We are absolutely OVER THE MOON to be counting down the days until we welcome our first non-canine baby in August! This announcement was one we had hoped to make as early as early 2014, but due to delays caused by major life changes and most of all our bodies' super reluctance to give us a baby, we've had to wait a lot longer than we ever imagined. Waiting aside, and possibly due in part to all that waiting, we are so excited to be parents and to meet our little mini me that we can hardly sleep! After 9 years together and almost 6 married, we're more than ready to be a family of 3 humans and 3 dogs! Finally, the dogs won't outnumber us and the human race might regain some control of the BDH.
Here are some photos from our announcement photo shoot at the Eiffel Tower!
I've attempted to answer some of the questions I think you might have below, but if you have others feel free to leave them in the comments!
Q: How far along are you?
A: We've just entered our second trimester and are so excited about it (which we're really thankful means we're out of the highest risk period!)
Q: Will you find out the gender?
A: YES MA'AM! This is a major no-brainer for us. If we could have found out the gender the day we conceived, we would have. As a type A, planner that loves to be totally prepared, I don't know how I would survive the pregnancy without knowing how to decorate the nursery, how to monogram, what clothes to buy, etc. In fact, not knowing now is killing me and resulting in me buying and pinning a bunch of stuff for both genders (just keeping all the receipts).
Q: When will you find out?
A: March at the latest. We are currently weighing the pros and cons of an out of pocket blood test that would tell us a week to two from now, along with telling us if the baby is at risk for any genetic or chromosomal disorders. We have to decide by tomorrow!
Q: What symptoms have you had?
A: Nausea, nausea, nausea, some more nausea, nausea while I'm having nausea, nausea while I'm sleeping, nausea while I'm showering, nausea while I'm doing anything... basically I've been really, really nauseaus. My doc put me on the strongest anti-nausea med on the market which helped for awhile, until it didn't (on Christmas Eve when I felt like I was on my death bed - like level 10 nausea - at my family Christmas get together when we still hadn't told anyone - I laid on the floor eating saltines I'd hidden under the couch next to me). After that point, the doctor DOUBLED my dose (crazy) which kept my nausea below level 3 or 4 pretty much constantly. It was still there a lot of days, but was bearable. I really struggled with it on our Europe trip, which I'm sure wasn't helped by all of the strange smells and foods, but we were too excited to be in Europe to let it slow us down. Aside from the morning sickness (which most often for me struck at midnight or right before lunch), I've had a dramatically increased sense of smell, increased need to pee, very low blood pressure due to the widening of my blood vessels (a normal pregnancy thing) causing light headedness and trouble standing for more than a few minutes (I've always had low blood pressure but pregnancy has made it much worse), and abdominal ligament pain due to the stretching.
Q: What symptoms haven't you had?
A: Moodiness (much to my surprise, emotionally I've felt the exact same), elevated basal body temperature (which at first worried me but the doc says its fine), exhaustion (apparently you're supposed to be super tired during the first trimester but I've felt the same, if not way more energetic on days).
Q: Any cravings?
A: Not so much, just a TON of food aversions. Foods I've always loved (lettuce, onions, red peppers, foreign food) I can't even look at or even think about now without getting sick. It's super sad and I hope to come out of it soon. As far as cravings go, I've not experienced the "I need to eat X right now" feeling at all, but I have noticed an increase preference for three things: apples, juice and cereal. I read one study that linked increased apple consumption during pregnancy to dramatically decreased chances of the child developing asthma, so I don't fight myself on the granny smiths. :)
Q: Which room will be the baby's room?
A: The guest room closest to us! It has its own bathroom and is the shortest number of steps from our room, so it seemed like the logical choice! We've already cleared it out by moving that guest furniture to our craft room and condensing our craft room into what is now just a craft closet. A worthwhile sacrifice to make room for baby!
Q: What are your plans for the nursery?
A: We plan to start wainscoting soon - not sure what kind yet, but trust me, it's a daily topic of conversation in our house. Also, hubby is already drawing plans for an elaborate set of built-ins in the closet. For anything beyond that, I'm having a hard time visualizing without knowing the gender. I'm thinking probably mostly neutrals (creams, whites, grays, metal tones) with either gender, but if it's a girl I know I won't be able to resist a little (or maybe a lot) of pink.
Q: How much weight have you gained so far?
A: One pound in the first trimester, which I wanted be zero, but since the baby and all of his/her gear/placenta/sac/etc. is now bigger than a grapefruit, I'm apparently storing more water and making more blood, I'm not beating myself up about it. By my logic, all of the baby gear and extra blood probably weighs more than 1 pound, so I've probably lost weight, right? :) I tried to stay really active throughout the first trimester because I have an illogical fear of gaining too much weight during pregnancy (my mom gained 80 pounds with me, so I guess that's why) and I'm proud to say there were only 6 days in the first trimester when I didn't hit 10,000 steps on my pedometer (and those days were mostly close). Several days I got into the 20,000s and twice in the 30,000s, so my numbers have even been higher than what they were before I was pregnant on average. I don't get my heart rate too elevated, I just try to stay moving now that I know that pregnancy is slowing down my already not so fast metabolism. Now that I've entered the trimester where I have a medical need to gain weight, I'm mentally prepared to watch myself grow (I just didn't want to grow before I needed to).
Q: Will this blog turn into a baby blog or will it stay the same?
A: If anything, it might briefly turn into an infertility awareness blog but after I write that one (just one, I promise), big cathartic post it will go right back to being a decorating, DIYing hub, just now with the occasional bump/pregnancy update post mixed in. :) I think it's really important that as a society we begin to raise awareness and develop comfort talking about infertility and miscarriage so that the 1 in 6 couples who end up dealing with either of those issues know that they're in good company and there are plenty of people around them they can reach out to for support.
Q: Will you go for a natural delivery?
A: No way, Jose. Until a doctor makes a compelling medical case for the health of me or my baby for why I should endure more pain that I have to, I will be the first one in line for that epidural. Props to those who want to go without one and props to those who don't. I don't really see why it matters and personally won't be handing out any trophies or high fives to friends based on which way they choose.
Q: Breastfeeding or formula?
A: Breastfeeding if I'm able. Willing to do whatever I can to make it work, but I know some women just can't, so I'm trying to mentally prepare for that possibility too. Again, major props to all parents for keeping their babies alive and fed, however they do it.
Q: What do you miss doing/eating/drinking?
A: In recent years I've been really, REALLY annoyed by pregnant women who complain about what they can't do/eat while pregnant, partly because it just sounds ungrateful but mostly because an infertility diet and lifestyle restrictions are WAY more restrictive than pregnancy restrictions, and unlike pregnancy sacrifices being made for 8 months and with an awesome prize at the end, infertility sacrifices go on indefinitely with no guarantee of any good results. *Stepping off soapbox now* With that being said, I'm really enjoying everything I can eat, drink and do again that I couldn't while on an infertility diet (like eating food other than fruits + veggies 2 weeks a month, using normal shampoos, being able to pee in toilets instead of cups/pouches and being able to touch plastic shopping carts at Target, you know, the little things). No alcohol? No biggie. I couldn't have it during infertility anyway and at least now hubby can drink again. The only thing I've struggled with that is tougher than during infertility is not being able to color my hair. My roots are by far the worst they've ever looked and I CANNOT WAIT to get them fixed this weekend now that I've cleared the first trimester! Getting a root touch up is my big second trimester welcome party for myself.
Q: Most surprising thing about pregnancy so far:
A: Is 'that it happened?' an answer? J/K. In all seriousness, I think I'm most surprised at how calm I've been the whole time. Even with as much time as we had to mentally prepare and to crave this moment, I'm still shocked that I've yet to have a freak out moment. I've heard from so many friends that a couple weeks in it just kind of hit them that their body had been invaded by an alien, they were going to have a child in a set amount of time to take care of for 18 years, that they would get stretch marks, that they couldn't reverse or pause what had been set in motion, that they could die in childbirth, etc. and freaked out for an hour or so. I totally expected that to be me, regardless of how bad we wanted it, because you really do forfeit a lot of control over your body, health and life (and let's be real, I love control), but I haven't had that moment or anything like it. I've been so blissfully happy the whole time and haven't spazzed once, much to my surprise. Pregnancy has made me a much calmer person.
Q: Favorite baby books so far?
A: I LOVED Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy (so funny and real), Baby Bargains has been great to read reviews on all of the baby gear and as a first time mom to read which of those items you actually need and which ones you can pass, What to Expect has been good and the source of a few things I didn't know already, one medical pregnancy guide has been helpful but the pictures of actual naked pregnant women still spook me every time I turn the page and find one. Most of all, I'm really excited to be starting Baby Wise this week, which has been highly recommended to us by several friends, including some of the best parents we know.
Q: What do you THINK the gender is?
A: I think its a girl for several reasons, mostly the nausea, heart rate and Ramzi method, but Ross is convinced its a boy. We'll see in a few weeks! We would be so happy to have either one - we're just ready to know so that we can get to work planning!