If you've been around me recently, you'll know that talking about the pregnancy isn't something that I do much (unless you're my family.) It's a subject that is too complicated for everyday conversation and isn't easily answered when you ask me, "How are you doing?" For that reason, I think it's best to answer everyone's questions here...so that you get a good idea about what's going on.
I'll start with the more difficult questions and end with the fun ones.
Was this pregnancy an accident?:
No. It was about as planned as they come. Over a fifteen month period we saw a handful of OB/GYNs, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, a genetic counselor, a cardiologist, a neurologist, and my team of doctors at St. Jude's hospital. We went to each appointment asking for their honest opinion: should we, or should we not try again? We received a resounding, "YES!" Even still, it wasn't an easy decision to make.
Are you crazy?!?:
This question might offend me if I didn't completely understand the thought behind it. No, we're not. As I said, this was not a decision we took lightly. Yes, we are anxious - a feeling that is justified after all we've been through with Samuel.
What makes this pregnancy different?:
That's a big question. 1) I'm not working. During my pregnancy with Samuel, I was a bit of a workaholic. 2) I have been seeing a high-risk doctor in Little Rock as my primary obstetrician. The four hour drive is worth it. 3) I've been receiving progesterone injections each week since Week 16 and will continue to do so until Week 36. They have an unbelievable success rate at preventing/delaying preterm labor. Michael has had a lot of fun administering those. Ha! 4) No baths, pools, hot tubs...etc. 5) Pelvic rest. 6) No exercise or lifting. Michael's mother is living with us to help me stay off my feet as much as possible. She has been such a blessing...I haven't had to cook, clean, or do laundry in weeks. She is also great with Samuel. 7) I've been trying to gain as much weight as possible and drink lots of water! 8) We are doing ultrasounds every two weeks to monitor cervical length. Unfortunately, mine is on the short-side of normal (for those of you who care, I'm measuring at 2.8-3.0cm...an average length is 3.5cm and a dangerously short length is 2.5cm.) If it drops to 2.5cm, my doctor will place an emergency cerclage.
Was your cervical length short with Samuel?:
We don't have the answer to that. Measuring cervical length is usually only done for high-risk patients. Since I felt the contractions leading up to his delivery, I was not diagnosed with an incompetent cervix.
How are you feeling?:
Physically? Emotionally? Mentally? That's not a question to ask me in person...it encompasses too much! Physically I'm doing OK. I had a few contractions during Week 18 that sent us to the ER *just to be sure* nothing was happening. And nothing did. Since then, I've been even more vigilant about resting and drinking lots of water. Emotionally I'm fine as long as I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on the pregnancy. Mentally, our goal is to take everything one day at a time. Thinking too far ahead makes me anxious.
Is Samuel excited about the pregnancy?:
Honestly, we don't talk to him about it often. Around Week 8, I told him that he couldn't jump on me anymore. It went like this:
Me: "Be careful Samuel, there is a little baby in mommy's tummy."
Samuel lifts up my shirt.
Samuel: "Baby? Nope, not here. Find it!"With the exception of wrestling, we rarely talk about it. Occasionally he will bring it up:
Me: "Why are we being quiet?"
Samuel points to my belly.
Samuel: "The baby is sleeping!"
20 weeks and 4 days.
Girl. None of the techs have hesitated, and we have had 5 ultrasounds. We are very excited!
We might have a name picked out, but I'm not 100% sure yet.
Total weight gain?:
10 pounds. I have worked SO hard to gain that weight. I eat constantly!
I can button my regular jeans, but it's a bit uncomfortable when I sit down. I've been using a rubber band and wearing my Belly Band often. Sometimes I'll wear a pair of maternity jeans, but they tend to fall off me. I'm not showing much.
No. PLEASE let me get stretch marks!!!
I'm sleeping a lot these days. Since about Week 6, I've been napping during Samuel's nap time and then crashing again at bedtime. Sleep quality hasn't changed much (except for the three times I have to get up in the night to use the bathroom!)
We haven't done a single thing yet.
Best thing about this pregnancy so far?:
Feeling Baby Girl move. I'm not sure why, but I never really felt Samuel move when I was pregnant with him. Maybe because I was so busy all day? Maybe he didn't move much? Maybe the placenta was attached in a different place? Whatever the case, feeling her move has been the highlight of this pregnancy.
I've been feeling her move since about Week 16. It has been undeniable. She is a WILD CHILD. Michael felt her move at Week 17. I. LOVE. IT.
Symptoms?: I would probably be symptom free if it wasn't for the weekly progesterone shots...which tend to make me emotional, tired, and nauseous. They also upset my digestive system and cause me to itch-itch-itch at the injection site. But I can't complain because they also bring a lot of peace of mind too!
No. I could really benefit from cravings though...weight gain would be much easier.
Anything making you queasy or sick?:
The only thing that bothers me these days is trying to eat a piece of meat, as well as thinking about coffee (oh, how I miss it though!) I had morning sickness until Week 16...and nearly everything made me sick. The most offensive scents were: a peach candle, coffee, chicken nuggets, Samuel's food, and poopy diapers.
Are you missing anything?:
I am SO grateful for my mother in law. I am SO thankful that she can watch Samuel while I rest during the day. But all of the time I spend taking care of this sweet little baby is taking me away from my other little baby. Samuel has been my sole focus these past two years and it's tough to let go a little bit and focus on this pregnancy! So...I guess I'm missing Samuel.
Looking forward to anything?:
Everything. I'm especially looking forward to passing the 24 week mark. I think I'll start feeling a lot better about planning things at that point. As it is, I haven't even looked at nursery bedding. It's just too overwhelming to think about right now.
Pregnancy Chalkboard: These pictures are more about the chalkboard than my growing belly at this point (I've just gotten thicker really!) I have so much respect for artists who work with chalk. It is just not my thing! Nevertheless, I've had a lot of fun documenting the pregnancy this way and hope to have MANY more photos to add!!!