Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The one wherein I do whatever it takes to keep from feeling awful

# weeks pregnant: 8
estimated weight: 157
currently: eating guacamole and chips

So, for the past three weeks I've been fighting my way through pretty severe nausea. Vomiting has played a role, too, but so has dry heaving, which is both exhausting and terribly anti-climactic. Enter: chips and guacamole. I don't know where these ideas come from - my mind? my stomach? the Pregnancy Fairy? - but every so often, particularly in the throes of violent nausea, some random food item comes to mind that promises to go down easy and quell my stomach turbulence. Today, that food is chips and guacamole.

I've no idea how or why this works, but after trying remedy after so-called remedy to no avail (including my fail-safe nausea remedy from my first pregnancy: 100mg vitamin B6 coupled with one Unisom tablet), what has proven most effective is paying attention to these food suggestions (okay, fine, we'll call them cravings), and obeying their direction. So far, unfortunately, most of the cravings have been calorie-laden; hence, you'll notice my estimated weight has increased.

When my husband and I began talking about trying to get pregnant for a second time, I had hopes of besting my first pre-pregnancy weight, considerably. At my first prenatal appointment during my first pregnancy I weighed 150. Originally, I had hoped to whittle myself down to 120 and top out this pregnancy at my previous pregnancy's starting weight of 150.

Uh, yeah.

Instead, I began this pregnancy 5 pounds heavier than my first pregnancy's starting weight. I spent about a day and a half beating myself up about this until I realized there's no sense in doing that. It is what it is. I'm going to spend my energy on staying active this pregnancy and keeping my weight gain to a moderate range (cravings notwithstanding).

There are those people (my mom, for example) who assure me nausea is a sure sign of a healthy pregnancy, and for now I'm going to take comfort in that theory. As I am "of advanced maternal age" at 37 years old, I'm automatically classified "high risk" and have decided (along with my husband) to do some prenatal testing to check the baby's genetic health. With those tests looming and our lips still officially zipped about the news, that leaves me to munch my way through the rough first trimester in hopes the second trimester will bring an end to the unpredictable sickness I'm experiencing now.

If anyone reading this is also trudging through their first trimester's bevy of symptoms and side effects, you have my sympathies. I will admit, however, that every day I get through without a miscarriage (since you just never know what might happen) I count it a real victory. Even with the nausea and general "ick" feeling, it's well worth it to be able to carry a baby through to term, and I realize how lucky I am to be afforded this privilege - not just once, but twice. Still, I envy those women who experience pregnancy with not even a twinge of morning sickness. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The One with lots of peeing

# weeks pregnant: 5
estimated weight: 155
Feeling: exhausted, full-bladdered

It's been a week since I found out I am pregnant. I'm still in a bit of disbelief.

Not that this was a surprise pregnancy; in fact, we'd been trying for several months. This particular month, however, we only "tried" once during the week you're supposed to try, and I felt that pokey ovulation pain at least a day after we'd tried. In my mind I'd decided there was just no way it was going to happen this month. NO. WAY.

I didn't even get suspicious when my (mostly) normal 28-day cycle extended to 29, 30, and 31 days. It wasn't until day 32, right after I dropped off our 3-year-old daughter at preschool, that I gave it a second thought. As I was walking to the car, I realized I had to pee, but then I remembered I'd had to pee just before we'd left the house, too. The first inkling of, "maybe I'm pregnant," sparkled in my mind, but I quickly dismissed it with a, "there's no way, remember?"

Still, I found myself driving to the local pharmacy and buying a 2-pack pregnancy test. Even as I was peeing on the test I kept telling myself, "it's going to be negative, it's going to be negative." When I put it on the counter and began watching the urine seep it's way up the stick, I saw the one line go pink and it confirmed my diagnosis. "See, not pregnant."

After washing and drying my hands, I glanced over at the test one more time and then my heart stopped. Two lines. TWO. LINES. And they weren't faint lines like with my first pregnancy where my husband stood examining the stick like it was an mercury thermometer and saying, "I don't see anything." There was no doubting the lines on this test. I just... stood there, blinking and squinting to be sure I was seeing it right. Then, genius that I am, I looked into the mirror for a reaction, as if my reflection was another person with whom I was sharing this moment. I stared back at myself with an open mouth and wide eyes.

My husband was giddy when I told him, which was adorable. I'm excited, too. I'm thrilled, really. Though I don't know if this pregnancy will continue to full term, I feel incredibly grateful that we're able to conceive, and I'm doing everything I can to make sure I'm giving this little embryo a safe and healthy gestational home.

The thing is, when I think of once the baby is here, and we're back to our day to day life, I get a little freaked out. Our current routine is comfortable. I've adjusted to it. A baby is going to throw a pretty big monkey wrench into things. I fear I won't adjust well. I fear I won't adjust at all. I mean, I know I will, eventually, but it's still a fear.

You know these families who have x number of kids, and they make it look like second nature? I'm in awe of those people. I want them to get together and teach a class on how they do it. I'm not saying I'm a bad mom. Actually, I think I'm a good mom, but it's a lot of work. It's not this effortless endeavor that I imagined it to be before my first child was born and that I'm imagining it is for other parents. Some things are instinctual - like ensuring my daughter's safety or comforting her when she's upset. The rest of parenthood, however, is work, and I'm concerned that adding a second child will be doubling that work (or more). I want to say I'm easily rise to the challenge, but I'm scared it'll take time. Too much time.

My husband tells me I'm a pessimist. I'm beginning to believe him.

After calling the OB and making an appointment, I panicked and peed on another stick. Still positive. So, we're having another baby. Let the adventure begin.