Friday, February 29, 2008

17 weeks - Anemia? Is that you? So early?

Yeah, this is what I'm thinking. I think I was diagnosed with anemia around 22-ish weeks last time, so this seems early to me, but I remember clearly what it felt like last time, as the symptoms are pretty unmistakeable. I've been slowly going down hill energy-wise for a couple of weeks now. By a couple, I mean, oh, about 17.

Anemia does feel like a different KIND of tired, though. It fits with what it is. I feel more depleted, emptied out, spent, than just sleepy and ready for a nap. For the past two days I've had a few little seeing-spots moments and haven't been able to stand up for long at time without feeling all weak and fally-overy. So.

We went to the doctor today, though, and I told her about it. She okayed me going ahead and starting a slow-release iron supplement and then we did a quick blood draw so they can run the numbers. I'll know for SURE sure in a few days, but I'm pretty sure even without the test. I'll probably know sooner than the results get back because if anemia is the issue, I imagine I'll be feeling the impact of the extra iron by Monday, and I bet those tests won't be done until later next week.

Other than that, the appointment went as they always do. I did the old urine sample, got my blood pressure checked (102/sixty something - lower than it is when I'm not pregnant, which is strange to me. I wonder if that's a symptom of anemia too?) She measured me and I'm right where I should be. We listened to the heartbeat (aw!) and Bean got to say "Hi" to Peanut again. She was into it today. Oh and I got weighed, too and weighed 2 more lbs. than last time. (142.5, if you must know.) But that is with my clothes on! And a big huge "spare purse" bra and all of my jewelry. So lay off, dudes. I'm not a fatty. Yet.

Then a nurse did the blood draw which was a piece of cake (unusually easy, which was nice, since Bean was there taking it all in.)

And then we left and went shopping for a few little groceries we needed. And now we're both going to take a nap, since Bean was up at 4:50 this morning. UGH. She was a trooper at the appointment and Target but fell apart several times over lunch, poor thing. We are both tired and sortof short-fused, and you know how two tired, short-fused women get along. Not well. But I love her scary amounts and feel bad she got so tired out. I can't wait for the snow to end so we won't have those stinkin' plows waking us up at all hours.

I posted TWO 17 week belly shots today - a normal one standing up and then a second one lying down so you really CAN see my bump. The doctor even commented on how cute it was while she was measuring it. It's a sweet little bumpity bump. With a sweet little bumpity resident.


Edited to add: I keep forgetting to mention that since last Sunday, I've been periodically feeling these very stretchy, very pressurey, sometime stretchily painful feelings in my uterus. It feels like it's actually being blown up like a balloon - expanding/stretching in every different direction (well, in a sphere) all a the same time. It's different from a contraction, which is a crampy, squeezy thing - this is pronouncedly (is that a word?) EXPANSION-ISH. It literally takes my breath away/makes me feel gaspy and just plain WEIRD. I didn't feel this last time. I'd have remembered it. It probably happens anywhere from one to five times a day and maybe for about 30 seconds at a time. Such a strange sensation! I wish I'd thought to mention it to Dr. Howey. Oh well, if it continues, I will.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

16 weeks, 6 days - Or Maybe It's Because I'm Just Lazy

Bean and I sorta live our lives in 1-2 hour increments right now. We wake up between 6:30 and 7 (if we're lucky) and we loll in bed for an hour. Then we spend an hour putting away dishes from dinner time and making breakfast, eating, and cleaning up the breakfast. Then we go back to bed for awhile. We don't sleep, we just loll some more. Then we get up and I do some chore or another. Yesterday I cleaned out and attempted to fix the vaccuum and then did all the carpeted areas of the house. Today I vaccuumed the non-carpeted areas and cleaned out the master bathroom cabinets. (YUCK!) Then we lolled again. Then we took a bath. Lolled some more. Got dressed and did my hair and make-up. (I get a lot of help with this, unfortunately.) Lolled. Went back downstairs to make lunch, eat and clean that up. After that we skipped a scheduled loll and put on our coats and hats and scarves and head outside to play for awhile. It was cold, but sunny and pretty and the fresh air - wow - welcome reprieve.

After that we had a LONG loll. Her loll was a nice long nap, and mine was a short nap, an episode of "Bringing Home Baby" and some blogging.

Then we made dinner, ate dinner and cleaned THAT up and lolled until bedtime.

I've figured out this is actually a wise way of doing things. It's about the perfect way to live with a newborn - do a little something, nurse a baby, do a little something more, nurse a baby. We should be totally accustomed to that pattern. I do think (HOPE) the activity level will pick up as I progress further into Trimester 2, and as the weather (EVENTUALLY. SIGH.) warms up. But not TOO much. We may just do some of our lolling outside.

Okay this particular loll is about to come to and end now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

16 weeks, 4 days - Just so sad.

Yesterday, another pregnant blogger whom I read daily and have enjoyed sharing pregnancy with found out she's lost her tiny unborn twin boys at nearly 20 weeks. I just feel so sad for her and her family. I hope she's doing okay, although how could she be? I hope ... I just hope God and her family and the people around her can help ease her pain somehow. It's overwhelming even to contemplate what she's going through. I can't imagine living in it.

I had awful nightmares last night about losing OUR baby. Who has had a quiet 24 hours and so hasn't been reassuring me that he or she is okay as I would like him or her to. It's not unusual for this baby (and it wasn't for Bean) to be still and quiet for days at a time, though, so I'm trying hard to just let it be. Heaven knows there's no need to complicate this state of mind and heart with constant worry about what is really not even an anomoly.

It's just the shroud of shared grief and the aftertaste of those awful nightmares cast a pall over everything, and it's hard to shrug off a pall that is so real and so full of tangible, heart-rending empathy. I wish Beth could wake up from her nightmare as I have, and know that all is well with her babies. I wish that so badly. In a way I feel guilty that I HAVE woken up to find out reality is still as it was when I woke up yesterday, when she can't.

I don't know why these things happen. I don't really need to know, and I am thankful that when painful things like this happen I never question God's goodness or mercy. I add another question to my list and know I'll get the answer when God is ready to give it to me. I mean, I know many answers already to this one question - they are right there in the Bible, BUT somehow this particular question is one I won't feel has been fully answered until I meet God, look into His eyes, and hear the answer directly from Him.

I'm sorry, Beth. So very sorry.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

16 weeks, 1 day - Well. Oiled. Machine.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that this (sixteen, I mean) is the week milk (colostrum, more specifically) production begins. As if right on cue, I woke up this morning with wicked stabbing pain in The Girls. The body is one fascinating machine.

I'm comforted (?) that BOTH of The Girls are having the pains as opposed to just Lefty, as Lefty has been the one that hurts and gets the electrically shooty things almost exclusively, leaving me to believe that Righty might not be planning on getting involved in the nursing this time (she was a slacker, last time, as I recall. She never kept Bean happy for long and she rarely gave up many goods to the pump, either. Lefty was my go-to boob when I really needed some MILKIES, on the double!) But Righty's got the PAINS this morning.

Everybody send Righty the milky-vibes, okay?

Yeah, I DO know how much you enjoy thinking about my boobs. Hee hee.

Friday, February 22, 2008

16 weeks - Sixteen, people.

The sixteen week belly shot is posted in the gallery.

As the cold has FINALLY gotten better, I've had two-ish days of feeling reasonably okay, although inexplicably I'm WAY tired and semi-nauseous today. I think we just need to get out every day, no matter what.

I haven't put on any weight this week, I don't think, which doesn't really surprise me. I could hold steady for another few weeks and still be quite comfortable with where I am - I loaded it on so quickly in the first trimester and I sorta knew/remembered that there'd be a lull this trimester.

I'm still just wearing my regular old clothes. My jeans are starting to get slighly less loose in the seat and thighs, but they're still comfortable enough to wear all day long every day. At the end of each day, my belly blows up like a balloon, so I've been wearing maternity tank tops under my sweaters because the tank tops are longer so they cover me up better when I'm all bloated. I wear the tank tops at night, too because they provide support (shelf bra) for The Girls, which are not as sore this week but still big. And itchy on the underside, too. I didn't get stretchmarks on them last time but I'm wondering if all this itching might mean I'll get some this time. Eh, I'm 40. Stretchmarks wouldn't be a big deal, really. I think my skin may be fair enough that they wouldn't show up too badly anyway.

I've been able to eat some really different, varied things this week. Every day at lunchtime I eat a huge bowl filled with chunks of tomato, cucumber and avocado with plenty of salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil. Yes, Jemma and Alice, I do remember these distinct cravings (maybe without the avocado, though) from your boy pregnancies! I think about both of you as I'm wolfing down my vinegary, tomatoey treat. The thing is I also can't get enough fruit, which is a distinctly girl craving for many (including me.) So no answer there! I've also eaten one meal that had CHICKEN in it, which has been totally off limits to me for months, and we had these yummy meatballs last night that I couldn't get enough of. So things are really looking up in the food arena. I don't need snacks very often and haven't (knock on wood) had any blood sugar issues lately. Yay!

Since the cold's been tapering off, my sleep has been so much better, too. I'm trying hard to get the NINE hours a night this body seems to require, and when I do get those hours, I feel the difference. I need to keep that up, I think.

My emotions seem slightly out of balance. I'm having really up, happy days and really down, sad days, and rarely anything in between. I think I'm normally pretty even-kiltered, so this is unusual for me. I am hoping that the cold was contributing to that as well, and that its being gone will help get me back to just my old self. I honestly think that if spring would ever get here, that would help immensely too. IMMENSELY. I so miss fresh air. And NEIGHBORS. Sigh.

The Peanut is now almost 5 inches long and weighs 5 ounces. How cool is that? That is a BIG Peanut! Why doesn't it show on the outside, I wonder. I guess I'm barrel-abdomened? Like my abdomen is so big around and slack that the size of my uterus just doesn't make a dent in it? It was the same way last time, so it doesn't worry me, but it does seem rather strange to me. I read somewhere that tallish women don't really show until 7-8 months. I'm not tallish. I guess I'm not shortish, either, really. I don't know. It sounds like I'm obsessing, but I'm really not. I'm not really obsessed about anything other than just feeling better and getting through every day without ruining Bean with lack of stimulation (boredom).

Aw, the Peanut is REALLY rolling and squirming at the moment! ISN'T THAT THE MOST AMAZING THING? There's a five-inch-long baby in there moving around, and I can feel it and know what it is! Shew. It gets me every time. I just have to stop and feel it and be agog. Oh! There he/she goes again! Wheeeeeeeeee! HI PEANUT!

Whew! Must be the afternoon workout session in there!

Friday, February 15, 2008

15 weeks!

Yup. I updated the belly gallery with a 15 week photo.

Not too much to report. The yucky bitter taste in my mouth had been gone for maybe two weeks or so, but it's back now, maybe because of the cold. The nausea has also been a bit worse, but I think I mentioned that two days ago. My appetite is really low right now. I can't eat much at a time and I don't really get all that hungry-feeling between meals, which is kinda strange to me. I do get low-blood-sugarish at times, but not HUNGRY, if that makes sense. I'm currently enjoying salami and cheese rolls and Trader Joe's Butternut Squash and Apple soup more than any other thing. And fruit. I eat a ton of fruit - just like with Bean. That soup though - man, it is DELICIOUS. I add a touch of half-n-half to add a few extra calories and protein because I've noticed I've lost about 2 lbs. this week. Which is okay, but you know, as little as I've been able to eat, I figure I should fortify it a little when I can.

The cold is still pretty bad - my throat's been really raw and sore, especially at night when it gets all dry. I'm not taking anything except Tylenol - I stopped the Cold-Eze because they were REALLY making me nauseous AND further supressing my appetite.

Been getting a LOT of belly rubbing and belly checking and belly kissing from Bean and Daddy. Peanut gets plenty of attention for a non-born baby, I think. Last night I felt a TON of moving, too... like some somersaults or complete position shifts and a few kick-ish things too. The movement is still really small and gentle and faint, as the baby is still so tiny, but I definitely feel him/her more often and a bit more noticeably day by day. Of course I touch my belly more than anyone else. I notice that later in the day I even instinctively support my non-existent bump from underneath, like it's huge and unwieldy or something. It's funny how these things come back to you.

We haven't done much at all this week - we're in survival mode with these colds and low temps outside. We did all go out for Valentine's Day Dinner last night to Biaggi's and we had fun. My food tasted weird and bitter but as usual the company was spectacular! I told Al last night that after I deliver this baby, I'm going EAT AND EAT AND EAT - whatever I want, because I know it's all going to taste SO GOOD. Right now I can't really even remember why I used to love food so much, it is all so blah or icky right now.

I was thinking that next year our Valentine Dinner will be for either Daddy and his THREE girls, or maybe we'll be more like two couples - we'll have one more little man amongst us. Which would be better? I dunno. I know that no matter who this little one turns out to be, him or her, Peanut will have the perfect spot in the family and I'll be glad and know God got it right. Again.

Al has been WAIVERING sometimes on his "girl vibe." Because this pregnancy is so different from the first he says. He will now say "him" or "the baby brother" on occasion instead of ALWAYS referring to Peanut as a girl. When I ask him about it, though, he says, "I'm just trying to remain BALANCED for Bean, but I still KNOW she's a girl." He's so stubborn, that Daddy. But cute!

I got a new camera (a really nice one! Yay!) for Valentine's Day, but I think I'll just keep taking the belly gallery photos with the old one, for consistency. It's not like they're particularly artistic, anyway. Maybe I'll do some nicer photos with the new camera as I get bigger and post them on another page. I do want to capture it all a bit better visually than I did with Bean - we only have a handful (maybe 4 or 5) picture of me pregnant with her, from the whole 40 weeks. I was stubborn and wouldn't just ASK Al to take some here and there. I thought HE should want to do it and think of it himself and I wouldn't budge an inch on that. Ah the wisdom of maturity.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

14 weeks, 5 days - hibernation

Not too much has gone on since we got home from the beach. Was that almost a week ago? Wow. Time flies when you're doing absolutely nothing.

We all ended up with a cold/gross viral thingy within a few hours of one another. Bean's has settled in her chest. Well, actually it STARTED in her chest, and there have been several cough-til-ya-barf moments scattered over the past 3 days. She's stopped that finally because her STOOPID mother finally figured out NOT to give her any MILK or DAIRY products because those didn't combine well with the phlegm (the spelling of that word makes it EVEN grosser to contemplate, don't you think?) and seemed to CAUSE the barfing, plus MILK BARF is the worst barf in the world. Worse than pumpkin crunch, even. Yes, oh yes.

But she's improving and all through her illness I've been horking down the probiotics and the Vitamin C and sucking on the Cold-Eze for all I'm worth. And feeling like I was successfully fighting the cold up until yesterday when I woke up with the raw, yucky gunk-throat and the headache and the general (additional) malaise. My appetite has been NIL, but I seem to recall that Cold-Eze do (does?) that to me, so as soon as I quit taking those (which can't come a moment too soon, by the way) I'll probably want to eat again. The nausea has been pretty fierce off and on this week but we'll chalk that up to my general state of poor health and we'll throw in (or throw up! ha ha) that cleaning up stinky milk barf once a day has not exactly been the best appetite enhancer/nausea stopper in the world. Colds are a real bummer when you can't take the REAL stuff. I'm taking Tylenol in miniscule doses, but that's it. I miss my psudophedrine, friends. Miss it badly.

I can feel how much bigger the baby has gotten in the past two weeks. Well, I mean I can feel how much bigger my uterus has gotten and I attribute that to the baby also being bigger because that's how it all works. My belly is all unswollen and unbloated again now so I look pretty same-ish to the 13 week picture, really, but I can FEEL the ball of the uterus in my lower abdomen now, especially when I bend or squat and super-especially when I haven't been potty in awhile because I think my uterus and bladder are sorta still duking it out down there for space. You know, it feels kinda nice. I remember liking the feeling with Bean, too. It's comforting and nifty and I feel like a walking science-experiment, in a way. I could focus on that feeling for hours on end if, you know, life allowed for such luxuries. But for this week, all free, non-obligated moments are spent sleeping, because I'm super sleepy and I want to do what I need to do to shake off this cold, which will hopefully be closely followed by the shaking off of this confounded nausea.

I read in one of my online pregnancy resources that next week The Girls will begin to produce small amounts of colostrum. I mean, the article says milk, but I think they must mean colostrum. Anyway, sure enough, The Girls are all burny and electrically this week. This bod is a finely-tuned machine - right on schedule. I must say I occasionally get impressed by how it all just goes along - chug chug chug. It's fascinating, isn't it? I mean how all those complex systems in there just work away at their own functions - all the parts fire up in the right order, all those many, many parts respond to the appropriate stimuli, and presto, we have us a baby and everything it needs. You have to appreciate God's careful work there - it's all so intricate and perfect. Really, really amazing.


(Are you pondering?)

Bean's been asking to touch and kiss my belly lately. She's just so sweet about the baby. Today she asked if she could put some lotion on my stomach, "So the baby won't be itchy." (We have to lotion up this time of year or our whole bodies get all dried out and start to itch badly!) So I let her. In a few weeks when she touches the belly, the baby will actually be where her hands are. I can't wait until she and Al can feel this Peanut moving, although right now it's nice to just feel him/her myself. Like we two have our own little secret. Right P? Right Mama.

Oh the names. I have pondered and looked at list after list. I told my Mom a few of the names I have in mind and she pretty much hated all but a VERY few of them. Actually maybe only one of them. It would bug me except she really hated Bean's name when I told it to her and looky! *I* still love it and think it's perfect for her. So I reckon whatever we pick for Peanut will please me just the same. And hopefully him or her, too.

I'll be back Friday to post the updated belly photo and additional ramblings.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

13 weeks, 6 days - vacationing is hard work

So tomorrow I'll be FOURTEEN WEEKS pregnant. That means by anyone's calculations I am indeed moving into the second trimester. The concept that I'm pregnant and seriously going to have another baby/child still hasn't fully sunk in yet, but look at the clock, ticking away the minutes, whisking weeks and months off the calendar before my very eyes.

My body won't let me escape from the reality of my condition though. My mind may be grappling with what's to come, but my body and the baby's body steadily follow nature's course, growing, changing, becoming. I'm amazed at how powerless my weary, bleary, befuddled mind is to influence even the tiniest of physical details. It's hard to explain, really, I guess in a way I just recognize how completely out of control of this situation I really am. And it's disconcerting personally but comforting on a more universal level, somehow.

I had fooled myself into believing that being here in the warmer climate with family around me, busy and entertained, I'd somehow no longer be sick or tired or feel quite so heavy with this condition of mine, but my body wasn't fooled at all. It's just as sick and weary and sluggish and frankly, crazy, as it was at home. Throw in trying to stay involved in the activities of 5 adults and six kids who are never happy at rest unless they're in the bed asleep, and you've got the recipe for an absolute STUPOR. I'm keeping up, but barely. And I can't exert any extra energy trying to say, INTERACT with anyone. I just have to follow along quietly and observe. It's fun and I'm happy we're here. Bean is having the absolute time of her life with her cousins. But once again it's often a case of being present physically while my brain is hunched in a corner wishing it could just go to sleep and disconnect from this icky, tired, bloated, huge cow-like and anchor-like body.

I'm not even going to bother with a 14 week picture. Water retention and bloating and puffy intestines have all conspired to make me look about 6 mos along or more this week. Eating stuff like fried seafood and loads of Southern-cooked veggies has been so fun for the tastebuds, but the gut is staging full-on rebellion after every meal. I feel like a whale full of fire, acid and helium. YUM!

Despite all this, we're having a great time with my family and it will be hard to leave everyone not knowing when we'll see them again. If we repeat this trip same time next year, (I hope we will!), we'll be bringing Peanut Hoppy Feet, who will be a super-fun 5 months old. I'll probably be weary then, too, but in a totally different and more manageable way.

At fourteen weeks, I'm already starting to give up hope that this nausea will ever subside, although I know there's no reason to give up hope because MANY people don't get rid of the sickness until 16 to 18 weeks along. Still, 8 weeks of this has sorta worn me down spiritually I suppose. It's hard to imagine myself any other way than this way now.

But at some point I know I WILL feel better, and I imagine what it will be like and think how happy and joyful I'll be about it. That's sorta what get me through.

Happy Second Trimester, Hoppydoodle. I feel you in there often now and I really enjoy that part of carrying you. You seem slightly more active than your sister was, but then I didn't feel her until 16 or 17 weeks. I've been able to feel you for a month or more now. You like to let me know you're there, I think. I always respond to you when I feel a really strong movement by putting my hand on you (on your back, I think) and saying, "Hey Little Peanut, I feel you!" And you squirm a little more and then get still again. I hope you're getting enough rest and sleep inside me - we have had a very busy week!

Friday, February 1, 2008

13 weeks - superquick!

Just updating to say Bean and I went for my second prenatal visit yesterday and heard Peanut Hoppy Feet's heartbeat. Dr. Howey said it's between 150-160 bpm. Bean's was always 170 or higher, so take that for what it's worth. I immediately said, "It's a boy!" and of course Dr. Howey sorta rolled her eyes and said, "Oh it doesn't mean that, there's nothing to that theory." But still, it's just another way this pregnancy and baby are SO different from my first one. So.

Oh according to the scales there, fully clothed in a totally different outfit (with an extra layer), I've gained a pound and a half from my last visit.

Bean liked hearing the heartbeat and pronounced it hard and bumpity. I also had my blood pressure checked and you know, made my donation in the ladies room. All in all the visit was completely uneventful. Other than hearing that cute little heartbeat of course.

Dr. Howey pronounced that I'm "looking good!" So there's that. Woohoo.

Posting the 13 week belly photo in the gallery.

Off on our vacation today (we hope - no word on whether our flight's been delayed yet, so feeling hopeful). I'll try to update from the sunny South if I can get onto the internet AND if I have time.

My Lil Family