Emery

I’m Back

I’m so sorry I’ve been mute for several months. Life became so heavy and full of worries that I’ve been busy dealing with that. But I always had the intention to keep up this blog. Probably for the rest of my life, actually. This has literally become my photo album, my diary, my therapy … my little piece of internet that shows my life and who I am. It will live on for as long as my credit card pays my web host ;-)

Sometimes though, certain things in life are too private to share with the world. Like my uncle’s battle against cancer, his death, his funeral. We’ve been through some rough months filled with sadness and grief. I saw my mom struggling with all the emotions involved with seeing her brother slowly leaving us. We spent many hours visiting him. First at home, and then at the hospital. I couldn’t blog about random happy things in the mean time. This blog is too personal for me to keep up appearances while dealing with the opposite behind my screen. So I let it all rest for a bit and allowed myself a break. All my social media accounts went silent. I must admit: it’s NICE to take a break from the internet every once in a while. I always thought I was an internet junkie, but I’ve come to realize that I’m really not. Some private matters are sacred and don’t get shared online. Especially when there’s someone else’s privacy involved. In this case, a close family member. There’s a certain dignity about not oversharing certain things which I’ve learned to appreciate.

This is also true for what I’ve been trying to handle as best as I can without losing my sanity over it: pregnancy after losing our little boy Sam. I had no idea when I was going to announce it. At first, I wanted to wait until the end of my first trimester. Then it didn’t feel right. So I decided to wait until we found out the gender at 5 months. Then that didn’t feel right either. And then with my uncle being so close to dying, it just didn’t feel right at all. So then I decided to wait until we found a name for this baby … Now, at 28 weeks, despite the fact that we still haven’t decided what to name this child, I feel like the right moment has come to announce that we have a baby on the way. 💕

Baby 2016 pregnancy announcement paper figures couple wedding cake toppers pets home house painting background crib buggy cute pram

The state of mind I’m in is impossible to describe in a few paragraphs. But you can catch up with my entire journey in a little bit by looking back at older blog posts. I started blogging privately from the moment I found out I was pregnant, on November 2nd 2015, but I kept everything locked. I will unlock all the pregnancy-related posts in a minute, so they will be publicly visible for everyone to read.

I will be induced at 38 weeks. Partly so we won’t run the risk of losing this baby like we lost Sam. And partly so I won’t go completely mental by the time those last few weeks roll in.

So this is where I stand right now: 10 more weeks to go and scared to death of losing this one too. All while grieving my uncle who passed away on Easter Monday, and processing the fact that no matter what, we’ve been missing Sam through it all and will miss him even more when his little brother arrives. I’m definitely looking forward to happier updates from now on. God knows I need it!

In any case, even though it felt good to take a break from it all during this stressful time, I have to say it’s nice to be back! My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be active again as of this week, so do join me there as well! And most of all: thanks to those of you who stuck around during this quiet time and kept visiting my blog, sometimes almost daily. Thank you for the sweet messages of concern I received, the random “How are you doing? Is everything okay?”, and basically for still being there. I appreciate it. 🌹

Baby 2016 pregnancy announcement paper figures couple wedding cake toppers pets home house painting background crib buggy cute pram

Pregnancy – Week 27

I have now started my third trimester and that makes me happy! The end is in sight, finally. If all goes well, I’m now exactly 11 weeks away from meeting our little boy. I’ve been trying to focus on my post-birth body and all the pretty clothes I’ll be able to wear again. I know this sounds totally shallow, but I find that this silly superficial stuff helps me keep my mind off the anxiety surrounding the (hopefully) safe delivery of this baby. I have a hard time picturing myself with a living child as of July, since all I know so far is coming home from the hospital empty handed and having nothing else to focus on than getting back in shape. It’s sad, really. But shopping for non-pregnancy clothes has brought a little bit of sunshine in my anxiety-filled pregnant days. Obviously, since I’ve been living like a hermit ever since the pregnancy test turned positive in November, all of my shopping is done online. I’ve been browsing and browsing for hours. My budget doesn’t allow eccentric purchases, so I’ve specifically been on the hunt for bargains, and boy have I found some! I can’t wait to post about them later.

I feel the time is coming now to make an official announcement on my website. I’d really like to post something special soon and also simultaneously switch all these private pregnancy posts into “public” mode for my readers to see. I just feel like I’ve come to a point now where it would be weird not to.

As far as my health is concerned: things are alright. Even though my pulse does still go up several times a week for no apparent reason. My last episode was a few hours ago, around noon, when my heart started beating as fast as 100 BPM. Luckily, it went back down quite quickly for once and I felt better again within half an hour. This never ending issue has prompted me to call off a family event I’m supposed to attend at the end of this month. I just don’t want to risk being stuck there a whole evening in case I suddenly feel bad again and need to lie down. My mother-in-law was slightly shocked when I told her I wouldn’t be going, but then I think she quickly accepted that it was probably best to play it safe. I hope everyone else will understand, and not try to come up with some far fetched theories when they see Gert showing up alone. Really, the point is: my body can’t seem to handle much at this point and there’s no sense in pushing my limits so close to the finish line. I’d rather stay home and take it easy for the remaining 11 weeks.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third trimester week 27 twenty seven weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third trimester week 27 twenty seven weeks baby evolution fetus

Baby’s doing well though. I feel him so much throughout the day, and even at night when I get up to go to the bathroom real quick. He seems to have settled down nicely at night though. He used to be just as hyperactive then as he is during the day. But now he seems to be taking it easy and only moves when I’m turning around or getting up.

If his growth matches the growth chart, then he should now be around 37cm long and weigh almost 1 whole kilo. His weight should double to about 2 kilos within the next 6 weeks.

Speaking of weight, mine seems to have spiralled a bit more out of control than I would have liked … I now weigh exactly 70.5kg, which according to the chart below, is more than the estimated maximum weight gain. Pfffft ….

Pregnancy weight gain curve chart

source

I’m obviously not planning to go on a diet while I’m still pregnant. But I admit I’ll be a little more mindful of how caloric my food intake is as of now, and I’m determined to shed the extra weight FAST after this baby’s born!

I am now 73 days away from getting induced. I can’t wait for this countdown to show a single digit.

Pregnancy – Week 26

Week 26 – I look like a whale. But that’s okay. Because it’s for a good cause. And that way I can make an even better comeback when I’m back to looking fabulous! 😝

I went to my uncle’s funeral yesterday; which I was dreading. I was worried that it would be both emotionally and physically draining; which the doctor insisted I avoid at the moment. But I ended up dealing with it alright. It was quite tiring though. And although there were obviously emotional moments, I managed to remain calm and keep my heart rate down a bit. Now that this is all behind us, I have vowed myself that the next 3 months will be uneventful, stressless, and completely peaceful and relaxing. I don’t want to visit anyone or have anyone visiting me. We’ll all catch up as soon as this baby has arrived safely. Right now, I’ll just stick to my safe little bubble here at home. Nice and quiet.

I experienced some more sharp pain in my heart last week, as well as shortness of breath. Although I didn’t want to believe it at first, I have to come to the conclusion now that it most likely was indeed stress related. When we came back home yesterday after the funeral, I noticed I had some mild pain below my chest, like, right under my heart. And then it dawned on me that it wasn’t actually my heart I was feeling, but my ribs. What in the world? Turns out my ribs were sore. I suppose this is due to everything stretching out and trying to set into a new place / position. I had similar rib aches with Sam, but that was only during labor when his foot had somehow positioned itself against my rib cage. So, I’m surprised I’m feeling this now while my third trimester hasn’t even started yet. I think my last trimester officially starts on April 11th, if I remember correctly.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size second trimester week 26 twenty six weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size second trimester week 26 twenty six weeks baby evolution fetus

Baby keeps growing and is becoming stronger and stronger. I can’t wait to meet him. I’ve started getting a sense of his personality lately, and I know he’s going to be everything but dull! I can already sense a pretty strong will in there and a sense of independence. Parenting this child won’t be boring.

I keep worrying about his safe arrival. I keep thinking SOMETHING is going to go wrong, any time between now and June 27th. There’s absolutely no way for me to shake off this sense of doom. People around me tend to go “Oh, come on Lisa, lightning won’t strike twice. Stop worrying, it will be fine.” And I always feel so offended when this happens, even though I know very well that they mean this to encourage me and stay positive. But I wish I could get them to understand that no matter what they say, the fact remains that the only reality I know so far is giving birth to a dead baby. I never put it that bluntly, because I know these words would shock people. But that’s my life and that’s all I’ve ever experienced so far. So how can I NOT think about the worst case scenario? To me, it’s not some abstract small percentage on a statistical curve. To me, it’s my little boy, Sam. And when you know that women who have experienced stillbirth before, have an increased risk of experiencing it again in the future, then yes, I do feel offended when people tell me not to worry. I know THEY don’t worry. It’s not their baby. At worst, they’ll feel bad for me if it goes wrong, and then their life will continue like nothing happened. I just wish they’d let me express my worries and offer a few kind words of support, instead of trying to dismiss my fears and tell me to get over it, because A) that’s not gonna happen anyway, and B) it doesn’t help me at all.

I’ve already sensed a few people talking about this baby like he’s my first. Albeit just subtly implying. I’m ready to swing it at them if they ever dare to say it clearly and dismiss Sam entirely. Sam was NOT some sort of failed attempt. He was my little boy. I held him in my arms, we dressed him, we buried him. And he was absolutely gorgeous. He was not some abstract thing that was only part of our lives for a short minute. He IS part of our lives for always.

Anyway, we bought a few more baby clothes today. And I’ve signed up for a few discount websites, as I’m planning to buy some more online. There’s no point physically going to different stores when I’m supposed to be taking it easy anyway. Plus, I seem to find better deals online than in real stores. I can already tell you that this baby will strictly be dressed in pale blue for the first 6 months of his life lol I keep trying to find more colors like green, yellow, red, whatever. But it seems like companies insist on only selling either pink or blue, so I give up. We’ll have a blue baby in all our pictures, I guess! *shrug*

I ordered little bee charms last weekend. I think I will receive them in the mail within 2 weeks or so. I’ve basically started working on the little birth gifts we’ll be handing out to people when our baby’s born. It’s a well anchored tradition here in Belgium. The colored sugar coated chocolates are mandatory. 😊 I think we’ll buy a mix of white and yellow treats. We’ve owned a whole series of these little glass jars ever since September 2014 … we had originally purchased them for Sam; barely 1 week before he was stillborn. I guess some people could find it weird that we are going to use them after all for a different baby. But it never really bothered me to “reuse” them. Sam’s theme was meant to be white and pale blue with a little carousel horse attached to it with a blue and white gingham ribbon. We’ll have to throw away Sam’s blue and white chocolates soon, because they’re still stored in the nursery and are past their expiration date.

I want everything for this baby to be yellow and Summer themed. The birth announcement itself will feature a sun; symbol of our sunshine after the rain. 🌞

suikerbonen doopsuikers wit geel glazen potje met lepel en kurk beitje gele bei zomer thema honing goud geboorte doop feest cadeautje geschenk baby shower gift sugar coated chocolates sweets treats yellow white satin ribbon bee honey charm gold glass jar wooden spoon cork sticker label name date of birth baptism christening pinterest diy craft

Obviously, I don’t know the exact birth date yet. And we don’t have a name for this baby yet either … So, we’ll have to know those two things before I can get these labels printed. Only 82 more days! Sounds better than 12 weeks, and even better than 3 months!

Pregnancy – Week 25

Week 25. Where do I even begin to describe what a mess this week has been so far? On Monday morning, my mom called me for help because the scaffolding around her house that had been put up to renovate 2 facades, had collapsed due to heavy winds and partially crashed onto two vehicles. Fun stuff! After calling back and forth with the company and whatnot, she suddenly called me back to tell me my uncle had just passed away … barely a few hours before we were supposed to visit him at the hospital. The day couldn’t get worse at that point. We decided to go anyway so we could see him one last time. Not the kind of visit we had in mind though. And not exactly great for me being 6 months pregnant. But what else could I do, right?

Meanwhile, I was still trying to calm myself down after having had a tiff with Gert’s aunt the day before. Everybody started discussing baby names again, which I absolutely refuse to do because they’re trying to influence our choice and I’m not going to let that happen. I wanted no part at all in the discussion. When all of a sudden, Gert’s aunt randomly felt the need to share that she finds my name “stupid”. What the fuck? Where did that suddenly come from? I could have responded so many things, but decided this kind of behavior was too low to even deserve a response, so I looked away from her and went dead silent. To my biggest surprise, my silence had the effect of a bomb. It’s like this ice cold vibe suddenly fell upon the entire room and everybody went quiet. The power of non-verbal communication truly amazes me sometimes. Anyway, point being: even though I retained my composure throughout this ridiculous mess, I suffered the backlash of it later on at home. I noticed I kept replaying the whole conversation in my head over and over again, and I felt so offended and hurt.

Anyway, after all of this had accumulated nicely by Monday evening, I started feeling stabbing pain in my heart and some pretty extreme shortness of breath. When I got up the next day, it got even worse. I decided to take my blood pressure, and basically both my blood pressure and heart rate were through the roof. I felt so dizzy I thought I was going to pass out at one point. When I went to my prenatal appointment a few hours later, they also noticed right away that something was really wrong with my pulse being so high. I described all the symptoms I’d been dealing with: shortness of breath, stabbing pain in my heart all the way through my back, plugged up ears, headaches, dizziness, blue nails … you name it. I had it all. Then came the question: “Have you recently had any source of stress or an emotional shock or anything like that?” Gert tugged at my sleeve so I would respond. So I briefly explained everything. The doctor then left the room to check everything with the professor who handles my case, and when she came back she basically told me that I must absolutely avoid stress and anxiety at this point. As long as it spontaneously gets better within an hour or two, it’s fine. But if it ever lasts any longer, I will have to go to the hospital. Pffft. I just can’t seem to deal with any negativity since I lost Sam. It quickly becomes too much for me to handle and I start losing it. I don’t even really feel it hitting me emotionally quite as much as it hits me physically. It’s so bizarre.

I’ve managed to calm myself down since then, and I’m planning to take it super easy from now on. But I still have my uncle’s funeral to attend on Monday, so I hope my blood pressure and heart rate will remain decent.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size second trimester week 25 twenty five weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size second trimester week 25 twenty five weeks baby evolution fetus

As far as Baby is concerned: he’s doing great. I think he’s going to be tall because his feet already reach above my belly button. He’s still very active; moving all day and all night. His heart rate varied between 120 BPM and 150 BPM during my prenatal appointment. The average seemed to be around 145 BPM, which the doctor said was excellent. I had to take a glucose test this time. The results came back an hour later, and they were good: no gestational diabetes. Whew!

I think we’re slowly getting somewhere with our name quest. Hooray! The light at the end of the tunnel is near :-)

I have this crazy fear that labor will start prematurely this time around. If I can make it to week 32, that will already be great. He’d be premature, but shouldn’t suffer bad consequences. That’s still 7 weeks away though … And we are 87 days away from my induction at 38 weeks. Hurry up, month of June! I want my baby to arrive safe and sound!

Pregnancy – Week 24

I meant to post my weekly update on Tuesday, March 22nd, but with the terrorist attacks that had just happened at the Brussels airport and the metro, I was obviously glued to my TV screen and had other things on my mind. The past few days have felt surreal. I’ve pondered about whether to make a separate blog post about the attacks and how it’s affecting us and our daily life, but I honestly don’t even know where to begin. So I will abstain for now. I just can’t believe that this is the second attack since I found out I’m pregnant. First there was Paris, on November 13th 2015; which was barely 9 days after I found out I was expecting. I remember thinking to myself “what kind of world are we bringing this child into?”. And now the Brussels attacks, as I’m sitting here, 6 months pregnant … It’s sad.

Week 24 – Baby is now considered viable, which means that if he’s born now, they will do whatever it takes to try to keep him alive, whereas last week, they wouldn’t have even tried at all. There’s something about this that really bothers me. They should try no matter when it happens, even if chances are next to void.

But anyway, here I am now, with the sole responsibility on my shoulders to notice in time if anything goes wrong. I should start packing a hospital bag soon. Even if just a temporary basic one. You just never know.

My body’s been acting pretty funky this past week. It’s mainly my digestive system that’s bothering me. I know this is supposed to be a common issue during pregnancy, but I never had any of this during my first pregnancy. So why now? I get the most horrible abdominal cramps. It’s like sometimes my whole digestive tract gets jammed. I thought I had found the culprit last week, after I had upped my fibre intake (as advised by most pregnancy-related literature). I felt like my body wasn’t agreeing with those extra fibres and wanted nothing to do with it. So I cut back and switched to my regular routine instead. I felt absolutely fine for several days, so I thought for sure I had solved the problem. But then the worst cramps came back with a vengeance yesterday. I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s just hormones. Who knows? I’ll mention it at my next prenatal appointment. Even though I know the doctor will just shrug and not think much of it.

Stomach acid also tortured me 3 nights in a row. I must absolutely remember to ask which antacids are safe to take next time we go to the hospital. Because I remember dealing with the most horrible acid reflux when I was expecting Sam, and I pray to God I will find some miracle solution so that I won’t be dealing with that again. *Fingers crossed*

Another lovely symptom that recently made its appearance is restless legs syndrome. Although in my case, it’s really just one leg. I don’t even understand any of this; why this is happening and how to improve it. I hope it doesn’t worsen. I had this pretty bad when I was expecting Sam. Not fun at all!

I’ve also had a few more bouts of mysterious heart rate increase, shortness of breath, ears feeling plugged, and just feeling overall bad. I always check my blood pressure when it happens, but it’s never too high. If anything, it’s actually more on the low side. Today it was 87/68 … This would normally be excellent, but I’m 6 months pregnant. Surely, with the amount of blood flow my body’s pumping constantly, the numbers should be higher, right? I will of course mention this AGAIN at my next appointment, but all I ever get is a shrug and “it sounds fine”. Pffft.

From a more cosmetic side: my hair’s been looking miserable for months now. Most likely due to the hormones. It seems to become darker and darker, and the texture itself has also changed. It looks dull and lifeless, despite an excellent hair care routine. It looks like I’ll just have to wait this one out until after birth. We’ll see.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size second trimester week 24 twenty four weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size second trimester week 24 twenty four weeks baby evolution fetus

Baby is as active as ever. I love it. My pregnancy app – which is provided by the hospital I go to – mentions this week that baby is sleeping up to 20 hours a day right now. Um, I don’t think so. He’s moving all over the place all the time. He rarely has a quiet hour. Come to think of it: is this even normal?

Anyway, I made my very first baby-related online purchase today. I had pinned these adorable baby boy outfits from the C&A website on my Pinterest account last week. And I noticed this morning that many sizes were already sold out! So I went ahead and placed my order. They are so adorable! Now we are 75€ poorer.

C&A baby boy clothes outfits onesies C and A cute adorable blue white pale pastel nautical anchors

I couldn’t help but think about what Gert’s mother asked me several weeks ago. We were having lunch together, when she randomly said: “So Lisa, I suppose that since this is your second boy, you already have everything you need, right?” – Uhhh … 😳 I definitely didn’t see this question coming. I wasn’t even sure how to take it. I basically felt very confused and caught off guard, and I had no idea what to respond. I mean, considering how sensitive this whole topic is – with Sam having never used anything in the nursery and how painful that is – I just sat there speechless and mumbled “I guess?” What was I supposed to say? Why did she ask me this? I felt really weird about that question for more than a week and I couldn’t even put my finger on why it gave me such a bad feeling. Besides, who can say that they ever have everything they’d want for their children? I mean, you always want more and better, obviously.

I’ve had to endure some insensitive comments and questions from various people lately. It sucks. This is exactly why I was in no rush to announce this pregnancy to anyone. Because I’ve got enough on my plate already without dumb comments hitting me left and right. Like “Oh, hi! How are the future parents doing?” … making me feel so defeated because this is NOT our first child. We had Sam a year and a half ago! Gert and I are NOT “future parents”. Ignorance at its finest. But what can I do, right? Just shrug and try not to care. Easier said than done. Another good one was: “So how about the shape and size of your belly? Is it too small? Or too big? Or would it be considered normal?” – Who asks this?? All I could muster up was “I’ve never heard any doctor comment on this, so I guess it’s perfectly normal.” I mean, seriously? I don’t even know whether to laugh or cry.

At least we are now less than 100 days away from meeting our little boy (who still has no name). 🙈