Monday, December 17, 2012

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 24 to 25

I thought I would do this every week, but it's so much easier to combine weeks! 
I think that I will have to just continue doing that. :-)

Week 24.
I swear my belly fluctuates in size. Or maybe my clothes were just bulkier this day. I was pretty proud of my utilization of a maxi dress to accommodate the chilly fall temperatures. Go me! Still no maternity clothes in sight :-)

Week 25.
Don't you just love our little Charlie Brown-ish tree!? (The correct answer is yes.) We had completely planned on going out and getting a big tree, but then life got busy, and we're going out of town for the holidays anyway so...looks like the mini-tree from the Husband's bachelor days is here to stay! I think it's adorable. :-) It has colored lights and little mini ornaments all around it. So that, as well as some pretty white lights around our main door, our "Three Magi Snowmen" sitting on our coffee table, and some festive music playing in the background completes our holiday get-up for this year, and we're both happy about it. So looking forward to spending this Christmas with my boo! He's kinda awesome.

So onto the questions!! Let's find out what things (if any) have changed in my pregnancy since the last time I updated ya'll...

How Far Along: 25 weeks and 3 days
Total Weight Gain: Don't know about today, but at my last OB appointment this past Thursday, I weighed a little over 113 pounds! I was super excited, because that meant I'd gained 10 pounds in 4 weeks, a little over two pounds a week! The doctor still wasn't entirely pleased (what.ever.), but told me to keep up whatever I've been doing, which I can happily oblige since it's just been eating like a madwoman. :)
Maternity Clothes: Last time I told ya'll that I bought 1 maternity shirt and 1 maternity dress. That hasn't changed. I still haven't invested in a belly band. Why won't I do it?? I guess I'm afraid of trying it and it not working..?? Who knows. I gotta say I fought to put on this pair of pants last Sunday and was totally ecstatic when I won the battle. It's not that they don't fit in the legs, but once I reach my belly it's almost comical how I have to finesse the pants into somewhat closing. I think I'll probably end up losing the pants battle next time, assuming I try again. Sad day.
Stretch Marks: Nope! Still been lotioning up with Jergens Ultra Healing. So happy the rash I had is gone, though. It was definitely no bueno.
Sleep: It's been kinda crazy. Some nights (but not most) I sleep right through, which feels great. Other nights, I wake up and it takes me a good two hours to go back to sleep. My back has been getting achier as time elapses, and I think that bothers me more than my bulging belly when I'm trying to sleep! Alas. Only for my baby girl.
Best Moment of This Week: Well, it's only Monday, so technically this week is only just begun ;-)  I had a great Sunday though. Church, a bit of Christmas shopping and hang out time with the Husband, hang out time w/ the bestest and a friend before and after church in the evening, food included. Oh, then on the way home, the Husband, the bestest and I went to my sister and her husband's place and hung out for a short bit with them and their adorable puppy Neeko :) They got us some onesies and bibs for baby girl that I am in love with. Maybe next time I'll post pictures of them!
What I Miss: Same as last week: good sleep! And again, the same as last time: drinking french vanilla cappuccinos during this chilly weather.
Baby Movement: Baby girl has definitely been moving around quite a bit, and I love it!! I talk to her whenever I start feeling her little kicks and movements. Unless of course I'm in public, then I just stare at and rub my belly like a weirdo lol. She still likes to sit really low in my belly, which I'm sure has got to be uncomfortable for her, not just me. But what do I know? 
Craving: Nothing in particular is coming to mind. I'll usually just think of something, and once it's in my mind, it's completely impossible to get it out until I have it. Like yesterday I wanted a catfish sandwich after church. Then later in the evening I want Potbelly. My wonderful husband has gone out of his way to make sure I'm well fed with what my taste buds are wanting at the moment. I only feel a tad guilty. :)
Queasiness: I simply cannot believe it, even as I write it. For about two weeks I was so excited about going to this cookie exchange with friends at a woman's house that I've been wanting to meet for like, ever! I had researched recipes and everything, did all this planning...well on the day of the exchange, which was this past Saturday, I woke up with super bad gas pains that I figured I just needed to burp or...otherwise get out (ahem). But then I started feeling queasy. I was experiencing all the same signs, but even as I rushed to the toilet, I was in complete denial; NO. WAY. was I throwing up AGAIN! What in the world... Three separate times throughout that morning. Plans out the window. Sad, sad day. :-( In hindsight, I think it happened because the night before I took my vitamins with dinner (as usual) and instead of taking my OTC vitamin D (I ran out), for the first time I took a prescription sample the doctor had given me. That's the only thing I really did differently. So I don't see anymore of those pills in my future, that's for sure.
Pregnancy Side Effects: I am happy to announce two positive updates since last time. The acne I was complaining about is still there, but not nearly as bad. YES, Proactiv! I am a believer! I'm still sad about the scarring on my face, but we'll see what can be done about that. Second positive update? Those leg cramps I was experiencing are basically gone. A fellow mom mentioned calcium supplements to me, which reminded me that I had not been taking mine regularly! I'm back to taking them daily, and the cramping has stopped! Never know what calcium and vitamin D can affect. Now if only it could affect my back pain due to my center of gravity changing... Still have to pee every single time I take a sip of some liquid. Alas. Comes with the territory, but I hate that I have to use public restrooms so frequently. I used to avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Now every time it feels absolutely necessary. 
Mood: Anticipation! I am so looking forward to spending the holidays with the Husband, as I said before. We are going to really enjoy this time; I just know it.
Looking Forward To: I guess I'll just say it again: the holidays with the Husband! Also, creating our registry! And whenever our shower happens, which I came up with a brilliant plan for... :)

That's all, folks! Can you believe I only have 13 weeks (give or take) to go!?! I can't wait to see my beautiful baby girl :-) Be back again at Week 27! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"First comes the love, then comes the...whaa..??"

Ah, don't we all remember the little childhood rhyme? Though, looking back, not much "childish" about it, ha! But from a very young age, it seems we are taught that there is a certain order and structure to life that is meant to be followed. In some aspects, yes, I do agree. But in this newlywed  phase of life, when it seems like everyone around me is popping out the little ones, all the singles are getting engaged, all the marrieds are celebrating life milestones, I think know that the main thing the Lord is trying to teach me is to sloooowww dooowwwwnnnn....

Did you happen to read through all that crossed out stuff? If you didn't, don't worry you didn't miss out on anything except IRONY. (Which means you need to go back and read it. Now.) In case you did read it and the irony is lost on you, let me explain. I started this post (yes, that exact above paragraph) on June 18th of this year. I never finished it because I didn't know how to finish it, and also for one other reason. Less than one month later, on July 16th to be specific, I found out I was pregnant. I am sitting here laughing to myself and shaking my head (lol-ing and smh-ing?) even as I type that out because it is so...yes, I shall say it again...ironic!! I mean goooo figure.

In some ways I think writing out that pre-pregnancy post was me trying to prove to myself that I really was coming to accept the fact that I don't need to do things in the same timing as others. And that really is true. I don't. God has a timing specific to everyone's individual life, so why try to walk in someone else's shoes? So why am I pregnant, you ask? Well, fact is, birth control only works if you take it when you're supposed to. So there ya go.

(Sidenote: we always knew this would happen. Don't know how we knew, but we just did. Maybe God was preparing us? Or maybe it was just the simple fact that expecting me to remember to take a pill every day at the same time every day was absolutely laughable. Don't know that we'll be trying that again! That's a whole 'nother conversation though...)

So here I am, nearly a month later and now I have to deal with all these emotions I'm having.

Yay! I'm having a baby! You're only pregnant because you wanted to be like other people. I'm glad I'm pregnant! I wouldn't be if God didn't want me to be! You are so unprepared for this. There goes the rest of your life. That's what you get for not having discipline with your pills. You don't even like birth control! Therefore you should've expected to get pregnant; therefore, you should be happy

And so on and so forth. I wish I could say that early on, most of my thoughts were positive and that I was just bubbling with excitement. I mean, there were times that I did feel that way, but the fact is, my emotions varied so far and wide that I wasn't sure what was at the core of what I truly felt.

And then came the morning sickness. O. M. G. Worst three months of my life. I mean, seriously. Talk about teetering into depression. I lost between 3-6 pounds during my first trimester, and I only recently got back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Words simply cannot express how absolutely miserable it was to spend the majority of the day leaning over a toilet or always needing a trashcan next to the couch or the bed or always having to keep a plastic bag (or two or three) in the car because I threw up whenever I drove (or was a passenger!) from pregnancy-induced motion sickness. I got the worst hot flashes, and come to find out, public stripping is unacceptable. Everything smelled disgusting. Everything tasted disgusting. Commercials with food looked disgusting. Everything Jeremiah made during that time was disgusting. Life sucked. Blah blah blah. My poor husband! Poor ME!! haha.

It's true. Whoever called it morning sickness must've been a man or some very, very, very lucky woman.

(Sidenote: Want the gory details?? Once I brushed my teeth after I threw up because I didn't like the gross feeling in my mouth. The taste of the toothpaste made me gag, and I threw up again. At least I was already in the bathroom. Yay for positive thinking...!!)

(Sidenote part 2: I do give God all praise though because the way things were ordered, I ended up submitting my two week notice for Things Remembered just a few days before we found out about the baby! The decision to leave was totally unrelated to the pregnancy (I wasn't experiencing morning sickness yet), yet in God's perfect plan. Cuz there's no way I would've survived that retail job and those crazy hours and all that stress with how I was feeling! So glory be to GOD!)

You're probably wondering why in the world I'm sharing all this. I'm actually wondering this myself. Well, I guess I wanted to finish the post I started all those months ago :-) But seriously, even as I'm writing I know this can come across as a bunch of complaints with no real solutions. I guess there are some things I want to clear up, both for myself and for others. For one, I know it's easy to try to keep up appearances. For those of you who read this and are friends with me on Facebook, I'm sure you'd have to agree that most of my statuses are happy and excited about having a little one on the way, and let me be clear, those posts are totally genuine. But getting to the point where I could share that happiness and it actually be how I truly feel....well, that's been a process.

When you really think about it, no one expects for you (me--Christ-follower, married woman) to be feeling anything but sheer joy at the announcement of a child. And even if there's the slightest inclination towards that, no one would expect for you to be broadcasting those mixed feelings to the world. I mean, how un-Christian-like is that!? (more transparency needed in the body, anyone?) Also, it's so easy to hear about the good stuff with pregnancy, all the oohs-and-ahhs and not the hard, uncomfortable, I-think-I'm-going-to-die-why-does-sex-have-to-lead-to-misery-and-BABIES moments. Well, here I am, broadcasting. Just me and my flaws...flaws and all? I hate Beyonce. Well, hate's a strong word lol. Dislike. Where was I? Oh yeah. Broadcasting. The Lord has seriously brought me (and the Husband too, actually) a LONG way since that fateful July day, and it would just be wrong to not give testimony to what HE's done!

So there ya go. This is the intro to me sharing the spiritual, emotional, and physical road I've been travelling since finding out about baby girl (who I love immensely!). It's a road I didn't want to be on at first, but that I'm so thankful and HAPPY to be on now.

How'd I get from those initial emotions to where I am now? Why did I have mixed emotions to begin with? How has being pregnant affected my relationship with both God and the Husband? Stay tuned for Part 2....

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 20 to 23

A new week of pregnancy actually starts on Fridays for me, but on the Friday of the week that I decided to start taking pictures to record my belly growth, I didn't feel like getting dressed, so I decided to make Sundays my picture day since I'm guaranteed to be dressed for church.

I started to record my belly growth during week 20 because that's the halfway mark of the pregnancy and also when I found out what the baby's gender was! I really haven't gained much weight so far, and seeing that I've only just regained the 3-6 pounds I lost during my first trimester, technically I haven't gained any weight at all! But as long as baby girl is growing healthy and strong, I'm fine. :-)

Here are some pictures from week 20:

The Husband and I at the OB office! I love seeing my baby move on the ultrasound. LOVE. IT.

We're having a girl! This is how we announced it :-) Look at my beautiful baby girl :-) Can.not. Wait. to see her in person, to hold her in my arms! Love her so much already :-)

 Week 20.
In my first maternity shirt! Definitely only got it because it was on sale, because I have just been rebelling against buying maternity clothes! The only thing growing is my stomach, really. 

Week 21.
I think the only reason I look bigger here is because of my clothes. I was wearing a non-maternity pencil skirt that day, and in order to zip it up I had to pull it alllllll the way up on my belly. I tried to wear a fitted top to look less frumpy, but I'm not sure I succeeded.Whatever.

Week 22.
This isn't a maternity dress. It's just a super stretchy dress that I borrowed from my little sis to wear to a friend's wedding. And I kinda kept it. And continued wearing it. And I'm growing into it quite well! Hopefully  it returns to it's original shape post-pregnancy so that I can at least consider giving it back to her. The first time I wore it (at my friend's wedding), I thought I actually had a belly lol. But really I was just bloated. Looking back, you probably couldn't tell I was pregnant at all. Take a look:

Me and the Husband and baby girl at 15 weeks.
Well, now I'm at 23 weeks. Technically, I'm at 23 weeks and 4 days. I took this picture on Sunday, at the end of the day when I was halfway changed into my comfy clothes and had already twisted up my fro for the night. Ah, well. At least I took a picture!

Week 23.

How Far Along: 23 weeks and 4 days
Total Weight Gain: Uhh.... Guess it's time to invest in a scale!
Maternity Clothes: I've bought 1 maternity shirt and 1 maternity dress. I sag my jeans so they fit a bit better. (That sounds terrible! No, I am not a wanna be gangster. My butt doesn't not show and the crotch is not extra low.) Let's try this again. I push my jeans below my belly. Better, right? But I think it's time to invest in maternity jeans. The Husband agrees, since I pretty much have to unbutton and/or unzip my pants every time I sit down.
Stretch Marks: Nope! Been lotioning up with some Jergens Ultra Healing, and once the lovely rash around my belly button (courtesy of the stretching skin) goes away, I'll try using cocoa butter again.
Sleep: Usually it sucks. I pile pillows under my hips, under my belly, behind my back, and I just can't seem to get comfortable. Plus I'm not supposed to sleep on my back!?!? I toss and turn (as much as one can with a belly sticking out) and the Husband still sleeps like a rock. Grrrr. I guess baby girl wants me to have an idea what sleepless nights are about to be looking like. Another thing about sleep? I always want to drink the most water at night for some reason, which means frequent bathroom trips, and of course always at the times I when I'm just getting comfortable or have just fallen asleep. I tried to ignore that pee urge one night. Bad. Idea. I barely made it the ten steps from my bedroom to the bathroom. Depends, anyone? Just kidding. Soooo kidding.
Best Moment of This Week: I have no idea. My pregnancy brain means my short term memory is even worse than normal. Oh wait, it's only Tuesday? Okay, so Sunday then. Spending time with the Husband, the bestest, and another of our friends. Fun times!
What I Miss: Good sleep! Drinking cappuccinos during this chilly weather.
Baby Movement: Some days more than others. She likes to sit low in my belly (or maybe that's just where she naturally is) and sometimes she feels like a rock. I love being able to look at my stomach as she moves and literally see movements! Also kinda funny when she moves to one side of the belly so it's lopsided. Hehe.
Craving: Whatever I see. I'll see a commercial for something and immediately want it. The power of advertisement, eh? Other than that, I've been eating quite a bit of Potbelly. I just got over my seafood kick, and now I'm back to pork and beef. Pork chops today, beef stew tomorrow. :-)
Queasiness: Not so much, praise Almighty God! I do start to feel a tad bit ill when it's been too long since I've last eaten.
Pregnancy Side Effects: Acne. Acne!!! In my 23 years of existence I've never had acne, and I've only recently gotten over a bad breakout, and that's only because I started using Proactiv, which is doing my skin a world of good. Sad day about the scarring though. Guess clear skin can't last forever. :-( Oh, and leg cramps. You know, just in case needing to pee every half hour doesn't keep me awake enough.
Mood: Happy and lovey-dovey. :-) But who knows, in a few hours I could be one angry woman you do not want to cross. But typically happy :-)
Looking Forward To: Thursday's OB appointment! Can't wait to hear baby girl's heartbeat; I just love it.

That's all, folks! I plan to keep track of the prego process from now til the end, and then of course once baby girl is born I'll have plenty more to still share. :-) 

I'm more than willing to be open about stuff in my pregnancy, the good, bad, ugly, gross, etc. So feel free to ask if you're wondering! To all my mommy-readers: did you do anything to keep track of your pregnancy progress? 

See you again at Week 24!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

And So The Advent Season Begins

I am excited this year to be celebrating Advent for the first time. It will be in the most basic, simplistic way possible, and for me that means just going through different Scriptures that celebrate Christ and will help keep my focus on Jesus during this holiday, Advent season! I've found a couple different resources that have awesome information about the celebration of Advent itself as well as associated Scripture references. Well, I didn't find all of them; some were shared with me. :-)
Photo courtesy of Google images

I was originally planning to use the ebook from Ann Voskamp's blog simply because I love her writing, but when I came across the one on John Piper's site (yay Twitter for keeping me in the loop!), I realized that his was more up my alley this year.

So how about you? Are you celebrating Advent? If so, please share about what you're doing! How do you plan to keep Christ the focus of the Christmas season this year?