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Let's Talk Babies!

first trimester

I am officially not a fan of the first trimester of pregnancy. Not that I was a fan in my previous two pregnancies, but this time has really sealed the deal. It is fair to say I am counting down the weeks until I can be done with feel completely awful every single day. This cruddy feeling better go away like it did with my pregnancies with Maya and Anna.

Ya, so, obviously I’m not feeling all that great. The constant nausea I feel all day, every day coupled with gagging and retching at least a dozen times a day is enough to drive any one insane, well, it is enough to drive me insane. Luckily I don’t actually throw up too often, maybe once a day or so, but really the nausea is the worst part of it anyway. When I was pregnant with Maya I had morning sickness but it would come and go so I got a fair amount of breaks from the nausea every day. With Anna I had a lot more morning sickness and felt sick pretty much all day, every day, although I remember having a small break every morning for a couple of hours after I ate breakfast. This time, no breaks. I wake up every morning feeling sick and go to bed every night, you guessed it, feeling sick. Even if I wake in the middle of the night, which happens often thanks to my constant need to pee, I feel sick. Come on 14-15 weeks, hurry up and get here, mama needs a break.

It is a good thing babies are cute! And this one seems to be no exception. I had an ultrasound and some blood work done yesterday for some test necessary thanks to my “advanced maternal age”. So I got another little sneak peek of The Surprise. The baby was extremely active. The ultrasound tech had a hard time getting the necessary measurements at first because s/he wouldn’t sit still for a second. She printed off two good shots for me. One of the baby completely stretched out with its belly sticking up in the air and the other all curled up after s/he had finally worn him/herself out.

All stretched out!

All curled up

Everything seemed good, the baby looked great and the measurements were good. Although, the bloodwork and the ultrasound measurements need to be sent out for complete analysis, but the ultrasound tech was pretty confident that everything looked great and a healthy baby is in our future.

My next appointment with my actually doctor is in a couple of weeks. I’ll be 14 weeks by then and hopefully on the tail end of this morning sickness (I better be on the tail end or my go completely insane).

When I was pregnant with Maya I remember enjoying my pregnancy from the very beginning.  I loved being pregnant and all that went along with it.  Now, I may have erased all the bad things from my mind but I don’t really remember not liking any part of my pregnancy.  My morning sickness was mild, the exhaustion was manageable and there weren’t any aches or pains I couldn’t handle.  I was one of those annoying, glowing, joyful pregnant women.

This time…is different.  This pregnancy is seriously kicking my butt.  I’ve had horrible morning sickness since before I took that home pregnancy test way back when I was a mere 4 weeks pregnant.  I’m now just over 11 weeks and still stuck in the midst of constant, all day nausea, gagging at the faintest yucky smell or taste, and almost daily vomiting.  Not to mention exhaustion of epic proportions. I’ve never been so grateful that my child still takes a nap everyday so I too can get some much needed extra sleep. I just don’t feel like myself anymore.

My house is a disaster most of the time because I don’t have the energy or motivation to clean it.  I’m constantly snapping at Lorne and Maya because I have next to no patience and am operating on a very short rope.  Between constantly feeling sick, being so tired I can’t see straight and lovely pregnancy hormones thrown in the mix, I’m a walking time bomb. As you can imagine living with me these days is the opposite of fun.  My family deserves a medal for putting up with me.

I just want this part of pregnancy to be over so I can feel like myself again and start enjoying this pregnancy.  It is hard to enjoy being pregnant and revel in the wonderful parts of carrying a child when you feel like death.  Hopefully as a bid farewell to the first trimester in a couple of weeks I’ll also bid farewell to all the things that are making me not enjoy this pregnancy.

Big Sister :) :)

That’s right, Christmas came a little early around these parts.

It all started about 5 weeks ago when my “friend” was due for a visit.  A few days before she was to make her appearance I started to feel different.  I can’t think of any other way to describe it than that.  I just felt different.  At first I thought it was just my mind playing tricks on me because it had happened before.  There had been other months I had myself totally convinced that I was pregnant only to take a pregnancy test and have a big fat negative staring back at me.  I tried to ignore it but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that things felt very different.  So, when my friend failed to make her appearance I mustered up the courage to buy and take a home pregnancy test.  At first I couldn’t make myself look at it.  I didn’t want to be disappointed, again.  When I finally gathered up the courage to look at it, this was what I saw.

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To say I was happy, excited, elated just doesn’t do it justice.  I couldn’t believe it, after a year of trying, it was finally happening.  A little life had finally taken up residence in my uterus.

A couple of weeks later I saw my doctor and got to see a tiny seed of a baby starting to take shape. It was so tiny even the ultrasound tech had a hard time finding it until she saw the tiny little heart flickering away. There is was, this super tiny little baby with a perfectly beating heart.

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And, last week I got to see the bean again. This time it looked so much bigger, so much more like the beginnings of a baby.  Heart still strongly beating.

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I am just over 9 weeks along.  Our little bean is due to arrive July 25th.  To say we are over the moon excited is an understatement.

Everything is great with the baby so far.  As for me, this pregnancy is different from my pregnancy with Maya in some ways and in some ways the same.  I have morning sickness (well, actually all day sickness) again, however, this time it is much worse.  It kicks in every morning around 10 am and gets progressively worse as the day goes on.  With Maya only threw up a couple of times my whole first trimester, this time I’m doing it almost daily (oh joy).  Most days I am so tired I just want to nap on the couch all day long.  Luckily, some days I have more energy so I’m able to somewhat tidy my house and entertain my daughter.  Needless to say I’m looking forward to the end of the first trimester.

I’m glad to finally be sharing our news with you guys.  Thank you so much for all your support this year and your good thoughts as we tried to get here.  I appreciate it more than words can express.

dental health

Taking good care of your teeth during pregnancy is very important.  The hormonal changes caused by pregnancy increase your risk of developing gum disease.  As your hormones change during your pregnancy your can lead to additional swelling and bleeding of your gums.  Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of premature labor and birth.

It is, of course, always important to practice good oral hygiene, but, given the risk that gum disease poses to your pregnancy it is even more important during pregnancy.  Making sure you brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist for regularly scheduled cleanings and check ups and avoiding sugary snacks and carbonated sodas that can lead to tooth decay are all ways that you can maintain good oral health.

Many women are concerned about visiting the dentist during pregnancy.  Regular dental care, such as regular check ups and cleanings, cavity fillings, etc are all safe during pregnancy.  It is safest to get dental work done during your second trimester due to comfort levels for you, as well as decreasing any potential risk on the growing fetus.

During the first trimester many women experience the ugly pregnancy symptom know commonly as morning sickness.  This feeling of nausea and sometimes vomiting make you want to avoid brushing your teeth, especially since the taste of toothpaste can often trigger the nausea and vomiting.  However, it is important to still continue brushing your teeth regularly, especially after vomiting as the acid in vomit can lead to tooth decay.  There are bland tasting toothpastes on the market that may making the deed of brushing your teeth during the early months of pregnancy that much easier.

Good oral hygiene and regular dental check ups during pregnancy are vital, however, there are a few things you should avoid during pregnancy.  They include: routine oral x-rays (unless necessary to deal with a dental emergency), dental procedures like fillings should be avoided during the first trimester and later half of the third trimester, although oral anesthesia is safe you should avoid high doses of the anesthesia so be sure to talk to your doctor and your dentist before having any dental treatments done that require anesthesia.

So, the bottom line is, brush, floss, check in with your dentist on your regular schedule and take care of those teeth.

If you are concerned about whether something is safe or not be sure to discuss it with your doctor and your dentist before proceeding.

When we are pregnant we love to dream about what our baby will look like, whether it will be a boy or a girl, what your birth experience will be like and what it will be like to bring that beautiful, perfect little baby home.  A majority of pregnancies are normal and end with a healthy baby.  However, about 3-5% of pregnancy will result in a child with some sort of birth defect ranging from minor defects like an extra two or finger to major defects like spina bifida.  It isn’t part of the fantasy we all have in our mind but it is a reality.  During your pregnancy your doctor will discuss your prenatal screening options with you.  These screening tests will happen at various stages of your pregnancy and are designed to identify your baby is at an increased risk of certain birth defects.

The conversation with your doctor will likely take place fairly early in your pregnancy. Your doctor will likely just simply provide you with your options and then advising on their recommendations on whether the test would be beneficial to you or not.  The actual decision on whether the testing is done is completely up to you.  Many things need to go into your decision including what you would do with the information.  For example, if you know that under no circumstances would you terminate the pregnancy than you may opt out of the screenings, or if you are one who feels better being prepared for what may be to come you may want to having the screening done so if you happen to get a positive on the screenings you can prepare for a special needs child.  Take the information your doctor provides you, ask lots of questions and discuss your choices with your partner.  There is no right or wrong decision, you have to do what is right for you.

There are a few different types of screening tests, some during your early pregnancy and some later in pregnancy.

During your first trimester your doctor may recommend an early ultrasound and some blood work.  Both these are used to determine if your baby is at and increased risk of having Down Syndrome or Trisomy 18 (another chromosomal defect).

Later in your pregnancy, during your second trimester, your doctor may recommend a triple or quad screening.  These are blood tests that look for three or four substances in your blood.  The measurements of these substances in your blood are then used to determine your baby’s risk of having Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and neural tube defects such as spina bifida.    Second trimester ultrasounds are also used as screening tools to determine the health of the baby and any risk of health issues or birth defects.

The results from the above screenings are not 100% and are often used to determine if further testing, such as an amniocentesis, should be done.  Your doctor will discuss the results of your screenings in detail with you and what your options are.  Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are unsure about what screenings you should have done or if you are unsure of what the screenings are for.