Thursday, January 28, 2010

10 weeks - the belly

Methinks that is a bit o' pudge sticking out over the top of my pants (yet thankfully under my shirt). Wait! I know! It's not's just that the pants. Right?

Thankfully no terribly visible pudge when the shirt is up. Just the obnoxious spots still.

10wks down, 30 more to go...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


10 weeks.

double digits.

25% of the way there!

Oh happy day.

Not to mention that the bloating seems to be subsiding just a tad. Today's TP measurement was roughly 7 3/4 squares-down a bit from last week. Thank goodness. And the nausea is lessening too. Hallelujah! No weight gained yet, but my appetite has returned with a vengeance, so I'm sure that lack of change on the scale won't last too long.

After not being able to find the heartbeat for this little one for a few days, I finally picked it up again this afternoon. It apparently likes to sit right behind an artery of mine, so it takes some maneuvering to get the doppler pointed in just the right direction to pick up the baby's heartbeat behind my own unbelievably loud pulse.

Hubby is finishing up his CNA so he can start nursing school so he is spending plenty of time playing with his stethoscope and sphygmomanometer. In plain English: he's been stellar at monitoring my blood pressure. Not that I have blood pressure issues, in fact it's rather low lately. It's fun to freak him out with that. Usually I'm 90-ish/60ish, the other day I was 88/38. I hadn't been up for long though, so I got up, walked around, and made it to 90/52. That made him happier. After a little work on Google, I learned that apparently lower blood pressure is not uncommon during the first 24wks of pregnancy. Works for me!

And now, there are cupcakes in the kitchen in desperate need of frosting. Mini cupcakes no less. I did mention that my appetite is back, right?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Somewhere between a green olive and a prune

No-I'm not referring to any crazy cravings. Thankfully.

Still working on finding something to eat that will taste good more than once. I may live off of smoothies for the next two weeks. If I can stomach them for more than one day in a row. Or more than once on the same day for that matter.

I'm referring to the best website I've seen for baby growth. has a list that compares baby's weekly growth to food.

Considering my normal relationship with food, this could not be more appropriate!

Week 9-baby is approximately the size of a green olive.
Week 10-baby is approximately the size of a prune.

What a nice visual. I have a pruny green olive growing inside me.

That translates to a little creature (who is officially a fetus now, no longer an embryo!) measuring roughly an inch in length and weighing in at about 1/10th of an ounce.
A pretty big change from being just the size of an apple seed a few weeks ago!

I'm loving that this chart also comes in the form of a widget, and there it is! ------>

Only a few more days until we're into the double digits (10wks), and I do have to admit that I'm thrilled to be halfway to mango/cantaloupe size, which translates to halfway point, and the beloved ultrasound!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One of the best sounds in the entire world

Anyone who has been anxiously waiting on hearing that sweet sound for the first time can tell you....there is little more amazing that hearing the heartbeat of the tiny little baby growing inside you.

Today I am 9 weeks. My baby is roughly an inch long. An inch! And yet in the comfort of my own home I was able to hear it's little heartbeat thundering away.

I have rented a doppler in the early weeks of my last couple of pregnancies, and it has always been worth it. For less than the cost of going out to dinner I get a month's worth of reassurance that things are going ok in there. In the days when it's too early to feel anything moving around, it's too early to really be growing and showing, some indication (other than feeling gross all the time) that things are going well is much appreciated.

Here is my reassurance:

Our baby has a heartbeat!
(and yes, I really do know that I am 9 weeks TOday, not 9 weeks and one day. Hey, sometimes the days seem to bleed into another and I forget what day it is!)

It's funny-you'd think that after going through this so many times it would lose some of it's magic.

Not one little bit.

9 Weeks-the belly

Oh dear. I think I'm starting to pudge.

In the time treasured tradition of measuring your belly while pregnant by wrapping toilet paper around it and seeing how many squares your girth requires, I measured in at 8 squares today. Last week it was 7 1/2. Yikes. That's a lot of growth for one week!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's like living on a giant see-saw

Please don't misunderstand. The good days are precious. They are treasured. They are beyond appreciated. They give me hope. and the ability to get some laundry done.

But then a bad day rears it's ugly head again. And in an obliging world I would crawl back into bed and curl up into a ball until I didn't feel so nauseous and bloated that I want to fall asleep so I can dream it away. But life goes on and I must get up and function as best as possible.

Thankfully a good day will come again and redeem my hope for tomorrow, and for a clean house.

The real fun part has been that for the past few days, it's up and down on an every-few-hours, or sometimes even more frequent basis.
I feel great!
I feel sick.
I'm going out for a run!
Never mind, I'm going to go lay down on the bathroom floor instead.
I'm starving-let's eat!
Ugh-why did I eat that? It's not so great tasting the second time around.
Sure I feel well enough to run errands!
Can you put the kids to bed? because I think I might die.
Oooo.....let's make milkshakes!
Oh wait, no dairy please, I'm going to go take a warm shower and hope it helps me feel better before I crash into bed now that I'm exhausted beyond belief.

And that was just in the 3 hours after dinner and before bed the other night.

Good times that first trimester.

Not to mention I think my husband may be concerned for my mental health. Last time he asked if I was ok when I was laying on the bathroom floor trying not to puke, and I told him "no-I feel awful," he said "I'm so sorry you feel sick." My reply? "I have never been more happy, excited and relieved to be sick in my entire life."

Such is the beauty of pregnancy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I think I found a winner!

I met with a midwife yesterday afternoon.

I was skeptical. The one time I've met with a midwife in the past (when I started training to become a doula) I was SO turned off that I vowed never to see one myself. Talk about irony.

I told this midwife that upfront. Told her exactly how I felt about the situation. Told her in depth about the relationship I had with my dr previously-and that I knew it was an anomolie and that I didn't expect to ever find that again, but that I wanted to feel like a person rather than a chart.

And then I sat back and listened.

This sweet woman gave me so much of her time, explained in depth her thoughts and expectations for prenatal care, labor, delivery, her theories on the entire process and on the provider/patient relationship. We discussed my preferences as far as care is concerned, the hospital staff and facilities at which she delivers...we even discussed slurpies. (long story)

I walked out of her office beyond thrilled. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders! My cute husband felt horrible that he couldn't be there with me, but after listening to me give a thorough run down of everything last night and seeing how happy I was about the visit told me that if I like her that much, it looks like she is the way to go.

In fact, I felt so confident about that choice after meeting with her, that I have decided not to even bother meeting with the other drs that were on my list. We got along fabulously, her office staff was very nice, and as a bonus, she is 40 minutes closer to home than the dr I saw last week, and 25 minutes closer than the closest of the other drs that I was going to meet with in a couple of weeks.

I never thought I'd be saying this, but I'll be seeing a midwife. And I couldn't be happier about it!

8 weeks-the belly

Thank goodness for the morning time reprieve from the worst of the bloating.

Here's the midsection at 8wks:

Let's just hope those jeans still fit for another month!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

8 weeks

Feeling functional today-yay! Not great, but functional.

I spent the morning in the pediatrician's office for a follow up with one of my kids. While there I ended up in a conversation with two cute young moms. Young as in-new to the parenting game.

One of them was only a year younger than me. Yes I'm playing the age card.

Anyway, one had just an 18 month old, the other an 18 month old and a 3 week old. Since my youngest is also nearly 18 months, and all of these little toddlers were girls, we naturally had something in common and we started chatting. The one who had just had her second saw me sitting there with 4 young kids (no sitter today-dang), and with a desperate look on her face said, "does it get easier?!" Thankfully I was able to reassure her that yes, it does indeed get much easier.

And then I excused myself from the conversation for a minute to pluck my 3yr old off the magazine racks that he was using to scale the wall.

When I returned to the conversation, she told me she was glad that I could say it gets easier, since I have four kids. When I let her in on the fact that I actually had 7, the look on her face (and on the face of the cute little mom of one next to her) was priceless. The look on people's face when I tell them I have 7 is always priceless. Apparently most of the people in the world figure you only have 7 (or more) kids if you are a Duggar or someone who has been through mass producing fertility treatments.

To quell the shock, I asked about her OB, since obviously she had just had a baby very recently. I'm not sure that worked so well, since her next question was naturally, "are you expecting another?" Um, yep. I explained briefly why I'm in the market for a new OB, and she was more than happy to oblige with talking about hers. I've never asked a complete stranger about their dr, but I figured that she has such great taste in pediatricians, so I may as well. She raved about how personable he is and how enjoyable he helped make her pregnancy and delivery. Add one more dr to the list to check out!

Turns out this cute little mom who has just launched into the world of childREN is hoping to have a large family, but is a little worried about that since she is currently living in the world of recovering from delivery, constant sleep deprivation, and adjusting to the needs of more than one child. Hopefully our conversation was able to calm some of her fears. And hopefully watching 3 young boys in action didn't scare her too much. Thank goodness the 6 and 4yr olds did very well today. The 3 yr old......well, today he was very much a 3 year old boy. But at least he was a happy 3 yr old boy.

And now I'm going to go suck down the other half of a chocolate shake. Because that's the only thing that sounded good for lunch today. Here's to hoping that it stays down.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Preggie Pop Drops

I'm a skeptic. I readily admit it. So when these little things were introduced and claimed to help keep "morning" (ha!) sickness at bay, I figured it was just one more way to milk easily duped pregnant women into dropping yet more cash on something that isn't really a necessity. (have you seen the new "necessary" item lists for nurseries and layettes? HELLO!)

But this past week has been so bad, I finally caved and splurged on these babies. At over $6 for just 21 lozenge type drops in a container, they weren't cheap, but I figured if they made the constant nausea just a little more tolerable (on the days that Gatorade and saltines aren't doing the trick), then it would be worth it.

And you know what-they actually seem to help.

Maybe I've just been sucked in. Maybe I drank the Kool-Aid. But you know what? At this point, I really don't care if it is only a placebo effect. Aside from the one time that popping one of these things in sent my gag reflex into overdrive, they have helped. And I'll take whatever help I can get.

Oh, and just for the record-on the days that Gatorade and saltines doesn't help, and the Preggie Pop Drops don't seem to do much, I live with a bowl of lemon wedges very nearby. Preferably as close to my head as possible. Not sure why it helps, but the lemony fresh scent seems to quell the waves of nausea that are trying to swallow me whole.

Like I said, I'll take whatever works. Even if it only works for one day.

Some progress

January 8, 2010

Good news on the Dr Shopping front.

No, I haven't found one yet. And I haven't figured out which hospital I'd like to deliver at yet.

But as I was scouring the internet today for recommendations in my area, and dragging through my insurance website, I ran smack dab into a nice little tid bit of information. Our insurance plan changed. Same company, but more options.

This, dear reader, means that I have my pick of whatever hospital I want! They are all covered! Hallelujah!

I have gone from having 2 options within a 45 minute drive, and one more option just a few minutes past that, to about 10 options within that same distance, and two much closer to home! Now the catch is matching up the right care provider with the right hospital and we'll be in business.

I have an appointment with a midwife next week, and with an OB in a couple of weeks. The midwife was recommended by a couple of people I know, and by plenty of random strangers in local online forums. The OB was recommended by my pediatrician (who I am willing to drive 45min for)-This dr was his (the pediatrician's) wife's OB-and he also was raved about online by his patients, as well as nurses who have worked with him. The midwife delivers at the brand spankin' new hospital just about 20min from my house (this is close people! I live in the middle of nowhere!), and they both deliver at the not quite as new but still brand new massive medical complex that happens to be located just a few minutes from my husband's office, and not too far from my parents house. (This is important b/c we always ditch the rest of the herd with my parents while I'm popping out the new addition.)

We'll see who else I come up with and who else I meet with. Maybe I'll go tour both facilities and see if one strikes my fancy more than another.

After a very frustrating afternoon yesterday, things are looking up!

Shopping. The bad kind.

January 6, 2010

I enjoy shopping just as much as the next girl. I really do.

But this kind of shopping is new to me. And right now, it's not a very appealing idea.

Back story:
My first appointment with my OB was today. This is something I always look forward to. Always. It feels like the pregnancy is official when prenatal care finally gets underway. Not to mention that they always load you up with all sorts of magazines, books and samples. Who doesn't love that? I have always had an amazing doctor. After the many years I've spent visiting him, he had become a very dear friend. Not to mention that I grew up with his kids, so I'd known him forever anyway. I knew much of his staff from the same neighborhood in which I grew up, so it was like one big fun family. Heck, he was always just as excited that I was pregnant as I was! And sometimes more excited that I was pregnant than my family was. He spent hours of my labors with me. Totally spoiled me with whatever I ever asked for. He even made sure I had his home number and pager number so I could call him in to deliver my babies should I go into labor on the weekend or his day off. Needless to say, this was not a normal dr/patient relationship.

My doctor passed away unexpectedly when I was 32 weeks pregnant with my youngest child.

He wasn't old (59), he was in good health. He had a heart defect (Long QT) that required a pace maker, and somehow somewhere along the line something went wrong.

This was devastating for me. And for my husband who also very much enjoyed having him as our health care provider. At that point in time, less that two months from delivery, grieving the loss of not only a good friend, but an amazing dr, as well as dealing with the loss of my grandmother (who passed away just two days previous to my dr), I was not in the frame of mind to find someone new to supervise the rest of my pregnancy.
At that point I went with the other OB who shared the same offices as my dr; They were friends, they attended med school together, and had practiced in the same office since then. I knew that this other man was a well respected dr, and someone that my dr trusted, so of course I asked him to assume my care. This worked out ok for that pregnancy, and for the delivery, so I assumed that I would just continue using him as my care provider for this pregnancy as well.

And then came the first appointment.

And it was awkward. And it just felt weird. And it was not at all what I wanted it to be.

I'm not stupid, I knew it wouldn't be anything like what my previous dr was like, I certainly wasn't expecting that by any means. But I was hoping for better than it was.

Don't get me wrong, the man is still an exceptional doctor. I would still recommend his services if anyone asked.

But it just didn'

As we walked out of that appointment my husband turned and said "Well, that was different."

Yes, it was.

I proceeded to my first pregnancy-induced mini breakdown.
Was I an idiot for wanting to start from square one on baby #8? Is it nuts to start dr shopping at this point in my life? Do I really want to switch hospitals when I really like the one I've delivered at in the past? How does one even tell a dr that you are considering leaving? It's like staring down the barrel of a bad breakup or something.
And then came the tears for MY dr. It was like grieving his loss all over again.

Thankfully I composed myself by the time we got over to the lab for my 672 vials of blood to be drawn for the freakish number of tests they run on a prenatal workup.

But on the hour+ long drive home from the dr's office, we had much time to think, and much time to talk.

And by the time we got home we were wondering why in the world we would keep driving an hour+ for a dr we don't love? It was absolutely worth if for our previous dr, but why make such a trek otherwise?

And there was the answer.

Thus tomorrow, I begin shopping. Awkward, odd, and a bit daunting. Hospital shopping, dr shopping, and maybe I'll check out a midwife or two.

But hey, life is boring when everything runs smoothly, isn't it?

7 weeks: Welcome to The Bloat

And yes, that is bloat with a capital B.

That bad.


Oh, bloating. Such an annoying, uncomfortable, frustrating symptom of early pregnancy. In theory it's due to the hormones coursing through my body at breakneck speed, and happening to affect the digestive system in a manner that slows everything down. Whatever.

I always get bloated in early pregnancy. And every time it happens I have a momentary panic. "Am I really going to start showing this early?!" "Is the number of babies I've had in close succession finally catching up with me?" "Are my pants really getting snug already?!"

Well, yes and no. Yes, the pants are snug, but no it's not because I'm actually growing already (THANK GOODNESS!). And heck no, I'm not going to let the number of babies I've birthed catch up to me!
(Yes, I'm one of "those" people. Get over it.)

All of you cute pregnant ladies who think you are showing at 5, 6, 7 weeks... you aren't. Really. It's THE BLOAT! Yes, you may have had a couple of kids already, and yes, odds are in your favor that you will show a tad bit earlier this time, but really, you're not showing right now. You're just bloated. I promise. Or it could be the ever beautiful sounding 'bowel distention'. Now there's a nice visual.

How can I say that? Well, at this point in the game (7wks for me), my baby is roughly the size of a raspberry. Can't blame that for a few extra inches on the waist!
The uterus, bless it for it's willingness to stretch to a freakish capacity and still be willing to return to normal size again, is still tucked away neatly in my pelvis, where it will stay for another month or so (typically until about 12wks-unless you're carrying more than one kiddo in there, in which case very few normal rules apply anyway). Though it's approaching the size of a grapefruit, it's still not that big yet. So yes, all of my insides are probably prepped and ready to shift, but nothing's going anywhere for now! It may all be voicing it's displeasure and discomfort at the continuous hormone cocktail created by that little speck of an embryo, but it has yet to give up it's normal place.

This is a good thing.

For me this means that in a few weeks when The Bloat is willing to subside, I get some weeks of comfort before any actual growing begins. It means that I don't have to part with my pants for quite a while still.

It means that when my husband looks at me as I'm groaning in discomfort and extreme nausea and says "WOW! You look 5 months pregnant!", I can nod in agreement and answer with, "I know, you should have seen me last night. It was even worse!" and look forward to waking up the next morning when I get a reprieve from the bloating for the first half of the day.

It means that I should be able to keep this pregnancy under wraps for hopefully at least another month.
Hey, like I said, I'm one of "those" people.

6 weeks

Though nothing excited really happens at 6 weeks, for some reason it always feels to me like the first milestone. It always has. Still can't figure out why.

This time I'm chalking it up to the fact that my last pregnancy ended at 6 weeks. Though from day one of suspecting I was pregnant last summer it just didn't feel right.... I guess it was my intuition telling me it wouldn't last? Whatever it was, whatever went wrong, it's nice to be past that point.

If for no other reason that 6 weeks is that first unexplainable milestone.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A few days off, and it's back!

Christmas was wonderful, and thankfully I felt much better on Christmas day than on Christmas Eve.

But it appears that my body would like a jump start on things this time around. Being sick on a regular basis officially kicked in before 6 weeks.

So much for working out every day.

So much for jumping back into a running schedule.

Oh well!

Some days it's hard to roll out of bed, some days it hasn't hit me until after lunch. Sadly it seems to be most prevalent in the evening, so my sweet husband gets the gross me when he gets home from work each night. Poor guy.

We had a New Year's party, and it took everything in me to make it through. Hopefully I did ok. No one commented, and if things would have been obvious, I think a couple of our close friends would have said something.
There is only one couple that was at the party that knows we are expecting again, and they happen to know because they just found out that they are expecting as well and we are just a couple of weeks apart. I am very excited to have a friend due so closely, it is always fun to have someone nearby to go through pregnancy with you!

Hello Nausea

It's Christmas Eve.

I love Christmas Eve. I love the anticipation that builds in waiting for tomorrow's traditions. I love today's traditions! Christmas Eve is when we open gifts from my husband's family every year, and we have a big Christmas Eve dinner (with his family when they are in town). This year I've really been looking forward to it...."it" specifically being the dinner.
After a week of living off liquids because of my tonsillectomy, and another week of not being able to put much down in the way of "real" food (who knew it would take so long to be able to swallow comfortably again?), I have been awaiting the many favorites of tonight's feast.

But life wouldn't be life if there weren't a small twist.

Today has been my first day of that lovely pregnancy sickness kicking in.

There have been moments where it's reared it's ugly head, but tonight.......blech.

All that beautiful delicious food, and it was a struggle to eat.

And my Father-in-law was here for the evening as well, so I was trying to hide the fact that I wanted to crawl into my bed and double over moaning in discomfort. Not sure how well I did.
I guess time will tell.

Hopefully today was a fluke, and this won't happen again until next week or the week after that, which is when this usually kicks in for me. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

5 weeks

December 22, 2009

Today marks 5 weeks. The first few weeks of knowing you are pregnant are always a little odd. You know something is going on, you hope everything is going as it is supposed to, but there's not much to prove to you that anything at all is happening.

I have had a couple of days where the nausea that is typical for early pregnancy has peeked through, but not much yet thank goodness. I am feeling very easily exhausted, but that is due to still recovering from the tonsillectomy, and I'm told that may last a couple of weeks still. I sure hope not!

I was able to sneak in a short run, and am shocked at what my time off from running, combined with the surgery, has done for my endurance. Before this month, heading out for a 5 mile run was fun, felt great, and gave me a nice energy boost. Today I felt great at one mile, but was sluggish by 2 and struggling after that. While it did feel great to get out, I'm really hoping I can find a balance between recovering physically, adapting to pregnancy, and not overdoing it. I was warned it would take a number of weeks to get back to "normal", and even longer to feel like I have rebuilt my running base, so it will be interesting to see how pregnancy affects that. Though I have obviously done pregnancy more than once before, I've never been a runner before. I am really hoping to be able to run through much of this pregnancy, we'll see if my body cooperates.

4 weeks

December 15, 2009

I will readily admit that I am one of those belly photo obsessed people. I love pregnant bellies! I love having a big round belly, and I love the process as it grows.

I have taken weekly photos to chronicle the growth of my belly throughout my last few pregnancies, and wish I had done this with all of my pregnancies. So this pregnancy of course, will be no exception!

Though I typically don't start growing for a while, Of course there needs to be a 4 week picture for a reference point. What good is a photo of the end if you don't know where you started?

So here it is, ye olde belly gearing up to grow again:

4 weeks, baby #8

The Beginning

December 14, 2009

I confirmed this morning what I have suspected for the past week.

I'm pregnant.

Yes, this is good news, and yes this was planned! (and hoped for and longed for....for a number of months)

It's been an interesting journey this time around. After taking up some new hobbies (triathlon and running), we realized that it was putting a damper on adding to our family. We decided to cut my triathlon season short, and then lower the distances I was running. Don't get me wrong, I'm no ultramarthoner or anything, my longest race this year was just a half marathon, but apparently I was doing enough distance on a daily basis to effect things.

And then my dr suggested something else we'd been kicking around.....I needed to gain some weight. Ironic after I'd just spent a year burning off the remaining pounds of baby weight from the youngest! 8lbs up and less running, resulted in a pregnancy this summer, only to end in miscarriage at an early 6wks along. (I'm just grateful it happened early on)

Back to trying.

With some other health issues that popped up occasionally (based on recurring strep throat, extending into other things stemming from that), we decided that a tonsillectomy was a good idea. Knowing that this was something I couldn't do while pregnant, and worried about putting it off until after another baby, we scheduled the surgery. Since I am the "not a fan of medical procedures" type, I really hoped to become pregnant again before the dreaded date of December 4th rolled around. No such luck. My husband continually told me, "I'm sure that as soon as you finally get your tonsils out, it will happen!"

Turns out he was a bit prophetic.

Today I am 10 days past surgery, and there is that beautiful second line on the pregnancy test. I have suspected for a number of days that it would be there, so I have tried to limit my pain meds during the past week of recovery....not easy considering how I've felt for the past few days.
(By the way-if you are an adult and still have your tonsils, I highly recommend keeping them if at all possible. A tonsillectomy has been one of the most brutal things I have ever experienced. I do not recommend it!)

My OB has assured me that the surgery was early enough on that there is no worry at all about the general anesthesia, and that the pain meds I took will not be of any consequence. I sure hope that's the case!

So now here we are, finally expecting baby number 8. We are ecstatic to be adding to our family again, and hope that this journey is as magical and exciting as each of the others has been!