Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's another boy :(

So, after nearly a year of using Shettles method, of hoping and trying for a girl, we find ourselves with another boy.  The ultrasound left no doubt.  The scrotum and penis were painfully obvious about 5 minutes into the ultrasound, and I felt really sorry for the tech, because it was awkwardly silent after that.  We'd been chatting before, but once the gender was revealed, I just wanted to go home and cry.  He's very healthy, but he's another son.

I did cry... a lot...and I'm still struggling to recreate my vision of my family.  I struggled to conform to my husband's desire for only two children, and now I have to struggle to expand it to three again.  As much as I like the idea of having so many resources available for two kids, I just can't cope with the idea of never having a daughter.  I loved my relationship with my mother, and knowing that I'll never experience the other end of that relationship is too much to bear.  It's also hard knowing that all my other siblings who have kids have at least one girl.  I'm the only one left out.

I'nm having a hard time understanding why I'm taking this so hard.  I was a tomboy growing up, who hated dresses.  I don't like pink, princess parties, Hannah Montana, lace or ruffles.  I like climbing in trees, dinosaurs, hiking, fishing, and camping.  I like playing rough and occasionally getting dirty.  Don't I sound like the ideal boy mom?

Yet it was devastating to hear that I'm carrying another boy.  Being told that I was having another son was earth shaking.  I cried until my head ached and my face hurt.  My contacts were clouded from all the salt by the end of the day.  I hated feeling that way.  I wanted to be one of those women who genuinely didn't care one way or the other, so long as the baby was healthy.  I would have given anything to make myself be happy about the baby.  Instead, I felt like my world came crashing down.  It was awful thinking about all the women who can't have babies of their own, ones who have babies who have horrible problems, or the mothers of babies who have died.  They would kill to trade places with me, and yet I felt about as bad as I could possibly feel about my situation.  Being told to think about these women is also pretty pointless.  It's like telling someone whose husband left them, "Think of all the widows.  They'd rather be in your shoes."  Or, "At least you didn't have any kids together."  It's not helpful.  Yes, there are people who are worse off.  There always are, no matter what your situation is.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't be thankful for what you have, it just means that thinking about how much worse it could be does nothing for this depression.  I never wanted to feel this way.  No one in their right mind does.  Gender Disappointment is an ugly, black thing to experience, and most people don't understand it, or don't want to.

The online community I've found on In-Gender has helped me a lot.  It's beneficial to know that I'm not alone in these taboo feelings and thoughts.  It's even inspired me to write them down.  I have a few volunteers to contribute to my short stories about Gender Disappointment.  I want to compile them into a book and use it to show other GD sufferers how normal their feelings are.  I want to show them the wide range of reactions, feelings and causes related to GD, and that they are not alone.

I am healing, but the process is slow.  I want to be completely over this by the time my baby boy is born.  He deserves a mommy who love and adores him no matter what, and that's where I aim to be by mid February.  I love my first son, and I know that my second will be just as precious to me.  My son will have a brother, a relationship that he'll grow to treasure.

I also wonder if this isn't fate.  I've always wanted a larger family, and had to be convinced that two was a good number.  I was worried about having grandchildren at all with only two kids.  I thought about how hard it would be to relate to a girly girl, and I know that girls with older brothers are more likely to end up tomboys.  Perhaps this was the only way (besides twins) that my husband would accept having a bigger family.  Perhaps this is the universe's way of giving me what I wanted, just not in the way I pictured.  I DO know that we'll be using high-tech methods to make sure the next one's definitely a girl, since three is our absolute max number of children (once again, unless we get twins.)  We'll have to see what the next few years offer for us.  In the meantime, the clouds are clearing from my GD depression, and everything looks different...but it's really not bad.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

17 I that far along already?

Yep, 17 weeks today.  My midwife decided I needed to do something about my all-day "morning" sickness.  She's been on my about hydration, since every time I come in for I visit I test as dehydrated on the urine dipstick.  So, she put me on a 90 oz hydration regimen that's been really difficult to keep up.  I'm just not used to drinking all that liquid everyday.  More than that, it was 30 oz of water, 30 oz of herbal pregnancy tea (which tasted all right,) and 30 oz of coconut water, a substance I'd never tried before.  She said it was sweet, and that it was "nature's Gatorade," full of electrolytes and other good stuff.  So I went out and bought a ton of it, expensive as it was, only to gag on the first sip.  Ugh, it was awful!  I spent an hour struggling to keep it down.  Later it occurred to me, coconut water tastes like semen!  No wonder I can't stomach more than a sip of it.  Anyway, my midwife said I could drink the flavored coconut water, which has added sugar and fruit puree (and twice the calories) but tastes like juice, so I've been on that.

I have to say, I've been feeling much better.  I still get carsick, and threw up a few days ago, so I'm not totally over it, but it's a world different than the morning dry-heaving-in-the-toilet-for-20-minutes routine I had down for the last few weeks.

I've been feeling a lot more flutters and even a few first kicks, so the baby is becoming more and more real to me.  It's so weird, but most mornings I wake up having forgotten that I'm pregnant.  It's just not as monumental as it  was the first time around.  I'm trying to enjoy it, especially since it will be my last pregnancy if I'm carrying a girl, but it's hard.  This baby's caused me a lot more nausea, fatigue and overall feeling-crappiness than my son did.

I'll probably feel better after I know the gender, too.  for better or for worse, I need to just get it over with and find out.  At week 14 I took an at-home urine gender test.  It's called Best Baby Gender Test, and it boasts 80% accuracy, with more false boy results than false girl results.  I added the little packet, and got an immediate girl result!  I know it's not a good idea to raise my hopes on something like that, but I couldn't help it.  I've also been hearing the same Old Wives' Tale "sick all day means a girl" from everyone and their mom.  I'm excited and really scared to find out, but I'll be finding out the gender in about a week and a half.

In the meantime, my cravings have changed dramatically.  Tuna, that nefarious food that made me vomit with my last pregnancy, is at the top of my craving list.  My poor husband is terrified of me eating too much and endangering the baby's developing brain, and I don't blame him.  It's all I've wanted these past few days.  Ooh, and deviled eggs.  Yum!  What's wrong with me?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back from my hiatus

I know that my blog is just for fun, and I shouldn't beat myself up over not posting, but I feel pretty worthless lately.  I don't feel like doing anything but sleeping and eating and laying on the couch.  The eating this is in question, too.  Most of the time, I feel queasy, and eating makes me feel only marginally better if I can find something that doesn't sound disgusting.

Cravings in the past four weeks have included Spam, corned beef hash, pepper bacon, buttery hash browns, potato salad, bread, french onion soup, nectarines, microwave asian noodles, Spaghetti-O's, sharp cheddar, baked potatoes, and table salt.  Yes, just granulated salt in my hand.  I didn't indulge that one, or the awful Spam craving...but I thought about it.

In week 8 of my pregnancy, and this past 4th of July weekend, I went back to San Diego to visit my family.  I have to say, it was one of my better family visits.  I was able to see and spend time with every member of my sizable family, the weather could not have been better at 67 degrees, and the family drama was remarkably low.  On the other hand, the drive there and back were Road Trip From Hell I & II.

It all started on Friday when my husband got off work early so that we could beat the traffic.  We packed up, and were ready to go before everyone else got on the road, and my poor hubby had diarrhea.  It took him a few hours before he was sure he'd be okay to drive, and by then it was 5 pm, and everyone we had wanted to beat to the freeway was there with us.  Sigh.  So then my son sat in the back complaining for 3 hours that his stomach hurt.  I figured it was because I really couldn't get him to eat much all day.  Wrong!  At the restaurant in Yuma, my son threw up on the booth.  We cleaned him up, and he felt better.  Then we got back on the road and I felt incredibly sick and nauseous the rest of the way.  I even ended up dry heaving in the back seat.  It was bad.

No one was sick on the way back, but the construction on the freeway in Yuma turned our 6 hour drive into an 8 hour one.  Suffice it to say, I informed my family that I would not be visiting them again until the construction in Yuma was finished.

I'm 12 weeks pregnant today.  I saw my baby on ultrasound on Tuesday, and everything looks good so far.  I saw a little brain, waving arms and legs, and a beating heart.  It was wonderful!  It's funny, but it ever really sinks in that there is a living being inside me (despite the nausea, fatigue and expanding waist)  until I see it on screen.

I'm freaking out now that this baby may be a boy.  I've always known it was a possibility, but having the first ultrasound and knowing that the gender scan is around the corner is making me a little crazy.  I want a little girl so badly that I really don't know how I'll react to an "It's a boy!" announcement.  It's not just the idea of having two boys that's awful. It's never having a daughter that I can't stand.  I know my dear husband only wants two, and it'll be a huge fight and a strain on our marriage if I tell him I can't have just to boys. Then we start this all over again with another pregnancy, and I could end up with 3 boys.

Besides, I was just beginning to be sold on the idea f only having two.  I'd always wanted 4, but my hubby talked up the advantages of only having two so much, that it sounds really appealing.  Only two college funds, not having to buy a huge car, easily arranged family vacations, and more resources for the kids overall sound great.  Now I don't think I can handle only having two if I can't have my one of each.

Guess I have 6 more weeks to worry about it.

Here's my 11 week belly shot.  I'll post my 12 week one later.  And yes, I'm holding in my tummy as much as I can.  Only a 2.8 lb weight gain so far, though!

Friday, June 25, 2010

7 weeks~ Sleeping for Two

I refuse to buy into the "eating for two mentality."  I think that's an easy way to balloon in early pregnancy, and an excuse that a lot of women, who have been watching their weight their entire lives, use to eat whatever they want in massive quantities.  I understand feeling more hungry, and I also understand that food (that you're craving, not having an aversion to) tastes so much better while pregnant.  It's also important to realize that the embryo only needs about 300 calories a day.  Today, my baby is about the size of a blueberry.  So yes, my baby may need some more salad, or a quarter of a sandwich.  My baby does not need a pint of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food (though you wouldn't know that from the cravings I'm having!)

No, I'm eating for one.  I'm eating for one extremely picky little being who has taken over my body and is controlling it through nausea, food aversions, cravings and fatigue.  This little being demanded a ham sandwich today.  Yes, a ham sandwich, of all things.  I specifically wanted the ham stack sandwich that I ate all the time while I worked at Marie Callendar's.  So I called them to place an order for pick up, and of course, they discontinued this fabulous sandwich just a few months ago.  Sigh.  So I settled on Cheba Hut, which is nearby, and very tasty.  Now, I understand that Cheba Hut proudly employs stoners.  The 420's and pot leaves painted all over the interior (as well as the names of the sandwiches, like Chronic, Panama Red and Griefo) should tip off anyone who was not in the know before walking through the doors.  So knowing that the employees were, in all likelihood, working here because they could come to work high did not bother me at all.  What pissed me off was how slowly they moved making my sandwich.  I was salivating and staring at my sandwich on the assembly line like a starving lunatic.  By the time it was done toasting and they asked me what I wanted on it, everyone behind the counter was giving me funny looks.  The girl shoved the sandwich at me to get me out of there as fast as possible.  But oh, it was heavenly!  The salty delicacy, ham with bacon on white with extra mayo and a pickle, was so good that I ate it in the tiniest bites possible, savoring it.  After 10 minutes I'd only eaten half of my 8 inch sandwich, but I was full and the craving was satisfied.  I know, my sandwich probably sounds gross to you, and I think it might've sounded icky to me a month or so ago, but that's how a craving works.  It's a desperate need, like an addiction.  I think the key to satisfying cravings without getting huge is to eat them slowly, in small portions.  Oh, and satisfy healthy cravings with wild abandon.  Want fruit and salad?  Eat them to your heart's content and don't worry about the portions.  Craving Ben & Jerry's?  Try a quarter cup and then see how you feel.  I managed to make a pint of Phish Food last a week.

So no, not eating for two.  But I am most definitely sleeping and resting for two.  I just can't get enough time in bed and on the couch.  It's getting bad.  The laundry, dishes, and errands are piling up and I feel like I'm getting ill from the lack of energy.  I know that keeping up on my workouts is making this particular symptom worse, but I know that laying around and sleeping all the time, even if that was an option, is only going to make this worse.  So I'm trying to grit my teeth and get through it, and just make it to bed as early as possible every night.  Except for Wednesday and Thursdays.  So You Think You Can Dance is on, and exhaustion be damned, I'm going to watch!

I wanted to post a belly shot for this week, but there's really no point since there's been no change yet.  In fact, I've lost half a pound so far in this pregnancy.  My bloodwork came back from my midwife, and she says that I'm one of the healthiest clients, according to my labs, that she's ever seen.  Yay me!  I'm glad to know that all this effort and working on my nutrition hasn't been for nothing.  We'll see how those numbers change with all these unhealthy cravings, but hopefully they'll stay good.

In fact, the only number she said was a little off was the salt in my blood.  That was low, which is good. But it really got me to thinking about something my father in law said to me.  He honestly thinks that I have some disorder that prevents me from properly absorbing salt like a normal person.  I'm the butt of my husband's family's jokes for the way I dump salt on everything set before me, and I was even given my own personal salt shaker last Christmas at dinner, so that there would be a shaker for everyone else to pass around.  My father-in-law has observed my eating habits for almost 10 years now, and he's an MD. After these bloodwork results, I'm pretty inclined to believe him.  I also know that I tend to get light-headed if I cut the salt in my diet even to levels considered high for normal people.  So maybe I'll have to investigate this.  I think it's hereditary, if there is something, because all the women in my mom's lineage have low blood pressure (like me) and eat tons of salt.

Man, I wrote a novel this week!  Anyway, here's a picture of what my baby should look like by now.  It's looking more like a baby than a seahorse, finally!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chalk this one up to "Every pregnancy is different"

I can't believe it.   My food aversions have begun for this pregnancy.  And the winner is...chicken!  Yes, innocuous chicken.  Last time it was eggs and fish, and no one seemed surprised that the smell of those two foods made me gag.  But chicken?  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts have become a staple in our house, and we have them at least once a week.  But the idea of chicken, raw or cooked, is seriously grossing me out now.

This is so lame.  I've been really trying to eat better, and this baby really isn't interested in fruits or veggies, can't stand to be around lean chicken, and wants starches, sweets and greasy salted meats.  Ugh!

On the other hand, so far eggs and seafood haven't been an issue thus far.  I'm not going to jinx it and assume that I won't have any problems with those later on, but I have to say I've actually been craving shrimp and omelettes recently.  I had a three-egg omelette at brunch, and it really hit the spot.  Yum!

So, we'll have to see how this one goes.  I'm going to try really hard to only indulge one unhealthy craving a day.  Today wasn't great.  I had bacon and half a Sprinkles chocolate cupcake.  Tomorrow will be better though.  I'm resolved to make it so!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Week 6....Fatigue, cravings, and fatigue

I'm now 6 weeks pregnant with kid #2.  Did I mention that I was feeling fatigued last week?  I was kidding.  I'm dying this week.  My day revolves around nap time.  I pretty much spend the afternoon in a post-nap haze, just waiting for dinner and bedtime.  I'm not always ready-to-sleep tired, but I'm almost always wanting-to-lay-still-on-the-couch-and-not-move tired.

I feel bad for my son.  He's getting a lot more TV time than normal, and mommy is being really lame and asking him to entertain himself quite a bit more than normal.  In fact, I'm letting some things slide.  He plays in the bathroom sink, "washing his hands" for 20 minutes at a time.  I know he's just playing in the water.  But tired me lets it go, figuring that it's easier to take 2 minutes to mop water off the floor than entertain him for 20.  His birthday is around the corner, and I'm thinking seriously about getting him the Spanish DVD's of Muzzy on eBay (the only place where they're reasonably priced!)  That way he can be learning a language while watching TV and I don't have to feel so guilty about being a slug and letting him be a couch potato for the summer.

I've decided to post belly shots this pregnancy.  I kind of regret not doing it last time, but I admit it's easier to show your friends pictures of your belly when you've lost 25 lbs.  Here's my 6 week shot

I have not gained any weight so far this pregnancy, so this will be my baseline photo.  Hopefully, I'll be able to keep the weight down this time, especially since i have no intentions of putting CrossFit on hold anytime soon.  It's really hard to motivate myself to go to the gym when I'm really tired, but I'm trying to keep in mind that I'm doing this to keep myself healthy, avoid gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, spider veins, and excessive weight gain.  I also want the shorter, easier labor that active, fitter pregnancies usually guarantee.

One thing I miss from my previous pregnancy is the cravings.  I used to crave fruit, fruit, and more fruit (and nothing else) for breakfast.  I ate mostly fruits and veggies through the first trimester, and I felt like someone had pulled my sweet tooth.  Dessert just sounded yucky to me.  But this pregnancy?  Nope!  A sausage, a sausage, my kingdom for a sausage!  I want a crispy, greasy, flavorful sausage and soft, fragrant fresh white bread.  Oh, and dessert.  Yes, I want cookies, cake, chocolate and whipped cream.  Fruit is still good, and I force myself to eat at least one, if not two, really healthy meals a day.  But man, I really want dessert!  And a bratwurst.  Maybe together?

I know better than to think that just because my cravings are different that this baby will necessarily be a girl, but I'm hoping it's a good sign.  I read my tarot today, asking for the truth no matter what it was, of my baby's gender.  The card I picked was the two of swords, upside down.  Yikes, right?  Well, the picture on the card was a blindfolded woman with her back to me.  What does that mean?  Does that mean my daughter will come to me, but this is not the family she wants?  Or that she's coming in not knowing what she's in for here?  Or, since it was upside down, and therefore opposite, and I getting a daughter who knows what this family is about and is coming with eyes wide open?  I have no idea.  I'll be seeing my friend, Sienna, in a few days, and I'll ask for her to read my tarot and tell me what she thinks.

Hopefully this is my girl!  I hope, I hope!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's official.

I'm pregnant.  Yep, finally pregnant.  Today is the day my period was due, making me 4 weeks along.  It's so exciting!

I took my first pregnancy test at about 7 and a half days post-ovulation, and the line on the test was so faint that I couldn't have possibly assumed that test was conclusive.  I thought it might have been a trick of the light, or that I was seeing something that wasn't really there.  In fact, I had to hold it up to the light and change the angle back and forth before I saw a thin, pinkish shadow.  Either way, I took another test the next morning that was a conclusive, if faint (but darker than the last) positive result.  It was kind of hard knowing that it was way too early to shout my joy to the world.  Since I was in vacation in San Diego with my family, it was really hard not to share with my sisters and mom, especially.

My husband and I have agreed no to tell everyone until I'm 5 weeks along, or one week late for my period.  That way, if it's another chemical pregnancy/spontaneous abortion, I don't have to deal with calling everyone and telling them it was a false alarm, while dealing with my own emotions.

My starting pregnancy weight is 143.  Not too bad!  I'm pretty proud of myself that I was able to drop all my baby weight plus 25 lbs.  I've also gained a much higher level of fitness that I intend to maintain throughout this pregnancy.  I'll do CrossFit as much as I can, at least through the first and second trimesters, and I intend to do prenatal yoga and belly dance the entire time.  I vow that I will end up bouncing back from this pregnancy a HELL of a lot faster than last time.


Everything above that line was written last week.  I just didn't want to post anything before my official announcement.

Since then, I've seen my midwife, Shell Walker.  She is awesome!  She's pagan and understands my desires for a natural birth with ritual and cleansing as part of the process.  She said I can smudge the room and have as many people (or as few) as I want in the room or in the living room area.

Oh, and the birth center looks amazing.  I'll admit, it's not the gorgeous villa that the previous birth center site was, but that didn't work out and I need to look forward, rather than glancing backwards at what could have been.  Anyhow, the new center is homey and cozy, and I'm sure it will be a very comforting environment while laboring.  I can have my waterbirth, if I want, and there is a major hospital about 2 minutes away if anything scary happens.

I'm ecstatic to be pregnant, but in some ways I'm still in shock and disbelief.  I was actually disappointed that my midwife couldn't feel my uterus at my 5 week appointment.  I mean, I have the positive pregnancy tests, but I guess I'll be in denial until I see an ultrasound or hear a heartbeat.  Now that I think about it, I was in denial with my son, too.  I was almost expecting them to find nothing at that 8 week ultrasound, and to tell me I actually wasn't pregnant after all.  That's probably how this pregnancy will play out too.

I haven't had any nausea or weight gain, but it's still so early that I'm not counting my chickens just yet.  I have had the same implantation/uterine expansion cramping that I did with my first pregnancy, although those just feel like period cramps.  Oh, and no bleeding or spotting, so I guess that's good.  I am completely exhausted though.  The fatigue hit me a lot harder and earlier this time around.  Or maybe it's just that at this point in my pregnancy last time, my new husband and I were galavanting around Ireland for our honeymoon.  That could be it.

I just really want some more confirmation that I'm pregnant.  I'll be going in for bloodwork on Monday morning to get a full metabolic and gynecologic panel, just to make sure everything's copacetic between the pregnancy and my intense workouts.

My emotions are different this time around.  I'm excited, but it doesn't consume my every thought.  I'm not rushing out to buy maternity clothes (like I did the day I found out I was pregnant last time!) and I don't have that weird, overriding fear that the pregnancy would cease to be if I concentrated on anything else.  I know, I know, that was a totally crazy thing to be convinced of.  I cannot explain the strange logic of the pregnant mind.

So the information is out there for the world to see now.  I am pregnant.  Thank goddess, finally pregnant!