Saturday, February 18, 2012

21 Weeks Pregnant

The Belly:
Ok, so I'm a total weirdo and I started to wonder what size my belly actually was 3 days postpartum last time.  They say you come home from the hospital looking 5 months pregnant.  I swear I came home looking like a smooshy 6 1/2 months (there is a rather large difference in my pregnancy photos between 5 and 6 months).  So it dawned on me that I should measure myself this time and have an official ruling on just how pregnant I look when I am no longer pregnant.
Friends, do NOT fear.  This is sincerely a "scientific" investigation.  Not emotionally motivated at all  A purely random thought which occurred one day said that I could perhaps benefit the postpartum clothing line I one day "will" (probably won't) create and be famous for.
So don't worry I will not freak out when I find out I actually am looking 8 months pregnant 3 days postpartum.  I just want to know, for the hope of clothing future!

Anyway, that being said I started measuring my belly at 19.5 weeks.  (I know, dang it, why didn't this occur to me sooner!  It would have been better research!)
So since I started measuring, my belly has stayed the same circumference during these almost 3 weeks. 
(I know I haven't really been consistent with my weekly updates, so the weeks sound off.  I'll be 22 weeks on Tuesday.)
So I can officially say, with full authority, the belly is the same.  
But I feel it getting tighter.  So it feels more pregnant than last time we talked.  
And I fully expect it to have a number jump in circumference soon, when assessing my last pregnancy's photos.  From weeks 20 to 22.5 I looked a lot bigger.  So that has to be on its way right around the corner.  Although who knows, cause I looked bigger faster (at 19 weeks) this time than last.  (Ok yeah there really is no science to this!)

                                      2012                                                                    2010
The mirror is dirty from hanging it. My face looks smeared. 
After our Valentine's Date
I wanted a photo with both of us, but Blake had to run back to work afterwards, so I didn't get one.
(This is my favorite maternity dress I've owned yet.  You can't see it in the photo very well, but there is like a rushed half circle around the belly.  Really cute!)

Still feeling pretty good.  I've been pretty tired this week but I think that's just me trying to catch up on sleep after the craziness that has been my entire pregnancy thus far.
I'm definitely hungry!  And I've noticed a terrible mood arrive over my head like a cloud once I've reached over-hungry, which arrives all too fast lately.  It's best I eat right away to attempt to avoid it.
The occasional relaxin hip pain, which always make Blake worry and ask me if I'm okay, to which I get really defensive.  I guess I just don't want more attention on the moments where I look like a weirdo, gimping along, or doing this crazy insta-bend to compensate for the shot of pain.  But honestly, they are pretty mellow right now.
And I realized my headaches have been gone for a while now.  So that's awesome!
And sleeping is still easy.  I like to cuddle up to "pilly" (the bodypillow) most of the time, but I can still manage to sleep without him.

The thing I think I like the most about experiencing a subsequent pregnancy is that in my mind I'm not pregnant until I am so huge I can barely waddle around the block.  That's what pregnancy feels like.  Puffy fingers, chubby cheeks, back aches... this, right now, feels nothing like that---so I just barely acknowledge being pregnant.  Last time stuff felt hard from the start.  This time I am like "oh that's nothing!"  It actually is a pretty wonderful perspective.

Since my last post where I bemoaned my 2 lb week and then realized it all evened out, I've chilled out a lot.
I need to clarify that my whole super watch on food this pregnancy is NOT vanity.  (I mean, yeah, I am a girl, so the obvious bonus of not having as much to lose later occurs to me.)  But what it really is, is my (no less unholy) motivation to try to manipulate my birthing circumstances this time.
Anyway, I realized that if my weight isn't like a perfect connect-the-dots-on-a-plot line, I can still gain a healthy amount of weight.  So I'm not getting down on myself for weird stuff.
But I still want to be good and eat well.

What have I been eating here in Iowa?
Mmmm random things.  Still some frozen pizza, I mean, we are just moving in still.
But also chicken.
Homemade quesadillas.
And lots of fruit.
Fruit tastes like heaven to me, so refreshing and sweet.
Favorites right now: red delicious apples, red grapes, and grapefruits.
I also like to eat the apples and/or grapes with a slice of mozzarella cheese.  All at once in the mouth.
Also, if I let myself I could drink my weight---daily!---in lemonade.  But with the pre-made stuff, that's too much sugar.  Maybe I'll try to make some from scratch with less sugar or strawberries for sweetness or something.
I still like my no-sugar cocoa milk, but the chocolate craving has turned itself over to the lemonade craving.

She is suppose to be about the size of a bottle of root beer right now.
I can really feel her now.  When she wants to kick, she can kick.  I felt her from the outside for the first time at 20 weeks.  I just had my hand there so I was surprised when I felt it.
Blake got to feel one kick so far.
She's hard to catch right now.  Blake calls her a ninja (for her sneaky way of being able to move so much without my noticing before, as we saw at the sonogram).  But now I think it applies to the way she will just kinda crazy "hiiiyyyaaa" out of nowhere now.
It usually catches me off guard when I feel her move.  I can honestly forget that I'm pregnant, so it's like "Whoa!  What was that?  Oh yeah, the baby!"
We still haven't decided on a name yet.  I'm getting antsy to have one picked out.  I don't like calling her #2.  It sounds dumb and gross.

Now we are more settled in and it's feeling more real that I live in Iowa.  I've had some super bouts of freakoutness over having to get this baby out.
I'm not sure how honest I want to get on the blog.  And I'm not sure how much detail I want to give on my doctor/midwife options and eventual choices.  Because really one of my biggest concerns is that I will have to talk people into anything I decide.  Once you've had a C-section you don't just get to do things the way people are used to.  So I have to do things outside the box.  And well, any one of my options here could be argued against pretty easily and I hate having to defend myself.  Sooooo... since this is the internet, I'm not sure how upfront I intend to be.
I'm not even sure how upfront I intend to be in real life, since I've already been talked out of every single one of my options by one person or another before I even hit my second trimester.
I might keep a lot to myself until she's out.
It's hard enough for me to not talk myself out of every single one of my options!
But the thing is, she has to come out!
And that's what's been scaring me this week.
How and where will she make her entrance?
I hate decisions!

J and Violet wearing their new shades while Mommy packs

First thing I can think of is that she doesn't kiss her toes goodnight anymore.  I miss that.  It was a short-lived adorable phase.
She's really talking now.  Her communication skills have exploded.
Her newest thing to say this week is "Princess" because Grananna got her a tiara and magic wand, which are for princesses.  So whoever is wearing the crown is a princess---whether that is her stuffed animals, herself, or mommy, she calls them a princess.  (So cute!)
She's started to pout more adamantly.  If she feels reprimanded she will put her head down and sulk at least, or run away and put her head down on the floor and talk to herself at most, and there is also the run away crying option too.  (I think some of it is partially for sympathy.)  But she is really sensitive and takes things very much to heart.  So I try and think of ways to word things so they don't come across as a reprimand (because she takes some casual sentences a reprimands).  But at times I can feel overwhelmed trying to work around this, and I'm also trying to come up with the right things to say to her when she is pouting.
She's not afraid of spicy food.  We gave her some hot italian sausage and she will open her mouth and wave air at it and say "hot!" but get really irritated if we don't keep feeding her more!  (She loves sausage!  Nothing can keep her from it apparently.)
Last time waking up in this bedroom

Blake about to wake up J before his PhD defense!

In other J news:
Nighttime weaning my toddler:
This may sound totally totally totally insane to many, but this is joyous news to me.  J is finally sleeping all night long for the majority of the time!  It's amazing!
What?  She didn't sleep through the night until 19--20 months?  
Well, this depends on your definition of sleep through the night.
At about 6 weeks or so she would sleep for 6 straight hours.  But she's always gotten tired early, so she would sleep those 6 hours starting at 6:00 pm.  (No matter how tired I was, I couldn't go to bed then!)

And well, I don't really remember all her phases of sleep, but she has had times where she did good and times where she did awful.  I remember one week around a year old where she was waking up every single hour.  I almost killed myself!  I don't know what the deal was, but it was rough.

Overall, what happened was she was just not interested in eating solid food until she was 13 months old.  She would take about 3--5 bites some days, and that was it.  I wasn't worried, I knew it was normal for babies to live solely off breast milk for that long, and my mom said I was the same way.  But I did not feel comfortable not nursing her at nighttime if she was having nothing but breast milk.  So I didn't know how to handle nighttime feedings.  I just did on demand.  It felt right in my gut.  Of course this prolonged her asking for milk at night.
Even after she started really eating solid food at 13 months, I kept nursing her at night on demand.  Part of it was because it just was easier than making another decision.  Part of it was I knew it worked.  Part of it was Blake was working all hours finishing his PhD and I didn't think I could handle nighttime weaning without another adult's help.

Well, partway through this pregnancy I lost most of my milk.  So we switched her to taking rice milk (she can't do dairy) in a sippy cup.  So she wouldn't lose her mind over her mommy-milk loss, I would go in at night with rice milk.  She hated me for about a week, then she got into the rice milk.
It then occurred to me that I could potentially be bringing her rice milk throughout the night for the rest of her life.  So I thought yeah, I'm gonna need to do something different!
During our last week at our Illinois house I thought, "I'm gonna try to do this nighttime weaning here, before we move into a duplex and share a wall with some poor soul who will hear my screaming child's protest."  I was nervous because I knew I was in for it and I needed sleep to pack.  But desperate times call for desperate measures.
When she cried, I started bringing her only a cup of water when I went in.  She threw a FIT, screaming and writhing like a wild animal.  But I was able to talk her down and tell her how proud I was of her for being a big girl who only drinks water at night time, and all sorts of things like this.  I just kept talking to her about how I loved her and things and eventually she would relax.  She would ask for milk and I'd say just water and we'd have to start again.  But eventually she would calm down and I would sing and then put her down, sometimes after rocking her to sleep.  (Other times, when I could tell she could handle it, we did our normal night time thing where I tell her I will put her down after we count to twenty.)  This happened 3--4 times a night for about 3 nights.  And then the next night I went to bed and woke up with the sun!  It was a glorious, glorious thing.  I woke Blake up to tell him I hadn't woke up all night.  (He didn't know what I was saying, he was still asleep.)  But it was awesome!

She kept it up the rest of our time in our house---sleeping alllll night long---way more than 6 hours, a lot of hours!!!
For the first few nights in our new house she was a mess.  But that was because she didn't know where she was.  And we needed to cover her window better to keep the neighbor's light out of her room.  Now that she has adjusted to her new room, she's been sleeping through the night most nights.
My mom was here for 5 days, so that kinda mixed the schedule up some nights since my mom would babysit and I think J would wake up to see me later, or perhaps to play more with Grananna.
But overall she is sleeping through the night with no more nighttime nursing or rice milk.

I still nurse her (with the little milk I have) mainly to sleep for naps.  She always nurses to sleep then.  And I nurse her once before bed, just briefly and then we pray, sing a song or two and then I tell her when I count to twenty I will lay her down.  And she goes to sleep on her own.  (I LOVED when I figured out counting to twenty meant no crying for her.  She just wanted fair warning I was gonna leave soon.)
Other than that, I usually will nurse her right away in the morning (honestly it's just so I can lay back down again for a few minutes).  And she hardly asks to be nursed during the day anymore, unless she's feeling particularly emotional over something.

So that is the continuation of our nursing story.
Sleep is awesome!
I'm just happy I will get a few months in before I start from scratch!


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