Saturday, May 13, 2017

24 Week Pregnancy Update

Well hello there! I've been pretty MIA from this blog during this pregnancy so far. I've been wanting to hop on and document some things, but just haven't sat down to write it.  I wanted to note some things while they're still on my mind so I'll have these memories to look back on too. 

Where it began: Of course many of you know we experienced an unfortunate loss during our first pregnancy in October. Shortly after we found out we were expecting, we experienced a miscarriage. (I wrote about it on the blog a few posts back if you missed it). Those were long days and weeks for me not knowing what our future held in terms of having a baby. The enemy tries to get your mind to believing lies and negative thoughts, so we were't sure what to expect when we were ready to start trying again. I got the midwife's advice on when we could start trying again and carried on each day trying to trust the Lord's plan.

As December went on, I started to have suspicions we were pregnant again. I had nausea, bloating, waking up to pee during the night (which I didn't do before pregnancy), and other unmentionables, which were all the same early pregnancy symptoms I had with our first pregnancy. Nick had the idea to wait until Christmas Day to take a pregnancy test. Honestly it was hard to wait! I kept asking him if we could just take the test already but he thought it would be neat to wait. He was right - it was a really special day to get that news together. 

It was also hard not to tell my parents the good news when they came over Christmas morning to enjoy the day together, but we knew we wanted to wait until after our first doctor appointment to share the news with others. As January went by, it got so hard not to tell our families or co-workers! My parents ended up being sick for two weekends in a row around my birthday when we planned to tell them, so we finally got to break the news to our families when we were 10 weeks along. I put a sandwich bun in our oven and asked my mom to check the oven with my dad right there. It was a fun/funny way to tell them as they looked at us confused about why we had a piece of bread in the oven. I remember after I said to my mom, "It's a bun, right? In the oven?" Trying to trigger the thought in her mind then my dad asking "what does that mean?!" in the moment of shock trying to understand what we were telling them as my mom had her ah-ha moment. :)  With the rest of our family living away, we used FaceTime/phone calls to share the news. 

Here are some pictures we have of our baby girl at ultrasounds we've had. It's such a miracle to watch her and feel her grow. As she kicks in my belly as I write this post, I'm in awe of the Lord's creation and grateful for this sweet life. 

We've been taking bump pics every 2 weeks so here are our pics for the first half of this pregnancy. 

Here was one of my pre-pregnancy test pics when I was already seeing some bloat from the pregnancy hormones. 

We chose to do prenatal bloodwork to help know if the baby was looking healthy and on track. Honestly after experiencing our miscarriage, I was so nervous about anything happening. Plus, I found out at 6 weeks pregnant that I have 2 mutations of the MTHFR gene which can lead to increased frequency of miscarriages, infertility issues (as well as fibromyalgia, heart disease, etc.). Many doctors aren't very well versed about MTHFR (luckily my chiropractor is and helped me understand what steps to take), but for some women it means blood can clot between the mom and baby causing the baby to not get nutrients they need though the umbilical cord. So I wanted any piece of mind that we could get if things were looking okay with the baby.

One perk of that additional bloodwork, is it can tell you earlier if you're having a boy or girl. So we were excited to find out just shy of 15 weeks that our baby is a girl. We shared the news with our families living away from us using hershey bars where we colored the SHE of "hershey" with a red marker so they'd open this wrapper to see the baby is a SHE! We had them open the candy bars at the same time so everyone (in IA/CA/NE) would find out at the same time. 

I made rice krispy treats and added pink candy coated chocolates and pink sprinkles and took them over to my mom's for our gender reveal with them that same night. I caught their reaction to learning they're having a granddaughter :)  I had extra treats from the batch I made so I took them to work to have a reveal for my co-workers which was fun too. 

It's been such a blessing to walk through this pregnancy with my friend Hannah who is ahead of me in her pregnancy. We sadly went through our miscarriages a few months apart last fall and she was such a great support system for me and gifted me a book (Angie Smith's I will Carry You) to work through my emotions those months. It was a joy to have her and our friends here a few weeks ago and celebrate these babies together. 

Here's my latest bump pic at 23 weeks and 4 days. 

Some notes about this pregnancy:
  • First craving: Milky Way candy bars. I had Nick stop by the store to get me a bag of snack size milky ways. I don't usually buy candies like that so it felt like such a creamy treat! Plus, up until that point I was still avoiding milk in products (which has gone out the window during this pregnancy by the way!:)). 
  • Nausea: I felt pretty crummy during the first trimester, until about 12-13 weeks. I never actually got sick, but multiple times a day I felt like I was about to. So I would snack often thanks to advice from friends, eat ginger chews, drink ginger ale a few times, and use my oils to help. 
  • Fatigue: I've been absolutely exhausted throughout this entire pregnancy so far. There have been lots of days I get home from work and get in bed to nap before dinner. So tired.
  • Discomforts: In the past few weeks now, I've had increasing hip discomforts. And my low back has been pretty pain fun this last week especially. Even the top and bottom of my belly has been hurting with the pressures and growth. I'm hoping it's a growth spurt she's going through and that I'll feel better for a while again. 
  • Food aversions: I'm usually an easy to please eater. I'm not too picky and whatever others want to eat sounds find to me. But now, I'm super picky about what sounds good. If something doesn't sound good, I can't eat it. 
  • Foods I'm loving: a toasted bagel (gluten free) with cream cheese. It's my favorite thing lately. Also chocolate milk, fruit juices, fresh juicy fruits (watermelon, mango), anything with carbs and cheese really. There were weeks in my first trimester where all that sounded good were cheese enchiladas or mac & cheese. Thankfully for me and the baby, my tastes have opened up more opportunities since then ;) 
  • Baby prep: We put together our baby registries last weekend in preparation for our baby shower in June, and that was overwhelming yet fun. There's a lot to learn in the baby world for us first timers! A bouncer vs. exersaucer, all different kinds of cloth diapers. Not to mention carseats & strollers which still confuse me. Haha! We're learning a lot. It's fun to pick out things this baby girl will use. 
  • Baby observations: This baby girl likes to lay low :) she's usually in or just above my pelvis (which might be causing more of my hip and back pains). She is very active at night. I wake up a few time a night to use the bathroom and most of the time, she's awake and moving around then. I feel her during the day too, but the movements are usually more subtle and she seems to be more restful then. She moves & kicks more when we're playing music or sometimes when I'm talking to her while I drive or get ready in the mornings. This week, I felt her move a few times on the left side and right sides of my belly at the same time. She must have been doing some stretches. :) It was fun to feel how big she really is getting in there. 
Our next midwife appointment is next Friday and we have a follow up ultrasound too because during our 19-week anatomy scan, they didn't get a good picture of the umbilical cord's connection into the placenta. It'll be a nice sneak peak to see her again this week! 

Thanks to all of our friends and family for love and support - we love and appreciate you all!

This pic is from our pregnancy/gender announcement photo session taken at 19 weeks by my friend Amy Polley. 

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