Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Baby 2 Pregnancy Journal: 18 Weeks!

*Journal entry originally written 1/7/15. Updated following appointment on 1/8/15. A more detailed update is located at the bottom.

 This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony. -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"
How far along: 18 weeks!
"baby is filling out nicely and getting large enough that you might even be feeling those twists, rolls, kicks, and punches he or she is perfecting. Another set of skills your baby is mastering now is yawning and hiccupping ... And your one-of-a-kind baby is truly one of a kind now, complete with unique fingerprints on his or her fingertips and toes." -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Baby size:  "5 1/2 inches long and about 5 ounces in weight" -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Gender: Read reveal post
 Weight gain: I've gained four more pounds since my appointment last month. That puts me up to 123lbs and a total gain of seven pounds. yippee
Belly: Baby belly is growing! I feel much bigger than I was at this point in my last pregnancy. I've felt at least two weeks larger throughout this pregnancy. I went back and looked at my photos from last time and that two week assessment is pretty accurate.
 Sleep: We've entered the "can't get comfortable" and "ache all the time" territory of pregnancy sleep. I have a body pillow, but it was only minimally effective. I've since discovered that stacking another pillow on top does the trick. My hips just can't take side lying without full alignment. David calls it my "pillow fort." Of course, every time I need to switch sides we both wake up because it's quite a production to maneuver with sleeping with four pillows! Hey, whatever works!
    Despite David taking the night shift with Tennyson so that I can get as much sleep as possible, I still wake up feeling very unrested. I get by most days, but have learned that a nap at some point in the day is essential. It's tempting to use that time to get housework or projects done, or take some "me time." However, I almost always regret it by the afternoon when I'm feeling so drained. So, resting as much as I can (especially after the weekly shot) has become a necessity.
Symptoms: Fatigue is really hitting me hard, especially after the shot. Keeping up with the household tasks and a curious little cruising man has really been tough. David has had to take over some cooking and cleaning on days. I feel guilty for making him work after he gets home from work, but there's only so far I can push myself physically. Despite efforts to protect my sleep, I'm still fighting fatigue quite a bit. We looked into increasing food sources of magnesium and iron, two substances which can lead to fatigue. I'm also making more of an effort to get a nap in each day.

For the weirdo pregnancy symptom- I get air trapped in my ear constantly. It only happens during pregnancy. David will occasionally indicate that I'm talking rather loudly. I can't quite hear with air in there. I've never heard of this being a common pregnancy symptom. I remember it occurring with my pregnancy with Tennyson, and then stopping once he was born. It seems to have returned with this pregnancy as well. So weird!

 Clothes: I had one of those lovely "I have nothing to wear!" moments recently. I keep putting off going and buying the pieces needed to make everything wearable and into coordinated outfits. (I tend to be rather tight with money). But, the time has come. I definitely want to make sure I have effortless outfits for postpartum. That is definitely not the time I want to face wardrobe gaps and "nothing to wear" moments (again). I did purchase another nightgown this past week. I love button front nightgowns, especially for post-op and nursing. They're delightfully feminine and very practical. I had an additional one on my list, and found it on sale. One more item checked off my baby 2 list!
Movement: I'm still moving pretty good. Using additional pillows at night has made an impact on my overall aches and pains. I can't say much for exercise. Would be a healthy move, but I can't imagine consuming and depleting myself of what little energy I have. (I have never been one to feel energized after exercise, even when it was an activity/sport that I enjoyed).

Baby Movement: I can definitely feel his/her movements. He/she loves to kick! David has even gotten to feel a kick already! Each evening he/she gives me a kicking performance. Sometimes he/she will kick when Tennyson is sitting on my lap and leaning back against me. I tell him that his best friend is just trying to say "hello!"
Ah, I just love the little movements! Big beautiful baby belly and little kicks are definitely my favorite aspects of pregnancy!
  He/she usually kicks on the right which is opposite of Tennyson's movements within. I'm thinking this baby is position in the other "horn," but we'll see for sure tomorrow on the ultrasound. Update: According to the ultrasound, this baby is in the right "horn" (Tennyson was in the left). I guess my feeling was correct!

 Food aversions: Not sure. I still don't have as strong of a preference for meat and heavy meals, but that's pretty typical even when not pregnant.
Food cravings: I still love sweets far more than I should. (girl, girl, girl! ;) )

What I miss: Going for longer periods of time without a bathroom break! I feel like I'm well acquainted with every restroom location when we go out. In our home...thank goodness, we have a bathroom on each floor. hahaha.
 I also miss feeling rested. However, I haven't felt fully rested since before my first pregnancy. It's a worthy sacrifice. There will be a day when they're sleeping independently and I'll miss getting to cuddle with them like I do when they're babies.

What I'm excited about: I'm pretty excited to find out if we'll be having a boy or a girl tomorrow. This day seemed forever away originally, but it got here plenty fast. It's really incredible to think that we're essentially at the halfway mark with at most 18 more weeks until we get to meet this little one. I can't wait to meet him/her!

What I'm nervous about: I'm nervous about continuing the shot. I've had it and barely noticed. I've also had it and cried from the pain. The location bruised and knotted up pretty good as well. I was so drained by the ordeal that I spent the next three days laying down trying to recover from it. I know it's suppose to be best for the baby and allow us to limit the growth restriction and prematurity, but I'm still having a hard time imagining eighteen more.
     There will also come to be more interventions as I enter the later stages of pregnancy (the "later stages" are sooner for my case). I'm also very nervous about those as well. Again, I know it's suppose to be best for the baby, but that doesn't take away how much I will have to endure physically and emotionally, beyond normal pregnancy matters.
     Needless to say, I'm conflicted about everything. In the beginning I was encouraged about having an extensive plan intended to make the impossible (having a baby with my condition) possible (a healthy, closer to term baby). Now that we're here working through the plan, though, I find myself less confident and quite frankly...scared. I'm not even concerned about delivery. I've been through that pain and I know I can make it. Perhaps I will look back at all this treatment during pregnancy and think the same. I hope so. But until then, I'll probably ask  my doctor tomorrow for another explanation of "the plan" for reassurance of it's purpose.

      I'm trying to keep perspective. What is four months (even if it's four painful months) compared to a lifetime with this child- this person? Such a small amount of time. I feel like if I can keep this perspective and focus on one step (or intervention) at a time, then I can make it through this. It's tough though. Maybe by the end, I'll get the hang of perspective. haha.

     On a completely different note, winter has hit. I'm not excited about traveling frequently for appointments in snow and single digit temps. I've got to start having summer babies! hahaha

*** UPDATE***
     The appointment today was quite long. However, everything looks great! I discussed how horrific the last shot was with the nurse and doctor. They both seemed shocked and believed it was due to poor administration.  Fortunately, the nurse this time was fantastic. I barely noticed it, and have zero lingering effects. I remarked to David the entire ride home how amazed I was at the difference. I have renewed confidence that I can do this! Although, I'll probably remain nervous each week because I'll never know what nurse I'll get or her skill level. Prayers. Lots and lots of prayers. haha

     We were able to see the baby on the ultrasound. It's only our second ultrasound in this pregnancy, which seems incredibly strange. (I had a subchorionic hemorrhage during my first pregnancy and consequently had ultrasounds about every two weeks to monitor it and the baby. We have lots of ultrasound picture of Tennyson at various stages.) With this baby we only have the confirmation ultrasound at 9 weeks and today's. One interesting revelation by the ultrasound was that our original due date may have been incorrect. The baby is consistently measuring at 17 weeks, not 18 weeks. So, the due date was adjusted back a week which puts the baby due June 13th (however, we anticipate delivery between April 25 (33 weeks gestation) - May 9th (35 weeks gestation)). Kind of nutty to me how I look as big as I was at 20 weeks with Tennyson, yet this baby is only 17 weeks. Hopefully, the baby will keep right on growing!

Hello, baby!

     It is amazing getting to have a glimpse of the baby before he/she arrives. Ah, my heart is instantly so full. As I looked at the photo, I became stronger than I knew to endure anything for this child. No matter how painful or frightening it may be for me, there isn't anything I wouldn't do for this little one. She's present and valuable even in utero, and my mama instincts are to fight for and love her with all my might. In that moment, I also knew that I could do it all again. I could endure whatever necessary for the child.


  1. So exciting to see that little one growing! Excited to hear whether it is a boy or girl as well. I think I missed the info in a past post, but what exactly is the shot for that you receive every week?

    1. The shot is intended to keep things nice and relaxed to allow for greater growth. If the uterus stays relaxed then it may have greater opportunity to stretch which would allow the baby more room to grow. The baby's ability to stay in longer would be an additional ideal outcome. Our goals are to 1) reduce the degree of growth restriction and 2) extend gestation time. This shot is a doozy but the only thing available for such results.

      (Tennyson was born at 33 weeks, but was 3 weeks growth restricted. So, despite he being 33 weeks gestation he was actually the size of a 30 week baby, if not a bit smaller.)

      p.s. I'll have a gender reveal post later this evening. :)


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