Monday, May 28, 2012


I've been trying to take advantage of the extra day off to finish up some lingering things around the apartment that need to be done before we go on vacation in June.

Last night I *finally* finished the snowflake afghan I've been working on in fits and spurts for almost a year now.

It's going to be a gift for my mentor at work at the point we leave Madison - which won't be for a long time- but I tend to like to give myself at least a few months years to finish any kind of project like this.

Next up is one may have to be a little speedier; though who knows when we'll actually have room for a "nursery".  At minimum I have 6.5 months to finish it.  More realistically, I have until Daniel graduates.  In any case, I found this cute cross-stitch pattern way back in 2010 and decided it would be perfect for a baby's room.  Now that I'm free from the tyranny of the snowflake afghan overlord, I can start on another public works project.        

Finally I did some baby shower shopping.  I have three baby showers coming up - one before we leave and two immediately after- and I wanted to take care of the gift obligation this weekend.

Gift set 1 on the left is for one of the gals who is actually having two showers (one is a "couples" shower in a fancy restaurant so I think we are going to come out ahead financially even after buying two gifts) so I bought Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? (an item on her registry) as a gift for one shower and another book and a squishy football for the second.

Can you see what the other book is?  I picked this up in Target, read through it, and about cried right there on the picture book aisle (which probably happens more than you think).

My mom used to read this to us when we were really little.
 For the other gal, I got a cloth diaper and some supplies and a (free with coupon) bag for stashing yucky cloth diapers when you are out.  I also got her a squishy ball.

Everybody loves the squishy balls.

Hope you had a good long weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

10 weeks

1/4 of the way through this thing!  Here's hoping that I'm actually going to be able to enjoy (most of) the remaining 3/4.

10 weeks looks the same as 9 and 8 weeks except a little more blurry.  I'm up 1lb from last week (2lbs total) due to an abundance of ice cream-related social events, but still within the acceptable 2-4 lb 1st trimester weight gain allowance.  I'm actually kind of amazed at how little weight I've gained considering how crappy my diet and non-existent my exercise regimen has been.  I really don't want to end up with gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or an invitation to be on next season's Biggest Loser.

This week has actually seen an improvement in my ability to eat relatively healthy food.  I've had some kind of meat and vegetables pretty much every day.  However, it's been rough in terms of having really bad headaches, especially in the afternoon, and soul-crushing fatigue.  I can no longer jog- every very slowly- my entire route around campus anymore without walking.  Riding my bike up the big hills into Eagle Heights is out, too.  In fact, I find just walking up those hills to be tiring.  I hate being a lazy bum, but I've found myself on the couch with a book every day after work.  I'm glad my piano teacher is out of town getting married right now because even practicing the keyboard is mentally and physically tiring after a day at work.

I think I've started to have a few bizarre food cravings, but nothing actionable.  It's more like I'm riding my bike home and get a big whif of bus exhaust and think, "Man, Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza would taste great for dinner!".  Then I walk my bike up the hill and decide that acquiring pizza would take waaaaayyyyy too much effort.

But I'm hanging in there.  Only 2 more weeks until the end of the 1st trimester when my frenemy hCG takes a nose dive!

We are planning to see some friends visiting from California tomorrow but otherwise don't have anything big going on for the long weekend.  I'm just looking forward to disconnecting from the computer.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I promise

Let me tell you, I have read a lot of blogs dealing with pregnancy.  A lot.  And I know how obnoxious they can be.  Therefore as my loyal blog readers, I hereby promise that I will try not to commit any of the most egregious sins I've seen.

  1. I promise never to show a picture of my bare stomach.  This is not an episode of Jersey Shore (insert horror that Snooki is having a baby here).
  2. I promise never to call my stomach a "bump".  This is also not an episode of Teen Mom.
  3. I promise never to say "we're pregnant".  I'm pregnant.  My contribution to this project lasts 9 months.  Daniel's lasted 9... well... considerably less. 
  4. I promise to try to write about non-pregnancy related things at least some of the time.  I feel a little justified in blathering on and on about it because I feel like I've been on the receiving end SO MANY TIMES in the past year or two and I DESERVE IT but I do recognize it's annoying.  There will be lots of non-pregnancy related pictures (oh please don't let me get sick on a 15-hour trans-Atlantic flight) from our trip to London.
  5. I promise to try to be funny and try to laugh about stuff and not be a complete obsessive worry wart who knows EVERYTHING and freaks out about EVERYTHING.  
But on the other hand, I don't get to see most of you all very often and I wanted to share the big changes that will be going on over the coming months.  Feel free to call me out if I start breaking too many rules!

9 weeks

Nice farmer's tan, eh?  Guess I could have used a little more sunblock when we went to the track meet last weekend.  Things are and feel pretty much the same as last week, which makes sense because the baby has only moved up in fruit sizes from raspberry to green olive/grape.

I've been feeling less crappy or at least better able to head off feeling crappy.  I'm still having a hard time with meat and vegetables, but I have been trying to get in one serving per day (as well as a few of fruit).  I've actually noticed that if I make sure to eat a little something as a snack between meals, I feel less queasy and more able to make good choices at meals.

It doesn't always work out that way.  We went out to a celebratory (London + baby + anniversary) sushi dinner (shhh, don't tell my OB) last Friday and that went down fine, but it afterward when we went grocery shopping, it was impossible to come up with anything remotely healthy that I could take for lunches for the week.  We stood in the bread aisle at Target while Daniel suggested every food he's ever seen me eat and I rejected each one.  Then we landed on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which I decided... yeah maybe I could eat that... on cinnamon raisin bread.  Weird.  We have stir fry set out for dinner tonight, and while I was kind of concerned about doing steak + broccoli, eating something savory and at least somewhat healthy for dinner actually sounds kind of good.

Exercise has been a casualty of this process, too.  I wouldn't care too much except that my eating habits have been SO bad and I don't want this to turn into a 50-lb pregnancy.  I mean, I'm eating for two, but one of us is the size of an olive (not even a Kalamata olive).  Right now I'm still doing yoga 4 times per week and jogging 6 miles 3x per week.  Before I really started having morning sickness I was doing an additional 3-4 miles 2x per week before yoga, but I've had a heck of a time adding that back in.  It's just been sooooooo hard for me to get up early.  My former willpower seems to have bought the $1 Megabus ticket and is on the way to Cancun.  If I run before yoga I have to be out of the apartment by 5am, and I dunno... I just can't do it.  Part of me says, who cares, wait until T2 and then add the days back in and part of me says I need to do what I've always done and just get up.  I really don't want to gain too much weight here in the beginning and if I continue only running 3 days per week  I may have to invest in some prune juice.  Meh... I don't know.

We'll see what the coming weeks bring.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

8 weeks

The official 8 weeks picture (taken on Saturday, May 12):

Weight: 131 lbs.

I probably look totally normal to everyone else, but I feel really thick through the middle.  Part of that in this picture is that I'd just gotten back from running and guzzled a lot of water and eaten breakfast right before it was taken.  All the pants and long-sleeved shirts I bought to accommodate my pre-pregnancy weight gain (long story) still fit okay, but all my summer tops fit my "normal" body which means most of them don't fit this body.  But... I'm trying to make do with what I've got for now because I'm going to get a lot bigger before I get any smaller.

I ended up having a fairly good weekend nausea-wise.  I was tired and felt kind of gross on Saturday, but I rallied on Sunday and had a great afternoon at the Big 10 track meet.  Biking to church + set up + biking home + walking to the track meet + walking to get ice cream + walking home was tiring, but it was such a relief to feel more or less like my normal self.

Right now first thing in the morning, mid-afternoon, and right before I go to bed are the worst times for me nausea and headache-wise, which sounds (and sometimes feels) like all day, but I usually actually feel pretty good around mid-morning and after dinner.  I'm down to taking one Zofran first thing in the morning and managing my symptoms with Tylenol and granola bars the rest of the day.

It makes me appreciate how truly awful it must be to have a chronic illness.

On the happy/ exciting side of things, Monday was my first OB appointment.  All my labs came back normal with the exception that I'm a little low on iron, and my doc seemed happy about my physical health and habits otherwise.  I quit caffeine back in January and- as a side benefit of my nausea and food aversions- gum, diet soda, and other artificial sweeteners are revolting list right now.  I'm remarkably vice-free!  Now if  I could just eat some meat and vegetables...  

The highlight of the visit, though, was the first "unofficial" ultrasound to check for viability.  Daniel didn't come to this appointment partly because I was going to spend most of it getting a pelvic exam (and I'd like to keep some of the mystery alive) and partly because I was terrified that the sonogram would show bad news and I would be a total disaster.  The doctor warned me that not seeing anything at 8 weeks wasn't necessarily bad news, but she *hoped* we'd be able to see a heartbeat to indicate things were going normally.

She started the ultrasound and I laid back and watched the screen.  Right side - nothing.  Left side - there it was.

The baby is the thing on the left side of the shot that looks a little like a fuzzy seahorse.  The white line trailing off from the bottom of it is actually the edge of the amniotic sac.  Although you can't tell from this picture, the baby has a head and arms and a torso and a tiny little heart that was beating away.

If I were the kind of person who cried from joy, I would have done it in that moment.  All I could do was smile.  In that moment, the headaches, the nausea, the tiredness, the worry about childcare and finances after the baby is born, the stress over not traveling for Christmas, the weight gain,  the time off of running, the vague excuses for not running or racing, the jealousy in having to celebrating other women's pregnancies, the tears, the disappointment that had followed me every 30 days, it all disappeared.  Just for a moment, there was only me and that tiny grey smudge with it's tiny white flickering heart.  And I think, I hope, I pray, it's all worth it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I doubt I'll EVER want to remember this week

But in case I do, here's a snapshot of life at 8 weeks pregnant.

I'm sitting at work at 3pm on Friday with no deadlines looming over me.  My head hurts.  My stomach hurts.  I'm counting the seconds until I can take more anti-nausea medication (FYI, it's 7200).  I want to go home and lay down, but if I did, my heartburn would get really bad.  I'm surprised the human race did not die out long ago.

I'd been feeling a little bit of queasiness/nausea since around week 5 - most of it actually in the afternoon- but nothing prepared me for full-on, How am I ever going to survive 5 more weeks of this? morning sickness that hit me last Sunday night.

That's right.  Night.  After feeling pretty good all day, I experienced revenge of the homemade pizza and cinnamon Life cereal (How could I possibly have thought that would be a good combination??) every hour on the hour from 11pm to 6am.  Fortunately Ron and Barbara (my bosses) are out of town this week for ARVO (the vision conference in Ft. Lauderdale) so I could e-mail in sick and lay on the couch, trying to choke down the orange Gatorade Daniel had valiantly fought early morning rush hour traffic to bring me.  I felt like I had the stomach flu.  More than that, I had the headache to end all headaches, which could only be relieved by the pleasant distraction of gagging 3 sips of orange Gatorade back up into the toilet.

After work, Daniel took me to urgent care, where I was introduced to my new best friend Zofran (anti-nausea med).  After two days of taking full doses of Zofran and Tylenol at the closest intervals allowed, I started being able to think about eating things that were not pretzels.  I worked from home on Wednesday and went back to work on Thursday.  I curse losing 2 days of my precious maternity leave/ baby sick time to my own sickness, but there was nothing to be done for it.  I still don't feel very good, but I did at least get out for a walk every day but Monday, and I returned to yoga this morning.  Tomorrow should be a return to "running" again.

The biggest surprise- other than the crushing fatigue and nausea and the fact that one morning around week 5 I woke up in Dolly Parton's body (if you know what I mean...) - is the food aversions.  I haven't really had any cravings.  It's more like each day there are one or two things that don't automatically make me want to hurl, so by default they sound pretty tasty.  Every night we spin the wheel of acceptable foods to see what's for dinner.  Last night it was tortilla chips.  And a McDonald's chocolate milkshake.  Which has now been stricken from the list.

An easier list to develop is the list of foods/food products I cannot imagine ever consuming again.  EVER.
1. Vegetables. Any kind.
2. Soda.
3. Gum.
4. Meat.  Any kind.  Especially sausage, which we have tons of in the freezer from our meat box.  Daniel, I hope you are hungry for sausage.
5. Eggs.  Any kind. Omelets seem especially revolting because they have the potential to include vegetables.  Shudder.
6. Fish.  Any kind.  Maybe I could do fried.  Probably not.
7. Salad dressing.  Any kind.
8. McDonald's chocolate milkshake.
9. Fruit.  Although canned peaches might not be so bad.
10. Life cereal.  I think this one is truly out forever.

And I could go on.

Almost more horrifying than food is the smell of food.  Cooking- gah!  Everything about eating is fraught wither peril.  I feel sick, then I eat, which makes me feel more sick, but in a different way.  The only things I've been able to get down reliably this week with few side-effects are Amy's microwavable bean burritos, granola bars and mini pretzels.  I'm eating the way a 5-year-old would eat if he had negligent parents.

The one thing keeping me going is that I have my first OB appointment on Monday.  It'll be a full physical, but the nurse thinks that the doctor will do a sonogram to date the pregnancy.  I'd like to think that feeling as bad as I do is good insurance that nothing will go wrong in these early weeks, but it will be nice to have a proof that the little kidney bean inside me that is sucking my life away is actually real and not a horrible, nausea-induced hallucination.  

Kid, this better all be worth it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cuatro de Mayo

So it's been awhile since  I wrote an actual blog post.  The turtle thinks that's unacceptable.

We actually have been doing a few fun/different things, but I've been lazy about taking photos and no photos = lame (-er than usual) blog posts.

Last weekend our church had it's yearly PR event called Love Madison where services are canceled and members are encouraged to do some kind of service project.  Our life group signed up to help the oldsters at St. Mary's Care Center play bingo.

The first thing I will say is that for every person who drooled and tried to eat the bingo chips, there were three more who where there to WIN.  This was a matter of pride... not to mention we were giving out quarters and colored pens.  Do not try to get between a slightly senile woman and her purple pen.

Daniel was the caller and he kept them in line.  Between the partial blindness, partial deafness, and out and out cheating, this was not an easy task.  But he managed it... with style.  
I work out.
Last night we went to the Epic computer science picnic, and it was a lesson in how the top 1% live.  Judy Faulkner just cracked the billionaire mark, so I guess it's a small thing to feed 200 people all you can eat steak and lobster (and lemon meringue cupcakes....  mmmmm).  When Daniel finally thinks up something cool and makes us a zillion dollars I'm going to eat nothing but lobster tails and lemon meringue cupcakes for an entire week.  Watch me.

Tonight we are out for a fancy dinner at Culver's and a trip to the Stoughton Opera House to hear the Tony Rice Unit.  Other than that, we don't have much else going on this weekend.  Daniel is playing in church on Sunday with the choir, and I'm excited to finally be able to run in shorts again.  Hope you have a good weekend!