You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2010.

On July 31, 2008 I wrote this post. In it I said:

“I have a very strong gut feeling my first child will be a boy. I’ve felt it for years. When the time comes we both agreed we want to be surprised. It will be all yellows and greens until the actual birth day. But I’ll tell you, if I have a girl first, I’ll be SHOCKED.

Unbelievably happy.

But completely and totally shocked.

Can you have mother’s intuition long before you’re even pregnant?”

Obviously, we decided not to wait to find out. It turns out that yes, in fact, you can have mother’s intuition before you’re a mother.

We’re having a BOY!!!!!!!!

I think this is the cutest little profile I’ve ever seen.

Dear Baby,

Today is the beginning of our 18th week together and it’s a very special day, because today is the day we find out if you’re a girl or a boy! Every night this week has felt like Christmas Eve to me. I’m so excited to see your little face (albeit a grainy little face, silly ultrasounds) and finally know if you are going to be our little daughter or son. Little Baby, I just have one request of you today: don’t be shy!

My 17th week of pregnancy was a nice one. You’re dancing around more than ever churning up lots of bubbles, even occasionally bopping my insides with some real kicks. Your Daddy has yet to feel them yet, but he really wants to. At this rate, I think he’ll be able to feel you soon. You are especially active after some orange juice or very cold water. You make a big stink if Kodiak barks too loud and yesterday your Daddy let out the biggest burp and you kicked me in protest! I think that means you already have good manners.

Look, here you are!

 

My only discomfort lately has been sleeping. It’s getting harder and harder to get comfortable, but the addition of a third pillow under my neck and shoulders seems to have helped a little. I miss those 14-hour sleep comas from the first trimester, but I suppose the frequent wake ups are good practice for your arrival. But, you’re going to be a good sleeper, right, Baby?

On Wednesday I had my monthly appointment and as soon as the doppler touched my belly, your heartbeat was loud and clear. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I listened to it race away, the loudest and strongest I’ve heard it yet. I will never get tired of that sound.

I love you, my little dancing baby. I can’t wait to see you!

Love,

Mommy

One of the most important things you can do in your pregnancy is gain weight. Of course, it’s suggested you do it in a steady and healthy way (extra veggies, not cookies), but in the end, the goal is the clear: gain weight to promote a healthy pregnancy.

It’s hard to wrap your head around. Four months ago I was still thinking about maintaining a “healthy weight” — feeling a little discouraged that I had gained some of those pre-wedding pounds back. Now the idea of a “healthy weight” has totally changed. Now I have to gain weight, not lose or maintain my weight.

And I will, of course I will. Anything for my baby.

But still, it’s an adjustment.

The “ideal” weight gain for pregnancy is about a pound a week beginning in the 2nd trimester. I say “ideal” because every woman, and every pregnancy is different. Ideal for me is not the same as ideal for anyone else. It’s all dependant on your Body Mass Index, how you gain weight, what you weighed before pregnancy, and a host of other factors. No two women are the same.

As of yesterday, I’ve gained five pounds by the end of my 17th week of pregnancy. I’ve done my best to eat as healthy as possible and I guess it’s working. One thing I want to work on though is incorporating more exercise into my routine. The first trimester really kicked my butt nausea-wise, and exercise was the furthest thing from my mind. The last time I tried to exercise in the first trimester was walking the dog on the beach. I dry heaved into the dunes about six times that day.

And then the second trimester started and it became bitterly cold so yeah. I’ve been lazy. But I’m determined to walk and pratice some prenatal yoga and do light cardio and weights more in the coming weeks.

Yesterday my doctor told me that since my body mass index was on the low side when I became pregnant, a weight gain of 30-35 pounds would be smart for me. That number scares me a little. But I’m not going to stress about it. I’m going to do exactly what I’ve been doing and if I hit that number, I hit that number. If it’s lower, it’s lower and if it’s higher, it’s higher.

In the end, it’s about Baby.

But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t mind if the majority of that weight went right to my belly and not to my face, arms and butt.

What, a girl can dream, right?

Or, why you must ALWAYS advocate for yourself and your health.

I’ve received a lot of comments and emails thanking me for being so honest and detailed about my pregnancy. I’m so glad I am able to be a resource for women, even those who have never been pregnant. During my pregnancy I’ve done a lot of reading and research, and if I can be one more stop where you find answers, that’s great. That being said, I wanted to be very honest about the beginnings of my pregnancy, in case anyone finds themselves in a similar situation.

I found out I was pregnant very early on — just 10 days after I ovulated and before I even missed my period. We were overjoyed! I called my doctor immediately and set up some prenatal appointments. My first ultrasound was scheduled for when I was eight weeks along (eight weeks?! But I want to see my baby now!), and I looked forward to that day so very much.

In the meantime, I hit the books. I read as much as I could about early pregnancy including all types of symptoms that I could experience.

So at five weeks when I started spotting, I knew that it was common in early pregnancy.

However, that did not stop me from freaking out. Because common or not, no woman wants to see any blood when she’s pregnant. It’s scary. And especially this early in my pregnancy, if blood did mean an early miscarriage, there would have been nothing that could have been done to save the pregnancy. Here’s the TMI detail for you — the spotting was dark brown, not red, which usually indicates “old” blood. Old blood, in this case, would be better than new, because it could be leftover menstrual blood, or something non-threatening to the pregnancy.

The spotting happened on a Saturday, so when I called my doctor’s office I spoke to the on-call doctor. We’ll call him Doctor X. He was very reassuring and explained to me what I already knew, that so many women experience this, and it’s probably fine. He even said that he expected at least five more calls after me of women in the same situation, that’s how common it is. But to be on the safe side, he wanted me to come in for an ultrasound on Monday.

I was a wreck all weekend. When Monday finally arrived, the spotting was almost gone, but not quite. I knew from all my reading that at this point — just 5 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy — the ultrasound wasn’t going to show a fetus, because it would just be too small. What we would probably see is the yolk sac — a sac that nourishes the fetus until the circulatory system develops. I was OK with that because I knew what to expect. The ultrasound tech would be looking for signs of bleeding, mostly.

We went to the ultrasound and saw exactly what we were expecting. A yolk sac, confirming yes, I was pregnant. The tech informed us that there was no sign of bleeding elsewhere, and that we would probably come back sooner rather than later for a follow-up ultrasound, to make sure the fetus was growing.

I left feeling so much better and lighthearted.

An hour later, as I was pulling into the parking lot of Panera to pick up lunch, Doctor X called me to go over the results of the ultrasound. I will never, ever, forget the ominous tone in his voice.

“I’ve looked over the results of your scan and I’m sorry to tell you, but I don’t see a fetus…”

I’m not really sure how I managed to park the car, but I did. I sat speechless for a moment, my mind swimming in a thousand different directions before I managed to squeak out, “but, I knew you wouldn’t. I’m not even six weeks yet.”

Doctor X went on to say that I most likely was experiencing a Blighted Ovum pregnancy — “when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. Cells develop to form the pregnancy sac, but not the embryo itself.” (Source)

“I’m so sorry,” he said.

Fighting back the tears, I choked out, “With all due respect, Doctor X, I’m not ready to give up on this pregnancy yet.”

That’s when he changed his tune, explaining that no, no, no, I’m an OB and I would never give up on a pregnancy.

So that’s when I asked him when I should schedule my next ultrasound. Because I had done my research, I knew I was still so early and the chances of seeing a fetus were less than slim. I can’t explain it, but I knew I hadn’t lost my baby. I knew I was pregnant. And I was going to see that fetus.

“Oh,” he replied. “I hadn’t even thought about that.”

I was furious. He hadn’t THOUGHT about my next ultrasound? He had already dismissed my pregnancy as not viable and hadn’t THOUGHT ABOUT THAT?

He suggested that I might as well go Friday, so that I didn’t have to wait the weekend anxiously. We said our goodbyes, and I drove home in tears to talk to Michael. Michael, who as always, talked me off the ledge and said no, he’s wrong. Call your doctor.

And so I did. I called MY doctor, who I love, and spoke to her about the whole situation. She listened to all my concerns and said that while yes, there was the small chance that I could have a blighted ovum, I also had an extremely early ultrasound, one that she never would have recommended. Because of my reading (again), I asked if it would be OK to push back my second ultrasound until I was in the middle of my sixth week, giving my little baby enough time to show itself on the screen. She agreed 100 percent.

By my scheduled appointment, the spotting was long gone and I held my breath and Michael’s hand as the tech began the ultrasound.

And there was Baby. A perfect little lima bean with a flashing center — its heartbeat. I have never been more happy in my entire life.

As she poked around some more, it was determined that I had a small cyst on my right ovary. Totally common, and probably the ovary that released the egg that became Baby. It’s common for those cysts to cause a little spotting as they disappear, so there you go.

After a follow-up conversation with my doctor, I made a request not to see Doctor X again. My request has been granted and I have only seen two women who are fabulous doctors.

Since that appointment, we’ve heard the heartbeat multiple times, and This Little Baby is dancing away with little kicks here and there. And on Thursday, when we have our next ultrasound, I will probably cry in happiness when I see a little person.

If you take away anything from my story, I hope it’s that you should always advocate for yourself and your health. Do research, get second opinions. And don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know your body. Because I knew mine.

I just entered my 17th week of pregnancy yesterday and am feeling decidedly pregnant.

Here’s weeks 15-16:

I think my belly started to get rounder and after all the painful ligament stretching, it makes sense!

We’re just six days away from our ultrasound appointment and I’m getting more and more excited every day. I can’t wait to find out if we’re having a son or a daughter!

Happy weekend!

Hi guys, it’s me, Kodiak. And guess what? I’m five years old today!

I’m a big boy.

Remember last year, when my mom made me wear that stupid pink tiara? I was mad at her. I’m a boy, not a girl. I don’t wear pink.

Or sparkles.

But today! Today I’m five and today I got to wear a Big Boy crown made just for me. (I don’t know it, but mom says it covers my bald spot too. But don’t worry, guys, I already have some hair growing back.)

Happy birthday to me, Internets. If you want to celebrate with me, eat some beef.

I love beef.

Love,

Kodiak

Thank you all for sending your love to Kodiak. We’re still waiting on final test results, but he appears to be clear of any major medical problems. Yay, but frustrating, because we still don’t know what makes him hurt from time to time. I’ll keep you posted.

Aside from the period of time I spent acquainting my face with the toilet, I really enjoy being pregnant. Now that I finally am showing, I feel womanly, like this is what my body is supposed to be doing. I’m not even halfway through and I can honestly say I definitely want to do this again. And probably again after that.

I am fascinated daily by the changes in my body. Seriously, the human body is SO COOL. I am amazed that a) we created a person who is growing inside of me and b) that my body knows exactly how to do that. I’m constantly surprised by small symptoms that I never would have given much thought to, but that have everything to do with pregnancy. Like my all-the-time runny nose. The reason? Because increased blood flow that’s helping my uterus grow (and wow, has it grown. I can feel it from the outside!), is also helping all my other membranes swell. Like the ones in my nose.

Pass the tissues.

Every week surprises me, but week 16 has been the most surprising so far. The beginning of the week, I was very uncomfortable. My round ligaments — the ligaments that curve around your stomach like an upside down heart — were stretching. A LOT. A simple sneeze caused shocks of pain and rolling over made me want to scream. There’s not a ton you can do to ease the pain of stretching ligaments that have never stretched before, so my only relief was a heating pad set on low wrapped in a towel. It worked OK. Yes, theoretically you can take Tylenol while pregnant, but I’m trying to avoid all drugs unless absolutely necessary.

The ligament pain eased, and the next day Michael was staring at me and remarked that wow, you look pregnant. My stomach seemed to take on a rounder shape overnight. I guess I had a growing day.

And then, I was lying on my couch when I began to feel some pressure in my lower pelvic area. Thinking baby? maybe? I put my hand down there just in time to feel my uterus become rock solid for about 10 seconds. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever felt.

Of course, I turn to Google instantly, which informs me that it’s probably a Braxton-Hicks contraction — a sort of practice contraction your uterus does periodically in preparation of the big day. Apparently the uterus starts contracting in the first trimester, but most women don’t feel it until after week 20. Except some women who apparently feel it early and freak out.

I of course, called my mom. She said it sounded fine, but if it bothered me I should all my doctor. I have to remember that it’s been 20 years since my mom was pregnant, so if she doesn’t remember exactly what day she experienced a particular symptom, I shouldn’t worry when I have it.

I hung up, and called my friend Sara, who had her first baby six weeks ago and clearly remembers her pregnancy. Before I could even finish she informed me that yes, it’s a Braxton-Hicks and she had them around the exact same time as me. Phew.

But see, I was still looking at Google — the best and worst place to read about symptoms — and convinced myself that I was probably having these contractions because I had an undiagnosed urinary tract infection. They’re common in pregnant women and even though I wasn’t experiencing any of the other traditional side effects, I WAS peeing a lot and hey, it could happen.

So I called my doctor. And she said they yes, it’s probably just Braxton-Hicks, but come in for a urine sample anyway just to be sure.

Remember what I said about swollen membranes? Well, ALL your membranes swell. Try peeing into a cup when you’re pregnant and it’s an acrobatic feat. The stupid cup is sterile so you can’t touch anything, and you’re trying to aim while doing your best to remain as pee-free as possible (which, total fail, by the way) and you’re trying not to think about germs in the bathroom and woo hoo! Finally!

They said they would call if anything came up and I haven’t heard from them, so I assume it’s just Braxton-Hicks and nothing else. And all that peeing? Dehydration can cause the contractions too, so I’ve upped my water intake and I believe my uterus is now pressing on my bladder. The toilet and I have become reacquainted, just not with my face. I have about two Braxton-Hicks a day now, and they feel kind of like a Charlie Horse in your leg, but without the pain. Does that make sense? They don’t hurt at all, but the muscles get very hard and ball-like for a few seconds, then release. Body! Weird!

But! A silver lining to week 16 has been an amazing development that happened just last night. On a whim, I made brownies, and after eating one I felt the most amazing thing.

Two little bumps.

Bump.

Was that the baby? Did I just feel my first kick? Could it really be…

Bump!

Imagine a nudge from the inside out. Twice.

I know that babies respond to a spike in blood sugar, and while I really wanted to feel that Bump again, I decided against putting This Little Baby into sugar shock.

But I’ll definitely try it again today.

Oh yeah, and then the brownie gave me heartburn for the first time.

Fire-y, flame-filled heartburn that reached to the back of my eyes and left me tossing and turning past 1 a.m. while my husband snored away. (Water made it worse and Tums only mildly eased the burn, so if anyone has any suggestions I’ll be your best friend.)

I can’t wait to see what week 17 has in store!

In brief, I’ve been out of the house for the last two days, driving to and from Hartford, CT, which is about two hours from our house.

Kodiak started experiencing random bouts of very bad pain, where he yelps and cries and can’t lift his head or walk well. It will come on quickly, lasts the day, then disappears for weeks.

After countless vet visits and no solution, we called the doctor who preformed his surgeries in the past. He’s a great guy and the ONLY doctor we feel has listened to us so far about these symptoms.

Kodiak had to stay overnight (tell a pregnant woman she has to leave her “fur baby” overnight in Hartford and she will CRY) and had an MRI and a spinal tap yesterday morning to rule out scary things like cancers and tumors and meningitis. GAH.

On first glance, the MRI appeared clean, but we should know final results on Monday.

As always, as quickly as the pain comes on, it’s gone, and today my furry boy is happy and rambunctious as usual.

Well, slightly less furry. Because they SHAVED HIS HEAD.

And we didn’t know they were going to!

He wouldn’t let me get a straight-on photo, but now it looks like his ears are higher than his head. SO WEIRD.

So yes, that’s where I’ve been. With Mr. Kodiak and the weirdo hair do. Please think good thoughts and send love to our (slightly less) fluffy boy!

So, here’s the thing.

None of my pants fit.

And the BellaBand is driving me crazy — too tight, not staying put.

And the two pairs of maternity pants I ordered are in transit.

So.

I’m wearing leggings.

As ALMOST pants.

I am so ashamed.

(A photo in our house would not be complete without a tuft of Kodiak hair.)

You won’t judge me too much for the ensemble, right? RIGHT?

My second ultrasound is scheduled for January 28th and if This Little Baby wants to make its mommy and daddy very happy, it will give us a sneak peak and reveal its gender!

I have thought for YEARS that my first would be a boy, but lately I’ve been feeling that baby is a girl, especially after a very vivid dream I had the other night where I was holding her for the first time — all dark eyes and strawberry blonde hair. The dream stuck with me all day. Of course that means nothing, and come the end of the month I could be out shopping for blue!

Kasia over at Good Finking posted a list of Old Wives’ tales that are supposed to predict your baby’s gender, and I thought it would be fun to give it a try:

Boy or Girl? 21 Old Wives’ Tales That May Tell You*

Sleep Position
Pay attention to which way you lay down in bed tonight. If you prefer sleeping on your left side, you’ll have a boy. Right side? You’re pregnant with a girl.

GIRL – I prefer sleeping on my right side, but have been making a solid effort to lie on my left as the circulation is supposed to be better for baby.

Upset Stomach
Little girls aren’t always sweet. Extreme nausea means you are having a daughter.

GIRL — If you base it on the month of morning sickness I had in the first trimester. There’s little nausea now, but some annoying indigestion.

Soft or Dry Hands
If your hands are dry during pregnancy, you are having a boy; soft—expect a girl.

BOY

Food Cravings
Your favorite pregnancy foods may tell you what sex the baby is. If you’re craving citrus while pregnant, you’re having a girl.

GIRL — My only real craving thus far has bee pineapple and oranges. And orange juice. And clementines — by the box-full.

Adult Acne
If altering hormones makes your skin break out, expect a girl.

GIRL — and my, hasn’t that been fun.

Graceful or Clumsy Pregnancy
If you feel as though you’re gliding through they day, you’ll have a girl. Stumbling? It’s a boy.

Undecided. Sometimes I’m a total spaz, forgetting everything. Other days I’m fine. Although, the other day I was on the phone with my sister and could not form a full sentence. She was like, what is WRONG with you?? So in that case — BOY.

Face Weight Gain
If your face gets fuller, it means you’re having a girl.

I’ve only just started to gain some weight, so I don’t have the answer for this yet. But when I’ve gained weight in the past, I’ve gained in my face, so — GIRL.

Sugar and Spice Food Cravings
Craving salt during pregnancy? Potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn means a boy is on the way. Need a little something sweet? Ice cream, chocolate, and candy means you’re having a girl.

GIRL. Mmmm, ice cream.

Mood Changes
If you’re experiencing pregnant mood-swings, expect a baby girl to arrive soon.

GIRL — and Michael will attest to this one, I’m sure. The mood swings come on fast and furious, then disappear as quickly as they arrived.

High or Low Pregnant Belly
If you’re carrying the baby low on your stomach, expect a boy. If it’s high, you’re having a girl.

I don’t think I’m far enough along to answer this, but S. commented on Belly Friday that it looked like I was carrying a boy based on the position of my stomach. — BOY.

Baby Weight
If you’re carrying baby in front, it’s a boy. Is the baby weight spaced all around your middle? It’s a girl.

Same as the last question, but we’ll go with BOY.

Pendulum Test
Dangle a chain with a charm over your palm. If it swings back and forth: boy. In a circle: girl.

GIRL.

Model Your Hands
“Show me your hands.” If you would hold your hands palms up it’s a girl. Down? You’re having a boy.

I agree with Kasia’s answer: “Not sure – since I know the outcome, I can’t be sure I could do it spontaneously.”

Toddler Advice
Get baby advice from a nephew or friend’s little boy. If a toddler boy shows interest in your belly, you’ll have a girl. If he ignores you, it’s a boy.

Last night our friend’s two-year old boy asked if he could see my belly when we told him there was a baby in there. Then he stuck his finger in my belly button. — GIRL.

Eat Garlic
Guess the baby’s sex by eating garlic. If the smell seeps out of your pores it’s a boy. If there’s no scent it’s a little girl.

I didn’t try this, but I would guess GIRL since I always smell like garlic after I eat it. Cumin, too, actually.

Key to Pregnancy
If you pick up a key by the round end, you’re having a boy. If it’s by the long end? A girl.

Umm…BOY, I think.

Even and Odd Numbers
If your age and year of conception are both even or odd, it’s girl. One even, one odd means a boy.

BOY.

Baby’s Heartbeat
If the baby’s heart beats more than 150 times per minute, you’re pregnant with a girl. Less than 150, it’s a boy.

I don’t know. I’ve heard it twice, but they didn’t tell me what the beats per minute were.

Stress Test
A child tends to be of the same sex as the parent who is less stressed at the time of conception.

I don’t think either of us were stressed, but he’s always more level headed than I am — BOY.

Dream Meanings
If you dream about having a girl while pregnant, you will wind up having a boy and vice versa.

BOY if I base it on the really vivid dream.

Breast Size
If your right breast is larger than the left while pregnant, you are having a girl. If the left is larger, it’s a baby boy.

I’m pretty sure they’re about the same right now. And in the way.

* Source 

If I belive any of these, it’s overwhelmingly GIRL. But who knows?

So, what do you think? Are we having a boy or a girl? About 90 percent of the people in my life think we’re having a boy, and Kodiak thinks we’re having a tasty treat for him.

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