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Second Trimester and the Circle of Life

16 Nov

I honestly can’t believe how fast this pregnancy is flying. Two weeks ago we passed the halfway mark and it just blows my mind that this baby is half baked already! I am really starting to feel as though the pace has picked up and there are a lot more changes and decisions to start talking about so I really hope I can get my butt in gear and blog more to talk about them.

I started taking bump “progress” at 14 weeks. I never thought I’d be one of those women who felt fat instead of pregnant, but it happened. I’ve kind of gotten over that. So, here’s the roundup:

14-15 weeks: The baby is about the size of a  lemon…


How I’m Changing:

I had definitely begun to notice my changing belly and those that knew me definitely could too but to strangers, I still felt like I just appeared to have a gut. My tummy seemed to be smaller at the beginning of the day than it was by the end.

What I’m Eating:
MILK! I became just fine with leaving out the chocolate syrup and started downing at least a gallon of milk a week. Crazy part is that I had never liked milk. Realized that sugar was a big proponent of my acid reflux and so I tried to cut down on it as much as possible…with Halloween right around the corner. Great.

How I’m Feeling:
Waking up regularly between 2 and 3am began to lessen, which was good because even though I had started gaining my energy back, I really needed my sleep. Regular bed time became 9-9:30pm and I wouldn’t wake til 7am.

16-17 weeks: The baby is about the size of a  avocado…


How I’m Changing:
Total weight gain was at 10 pounds so far. I felt like I was starting to look pregnant and rounded out a good bit more those two weeks. Had to start shopping for a lot more clothes during these weeks because my regular work attire were really starting to become uncomfortable. Maternity pants are a godsend!

What I’m Eating:
Anything and everything! It seemed like I was always hungry and it meant the baby probably had a little growth spurt. I wanted more meat and protein and I woke up ravenous just about every morning.

How I’m Feeling:
I don’t cry easily but a few things had me wiping some tears away. I chalked it up to hormones…Sciatica kicked in and made me a little uncomfortable. I’ve been working with a chiropractor to keep me properly aligned and out of pain. I’ve noticed that when I exercise or do anything a little more strenuous than daily activity for more than an hour, I am not rebounding as quickly. Takes me about 2 days to not feel wiped out by it anymore. Felt some intermittent abdominal pain probably from my uterus stretching out and moving upward. The best part of these two weeks was feeling the flutters of the baby’s movement turn into kicks!

18-19 weeks: The baby is about the size of a sweet potato…

How I’m Changing:
Starting to feel like there’s more weight to my belly. When I work out, I notice that it kind of feels like there’s a bag of water sloshing around in there and it’s not always so comfy. My hips and back were definitely shifting and continuing to see the chiropractor helped a lot. I had to start sleeping with a pregnancy pillow or I would wake up in a lot of hip pain. Energy levels are still up though and I’m feeling VERY motivated to get things done around the house and be productive.

What I’m Eating:
My appetite returned a bit more back to normal and I had to be careful to avoid anything that would trigger my acid reflux. Still on the milk kick though and a big glass of that really seemed to help tame the beast.

How I’m Feeling:
Our childbirth classes started and I really like the instructor. It was so helpful talking to other couples and starting to work on our birth plan. Most of the couples in our class are also planning home births so that gave me a confidence boost and I felt a sense of renewal about our decision to take that path.

20-21 weeks: The baby is the size of a pomegranate…


How I’m Changing:
The belly is rounding out and protruding a little more. *Gasp* I’ve started to get a few stretch marks on the sides of my back, but none on my belly. My favorite part of the day is when Mrs. E lovingly rubs “belly butter” on me while she talks to the baby. Makes the stretch marks all worth it.

What I’m Eating:
Same stuff as the past few weeks only that I actually started to want a little more sugar, but it still doesn’t agree with me and triggers my reflux. Began trying to drink even more water throughout the day but it’s hard cause I feel like I have to run to the bathroom every 30 minutes.

How I’m Feeling:
Started experiencing some abdominal cramping and wasn’t sure if I might have gotten a bladder infection but I started pumping myself full of cranberry juice and vitamin C just in case.  My general practitioner seemed to think that it might be Braxton Hicks contractions starting already. Yikes!

Overall, I feel pretty lucky and as though I’ve had a pretty smooth pregnancy so far. I feel good and pretty much any problem I’ve had has an easy remedy. I continued to be adjusted by the chiropractor to keep my sciatica at bay and I have added in some massage too. That actually really hurts but my muscles are forming some pretty fierce knots as my body adjusts. I’m fine with the “upkeep” of all these things and hope it keeps me ahead of any severe discomfort for a while longer.

The awesome thing about our 20th week was that we had the anatomy scan and found out the gender of Sprout. It was so awesome to be able to see that little baby moving around on the monitor and be able to SEE what I’m feeling inside. Mrs E and my mom were there too and they were pretty shocked to see just how active the baby was. We didn’t have the tech tell us at the appointment (because we wanted to keep it a surprise for a while) and instead she wrote it in a card which we opened later in private to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. That day was probably my happiest since finding out that I was pregnant. We really don’t actually care what gender the baby is, as long as he or she is healthy but just knowing has really helped to feel even more connected to that little being growing inside me. I was walking on air!

Sprout at 21 weeks and 2 days

Unfortunately, our 21st week brought an onslaught of crap with it though and I definitely felt a difference in how I reacted to those things emotionally with all these ramped up hormones. The fact that we had been on such a high beforehand also brought us to a screeching halt. Mrs E’s Uncle passed away and we were close to him. He was sick and it was anticipated, but it still felt sudden. When we got the news, I could NOT STOP CRYING. It happened to me again at his funeral. Once I get going, it just feels impossible to shut off.  The fact that I feel like I didn’t have control of it, made it significantly worse. My grandfather is also having increasing issues with dementia and we had to move him to a nursing home and then our guinea pig died (he was 7). All of this in the same week really just felt like a lot. Mrs E’s family came into town and my family was also running around trying to secure my grandfather’s arrangements. It was just exhausting and I still feel as though we’re still recouping.

We had planned on having a gender reveal party last weekend to get everyone together and generate some excitement over Sprout, but we decided to delay it a week because there was just too much going on and we really wanted to relax and enjoy the celebration. So that’s where we are now. The gender reveal party is tomorrow and we have been delighted in seeing the excitement it has generated. We ordered a cake from an awesome local bakery and instructed them to color the cake pink or blue. The highlight of the party will be cutting into it and unveiling the gender of Sprout. We’ve known for almost two weeks now, so although we’ve gotten really good at playing the pronoun games we are more than ready to share. I’ve worked so hard to get ready for the party and will make a post on the reveal itself in a few days. If you follow me on twitter (@elyima), I plan to spill the news there right after we cut the cake too. I hope we get lots of good pictures and video though so I am hoping that will all make for a really cute next post alllllll about the details of the party.

In the midst of all the craziness, my parents bought the crib that we wanted and hopefully soon we can assemble that and get back to making progress on the baby’s room and the house. I promise some pictures of all of that when we get around to it too. Our nursery is painted and we have a rocker but otherwise, it’s looking pretty sad. Hopefully, not for long!



Moving on to Plan B…

15 Sep

A while ago, I was doing some research and found some information about this at-home sperm count test.

I bought it from Amazon and it only costs about $35 and the reviews were reputable enough. Although it doesn’t tell you what the sperm count actually is, it does give you a good idea if you’re in the “normal” range or not. (A positive result indicates that the sperm count is above 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen.) All of this in about 30 minutes from the comfort of your own home. Since we are really trying to keep our efforts as low tech and non-evasive as possible we were sold.

Worrying that the “problem” is me every month that we don’t conceive has been agonizing. My doctor has told me that she will not do any fertility testing until we’ve been trying for 8 months. My lack of patience doesn’t help make matters any better.  Another big reason we were prompted to do this was that our donor had found out when he was at the doctors recently that due to a previous health condition that his testosterone levels were lower than normal. While it may not be a permanent condition for him, it was really bad timing for us and we needed to know if it was affecting his fertility.  I was excited and scared at the same time to find out what the results were because either way it meant we would probably have to change some of our plan.

Last night, our donor took the test home and promised to take it and text us right away with the results. It was late and there we were lying in bed clinging to our phones. We got a text, “It’s negative. I’m sorry.” and then he sent us a picture of it. Because it works very similarly to a pregnancy test, if a second line appears ever so faintly it’s still a positive result. Technically the darker the line is the better. But there was just…nothing. He called us immediately after that and was understandably disappointed. We consoled him and thanked him for his willingness to test.

Earlier as we were waiting for the results we had been discussing the “what ifs” of either outcome and our next steps. Luckily, we have been blessed to find not only one willing and supportive donor on this journey, but two. Our donor’s partner has already had all of the necessary medical testing and legal paperwork done and now we’ve decided to move on to our plan B donor.  Changing course is a little emotional for all of us but we are so grateful to have the option. We have not tested our new donor’s sperm count level but now that we’ve done this once, I think we won’t hesitate to try that test again in a few months if it’s not working out.

We feel good about this and in some ways it’s giving us a new wave of optimism. Here’s to hoping we’re on track and it won’t be long now.

The Great Sperm Race

26 Apr

I’m not sure if I should have watched this or not considering that tomorrow is our first day trying.  This is a documentary that takes the trip that sperm take towards to an egg and presents it as an all-out expedition on a human scale.  It’s a little discouraging but nevertheless, I thought I’d share because it’s just ASTOUNDING to think of in these terms.

It’s really a wonder that ANY of us are here…

The entire documentary is about an hour and other parts can be viewed here.