Sunday, August 31, 2008

6 Weeks--not sleeping

Six and a half weeks along...we have told a few other people now. My close friend from High School knows (she has 3 daughters herself), a few of my college friends know, and a few coworkers know. It feels good that I can confide in others now. It helps my anxiety somewhat, but I still feel like I am constantly wired on coffee!

I am not sleeping well at all. I have never been a good sleeper, and it's only worsened now. I sleep with earplugs in, an eye pillow covering the ole peepers, and a loud fan to drown out excess noise the earplugs can't handle. I seem to be able to fall asleep, but I cannot stay asleep. I wake up frequently, and then permanently around 4 or 5am. My body stays alert, as though adrenaline is pumping through it and no amount of relaxation techniques can quiet me.

Despite the little amount of sleep I am getting, I do not feel drowsy. At work, I am on my feet a lot, interacting with others and don't have a chance to feel sleepy. At home, I engage myself in activities, and I don't want to sleep. At night, I want to sleep, but my body is too energized from nerves to settle down.

The people who know I'm pregnant tell me this will soon change. One of my coworkers who is pregnant (her due date is only 5 days before mine, so we are neck and neck) says she is sleeping all the time--long hours at night, and taking naps during the day, and still tired. She says it'll catch up to me soon. Another friend who had a baby a few years ago also struggled with sleeping at first. She tells me that once the initial phase ends, I will get the best sleep of my life being pregnant. The amount of energy used being pregnant is like climbing a mountain, someone tells me. The exhaustion should allow me to sleep...

I have been waiting for this day to come...

Still waiting...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Doctor's Appointment

FINALLY--we have our first doctor's appointment. Mike is able to leave work early to accompany me, which is wonderful.

This is our first meeting with the OB. Someone has recommended him to me, as he is more open to alternative medicine and an holistic approach. He has a single practice, so he'll be the only doctor I will be working with. I've seen his picture online and he's a handsome, relatively young, doctor. But I'm nervous.

We wait for a LONG time before he can see us. The nurse weighs me (I've lost a little more weight, but this is going to be the weight I start from, when figuring out gaining poundage from here on out), do the typical pee in a cup, then I am sent back into the waiting room and there we sit. Mike stands and does silly dance moves to distract me from my nervousness, but I can't appreciate his genius. I can only think of getting started on the appointment.

After 30+ minutes, I am led to the doctor's office by the nurse. On the way, I ask her, "Did you do a pregnancy test on my urine?"

She nods. I pause, waiting for the results. She doesn't give any.

"Am I still pregnant?" I half-laugh.


A woman of few words.

Mike and I see the doctor and do the introductions, then sit down and begin chatting. He asks about me, about Mike, I ask him about his practice, about the hospital he has privileges at. I give him my bag of herbs and he goes over each bottle and lets me know if they are appropriate or not for pregnancy. I appreciate that he doesn't make any snide comments about why I would spend money on oil of oregano...I am impressed that he's spending this much time with us already.

Our half hour chat ends, and he leads me to the examining room. Here again, I end up waiting for 15 minutes until he comes back into the room. He does a regular exam--"This will probably be the last exam you get until after you give birth," he tells me.

Then the magic happens.

He does a sonogram and we see our tiny tiny baby!

S/he is just a little dot on the sonogram. He takes all sorts of measurements and gives me the due date of April 25 (a few days later than the online calculator had assumed). We see the baby's heart beating--it's a candle, a star, flickering and twinkling away. This is a good sign.

"It's aliiive!" I say to Mike. We both laugh, giddy with joy and relief.

The doctor gives us our sonogram picture and says, "Here's one for the fridge." He does point out to us that most expecting couples do not tell too many people at this early of a stage. My heart sinks just a little as he says this, as it implies he is not totally confident in the pregnancy.

However, I understand his need to say that, and it does not detract too much from our excitement and joy from this first appointment.

We leave the doctor's office almost two hours after we arrive, feeling comfortable with our OB, confident that all is going well, and the very first ever photograph of our little womb baby.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pregnancy Week 5: Anxious and excited!

I cannot believe I still have to wait four more days until I see the doctor! He was on vacation for one week, and I guess it's just not an urgent matter to see a newly impregnated woman. I suppose since there is the greatest chance of miscarriage early on, they give it some time.

I definitely feel different, but I think my mental/emotional state is dictating my physical state at the moment. I don't have morning sickness or mood swings, but I am extremely excited and anxious. Having to wait to see my doctor is making me very antsy. And I still am not telling most people, so I walk around feeling like I have this giant secret inside of me (I guess I do!). That alone gives me butterflies in my stomach, not to mention the actual prospect of having a baby! And while I am not consciously thinking I will have a miscarriage, my brain knows it is possible, so maybe my body is in a heightened state because of that underlying fear.

All this excitement and anxiety make it hard for me to eat. My appetite is almost completely gone and I've already lost weight (why couldn't this have happened 6 months ago?). The positive outcome to this is that the food I do eat is all very healthy. I am not having any sugar (and I typically do like my desserts!) and I'm loving spinach right now. I never bought raw spinach to cook before, but I'm mixing it up with garlic and olive oil and it's soooo yummy! I hope I can keep this up.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pregnancy Week 4: Belly shots begin!

No, I'm not talking about the fraternity-like sloppy drinks you lick off someone's midriff. I'm talking about the series of pictures Mike and I will take of my growing belly as the womb baby gets bigger (and so do I!). I'll try to wear the same bikini top and loose jeans (we'll see how long that lasts!), so we can compare the progression. The first one today is 4 1/2 weeks. So to my brothers, if you don't want to see your little sister in a bikini top every week...well, look away, I guess!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No waterpark for us...

So, to celebrate our newly discovered pregnancy, we decide to go north an hour or so for the weekend. We had really wanted to go away for a weekend to a waterpark and/or theme park, but alas, the pregnancy has changed that. So no water park or amusement park for us for the next 8 months.

Instead, we check in to a relaxing hotel, see a movie (we say, "Let's give the baby some endorphins and see Tropic Thunder!" And we do laugh. A lot. Thanks, Ben!), eat out, visit a bird sanctuary and marshes (as pictured), visit Mike's childhood home...and simply enjoy being pregnant!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I finally believe I'm pregnant! :)

So my mental disbelief that I'm pregnant finally fades today (my emotional disbelief will remain for a while!) when I take my fourth pregnancy test. I take it the first thing in the morning, after a restless night of "sleep". And the pink line is brighter than ever.

Mike and I can barely believe it. We just smile and hold each other.

"I guess I really am pregnant then," I say.

"Yeah, you are!" he hugs me.

We decide we are not going to wait to tell our family. We won't tell the world, of course, but we want to share this with them, no matter what happens. We've had one night to ourselves with this knowledge and can't hold it in any longer! So after work, we call them.

My parents:
We call my parents first, as they are not local and we won't be seeing them for a while (my poor mom will only see me a few times while I'm pregnant!). My parents, of course, are not home. They're camping this week, as they camp almost every week during the summer. Luckily, it is also my brother's birthday today (Happy Birthday, Kyle!), and my parents decided to camp locally, so they could attend his birthday dinner.

I call my brother's house to see if my parents are still there (to tell them to call me after they leave). They have just left, so I call them on their cell phone. They are not far from their house, so I ask if they can stop by there before returning to the campground, because I want to show them something on the internet.

My parents do not suspect anything.

So they call us back from home. I put them on speaker phone, so Mike can hear, as well. Mike has created this little website, done in that silly sort of way email forwards are worded. It's a slightly different way to make our announcement and the best we could think of not being able to tell them in person.

So we send my parents to this website. My parents start reading it and my mother is instantly quiet. She knows. My dad is reading it slowly, out loud. He's not getting it. He gets to the bottom and needs a little help, until he finally realizes what we are showing him on the site. Meanwhile, the moment my mother saw the url "pink-lines" she wrote down the word on a slip of paper, "Pregnant?"

Yes, Mom, I'm pregnant!

They are so happy for us! My mom keeps saying, "This is exciting! Exciting! Exciting!" I've never heard her repeat words like that before, so I'm thrilled she is so happy for us and she expresses what we feel. We talk for a little while more, then let them get back to their campsite before it gets too dark.

Mike's parents:
We debate if we should wait to tell them in person, since they are only 30 minutes away. However, they are going on vacation the next day and it's too late to see them tonight, so it would mean waiting a whole week or more. We think about it, and decide, they'd want to know as soon as possible (they confirmed later, yes, they would. Phew!).

Mike's dad is in the shower when we call, so Mike stalls his mom, asking her advice about buying a house that had a history of termites. Finally, his dad is out of the shower. Mike asks to speak to them both on the phone. They're on speaker again, so I can hear.

We give them the same website. It takes them a long time to get there. We wait as patiently as we can. Mike's mom gets it pretty quickly. Mike's dad does not get it for quite a while. Mike's mom seems impatient and wants him to figure it out. I finally say over the phone, "I'm pregnant!" But no one seems to hear me. Mike tries to say it, I think his mom tries to explain it--finally, someone says it and he gets it. "Oh! God bless you!" He says out of joy. They are so excited for us. :)

My brothers and their families:
Older brother, Kyle, my sister-in-law Marnie, and my nephew and niece, Fisher and Kaia:
We then call Kyle and Marnie (also on speaker phone). It is getting late and they have kids, so we call them as soon as we can. I've already spoken to Kyle to wish him a happy birthday, and Mike and I serenaded him with our barbershop birthday song. But now I say I want to show him this "awesome email forward website Mike made!" (okay...)

Kyle is a modern guy and he picks up on it as quickly as the moms. He starts to laugh with happiness and says congratulations! He calls to Marnie and tells her the news. I tell him, "Yup, your little sister got knocked up!"

Marnie puts my nephew on the phone. He's still awake, although my niece is asleep (I will talk to her tomorrow, and she will ask me right away, "What are you going to name her?" She KNOWS it's a girl!). Eight-year-old Fisher says, "That is wonderful news!" and sounds very grown up.

Oldest brother, Eric, and sister-in-law, Kate:
We then call Eric and Kate (speaker phone). I chat with Eric for a minute, then ask if he can put Kate on the phone too. He says they have company over, so Kate can't come to the phone. Besides, they are waiting for Kate's brother to call. I say it won't take long, can she just get on the phone for a minute? But he is very resistant to this idea. Then he says, "Why? Are you pregnant?"

He's beaten me to the punch! (and he won't be the first to do that in the weeks to come)

"Well...I wanted to talk to you and Kate...but...yes! I'm pregnant!"

He yells to Kate and she exclaims in the background. They both give us their congratulations, and follow-up emails, since they knew they couldn't talk long on the phone while they had company over.

And so we complete the necessary first round of people. Our immediate family knows and will be praying for all three of us (which is reassuring). It feels good to share the news and excitement with others. Makes it a little more real for us too.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We're pregnant! The complete story...

So a few days ago, Saturday (August 9), I decided to take a pregnancy test. I'd recently gone off the pill, so I didn't have a regular cycle yet, and wasn't really expecting to get pregnant. But you know. When you're in the mode to try to get pregnant, you always have a package of tests on hand!

When I took it on Saturday, a very faint, almost white, line came up. I showed it to Mike and said, "That's weird. It's never done that before." (Yes, I'd taken other tests a few days sooner. As I said, when you're in the mode...) He acknowledged it a little, but didn't seem too impressed, and I dismissed it, as well. I couldn't be pregnant. It was too early, I had premenstrual cramps and it wouldn't happen that fast anyway. I was completely prepared to start using one of those ovulation kits the next month to figure out my cycle. And yet, I knew we had been trying pretty seriously, and it doesn't always have to take 3+ months off the pill to get pregnant (which is kind of what they say)...But still.

So we went out that night to a play at the Westport Country Playhouse. We had dinner with Mike's parents, met up with friends, Gabe and Kel (I even had a little bit of wine at the theatre after-party--as I said, I completely did not suspect I was really pregnant).

I gave it little thought for the next few days.

Fast forward to Monday, today...I left work, and decided to pick up a few more pregnancy tests at CVS, as I had run out (and as I said before, when you're in the...). I decided to get a different brand this time, not sure why.

When I got home, I figured, Eh, maybe I should take another test. I know I just took one on Saturday, but what if that faint white line really was indicative of "something"... Mike wasn't even home--that's how confident I still was that I was NOT pregnant. Yet I did take the test, so part of me knew there was a chance...


I will never forget the feeling I had the moment that second line came up. My eyes literally widened, I sort of looked around to my left and right, like, "Is this a joke, [invisible] people?" I had a half smile on my face, but then my eyebrows narrowed in confusion. I was a mixture of complete giddiness and disbelief. My stomach had butterflies.

But what do you do when you get that second line--mind you, not even a faint line this time--when you are all alone?

I guess you take a second pregnancy test.

So I did. It was still positive.

And after the second pregnancy test...when you're all alone...what do you do then?

Since my mind still hadn't wrapped itself around the idea that I was pregnant, I decided to check my email, then start making dinner. Regular routine. I mean, what else could I do? I couldn't tell Mike over the phone. And besides, I didn't really know I was pregnant yet anyway. It was just 2 tests, right?

I also shared this brief email exchange with Mike:

Me: When are you coming home tonight??
Mike: WHO KNOWS. Actually, I think I'll be leaving on time today, so hopefully around 5:20.
Me: Yes, leave on time! come home! :)

He was not suspicious. Yet.

Back to making dinner. Now it's getting close to when Mike is leaving work. I suddenly get the idea in my head of why these tests might not be telling the truth.

It's a different brand. Yes, that must be it. These lines are blue. I'm used to the pink lines. The faint white line was from the other brand. Who knows how accurate this brand is. I need my old brand. I need it now. But I'm making dinner...and Mike is going to be home soon...

So Mike will stop by at CVS on the way home from work, so I call him. "I want you to pick something up for me there."

No problem. He'll be there soon.

A few minutes later, he calls from CVS. "Hey, babe! What did you need?"
"Well...can you get me a pregnancy test?" (Awful, I know. Asking your poor husband to pick up a pregnancy test. I say he should be proud!)
"Tara..." he sighs. "Why didn't you pick this up yourself on the way home from work?"
"I did...but I want a different brand."
"Oh," he is suddenly quiet. His brain is turning, spinning, thinking... "I'm getting a little giddy," he says.
And then he gets me the old standby brand.

Soon he's home, and he comes in the door with a silly grin on his face. I meet him with the same silly grin. "So...???" he says.
"Well," I say. "I don't know. I took a pregnancy test and it is saying positive, but I'm not really sure because it's a different brand, so I want to try this other brand I've used before."
This makes perfect sense to him.
"Okay, so try it!"

So I do, and we wait in the bathroom and watch as the line turns very pink.

"That's definitely a pink line," he says.
"I might be pregnant then?"

Of course, we still don't believe this. Not really. We still speak in "mights" and "ifs" tonight. It's only been 3 tests after all. I'll take one tomorrow morning, to be sure. That's when the hormone is supposed to be strongest. We'll just have dinner and then go on our regular walk tonight. We'll know tomorrow--if I'm really pregnant.

How many tests did you take before you "believed" you were pregnant? :)