Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Pregnancy Update: 18 Weeks

Happy Tuesday! I'm back with another pregnancy update. I'm planning to share updates every 4 weeks. I know this is not of interest to many people but it's fun for me to document the pregnancy. I love looking back at posts from my pregnancy with Paul so am sure I'll read back on these some day, too. 

Baby size:  the baby is the length of a bell pepper. He's 5.5" long and weighs almost 7 oz. 

I am definitely showing way more this pregnancy. I'll be honest and say I don't love it. I know it's healthy and part of being pregnant but I just feel bulky. The photo on the left was around 18 weeks with my last pregnancy and the photo on the right is this pregnancy (the photo quality is pretty crappy but it's the best I can do in our bedroom). And my hair is very frizzy because of the humidity! As you can see, I was barely showing at this point with Paul. I know my belly size is probably more typical than my previous pregnancy. And it's normal to show earlier. It's just taking some getting use to on my part... But that said, I know I am very lucky to be pregnant and I don't ever take it for granted!

Sex of the baby: boy! It's been fun to experience the pregnancy knowing what the gender is after not knowing last time. I loved not knowing last time but it is nice to be able to picture a growing boy in my tummy. 

Symptoms/RA management:  Ugh. My RA has not been good. I was on prednisone for my last 2 flares and as soon as I tapered down to a lower dose of prednisone, I got 2 horrible flares in my right wrist and right ankle. Both made sleep difficult and work was difficult as typing is painful when your wrist hurts like heck. It is looking like I will need to stay on prednisone for this pregnancy. I was really hoping my RA would behave this time but it just isn't. :( Being on prednisone means I'll likely end up with gestational diabetes again as prednisone raises your blood sugar. So I'm dreading the extra doctor appointments/monitoring and adding 4 finger pricks/day to the 8 injections/week I've been giving myself since week 6 of the pregnancy. I am very grateful to be pregnant and to be adding to our family but I really wish that pregnancy wasn't so hard for me... 

Recent/upcoming appointments: I had my 15 week appointment 3 weeks ago. Those appointments are always so reassuring since I get to hear the heartbeat. At that appointment I did another round of prenatal screening (the alpha fetal protein test) and the results came back normal so that was another relief! I have my next appointment at 20 weeks. I'll go to a perinatal clinic for my ultrasound instead of my usual OB practice since I'm high risk between my blood clot history, RA and prednisone usage. And then I have an appointment the next day with my OB. I'm very excited for the 20 week ultrasound as you see so much at that appointment. I'll have to go alone as they are still only seeing patients due to COVID, but I understand that requirement and can FaceTime Phil in for the scan. 

Sleep:  It's hit or miss depending on my RA and stress levels. Weekend naps are LIFE. Sometimes I nap for over 2 hours which is so not like me. But clearly my body needs the rest. 

Cravings/favorite foods and aversions: I don't really have any weird cravings but I didn't with Paul either. I eat a lot of chips and salsa and pickles but those are foods I'm drawn to when I'm not pregnant! I still have aversions to most sweets, hard-boiled eggs, and yogurt. Sometimes sweets sound good to me, but it's hit or miss. 

Exercise:  Eh, not great. I was doing good with frequent walks but work has been so busy and then the RA flares make it hard to get out for walks. So I am going on long walks when I can and I will do a lot of lake swimming with Paul this summer. That's not exactly a 'workout' but it can be strenuous to pull a toddler around or jump up and down with him in the lake (he loves that!). 

Recent baby prep/decisions:  nothing. Can you tell this is a 2nd child? Ha. To be honest, we didn't do much prep for Paul either because we were house hunting and were hoping to move before he was born... So I didn't actually 'decorate' his room until this winter when he was nearing 2. And by decorate, I mean I hung some reading-themed prints over his crib. We are just not 'decorate the nursery in an elaborate manner' type of people! This is such a YOU DO YOU thing! We are glad we didn't spend much money/time decorating because he is literally only in that room to sleep! But I totally understand that most parents love to decorate the nursery.

We will eventually turn our 3rd bedroom upstairs into the baby's room but it's currently used as an office for Phil when he WFH. One of the walls is pink so I do want to get that bedroom painted. Other than that, we really don't need to buy much since we already have everything! I know the baby won't sleep in his room until he's around 3-4 months so we are thinking Paul will be ready for a big boy bed by then. So our plan is to move his crib into the baby's room. We will see how that works out. That's a long time away but he loves his crib and has never tried to climb out of it (I highly doubt he could if he tried). If he's not ready for a big boy bed, we'll just get a 2nd crib at that point.

Mood: overall my mood has been pretty good. I have less anxiety than I did in the first trimester so that is good. I'm starting to feel more excitement and we talk more about the baby with Paul so now he knows there is a baby in my tummy and will point to it. I think Phil and I will feel much better after our 20 week ultrasound since that is a big milestone. 

Maternity clothes:  I finally pulled out my maternity clothes 2 weeks ago. I felt very nervous about bringing my maternity clothes out before that. I had brought them out in October the weekend before our ultrasound and then at that appointment we found out there was no heartbeat. So I just felt super anxious about unpacking them again. 

To be clear, I was not able to wear much of my pre-pregnancy clothes starting around week 12-13 I think. But I've been living in workout clothes since I started to WFM in mid-March so I just wore the same stuff over and over again. This past weekend I went to a pregnancy consignment store to buy some summer clothes as I have no summer pregnancy clothes. I bought 15 items for $160 which is a pretty good deal! Pregnancy clothes are so dang expensive so I couldn't stomach paying full price for things that I will only wear for the next couple of months. 

This before (left) and after (right) photo isn't very impressive, but I did pack away a ton of clothes. I don't think I will wear most of the stuff I wore with Paul since we won't be going out on dates or to holiday parties, etc and I don't have to dress up for work. But I wanted to at least see what my options are. I can't wait to sell all this stuff to the consignment store after the baby is born because we are 100% done having kids after this pregnancy. 

18 weeks down, 21 to go! 


missris said...

I love reading these and I'm super excited for y'all! Fingers crossed that your RA flares let up a bit soon!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I bought minimal maternity clothes too. I was lucky with Adeline that I pretty much bought 4 pairs of black capris, and 1 blue pair and that with workouts horts was my main wardrobe ha! I did have to buy a couple shirts to get through the summer but I just wore it over and over again. We also haven't hung anything on the walls since we re painted last August. Except in Isla's room. We moved her bedroom furniture around in March and decided to re hang stuff then. But everything else is still sitting in storage in the basement. I need a decorator.

Grateful Kae said...

Fun update!! Sounds like overall you are hanging in there really well. The lake nearby must be great- at least its a way to cool off in this heat!

I definitely did way more prep with my first, too. We DID do the nursery thing- blue walls and then a froggy theme which turned out very cute. But at that time, when my second was born, we actually didn't have another room for him, so they kind of shared (though baby was in our room a while). It wasn't until we bought our house when my youngest was 3 that they first got their own rooms.

I don't miss maternity clothes either. I was way bigger with my second too, I think. More than "bigger", I just gained more weight in weird places (especially in my legs...lovely). My 2nd was a significantly bigger baby too though than my first, ironically as well. He still is a bit bigger kiddo than my peanut sized oldest son. :-)

Marlys said...

I, too, live the baby blogs as most Grandmas would! I'm so fortunate to have a grandbaby on the way as it's the frosting on the cake of life!

katielookingforward said...

Your last sentence was the best, because the whole time i was wondering if #2 would be the end. What a bummer about the flares, but I think swimming is a great way to get a little movement in this heat! I was fairly active in june, but it has largely stopped. Last night I finally convinced myself to get out the door at 7pm, and its looking like it'll be 7:30 pm before I go on a walk tonight.

Jeanie said...

I love your updates, though the flares are really disturbing and frustrating, I know. But glad all else is well.

Gracie said...

Ah! You look totally cute! You definitely make a cute pregnant mom, not that that is important of course, but it's an added bonus ;-) I am totally on board with limited pregnancy clothes. I bought a few pieces for work and just forced myself to rotate them to save money, although I was SO sick of them by the end. I really liked using a belly band to extend the life of my pants - I got one with a silicone strip on the bottom, so it wouldn't slip, and I could mostly wear my regular pants that way. This was nice because I bought 2 or 3 pairs of pregnancy pants and I HATED them! But since you are WFH maybe you can get away with leggings!
I'm really sorry about your RA flares. I have a pregnant RA patient right now who is struggling a lot and I was thinking about you when I talked to her yesterday. She's flaring right now and ramping prednisone back up. I wish it was easier for you! I hope you get some relief soon. You're a trouper.

Stephany said...

I love pregnancy updates! And I think you should document as much as you want - your blog, your rules! :)

I'm sorry your RA has been so difficult. That has to be so frustrating to deal with! You're a trooper for handling it. <3

Abby said...

A pregnancy consignment store? Man, I need to see if AZ has one of those! What day is your US this week?? Keep me posted. You're half way there!!!

I think you look super cute. But I can understand the discomfort already, of just not feeling like yourself.

I have food aversions to sweets, too! Especially anything chocolate. And coffee! Who would have thought I would ever be adverse to coffee? I used to seriously put down probably 1 pot/day. Now I look at it, and I just about start to dry heave.

I kind of feel like I had a food aversion to everything right now, actually :( Nothing really sounds "good". But then once I start eating it, I'm like "okay...I can get this down". Hard for me because I've always been such a foodie!!!! I look forward to getting that trait back.

That's so fun that Paul is starting to understand you have a baby growing :)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

That's a really good price for 15 pieces of maternity clothing. Glad to hear you have less anxiety with this pregnancy :-)