Monday, September 28, 2009

a little online shopping

I'm wearing maternity clothes today, and I LOVE them. Although the shirt is a little low-cut for my taste, so I have a lightweight scarf strategically draped around my neck. I have fallen in love with Old Navy's yoga pants. Their clothes never seemed to fit me properly before, but so far the maternity clothes have all been perfect. Even the length of the jeans (in "short") and the yoga pants are just right. And comfy! Above all else, that's what I was looking for. So, this is my wardrobe for the next 6 months or so. Luckily, I work in an extremely casual office.

I also ordered a prenatal yoga DVD and a doppler (under $35!), plus a few books recommended by my midwife. C still hasn't heard Ishkabibble's heartbeat yet. As soon as I located it Saturday, the baby moved and I lost it. I think Ishka doesn't like to be spied on. I plan to start doing the yoga tomorrow and really look forward to increasing my activity level. I've been a complete lump since about the 7-week mark. Now that the hangover has mostly subsided, I think a little exercise may wake me up a little. As it is, I am ready for a nap by the time I step out of the shower each morning, need another at about 2:00, and want to go to bed for the night by 7. True, I get up at 5, so that would only be 10 hours of sleep. but I'd like to stay awake a little more, and be more alert when I am awake, and I think exercise might help.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ahhhh, coffee

For the first time in over two months, I actually wanted a cup of coffee this morning. Decaf. Iced. With a splash of cream. Such heaven! As recently as last week, I found the smell somewhat unappetizing. Tea and cocoa just don't cut it for me- tea rarely tastes as good as it smells, and hot chocolate is too sweet for my palate. I'm looking forward to cradling a steaming mug on the chilly days to come.

Monday, September 21, 2009

it's all good

I had my second prenatal appointment with the midwife today. In addition to finally hearing Ishkabibble's heart beat (glorious!), I got the preliminary results of the NT scan and bloodwork. The odds of someone my age carrying a child with Downs Syndrome are 1 in 84 (or 1 in 67 if you consider maternal age at delivery... my EDD is 6 days before I turn 42). According to the NT scan, my odds are 1 in 150. Hurray! As for other trisomies, the risk for my age is normally 1 in 53. Based on the preliminary blood work, my risk, aside from the risk of Downs, is 1 in 10,000.

I can't stop grinning. Ishka was very cooperative to start off with today, allowing the MW to find a heartbeat in less than 5 seconds of searching. As soon as the probe pressed a little into my belly, though, Ishka backed off toward my spine and tried to hide. We could still hear the heart, albeit slightly muffled. Everything looks, sounds, and measures perfectly for 13w4d. I go back in another 4 weeks, and since I'm over 40 I get to schedule a more detailed u/s with an MFM. I have no intention of doing anything risky or invasive, but I'll take any opportunity or excuse to peek at Ishkabibby and see for myself that there's a little person thriving inside me.

I've gained 3 pounds, which is perfectly acceptable (my scale at home hasn't budged since five days past transfer... I need a better scale). I have yet to measure my waistline, but judging from the fact that I can't even zip most of my pants, let alone button them, I estimate I've grown at least 4 inches around the middle. None of my bras fit, although one remains serviceable. I'm planning to do a little shopping this week- I bought a maternity skirt, dress and shirt online, but it's getting cooler every day and I could really use some comfy pants.

As far as how I'm feeling at this point... well, dog-tired, for one. The constant mild nausea that was so like a hangover has dissipated, replaced by occasional but convincing gagging, triggered usually by an offensive odor but sometimes by the presence of a toothbrush in my mouth. I haven't measured, but suspect that my belly expands by several inches during the course of the day. By the time I get home from work each night, I am so bloated and exhausted that I have no interest in eating a decent dinner, let alone assembling one. Food still has no real appeal to me, flavorwise, although I find myself hungrier the last few days than I've been in months. I've completely lost my taste for coffee (decaf, of course, were I interested at all). All the symptoms are manageable so far. And I'd probably be less tired if I got to bed a little earlier every night. Bring on the second tri!

Friday, September 11, 2009

breathing easy

Ishkabibble is doing great. I believe I'll get the actual measurements and details at my next MW appointment on 9/21, but I can say that even to my untrained eyes, Ishka looks like a little person. Arms and legs, even the hint of fingers were visible on the small screen. And the flutter of a heart beating away at 162 bpm. Miraculous!

Of course, the baby would not cooperate with the u/s tech. For an NT scan, three criteria need to be met in a single image- chin off the chest, profile with nasal bones visible, and the fetus cannot be resting against the membranes. Ishka seemed to be resting when we first peeked, chin ON chest, and lounging against the membranes. The tech tried jostling Ishka by running the u/s probe back and forth across my belly. So, Ishka turned his/her back on us and we had a nice view of the spine. I was instructed to empty my bladder three times during the scan, even though I'd followed their instructions to the letter (empty bladder 90 minutes before appt., then drink 12-16oz water by appointment time). The lack of cooperation and bladder-emptying served a purpose though, as C was hung up in traffic and arrived late. Only after the second trip to the restroom, about 30 minutes into the appointment, did he arrive. I was worried I'd be in and out before he could catch a glimpse of our baby, but he got to watch as the tech continued to push and poke for another 40 minutes. I'll post the pictures as soon as I get them scanned. For now, they're framed on my desk at work so I can look at them all day long.

Now, it feels even more real. There's a tiny human in there, not just a blurry blob. I started spreading the news at work, showing the pictures to a co-worker in my building just after I showed them to my mother. I posted the announcement on FB. I'm volunteering at a folk music coffeehouse tomorrow and told the organizer that I can't do any heavy lifting. I can say it now without feeling like I might be mistaken or faking it... We're pregnant! And it's human!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

the cat's partially out of the bag

I really don't recommend hosting a dinner party for 35 guests when you're 11 weeks pregnant, unless you get someone else to clean the house, make the food, set everything up, and do a little of the socializing. Saturday was exhausting, and I ended up sleeping through most of Sunday. Otherwise, it was a wonderful night. It was too warm for sweatshirts when guests began to arrive, and I couldn't wait until all were assembled to begin breaking the news, so we just told each person as they arrived. There were lots of hugs and congratulations and toasts. It felt so good to finally let people know, to share the joy with our families. Most of them have no clue what we went through to get here, but I think they understand what this means to us.

I haven't told anyone at work yet. I have no reason to wait, and no reason to tell. My mother, who works with me, has been unexpectedly quiet about the pregnancy. She even told me yesterday, "It's your secret to share." I didn't consider this so much a secret as a possibility, not quite definite and therefore not to be mentioned publicly. It's still somewhat unreal, and will likely remain so until I can feel life moving inside me. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's NT scan with a little trepidation... we haven't seen or heard a heartbeat in 4 weeks, and there is the chance, however small, that something could have gone wrong. I'm not really tempted to rent a doppler so I can listen to Ishka on a daily basis, but the reassurance of a healthy scan will ease my mind considerably. The chances of miscarrying diminish each week, and will drop below 5% when we get into the second trimester, but my last glimpse of a healthy Ishka was at 8 weeks. No matter how you look at it, my eggs are old. Chromosomal problems are a legitimate concern.

I guess I'm more worried about it than I admitted to myself, and that's contributing to my reluctance to completely publicize this pregnancy. Maybe after tomorrow's scan I'll feel more confident. I might wear my "Due in March" sweatshirt to work on Friday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

an open mind

I should know better than to broach a serious topic on C before 7 am, but for some reason, religion was on my mind this morning. I think I saw something on the news last night, or over the weekend- some mucky-muck in the Roman Catholic Church was complaining that Ted Kennedy's funeral mass should not have been allowed in a Catholic Church because he supported equal rights for gays and a woman's right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy. C and I were both raised Catholic, but lapsed long ago, before we met. I don't know his reasons, exactly, but I couldn't stomach a religion that worked so hard to exclude people. As a woman, I felt excluded myself. My only role, it seemed, was to have kids and repopulate the Church. So I stopped going in my senior year of high school, and have returned only for weddings, christenings, and funerals.

In spite of our having turned away from Catholicism, both C and I appreciate the fact that we learned something about God when we were children. I think we would not have been equipped to make educated decisions about our personal faith without that foundation- CCD and Sunday school as kids; C even went to a Catholic high school for a couple of years. Initially, we believed we would have our baby christened in the Catholic Church, and we'd start going to mass again, as a family, to provide a similar foundation for our children.

Then I saw that interview on the news and was reminded how exclusionary the Church can be. I will not send my child to a closed-minded institution to learn about God. So, we now have about 7 months to figure out what religion we'll adopt as adults. I want to find a church that teaches acceptance and inclusion, that emphasizes the similarities between people and celebrates diversity. Whether we have a son or daughter, I want my child to feel valued in the religious community.

So, I'm curious what religions are out there that are more open-minded (I'm guessing there are few more closed-minded), and would love to get some feedback from whatever audience I have today. Are you practicing any particular religion? How does your faith make you feel welcome and valued?

C and I will talk about this some more. Probably a lot more; but not before 7 am.