Thursday, May 19, 2016

Half-Baked... and It's Another Girl!

"To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched -- along with body -- making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings."
(Anne Christian Buchanan)

Half-baked! Unlike last time, it's hard to see my Ben & Jerry's pint.

Even though my blog updates have been severely lacking -- I've been averaging about 2 posts per year since Ava was born, and she's 18 months old now -- my family, friends, and most of my social network know that I'm 21 weeks pregnant and expecting baby #2... and it's another girl! My due date is September 27, 2016. I shared an update at the halfway point during my last pregnancy ("Half-Baked and It's a Girl!"), and an earlier update at the end of 1st trimester of that pregnancy ("Bye-Bye, 1st Tri"), but it's been different so far this time around.

Last time, I was fortunate not to have any morning sickness, beyond slight queasiness on occasion; this time, my entire 1st trimester was one long, continuous nausea-fest and I only ate sweet carbs to the point that my husband and sister were convinced I would get gestational diabetes. Last time, I didn't start wearing any maternity clothes until I was almost 6 months pregnant; this time, I thought, "Why wait?" at 17 weeks. Last time, I don't remember having bad nighttime nasal congestion and insomnia until the 2nd half of pregnancy; this time, it's been a constant from the beginning.

Last time, I was given extra ultrasounds, was on progesterone throughout 1st trimester and baby aspirin until 37 weeks, and had an at-home fetal doppler due to concerns from previous losses; this time, I've had none of that, which was very nerve-wracking at first. Last time, my doctors were concerned about uterine fibroids causing issues with a vaginal birth; this time, they don't appear to be a problem. Last time, Ava was breech so I did everything in my power to get her to turn, which she did in the end, right before I was to schedule a C-section; this time, I hope I don't have to deal with that stress. Last time, I didn't allow myself to worry about labor and delivery for the most part, believing that I could trust my primal instincts and the strength of my own mind and body; this time, I'm the most scared of labor and delivery because of my previous experiences.

And of course, last time, I was working, commuting, and packed up and moved from NY to MI, but I didn't have an outside baby to take care of; this time, I'm home in NJ with Ava and it's somehow much more exhausting! Case in point: It's like pulling my own teeth to write an update even just once in 6 months.

4 Weeks
  • Appointment at 4w3d: Bloodwork to confirm pregnancy and check hormone levels, particularly for progesterone. Progesterone was fine but hCG was low, so I went back for more bloodwork at 4w6d.
  • Baby is the size of a poppyseed.
  • Ball of cells is splitting into the embryo and placenta; neural tube is already formed; and amniotic sac and fluid are forming into protective cushioning.
  • Symptoms: Implantation spotting and cramps.

Positive test at 4w4d

5 Weeks
  • At 5w0d, I received a call from my OB office saying my hCG went from 100 to 536.5, and progesterone was good at 25. After I asked, the nurse said they usually tell pregnant breastfeeding moms to wean, as it can inhibit hormone production. Made appointment for 1st ultrasound for 7w6d.
  • Baby is the size of an appleseed.
  • Starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous).
  • Symptoms: Very fatigued; waking up very early in the morning; very congested and unable to breathe well at night; eating anything and everything in sight.

6 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a sweet pea.
  • Circulating blood; starting to sprout a nose, eyes, ears, chin, and cheeks.
  • Symptoms: Very fatigued; waking up in the middle of the night for an extended period of time; up/down body temperatures; queasiness (slight nausea and food aversions); skin breaking out.

7 Weeks
  • Appointment at 7w6d: 1st ultrasound (saw baby and heart beating at 144 bpm); weight and blood pressure taken; met with doctor and then a nurse to discuss future visits and address any questions.
  • Baby is the size of a blueberry.
  • Generating about 100 new brain cells each minute; developing a permanent set of kidneys; arm and leg joints are forming.
  • Symptoms: Queasiness all day (nausea and food aversions) -- only things I could eat were fig bars, PB&J sandwiches, and soup; very fatigued; up/down body temperatures; skin breaking out.

Little peanut at 7w6d

8 Weeks
  • Appointment at 8w6d: Weight and blood pressure taken; urine sample and physical exam (including pap smear and breast exam); bloodwork; explained different screening test options.
  • Baby is the size of a raspberry.
  • Taste buds are forming.
  • Symptoms: Queasiness all day (nausea and food aversions) -- can only eat sweet carbs; very fatigued; up/down body temperatures.

9 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a cherry.
  • Is now a fetus, and developing more distinct facial features.
  • Symptoms: Queasiness all day (nausea and food aversions); very fatigued; up/down body temperatures; cramping; headaches; vivid and memorable dreams.

10 Weeks, 25% There! 
  • Baby is the size of a strawberry.
  • Vital organs are fully developed and starting to function; swallowing and kicking.
  • Symptoms: Queasiness all day (nausea and food aversions); headaches, stomach aches, especially in evening; very fatigued but unable to sleep through the night (insomnia).

11 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a lime.
  • Tooth buds, nail beds, and hair follicles are forming.
  • Symptoms: Queasiness all day (nausea starting to lessen, but more food aversions still there); very fatigued; headaches; stomach aches, especially in evening.

12 Weeks
  • 1st trimester screen at 12w6d: Ultrasound showed active baby with heart rate of 152 bpm; also took many other measurements (e.g. CRL, nuchal translucency, ovary and uterus size, etc.). Bloodwork taken (results for likelihood of Down syndrome and Trisomy 13 and 18 came back negative); weight, blood pressure, and urine sample taken; explained procedures, and asked and answered questions.
  • Baby is the size of a plum.
  • Developing reflexes; opening and closing fingers, and curling toes.
  • Symptoms: Queasiness and fatigue improving; very congested and unable to breath easily at night; headaches; felt like my baby bump popped out this week.

Our baby at 12w6d

13 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a lemon.
  • Forming vocal chords and teeth, and already has fingerprints.
  • Throughout 1st trimester, I drank ginger tea to help with nausea, and I mostly avoided coffee and caffeine, but I also didn't have much of a choice because coffee made me queasy. Although I couldn't think about food and could barely step foot into a grocery store -- we did a lot of take-out and restaurant dining for several weeks -- I was definitely eating a lot, but I don't think I gained any weight during 1st trimester (but I never lost the baby weight from Ava so I started out heavier).
  • Our families and some close friends already knew about the pregnancy, but we made it more public at the end of this week.
Big sister-to-be Ava helped with our pregnancy announcement on Good Friday (13w3d) 

14 Weeks, 2nd Trimester
  • Baby is the size of a peach.
  • Sucking thumb and wiggling toes; breathing amniotic fluid; kidneys are making urine, and liver and spleen are doing their jobs.
  • Symptoms: Abdominal pain and sharp cramping; headaches; very congested and unable to breathe easily at night; having to go to the bathroom more frequently.

15 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a navel orange.
  • Squirming, wiggling, and hiccuping inside, and joints and limbs can all move.
  • Symptoms: Very prolonged, almost 24-hour headache at 15w6d; congestion; frequent bathroom trips.
Wearing 3 sweaters (it was cold!) at 15w3d

16 Weeks
  • Appointment at 16w6d: Weight, blood pressure, and urine sample taken; NP measured me and checked baby's heart rate (147 bpm); bloodwork taken to test for spina bifida (results came back negative).
  • Baby is the size of an avocado.
  • Is listening to our voices, and growing hair, lashes, and eyebrows; tiny bones are forming in the ears and eyebrows.

17 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a pomegranate.
  • Skeleton is hardening as cartilage turns to bone; umbilical cord is getting stronger and thicker; baby is putting on fat; and fingers and toes are now defined with one-of-a-kind prints.
  • Symptoms: Nasal congestion, fatigue, headaches, frequent bathroom trips.
  • Started wearing maternity clothes (belly protruding much more at this point than during previous pregnancy).

Just 1 sweater at 17w4d

18 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of an artichoke.
  • Yawns, hiccups, rolls, kicks, punches, sucks, twists, and swallows.
  • Started to feel little movements.

19 Weeks
  • Level 2 ultrasound/anatomy scan at 19w6d: Sonographer did a detailed ultrasound to take many measurements and view all parts (including arms, legs, brain, heart, kidneys, stomach, face, bladder, spine, etc.) of the baby -- a girl! -- whose heart rate was 153 bpm. Weight, blood pressure, and urine sample taken; met with doctor afterwards.
  • Baby is the size of a mango.
  • Vernix caseosa coats baby's skin, shielding it from amniotic fluid.

Wedding guests at 19w4d
Almost 18 weeks with Ava (June 2014) / Almost 20 weeks with Baby Girl #2 (May 2016)
Cute profile at 19w6d
Lil' baby feets

20 Weeks, 50% There! 
  • Baby is the size of a banana.
  • Gulping down amniotic fluid for nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting; taste buds are working.
  • Symptoms: All the usual ones (especially congestion), plus I had a cold this week.
20w1d with my spirit animal

I enjoy and fully appreciate being pregnant, feel very blessed and honored to house another Build-A-Baby Workshop and to keep Baby Girl #2 cozy and safe, and I don't want it to go by too quickly, even though I'm excited to see how everything unfolds in the future. I'll post more photos and updates. Thank you for your love and support, and we would always appreciate if you kept us in your thoughts and prayers!

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