Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Thoughts on 1st Trimester: Expected and Unexpected

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, My Pregnancy

I wanted to write this post for my non-pregnant and soon-to-be pregnant readers, and maybe some newly pregnant ones. When I was first planning our  pregnancy and reading a million books that I read, one thing I always wondered about is how my pregnancy was going to go compared to the books. You can read all you want, but books discuss what “usually” happens, and as we all know everyone’s experience is different. The books also don’t talk about feelings or personal experiences ( at least not the ones I was reading, since I opted for more medical and factual books rather than “girlfriend” books).

So here’s my take on the first trimester: my personal experience, the way I had/have it and the way I see it:

PREGNANCY NAUSEA

Expectations:
I always knew I was going to be sick during the first trimester. There wasn’t even a question in my mind. I spent 8 years on the pill and any time I’d forget to take one and have to make it up a little later, I’d spend the whole time by the toilet throwing up. So I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. In my imagination, pregnancy nausea was something like being sea sick and throwing up after certain meals that didn’t agree with you. I thought of it as a completely physiological thing that just simply happens.
Reality:
First of all, I have mention that I wasn’t AS sick as I had thought I’d be. But what I didn’t expect is that pregnancy nausea is as animal of it own. It’s nothing like the sea sickness or food poisoning nausea. First of all, it’s CONSTANT. I mean it is ALWAYS there, you ALWAYS feel nauseous. Whether you’re hungry or full, or content, you are never comfortable and are always sick. Something that totally caught me off guard was that while usual nausea is almost completely a physiological process ( you are nauseous and throw up), pregnancy nausea is also psychological. I actually discovered that, for me, pregnancy nausea was MOSTLY psychological that would then grow into a physiological process.
Let me explain: It was not THE FOOD that was making me sick, but THE THOUGHT OF THE FOOD, as well as the smell and the looks. It was soooo strange. In the very beginning, I would feel so voilently ill just thinking of food. Nothing sounded good. But since we were determined to feed me a perfect diet even while sick, hubby would still make food and bring it to me, and I’d force myself to eat. The strange thing was that as soon as put that food into my mouth (wincing of course), I’d be fine (relatively speaking). The process of bringing the food to my mouth was worse than actually eating. So I’d sit there and hate the idea of eating, but I’d have to remind myself that I have to and that once I start chewing it won’t be as bad. So spoonful after spoonful, I kept feeding myself despite my utmost desite to stop eating forever. That went on for weeks. There were certain foods the taste of which DID make me  sick: romaine, nuts and sardines. I spent an hour, crying but forcing myself to eat the dang nutritious Romaine salad, it was honestly a torture, and then an hour later I got so sick, I threw up. For the first and last time. I realized that if Romaine is going to make me throw up then I better find other foods that are as nutritious and have the same vitamins and minerals. So I moved onto spinach salads which weren’t so bad. Later cucumber and tomato salads ( tossed in salt and canola oil) saved my bucket nutritionwise.
So I spent about 3-4 weeks mostly in bed or the couch suffering from the constant nausea and forcing myself to eat healthily and nutritiously and a lot of it. After a week or two, the thought of certain foods that I had to eat ( eggs for protein, or sardines for iron and nutrients) would literally make me cry. At my worst , hubby would bring me food ( that I told him to make) and i would just start bawling at the sight of it, because I knew how hard it was going to be to take a bite. In the end I don’t regret one bit making myself eat htrought suffering and tears, because I made sure the baby was given the perfect amount of nutrients but I gotta tell you, it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life: eating inspite of nausea. While not eating felt like what I wanted to do, I knew going hungry would just worsen it. Sea bands helped a bit on my worst days, ginger almost made me hurl ( i hate ginger). Bananas in the morning, and any fresh fruit or fresh vegetables were the only thing I could eat without sufferring, but I wasn’t enjoying them either.
A little later pregnancy nausea evolved into, what I called, “the fullness nausea”, where I’d feel really sick after every meal, a different kind of sick, the kind of sick that you get when you’ve eaten sooooo much, it makes you want to puke. That was when, I assume, my uterus was moving out of my pelvis and pressing and squeezing my interstines and stomach, while they were trying to rearrange themselves. I also expect it to return as my uterus gets bigger and starts pushing on my stomach for lack of room. (yay!)
To this day, with the nausea being pretty mild, the thought, the  smell or looks of food makes me more nauseaus than I current am, regardless of what kind of food it is. ( as I am writing this I feel sick to my stomach from all the food talk :))

Either way, pregnancy nausea is nothing like any other nausea I’ve experienced, mostly because it’s constant and lasts for so long, you can’t imagine you’ve ever felt normal or will ever feel normal again. Oh and in my case, teh nausea got HORRIBLE in the evening or when i’d get tired, but I’d feel the best in the mornings.

That being said, now that it’s almost gone, would I do it again for a second baby? Yes! But this time, I’d ask my mom to come help me during the first trimester, so that all the responsibilities, including work, cleaning, cooking, weren’t solely on my husband’s shoulders. Having a toddler to take care of while feeling like death isn’t something I’d want to experience without some full time help. Women who manage to work, have a kid, be pregnant while they’re truly sick are real heroes.

This is what the 1st Trimester looks like...

 CONSTIPATION

Expectations:
 I read about constipation in every single pregnancy book. Yikes, I thought, constipation, hemmoroids, this pregnancy thing isn’t fun, huh? So without even thinking about it, I thought I’d get it too.
When I finally got pregnant, a fact dawned on me: I eat a ton of fiber (around 40 grams a day), unintentionally, because most of my foods are fruits, veggies and whole grains. I bet I won’t get constipation for that reason, I thought. I was curious to see if despite all that, the pregnancy hormones would get me.
Reality:
I was actually right on this one. Unless constipation becomes more of a problem during the 2nd trimester, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid it completely. While I expected it, it was still a welcomed surprise to me to see the proper diet work over the pregnancy hormones. Now, I can’t say I didn’t notice a difference in bowel habits. {ok, now TMI starts, so skip, if you’re not interested}. Before pregnancy, both me and hubby would go #2 pretty much after every big meal. It was a relatively new development to us as well, because before he went vegan and I started eating the way I do now, once a day was how it worked with occasional 2-3 day break due to travelling or so. I always thought that  was normal, but after changing our eating habits a year ago and doing some reading, I realized that normal is emptying your colon after every meal (btw, hubby is even more regular than me, since he doesn’t eat dairy). Now I can’t say pregnancy DIDN’T change anything in that department. I can DEFINITELY see a slow down. While before I’d go 3-4 times a day, super easily, now  it’s a twice a day kind of deal and it takes me slightly longer. Another thing I noticed is there’s not much when i go ( i told you it’s TMI), which according to many sources is because my body is working hard right now to extract every possible nutritient, thus not leaving much waste product. That was very good to know, actually, the baby was being fed well :) It is one of the few ways I can tell the benefitial changes are happening in my body to protect and grow my baby.
Update: now that I am going over this, being in the 2nd trimester, since the placenta is taking over the hormone production, it all sped up even more. I also found out drinking lots of water ( which I do and have been) helps the problem, in case you’re pregnant and wondering.

HEARTBURN

Expectations:
I had  NEVER had heartburn in my life. Back when I was eating bad, I was too young to have it ( i guess) and since I changed my eating habits a few years ago, I was just not eating anything that tends to cause heartburn ( fried, oily stuff). So I was sure it was not going to be an issue. I didn’t even count heartburn as a possible symptom, didn’t even think about it.
Reality:
Oh how I was mistaken! IT IS A BITCH! We tend to forget that our body CHANGES completely when we get pregnant. That means things that haven’t been an issue might become an issue. So while dairy, acids, and whatever else causes heartburn haven’t bothered me up until now, that doesn’t mean that the hormonal changes won’t “fix” that. And man, did they! Sometimes it gets so bad, I want to scream. Othertimes it makes it hard to breathe or swallow, either way heartburn sucks, and there’s no good remedy for it during pregnancy ( I try not take Tums, because they’re just “sort of safe” and I try to take it easy with Bi-carb due to sodium.). Also my DHA pills are  causing some of the heartburn, so I try to take them at night. But for now, all I have to do is suck it up and try to ignore it. :( If my heartburn gets worse I might have to do something about it, even if it means taking TUMS. If anyone has any natural solutions, I’m all ears.

MOODINESS

Expectations:
I have heard stories of pregZillas going crazy, snapping at their hubbies, yelling and screaming.  We both braced for the pregnancy hormones and me freaking out over little nothings.
Reality:
To date, all I’ve had are emotional crying spells ( I am not usually a crier). Things upset me a little more than before, but not in a “raging mad” way, but in a “I’m gonna cry” way. Tears come really easily and there a lot of them. I’ve cried over having to eat food, over feeling sad, over missing the sunset, over not getting a peach, while arguing with hubby ( not willingly, of course- it just happens). I’ve not snapped at hubby for no reason, though there were times when  he was overwhlemed by working AND taking care of me and wasn’t the nicest.  It’s possible that’s because I am actively trying to avoid any stress, which would include anger, so I try to relax in situations that would normally get me mad or upset.  Either way, so far the pregZILLA hasn’t shown its ugly head and let’s hope it stays that way.

EXERCISE

Expectations:
I was determined to exercise through the worst of my nausea if I can, do it daily, do my kegels, etc.
Reality:
Hahaha! This makes me laugh now. My nausea filled days consisted of two things: eating and feeling miserable. That is a full time job. In order to keep nausea at bay and get enough calories, I had to eat constantly, which was a torture and took forever. So I basically did nothing but eat and suffer. I was working out daily before 5th week when the nausea hit, and started going for 2.5 mile walks every other morning at 8th week when nausea eased up a bit. I’m really looking forward to exercising again in the 2nd trimester, I feel I’m all fat no muscles at this point. Today was the first true day of actual pregnancy exercises ( walking doesn’t count) and I loved it. But I don’t count on feeling good enough to do it every day. I need to do something to at least get myself to do kegels more often, lazy bum!

SKIN AND HAIR

Expectations:
I didn’t even know skin would be a problem. I don’t think I read about that anywhere, at least not in details, and I didn’t really care, because what’s some breakouts, right? As far as hair, I was looking forward to some nice lush hair.
Reality:
Oh these are NOT some breakouts- this is a full on attack on my face and upper body. I am breaking out in places I’ve never broken out before, little small tiny breakouts, scattered all over. Yuck!
The hair is not there, either. I have big hair as it is, and I see no change. I’d say it’s actually worse, which I attribute to organic shampoos that can’t clean or moisturize for shit :)

DOPPLER

Expectations:
We knew we were gonna get a doppler even before I was pregnant. After I ordered it, it was brought to my attention that a doppler is basically the same thing as ultrasound and I started looking into any possible harm that ultrasound can do. I found quite a few studies that show minimal but statistically apparent damage ( heats up tissue, scrambles brain cells, connected with miscarriage, thought the latter was never shown in repeated studies). Either way, it was more prudent to do as few full on ultrasounds as possible, and use the doppler once and then only in “emergency” situations. In order for the “damage to occur they had to have full strength ultrasound in one place for 30 minutes ( in mice).
Reality:
It was the best thing to happen to expecting parents ( or at least in our case). Having the reassurance of the doppler, when you’re concerned about the baby is priceless. I can see where it can cause unecessary worries if the heartbeat is not found but we’ve been able to find it each and every time and it’s just wonderful. We use it for a couple minutes, and listen to the heartbeat for literally no more than 10 seconds. It helps to just know that it’s there, if I am having unusual cramps, or some of my symptoms disappear and I don’t have the kicks to judge baby’s well-being by and it’s simply just dang nice. You can read about our doppler experience and how we found the heartbeat here

FEELING OF FULLNESS

Expectations:
Don’t remember reading about this one. I think it might be connected with nausea.
Reality:
Oh my God, I think it was a part of nausea or something, but at the time I felt like I was  going to EXPLODE! Like my stomach was a size of a peanut and drinking anything more than half a cup or eating more than a cup meant lying there moaning like after Thanksgiving dinner. It was almost as bad as light nausea and it seemed to come and go. I still have it once in a while, but definitely not to that extend, where I felt like I couldn’t take another bite and not die.

FATIGUE

Expectations:
 It was one of those things everyone knows about: Pregnant women get fatigue.
Reality:
I thought it’d be worse, to be honest. Now granted, the whole point of my pregnancy is make it a very relaxing time, where the main goal is to feed, nurture and take care of the growing baby inside of me. So I had no responsibilities, aside from eating really well, excersising ( yeah right), being calm and doing occasional work when I am able to. So while I felt tired, I was always in a position to rest immidiately upon getting the fatigue. I did notice that as nausea was getting better and I was venturing outside of my bedroom (lol), standing for about 15 minutes or longer was making me really tired.  There were days where going up the stairs ( we have a big steep stairwell) was making me out of breath.

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And I think that’s it. If you think I missed something, you’d like to hear about, by all means, let me know.

12 WEEKS- Beginning of 2nd TRIMESTER

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, My Pregnancy, VIDEO

I can’t believe I am now officially in my 2nd trimester ( according to some sources. others don’t count 2nd trimester until the end of the 13th week)

STATS:

How far along: 12 weeks.

How big is baby: It’s a plum.

Total weight gain: 1.5-2 lbs ( I am at 136lb right now)

Sleep: Thanks to my relaxation apps, the sleep has been wonderful.

Best moment of the week: ULTRASOUND! We had our 12 week ultrasound on Wednesday. It was the first time we actually saw a real baby in there. Our first ultrasound was a blob in the middle of the screen. This time it was absolutely amazing! The second we saw the baby, it pushed off the uterine wall and jumped to the opposite side of the sac while turning our back to us. It was so cute. Afterwards it kept moving and jumping slowly but was very cooperative and everything was measured the first time. The Nuchal Fold measurements were fabulous. So now I am waiting on the bloodwork to get the complete results of the Down Syndrome screening.
So everything looked really good, but the tech REFUSED to let us see the genitals. :) lol She gave us a straight out NO! I don’t see what it would have hurt, but whatever, we’ll find out in September.
We shot a small video, not from the beginning unfortunately, because my hubby is a fumbler and couldn’t find the iPhone and then the camera on my iphone ( lol), but it’s still pretty amazing.

Food cravings: Still nothing. I’ve been eating cheddar as a way of adding calories, and I enjoy it more than ever before, but again it’s not an actual craving. I have more ,like, preferences, it seems, not actual cravings.

Food aversions: The aversions are getting better, at least aversion to food in general. I still can’t stand the idea of eating lettuce or sardines, but it might be because they remind me of the horror I had to go through.

Symptoms:
Nausea – It’s slowly getting better. I still get it pretty bad in the evenings, but I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Heartburn – still there, but not as bad
Skin – I keep waiting for it to clear up- NOPE- it’s stubborn.
Round Ligament Pains: I think a few days ago I felt my first bouts of round ligament pains. Nothing since then, but it felt ….”different”.

Gender: At our 20 week ultrasound.

What I’m looking forward to: Finding out the results of the down syndrome screen in a few days.

What I miss:
SUSHI! ( I really need to order a sushi kit and make my own, but I hate cooking right now, so i don’t know if it’d get much use)
BEING THIN (I feel I am getting fat. And not the pregnant fat- that I can live with- I am afraid I am getting simply fat: my legs, my stomach, it’s just scary looking to me. I know it might not seem that way to you, but I was sooo much fitter and skinnier 6 months ago, I just really miss that state.
Playing tennis and rollerblading: it’s too hot to play and with the balls flying everywhere and the amount of exersion tennis gives me it’s just not safe.

Next appt: August 5th. (by the way, what happens on the non-ultrasound appointments? What’s the point of going to the doctor every month?)

Water Filter

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in HEALTH, My Pregnancy

I’ve been meaning to write about water quality during pregnancy and water filters for a while now.

One of the first steps we took to avoid any toxic products once we found out I was pregnant was buy a water filter. We spent a few days researching what was in our water and any risks those low levels of contaminants can pose to a fetus as well the best and cheapest water filters that would remove those contaminants.

See, most areas’ tap water contains THM ( by-product of disinfection, from what I remember), nitrates, and some even contain arsenic and lead. I pulled up the latest water quality report from our local water company ( you can also do that, or call them and they’d be happy to mail it to you). Everything seemed great in the report, the levels are well below the allow contaminant level. However there was enough there to make us want to take a precaution and buy a good water filter, rather than use an in-refrigerator one.

{to read about the effects of water contaiminants during pregnancy and in early childhood, go here}

 
After much searching hubby and I agreed on this one, since it removed everything, except for virus and bacteria, since it seems no filter that removes nitrates,arsenic,lead and such, also removes viruses and bacteria. It also removes cysts, chlorine and others.

It took hubby about an hour to install it. It comes with a faucet, so he had to drill the granite to install the faucet which was easier than expected, once he got a special diamond drill bit.

Of course, the water tastes fabulously, though the taste wasn’t our concern. Here are some of the photos from the install- we made a total mess in the kitchen while doing it, so don’t mind that.

I’m so glad we bought it and now we have it for life. I think if it wasn’t for this pregnancy, we would never do it. But apparently, the contaminants are pretty harmful to children as well, so we are happy to know it’s there for our new baby too.

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11 WEEKS

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, My Pregnancy

Excuse the yucky tired look. I so wasn’t feeling it :)

STATS:

How far along: 11 weeks.

How big is baby: It’s a lime.

Total weight gain: Not exactly sure. It seems I gain 1.5 pounds one week and lose it another week. So as of today it’s 1.6 lb.

Sleep: Can’t complain.

Best moment of the week: Doctor’s visit. Anything baby related is good. He was SHOCKED that we heard the heartbeat at 8.5 weeks via doppler. He said even if a doctor told him that, he would have not believed it. He asked us questions about how and when  and the bpm (165-170) and how it sounded and then proceeded to listen on his own doppler, which of course sounded exactly like our baby’s heartbeat we’ve heard a few times ourselves.  After I described to him the baby’s heartbeat, my own heartbeat, the placental flow and the difference, he went from being skeptical to amazed. He brought it up several times during our visit and said it must have been because I’m thin (not anymore, poo) and my uterus is super close to my belly. “Your baby is already a perfectionist”- he said. lol

Food cravings: UGH! Nothing! I just don’t like food right now. I eat cucumbers and any fruit more willingly than other things but that’s pretty much it. I had a craving for potato dumplings one day, but it disappeared as soon as hubby brought them from a restaurant and I had them- full of greasy cheese and oil- ugh!

Food aversions: I hate all food. It’s annoying. I want to like food again. I still can’t eat lettuce.

Symptoms:
Nausea – still here, still strong enough to make me really hate it.
Headaches – on and off occasionally
Heartburn - my DHA pills totally give me heartburn. So I started taking them right before bed, and it’s become easier.
Skin – horrible. This week it exploded even worse. It’s a battlefield on my face.
Boobies: big and less sore – hubby is loving it!

Gender: Sucky news. We’ll be doing an U/S next week at 12 weeks and then the next one will be at 20 weeks, which is when we’ll be finding out the sex. We could do an ultrasound at 16 weeks, but we’re trying to limit the number of u/s, so I guess the more prudent choice would be to wait till 20 weeks. We mentioned the Genital Tubercle Angle (a way to determine sex at 12-14 weeks at 98% accuracy), but our doc knew nothing about it and I don’t expect our tech to be familiar with it either, so oh well.

What I’m looking forward to: Next week’s ( Wednesday) ultrasound, seeing the baby. The last time we saw it was at 6 weeks and it was a little blip. Now I want to see it move around- that’d be so much fun! Oh and I’ll be videotapping the u/s to send the video to mom.

What I miss: Feeling normal and being normal. It’s only been 3 months, and I can’t say I enjoy being pregnant. I realize that this isn’t the most pleasant time and often I forget I am ACTUALLY pregnant. I can’t wait until I have a belly and feel kicks so it feels more real and joyful.

Next appt: July 13th.

10 Weeks

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, My Pregnancy


Before I launch into my week 10 update, I’d like to say that I will eventually come back with normal non-pregnancy related posts. And while this is primarily a conception/pregnancy/baby blog, it is also my personal blog. However, right now all I  (barely) have the energy for is my weekly updates here and Selfie Saturdays over my photography blog. I’m really looking forward to that blast of energy in the 2nd trimester and I will be hopefully posting more than once a week.
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I’m very excited to be starting my 11th week.

Whatever was happening with my insides has finally settled down. I’m still bloated, but the extreme belly is finally gone. It seems my uterus moved out of my pelvis a few weeks earlier than it was supposed to. And that movement is what was causing the mess of  my bulging belly and feeling stuffed all the time. Now that my intestines settled back down, all I am left with is bloat and a little belly. Something tells me that with everything happening a few weeks earlier, we will see an actual bump sooner rather than later. Oh and my belly button is getting bigger. It’s kind of freaky, because I’ve always had a very small belly button and now it’s an actual hole I stick my finger into LOL

Also turns out my next appointment isn’t going to be the NT scan like I thought, but just an OB appointment, and THEN they’ll schedule a 12 week NT ultrasound scan after it. Makes sense now, because I was wondering why they scheduled my 12th week NT scan at 11weeks 1 day.

Also, question: is it possible to keep some semblance of a waist in pregnancy? I mean the belly is supposed to grow outwards, not in width, right? So I’d imagine some waist is possible. I don’t like becoming square!  ;)

STATS:

How far along: 10 weeks.

How big is baby: It’s a PRUNE.

What’s the baby up to:

Your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.

He’s swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they’ll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy. If you could take a peek inside your womb, you’d spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.

In other developments: Your baby’s limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Your baby’s forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he’s about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, your baby will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches.

Total weight gain: Seems I am holding steady at 2 pounds, which exactly the weight of the baby+uterus+growing boobies+increased blood volume according to sources. I have figured out my nutrition for now. The feeling of being always full has almost disappeared, so I was able to add a few key components to make sure I meet my calorie goal: milk smoothies with banana, strawberries or mango and homemade guacomoly on whole grain bread ( I owe a thanks for the ideas to 2 of my readers). This, in addition to one “bad” food I’ll talk about in the cravings section, have gotten me where I need to be without much suffering.

Maternity clothes: Nope, but I do have to pick out things that used to be super loose on me. Like shorts that would constantly fall off before :)

Sleep: With the nightly calming oil massage from hubby and Positive pregnancy app, plus adjusting my sleep positions, I have been doing pretty good.

Best moment of the week: Having 1 day where I had almost no nausea at all- YAY!

Food cravings: As before, my favorite cucumber-tomato salad, any fruits. And this week after talking to a friend (thank you, Michelle lol), I suddenly got a craving for breaded mozzarella sticks. I held out for a while not giving into it, but then thought: “Hell, I am not getting as many calories as I’d like to. Adding some natural but junky food for calorie and enjoyment’s sake won’t hurt!”. So I instructed hubby to buy the most natural best looking (ingredient wise) mozzarella sticks he can find. I’ve been eating a few of them daily.

Food aversions: My tastes and aversions literally change daily. I can’t stand ice cream now, or anything sweet for that matter ( again!), except for fruit and juices of course. Still can’t eat fish, or romaine or nuts. Really looking forward when I can make romaine salads again.

Symptoms:

Nausea: I can’t get a handle on it. It’s there, sort of. I don’t feel the greatest, but I can’t tell where it’s more of a fullness feeling or maybe heartburn making it worse. But again, it’s improving which is a good sign.
Other: Sore boobies, an unpleasantly full stomach after eating even a small meal, heartburn after my Omega 3 pills and certain foods, breakouts, some heightened emotions.
New: Headaches! Hello increased blood volume and thank you for ensuring I need head massages daily LOL

Gender:Have no idea. I keep having a feeling it’s a boy. But i’m not superstitious, so I don’t ascribe anything to that.

What I’m looking forward to: Next week’s appointment.

Next appt: July 8th.

9 WEEKS

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, My Pregnancy

I’m 9 weeks today! Starting my 10th week.

How can I be double the size in waist area and not gain a single pound on the scale? Even if it’s water weight, shouldn’t it be showing on the scale?

STATS:

How far along: 9 weeks.

How big is baby: It’s a GREEN OLIVE.

What’s the baby up to:

Your baby is now about 1 ½ inches long and weighs about 5 grams, it resembles the shape and size of a peapod. Even though it is very difficult to discern the sex of your baby by ultrasound at this point, the genitals are forming. Your baby’s brain is forming 250,000 neurons every minute. Brain development is very rapid at this time. The head is upright and your baby can turn their head, open their mouth, smile and practice breathing. The outer ear is completely formed and the inner ear is nearly complete. The intestines begin moving from the umbilical cord to the abdomen and all the vital organs are formed and starting to work together. The lungs are continuing to develop. The arms and legs are well formed and fingers and toes are not webbed any longer. All of your baby’s joints are formed, so they can bend their fingers and make a fist. They can kick and curl up their toes.

Total weight gain: Well, for the past few days I seemed to have slowly lost the weight I had gained, since I relaxed a little bit with making sure I eat a lot. I just ate when I was hungry and always healthy. Obviously, that was not working, so I’ve picked up my eating and started adding whole grain bread to everything I eat, as well as eat more often and try to get closer to that goal of 2000 calories. Since I started doing that again, I’ve gained some of the weight back yesterday, so this morning it showed 1.5lb.

Maternity clothes: Not yet, but pants are definitely hard to button

Sleep: I have to say sleep has been “ugh”. I get more nauseous and crampy towards the evening and going to sleep is so uncomfortable, because I don’t want to sleep on my back as I approach 2nd trimester, and boobs are too sore and big to sleep on my stomach. So sides are the only option. I have to pee three times a night and every time I wake up, I feel anxious for some weird reason. So we started doing a routine before bed to help me relax a bit and it’s been working wonders. I don’t hurt anymore, I fall asleep easier andI don’t have anxiety waking up. Basically, right before bed, hubby gives me a short light gentle back massage with a relaxing lavender massage oil while I listen to the greatest  iPhone app ever invented for preggo women called POSITIVE PREGNANCY. It’s sort of a hypnosis app, where a guy with an Irish accent talks in a super soothing voice, sending positive messages to you and your “bebe” while “programming” your body to fall asleep. Wow, I’ve had the best nights of sleep after this routine.

Best moment of the week: Listening to the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler. We got the doppler and did exactly what we decided to do: listen once and put it away. I’ll write a separate post about that experience, but it was really cool.

Food cravings: I haven’t been having any cravings recently. There are foods that I will eat more willingly than others, but I don’t really crave them. The easiest meals to eat have been cucumber and tomato salad and veggie burgers.

Food aversions: Food in general. I don’t enjoy eating and have honestly forgotten what it feels like have a normal appetite. It feels like I will never be able to enjoy food the way I did before. You do go back to liking food after pregnancy, right? I have trouble eating fish, beans, eggs, anything oily or fatty, cheeses, nuts, lettuce. I still eat it all for nutrition, but it’s a struggle. Except for fish, that I just can’t stomach.

Symptoms:

Nausea: My nausea has subsided for a week, where I almost felt normal! But it seems today has taken a turn for the worse. We’ll see… I still don’t enjoy food and feel sick-ish between meals and at night, but it’s bearable. I guess I can consider myself lucky because the worst of it lasted only 3 weeks. Hope today was just a fluke and it doesn’t really come back.
Cramps: Have been cramping a bit, just very light aches that radiate into my right leg, which make me think that it could be just my muscles hurting from working out ( i work out inner thigh muscles, because they are important in labor and delivery)
Fatigue: It’s up a notch this week. I get tired just going up in the stairs in the house. It makes sense though, because this week and next the baby is almost doubling in size.
Other: sore boobies, an unpleasantly full stomach after eating even a small meal, breakouts, some heightened emotions.

Gender: Hoping that the 12th week ultrasound will give us a guess as to what gender our baby is.

What I’m looking forward to: The end of the first trimester and feeling normal again.

Next appt: July 8th.

I am Stuffed!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, My Pregnancy

I mean I am bursting at the seams with all the food I am supposed to eat!

I’m not a huge eater, I normally eat very low calorie healthy stuff and I need very little of it.

But this pregnancy is demanding that I eat at least 2000 calories a day! Yikes! That’s a LOT OF FOOD! (note: all calorie calculators say at my height and weight I should eat 2300 calories plus an additional 300 for pregnancy. I found that my body is different and never fit into Bmi and calorie calculators, probably because I’m so tall and naturally thin. So my normal calorie intake has always been 1700, possibly because I mostly eat vegetables and fruits and those are low calorie. So adding 300 calories for the baby, I’m at 2000 for the first trimester)

When you don’t eat hot pockets or burgers or meat lover’s pizzas all day long, 2000 calories is a difficult goal to achieve.

I eat salads, and fruits, and sauteed vegetables, whole grains ( that make you full really fast), I drink milk and kefir( yogurt-ish drink), I even have a cup or so of coconut milk ice cream when I can fit it in, but all that isn’t enough to get my 2000 calories a day.

I get excellent nutrition and a ton of it. Nothing bad, tons of good stuff. I get a perfect balance of carbs and protein, no added sugar, 35 grams of fiber a day, less than 40% DV of saturated fat. All my good nutrients are maxed out by the end of the day ( I enter everything I eat and track the vitamins and minerals from food), sitting at 200% of Daily Value and over, but I’m still at 1800 calories. And I feel FULL! So full that a thought of another glass of organic juice, or piece of whole grain bread or even an orange is a painful one.

What do you think is more important? Getting the recommended amount of calories or making sure every single bite you take is PACKED with nutrients? Eating whatever you can to fill up your calories? Or eat as much as you can of super healthy nutrient packed foods, making sure you get everything a baby and you need on daily basis?

Tomorrow, look forward to a bump update – I will be exactly 9 weeks :)

Corkscrew Sanctuary

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PHOTO

 

So like, I mentioned before, we finally bought the membership to the local nature sanctuary to take walks in, rather than traipse through our golf course and possibly inhale all kinds of insecticides and pesticides. The membership gives all direct family members access to the Sanctuary, which means when my mom comes to help us with the baby, she’ll be able to take the baby there for walks. She just got her drivers license ( it’s a huge deal for a 60 year old woman in Russia), so she’ll be able to be more autonomous this time.

For us, the sanctuary has a perfect 2.5 mile trail, which is easy enough to walk, even in a nauseous pregnant state, but also works up a sweat  (or maybe it’s the Florida heat) and gets my heart rate up, which is all I can ask from a pregnancy exercising routine. We’ll be walking there every other day, with me doing pregnancy exercises on days off – that’s the plan. I’ve been feeling very lazy and working out is the last thing I want to do, but I can’t justify not doing it , considering the benefits and lack of risks ( unless you overdo it).

So pictures below is from our walk on Saturday. Most of the pics on the first collage is just me snapping away by our house waiting for hubby ( he always takes forever).

Also, we received the doppler. I guess it was in our mailbox all weekend, but we were so bummed when we realized doppler and ultrasound is the same that I didn’t even think to check the mail like I always do when expecting something. So we’re not really sure what to do with it.  First, we decided that we don’t want it, because, admit it, it’s more of a toy for us. So if it does ANYTHING to our baby, shouldn’t we NOT use it?  On the other hand, like any prospective parents, we’re DYING to hear our baby’s heartbeat again.

Yesterday, I came up with the idea of using it once, when it comes, for a very short period of time ( and videotaping it so that we can re-listen to it). And then just stowing it away (not returning it) for a time when there’s possibly an issue, or when we’re really worried, basically for “emergency use only”.  For example, once the baby starts kicking ( btw, when does that usually happen?), and then for some reason the kicks disappear, if we feel really worried, it’d be nice to have it around so that we had an option of using it.

I was also recommended a fetoscope by one of the readers. We’ll definitely be buying one and using it regularly from week 20, since it’s a simple fetal stethoscope.

So what do you guys think about the whole Doppler mess? Knowing how careful we’re trying to be, do you think using it once and then keeping it for emergencies is the optimal choice?  I can’t come up with a better one other than simply returning it….

Just a quick note for Father’s Day

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, PHOTO

This morning I realized that if everything goes good, today is the first FATHER’S DAY for my hubby.

When I mentioned it to him, he was still half asleep, but he did manage to say: “That’s amazing!”

And I could tell he meant it.

Often, he’d be doing things and break into one of those “parenting conversations”… I love that! I love that he thinks of how he wants to bring up our kids.

He’s been wonderful so far throughout the 8 weeks. Taking care of me, cooking, cleaning, working. It’s starting to get to him, I can tell- it’s a lot. But thankfully, my nausea is slowly easing up and I am not so helpless anymore.

So I just wanted to say that I cannot wait until I see him with our baby in his hands- I think that will change my whole world and I’ll fall in love with him even more…once again…

{ I took the photos above when I was about 4 weeks pregnant }

My First Weekly Update: 8 WEEKS

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, My Pregnancy

Hi, guys!
I’m finally at the stage where I can justify a weekly update and possibly a weekly belly picture. I don’t have a bump ( obviously), but I do have a BELL-A-Y.

Someone had the nerve to comment on my last post with “You’re ‘noticeable change’ is bloat, dear” (copied as is)!

Ha! Well, shit, Sherlock! No, I truly think that my 8 week pregnant belly is an actual baby trying to poke out. Come on!
Bloat or bump or intestines being pushed out- whatever it is, it’s there because of pregnancy and pregnancy alone. And therefore it’s a “noticeable change” :)

Please ignore my disgusting looks. I love how you can see the progression of nausea in my horrible pictures. Week 4- good and healthy, week 5- oh shit the nausea started, week 6 – ok I’m getting used to it, week 8- oh fuck! This shit sucks! ( don’t you love my forced smile haha)

So again, I almost didn’t post these because of how gross I look, but please remember, I’m preggo in the throws of 1st trimester :) haha

STATS:

How far along: 8 weeks.

How big is baby: It’s a yummy raspberry.

Total weight gain:Looks like 1-2 pounds, but it could be all water weight. I seem to fluctuate a lot. My goal for the first trimester is to NOT lose any weight and gain somewhere in the recommended 2-6 pounds. My maternal fat stores have exploded- WHOA! I might not be showing a big change on the scale but I feel my legs are a size of an island and my stomach…well my stomach is a separate story. Never ever in my life have I had a stomach even close to what I have now. It seems HUGE to me, considering my abs have always been awesome looking. It doesn’t freak me out, per se, but it feels so different, to be bending at your waist while sitting and actually feel my stomach lol I normally eat a lot of bloaty foods ( do healthy things have to be bloat inducing too???), and I’m used to being bloated once in a while, but this is beyond the normal range.

Maternity clothes:No way! Don’t want to, won’t go for it. I’ll wear sweats the whole pregnancy! Ahahahha Ok not really. But it’s too early for maternity. I’ll just pull out my fat jeans. I wasn’t always a size 2, there’ve been times where I was a size 4-6..so I’ll go back to that for the time being…and when I actually start showing we will see. It’s just all the maternity clothes I’ve seen are sooo….old-ladyish. Luckily, I’m working from home and not going many places, except for daily walks, so I don’t need a whole new wardrobe. Though I can’t wait to get some super baggy off the shoulder tops, but not from maternity stores.

Sleep: It’s been really good up until a few days ago. Since I drink so much water, I get up 3 times a night to pee, which doesn’t bother me as much as the body aches I seem to get in the morning… Oh well, hello the next 7 months of uncomfortable sleep.

Best moment of the week: This week has been pretty quiet but I loved writing the posts about how we found out and our doc’s visit, because it let me re-live it. And then reading your comments was awesome! Reading your comments,guys, is always the best part of my day! They make me feel such a connection with you all! reading about your experiences or hearing that you’ll soon be doing the same- it’s just awesome!

Food cravings:In the very beginning I was craving tomato sauce. Now it’s salt, tomato and cucumber salads, dough (and not whole grain but actual refined grain dough. I don’t normally eat refined grains, but that’s the only one you can buy ready made at the store and hubby refuses to make his own dough (and I can’t cuz I’m too nauseous). I honestly only ate a tiny bit of it. We make vegetable pizza with spinach and mushrooms, pepper, tomatoes, eggplant and tomato paste (no cheese)and we use the store bought dough. So the crust is my fave part. I’ve been salting the shit out of everything too :) Hubby thinks I’m crazy.

Food aversions: Anything sweet! Pretty much anything is too sweet for me, except for fruit and organic no sugar added fruit juices. NUTS! OMG I cannot stand walnuts now. Just the thought of chewing on them-ew! Which is too bad, because that means I have to get my omega3s somewhere else. Anything oily and greasy, obviously. Meats, but that’s normal for me, I have an aversion when I’m not pregnant.

Symptoms: Mild occasional cramps, heartburn, nausea, fatigue, sore boobies that have grown so much that hubby’s eyes light up every time he sees me topless :) Luckily, no gas or constipation so far because I eat a ton of fiber. I’ll be writing a separate post about all the symptoms and what i expected and didn’t expect and how it was different in real life. I thing preggo-to-be’s would be interested, because I was always curious what symptoms felt like and whether I’d get all of them.

Movement: just some muscle cramps and uterine cramping, which, if you think about it, is the baby’s housing growing and moving :)

Gender: I AM DYING TO KNOW! I think the best part of pregnancy is finding out the baby’s gender, because then you can picture him/her better, use his/her name, start preparing for him/her. 16-18 weeks cannot come soon enough! But up until then I’ll definitely take your votes on whether you think it’s a girl or a boy :)

What I’m looking forward to: Well, up until yesterday I was looking forward to getting our doppler…but now that I was nicely informed that doppler and ultrasound is essentially the same (less power and less damage but still), we’ll be mostly likely sending it back. If we’re careful during this pregnancy, we’re careful and we just can’t justify our somewhat selfish need to hear the baby’s heartbeat by “possibly” endangering it more than necessary. (I read that ultrasound can “scramble” brain cells in a fetus. Say what?) So now I’m looking forward to our next 12 week appointment and hearing the baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound that I can justify ( diagnostic).

What I miss:SUSHI, smoked salmon! I would love to have some sushi. That is the first think I’ll be doing post-partum-I’m telling ya! Being able to walk on our golf course ( we live on a golf course, and used to take walks in the evening. Now that I’m preggo, hubby is super paranoid about all the pesticides, insecticides and fertilizer they continually spray on the green, so he has forbidden me to walk on it). We’ll probably buy a membership at a local sanctuary and take walks there instead. Not having boat trips and wave runner outings every weekend with our friends. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat!

Next appt: July 8th.

 

Oh and somehow I never mentioned, but my EDD is Jan. 24-26 ( depending on whether you calculate it based on my LMP or the actual conception date).

Also, my belly heart photo you saw in the last post got onto the 1st page of Flickr Explore. Not sure why, considering it was a quick snapshot. But am still honored. I’ve only had 2 other shots that ever hit the front page, and they’ve been a lot more artistic.