Hello 2nd Trimester!

Dear Baby Pacheco,

This week marks a huge milestone for you! We have officially made it though the 1st trimester and stepped into the more comfortable world of 2nd trimester. A trimester = approximately 13 weeks and 3 days, or 1/3 of the typical 40 week pregnancy. The great thing about 2nd trimester is that hormone levels tend to even out, which leads to many of the stereotypical pregnancy symptoms going away. For example, I haven’t felt any nausea in over a week. Woohoo! I’m also starting to get some of my energy back. 2nd trimester also marks the beginnings of more substantial growth (whereas 1st trimester is focused on getting all your little body parts formed & in place). With that in mind, here is my 14 week “bump” photo (you are the size of a lemon at this point):

Unfortunately this photo was taken in kind of a rush; I had just gotten out of the shower & we were about to head out the door to run some errands when Dad goes “wait, aren’t you supposed to take your picture today?!”… wet hair + no makeup + unfortunate choice of shirt = terrible picture! Oh well. I’ll try to be better about preparing a little more for these pictures, since they’ll probably end up in a scrapbook someday. Anywho, this week I could feel the last few pairs of regular-size pants I’ve been wearing start to get a little snug. In fact, this weekend I bought a whole wardrobe’s worth of maternity clothes off of Craigslist, and this was my first time rocking some maternity pants (they were a little loose by the end of the day but SOOO comfy, let me tell you!). The picture makes me look substantially bigger (thanks floral print shirt!), but still I don’t think the growth is noticeable to anyone but me & Dad.

Watching the tummy expand is very bitter-sweet… it makes me so happy to know that you’re growing in there, but at the same time I’ve always been someone who’s really struggled with my weight/size & therefore watching the expanding stomach can be kind of frustrating. Dad keeps saying “relax, you’re pregnant– it’s okay!” πŸ˜‰ But it’s just a very hard mindset to get into. I had actually just lost about 20 lbs. before you came along, and even though I look bigger I’ve actually lost 2 more lbs. as of last my check-up 4 weeks ago, which my doctor said is totally normal for that point in the pregnancy (thanks morning sickness!). I’m trying not to obsess over my weight too much. Instead, I just try to eat as healthy as possible, exercise as much as I can & only pay attention to what the scale says at my monthly check-ups. Speaking of which, my next check-up is this Tuesday! I can’t wait!

Another great thing about 2nd trimester is that we are at the point where we can start to more actively prepare for your arrival. We made our first big purchase for you this week– a crib! It came in today actually, and as soon as we got it home Dad was chomping at the bit to get it set up. πŸ™‚ So we spent a chunk of the afternoon transforming one of our guest rooms into the beginnings of a nursery. Right now it’s pretty bare-bones, just the crib:

But still we are really excited to finally be taking steps like this! We won’t do any specific decorations until we find out whether you’re a boy or girl in late August/early September, but in the meantime we’re focusing on the larger aspects like this crib. We also have Nana on the hunt for a nice dresser & nightstand for you, and Grandma is bringing me her great-grandmother’s rocking chair that was part of my nursery when I was a baby. I love the idea of incorporating some family history into your nursery. πŸ™‚ The only other purchase I’ve made for you recently is this (which I’m also pretty excited about, haha):

Dad & I are HUGE baseball fans, and we hope that you will be too! One of our favorite things about moving to the DC area has been the close proximity to a major league team. We have been ardent Washington Nationals fans since we moved up here, so when I saw these onesies at Target a couple weeks ago I just couldn’t resist! We can’t wait to take you to your first game next year.

Well, this post is getting kind of long & honestly I feel I’ve been rambling through most of it… so I’ll wrap things up! I wish I had more interesting things to write about, but at this point pregnancy is just about watching the belly grow & using my new found energy to prepare for your arrival. I will quickly add that these two things make all of this feel so much more “real” to me & dad. One day this week Dad & I were feeling the changes in my belly and said to him “wow, there’s actually a baby in there!” πŸ˜‰ Haha. Anyway, next week I’ll write about how Tuesday’s check-up goes. Until then, keep growing little one!

All my love,
Mom

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Growing pains and the munchies

Dear Baby Pacheco,

As of yesterday you are 13 weeks along, and about the size of a peach. Dad & I had some fresh peaches yesterday to celebrate. πŸ™‚ I still am not really showing a whole lot. Most of the “bump” you see in the picture below is my own fat & pregnancy bloating (sigh), but some of it is you too… So I’m going to own it! Haha

While you aren’t exactly visible to the naked eye just yet, I can most definitely feel your presence these days. Most of the time I feel what is a sort of weight or pressure in my lower abdomen, and I’m getting random stabs of pain (but not too bad, don’t worry) in my lower abdomen as well. These are known as “round ligament pains” and are a side effect of the muscles in that area stretching to accommodate your growth. When I press down in the area I can feel a hardness just beneath the surface that I believe is my uterus (where you live πŸ˜‰ ). Finally being able to notice things like that is so cool!

I’m happy to report that nausea seems to be pretty much gone, and I most definitely have my appetite back. Some days in particular this week I felt constantly hungry. I still haven’t been craving any particular thing all the time, but I do have a couple of craving stories to share. A couple of weeks ago Dad was catching up on this blog, then he turns to me & says “How come you haven’t written about the salt & vinegar chips?!” … and honestly I hadn’t really noticed it, but the last few weeks I’ve picked up bags of salt & vinegar chips every time I go to the store and chomp them down all by myself. Haha. That is probably the one thing that has sounded good to me all the time throughout this whole pregnancy so far. Then more recently, I was at the grocery store & saw the glazed donuts in the bakery… and HAD to have one. However, they weren’t selling individual donuts, so it was a dozen or nothing. Needless to say, I ended up coming home with a dozen donuts. On top of that, Dad is on a diet so I’ve been eating them all by myself. Whoops! I’m going to bring whatever’s left to work on Monday morning to share with my coworkers.

I suppose these stories make it sound like I’m eating nothing but junk, but I swear I’m eating a lot of healthy stuff too. I make sure to have at least one fruit/veggie and one serving of protein at every meal, and I drink several glasses of milk each day. Just as importantly, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking my prenatal vitamin every night before bed. Even as we speak, I am drinking a smoothie made with spinach, pineapple, strawberries & orange juice. Yummy! And now that I’m getting a bit of energy back (really just a little bit so far, hoping more of it comes back soon) I’m able to get in more exercise. I go jogging with Dad a few times a week, and either hit the gym at work or do videos at home a couple times a week also. So you are being well taken care of! πŸ™‚

And I guess that is about all that’s going on with me this week. We did “go public” with the news of your impending arrival on Tuesday as I mentioned in my last post, and it was really heartwarming to see the torrent of love, support and well wishes we received from friends and family when they heard the news. Without a doubt Baby Pacheco, you are VERY VERY loved already… and there are a lot of folks out there who can’t wait for you to make your grand entrance (myself & Dad included of course)! πŸ™‚

All my love,
Mom

Happy birthday, Dad!

Dear Baby Pacheco,

The last few days were full of events: you were 12 weeks along as of Saturday, Dad had his 27th birthday on Sunday, the entire Pacheco side of the family was here visiting the whole weekend, and we had your NT scan with the ultrasound and blood test today.

12 weeks along = size of a plum! We now have pictoral evidence, but I still can hardly believe it. I look more or less like my normal self… here is my first “belly pic” for the 12 week mark:

Other than a little bloating (and thus having to go back into my “fat pants” for some things), there have been no visible changes to my mid-section so far. But at least this is a good benchmark to go from. Since I am already a big gal to start with, I don’t expect to really start showing for another month or two. The NT scan today was therefore a huge relief, to see that you are indeed healthy and developing properly in there. The nurse measured your heartbeat at 169 beats per minute (“very healthy” she says πŸ™‚ ), and took a TON of pictures/measurements of you from all sorts of angles (all of which she said were “perfect” and “right on target” πŸ™‚ ). Luckily you were extremely compliant and flipping around all over the place so that she could get everything she needed. We got to take most of the pictures home, but I will just show my favorite one here:

This picture doesn’t show it, but we got to see your little arms & legs as well. It’s amazing how much more human-like you look now! Dad says getting to see you was the best birthday present he got. πŸ˜€ The second part of the scan is a blood test, and thank GOODNESS the nurse was able to get my blood drawn on the first try. We should have the blood test results back within a week. But so far everything seems to be great! We could not be more thrilled. πŸ˜€

So now that we’re pretty much past the highest risk of miscarriage (chances are less than 1% now) and you are looking healthy thus far, we can finally begin to relax a bit and just enjoy this experience. We’ll be going “facebook official” tomorrow (which in this day & age is a big deal, but who knows if you’ll even know what facebook is by the time you read this) and just in general we won’t feel the need to keep the pregnancy a secret anymore. It’s been hard not to talk about it, because honestly that is what I’m thinking about 95% of the time. Haha. The other great thing is that I am reaching the end of my first trimester, so the few symptoms I’ve had are fading. I haven’t felt any nausea for the last few days, and the constant fatigue is starting to lighten up a bit. πŸ˜‰ Woohoo!

That’s about it for now… the next couple of weeks should be fairly quiet, no big plans and no doctor’s appointments until my next checkup on July 31. Hopefully I’ll be able to come up with something interesting to write about next week. Until then, keep growing little plum!

All my love,
Mom

P.S. — My apologies for the ridiculous amounts of smiley faces in this post… Dad & I are just on Cloud Nine after getting to see you on the ultrasound today. πŸ˜€

Some thoughts from Dad (finally!)

Dear Baby Pacheco,

You are a little over 11 weeks now… the size of a lime. A lime. It really blows my mind that there is a lime-sized baby in my belly (and I think my uterus is almost the size of a grapefruit at this point), yet I look more or less like my normal self. Honestly even though I know it’s normal, I still can’t help but wonder and worry about whether you’re doing okay in there. Last week I had a regular checkup, and was pretty surprised at how little they did. The nurse took a urine sample & checked my blood pressure, then the doctor came in and talked about some optional tests they could do to check for genetic issues such as Down’s syndrome, and tried to hear your heartbeat on the doppler… unfortunately it was too soon to really hear your heartbeat over my own on that little doppler. She said that is totally normal for so early (I was closer to 10 weeks at that point), but I would’ve felt much better if we’d been able to hear it.

After the discussion with the doctor and haggling with our insurance company, we decided to go with the non-invasive nuchal translucency (NT) scan, a combination of ultrasound and blood test that is 90% effective in revealing potential genetic issues. Mostly we just wanted an extra chance to get to see you again! πŸ™‚ This test must be done between 11-13 weeks, so I scheduled it for Monday July 16 (just over 12 weeks)… Dad and I CAN’T WAIT to see you again, and see how much you’ve grown and changed since our last glimpse of you during week 7!

Speaking of Dad, he had expressed some interest to me early on about wanting to contribute to this blog somehow… but he is, as he puts it, “not so good with words.” LOL. So I came up with the idea of interviewing him so that he could tell me his thoughts/feelings/etc. and I could more eloquently get them down for you. Here goes! The questions are written from my perspective in the conversation with him, obviously.

________________________

1. What was the first thing to run through your head when you found out I was pregnant?
Dad says he was extremely excited. I asked him if he was surprised that we were able to get pregnant after only two cycles of trying, and he said “Of course not. My sperm is strong!” HAHAHAHAHA. What a typical man thing to say! πŸ˜‰

2. How has expecting a baby changed your life so far, if at all?
Dad said that the first week or so, he felt the need to be more cautious at work… his job is very physical and can sometimes be a little dangerous. However, he says that feeling faded pretty quickly. Now his sole concern is my safety (and in turn, your safety): he worries a lot about me carrying things, falling down, and the dogs jumping on my belly. I can vouch for this- I remember one time earlier on he got on me for picking up a notebook. I said “seriously?!” Also I asked him whether he worries a lot about something going wrong with the pregnancy, and he said that he tries not to think too much about it… but, as he said, “Mommy is worrying a lot and that makes me worry too. It’s a vicious cycle.” He also said he’s been trying to get in better shape, so that he’ll have an easier time playing with you and chasing you around!

3. What was it like being in the hospital the night of the bleeding incident?
Absolutely terrifying… Dad said he felt so helpless. He added that the worst part was when that crazy ER doctor gave us the option to end the pregnancy since there wasn’t “a viable heartbeat.” Boy did that lady turn out to be wrong! But I agree, that part really made me mad too.

4. How did you feel when you saw the baby on the ultrasound for the first time? The second time?
Dad said it was such a thrill! After what we’d gone through in the ER there was also a huge sense of relief. He was really happy to finally get to see you in there, and it made the pregnancy seem much more real to him. The second ultrasound was a similar experience, and it was also interesting to see how you had changed over the week. Dad was so relieved that you were growing as expected.

5. What are you most looking forward to about being a dad?
Dad says he is really looking forward to teaching you things and sharing our life with you. (His first word when I asked this was actually “science!” Haha) I asked if he had any insecurities about his ability to be a father, and he said he hadn’t really given that much thought. He said in general he’s confident that we’ll be great parents. But his overall approach (with this and, I’ve found, with life) is to adopt a β€œwait and see” philosophy… to deal with the changes and learning curve of becoming parents as best as he can, and address issues as they arise.

6. If you could say anything to the baby right now, what would you say?
“Hang in there, kid.” πŸ˜‰ We both love you so much and can’t wait to meet you!
________________________

That’s about all for now. I will probably wait to post again until after our NT scan so that I’ll be able to tell you all about it right away, share pictures of the ultrasound and finally get around to starting some belly photos (not that there’s anything to see at this point, but I’m hoping I’ll be glad I did them someday). Until then… as Dad put it– hang in there, kid!

All my love,
Mom

Hormones and a crazy week

Dear Baby Pacheco,

You are over 10 weeks along now! My sources say that you are the size of a strawberry. πŸ™‚ Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures yet because the 10 week mark was on Saturday and a lot of craziness went down over the weekend (more about that in a second). But I am definitely a little “bloated” and have gained a pound or so. I don’t really look any more pregnant that I did at the beginning though… just fatter. 😦 Boo!

So last week I learned a couple things about life as a pregnant woman:

(1) morning sickness and my metro commute don’t mix– the heat, the smells of the people around me and the jostling of the train is an awful combination for me. I’m going to start keeping a barf bag in my purse! Luckily so far I have managed not to throw up on anyone. Haha

(2) pregnancy hormones and the DMV also don’t mix– I had to go to the DMV on Friday to register our new (well, new to us) car. The people were extremely rude and unhelpful and turned me away (after sitting in that crowded, smelly and hot waiting area for an hour & a half… again, trying my best not to throw up on someone.) because I didn’t have a document that their website says you don’t need to have. I had this flash of rage, nothing like I’ve ever felt before… I literally saw red spots, snatched my papers back from the DMV person’s hands and stormed out of the building, punching the door on the way out! It was so crazy, I never ever act like that (and don’t take this is an okay for you to do it someday, it was completely unacceptable behavior). I was fuming all the way home and then as soon as I got there & tried to tell Dad about it, I broke down crying and just had to sit there and sob for a few minutes. Crazy lady alert! Ended up getting the paper I needed and going back to the DMV… got a much nicer lady the second time who had me in & out in 15 minutes. Phew! In my anger I also posted an angry rant on Facebook with some bad words in it that got me a call from Grandma involving threats to “wash my mouth out with soap.” πŸ˜‰

Anyway, Grandma and Papa actually came to visit again this weekend to help us finish the shed. Unfortunately right after they got here Friday night we had a huge freak storm that knocked our power out! It was a widespread emergency issue– over a million people in the DC metro area lost their power that night. So Dad & Papa had to work on the shed all day Saturday with no power, in the 100+ degree heat no less! Luckily we were able to spend Saturday night with our friends Kay & Bill, who have a pool and had never lost power. It was a lot of fun and so nice to be able to cool off after the day we’d had! By the time we got back home on Sunday morning our power was back on (thank goodness!) and Dad & Papa were able to finish the shed. Sadly there are still hundreds of thousands of people without power this morning, with another scorcher of a day ahead.

Actually I was supposed to have my next check-up with the OB-GYN today, but they called me right as I was about to leave for the appointment and said that because some of their offices don’t have power, they’re closing all their offices for the day. They rescheduled my appointment for tomorrow. I can’t wait to get that reassurance from the doctor that all is going well with you! I will write again later this week with the results of that check-up. Until then, little strawberry!

All my love,
Mom