’s BUBBLE TIME!”
  • C is for “Crocodile! Cuh, cuh, cuh! I mean… alligator! AAAAAAAHHHHH! Give me back my apple!” (C stands for something else that is not Crocodile but I can’t remember what it is and Ophelia is obsessed with crocodiles.)
  • There is a fish that Ophelia occasionally gets to feed at preschool. Except there’s not. And she doesn’t.

So that’s the update. I’m pretty sure I need to start her on her college applications pretty soon. She’s like some sort of play-doh prodigy.

18 weeks

Alright, on Mondays I’m only 17 weeks and 5 days but I’m just doing it right now because I am on that high that comes from having a good OB appointment where everything was good and the baby is good and feeling good.

Weight Gain or Loss – I gained a pound this week.

Size of Baby – We’ve got a bell pepper on our hands.

Pregnancy Milestones – 18 weeks. My older sister miscarried/had a stillbirth at 18 so this week is kind of a trigger week for me. And yes, my sister is amazing.  

Sleep – I take about 5 naps a day, and sleep until noon on Sundays (and still take two naps after church). I have problems.

Exercise – I’m an exercise failure, but this week I plan to go to the rec center and see if I can get some walking/jogging done while Ophelia is at preschool. (It was her first day today. She loooooved it.)

Maternity Clothes – I’m wearing maternity clothes and some other clothes I had when I was fat and everyone wondered if I was pregnant.

Best Moment this Week – Since it’s technically the same week, getting that blessing from Steve. My heart needed it. Also, this morning, I went and got a variety of deli meats while Ophelia was at school and I just devoured the best roast beef sandwich of my life. Don’t lecture me about deli meat/pregnancy. I would die without it.

Movement – I still haven’t felt anything, I didn’t feel anything with Ophelia until I was two weeks. So no movement anyway, but sometimes when I’m laying down (most of my life), I can kind of feel it, like a pit or something, and I squish on it. I’m so weird.

Symptoms – Morning sickness (in the MORNING–imagine that!), my body is again in constant starvation mode, I’m tired ALL THE DANG TIME again, and the pregnancy rage is back. Oh, pregnancy rage. It’s so irrational and scary. 

Food Cravings – Ice water and beef jerky and spaghetti sauce. Also anything that I see someone else eating or in a photo.

Food Aversions – Seafood. It makes me so sad. 

Gender – I would love another little girl but would honestly be happy either way. But seriously, I want a girl.

Names – Daphne or Emeline. (I’m trying to convince Steve of Emeline.) We’ll see. No boy names really.

Labor Signs – Not yet.

I Miss… really, really good and yummy fish. I got a little sad walking past the salmon at Costco this morning. 

I Look Forward to… gender appointment in two weeks.

Weekly Wisdom – Miscarriage is really, really, VERY, WAAAAAAAY unlikely right now, according to my OB. But I still stress.

I'm not really sure why I'm including this one. I was looking for something else and came across this and now I'm posting it. She's so weird.

I’m not really sure why I’m including this one. I was looking for something else and came across this and now I’m posting it. This was a year ago, but she’s still this weird.

17 weeks, a job, and feeling great/awful

 

It took me a few days to really get into the spirit of writing this post. To be honest, I’m worried. I didn’t want to write a 17 weeks post and then go to my appointment this Monday and find out it didn’t actually make it to 17 weeks. I’ve been feeling really good this week—too good, I think—and it stresses me out. Steve gave me a blessing and I feel a lot better emotionally but I’m still not sure what to think. 

Weight Gain or Loss – I think I’m losing or staying about the same.

Size of Baby – She weighs about the same as a turnip, which means nothing to me.

Pregnancy Milestones – I guess I’m still prego. I hope. 

Sleep – I am working a 4 hour grave shift 10-2 so I go to bed around 3 or 4 and sleep until 9 or 10 and then depend on naps to survive. Before anybody says “Oh man, that’s so rough!”, know this: I love it. Don’t worry about me, it’s good news. We’re getting out of debt. 

Exercise – I’m an exercise failure. Ophelia starts preschool next week(!!!!!!!) and three days a week I’ll have 2 child-free hours per day and plan to take a zumba class or another class during that time, or take her with me to the rec center day care for an hour beforehand.

Maternity Clothes – Another reason I’m worried. Last week I was filling out my maternity wear pretty well and now it’s all baggy on me again. 

Best Moment this Week – Probably getting the blessing from Steve last night/this morning when I got home from work. I had a moment driving home where I just broke down and basically begged God to just let me keep this freaking baby. Guys, I can’t do miscarriage again. 

Movement – Despite my best efforts at pushing down on the thing pretty much constantly, I still haven’t felt any movement.

Symptoms – Uh, yeah, the symptoms are pretty much all gone this week. I think that maybe it’s because the availability of free hot chocolate at work keeps my blood sugar up and at ‘em so I don’t feel as sick in the morning though. Last night I didn’t have any hot chocolate at work and had to shower doubled over with all the morning sick dry heaving. And then I brushed my teeth because it felt so good to be sick and brushing my teeth always makes it worse. Am I twisted or what?

Food Cravings – Ice water and beef jerky. 

Food Aversions – Seafood still. I tried to eat some last week at a church party and my body was just not having it.

Gender – I would love another little girl but would honestly be happy either way. But seriously, I want a girl.

Names – We only like Daphne now. I guess we’d better have a girl. We also found out that Emeline (a name that I love, which is the name of a Ben Folds song that I also love) is a family name on Steve’s side. So… that’s going to be a contender.

Labor Signs – Not yet.

I Miss… being sick and feeling crappy.

I Look Forward to… my appointment on Monday to see if the babe is still kickin’ it.

Weekly Wisdom – Aside from letting us pay off a bunch of our debt really quickly, this job has been great for me because of the people I work with. There is one girl in particular who I sit by who is a certified doula. She may never know it, but talking to her about pregnancy and childbirth and just mom stuff has been a huge source of comfort to me. 

things you shouldn’t say to perfectly fertile people

10things

I’ve been reading a lot of posts and blogs lately that usually start with “10 Things You Should Never Say to…” and each one always leaves me thinking one thing: Wow. As a society, we’ve come a long way in terms of technology. But our hypersensitivity about everything is, in my opinion, also at an all-time high.

When I was pregnant with Ophelia, I read some of the “top 10 things you should never say to a pregnant person.” I worked at a construction company at the time, and the contractors constantly walking in and out of that place were not all sugar and spice, I tell you what. A lot of them were crass and a lot of them said things tongue in cheek, and most all of them said at some point either one or nine of those things that people aren’t supposed to say. I had construction guys come in with their hard hats and dirty fingernails asking to touch my belly (one of the 10 things, for sure). And you know what? I let them do it. Pregnancy is awesome.

When I was going through my first, my second, and my third miscarriage, I read some of the “things you should never say to someone who has miscarried.” I fielded comments all the time that were on the list: “My baby died right around that time!” and “You should do this – you will for sure get pregnant!” and you know what? I wasn’t so nice all the time, but for the most part I think I realized that people are not trying to be jerks.

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

Anne Frank

When I was married before, and going through the fertility testing and all the fun stuff that goes along with that, people made me pretty much insane with all of their comments. “When are you going to have a baby? I think it’s time!” and “You’re not getting any younger.” Someone told me in church once that “If you don’t have your babies now, your eggs are going to die.” Great, thanks. Again, I didn’t see it at the time and was likely far less than gracious about those comments, but looking back on it, I see that mostly, people are trying to help.

So I have a list of my own. I’ve been through it all. I’ve done the infertility thing. I’ve done the pregnancy thing. I’ve done the new motherhood thing, the parenting only one child thing (10 things you should never say to a mother of an only child is another one–for real), the miscarriage thing, and the pregnancy-after-miscarriage thing. And now I’ve got a list of things you should never say to someone who is perfectly fertile.

1. Be grateful that you can get pregnant! When I was going through infertility treatments, when doctors were targeting my nether regions with things that just don’t belong up there, I always balked at women who were perfectly pregnant and used to get so steamed that they couldn’t just be grateful. Now I’m on the other side. We are grateful. So grateful. After what it’s taken to get here, you bet your ass I’m grateful to be 16 weeks pregnant and spending the first hour of my day dry heaving. Infertility sucks. Miscarriages suck. Believe me. I get it. But you know what else sucks? Being pregnant.

When you finally do get pregnant, I promise to be the last person to tell you to just be grateful because when you have a creature from the deep trying to kill you from the inside, life just gets a little rough.

2. What I’m going through is none of your business. Alright, let me explain this one a little better so people won’t reach through the interwebz and shank me. We get it. We don’t really want to know what your sex pattern is when we ask you if you are trying to get pregnant. We aren’t just being nosy if we ask you if you’re pregnant and you’re not. After my fourth pregnancy/third miscarriage, I gained a lot of weight. I saw some people I had known for 20 years but whom I had not seen in about ten years. They said they didn’t recognize me because of my pregnant belly. I explained it was just grief fat, and then I started working out.

Do I think that these people were being jerks? No. Did they have to say that? No. But I didn’t have to be polite about it. I could have gotten mad and said something snarky but what would the point be? Their remark, which they probably felt pretty awful about, was innocent enough and it helped me realize I needed to make a change. That’s pretty cool.

3. What works for you won’t work for everyone. Yes. I know that. But please, if you know someone who has experienced infertility, who has experienced miscarriage, who has gone through anything that resembles what you’re going through or have been through, why not listen to what they have to say? You never know when you might learn from someone else’s experience. We’re all here learning from each other anyway, and one person’s pain is not going to be exactly the same as yours, but the solutions to two similar problems might be.

I remember getting an article in the mail from my sister when I was going through my infertility many years ago. It was all about how processed foods make getting pregnant super hard. I was livid. What business is it of hers what my body was doing? Well guess what? We care. I know first hand how hard it is to pull yourself out of your grief and just acknowledge another person’s helping hand. They reach over to pull you out of the mud and all you can see is someone else reaching into your personal space.

That’s not what we’re doing. For me, I realized I was fat. I wasn’t healthy. I remembered something that my physical therapist told me when I was recovering from surgery. She was trying to get pregnant too, and just said, “The best I can do is try to make my body as healthy an environment for a baby as I can.” So I cut out processed foods, chemicals, sugar. I exercised regularly. And then I got pregnant. So if I suggest or even mention the benefits of cardio and eating whole, natural ingredients on a person’s ability to get pregnant, it’s not a personal attack on you. It worked for me. It might work for you. It might not. We’re just trying to help.

4. I don’t want to hear about your situation. When I was pregnant with Ophelia, I made the announcement on Facebook and was super excited. Mostly the responses were pretty great. Mostly people just expressed enthusiasm and excitement for us. And a couple people said things like, “Oh you are so lucky! My daughter just miscarried her baby and she was as far along as you are now.” During this pregnancy, I tested positive for Group B Strep at 12 weeks (they don’t test for this that early, but the doctor said I had an extra bad case of it that was pretty impossible to miss–it’s usually tested through the blood but in severe cases can show up in urine samples, as in my case–fun fact). At church a couple days later, I mentioned it to another woman who told me, “Oh gosh, that’s the same thing that killed my baby at 12 weeks too!” I said, “You’re not supposed to tell me that!” and then assured her I was on a round of antibiotics and my doctor wasn’t worried about it, and life went on.

That’s the thing. Life goes on after comments like that. If people stopped being sensitive to comments like that, protesting that “It’s none of your business!” or “Why would they say that to me when our situations are so different!?” and started just realizing that people are just trying to be empathetic, life would be so much easier. There is so much to get stressed about in this life. We have so many worries. Why make offhand comments that people make that are in no way damaging or meant to be offensive more than they are?

5. You don’t know what I’m going through. On this point, you are absolutely right. None of us really know what anyone else is going through, regardless of the life experiences we may share in common. I’ve been through miscarriage and I’ve been through infertility. I’ve also been through an unexpected pregnancy. But these situations are not going to affect me in the same way that they are affecting you, so no, I don’t know what you’re going through. But saying something has to be better than saying nothing, even if it is the “wrong thing.” Let’s just stop giving each other a hard time for not knowing what to say, or saying the wrong thing, and give each other a little more credit for having the courage to reach out at all.

I just feel like maybe what we ought to do is acknowledge the good in people a little bit more often. Maybe we can all stop to realize that people aren’t trying to be jerks. They aren’t trying to be insensitive. Maybe people are just trying to relate, or be a friend, or tell you they’re sorry for what you’re going through. Maybe people don’t know your whole story. Maybe they have never experienced anything remotely similar to what you are experiencing. Maybe people make comments and they don’t know what you’re going through. But maybe that is the best time to let someone help. The way I see it, the best way to eliminate the needless worry over people saying the wrong things is to help them know what the right things are.

16 weeks/4 months

Can we just say four months? I’m excited to be in the months now.

Weight Gain or Loss – No idea.

Size of Baby – The size of an avocado – must have shrunk because avocados are smaller than apples (last week’s size). Or maybe we just live in Utah. Avocados here are weak.

Pregnancy Milestones – I’m still pregnant!

Sleep – Still sleeping until about 4 or 5 am to drink another 10 gallons of water.

Exercise – I’m an exercise failure. Someone help me. Now that I’m showing a little more/am more comfy with my goosh hanging out for all to see, I’ve thought about going back and doing some zumba. It was so fun!

Maternity Clothes – I have embraced them. I am so comfortable! I’m just walking around with my goosh hanging out and I’ve never felt so alive.

Best Moment this Week – Not pregnancy related – Stephen came home from being gone for a week! Hallelujah!

Movement – Despite my best efforts at pushing down on the thing pretty much constantly, I still haven’t felt any movement.

Symptoms – Nausea, lots of dry heaving, feeling dehydrated all the time regardless of how much water I drink, and the super sniffer.

Food Cravings – Ice water if that counts. Oh, I love ice water. It’s not necessarily a craving but if I go to a movie, I just want to sit with a pile of nachos, loving on the disgusting cheese slime and wilted jalapenos the whole time.

Food Aversions – Seafood, veggies, ummm… that’s about it. My appetite is kind of more normal now but if I eat the wrong thing, my body hates me for a long time. I just don’t know what the wrong thing is until after I eat it.

Gender – I would love another little girl but would honestly be happy either way. But seriously, I want a girl.

Names – We only like Daphne now. I guess we’d better have a girl.

Labor Signs – Not yet.

I Miss… Taking a shower without dry heaving.

I Look Forward to… Having a baby. Also, in 3-4 weeks, we get to find out the gender :)

Weekly Wisdom – Not this week.