So, I had my first ultrasound for the new baby today! I had some pretty intense abdominal pain a while ago and it started to localize on my left side, so my doctor was concerned. I've had five blood tests to check my hcg levels, and while they have continued to rise appropriately, the levels were not as high as they should be for being as far along as I am. Hence the ultrasound. Dave met me and Abby at the OB today and we went back in the ultrasound room. The tech started the ultrasound and right away I could see the gestational sac...but it appeared to be empty. In that moment I felt like all of my worst fears were coming true! Even worse, Abby was not cooperating and Dave ended up needing to take her out to the lobby, so I was left alone. The tech searched and searched and told me that she could see the sac but couldn't find a fetal pole. I literally felt like I couldn't breath. But then she thought that she saw something, so she kept searching around and was finally able to find the baby! I'm measuring over a week behind, so that puts me at exactly 6 weeks today, which is still so very early! I was able to see the heart beating too, so I am definitely feeling much less anxious about everything! I ended up not seeing a doctor because there was a wait and everything on the ultrasound looked normal. The tech didn't give me a new due date, but I have an appointment next week so I will talk to the nurse about that then. Technically, my new due date would be October 29th. Here is the first picture of our new baby!
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
I'm not sure where the time went, but our cutie is already thirteen months! She is doing great these days. She is saying a few more words, although nothing very consistently. She can say mama, dada, cat, out, all done, and I did it (or at least we both swear that's what it sounds like she is saying!). She is signing more these days too and can wave hi and bye, in addition to signing all done, more, milk, bath, and her version of help, which has become incredibly useful because it really reduces her frustration level. It is so nice to see her signing for help instead of whining and getting upset. I really want to work on more signs with her soon too, because verbally she isn't ready to speak the words but she understands SO much. She follows many requests easily and it still takes my breath away when I watch her learn something new! Just tonight she put some pieces in a puzzle that she's never done before and I was just so proud! I'm wanting to soak up all of these moments even more nowadays because I know that my time alone with just her is limited. Abby is babbling a ton these days, and has very long conversations with herself where it seems like she is narrating everything she does. It's interesting and hilarious at the same time. I wish I knew what she's saying, and yet I know the day will come soon enough when we won't be able to get her to stop talking! :) She's still not walking, but she is finally getting brave enough to let go and stand alone, so that's a huge step in the right direction! I'm really hoping that walking isn't too far off, because as I get further along I won't want to carry her as much as I do these days. I've been trying to carry her less and make her crawl or wall-walk to follow me around. Sometimes she'll oblige and other times she will pitch a fit, but it's helping her understand that she needs to get around on her own more. We put a removable gate at the bottom of the stairs and that has really helped put my mind at ease. Now she can roam the whole first floor, and then we also have the family room gated off as a playroom for her, so I can close that gate if I need to run upstairs or to the basement. So far it's working out! I think that's all on the uldate front for now. Here are some recent pics!
I've been noticeably absent from this blog lately. I even missed posting about Abby turning 13 months! We've been busy as usual, of course, but the main reason that I haven't been blogging isn't because of that. We have some big news in the Main family...but we're not quite ready to go "Facebook" public with it just yet. Thankfully, I'm pretty certain that most of the people who read this blog already know our news, so I feel comfortable sharing it here.
Dave and I are expecting Baby Main 2.0! Due to our fertility struggles the first time around, we decided to stop preventing pregnancy back in October. I was not having regular cycles at all, and they were lasting between 50-60 days, so I knew I probably was not ovulating. We had decided quite a while ago that we would just let nature take its course until June, and then we would head back to The Fertility Center in Grand Rapids to try another IUI. I had also made up my mind that I wanted to wean Abby when she turned one so that I could start taking Metformin again and hopefully regulate my cycles. So, I nursed Abigail for the last time on the morning of her first birthday, and I started taking Metformin. I got really lax about it though and only ended up taking it for about a week before just kind of forgetting. The day before Valentine's Day I realized it was cycle day 31 so I randomly decided to take one of my cheap internet dip stick pregnancy tests. It had a super, super faint line once it dried, but I honestly didn't give it much thought. The next day, on Valentine's Day, I casually mentioned to a friend that I had a super faint line on a test the day before and she immediately told me to retest. So, that afternoon while Abby was napping I took another test, and a faint line popped up. A really, really faint line. Then I took a different brand of test, and a slightly darker line came up. I started to get really excited!! Abby was napping but I wanted to go get a First Response. I finally ended up waking her after two hours because I was so impatient. And of course, the First Response was positive as well!! Dave had absolutely no idea about any of it at that point, so I put the positive test in a plastic bag and then in a gift bag and gave it to him when he got home. He freaked out and was so surprised and excited too!!! To say that we were shocked is the understatement of the century. Obviously it was always a possibility, but we really didn't think that we would be able to get pregnant on our own. I'm still in shock even now!
Unfortunately, everything hasn't been super smooth sailing. I started having some very bad cramping a few days after we found out. It turned into some really intense abdominal pain, so my doctor had me go get a blood test to check my hcg levels. The good news is that the blood test did confirm my pregnancy, but my level was much lower than it should have been for how far along I was. The reasonable explanation is that I ovulated late and found out that I was pregnant super early, which makes sense because my tests were so faint in the beginning. The pain could be a cyst like I had with Abby. I went back and had my blood drawn two more times to make sure that my hcg was doubling appropriately, and it was, so that's great news! My doctor wanted me to go back one more time this week just to check again, and by that time my level was over 6,000 so I am thrilled. I have yet to talk to the doctor after my last blood draw, but the hope is that on Monday she will be thrilled with the number too and we can schedule an early dating ultrasound. I will feel much better once we see the baby and hear the heartbeat!!
So, that is our exciting news! So far I've been feeling really good, and have just had some very mild breast tenderness and some slight nausea. It's been absolutely nothing like my first pregnancy, which makes me happy and worried that something is wrong all at the same time. I'm trying to stay positive that all is well and baby is happily growing in my belly! I'm honestly a little terrified about having another baby when Abby is only 21 months, but of course we'll make it work. We've been thinking of names and are getting really excited. I'm due somewhere around the end of October, and hopefully we will have a more specific date soon. I told Abby that there's a baby in my tummy tonight, and she lifted up my shirt and looked for a baby! Then she went and got her baby doll and brought it over to me. What a smartie pants. I hope that she will love having a sibling and that they'll grow up playing together and will be the best of friends!
Monday, January 20, 2014
Abigail is officially one year old!! Wow, that's crazy to believe! This year has honestly flown by. It feels like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. She is still such a wonderful baby. We've got a great schedule going and (knock on wood!!) she is still napping and sleeping great. The schedule makes our days easy to plan! Ever since she started sleeping through the night again around ten months (after we finally night-weaned!), Abby has been waking up earlier. Most days she is up between 6-6:30am. Then we are still loosely following a 2-3-4 schedule, although most days look more like 2.5-3-3.5, or something similar. So, that means that nap #1 is around 8:30am and she usually sleeps for an hour and a half. Then nap #2 is around 1-1:30pm and she sleeps for about 2 hours. Bedtime is between 6:30-7pm, depending on her mood. It's a schedule that still works great for us, since we go to storytime at the library at 10:30am twice a week, and also have a neighborhood playgroup at 10:30am on another day. I know that sometime in the near future she'll transition to one nap, but for now I'm really enjoying her consistency!
We've been slowly working on weaning from breastfeeding over the last few months, and for several weeks now we have just been down to one nursing session a day while we introduced cows milk a little bit at a time. It's very bittersweet for me, but Abby and I had our last nursing session this morning, on her first birthday. I'm so thankful that I was able to breastfeed this long, and I'm also very glad to be done until we have another baby. Hopefully she won't mind not nursing tomorrow! She still loves food and is liking cows milk more and more. Favorite foods include bananas, pears, cheese, eggs, green beans, pasta, and graham crackers. Her one year checkup isn't for a few weeks, but I'm guessing that she weighs about 21 pounds. She is wearing mostly size 12 month clothes, although it really depends on the brand.
Abby is cruising everywhere these days, and today she let go with both hands while standing up a few times. I would love to see her walking soon! She isn't talking much yet at all. She will sometimes say "cat" and "light", and the word she says the most and actually means is "dada". For the most part, though, she just babbles all day long. She signs "all done" very consistently and without being prompted, which is great. I'd love for her to learn more signs but so far nothing else has caught on.
I hope to continue to blog about parenting and our family life, but I'll probably stop doing the monthly updates for the most part. I haven't blogged as much as I had planned over the last year, but it's still so nice to look back and see exactly what Abby was up to at a certain age. Hopefully sometime in the near future we can add to our family and get to do it all over again!
Sunday, January 19, 2014
One of my favorite books to read to Abby is called I Love You Because You're You, by Liza Baker. It's a book about a fox mama and her son, and how she loves him no matter what. As Abigail's first birthday approaches (tomorrow!), reading the book makes me even more emotional than usual because my baby isn't such a baby anymore! Here is my own little twist on the book...
I love you when you're happy,
and grinning ear to ear.
I love you when you're sleepy,
and want to snuggle near.
I love you when you're silly,
and dancing 'round and 'round.
I love you when you're frightened,
and hear a scary sound.
I love you when you're bashful,
and hide behind my knee.
I love you when you're brave,
and from my arms you flee.
I love you when you're curious,
and searching here and there.
I love you when you're proud,
you're head held in the air.
I love you when you're sick,
and need to rest in bed.
I love you when you're frisky,
and standing on you're head.
I love you when you're sad,
and need a kiss and hug.
I love you when you're playful,
and rolling on the rug.
I love you when you're angry,
and cross your arms and pout.
I love you when you're wild,
and yell and scream and shout.
I love you any way you feel,
no matter what you do.
I love you any way you are,
I love you because you're you.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Before we got pregnant and had Abigail, I spent years wanting and yearning for a child. We put off trying to get pregnant time and again, finding some excuse as to why we weren't ready...but I was always ready in that way that a woman knows she wants to be a mother. When we finally decided that we were, in fact, "ready", my body decided that it didn't want to be pregnant, and so we started our journey through countless medications, ultrasounds, procedures, accupuncture needles, and the like. Then we got pregnant, and our daughter was born, and I realized shortly after her birth that I knew absolutely nothing about being a parent. I was so fixated on getting pregnant that I hadn't thought much about what parenting an infant would be like. Before having a child, I would hear veteran parents joke about how they were perfect parents until they actually had kids, and I'd laugh but I never really got it. You see, before you have a child, you really are the "perfect" parent. Or at least I thought I was.
This year I've done SO many things that I swore I would never do. I was never going to let our child watch tv, or give her formula, or feed her fast food (or junk of any kind, really). I was going to love breastfeeding and do it as long as possible. I was never going to raise my voice or get frustrated, never going to let her cry. But this year has taught me so much too. It's taught me what true unconditional love is. I could never have imagined what this kind of love felt like before having Abigail. I've never known love like this in my life, and it honestly takes my breath away. I've learned what, and who, is important to me. I've learned that it's ok to not be "perfect" all the time. I've learned that it's important to take care of myself, and if that means that my daughter watches ten minutes of tv so that I can use the bathroom in peace then so be it. I've learned that our families are even more important than I ever realized before. My relationship with my sister in particular became so much stronger this past year - I honestly would not have gotten through the hard times without her. I've learned that breastfeeding isn't the magical experience that I dreamed it would be, but that I'm lucky to be doing it anyway. We're on the way to being done, and I can't be happier about that, but for nearly twelve months I've nourished our baby with my own milk and that's something I am incredibly proud of. I've learned that I can be an extremely judgmental person, and that it's not a good quality to have. I have thin skin and hate being judged myself, so why is it fair for me to judge others? It's something to work on, for sure. I learned that post-partum depression is NO joke. The things my body went through to have a child were nothing compared to the havoc pregnancy and childbirth wreaked on my emotional state. I've learned that having a child changes the dynamics of a marriage. I didn't think it would...who was I kidding? Thankfully we have a strong bond and we made it through, but not without some hard times.
I've heard people say that having a child doesn't have to change your whole life...but isn't that the point?? Having Abigail DID change my whole life, in the very best possible way. I can't even remember life without her now. Some days are hard and long, but most are filled with snuggles and smiles and so much love. She makes my heart happy. Staying home and raising her gives me an enormous sense of purpose. This past year has been fast and crazy and full of highs and lows, but it's been absolutely amazing. My only hope is that we get to do it all over again soon!
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Better late than never! Little Miss Abigail is 11 months old already! This has been a big month for our girl. She's now pulling herself up, cruising, pointing, waving, making lots of new sounds, and following simple requests. It's so amazing to see her change and learn! She understands so much and I know she gets frustrated when she isn't able to communicate her wants with us. Abby has started signing "milk" and "all done", although not consistently. It's fun to see her do the signs though, especially when she does them on her own without me or Dave signing to her first. She has started sucking her thumb a lot more. It used to be something that she only did in her crib, but she learned that it makes her feel better and so whenever she's upset she grabs the nearest stuffed animal and has a little cuddle. It's absolutely adorable, but at the same time I wonder if she will be a thumb sucker well past babyhood!
We are really looking forward to Abby's first Christmas and then next month we will celebrate her first birthday! This year has really flown by!