Tuesday, December 27, 2016

30 Weeks... Merry Christmas!

How far along? 30w3d
Gender: Girl
Weight Gain? 20+ pounds
Maternity Clothes? Clothes are a challenge right now.  Things are just getting smaller and smaller by the minute!  For sweatshirts and t-shirts I've been wearing a lot of Joe's stuff because it just fits better.  I have maybe 2 hoodies of my own that still fit decently.  Even my maternity jeans are starting to get more snug! 
Stretch Marks? None!
Belly button in or out?  Pretty flat at this point.
Sleep:  Hit or miss on the sleep.  Some nights I sleep great others, not so much.  Lots of getting up to pee, rolling over from side to side due to congestion, etc. but I know it could be worse!
Best moment this week:  Hitting the 30 week mark is seriously blowing my mind.  Roughly 10 more weeks til baby girl is here and it's just so crazy to think about.  We had so much fun with all of our Christmas festivities, although I think it went by way too fast! 
Symptoms:  Fatigue, back pain, weight gain, some restlessness at night, other than that still pretty minimal as far as symptoms are concerned.
Miss Anything?  I do miss being able to bend over and put on shoes without having to sit down.  Also rolling over to get out of bed is practically a work out.  Monday night I had a Braxton Hicks contraction so bad while I was laying on my back, my stomach was hard as a rock and I literally could not roll over it was so painful.  I guess it's just a sign of what's to come!
Movement?  Lots of movement, I know soon she'll be too big to move around too much so I'm really enjoying it now.
Cravings?  Still munching on tons of Christmas snacks & candies.
Queasy or sick?  Noting at all!
Looking forward to?  A short work week, a doctors appointment, and NYE Saturday!  I cannot believe this is the last week of 2016 already!  This year has truly flown by.  It's crazy to think I spent the last half of it pregnant.  All in all this is one of the best years that we have had in a while.  Although the beginning of 2016 started out pretty crappy, it certainly improved for the best.  Looking forward to all that 2017 brings our way.  It will undoubtedly be our most challenging year yet as we navigate through first-time-parenthood, but I know it will also be one of our most fulfilling years ever.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

29 Weeks

How far along? 29w2d
Gender: Girl
Weight Gain? 20+ pounds
Maternity Clothes? Mostly maternity, I can still pull of most of my shirts, but pants/leggings/anything on bottom is maternity or a size bigger than normal.
Stretch Marks? None!
Belly button in or out?  Continuing to flatten.
Sleep:  Improving over last weeks sleep.  
Best moment this week:  The general buzz of the holidays and being pregnant has been great.  I am so thankful to be pregnant this time of year and I'm already dreaming of what next year will be like with a nine month old baby in tow.  We had family Christmas on Joe's mom's side this past weekend and there were sooo many babies!  It was so fun to see them all in awe of everything & I'm excited to finally say that I will be a part of that next year.
Worst moment this week:  The cold weather we are experiencing right now sucks.  It's been in the negative temps for a few days & it's usually not this cold in Illinois until late winter like January/February so it's been kind of miserable.  It makes it a lot harder to want to go out and do anything either!
Symptoms:  Fatigue, back pain, weight gain, some restlessness at night, other than that still pretty minimal as far as symptoms are concerned.
Miss Anything?  Holiday cocktails, duh!
Movement?  Lots of movement, I know soon she'll be too big to move around too much so I'm really enjoying it now.
Cravings?  A plethora of Christmas cookies and treats have been piling up at work and it's been SO HARD to say no!
Queasy or sick?  Noting at all!
Looking forward to?  Christmas is this weekend!  On the 23rd we always stay over night at a local hotel at a State park called Starved Rock, they have a beautiful lodge and cabins and we always stay over on Christmas Eve eve with my aunt, uncle, and two cousins.  We get in the hot tub, play games, watch Christmas movies, have a nice dinner, and typically indulge in too many cocktails.  It's my favorite way to kick off the Christmas.  On Christmas Eve we always go to Joe's parents for our annual matching PJ's and Christmas stories read by Joe's dad.  We open gifts and always drink Coke out of glass bottles.  It's one of my very favorite traditions to partake in.  Christmas Day is at our  house again this year.  It's open house style for anyone to come and enjoy food and drink, we stay pretty cozy and relaxed all day and it's nice to have to go anywhere.  I'm looking forward to a nice long weekend and seeing friends and family!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

28 Weeks

How far along? 28w1d THIRD TRIMESTER!!
Gender: Girl
Weight Gain? 20+ pounds
Maternity Clothes? Maternity leggings like 99% of the time!  I'm telling you those Blanqi leggings are definitely worth the money, even though I got mine for 50% off, I am now convinced I would pay full price for the, especially the belly support pair.
Stretch Marks? None!
Belly button in or out?  Flattening out more and more.
Sleep:  Sleeping well is becoming a thing of the past.  I still get a pretty decent night of sleep but I've been waking up in the middle of the night wide awake and tossing and turning a lot due to congestion.  I have the humidifier and the oil diffuser going & I think they're doing the best work they can.  
Best moment this week:  I caught baby girl kicking on video which was awesome.  She has been moving around a ton!  I had another prenatal massage and I cannot tell you how beneficial I think those are.  I also had my glucose test Friday and have yet to hear back but I think I passed because those are usually same day results.  My mom and I went out of town Christmas shopping after my test Friday and I got almost all of my Christmas shopping done & everything wrapped/bagged the next day!  Feeling very accomplished as I've never had my shopping done this early!  I also moved into a B cup for the first time ever in my life (yay pregnancy boobs!) which was pretty exciting.  I had to order a new winter coat too because my one from last year was just way too snug in the tummy. 
Worst moment this week:  The general exhaustion & aches and pains that I feel is really the only negative thing I can say right now & even those are tolerable.  I've been so lucky to have such an uneventful pregnancy.
Symptoms:  Fatigue, back pain, weight gain, some restlessness at night, other than that still pretty minimal as far as symptoms are concerned.
Miss Anything?  I'll be honest, lots of people are getting alcohol for Christmas presents this year, I might be subconsciously giving it as gifts since I do miss it a bit!
Movement?  Tons of movement, a lot more during the day than before now too.
Cravings?  All the Christmas sweets are out in full force & you can be I've been indulging.
Queasy or sick?  Noting at all!
Looking forward to?  We have our first Christmas gathering this weekend coming up.  It's about a 3 hour drive south and they're calling for a lot of snow that day so I'm really hoping we can make it as it's been a couple years since I've gone.  Last year I was really down the day of this particular party because we had found out that same day that all of our embryos had arrested,  I had just transferred 2 embryos a few days prior and was really hoping our other 5 would make it to blasts & to be PGS tested but they didn't.  Christmas time last year was so hard, and it was really hard to participate all of the festivities!  Our cycle was awful.  It started off so promising with 16 eggs retrieved, but it turned out to be a complete disaster.  It really amazes me at how much can change in the course of year! Now we have our miracle on the way! I can't wait to really be able to enjoy Christmas this year in a way I have never been able to!

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Pregnancy after Infertility, Holiday Edition...

Well, it only took 6 Christmas’s but this year I finally get to say that I am pregnant during the holidays!  Every single Christmas since 2011 I have wished for that.  I have wished to be pregnant, or to be announcing a pregnancy, or have a bouncing babe on my lap opening up gifts at Christmas time, and finally, after a very long, hard journey, I get to say I am pregnant at Christmas time!  For the last 5 years though, the holiday season was undoubtedly the hardest time of year to be infertile.

The holidays are seriously the WORST when you’re TTC.  Yes, first day of school & Halloween costume photos, things like that can be bothersome, but nothing is as bad as Christmas.  Last year at this very time we were in the midst of our third fresh cycle of IVF with a new clinic.  I was driving 2 hours each way to have my monitoring done and I was certain that cycle would work.  The doctor gave us a 63% success rate of success with 1 PGS tested embryo.  I mean I literally had no doubt in my mind that it would work.  Then it all came crumbling down as quickly as it was built up.  No blasts at all on day 5, no ability to PGS test, and a transfer that was the epitome of stressful!  But I remained hopeful that this cycle would work.  Then the day after Christmas my beta came back a whopping 8, which never did double… Merry f'in Christmas, here is your 1 millionth BFN, Love Santa.

It was downright cruel and depressing & I think most of us who have been affected by infertility can agree that although it’s the most wonderful time of year for many reasons, it’s also one of the hardest.  It’s hard to watch other family members, friends, etc. with their kids, it’s hard to be on social media seeing everyone’s family photos with their babies in cute little Christmas PJ’s, in the back of your mind you’re always wondering if you’ll have a turn.  I am here to tell you that feeling that way is totally normal and OK! Anyone who has experienced infertility has felt that way at some point or another.  Heck, I felt that way even before I realized that we were going to have trouble.

The worst part of all is that it's pretty much impossible to avoid these types of situations; not seeing babies, and kids, and parents, this time of year is practically impossible.  Avoiding a baby shower or child's birthday is one thing, but every scroll through Instagram or Facebook, every shopping trip to the mall, every commercial on TV during the holiday season, it's thrown into your face and it really is downright depressing. I would never discourage anyone from  participating during the holidays because it really is a wonderful time of year being around friends and family and enjoying the Christmas spirit, but I would urge lots of extra self-care this time of year too.  Buy yourself a gift when shopping for others or get yourself pampered! 

Although this year is finally different, although we have our miracle babe on the way, although I finally get to say that I am pregnant, I will never forget how hard these times of year can be when all you want is to grow your family & you can’t.  I never thought it would take us YEARS to get pregnant, I never thought it would take 3 people (4 including the doctor!) to conceive a baby, but I also never knew if I’d be able to say that I am going to be a mom & here I am with a baby on the way.

For all of you that are still struggling, please, please never give up.  Do whatever it takes, we did.  Did it go the way we planned or expected?  No.  But that was one of my first lessons learned from infertility, you will have a plan, a detailed plan full of dates, appointments, medicine schedules, procedures, etc. but it will NEVER go as expected & you have no control of the outcome.  But with lots and lots of determination & the ability to accept everything as it comes to you, you can beat it.  As hard as it was, (probably the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through), I would not change it for the world.

I hope that you're all enjoying this truly magical time of year.  No matter where we are in our journey, remember that there is always something to be grateful for, even those of us who have been handed the infertility card, there are silver linings all around us.  Merriest of Christmases to you all!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Second Trimester Faves

Our second trimester is coming to a close already!  I can’t believe in roughly 3 months our baby girl will be here.  I know these few weeks around the holidays are going to go by even faster than time has already been going because of the buzz of the season & all of the festivities we have these next coming weeks.  I thought I’d do a quick round up of my favorites throughout my second trimester.

Champion Balance Ball
I got this balance ball at Target midway through my second trimester at the suggestion of my doula.  She said it is a great way to work on getting the hips open and ready for birthing baby.  I try to get on it every day or every other day for about 10 minutes after I do about 15 minutes of yoga.  Right now all I’m focusing on is getting my hips as open as possible.  At my last prenatal massage she said they were tight.  I can do hip circles in front of the TV on this ball & it also really helps relieve some of my lower back pain.  I got the 55cm ball based on my height.

Also at the suggestion of my doula was to do abdominal massage daily to help break up any lesions and keep the muscles in the abdomen stretched.  I made my very own homemade lotion using pure shea butter, coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and lavender essential oil.  I love the consistency of it.  It’s a touch oiler than what I’d normally use on my hands, but it’s great for those belly massages. 

Blanqi Support Leggings
I jumped on this train a little late in the game, but when these went on sale on Black Friday I ended up getting 2 pairs.  They had them marked down to 50% off of their regular $64 price tag.  I just couldn’t justify them until they went on sale, but I’m so glad that I scooped up a couple pairs.  I bought a belly support pair to wear the remainder of my pregnancy and a high-waistedpair I can wear during & after.

Men’s Long Sleeve Henley
At this point most of my lounging clothes are getting a little snug.  I had to go up a size in sweat pants although most of my yoga pants still fit fine I just wear the band up around my belly instead of folding it down, however t-shirts are another story.  Most don’t fit comfortably anymore, I don’t want to lounge in tight stuff.  I found a grey, long sleeved Henley in my husband’s clothes and I pretty much live in it in on the weekends, especially this time of year when it hasn’t been quite cold enough yet for my fleece robe.

Oil Diffuser
I’ve been using oils for a little while now & I’m really enjoying them & their effectiveness.  One of the best ways to reap the benefits of most oils is by diffusing them into the air.  My favorite oil to diffuse during pregnancy is lavender.  I consider it to be the contributing factor in how well I have been sleeping.  I use DoTerra oils and the VicTsing Cool Mist Ultrasonic diffuser from Amazon.  I have also been diffusing On Guard during the cold & flu season to help boost my immunity. 

I’ve been really lucky my entire pregnancy to feel really good, mostly just some discomfort in adjusting to the added 17 or so pounds that I am carrying around.  I know the third trimester will most likely be the most challenging (how am I going to get my shoes & my winter coat on?!) but I am excited to continue to watch my body grow and change & probably struggle somewhat too as baby girl gets bigger. 

What were some of your pregnancy favorites during the second trimester?

Sunday, December 04, 2016

27 Weeks

How far along? 27w1d
Gender: Girl
Weight Gain? 20 pounds
Maternity Clothes? Yes, definitely.  I got 2 pairs of Blanqi leggings, one with belly support and one high-waisted and they're soo comfy and definitely worth the money.  I was lucky enough to get 2 for the price of 1 on black friday!
Stretch Marks? None!
Belly button in or out?  Flattening out more and more.
Sleep:  Sleep is starting to become a little bit more of an issue.  I'm sleeping well, but waking up more often to pee again like I was in the first trimester, also noticed some congestion started so constantly having to roll over side to side to keep my nasal passages open!  I'm going to start adding Respiratory Blend or Peppermint EO to my diffuser.
Best moment this week:  My doctors appointment went well.  Blood pressure was good, all measurements were right where they needed to be.  In a few more weeks they'll check to see if she is still breech and if they can't tell we will get another scan.  I'll be starting my appointments every two weeks now which is also pretty exciting.  It just means were are inching closer and closer to her arrival.  
Worst moment this week:  Starting to feel tired a lot quicker than normal, back pain was pretty bad this weekend after possibly overdoing it on Saturday.  I've been trying to spend extra time on my yoga ball to help alleviate some of the pain.
Symptoms:  Fatigue, back pain, weight gain, some restlessness at night, other than that still pretty minimal as far as symptoms are concerned.
Miss Anything?  Nothing but a good old fashioned holiday cocktail.
Movement?  Movement continues to increase which is great! 
Cravings?  Sweets and Eggo waffles.
Queasy or sick?  Noting at all!
Looking forward to?  Another prenatal massage this week!  I am also going to be doing my blood glucose test, not that I'm necessarily looking forward to that but just something to note.  I am also getting us signed up for 3 classes, infant CPR, breastfeeding & hospital tour, and water birth in January.  I think my shower invites are going out later this week too which is very exciting!  
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