November 2011The Wallace House: November 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Pregnancy Diaries: 6 weeks

Our baby’s heart is beating! According to my books, we should be able to see the heartbeat on an ultrasound by now but we won’t be able to hear it yet. Our first appointment is in 13 days and I can barely wait! Today I’m 6w2d and I’m still virtually symptom-free. Some days I wish I had more symptoms because sometimes I feel worried about being symptom-free but I try to be grateful that I’ve had it so easy so far. Of course, it’s still really early on! I’ve heard that for the majority of pregnancy women, morning sickness starts by week 6. Yesterday I woke up feeling HORRIBLE! But I had been up all night with a sore throat so that could have contributed. I put on my sea bands which I bought a few weeks ago in preparation for morning sickness. I was nauseous a lot of the day but since I had a sore throat and a headache I wasn’t sure if it was morning sickness or just part of the cold. Well, this morning I woke up feeling just fine! So I guess it was a false alarm. No morning sickness yet. I have noticed that if I get even a little bit hungry I start to feel sick but I’ve always been that way. I can’t go too long without food or else I get lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous. It seems to hit more often now than it used to but as soon as I put a few cheerios into my stomach I’m ok. If that’s morning sickness, I’ll take it! I imagined much worse. But I still am thinking it’ll hit me sometime before week 8. We’ll see! I had lower back cramps on and off from the day before I found out I was pregnant until the end of week 5 but I haven’t had any in 4-5 days. I’m a little bloated and my breasts are definitely growing!...but besides those little minor symptoms I feel totally normal. OH DUH!...I forgot the most annoying symptom! A symptom I actually have! Peeing ALL the time! I had to use the bathroom 5 times at work! Normally I use it once. So far today I’ve used the bathroom 8 times total and it’s only 6:30pm! Here’s an early pregnancy tip: don’t wear an undershirt tucked in because it is REALLY annoying to tuck it back in 8 times in one day! I’ll try to not make that mistake again.
A little less than 4 weeks until we can finally spill the beans!...to family, at least. I think I’m more excited for this Christmas than I’ve ever been even though it will be our first Christmas away from home. I’m just so excited to finally spread the baby news!
I’ll update again when something more interesting is happening…
Here are some interesting facts about our little embryo!
His/Her nervous system and all major body organs – heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs – are beginning to form!
His/Her facial features (jaw, cheeks, chin, nose, eyes) are beginning to develop!
His/Her heartbeat is beating about 80 times per minute and getting faster every day!
Xoxo,
marci
PS Our baby is about the size of a pumpkin seed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pregnancy Diaries: 5 Weeks

Today I’m 5w2d. I thought it was time for an update. It seems like I’ve been pregnant for weeks. How did I only find out ONE week ago?! My days pass ridiculously slowly as I daydream of baby all day. Plus I daydream of telling everyone which is still 5 weeks away! We plan to spill the news on Christmas day (only to our parents and siblings – we’ll tell everyone else at 12 weeks). I’m hoping we can hear the heartbeat before we announce on Christmas. I’m SO ridiculously paranoid about having a miscarriage. I’m just so SO excited about this pregnancy and I would be so devastated if we lost the baby! According to stats, though, I only have about a 15% chance of miscarrying. So that’s pretty low! But I still worry about it all day every day. That’s probably also what makes my days seem so long. I can’t wait until I’m farther along so I can worry a little less.
As far as pregnancy symptoms go, I pretty much feel normal. Besides my ravenous hunger. That part is ridiculous. I had no idea I could ever be so hungry! I eat all day, seriously! Right after breakfast, I’m hungry. Then right after that snack, I’m hungry. Etc. It’s a little annoying since I work all day and it’s hard to plan snacks to last me the whole day. Especially since I’m not at all a snack fan. So most of the snacks I bring I don’t even like. I feel like I have to pee more often but that might be in my head. Today I counted and I peed 7 times. Does that seem excessive or is that normal? I never counted before I was pregnant so I don’t remember how many times a day I used to pee…TMI?? I do have this little belly BUMP but I know it’s not baby – just bloating. Even though I don’t feel bloated. Tom laughed at me last night and said it looked like a huge tumor! Hahha, thanks, hubby. Sometimes I feel excessively tired but it’s hard to judge if that’s pregnancy or just my regular self? I’m always tired! Last night I went to sleep at 7:30 and slept until 6:45 this morning (and also took a nap during my lunch break) but tonight it’s 9:30 and I’m not tired yet. So…I think it’s just my regular sleepiness. Sometimes I’m worried that I don’t really feel pregnant but then I read about a bunch of people who don’t feel at all pregnant until somewhere between 6-8 weeks.
I’m the worst secret keeper and I’m having such a hard time not telling anyone. I especially want to tell my mom but at the same time I want to wait until Christmas because we’re telling in the cutest way! We took a picture of our oven (with a bun in it and the oven light on) and had the timer set to 7:22 (the due date). Then I photoshopped it so it says “there’s a bun in the oven!” We’re making it into a custom puzzle through Walmart and sending one puzzle to my family and one puzzle to Tom’s family. We’ll put the pieces in plastic baggies and wrap them up. I’m pretty excited but a little sad I won’t get to see everyone’s initial expressions since we aren’t going home for Christmas this year. Oh well, I’d probably cry anyway. We all know how the first announcement went.
I pretty much devour any information I can get. I have about a million pregnancy apps on my iPhone which I check every day. Plus I look up about 20 questions a day online. And read about 10 articles on each question. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit but not a lot!
Oh! And my sister, Laurin, announced she is expecting her 3rd baby last week. She’s 12 weeks now. So our babies will be about 7 weeks apart. But she has no idea I’m pregnant. It’s pretty convenient because when I have a question about pregnancy I just ask her about her pregnancy and I usually can get my answer. Plus it’s so fun to be sneaky! I play dumb all the time too. Like we went to her house for dinner and we were having fish and I asked her “aren’t you not allowed to have fish while you’re pregnant?” She went on to explain to me what fish was OK and which ones were not. Then Mark (her husband) told me that the fish we were having was actually one of the best fish you could have when pregnant since it has one of the lowest levels of mercury. I nodded along. And laughed inside because I already knew every word they told me. I definitely researched that before going over to have fish for dinner. Oh and then I asked Laurin today if I could borrow her khaki pants for work once she didn’t fit in them anymore (I really will wear them for awhile since I don’t think I’ll be in maternity pants until I’m pretty far along) and then she said “oh yeah I have a bunch of stuff for you. Like a pregnancy test that I won’t be using before it expires, and a few books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Pregnancy Week by Week. I also will not be using that pregnancy test before it expires but I’ll take it just so I don’t look suspicious. And I actually already have What to Expect When You’re Expecting but again, I’ll take it. Then just give it back once I tell her. I am pretty excited for the other book though. Like I said, I love to read anything and everything about pregnancy!
Well. That’s about all I have to say. Besides that I’m JUST SO EXCITED!! I feel like jumping up and down all the time. I dance inside myself pretty much all day. I feel so, so blessed that we got pregnant so quickly and that we’ll have a little baby joining our family in a little less than 8 months!
xoxo,
marci
PS our baby is about the size of an orange seed and his/her heart will start beating this week!

Monday, November 14, 2011

So long skinny jeans...

We’re expecting! What a whirlwind of emotions! I’ll try to start from the beginning.

In June I kept getting a really strong impression that we should start trying for a baby. Actually the instinct impression was “there’s a child waiting for you.” In the moment of the impression I felt so strongly but after a few minutes I would shrug it off. We’re not ready yet. The impression kept coming. It eventually (eventually=really only a few weeks) made me actually want a baby. So I told T. His response was “you’ll change your mind tomorrow.” My thought: “You’re probably right.” I sometimes go through “stages” where I want a baby (usually just when I see a cute one) and then within hours (never more than 24) I’m over it. This time, though, I never “got over it.” I kept wanting a baby. More and more every day.

The one problem was insurance (such an ugly word in my world). Currently I’m covered on my Dad’s insurance (the one thing I can thank Obama for) which saves me a monthly fee. There’s a 4,000 family deductible meaning the family has to pay $4,000 out of pocket before insurance kicks in. When insurance does kick in we pay 80%. The good news is with my dad, mom, 2 sisters and 2 brothers all using the same insurance that $4,000 is used up faster. The bad news is that it’s not used up fast enough. Example: It’s almost the end of the year and as a family we have met a little over $2,000. That leaves $2,000 out of pocket plus 20% for all prenatal care/delivery. Yikes! So we thought that we would wait until T was working for PwC. We’ll have better insurance with them, right? A big fat wrong. We got the benefit highlights after he was offered a position with them once he graduated. After reading them over, I determined that they are WAY more horrible that the benefits I have now. I’ll spare you the details. I’ll just say we probably would have spent at least $2,000 more than my dad’s insurance. Now I can take back the one thing I thanked Obama for. All insurances are starting to suck these days since the insurance companies somehow have to make up for all the 26&under people they are losing to their parents’ insurance plans.

So. Problem solved. Kind of. I still really wanted to play intramural soccer. Both women’s (which is in the fall) and co-ed (which is in the winter). So I wouldn’t be done until March-ish. So I thought: I’ll just play in the first trimester only. Get pregnant in January-ish, be done by March. I’ll only be 3 months pregnant. I even read online in several places that in the first trimester the baby is so protected that you are unlikely to harm it. Of course all these websites had disclaimers. If you get hit really hard in the stomach (ball or elbow) or fall directly on your stomach you really could harm the baby. All of the above have happened to me while playing soccer. So I started thinking twice about the whole play-soccer-in-the-first-trimester thing. I was still pretty stuck on playing soccer though. I had a well-woman’s exam with my doctor pretty soon after returning to Utah after the summer so I told him we were considering TTC. I asked about soccer. He said “not a good idea.” My new solution was to get pregnant in March after soccer ended.

So then I got my new birth control prescription in the mail. 3 packs. Turns out the doctor only wrote three on my prescription (instead of the usual 12). I suppose because he assumed we were going to be TTC soon. So we decided we’d use the last 3 packs then start trying. This was the beginning of September. A few days later…tore my ACL (or that’s the general consensus so far – that’s a whole other story). So much for playing soccer for 6 more months. Don’t doubt that I tried. I played in 4 games after my injury. In 3 of those games my knee snapped again. And again. And again. And let me tell you, that snapping HURTS. If you’ve ever torn a ligament (especially a knee ligament) you know the pain. It’s horrible. Well snapping it after doesn’t hurt quite as bad as the original tear. But it’s still pretty bad. It’s still a can’t-move-grip-the-grass-and-cry kind of pain. Not my cup of tea. During all this I still kept getting that feeling (you know the one). Time to have a baby. Time to have a baby. I kept thinking: still time to play soccer. Until the injury and the subsequent snaps. Finally I decided my soccer playing days were over. For now. I will go back. Even though this is the second time I’ve torn my ACL. Despite my mother’s pleas to never play again. My love for the game is stronger than my love for my ligaments. Right after the tear I actually even told a friend (who was referee-ing our game) “well. We weren’t going to have a baby yet because I still wanted to play soccer. Maybe this is God’s way of forcing me to listen to him.” Maybe it was unlucky. Maybe it was an act of God. Maybe it was both.

So…we had nothing else to lose. I had no other excuses. I decided (I say I and not we because that’s the truth. I don’t think T would ever have finally made the decision) that I would finish my current pack of birth control and that would be that. Once the decision was made, I became obsessed with the idea of a baby. Counted down the days of remaining pills. I would have just tossed the half-used pack except my doctor told me to finish a pack before we started trying so my cycle/body wouldn’t get all messed up. I seriously had to choke down my pills. I came to hate taking them.

The last pill was a HUGE celebration. In my head. Then I did all the calculating. Read everything you can find online about ovulation, etc. TMI? Started my period Oct 16 (birth control pill-induced period – or lack of BCP induced period- I’ve learned it’s not really the same as a real period.) Anyway, obviously I did my homework. Because it is November 14 and I am 4 weeks, 1 day pregnant. In real life that’s 2 weeks, 1 day pregnant. In case you’re one of the ones who hasn’t been pregnant before and didn’t know that…like me. But in pregnancy-due-date-estimator life it’s 4 weeks, 1 day. So it took only 1 cycle.

Although that seems fast (just one cycle!? – it can’t be faster, honestly) it seemed like a LIFETIME. The two-week-wait was…horrible. Every day I researched anything and everything on pregnancy. What early symptoms would I experience? When could I take a test? And so on. I continuously had zero symptoms. I had read a LOT online about early pregnancy symptoms and a lot of forums where women talked about the symptoms they had right after conception. I assumed I must not be pregnant. I had no symptoms. Although I would sometimes be extra hungry and say to T “maybe it’s a pregnancy symptom!” I couldn’t stand it anymore. I called my mom and asked her if she ever had any early pregnancy symptoms. The answer? No. Not one symptom before a missed period. I was elated. The hope of being pregnant returned!

And then. I started to read about coming off the pill and the complications of getting pregnant. Apparently it takes a LOT of women several months off the pill to start having regular periods again. Some don’t get a period until six months off the pill. WHAT?! I honestly think had I known this before I started taking the pill, I never would have opted for it. Obviously they are not natural and obviously they do things to your body that your body isn’t really supposed to do. I knew that much. I did not know it could have lasting effects. I started to really worry that I wouldn’t ovulate for MONTHS. Well, we all know you can’t have a baby without ovulating (or at least hopefully we all know that). I was thinking this baby I now wanted so badly would be months and months and months in the future. Most every forum I read had women saying how it took them months before their cycles regulated. I read 1, maybe 2 comments where someone said they had no problem conceiving immediately after discontinuing birth control. I was so upset.

Well. All you can do is wait. Even though it’s SO hard. I expected my period Sunday, November 13. Well. At least that’s when I thought I expected it. That was based on a 28-day cycle. Only because I was on a 28-day cycle when on birth control. Duh. I regulated it. But I had no idea what my cycles were 3 years ago, before birth control. I never had a reason to keep track. I think they were somewhere between 28-32 days. Never the same between each cycle. But again, I didn’t track. Anyway. On Saturday I couldn’t take it anymore. I took a home pregnancy test. My hands were literally shaking. Which let me tell you is not ideal when you are trying to pee into a cup. I’ve taken like 6 pregnancy tests in the past. Just for fun. Just wondering if I was pregnant. I never was…duh. Birth control is 99% effective. But this time I knew I actually could be pregnant. This time was different.

I waited the long 3 minutes. Actually hopped in the shower because I couldn’t stand the wait. It was a fast shower. Hopped out, checked the test. Negative. I was sad but I was sort of expecting it. I was so sure I hadn’t ovulated based on all forums I had read. But then I looked up everything I could find on false negative tests. Well the HPT levels in your urine double every day in early pregnancy. So you can easily have a false negative if you test even a day too early. My hope returned yet again! Even though I was pretty sure my period would start soon. I always get lower back cramps right before Aunt Flo makes her appearance. Sunday night I had a dull backache but not as severe as my usual cramps. And a little higher up than my usual cramps. And I kept telling T “it’s weird. It’s like I can’t tell if it hurts or not. Like it hurts…kind of. I mean, my muscles feel tight. But it’s not the same as usual.” Usually, I know it hurts. This time not so much. It was a much duller ache. Still, I thought my period must be arriving soon. The cramps were just beginning, maybe. I actually was hoping for my period to come soon. So that I would have a starting point and could know my cycle. Obviously I was still hoping for pregnancy but since I calculated that I took that first pregnancy test at 13dpo (days past ovulation) and I figured I should have high enough amounts of HPT to give a positive, I was pretty much doubting.

Well. Sunday ended. Monday morning came. Still no period. If I’m on a 28-day cycle, I’m late. So. In the wee hours of the morning (I start work at 6am Monday mornings) I took another test. Set my phone timer for 3 minutes. Brushed my teeth. Combed my hair. Checked the test. POSITIVE.

I gasped.

Then I laughed.

Then I cried.

Then I knelt down on the bathroom carpet and offered a prayer of gratitude to a loving Heavenly Father who is entrusting us with one of his sweet spirit children.

Then I cried again. And laughed again.

I thought about waking up T to tell him but I figured he would be too tired to be really excited plus I wanted to tell him some cute way. So off to work I went. Euphoric. I smiled the whole 25 minute drive. Pretty sure I smiled the whole day. Even though it still felt (and feels) so surreal. There is a baby growing inside me.

At lunch I called New Beginnings which is a certified nurse midwife (CNM) clinic where I had already decided I would want to be seen for my pregnancy. Scheduled my first pre-natal for Monday, December 10 at the 8 week mark. Well. I made it through the day. Somehow. Drove home so excited to tell T. Texted him and asked when he would be home. Called him after class and asked if he wanted a ride. I couldn’t wait the extra time it would take him to walk home. We came home and I had a plan. We would prepare dinner together in the kitchen. I would secretly hide a camera and have it rolling to catch his reaction on film. I would say “so, when are you going to start studying for the CPA exam?” He would say “I’m not sure yet. Probably pretty soon after school gets out.” I would say “Well, I was thinking you should probably start studying immediately after finals since by the time July rolls around we’ll be pretty busy, you know, changing diapers and stuff, and we’ll be so tired from being up all night.” He would be shocked. “Are you pregnant?!” I would say yes. We would laugh, hug, be excited.

Well that was just the plan. Nothing ever works out as planned. Here’s what really happened. T got home and wasn’t hungry yet. WHAT!? He is always STARVING right when he gets home and I never want to make dinner right after I get home from work but this time, when I really do want to make dinner right away, he’s not hungry. What gives?! So. He wanted to start on his homework. Well I didn’t want to foil my plan. I mean, I already had the camera in its secret hiding place and everything! So I played a few games of Mario Kart on the Wii. Kept expressing how starving I was. Seriously, I was starving. This seems to be a theme in the last 3-4 days. Early pregnancy symptom? Maybe. Finally he agreed to dinner. So I go to the kitchen, ask him to help. Well I decided I didn’t like where the camera was placed. So I moved it when he went out of the kitchen. Decided I didn’t like it there either. Asked him to go get my phone for me (so he would leave the kitchen) and put it back in its original spot. Then suddenly I had butterflies. I was so nervous! This is BIG news. Well. Here was our conversation:

Me: So when do you think you’ll start studying for the CPA exam?

Him: Probably pretty soon after school gets out (I’m a great guesser of his answers)

Me: Well, I was thinking you should probably start like right after school since by July we’ll probably be so busy changing a lot of diapers... I got this far before I started bawling (is it too early to use the “I’m pregnant!” excuse?)

Him: (he wasn’t looking at me) *laugh*

He laughed because I have been saying stuff like this all the time lately. “Well, in July blah blah blah.” Since I was hoping to conceive that cycle.

Then he looked at me. And saw I was crying.

Him: Are you pregnant?

Me: Nod.

Him: Seriously?

Me: Nod. This is so dumb. I wasn’t supposed to start crying!

Then he came to me and hugged me.

Him: Congratulations!

Me: To you too. But I wasn’t supposed to start crying! I even recorded it but it’s not even cute because now I sound so dumb.

You will probably never see this tape. I was embarrassed just watching it myself. Pretty sure I don’t want anyone else to see it. Now the secret is out. We can’t reenact it the way it was supposed to be. We wouldn’t have anyway. What’s the point of a reenactment? What was supposed to happen did not happen.

Well. Now I’m no longer worried about my body being very confused. My body is obviously very in tune with things. And very fertile. But the new worry is miscarriage. I know that there is still a possibility I could miscarry. Miscarriages happen most often within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. But I’ll feel safe after my first pre-natal, I think. 4 weeks and 1 day is not very far along though. And that is just my estimate based on when I think I ovulated, having no prior cycle to base this on. So I could be even earlier in the pregnancy than 4 weeks, 1 day. Apparently, I’m a worry-wart even though I never thought I was one.

Well. This has been long. I just don’t want to forget anything about the special time of starting a family :] We both feel very blessed. T will give me a Priesthood blessing tonight. A blessing of comfort. A blessing that the baby will grow healthy & strong and that I will remain healthy. I am so grateful for a loving husband who is a worthy Priesthood holder so I can have luxuries like Priesthood blessings. What a blessing. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has blessed us with this little zygote (that’s what the baby is right now. Not really, technically a baby). But I think I’ll mostly call it a baby.

PS Here are a list of common early pregnancy symptoms and my thoughts…

Missed or altered period. Well duh. But I don’t really consider that early.

Just a “feeling” you are pregnant. Nope. I had no “feelings” either way.

Breast Tenderness. No. But I read this was the most common early symptom so I kept checking to see. hahah

Fatigue. It’s hard to tell because I am always really tired. I often take naps in my car during my lunch break. I take 1-2 naps per week at home. Go to bed fairly early. And still I could sleep. So even if I am fatigued, I always am. So far it has been no different than normal.

Frequent Urination. None of this. Regular urination for me.

Nausea and vomiting. No. Thank goodness. Although I’ve read this usually comes in weeks 6-8.

Dizziness or fainting. Actually, YES. For 2 days I kept being so dizzy every time I stood up. You know when you sometimes stand up too fast and you black out for a second and then you’re dizzy? Well. It happened every time I stood up. Not just when I stood up fast. So like 20 times in a day. I thought it was unusual but I’m not exactly sure it was pregnancy related…

Food cravings. Well I love over-easy eggs all of a sudden. But that started about 3 weeks ago. Before I was technically pregnant.

Food aversions. None.

Sensitivity to Aromas. Nope.

Heartburn and constipation. Nope.

Mood swings and irritability. None. Maybe you should ask T though…

Higher than normal body temperature. Didn’t keep track of this.

Lower back pain. YES! Well, I mean, you know, I thought it hurt but I couldn’t really tell. Remember that story?

Discharge. Nope.

Implantation bleeding. Nope.

Bloating and weight gain. Nope

Positive pregnancy test results. YEP! As of this morning at 545am.

Also, not on this list. For 3-4 days I’ve been famished. I’m always hungry. Even though I eat throughout the day. But I’m not sure if that’s for sure pregnancy related either. Maybe I’m just hungry.

And then I did have this one day where I drank a TON of water which is VERY unusual for me. I always bring a water bottle to work. I always joke with my co-worker, Camilla: “Camilla, look how much water I drank today! Aren’t you so proud of me!?” The bottle is not even half-way empty. Camilla drinks a lot of water. Which is so good for you. I try but I’m just not a fan. Well, one day I could not get ENOUGH of that water. I drank 2 full water bottles. That was unusual. But it lasted only a day. So that would be a weird symptom.

Well. This is the first entry of The Pregnancy Diaries.

Certainly not the last.

PS. I forgot to mention that our family deductible drops to 3,000 next year. SWEET. Plus. Since we’ll meet that deductible by July I will have plenty of time to have surgery on my knee before the year runs out and we have to meet a new deductible. Won’t that be fun? I can picture it now. My baby 4 weeks old and me in surgery then hobbling around with a knee brace for months. How lovely!

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