12 Weeks Prego

I remember getting so excited to hit the 12 week mark during my first pregnancy. The nausea was rough, and everyone promised that it would get better during my second trimester. In my mind, 12 weeks=3 months=first trimester. Boy was I disappointed when I found out the second trimester didn't start until 14 weeks or later. I actually dealt with nausea for about 16 weeks with my first baby. I'm believing this one won't be quite so long.

I can say that the nausea has lessened ever so slightly. I'm still on the couch more often than not, but I've made it into the kitchen a few times to clean dishes or cook dinner (usually still with my hubby's help), and I have avoided a lot of problems by eating saltine crackers on a regular basis. They fix most anything:

**Morning sickness: Before I get out of bed in the morning, I eat a few crackers and let them settle in my tummy. By the time I get up, I'm okay to make breakfast without getting sick.
**Random crippling hunger pains: Hunger strikes and I can barely walk to the kitchen, let alone fathom the idea of dealing with the refrigerator smell (more on that later), I grab my rescue bag of crackers and down a few until my hubby has time to make me some real food.
**Late Night Tummy Rumbles: No matter what I eat during the day, hunger strikes right after I brush my teeth and my head is hitting the pillow. Enter trusty saltines again.

This is probably one of my least healthy habits, and I'm almost ashamed to admit it. But there are a few beliefs that allow me to eat the evil white crackers:
1. Listen to your body. My body knows what it needs. And right now if it doesn't get that thing, it will rebel in the worst way--usually in the form of retching. And I know my body doesn't particularly enjoy that.
2. This isn't a permanent habit. It's only a few weeks. I'm biding my time to get to a healthier meal plan, and since I've done this before, I know that I will get my appetite back, and I will change to better foods.
3. Eating saltines bothers me because, as a general, rule I try to avoid white food. White flour predominant in crackers is a big red flag. While I haven't switched my crackers to a healthier option--I'm sure Kashi has something that's better for me; I have switched my white bread (toast with honey is another staple keeping me alive right now) to the best bread I can find--made locally with minimum ingredients, and everything inside is as healthy as it gets.

On another note, my sensitivity to the smell of the fridge has reached a horrifying level. I must keep my nose firmly plugged when opening the fridge or else whatever I ate last is sure to reappear. What's interesting is that other fridges don't bother me, just mine. My husband has cleared old leftovers, cleaned shelves, and I even put a big open container of baking soda in there; but I still have to be at least 50 feet away before the door opens. Last pregnancy it was both my fridge and the teacher's lounge--when I walked in, I could instantly smell every single food/meal/snack that had been microwaved or stored in the lounge. What kind of smells do you struggle with? Do you find that it's the familiar and everyday smells that bother you more? I do.

*Photo courtesy of D Sharon Pruitt


11 Weeks Prego

I spoke too soon. When I talked about cravings during week nine, I said that I haven't had any craving consume me and make eat something at that moment. Well, last night, it happened . . . sort of.

It started like any other normal craving for me. I saw something--Taco Bueno--and I thought, "Hmm, a bean and cheese burrito sounds good." But I drove right by the restaurant and tried not to think about it. Maybe this weekend, I reasoned.

Well, let's just say I didn't make it to the weekend. That evening we went to my in-laws for dinner. It was a delicious dinner, but it was at 5:30. So, by 8:00, when we left, I was hungry again. At first I thought I'd just eat some crackers when I got home, but then a monster started to stir within. I could feel its evil tentacles clawing through my body and reaching through my arms taking control of the steering wheel. Within minutes I was in line at the Bueno drive thru.

Could I have resisted? Yes. Did I want to? Not really. The thought of yet another saltine cracker or an even sexier rice cake just was not going to tame the beast. Since it was toward the end of the week, the options in my fridge were sparse, and for a mere 99 cents I knew I could solve all of my problems right then and there. So I did. I even had hot sauce with it--I was pretty sure I'd get sick and pay for it later. But lo and behold, I slept great that night, and I felt the best I've felt in two months the next day! Hmmm, maybe I should have Bueno every night . . .

On another note, for the past week or two, I've already felt my baby move. They say that you usually don't feel it for many more weeks, but I think it's because it's my second pregnancy--I'm more aware of what movement feels like, and I'm not so cautious to just pass it off as gas. It's amazing to feel the movement this early, but I'm beginning to wonder if this means I'm going to have an active baby the entire time. My first one was pretty calm--this would be the first notable difference between the two pregnancies. We'll see if the baby keeps up its happy dance throughout the next few months.


Ultrasound Day! 10 Weeks Pregnant

We had our ultrasound the other day. I was so nervous that two babies were going to pop up on the screen; I even felt it necessary to warn the tech that there might be two babies. She took it in stride, I covered my eyes, and when the first image popped up, my husband exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, there's two!" I peeked at the tech through my fingers, and she calmly shook her head and said, "There's just one." Relief. Relaxation. Deep breath. Sigh. Whew. One baby. I can handle that. When we got to hear the heartbeat, then I cried. It's such a miracle--it will always catch my breath.

Some more random thoughts at ten weeks:

One of my fav creative-mom blogs to follow is Design Mom. Since she's pregnant, too, Wednesdays are devoted to stories from other moms about deliveries, babies, etc. This week's group of posts had me both laughing and crying--I blame the hormones, but seriously, the second story had tears streaming down my face! And the first story was so funny I made my husband sit and listen to the entire thing as I read it aloud.

This pregnancy isn't too different from my first, but one thing I have noticed that counts a lot more are affirmations from friends . . . and even from strangers. I love following this mom on Twitter because she has daily pregnancy affirmations. I think today's is "I like to dance with my baby." Whether it's your first pregnancy or your fourth, be prepared for your thoughts to run wild during pregnancy. I've found that my imagination tends to go on hyper speed when I'm pregnant, and issues like dealing with fear (something that I generally stay away from) become more poignant and challenging to face.

There's a million and one stories out there for both perfect pregnancies and terrible horrible sad endings. I've found that the more bad stuff I read, the more fear I have to deal with. In fact, during my first pregnancy, this was the reason I had to put down What to Expect When You're Expecting because I felt like each week I walked away with a new list of sicknesses, aches, pains, uncomfortable changes, and possible complications to expect. There is a lot of good information in the book, too, but I personally I had a hard time sifting through the bad to find the good. It's also one of the reasons I was more drawn to attachment parenting style books. They were full of positive attitudes and encouragements to trust that your body knows what it's doing. I found that very comforting in the midst of all I was going through. In the end, I came out of my reading frenzy with a good mix of parenting books (not all attachment parenting, not all medical, etc. I'm sure I'll share more of my fav titles later.)

All that to say, be aware that you're imagination is amped up quite a bit; and be responsible about what you choose to read. I'm all about being informed, and my brain was chock full of information before I went to the hospital to deliver my first one. I just had to be deliberate in tipping the scales to favor the positive stuff during my reading and learning time.

Because I'm still dealing with nausea, I've had a remarkable amount of couch time this pregnancy. I have a daily schedule of TV shows I keep on in the background to make the time go faster--and I've only got ten channels, so despite the slim pickings, I've been able to find stuff to watch. The Price Is Right is one of my daily shows--I think I cry each time someone wins. Hormones. Ok, maybe I cried before I got pregnant too. What a sap!

And with the couch time comes the daily inner dialogue/argument between two voices: Type-A Voice (gotta get things done! conquer! conquer!) and Carpe Diem voice (take care of your baby, relax, enjoy the process). Most days the argument goes something like this:

T-AV: You should get up and at least do prenatal yoga. You already skipped your kickboxing class this morning.
CDV: You're body is telling you you're tired. Listen to it.
TAV: It only takes one week to get out of shape. You're muscles will be marshmallows before you even get to second trimester.
CDV: You're making a baby. Give your body a break. Some women are confined to bed rest by this point, and they can still walk and function normally when their child is born.
TAV: You want to be one of those people who can tell others you stayed active during your pregnancy. Plus, if you don't get up, all that food you're eating is going to go straight to your behind.
CDV: You're not an invalid. You do get around. Relax. Sleep is good for you.
TAV: See, your heart is racing and all you did was get up to go the bathroom. You're already out of shape.
CDV: You made it through a kickboxing class just the other day. You're fine. Breathe.

Sound familiar? I'm guessing I'm not alone . . . I hope not :) This is where my hubby and I differ. If he's sick, there's no argument in his head trying to get his sick body to finish a to-do list. He's perfectly content to snuggle under a blanket and succumb to hours of mindless TV watching. I like to snuggle, too, but only for a few minutes--then I'm either uncomfortable or I think of something that "can't wait" so I jump up to do it.

There's a happy medium. I think it's time to find it. Perhaps I should take a nap :)


Baby Shower Ideas

I just couldn't resist. Look at this amazing list of shower gift ideas. I think I need one of each ;-)

Click here to see the list!

photo by Resa Design


8-9 Weeks Preggo

I'd like to set the record straight for those of you who haven't been pregnant yet and are worried about crazy cravings.

To begin with, I can't think of a single person I know (and I've got lots of friends with kids) who had a desperate moment when she woke up at two in the morning, grabbed her hubby's shirt, and pled with desperate eyes and a frantic voice, "I need pickles and ice cream now!"

Now, I'm not saying this doesn't happen to anyone; but from my experience, there's a more realistic scenario to expect:

More than dealing with cravings, I've had to deal with what DOESN'T sound good. To be honest, this ends up being more of a factor because after you've eliminated everything that doesn't sound good, there's not much left to choose from. This is even more difficult if you're dealing with nausea. You need to eat every couple of hours; but there's so much that doesn't sound good that your variety is limited--and if you're eating the same things over and over, those items quickly graduate to the doesn't-sound-good list because you're sick of eating them.

As for craving something . . . I have had foods that I either see on TV or hear someone talking about that sound good, and that food just gets stuck in my head. I want to eat it, but many times I don't actually eat the food for a few days, so it's nowhere near the must-have-now syndrome.

There are a few foods that I've wanted more than once. With my first pregnancy I ate quite a few burgers (and I had been off of red meat before the pregnancy) and grapefruit. The only reoccurring craving so far with this second pregnancy has been Japanese food. I think the main reason is because it's generally more bland than other foods I regularly ate pre-pregnancy (i.e. Mexican).

It's probably important to note as far as crazy cravings (e.g. a friend of mine craved marshmallow cream--straight from the jar!), it's hard to say with me. I love cooking. I love new things. I love love love pickled things--so pickles, olives, sauerkraut, etc. are all common players in my diet. The only thing I can think of that would be "strange" for me to eat would be the stuff I'm slowly eliminating for health reasons--processed prepackaged foods, foods with high fructose corn syrup or MSG, canned food, etc. And right now, those things haven't had much appeal, so I've been doing pretty well.

As for nine weeks progress--not a lot has changed for my day-to-day living. I'm finding strategies that work for fending off nausea--crackers before I even get out of bed and waiting 20 minutes to get up; toast/rice cakes with honey; avoiding high-sugar items, fried foods, and dairy; etc. I was eating a lot of yogurt at first, but now I'm starting to think that's the reason I wasn't feeling good--I eat very little dairy usually. I also switched from my prenatal to kids' gummy vitamins. I'll switch back once my stomach settles down.

My little peanut is about an inch long, but since this is my second pregnancy, he/she's already making its presence known in the form of a small baby bump. We'll get our pregnancy-confirmation ultrasound next week. I'm still super super nervous that it's going to be twins. I think I might cry if it is. Of course, I'll be fine with it; it's just really overwhelming to think of right now.


Seven weeks prego!

(photo courtesy of plastAnka)

Ahhhh, seven glorious, er, not-so-glorious weeks. I'm going to join with the millions of moms out there that already know this, but I can't believe how much faster my body is changing the second time around! I can see belly (but I've successfully hidden it so far). I've already been sick--I'm pretty sure I was a few more weeks into it before I was "officially" sick last time. And sleeping is already one of my least favorite times of the day. I tend to sleep in a semi-propped up position to try and trick my belly into thinking I'm sitting up--most times my stomach does best when it's on the bottom and my throat is higher--a level playing field is the devil's playground.

This is the week that I've already remembered why my answer to "How many kids are you going to have?" changed from, "At least four, if not more," to "Not sure. I'm just going to take it one at a time." And, for the first time in my life, I seriously considered the possibility of adoption. I LOVE LOVE LOVE children, LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mom, and LOVE LOVE LOVE developing a family; but, unfortunately, I'm not feeling quite as passionate about doing the pregnancy thing again.

Okay, venting over. Let's focus on the great stuff. First of all, I couldn't have married a better man. I have had to completely take off my homemaker, housekeeper, and for the most part, mom hats; and he's graciously donned all three on top of his provider, protector and cherished laugh-maker in the home. No complaints, nothing. He does more, I feel bad I can't help more, and still he asks constantly if he's doing enough. LOVE LOVE LOVE him.

Secondly, my daughter can completely sense that something's different, and it's turned her into cuddle bug. She gives me more hugs, she pulls my hand to go everywhere with her, and she gets things for me when I'm lying nauseated on the couch. She's not even two yet, and already I know she's going to be an incredible big sis. She loves babies--she's got two cousins both born within the last month--and she loves every chance to wave hello or hold them in her own arms.

And finally, I've been able to accept my need for rest this time around. I don't feel guilty for extra naps, and I don't beat myself up for not making it to my workout. The little that I can squeeze in during times when my stomach feels steady and I don't feel like I have toxins coursing through my veins, I am very very proud of. Last pregnancy I spent the first eight months convincing myself that I could still go at 110 percent; and I didn't need any help from anyone. I'm pretty sure that did more harm than good. This time around, I value family and friends who offer to help; and I relish the time to let my body do its thing and create a human being. It puts everything into perspective when I think about that reality.

My email tells me that little arms and legs are starting to protrude from my baby's body; something to join his/her little tail that is shrinking. Already its the size of a blueberry! We get an ultrasound at 10 weeks (we purposely pushed it off so we could see the baby just a tiny bit more gummy bear and less tadpole looking). I'm so excited.

I've been thinking a lot about finding out the gender. I'm leaning toward not (if I can convince my hubby). What do you think? Pros and cons of each?


Six Weeks Prego

Today marks six weeks in my pregnancy. My most recent babycenter email says that my baby is a mere quarter of an inch (quite a lot of growth since last week's "grain of rice"). He/she is developing eyes, nose holes, ears, an over-sized head, leg and arm buds, intestines and his pituitary gland. Yikes, that's one busy baby.

Meanwhile, this WAHM has officially started plugging her nose when entering the kitchen (last pregnancy I could smell the open refrigerator from across the house, no joke); begging friends for non-ginger nausea remedies (the smell and taste of ginger actually makes things worse for me); mentally correcting every person who has misused the words nauseous and nauseated (I am nauseated. If I was nauseous, I would be causing those around me to feel sick too--which if throwing up begins, I may qualify for); and spending as much time as possible on the couch.

This time I paid for an eight-week kickboxing class because I am determined to stay more active (and since I'm eating every hour, I really need to keep my metabolism up). So far I've made it to 3 of the first 12 classes, but it's more than I can say for last pregnancy. I feel like I'm cheating most of the time. My classmates do not know about my pregnancy yet, so I just look like the lame mom who takes a water break every 30 seconds, only lifts her legs halfway for kicks, and uses two mats underneath her for floor exercises. Plus, I have to stay away from lower ab exercises, so I try to avoid eye contact during the times I'm doing a lame crunch while everyone else is elevating their legs simultaneously with holding up their upper bodies and screaming in tortured pain.

Also, before I got pregnant last time, I talked of having a large family, minimum of four kids. But once my first trimester and morning sickness (an evil lie--it's not just in the mornings!) came with all of its glory, I quickly changed my story to "one kid at a time." Funny how quickly you forget why you said something that serious. Well, this week, I remembered. I, once again, am back to reasoning that I will take pregnancy one kid at a time . . . and since this pregnancy has not proven to be any different from the first, I sincerely wonder how I will manage this again with two children running around the house. Alas, I'm sure I'll forget this feeling, and after a couple of years, I'll again be dreaming of my six-member family.

Finally, the anticipation for my first ultrasound is pretty intense. Why? Because twins run deep in both my husband's and my family. I've heard it comes from the dad's side; it comes from the mom's side; it skips a generation; fraternal twins are more likely to repeat; etc. Well, we qualify for all of those statements. All. Of. Them. My hubby's brothers are twins; my dad's a twin; my dad would skip my generation which means my kids would be twins; my dad's a fraternal twin. AHHHHHHHHHHHH! We've decided to try and delay the ultrasound until ten weeks for this reason--we want there to be as much chance as possible to see if one or two little guys are swimming around in there.

Oh, on the upside, I have found a personal nausea remedy that is really good for me--baby spinach. If I include it in my meal, especially as a salad, I find the nausea leaves for hours on end. Ahhh, sweet normal stomach. Oh, and Icebreakers Sours help too--that one I figured out last time! I hear Preggie Pops are similar--so I may try those soon.



Big News!!!

I'm baaaack!

I know it's been way too long, and the Wednesday Walkthrough series seemed to fizzle out, but I'm here to say, we're back in business.

There's a perfectly valid excuse for my absence . . . my big news . . . I'm pregnant with baby #2! And with pregnancy, for me so far, comes crazy nausea and all-day sickness for the first trimester. I've been on the couch way more than I'd like to admit, and my TV intake has jumped dramatically. But second tri is around the corner, and I am already eager to take my soon-to-be-newfound energy and put it to good work.

In the meantime, I've been logging my crazy weeks of pregnancy and giving you an insider's/in-your-face view on pregnancy the second time around. It's brutally honest, so forgive me ahead of time if you think it's TMI. My goal is to tell it like it is.

In addition to my weekly posts (which, by the way, will be posted on a delayed timeframe, so my posts will not correspond with my actual pregnancy), I'll try and add healthy tidbits here and there. The focus will definitely be shifting to pregnancy and the joys of being a WAHM while pregnant.

Because of my prolonged absence, I'll go ahead and post a couple of weeks of pregnancy in one week.

Enjoy, and please feel free to share your stories too! There's strength in numbers, right? And, as I talk about in a later post, this pregnancy has taught me the value of affirmation. I wouldn't be doing so hot right now if I didn't have it.

Photo courtesy of notsogoodphotography