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Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter,

About 5 hours ago your Daddy and I sat with a technician while we watched you dance on-screen. I’m not trying to be cute when I say that, you were moving about so much the technician said you made her dizzy.

We heard how beautiful and healthy you were. We heard you are already a dancer.

And then she announced. “Here are the little girl parts – you’re having a girl!”

I immediately smiled. See this morning, I walked into your nursery and stood there, looking around, and just knew. I can’t explain it, but I knew you were a little girl.

I knew though that your Dad might be a bit shocked. He was so sure you were a boy. I slowly turned to look at him after the announcement, a little hesitant and that’s when I saw it. Tears and a smile. Pure joy. And last night when we got home, he pulled your ultrasound pictures down from the fridge and looked at them again. That’s when I saw him crying, not just tears, I’m talking shoulder shaking sobs. I must have looked perplexed at him and that’s when he said, “One day I will have to dance with her and give her away at her wedding.” And then I found myself sobbing too.

See I already, and he already knows, you’ll be Daddy’s princess. I know he will give you anything and everything. For all that your Dad is testosterone and football obsessed, he is a big mush. All you’ll have to do is look at him and he’ll give you the world. (Not to be confused with being able to get away with things, sorry, he’s already talking about putting a GPS tracker in (yes in) you.)

I know in many ways, whether I like it or not, you’ll be a mini-me. A more beautiful, smarter, and just all around more awesome version of course.

I know that there are fears I had about having a girl that I’ll have to work through.

I know one day there will be a boy. And you will try to sneak out of the house to see him, or you’ll question when and how much of yourself to give him. I know one day you’ll experience heartbreak – and while it’s worth experiencing – everything inch of my being hurts thinking about you hurting.

I know I want you to feel beautiful – inside and out. Never do I want you worrying about your weight, your social status, or other’s harsh words. No matter what, please remember, you are beautiful, you are smart and you are important.

My dear daughter, we already love you more than words can describe. We can’t wait for your arrival and in the meantime, you better believe we’re stocking up on the most adorable baby girl clothing ever.

18 Weeks

Ok seriously, second trimester is amazing. I don’t feel pregnant, and aside from my growing tummy – I feel absolutely great! I know I need to enjoy this before I hit the final few months!

Weight gained:
+3lbs or so (plus whatever I gained in the first 9 weeks that the doctor wasn’t tracking yet). I think around 7-8lbs total now. I honestly have stopped weighing myself or caring. I plan to eat healthy(ish) and intuitively and I’ll gain what I need to gain to have a healthy pregnancy.

Workouts:
Mostly walks. On our Cape vacation and since, I try to go for at least a 2 mile walk each day. It definitely helps to energize me.

Symptoms:
Honestly, I feel fantastic. So much so that I keep forgetting I’m pregnant – a lot of times I don’t feel pregnant (which is scary). The only symptoms that I really notice are:

Fatigue – by a certain point at night I get really tired. If I push past and stay up, that’s when I don’t feel well (11pm = headache, cramping, mood swings, etc.)

Bleeding gums – when I brush my teeth or eat an apple…

Stuffy nose – It’s not awful, but it’s definitely slightly stuffy all the time.

Hunger – my appetite is back and if I don’t eat consistently, I get pretty hungry, then a stomach-ache, then I start to feel sick.

Growing chest – went from my baby B cup to a full on C cup.

Food Aversions:
Not many really. I actually thought I would crave alcohol and certain foods this  past weekend while at a wedding with friends, but it’s sort of the opposite. For the most part my body doesn’t want what it shouldn’t have. The idea of runny eggs, beer, brie, and sushi make my stomach turn a bit.

Food Cravings:
Tuna salad with pickles and plain potato chips. Which is slightly annoying because I’m trying to limit my intake due to mercury contents.

Bagels with cream cheese.

Sleep:
I can’t get enough lately. I’m starting to have to get up once in a while during the night, but for the most part, I’m sleeping well. (However, I don’t sleep if I’m not sleeping home. For whatever reason, if I sleep elsewhere – hotel, friend’s house, whatever – I maybe sleep 2-3 hours total.) Plus lots and lots of super vivid (and sometimes creepy) dreams though. I’m getting to a point where waking up at 6amish is really hard (although once I’m up, I’m up).

Miss Anything?
My old wardrobe, haha. Seriously though, the new chest is a little frustrating because while I can wear most of my flowy shirts, they are starting to pull in the chest area in funky ways. Time for more maternity clothes.

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week:
I heard the baby’s heartbeat last Monday which is always wonderful.

Happy or moody most of the time:
Happy, so very happy. Well except if I’m up past 11pm then I’m just cranky.

New Baby Items:
So much nursery decor! My mom bought us the changing table, the cutest elephant lamp, elephant bedding, and a glider. My friend helped me to put up the birch tree decals on one of the walls and the Husband and I hung up the chevron curtains. It’s coming together!

Looking Forward To:
Our fetal anatomy scan – TODAY. Truthfully, yes, I’m so excited to find out the gender, but really, I just want to hear we have a healthy baby. I have this underlying worry that I know won’t go away until we hear that baby is healthy and a-OK.

The husband and I plan to ask for them to write it in an envelope so that we can find out together privately. Then we are inviting our parents and siblings over on Sunday for a gender reveal party. I’m so excited.

I think for me, I want to connect more with the baby. Right now, even though I couldn’t be happier to be pregnant, I don’t really believe it. I don’t feel like there’s a baby inside me. Somehow I just know, by knowing the gender, and calling baby by his/her name (secretly since we aren’t telling names!) will just help me connect more.

I have to also say… finding out the gender today will be the biggest surprise of my life. For 18 weeks I have wondered what baby is, but I honest to God have no idea. It will be the most real surprise I’ll ever have. If I had to guess, even though all along mostly everyone, including myself, thought boy – I’m oddly leaning towards girl now? We shall see!

 

Moments

After telling the Husband that the baby can now hear our voices, he leaned in close to my belly and whispered, “hello baby, I am your father.

Every morning my alarm goes off and I let Bentley out of his crate and he walks downstairs with me as I make my coffee. As soon as it’s ready, I start to walk back upstairs to shower. Like clockwork he races up past me on the stairs and runs into the bedroom, jumps onto the bed, and snuggles into the Husband’s legs and sleeps while I finish getting ready.

Walking into the nursery each morning, the sunniest room in the house by far, and just standing there thinking, “wow, there really will be a baby in here soon enough”.

Listening, eyes closed, to “Belong” by Cary Brothers.

Walking outside the past few mornings and just knowing Fall is coming. I can feel it in the crisp air and I can just picture everything apple, pumpkin and big comfy sweaters.

Getting to celebrate the birthday of my best friend from home by taking a day off work, meeting halfway in Mystic, CT and walking around laughing at the aquarium. It was exactly like something I would have chosen to do – a relaxed day getting to talk, walk around outside, enjoy a leisurely lunch and just be together. 20+ years later and our friendship is still like none other. I wish so much she lived closer.

A text from my Dad that caught me off guard, in the sweetest way…“Off today. Watching the movie Divergent. The female star reminds me of you. Very few people have such a combo of compassion, bravery and smarts like you. Your daughter/son is very lucky

Realizing its Friday, no one is in the office today, all my meetings are cancelled and after today… I’ll be on the Cape for an entire week of sleeping and reading.

Random Friday thoughts

Tuesday afternoon I treated myself to a prenatal massage. I was a little nervous not knowing exactly what to expect and if it would be comfortable or not and was surprised to see that I was still lying face down for the first part – just on top of a bunch of pillows with a sort of belly area in the middle. The first half of the massage was pretty good, although without her being able to put pressure on my lower back (where my pain is right now) it was less pain/muscle soreness reducing and more relaxing. About 20 minutes in, I was practically in a sleep state when I felt the softest flutter in my stomach. The only way to explain it is like butterfly wings moving down the inside my stomach for just a second. In my head I immediately thought, oh my God I feel the baby, but seeing as this is my first, wasn’t really sure. The massage continued on, and while I love a good massage, I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure it was worth the money in the end. Anyway, last night as I was going to bed, about 20 minutes after trying to fall asleep and just lying there, the flutter happened again. Just once, and so softly, but I swear I felt it. I don’t think I have felt it since though…

Tuesday night while Husband and I were grilling dinner (buying that grill has been the best purchase ever) I was playing with Bentley. At one point I had a stick in my hand and was pretending to throw it so he was running while looking at me and BAM into the deep end (10 feet deep) of the pool he fell. Now I know what everyone is thinking – dogs can swim – all dogs can swim – but I swear mine can’t. We have tried to get him to slowly go into ponds, oceans, etc. and he’ll wade but whenever he gets deep he sort of panics and thrashes versus swimming. So he fell in and I immediately went over to see him bobbing under and above water with his butt and back legs completely sinking. I pulled him out and he shook himself off and then went playing along and…I cried. He’s shown no interest in the pool but the idea of him falling in really freaks me out. The next warm day I’m taking a page from Caesar Milan and getting in the pool with him and showing him how to get out via the steps at the shallow end. Last night he kept trying to get out of the side but the water isn’t high enough, and I worry after 10 minutes of that … who knows.

I’m loving our house. I still don’t quite feel settled or unpacked by any means, but the progress between the renovations being done and the painting is amazing.

I’m ridiculously into the show Big Brother. It’s a show that has apparently been on for like 10+ years and I have never once watched an episode until this year and somehow I found myself hooked. It’s so stupid and silly and yet… it’s the one summer show I’m watching.

When we got married and got all our wedding presents, aside from gifts cards, rather than take them to our apartment at the time, we kept them at my in-laws. We have just started bringing them all over to our house and OMG it’s like Christmas! All new dishes, pots, pans, grill set, pillows, and more.

Tall decaf non-fat cappuccino with one pump cinnamon dulce…oh my word delicious. My new favorite drink that I can pretend is caffeinated.

I am finally starting to feel like a human again. Happy, energized, excited, and (mostly) non-nauseated!

90’s on 9 (satellite radio) or Spotify best of the 90’s playlist = sure fire way to find me singing and dancing as I apparently know the lyrics of every damn 90’s song.

This is my first weekend in months that I am home, I have minimal plans (aside from a shopping date with a friend and my first haircut in 7 months). TGIF.

13 weeks

Umm hello second tri! I thought time would go by so slowly, but at the same time, it’s going by rather quickly. When I say I  only have 26 weeks and 5 days left it sounds so crazy! I really wanted to write a lot more, but over the past 5 weeks we have moved, I’ve gone to one wedding, three bridal showers, two bachelorettes, an engagement party,  celebrated the birthday of my best friend from home by driving to Connecticut to meet her for a day, multiple social dinners, and crazy work projects – including at least one night a week still of 3 hours of Tokyo calls. So when I feel guilty about not unpacking, exercising or getting things done – I remember that life has been crazy.   

Weight gained:
+1lb. Overall at 13 weeks and 3 days I have gained a total of about 5lbs. Apparently now I should also be gaining about .5-1lb weekly (via nutritious foods).

Workouts:
Ha. I keep saying how much I’d love to swim and get some exercise in but…it hasn’t happened.

Symptoms:
Extreme fatigue. In the past few weeks it went from feeling less energized to holy crap, a wave of exhaustion hits and I.cannot.function. I leave the house by 7:30 and work until 5pmish, take the train out to pick up Bentley from daycare, then get home around 6:30pm and sometimes it takes everything in me to eat dinner before I crawl onto the floor and just lay there.

Pregnancy brain… or the baby is actually eating my brain. I mean I was legit convinced one day we had a time change and I needed to add an hour onto my google maps direction time. Yeah, not accurate.

The nausea has definitely started to subside  – hallelujah!

One new symptom over the past weekend was an awful headache that lasted a solid 2 days. I’d really like to not have one of those again.

Oh and I’m still an emotional sap, even worse than before. Tears are expected at least once a week.

Food Aversions:
Woohoo my appetite is coming back, sort of! I still don’t like to think about making food, and actually thinking too much about food in general sort of turns me off. The idea of eggs – especially runny eggs, burgers, meat not cooked enough – like rare steak, heavy/creamy/rich foods makes me feel a bit ill.

Food Cravings:
Fresh fruit (especially cut up in cereal with cold milk), cottage cheese, chocolate milk, grilled corn (had with dinner last night and omg, I want a hundred more ears)

Sleep:
Sleep hasn’t been great the past few days especially, but because of festivities and painting, I haven’t slept at home too much and honestly, just need a good night’s sleep in my own comfy bed.

Miss Anything?
A lot of things I can’t have…spicy tuna roll, Brie, caffeine (i.e. not worrying about drinking an iced tea, coffee, etc.)

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week:
This morning I went in for another check-in with my midwife and I got to hear Baby’s heart beat again (now at about 150bpm) and it’s so unbelievably amazing to hear that heart racing. I couldn’t help but cry again.

Happy or moody most of the time:
I’m starting to feel more like myself! Happy and excited! However, after 8pm or while driving – just stay away, far, far away.

New Baby Items:
Nursery décor! The room itself is painted a gray color and I ordered white birch tree decals from Etsy to go up on one wall, chevron gray and white curtains, and just bought a few cute gray and white elephant baskets. My Mom also bought me the softest, cutest gray elephant with a pink ribbon (came with and she said we can always replace but hmm, foreshadowing?)

My friend from college also bought me a baby book journal and I really want to start documenting in there!

Looking Forward To:
Finding the gender! Ok really now, I just want to know. I am at a point where I don’t care but I want to plan and start calling the baby he or she and connecting with the baby more. We are finding out now on September 23rd and the wait is killing me. It’s kind of entertaining how split people are on what we are having and how sure some people are! My sisters are dead set that it’s a boy, my Mom goes back and forth, Husband says boy, a few friends say boy yet a few say girl, and I just don’t know. I really thought boy – mainly because while I have been nauseous I never got super sick, but deep down I could see imagine that it may be a girl. My psychic Aunt says “maybe a girl, but you will have one of both either way” – so yeaaaah, whatever that means. I’m looking forward to sharing the news in a fun way  (not sure how yet)…

I’m also looking forward to getting more of a bump! I just started to pop a little bit, and my clothes are fitting funny (between the chest and tight tummy area) so it really is time to start putting away some of my tighter wardrobe pieces.  I feel like people aren’t sure yet if they can say anything, or some wouldn’t quite notice – so I am oddly excited to really show!

9 Weeks

My biggest fear was that time would pass so slowly during the first trimester. While the days can sometimes feel long, the weeks are flying by. I don’t know if it’s the combination of just being so busy – between buying the house, work and so many social activities – or if this is just normal.

On Monday at just over 9 weeks we had our second ultrasound and it was probably the most incredible thing I have ever seen. Actually hearing that fast little heart beat – nothing compares. It’s the most amazing and magical thing. I still can’t believe it’s all real, and I’m just feeling so weepy and blessed since. I mean WE’RE HAVING A BABY!

Anyway…

Weight gained:
-1lb since last weigh-in, so about 3-4lbs overall. Pretty sure it’s still constipation unfortunately. In the morning my pants fit, by evening they are too tight, then back to fitting – all depending on the time of day!

Workouts:
Lots of walking around, packing and cleaning. I’m counting it because seriously, by evening time I’m usually taking a nap I’m so drained.

Symptoms:
“Morning sickness” for me is really night sickness. It seems that like clockwork around 4:00pm each day I start to feel extra queasy, tired, and SO irritable. It’s almost comical how I go from feeling sort of OK to a crazy person. I’m trying to just take it easy in the evenings as much as I can, and I’m thankful I’m at least productive at work but I’m looking forward to getting past this one.

I hope this isn’t a new symptom but lately, I fall dead asleep around 10pmish then BAM around 1-3am I wake up…and I can’t fall back asleep. I spent 3 hours awake the last few nights watching crappy tv and trying to get tired and it was so frustrating.

Oh and I’m weepy as hell. Pretty much any commercial, conversation, or song about love, babies, animals – you can expect tears. And not like a few tears, I’m talking choking sobs.

Food Aversions:
Up until yesterday I was not loving food. It was really frustrating because if I don’t eat I get nauseous but most things sounded yucky and if I cook it, I will not eat it. I don’t want meat, eggs, really anything…

I also haven’t even had decaf coffee, I think I want it then I grab some and I can’t drink it.

As of this morning, (please don’t jinx myself) I am sort of feeling more like myself. Energized, not overly queasy, and happy. I ate a bowl of raisin bran with banana happily, and I’m just crossing my fingers the nausea peaked and it’s on its way out.

Food Cravings:
Finally I’m having a few very intense cravings:
Peaches and plums. I had a peach yesterday and it was the best thing I have had in a while and I plan on going back and buying a dozen more.
Burger King Chicken Sandwiches. I wish this wasn’t true, but for a few days it was the ONLY thing I wanted. I finally caved and had one and omg, it was unbelievable. It’s taking all my willpower not to get another.
Chocolate milk. Finally had some yesterday and it was amazing and the easiest way for me to get my daily milk in when I’m not feeling cereal.
Tuna sandwiches with plain potato chips. My doctor said it’s OK to do one can or packet a week (max) so I plan on having one today.

Sleep:
Naps, insomnia, fatigue – it goes in circles.

Miss Anything?
Same as always – turkey sandwich and coffee (or the act of drinking coffee if that makes sense).

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week:
We announced! After our last ultrasound the doctor confirmed that our risk of miscarriage is as low as it’s going to get and nothing magically changes or reduces that risk between now and second tri so to go ahead and announce. Ahhh, it was SO MUCH FUN to finally tell everyone and hear reactions and just be open about it. Now I can be honest about how I’m feeling and all these things going on in my head!

Happy or moody most of the time:
If I’m being honest, I’m mostly sort of moody, especially at night. I know it’s hormones and fatigue, so I’m just trying to give myself a break and stay positive. Today I feel really positive, excited and happy!

New Baby Items:
Books! What to expect when you’re expecting, and What to expect in the first year.

Looking Forward To:
Finding out the gender. While we will be so happy with either (we truly just want a healthy baby) I can’t stop trying to guess. Right now, Husband thinks it’s a boy (I think he secretly prefers a boy, or really, he’s just terrified of having a girl and having to deal with boyfriends, haha) and my older sister thinks it’s a boy. My best friend from home thinks it’s a girl. I really don’t know. Part of me thinks it’s a boy (because of my dream, and the lack of other symptoms) but then deep down I’m wondering if it’s a girl (since I come from a family of a lot of girls). We will actually find out on the Husband’s 30th birthday, September 26th.

6 and 7 weeks

I keep meaning to write but with so much going on I just keep losing track of time. Anyway, I wanted to capture the last two weeks, but warning, TMI alert!

Weight gained:
5lbs. Boo, but my midwife assured me it’s constipation at this point.

Workouts:
Still hardly any with the exception of walks. I really want to incorporate exercise back in but between work being insane, closing on the house, and social activities…I’m so drained!

Symptoms:
Early last week I woke up in the middle of the night to projectile vomit and spent the full day after extremely nauseous. Surprisingly it went away, and since then I sometimes feel queasy, but I thank my lucky stars there hasn’t been any more puking.

Otherwise…bleeding gums, cramps, itchy nipples, very light brown spotting (confirmed as leftover implantation bleeding), feeling full after hardly eating anything, crazy gas pains and constipation… pregnancy makes you feel *awesome*

But I will say, my skin is completely clear – not a blemish!

Food Aversions:
Pretty much everything. This is always when I realize that I am in fact still queasy because nothing sounds appealing, even when I’m starving.

Food Cravings:
Carb city! Bagels, mozzarella sticks, and toast with peanut butter.

Sleep:
For the most part, sleep has been fantastic. I’m sleeping 7-8 hours a night, and sleeping soundly. Mmm, sleep.

Miss Anything?
Deli turkey. I can’t stop thinking about having a deli turkey, provolone, shredded lettuce and mayo sandwich on a bulky hard roll. Lunch is the hardest meal of the day by far.

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week:
Towards the end of last week we had our first ultrasound at 6 weeks and 5 days! We saw our little nugget and his/her fetal heart rate is 135bpm! Apparently all looks good so this really has helped put our minds at ease.

Then at 7 weeks 1 day I had my first prenatal appointment with my midwife. She is so wonderful. We talked for almost 1.5 hours and she reviewed all the can and can’t dos along with questions/concerns/next steps. We did all my blood work (all good) and she confirmed my uterus has basically doubled in size.

 

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Fetal heart rate of 135bpm

Happy or moody most of the time:
While I am still so incredibly happy and blessed (and feeling lucky because I could be feeling so much worse), it seems that after 5pm my energy plummets and the more I have to do the more irritable I get. After a 12 hour day on Tuesday (when we closed) and endless running around, I was so cranky and mean to the husband – but it felt so uncontrollable. I’ve never felt so drained, mentally and physically before.

New Baby Items:
A nursery! Nothing is in it, but now that we bought a house, we have a designated nursery! I already have the theme and color scheme picked out…

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Looking Forward To:
Our 9 week ultrasound on July 21st and hearing everything is ok and then TELLING PEOPLE! My midwife seemed to think it was safe to tell people after that ultrasound (if we felt comfortable) so I think we may tell a few more people (family and friends) and then we’ll “announce” it at closer to 12 weeks.

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