Saturday, July 28, 2012

No, it's not twins, thank you very much

We had another midwifery appointment on Thursday, which always make me feel better. We heard the heartbeat again (150 bpm). I was giggling so much that the midwife had to stop for a bit to have me calm down. The doppler picked up lots of scratchy sounds and she said that was the baby moving and doing flips. It is truly one of the best sounds in the universe. And it always makes me relax a bit and realize that although I don't know much about him/her, BoomBoom has a good, strong heartbeat. That's got to count for a lot.

I did bring up my weight and size with the midwife. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm *sure* I'm not having twins, which is maddening. I usually just answer (depending on the person) "no, I'm just fat, but thanks for noticing", which usually shuts them up. But not always.

I've gained well over ten pounds already and on my 5'3" frame, it is extremely noticeable. I've gained it all in my belly, so going from a slim(ish) 128 lbs to 142+ in a matter of weeks has been some cause for concern... I thought. All of the books say to try to keep the weight gain in the first trimester to 1-3 pounds, so I've been feeling like a fat pig.

I've definitely been eating more, but I'm certainly not pigging out and my diet is pretty healthy (could be better, but I'm generally happy with it). When I brought it up with the midwife, she told me to ignore all the books. They don't generally worry about weight gain as much as a good diet, and each woman puts on weight at different times in the pregnancy (most in the 2nd trimester, with some exceptions, obviously). I'm happening to get a lot of it over and done with early. I'm just hoping the weight gain doesn't keep up at this pace.

I haven't had body issues like this since my teens, and it's a little sad that after years of dreaming about a baby bump, I'm not welcoming mine as I should be. I'm feeling a bit better about it now that I'm open about the pregnancy, but I still have a little bit to go to be completely comfortable with it.

The midwife also measured my uterus and it's clocking in around normal for 14 weeks, so I'm close to being on target that way. It's sitting directly below my belly button, and I've still yet to really pop, despite the big belly. The top of my bump is squishy and all intestines, but BoomBoom is certainly making his/her way to the surface. I can't wait to feel the babe!

In other news, Devon won a competition lately that has her competing at an international level the first week of November. Competition is in Colorado and I would love nothing more than to go, but I'm struggling. I trust everything will be fine, but insurance will not cover the birth after 25 weeks, when baby would viable, so we would be taking a risk. Stories like this one freak me out. It's a 6-hour international flight and there's a children's hospital there, but I don't want to spend months in a NICU in a country that's not my own. But it's an opportunity of a lifetime for Devon and I want to be there to support (btw, she's totally okay with me staying home if it's the right decision).

I'd love to hear from others how late in your pregnancy you flew. I know it's generally considered safe prior to 36 weeks, but is it worth the risk...? I'll obviously see what my midwife says closer to the time, but if we don't want to pay an arm and a leg for the flight, we kind of need to decide pretty soon.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Musings at 15 weeks: Fully cooked baby

After 2.5 months, I finally got another appointment with the reproductive psychiatrist... in a month. Although I'm thrilled that I got the appointment, it feels like if there was damage done to the baby by my meds, the damage is done. Baby is fully formed and all of the things that could be affected by side-effects of antidepressants during pregnancy are pretty much cooked. Cleft lip would have happened already, heart defects would have too. Developmental issues may not be apparent for a while, but if there will be issues, they are already there. The only thing that I *could* still control is the potential withdrawal that the baby may have at birth if I continue my anti-depressants in the third trimester. But the risks of not taking them in the third trimester may not outweigh the benefits.

I'm a bit disappointed, but so glad that I met with the reproductive psychiatrist prior to conception. If I hadn't, I'd be freaking out a lot more. I know that what I'm on is considered "safe" in this realm and I worked so hard to get to this place. Although I do deal with the guilt every day, I do also know that I've done the right thing. My mood is good, and that's what counts. Interestingly enough, in all of the studies I've read about outcomes of children with depressed moms, the children who's moms were suffering from debilitating depression were the worst off.

Other than all that, I guess things have been progressing. At least that's what my belly tells me. We started taking belly shots, but I'm still too embarrassed to put them up on the blog (even faceless). Maybe I'll get over that soon.

But quite honestly, sometimes I go through periods of questioning whether I'm even pregnant, and I don't know whether that's normal at this point. I mean, I'm fully in maternity clothes and I've pretty much popped (my colleagues keep saying "are you *sure* it's not twins???"). But I don't have any strong symptoms other than a lack of period and sore breasts and a little bit of round ligament stuff.

We see the midwife on Thursday, so I'm anxious to have her find the heartbeat again, because I know how awesome that was last time. I was tempted to buy a Doppler on eBay today.

I know I should be thankful that I'm feeling so healthy, and mostly, I am. But I'm an anxious person. I need reassurance. I'm hoping once the 18-20 week ultrasound happens and baby is healthy, I'll feel better. And when I feel the baby move. And when Devon gets to feel the baby move.

Oh who am I kidding... I won't feel better until this baby is safe and healthy in my arms.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Restless

Devon and I celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary this week. In total, we've been together 8.5 years, which feels both like a lifetime and several seconds. So much has changed over these years, but I'm happy to say that we still have that spark that was there in the early days. I think it's actually gotten bigger. I'm lucky.

We got away this week to reconnect and it will be our last vacation as a couple for a long, long time, I imagine. I don't imagine our upcoming vacations will include 12-hour sleeps and crazy eights tournaments - at least not for a while. We're trying to make the best of it, and at the same time, we are both so incredibly burnt out from the renos/move that a lot of the time, we're a bit comatose. But that's okay.

Today is my 100th day of this pregnancy. I'm getting a bit restless - only because I'm a bit frustrated. The ONLY thing I know about this baby is that it has a heartbeat. That's the only information we have. Part of me regrets not getting the CVS genetic testing, because it would give some indication of how this wee one is doing in there, although in my part of Canada, we do not get an ultrasound to go with the blood tests. I just don't like not knowing about the health, considering that this isn't considered a low-risk pregnancy, considering my health concerns and medications.

That 18-20 week ultrasound cannot come fast enough, yet I know I have to be okay with the time I have right now and have to find some way to enjoy it. Who knows if I'll ever be pregnant again (I hope so!) and I don't want to rush through it just so I can meet my baby. The time it spends inside is just as important as the time it will spend with us on the other side.

I am having quite a bit of what I imagine is round ligament pain when I cough, stretch, reach for anything. The sharp pains are brutal and totally put me in my place. Every time it hits, I just say, "Okay, little dude - I'm sorry!" and sit still for a minute. I like these little reminders that things are progressing.

Oh, and I finally put a ticker on my blog. Didn't really know how hard it would be to be okay with that up there, but it's there to stay :)


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Last few days of 1st trimester

I'm on vacation and it's raining and I don't care...

These past few weeks have been killer. We finally moved (every time I move, I promise I'll never do it again) and though we are thrilled to be living in our new place, we're still mostly living in boxes. Poor Devon has been doing 75% of the work, as my body objected to the going-going-going and I could only do so much. She's been amazing.

We are SO happy to be out of the small-ish town we were living in. Not only does it cut down our 3-hour round trip for commuting every day, but we are back in the melting pot of the big city where we lived for years before thinking it was a smart move to be all grown up and buy our own place. We are back in a colourful world and couldn't be happier. In the five years we lived where we lived, we saw one gay man at the gelato shop... and he was probably just visiting. It was a similar situation with anyone of colour. It's nice to be home.  

With the work of the move, I've been fighting off a sickness and when I woke up on my first day of vacation, my lips were covered in cold sores and my throat was on fire. In the last few nights, I've averaged almost 12 hours of sleep. Bliss. The place we're staying is a 12-hour drive from home and even the drive was relaxing (granted, Devon was driving).

We have no plans for the week except to rejuvenate and reconnect as a couple. With all the chaos, although we've been together a lot, it's hardly been quality time. I suppose it's giving us a taste of what might come in January, and I think that if we figure out how to stay connected now, we may learn a trick or two for when the baby comes and throws our lives back into chaos.

I told my boss this week, and afterwards sent out the obligatory company-wide email. Turns out I couldn't have waited much longer, as I found out that my belly has been a source of some "conversations." Things with my boss went well at first and she was really professional about it. She did curse our department for being so fertile (as both of her staff are now out for the count), but she was very congratulatory and even asked a few questions. So unlike her.

The following day, however, I did get a bit of a passive-aggressive slap when I was talking with her about necessary updates to our website (which I manage) and was told that she couldn't afford to make changes as "we have a mat leave coming up and my budget is extremely affected by it." Oh well. We can't all play nice all the time.

My colleagues were thrilled and it was really nice to see them react, though I wasn't really good with all of the attention. I actually feel a little bit like I did when I came out about 10 years ago: pure relief that everyone knows. I'm definitely popping a little bit (who am I kidding? A lot). I still could look just chunky around the middle, but to anyone who knows me, it's pretty obvious. We've begun to tell a few people, but there are some people we would like to do it in person and don't have the opportunity til the first week of August. By then, I should be able to make the announcement simply by walking into the room.

I'm pretty exclusively in maternity clothes now. Some things are still a bit big, but I'd rather that then trying to squeeze into regular pants. The bump is growing on me (no pun intended) and though I think I'll feel better when I look obviously pregnant, I'm getting better at accepting my new look. I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought I would love it all from the very beginning, but I honestly didn't expect to be this big this fast.

We'll be 14-weeks pregnant on Tuesday. Though many sources say different things about the second semester, I will start counting Tuesday as the start of the second. That's pretty cool.

Now that I'm on vacation for the week, I'm looking forward to catching up on everyone's blogs and putting a little more effort into this wee blog of mine too. When I'm not celebrating my 5th wedding anniversary, that is :) 


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

12 weeks! Though my uterus says otherwise...

So we made it - 12 weeks today. The "first big" milestone. I can't really believe it. We're thrilled and though I do feel much safer that this baby is hanging on, I know that we're not entirely out of the woods... but the trees are definitely thinner here.

I mentioned this before, but I don't think I'm going to have the luxury of hiding it much longer. I broke down today and bought a belly band (after the buckle on my pants near cut a hole through my gut with the pressure) and I'm having a tough time finding shirts that can cover the belly without looking like they're obviously hiding something.

I was between a size 0 to 2 pre-pregnancy and though I wasn't as skinny as I have been in the past, I didn't have much meat on me. I'm petite (5'3" on a good day). I'm thinking there just isn't much room in there for my melon-sized uterus and my plum-sized baby these days. I've gained about 5 pounds already and don't feel as though I'm overeating and I'm eating well on the most part. The weight is worrying me a little bit. I'm sure my mother's voice at the back of my head saying "You shouldn't be showing until at least 5 months" doesn't help. At all. I'm actually really insecure about it right now.

I haven't "popped" and I know the belly weight is not baby. I imagine it's excess stuff that can't fit down where the baby is anymore. I feel as though once I've popped, and once people know I'm pregnant, I'll have no problem rocking the belly. For now, I just feel overweight.

My boss is away this week and then four days after she comes back, I leave on vacation for 10 days. If I don't tell her next week (13 weeks), it'll have to be when I'm 15 weeks, and I honestly don't think I'll be able to hide it then. Plus, all the books tell you to tell your boss right after a big accomplishment at work and coming back from vacation hardly seems like an accomplishment. I feel like I'll be much lighter (not physically) once the news is out, but 13 weeks still seems pretty early to me. It doesn't help when I'm on baby forums all day reading posts by people miscarrying at 12 and 13 weeks. Gotta stop reading that shit.

Telling my boss is going to be tough for numerous reasons but especially because in Canada, we have 12 months maternity leave. To boot, my colleague - it is only her and I on my manager's team - is on mat leave until May 2013. Our mat leaves will overlap 4-5 months. 100% of my manager's staff will be gone. It's any manager's nightmare.

But, I can't shoulder the responsibility and I know it's something I just need to get through. I kind of want it out of the way, and I also want to share the news with my colleagues. I'm looking forward to that. I still haven't told some of my very best friends, but that will come this week. I've been enjoying the few reactions so far. Wow, there is a scale of them! From a quiet, passive "oh, I'm delighted for you" to "shut the fuck up, that's awesome" (as they fall to their knees). Funny.

So, 12 weeks. Twelve frikkin' weeks. Yay. Maybe I'll finally break down and get myself one of those tickers for my blog.