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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm Pregnant. Now What?

In 2 days, I will be 38 weeks pregnant.
 
We are dilated a little over 1, we are effaced, Tayler is head down and locked and loaded...
 
This journey is SLOWLY (and yes, I stress slowly haha) coming to an end. (When pregnant women tell you the last few weeks drag on and you're thinking 'Oh, my pregnancy flew...' please... remember.. the last few weeks DO drag on... and on... haha!) It's not a bad 'drag on'... it's just that 'Gosh-I-want-to-see-my-child-plus-I-want-to-sleep-on-my-belly-and-wear-a-bikini' drag on haha!
 
I am so anxious to see Tayler. Looking back, it seems like I've been pregnant forever. To put it in simple terms, I got pregnant before all of you kiddos out there started school last fall.... and yes, I'm STILL pregnant as some of you are preparing to graduate. 9 months... is a long 9 months, haha! But let me tell you something--- it has been an INCREDIBLE journey.
 
I figured since I'm 37 weeks pregnant, officially considered full term, and able to go into labor at any time, I'd do a little run-down of how life has changed since July 29th, 2010 (the day I knew for sure I was pregnant.)
 
This is where it all started. The third pregnancy test I took: (I took one July 26th-- 3 days before my missed period-- but it was so faint, you could hardly see it on camera, haha)
 


And this was my first belly picture taken on July 29th, 2010-- exactly 4 weeks pregnant :)


Telling the Family
Now, first let me tell you about telling my family. I was scared to death. Seriously. You would have thought I was a 15 year old girl that was pregnant (and I was 23 at at the time!) But I just knew that they would think I was ill-prepared (which I was...) I struggled with going to doctors for myself, let alone going monthly then weekly for myself AND another person. I had been dating my now husband for about 5 months... we lived in a one-bedroom apartment... I didn't have a job. Perfect situation, right? haha! :) But I finally told them. The dust settled and I have NEVER seen two people so excited to be grandparents in my life! (And surpisingly enough-- I've battled through these doctor appointments pretty well thanks to God and my sweet momma. I've had blood drawn more times than I count, 2 glucose tests, strep test, cervix checks, a pap smear.... whoo! Lots to do, but it's well worth it, I promise!)

Symptoms
A lot of people ask me if I had any symptoms before I found out I was pregnant. I usually answer 'Not really..' but after looking at my Project 365 and the week of July 21st-27th, I noticed that I had been complaining a lot about not feeling good. The Sunday before testing, I noted that I could not even lift my head off the couch. I don't know why I didn't think about that, but now that I look back--- nausea should have been my first clue! (But being a woman that has battled with lactose intolerance all my life, I figured it was normal, haha) Tender nipples was another clue too, now that I look back.

Morning Sickness
And since I battled with nausea SO early on in this pregnancy, I should have known that morning sickness would PLAGUE me. And boy oh boy, did it! Once everything had finally settled down, I had lost about 20 pounds. I started out my pregnancy at 136 pounds and was down to 119 pounds starting my 20th week. I battled with morning sickness until about 21-23 weeks (and I still suffer with it if I don't eat AS SOON as I get up!) I couldn't keep anything down. I lived off of pretzels and lemonade... and sometimes Sprite. I remember crying and calling my mom telling her I just couldn't do this. However, as time progressed, I got the hang of it... I started eating immediately and never letting myself get TOO hungry (because that's when I'd throw up!) I kept snacks on hand constantly. (If you're struggling with m/s, this is definitely something to remember!) It will pass though. This is something to remember :) Also, something that got me through-- I read once that morning sickness was a GREAT sign of a healthy baby and this website said 'If you're still getting sick, you're baby is typically still alright.' This eased my worried mind when I couldn't feel Tayler yet. I figure as long as I was still throwing up, Tayler-Bug was still okay! :)

Bloatedness
I went through the pregnancy anxious to watch my belly grow! (And I documented EVERY week :)) Here is the 2 month belly shot:


That was what bloated looked like! HAHA! This is the point when the skirts/pants started getting a little snug. I felt like I was a blimp (oh if I only knew how this belly would eventually stretch, haha!!)

There really isn't anything you can do for bloatedness. Look at yourself in the mirror and embrace it. It means there's a little one growing in your tummy and it's all worth it, as I keep saying!

But it soon subsided... here's my 3 month belly shot:


You can see that she started protruding out a little bit there, but we still didn't know what we were having yet, obviously :)

The One Bedroom Apartment Drama

As of 14 weeks pregnant, we still lived in a 1-bedroom apartment. Because of all of the JUNK (haha) we had, we slept in the living room and the bedroom was full of a desk, printer, computer, piano, punching bag... well, you get the picture. We had nooo room for a baby and every place we tried to rent fell through :( It was terrible. I remember going to bed at night wondering how we were going to manage... how were we going to be able to live with a baby in this tiny area? It was so stressful. And then October 8th, we drove past a trailer down the street for us that said '3 Bedroom, 1 bathroom for rent.' Yes, we heard the hallelujah chorus! We called and were told that someone was in front of us asking about it, but they had to get a credit check! So, we still applied for the place, applied for a credit check.. and we waited. Well, apparently God really had His hands on us.. and the other people backed out and WE GOT THE PLACE! Here's a picture of me on the front steps holding the key :) We moved in on October 11th... we were so thankful! It was SUCH a blessing.


Finding Out The Gender

I've never been a person to wait for anything. And this goes for finding out WHAT we were having, haha! We were so anxious, so we called and scheduled a 3D/4D ultrasound where they do early predictions. On October 23rd, 2010 I was 16 weeks pregnant (4months) and we found out we were expecting a precious little girl! I was SURPRISED. I thought it was a little boy. I had dreams about holding a little guy... and there was nothing between those legs, haha!

Here was my 4 month belly shot:



And here was our ultrasound finding out Tayler was indeed our Tayler!
 
 


And these are some 3D ultrasound shots :)



 
Chloroplexus Cysts
 
I thought everyone got 4-5 ultrasound before they were 27 weeks pregnant. I guess I'd never looked up what was normal... but at our 19/20 week check-up, we were told that the fluid levels around Tayler were too high and they were testing her for chloroplexus cysts. They believed they had seen 3 on her brain. Of course, to any new mother (any mother at all really..) this makes you SICK. I couldn't sleep. I could hardly eat. I was constantly worried. Constantly talking to her. Constantly praying. We went for ultrasound after ultrasound with no change, so they sent us to our state medical center for testing when I was 27 weeks pregnant. We had SO many people praying for us, praying for Tayler, praying that everything would come back clear. And then one night while praying, God told me that my mom was going to have a dream about Tayler and that I needed to TRUST that dream. Well, that day passed and I did not hear anything from my mom. Then, wouldn't you know it the very next day, my mom texted me and the first words I saw were 'I had a dream last night....' What a blessing! She said she had a dream about Tayler and me after giving birth and that Tayler looked HEALTHY and was BEAUTIFUL. She said God gave her a peace that everything was okay! I still felt like I needed a little more confirmation... and God told me 'Pray that when you walk through that door, the doctors will be shocked and will say- I don't see anything on her brain!' We went to the doctor on January 7th for our testing... the ultrasound technician started checking everything. She checked Tayler's face, she checked Tayler's feet, she checked Tayler's kidneys, her lungs, and her heart. And then, she started looking at her head... she showed us where the chloroplexus was and then she said those amazing words--- "I DON'T SEE ANYTHING THERE!" She said Tayler looked amazing and was growing right on schedule! Let me tell you how GOOD our God is! :) If you are facing something like this during your pregnancy, trust Him, trust Him, trust Him! Here was our princess at our 27 week screening:
 


Pap Smears, Cervix Checks... You and Your Vagina

Once you get pregnant, please note that modesty is no longer a priority on your list. There will be people you've never met in your life touching you... touching you... roughly, haha. I'll never forget my first pap smear. It is really scary, but please believe me-- it really isn't that bad! I think I cried from embarrassment more than I did from pain! Some lady was down at my vagina.... poking and proding. Good lord! I kept praying I'd just never run into her in the deli aisle at the grocery store.

As for getting your cervix checked, the doctor reaches 'up there' to feel around... and it can be VERY uncomfortable. The first time my doctor did it, I found myself staring at the ceiling (face beat red of course) whistling. 'Okay, he isn't looking at your va-jay-jay, he isn't looking at it...' (Of course, they aren't STARING at it, they are FEELING, but still... it can be embarrassing haha!) Just know that it's all something that you HAVE to do and once it's over..... it's over! Yes, it will feel like they're grabbing your tonsils from your crotch, but don't let that get to you. Trust me, haha!

The Dreaded Glucose Test

This picture was taken from a medical site, but I wanted to give you a good idea as to what the stuff you have to drink looks like:


It might not be the same every where, but where I'm from-- this is what you have to drink in less than 5 minutes. It's a lot of sugar (especially if you aren't used to it) but seriously-- it isn't that bad! It tasted like flat Sunkist (which I love!) I got my test done when I was about 26 weeks pregnant.. and I failed! Bummer, right? I shouldn't have ate a little bit before it. They told me they wouldn't give it to me on an empty stomach, so I had to eat something. I ate scrambled eggs... and I was 4 points over. Darn! The 3-hour one SUCKS. I won't even try and lie to you here, haha! You get poked 5 times. You drink that stuff on a VERY empty stomach... this could be why I threw it up. Oops!

Decorating a Baby Girl's Room

Personally, I was never a fan of the 'cute-sy' nursery decorations. There isn't ANYTHING wrong with them, I just wanted something......... different. So, we decided that we wanted black and white polka dots with a hot pink accent! :) We worked hard on painting the letters for above her bed. We ordered a black crib (that can change into 4 other beds. Sweet, right?) and a changing table that matched! My sweet mom made a ruffle for under her crib and made her gorgeous curtains. Ethan and I painted her polka dots and hung all of those up around her room. We had friends make us blankets... we made a blanket... we got tons of stuffed animals. My mom gave us a shelf. My sweet friend Kat made her a picture frame that matched... and eventually we had a BEDROOM  for Tayler! It wasn't a quick process, so if it feels like your baby's room is taking forever, have no fear! Eventually it will get done!

Here is what the bedroom looked like when we first moved in (and still had no idea what we were having...):


And her bedroom as of today:


What a change right? :)

Trust me-- it will ALL come together!

More Belly Shots

I left off sharing my 4 month belly shot, so I figured I'd share my 5 month, 6 month, and 7 month belly shots for you :)




A lot of belly changing from that 1 month photo, huh? Enjoy it!

Stretchmarks

A lot of people ask me about stretchmarks. I have been LUCKY not to get them thus far. I'm hoping that these last few weeks don't take that luck away from me, but we'll see, haha! I do have 2 on my boobs, but I guess that comes with the territory (yes, ladies-- you will grow... and grow.. and just when you think your boobs can't grow anymore... they'll grow again haha!) but as far as my belly goes, so far, so good! I have used Vitamin E lotion the entire pregnancy. I bought this kind at the store:



I definitely recommend it! :)

We'll see if it continues paying off as these last few weeks continue to pass us... or maybe my daughter will be here soon?? Who knows!

Baby Shower Time!

8 months pregnant brought about BABY SHOWER TIME! :) My mom was the brains behind this operation and she did a theme that matched Tayler's bedroom! Tons of black, white, and hot pink polka dots!

Here's my 8 month belly shot:


And here are a few shots of the baby shower decorations:


And our cupcakes-


What did we do at our baby shower?

Well, first off-- we had a game where the ladies read a poem that they passed around so that they could meet one another. It was a great ice breaker and definintely livened up the room! I definitely recommend using it :)

We also had Tayler's name down the side of a page and the ladies had to find items in there purse that went with each letter T-A-Y-L-E-R.

The last game we played, we video-recorded Ethan (Tayler's Daddy) answering questions about women and pregnancy. (Questions such as: What is afterbirth? To which he replied-- When you're done being born. I'm an afterbirth, hahaha) Prior to his answering, the ladies would guess whether they thought he would get it right or wrong. It was a GREAT way to include Ethan (who still doesn't understand why he wasn't allowed to come, haha!)

You will get TONS of stuff at your baby shower. Remember that. Don't spend all your money on things like I did, hahaha!

This Will Happen

Now, I'm going to break it down for you here.

Your boobs WILL leak. I haven't even had my daughter yet... and my bras already have crust on the inside from where my boobs leak after a shower or while I'm sleeping. Gross, right? Eh! It's gotta happen :) I love it because I'm planning on nursing, so this makes me SUPER excited to know that things are already working 'in there' haha.

You will get gas. Grossssssssssssssssssss. It's true! I don't know what it is about pregnancy, but it brings out the worst in your digestive system. Prior to getting pregnant, I had honestly never stinkered in front of Ethan before.... and then once I got pregnant, ahhh, it just started happening! (And no, I'm not embarrassed to talk about this, haha! Trust me, once you get pregnant, you'll talk about anything including farting and leaking boobs!)

Discharge happens. It is gross. It is icky. But it happens. Don't be alarmed.

You get all too familiar with peeing in a cup while you're pregnant. I can't even count the number of times I've peed in a cup... (and when I say cup, I mean something like this...)


I stole that from a medical site too, but I wanted to give you a picture of what you're aiming for. Literally, haha! I have to pee in one of those EVERY time I go to the doctors office (and now that I'm going every week, it's even MORE fun, haha) But it's all for the health of your baby, you know? :)

Cravings

Everyone asks me, "What are you craving" or "What did you crave?"

At the beginning of my pregnancy, I craved ALL things sour! Anything that made me pucker up! And that included indulging in these two things just about every day:



Pickles annnnnnnnnnnnnd....


Warheads! The Warheads took us FOREVER to find, but thankfully-- the candy store in our mall sold them and Ethan bought them for me! :)

I didn't want ANYTHING sweet at the beginning of the pregnancy. Taking a bite of a cup cake made me want to throw up. I can now eat sweets (as long as I'm in the mood for them), but I still CRAVE salty/sour things... like Salt and Vinegar chips :) MY FAVORITE!!!

I also craved fries. Lots and lots of fries. (See that salty kick)

Movements

I started feeling Tayler at around 15-16 weeks, but they were just simple flutters. It literally felt like something was flapping it's wings in my stomach. It kind of took my breath away.

As time progresses however, you'll start feeling subtle kicks. Mine usually were strongest when I was laying down. You'd start seeing her on the outside and others would start feeling her (about 21-25 weeks) Here's where she started shifting and you could see it outside of my stomach:


This was taken when I was 23 weeks pregnant.

And the alien belly only continued....


This was taken when I was 29 weeks pregnant.

Now, we get SHIFTS that you can see on the outside of my body. I have tons of videos throughout other blogs if you ever want to see those! :)

Moving is incredible. Enjoy it. Don't complain about it :)   Sure, they'll get in your ribs. They'll sit on your bladder. But wouldn't you rather feel them than not?

Rumors..

The rumors are true... you will pee a lot during pregnancy. Sleep will flee once you get so big that it hurts you to sleep. (My back will ache if I lay on one side for too long...) Your blood sugar will drop faster than you're used to. (That little person inside takes a lot of your good stuff haha!) Vitamins are a necessity so make sure you are taking them! You will be hormonal. I've never had TV shows like Deal or No Deal make me cry... til now. Just trust that those around you WILL understand when you break down for no reason... And don't think you're crazy. It's just your body and all the changes it's going through. You will feel the need to sleep more often....... DO IT. Because once you get to the point where it's uncomfortable to sleep, you'll wish you took advantage of it when you were smaller. You will get hot. Hotter than normal. Dress in layers. Carry something to fan yourself. Bring water. Anything to keep yourself going good :) Avoid caffiene. Avoid pop.

Pregnancy Thoughts From Me

It's a tough journey, but please believe me when I say... IT'S BREATHTAKING. (And no, I'm not talking about when you get winded from just getting up off that couch ;) haha) Pregnancy is an incredible journey and I feel blessed to have been given the chance to take it. Enjoy it for what it is because it does go by quickly. Take in all of the moments (even the ones that don't seem 'good' at the moment.) Take lots and lots of pictures. Remember everything!

And last... my most recent belly shot (a little over 9 months pregnant)


You can definitely see how she's dropped :)

And that's my pregnancy journey thus far! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write me! I would love to hear from you! Pregnancy is a beautiful thing-- enjoy it!

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4 comments:

Kelly

I loved reading about your journey Lyss!!! Thank you so much for sharing it. Everyones experiences are different and I can't wait to be able to share mine with you! <3 lots of love.

Alyssa

I am so glad you loved reading it, Kelly! :) It has been an amazing journey... and I cannot wait to follow yours!!

MrsRiley

I loved reading this! I look forward to going through it again lol :) BTW, I need a crash course in doing the decor on my blog.

eMiLy.jaNe.LaLLathiN

tHis wAs SO TRUE!!!!

u aRe maKiNg mE sO eXciteD tO teSt oN sAturDay!!!!!

aNd iM with u oN tHe "GaS" iN frOnt oF tHe hUbby.. pRegnaNcy mOst deF. heLpeD maKe uS cLoseR.. oNcE a maN seeS a baBy cOme oUt (iN mY caSe hE saW mY iNteRNaL oRgaNS =| )tHeRe iSnt mUchg Left tO hiDe oR bE mOdeSt abOut