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::My reflection of a pregnancy::

In October of 2012, after only 4 months of marriage, I found out we were pregnant with our first baby. I stood in the employee bathroom at work and stared at the pink double lines. OMGGGGG! How can I be pregnant?! We just started trying! I couldn’t believe it, nor could the hubs. We were afraid to get excited. So after multiple pregnancy tests, it finally sunk in. We were so happy! I was only 3 1/2 weeks along. Bleh! Finding out so early made my pregnancy feel like it lasted F-O-R-E-V-E-R! I decided to document my pregnancy every step of the way. Cravings, morning sickness, stretchmarks, baby kicks, incontinence, and heartburn. The best part of this for me, now looking back, were the weekly pictures I took of my growing belly . So glad, ’cause that thing got BIG! At times I felt miserable, and couldn’t wait for it to be over. Once my daughter arrived, it was such an amazing experience, that I’m looking forward to doing it all over again.
Here’s some pics from my pregnancy with baby Natalie:

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It’s amazing to me how much our bodies change during pregnancy. It’s so much more than a growing belly. I had no idea what to expect. Here is my journal of pregnancy experiences..

Baby moments

5 weeks -Today I made chicken tortilla soup. I got my first experience with nausea. The smell was gagging. I couldn’t eat tomatoes after that for weeks.

19 weeks -Today I felt baby move for the first time.

22 weeks -OB appt today. Listened to the heartbeat. Asked doc some Q’s about how soon I can deliver.. I know, I’m impatient. He said he wouldn’t stop labor after 34 weeks but he’d prefer me to make it til 38 weeks. He said he won’t let the baby get too big- which is a fear of mine. I don’t want a 9lb baby!! At 39 weeks we can start talking induction. I laid down to rest before dinner. Ross came in and rubbed my belly. I tried to get him to feel her move. As soon as he’d leave she’d kick. So he’d race back in the room and then she’d stop again. Happened three times. So funny. Ross said, it’s all a hoax. She’s not really moving around in there. Lol

23 weeks -she moved for a couple hours straight 9-11:30pm.. I couldn’t sleep and so i laid quietly and felt her for a very long time. It was awesome. My little miracle. I saw belly move for the first time! Tried to video tape it, but it was too subtle and infrequent.

25 weeks 1 day -Ross felt her move for the first time

26 weeks -I woke up 4 times in the night. Twice to pee which isn’t unusual. Once due to my first pregnancy charlie horse. Ouch! And once because little girl kicked hard enough to wake me up. Didn’t hurt, but I certainly felt it. I woke up, smiled, rubbed the belly and went right back to sleep. Today I felt her move all day long. Her movements are getting stronger!

27 weeks -I can feel her all day pretty much. Sometimes I can even see my tummy move. She’s getting bigger in there! I love feeling her move.. But sometimes when her movements are strong/intense, it creeps me out a bit. It’s so weird.

27 weeks 2 days -I was awake from 2:30am-5am this am. Just couldn’t fall back asleep. Lots of snoring in our room. 😜 Then baby girl started moving like crazy. There is no possible way to fall back asleep with all that thumping going on. Hello? People are trying to sleep around here!! Bring on the third trimester. Lets do this!! It’s almost time!

28 weeks -OB appt. heartbeat is loud. Sounds great. Very strong. He said now that I’m in my 3rd trimester (omgggg!!), he wants to see me every 2 weeks. The last month, I’ll see him every week. He also said he wants another ultrasound in a few weeks to check baby’s size!!! Yay, ultrasounds are my favorite part. Got a whooping cough vaccination. Did glucose tolerance test. Drink tasted just like flat Sierra mist. Not bad. Had blood drawn an hour later. Phlebotomist could have been a little more gentle. Huge hematoma now. (Results were negative! No diabetes!)

29 weeks -Ducks (bball) beat St. Louis and are going to the sweet 16! I walked around target for 2hrs and shopped. Then got home and assembled the organizer cabinets I bought. Now I’m so sore I can hardly walk 😦 I laid on an ice pack. Lower back pain and major pubic bone pain. I’ve been getting the pubic bone pain for weeks but its getting much worse. More expanding and adjusting my body is doing to prepare for childbirth. Baby had the hiccups for the first time. A repetitious thump that lasted for about 30 seconds. so cute. Today I got kicked in the lung. Interesting and specific pain.

29 weeks 2 days -Today is Easter. Unfortunately my aunt is so sick that my mom came into town. At least I got to see my mom though. First time since my wedding. Baby moved all day long. I got it on video a couple times. Looked like waves across my tummy. Crazy looking. Amazing feeling. She’s running out of room and is getting stronger.

30 weeks -Maternity photos today. Rainy all weekend, with small windows of sunshine. The rain stayed away just long enough to get a great photo session in!! I had a really fun time. Today would have been my step dad’s bday. I miss him. Gracie took us on a walk around the neighborhood tonight. It was about 7pm but still light out! Sun was shining, blue sky. All the trees are getting their leaves. Some have pink or white blossoms. Spring is here! We didn’t walk far since Gracie is just now bouncing back from her knee surgery. As for me, well this is the first time I’ve exercised in a long time- so again we didn’t go far.
4/11 ultrasound today. Head down! They guess her weight to be 4.1 lbs. She looks much bigger on the ultrasound today and really is running out of room. I’ve been nauseous for a couple days. Becoming more sensitive to what I consume. I think coffee is really starting to make me feel sick in the AM. My heartburn has become unmanageable. I’m taking: Zantac twice a day, tums, and today I’ve added Maylox to my arsonal.

31 weeks -I’m having painful cramps today! 😦 kinda scary since I’m not 32 weeks yet… I’ve complained about the discomfort and pain associated with the third trimester and how I’m looking forward to having baby girl here… But how quickly my opinions change when im confronted with her coming early. No pain/ discomfort is too much and all is worth it if it means my daughter can stay in the womb a bit longer and be safe. I want her to “bake” just as long as she needs!! I love her so much already. So I’m not getting up off this couch. I’m forcing myself to rest and take care of me and her. Even though I want to get up, I’m not really tired, I’m going to just lay here and rest.

32 weeks 4 days -I noticed a purple/red mark on my hip! It’s very small and faint.. I’m not positive it’s a stretchmark.. I hope not.
32 weeks 6 days -By the end of the workday, my feet looked so swollen they barely fit in my shoes. My dad said I should wear tennis shoes to work. Too bad I have to dress up or I would! This is the first time my feet have ever swelled. Went and toured Riverbend hospital. I saw the large Labor/Delivery room, Post-Partum suites, and NICU. Baby moved around a ton this morning. I think I may have seen her knees roll across my abdomen. She is really thumping. It’s fun to watch.

33 weeks 4 days -Ross just left for Orlando Florida for a work conference. He’ll be gone until Sunday. My dad will be staying with me so that I’m not alone 🙂

34 weeks 5 days -I did some Spring planting today. I can’t wait to see the banana plant grow big and tall!! I planted a couple petunias but got tired and sore super fast. I had to come inside and lay down for awhile. I have a fraction of the energy I used to have.

38 weeks 2 days -Went to Gammy’s for breakfast. While visiting I started having Braxton hicks every 10 min. It didn’t hurt but was annoying. I decided to come home and lay down. I started having more Braxton- Hicks..That lasted for 5 more hours. Then they were coming every 8 min for 2 more hours or so. Finally I called the OB’s office. I wasn’t too excited because the contractions weren’t painful at all. But they were very regular. I could predict the exact time I’d have my next contraction! The OB nurse asked me lots of questions and determined what I was experiencing was only pre-labor or false labor. She said the contractions should be painful enough that I can’t walk or talk through them if I were actually in labor. That was definitely not the case. She told me to drink a couple glasses of water and go take a warm bath. After doing so, the contractions completely stopped. I was pretty bummed. I had gotten myself excited and worked up thinking the baby was coming. I guess she’s not ready yet.
I went to the OB again. He said despite the contractions all day yesterday I haven’t dilated any more than last week. Unfortunately my OB is going out of town on Thursday. 😦 he’ll be gone until next week (tues). If she comes early, someone else will be delivering the baby. This is very disappointing. Not only did I think I was going to be induced at 39 weeks like he promised, I may have some stranger, some other OB I’ve never met will be a part of this special day. I trust my OB and he knows me and my history. On the other hand, I’m sooooo ready for her to be here. Once I’m in labor I probably won’t care who it is! Today I experienced a true, real contraction for the first time. ya..nothing like a Braxton-Hicks contraction! BH just feel like my tummy tightens and gets super hard. Until today that’s all I had ever experienced. This AM while sitting at my desk, I had 3 sharp, stabbing pains. It was very painful and caused me to gasp. Thankfully it only lasted a second or two. Then around lunchtime I had a couple more. At one point i was standing talking to a co-worker when all of a sudden she said to me, ” you’re having a contraction right now aren’t you?” I was, but i hadn’t said anything. I responded with, ” how do you know that?” She said that she knew because my skin was flushing. I was wearing a sleeveless dress. Looked down at my arms and yes they were red. She pointed out several more times when I was having contractions based on this reaction. But they were hours apart so again not real labor. It did make me realize how bad this is going to hurt. This was my first dose of childbirth reality. After work Ross, Gracie and I went on a great walk. The weather was beautiful. High 70’s (may and so far June have been warm and sunny! Such an awesome spring!) I really pushed myself on this walk in hopes it would jump start more contractions. I have been taking baths every night for a couple weeks. They’re very relaxing. I went to bed early and was woken up by 2 painful contractions. Woke me right up out of a dead sleep. Ouch, that hurt. But they were short lived and I went right back to sleep. Gosh I wonder when this baby will make her debut.

38 weeks 6 days -I can’t believe im still working. Even though I sit at a desk most of the time, I’m really getting tired. Well that hefty walk yesterday didn’t cause me to go into labor. But- when I woke up this AM it became obvious that baby had slid down deeper into my pelvis. I feel like there’s a grapefruit in my pelvis. I thought I was uncomfortable before, now I’m really hurting. Her head is pushing on my everything. My nerves, bladder, you name it. It’s hard to walk.

39 weeks -I can’t believe I’m almost a mama. Surreal moment. I’m shocked I’m still pregnant. For some reason I really felt that she was coming earlier. Yikes, this time next week we’ll be parents. Whoa. No labor symptoms for the past several days… The calm before the storm..Ross and I went to a wedding yesterday which was fun. It was at Shadowhills Country Club. The course was beautiful as was the weather. We had a really fun time. Ross and I have been spending lots of quality time together and spent the whole weekend cleaning and getting the house ready for baby 🙂

39 weeks 5 days my due date is in two days!! I’m at work and a patient asked when I was due? When I told him Friday you should have seen the look on his face. So funny.
Went to see my OB who’s back in town finally! He said I’ve made tons of progress in the past week. I’m dilating and 100% effaced. Bye bye cervix. It’s baby time!! The plan is for me to go home and relax all day tomorrow. Do any last minute things. Then he’ll induce me first thing Friday morning. How cool is it, that our daughter will be born on her due date!? We haven’t choose a name, but it’ll either be Brooklyn Marie or Natalie Marie. I can’t wait to meet you little angel in there. It’s time for you to come out!! But am I ready? I can’t protect you as easily out here.. I promise to always do my best and love you no matter what. I can’t wait to kiss your cheeks!!

40 weeks! Due date! I made it to 40 weeks. I’m being induced today at 5am! Too bad I only got 3 hours of sleep last night. Too excited to sleep. I tried! Here’s me in the parking garage at the hospital. Butterflies in my tummy!!

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Natalie Marie joined the world on June 14th, 2013 @ 2:08pm.
20.5 inches 7 lb 13 oz

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