Friday, February 20, 2009

22 Weeks Pregnant!!

Today I am 22 weeks and 1 day prego!  I can't believe how fast time is going by. I have been told that the second half of your pregnancy goes by really fast and I am already believing it!!  I don't want it to go by too fast because I want to enjoy it. Also we have a lot to do before Jacob arrives so it can't go by too fast.

This past week was a very exciting week for us since we found out on last Monday that we are having a boy!  As I said before, knowing the gender of the baby just makes it that much more "real" and now we can start planning on having lots of blue around the house. :)

Other than that, here are the happenings of this past week:

I am still having a lot of heartburn no matter what I eat or when.  Sometimes it occurs right after I eat and sometimes it doesn't start until hours after I have eaten.  I have been taking Tums periodically for awhile to help the burning that I feel from the heartburn, but this past week I also bought some Zantac at the suggestion of the doctor.  I don't want to take it all the time, so I have been trying to take it only when the burning is really bad.  I found that it does help, but it hasn't made the heartburn go away completely (which is honestly what I was hoping would happen!)

I went back to the Physical Therapist yesterday and she massaged my upper thigh a bit to loosen the muscle.  She seems to think that loosening the muscle will help the nerves in that area which, in turn, will help the numbness in my leg.  I don't think the numbness has gone away at all, but it hasn't gotten any worse either.  The Therapist is hoping that massage and some stretches in that area will help it. Hopefully as the baby grows and my posture gets worse, it doesn't make it worse.  Only time will tell.

I have been thirsty a lot, but this is not something new.  I try very hard to drink lots of water throughout the day and in the evening.  This, of course, adds to the number of times that I having to use the restroom, but I know that drinking lots of water is what is best for the baby.  I am still only waking up one time every night, usually around 3am, to go to the bathroom. Lots of women have told me that it is going to get worse, so I am trying to be happy that it is only once...for now.

I signed us up for two classes through Martha Jefferson Hospital, where I am going to deliver. One class is "Preparation for Childbirth" and it is a 6-week class.  We will start in April and meet one night a week.  The last class of the six will be a tour of the maternity unit at the hospital and it will better prepare us for delivery there.  The second class is a breastfeeding class that will meet one night in early June. I am really excited about taking these classes because I believe they will both help Keith and me to get ready for what is in store regarding childbirth, breastfeeding, and basic baby care.

Last weekend Keith and I worked both Saturday and Sunday to start to clean out Jacob's room. We started by purging our closets and drawers of clothes that we don't wear or won't wear again. Amazingly, we were able to fill three large garbage bags with clothes for Goodwill and two other bags that we threw in the trash.  Doing this made it possible for us to clean out two dressers that we had in our guest bedroom.  Keith and my dad then moved the now-empty dressers out to the garage so that we could move some furniture (a desk, DVD cabinet, filing cabinet and a small chest) out of Jacob's room and into the guest bedroom.  We still have a lot of "cleaning up" to do in Jacob's room before his furniture goes in there, but we are closer now to being able to really call it a nursery.

One big thing that I have noticed lately is an increase in my appetite.  I have always been a big eater, but starting this past week it seems like I am always hungry!  I especially "crave" salty things like potato chips, popcorn, and crackers.  Thankfully I don't really have a taste for sweet things, although I will eat them if they are available. I also have a taste for carbs like potatoes & pasta. I am trying not to eat too much, but I know that it is going to be hard. I saw this cartoon and thought it was very appropriate:

Weekly Updates

I have decided that I am going to attempt to post weekly updates for the rest of my pregnancy.  I had actually hoped to be better at posting things throughout the entire 40 weeks, but since I am 22 weeks today and I haven't been doing a great job, I figured this is a good week to start. the end of every week, I am going to post about the happenings of the week in regards to the baby and how I am feeling.  Hopefully, in addition to keeping everyone up to date, this will also serve as a great journal for me so that I can look back and remember all the wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) things that happened.

I will post the Week 22 updates tomorrow, so stay tuned....

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's a BOY!!!

Today, I had my mid-point ultrasound.  I am currently 21 weeks & 3 days pregnant. Of course, Keith and I were really anxious to find out how our little baby is developing and we wanted to make sure that he or she was doing well. But, the highlight of this ultrasound was definitely that we were going to find out the baby's gender. I was very excited and even though Keith was not a big proponent of finding out the gender, I think he was excited too. We had both decided that there were good things about either gender and we really didn't care what it was, as long as the baby was healthy. (Although Keith had said on many occasions that he hoped it was a boy.)

The ultrasound was at 9:15 this morning, so thankfully, we didn't have to spend the day wondering. We were called into the exam room soon after we arrived and the technician asked if we were hoping to find out the gender. I said yes, and not long after she began the scan, she said, "Are you sure you want to know the gender?"  Again, we both said yes and she said "It's a boy".  I said, "Are you sure?  How do you know?" And she said, "I am definitely sure.  Look at this"....
Much to our delight (for now!), our little boy certainly isn't very modest!!! :-) Thankfully he was happy to show us all his goods and we are 100% sure that we are having a baby boy!  

Keith and I had already come to a decision on a boy's name before we knew if it was a boy or a girl (if it had been a girl, we were still undecided). His name will be Jacob Michael.  Jacob is the name that Keith really wanted (it is his favorite person in the Bible) and Michael is after my father (who has always been a very important person in my life, and is now to Keith also). 

Here is a profile picture of our little boy...isn't he cute?

The rest of the ultrasound went well.  The technician did need to take a break at one point and had me stand up and walk around to see if the baby would move a little bit. He had his arms crossed in front of his face at first so she was not able to see the parts of his brain and face that she needed to.  After I walked around a little bit, she came back in and was able to get the scans that she needed.

Once she was finished, the doctor came in to discuss the results of the ultrasound.  Some things to note are:

*His heartbeat was 144 bpm

*He weighs approximately 1 lb 2 ounces

*His heart, lungs, brain, legs, arms, hands, feet, eyes, bladder and stomach all look really good.

*There is one small problem that they detected.  It is something called Prenatal HydronephrosisThis is a condition where the baby's kidneys are "swollen".  The doctor said that this was something that was not uncommon at this point in a pregnancy and that in a few weeks, it should go away.  They have scheduled me for another ultrasound in 6 weeks to specifically look at his kidneys.  If the swelling is still present at that time, we will need to continue to monitor him and he will have to have certain tests done after he is born.  The doctor didn't seem to be overly concerned about this and said that we should not worry about it at this point.  She did stress that even if it does not correct itself in utero, it is definitely something that can be corrected once he is born.

So, all in all, this was a very happy day for Keith and me.  We even stopped at Babies R Us after dinner and looked at some cribs & bedding to get an idea of what both of us like.  We came up with a few ideas and will need to return to the store shortly to register and pick out all of our stuff.  

Until then, I will try to keep periodic updates coming.  I have my next prenatal appointment scheduled for March 5th, so I will definitely update after that, if not sooner.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Things I took for granted before I was pregnant...

Being able to brush my teeth without gagging....
Unfortunately, since I have been pregnant, every time I brush my teeth, after about 30 seconds, I gag and have to spit out whatever is in my mouth. Sometimes I have ventured back in to try and get the back teeth that I wasn't able to get the first time, but most of those times I was unsuccessful and a few times I have even caused myself to throw up. YUCK!!

Being able to use my Spinbrush...
In my opinion, the best part about brushing your teeth is having that "clean teeth" feeling when you are done.  I have found over the years, that the only way for me to really get that feeling is to use one of those battery-operated spinbrushes.  I love the way it cleans my teeth! Unfortunately (along with the gagging mentioned above), I have also had bleeding gums a lot since I found out I was pregnant. It was suggested that I use a "soft" toothbrush to lessen the harshness on my gums. Reluctantly, I switched toothbrushes, but I am still having a lot of bleeding so who knows if it really making a difference!

Sleeping through the night without using the bathroom...
Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows about this one!  Not a night goes by that I don't have to get up at least once - usually around 3 or 4 am - to pee.  It is so frustrating when you are in a deep sleep and your bladder wakes you up.  The worst part is actually having to get myself out of bed, walk carefully to the bathroom, sit down, go, wipe, flush, wash my hands, and get back to the bed - all in a dark room - without falling or stubbing my toe on the bed (which I have done numerous times!) And, I do realize that I have a long way to go (20 more weeks) before this gets better (and then I will be getting up in the middle of the night for completely other reasons!)  

Sleeping on my stomach...
I have always been a stomach sleeper!  These days, of course, I have to be a side sleeper.  All I have to say's just not the same!!! :-(

Not having heartburn after almost any meal...
I had a few bouts of heartburn before I was pregnant, but NOTHING like this!! Nowadays, no matter what I eat (breakfast, lunch or dinner), I get that awful burning sensation in my chest. Of course, sometimes it is better than others. But, the strange thing is that it often occurs hours after I have eaten. Weird!! Tums are now my best friend and I keep them close by no matter where I go!

Having regular bowel movements....
I have always been a pretty "regular" person with not a lot of problems in that area.  These days, I sometimes go days without going and then it all hits at once, sometimes not at very convenient times! 

Being able to fit in my clothes...
I can't honestly say that I have ever loved shopping for clothes.  Being a plus-sized woman most of my life has not always afforded me the opportunity or ability to find something that is going to look as nice on me as it does on the mannequin at the store or the model on-line.  But, at least I could say that the clothes that I do own mostly fit and I am happy with them.  No longer is this true.  At this point, I only have 3 pairs of pants that fit and many of my sweaters and shirts are becoming a bit snug.  Conversely, the maternity clothes that I have purchased - specifically the shirts - are all still too big.  What's a girl to do?! 

Drinking coffee and loving it....
Before I was pregnant, I LOVED my morning coffee.  It was almost always the first thing I got from the staff lounge as soon as I got into work every day.  I was also a big fan of Starbucks, not necessarily their coffee, but their Caramel Macchiatos or Frappacinos. These days, I can't stand the stuff most of the time. In my first trimester, the smell of it would make me nauseous. Now, it often gives me heartburn if I try to drink it and I get a headache if the smell is overwhelming strong (like at Starbucks or when Keith makes it at home).

I realize that none of these things are going to get better anytime soon, and most are going to get worse over the next 20 weeks.  I am just happy to be half-way through and glad that everything is going well with the baby.  I am very much looking forward to the next half of this journey even though it means more sleepless nights, more heartburn, more clothes not fitting and more strange pregnancy symptoms.  I am so blessed to be carrying this baby and thank God every day for this wonderful opportunity that he has given me!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

19 week checkup

I went to the doctor today for my monthly pre-natal checkup.  I can't believe I will be 20 weeks preggo tomorrow!!  OMG...where has the time gone??  I am half-way gestationally (is that a word?) but we are nowhere near prepared for this baby to arrive.  Thankfully, God gives us 40 weeks to prepare....and boy, are we going to need every single day!!

Anyways, my appointment went relatively well today.  Because I am using a OB/GYN practice that has seven doctors, I have to see all of them over the nine months of my pregnancy. I have a "primary" doctor who I saw for my first two appointments & will see for all of my appointments towards the end.  She also will, hopefully, be able to deliver our bundle of joy.  But, because it is a multi-doctor practice, I need to familiarize myself with all of the doctors just in case my primary doc is not available at the time of the birth (I really hope that isn't the case because I LOVE her!!)

Today I saw Dr. Arnold, one of the docs that I had not seen before.  He was nice enough, but he wasn't as "warm & fuzzy" as the other three doctors that I have seen.  Maybe I have unrealistic expectations, but I like it when the doctors act like they are as excited about my pregnancy - and all that goes with it - as I am.  Dr. Arnold was content with giving me the information I needed to know and letting me be on my way.

He did tell me though that everything looked good, although my blood pressure was up a bit from where it usually is.  It is usually around 110-120/80 and today it was 130/80.  The nurse even took it twice, just to be sure.  He said that he wasn't overly concerned at this point but that it was something that they would be monitoring at my next appointment.  

He didn't mention anything about my weight, which made my happy.  I have only gained 7.5 lbs in my first 20 weeks, which is good.  But, also, because I started off overweight, I should only be gaining 15-20 lbs throughout my entire pregnancy (no doctor has ever told me this, but that is what I have read in all of the pregnancy books & websites).  Unfortunately, this means that I only have 8-10 lbs left to gain. Uh-oh. I better stop eating those cookies & candy and get back on track with my eating!

The best part of these pre-natal appointments, in my opinion, is when I get to hear the baby's heartbeat.  Like I have said before, I sort of hold my breath while the doctor is moving the monitor around on my belly in search of the heartbeat.  And, then when the whoosh-whoosh-whoosh sound appears, I am overjoyed!  Today, the baby's heart rate was 141.  This is the same as it was two weeks ago when I was there.  Thankfully, he said that the heartbeat sounded strong and everything seems to be right on track.

In 11 days, on February 16th, we have our BIG ultrasound to find out the gender!  I am sooooo excited about that appointment and can't wait for it to get here.  We will keep everyone informed so stay tuned......

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Physical Therapy

So, I am a little late on this post, but I thought I would report back regarding my PT appt. from last week. I went to the Physical Therapist last Wednesday afternoon and it was interesting and very informative.

I met with a female therapist who specializes in women's health and who also works a lot with pregnant women. She talked to me a bit about what was going on, what I was feeling, how often it was happening, what kind of situations it was happening in (ie, sitting, standing, laying down). Then she had me take off my shoes and stand facing away from her. She looked at my hips and my back and determined that my hips are a bit uneven. I think she said the left one was back further than the right one is.

What does this mean? Well, it means that the nerves that run down from my back, through my hip area and into my legs could be getting "pinched" when I am standing in a certain way. She was surprised that I was not getting any numbness when I am sitting because that often happens in cases like mine. Fortunately, that is not happening and I am only having the numbness feeling when I am standing, especially for long periods .

To help my hip problem, she did some stretching and pulling of my legs to see if she could help "align" them. She also gave me a sheet of four different stretches that she would like me to do twice a day (once before I get out of bed and once before I go to sleep) in order to get my hips back in alignment. She said that there is no guarantee that this will work, but she wanted to start with this.

I have to go back in two weeks and she will see if any of the things that I am doing has helped. I must admit that I have not been 100% faithful with doing the stretches twice a day everyday. Sometimes I am running late in the morning and I don't feel like I have time to do them. Other times, I have fallen asleep watching TV and I forget to do them at night.

Hopefully what I am doing is helping and I won't have to endure this strange numbness anymore. The therapist said that if the sensation doesn't go away by the next appointment, she may have to do some deep tissue massage in that area. Now....not that I am saying that I hope it doesn't go away, but hey....who can turn down a massage? haha

I will keep the updates coming.....