Friday, November 3, 2017

Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks

Happy Friday! I'm back with another pregnancy update.

Baby size:  The baby is about 11" long and weighs about a pound. According to the Babycenter website, it's the size of a spaghetti squash. The fruit/vegetable comparisons do not make sense to me, though. Last week it was the size of a banana, now it's a spaghetti squash?? I was thinking they must be comparing the length of the baby to the fruit or vegetable but it still doesn't make all that much sense to me!

Sex of the baby:  I'm sticking with my decision to not find out. Phil still kind of wants to know so at our 20 week ultrasound appointment we had the technician put the sex in an envelop for Phil. Our agreement is that Phil won't tell me if he opens it or not so I won't ever know if he did in fact find out the sex. We had friends over on Monday and they asked if he had opened it and he said he hadn't so maybe he'll stay team green with me - although he could have just been saying he hadn't opened it since he's not supposed to tell me if he did!

Symptoms/RA management:  My RA still sucks. I'm pretty much getting flares every week now. Some are minor, some are awful and force me to stay home from work for a day. Unfortunately the perinatal specialist we saw did not have any advice and said to just work with my Rheumatologist. My Rheum has told me that we've exhausted all of our options and I just need to stay on a low dose of steroids and increase it when I get flares. There is one more drug we could add in, but it carries a risk of liver issues so she doesn't want me to go on it. Plus it could take 2-3 months to become effective and then I'd have to go off it when the baby is born as it's not safe for breast feeding. I totally underestimated how difficult it would be to manage a chronic illness while pregnant.

Other than my RA issues, I'm feeling pretty good. I have started to have low back pain which is surprising as my bump isn't that big. But I guess the muscles in that area have adjusted to accommodate a growing baby. I'm going to continue to get monthly massage so hopefully those will help.

Recent/upcoming appointments: We had our 20 week ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and it went great. The baby looked healthy and they said the weight was 80th percentile so that was good to hear as low birth weight is one of the risks of steroid use. We also found out I have an anterior placenta - which means the placenta is in the front. That explains why I'm not feeling much movement as moms with an anterior placenta feel movement later than others.

I had my 22 week prenatal appointment yesterday and that went well. I really really love my OB and am so glad that I switched back to my previous practice. My belly is measuring on track which was reassuring as I've received several "wow, you aren't showing much!" comments.

Sleep:  Sleep has been a bit better lately and I slept especially well when we were in Asheville. I'm accepting that I am just going to be more tired during this pregnancy. Some women feel more energetic during their 2nd trimester but that hasn't been the case for me. My RA and all the flares are likely the culprit for feeling extra tired as flares just wear me out. Most weekends I need to take a nap on both days. I'm still getting up 2-3 times a night to go the bathroom which is super annoying!

Cravings and favorite foods: Pickles are the only thing that stand out in my mind. I also find that I am super thirsty for water.

Exercise:  I'm still taking it very easy due to all the flares. I'm working on accepting the fact that I won't have the active pregnancy that I envisioned. It's out of my control due to my RA but I do feel guilty and wonder how the lower level of activity is going to impact my birth and recovery but since I can't do anything about it, I need to just accept it.

Recent baby prep/decisions/purchases:  Our Amazon registry is pretty much finished. I am sure I'll add things going forward but I think we've registered for everything we need. This weekend I am buying a second hand Halo Bassinet from someone off of Facebook. I am glad I was able to find it second hand as they are not cheap (retails for $200, I got it for $125 and she's throwing in 3 sets of sheets).

We have decided use cloth diapers (this is a "you do you" thing - I totally understand why many opt to use disposable diapers, but we've decided that cloth makes sense for us!). We have several different kinds on our registry but I ended up buying 4 cloth diapers as there was a really good warehouse sale (shout out to my friend Emilie for letting me know about it!). We'll use disposables until the baby will fit in the "one size" diapers which fit babies when they are around 10 pounds. So we'll use disposables for the first month or so - unless the baby takes after me and is 10 pounds at birth (please let this not be the case!!).

Our next big purchase will be a glider. Phil's mom offered to purchase this for us which was very generous of her as gliders are not cheap! But Phil does go out to her house every weekend to help her out so I know this is her way of thanking us/paying us back for all of his hard work. I have a glider in mind but I want to go to a show room and try out the different options before we order one.

Another decision we made was about child care. We toured 4 daycares in the first trimester and have opted to go with a Spanish Immersion Daycare that is between our neighborhood and where we work downtown. The couple we are best friends with take their son there and have been very happy with it and it stood out as our favorite place of the 4 we toured. They aren't able to confirm when they will have a spot available but we are just going to trust that it will work out. Worst case scenario, we will hire a nanny for a month or so if they don't have a spot open when I return to work in July. This obviously means that I am planning to go back to work full time after the baby is born. I am fortunate and get 18 weeks of maternity leave (10 of which are paid) plus 2 weeks (paid) before the due date. This is very generous compared to what most US companies offer! A lot of my friends have to go back around 12 weeks so I am very grateful that I will have 6 more weeks at home with our baby.

Mood: I will be honest and say I do not love being pregnant. I feel some guilt over this as I feel like I'm supposed to be enjoying it. Maybe if I didn't have active RA I might be able to enjoy it more? I am very grateful to be pregnant and I can't wait to meet our baby in March but I can't say I enjoy being pregnant.

Maternity clothes: I've packed away all of my pre-maternity pants. I am carrying so low so it's not comfortable to use the belly band with my pre-maternity pants. I can still wear some of my pre-maternity dresses as long as they have some stretch to them, like the one I'm wearing in the picture below.

Both pictures were taken when I was around 20 weeks. I haven't taken any pictures since then!

Reading:  I'm still slowly working my way through "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." My goal is to read the newborn sleep section and then pass it off to Phil so he can read about sleep training and such. I kind of doubt he'll read it before the baby is born, though. The next book I want to read is "The Happiest Baby on the Block." I've heard it's really good. We'll also probably check the video out from the library as I've heard that it does a great job of demonstrating how to soothe a baby.


Charbelle said...

I'm glad that you are back with the OB you feel comfortable with! I'm also thankful to hear that the baby is measuring healthy! You really look fabulous!!! I think because you're tall with a longer torso you are not as noticeably pregnant. My SIL never got big until around 38 weeks. I love the immersion daycare, I truly think that is such a phenomenal opportunity for baby Segner!!! Second hand is the way to go when it comes to baby stuff!!! Whenever I hear of a need I go to the Goodwill down in Ballantyne because inevitably I find high-end baby goods there!

Marlys said...

I agree with Lori regarding the fact that you are tall and have a long torso, so won't show as much as short people, It always irks me when I hear people comment on how much a person shows! Each person is different and also depends on how much weight you gain! I know people who were so large and had a 6 pound baby, so that isn't good either! The less weight I gained in my pregnancies, the easier it was to get back to "normal"! During one of my pregnancies I gained 20 pounds total and had a 9 lb 3 0z baby! But when I was expecting you, people asked if I had my suitcase packed when I was 7 months along! You were big!
I hope you can enjoy the next months of your pregnancy, as the last month or two is more uncomfortable as the baby grows! Hang in there!

missris said...

Aww I love reading these updates :) I'm glad you're healthy-ish and are approaching this new adventure with a "know yourself" approach. I think that's so smart!

Nora said...

I'm so sorry about the flares. That's just the pits, no other way to describe it. That's great that you're able to take 18 weeks off total and that you have your daycare picked, too. That must be a relief.

Stephany said...

I don't blame you for not enjoying pregnancy! It cannot be fun to have all those flares and when you're not having a flare, you're probably worrying about your NEXT flare. That doesn't bode well for a trouble-free pregnancy.

That's awesome that you get to take 18 weeks off work for your maternity leave. That's unheard of in the US, so I'm glad you'll get some copious time with the baby before you have to go back to work!

Amber said...

I need to get back to reading some of the baby books I have. I said I would do that during the beginning of maternity leave but haven't started yet, I should still have some time though :) I also just recently got The Happiest Baby on the Block so I think I might start with that one as I've heard it's all about the 4th trimester and the time when baby really does need to be held / fed on demand and less on a schedule - which I've also heard is the most challenging time for lots of new parents!

I think you look great and your bump is super cute! Everyone carries so so differently and regardless of how "big" or "small" you think you look now you will be amazed when you get to the end and look back on pictures and see how much you've grown!

Wish those dang flares would go away for you already, such a frustrating thing to deal with. Still, yay for being over halfway there now! I remember the 22ish week period well, it feels like forever ago and not that long ago all at once.

Carolina John said...

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with RA issues on an ongoing basis. Being pregnant is hard enough mentally and physically. You're growing emotions that weren't there before, and having to deal with RA flares on top of that must be enough to send you over the edge. I can't imagine. Kelley also did not like being pregnant and I doubt that our marriage would survive another pregnancy either because it was so difficult for both of us.

18 weeks of maternity leave is amazing. So is getting paid. Outside of the year that Amber gets under the Canadian system, that may be the longest I've heard of. Kelley got 12 weeks with both of our kids, I owned my own business when they were born so I only got a matter of hours before going back to work.

Hi, I'm Marty said...

Wow! You must feel really anxious to know the sex of your child; that must not be easy. Does that mean, that you've been purchasing unisex items for your baby bean?

Have a great weekend!
The Fitness Bro

katielookingforward said...

I don't blame you for not loving the pregnancy process. I don't think I will enjoy that part either when my time comes. So much uncertainty! I hope for nothing but the best for you and your family, the daycare sounds awesome, and how great that you get such generous leave!!

Shoshanah said...

18 weeks is crazy awesome! I took 10 both times and it’s hard to even imagine doing twice that.

We did cloth diapers the first time and I really loved them. Although due to so much craziness didn’t do them the second, but would still recommend going that way. People definitely thought I was crazy for doing it, but I had fun with it and that they were too adorable to pass up.

As for books I did read Happiest Baby and recommend it. Besides books about giving birth I also read Breastfeeding Made Simple, which I’d recommend. A lot of it felt like common sense, but there were still a lot of useful tips in there.

Leigh said...

So glad that your ultrasound went well and baby was looking good! I don’t blame you for not enjoying pregnancy when you’ve had so many flares.

Jeanie said...

Why should you enjoy gaining weight, feeling extra exhausted, kicked up RA flares and baby kicks? It's beautiful, yes (and so are you) but nothing to feel guilty about not loving being pregnant. What counts is loving the baby that arrives and exists because you love and care for it, help him or her grow and be a wonderful person like you are. That's what matters. Do not feel guilt. You feel enough as is, with excitement, love and the physical symptoms. Let the guilt go.

She harped, vociferously.

And I love hearing your updates. The day care sounds cool, you look fabulous and I love hearing your plans.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I had to google the size thing and here is what I found: Get a sense of your baby's approximate length and weight... So really it's only length and weight; I think I was picturing shape as well. For instance, how could it be shaped like a banana and then a spaghetti squash!!? It went from skinny to round? But from what I glean from that website, it's just that the weight increased, as I am not too sure what size of spaghetti squash Baby S currently resembles, but if it's a small one, it may not be that much longer than a banana!

On a not totally related but kind of related note, I just started watching Call the Midwives, which was a great book, and it's really good so far! It definitely makes me think of how lucky we are these days to have some of the information and options available to us. Also, of course, it's set in the East End of London which was not the best conditions, so we are also privileged in that way!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I mean I walked maybe 5 times my whole pregnancy and I had a very easy recovery. I think a lot of it will depend on how fast the baby makes its entrance and how the delivery goes down more than anything. I was out of shape and had gained about 20ish pounds and was able to push for 2 and a half hours and not be too worn down at that time after being in labor all day. Your body does amazing things, as does your mind, when you know it will end. That's what I reminded myself the whole time. This cannot last forever. You got this. And randomly watching crappy tv through half opened eyes hahaha.

San said...

I am so sorry you're dealing with so many RA flares. No wonder you can't really enjoy the pregnancy... (although I heard that this experience is different for everyone, apparently, but I guess if you're dealing with discomforts/other health issues while being pregnant, it's not really that much fun).
Glad to hear that everything is looking good with the babe though :)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I look forward to these updates :-) I was wondering if Phil had found out the sex, and was going to ask. The envelope idea is great! I wonder if he'll look!? :-)

Sorry to hear about all the RA flares; I can totally understand why you are not enjoying being pregnant. Totally brutal.

Cherry Blossoms said...

We read both of those books (enjoyed them) and yah... Elle was her creature of habit with sleep! lol