Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weeks 12-14

There is very happy baby news today. My good friends Amy and Joe now have a beautiful baby girl Ashley Michele! Congratulations Amy and Joe and I can't wait to meet little Ashley!

With that news I feel inspired to update my blog :)

I am happy to report that I *think* I am starting to feel some relief from my first trimester ickiness (I made that word up). I am finding that I don't have to eat quite as often in order to feel human and have some more energy. I was able to start walking and doing my pregnancy workout DVD's again.....ok I only did it twice but its a start!

I had my first adventure with maternity clothes shopping. It sounds strange but I am actually looking forward to "showing." I don't look obviously pregnant yet but I have seen others who are just as far along and clearly pregnant...I'm jealous! I'm probably going to look back at this post in a few months and scream :) I've heard that maternity fashion is quite expensive so I took the opportunity to stop at the Wrentham Outlets on the way home from a conference in Falmouth.

I was fairly impressed with the selections out there. I was able to find some cute outfits for the summer that I could even start wearing now. The nice thing is that they will grow with me. I had particular fun with wearing the "baby to be" prostesis which mimics what you will look like at 7 months pregnant. It was fun to see what the clothes will look like in the near future.

My next doctor appointment is coming up in a few weeks, I dont think it will be anything more than a simple exam and blood work but the one after that will be the BIG ultrasound!! :) I really can't wait......

In the meantime I will be grateful that I am feeling better and will be able to enjoy my upcoming summer trips and time off

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The First Trimester: A recap

Soon after learning we were pregnant we traveled to Washington D.C. for a family vacation. With us was Paul's Mom, Tuck, Aunt Jane, Alz, Matty, Aunt Patty and Uncle Jack. It was a busy and fun-filled trip. We saw all the sights and did a lot of walking but I think I fared pretty well other than my erratic eating needs.

I had my first doctors appointment on 4/27/10. I was surprised to learn that they wouldn't do any confirmation of the pregnancy at this visit. I had some routine blood work and an exam but that was about it. It seemed odd to me that they would just "take my word for it." To make up for the lack of confirmation at the appointment I took a few repeat home pregnancy tests....just to make sure.

Finally on 5/11/10 I went in for my first ultrasound at 8 weeks 6 days. The weeks leading up to this day were long and somewhat torturous but in my heart I knew everything was ok. Paul came to the appointment with me and we waited in anticipation together. Soon enough our little miracle was up on the screen with a steady and strong heartbeat at 169bpm. The baby was measuring at 9 weeks so right on target. The tech pointed out the head, arms and legs. She changed the view a little and all of the sudden we could she the little arms and legs moving around like crazy. I was absolutely unbelievable. We both welled up with joy and pride, it was a truly beautiful moment. The doctor confirmed my due date as 12/15/2010. After the appointment I couldn't remove the smile from my face. I felt so much love for our little baby it was overwhelming. I called my mother who was anxiously waiting by the phone and surprised her with a visit to the house to show off our ultrasound picture. Of course, the mass texts of the pic went out and everybody was surprised at how much could be seen on such an early picture.

I had all the usual symptoms of early pregnancy. The morning aka "all day" sickness was the worst but for the most part I learned how to manage it. I found that not letting myself get hungry was key, unfortunately this meant eating every few hours. I also had the usual fatigue, frequent trips to the bathroom and labile emotions (cue me crying at the end of "Julie and Julia" even though there was really nothing sad or emotional about the ending). Again, Paul was wonderful during this time. We laughed a lot. At one point I was afflicted with severe sciatica-like pain for about 2 weeks. The pain was the worst when I would try to stand up. One night he was trying to lift me off the couch but I just couldn't stand up. It struck us both so funny that we just laughed and laughed.

I had my third doctor's appointment on 6/1/2010 at 11 weeks 6 days. At this appointment I hoped to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. Technically we just saw it the first time. My doctor warned me that there was a 50/50 chance of hearing it. After some readjusting of the doppler probe I finally heard the beautiful sound, strong and clear. What a great way to finish out my first trimester!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lets start at the very beginning....

I never would think of myself as the blogging type but after reading my friend Amy's pregnancy blog I thought it was a great way to document this wonderful and exciting journey. I am just passing my second trimester milestone so I have some catching up to do.....

After Paul and I were married in 2006 we were not in a rush to start our family, even though there was some gentle pressure coming from the family. We knew that we wanted to enjoy being newlyweds, do some traveling, get settled in our careers, do some work on our house etc. Over the past 3+ years we have done just that. We took some great trips whether is was a weekend trip to Newport to visit some friends or traveling across the country for our first California trip to visit Paul's sister Mary, we had some truly great times. I finished my master's degree in 2007 and am now happy and secure in my job as a geriatric Nurse Practitioner. Paul still has some work to do to finish his Master's but has figured out the path he wants to take in his career and is working toward it. He is a dedicated middle school teacher. We finished our basement in 2009 which we affectionately call "family town" instead of "man town." Most of our motivation for finishing this space was to enhance and enlarge our living space. Now we can definitely see ourselves with a little one living in this home. I also worked hard to lose 40 pounds, my #1 motivation was getting healthier so I could have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

In April of 2009 we started seriously thinking about starting a family and in September, 2009 we started our baby-making efforts. Although it was a bumpy road, looking back I can honestly say it was a magical time. It's a pretty awesome thing to try and create life and I think it brought us closer together as a couple. Now, that's not to say that we were not heartbroken month after month when we were not successful but we picked ourselves up by the bootstraps and kept going. This whole experience has given me a deep respect for those who try for years to have children and especially for those who are never able to get pregnant. After going through some first line fertility testing and learning that everything was perfectly fine with both of us, we finally conceived in 3/2010 after 6 months of trying and 12 months of "not preventing."

In early April with my 29th birthday looming we were hoping that this was finally the month. Easter was on Sunday, April 4th and I thought to myself "wouldn't it be cool to find our we're pregnant on Easter." Even though I knew that particular date would be a little early to take a pregnancy test, I also knew it was possible to get a positive result. On the morning of Easter I woke up early to find that Paul had fallen asleep on the couch downstairs. I followed my monthly ritual of sleepily going to the bathroom and taking a test. I started in towards my bed to wait and casually glanced down at the test during my walk. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the faintest of pink lines starting to develop. My first thought was "Paul is going to kill me for doing this without him!" He had already told me repeatedly that he wanted to be there for all my testing. I put the test down and ran downstairs while trying to act nonchalant. I woke him up and said, "I took a test, if you want to be there to read it you better come upstairs now." He slowly sauntered up the stairs behind me. He noted a little bounce in my step and said "did you already see something?!" I exclaimed " I saw the start of something, now hurry up." By the time we arrived back in the bedroom a beautiful second pink line had developed. I was shaking with excitement and Paul was in pure and utter shock and amazement. We embraced but I could tell he was slightly hesitant to believe that this was all true. I think he said something like "should the line be darker?" I knew from all my research and fertility websites that it was rare to get a positive test this early and you certainly wouldn't expect the line to be very dark. I immediately got dressed and headed down to CVS to buy a digital pregnancy test that would give us an unmistakable "yes" or "no." While I was down there I bought some things for Easter baskets that I planned on using to tell our parents.

When I returned home I immediately took the test and of course it resulted in a "Yes" result. It really sank in for Paul and we rejoiced. Even though it was very early we felt that we should tell our parents. We thought it was "meant to be" finding out on a holiday that represents birth and new life.

I came up with the idea to make Easter baskets to share our news. On the front of a plastic egg I wrote "Katie and Paul's 'lil egg" and on the back read "Due to hatch 12/2010." Inside I put a red jelly bean (in the fertility world they call the baby a "bean" so it seemed appropriate) and drew a heart on it. I also bought small baby bottles and filled them with jelly beans. In my mom and dad's basket I included my actual pregnancy tests ( I think my exact words were: "My mom is going to want proof.")

I got sick on the ride to my mom and dad's house. I have never been so happy to throw up in my life. I knew I wanted to share our news at dinner so it was very difficult to contain myself when we got there. I was helping my mom with the food when I heard Paul say: "Well I killed the rabbit this morning" (We had both recently learned that in the "old days" this expression was used to say a woman was pregnant. The incorrect version of the story is that they used to inject a rabbit with a woman's urine and if the rabbit died it meant she was pregnant. In reality the used to inject the urine and kill the rabbit to inspect the ovaries, if they saw a particular reaction they knew the woman was indeed pregnant). My mother screamed "What!??!" We both remained cool as a cucumber and pretended we didn't understand why she was reacting that way. She explained to us what the expression meant (even though we already knew) and Paul said he just meant he ate his chocolate bunny this morning. He later revealed that he was just "testing" her.

At dinner, our family tradition is to go around the table and say something we are thankful for. We do that this at all holidays, not just Thanksgiving. I went last and said "I'm not going to tell you what I'm thankful for, Ill show you." I went into the kitchen and brought back the basket and handed it to my mother. Here is the account of everyone's reactions to the best of my memory:
Mom: Screamed, stood up, started to cry, choked on a piece of ham, sat down and said "I'm going to faint!
Dad: Exclaimed "Really?!"
Carolyn: Cried
Andrew: Not really sure, we were definitely all concentrating on the fact that my mother almost choked and passed out!

Later that day at Paul's mom and Tuck's house, Tuck couldn't contain himself and spilled the beans to other family members by throwing the basket in the middle of the table for all to see. His mom tried to take it away but Aunt Jane had already seen the baby bottle so the secret was out. It was slightly earlier than when we planned on telling that many people but it was still a joyous occasion.

So there's my somewhat lengthy account of the time leading up to and including our happy news, more to come......