It’s been a while!

All I do is work, work, work, no matter what…

Today I am packing and preparing for yet another work trip: another four days and four nights away from my wife, puppy, and comfy, familiar bed.

While I sometimes enjoy traveling, it just isn’t the same when you share the giant king size hotel bed alone. Somehow I can never position the overstuffed pillows the way my own rests under my head, and the other side of the bed is cold and flat, instead of warm and curved under the weight of my wife’s curled up, sleeping body.

It’s going to be the first of what is looking like four trips over the next three months.

dont-make-me-go

…but, as I told my wife yesterday when we got into a small argument about all of this traveling I’ve had to do (she HATES staying alone), we have to take the good with the bad when it comes to my job. I work in sales training for a fairly large company, and these trips are to help facilitate training sessions for our new hires.

The problem is, this is somewhat of an “add-on” to my everyday job (I also manage a group of anywhere between 10-14 people…at least, this year) and I have to leave that team to help with these training sessions, and I never saw a pay or title increase when I took on this added responsibility last year. So she wants me to push for more, and while I agree and plan to address the topic with my boss when I see her in person next week, I also feel like I am losing a bargaining chip when I announce my pregnancy, as I will be unable to commit to travel in the later part of this year, and will also need time away from my regular group (and I am the only person available to supervise and train them).

Any strong negotiators or badass lady bosses following this blog who have any advice, here?

Speaking of the pregnancy….

I’m 10 weeks, six days today. We’ve met some milestones since my last post. Last week, we officially graduated from our fertility clinic (a bittersweet moment, and I only cried a little…) and were FINALLY able to stop the progesterone shots, 2x/daily estrogen, and baby asprin.

I told my wife, I still sometimes put off brushing my teeth at night, because I sometimes forget that I don’t have to take a shot immediately afterward anymore. It’s been kind of glorious.

We are two weeks from being out of the risky first trimester and being able to tell our friends and extended family about the pregnancy. I have to admit, though: every day until then will continue to be a struggle.

I never considered how hard the first trimester may be. Not just because it is typically when most women experience the worst symptoms (though I’ve been quite lucky and have just been mildly nauseous and ridiculously tired); rather, you can’t yet feel the baby, hear a heartbeat, or have any inkling that they are alive other than ultrasounds. You don’t really FEEL pregnant (and sometimes I forget there is a tiny person living inside me). We were very fortunate and super spoiled to have had ultrasounds weekly throughout most of the first trimester. When we had our first OB visit yesterday, they were incredibly warm and welcoming and put me at ease right away, but they explained that neither a fetal heart scan, nor an ultrasound would be part of our first appointment, and I began to freak out a little since I’m headed across the country without my wife for the next few days and just want to know that I’m traveling with a living tiny travel buddy. They were so kind and understanding and squeezed us in for an ultrasound at a local radiology(?) facility, and I had my first trans-abdominal ultrasound (visualize a light shining down from the heavens and a chorus singing “ahhhhhhh!”), during which we saw baby moving around and his/her heart beating furiously at 155 BPM. The picture was not quite as clear as our prior trans-vaginal ultrasounds, so I am attaching the photo from last week (during which baby’s hand was at his/her mouth as the Doctor suggested…or perhaps they actually look like one of the Whoville Who’s from Dr. Seuss’ books…time will tell).

LO

I want to soak up every moment of this experience, but I’d also like to fast forward by a few weeks and feel some kicks, or SOME sign of a healthy, growing baby on a regular basis.

So…bring on the next ultrasound at week 12! We’ll hopefully hear the heartbeat and see another image of this sweet baby, and hopefully be able to put our first trimester fears behind us.

Love and baby dust to all. ❤

7 Weeks.

I’ve gotten significantly less fancy with my titles. I think the exhaustion of the last few weeks (and excitement of the holidays) is zapping my creativity.

On Christmas Eve, I was exactly 7 weeks pregnant: or 33 weeks from my August 12th due date. I think when I wrote last, we were awaiting our heartbeat ultrasound – which we have now done three times, and all three times little one was measuring on schedule and displaying a strong heartbeat (though due to the machinery in the doctor’s office, we couldn’t hear it or have it officially “measured”).

I have still been bleeding (spotting) sporadically (which is terrifying each time), and at one point it stopped altogether and then started again a few days later (right before the holiday) causing me to panic and think that it was unrelated to the first time. Fortunately, the compassionate nurses at my clinic encouraged me to come in for an extra ultrasound right before Christmas during which the ultrasonagrapher assured me that little one’s heartbeat looked clear on the screen and they were measuring exactly 6 weeks, five days (which is exactly what I was at that point, which made me feel so relieved).

The ultrasonagrapher said that I am likely one of a few “lucky” women who will experience periodic spotting throughout the first trimester. I also think it could be related to the ultrasound wands, as each time I have an ultrasound (still transvaginal) I tend to bleed a little the following day. Now that I’ve had 4 internals, I’m noticing a pattern. We’ll see what tomorrow brings since I just had one today, but as long as little one is looking strong on the screen, I’ll manage the bleeding just fine.

Today, we “saw” the brain hemispheres and heart chambers forming on the ultrasound (“saw” as in the ultrasonagrapher pointed them out in the grainy black and white image on the screen and I nodded like I understood what she was talking about…) and she said that in the next few weeks we should see images that more closely resemble the profile of a baby (opposed to our current absolutely adorable blob).

We told our immediate families about little one on Christmas Eve….we knew it was early, but they also knew about our miscarriage, and it was getting harder and harder to hide especially with all of the alcohol flowing around the holidays, so it was a great relief (and a lot of fun) to let them in on our little secret.

We ordered todder t-shirts for our three nieces that say “Cousins Make the Best Friends” and wrapped them up in this prank gift box:

 

toddlertamersFirst, we told my wife’s family on Christmas Eve. My sister-in-law blew right past the joke, and tore into the box. She spent a minute holding up the t-shirt and staring at it, before spinning it around for the rest of the family to see, and my wife’s brother screamed, “OH MY GODDDDDDD!!!!” and my mother-in-law started crying before my father-in-law shouted “holy shit!”

There were a ton of hugs exchanged, and everyone kept telling us how thrilled they were and asking questions about the pregnancy so far. No one guessed that we were keeping the secret, which made us feel super stealthy – especially since I work with my brother-in-law and see him everyday.

Then we told my family the following day. My sister opened the box on behalf of my nieces and stared at the box for a few minutes, asking if it was real and what she was supposed to do with the “toddler tamers”. After she got past the joke, she opened the box and pulled out the shirts (and other goodies we’d stuffed into each of the boxes) and looked at the shirts for a few minutes, puzzled. “But…they’re sisters, not cousins,” she speculated about my nieces. Her husband stared at her and said, “I think Jenn’s trying to tell you something,” and my mom added in “They’ll be cousins with her kids.” I softly added a “surprise” and my sister started hysterically crying and everyone got up to hug my wife and I. My dad had wandered out of the room momentarily (trying to open gifts with my family is akin to herding cats….) and when he came back, I showed him the shirts and he looked at me with a blank stare. I said, “Dad, the girls are going to have a new cousin in 2018…” and he got a big smile and walked over to hug my sister. She stopped him and said, “NO DAD, NOT A SIBLING…” and my dad looked confused again. I said, “Dad, we’re having a baby.” to which he responded, “Well why didn’t you just say that in the first place?!?” No trying to be cute with my dad…he’s far too practical.

Anyway, both announcements went really well, and we’re now just waiting until week 12 to let the rest of the world in on our secret.

I’ve felt pretty good for the most part. A little nauseous here and there (nothing even close to vomiting so far), but overall my biggest “problem” is not knowing what I want to eat. A lot of things that I usually enjoy just don’t seem appealing (such as Mexican food, which I LOVE). I have wanted a lot of soup and carbs (which I swore I wouldn’t do when I eventually got pregnant…I said I’d be the healthiest veggie and protein eater, and a lot of times its just tough to get some of those things down). I’m trying to incorporate in as many veggies as possible.

It feels so strange to say that “I’m pregnant”. I felt so strange today to hear the descriptions of the embryo growing from the ultrasonagrapher. When she talked about the heart chambers and the brain, it just became so real that there is a person living inside me: like, unless something bad happens – there is no turning back. We’re linked for the next 8 months. I feel confident that this “weird” feeling with eventually change, but it just felt so strange today.

Also, after I told my young cousin (who is part of my immediate family) she started kissing and rubbing my belly which also kind of freaked me out. I’m normally fine with hugs and things like that (and she’s a kid so she doesn’t mean anything by it), but I was thinking….”NO. My belly.” I don’t know if I’ll feel differently when I have a visible bump, but I just wanted to push her away. It felt so…odd.

Did anyone else feel strange at first when they were pregnant? Or am I totally freaking out for no reason?

Don’t get me wrong: I’m THRILLED (we both are). I’m thrilled to become a mom, to carry this baby, to FINALLY, FINALLY be pregnant (I felt like I’ve wished for this for so long), but it all just felt the tiniest bit strange after we told everyone.

Anyway, you may or may not have noticed my name drop above. I never sign my entries, but I have realized that as I try to explain each of your stories to my wife, it is so much easier when I have a name or at least an easily distinguishable blog name to share, and since many of you have become like family, I thought I owed you more than just “Mommysquared.” So, hi. I’m Jenn 🙂