Monday, February 28, 2011

22 weeks

This week I felt the baby moving every day and much more consistently, usually at night and usually on the right side of my abdomen (although it got me on the left side once really good and scared me). Ryan even got to feel the baby for the first time :) It's still so strange to think there's this whole other being kicking and rolling around in my belly, but I'm starting to move past being slightly weirded out by it and just find it more comforting now to be able to feel the baby in there. We had actually gotten a doppler a few months ago once I stopped having appointments every week and a half. I didn't understand the people who just couldn't wait between appointments and who would spend money on a doppler to listen to the heartbeat at home... and then I went to a monthly appointment schedule and I realized that that was way too much time between appointments for me to worry about the baby. So off to we went, and for $25 (cheaper than expected!) we got the peace of mind of being able to listen to the baby's heartbeat whenever we wanted. Of course, then I started doing more research, and depending on who you ask, dopplers are apparently not that great for the baby since the sound waves can be irritating to it. So I went from listening to it every day to every other day, to now about once a week if I haven't felt the baby move for a while. We recorded the heartbeat too, several weeks back, but haven't figured out the best way to post that on here yet.

Also, I figured out the mystery of the disappearing belly! For the last few weeks I've been stumped why my belly looks so much smaller in the comparison pictures than it does in real life, and then I realized that as part of my attempts to have some semblance of posture, I've been sucking my stomach in for the pictures. So I'll keep doing that for consistency in the comparison pictures (and I imagine eventually it won't make any difference how much I'm sucking in or not), but I added a non-sucking-in picture too below for the fun of it.

21-22 week comparison

In non-baby related news, Ryan just had surgery on Friday (2/25) to have the metal removed from his leg. Although the bone healed just fine from the break last year, the skin just never did, so hopefully taking the metal out will help that finally heal since we're assuming that he had been having an allergic reaction. Recovery seems to be much better than for the previous surgeries so far, since he's not really having any pain or swelling, and he's able to get up and walk around with and without his walking boot (which was okayed by his doctor).

Also, we're working through some more home renovation items. We had done the vast majority of the work on the house when we first moved in in 2008, and then moved the remaining stuff onto the "wish list", and it seems maybe having a baby on the way has kick-started the remaining projects :) So following on the heels of the recessed lighting from a few weeks ago, we just had our countertops redone on Saturday. We still need to figure out the backsplash and put the molding back in the pass-through, but at least the main part is done and looking quite pretty:


Monday, February 21, 2011

21 weeks

This was the Week of Doctors, which looks like it will be a monthly occurrence for at least the next few months since the high-risk doctor and midwives ended up on the same schedule for my appointments with them. Only this week I had my "annual" physical (that was only a year overdue) with my regular doctor too, where they took a bunch of blood to see if I could stop taking my extra iron supplement. So that was on Monday, the high-risk doctor was on Tuesday, and then Thursday was the midwives. The appointment with the midwives went well too. This appointment was with another midwife I hadn't met yet, and I think there's three more in the practice that I still have to meet so I won't be meeting any of them for the first time at the hospital. We went over the results from the high-risk doctor, which was good since while they had explained a lot as they went, it was still good to hear another medical provider confirm that they had looked at everything very thoroughly and everything looked great. I apparently also have an anterior placenta, which just means that the placenta is between my abdomen and the baby, rather than between the baby and my back, and can cushion the baby's kicking - which instantly made me feel better since I thought I should have been feeling the baby more than once or twice a day as I had been at that point. And yet 3-4 days after that, this became a non-issue since I can now usually feel the baby several times throughout the day, especially during meals and in the evenings :)

In my continuing struggle with sleeping, I finally decided to get a pregnancy pillow since people seem to swear by them. I ended up getting a mini pillow rather than the full-size one since I wanted to continue using my regular pillow too rather than using the pregnancy pillow for my head, and it was quite a bit cheaper than the full-size pillows. Given that it took years to break me from sleeping on my stomach, I guess I should've expected that it would not be an easy transition to switch from sleeping on my back to my side (which is supposed to avoid cutting off blood flow once I get bigger), but yeah. I did not magically begin sleeping on my side, so I'm still waking up frequently throughout the night, but now I have the added option of rearranging the pillow (no easy feat) to see if that will somehow make me sleep more. I think it is helping somewhat, since I was able to sleep for about 7 hours straight once (although that may have also been from just being exhausted), but it wasn't quite the instantaneous fix I had been hoping for.

This week I definitely looked bigger than last in person again, and yet... my belly looks almost identical in the pictures, maybe even a little smaller. Hmm.
20-21 week comparison

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

20w4d Ultrasound

Yesterday was my 20-week ultrasound, commonly referred to in internet forum lingo as "the big ultrasound": the anatomy scan. Our baby's anatomy was indeed scanned, and all body parts accounted for, including the ones our doctors now know but we don't :) Everything looked great, the heartbeat was a healthy 134 bpm, weight was 14 oz, and at least by the measurement of one of the leg bones, the baby is now measuring a week ahead. We got to see the different parts of the brain and the four chambers of the heart pumping away, which was both eerie and fascinating at the same time. We had the ultrasound done with the high risk doctor (as I believe we'll be doing for all of our remaining ultrasounds, as the midwives will just work off their scans rather than redo them on their machine), and he seemed pleased with how everything is going. He also moved me into a low risk category for developing pre-eclampsia (can't remember why, though), which is good since that was one of the concerns with this being an IVF pregnancy.

The baby was all curled up for most of the scan, which you can sort of see in the first image below (and the dark spot in its abdomen is an organ, but I can't remember which one - bladder? stomach?).


We also started childbirth classes yesterday. It feels like it's still so early, but it's recommended to start the Bradley series around 20 weeks, so we're actually right on target. We're in the class with two other couples, one due in June and one in August, all of whom live in Sterling - and coincidentally enough, all of the husbands were engineers of some sort too :) Since this was just the first week (of twelve), it was mainly just introductions and some discussion about nutrition, pain management, and exercises, and then we wrapped up with a movie about different media depictions of birth. Next week's discussion will center around nutrition, so we're supposed to be keeping a log of what we eat each day. So far, it looks like I'm actually pretty close already to what is recommended, as long as nobody looks too closely at the entries with chocolates and red velvet cake :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

20 weeks

We've reached the halfway point! The Pregnancy Assistant app I have on my phone informs me that, during the 21st week of pregnancy, "T accumulates the meconium, which will later start the poo season after birth." I'm not entirely sure what this means, but it sounds intriguing. What exactly is accumulating meconium? Is there really such a thing as a "poo season"? The updates usually have some decent info in them (and include average measurements for each week, which is helpful since Ryan hates the food comparisons that I've seen used more frequently. For those who are curious, the baby is apparently the size of a cantaloupe this week. But don't tell Ryan that.), but they're usually also pretty amusing due to the random bits of Engrish thrown in there. This was the first one I literally laughed out loud at, though.

Anyway, the other big milestone for this week is that I actually felt the baby on the outside. The baby was being fairly active last Monday, but wouldn't cooperate so Ryan could feel it. So as I had my hand slightly cupped and resting on my belly, about to fall asleep, all of a sudden my belly moved so that it filled the space in the palm of my hand. So cool, although it did freak me out :) It hasn't happened again since, but I've been feeling the baby moving around more on the inside, so I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before we can feel it more consistently on the outside too.

Ryan and I both noticed that my belly really grew this week, and yet the comparison to last week's picture doesn't look as different as it looks in person. I just moved another batch of non-maternity clothes out of my closet, and finally broke down and got a pair of maternity jeans. However, my beloved purple lounge pants still fit, and I think I'll still be wearing my non-maternity work pants for another week or two, though :)
19-20 week comparison

Monday, February 7, 2011

19 weeks

This was a big research week. I tried to space out the "big" items on the task list so I wouldn't get overwhelmed, but somehow decided that childcare and car seats should go together in one week, rather than, say, childcare and slings (which should take about 10 minutes to research). So now we've decided on the car seat for now (pending a cross-check against Consumer Reports), but childcare threw us for a loop more. For some reason we had been convinced that having a nanny would be the cheapest way to go - especially since our basement would work for a live-in nanny - but apparently that's not the case. I'm not that interested in daycare centers at this point, and since au pairs don't really make the most economical sense until there's more than one kid (since the cost is per family vs. per child), it looks like that plan will be put on hold for now too. We're basically leaning towards doing in-home care now (or "family day home", as the Dept of Social Services refers to it), and it looks like there's some good possibilities right near our house. The only problem is that (so I've read) the in-home providers usually don't know their availability more than a couple months out, we pretty much can't make a decision until the baby is here. Which is a little nerve-wracking, since it would be preferable to have that decision taken care of already, but at least we can try to do all the research beforehand so hopefully it's just a matter of interviewing a few of the available providers (and keeping our eyes peeled for a cheap nanny, just in case).

As far as symptoms go this week, I've continued feeling ridiculously hungry all of the time, and of course, I still can't sleep. I'm actually considering getting a pregnancy pillow sooner rather than later, since while my size doesn't really warrant it yet, I wonder if part of my problems with sleeping through the night is from some subconscious worry about sleeping on my back. While some places recommend to only be sleeping on your left side at this point, other places recommend sleeping however you can get comfortable, and your body will eventually work out when you should stop sleeping on your back to avoid cutting off blood flow. So I didn't feel too concerned about it - especially since I've been waking up on my left side more often than not lately - but since I'm also still waking up every time I shift positions, I wonder if locking myself in place more with a pregnancy pillow would help. Continuing with the blood flow theme, I've also had some weird blood pressure issues this week. We had driven up to Pennsylvania last weekend to visit friends, and I think driving three hours and then sitting down at home too was just not enough activity to get my blood flowing well - so I almost passed out. It hasn't been that bad since then, but I have noticed that I'm getting light-headed more easily, so I'm just going to need to be more careful with the sudden movements (which I should be doing anyway, given how clumsy I've been lately).

18-19 week comparison