When we told my parents we were expecting, my mom wanted to know if I was taking weekly pregnancy photos. She was excited to hear I was, but when I showed them to her, she seemed rather disappointed. "I thought you would take them in your underwear," she said. This made me laugh so hard. Thankfully for you, dear readers, I did not take the photos in my underwear. Ever the documentarian, I've been journaling every day, so it's easy to recap for you now. Last week, my friend Erica asked me if I felt like an "earth goddess;" I told her I just felt constipated. And with that maybe TMI joke, a warning: I'm keeping it real (though fully clothed!) in this recap.
3 and 1/2 weeks
Baby Size: A twinkle in my eye (in other words, too small to compare to anything)
It's the day of our positive test, and we're visiting with Brendan's grandparents in Connecticut. I have zero symptoms and haven't even missed a period. If it weren't for the test, I'd have no idea. Thanks to the test, I've started taking all the precautions right away (bye bye coffee and alcohol). For the rest of vacation, Brendan pretends to make me gin and tonics. I still drink some caffeine, like a cup of tea every now and then.
Baby Size: Poppy Seed
We're in Maine with Brendan's family. I usually eat lots of blueberries and raspberries when we pick them, but I forgo that and wait until I can wash them first. Constipation is my first pregnancy symptom, but the good news is that I assume my progesterone is rising. My breasts are sore and will stay that way for months. Vacation is a good distraction from my thoughts.
Baby Size: Sesame Seed
We're back in Austin. Exhaustion has set in (though it could be from all the traveling). I'm trying to enjoy the last two weeks of summer, but I'm anxious for that first doctor's appointment.
Baby Size: A Lentil
It's my friend's wedding day! I was the designated driver at her bachelorette party a few days ago, which was the perfect excuse for not drinking. In the past week, I caved and told one (also pregnant) friend about our pregnancy. It's good to have another person to talk to; otherwise, it'd be a lot of anxiety for Brendan to deal with alone because I'm officially SO anxious. I've got another new symptom: acne. Oh well. Brendan convinces me not to head to the doctor's for a blood test. He doesn't think it will make feel any better, and he thinks I'll overanalyze the HCG level and what it means. I take his advice and wait for the ultrasound though I hardly sleep the night before because I'm so nervous.
Baby Size: A Blueberry
Our ultrasound (at 6 weeks, 5 days) went well, and we heard baby's heartbeat (129bpm) which was a hugely emotional moment (I cried the entire time). The next day, I was super sick and vomiting all day (the nurse emailed and said my HCG level was up to 82,000), but today, I luckily feel well enough to lead a new student orientation session. I suck on a Jolly Rancher the whole time which keeps the nausea at bay; Jolly Ranchers are my new jam! I also feel super hungry all the time but I have to eat really slowly. I breeze through the book Expecting Better; I've read far too many conceiving and pregnancy books at this point. I also get my first "gut feeling" gender prediction: Boy!
Baby Size: A Kidney Bean
The sickness has gotten worse, and I've had one more horribly sick day, so I'm on a bland diet this week (think cereal, crackers, scrambled eggs, and toast). I've taken to carrying crackers in my bag now that we've gone back to work (my friend Steph later told me she "totally knew I was pregnant" based on this). I don't miss any teaching but sometimes have to suck on "preggie pop drops" to curb the nausea. I'll get sick in the morning and again as soon as I get home. Brendan buys me wristbands which seem to help me a lot.
Baby Size: A Grape
Our appointment (at 8 weeks, 5 days) goes great, and we hear baby's heartbeat at 181bpm which is a huge comfort. I'm shocked to find I haven't gained any weight because if I'm not having a sick day, I'm having an "eating all the time" day. Plus, my workouts have been cut back due to nausea and tiredness. I feel like being tired makes the sickness worse, so I try to get lots of naps in. I also still prefer bland foods and feel bad when Brendan puts effort into nice dinners because I end up only eating a few bites and then getting sick. Mornings and evenings seem to be the worst times for me. I'm luckily doing okay at work. Brendan donates blood on Labor Day, so we can find out his blood type since I'm O negative. I almost pass out at the blood donation place and have to wait in the car. Then this happens to Brendan and I'm really sick! We later find out Brendan is type O positive, so I will need rhoGAM shots.
Baby Size: A Kumquat! (Brendan and I used to find this delightful fruit growing in Lake Charles)
I head to the doctors today for a blood test which will separate my blood from the baby's blood and check for chromosomal abnormalities. I'm told we'll have the results in a week or two. While I'm at the doctors, I convince the super sweet nurses to use their doppler and do a heartbeat check. We hear the heartbeat at 167-171bpm, and it really makes me feel better. I'm still nauseated and throwing up. I need to avoid our trash can at all costs. Even Brendan's coffee grounds will set off sickness. I'm still battling anxiety: it's not constant but some days are harder than others. Brendan tries to help me through it by getting me to reframe my thinking, helping me see the positives, and talking me out of fear spirals. He reminds me that the worry won't stop once the baby is here: that part of parenthood entails constant worry. My therapist is a big help too. I try to be patient with myself and give myself grace. I'm doing the best I can one day at a time, and that's still true.
Baby Size: A Fig
We're still waiting on our blood test results, and of course, I obsess over when the phone will ring daily. I get a Stitch Fix with dresses to help me hide the pregnancy at work. My parents come to town already suspecting something is up (since I've never suggested they come visit us in September). I swear my mom gives my stomach a once over a minute after arriving at our house! Brendan and I are making dinner, and I wrap a onesie around a bottle of champagne and put it in a brown paper bag. I tell them we got them something in Portland and forgot to give it to them. Telling them makes the pregnancy feel real, and my heart is literally racing as they open the bag. They are really happy and excited to become grandparents, and we spend the rest of the weekend talking about baby plans. I also Facetime with Graham and tell him he's going to be an uncle and text with Erynn.
|Mimosas for everyone else, OJ for me!|
After feeling great all weekend, my sickness returns on Monday. I don't miss work, but I'm throwing up before and after work and Brendan is making me scrambled eggs for dinner--again.
We do all the gender predictions based on old wives tales, and here's what we get.
Chinese Gender Prediction: Girl
Baking Soda Test: Girl
Body Hair: Girl
Wedding Ring Test: Girl
Morning Sickness: Girl
Not Clumsy: Girl
Nail Growth: Boy
No Heartburn: Boy
No Moodiness: Boy
Eye Test: Boy
Mayan Predictor: Girl
Linea Nigra: Boy
My gut feeling is definitely Boy! I tell Brendan I'm 95% sure it's a boy.
Once my parents know, I tell a couple of my college girlfriends, Julie and Lauren, a couple of my cousins, Amanda and Stephen. Everyone is super happy and excited especially since they know what we've been going through. My friend Lauren bursts into tears of joy. Since we're waiting to tell Brendan's family in person, I swear the few people who know to secrecy.
Baby Size: A small lime
The nurse calls (actually at 11 weeks, 6 days) with our test results that I've been waiting on pins and needles for. She tells me that the baby's chromosomes look healthy while I'm driving home from work. I'm hugely relieved and tell her I'll call her back when Brendan's home so we can find out the gender results together. The five minutes it takes for Brendan to get home feels like forever. I feel like knowing the gender will make me feel more connected to the baby and make the pregnancy feel more real, so I'm excited to know. I've always wanted a little girl, but I've been envisioning us with a boy. The plus side of our long wait to conceive is that I know I'll be excited no matter what the gender.
We get ahold of the nurse and she tells us we're having a...GIRL!
I'm super excited and super surprised. My gut feeling turned out to be wrong. So much for my mother's intuition! I immediately call my parents and my brother. My mom and brother had predicted a girl from the get-go :)
I'm still throwing up and tired. We tell our bosses because they are making the spring schedule this week. Our boss is so happy for us that he cries. This week is a tear fest! I start meditation with a program called Expectful. I find it helpful as one solution for coping with my anxiety. Back pain has set in and sleeping is less comfortable but not terrible.
At the end of the week (12 weeks, 6 days), we have a doctor's appointment and recreational ultrasound (at our doctor's office). Baby girl's heartbeat is 158bpm, and she's measuring a little ahead at 13 weeks, 2 days (it's normal for babies to measure a few days ahead or behind). The ultrasound is an amazing experience because our little girl looks like a real person and is moving all over the place. Brendan says he teared up. I was just shocked at how much she was moving since I couldn't feel any of it. It was definitely miraculous. We're head over heels in love! I still haven't gained any weight, but my clothes are definitely tighter. My doctor says this is just fine. And with that, my doctor informs me that my first trimester is over.
I'll be back next week with a weeks 13-16 update. Until then, enjoy this video (unless you're easily offended) which my friend Julie posted to announce her pregnancy. I think it's hilarious!