We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Baby Falls will be joining our little family in July!
This pretty much explains the radio silence over here. I wanted to continue to write about our TTC journey, but I didn't want to be dishonest and try to hide anything. Also, I was kind of lazy for those first 12 weeks. A lot lazy.
So I have thoughts. Many thoughts. I should break this out into parts for a better reader experience, but I never really follow any blogging rules, so whatever.
Let's start where we left off.
1. When I saw my doctor in mid October, she gave me a plan of action: progesterone supplements, referral to a fertility specialist, and an appointment to do an invasive procedure to check my fallopian tubes. Oh the fun we girls have. I asked her if a lot of her patients make appointments for a specialist and never use them and she said it was very common. Of course you cannot forget that I was sitting in her "lucky chair". Thanks, chair. I owe you. Her optimism was infectious and I left there feeling pretty good. The next day, I made the fertility specialist appointment for January, which was the earliest they could see me. My diagnosis on my referral: unexplained infertility.
Soon after, I confirmed ovulation with a predictor kit and with my Fertility Friend app (so there really is an app for everything), and per her instructions, I started the progesterone. Because of my spotting issue and low post-ovulation temps, we both thought that I had low progesterone which, to put it simply, makes it very hard for a fertilized egg to implant.
So my two weeks started. In previous two weeks waits, I would analyze every single symptom. It was annoying, stupid and exhausting. This time, I didn't have the time to! Work was busy, we celebrated my birthday, visited some friends at Apple Hill one weekend, went to a Halloween party, etc. Whenever the thought would come to mind, I'd quickly push it away and tell myself to be realistic. Though, looking back, the only symptom I really had was extreme fatigue. On Halloween, we handed out candy and I pleaded to Brandon to watch Hocus Pocus with me (oh my gosh, I love that movie so so much). Not long after I proclaimed, "Thackery Binx would be a really fun baby name or a cat name...if we ever get a cat. Except we will never ever get a cat.", I fell asleep. At 8pm. That was not normal for me.
Just a couple days before my next cycle was due, I had an urge to test, which also wasn't normal for me. For the previous six months, I stopped taking pregnancy tests. I'd rather see my cycle start than throw away another stark white test. Also, I had invested so much money into the process already, I didn't want to waste more on tests when I could just wait it out (and yes, I bought the cheap strips, too). I normally spotted two days before my period would start (down from about 5-6 thanks to acupuncture!). When the spotting never came, I started to wonder, but thought it was just the progesterone doing its job.
I always had this crazy little fantasy that I'd get my positive test on Saturday or Sunday morning. That way, I could spend the rest of the day in bed enjoying the news and potentially go browse the baby aisles of Target. Can't do those things on a work day. So I waited until Saturday to test, which the day my period was due. I got up around 7am to go to the bathroom, took a deep breath aaaand....well you know how the tests work. I set it aside and waited in the bathroom while I texted with my friend in Texas about entryway furniture or something silly like that. Tests take about four minutes to set so I wasn't going to glance over sooner than that...but I did. I have zero willpower.
And almost immediately there were two lines. Two DARK lines. No squinting required.
I started shaking and called for Brandon. He knew the drill. He knew this was prime test taking time and I've never called out for him before. I couldn't speak and after not getting an answer from me, he just barges into the bathroom, fumbling to put on his glasses (he's practically blind). I had him look at the test and he kept saying "Are you sure? Shouldn't it be as dark as the control line?", to which I thrust instructions at his face. "Dude! No! Look!" I was still shaking and pacing and I found myself on my hands and knees digging out more tests from under the sink. I am pretty sure I spilled my pee cup at some point but I didn't really care. Finally, the gold standard all of the pregnancy tests, First Response Early Result, had us completely convinced.
It was beautiful chaos in the middle of our bathroom that early Saturday morning. I was crying. He was laughing. There were sticks and wrappers and instructions thrown about. It was ten times better than any Pinterest-inspired husband reveal I've ever seen. I wouldn't have had it any other way.
2. Woo hoo! I'm pregnant. It worked. Mission accomplished. There's nothing wrong with me (debatable). Time to relax and enjoy.
I emailed my doctor the next day to set up my first appointment. She got back to me first thing Monday morning and said, "Why don't you come in for a blood test to confirm?" You mean my tests aren't enough? What the? I spent a small fortune on those things. Since the lab is super close to my house, I swung by there on my way into the office and they said my results would be in in a few hours. I barely got any work done that morning and finally around lunch time I got the email from my doctor. Levels were good and indicated a pregnancy (yes!). I had to come back on Wednesday morning and get the second blood test (or beta test as they refer to it). This is the test that really counts. Cue freak out mode. My doctor wanted to see my hCG (pregnancy hormones) levels rise by 60%. Since I had the progesterone issue, we needed to make sure that the egg firmly implanted and wasn't going anywhere. I faithfully took my progesterone and prayed for the best. I continued to consult Dr. Google (not advised) and freaked out some more.
The next day was the election and even all of that ridiculousness wasn't enough to get it off my mind. I was in full on panic mode. Brandon tried to cheer me up with a chicken cheese steak sub from Jersey Mike's. I asked for no onions or peppers and they put them on there anyway and I almost puked. I still to this day cannot look at an onion or a pepper without gagging. Even typing it here is hard for me. I really don't think that food aversion will ever go away.
I went in as soon as the lab opened the next day (7am), figuring if I was the first person there, I'd get my results sooner. I didn't do anything at work that morning except Google more stuff that I shouldn't be reading and obsessively check my health portal to see if the results were in. I was a freaking mess. They came back mid morning. They weren't as high as I wanted them to be (overachiever here), but they were high enough for my doctor to say, "Congratulations! Let's see you in a few weeks to take a look at that baby!"
Phew. I still was a bundle of nerves, but each day was easier. Since the day I found out I was pregnant, I had an overwhelming sense of protection over my baby, who was then the size of a poppyseed. I'd have days where I never felt like I was bonding, but the urge to protect and desperate need to keep my baby safe was there from day one.
I won't get into a lot of detail about this, but we initially decided to see a midwife practice for my prenatal care and not my doctor (even though I had zero complaints about my current practice). The reason for switching was that midwives came highly recommended to us by friends and the reviews were really good. At six weeks pregnant, I went to meet them during an orientation tea and we got to even tour the hospital they deliver at. All was good and we felt at ease with that decision. Our first appointment came and let's just say it was very disappointing. Ultimately, we decided they weren't the best fit for us. I agonized over the decision for a few nights and then finally made up my mind, I was going to go back to my doctor. Best.decision.ever.
Her enthusiasm and informative way of explaining things was exactly what we were looking for. We felt so at ease with her and I knew I had made the best decisions for me and my baby. Go with your gut on these things, ladies.
3. So first trimester went as well as it could have. I've actually had it a lot easier than most for which I'm grateful. I didn't throw up once, but I definitely got a lot of practice with dry heaving. This is such a blessing because I become the biggest baby ever when it comes to puking. I cry and stomp my feet and it's a huge deal. I hate puking. So much. Trader Joe's ginger mints saved my life at times.
I stopped drinking hot tea (which I normally love) because it sounded terrible. Food in general just didn't excite me the way it used to. This made me incredibly sad. Sweets were NOT appealing. At all. I was home for Christmas and my family made more cookies this year than they ever had and I maybe had one or two. I felt like I let them down. Like I let myself down. Someone needed to enjoy those darn cookies and it should have been me! No big cravings for anything besides Pizza Hut's breadsticks, which I gave into a few times at the Target food court. My brother actually made me homemade breadsticks that were amazing. I love you, Jayme. But other than that, and some bloating, extreme exhaustion was my biggest woe.
We've been on some ridiculously strenuous long hikes before and NOTHING compared to this exhaustion. Nothing I've ever known. I know I sound ridiculous because lack of sleep with a newborn will easily outweigh the exhaustion I felt, but it was...ugh. Narcolepsy.
But back to Christmas.
I still hadn't told my family and as much as I wanted to share the news, I knew it would be way more fun to tell them in person at Christmas. The timing of this tyke couldn't have been better. I'd be 10-11 weeks when home for the holidays and it was perfect. Also, my mom is the biggest Christmas fan there ever was. She's obsessed and it's easily her favorite time of year. I HAD to hold off. So I plotted with Emma (my sister in law) and Jessie (Brandon's' cousin) to come up how'd we'd tell them.
I ultimately chose to do ornaments, specifically little white snowflake ones with an image of the ultrasound printed on them. I think I ordered them from Snapfish and paid like a gallion dollars to have them expedited just in case they took forever. Emma even made a little tag that said "Coming July 2017" and wrapped them up in a cute box. Brandon's mom loves Christmas ornaments and we usually get her one each year from one of our travels. Except we hadn't this year and well, we needed to! As for my side of the family, my grandmother had always made photo ornaments of each of her grandchildren to put on her Christmas tree. When she passed away, my mom inherited all those ornaments and carried on the tradition with her own tree. How perfect would it be to have a photo ornament of her first grandchild to add to the collection?
We told Brandon's family on Christmas Eve afternoon and got well, pretty much the reaction you'd expect. It was fun and nerve wracking and crazy. His mom reached a shrill level that rivaled the high notes of Mariah Carey and there were tears and hugs and warm fuzzies for all. We then headed to my mom's house. In year's past, we've always done some sort of game with my mom for her big gifts. Kind of like a treasure hunt with riddles. So Emma and I came up with some riddles, sending her all over her house with clues. Some were super cheesy and hilarious and some definitely gave some major hints of what was coming. But, she still had no idea because this game was par for the course for her. On the last riddle she was instructed to go to her chair and sit down. We had the box with the ornament there. And then well, she cried. Sobbed like a baby. I laughed and made lame jokes because that's what I do when I'm nervous (why was I so nervous?). It was everything and more.
My two brothers still didn't know at this point (okay one of them knew because I let something slip, but he never led on to it. I love you, Carlos.) and it felt so good to finally let them in on our secret. Since Emma knew from day one (I had to tell someone!), she had been working on a knitted blanket for our baby and gave it to me at Christmas. It's in the photo above and I have it on display in our TV room so I can stare at it day and night. It brings me so much joy that I tear up just looking at it. It's soft and washable and the inspiration behind our gender-neutral nursery. There are no words.
4. So that brings us up to today. I'm 17 weeks I'm feeling more and more like myself. Food tastes good again! Tea tastes good again (though I'm limiting it due to caffeine). I slept like a log for the first 15 weeks and now I'm having a bit of trouble since I cannot sleep on my stomach anymore. I'm using a wedge pillow and a knee pillow, but I think I just might have to break out the motherlode soon, The Snoogle. [Edited to add: I pulled out the Snoogle last night and I HATE it. It looks like a python and I don't want to sleep with a snake. Back to Amazon it goes. Please send me your body pillow (normal ones) recommendations.] I have more energy so I've been consistently working out, which looks differently these days; just a lot of walking and simple weights. We even did a seven mile hike and I survived. Thrilled to be active again and doing something healthy for the little peanut.
I've finally given in to the maternity clothes and even though they are tough to find for a 4'11" pregnant woman, I'm very very happy with the ones that do work. So comfortable. I definitely want to do a post about them. There are no good petite maternity posts out there. Not like I have any kind of style to show off, but just listing resources would be helpful. Up until week 14/15 my belly would do a disappearing act. I'd be flat in the morning but by evening, I'd definitely be sporting a little bump. I wore my regular jeans up until 14 weeks and now I've packed most of my other pants up to make room for new maternity ones. 100% maternity all the time.
We bought a crib from Target a couple weeks ago because they were having an awesome sale. It's the Babyletto Hudson convertible in white. As far as other baby gear, still researching. I'm obsessed with strollers and I want like four of them, but Brandon is not convinced (rightfully so) that we need that many. We did pick out a carseat and possibly a bassinet, so that's almost everything we need, right? Ha. We made a recent trip to Buy Buy Baby and I'd be happy if I never go back to that circus ever again. Online shopping here on out.
So gender/sex (whatever you want to call it). That's coming soon (end of February) and we are so excited! I'm thinking girl because that's what keeps appearing in my dreams, though I wouldn't count my dreams as very reliable source. They are absolutely cray cray and I look forward to that source of entertainment each night. But yeah, gender. Almost everyone is thinking boy since I haven't been throwing up. Either way, I cannot wait to find out. Hello, baby clothes shopping. I know it's cliche, but we truly do not care as long as the baby is healthy. When you start reading about how many things can go wrong health-wise (now and in the future), you really feel blessed just to have a healthy baby, regardless. No preference whatsoever. I'd feel slightly more comfortable raising a boy since I grew up with brothers, but a chance to do a birthday at the American Girl Store excites me to no end.
We will be discussing names after we find out the sex. To make things as fair as possible in his engineering mindset, Brandon has proposed that we write down our favorite names and then compare them at the same time, see if any match up. So no, we haven't discussed any yet. He's not telling me his favorites and I'm keeping mine to myself. I will be incredibly surprised if any of our names match. By the way, who does this? What kind of married couple turns something like baby names into a business meeting? Oh, Brandon. Also, we've decided we will not be sharing the name until the ink dries on the birth certificate, but of course will share if it's a he or she.
For now I call the baby Indy (after Indiana Jones), the bean, Chicken Little, or peanut. Indy takes after his/her mama and likes to sleep. Every ultrasound we've had (and there've been four, for various reasons) he/she has been sleeping. I have to be super rude and fake cough to wake him/her up so the techs can do their thing. Sorry little one. You are welcome to sleep ALL you want when you come out!
Cannot conclude this without mentioning what a saint Brandon has been. It's what made me agree to ridiculous name spreadsheet. He won't let me do anything. It's kind of overkill, but I'm not complaining. He cleans the house, he takes out the garbage, washes dishes...really, everything. He knows where my stash of ginger mints are and runs to get them at a moment's notice. He loves sharing the news with our friends. Proud papa already. For his birthday I got him Jimmy Fallon's Your First Word Will Be Dada and he keeps it on our coffee table. Dude is racking up some points over here.
Before I bore you to tears (too late?), I'll sign off with some bump photos. Brandon has been taking weekly ones each Sunday with his fancy camera, but we have yet to edit those. For now, my phone photos will do.
7 weeks | 12 weeks | 15 weeks | 16 weeks | 17 weeks (hello growth spurt!)
It's hard to track how much I've gained since my weight always hops around anyways, but if we go by my doctor's records, I'm up about 6-7 pounds so far. Right where I should be, apparently.
I think that should cover the past 17 weeks. If there's anything I haven't mentioned here (very unlikely), let me know. I mean, it's not like I enjoy talking about this or anything...