Where Have You Been, Stranger?

Hello blog, it’s been a while. (<– understatement of the century) I promise I have several good reasons for not writing for the last few five+ months, and also disappearing from most social media sites, especially twitter.

I’ve been meaning to write, I really have. Case in point: This blog post was started back at the end of May. Clearly I didn’t get very far. The past few months have not been without things to tell, and if you follow me on instagram (@abbeycadabby1)you already know the news buuuuuttttt…

The cake from my work baby shower yesterday...when two men plan a baby shower it ends up being at a bar, and the cake says "have a happy baby", and it is absolutely awesome.

The cake from my work baby shower yesterday…when two men plan a baby shower it ends up being at a bar, and the cake says “have a happy baby”, and it is absolutely awesome.

That’s right…I’m growin’ a baby!

Before I talk about the last 25 26 weeks of my own pregnancy experience a quick explanation, since if you remember, I last I wrote I was doing some serious training for the Eugene Marathon. You’re probably thinking “well gosh Abbey, that was a pretty dumb move getting pregnant 6-ish weeks before your goal marathon”. Well here goes: My husband and I were “trying” to have a baby, which for us really was more like “not preventing”. But we had been trying for over a year…initially I went through this viscious cycle of being sure I was pregnant every month, then being totally bummed and feeling inadequate when I eventually realized that I wasn’t. After about 7 months of this, including trying to map out our “ideal window” each month I said you know what? SCREW IT. I’m going to make plans and have fun and what’s the big hurry anyway?

And so I embarked on the training cycle that changed me- physically and mentally I was in superb shape and an awesome place. I was happy, loving running, and so so so SO excited for the fun that was going to be the Eugene Marathon. I won’t lie, a small part of me was a little bummed that I got pregnant right then, but you know what? I can always run. I can always sign up for another marathon, and if right now was my body’s best time to grow a baby, I’m totally more than fine with that.

The Belly: in pictures

Here’s a little recap of my belly growth, from the weeks I actually remembered to take pictures 🙂

Lookin' rough at 12 weeks, in the throws of horrible morning sickness (read on)

Lookin’ rough at 12 weeks, in the throws of horrible morning sickness (read on)

Getting a little baby bump at 14 weeks

Getting a little baby bump at 14 weeks

And one week later - I thought I grew soooo much this week!

And one week later – I thought I grew soooo much this week!

Now that's a bump! Goin strong at 20 weeks.

Now that’s a bump! Goin strong at 20 weeks.

Truth be told, I'm not sure what week this was, but I think it's around 22/23? My dad is in the background and after the picture he goes "you're going to be HUGE by the end!" ... Thanks daddio :)

Truth be told, I’m not sure what week this was, but I think it’s around 22/23? My dad is in the background and after the picture he goes “you’re going to be HUGE by the end!” … Thanks daddio 🙂

My most recent picture, taken at 25.5 weeks (I'm now 26.5)

My most recent picture, taken at 25.5 weeks (I’m now 26.5)

A Recap on the last 5 1/2 months

Most bloggers seem to like the weekly recap on pregnancy (and I, quite honestly, really enjoy reading other people’s weekly updates). Since I am a slacker  have been in survival mode for most of the last 6 months I’m going to do a giant 26-week recap. And then some more posts on random pregnancy stuff. This won’t turn into a pregnancy blog buuuutttt for the next 14 weeks it may have a strong presence.

***Disclaimer:  I apologize in advance for the length of this post…for convenience and for those of you who don’t have 11 hours to read all my ramblings I summarized my top 5 take-aways from weeks 1-26 at the very bottom. Feel free to scroll…

Gender: We’re keeping it a surprise! Generally when people find this out they either respond with a “Oh my gosh, how awesome, what a wonderful surprise!” or, with mouth open and eyes wide “OH MY GOSH I can’t believe you’re not finding out! How can you even stand it?!?!” (See Lauren’s recent post for affirmation of this phenomenon)

Truthfully, I really like not knowing. I won’t lie when I say there are times that I’ve kind of wished that we knew, but most of the time I love talking to the baby and looking at his/her ultrasound picture and wondering “what are you, little miracle?”

Morning Sickness: Y.E.S. Oh my gosh yes. I had what my brother would call “morning sickness on steroids”. From weeks 7-16 I was severely nauseous almost all day, I could hardly eat anything and I vomitted at least once EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was awesome. The nausea abated about week 16 but I continued to puke once (sometimes twice) every morning until week 20. Did I mention it was awesome? I even took a late night trip to the E.R. with hubster around week 9 after a post-work apple turned into an hour straight of vomitting which turned into vomiting blood because my throat was so ripped up. I literally didn’t eat another apple for 15 weeks.

Strangely, I’ve always prided myself on having a stomach of steel. I mean I have only thrown up mayyyybe 3 times since I was like 8. It was quite the shock. Equally strangely, all the puking just eventually became humorous…in a “oh my gosh I can’t believe I’m stilllll puking every day…hahaha (?)”.

Exercise: For the first 2 weeks (4-6) I continued to run. This is what I call my “cocky period”…where I thought I would (and did) spend my time eating super healthy, running based on feel, enjoying spending time with my little one. Then I got so nauseous that most mornings I could barely get up out of bed without puking, much less don a sports bra and some running shoes. By week 8 I was in total survival mode. I only survived enough to go to work and then spent the rest of the time partly wishing I were dead, curled in the fetal position on the couch. I pretty much did very minimal exercise for most of the first trimester, only hopping on the trainer maybe once or twice a week (and sometimes not at all). Once I started feeling better I tried to start running again but it just didn’t feel right in my body. I’ve been a big proponent this pregnancy of really trying to listen to my body and not listen to the (often conflicting) millions of do’s and don’t’s and avoid’s of pregnancy. I have plans for another post focusing specifically on my fitness activities throughout this pregnancy so we’ll save what I’ve actually been doing for another time.

I will say this though: being totally honest, I am bummed that I’m not able to run with my little one and spend that quiet time together. I’ve read so many positive experiences of women running throughout their pregnancy and I really thought I would be one of them. However at the same time I really believe running throughout pregnancy just wasn’t in the cards for me this time around,

Nutrition/Cravings: While I was super nauseous/puking there wasn’t a single thing that I craved and most of the time it was a struggle to find anything appealing to even eat. I did, however, lean heavily on CHEESE. Eating cheese (specifically extra sharp cheddar) always seemed to calm my stomach a little bit and make me feel a little better.

One thing I’ve found really interesting is that throughout these weeks (though it has gotten better specifically in the last 6-8 weeks) is that I’ve had a strong aversion to most meat. I am typically a omnivore, but throughout the pregnancy I’ve had a really difficult time eating any kind of meat. Recently I’ve definitely noticed an uptake in my desire for meat but for the first 18 weeks or so…no thank you.

I also really haven’t had a ton of “omg I need it NOW cravings”. Some things that I guess you could say I have “craved” are: milk (at 3 am during a nighttime bathroom break), good ol’ southern barbeque, BLT’s, sauteed spinach, grilled cheese, zucchini fries with horseradish dipping sauce, lemonade, and a spinach, artichoke, and cream cheese omelette. I’m weird, I know.

Fatigue: Yes. Again, this has finally gotten a little better in the last 4 weeks but I am still abnormally tired a lot of the time. I never really hit that magical 2nd trimester phase that everyone seems to talk about. I’m not sure if it’s because of how brutal the vomitting was on my body, if I’m missing something nutritionally, if it’s because of a decrease in exercise or what, but I am really lacking in the energy department. It could also be from the millions of pee-breaks and horrible sleep I’m getting currently too I guess…

Epilepsy: I think I’m going to dedicate a separate post to my experience of pregnancy with epilepsy but I will say this: I have remained seizure free and my little one seems to be completely healthy despite me having to take a drug that is not encouraged during pregnancy. WOOT WOOT!!!

Emotions: Hah. I should defer this to my husband for complete honesty but you all would probably think I’m a crazy bat if he told you how I’ve been. I didn’t feel any effects of being over-emotional until week 21-ish. And then…then sh*t got real. Since then I’ve been slightly fragile and have cried pretttty much 3-4 times per week. All I can say is my husband is a saint.

Side note on things you shouldn’t do when emotional/pregnant: watch the Espy’s. watch any episode of any TV show where some one dies. watch any videos of soldiers coming home to their kids or their dogs. In fact, just don’t watch anything.

And now, my top 5 takeaways from pregnancy thus far:

1. The best thing in the world is feeling your baby move/kick. I could lay there and feel that all day long.

2. Be very careful what you read. Don’t google ANYTHING. Don’t read BabyCenter chatrooms. Don’t look up statistics on anything. Essentially live in a blissfully unaware cave, listen to your body, and do what it tells you. (and find doctors that you trust so you can ask them any questions)

3. The worst foods to throw up are: apples, orange juice, milk (FYI: it curdles once it gets to your stomach so you’re really throwing up cottage cheese), and guacamole (that one was later on when I wasn’t nauseous at all…no clue why I threw it up.)

4. Take everything other people say with a grain of salt. Try not to get too annoyed when you tell someone that your goal is a natural childbirth and they say “omg I wanted the same thing” and then proceed to tell you their own labor horror story complete with every intervention short of a c-section. You are not like everyone else. In fact, there is NO ONE exactly like you and no two pregnancies are the same so listen to their stories politely and then forget them.

5. Don’t freak out if your own ideas of what you were going to be like during pregnancy go to sh*t. I had huge plans of following the Brewer Pregnancy Diet, exercising every day, basically being pregnant superhero. And I had to let a lot of that go. Pregnancy, to me, is a little bit like having an alien take over your body and you just can’t force anything on it. That doesn’t mean you can’t be healthy and exercise, it just means you may need to adjust your expectations. Or you may be one of those freaks who just “love every second of being pregnant”. I love growing  a life inside me, it’s pretty freaking amazing, but I do not always love being pregnant.

I’ll leave you with this: from our 20 week ultrasound, I think he/she is already pretty dang cute… yes?

IMG_20130801_164323

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6 thoughts on “Where Have You Been, Stranger?

  1. You blogged!! I was so happy to see your post 🙂

    I’m sorry you’ve had it so rough for most of your pregnancy. I know you said you were sick, but I didn’t realize the extent of it. I’m glad you’re feeling a little better now, and I really hope that the nausea continues to ease up throughout the rest of your pregnancy. I was exhausted and nauseous for the entire first trimester, and still more tired now than usual, but I can’t imagine dealing with the fatigue ON TOP OF vomiting every day. You are a trooper, that’s for sure!

    On another note – I don’t know what it is about cheese and pregnancy, but I have never (ever) wanted more cheese in my life. I tell myself baby just needs the extra calcium… 😉

    Also – I wrote about the judgement we felt from people when we said we were finding out (because we weren’t “strong” enough to wait it out), but honestly I know that people who choose not to find out have it much worse! So much pressure from other people who want to know or assume you should find out. I admire you for hanging in there and sticking to your decision!

    You look great! Congrats on almost being in the third trimester!

    • Thank you! Yes I’ve been using the “extra calcium” theory as well 🙂 I couldn’t believe when I read on your blog way back then that you were digging tons of cheese because I had literally just been thinking “I must be the only person who wants CHEESE when they’re pregnant”.

      I think both sides (find out/surprise) have a hard time, it’s amazing how strong people’s opinions are on the subject when, really, it’s a PERSONAL decision! (like most things baby-related) 🙂 People just have to do what’s best for them at every step of this 9 month journey 🙂

  2. Congratulations! I’m 28 weeks myself and stopped blogging/running immediately when I got pregnant. I just wasn’t feeling it.
    The internetz and forums are my #1 enemy and noone should ever google “pregnancy dizziness normal?” unless they’re ready to learn their death is imminent. Good luck and have a healthy babe!

    • Thank you! And Congrats to you too! I’m just in awe of the roller coaster journey that being pregnant is (and I’m sure it doesn’t change when they’re born 🙂 ).

      Haha I totally feel you on the googling problem. Luckily I figured out early on that doing all that reading was stressing me out MORE not alleviating my worries.

      Almost to the single digit weeks countdown for you! I hope it goes quickly and the last bit of both our pregnancies are without surprises 🙂

  3. Love this post! Huge congratulations!!! And, can’t wait to read more about your pregnancy. Love the “don’t google anything.” I went to medical school and I STILL google things and get freaked out. Must stop myself!

  4. Pingback: Hermes 10 Miler Race Recap | eat good, live good, feel good

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