I can barely believe it… Only ONE MONTH to go until I’m due!!! Looking back at everything we’ve been through since we first conceived in September and lost the baby in October… dealing with the miscarriage through November… getting our lives sort of back on track when I got my period again…. then that wonderful Christmas Day when we found out I was pregnant again…sitting on pins and needles through the first trimester… continued anxiety through my second trimester as I couldn’t shake that nagging worry…. dealing with sleepless nights due to this watermelon where my stomach used to be…. and now – at nearly 36 weeks!
September 2nd is oh-so-close!! I can’t wait to meet you, baby!
I have an app on my iPhone from WhatToExpect.com. It’s awesome, I check it every day. I added it to my iPhone after we had passed that critical 13 week mark. Before that, I was too scared that I might jinx us or that if I had another miscarriage, it would be another painful task to have to delete it.
Now that we are safely past that mark, I check it every day for the daily updates. Every Thursday, I read the weekly updates to see what changes are happening for baby and for my body. When you first open the app, it brings you to this page that shows how far along you are, the length and weight of baby, what trimester you are in, and a countdown. For what seemed like an eternity, the countdown was longer than the gestational age. It was an exciting day when we hit that halfway mark and it started going the other way. Today I am 31 weeks and 4 days along, making the countdown 8 weeks and 3 days.
8 weeks and 3 days!!!
I remember very vividly when I was 8 weeks into this pregnancy. I was terrified. That was when I miscarried the first time around and so this time, every day was like walking on thin ice. I can hardly believe that it’s now the other way around with only 8 weeks left to go until we get to meet baby!
It seems like time is starting to go by faster and faster. I remember how many times I wished for time to speed up after my miscarriage. Now it’s finally happening. M and I were looking at a calendar tonight and realized how busy we’ll be from now until the baby comes. This weekend, we have to take the dogs to the vet, a spa appointment and a family birthday dinner. Next weekend is a friend’s BBQ and his hockey playoffs. The weekend after that, I made plans with my mom to see a movie and go shopping for a nursing bra and pajamas or some nighties for breastfeeding, and I’m going to a bridal shower. Next up is the long weekend, when we’ll go away for a few days. Then the next two weekends will be my baby showers, and the following weekend we’re attending a wedding. And the weekend after that? Well, that will be only days before baby is due.
I’ve made it to the 25 week mark! I think it’s interesting how I still think of it is “making it another week”… I would bet that women who didn’t have a miscarriage would just think of it as another step along the way. I have to say, though, things are going very well for me now. My body is most definitely visibly pregnant now, and I am loving it! I love how I can still wear most of my old shirts and sweaters, but they are definitely belly-hugging and they certainly don’t hang the way they used to.
I am pleased to report that although I have put on about 15 pounds, it seems to be all belly and boobs. I can’t even button up my jacket anymore! A few weeks ago, I couldn’t do up the bottom half of the buttons because my belly had gotten too big, but today on my walk, I noticed that the button would probably pop off if I tried to keep the top half of my jacket done up! I have gone up two bra sizes already, so I wonder how big they’ll get when I start breastfeeding… Sometimes M and I laugh at how they’ve gotten so big, they almost look fake.
I’ve been very diligent about trying to avoid stretch marks. I apply a special massage lotion every morning and night. I really enjoy this ritual of putting lotion on my tummy. I think of the little baby inside of me when I am applying it, imagining where it’s head or it’s hands may be in there, and thinking about how much it’s growing to be causing this big belly of mine! I love to look at my tummy after I’ve put the cream on, all big and round and shiny from the lotion. I know some women feel like they hate their bodies when they start getting larger, because pregnancy has changed their formerly fit and trim bodies, but I love it. I love my pregnant body. I love seeing how it’s growing and how my tummy is about the size of a soccer ball now. It sticks almost straight out.
One thing I’ve been watching carefully is my belly button. I’ve read that it can “pop” at any time now. Honestly, that’s one thing I’m not really looking forward to. I don’t want my belly button to stick out! I don’t like how it looks…. I just hope that if it does pop, that it at least hangs on until we get back from our trip. Yes – we’re going to Hawaii next month!! I’m going to go for it and still wear a bikini 🙂 I will have to buy a new one, though, because all of the ones I own are the string top style, and that just isn’t going to hold the ladies in. I will have to get the kind that has the band at the bottom for more support.
I am still kind of stunned that I am nearly at the end of my second trimester. We’ve come such a long way since those dark days of November. There is hope. There is life after miscarriage.
Today is the 20 week mark. I am halfway through my pregnancy, so I find myself thinking back to when my story began, and how my life is different today compared to November 2009.
I went back to my first post, and the first line reads: I would have been 11 weeks today. I remember the turmoil I was going through at that time and how sad and empty I felt. Sometimes I felt like a zombie, barely making through each hour, and other times the grief was sharp and painful, tearing at my insides. It feels so long ago when I took my first pregnancy test back in September and we first thought we were going to have a baby. How different that pregnancy started off compared to this one! It was all joy and excitement, with a blissful naivete. This time, even well past the first trimester mark, and an obviously growing belly, I still find myself wondering now and then if everything is really going to happen for us. The first time, it just never occured to me that anything coud possibly go wrong, and now I can’t help but wonder if it’s possible that everything will be ok. It’s strange how our experiences can completely reverse our outlook on things.
Sometimes I think about what could have been. If things had worked out the first time, I would have been halfway through my third trimester! My original due date was June 3rd…. only a month and a half away. I wonder what that day will feel like for me now. I think it will still be sad, but I hope that my baby gives me an extra hard kick that day to remind me that it’s different this time.
I think with every passing day, and especially every passing week, I feel more confident. The outward signs are becoming more obvious, and I’ve definitely started feeling flutters in my belly that I’m sure are my baby turning cartwheels. They always seem to be between 3-8PM, and I can expect to feel them daily. It’s so comforting for me to imagine him or her in there, doing little karate moves or having a dance party. Sometimes I’ll be sitting there and – ooh! There it goes again!
We’ve also made a couple of purchases, as gifts from our parents. We’ve picked up our stroller, bought the dresser and ordered the crib. It’s a nice feeling to actually have a couple of things in the baby’s room. There’s still plenty left to do, but it’s wonderful to go into that room and start to imagine what our lives will be like when baby’s sweet scent fills the nursery.
It’s strange to think that as of today, we are closer to the end of the tunnel than we are to the beginning. When our ordeal began, I could not even imagine this day, even as much as I wished for it. It’s nice to be here.
Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I feel like I haven’t had much to write about. My belly is still growing and I’ve given up on regular pants. I’m now exclusively in yoga pants or leggings since I find them to be the most comfortable. I think I could still squeeze into one pair of jeans and one pair of dress pants, but why bother? I enjoy wearing some of the new maternity shirts I’ve bought because they’re cut to show off my expanding belly. Depending on what I’m wearing, it’s actually very obvious that I’m pregnant now and not just fat.
For the most part, I’ve been feeling great. Just hungry. REALLY hungry, and all the time. I can’t eat a lot at any one sitting, but I honestly need to put something in my tummy every two hours or else I’m starving. I am feeling pretty proud of myself that I’ve stuck to healthy foods and snacks: fruit, whole wheat crackers, multi-grain cereal and lots and lots of water. However, I did cave yesterday afternoon and bought an ice cream sandwich from the office vending machine. It was heaven!! So good!
Today was our second appointment with the prenatal care clinic. It was thankfully much shorter than the first one, with no pelvic exam (hooray!). At the end of the exam, we got to hear baby’s heartbeat again. It was nothing short of amazing…. It was so loud! Baby was moving around a bit, so sometimes it would fade and she would have to re-position the listening device, but then she would find it again and the sound was so loud, I could barely believe it! When we got to hear it a month ago, it was there, but faint. It sounded like it was at the back of a cave. Which, in a way, makes sense… baby was so small at that time and my uterus had not started pushing forward yet. This time, the heartbeat was strong, loud and fast. The rhythmical beat sounded just like a washing machine! M and I just smiled at each other as we listened breathlessly. Baby’s heartbeat was 156 beats per min 🙂
Today I experienced something that I haven’t really felt for ages: I felt great! I had tons of energy, positive vibes and felt a sense of joy in just being…. It was strange that the feeling of happiness was actually so tangible. Of course, I’ve had bursts of joy on a few occasions recently, like when we found out we were pregnant again, when we got to see the heartbeat during the ultrasound, and of course that momentous moment when we actually got to hear baby’s heartbeat. But the thing is – all of those joyful moments were just that: moments. Today the feeling of happiness ran tangibly throughout my entire day.
The morning started off well as I stopped at our little cafeteria and found that the Friday special breakfast was a belgian waffle with whipped cream and fruit compote with a side of bacon. Now, yes, I do like waffles, but I would not say it’s my favorite breakfast item, but for some reason, it just tickled my fancy today. I was thrilled to have it for breakfast. One of the guys in line even commented at how good of a mood I seemed to be in. Then all day at the office, I just felt like I was beaming. I was wearing one of my new maternity shirts, a cute plaid top, and you can actually tell that I have a bit of a baby bump because of the lines. A few people commented on how cute it was that I was starting to show. In the bathroom, I took an extra minute in front of the mirror to smooth my hand over the curve of my tummy to say hello to baby. When I sent an email to M telling him how oddly happy I was today, he responded by saying that baby must be having a party because it knows how beautiful mommy is. For lunch, I had Greek food, and the soup was absolutely delicious – some of the best tasting Avgolemono ever! Just the right amount of lemony tang. I didn’t have my usual afternoon energy crash, and happily snacked on some crackers, cheese and strawberries to get me through to dinnertime. Food tasted great today.
Is this what the second trimester is really going to be like? Because I could really get used to this…
Yesterday was Judgement Day. That’s what I’ve been calling it – the day that we would go in for our first “real” prenatal appointment. It was a day that I both looked forward to and dreaded, just like my first ultrasound. It’s scary to know going into something that it’s either going to be a wonderful experience or a devastating one. There could be no in between. Either we would get to hear baby’s heartbeat for the first time or we would be told that there was nothing to hear, that we had lost the baby, that I was about to have another miscarriage.
Upon arrival, I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork and go pee on a stick. Thankfully, M was with me to help me answer some of the questions. I have a terrible memory, and I think it’s even worse with baby brain. Honestly, sometimes I’m amazed I don’t forget my own head lately. A ton of the questions were around drug and alcohol use, and some were even about our financial situation. I can imagine that this would be an important one for the government, as they want to know whether they’ll have to be supporting this new family. I’m so thankful that we are in a solid situation with our house and our jobs and no debt. When I came back with the pee stick, the receptionist took one look at it and asked if I had any sweets that morning. I thought about it for a second, then remembered what I had for breakfast… “Um, I had Pop Tarts…” I answered guiltily. She said “OK, then, that explains it. It’s fine then.” I felt the need to tell her that Pop Tarts are not my usual breakfast – that I usually have Multigrain cereal and fruit. Oops.
The doctor seemed nice enough. Very open to questions, I noticed, and he even stopped whatever he was doing to fully give me his attention whenever I did ask something. Sometimes, my family doctor will continue writing as she answers, but not this doctor. I really appreciated that. He started with some of the basics, checking my breathing and that sort of thing, until he finally said it was time to listen for the heartbeat. He said that it could still be very faint as I was only 13 weeks and my uterus was still sitting back in my body, but that we could give it a try.
I think I held my breath and looked anxiously but excitedly at M as he pulled out the listening device. He began to move it around my belly, and we could hear the whooshing as he tried to locate the heartbeat. Then suddenly, faintly, I heard something…. ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum…. then it was gone, then back again. Our baby’s heartbeat!!!! I thought for sure that I would cry when I heard it, but I was nowhere close to tears. I think I was just concentrating so much on listening for it, and watching M’s face as he listened intently as well. I think because I had no reaction, the doctor asked “Do you hear it?” and I breathed out a yes. He searched for it some more and there it was again: ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum…. like a drum hidden deep in a cave.
We asked if it was safe to start telling people now. The doctor said everything looked great, and that the chance of miscarriage is now very low.
Our baby is in there, it’s real, it’s heart is beating, and I’m finally starting to feel like it’s safe.
I’m terrified of needles. In fact, my doctor once teased me that the little kids were braver than I was when it was time to get my shots. So you can imagine my growing dread as the date of my blood test arrived.
I had to go in for the usual prenatal bloodwork before “the big day”, aka my first real prenatal appointment with the prenatal clinic. My appointment at the clinic is for next Wednesday, so I went in for my bloodwork last week. They check for all sorts of things, like your blood type, Rh factor, rubella and any STIs. (Side note: When did they change it from STDs to STIs??) I had to go in to see my doc first to get all the forms, then would head over to one of the many labs to get the actual blood drawn. She was very pleased to see me, because she knew how hard I had taken it when I miscarried back in October. That seems like eons ago now, but the feelings are still very sharp and clear in my mind. She told me about all the things they would be checking for, and she didn’t mention HCG levels. I asked if they check that and she said they don’t do that unless there’s concern that something is wrong. They just assume that your HCG levels increase throughout your pregnancy, and they don’t check it in routine prenatal screening. I know it sounds like I’m being paranoid, but I wish that they checked for that anyway, just to be sure.
Even though we had a very positive ultrasound only a couple of weeks ago, I’m still scared. I still want every reassurance possible that everything is OK this time, that the baby is growing and safe and healthy and that it’s little heart is still beating away. I still get terrified sometimes, and I try to tell myself to just relax. Nothing has happened that should cause me to think that anything is wrong, but I can’t help it. I’ve had plenty of good symptoms, if you want to call them that, like bloating and nausea and dizziness.
My waistline is definitely growing now, too. I can easily hide it with sweaters or looser fitting clothing, but in a t-shirt and yoga pants, there is no denying my little belly isn’t so little any more. I had sadly given up on my skinny jeans weeks ago, but I found a handy little trick online at WhatToExpect.com. Just loop in a thick elastic band through the button hole and use it to wind around the button so you don’t have to do it up! Then you can still zip your jeans and hide the elastic with a longer sweater or top! It works great! M laughed when I showed him my little trick, but honestly, you could never tell if I didn’t lift up my sweater.
It was sort of fun this weekend to see family and our two friends who are in on our little secret. I could wear whatever I wanted and they could see that stuff is starting to happen down there. I showed my friend, V, the picture of the ultrasound and she was screaming and so excited. We also popped by M’s dad’s place and it was so cute to learn that he’s already keeping his eye out for baby hockey wear so that he will have something cool to give baby in December.
The day I have been both dreading and anticipating finally arrived. Today was my ultrasound.
Two hours before my scheduled appointment, I started to drink those vast amounts of water that you’re supposed to drink before the ultrasound. You’re supposed to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water in an hour and a half and NOT pee. Let me tell you – I have a hard time holding it for two hours as it is. Holding it while downing that much water wasn’t just causing me discomfort, it was painful! Every little bump in the road had me clenching my teeth, trying to keep my bladder under control. I could barely walk from the car to the clinic, and sitting down once I had checked in was a huge debacle. M told me just to go let a little bit out because I was so uncomfortable, and for awhile I refused, but finally I gave in and went. It was hard to stop!!!
Finally, they called my name and took us in. They asked M to wait for a moment in a seating area, assuring me that he would be able to come in shortly. The techinician could tell I was in extreme difficulty, so she said she would just have a quick check and that I would probably be able to let some more out. Immediately upon placing the ball on me, she said I could go pee a cup worth! I was in heaven and much more comfortable when I went back in and laid down. Then she set back to work.
Some searching and rolling. A couple of strokes on the keyboard and a few beeps. I don’t think I took a breath. I don’t think my own heart was beating until she said those wonderful wonderful magical words:
I see a heartbeat.
Immediately, I started to bawl. “Thank God!” I cried. After a few more checks, she said she would go out to get M. As the door opened, he could already see my beaming face and the Cheshire Cat grin that stretched from ear to ear. She turned the screen to us again and showed us our baby. She pointed out the tiny heart beating away wildly, the head and developing brain, the little arm and leg buds. She described the little appendages as looking sort of like a gummy bear. How cute! Baby is a little bit smaller than expected at 9 weeks, and she asked if my cycles were a bit long, which I confirmed at about 31-33 days. She said that because it’s within 5 days that they likely would not change my due date. That remains at September 2, 2010. We even got a picture to take home with us and it shows that baby is just about an inch long right now.
I am floating on air right now, with relief washing over me. I can’t describe the feeling of seeing that heartbeat! Seeing it pulse away so madly, so feverishly… it brings me to tears just to picture it again in my mind. I love you, baby, and I can’t wait to meet you.
I’ve never been here before.
Today I am 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I’ve been walking on pins and needles for the past week because I’ve been nervous and worried that I would experience a miscarriage again. I have even avoided wearing the same clothes that I remember wearing around that time for fear that I would be tempting fate. But so far so good. No cramping. No spotting. I keep thinking about all of the things that seem different this time, hoping that it means things are going well. My breasts have continued to get larger and are swollen and uncomfortable. (I laugh to myself sometimes because it looks like I’ve gotten breast implants! They’re too big for my little frame now.) I can’t wear my skinny jeans anymore because they cut into my belly. I’ve been slightly nauseated, though not as much as I sadistically wish for. I’ve even thrown up a couple of times.
It’s so strange that women who have a miscarriage seem to want to be as sick as possible, even though they know they’ll be miserable. I just want to know that it’s real this time.
We go in for my first ultrasound in 4 days. I have mixed feelings about this. In a way, I can’t wait to go. I’m very excited and am looking forward to having the chance to see my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I want to see how it’s grown into something the size of a green olive, to see those little arm and leg buds developing. But I’m also really scared. What if we don’t get to see what we’re supposed to see? What if there’s another empty sac? What if there’s something there, but there is no heartbeat? Will my heart be broken yet again?
I try not to think of these things, but it’s difficult not be scared. Being pregnant after a miscarriage is joyful and fearful at the same time. I’m so thankful to be pregnant again, but I’m terrified about the prospect of having another devastating loss. I honestly don’t know if I could handle it a second time around. When I visit pregnancy boards or read articles, I avoid any sort of mention of miscarriage or signs of miscarriage. I am trying to focus on positive thoughts. To focus on my seemingly growing belly – whether it’s my growing uterus, or just bloating, or a combination of both.
I just want Thursday to be here so I can hopefully see that heart beating away like crazy. I want tears of joy this time. Please think of me.