Friday, November 8, 2013

Third trimester rants and ramblings

Some random updates about the beginning of my third trimester:

- VERY happy to be "finished" with the nursery! Of course after the shower (in just two weeks, wow) we'll have to organize and sort everything (I know I'm not going to have enough storage!)... but it's a good feeling to have it ready to go!

- We had a 4-D ultrasound (two sessions, he wasn't cooperating the first time) and got some pretty decent shots of our little man! It was SO surreal to "see" his face and get a better idea of his features. He has his dads nose, no question!

Love those chubby cheeks and tiny feet!

- I officially dislike bending over to pick anything up. Haha. And not only because of my stomach, but my lower back has been killing me more than usual. (You know you're in your third trimester when...)

- I've had this weird black spot floating around my vision in my right eye. Went to the eye doc this morning and he said it's "normal", especially with pregnancy  hormones, and everything is still a-ok with my eyes. That's a relief!

- This is the best pregnancy/parenthood-related article I've read yet: Ten True Things about the First Year of Parenthood.

- I ordered myself a custom hospital gown on Etsy! I got it with a navy sash and ordered an extra hot pink one just in case I can't decide. :-) (I figured blue was appropriate because I'm having a boy, but pink is my favorite color... soooo...)

Maternity Hospital Delivery Gown in Gray Chevron --  ModMum shop on Etsy

- We took an all-day birth class last Saturday and I felt like we learned a lot! It wasn't too overwhelming, like I thought it would be, so that was a relief. I feel pretty confident in the whole process, especially knowing that I plan to get an epidural before I'm in too much pain.

I thought it was ironic that the end of the whole agenda it said in big letters "GOOD LUCK!!!!" :-P

- Oh yeah, I PASSED MY GLUCOSE TEST (with flying colors, I might add)!!!! I was so relieved. My iron level was just a bit low (34.9) so I'm starting to take an iron supplement once a day. I feel like this explains my constant craving for red meat during this pregnancy, and my lack of energy recently. I think the iron supplement is helping my energy already.

- We have interviews with two different potential nannies tomorrow. I'm a little nervous, but excited. I've been using and have gotten some interest, and I have it narrowed down to these two for now. They are both older ladies which I'm most comfortable with. I have my fingers crossed, printed out a suggested list of questions, and hope that I stick to my gut feeling instead of my tendency to "check something off" the to-do list.

- I've officially been a grumpster the past two days. This is so unusual for me, so I'm struggling to keep it together. I think it has to do with Eric going back to his regular 12-hour (and unpredictable to say the least) shift after being in 9AM-5PM K-9 training for several months (and off every weekend... spoiled). His day shift schedule is supposed to be 6AM-6PM, but last night he didn't get home until 10:30PM, and then left again this morning at 4AM for training. Gonna have to adjust. Sigh.

This was my grumpy face from last night :) haha.
- And to end on a more positive note, I'm really REALLY excited that I'll be at 30 weeks this Sunday! I've been waiting and waiting to see that "3" in front of the number because now it's only a matter of a handful of weeks until we're soooo close to meeting our little man!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Worries and fears: the crazy-mom pregnancy version.

Lately I've found myself worrying/thinking/obsessing about issues related to being pregnant and/or when our little man arrives. I don't think I'm a worried person by nature - I'm more of a "planner" - but feeling "out of control" of so many aspects of life right now is probably triggering all of this.

First, I worry that I'm gaining too much weight, combined with not eating healthy enough. Everyone tells me "you look great!" ALLLL the time, but I know what I look like under these cute maternity jeans and tops. :-P My thighs are expanding, my boobs are HUGE, my back/chest breakout sometimes, and my tight "runners butt" is just not what it used to be. I feel guilty most days for not eating vegetables (anyone who knows me, knows I don't eat them, and never have) and indulging in cravings too often. Besides the fact that I'm likely actually right on track with gaining weight and shouldn't worry, I do worry because I have 2 1/2 months left to go, and in my head I tell myself I can only gain X amount and still be within the "healthy" range suggested by the doctor. Mind you, I haven't been told this by my own doctor, this is just in my own head.

That brings me to the next issue, sort of related, of gestational diabetes. My glucose tolerance test is next Tuesday and I'm so stressed out about it. I'm psyching myself out that I won't pass. Not only did I have PCOS before getting pregnant - which is a glucose issue I took meds for - but I eat sweets a lot more since being pregnant (those darn cravings). I know, I just need to wait until I see what happens, but it's hard. I'm such a picky eater, that if I have to drastically change my diet I will not do very well.

I'm trying to not put the cart before the horse, but ... sigh. Easier said than done.

Moving on to baby-related fears, at the top of my list is figuring out child care when I go back to work after he's born. I don't have anyone I know of, who lives here, that can watch him full-time. Three years ago, different story... I had lots of Air Force wife friends that didn't work, who would've been perfect for it! But now they've all either moved away or have their own babies. What to do, what to do. This is such a HUGE decision in my mind, I just want to cry thinking about how important it is, as well as the fact that we have to make such an important decision for someone else's life.

I'm a psychology major and have done enough research to know how important early-childhood is in the context of a lifetime. It's major. And the child care/primary care giver relationship is just so, so, critical to a child, it really overwhelms me to the max.

Sure, the best option would be for me to be able to stay home and watch him. But that's not happening, at least not for several years. So is the next-best option day care or hiring a nanny to be at home three days a week? I've thought long and hard about each one, and at the moment, I'm leaning towards a nanny, even though paying one for 3 days a week is the same amount as 5 days a week of daycare. But maybe it's worth it, to keep him home longer. I think when he's older (a year +), day care will be a great choice for his development and socialization, that's not an issue. My issue is sending a 2 month old to a cold, loud, day care?? My heart hurts just thinking about it.

Oh my goodness, I can't imagine where this will go if I don't get my worries and fears under control. I know what I need to do, but it's a constant battle to reign my mind in before it snowballs outta control. I'm not looking for advice necessarily, just a forum for voicing how I feel. I know, that when I think ahead to a few years from now, this will all be a blip on the radar and our son will be a happy, healthy and well-adjusted human being. :-)

I know I'm not going to ruin him if I eat a piece of cake or send him to day care earlier than other kids. I know this is gonna be harder on me than it is on him. I know all he needs is loving parents who try their best, and who take care of themselves so that they can take care of him. I know everything will be ok. But for now, I'm worried, and I think that's ok too.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Whoah, baby.

It amazes me the things the human body is capable of doing. This pregnancy was a miracle from the beginning, and now the way my body is changing seems miraculous. Haha! I am well aware of the three + months remaining and the stretching that is yet to come. It just blows my mind.

Here's a little visual of the past few months:

Weeks 15, 18, 21, 25
I am really excited to be headed into the third trimester soon. Speaking of... I've read different dates on when that starts, so what's the final word on the third tri? My baby book moves to the third tri on week 25, and some places online it says 27 or 28. Confusing!!

  • A few weeks ago we had a little scare and spent a few hours in the hospital (at the end of week 21). I was just sitting on the couch and my belly started to hurt, and over about 15 minutes it kept progressing until I was in tears and couldn't hardly move, talk, or breathe. It was higher, the upper half of my belly, not low, so it didn't feel like round ligament pain. It felt like a Charlie horse in my stomach that lasted about 30 minutes. I had Eric call his mom (a midwife) and she asked me some questions and I attempted to answer them... she eventually suggested we just go to the hospital. So my poor husband got a trial run in a high-speed race to the hospital way too early! We were both scared, but of course as soon as I got admitted to my room the pain had stopped. We got some peace of mind with a heart rate monitor and ultrasound. Everything was FINE with our little man, thank God. Super weird, and I hope it never happens again. My OB said it was probably the uterus contracting or gas (??).
  • Lots of normal RLP in the past few weeks, definitely low and comes and goes.
  • I had a horrible sinus infection/chest cold a couple of weeks ago. Everything is exaggerated 100x when pregnant. I got some antibiotics which helped, but I am still dealing with the sinus/stuffiness now, two weeks later.
  • Boobs are officially DD and I had to buy new bras to accommodate those suckers. Not very comfy but I anticipate them only getting bigger!
  • It's not easy to love my expanding body parts, but it's super easy to love the little man inside.
  • I scheduled a 3D/4D ultrasound for October 31st! I'm a little nervous, but have been dying to see what he looks like, so I'm also really excited! I think it's cool that we'll get a DVD of the whole thing too.
  • We have pretty much finished the nursery, except for one wall I need to get some frames for! I made one of those yarn-wrapped big letters for his first name (Pinterest inspired!) for the center and will put some random frames around it, collage-style.

SUPER comfy nursery chair!

Coming soon: Headed to Indiana next weekend to visit my parents and nephew (yay!), 3D ultrasound, glucose test (nervous!), and the baby shower!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The big gender reveal

Without further delay ... the big reveal!

We've already bought boy clothes, painted the nursery, and registered within the past week since finding out. We're EXHAUSTED but thrilled and cannot wait to meet our little man in January!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Almost halfway!"

Baby Strodtman hanging out with mom at work
We're at week 18! I keep saying "almost halfway!" and can hardly believe it. There's no way I've been pregnant for almost 5 months. While it seems to be flying by at times, sometimes it crawls, and then most times I'm just anxious to meet our miracle baby! I try to imagine that moment when we see him/her for the first time and I really can't. It's going to be awesome, that's all I know.

I had my monthly OB appointment yesterday, and besides waiting an hour and a half to see the doctor for 10 whole minutes, it was good. Eric couldn't come (first one he's missed) but it was probably ok because he HATES waiting more than I do. He would not have been a happy camper. :) I recorded the Doppler/heartbeat for him instead. I posted on my Instagram (my first video!) so if you want, follow me and hear it and all it's 160 bpm glory @mrsstrodtman.

Are you Team Pink or Team Blue?!??!
We find out the sex on MONDAY. I'm totally dying. I can NOT wait. My prediction is on girl. I've felt that from the very beginning. At first I questioned if I was just wanting a girl so I was making up the feeling, but I don't think so anymore. Of course I will be very happy (and surprised!) if it's a boy, but basically I just want to find out! Eric thinks boy. He's in the minority, haha.

Speaking of Eric, I have been thinking about him and the relationship he has with the baby a lot lately. From the moment we learned the baby could "hear" things, he talks to my belly all the time. It's usually, "Hi baby, I hope you're doing good in there! Can't wait to meet you!" sort of stuff.

Totally cute. I don't know how my heart will handle seeing him with the baby once it's born.

He always wants me to stand sideways so he can see the (growing) belly. Sometimes it makes me self conscious, because I feel like I'm getting BIG (found out how much weight I gained yesterday... sigh). But he just loves it, and despite my initial hesitation, deep down I just love how much he loves it. There's no way to wipe the grin off his face. Yesterday when I sent him the Doppler video he said he showed it to his friends at work. I really feel lucky to have him with me in all of this.

I am well aware this post is coming from an emotional pregnant woman, haha! Feeling more emotional by the minute, I tell ya. We have been blessed, there is no doubt. Not a day goes by where I don't remember that, and express my gratitude to the giver of all good gifts.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Highlights - Weeks 14-15

Some highlights  of the past few weeks --
  • Officially bought maternity pants and one maternity shirt over the weekend. I tried on my favorite "one size too big" regular skinnies and they won't close anymore! The belly band really works for me though, and I'm so glad I have it.
  • Maternity pants REALLY make you look pregnant. Everything hangs out! People are starting to comment on my "bump". It makes me happy to look pregnant for real. :)
  • I still haven't felt the baby move, which makes me a little bit sad. I hope it happens soon! My app said that the baby could start hearing things this week, so maybe I need to play the music louder and he/she will start dancing? :)
  • I can't believe this Sunday I'll be 16 weeks/4 MONTHS pregnant! Just a few more weeks until we find out the sex (August 26)!
  • We've been trying to sell our office desk for a couple of weeks on Craigslist and no one is interested. I've gotten two spam emails/texts but nothing legit, and I've already lowered the price once. We NEED to sell it so I can move the bed and some other things out of the nursery ASAP! Any suggestions?
  • My husband works the night shift so when I go to bed, he usually stays up all night on the days he's off. So last night he was off, and I went to bed with the dogs, and he said goodnight to all of us. He was walking out and I said, "Umm you forgot someone!" Haha. He came back and said goodnight and "I love you" to Baby Strodtman too. Aww.
  • We cleaned out every closet in the house two weekends ago, and threw away a carload of crap. I'm normally a "throw it all away" type of person, but being pregnant has made me 100x worse! I literally could have tossed everything into the trash and never given it a second thought.
  • The thought has crossed my mind to hire a handyman because my husband can't keep up with all of the projects I want done RIGHT NOW. Haha.
  • Because of all these said projects, my lower back really was killing/crippling me. Also I've been having some sciatic pain on my left side. I mentioned it to my doctor and he referred me to a physical therapist. It really is too early to be having these issues! The PT said one leg was longer than the other, my right hip was higher, and my pelvic bone was out of alignment. Gotta love pregnancy hormones for loosening everything up and making it move out of place! So now I'm going to PT 2x a week AND the chiropractor 2x a week. The co-pays are killing me-- but I feel SO MUCH BETTER.
  • Who can believe that tomorrow is already AUGUST 1ST?!??

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Always remember where you came from

Since getting pregnant, I have felt extra sensitive towards everyone I met or currently know who is struggling with infertility. I can remember the many, many times I struggled through pregnancy announcements from friends and family members, and I desperately did not want to be the cause of anyone else's pain when making our announcement. It still felt all too familiar.

I struggled with infertility for 2 1/2 years, and have only been pregnant for 3 months. Sometimes, it still feels surreal and bizarre that this is now my reality.

Some people reading this will not understand. This is the happiest time of my life... why should I still focus on the negative, dark struggles of my past?

Let me tell you something. Infertility is not just something you forget once you get pregnant, and you certainly can never be the same person after experiencing it. I said so many times that it changes you, permanently. It feels hopeless, it makes you angry, and best of all... it gives you a new appreciation for the blessings in your life.

Looking back, I am so grateful for that journey. It made me who I am today. It makes you realize how powerless you are over your life, and therefore that much more grateful when God chooses to bless you with your heart's desires. I was speechless and terrified when I found out I was pregnant (I wrote about "the day I found out" here). I was ecstatic and hopeful. I was dumbfounded and amazed.

I thought about the past 2 1/2 years and how hard we had tried to make our dreams come true. We learned so many lessons, met some amazing people, and our faith was tested to the limit. The overriding theme I take away from those years is that everyone's story is unique. My story is not your story. Just because you got pregnant when you "stopped trying" or ate 5 pineapple cores doesn't mean that it will work for me.

Because of that experience, I am finally confident that my story is my own. I take great comfort in that now. When I first got pregnant I was terrified that something would happen, that I would miscarry. I saw it happen all around me, with at least 3 other women I personally knew. It happens to more people than we probably even know. My husband was especially afraid, and while it lingered in my mind, I couldn't help but think... but this is our story.

This is our story. The past 2 1/2 years have been our story. This pregnancy is our miracle. God is still writing our story. There is no reason to compare it to anyone else. God is faithful. I worked through my doubts and fears throughout our years of infertility and finally put them in His hands. Now that I'm pregnant, I have to do the very same thing. And sometimes those fears for my unborn child feel exactly like the fears I had in the past of never having a child. Loss of control. Uncertainty.

So maybe now some can better understand when I say that those feelings never go away. Those lessons were learned the hard way. They must be implemented daily, just in a different situation. This is why I say I'm grateful for those years. They made me who I am today.

If I had any advice to give my friends struggling with their own journey, whether it's infertility, the loss of a child, or something else, it would be this.

Embrace your story.

It's ok to be happy and sad at the same time.

Find your peace. 

And never, ever, ever give up.