Wednesday, July 27, 2011

13 weeks!

Every week that I am pregnant is a celebration. This week seems even more so. We seem to have safely negotiated through the first trimester! With the medications, the injections, the hormones and the nausea, it was definitely not easy! Today, I am happy and excited to say that I am now a part of the second trimester club!

How far along: 13 Weeks
Weight: 158.2 lbs (going up again! It's amazing what happens when you're not puking up every meal!)
Baby size: 2.9 inches. The Bump says about the size of a peach. A smallish peach!
Sleep: Is there a time I'm supposed to be awake?
Movement: not yet.
Feeling: Actually, a lot better! The nausea is mostly gone. It comes back after I eat or if I don't eat soon enough. Then I'll start to dry heave. Super tired though. Today, I was so exhausted, I could barely even lift my arms!
What I miss: Food. Being able to go longer than 3 hours without eating.
What I am looking forward to: Garlic Festival is this weekend. I'm working in the Cook-Off Tent this year, which should be fun! I just hope I can stay awake for it!
Milestone: Got a bunch of maternity clothes this week! 3 pairs of jeans, 2 tank tops, 6 tops, a sundress and a cardigan. Yay for birthday gift cards!
To Do: Get through the week! Monday is my NT scan!
Food Cravings: Lemon-Lime Gatorade. I don't really CRAVE it, but I've been drinking a ton of it. I was worried last week when I kept puking. I was afraid I was dehydrating myself!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Knocking On Wood

Could it possibly be? Can it really be true? Is the nausea...gone? Please please God, please say it's true!

Now I'm not saying the nausea has been wholly and truly 100% gone, but it no longer seems to be ever present. In the last 3 days, I have thrown up once. And it was more dry heaving (probably because I was hungry) after I had gagged on a prenatal vitamin. During the day, I feel very little nausea. My appetite hasn't really returned yet, and most meat still makes me want to gag (although I did eat a full serving of steak the other night!)

Sadly, I seem to have replaced the nausea with nasal congestion and a sore throat. Mercifully, this is just an annoying summer cold. I say mercifully, because I discovered that some people suffer nasal congestion for THE ENTIRE NINE MONTHS of their pregnancy. I would die. I am slightly dying now, because it is too soon for me to take any sort of cold or cough medicine. So I suffer with nasal congestion...but no nausea!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

12 Weeks!

12 Weeks! Just gotta get through one more week and I'm in the second trimester!

How far along: 12 Weeks
Weight: 155.8 lbs (in any other situation, I'd be totally stoked with how much weight I'm losing)
Baby size: 2.1 inches. The Bump says about the size of a plum. Mmmm...plums.
Sleep: All the time.
Movement: nope.
Feeling: Mostly, this week, I've been feeling dreadful. Tired and nauseous all the time. Throwing up two to three times a day. Yesterday, I felt like I had the flu. I felt sick, body aches, a headache and my throat was on fire. Today, my throat is still sore (and I'm avoiding talking if I can) but I haven't felt particularly nauseous today at all!
What I miss: Feeling good. That's sad. But true.
What I am looking forward to: Maternity clothes shopping with my mom this weekend.
Milestone: I got my blood tests done this week. Yay me!
To Do: Nothing this week. Next on my to do list is the NT scan on August 1st.
Food Cravings: pasta shells stuffed with cheese. I've made them twice. My mother in law just dropped off a big bag of them this morning! (thanks Barbara!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Miss Food :(

I really miss food. I do. It's not that I'm not eating, because I am. I just miss all my favorite foods. And these are not foods I'm not eating because of nitrates and bacteria (like prosciutto and sushi). These are basic foods I usually love to eat.

Foods like: chicken, fish, shrimp, eggs. There was a time when I could eat an entire plate of shrimp...
Eggs. I freaking LOVE poached eggs. In everything. Soup, pasta, on toast, with salsa and cheese. Now, I can manage to eat it in soup. That's it. Beef. At first, steak was the only protein I wanted to eat. Now, I can't even stomach that!

And, of course, I miss sushi. Like A LOT. I've had the cooked stuff, and frankly, it just doesn't cut it. I want raw tuna, salmon, whitefish, scallops. Le sigh. Now all I get is unagi (which is tasty WITH other raw fish), shrimp tempura, soft shell crab and crab salad. Bleh. Sometimes I think "Why bother?"

I'd say the food I miss most of all: chicken. Chicken just makes everything SO EASY. Grilled, baked, pan fried, over pasta, over potatoes, over salad. You never realize just how much you miss it, until the very idea of chicken makes you want to yak. Which unfortunately, it does.

The worst part of all for me, and those of you who know me really well can understand this, I can't even LOOK at food I don't want to eat. Like, in a picture. Just looking at it upsets my stomach. This past week on one of my favorite websites, there were pictures of an avocado-egg salad sitting on a tomato and a pasta salad that featured olives. I couldn't go on that website until they changed the recipes. I have a brand new issue of Cooking Light magazine that I haven't looked at yet. I haven't even ripped the protective paper cover off the front. I'm afraid!

All I'm saying is that I CAN'T WAIT for the second trimester when, hopefully, I'll be able to eat food again. It's going to happen, right?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

11 Weeks!

11 Weeks! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel--only 2 more to get me into that glorious second trimester!

How far along: 11 Weeks
Weight: 16o.8 lbs (how is it that I keep losing weight, but my pants keep getting tighter???)
Baby size: 1.6 inches. The Bump says about the size of a lime. I'm thinking they mean key lime, because my limes are WAY bigger than that!
Sleep: Sleeping all the time! Sometimes, I feel like when I'm at home, I'm asleep more than I am awake!
Movement: Nyet.
Feeling: a super fun combo of fatigue plus vague nausea. I haven't thrown up much this week. Except for today. I puked 3 times. Mostly just kinda tired, kinda queasy...
What I miss: Getting stuff done. I feel like all I do is sleep. And food. I really miss food.
What I am looking forward to: Birthday party this weekend and my mom is coming out to visit next week. It's gonna be busy! Don't know how I'm going to get it all done! Plus, first Village Prenatal appointment with the midwife on Saturday.
Milestone: I went 4 days without puking. That's good, right?
To Do: Blood Tests, still. What can I say, it's been a busy week. I just need to have it done 5 days before the NT scan. I'll do it next Monday.
Food Cravings: Fruit. Pasta. Cheese. Made a bomb-diggity Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup with poached egg this week. May need to make that one again soon! It's always been one of my favorites!
Bonus-Favorite Moment of the Week: At my friend Debra's birthday party (during which I actually ate MEAT!!!) I was explaining to our friend Naamen what it is I can and can't eat--chicken, ground beef, pork, eggs...Baby just doesn't like it. Naamen's response "I don't know how I feel about this baby!"

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ha Ha! Triumph Over the Health Care Insurance System!

So, a while ago, Brian and I decided that we wanted to have this baby at home using a certified midwife. Rest assured, this was not a decision we made lightly. We have done tons and tons of research on this--books, films, articles, discussions with midwives, nurses and women who have given birth in hospitals. In fact, we made this decision before we ever made the decision to go off the pill!

Because we had researched this route, we knew it would not be easy to get it covered by insurance. Our first step: find an insurance company that covered midwives and home birth. Our midwife had recommended a couple of different insurance companies that she had worked with in the past. It just so happened that at this time, I started my new job and was signing up for my new health insurance options. Amazingly, one of the better insurance companies was offered (United Health, in case you were wondering)! I called, double checked that they covered midwives and got a list of midwives in their network. Cool.

So I called the in-network midwives. None, not one of them still did home birth. Well, poop. So we went back to the midwife we liked, and decided to go with her. She wouldn't be in network, but the insurance company would still cover 70%. Well, that was still pretty good. 70% of $5,000 (her fee) would still cover a lot, and probably still be cheaper than a hospital birth. We were resigned to that. Until we had our first midwife appointment.

She mentioned that many of her clients got something called a Gap Exception. If your insurance company doesn't have a provider that offers the services you need in network, they can cover an out of network provider 100% with the Gap Exception. Awesome! We could have our home birth midwife AND get 100% insurance covereage.

So, I called the insurance to find out how this works. I spent two days just figuring it out. Then I spent another day emailing back and forth with my midwife to get all the info that the insurance company will need. A Gap Exception isn't a form, a doctor or service provider needs to refer you. So I made sure I had ALL the information my doctor would need to do this as easily and pain free as possible.

Finally, I gave all the info to my doctor and they made the call. They talked with the insurance company for an hour. No go. Poop. Apparently (according the insurance company) there were midwives in our area that were in-network. What??? I had done this research and found NONE! So. I called these in-network midwives. They did not do home birth. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

So I called the insurance company again (mind you, we were in the car now driving to Victorville for Pop Pop's funeral), talked to the people in charge and asked them "WTF?" (actually, I didn't. I was pretty calm and rational for the most part). I simply told them that yes, they did have midwives in network, however I want to have a home birth, which the midwives did not do. To which they stated, "Well, you can't have a Gap Exception just for personal preference of midwife." To which I stated, again, "Your midwives in network DO NOT DO HOME BIRTH. That is the birth option that my husband and I have chosen. We picked this VERY EXPENSIVE health insurance specifically because they supported midwives and home births." To which the insurance person said that they would put our information into the system and see what they could do. It could be up to a few weeks for the request to go through.

Oh, and this only works until the end of December. You will have to reapply in January (since baby is not due until February).

Anyway, to make a long story short (ha! Too late for that!) yesterday, we get a letter from the insurance company in the mail. Our Gap Exception has been granted! It took 3 weeks of wrangling with the insurance company, but it has been done! We still have to reapply in January, but if all goes to plan, we will have 100% health insurance coverage for our home birth! Triumph!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

10 weeks!

It's been a busy busy week!

How far along: 10 Weeks
Weight: 162.4 lbs
Baby size: 3.63 cm. About the size of a prune. Or a gummy bear, as my OB says!
Sleep: Good. Frequent. Taking a lot of naps.
Movement: Nada
Feeling: Tired. Run down. Nauseated...
What I miss: Energy. Really, I miss that the most of everything!
What I am looking forward to: Stopping the Lovenox injections and suppositories! I got the ok from the doctor today.
Milestone: We shared the news this weekend--super exciting! And I have officially gone 3 days without puking!
To Do: Blood Tests next week. Because I don't get enough of needles!
Food Cravings: French fries. Bean burritos from Rubios. I had one yesterday and it was delicious! All beany and cheesy with salsa. Mmmmm...

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Cat's Out of the Bag!

Yep. I couldn't wait any longer. Of course, there's a bit of backstory to this.

We were planning on telling next weekend. We were going to Skype my mom in the morning, then have my dad and stepmom and Brian's parents come over in the afternoon/evening for a BBQ. I had these super cute cards: one said Grandmothers and one said Grandfathers with a cute saying--they looked almost hand made. Then I was going to put a copy of our ten week ultrasound in it with a note saying delivery due February 1st! I had it all planned out. Then...tragedy struck.

Brian's grandfather "Pop Pop" passed away last week. It was, for us, very unexpected. He'd been diagnosed with Parkinson's a few years back and he and Gramma Lou had moved from their home in Truckee down to Victorville to be nearer Brian's aunts and cousins. All of Brians aunts, uncles and cousins--not to mention his grandparents' relatives and friends--converged on Victorville this weekend for the funeral and celebration of life reception to celebrate Pop Pop.

Brian and I talked a lot about sharing the news this weekend on the 7 hour drive down. Is this the right time? Would it be appropriate? We didn't want to take away from the celebration of Pop Pop's life, but when else were we going to have an opportunity when all of his family would be together? We decided to wait and see what the feeling was.

The funeral was beautiful and sad--my first Catholic mass. Brian's dad Jeff gave a moving speech, as a he usually does (Jeff is an amazing speaker). By the end, there was not a dry eye in the church. Mine certainly weren't.

After the ceremony, we converged on Gramma Lou and Pop Pop's home--the first time we had been to their house in Victorville. At one point, we had Brian, his parents Barbara and Jeff, his sisters Mel and Stephanie and Gramma Lou sitting together in the living room. We had been reminiscing about Pop Pop, talking about Mel and Travis' upcoming wedding, our good friend Sandi's new baby and babies in general. The vibe seemed perfect. I pulled out the "Grandfather" card and handed it to Jeff and Barbara.

Of course they had to sit there and guess why I had given him a card, as it wasn't anyone's birthday or holiday. Mel was grinning and saying that she thought she knew what the card was about. I'm pretty sure at one point, I said "just open it!" I think they got as far as seeing the word "grandfather" on the front, looked inside, saw the words "coming soon" and they were jumping up and down and laughing. Once hugs were given all around, they read the card again, saw the February 1st due date--which is actually rather close to Pop Pop's birthday. Barbara ran into the other room to share the news then rushed back to hear more details. It definitely seemed to raise some spirits!

The first thing I told everyone is "Nothing on Facebook! I haven't told my parents yet!" The next morning, I called my dad early--I knew he'd be up! I told him about Pop Pop and the funeral and shared the big news with him. He was saddened to hear about Pop Pop's passing, but was excited about the baby. Then I called mom. Having known about the past two miscarriages, she was cautiously optimistic, especially after I told her how far along we are and the steps the doctor is taking to make sure this pregnancy has the best possible chance of succeeding.

So the news is out! I'm waiting to post on Facebook until I call my grandma and Brian's aunt and uncle. Brian and I are back home from Victorville. It was a long, exciting, sad and emotional weekend and we are happy to be home with our puppies!