Reboot

When I first started this blog (with the few posts it has) I was pregnant with my son, Gabriel. He is now 2 and has a baby sister, Adelia, who is 4 months old today.

I never knew how much motherhood would change me and how I see the world. Everything I do, I think of them first. I hope I’m doing an ok job… 

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5 Weird Pregnancy Symptoms that are Completely Normal

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There are some pregnancy symptoms out there that everyone knows about- nausea, lower back pain, moodiness… But what about painful vaginal twinges / twitching / zaps during pregnancy? Here are a few pregnancy symptoms I had no idea about but are completely normal.

When we first found out I was pregnant, I was totally surprised. Other than being late, I was not experiencing any nausea or pains. My appetite didn’t even change. It wasn’t until later (probably about my second trimester) that I started having some “weird” symptoms. After talking to a midwife, however, I learned that these symptoms are completely normal.

1) Sympathetic Nausea

I did not experience regular morning sickness during my first trimester. Before you get jealous, let me explain that I did (and still occasionally do) experience what my friend calls “sympathetic nausea.” Certain visual triggers would cause me to gag or vomit. And I’m still experiencing this. If I see a stray hair somewhere it shouldn’t be (near my toothpaste, for example) it could send me off into a gagging fit. If there is a hair in my food, I lose it… literally.

Other triggers for me are TV shows showing surgeries (this did not affect me before), someone else gagging or vomiting, and some smells.

Oh. Also… sometimes, brushing my teeth triggers my gag reflex. That’s fun, right?

2) Vaginal Twitches, Twinges, and Zings

This one freaked me out so bad when I first felt it. The first time I felt my vagina twitching on its own was early in my second trimester. It was painless at first but later on, the random twinges would be accompanied by shooting pain in my lady parts. Sometimes, I would be standing in the kitchen cooking or even just lying down in bed and I would feel this pain.

When I asked a midwife about this, she said it was completely normal. There was no explanation for it. But she said some people think that the baby is moving around and hitting a nerve or even a muscle that is causing the pain.

3) Numb Hands

Before getting pregnant, sometimes I would fall asleep and wake up with an arm or a leg also asleep. This was because I slept on it funny or it was in a weird position. Nowadays, the only parts of my body that wind up numb when I sleep are my hands. Both of them. At the same time… even if I fall asleep with them in a normal position.

A midwife explained to me that because pregnant women have more blood pumping in their systems, it causes your hands and feet to swell slightly and when you are at rest, they can go numb. This is normal. You can prevent this by propping your hands or feet up when you sleep to prevent blood from pooling. My husband was freaked out by my hands being so warm and slightly red when I told him they were numb. A midwife said this was also normal. What is NOT normal is a numb body part that is cold and pale or blue. She said this is something you should definitely tell your doctor about immediately.

She also cautioned that if your hands are numb, be very careful lifting things. You could lose your grip easily and if you’re handling a hot pot or pan, this could result in a very nasty injury.

4) Low Weight Gain

There is a stereotype of women gaining a huge amount of weight while pregnant. While this can happen, if you’re not gaining a lot of weight, don’t be alarmed. I was very concerned with how little weight I’d put on when we went in for our check-up at 27 weeks. I’d only gained about 3-4 pounds.

Now, I am overweight. Some doctors have said I am “morbidly obese” while others say that it is my body type. Regardless, I am not a small woman. That being said, I had lost a lot of weight last year and did not know how that would affect my pregnancy. I do not want to gain so much weight that it puts me and my baby in danger, but I also don’t want to restrict my eating so much that it stunts my child’s development.

1st-first-standard-sonogram-ultrasound-profileAt our sonogram last week, the sonographer said the child was developing normally. He was at the perfect measurement for his age and weigh right in the middle of the range he was supposed to be in at 27 weeks. When I brought up my concerns with the midwife who saw us, she said that we want to do our best to keep me at a healthy weight and also make sure I’m getting enough calories for the baby. She said that women only really need to eat 300 extra calories when they’re pregnant. I think that’s about how many extra calories I’m consuming- if that. I don’t feel like I’ve been eating much that much more (except for the occasional, random “OMG I CANT GET ENOUGH FOOD TO EAT” days…) and my husband agrees.

If you are concerned, check with your doctor. They will tell you if your baby is developing as it should be and what changes you need to make, if any.

5) Upper Back Pain

We all know and expect there to be lower back pain during pregnancy. We’re lugging around a big ball of love on our tummies, after all. Getting up and walking around will put a bit of strain on your lower back. However, I did not expect upper back pain at all.

As we enter our third trimester, our tummies will grow quite a bit. And to compensate for the additional weight that is growing in front of us, we change our stances and posture to keep our balance. Also, as we get closer to our due dates, our hormones cause our muscles and ligaments to relax and make room for growing the growing baby. Add in our growing breasts and it’s no surprise that we start having pain in our upper back, neck, and shoulders.

5-weird-pregnancy-symptoms-yogaThere are a few different ways you can help alleviate back pain naturally. You could try and work on your posture/stance. Here is an excellent article from Dr. Sears about improving your posture while pregnant. Another great way to help with back pain (both lower and upper) is with prenatal yoga and stretches. This blog post from Rooted for Life has great yoga stretches you can do to help alleviate back pain. You can also ask your partner for a back rub. This is my personal favorite 😛 When I’m sitting in bed with my husband, if I lean forward, my husband immediately starts rubbing my lower back. The other night, I asked him to rub my shoulders and it was amazing.

Remember, do not be afraid to share any of your concerns with your doctor. I am not a medical professional. These symptoms are all ones I have personally experienced and have shared with the midwife at my doctor’s office. If you do not feel what you are experiencing is normal or is something that is freaking you out, always let someone know. Your health and your baby’s health are extremely important.

How do you deal with your pregnancy symptoms?

Check out my work here!

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What to Expect at Your 1st Standard Ultrasound / Sonogram

what-to-expect-at-your-1st-first-standard-sonogram-ultrasoundA week ago, we had our first sonogram. For first-time mothers wondering what your first standard sonogram / ultrasound will be like, here’s how ours went.

(Did you know that the difference between an ultrasound and a sonogram are that the procedure is called an “ultrasound” and the image that is generated from the procedure is called a “sonogram?” While technically different, they are both used to reference the same procedure.)

I scheduled our sonogram the first available appointment because we had already waited so long. I called the day before to ask if there was anything I needed to do before the sonogram and they told me no. I told her I read that I needed to have a full bladder and she said that was just for earlier sonograms / ultrasounds. But she did say it would be good if I felt like I needed to pee a little. So I drank a little water on the way to our appointment. We arrived right at 9am and were taken back at around 9:15 after filling out paperwork.

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This was just a sonogram so no other check-up type things- they didn’t even weigh me. We went straight back into the room. Our sonographer was very nice. She had me lie down on the table, lift up my shirt, and unbutton my jeans. She put a towel over my jeans and into the waistband of my underwear to protect my clothes from the jelly.

For everyone who thinks the jelly will be cold, mine was not. I don’t know if this is typical but it was very nice to not have to get a sudden chill on my tummy.

Our sonographer used the magic wand on my tummy to show us our baby. My husband was sitting right next to me and held my hand the whole time because he’s very sweet and I’m so thankful he came with me. When we saw our little one for the first time, I started crying. It was a little blurry at first but the sonographer walked us through the whole process.

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She let us hear the heart beat and more tears came out. Our little one had a nice, strong, fast heart beat. Don’t be alarmed at how fast the wee one’s heart beats. It’s completely normal.

She took some measurements of our baby’s body. They are markers to make sure the fetus is developing normally. Some of the things she measured were the skull, thigh bone, arm, and looked at the heart. I looked up later that some of these markers are used to rule out Down Syndrome, though it is not entirely definitive.

Also, these measurements help determine an accurate due date.

Because we had some problems with our insurance, we didn’t get in for our first sonogram until 26 weeks. Also, because my cycle is a bit longer than the normal 28 day cycle, our due date prediction was waaaay off. We were thinking August- imagine our surprise when the sonographer said, “Huh, looks like you’re actually due at the end of June.”

Now came for the part we were anxiously awaiting- finding out the sex of our child. And our little one was being STUBBORN. Every time she swept the wand over the area, the little one’s hands were hiding everything or the legs were crossed so we couldn’t see anything.

Eventually, the sonographer said, “Oh, I see your bladder is filling up. Why don’t you go use the restroom and sometimes that puts the baby in a different position.” I thought it was a little weird she could see it but I went ahead and peed.

By the way, that towel didn’t keep the gel from getting on my underwear. Boo.

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After going to the restroom, my baby was totally in a different position, but still hiding the important bits. She took a few more measurements and said, “Don’t worry. We won’t let you leave without knowing.” Then she had me lie on my left side.

She pushed the wand pretty deep into my side, I thought. It didn’t hurt, but it was a little uncomfortable. Then she started jiggling the wand over my side trying to get the baby to move.

And move he did! It was so weird seeing him roll a little on the screen (I think he was completely annoyed). And it totally worked. She was able to see that we were having a boy!

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And she printed 3 pictures of proof for us… I think she was quite proud she got him to show himself.

We were there for about an hour total. Though it did not feel like it. It was such an amazing experience feeling him move and seeing it on the screen at the same time. We saw him suck on his thumb and close his wee hands and open them again. We saw him open and close his mouth, practicing breathing and sucking. She showed us his skull and it was both creepy and adorable. I wish we could have filmed it all. But we got a lot of pictures to take home.

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How was your first standard ultrasound / sonogram?

Check out my work here!

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Cute Pregnancy Announcements

cute-pregnancy-announcement-title While I was researching pregnancy announcements (translation= goofing off on Pinterest…), I found some I really loved. So when we announced our pregnancy and gender last week, I already had a good idea of what I wanted to do. But here are some of my favorite pregnancy announcements.

cute-pregnancy-announcement-bicycleLove the subtlety of the tricycle here. And it’s so adorable. [Source]

cute-pregnancy-announcement-nesting-dollsIf you’re thinking of sending out cards, I love this nesting doll idea! [Source]

cute-pregnancy-announcement-cowboy-bootsThere are a lot of adorable baby shoe announcements out there. I love this one because it’s so loving. [Source]

Here’s what we went with for our announcement:

cute-pregnancy-announcement-starbucks-cups

We LOVE coffee. Giving it up was the hardest thing I had to do but I still get my hot chocolate when we do go to Starbucks… Oh, and a sugar cookie. What is with their sugar cookies and how yummy they are???

How did you announce your pregnancy?

Check out my work here!

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First-Time Mommy Musings

first-time-mommy-musingsMy husband and I found out we’re expecting a little one just a few months ago. We haven’t had our first prenatal appointment yet but based off of my cycles, our wee one will arrive sometime this summer.

We’ve had a wee bit of trouble getting me on my husband’s new insurance plan but now that that’s all squared away, I’m hoping everything will progress without any other problems.

We have names picked out already. Dreams of what our child will be like. And I’m trying my best to get ready for caring for a child AND running my business from home.

It’s all scary and exciting and we can’t wait.

Thank you for joining us on our journey.