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.

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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.

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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). 🙈

Pregnancy – Week 23

Still loving my pashminas like they’re the most sophisticated fashion item ever.

^^ As I’m sitting here looking at this picture now, I realize that my poor choice of clothing accidentally makes me look like a renaissance painting. Oy!

Week 23 … what can I say? I’m still 15 weeks away from giving birth, and it feels like such a long time. Baby will be considered viable as of next week, so that’s one thing. Other than that, I’d say we’re still 10 weeks away from the perspective of a safe delivery in case of a problem. June can’t come fast enough, I’m telling you! I keep picturing myself in the worst case scenarios. All the things that could go wrong and how powerless I would be. It’s emotionally draining. I’ve been marking blue crosses in my agenda every single time I feel him move. Luckily, he’s still very active and my pages are filled with blue crosses …

Let the blue crosses never stop, please.

I’ve been so paranoid that I even keep a close eye on the air quality. Today, for example, it’s absolute shit. So I haven’t even opened any windows yet and I’m planning to remain indoors like a recluse until the level of fine particles PM2.5 goes back down.

The doctor who handles my case said that my thyroid gland was swollen when I checked in after Sam had passed away. This is extremely unusual for me. I have no history of thyroid issues and it was actually checked throughout my entire pregnancy and my levels were always good. So the fact that it was suddenly so swollen on September 21st makes little sense. He mentioned the possibility of air pollution, but he obviously can’t back this up with any hard proof. So, he just told me to be careful from now on. He didn’t say, but I do know that the day I checked in at the hospital, 2 other heavily pregnant women showed up the same day with a deceased baby in their womb. September 2014 was a beautiful month. The weather was amazing and I was constantly outside, even if just sitting in the yard. Air pollution never crossed my mind for a second. Now, I check it multiple times a day on this website: I’m not swearing high and low that this is what caused me to lose Sam. But, it seems wise for me to consider this as a possible factor. I must say, the air quality was fantastic this entire winter. But the past few days have definitely been bad. I’m worried it will remain this way now that Spring is around the corner. Because it seems like bad weather with rain and wind really helps, and we’re bound to have less of that in the coming months. Pffft. It’s a sad thing when you’re dreading nice weather!

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Still no name for this poor child! I actually had a nightmare a few nights ago about me giving birth. Then the nurses took him away and I didn’t even get to see him. We waited and waited and eventually asked when we could see our baby and one nurse was like “I’m sorry, but you don’t have a name for your baby.” I said “yeah, but, we got to see Sam right away, so why not this one?” And she responded: “Well, you had a name for Sam. When you finally have a name for this baby, we’ll bring him to you.” LOL! I was so shocked and confused. My mind started racing and going over all the names we had marked on our “maybe” list and none felt right, it was horrible! Haha! Clearly, this whole name thing is starting to stress me out.

On a positive note: it will feel so good this weekend when the countdown goes below 100 days!

Pregnancy – Week 22

I know it looks like I’m morphing into a true bohemian and that my sense of style has gone down the drain for good. But this is only temporary. I’m just enjoying lazy clothes right now.

Well, there’s officially no way to hide this belly anymore. Even Gert’s dentist noticed it today, and I was wearing a baggy sweater with a large scarf over it. As of this week, I can no longer close my Winter coat. I’m actually surprised I managed to zip it up for so long. I saw they sell maternity coats at the shop where we bought my PJ bottoms and swimwear a while ago. But I don’t think I’ll bother investing in one. It’s March now, so surely Spring should be right around the corner.

I’ve been feeling so exhausted for about a week now. The fact that my uncle entered palliative care on March 4th (my birthday … 😢 ) probably has a lot to do with it. It’s been emotionally draining and the physical repercussions on my second trimester body are quite obvious. The amount of sleep I need every night is ridiculous. And even though I manage to get through my days without taking a nap, I can definitely feel my eyes are getting tired and tend to want to close at random hours.

I’ve been thinking about the difference in diet between this pregnancy and Sam’s pregnancy. I remember always being so insanely hungry when I was expecting Sam. I ate a ton, and I craved junk food like there was no tomorrow. That’s not to say I indulged in hamburgers on a regular basis, but I’m definitely eating more vegetables this time around. I’m not sure why that is. My appetite is no different than when I’m not pregnant. I don’t have particular cravings. I’m no longer drooling over McDonald’s and Pizza Hut commercials. And I actually started cooking fresh meals every day of the week. If you know me personally, you’ll know that this is pretty much a miracle from the Heavens above.

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Baby has been so active! I love it. He really makes it easy for me to stay calm, because of the insane amount of movements I feel throughout the day. I’m constantly reassured that he’s still alive and thriving. This is exactly the kind of baby I need during this particular pregnancy. It makes me laugh that the brown ticker says: “Settling into sleep cycles, baby is sleeping 12-14 hours a day”. Well, not mine!

It bothers me that we still don’t have a name for this child. Gert has started calling him random names each time he asks me if he’s been active. I always burst out laughing with his creativity, but they are so ridiculous and over-the-top that it’s all turning into a big joke lol We’ll seriously have to sit down and decide about it some time soon. I don’t really want to go through the rest of this pregnancy without knowing his name.

I can’t wait to meet this little firecracker! Sixteen more weeks to go. In ten days, the countdown will be less than 100 days! Wow!

Pregnancy – Week 21

Wow Lisa, why so fancy today with a shawl and a necklace? Oh you know, when fashion inspiration strikes …
No seriously though; the weather is shit right now and all my cardigans are in the laundry basket. Sweaters are no longer working with this belly, so it looks like I’ll have to go maternity shopping again soon. Even my black maternity pants no longer fit. I mean, I can still wear them, but the belly band is too tight and uncomfortable. I definitely wore the exact same pants well into my third trimester last time, so this is getting scary.

Overall, things are going quite alright. I feel this little ball of energy moving all day and all night. It’s such a huge reassurance. I seriously don’t remember feeling Sam move that much; but the doctor also said that Sam was somehow placed deeper which probably affected the amount of movements I felt. This one is much more obvious and way easier to recognize. I did have some mild panic on Sunday morning when I had the impression that he’d been less active than usual. Thank God I’m writing it all down religiously, so looking back at this whole past week managed to keep me somewhat calm until I felt him move again. My mind knew I hadn’t passed a critical point of no movement yet, but I guess the fact that it happened on a Sunday morning (just like when I no longer felt Sam move) was enough to trigger anxiety. Turns out he only had a couple of quiet hours and was probably just resting. Sorry little buddy, no resting allowed until you’re born alive and well!

This belly is definitely getting big now. I can’t believe I still have another 4 months to go. I dare not think about how massive I will look by then. Will we ever make regular sized babies? 😩 One seriously annoying symptom I’ve had to start dealing with this past week is stomach acid and reflux. It’s not very encouraging, because this is supposed to only start during the last trimester. Oh boy.

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Only 3 more weeks until we reach viability. I didn’t expect this to actually stress me out, but I’m slowly starting to realize that from that point on, the ball will be in my court and the survival of my baby will then entirely depend on me. No one but me can sense when he’s moving and whether something’s normal or abnormal. I’m going to have to be so focussed and meticulous about it all. Whereas before, I could throw my hands up in the air and be like “well, there’s nothing I can do anyway, and nor can any doctor in the world. If a pregnancy goes wrong before viability is reached, then that’s the way it is.” In 3 weeks though, I’ll be responsible for this baby’s life. I will be his only lifeline and I cannot fail again. Oh, how bitter and angry I feel towards the entire world for never mentioning once how important it is to count the kicks every single day. Instead, I kept being told by pretty much everyone I know not to panic if baby starts moving less, because, you know, “babies don’t move when they’re getting ready for birth.” Such bullshit, I swear. I wish people would STOP with their nonsense and old wives’ tales. Seriously; if a baby starts moving less or no longer moves: it’s NOT normal. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Go to the ER and have it checked out. Better be safe than sorry. I sure wish someone, just SOMEONE had told me that. All those stupid prenatal classes we attended during my last trimester with Sam. Not ONCE did the midwife mention anything about fetal movement and which signs to look out for. I saw her from afar 2 weeks ago and I physically wanted to throw up when I recognized her face. I guess there are just too many emotions (and bitter ones at that) associated with her now. Even though my common sense knows all too well that this isn’t her fault. I just can’t get over how cheated and lied to I feel when I think of those prenatal classes. It almost feels like I had been promised a healthy living baby and a dream labor, and it was all robbed from me. No one ever mentioned once that babies can die in the womb. That it does happen every day, and that there are ways to be aware of certain signals that dramatically increase your chances of saving your baby’s life. It makes me angry.

Anyway, there’s not much else to report right now as far as this pregnancy is concerned. I’ve got a healthy appetite, my hips are starting to hurt more and more but it’s not all the time and it’s still bearable, baby is moving well, and we still don’t have a name … 🙊 We’re working on it though!