Friday, February 28, 2014

Then and Now: Pregnancy III Edition

In my first trimester with Zuzu, I craved apples.  Apple pie, applesauce, apple juice, whole apples, apple cider...  I ate an apple a day plus anything else with apple ingredients that I could shove in my mouth.  (I also ate a donut a week, but that was later in pregnancy...)

This time around, as with Eliza, I haven't had much in the way of specific cravings, (hmm... maybe Nutella? But I always crave Nutella.) but I have had more food aversions than I had with Zuzu.  My first trimester was kind to me in the sense that I didn't vomit and had no morning sickness, but I would feel nauseated regularly in the evenings--more so than I remember with either pregnancy before (which was quite unpleasant) and if I didn't eat dinner early enough (before 6:30pm), I wouldn't want dinner at all and everything grossed me out.

I've learned the hard way that Rerun does not care for onions or guacamole.  I got terrible stomachache and indigestion after eating guac (twice, because I'm a slow learner), so I'll be avoiding it for a while (which is a bummer, because I love it!).

My sense of smell is pretty keen whether or not I'm pregnant, but it gets SUPER amplified when I'm pregnant. Like a wolverine. (Or something else with a keen sense of smell?).  Just like both pregnancies before, I couldn't handle scented candles or air fresheners or scentsies or any artificial smells.  This time around, dirty diapers have also posed a challenge for me and resulted in a few episodes of dramatic dry-heaving over the trash can in Zuzu's bedroom (no barfing though!).

One morning, David made sausage for breakfast and it was nearly grounds for divorce.  I had to rule out the cooking of ground beef for approximately two months because the smell made me want to hurl. I ended up going upstairs to take a shower with the ventilation fan on and I made him open the windows to get rid of the lingering odor. So gross. (I hate the smell of ground beef and sausage anyway, but it normally doesn't actually make me feel ill.)

My exhaustion level was also off the charts for last couple weeks of December (further complicated by illness right before Christmas) and for the whole month of January, although I'm pretty sure it was similar with both the girls before.  My schedule was just easier back then--with Eliza, I was working part-time, and with Zuzu, I didn't have a toddler to chase after getting home from work and I could take a quick cat-nap whenever I felt like it.

David was the one who really had to adjust to the change in my energy level there for a while. I'm usually pretty energetic about getting stuff done and he's used to us tackling weekend projects and working til it's all finished.  But until we got a week or so  into February, there was just no way.  I was going to bed at 8:30pm, out cold by 9 at the latest, and napping on weekends.  It was a definite change of pace around our house there for a while, and David seriously had a harder time dealing with it than Zuzu did (that girl is totally fine with scheduling naptime every afternoon!). I kept having to remind him that I needed to slow down (or sleep).

Anyway, I'm at 17 weeks this week and I've started feeling much more like myself in the last little bit.  Sometimes this has been bad for my anxiety (omg... I don't feel pregnant at all...) but just this week I felt the first tiny flutter of movement--like the teensy little bubbles.

(Nothing crazy like the first time David was able to feel Zuzu moving in my belly--but Cooper hasn't been fighting any possums either).

My stomach pooched out earlier than it did last time, which makes sense since I figure my ab muscles are basically shot by now.  Three pregnancies in four years does not exactly keep the belly in shape.  I also tend to gain weight early in pregnancy--like my body realizes its pregnant (omg wut?) and suddenly hoards fat.  I really didn't think I was showing, but an older lady who teaches at Zuzu's school asked me if I was "working on something" while gesturing to my stomach, so I guess it's a little more obvious than I was willing to admit.

I have a lot of maternity clothes but I'm in that awkward stage where maternity clothes are too big and my regular clothes are too small and I'm still trying to dress to camouflage the belly at work because I just don't want to invite nosy questions and I'd prefer my students just think I've been eating a lot of Qdoba lately.  So I mostly wear tunics and scarves and put the bella band around my (unbuttoned) regular pants.  I did switch out my closet over the weekend and pack away shirts and pants I know I won't be squeezing myself into until... oh, probably the fall of 2015.

This pregnancy has been easier in large part because I've been so busy with other things (namely Zuzu, but also work). Just having a million distractions makes it easier to get through the day. I truly can't believe how fast this pregnancy is going by (although I am sure that will change as the due date approaches).

This sounds kind of weird, but I also think it's easier because it's not like everyone else I know is pregnant right now. When I was pregnant with Zuzu, I knew SO MANY pregnant people--many of the moms who'd had losses around the time we lost Eliza were expecting again and two of my closest friends in St. Louis were both pregnant. It's not to say that those other pregnancies made me stressed out exactly, but because I was pregnant with so many of my friends the first time around and then left without a baby to bring home, being pregnant with them again felt like an uncomfortable re-living of eighteen months earlier. And as for the other babyloss moms, at the same time they were my life line and support system, I think it was also easy for us to make each other anxious because we'd had different kinds of losses at different times, so there was no stage of pregnancy that ever felt "safe."

This time feels quite different because that feverish obsession with pregnancies everywhere has subsided. It's also been easier because I have felt comfortable with having the "normal" level of medical care for the first two trimesters.

When I was pregnant with Zuzu, I saw my regular OB (who delivered Eliza) and a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist in another practice (conveniently located in the same building), which meant I had a doctor appointment every two weeks for the first two trimesters, then weekly appointments in the third trimester.  We peeked in on that baby through ultrasound so many times I lost count.  (This after reading an article in my natural childbirth class about the potential risks of ultrasound--I tearfully asked both my doctors about that article, blubbering about mice brains in laboratories, and I remember my MFM telling me she gave herself ultrasounds just for fun every few days and now her son was attending Harvard--somehow that made feel a lot better). I went into every appointment with a list of questions to ask my doctor.

Once I hit 32 weeks, I started having weekly and then twice-weekly non-stress tests in the peri-natal center, occasionally followed by bio-physical profiles (ultrasounds).

In ADDITION to all that monitoring, I went in to the hospital twice without appointments in my final month of pregnancy because I was certain I was feeling decreased fetal movement, and I didn't really trust myself to know (after all, I could have not known something was wrong with Eliza?).

I had thought I wanted a totally natural experience the first time around, but with Zuzu, I happily agreed to an induction at 39 weeks 5 days because I needed to get that baby on the outside.

This time, I still haven't thought much about what delivery will look like... we know we want to go back to the hospital (and hopefully have the same nurse!) we went to with Eliza and Zuzu. Eventually I'll need to decide if I want another non-medicated birth (assuming all goes well and I have that opportunity), and if we're going to hire a doula. As much as I'd like to go into labor on my own, I'm not sure I will feel comfortable going past 40 weeks, so we'll have to just see what happens.

Meanwhile, I'm seeing my OB for the regular appointments every four weeks (read: HARDLY AT ALL), which means that I got to hear the heartbeat in the office last Thursday and I don't go back until toward the end of March for my 20-week ultrasound, which will be in his office with his super sweet ultrasound tech doing the ultrasound and my doctor talking it through with me instead of in the perinatal center, where getting a tech with any sensitivity was hit or miss and I had a personality conflict (that's a euphemism) with one of the doctors.

Once I hit the third trimester, I'll have weekly NSTs to monitor the baby, and as chill as I feel right this minute, I know very well that my anxiety will be heightened once we know the baby is viable. The necessity of being vigilant feels much sharper at that point, when it truly seems like a mother's intuition (or hard-earned-wisdom) can be the difference between life and death.

I will probably need to revisit the topic of my anxiety at that time, but for now I'm grateful for the little distraction that's currently asleep in her crib upstairs, and I have every reason to be hopeful that less than six months from now there will be two of them up there.


  1. Oh, my sense of smell is off the hook while pregnant. You're not alone.

    The rest of this post gave ME anxiety, mostly because pregnancy is just soo hard for me. I'm so glad you are doing well and calm for the most part right now. Of course things can change, but I really hope you have another uneventful pregnancy and deliver that sibling into this world easy peasy. :)

  2. Yes to the epidural. Dude. It's a no brainer. Really. And also, I'm thinking rerun is a boy due to the different aversions etc. that's how it was for me. I knew Kellan was a boy bc it was the same as w Hayes. And I knew Hayes was a boy bc it was different that with sloane.

  3. Sounds like a boy! You could just take a peak at your medical records like you did in the hospital with Zuzu and know for sure! ;)

    Also vote for the epi!!!