Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I Will Praise You.

This last week has been hard. I'm not ready yet to go into detail, but it was just a really hard week. For me, for Jon... just tough.

A few days ago I pinned this image:

It has brought me comfort. Today, I read the entirety of Psalm 22. I was curious about the context.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
    Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.
Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you,
    and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
    They trusted in you and were never disgraced.
But I am a worm and not a man.
    I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
    They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
    Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
    let the Lord rescue him!”
Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
    and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
    You have been my God from the moment I was born.
11 Do not stay so far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and no one else can help me.

12 My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
    fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13 Like lions they open their jaws against me,
    roaring and tearing into their prey.
14 My life is poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
    melting within me.
15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
    My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.

    You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
    an evil gang closes in on me.
    They have pierced[a] my hands and feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
    My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18 They divide my garments among themselves
    and throw dice[b] for my clothing.
19 Lord, do not stay far away!
    You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

20 Save me from the sword;
    spare my precious life from these dogs.
21 Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
    and from the horns of these wild oxen.
22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.[c]
    I will praise you among your assembled people.
23 Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
    Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
    Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
    He has not turned his back on them,
    but has listened to their cries for help.
25 I will praise you in the great assembly.
    I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied.
    All who seek the Lord will praise him.
    Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27 The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
    All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28 For royal power belongs to the Lord.
    He rules all the nations.
29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
    Bow before him, all who are mortal,
    all whose lives will end as dust.
30 Our children will also serve him.
    Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
    They will hear about everything he has done.*
I love how this follows David's thought process. He doesn't say, "God, I know logically that you're there; but right now it sure doesn't feel like it!" No. It starts from where David is, right that second. David is crying out for help from a God he can't see right then. He feels lost. He feels abandoned. He doesn't qualify what he's feeling; he allows himself to feel it. And only AFTER that does he bring himself back, remind himself of this God that he's calling out to; reminds himself of who this God is, what this God has done. And he sees the faithfulness of God, the goodness of God, the praiseworthiness of this God. And then he praises him. Ah, to be like David. I'm getting there. But it's a process.

I know it's kinda long. I don't normally post stuff like this. But I wanted to share this with you. Reading this psalm made me think of the Newsboys' song "When The Tears Fall."

It's been a rough week. But God, by his grace, has been continually leading me back to him, reminding me of who he is. I am so thankful for my God, so thankful for my James. So sad that he is gone... But I will still praise God.

*New Living Translation

Friday, November 7, 2014

I'm Not All Right, I'm Broken Inside.

"Missing you comes in waves, and tonight, I'm drowning."

I am drowning. Being buried alive. Burned from the inside out. These memories of you, they won't stop coming. I can't fight back; I can't even defend myself. I am beaten down, blow after blow after blow. And I don't know that I want it to stop. These memories, they're all I have of you anymore. And every hit, every knock out brings me just a little closer to you.

I want to die. Not in a morbid, I'm-going-to-commit-suicide way, but in an I-need-to-see-you-again-and-that's-the-only-way-I-can way.

I can't do it. I can't not have my baby. I can't live without you. I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't. It hurts too much. It sucks. I don't want to feel the pain any more, and I don't want to be without you. I need you. I need my sweet little James. I need my arms to be full, my heart to be whole again. Everything hurts when you're gone. Paradise, lost. I had you for such a short time, and now I have to live for such a long time without you and the pain is killing me. I guess I don't mind that. I'll just get to see you sooner.

I'm sorry I didn't save you. I'm sorry you had to die. I'm so, so, so sorry. I wish I had gone to the hospital Friday night when you were so active. I should have read the signs. That was a warning, wasn't it? I'm sorry I didn't hear you. I'm sorry I didn't listen.

I. Hate. This.

p.s. please don't comment something about how God will be there for me, how there's a plan, how it'll get better. because yes, i know all those things, and no, they won't help right now. just let me hurt. let me cry. don't try to make it better. you can't. my baby is dead, and kind words won't bring him back. i know you'd mean well. i know you want to help. just...not tonight.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Do All My Best Thinking...

In the shower. Don't we all?

Tonight (as every night) I was thinking about my Jamesy, and I had, what I think, is a profound thought.

A lot of people try to console me by saying there was a reason my James died. And while I agree with them, I think the focus should be on there was a reason James lived. Because God gave him to me for a reason, knowing that he would die. So while his death is important, and sort of defines him, his life should even more so.

And this thought was kind of re-enforced in my mind when I had this thought: The reason Jesus died was to save us, but the reason he lived was to be an example. To show us how to love, how to be righteous, how to pray, how to obey God... how to die. And what an example he was!

I had never really thought about this side of the coin in so many words. I had come to the conclusion that there was a reason God gave me James, knowing his time here would be so short. I took comfort in the fact that God's will was for James to die so young, for him to be taken from me--knowing how much I wanted that baby, how much I prayed for him, how hard we tried for him, having the IUI work on the first time, etc--making his life that much more important. But I had never really put two and two together before.

I'm tired. Maybe I'm just rambling, but I needed to get these thoughts out. I want to flesh them out a bit sometime, but this will do for now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Been A Month Already...

It's been a month--almost to the minute--since I've seen and held my baby boy for the first and last time. Every single day I wish for those moments again, the few hours I got to see my son. It seems cruel that those minutes were so short that I count them every week, every "anniversary." I had from 7:11 pm until about 10:35 pm. That's it. Two hundred and forty minutes with my baby... well, with his body. He wasn't really there. Even so, my arms ache to hold him again, even if it is just like the only other time I held him; even if he isn't really there... but I can never get that back.

Nor can I ever feel those kicks, the hiccups, the flutters of his fingers. I will never feel him, ever again. That thought, those realizations, they break my heart.

I don't think this will be a long post... I just need to vent, to let things out, to let them flow out of my mind, through my fingers, and away. But I also don't ever want to forget how I'm feeling right now. I have this curse-slash-blessing thing going where I want to LIVE, to FEEL every moment; to enjoy the good and embrace the bad. I loved every second of being pregnant, and I lived in the moment during the entire thing... and that has been a huge comfort to me in the aftermath of all this crap. But I don't want to run from the pain, to ignore how I feel. I want to embrace that, too, and remember it... partly because it seems like it's part of James, now. Maybe that doesn't make sense, and maybe it's an awful thing to think. But it seems like that sorrow is part of James. Just like that joy of being pregnant was part of him, too. I don't ever want to lose the memories of either the joy or the pain, or I feel like I'll have lost part of James. ...I probably sound crazy right now...

I'm not saying I have to mourn for forever in order to remember James. I certainly don't feel the ecstasy I felt while I was pregnant. I won't have to feel so sad to keep his memory alive. But I don't want to FORGET how I feel, either... and now I'm just saying the same things over and over again.

I miss my baby. Nothing will ever change that. And I'll love him, always. This journey of healing is a long one. Maybe I'll pretend that by embracing the good and the bad I'm really just embracing my little James... holding him close. Because he died, I need to live, to experience. But not just in a passive way. I need to live and experience in an active way.

Does any of this make sense to anyone? Probably not, but I suppose it doesn't really matter. These are just my thoughts, I'm not trying to write for anyone else tonight. Maybe I'll look back in a year and have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about right now, but it's helpful to me in the moment, and that's the most important thing.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

This Is What Happens When I Just Start Writing... I Had No Idea I'd End Up There.

Are you okay? How are you doing?

I hear these two questions multiple times every day. 

And my answer truly is, " Yeah, I'm doing okay." 

I hesitated to write this post, because I don't want people to think I'm lying, putting on a face, or even bragging. This is the honest truth. I am doing okay.

Now, I'm not great. I don't feel wonderful. I am not all sunshine and rainbows. But you know what? I'm also not Scrooge; I'm not depressed; I don't spend all my time lying around and crying. Maybe just lying around...

So many people are, I think, worried that my husband and I aren't handling the death of James well, but in fact, we're doing pretty darn good, given the circumstances. Yes, we cry (or at least I do). Yes, sometimes I'm sad and wish James were here. Some moments are definitely harder than others. And I hardly ever stop thinking about him. But most of the time, we go about our daily lives just fine. Not as robots or automatons, but consciously, like normal people do.

You see, Jon and I don't mourn like "those who have no hope." This parting, however painful it seems now, however long it feels to us, is really just a fleeting moment in light of eternity. Jon and I both know we're going to heaven when we die, and we know James is there now. So, really, very soon we'll be able to see our baby again.

My dad has been preaching in the book of Revelation, going through the whole book verse by verse. The last couple weeks he talked about the Millennial Reign. There's too much to go into detail, but one of the verses he spoke on talks about how more than we ever could imagine will happen (during the Thousand Year Reign), and that gives me hope that maybe, one day, I'll get to not only see my James again (oh joy eternal at that idea alone) but that maybe I'll get to see him grow up (cue happy tears). I really hope that maybe I will.

So, every day that passes is one day closer to seeing James again.

But sometimes that just isn't enough. It's HARD to lose your baby before he's even taken a breath. But oh, the people he managed to touch even so! As my sister put it, his "branches have touched so many." The little girl I used to nanny got saved. I know of another who is seeking God because of what happened with James and seeing the strength and grace that God has so obviously poured out on Jon and me. My family has gotten even closer than we were before. Jon and I are closer to each other. There is so much pure good that has happened. God can, of course, make good come out of any circumstance, but it seems like so much more; it seems like this was James' purpose. And I have full faith in God that his death was part of God's plan; that it was not "just something that happened" but that it was an important part in God's symphony.
My sister's friend gave this Bonzai tree to my sister, to remind her of James. It was because of this tree that my sister thought of how James' "branches have touched so many." I just love the analogy.

But knowing all these things... I don't think just knowing them would have made this cross of mine easier to bear. No. All the glory, all the praise for how well Jon and I are doing through all of this... that's all God's. HE has been so present in our lives. HE has given us grace to wake up in the morning, grace to make it through each day, grace to sleep at night. GOD is the one who is holding our hands, leading us on, giving us hope, even through all our sorrow and pain. And there is a lot of sorrow and pain. But it's not unending. We haven't given up hope. Someday we will hold our own baby, one we get to keep here on this earth with us for a little while. I have full faith in that. I am still scared. What if I miscarry? What if the baby is stillborn again, or worse, what if we get to see that little baby grow up and start to bloom, only to have God take it away again, too soon, by our human standards? What if, what if, what if. But even through all this, we are comforted. We'll have our baby, some day. And we will cherish it, and love it, and hold loosely, for things are fleeting.

I always wondered how Job could say, "The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away; blessed be the name of the LORD." I know, now. Because we as believers will always have the GRACE and MERCY of the Lord, even when things are hard and when they don't make sense. Even in the face of great trial.

I gave my son up unwillingly; how much harder it must have been for God, who must have loved His perfect Son more than I could even imagine loving James, to give His Son up willingly. How much He must love you and me! I have but one prayer: that because of James, because he died, that you might finally see God and accept His love and mercy. That you might acknowledge your sin, acknowledge that you deserve death in Hell and turn to the living God for forgiveness, for everlasting life in heaven with James and Jon and me. We would so love to see you there.

If you have questions about how to get that chance, to see James in person for real some day, to see him alive and happy and ...perfect... please, don't hesitate to ask me, ask a pastor, ask a friend. Because this... this is more important than the life of my son. This was the reason that he died. The reason Jesus died. Don't let those deaths be in vain.

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29, 2014

There are really no words that could accurately describe how I'm feeling today. Tired. Sad. Reluctant. Devastated. Brokenhearted. Weepy.Overwhelmed. Like I can't do this. Today is going to suck.

I don't want to put my tiny little James in the ground. I want him here. I want my baby. My arms ache to hold him; my lips ache to kiss him; my eyes ache to see him. My heart aches to be near him. All the discomforts of labor, delivery, and the post partum period are nothing compared to this all-consuming pain.

And yet I have comfort. I have comfort in the pictures that Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep so graciously provided for us. I have comfort in the memories I have of him; of those 41 weeks with my baby that I cherished so fully. I have comfort in my husband and family. But most of all, I have comfort in the God of the universe; that He cares for me and can bring good out of any situation, no matter how awful; that He, too, lost a Son; that He will give me strength to get through this day, and the next, and the next.

Oh, my baby, if you could only be here with me for a little while longer! If only your daddy could hold you for a moment! We love you so much, James. Someday we will see you again. Someday we will get to know you; to hold you; to show you our love for you. Until then, you are safe in the arms of Jesus and I entrust you to Him. Jesus, please hold my little James close!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 41

There is only one thing I have to say today, and that is this: I am STILL pregnant. That's it. That's the update. Nothing at all has changed. Except...

I had an ultrasound today. Everything looked great, except that the amniotic fluid levels were on the low end of normal. (Normal is between 7 and 20; I was at 7.9.) Therefore, I have another ultrasound on Friday to check the levels again. I'm not sure if they'll want to induce me if they're lower; I'm guessing it will depend on how much lower they are.

Also, I had a teeny tiny bit of blood once when I wiped today (no cervical exam, so it wasn't from that). That's new. Never had that before. My doula said it's a good sign, and I could go into labor soon, but I've felt no different otherwise.

Baby has been SUPER wiggly lately. Lots of movement all the time, it seems. I am thoroughly loving it, especially knowing that I won't get to feel it from INSIDE much longer. The birthing of this baby is very imminent...

Oh, and at the ultrasound they estimated that Baby weighs 7 lbs. 2 oz., which seems like a good size to me. Although I'm not really *counting* on that number, since they have rather a penchant for being off-base on weight guesses.

Anyway, I'm hoping there won't be a "Pregnant After IUI: Week 42" update, but you never know... we'll have to wait and see!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 40

August 13th. This day seemed so far away, way back in November when I counted out the weeks to see when my due date would be if the IUI took. And now it's here, and almost gone, and I can't even believe it. Such an amazing journey this pregnancy has been, and will continue to be, I'm sure.

I think Baby dropped a bit today, which is super exciting because before Baby was riding so high, I was half-way convinced Baby would never come out. The midwife I saw today guessed that Baby wasn't much bigger than right around 8 pounds, so that's good news. Heart beat sounded great, and Theresa, my mother-in-law, who is visiting from San Diego, came with and was able to hear it. So that was really nice. =]

I've been trying to ...encourage... labor, lately. Yesterday and today I took hot showers in the morning, went for a long walk yesterday and a shorter one today, and am drinking red raspberry leaf tea. I also did some nipple stimulation, and never got any contractions... but Baby dropped today, so that's good.

Still not uncomfortable. Still no indigestion or hip or back pain. I don't really even *feel* pregnant... other than the baby moving around in there. And having a massive belly. Otherwise, I honestly feel great. I don't know how that's even possible at this stage... Also, despite my complete inability to "just say no" to anything laden with sugar (think ice cream, donuts, chocolate milk, etc) I have only gained 20 pounds this pregnancy, about which I'm super happy.

I'm looking forward to meeting this baby, and seeing Jon take on his new role as a father. However, Baby can come when Baby is ready. I just hope that's soon. =]

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 39

You guys, I don't think this baby is EVER going to come. Not because I'm antsy to get this baby out and time feels like it's going slowly, but because this baby seems VERY comfortable in there. I've had no signs of labor yet. No nesting, no mucus plug, no bloody show, no contractions, very VERY little cramping... Baby hasn't even dropped yet! At this rate, I'll be pregnant for another month or more! (I know, I know, they won't let me go past 42 weeks, but let's be honest... that might as well be a year.)

Baby is growing well. At my midwife appointment on Tuesday (gosh, was that only yesterday?) the midwife guessed Baby to be close to 7 1/2 pounds, although she said it can be hard to tell, and not to put too much stock in it. I'm not worried. Baby's heart "beep" was in the upper 130s, which is perfect, and Baby was moving around, trying to get away from the doppler, lol. Little stinker.

My symptoms are the same as ever. Mild indigestion occasionally (there were a couple nights where it was fairly bad, but the ACV took care of it quickly). I've been really tired (gee, I wonder why), but it seems like my irritability/emotional episodes haven't been as bad. Or maybe I'm used to them? I dunno. Either way. My hands and feet have been swollen, but not absurdly so.

Baby's movements have changed some. I feel a lot fewer kicks and sharp movements, and a lot more of the there's-a-butt-pressing-up-under-my-boob or it-feels-like-there-are-bubbles-from-hands-near-my-hips type of thing. Sometimes I don't even notice them and I start to panic... but that's nothing unusual.

My hips, knees, and ankles have been hurting a bit more than previously, especially while I'm sleeping and not moving around much. My back also gets sore standing in one place for too long (like 5 minutes).

I can't say I've had crazy cravings this pregnancy, but I CAN say I've had consistent cravings... for ice cream. Oh man, I want ice cream. But not like a bowl of ice cream at home... I want a blizzard from Dairy Queen, or a shake from Culver's, or a sugar cone from the Village Scoop. Donuts will do in a pinch.

What else... I feel like there are still things I want to do before the baby comes, but if Baby were to come tonight, I'd be okay with that, too. I don't think we'll get everything done, and most of it isn't essential to Baby right at first, anyway. I think the major stuff is taken care of, really. I hope...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 38

*Insert obligatory disbelief statement here.*

38 weeks feels insane. Baby is pretty much ready for birth, gaining just a few ounces a week, and not much in length any more. Hair and nails keep growing, though! The vernix is starting to disappear, as is the lanugo, the super fine body hair. Now we're just waiting for that cocktail of hormones to signal labor!

I feel... conflicted. I am more or less ready to have this baby... and yet I am so completely not ready at all. I feel like there's a lot to do yet to get ready, although nothing too major, and I don't feel "done" being pregnant. I'm still not uncomfortable or exhausted mentally. I feel good most of the time. I do notice that I get overwhelmed really easily, and tend to not handle upset very well, but for the most part I feel really good. I don't have pelvic pressure, indigestion, pinched nerves or anything else like that. Having said all that, I would LOVE for Baby to be here before my mother-in-law comes to visit in a couple weeks (I know she'd love it, too!) and I can't wait to meet my baby. At the same time, I know life is going to change so much and I'm not entirely sure I'm quite ready for that change... So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm ready whenever Baby decides to come, but I'm not overdone.

I have, however, been trying some labor induction techniques. I made a big jar of red raspberry leaf tea, sweetened it, added a bit of lemon extract, and refrigerated it. Now I just need to start drinking it... lol. Also, I got some evening primrose oil that I've been using each night, and I've spent (a little) time on my exercise/birthing ball, trying to get my hips moving and Baby to move down.

My success with these measures is not certain, yet. I have been having more cramping (it feels like I'm getting my period) and I've had more, and looser, stools these last 2 days or so, indicating my body is "prepping" for labor a bit. I haven't had a cervical exam since 36 weeks, when I was just a "fingertip" dilated (the midwife wanted to make sure Baby was head down). I don't plan on doing cervical exams much, so I won't really know how "ripe" my cervix is. That isn't always the best indication, anyway, of when labor will start or how long it will take.

We got the crib mattress yesterday! That's a huge relief. There is one more box we're waiting to get, and then I think I should be able to finish getting the nursery "ready" for Baby. We need to rearrange our bedroom so the bassinet can fit next to my side of the bed, and I need to organize a few things around the house. I would like to do some freezer meals, but right now we don't have room in the freezer for them, so they'll have to wait. I'm still not feeling very motivated to get things done, even though I want them to be done. I guess we'll see. Maybe I'll start nesting soon. My mom told me to call her when I start deep-cleaning the house, and she'll meet me at the hospital, ha ha.

I can't wait to meet Baby and see what s/he looks like, but I'm also totally soaking in these last few moments of pregnancy. I'm going to be sad when it's over. I'm sure the reward of having a baby will make it better, but it will still be sad to be done with this chapter of my life. I've wanted it for so long, and I've loved it so much. Not many people can say that. It sure has been a blessing to me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 37

How can I possibly be FULL TERM? Wasn't it just like a month ago I was only 8 weeks pregnant and couldn't believe that summer would ever get here, let alone the end of July? And now look! Summer is halfway over, and I could have a baby any day now! That's both exciting AND terrifying! Although at my midwife appointment yesterday she said that I seem really calm for a first time mom, so that's kinda nice.

Baby's lungs are continuing to mature, and Baby could be nearing around 7 pounds. Other than putting on fat and getting ready to breathe, Baby is mostly just hanging around in there. At 37 weeks, there isn't much Baby needs to do! From this point on, Baby will only gain a few ounces a week... thank goodness!

As for me, I feel like I'm never going to go into labor... not because I'm uncomfortable or feel done with being pregnant, but because I'm so NOT uncomfortable and am feeling perfectly happy still being pregnant. I mean, I really want to meet this baby, and with my mother-in-law coming to visit around my due date, it would be great to have a baby to show off (and get her help and expertise with!), but if it weren't for those things, I feel like I'd be fine going past 40 weeks. There's still stuff to do to get ready, and besides being tired and having a hard time getting up from the couch and out of the car, I'm really rather enjoying things, still.

I've had to use ACV for indigestion like 3 times this week, which is like nothing. I HAVE been more irritable/hormonal/grumpy/emotional lately. Like, the other day I was in the shower and had forgotten to grab a wash cloth to wash my face, so I tried calling Jon a couple times to grab me one, but he didn't hear me. So I'm standing in the shower trying not to cry because I don't have a wash cloth. True story. I was so mad and upset over it I could barely handle it emotionally.

I have had more Braxton Hicks contractions, and some mild low cramping, but nothing resembling real, or even false, labor. (Except for last week, but I think I talked about that in last week's blog...)

So, as I mentioned earlier, I had my 37 week midwife appointment yesterday. My belly measured at 40 cm. Last week it was only at 37 cm, meaning my belly/baby grew 3 cm this week! No wonder my skin was hurting! It was from being stretched! Baby was doing great, heart rate was 138 bpm.

I think that's pretty much it as far as this week goes. We placed the last 2 orders for baby stuff last night; hopefully those will get here soon. I do have a few things I need to get at Target that they didn't have online, and I'm going to a bag sale at Once Upon a Child (a secondhand store) on Saturday. So that'll be fun.

My hospital bag is *mostly* packed... There are still a few things I need to add and Jon has to do his bag. But yeah! Things are winding down!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 36

36 weeks! Yikes.

Baby is about 18 inches long, and weighs somewhere around 6.5 pounds. SIX AND A HALF POUNDS. My brain is exploding on a regular basis now. Baby is still just getting ready for labor and life outside the womb. I'm trying to get ready for that, as well! I can't wait to see what this little wiggle wart looks like!

Over all the week has gone well. I do have more indigestion, but 2 or 3 ACV and water shots seem to do the trick, and then I don't have an issue for a day or two.

I have been significantly more stressed this week. I started a new job, and after one day of being on my feet for 8 hours, I could hardly move. I was so sore everywhere! Then, to top it off, I was getting contractions that night. Like, achy in my back, moving around to the top of my belly, then down. I had several of them, irregularly. Some were fairly short, a few were 15 seconds or longer. So, I don't think I'm going to be able to do the job before Baby comes. At least I have it to go back to after Baby is born, but I'm looking for some way to make some money in the next few weeks. Any one have any ideas?

I've also had a few headaches, but nothing major. My blood pressure is still fine, and I've had no issues with eyesight or anything, so I'm not thinking it's pre-eclampsia/toxemia, but still something to keep an eye on.

I'm not sure if it's the stress or the hormone cocktail that is impending labor, but I've been so much more hormonal/emotional this week. That music video, "Try" by Colbie Caillat? Yeah, almost cried. Cried several times over the last several days, mostly in regards to work and my new job. I just haven't been very emotional until this point.

I don't seem to have any nesting instinct at all. I STILL have not packed my hospital bag. The nursery is not done. We still have a ton of stuff to buy for Baby (diapers, mattress, etc., etc.), but we're postponing it a bit until Jon gets his next paycheck. And while I'd like to get done what needs to get done, I've had no motivation to really work on it, let alone deep-clean the house.

I'm still enjoying being pregnant, and I'm not super uncomfortable yet. Some things are annoying, like how hard it is to get out of the car, or trying to bend forward to get something. But over all I'm pretty happy. I AM ready to meet the baby... not so sure I'm ready to be a mom! I'm sure it will be fine, though.

Pray for us that I find a job I can do before labor, that Jon gets over a nasty cold that he got at work, and that I don't get said nasty cold.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 35

Another week gone... oh my.

Baby is probably around 6 lbs (!) and like 18 inches long. That's crazy. Mostly Baby is working on gaining weight, growing in length, and maturing for birth; not a lot of new development is going on. Birth is getting so close!

I still haven't packed my hospital bags... there are some things I need to get and I feel like there's no point in having a half-packed bag... so I just haven't done anything. I SHOULD go out and get the stuff I need, but that requires money and energy, so...

I. am. exhausted. all. the. time. Seriously. I sleep all night and want to nap all day. I'm slightly worried for next week, when I start a new job at Festival and have to do an 8-hour shift 3 or 4 times a week... we'll see how that goes. Maybe it'll induce labor? HA! I can hope!

Other symptoms are still very manageable. I have had some mild indigestion this week, and my sciatic back pain is really starting to drive me crazy. I am, apparently, getting more irritable, too. Unless it's just today... today just might be a more irritable day. Sometimes that happens.

I think a gang of skateboarders just went past our house... there were like 5-10 guys riding down the street and sidewalk. Intriguing.

I'm anxious to get the last of the baby gear and organize it. We have to put the car seat in the car and get that inspected and place an order on to get the remaining things off of our baby registry. Mattress, sheets, some breastfeeding supplies, etc. I feel like we're really down to the wire here on things we need to get before Baby comes... which, really, could be any time now. I mean, it's still a little early, but I am THISCLOSE to full term.

Is it really almost 9? Beautiful, I can go to sleep soon...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Chicken Enchiladas!

I am just posting the recipe quick so I can pin it and find it as needed... maybe someday I'll do a real post on it.

Chicken enchiladas recipe
You will need 3-4 cooked chicken breasts 2 cans cream of mushroom soup (or homemade equivalent) 1/2 tub of sour cream 8-10 tortillas Shredded cheese
Warm soup mix and sour cream on stove till smooth. Can add a little milk if it is really thick. Add in chicken. Either spray bottom of pan with Pam or put some sauce in pan 9x13 Fill tortillas witch chicken and soup mix and roll into pan. Cover with cheese Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Pull off foil and let cheese melt. Let sit for a few minutes and then serve. I have added peppers to the process before too.

Pregnant After IUI: Week 34

A measly three weeks until I'm considered full term... six weeks until my due date... and Baby will be here for sure in eight weeks. That's like, not much time AT ALL. Terrifying. I was thinking of this last night, and had a minor panic attack realizing that labor and parenthood is so very close. There is still so much to do!

Baby is likely over 17 inches long and weighs over 5 lbs, although there is a huge variance in the third trimester in the size of the baby, so it's hard to say for sure. But even so, that's starting to get pretty big! Apparently, these last few weeks the baby isn't changing a whole lot, just getting bigger and maturing.

I am convinced I'm having one of the easiest pregnancies ever in the world. Seriously. I was thinking about this last night, too. I have barely had to deal with indigestion, leg cramps, painful baby movements, extreme cravings or emotional issues, general discomfort, swelling, major scares, etc. My biggest complaints are that I was nauseous from like week 7 to week 13 or 14, and I NEVER threw up; fatigue; my sciatic pain acts up once in a while, minor swelling when it's hot out; irritability (though not extreme) and a husband who refused to go out at like 8 at night to get me ice cream once because he knew it wasn't a real craving, it just sounded kinda good. I am, honestly, loving being pregnant. And I don't say all that to brag. I was bound and determined to enjoy this time because I wanted it so badly for so long... I just didn't expect it to be this easy. I hope it's a foreshadow for how my labor is going to go, but...

TMI, sorry, but I do believe I'm getting a hemorrhoid, and so am using some essential oils to help with that. Also going to start taking diatomaceous earth again to help make going to the bathroom easier. I still go (usually 2-4 times a day, yay!) but it's not always easy. So I think those things will help. I really probably shouldn't put that in the post, but eh, sue me. I should make a mixture with witch hazel and essential oils... hmmm...

I do believe I'm going to actually pack my hospital bag this week, and figure out what I need to buy for labor/delivery/post-partum. I think that would be good to do. I'm also making some cloth wipes, because I have a TON of flannel I can use up, and that way we don't have to buy any. My sewing machine is a bit irritating though because it keeps breaking my thread, so that's always fun. We don't have many clothes, but we do have some newborn so I'm thinking we'll be okay until Baby is here, and then we can go out and buy clothes in bigger sizes that are gender-specific. We've still got a lot more to do, though. I think the crib and crib mattress are the only other big purchases we have to make. There are lots of little things we need, though, like sheets and a changing pad/covers, some prefold diapers, stuff like that. So, still lots to do.

Oh, should I bring my breast pump to the hospital? My mother-in-law bought me a breast pump, which was super awesome of her, and I'm wondering if I'll need it. We do live like 5 minutes from the hospital, so someone could always come and get it if need be... hmm... so much to plan and think about!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 33

My baby's skull is fully formed, but of course still not fused. When Baby is awake, s/he keeps his/her eyes open. Baby is also working on the whole breathing with sucking and swallowing maneuver. Even the brain is still developing. It seems like we're so close, but there's so much left for Baby to do and to grow! Baby is somewhere between 17 and 18 inches long and around 5 pounds. Holy moly.

Baby is moving a lot still, but it's changing from the harder jabs and kicks to more just pressure and flutters. I guess that's fairly common later in pregnancy as Baby runs out of room. I kind of miss the jabs and kicks already. =[

Baby gets hiccups a lot--like at least once a day, sometimes more. And they last for like 10 minutes sometimes! That would be so infuriating to me, but it's kinda fun when it's Baby who's hiccuping.

I had a prenatal appointment today, and Baby is measuring at 35 weeks and is posterior, meaning the back of Baby's head and Baby's spine are towards my back. I need to try to get Baby to turn anterior, so the face is facing my back. That makes for an easier labor. So I'll have to work on that.

My hands and feet are still mildly swollen. I've been soaking them in cool water with lemongrass and lavender essential oils, and aside from it smelling amazing, it feels pretty good, too. I think it's helping my feet. I've only done it a couple of times, but I'm going to continue with it.

It's getting hard to bend over if I'm sitting down. Standing I'm okay, but if I'm sitting--forget it.

A new (not-so-fun) symptom this week has been the inability to fall asleep at night. It's only happened a few times, but there was a stretch of 3 or 4 nights in a row where I was exhausted, went up to bed, and proceeded to lie awake for 1 1/2-2 hours, all while getting up to pee 5 or 6 times in that tine frame. It was super obnoxious.

We had the baby shower on Saturday! It was so much fun! We got SO MUCH STUFF! I'd post a picture, but the camera is way on the other side of the room and I'm too lazy tired to get up to get it. If I think of it I'll add it in later, but it may just end up on facebook instead. We got clothes; a baby monitor; some adorable shoes; lots of bath accessories, including a tub, a towel, and lots of toys; cloth diapers; swaddlers; and even a nerf gun that we registered for, because why not? Also, my aunts and uncles on my mom's side of the family bought us a TRAVEL SYSTEM, including the car seat, a base, and a stroller... ridiculously awesome. There are still a lot of things we need to get, but that shower sure put a big dent in the list!

I feel a little panicked that we only have ONE MORE MONTH before I'm considered full term... I'm guessing I'll be pregnant longer than that (possibly 2 months or more!), so I'm trying not to freak out, but really that's kinda scary. I don't feel ready to deal with labor and I'm not convinced I'm ready to be a mother, even though it's something I've wanted for so long... it's just a huge responsibility. Anyone who's a mom knows what I mean. I'm sure things will turn out fine, it's just intimidating to look forward to.

This is a long post, so I'm going to stop ranting. See you all next week.

OH BUT FIRST. What do I need in my hospital bag and what did you find was a lifesaver for post partum aches and pains? Looking for some ideas...readysetgo.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 32

Eight weeks until my due date. Less than two calender months. How is that possible?

According to, baby is about 16.5 inches long, and 4.5 lbs... that's quite a bit bigger than the 2.5-4 lbs that claims. Both say baby is gaining quickly, though, and the skin is filling out with all that fat that's getting deposited. Also, Baby is sleeping around 90-95% of the day! Which explains why I don't feel movement quite as much. Also, Baby is now head down, huzzah! I REALLY didn't want a breech baby, because that's an automatic c-section at the hospital I'm delivering in. I mean, I suppose there's a lot of time left, and Baby COULD turn breech, but let's hope that doesn't happen.

Really the only new symptom I've had is cramping. So, Monday night I woke up in quite a bit of pain with menstrual-like cramps, which is supposedly what contractions feel like, only it seemed to last forever and wasn't so much of a wave as a bombardment. I tried rolling onto my other side, and discovered that I was incredibly dizzy. Eventually it went away (felt like 5-10 minutes after I woke up, but I didn't check my phone so it could have been very different, time-wise.) But then I started getting another shortly after. And I suppose, being awake for the start of the second, it did sort of build. Anyway, when the second one started, I thought maybe it would help if I peed, so I got up, and was still dizzy, but made it to the toilet and that didn't help at all. So I went to lie back down and that one went away after a while. I fell back to sleep, but when I got up the next morning, I was still dizzy, and had a few very mild cramps. My abs and uterus were sore, and if I stretched out during the day Tuesday my uterus would get really sore for a while. The dizziness and cramps were gone by mid-morning, though, so I didn't call anyone. I figured it's just that I'm so pregnant. If it were to happen again and not stop, then I'd call. But that was a fun experience, anyway. I got to practice my relaxation techniques! haha

As for other symptoms, the swelling in my hands is pretty steady, but that could be in part from the heat this week. My feet are even swelling a little, though not bad. Little to no indigestion to speak of. OH! Baby must have dropped a bit, because I can now walk up stairs and not sound like a winded rhino! Score!

On a different note, it's amazing how fast I can go from, "My uterus really hurts, and I haven't felt baby in the last 5 minutes, but I just felt baby move a few hours ago, so I know everything is fine," to "Oh my gosh, I haven't felt Baby for a few hours, and my uterus like, really hurts... what if my baby is in distress, or not getting enough oxygen, or the placenta has detached from the uterine wall and that's why it hurts and why Baby isn't moving... Please, God, let me feel Baby move just a little to know everything's okay!" And then invariable Baby twitches or wiggles or squirms just enough for me to feel it and know everything is all right again. It's really quite the roller coaster of emotions, lol. It's almost like I don't realize how in tune I am to Baby, and how much I worry about it, until I'm lying in bed and it's the middle of the night and I realize I haven't felt the baby since before I went upstairs. It's weird.

As for the nursery, we decided to NOT stain OR seal the dressers, and it was an awesome decision, because neither of us wanted to spend the time or money it would have required to do the thing properly. So that's been a HUGE weight off our shoulders. They are now put together and ready to be put where we want them, but without the crib up there yet, it's hard to say where that will be. The curtains are up, Jon got a changing table from Savers and put that together, and my shower is this weekend! It feels like things are coming together, but we'll see what we get. We still need several big items, and I doubt we'll get them all, so I may still be stressed next week. But it'll all work out.

That was my week. I will try to remember to have Jon help me with a belly pic this evening, and post it at least on facebook, if not add it to here as well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 31

My baby will be full term in 6 short weeks... and there's still so much to do! The nursery is FINALLY painted; now we need to clean it and start moving stuff in... although we don't have a crib yet, and the dressers still need to get sealed. I would like to get the shower doors taken off an put a curtain up, which means I need to find my shower curtain. We have to finish unpacking (or at least relocating) all of the boxes in the dining room, rearrange the kitchen cupboards to make room for baby stuff, move the dining room table from the mud room into the dining room, get shelving up in the mud room, make a baby blanket, some burp cloths, and finish the wall art for the nursery... ugh. On the plus side, my baby shower is in a week and a half, yay! I can't wait...

So this week Baby is, according to, a whopping 16 inches long and close to 4 pounds, and is set to gain about half a pound a week for the next few weeks. That's incredible. Baby is moving a lot, and it's sometimes hard to breathe because of it. Every once in a while I'll take a great big breath and realize I wasn't getting enough air. It's kind of odd. Baby's eyes are working and can respond to light, and all five senses are functional. Baby's brain and nerves are continuing to mature. Lots of growth going on!

As for me, as I said, I'm out of breath a lot, and I'm apparently still dealing with the irrational irritation sometimes, although that DOES seem to be better. I'm craving fruit, which is fine with me. I have had a couple of times where my gums bleed after brushing or flossing, and that's new, but it's not a lot... maybe 3-4 times in the last 2 weeks or so. I had some indigestion like yesterday and the day before or something, but the ACV in water fixed it right up and I've had no issues since. I'm pretty much always a little swollen now, and... was it last night? it was hard to get my wedding ring off. But over all it's been super manageable. Trying to think if there is anything else... I have a prenatal appointment this afternoon, and I get to hear Baby's heart "beep," which I am really looking forward to.

I feel like babies born now have such a good chance for survival... yes, it's still early, and Baby can stay in there for a while yet, but it's comforting to know that my baby would likely be okay--with lots of time in the NICU, I'm sure--if I were to go into labor now. We aren't READY for a baby now, but knowing that Baby would probably live is a huge comfort. I remember early in my pregnancy thinking, "What's the point of calling the doc if something is wrong? There is so little they can do at this point." But now, it's like, real. I don't really know how to describe it. Anyway, I'm happy to be this far along, and I'm excited to meet this little person.

Oh, and today I was thinking about how weird it will be to not be able to FEEL every single one of Baby's kicks and wiggles, but to see them instead, and the facial expressions, and all of that... so cool. August is so close!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 30

THIRTY. WEEKS. Technically, that is 1/4, one quarter, 75% done with this pregnancy... YIKES. Although, my dad likes to remind me that you're not to the halfway point until you reach that last month... He's probably right!

So and both seem to agree that baby is about 15.5 inches long and close to 3 pounds this week... no wonder my stomach feels so heavy! I realize this will only get worse... Baby's eyes can open and close, and when they're open, Baby can follow a light! I hope my baby's eyes are developing on target, and that s/he won't have as many issues with eyes as I have. Baby is gaining fat and filling out, and will start replacing some of the amniotic fluid with all that increased growth.

My symptoms include: shortness of breath, feeling like a fat house, peeing every 10 minutes, low energy, easily overheated, and lots and lots of movements from Baby. The swelling has not gotten any worse, I don't feel like I have "pregnancy brain" (although maybe that means my case is so advanced that I can't even remember when I forget things?), haven't had much heartburn/indigestion, or even too much difficulty sleeping (although I wake up every 2 hours or so to pee and re-situate...). I feel like I'm having such an easy pregnancy.

The nursery is painted!! Well, Jon has a little bit of touching up to do on the trip, but otherwise it's DONE!! FINALLY. Now we need to clean it (it is absolutely filthy up there from drywall dust, and other crap) and then we can start moving in furniture! We do need to stain the dressers still, but once those are done I'll be able to start moving things in and putting them where I want them to live... I can't wait.

I've also made leaps and bounds cleaning out our dining room (the "Room of Requirement" for the last 8 months), although that's been put on hold for a week or so since my SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED ON SATURDAY. So that's fun! But super busy.

I've been stressing a little bit about how much we have left to do and how little time we have to do it all.. but my shower is in a couple of weeks, and then we can really get down to business on what we need to get and get it set up. Looking forward to getting everything ready.

We worked on our birth plan this week! There are just a few more things we need to add to it. And I haven't even thought about my hospital bag, yet, and I'll need to get on that soon. Oh my gosh, I have so much to do! The baby COULD come at any time, now, although we WOULD like to wait, oh, say, 2 more months, but really, that's not that long at all!

Okay... breathe... just get through this week with the wedding, and THEN I can nest...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 29

*Sigh* I'm sorry these get posted so late... I just... time gets away from me! On Tuesday I'm all like, "Okay, tomorrow is Wednesday, gonna have to do my blog post... I'm gonna try to get to it early..." Nope. Never happens. And right now I'm watching the Chicago Blackhawks lose their 4th consecutive hockey game, so I'm going to be distracted... sorry in advance is something doesn't make sense.

So, the general-ish consensus is that baby is about 15 inches long, and around or just over 2 1/2 pounds. That's like, wow. Fat is accumulating under baby's skin, finally, so it's getting cuter and cuter, and Baby's brain can even control body temperature. Eyes are continuing to develop, and red blood cells are forming. Busy week!

As for me, I've felt hiccups a couple times this last week. Those are fun =]. Movement is more frequent and stronger in the morning and early afternoon; by evening HAWKS SCORE. THE GAME IS TIED. IT'S THE THIRD PERIOD. I MAY HAVE A HEART ATTACK they typically are less frequent, but still very strong. Not painful. I hope they don't get painful.

I figured out the random, mild indigestion I've been having... it's when I take my prenatal right before bed. So, now I just don't do that, and it's not an issue. The problem is remembering to take my meds... ah ha ha aha. No but really, I need to do better with that.

My sciatic pain was REALLY bad... was it Monday? Yes, Monday. I could barely walk... I iced the heck out of my back that night, and it helped, but I still am getting flairs of pain now and then. I've heard that can be because of the position of Baby? So maybe I need to try to reposition the baby... I have a prenatal appointment tomorrow, I should ask the midwife.

I am really getting ansy to get the nursery painted and put together, because despite our best efforts, we STILL are not done with it... there is so much to do. Ugh. And I can't wait for my shower, because I really want a crib and a car seat and clothes for baby...

OH. I read online that now is a good time to start getting my and Baby's hospital bag(s) ready... WHAT? I mean, yes, I've been thinking about doing that for a while, but actually have someone say it is crazy... although, my dad would insist that you're not to the halfway point in your pregnancy until the 8th month... so I'm thinking this summer might feel long.

I have been getting diarrhea ("the" diarrhea) every couple days, and been constipated in between... which is new. But I haven't been taking my diatomaceous earth every day, so that could be why... or it could be from this parasite that I've been growing. Hard to say.

Last Friday I had this deal where my uterus felt like it was going to detach from my body and just fall off. Not "out," but OFF. It was the weirdest feeling. Mom said it was just ligaments and the stretching and growing I'm experiencing. It was sort of painful, but I haven't had an issue before or since.

I think that's it. Now I'm going to go get some ice cream and watch the game... GO BLACKHAWKS.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 28

I am now officially in the THIRD TRIMESTER. How did this happen? Like, last week I was lying on the couch with nausea and only 8 weeks pregnant... where has the time gone?

I'm almost sad that I'm in the third trimester, already. I waited for so long to get pregnant, and I want to cherish every minute of it... but it's going too quickly! I mean, when I think ahead to it, 9 (basically 10) months is a really long time... but when you look BACK on those 9 months, it feels like a week...

According to again, Baby is measuring around 15 inches long and is weighing about 2 1/4 pounds. I definitely believe the 15 inches thing. I often feel movement on opposite sides of my stomach simultaneously. ( says Baby is slightly smaller than I guess Baby is an old hat now at recognizing my voice, which is cool. Baby is working on gaining fat and developing neurons and muscle tone. Also, Baby's lungs are developed enough that were s/he to be born now, s/he would be able to breathe air! While that's awesome and all, I think Baby should stay inside for a LITTLE bit longer, don't you? Thankfully, I've had no symptoms of preterm labor.

My symptoms have been pretty much the same. Mild indigestion, hip pain at night, stiff/sore back, and lots and lots of kicks from Baby. There have been a few changes, though, too. I have been feeling really weak and tired. Not like alarmingly so, but like it's hard to hold my arms up while I'm washing my hair or I'll have to sit down for a minute after going up the stairs. Some days are worse than others. Also, my *ahem* discharge *ahem* has lessened. I still have some, but not nearly as much as I did a couple weeks ago. I mentioned last week that I haven't had too many crazy dreams... yeah, well, I shouldn't have said anything, because lately my dreams have been more vivid and slightly disturbing. Still not many pregnancy dreams, though.

I REALLY want to get a belly pic today, since I'm now in the third tri, so hopefully Jon can help me with that tonight.

So yeah. We still have a LOT to do before Baby comes...texturing and painting the nursery, sealing the dressers, taking out the shower door, cleaning out the dining room and mud room... the list goes on. Here's to hoping it all gets done!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 27

This is it... the last week of my second trimester. I can't believe it. I remember hearing people say all the time that the second trimester is the easiest and best. Most people don't have the symptoms of the first, while they don't feel ginormous or tired all the time, but Baby is moving a lot. Which I guess I found true, but I am still exhausted all the time. Functional, but tired.

I went to this week, because basically says the same as last week and that gets boring. So, according to  Baby is 14.5 inches long, and weighs about 2 lbs... whew! I've heard of babies being born (and living) that were smaller than that! Baby can open its eyes, and the retinas are forming. I really hope Baby gets a better deal on eyesight than I did... but little kids in glasses are just so doggone cute!

I have been doing well this week again. Tired, but part of that could be staying up to late to watch the Blackhawks play hockey...

So, last week I posted about the apple cider vinegar (ACV) trick I found online... and while that works, TUMS wins out in the middle of the night when you don't want to go all the way downstairs and drink something super sour. But I only did that once. And I've only had to take the ACV a few times, too, because although I have had some indigestion recently, it really isn't bad at all.

The swelling seems to come and go; some days my hands are more swollen than others. But over all it's not bad. And eating protein does seem to help, because if I notice swelling one day and try to eat more protein, it's usually better the next day. So that's good.

Heat. I do not handle heat well. I never have, because I don't sweat very much; I overheat pretty quickly. I think it's going to be a lot worse this summer. We were sitting in church Sunday morning and I almost had to go outside to cool off. It was not fun. Hopefully our window a/c unit will be enough this summer.

I get the hip pain at night again, pee every 2 hours or so all night (don't worry, I wake up and do it in the bathroom, in case you were worried...) and my back gets pretty stiff and sore at night. So those aren't so fun, and could be contributing to the tiredness, too. Even so, I tend to sleep hard. I haven't had too many crazy pregnancy dreams, which is surprising to me, because I usually have really vivid, crazy, disturbing dreams. So it's actually been kind of nice.

Baby is moving just as much as ever. I love feeling all the little jabs and kicks. I have no idea, however, if Baby's head down yet or not. Sometimes I think maybe so, but other times I doubt it. So I have no idea, and am not experienced enough to tell by feeling my belly. But I have a doc appt on Friday, so hopefully they'll be able to give me some idea. I know it's still pretty early, though, so I'm not concerned about it.

We still haven't been able to paint the nursery; Jon's been too busy with other stuff lately to work on it. Hopefully we'll get it painted soon, though, because I really want to get stuff moved in. The dressers need to be sealed, too... Hm... anyone love painting/sealing things for free? Ha... hahaha. Didn't think so.

Anyway, I think that was my week. Can't think of anything else, anyway.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pregnant After IUI: Week 26

Week 26 already... dang.

Baby is still between 13.5 and 14.5 inches, give or take, and weighs between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds. Baby's eyelashes are growing in, and the eyes are forming behind closed lids. Soon, Baby will be able to open them and see! Well, see darkness, I suppose, but still cool. The immune system is developing and Baby is also practicing "breathing" in the amniotic fluid in preparation for life outside the womb.

Symptoms for me are still really mild. The swelling is minor and not getting worse, and I am still feeling lots of movement. Irritability and grumpiness seem to be staying about the same. I get irrationally livid at something minor and then have a hard time calming down. Hopefully that will even out soon.

The hip pain I complained about last week has been gone since Thursday morning. My back, though, is still stiff and sore when I wake up or if I do too much.

I have gotten a couple minor headaches, but I think it's dehydration because they typically go away if I chug a bottle of water.

Yesterday I did have some indigestion. It was mild, and I didn't want to take TUMS or anything. I had heard online that indigestion was caused, not by too much stomach acid, but from too little acid. The sphincter between the stomach and esophagus doesn't close tightly if the acid in the stomach is too low. So the solution is to actually increase the stomach's acidity. I saw online that apple cider vinegar mixed with water would help increase the acidity and cause the sphincter to close all the way. So I tried it, and wow, it's strong, but it worked! I had to take it 3 times over the course of the evening, but now today I have not had any issues. So that's nice.

I got to see my belly move Sunday and that was about the coolest thing ever.

On Saturday I was having some discomfort in my cervix, but since I had no other issues (bleeding, cramping, contractions, etc.) I wasn't too worried. I talked with my doula on Monday night and she said it could have just been Baby's position. It hasn't been bothering me at all the last few days, so I'm not at all concerned about it.

I think that's pretty much it. I'm easily out of breath, tired, and feel like I have no clothes that fit and/or are flattering... so that's great fun. Hoping I can find some shirts soon. 'Cause I'm not even in my third trimester and I already feel like a fat whale. Not really pregnant big but fat big. It's annoying. I guess it comes with the territory.