Sunday, May 31, 2015

week 34

a little late on posting the weekly bump report. oops.

today i thought i would talk about all the rules of pregnancy and how i've been interpreting those for my particular journey to motherhood. bearing in mind that pregnancy was the gift i was given but didn't ask for, you have to understand that i maybe wasn't so excited about all the rules, both written and unwritten, for pregnant ladies.

medicine. i already do not like taking medicine. it is not my jam. but i found out i was pregnant because my body decided to cover itself in hives. hives are basically the worst physical experience i have ever endured. i literally prayed to God, "i will throw up every single day of this pregnancy to not have one hive ever again.". and i meant it. so despite conflicting opinions within the medical community and my own household, i took the prednisone until the hives were gone. i've also been taking allergy medicine for the past few weeks because i just couldn't do it anymore.

sushi. G let me eat veggie sushi once. if it were totally up to me, i would probably have eaten sushi like 7 times by now.

omnivore. i'm a pescetarian. this means that i [sometimes] eat seafood. but not often. i felt confident in my decision to stay mostly vegetarian when i found out i was pregnant. i've had a really healthy pregnancy and the #rowenugget is developing exactly as she should. have i been eating extra protein to make up for the fact i do not eat meat? no.

alcohol. this is a rule that i have followed. not one sip. G graciously and on his own decided to abstain from the adult beverages for the duration of my pregnancy alongside me. because we are even stephens. however, we are both anxiously awaiting that celebratory drink after the #rowenugget arrives. because guess what. i am not going alcohol-free while breastfeeding.

water. i haven't been drinking the recommended amount of water. sue me.

preparing for birth. we aren't taking lamaze or any other sort of birthing or parenting class. typically, i am a super type a planner. i like to pack for vacation like a week in advance. and only after i have made a list. but this panda is coming one way or another and there's really nothing that i can compare it to nor do i want to spend too much time thinking about what childbirth may be like. truth be told, i am more concerned with the aftermath than the actual labor.

sleep habits. i sometimes sleep on my side like i'm supposed to. but usually i'm attempting unsuccessfully to sleep on my belly or sleeping on my back. i can't help myself. it's just the way it happens.

good vibrations. some people believe that if you are sad or stressed during your pregnancy that you will have an anxious and unhappy baby. well i can't keep the tears at bay and stress is like my middle name. if i could maybe have a large glass of wine and sit in the corner and think about it maybe i'd be in a better mood. i'm not at all depressed. i'm just feeling all the feelings and not really trying to be peppy and perky and like super cheerful. because since when have i ever been like that.

books. i love to read. but i haven't read one single baby book. i have this snooty opinion that anyone can write a book telling you the best way to do anything. it doesn't make it the best way. we aren't going to be perfect parents, the #rowenugget will not be the perfect sleeper, eater, pooper, etc. what will be will be.

baby size: the size of a butternut squash! this seems small. she is nearing her final "height" so while the average is 18 inches...something inside me doubts she is already this long. and her weight is still hovering around 5 lbs.

weight gain: 21 lbs.

craving: this past weekend i was in a major junk food rage.

can't even: i think people really believe that i want to talk about my pregnancy and nothing else. but i don't. i want to talk about other stuff like a normal human being. it is OK to acknowledge that i have other interests beyond the size of my belly, my due date, and the name of my child.

loving: that the finish line is in sight!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

week 33

not only is this the 33rd week of the #rowenugget's life, it is also the anniversary of our 3rd year of marriage!

we celebrated with a quick (one night) trip to Asheville, NC - land of hippies, lefty politics, art, and the Vanderbilt family legacy. what do you do with a pregnant lady on a vacation where alcohol cannot be consumed in the biggest beer hub of NC? you feed her. we had so much fun roaming around eating delicious things and enjoying simple activities like the farmer's market and the blue ridge parkway. and i realized that walking 3 blocks uphill was my biggest accomplishment this month.

year three of marriage was full of important things. we made it through some really hard days and some really fantastic days. we toured the caribbean islands. we celebrated graduation from graduate school and started a new job. we were totally surprised to find out we made a human. we dreamed big dreams for our future. we laid some old dreams down. we joined our church to reach the one. we listened to each other more. we sometimes hurt each other's feelings. we cheered each other on.

if you had asked me at our second anniversary where we would be in a year, i would never have said pregnant and so happy i could barely stand it. pregnancy and happiness were not at all synonymous in my world. furthermore, i am not one of the people that thinks married life has been the biggest joy ride ever. marriage is hard work. it is sometimes so easy that you forget it is hard work. but sometimes it is so hard it feels impossible. but dang, it's been worth it.

in the face of so much heartbreak in our world, i'm glad you're the one who holds my heart. i may be controlling and overbearing but i trust you with my heart. and i may get tunnel vision and lose sight of the bigger picture, but i will never lose sight of how much i love you.

this week was the first "extra" regularly scheduled ultrasound. i measured within the acceptable range - 29 cm but my amniotic fluid level was the same as last week. so the weekly visits and ultrasounds will continue to monitor only. however, no health problems and the panda's organs are all doing all the things they're supposed to be doing. during the ultrasound i was able to see her entire face - forehead to chin. it only lasted like a second but she has pudgy cheeks and basically looks so full of panda cuteness.

baby size: the size of a durian fruit! what the heck is a durian fruit? around 4.5-5 pounds and 18 inches long. 

weight gain: TWENTY pounds. sheesh. 

craving: a full night's sleep

can't even: the jokes. please, people with the pregnancy/huge belly/fat jokes. you aren't funny. my sense of humor is not that great. just stop.

loving: the look on G's face when he gets to feel the #rowenugget flip or kick or wiggle. when her movements first became noticeable, G never got to feel it. she would stop as soon as his hand touched my belly. but lately she's been doing all the dance moves for her dad. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

week 32

the home stretch. 8 more weeks (maybe a few more, hopefully a few less). i finally had to break down and start taking claritin. it was either take the meds or stop breathing. sinuses. but beyond that and feeling awkward and uncomfortable, i just feel so ready to see my nugget.

so here's what i haven't been saying because it hasn't been worth mentioning until now. i have basically measured 1-3 centimeters on the small side for the past several office visits. plus or minus 3 centimeters is considered within the normal range. and honestly, i've just been grateful i haven't been measuring on the large side.

at 30 weeks i measured 27 cm, got a great report and went about my merry way.

at 32 weeks i measured 26 cm and had to have an impromptu "growth scan" to make sure that the #rowenugget was growing according to plan.

she is, in fact, right on track and looking so cute in there.

interestingly, despite my small measurement, i have just a tad too much amniotic fluid which resulted in a blood panel being ordered and weekly ultrasounds to monitor the situation. meaning i'm going to ask for your prayers that the excess of amniotic fluid isn't a sign of some greater issue. furthermore, i am choosing to avoid the internets and unsolicited advice as to what could be happening.

as a parent-in-training it is easy to let the smallest things scare the crap out of you. but i feel pretty strongly that God wants my trust, my faith, and my complete dependance on him. the midwife did not seem overly concerned that anything terrible was happening and i'm choosing to see the blessing of extra ultrasounds to swoon over my panda babe. and you know what? God is faithful. and this is just one more thing to teach me to look to him.

baby size: the size of a "squash". according to the ultrasound she's measuring around 4 lbs. 5 oz.

weight gain: zero since my last visit

craving: give me all the orange juice. it is the pregnant woman's wine.

can't even: people staring at my belly. it just feels super awkward. like, i have a face. look at that.

loving: my baby panda and the excitement to hold her little body and see her squishy face.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

week 31

i've been dragging my feet to update you on the happenings of the #rowenugget because i haven't had a whole lot of positive words to share. and i don't want my pregnancy updates to just be filled with anger and disgust. 

we love our #rowenugget. we already think she's the best thing ever, because to us she is. i'm so sentimental because she's probably our only tiny newborn. our first and last hospital baby. honestly, pregnancy was never a state of being i wanted to experience. in my dream world all my babies would be adopted, saving me from all the yucky parts of cooking up your own offspring. but that is not God's plan for me and i am very grateful that my life revolves around his wisdom and not my own. 

right now, one pregnancy has brought all the fulfillment i need. i truly don't foresee me desiring to walk this road to parenthood again. like ever. but don't mistake that for regret. i absolutely have no regrets about our little panda.

physically, pregnancy had been easier than i anticipated. i can't do a lot of things that super fit pregnant women can do, but i'm healthy. i haven't had a single blip on the radar as far as medical concerns and even though sometimes i'm so tired i just want to cry i have been able to maintain a somewhat normal schedule. also, i haven't been sick - no colds, no flu, no strep throat. i am so thankful.

which brings me to the emotional toll of pregnancy. ohmygus. i didn't know everything would hurt my feelings. i know i'm gigantic, i don't need you to comment on my size. or tell me i'm already so big i'll never make it to my due date. or that you thought i should have already had the baby based on how big i am. or that i must have "twins in there". and i need to buy larger clothes. normally these type of comments would make my want to take my hulk size body and rip you in half. but i'm pregnant. so instead all it does is make me go home and cry.

feel free to judge me all you want. just do it behind my back. please.

baby size: nearing 4 lbs. and 17 inches "head to heel", the size of a pineapple! (including the leafy top part? who knows)

weight gain: around 18 pounds. i don't want to talk about it. 

craving: kinder words. 

can't even: breathing is seriously hard. also, bring me all the champagne to the hospital. hashtag poppin' bottles. 

loving: my husband. i've always been a wee bit on the independent (read: stubborn) side. i don't like to ask for help and i definitely do not like needing help. but lately i can't do normal things without help and G never complains about helping me.