Tuesday, December 29, 2009

(Almost) Week 8

In a couple of days, I'll hit the 8 week mark.

This past week, I've been feeling a little nauseated. No vomiting, but I've definitely felt queasy a few times. The fatigue is hanging on as well. By late afternoon, I'm usually ready for a nap.

I'm also having more weird food things. In addition to oatmeal, as of Christmas Eve, I can no longer eat eggs. I also haven't had chips and salsa for about a week, and have strong desires to eat oranges, apples, and salad. Seriously...NOT...MY...BABY. :)

A week from today, we will have our first ultrasound. I'll be 8 weeks and 5 days at that point. I'm pretty nervous about it since that's when we found out last time that something was wrong with our baby and he or she didn't make it. I really hope that everything is going to be okay with this pregnancy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Week 6

Yesterday marked the beginning of my 6th week. I remain uninterested in oatmeal and chocolate. Except for hot cocoa, which sounded good last night, but I haven't actually had any yet. This morning's breakfast consisted of a slice of leftover pizza with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, pesto, and about 1 ton of roasted garlic. Yummy.

Last night I had my first "food" craving. Grape soda. What the hell? I can't even remember the last time I had grape soda. Maybe when I was 10. Drew and I rushed to out to our grocery store at 9:30 last night (after I'd been napping for at least half an hour) to track down grape soda. I should have known better than to go to our usual market. I ended up with some sort of organic grape "soda" that actually tasted like real grapes. I didn't want real grapes! I didn't want organic! I wanted old school Welch's grape soda! I wanted Fanta! We ended up stopping at 7-11 where I found Sunkist grape soda. Ahhh...purple foam. Now that's what I'm talking about.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Food Weirdness

Apparently, oatmeal isn't good enough for this baby.

I've been eating oatmeal for breakfast almost every weekday for months. I mix it up each day by adding different types of fresh fruit and cinnamon, and by using different flavors of oatmeal. I look forward to it every morning.

Looks like this growing being prefers savory breakfast sandwiches. Who knew? I had to stop and grab something on my way to work on Friday and today because oatmeal just sounded sickeningly sweet.

Another weird thing...I've refused chocolate about 5 times in the past two weeks. Just didn't want any. This has NEVER happened before. I don't refuse chocolate even if I just ate a bar of chocolate.

I'm starting to wonder if this baby is really mine.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine?

Have any of you pregnant women out there had the H1N1 vaccine?

There's some controversy surrounding it. The CDC considers pregnant women a high risk group for this type of flu and recommends that all pregnant women get the vaccine at any time during their pregnancy. However, there have been a few reports of women having miscarriages after getting the vaccine. Of course there's a chance that these miscarriages weren't caused by the vaccine, and the timing was just coincidental.

It's hard to know what to do. My doctor recommended getting the vaccine, and after reading about how dangerous it could be for a pregnant woman to contract swine flu, I decided to get it this morning.

Of course, now I'm nervous about it. I just wanted to see if there are any pregnant women out there who have gotten the vaccine and and their unborn babies are fine. Please let me know if you're out there!

Week 5

So, I've had some time to settle in with the news. I'm feeling pretty well, except that I've been more tired this week. I've fallen asleep on the couch before 9:00 every night. Last night I even missed Glee. I guess that's what DVRs are for. The only other symptoms I've had so far are bloating and gas. Fun times! :)

Yesterday I went to see my GYN. It was just an appointment to talk about the plan for monitoring this pregnancy. Last time I didn't have my first ultrasound until I was 11 weeks along, and that's when I found out that our baby didn't have a heartbeat and stopped developing at 8-9 weeks. This time, I'll have my first ultrasound on January 5th. I'll be 8 weeks and 5 days at that point. My doctor said I could have it a week earlier, but he won't actually be in town that day. We decided to just wait until he returned from his vacation.

I feel different this time. A lot more cautious in terms of getting too excited about it. Last time I just couldn't wait to tell people that I was pregnant, but I don't feel that way now. Not yet anyway. I'm worried that I'll have another miscarriage. I'm trying to take it day by day, and just be (relatively) excited that I am pregnant right now.

I feel really lucky that I was able to get pregnant again, and do it so quickly. We just started trying again in September, and I got pregnant in November. Getting pregnant twice in seven months without any kind of fertility treatment seems like quite a feat at my age.

So...so far, so good, I suppose. More later!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I barely squeaked in before my 40th birthday on Tuesday. :)

I feel all kinds of things right now - shocked, excited, nervous, terrified. According to the  due date predictor, I'm only 3 weeks along. I'm excited, but because of my previous miscarriage and how early on this is, pretty nervous too.

I'm going to go be in shock for a while now. I just wanted to share this with those of you who've been following my story. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Still Working On It

Last month didn't work out.

I decided to buy the Answer Ovulation Test Kit. At under $20 for 20 test sticks, it was a bargain compared to the more expensive $250 fertility monitor. I started using the sticks on Day 5 of my cycle. On Tuesday (Day 10), I got a positive result. At least my LH seems to be working correctly.

One of the things that happened when I was pregnant was that I became more attuned to my body. I was constantly on the lookout for pregnancy symptoms, so things that I may not have noticed before became really obvious. My recent LH surge is no exception. That afternoon I knew that I was having my LH surge. Wanna know how? I got hot and my face started to flush. I told my friend at work, "I'm totally surging right now." I went home and took the test, and there it was...a positive result.

Now the waiting game is on again. Hopefully in two weeks I'll have a different positive test result.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Better Luck Next Month

After days of wondering what was going on, I started my period on Thursday.

Since this month was our first chance of getting pregnant since the miscarriage and my last two cycles have been off, we didn't even attempt to figure out my ovulation days this past month. I guess you can say it was a Russian roulette of sorts.

I was thinking of buying a Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitorand test sticks yesterday. Not a cheap choice by any means, but it seems to provide a lot of information that could come in handy with my weird cycles of late. I thought about it for a while, and then decided to give it one more month without dropping $200-$250 instead.

I looked at the calendar, found a wide range of possible fertile days (based on a 21 day cycle, a 24 day cycle, and a 28 day cycle), and informed my husband that we'd be having tons of sex between September 22 and October 1st. He was totally on board. :)

If it doesn't happen this time, I'm buying the monitor.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Nope. Not pregnant yet.

If I don't start a regular period, I'll take another test next week.

More Waiting

Mysterious very scant spotting continues. This is day three. No real period yet.

I decided to go ahead and buy pregnancy tests at lunch. Even though I may need to wait another week for enough hCG to show a positive result, I just HAVE to take one today anyway. Just in case.

Counting down the minutes until I can go home and take it. I'm leaving early today. Only 21 minutes to go!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Waiting Game

Am I pregnant? Who knows.

There is a chance that I had sex while I was ovulating this month. Since my newly crazy menstrual cycle has left me with no freaking idea of my ovulation schedule, it's a game of wait and see.

Yesterday I thought I was going to have another early period (at 19 days), but so far it's just very slight spotting. Right now I'm thinking this could be 1) the beginning of another early period, or 2) implantation bleeding.

Only time will tell at this point. I'm just trying to go with the flow (hah) and not get too worked up about it either way. If am pregnant, yay, if I'm not, better luck next month.

In other news, my 40th birthday is coming up in December, and yesterday my husband and I decided that we'd celebrate it in NYC. I haven't been to New York since I was 25. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Crazy Brain

I went to a much needed acupuncture session last night. I think the crazy hormone regulation process is boosting my manic tendencies. I've had some real problems focusing lately, and at times it feels like my brain has literally been buzzing.

Also, I got another period. A week and a half before I should have. I guess that's to be expected, but I was kind of surprised since I'd been Ms. 28 days for years. The bright side is that we can throw out the condoms and start trying to conceive again.

It's been so weird lately. I started to realize that I haven't really been thinking about having a baby for the past few weeks. I've been so focused on other things and genuinely enjoying them - working on my novel, trying new restaurants, thinking about traveling - that when Drew brought it up recently, I noticed I hadn't really thought about it. It bothered me. Since I have spent most of my life feeling like I didn't want to have kids, it made me question it. Do I really want a baby?

I talked about it with Drew. I talked about it with a good friend from work. I talked about it, like a million miles an hour, in my brain. I started thinking about some other situations in my life. How I'd cut myself off from emotional risks just to save myself from possibly getting hurt or being disappointed. I started to realize that I may have been subconsciously throwing myself into everything else in my life and blocking out thoughts of possible motherhood because maybe it wouldn't work out. It would be weird to all of a sudden not want to have a baby after I've felt strongly about it for nearly two years. Maybe I was just using a psychological defense mechanism. Sorry, I have a Masters in psychology and a tendency to overanalyze things. :)

And then there's the crazy hormone factor. As my period still isn't back on its normal schedule, I know they're not regulated yet. That has to be playing with my brain processes. I know for sure that it's screwing with my weight.

I read an article in the most recent issue of Whole Living magazine, I think the article had something to do with menopause, but the facts would apply to miscarriage as well. The author said that the dip in estrogen that occurs during menopause leads to an increased production of fat cells. Awesome. What's better than feeling like shit? Being fat and feeling like shit! Right after you have a D&C (or miscarriage, not sure if it is more gradual with a natural miscarriage or not) there is a sharp decline of estrogen, progesterone, and whatever else is involved there. My doctor told me that my hormone levels were so high with the pregnancy that they basically dropped to a "menopausal level" after the D&C. The article I read at least partially explains why I gained weight after the miscarriage.

But enough complaining. I've felt a lot better the past couple of days. I've also been getting more exercise to try wage my own war against the pesky hormones. Thoughts of motherhood have been slowly seeping into my crazy brain again, and I'm looking forward to having a cute baby that I can stroll around Green Lake. I could be on my way relatively soon. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Other Me

In case you're interested, I also have another blog that (so far) has nothing to do with pregnancy or motherhood. You can find my other rants and musings at Inward Facing Girl.

IFG is my "main" blog, but I didn't want to write about pregnancy or motherhood there until I was ready to share my news with everyone I know. Now I'm really glad that I didn't.

New Jeans

After wearing yoga pants to a dinner party this weekend, I decided that I just couldn't stand it anymore. I literally had no jeans or pants that fit. Not a single pair. Luckily, it's summer, and I can pretty much live in stretchy American Apparel pull-on skirts. I also work at a place where it's fine for me to wear yoga pants every day, which I've been taking advantage of since I was about 7 weeks pregnant. But I've finally gotten sick of it.

It's one thing to gain weight when you're pregnant. Sure, even then there are times when you feel unattractive and anything but sexy, but at least there's a huge payoff in the end. When you have a miscarriage, you've gained the weight for nothing. You can't wear anything in your closet and you don't have a baby. It's like a double punch in the face.

Yesterday I bought jeans at Old Navy. If you don't know me, you have no idea how huge this is. If you do know me, you may be a little shocked that I've traded in my $180 7 jeans for those that cost $29.50. Other than the size I had to buy, I'm completely satisfied with my new cheap jeans, and glad that I've finally kicked the nasty shopping habit that I picked up the first time I lived in Los Angeles.

Another reason that $30 jeans are good: I'm going to get pregnant again. Soon, I hope. My follow-up appointment went well and I started my first period on Friday. Now I just have to have one more period, then we can start trying again.

I was also happy to find out that the wonderful new doctor that I've found through this experience will see my next pregnancy through its first trimester. He doesn't deliver babies anymore, and I still want to go back to the midwives if everything works out okay, so this will work out perfectly. He'll monitor my HCG levels closely and give me early ultrasounds, which will be a huge relief and will hopefully temper the anxiety I will likely experience during my next pregnancy.

That's all for now. Time to get ready for work, sans yoga pants.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What Happened, Part 2 - Friday, July 3rd and Beyond

The weekend before the D & C was hard for a few reasons - 1) We weren't ever going to have this baby, 2) Our baby was dead and inside of me, 3) I was worried and scared about the actual D & C procedure. On Friday morning it seemed like Monday was forever away.

We went through lots of emotions that weekend - shock and disbelief, extreme sadness, anger, jealousy when we saw other families, pregnant women, or babies, numbness, attempting to console ourselves with impulse purchases. Can anyone say Blu-Ray DVD player with streaming Netflix and a 50" plasma TV? We did. Oh yes...we really did.

Finally the tremendously long weekend (that I had at one time been really looking forward to) was over and it was time to go into the office for the D & C. As I said before, I was lucky to have an extremely good doctor. He spent at least half an hour just talking to us - asking us how we were doing, telling us what we could expect during and after the procedure, and very patiently and thoroughly answering ALL of our questions about the miscarriage and our future plans to conceive.

Since I want to avoid general anesthesia as much as I can in my life, I opted to have the D & C in his office under a local anesthetic (plus a large Valium + Vicodin cocktail) rather than being completely put under in the hospital. Yes, I was very worried about being awake during it, for both physical and emotional reasons. I was thinking about it all weekend. But in the end I was more worried about general anesthesia.

I went home and waited for the Valium and Vicodin to kick in, then I went back to the office 1 1/2 hours later for the actual procedure. Another thing that I liked about this doctor...they allowed my husband to be in the room with me during the D & C. Having him there to hold my hand and talk to me calmed me SO much. The procedure itself lasted less than 10 minutes. At one point there was some moderate cramping that was relatively prolonged, but the physical pain was nothing compared to the horrific cramps I conjured up for myself in my brain over the weekend. Emotionally I was upset because of the finality it represented, but honestly I was more relieved to have that part over with and to be moving forward.

The first week and a half after the D & C was pretty bad. Lots of hormone shifts, lots of tears, exhaustion, lower back pain, and bleeding. Luckily I was able to take some time off work and work from home for part of the second week. Then the oddest thing happened, which I mentioned briefly in one of my earlier posts. It really felt like a switch had been turned off. A week and a half after the procedure I had a horrible morning full of crying jags and I felt extremely sad. I went home from work early, then lay down on my bed and read for a while. I finished my book, closed it, and all of a sudden I felt a lot better. It was bizarre.

This feeling has lasted ever since then. I mean, I still have my moments. I still feel sad that I lost my baby. I still have moments when I see pregnant women or women with newborns and feel completely jealous of them and tears spring into my eyes. But I feel so much better and generally have a positive attitude.

Now I'm just trying to relax, be present, enjoy the life that I have right now, and be patient. Tomorrow I have my D & C follow-up appointment. Any day now I should start my period. The doctor said that it should happen between 4 and 6 weeks after the D & C. He told us that we can start trying to conceive again after my SECOND period, so that should be sometime next month. Hopefully everything will get back on track and I will be pregnant again as soon as possible. It didn't take long the first time, so maybe I'll get lucky with that the second time too. Please send prayers and good vibes our way. We need them.

Thanks for reading my blog. I'll be updating this whenever I have new information, feelings, or stories to share. Hopefully you'll read good news soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Happened, Part 1 - Thursday July 2nd

As I mentioned earlier, we went in for our first ultrasound on Thursday, July 2nd. I was 11 weeks pregnant and very excited about seeing our baby for the first time, but also nervous about if the baby was okay.

Early pregnancy is weird. You can't feel the baby move and pregnancy symptoms aren't always there, so sometimes it feels like you're not even pregnant. The ultrasound was going to be my first "real proof" that a baby was actually growing inside of me and that everything was going okay.

I had no signs of a miscarriage. No cramping. No bleeding. Up until the moment of the ultrasound, I thought everything was fine. They did the ultrasound and I saw the baby, but there was no heartbeat. The ultrasound technician took measurements that indicated the baby had stopped developing at 8 weeks, 6 days. We were devastated. The technician brought in an apologetic radiologist who confirmed her findings. They told me that nothing needed to be done right away (it was about 4:30 on the Thursday of a holiday weekend), but that I needed to call my midwife on Monday to discuss my options.

Luckily, I didn't have to wait until Monday. Probably 30 minutes after we got home, I got a call from one of the midwives at my midwifery practice. The ultrasound technician had faxed my results to her. She was very sympathetic and talked to me about my options - I could wait for the miscarriage to happen naturally (which could take a couple of weeks), take drugs to make it happen faster, or have a D & C. There was no way I was waiting for anything to happen, naturally or with drugs. I wanted the D & C. I wanted it right that second, but I knew that wasn't possible. She gave me a referral for a GYN and told me that his office was closed on Friday, but I could call him on Monday to schedule the procedure.

Luckily, I didn't have to wait until Monday. Within half an hour, the GYN called me. I didn't answer, so he left a very kind message, told me that he would get me in on Monday morning, and said he'd call me again to talk more about it that weekend. He called me the very next morning...on a holiday weekend...and I'm not even his patient. Seriously, this guy was amazing. One thing I feel lucky about was that I had a very good experience with all of the medical professionals I had to deal with during this time...except for the woman drew my blood at LabCorp on the day of the procedure. She was a beeyotch.

When the shock began to wear off a bit, Drew and I e-mailed the people who knew about the pregnancy and told them what happened. Thank God for e-mail. I would have hated to have to tell everyone in person or by phone. I felt fine talking about it after people initially knew, but it was really hard to actually tell someone what happened. I only had to do that twice, and both were people I wanted to call right away - my mom and my cousin (who had gone through it herself).

The first night was hard. A lot of tears and disbelief. Trying to come to terms that the plans we'd made were not happening, at least not for this baby. Part of me thought of this child as a miracle baby who was meant to be - since I'm older, I got pregnant the very first time that I could when we decided to start trying, and it happened on our honeymoon - and that there was no way anything would go wrong. It was extremely difficult to give up our dreams and plans.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Been Really Rough

Starting yesterday at 5:00 PM was the first time that I've felt really normal for any extended period of time since I found out I'd had a miscarriage. Yesterday morning and early afternoon I felt absolutely horrible, then when I finished reading the very last page of Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, I closed the book and for some reason felt great. It was really weird given that yesterday was one of my worst days - very high levels of anxiety and many crying spells. Last night my wonderful husband took me to see Bruno and the good mood continued. So far it's lasted on into today. I feel more like myself today since this whole thing started.

I'm planning to write about the miscarriage, what happened, what I had to go through, how I've felt, and how I've tried to deal with it. I think it's going to be better for me to write about these things in small chunks of individual postings. Like I said, I'm having a good day today and am not in the mood to revisit things right now. But since anywhere from 10%-30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and this rate doesn't even count for the very early miscarriages that occur in women who don't even realize they are pregnant, I'd like to share my thoughts and experience in case it will help other women.

Thank you for reading and for your comments and support.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sad News

I went to my ultrasound appointment on Thursday and there was no heartbeat. I was 11 weeks pregnant, but the embryo only measured 9 weeks. Yesterday I had a D&C.

I'm going to write more about this experience, as well the journey of my next pregnancy. Right now I'm just having a hard time dealing with this and need to take a break. Writing has always helped me get through difficult times though, so I know I'll be back here soon.

Thanks for your comments and for reading.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

First Ultrasound Today - 11 Weeks, One Day

I'm pretty excited. In just under three hours I'm going to have my very first ultrasound! It's going to be so cool to actually be able to see the baby and really know that something is going on in there. Early pregnancy is so weird because all of these things are happening inside, but you can't really tell. You can't feel the baby moving and you don't look pregnant (although I'm pretty sure I noticed a slight belly bump this morning...either that, or I'm eating too many chips and too much salsa). If you're not having morning sickness (like me), you feel lucky but also wonder if everything is okay in there. It will just be nice to have some confirmation that there is indeed a growing, living baby in my uterus.

I'll also have blood drawn since this ultrasound is part of my first trimester integrated screening. I'm not sure how long I'll have to wait for the results, but I hope mine are good enough to make me feel confident enough to skip the amniocentesis. I really don't want to have a test that has even a slight risk of miscarriage.

More later.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Unsolicited Advice

Yesterday a friend warned me against my plan of having a natural childbirth. Granted, she recently experienced a natural birth and I have no idea what it's like, but it was also against her will. She never wanted to have a natural birth. She wanted drugs immediately, but her labor had progressed too far for her to have them. This birth experience went against her birth plan. Already, based on attitude alone, that's not the experience that I would have had.

We've only told a few people about the pregnancy so far. I can't imagine how much "advice" I'm going to get once we're completely out of the closet. Everyone thinks their way is the best way and they just have to pass it on, even if you don't ask. I'm sure it's only just begun. When pregnancy ends, "help" with parenting styles begin.

When people try to tell me that I don't really want what I want, it just pisses me off. These people do not have access to my brain. They have no idea what I think, and it's not my job to sway them to my side. I have no interest in doing that. All women have a unique pregnancy and birth experience. Sure, there are similarities, but I'm talking about the total package. No two pregnancies and births are alike, even for the exact same woman. I don't want to hear how there's no way you could have gotten through birth without an epidural. I don't need my choices to be countered by your horror stories or condescending "you just have no idea" pats on the shoulder.

I'm not saying that I want to live in a vacuum with no advice or information. I do want to know what other women have experienced...IF I ASK THEM. And frankly, if our attitudes toward birth (or parenting or politics or TV or whatever) are at completely opposite poles, guess what? I'm probably not going to ask. If we're not starting out even close to being on the same page, their experience will probably have little relevance to mine. Beliefs, attitudes, perceptions...all of these things play a role in medical or health issues and in life.

It's not like I'm super hardcore on my natural childbirth choice, that there's absolutely no way I would ever have an epidural. Ideally, that is what I would like. I want to do it drug free. But I'm not going to completely close myself off to medicinal pain management if I feel like I really need it. There are just other things I want to try first (hanging out in the tub, walking and moving around a lot...things I couldn't do with an epidural). In an ideal world, that will be enough for me. We'll see how it works out.

I would like to talk to some women who have had a natural childbirth and were happy with their choice. I feel like it's kind of hard to find those women, because we're pretty much taught to fear childbirth and many women wouldn't even consider having a baby without an epidural. I'm scared too, but I think that talking to women who have a more positive view of childbirth will help.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Week 8

Here are the big things (including my breasts) that have been going on lately.

I had to buy new bras...that were 2 cup sizes and 1 band size bigger than what I had been wearing! I told the saleswoman that I wanted something comfortable and supportive, and that I'd like to avoid underwire if possible. I had tried a new bra the week before, and while it fit fine in the morning, by afternoon the underwire was carving an unwelcome design into my skin and making my life miserable. She suggested the Wacoal Awareness Wireless bra and it's working for me so far.

My jeans have become tighter and more uncomfortable. I can still button some of them, but the result is something that muffin top doesn't even begin to describe. I decided that American Apparel was going to be my new BFF. Bring on the yoga pants, long tanks for layering, leggings, and soft jersey skirts with expandable waistlines!

On Tuesday I had my first prenatal appointment. I really liked the Certified Nurse Midwife that I met with, but unfortunately she isn't part of the practice and was just filling in for someone who was on maternity leave. The practice consists of four CNMs, and Drew and I will meet and get to know each one during my pregnancy. This visit consisted mostly of a long Q&A. We were really happy with her answers to our questions about the "rules" of labor under the care of the practice. I am free to move around during labor (a.k.a., not constantly attached to an IV or fetal monitor), I can eat or drink during labor if I want, and I am encouraged to give birth in the position that is most "comfortable" and natural for me. These are some of the questions we had after watching The Business of Being Born

She also told us about this cool option that they have for prenatal appointments called Centering Pregnancy. Instead of traditional appointments, you meet on your scheduled day with a group of about eight pregnant women (and their partners, if they'd like to come) who are due at the same time that you are. Each of you have your private time with the CNM, then you meet as a group for a long Q&A discussion session. It sounds like a great way to meet other women or couples and build a community support system. We're really excited to try it out. Our first appointment is July 29th. 

Yesterday, I scheduled an ultrasound and labwork for my integrated screening test that will check for the likelihood of Down Syndrome and other genetic issues. Once we have the results of these tests, we'll decide if we want to pursue further testing. This will happen on July 2nd. I'm kind of nervous about it because of my "advanced maternal age," but mostly I've been feeling pretty positive and trying not to dwell on possibilities. I'm going in with the attitude that my baby is healthy, and happy from all the root beer he or she has been begging for. Yes, this is a new thing. I hardly ever drank soda before my pregnancy.

That wraps up the big things for now. The journey continues...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pregnancy Books

The day after I took my home pregnancy test, I rushed to the Baby Center website and began reading all about pregnancy. I'm a book person, so I was excited that it was time to start reading pregnancy books and find out about all of the things I used to think that I never wanted to know.

I'm reading a few right now. The first one is the one that everyone reads, according to their marketing anyway, What to Expect When You're Expecting: 4th Edition. It's interesting to see what's going on with your body and your baby each week, and what different fruit your baby morphs into. As my husband says, "Why does everyone want to eat our baby?" I'm in Week 7, so my baby is the size of a blueberry. Some people have problems with this book. I've heard that it's "too scary" and that it talks about issues that hardly ever happen and tends to freak women out. I haven't had that experience so far, but I'm also skipping over things that don't apply to me. If it's not happening right now (or I'm not interested in learning about it), there's no need to read it.

I'm also reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I've only read the first section of this book so far, which is a bunch of women's birth stories. It's pretty cool, but I have to admit that I got a little bored and didn't read all of them. It was nice to read stories of real women and what they actually went through in labor, emotionally and physically. I'm not giving birth at The Farm (and unfortunately, I might be too afraid to NOT give birth in a hospital), but it does sound fascinating and I'm kind of envious of some of these women and the experience that they got to have there.

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy is my absolute least favorite so far. I've actually been offended by it a few times, and I'm not even halfway through it. It comes across as very pro-obstetrician and anti-midwife, but in a condescending way. I mean, there's basically one paragraph devoted to midwifery, followed by a How to Choose Your Obstetrician section with an annoying introduction that says something like, "You see how we've chosen for you to use an Obstetrician instead of a Midwife?" Ugh. It also tends to portray the husband or male significant other as a bumbling boob who can't understand or deal with anything, which is definitely not the case in my relationship. I love you, Sweetie. Also, the author appears to think you're insane if you want a natural childbirth. It seems like she's more comfortable with a scheduled C-section than anything in the natural realm. If this is your "girlfriend," who needs enemies? From what I've read to this point, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, and I'm not sure if I'll even bother finishing it.

This is a book that is on my "to read" list: Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation. There's also an accompanying website, which lists classes or workshops in your area. My husband found out about this during his pregnancy and birth research. See, not a bumbling boob. It seems to have a very "woman power" kind of vibe, and I like that.

Which pregnancy or parenting books have you read and enjoyed? I'm always looking for new ones to add to my list, so please pass them on!

Friday, May 29, 2009

How Do You Keep Yourself?

This is a question I've thought about, somewhere between, "How am I supposed to get a whole baby out of me?" "How will I know how to take care of my baby?" "How are we going to afford this?" and "If my child is a girl, will she really hate me when she's a teenager?"

Huge changes are coming, and almost all of them are very exciting. I'm so happy that I'm on this journey and I want this so much. However, sometimes my mind wanders back to the essay I wrote six years ago when I was "absolutely certain" that I didn't want to have children and I wonder how I will still manage to have time for myself and pursue my own dreams and interests. I know I'll be super excited about and super proud of my little munchkin, but I don't want to be the woman who only talks about her child and his or her accomplishments. I want to remain interesting. 

If you're a mom, how do you it? How do you be everything - a mom, a wife, and yourself? 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Week 6 - Hormones

Last night I cried during One Tree Hill. Yes, I watch this show and yes, it's horrible. This didn't happen during a type of scene that would have normally made the tears flow, like someone dying or a super sappy "finally expressing their love" moment, but when a character finally reached his career goal after years of trying to get there. Apparently, it's not that easy to get into the NBA, even in the land of really bad make-believe. As a rule, One Tree Hill is known for making me laugh during "emotional" moments, so I was pretty surprised by the waterworks.

Ahh, hormones. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week 5

Wednesday marked the official start of my 5th week. Nothing too "exciting" in terms of symptoms yet.


Occasional sore breasts...check.

Cheek/neck flushing...check.


I haven't had any nausea yet. Maybe I won't get any. I've been taking a B-Complex vitamin for the past few months, and my acupuncturist told me that between that dose of B6 and my prenatal dose of B6 that I'm nearly getting what's prescribed to women who experience nausea during their pregnancy. Not puking would rule.

I have told a very select few our news and it was fun to be able to share it. These are the same people I would want to talk to if the pregnancy doesn't work out, so I'm totally okay with having to tell them bad news if necessary. But it won't be. :)

It's amazing what you have to start thinking about already. Like child care. I can't just leave bowls of food and water on the floor and head off to work. Apparently there is an infant child care shortage in Seattle and I need to get on waiting lists, like yesterday. Seriously. For center-based day care, women call in as soon as they are pregnant. Some even lie and call in earlier. For home-based day care or nanny shares (which I'll probably end up doing because of the cost), you arrange it 2 or 3 months beforehand.

But today, I'll just enjoy the beginning of a 3 day weekend and the gorgeous Seattle sunshine.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Prenatal Visit Scheduled

Yesterday I scheduled my first prenatal visit. Yes, another BabyCenter link. No, I don't work for them. It's really just that informative. 

I'm going to see the midwife on June 9th, right before the day of the beginning of my 8th week. It seems like the visit will mostly be a bunch of tests. My husband is going to go with me and he's already preparing questions to ask the midwife. I need to get to work on that!

I'm still not having any real symptoms except for fatigue. I had one hot flash at work yesterday. That was weird. I've never had anything like that before. I went to the bathroom and my neck and face were red, then I went back into my office to see if it is a pregnancy symptom. It is. 

Last night I actually felt like I had some extra energy before dinner, then I crashed during How I Met Your Mother. I guess my sweet little parasite has already decided to disrupt my TV viewing schedule. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Settling into Reality

Yesterday was my first full day living with the knowledge of being pregnant. As I said, I really have no idea what to expect. Most of my life I felt like I didn't want to have children. Once I even wrote an essay about all of the reasons why I didn't want to join the motherhood club. Even though I changed my mind about it over a year ago, some of those things still scare the hell out of me.

My husband and I have decided to mostly keep quiet about our news until we get through the first trimester. We did tell our parents and I told my office mate at work, people we would want support from if the pregnancy doesn't work out.

I've decided to start out with a Certified Nurse Midwife and move to an OB/GYN if there are problems or if I change my mind about the midwife experience. I'm going to go with one of the midwives that have hospital privileges because I think I'd have greater peace of mind delivering at a hospital than I would at home or a birth center. 

On Monday I'll call to schedule my first prenatal appointment. From what I've read, most practitioners won't see you until week 6 or 8, so I've got at least a couple of weeks to go before the appointment.

I'm not really experiencing much in the way of symptoms right now. I've felt more tired than usual (mostly in the afternoons and early evening), and I think I've had more gas (but my husband is trying to say that it's normal for me). That's it so far. Maybe that's all a poppyseed will do. The newsletters from BabyCenter tell you the size of your baby in terms of different foods. Right now, he or she is a poppyseed. Stay tuned for sesame seed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Pregnancy Test Is Positive? Seriously?


I was scheduled to start my period on Wednesday, May 13th. I haven't even been back from my Italian honeymoon for a week, and while I knew that it was (barely) possible for me to be pregnant, I thought absolutely no way. I'm 39 years old. It's going to take at least 6 months. Guess again, people...sometimes it only takes a few weeks, even for us "old" mothers-to-be.

Yesterday I decided to take a pregnancy test. I had a couple left over from last year when my optometrist totally freaked me out and wondered if my vision improved because I was pregnant. I hadn't even missed a period, but I rushed to Rite Aid to buy a pregnancy test (that was actually a kit of 3 tests). I really didn't expect the test to be positive. I really thought it would be much harder for me to get pregnant given my age. But I peed on the little stick, walked out of the bathroom for 2 to 3 minutes, and came back to a digital readout that said "Pregnant." My husband's eyes were filled with tears (of joy). About 45 minutes and 4 glasses of water later, I took the second test. A less fancy, light blue plus sign (there was only one digital test in the pack).


This morning I've been perusing The Bump and BabyCenter. Who knew that your due date is calculated from the first day of your last period? According to this logic, I'm in the 4th week of my pregnancy, even though I'm pretty sure I got pregnant on my honeymoon in Sorrento or Florence on April 29, 30, or May 1 which makes me only about 2 weeks pregnant.

I know nothing about pregnancy, childbirth, or being a mother. This is going to be a fun ride.