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18 weeks

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Baby is around the size of a bell pepper by week 18 and that seems huge to me! I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around how pregnant I am and how much closer to the end we are.

Baby is still growing and is developing important nervous system stuff this week. We are only 8 days away from our anatomy scan (at last!). For some reason, I am much more worried about the scan than I was with Ben. Last time, I never considered the possibility that anything could be wrong. Since then, I have heard so many stories of how the tech found anomalies, evidence of disease, missing limbs, etc. we are praying hard that all parts are well and accounted for next week and that baby cooperates so I can finally stop saying he/she. I have theories but don’t want to say anything out loud yet.

If last week I was concerned about lack of movement, this week I don’t need to be. The small tickles are much more distinctive this week and very predictably happen when I’ve just eaten and am sitting down or am laying on bed. I love the reminders that he/she is there!

I am not experiencing any morning sickness anymore. Hooray! I eat decent sized meals again and for the most part, can tell when I need to eat a little something so I don’t start feeling gross. I’ve also been able to finally drink all of my required water in a day so I’m sure that is helping keep headaches at bay and making me pee all the time.

I had forgotten how many random aches and pains are present during second trimester. Round ligament pain, gas pains, digestive issues, and lower back pain have all pestered me within the last week. I’ve finally been able to relax some since I feel Baby 3 move so the pain doesn’t bother me as much as it did several weeks ago.

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19 Months

In the last month, we’ve finally been released from winter’s oppression and been able to play outside. Ben LOVES going “sahside” and loves swinging on the “wee” in the side yard. There is a toddler park less than two blocks away from our house so we go there to let Ben run around and play on the toys. I can definitely tell when he’s had a chance to play outdoors because he sleeps so much longer and harder. This boy has energy to burn!

Ben is very inquisitive and has to investigate everything. Everything has to be poked, thrown, squeezed, and limits and boundaries must be challenged. He loves to watch through the front door at the cars driving past and the birds and squirrels in the yard. A good day of playing means toys and books are scattered everywhere by bedtime. It’s not unusually to find toys dropped at random from one end of the house to the other. Ben likes to take out a spray bottle of water from under the kitchen sink and spray everything, including himself!

His vocabulary is exploding and he is always chattering about something. Many times, he’ll pick up a new word after only hearing it once. Some of his newer ones are kitty cat, jello (jehjo), walk, swing, snack, juice, Einstein, llama, and nigh night. Along with saying more, he also understands more and is able to follow through if we ask for his cooperation.

We are trying to introduce him to the general idea that a baby is coming to live in our house and he will be a big brother. I bought I’m a Big Brother by Joanna Cole and it is the perfect length for a toddler. It has really good ideas in it like how babies can’t play with toys but big brothers can, that big brothers are special and mommy and daddy love them too, and that because bothers are so big and can do so many things, they can help keep the baby safe and warm. We snuggle and swaddle his stuffed animals and baby doll and are reinforcing the idea of being gentle to babies and animals. We’re hoping these lessons stick once baby comes!

Ben is definitely more opinionated and vocal about his opinions than he was a few months ago. Some things he insists on are simple things, like picking out books to read before bed, but sometimes it turns into an all-out, stiff body tantrum because he does not get his way. Getting out of the bathtub and turning off the tv when a show is done are two things that almost always cause problems. We’re as patient as we can be, attempt to explain why he must listen, and sometimes he has to experience the consequences of his actions and not listening. I don’t know if we have made it through a meal lately where his plate hasn’t been taken away at least once because he did not listen to us say “the plate stays on your tray.”

We hired a recent college grad who is getting married soon and following her soon-to-be husband wherever the Air Force takes him as a once a week mother’s helper. She’s been here twice and has already been a huge blessing! I’ve been able to tackle tasks that are impossible without another set of eyes and usually assign a job to her each time that Ben likes to help with like vacuuming. Ben always naps especially well after she comes because they play so hard and have so much fun. It is a special treat for Ben to have someone else to play with too. Mom and dad aren’t always the most exciting people anymore.

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I’ve started calling Ben our little Linus because he loves to have his baabaa with him.

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Sharing his baabaa with a fortunate kitty

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I took Ben to the zoo (“zee!”) all by myself last week. Contrary to the look on his face, he had a really good time

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Naps are getting shorter and more difficult lately so sometimes we finish off nap time by snuggling in the big bed and watching a show on my iPad

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Making faces and having so much fun riding the pony at the grocery store

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Blurry, but it shows that Ben figured out zippered pjs. Only a few days after this photo, we found him in just his diaper when B got him up in the morning.

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How big is Benny? SO BIG!

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Kids learn so much by observation. Ben learned to roll up the empty end of his food packets just by watching me and B.

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Plastic dishes have become some of his favorite toys

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Playing with Oliver and a baseball hat

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Reading with Daddy and his Owie kitty before bed

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I finally was able to try on Ben’s reenacting clothes for the summer. I only have to make a few adjustments!

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17 weeks

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Baby 3 is the size of a turnip and working on solidifying his/her bones. Other than really rapid growth over the next few weeks, there isn’t much that has changed.

I haven’t gone back to taking my nausea meds so I think that morning sickness is gone for now. I fully expect it to be awful again during the third trimester but I’ve learned to cope. I don’t think this baby is as much of a mover and shaker as Ben was because I’m not feeling movement nearly as often. Of course, this is freaking me out, but I keep reminding myself that I’m only 17 weeks and there is a long time to go before I start getting the ninja kicks that I remember so well from Ben. I feel it best when laying down in the evening but have occasionally felt pokes when just sitting on the couch.

I’ve been feeling a little “off” for the last few days and can’t really pinpoint what the cause is. It might be subtle Braxton Hicks contractions, which can start during the second trimester, but it might not. The best way I can describe it is “general abdominal discomfort,” which isn’t very explanatory at all. It might also be internal stretching from the baby growing so quickly so I don’t know if I should be concerned or not. If I can’t shake the feeling, I might pop over to the OB’s office for a quick doppler check.

B is going on a week long work trip starting tomorrow evening. I’m not sure I will be able to survive! Ben has been a grouch for the last week so I am dreading being alone for 6 days. We asked our mother’s helper to come twice next week instead of once so I have backup on Wednesday and Friday mornings. We may invade my parents’ house next weekend. I’m worried about keeping up with a toddler alone for so long. I’m worried about the health of the new baby. I am having a really difficult time relaxing and not stressing right now. Probably the opposite of what I need, right?

EDITED TO ADD:
As soon as I admitted to the internet that I was feeling better, I threw up for the first time in about a week and couldn’t stop gagging after. I took myself off to bed since B was done with work and have enjoyed laying here, feeling Baby 3 wiggle around. It feels more like pushes than kicks; it’s much more subtle. I then ate a bunch of pizza for dinner. I never feel as pregnant as when I throw up and then am ravenously hungry minutes later!

Also, B sent me the edited progress photo from 16 weeks to show you all how they’re turning out. We’ll have I label them in the album because I don’t think I’ll be able to keep them straight!

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Mid-16 Week Update

I had an OB appointment this morning and was very, very anxious about it. Only one appointment that went as bad as it possibly could go is enough to cause ample anxiety for any subsequent pregnancies.

I had a very strong feeling this morning that the OB I was scheduled to see would be called out for a delivery during my appointment. Sure enough, when I checked in with the front desk they informed me the OB was at the hospital for an emergency c-section almost two hours prior but was expected back any minute. Not nearly as bad as I anticipated! I also heard one of the other doctors in the back room so if something were to go wrong, there was someone in the office to take care of problems.

The biggest concern I had was hearing the baby’s heartbeat. We’ve been praying for weeks for a very uneventful, very boring, and routine appointment with no surprises. My favorite nurse, who has been there for me for the last several appointments, even the worst one, came in to check the heartbeat with the doppler. Almost immediately after she put the wand on my belly, we heard the baby for a brief second before he/she scooted away. It took a bit more time but she was able to get a long enough reading to calculate the BPM (160!) and get a reactive kick from the baby!

Beyond that, the appointment was anti-climactic. I got a handout from the doctor of different stretches to help my back pain. We scheduled the anatomy scan for the morning of May 6, only three weeks from now! It’s going to be even harder to wait now that it is scheduled!

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16 weeks

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Baby 3 has reached the size of an avocado this week and we’re preparing for a large growth spurt between now and 20 weeks. He/she should almost double in size in the next 4 weeks.

I am still dealing with almost nonstop headaches. I don’t remember getting so many with Ben so I wonder what is different this time. It’s taking all of my ability to keep functioning and even attempt to keep up with housework. I have had more instances of round ligament pain too but I’ve heard that becomes more common after the first pregnancy. I am getting rounder and have definitely popped out!

I stopped taking my nausea meds and have been doing ok since. I’m not feeling 100% yet but it isn’t so bad that I need to take anything. It took a few days for my body to figure out how to fall asleep without Unisom’s help and I’ve been sleeping rather fitfully since but,from what I can remember from two years ago, that’s pretty common at this point.

I go back to the OB tomorrow morning. I am terrified that something will have gone wrong and I didn’t notice again. We’re praying for a very routine and boring checkup with no surprises of any kind. I’m hoping to schedule the anatomy scan while I am there. At the most, we’re only about a month away from finding out the sex of the baby!

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15 weeks

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I have decided that I’m not terribly fond of the early part of the second trimester. You start to feel better but you really can’t feel the baby move yet so there is little to reassure you that everything is ok.

Baby is about the size of an orange or apple (4 inches) this week, is wiggling all his/her limbs, reacts to light, and is practicing breathing. An orange-size baby seems big and I’m glad he/she is getting up there in size.

I think I’ve felt the baby move a few times but at this early stage, it’s hard to distinguish between gas bubbles and kicks. I’ve had more round ligament pain with this baby than I ever did with Ben. The ups and downs of my digestive system are starting to drive me crazy. I am either constipated or very much not, nothing in between! I was brave enough a few days ago to stop taking my antinausea meds and have done ok. I did lose part of my lunch yesterday but it wasn’t the worst I’ve experienced. Stopping unisom has caused a few roughy nights of sleep but I’m sure that will even out after a while when my body isn’t relying on help getting and staying asleep.

I don’t go back to the OB until next week and it feels like forever! I can’t believe we’re at the point where we will schedule our anatomy scan but when I look at my profile in a mirror, I can definitely tell that there is a baby there!

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