Ending my hiatus

Well, I disappeared from the blogosphere for a while, but I’m back!  Here’s a rundown of my life since the last time I posted and I hope it will help you understand why I’ve been MIA for so long (like….for an entire year…).

– We began and completed a major addition/remodel to our home.  Don’t do this while you’re pregnant. Did you read that?  Read it again.  Don’t EVER do this while. you. are. pregnant.  If you want to know more about why to avoid a remodel when you’re pregnant, I’m sure my husband can give you more than a few good reasons.

– I survived the third trimester of my pregnancy in temperatures over 100 degrees…elephant ankles and all.  Oh, man.  The swelling was horrible.  I cried many times out of concern that my ankles were never going to return to normal.  They did, in case you’re wondering.  Enduring a summer pregnancy deserves some kind of major prize.  Oh.  I guess that brings me to the next event…

-I had a BABY!!  Stella was born on July 23rd, weighing in at exactly 9 pounds and measuring 21 inches long.  Definitely worth suffering all of my pregnancy woes times a billion.  What an absolutely indescribable feeling.  I fall more in love with my sweet girl every single day and I will forever be humbled, amazed, honored, and grateful that God trusted me to be her mommy.

Here’s a newborn pic.  Isn’t she just adorable?

– So, I had Stella in July and….BAM! It’s four months later. You know all of those cliché things that parents say, like, “She’s growing so fast!” “Where has the time gone?!” “It’s going by so quickly!”  Yeah.  All of that.  I thought those things were just things people said to make conversation.  Nope.  Truth.

Anyway.  I’m back to blogging now and I’m super excited to get back into my writing groove and back to why I started this blog.  Except that part about using it to track my pregnancy progress, talk about pregnancy, blah, blah, blah.  I definitely failed at that. In my defense, I was very busy eating cookie dough (don’t worry – no eggs!), making decisions about the house remodel, changing my mind and changing it back again, and sitting on the couch with my feet up, the thermostat set at 55 degrees and every fan in the house blowing on me in multiple (failed) attempts to ward off the elephant ankles.  So, just skip to the third paragraph in that “why I started this blog” link and we’ll all be on the same page.

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Baking Baby Stella

Here’s a look at the progression of my pregnancy.

6 weeks

10 weeks

18 weeks

20 weeks

 

 

24 weeks

27 weeks

 

30 weeks

 

 

33 weeks

 

35 weeks

That’s it! I carried to 39 weeks, but wouldn’t allow pictures of my giantly swollen self after this point, so this is all ya get!

Oh, hello energy – I’ve missed you!

Until a few days ago, I hadn’t had a drop of energy since before Christmas.  It was beginning to become rather depressing.  I knew that pregnancy was going to make me tired, but I had no idea it would be to that extent!  I hardly even cooked a meal between the time I became pregnant and last week.  I wasn’t motivated to exercise.  I didn’t even bother to clean the house (don’t judge me).  So, not only was I tired and lazy, but add to that the guilt I felt from not eating very healthy and not exercising, plus pregnancy hormones, and my house being in somewhat of a state of disaster, and I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to be too fond of being pregnant.

Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, BAM!  My energy is back!  I want to bake, I’ve motivated myself to clean house, healthy foods sound tasty again, I’ve been exercising, and I even gave the dog a bath! Yay!  I don’t think I could have taken it any longer.  I hear the lack of energy will return later though, so I’m trying to enjoy it while I have it.

Maybe it’s because I know it won’t last, or maybe it’s due to the fact I’ve basically been in a state of laziness for three months, but now that my energy is back, I want everything to be done and I want it done now!  Mostly, I want the baby’s room put together and finished.  We need to paint the walls, get a crib, fix up some furniture, find a dresser or buffet to double as a changing table and probably paint it, and DECORATE!  After all, we only have like six months to do everything!  Okay, okay…by “we” I really mean “my husband.”  I can’t paint the room when I’m pregnant and I’m certainly not handy when it comes to fixing things (I wish I was!)…so that leaves my wonderful, helpful, patient, willing husband!  But, I’m sure I’ll be up to the decorating part 😉

Other things I’ve been obsessing over: organizing the cabinets, cleaning out my closet, de-cluttering every room of the house.  Is this what they call “nesting?”  I don’t know why, but I really hate that term and I hate it even more now that it might apply to me.

Yet, here I am…nesting.  *Cringe*

The End of Trimester #1

This week, I will be 13 weeks pregnant, which means we are free and clear of the first trimester!  The risk of miscarriage decreases significantly after the first trimester, so I feel like this is sort of a pregnancy “milestone!”

I’m also excited because the baby can start to hear sounds within the next several weeks and shortly after that, I will also be able to feel it moving inside of me.  Right now, even after hearing the heartbeat, I worry and wonder if the baby is growing (as do many pregnant women, I’m sure).  I think feeling the baby move will not only be fun and exciting, but also very reassuring for me.  I’m excited for what the next few months have in store!  Bring on trimester #2 🙂

Here are pictures of me at weeks 6 and 10:Image

If you’re looking at the photo above and thinking, “Aw, she’s already showing a little at 6 weeks pregnant,” well…I hate to break it to you, but you’re very wrong.  That’s definitely not a baby bump. As much as it pains me to admit, I’m pretty sure it’s just fat that’s always been there.  Now I just have an excuse for it 😉  Just thought I had better throw that out there before someone commented on it and unintentionally insulted the pregnant lady.  No one wants that…which my husband can attest to.

Image

I don’t see much of a difference between 6 weeks and 10, but I know a rapidly growing belly is likely in store for me now!   Like I said, bring on the second trimester!

Baby has a heartbeat!

We had an appointment today and were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time!  Wow!  What a touching moment.  Hearing the heartbeat just makes the pregnancy feel so much more real because it’s like actual proof that there is a living being inside of me!

We really like our doctor, but since I plan to have a natural birth, we told him that we would like to have a midwife as well.  We are lucky that the center where my doctor practices also employs two Certified Nurse Midwives, both of whom I have heard great things about.  Throughout the rest of the pregnancy, we will meet with our midwife and she will consult with the doctor if there are any complications or concerns.  She will be present during delivery, which is important to me because I feel more comfortable delivering naturally  knowing I will have the assistance of a midwife.

My decision to deliver naturally is not one that took a lot of consideration.  I really want to be able to feel the whole process and I have faith that my body was made for this and that it will do its job.  I am, however, flexible.  I understand that issues and complications can arise and I certainly won’t be opposed to talking about other options with the doctor if an issue comes up.  I am just hoping that everything goes as it should and that I can have a natural birth.

My husband and I are reading a book about the Bradley Method to prepare ourselves and we plan to take childbirth classes as well.

Any other preparation suggestions from moms who have delivered naturally?

Happy New Year!

With a new year comes the slew of “resolutions” that everyone seems to set.  This year, my resolution is to exercise more.  Cliche and boring, right?  Yeah, I know.  I considered the possibility that it may not even be blog worthy, but I changed my mind because it’s a unique goal for me. I’ve never had much of a problem getting motivated to go for  walk or do some other form of exercise.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m certainly not “hardcore” about working out, but when the weather is nice it’s rare if I go more than a few days without doing some kind of exercise.  I feel GREAT when I’m in an exercise routine (which usually consists of long, brisk walks) — I have more energy,  feel happier, and have a more positive self-image.

However, since I became pregnant, I have not exercised once.  That’s right…almost 11 weeks of pretty much no physical activity.  I have read a million times how important it is to exercise and stay fit during pregnancy, especially if you plan to deliver naturally, which I do (more about that later).  So why have I been slacking off?  Because I’m SO TIRED all the time!  (Well, the cold weather doesn’t help either.)  I know that pregnancy is going to make me tired.  I mean, I’m growing a human – that’s hard work!  However, I’m convinced that part of the reason I feel so tired is actually due to the fact that I haven’t been exercising.  It’s a vicious cycle: too tired to exercise = not exercising = being even more tired.

So, I’m making it my goal in the new year to exercise more regularly!  I just need to do it.  I started today by taking a (much shorter than normal) walk outside.  Yes, it was cold, but I felt so good afterwards!  Plus, exercise is great for both me and the baby.  Check out these benefits:

For mom:  more energy, better sleep, less discomfort, reduced stress, childbirth preparation, and less time to get body back after birth.

For baby: better heart functioning before and after birth, less cranky during infancy and less likely to have colic, greater scores (tested at age 5) in oral language and motor skills.

Are there any other pregnant moms out there who want to join me?!

The big news

About 7 weeks ago, I woke up, went to the bathroom, and decided to take a pregnancy test.  My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant, but, to avoid getting my hopes up, I had convinced myself I probably wasn’t.  I took the digital test and sat there for a minute while the timer on the screen blinked…and blinked…and blinked some more.  I was getting impatient, so I put the test down went about my morning routine.  After all, I knew I wasn’t pregnant anyway.  I went back into the bathroom several minutes later, glanced down at the test and read, “Pregnant.”  Wait.  What?  It didn’t seem real.  The test must be wrong.  I wanted so much for it to be right…but surely it was wrong.  I kept staring at the test and it finally started to sink in.  I was pregnant!  I was really pregnant!  I thanked God and then I cried.  Yep, I cried.  ME!  Can you believe it?  Oh…you can?  Yeah, me too.

Our whole marriage, I had been thinking of all these really cute ways to tell my husband I was pregnant when the time came.  I would go out that day and buy a onesie that said “I Love Daddy,” and give it to him as a surprise gift when I got home from work.  Or, I would make a dinner of “baby” things — baby spinach salad, baby back ribs, baby carrots — and see if he caught on.  Or, maybe I would wait until Christmas and wrap a bow around my stomach.  Ha!  Wait an entire day?  Wait until CHRISTMAS!?  What was I thinking?  As it turned out, I couldn’t wait thirty seconds after he walked in the door before shoving the pregnancy test at him and blurting out, “I think I’m pregnant!”  He was, of course, very excited.  We hugged, stared at the positive test, and hugged some more.

Now the details.  I’m 10 weeks pregnant and my due date is July 26th which is 4 days before my own birthday.  We are going to let the sex of the baby be a surprise when I give birth and we are keeping the names a secret, too.  Yeah, we’re those people.  So far, pregnancy has been treating me pretty well.  Aside from a little bit of nausea, fatigue, and my bladder waking me up at all hours of the night, I’m doing great.

I can’t wait to experience all the changes pregnancy has in store for me and to keep you updated along the way!