Thursday, March 20, 2014

Breast Pump Epiphanies & Anatomy Scan

Forgive me if I continue to sound like a fish out of water with some of this pregnancy and motherhood stuff. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I'm starting from square 1.  Like many other women who traveled the road of fertility treatments prior, it's like once I became pregnant I was just totally BURNT OUT on learning anything. I've literally only read one book, The Complete Organic Pregnancy, which didn't talk much about birth but served more as a reminder that I should be walking around in a plastic bubble (a BPA free one of course) to protect me from the ravages of this toxic planet we live on.

It's highly unlike me to be so unmotivated to learn about such an important new life experience.There are other books I'd been saving for pregnancy, like Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, but still haven't made the effort.  However, I am honestly enjoying NOT being an expert about something for once. Furthermore, the girl who once thought she might have a completely natural birth (possibly not even at a hospital) has made a complete 180 and decided that I'm OK handing the reigns to my OB. I'm seeing a MFM specialist/perinatologist every month and my OB in between, so I have an apt. every 2 weeks right now to assess everything...really not much they can miss I'm guessing.

Plus, I've heard enough stories about well-intentioned birth plans that change according to circumstances last minute. I'm not going to say I do want an epidural, because what if I go into labor too quickly and there's not enough time? I'm not going to say I don't want an epidural, because I have no crystal ball on how bad the pain will be. I don't want to set all these expectations and then have my plan changed, because I am not good at dealing with defeat. All I know is I'd like to avoid a C section or induction unless it's medically necessary. Outside of that, I'm leaving it up to the people who went to school and have been delivering babies as long as I've been alive.

Still, after taking a loooong hiatus from the infertility forums on BBC, I decided it might benefit me to go back online and learn a thing or two about all the stuff I'm supposed to be doing.
Hearing about everyone else's nurseries in full force and all the things they already have ready-to-go motivated me to start thinking about a gift registry, which I quickly realized I knew nothing about either. Luckily, I got some good advice from several women with newborns and toddlers, and I discovered there are also some good examples of must have items on from other new parents.

The one thing I've become acutely aware of when reading comments on baby forums is that breastfeeding is definitely not the picture perfect experience of peacefulness and solitude we'd like to believe it is, especially in the beginning; More like a continuum of bloody cracked nipples, finding time to pump, and figuring out which bottles your baby will drink from to give yourself relief, all the while battling baby bouts of acid reflux and screaming at the top of their lungs. I can't say I wasn't warned, that's for sure.
Once again, I was taken back once I clicked on the plethora of pumping bras available to the modern woman. These are the images taken from one...

Yep, I'm sure that's exactly how I'll look and feel!
Look how thrilled she is to be pumping at work!
Why even try with the polka dots? Seriously, you can't make that thing cute.

Lord help my husband to still find me attractive once he sees this watermelon exiting my body and the year of oh so fashionable lingerie which will follow. I don't know if I can bring myself to buy one of these things. I might just cut a couple holes in my sports bras or just wear nursing tanks, which are way less scary in my opinion.

It will all be worth it in the end though for our little guy. This was taken at his anatomy scan yesterday, which he passed with flying colors thankfully!

Preston waving @ 17w5d. (Measuring 18w1d & heartbeat @ 147bpm)
Favorite part of the scan was seeing all the structures of the brain and the heart. They look at EVERY single part of the baby's body inside and out, even the arteries and chambers within the heart to see how they're functioning. Those pics are hard to get with him wiggling so much, but very fascinating stuff.

We received our third confirmation that he's definitely a boy...

WARNING BABY PORN: Under the booty shot

Think he might already have some running legs on him too...

Ironically, I felt him kicking for the first time yesterday morning before getting out of bed...a very surreal feeling indeed. Of course, now I'm laying in bed every morning at 4 am completely fixated on my abdomen, waiting for the sheer chance I'll get to feel him again. Hopefully it will become more frequent and pronounced over the next couple weeks.

In other good news, the hubby accepted a fantastic job offer from a software company that recruited him very aggressively.
He's now a Vice President of Sales, which is a step up in title for him from Director at his last position, even though he was doing the role of a VP all along really. It's just really nice to see him get so much interest from everyone he's interviewed with, because he's so outstanding at what he does. He deserves to finally have his talents celebrated and appreciated.

Best of all, we're not moving away from Austin, which was a very real possibility as other job opportunities were entertained the last few weeks. It's an interesting feeling to be almost half way through a pregnancy and living in limbo, not sure if/when you might need to pack up and move, praying that your COBRA healthcare will go through appropriately during the unemployment. We're just so thankful it's all a non-issue now, and Preston can begin his life right here in a safe home we already know and love. I am so proud of hubby, and I know Preston will be proud to call him his dad. Hopefully, I can get over all the scariness and newness of motherhood once it is really here, and I will be a mom everyone can be proud of too.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Taking the Plunge

There is no other way to describe the mind over matter that took place today as I finally braved the murky waters of the maternity sections at Target and Ross. I'd peeked over there briefly once before, but was instantly hit with an emotion I can only liken to walking in on your parents having sex when you're 5...and yes, that really happened to me as well! I guess if you want to keep it G rated, you can liken it to the first time you dove into the deep end of a pool. Either way, it was scary stuff!

Perhaps it's because I've never gone maternity shopping with anyone else. I'd seen the extremely strange pants before, but never had I actually tried them on myself. Talk about a weird experience. I am doubly cursed, because I have an abnormally large ass in comparison to my waist, so here I am faced with the saaaame conundrum I have faced my entire life; If I buy pants large enough to fit over my ass, the waist is still ridiculously large. Baby's got back, and clearly that has not changed with the presence of an actual baby. The only jeans and pants that have ever fit correctly are from Express or Michael Kors.

As with anything else though, I did not give up! I tried and tried until I found some things that actually worked for me in the form of dresses, maxi skirts and a boatload of comfy shirts. And drumroll please... I walked away with two whole bags of clothes (3 long sleeve tops, 4 short sleeves, 3 tank tops, 1 cami, 1 maxi dress, 1 maxi skirt, 1 tunic/dress thing, and a belly band) all for under $200! Think I set a record on that trip for deal stealing.

I'd like to add that whomever invented this belly band idea deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. You don't even have to be pregnant to use this thing. Apparently it is made for problem preggos just like me who need help with the transition into and out of maternity pants. However, it could just as easily be used for a fat day. You basically just leave your regular pants unbuttoned with the fly wide open and then scoot this wide spandex band over the top to hold the pants up and smooth out any visible buttons or lines...which hides the fact your pants are completely undone under your shirt. Genius!

Is it just me, or should someone create a line of these for plumbers? I feel like I've been living under a rock or something, but better to discover late than never. This little gem is seriously going to save us some coin, because now I can rock my regular pants and jeans a wee bit longer. Believe me, I'm not in total denial though. I know that eventually my ass is going to double in size and there will be no hope for a measly opening of the fly to save the day. For now, it's a life saver and I'm grateful for it!

Today's epiphany: No wonder I felt like I was sucking my stomach in for so long. Everything was too damn small. I feel like I can finally breathe now! The last thing I tried on reluctantly on a whim ended up being my favorite...

It's much cuter on too!

And speaking of taking the plunge, I also broke down and got highlights this week. After waiting it out the entire first trimester, and becoming so frumpy and downtrodden I didn't even want to leave my own house, I was given clearance along with the usual "You worry too much" nod of the head from my OB. Also, my justification for believing in the safety of highlights was that if billions of pregnant people have soaked their entire body and largest organ with billions of sponge-like pores (the skin) in chlorine filled swimming pools for hours on end without issue, then why should applying hair dye without even touching the scalp to dead hair affect anything? Yeah, I think I'm safe there.

Other rebellious and outlandish things I've done this week include eating Chik-Fil-A (with gluten-filled sandwich bun) for lunch today and eating 2.5 Boar's Head turkey & cheddar sandwiches for dinner last night. Those of you who know me know that I am normally a very healthy eater. Up until now, my cravings have just been for vegetables, fruits, and all things healthy...nothing new at all. Well, not this week!

Someone I have never met before has snatched my body and is craving deli meat, cheese, and bread. I never had any real cravings up until this point, but it's like I can't get enough cheddar cheese especially. I'm eating sandwiches like they're going out of style. Additionally, I may or may not have made 2 dozen homemade monster cookies as well....

Damn that Paula Deen and her tasty recipes! Does it count that these are gluten-free? No, still not healthy? Oh well, I am learning to let go a little and enjoy things when I want them. I have the whole rest of my life to be fit, and I can't help that I'm so damn hungry!  I did give away 18 of these ginormous cookies, because otherwise I would have eaten them all.

Not to worry, Preston is still being fed a mostly organic diet, and I'm eating healthy at least 70% of the time. I guess I should feel lucky I lasted until 16 weeks before the maternity clothes and cravings came into play. However, I'm just warning you ahead of time; There is a very good chance I may blow up to the size of a bounce house by the time summer arrives.  I guess I'm just becoming OK with embracing the adventures into maternity land, and by God, I'm going to indulge in a little dairy, gluten, and sugar here and there if I want to!