Thursday, May 1, 2014

Big Baby Post

It's really hard to write blog posts when you are keeping a big fat secret.

Writing about anything else seemed impossible, and every time I tried, it just came out as some generic and boring blog about practically nothing. But now it's FINALLY out in the open, and I am going to bore you all with the many details of this journey of growing a human.

"Let me explain. There is too much. Let me sum up."

So I'm gonna talk about some really boring baby making stuff for a little because it's my blog and I do what I want. Feel free to skip ahead. I've mentioned here a time or two that baby making wasn't going too well for the Care Bear and I. I mean, we are experts at some components, but for whatever reasons, babies just weren't getting made or weren't sticking around. Last summer I saw an OB/GYN who decided to put me on progesterone for the last half of my cycle (if there happens to be a man out there reading this, just skip a few paragraphs and I promise to never say "cycle" again). The progesterone was supposed to help make things more inviting for any fertilized eggs who might happen by and want to stay a while. Progesterone is one of the hormones responsible for all kinds of pregnancy lovelies, such as exhaustion, major bloating, and some nausea. I had to carefully track my ovulation so I could take the progesterone at the right time, which was very frustrating, as it appears my body enjoys just throwing eggs out willy nilly, without much of a discernible pattern. So basically I got to spend half of each month feeling mighty pregnant, and then pee on a stick that would make me mighty sad, and rinse and repeat next month. It was bumming me out. After a few unsuccessful rounds of this, I was getting a bit discouraged.

This particular, um, "prime time" rolled around, and I had the stomach flu and Cary was sitting alert on base. So I pretty much figured we missed our window, and I wasn't going to take the dumb progesterone this round. But as the day came by that I was supposed to start taking Progesterone, I found myself still taking it. I was so irritated, because I just knew I wasn't pregnant and I was wasting my time and feeling lousy for no reason. But I just couldn't bear the thought of somehow miraculously getting pregnant and messing it all up because I didn't take my meds. So I obediently albeit grouchily took them. A couple of weeks later, I wanted to take some cold medicine but decided on the very off chance that I was pregnant, I would at least take a pregnancy test to make sure I could take the cold medicine without giving my child 3 eyes. My usual protocol for taking pregnancy tests (I've become quite seasoned over the last year and a half) was to take the test, set it down and walk away, and come back in 3 minutes. This time, I took the test and as I was setting it down on the counter I saw a big, dark, make-no-mistakes-about-it PREGNANT line. I literally yelped in excitement and shock. Then I sat on the bathroom floor and stared at that beautiful thing for a while. I took a few more tests with different bands, and they all pretty much screamed "you are pregnant!" I instantly started plotting how I was going to tell Cary. It was the beginning of March when I found out, so I decided to do a little St. Patrick's Day theme to tell him. I put together a little display and waited around impatiently for him to come home. I called that afternoon to see when he might be coming home, and he sighed and said, "Probably not until late... I just found out today that I'm deploying next week and will probably be gone for 3 months." To which I replied, "Well, that's a real bummer." I spent the next hours fretting about my husband being gone for a huge hunk of this pregnancy, and still being so excited for him to come up and celebrate with me. He came home to this little set up on our counter:
He walked in the door, looked at the sign and said "Are you serious?? Really?? No way!!!" and just grinned from ear to ear. Then he hugged me and kissed me and twirled me around and I forgot for a minute that the Air Force was stealing my baby daddy for 3 months.

My OB had me come in several times that week to take my blood and monitor my levels to make sure little guppy was cooperating in there, and everything looked fantastic. In my past pregnancies, my numbers have been so sporadic and weird, so it was a dream come true to be told that everything looked perfect. Since Cary was leaving so very soon, we were kind of forced to tell all of our family in kind of a boring way and just called them all that weekend so we could tell them together. Cary left and I pouted for a while, and kept working at my little hair salon. Things at my hair salon had not been going very swimmingly for a little while, and something about being all alone and being a crazy pregnant lady just pushed me over the edge and I decided I was done with the place. So I decided March was my last month there and I was ready to work out of my house! After a few weeks of working and preparations at my salon at home, I was plum tuckered out. Cary kept suggesting that I just go home and spend time with family while he was gone, but I felt some bizarre duty to stay put and be a responsible grown up. But then I remembered- I have the rest of my life to be a responsible grown up! I may as well cash in on every opportunity to drop my responsibilities and let my mama take care of me while I can. So my amazing mama flew out to Spokane and we drove back to Colorado together and I have loved every minute of being here ever since!

Before I left Spokane, I got to have my first peek at our little babe, who was just a little flickering blob. But boy was it the most magical and adorable blob I ever did see! I know some people hate ultrasound pictures, but I think we've discussed my position at this blog: the boss. So here's our ultrasound from just past 7 weeks.
I just had to believe the ultrasound tech when she told me we were looking at our bebe. But seeing that little flickering heart was pretty amazing. Way to go, little one.

Right after I got to Colorado, the OB/GYN I saw when I was in high school and college offered to take some glamour shots of our little pookie. It was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. She put that little monitor thingie on my belly and immediately I saw our little guppy had become much more human shaped! She told me to hold still and we listened to the heartbeat, which was music to this nervous mama's ears. I hadn't really cried until this point, mostly because I was guarding my heart so carefully, but hearing that chug-a-chug of our growing baby's heart made me cry the happiest tears. The heartbeat was a beautiful 175 bpm, for any who wish to speculate on that. But our little bug was moving around like CRAZY and the OB said that could raise to heartbeat, so I should hold off on buying little girl stuff just yet. Here are a few pictures of our baby from 10.5 weeks.
 The OB took this shot of the top of baby's head, with the little hands held up and wrote "Hi Dad!" on the screen, which of course made the waterworks start all over again. We sure wished Dad could have seen our little baby in there.
Here's a picture that shows you the vaguely human shaped thing our baby has going on. The ultrasound was a lot clearer, but little wiggle worm was not particularly photogenic on this day.

It was pure magic. I could already feel my heart melting for this little bean growing away in there. I am 11.5 weeks today. My goal was to make it to 12 weeks before we told the world, but I have been absolutely dying to tell the whole world ever since I saw that heartbeat, and times a million since I saw our baby doing gymnastics in there. And should anything go wrong at this point, I think I would want the support and love of our friends and family, so I'm just feeling so relieved that it's out there and people won't just think I'm getting thick in the middle, and a little lazy and grouchy. I am now going to fill out one of those little pregnancy questionnaires, because I have always wanted to. And if you think it's lame, see above regarding: I'm the boss.

How far along? 11.5 weeks                                  
Total weight gain/loss: It's very hard to tell... Taking progesterone/being pregnant for reals makes me really bloated and makes me retain a lot of water. So some days I'm up 2 or 3 lbs, some days I'm down... but mostly the same.
Maternity clothes? I went on a shopping spree with my cousin and sister and mama, and bought so many fun things, but I am trying to last as long as possible until I get into them. My pants still fit, but usually by about 4 pm, I am really over the whole button and zipper thing and my sweat pants are singing their siren song. I got a belly band that I busted out for the first time today after I ate a very large meal at Red Robin.                
Stretch marks? Nope. But my boobs have already grown 2 sizes, which I'm sure you were all dying to know.
Sleep: Oh gracious. At the beginning, I had TERRIBLE insomnia. Probably a combination of 10 million different stresses in my life and hormones and what have you. I was sleeping maybe 3 hours a night. I wanted to die. But since being home, I have slept a LOT better. I still can't really sleep past 6:30 a.m., but I'll take it. Insomnia + first trimester exhaustion= I feel like I've been hit by a train. I even pass out on the couch occasionally in the afternoon, which is unheard of for anyone who knows me. But I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Best moment this week: Telling everyone that we're having a baby!!
Movement: Nope, too early!
Food cravings: Chick-Fil-A lemonade and Chipotle burritos. I want both at all times. But that's not really all that different from not being pregnant.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Meh... I've been pretty lucky on this front. I definitely did not feel great and I usually start to crash in the evenings and feel pretty dang queasy, but knock on wood, I haven't thrown up at all. I know, I know, you all hate me! But my husband is gone and so I deserve to not be throwing up my guts all of the time. I find that chicken pretty consistently grosses me out, and good news for my baby, Diet Coke and I are currently on the outs a bit. I had some pretty bad days, some good days, and I think things are improving the last few days, as I no longer have to eat every 1-2 hours to keep myself from feeling gross. Oh, I also gag every time I cough and I can't take big bites of things or else I gag, which is sort of odd, but mostly amusing.  
Have you started to show yet: Nope, just feeling a little thick.                      Gender prediction: No idea. And I truly mean it when I say either would completely thrill me! Cary wants a boy... duh. I just want a human baby.
Labor Signs: Boy I sure hope not for a very long time. Although giving birth to the little lime our baby currently is does sound more comfortable than the giant thing it is going to become...
Belly Button in or out? In... You may not know this about me, but I have the world's most cavernous belly button. I can put my finger in to my second knuckle. It will be amazing if that thing pops out. Aren't you glad I shared that information with you? 
Wedding rings on or off? On. With the whole water retention thing, they are occasionally a bit tight.                                                                        
Happy or Moody most of the time: Hmm. I suppose you'd have to ask those who have to spend a lot of time around me, haha. I find myself irrationally irritated by very minor things, such as the wind blowing my hair in my face. It just makes me so MAD!
Weekly Wisdom: If you think you have to go pee just a little before getting the car for 30 minutes, you should really go before you get in the car or you might have to unbutton your pants and pray that you don't pee your pants whilst driving.
Milestones: Almost out of the first trimester! WOOHOO!

If you made it this far, please accept this virtual high five! We are so beyond thrilled. Sometimes I lay in bed at night and rub my (mostly made of carbs and ice cream) tummy and feel so blessed that our little babe decided to hang around this time. Stick around little baby! You are already so loved!