My goodness, but time is flying. I remember it seeming this way during the first half of Joe’s pregnancy, too. Weeks 1 – 20 practically zoomed by and then the rest of the pregnancy d-r-a-g-g-e-d. I have an inkling that most women feel that way when they’re expecting 🙂
So yes, today I’m 18 weeks + 1 day along. Lots of changes have been going on since my last post at 15 weeks. First hings first, a pregnancy photo:
18 weeks + 1 day
It’s been nice to be back in New Zealand. The UK was wonderful and we had a great time, but throughout the trip was the knowledge that I needed to return and get on with things here, such as midwife appointments, registering for antenatal “refresher” classes, making arrangements for our house-sitting, and general stuff along those lines. I’ve also been keen to get back to work. I’m glad that my job allows me to pick up shifts on a casual basis, thereby having the option to take 2 months off, but it’s time to go back. Now, I just need to dig through all of the boxes in our temporary storage unit and find my scrubs and work bag!
Here’s how I’m things have been going this week…
As I remarked in week 15, this pregnancy has certainly showed much sooner than last time. I was beginning to worry about my weight because (a) I hadn’t had access to a scale in 6+ weeks, and (b) I’ve felt huge. Getting some of my maternity clothes back has been a double-edged sword: I’m more comfortable, but also very aware of the fact that I didn’t need maternity clothes till I was over 18 weeks pregnant the first time around. I was very, very relieved to step on the scale at the gym today and find that I had neither gained nor lost any weight at this stage. I am exactly the same as my pre-pregnancy weight. I rejoiced, and then I got worried. Shouldn’t I have gained some weight? Oh, those pregnancy hormones: elation at not having gained 15+ pounds, and then worry at not having gained any pounds. It’s no wonder that my moods give Chris whiplash now and again. I have a pretty good feeling that, while I haven’t gained or lost any weight, I have lost muscle mass. I was not able to work out during the first trimester (beyond my everyday walking) on the advice of my GP and midwife. I’m in the clear now, though, and hope to keep up my regular fitness routine.
As mentioned above, I’m hoping to keep up a regular fitness routine which includes a bare minimum of 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. So far, this has been running on the treadmill. I’ve also looked into doing some antenatal fitness classes, whether it’s yoga (which I’ve never done before), a “fit bumps” aerobics class, or even an aquanatal class. I’m also planning to add some weight lifting on my own. My arms are too flabby for my taste and I know that lifting a newborn baby, as lightweight as they may be, is killer on your arms for those first few weeks.
Appetite, Aversion, and Cravings
I’ve had a very minimal appetite with this pregnancy which is pretty much the same as last time around. I’m glad that the nausea dissipated before the end of the first trimester and, looking back, I think that the prolonged nausea during my first pregnancy must have traumatized me or made me swear off food for several weeks once the nausea had worn off. I still feel very full after eating a small amount which has made me re-think what I eat. If I can only consume a small amount, then it needs count. A usual day for me includes a protein-packed breakfast (either 1 egg + wholegrain toast, multivitamins, and my iron supplement or avocado on wholegrain toast with multivitamins and iron), a decent-sized protein-packed lunch (often leftovers from last night’s dinner, shared with Joe), and very often come dinnertime I’m either too full to eat or I’ll have something along the lines of fruit and crackers, maybe some popcorn in the evening, etc. If I feel like snacking, it’s usually fruit, dark chocolate, cheese, muesli, yoghurt, or avocado on toast.
Sleep has been fabulous… for the most part. All of the moving around and traveling has taken it’s toll but I’m feeling more settled, and that’s helped me relax. I usually only wake once in the night and typically fall right back into dreamland. The only downside here lately is that I don’t have my fan with me (we’re currently on holiday in Wanaka) and this means that Chris’ loud breathing has been keeping me awake. Thankfully, he was able to be seen by an ENT/ORL doctor once we got back to New Zealand and the hope is that it won’t be much longer before he has a procedure to help with that.
This baby is a mover and a shaker. I feel the baby moving a lot regardless of whether I’m being still and quiet. I tend to feel the baby most when I’m being active – running, going on walks, chasing Joe, etc.
Pregnancy Brain and Weird Dreams
There have been some weird dreams, most recently involving family members mysteriously appearing here in New Zealand, but nothing too bizarre or scary. Pregnancy brain has been full on at times. I’ll put something in my purse, only to walk away and immediately forget what I’ve put in there. I’ll go back 3 or even 4 times to check some of the pockets to make sure that I have absolutely everything. I think that some of this is due in part to the fact that we’ve traveled so much and things are getting moved around quite a bit. Who knows.
Other Odds and Ends
I had my 2nd midwife appointment last week at 17.5 weeks (I had to skip some because of our travels). I showed up on time and on the right day (after my worries while in the UK about not knowing when it was, ending up placing an international call, forgetting the name of my midwife when talking to the receptionist, etc.). My midwife’s partner was covering for her that day, as she was on holiday, but her partner was very nice and it was reassuring to know that if for some reason I did have her during the delivery, then there wouldn’t be any big personality clashes. She was nice but not too “fluffy”, which is my way of describing someone who always calls you “honey”, “deary”, “love”, or “sweetie”. I prefer it when healthcare providers (nurses, doctors, midwives, etc.) are nice, friendly, polite, but don’t call people generic nicknames. She did a full check and I was able to hear bub’s heartbeat for the first time. Everything looked and sounded great and I was declared to be “disgustingly healthy”. I like that 🙂
I was also able to book into a refresher antenatal course. It’s a brief, 2 hour class (as compared with the 6 week series I went through last time – good grief!) where the focus is a bit on what the L&D will be like and a lot on what it will be like to bring a new baby home and introduce them to their sibling, how a sibling might react, pointers on how to manage an older child’s jealousy or outbursts, etc. I also signed up for a breastfeeding class. Yes, I nursed Joe till he was nearly 14 months, but after talking with some friends and my midwife, this seemed like a good idea. One friend said that even though she had 2 in 2 years, she had forgotten what it felt like to nurse a newborn and ended up struggling. My midwife also pointed out that my most recent memories of nursing will be of nursing a toddler who basically did everything by themselves. It will take time for baby #2 to learn how to nurse and they’ll need help with positioning, learning how to latch, etc. So, the “refresher” antenatal class and the breastfeeding class are both on the calendar during the last 4 – 5 weeks of this pregnancy.
And last but not least – I signed up for the 20 week ultrasound scan. Less than 2 weeks from now and (hopefully) we’ll know if baby #2 is a boy or a girl. I did consider leaving the gender a surprise and talked about it for several weeks, but Chris wasn’t too thrilled with that idea. I proposed letting him find out but keeping it a secret from me, and then we both burst out laughing because we knew that he wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret 🙂 Chris gives on so many things and does so much for me that it really wasn’t hard for me to give in on this issue.
Best Pregnancy Quote of the Week
Speaking of my wonderful husband, this week’s pregnancy quote comes from him. I was talking to Chris about the different antenatal fitness classes that I was considering and bemoaning the fact that I felt fat, flabby, and out of shape. He came back with, “I don’t know if it’s that outfit, but to me, you look less fat now than before you were pregnant!” He paused, realized what he’d just said, began to verbally backtrack, and said, “Uh oh, wait, that didn’t come out right… what I meant was… er, ah, can we just forget that I ever said that?” He is such a silly guy! At least it wasn’t as bad as the time he compared me to an RV, right?