Well, time is sure flying here in my world lately. My life is full of work, doctors appointments, work, visiting/talking to family, and MORE doctors appointments! As per my title, I am 21 weeks along in my pregnancy as of this weekend. I am in the middle of my 2nd trimester and in 7 short weeks, I will be in my 3rd trimester (which is pretty much the craziest thing ever to me). Be prepared for a long entry and a ton of pics in a whole other post!
Due to the major disorganization of my last blog update, I am going to try my best to just go in chronological order with this one. At the end of last month, I met my midwife-to-be. Her name is Jill and she was surprisingly young, but she has 2 young kids which she had naturally, so that was a very reassuring to me. She is also one of the midwives that assists in water births. She's very pro-natural birth and letting the mom make the decisions in the birthing process, which is why I love her already! In this appointment, we basically just talked about blood testing for a quad screen (chromosomal abnormalities, downs syndrome) and I also had an early glucose test for gestational diabetes. All of these tests came back normal!
The next week (Dec 7), I went to my 2nd trimester research study appointment (at 18 weeks pregnant). Chris got to come with me this time and it wasn't nearly as long as the first one! I got checked in, peed in a cup, answered some questions, and got an ultrasound! The ultrasound was very fun and exciting. It's always amazing to see a tiny person wiggling around inside of you and not really being able to feel it. She did measurements of the femur, head, arms, and checked out the organs and umbilical cord. She also checked to see the sex of the baby! She had a hard time getting a good view of the goods because the baby was sitting cross-legged but she guessed it might be a boy! She couldn't say for sure, so we had to wait until our anatomy scan at our regular doctor's office to be sure of the sex. Which was a little disappointing because I had plans for reveal pictures to be sent out in Christmas cards and time was running out for that!
The following week wasn't as eventful...It was my sister's birthday this week and for her gift I told her the tentative sex of the baby before anyone else! The next day, I had a counselor appointment. I am finally getting into a routine of seeing her every 2 weeks. I think it's working out well, and if I had time I would probably see her once a week but I just can't swing it right now. We talk about a lot of different things such as dealing with the stressors in my life and talking about my relationship with food and dealing with body image at this time in my life. (More on this below.)
The week before Christmas (Dec 21, actually), we finally got to go to our official anatomy scan! I was 20 weeks exactly the day of the scan. The ultrasound tech got started right away. She looked at and measured the long bones in the body, the head, the spine, and she checked and took pictures of all of the major organs (brain, lungs, heart - which you could see all 4 chambers...totally cool!, kidneys, and bladder). The baby was moving so much she was having trouble getting a good shot of the brain and a profile of the face. It was pretty cute, I won't lie. :) Then, she went to check out the goods! It took her almost no time at all to see that our baby was, in fact, a little boy! Chris was really holding out hoping for a girl, but there was no doubt now! We are both thrilled of course and will be announcing the name to the world officially after the birth. :) The very next day, after giving up trying to find an actual color photo booth to do the pictures I wanted to do for the reveal, we went to my lovely friend Nikki's house and she took our adorable reveal pictures and put them in a filmstrip style! Photo booth pics without the photo booth! Yay technology! Immediately after she finished our pics, we went to CVS and made a ton of copies (and not enough, we realized later) and that afternoon was spent addressing and stuffing cards for Christmas....they were going to be late, but I didn't really care. I got to do what I wanted to do and that was good enough for me!
Christmas Eve was spent at my Dad's. My mother-in-law joined Chris and I in Bloomington and it was lovely! We had an amazing dinner (that I even participated in making!) opened a few (awesome) presents and just had a nice relaxing evening all around! We gave reveal cards to my dad and step-mom and mother-in-law too. They loved the pics and were very happy to find out they were having a grandson! Christmas Day was spent gallivanting around Indianapolis visiting a good majority of Chris's family and passing out more reveal cards. It was a fun, busy day and thankfully the lovely blizzard held off until that evening after we got home.
Last week, I got to meet up with my midwife, Jill, to go over our anatomy scan results. Chris went this time as well. As suspected, she said everything looked great including all my labs and glucose testing. She did say she wanted a better shot of the baby's face for dating and to check for a cleft palate, so in another week we will be having another small anatomy scan to get a good front view of his face...darn! :) I also told her that we would be starting Bradley Birth Classes in January and she was very happy about that (and I am really excited)! We talked normally (not rushed) and I told her some of my plans for birth and we touched on weight gain as well. She is not judgmental of my weight which I really appreciate. She also measured my stomach (for the first time. This is called fundal height - the measurement between the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus) and said it was measuring normal, which surprised me since I have a little extra fluff in that area.
Since getting pregnant, I have gained about 25 lbs (Personally, I think it's all in my midsection, but I could be wrong). This was what I wanted my total weight gain to be for the entire pregnancy, so I'm not really happy with it...but it is what it is. I'm trying to not stress too much over the numbers, as I know that once I have the baby I can get back on the bandwagon (pun intended). I'm not eating terribly all the time, but I am hungry more often than not. I try to keep healthy snacks at work but at home it's a different story. We were going out to eat for dinner almost constantly for a while, but that will be changing now and I'm very glad! Last night, I also messaged a girl on my Lap Band Talk message boards who is due a couple weeks before me and asked to be pregnant band buddies! I'm really in need of finding someone to talk to on a regular basis who is in my situation. I think this will be very beneficial to me in the long run!
As far as my band goes, I can definitely tell it's still doing its job. I just don't have the restriction I used to. As I said before, I cannot eat the amounts of food I used to, but I can still eat an 'average' amount of food - which is more than normal. I do still get stuck from time to time (not to the point of puking or spitting it up though, just to the point of having to slow down and letting that food pass through my band) and this is usually due to eating too fast and it's generally stupid french fries or bread that causes it! I am doing good with only eating french fries (my craving) once a week though. I cannot say the same for bread and pasta as those items help me stay full longer right now.
Also last night, I started a registry on Amazon. It's barely started but I figured it would be a good place to start and get organized and decide what I want here and there. It's also helpful because people that don't shop online can still print it out and find those items elsewhere if they want. It got me thinking more on what I want to do in terms of cloth diapering and baby-wearing. I'm very interested in both of these concepts and have done a fair amount of research already, but there is ALWAYS more to learn when it comes to these topics. After I do my research on cloth diapers and pick ones I would like, I get to present my findings to Chris and see if he agrees and/or thinks it is even feasible. Any advice or personal experience stories on cloth diapers and baby-wearing items are WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED!
The last thing I want to touch on in this blog entry is body image. Now, I know every pregnant girl gets down about their growing form. Our bodies are going through a massive physical and hormonal (and emotional) change. It's a lot to take in and accept. I knew most of the changes my body would be going through before getting pregnant due to the massive amount of research I've done on pregnancy already. However, knowing and experiencing are very different animals. I knew that gaining weight after losing weight would be a difficult thing to accept. I knew my stomach would get bigger and get a lot of attention whether I was ready for it or not. And I knew that I was going to essentially look fatter (instead of pregnant) for a longer period of time than 'average-sized' women. What I didn't know, was how much this would affect me. I suppose you could say that I was blinded by the facade of pregnancy/baby fever. I only saw good parts of pregnancy. I acknowledged the other bits, but saw them in a rather positive light. Now that I am in the thick of pregnancy (another pun intended, you're welcome!) it's becoming harder for me accept the changes to my body.
Logically, I know what my body is supposed to do. I know what's going to happen, but I almost want to say I'm not ready for it emotionally. It's taken me a long time to get to where I am (was) physically in regards to weight loss, but mentally I have not gotten there (I wasn't even close, really). I have always seen myself as the fat girl. When I was gaining my weight back after my first weight loss attempt, it was depressing but it was slow and gradual. Now? Not so much. My stomach is constantly growing. My clothes don't fit. Maternity pants HELP make me look pregnant, but only to people that knew me before I was pregnant. My calves look HUGE. My ankles are swollen but not very because I am still walking stairs every hour while at work, but my calves are obviously larger and retaining some water (at least to me and the lines my socks leave in my legs by the end of the day). At work, I wear nicer clothes and they are all pretty pregnancy-flattering. Granted, if you didn't know I was pregnant - I just look chubby. (And sharing that I am pregnant is another thing I'm torn about because in sharing that information, you draw more attention to your stomach area.) Other times, I wear my t-shirts still. They fit me, but are snug on my stomach, which is obviously larger now. I try not to pay attention to my B-belly (plus size pregnant girl term for the shape of the stomach of a fat pregnant girl) and just go with it, but whenever I see it in the mirror, or even think about it it makes me a bit queasy. Think of that awkward, uncomfortable feeling you occasionally get around people when you feel under dressed or when you dream you are naked in front a room full of people you don't know. I get that feeling multiple times a day, every day, no matter if I'm around people or totally alone. I just randomly feel very uncomfortable in my own skin and want to run and hide...even from myself!
In talking to my counselor about this fact, she has realized (as have I) that I really need to learn to be more accepting of my body with or without pregnancy. I've constantly struggled with my body and weight all my life and have never been happy with what I saw (I'm sure plenty of people can relate), but I am equally bothered by the fact that I feel this is getting in the way of me fully enjoying my pregnancy. My counselor told me to try not to see it that way as it will just make me feel more unnecessary guilt but it's hard not to. I want to look pregnant but I don't want attention drawn to my stomach because I've always tried to hide it. How do you just flip a switch and be okay with people looking at your stomach and wanting to touch it after a LIFETIME of trying to pretend it's not there? (Especially when someone looks at the top half of your stomach ... A little advice everyone - in early pregnancy, the top part of the stomach is smushed organs and FOOD. The baby is in the lower half where the uterus is! Granted, touching that close to someone's lady bits might be a bit awkward. Maybe no touching until the last couple months of pregnancy? Or never...unless you get permission!) So, in light of all of this resurfacing of body issues and general disgust for my shape, I am in the beginning stages of looking into Overeaters Anonymous. I know it may seem a bit extreme in some aspects, but I saw some information on it when I was watching the show Ruby on the Style Network and it really rang some bells for me. Enough so that I feel it might be helpful to me in the long run. I have no idea WHEN I will do this as I am pretty busy right now, but I am leaving it open as an option - even after the baby is born, I lose the baby weight, etc. I think it may be a helpful tool for the long-term.
So, after that 'serious' last half, I'm bidding you farewell! Feel free to message me, leave a comment, etc on baby product opinions, advice, or just general thoughts about what I talked about! I'd love to hear your views! Pictures are next (although they will technically be BEFORE this post) and next month you will get another super long update with a month full of doctor's appointments! They will surely get more exciting the farther along in my pregnancy I get as right now it's just a lot talking. After this next appointment, I will be seen in 3 weeks, and then every 2 weeks! Another crazy, mind-blowing realization. 5 months to go!