Tuesday, December 30, 2014

14 Weeks Pregnant and The Holidays

Well week 14, of pregnancy number three, will likely always be associated in my mind with the day after Christmas. A day where I definitively experienced the worst I’ve ever felt pregnant.

But before I go there, lets talk about the rest of the week.
I was feeling perhaps a bit more mental clarity and a bit more physical energy. But still likely running at 50% (maybe less) of my normal non-pregnant self.

Wednesday Blake and I were leading our Church’s Christmas Eve Service’s music. Leading music at this church is a new thing for me. And quite honestly I don’t recall ever being at any Christmas Eve Service. As a kid we went to church on Christmas, so our church didn’t do the “Eve” stuff. So I didn’t really know what people’s expectations were. I just picked a bunch of Christmas songs. But apparently there is a very large expectation to sing “Silent Night”, which I did not select -- but I was not informed of that expectation until about 30 mins before the Service, by someone signing with us that it’s always in a Christmas Eve Service. Oops. Well, sorry church if you were disappointed. It was an honest mistake.

Anyway, Blake and I spent pretty much all of Wednesday going over music and getting it smoothed out before it was time for practice at church. It was a music heavy service, so we really needed the time to get it all ready. My girls were pretty patient with us while we worked, but they did get kinda antsy through all that waiting. (A decent chunk of the time I was singing over a child “playing piano for us” (banging away) while Blake played guitar.)
So I was really happy that my energy level accommodated a FULL day of singing, including the pressure of Christmas Eve (getting us all dressed and feed on time too.)
      I don’t actually know how well the whole thing went over for the congregation. But I was personally pleased as punch with what we pulled off for where we all are as people. And I left feeling good that: despite nausea, zero energy, and having a four and two year old I was able to plan a Christmas Eve Service (whether or not I did it right) and even happier that my voice held out (I realized before the Service started that I had already taxed the poor thing to death by practicing all day) AND that I didn’t even come close to choking on my too-much-pregnancy-salvia while breathing in, nor did I puke on any one.
     I’m not sure how I’m coming across as I write this (I’m not going for sarcasm) --- I was very, very happy with the outcome of the night since I knew what it could have been. I thought we did great. Hope our church got to be a bit blessed in it.

Then when we got home and got the girls to bed, I remembered how I needed to finish sewing a couple more christmas presents. (The trials of trying to sew stuff while nauseous, kinda put it on the back burner.) Blake was awesome and ran around town looking for ice cream to cure my nausea ( he had to go all over since everywhere was closed.) And I sewed up some fleece mermaid tail blankets.

 We watched an old (non Christmas) movie and went to bed.

Christmas morning the girls slept in! (Score!) So when we got up, we opened our gifts slowly over the entire morning. It was cute, the girls didn’t have tons of presents, but it took forever to open them because every time they opened something they stopped to play with it for a long time before they were ready to open anything else.

Blake baked a ham and home made french fries. (Traditional, no?) That’s what the girls asked for and that’s what we went with. :) I had kinda wanted to stress over the meal about a week before Christmas, but when I gave in to “Who cares, I’m sick, the girls are picky and we have food restrictions, lets just do what works.” And then I just enjoyed our random personalized Christmas.

So that brings us to the day after Christmas.
The day itself was fine. We spent it with Family in Galesburg (a 2.5 hour drive away from us.) I had a chance to get out to Target by myself (which actually retail-therapied-away-ed my nonstop headache of the day) (That’s my new pregnancy symptom -- relentless headaches) and I bought two maternity shirts with some Christmas money.

If you are curious what I bought, I got this fitted, ruched tank in black -- which works for everything
and it feels great. 
This denim tunic. 
I kinda think I love this shirt, but I also kinda worry it’s potentially a flashback to maybe 80s or 90s maternity wear?  What do you think? I hope it’s a good shirt, cause I kinda wanna wear it post baby too. (P.S. I know the leggings aren’t ideal -- I haven’t been seen by anyone over the age of 4 the majority of the day, so I didn’t care.)

Anyway, for our trip to Galesburg, we pretty much just spend the day hanging out enjoying the company. It was a good day.

But the infamous part was the drive home. I had hoped to leave earlier in the day to avoid being in the car at night -- my crappy time of day, when I get “morning” sickness. (Again, such a great name for this symptom.) But we just didn’t end up getting out until 7:00pm. I was already feeling pretty ify. And knew it was gonna be rough.
I noticed while driving that if I bobbed my head up and down, like a horse walking, that it helped me deal with the motion of the van moving. I’m sure I looked ridiculous, but the motion added to the morning sickness was not ideal -- so “ridiculous" was fine by me. I did that for a good hour and a half. My neck was getting tired and I was getting sleepy. So eventually I kinda quit with my therapy. My stomach was hurting worse and worse. Eventually we needed to stop for gas. At this point I knew I’d be puking at some point, but the question was when. I went inside the gas station but the idea of kneeling next to a gas station toilet made my body tighten up worse and refuse. So of course I felt really awful now. I think I freaked out a gas station worker lady who saw me in the bathroom and said goodbye to me as I left the store. I mumbled back to her no words at all, just gibberish (I literally had no intention of words to be formed) and probably looked like I was walking away drunk, sad, and lost.
     Once we got back on the road I was about to lose my sanity. We had about 30 mins left before home and I didn’t think I had the ablity to survive. I drank some water and cried. Soon I was writhing in my seat. My guts started hurting so terribly bad I started to wonder if I was in labor. The ache was above and below the baby. I kept telling myself “no you aren’t in labor, this is just puke feeling mixed with maybe I’ll poop my pants feeling at the same time” but it felt so bad I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. I started getting nervous. I started moving like a laboring women -- moaning too. I had to unbuckle -- I wound up hunched over backwards with my face glued to the side of my seat while I moaned. I was totally emotional about not being buckled to keep the baby safe. But I was unable to sit down anymore due to pain.
     With about 8 mins to go before we got home, I wound up puking into my (emptied) Target bag I had from shopping earlier. (So SO SO glad I had that bag! See, shopping is good!) After that I felt somewhat better -- I could stop the moaning. But I still had the awful low cramps and I started trembling.
     As soon as we got home I ran into the house and jumped into the bathtub, filling with warm water, trying to control my near convulsive shivers.
     At this point I am now seriously concerned. When near the end of my second pregnancy (37 weeks) I had a moment very similar when I thought I was in labor ---I was shivering like crazy having contractions, but it turned out I was sick and needed medicine -- the sickness could have put me in real labor in a bad way without it. It was all very uncomfortable and stressful for me. With that memory screaming at me, and the sensation of  very strong cramping coming at regular intervals all while I was shivering super hard, I started to worry I was losing the baby. I wasn’t spotting and when my stomach would clench up, I couldn’t feel my uterus from the outside with my hand on my belly (like when I have painless Braxton Hicks) so I kept telling myself they couldn’t be real contractions. I kept telling myself I’d be ok. But was was fighting some pretty strong emotions, thoughts of losing the baby, as well as thoughts of going through labor, sad unwanted labor, while feeling horrific.
I kept my belly under the warm water (side lying in the tub with my head on the side) trying to calm my body down.
Eventually I got out and threw up some more and was finally able to feel good enough to lay down in bed. The cramping calmed down and I knew I just needed sleep. (It of course took me forever to fall asleep due to feeling awful and the adrenaline I was now filled with.)
I totally freaked Blake out in the process of all this.
And I’ve now decided I will definitely not be traveling anywhere at all till this baby is born. I am never doing that again!

This baby is definitely a new experience for me. (Last pregnancy I spent TONS of time traveling, seeing as we moved 6 hours away and traveled tons because of that, with no repercussion other than boredom and maybe stiffness.)

The next day my body was so sore I felt that I had been beaten up by a professional boxer. It was very painful to even get up and walk.
Thankfully my parents came down and brought presents and played with the girls. So I was able to lay on the couch with a heating pad and watch “The Princess Bride” all day.

I was pretty recovered by Sunday, but we stayed home from church because I just wasn't ready to do a lot.

Monday I was feeling much better. My energy seemed to be coming back. My stomach less needy.

But yeah, second trimester started with a bang, that’s for sure. Let’s see what this week, well and I guess this next year(!) has for me!

I picked two belly pictures this week, I can’t tell which shape looks more like standard belly right now:

The lower down shape
The up higher shape.

It kinda shifts depending on how I stand, if I smile, how I breath. They both look like now.

Compared to last time around with #2:

Maybe we are getting closer to catching back up with each other?
 I’m clearly still in the lead for week 15 this time around.

 Last week to this week:


  1. Hi, hi, congratulations! I'm 32wks with #3 and dropped by your blog for the (infamous) fourth trimester fashion advice. So glad to read the good news! Your ligaments have accomodated your other pregnancies so everything with show earlier. The good news is that later on if baby does gymnastics and goes breech it is easier to flip with more space--my 31wks breech baby flipped this week after two breech tilts on consecutive days. So that is the upside. Plus as you are probably noticing, you will look gloriously pregnant much longer and reap the public courtesy and admiring glannces much longer. Enjoy! It sounds like you have firsthand knowledge of 'each pg is different' with that dreadful evening nausea and carsickness. Yep. Having two other children to care for and being a little bit older by default means you can get tired more easily. Do take care. As a hyperemesis gravidium graduate, I highly recommend tiny cans of Coca-Cola (if you can find them) because a few sips of Coke always helps me with nausea. My nausea is also brought on my fatigue and not eating enough, so see if catching up on those things will help. Best of luck to you out there from beautiful and snowy Belgium!

    1. Thanks so much! All the best to you as well! :)

  2. Loved your shirt, Lydia. Photos are all adorable. Keep going!! :)

    1. Aw yay! Thank you Colleen! You are the first person who’s said a word about the shirt! Glad you like it too! The tags are off and I’m happily wearing it around! :)

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