Who cares about puggles? Me! Because "Puggle" is what Clark and I nicknamed the new baby growing in my belly! Yes, folks, I'm pregnant again!! Actually, I have been for quite some time, and I'm sure anyone reading this post already knows it. But it hasn't been officially shared on this blog, so I'm doing it now - woo hoo!
No, no, I'm not part of some crazy research project investigating the survival of a baby platypus in a woman's womb - I am pregnant with a human baby. There's not a whole lot of background information to share, but yes, Clark and I were trying for another kidlet. We did not, however, think it would happen as quickly as it did for two reasons: 1. getting pregnant with Lily Mae had been a bit of a challenge, requiring fertility medication for success and 2. I had not, erm, gotten my "lady cycles" back yet after having my first baby. I was still breastfeeding, and that tends to mess with the return of normalcy in regards to that. I wasn't going to wean LM in order to get pregnant, but Clark and I just figured we'd try even though our chances were pretty much none. "Trying" didn't exactly involve anything different, just a mutual declaration of intent. Then low and behold, sometime after that decision, I started feeling weird. I got nauseous along with other telltale symptoms, but a pregnancy test declared it to be just in my head. But after the symptoms only increased over the next couple weeks, I tested again to find some very happy news! The first test was too early, but that's how soon I had felt pregnant. Cool/weird. Getting pregnant during the first ovulation after having a baby is incredibly rare, but now you know someone it's happened to. It's called "catching the first egg."
I knew shortly after Lily Mae was born that if/when I ever got pregnant again, I was going to try to have my next labor and delivery at the local birth center with a midwife, instead of in a hospital with a doctor. Sure, I had LM drug-free, but it had been the complete opposite of the calm, peaceful process I wanted. I had nurses yelling at me to get into what were very unnatural positions for me, and things were just a whirlwind of interventions. I'm still so thankful for the medical help that Lily Mae and I received, as we really needed it in our situation. But knowing that there were other options, I really wanted to see what else was available for me. And I am so, so grateful that I was taken as a candidate for the birth center this time!! I am SO happy and excited for my care and upcoming birth there. They don't take high-risk pregnancies there - of which mine is. But there is an extremely effective hormone injection that prevents preterm labor. So effective, in fact, that by taking the medication the midwives at the center are perfectly confident that I will have a full-term baby and no other complications (at least none of the ones I had last time). And no, I'm not naive. I know interventions have their place. That's why the birth center is less than one mile away from the hospital. All of those necessary details have been worked out so that Clark and I both feel like they could handle an emergency appropriately.
I needed an ultrasound pretty quickly as there was no other way to date my pregnancy, and it indicated I was 6 weeks along - due February 8th! Such early sonograms can't see the heart, so I got to go back again 2 weeks later for another one. Puggle's growth was right on track between the two ultrasounds and the heart looked fantastic - music to my ears :)
6 week Puggle-scan
8 week Puggle-scan (facing you, waving hello!)
The first trimester has already come and gone, and in comparison to my first pregnancy, this one has been a complete breeze! Mild nausea easily controlled with medication, and only mild fatigue (easily controlled with lots of naps ;). I've been able to do everything I did before I was pregnant, aside from eat normally. The only similarity between then and now is that I lost my appetite and more than a few pounds. I started getting a little belly early on and at 10 weeks along I was already showing more than I had at 17 weeks before! My belly is still much smaller than what you'd expect, but I've been assured by the midwife that Puggle is growing just fine. My only orders are to eat a few extra servings of ice cream and junk food until my weight climbs back up. I have managed to pass my pre-pregnancy weight by a pound now, so we're headed in the right direction at least. I started feeling little squirms around 14 weeks this time, as opposed to at around 23 weeks with Lily Mae. And last night at church I got quite a round of strong kicks! Well, as strong as you can expect from a baby the size of a large avocado. It was pretty fun to feel.
I'm 3 weeks into my second trimester (16 weeks now) and I'm feeling great! No complaints. My belly's still growing, my appetite is coming back slowly but surely, and I'm not having to nap during LM's naps (which allows me to do other things like, you know...blog). I started my hormone injections last week - got my first shot of *20* (every week from 16 to 36 weeks). It's actually not nearly as bad as I thought. It burns just a little going in and it's been a little sore at the site for a couple days, but it's no big deal, really. Much better than having preterm labor! A nurse (a very sweet one, I might add) will be coming to my house every Thursday to administer the shot, so I can't even really call it an inconvenience.
Going outside in the SC heat is still difficult for me, as temps are still reaching the upper 90s every day (with the heat index) and I feel pretty drained. I'm highly anticipating the coming of cooler weather, even more energy, and finding out if Puggle is a boy or a girl! We will be having our big anatomy scan on September 20th (a mere 22 days away!) and will be finding out the sex as long as Puggle cooperates. But even more important than that, as you all know, this ultrasound is a big deal as far as analyzing healthy development of the baby, so prayers about that would be coveted. We've got names picked out and won't keep anything a secret after we find out, so stay tuned! I really am so excited! :D
So that's it for now. Sorry for being pregnant for 4 months and not blogging about it until now, but you know that's how I roll these days. Stay cool!