Lucas

Patience, and then all at once.

That’s how Lucas’s story begins.

It seems like Aliana wasn’t even two when people began to ask us when we were going to have another child. This is such an invasive question, and one that broke my heart a little bit each time. But that’s a different blog post. Maybe another day.

We waited three years before truly discussing adding a second child to our family. For me, it felt like long enough. We got to enjoy Aliana exclusively, got to experience all of her milestones and accomplishments together. But I knew that I wanted to give her a sibling, particularly close in age. She was always asking, too. And from my personal experience of having a large age gap between my sister and myself I wanted her to grow up and have a relationship with her sibling. So last summer, we decided to give it a go.

It took a little longer to conceive than it did for Aliana. Any woman trying will tell you of the disappointment month after month, but thankfully, the day before my birthday, I learned that I was pregnant.

This is where it gets a little interesting.

For the last two-three weeks, my grandfather had been in the hospital with what turned out to be terminal cancer. Unfortunately, he passed away the very same evening I tested positive. It was weird, and maybe a little morbid, but the reminder that life continues even when others are lost was soothing to me.

I wanted to plan a crazy reveal for my family, but felt that it would be best to share this balm with my mom. So, when she and dad called me the next morning to wish me a happy birthday, I gave them a present instead. She thought it was a trick, and asked Andrew if I was joking. She started to cry and I could hear dad laughing in the background. It was honestly the best birthday ever for all of us, and something that I think strengthened my relationship with mom.

It sounds weird, but the superstitious Guatemalan in me thinks it’s all connected.

To recap the pregnancy: it was incredibly different than my first. I had little to no morning sickness and did not lose weight my first trimester. I was so happy and praised God that I did not have to suffer through that agony again. I suspected that we were having a boy based on how much easier it was this time around. It quickly became clear that I was going to have a much bigger baby this time. My hips began to hurt not long into my second trimester, and continued through to the end. I started to see a chiropractor to help with my pelvis and ligament pain, and it helped tremendously.

We were also preparing for another homebirth with our fabulous midwife, Michelle. Honestly, I know that choosing a midwife is such a personal choice and you really have to find one that just vibes with you in every single way, but I cannot begin to describe to you how amazing this woman is. I am not exaggerating, I literally have tears in my eyes just thinking about the wonderful gift she is and the blessings that she has brought to my life. She is a great nurse and midwife, but most importantly friend. She will forever be a part of our lives.

As I grew larger and larger, I began to prepare for another early birth. I had been experiencing Braxton-Hicks but they didn’t feel how I remembered, so I didn’t recognize them. Then, I started to feel real contractions, particularly at night: ten minutes apart, but mild, for two to two and a half hours every few nights. I would text Michelle each and every time, “it might be baby time!” Boy, was I wrong.

I said hello to weeks 37 and 38 for the first time, and these practice labors continued. I downloaded a contraction counting app but they always tapered off after two hours. Coworkers were losing out on the baby pool left and right. It became customary to greet me with “I hoped I wouldn’t see you today” instead of “good morning.” I started to sleep on the couch for additional back support. And it was there that Andrew woke me on Father’s Day a little after seven to let me know what he had planned for the day.

I felt awful because I had completely forgotten it was that day. I hadn’t even bought him a card! He understood though, and didn’t feel any less appreciated for it. So we planned for him to spend his day doing his favorite things, starting with shredding old files and cleaning and sorting out our filing cabinet. If you know him well, you know the satisfaction he gets from this, the weirdo.

But Lucas had other plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One word never used to describe being pregnant: miserable

Week 26, day 6

Okay, quick topic here. The last few weeks has brought on new aches and pains, particularly, in the ribs. I don’t feel much bigger than I was a month ago, but she’s definitely growing herself. I feel her more and more each day as she grows. She’s quite the little punk too, especially now that she can reach my ribs with her feet. She kicks, she prods, she pushes up against my belly and it feels like she’s a chest burster trying to bust out. She’s made me cry a few times with how much her pushing and shoving has hurt. But, that’s all in adjustment. It’s not so bad now but I’m sure I’ll be listing new pains as she gets a little larger.

What is bad are the mood swings. How one minute I can be absolutely ready to bawl or scream at everyone and the next I’m all ladeedah and laughing. One thing I wasn’t ready for, nor warned about, were the days of absolute misery and utter loneliness.

There are some days where I don’t even want to wake up. And when I get home from work, I just lay on the couch and either whine or cry in complete silence. Being pregnant is hard work! There is so much going on inside your body that just zaps all your energy and leaves you feeling so empty and alone.

I know I shouldn’t complain, God has given me quite a gift here, but one thing I wish is that I was warned there would be bad days when you just want it to be over, just to feel some sort of control over your life again. Knowing this might not have helped me prepare for the actual feeling of it, but at least I would know that I’m not alone. To know that I’m not the only one that has felt this way while pregnant would have been comfort enough.

For now, I don’t really have many people I can really talk to about it (in terms of those who have experienced this). Andrew has been a great supporter throughout all of these ups and downs. I’m sure he’s had whiplash from the sudden (mean) outbursts  and the rebounding laughter two minutes later. But when all I’ve really needed is someone to hold me or rub my head while I try to fall asleep he’s always right there next to me comforting me and trying his best to make me feel better. I think he’s figured out that there really are no words necessary.

A true ally. I am soooo thankful to have such an understanding partner in all of this. I don’t know where I would be at this point if he wasn’t how and who he is.

Women who say they enjoyed every minute of pregnancy, did NOT have morning sickness

(For continuity’s sake, today is Week 7 day 6.)

Notice I haven’t actually written here yet? Yeah, it’s because I couldn’t get my head either out of the toilet or off my pillow long enough.

Okay I’m exaggerating, I’m only averaging about 1.5 times a day, but still. It’s pretty detrimental to my day, and leaves me slightly weak. All I want to do is nap afterwards. A few time’s I’ve actually avoided throwing up by simply falling asleep. And what’s with it being called “MORNING sickness”? it should be called ALL THE TIME SICKNESS. I’ve had tons of suggestions from well meaning mommies but nothing has really worked for me. At this point, I just smile and say thank you, I appreciate your trying to help. Ugh…

Let’s talk about the fun stuff though. I’m going to get pretty graphic, so if you don’t want to read it, please don’t continue.

My body is changing. Last time something like this happened, it was puberty, now it’s something entirely different yet the same at the same time. I’m getting pimples in places I’ve never had them before (mostly on my face). My boobs are growing, and I won’t tell you which one is suddenly bigger than the other (okay fine, it’s the right one). My pants don’t close!

The good side is that there’s this awesome thing out there (there’s different kinds but this is the kind I bought) called BellaBand which can hide unbuttoned and unzippered pants and also helps keep them from slipping down (which, with this extra width I’m carrying is not very likely). This is super helpful, because it looks like I’m wearing a camisole under my shirt, so I’m not dressed inappropriately at work. This also means I can hold off on buying maternity pants for a bit more, since really, it fits everywhere else, just not where baby is sitting.

Tomorrow, my uterus will be the size of a grape fruit and baby is the size of a lima bean. Note that the uterus in it’s natural state is only the size of a plum, so quite a bit of growth in just two months!

I’ll leave you with a picture from two weeks ago. This is my 6 week’s belly photo. as you can see, it’s not very noticeable yet, and the only difference I can even tell myself is by my pants not fitting. but we can at least begin to tally how my mid section will change week to week.

6 week belly

The pregnancy continues!

Much to talk about tonight.  Took a few days off but we’re back with some intense updates.  First, had a miscarriage scare.  Second, Lilly threw up for the first time!

Tuesday afternoon/evening Lilly was getting some spotting.  After reading nearly 1/4 of my first baby book I knew this was normal.  We both kind of brushed it off and went to sleep feeling okay about the whole thing.  All of a sudden Wednesday rolls along and by the time Lilly gets to work its a different story, she’s bleeding same as she would if she were having a period complete with full-on cramping.  She called me at work in a panic and before she hung up she was on her way to the OB.  Our formal appointment wasn’t supposed to be for another week but we were freaking out.  She had blood drawn that afternoon.

The next day we got the results.  The doctor said Lilly had to at least have a hormone count of 500.  The results showed 16,000.  Whew, a good sign.  Friday morning she went in for another blood test which resulted in a hormone count of 21,000.  Crisis averted, thank God.  We were so nervous.  We weren’t even sure if we should keep reading the baby books Thursday night.  Not much was said but I know we were both hoping for the best.  We still have our originally scheduled OB visit this coming Tuesday.  Hope the good news remains the same.  Bottom line, we’re definitely pregnant!!!

The next item up for discussion is Lilly’s 23rd Birthday.  She wanted to go to her favorite restaurant called Koto.  It’s just like Benihana’s but it’s here in Albany.  Anyway, she was all excited.  I had arranged for some of our friends to meet us there, and before Lilly got 15 feet from the front door she started gagging, ran away (walked fast), and puked up her recently eaten potato on the side of the building as patrons were walking to and from the restaurant.  In addition to that one of our friends drove by as she was mid-hurl.  After recouping we decided to head to The Olive Garden where the smells were a little more tolerable and ended up having a great night.  Morning/Afternoon/Night sickness is hilarious on my end (pending everything is safe with our baby of course).  I pray our visit to the OB on Tuesday goes as planned.