Down to the wire…

Dear Charlie,

27 weeks– two trimesters down, one to go! I’m truly blown away by how quickly this pregnancy is going by. I know I say that almost every time I write, but it’s true! And it’s by far the biggest difference between this pregnancy and my first pregnancy. Almost every morning, after I get out of bed I look down at my belly think “What the heck?!” because I swear it seems to have ballooned up overnight, LOL. At about 14 inches and 2lb now (the size of a rutabaga, apparently)… you make your presence well-knownΒ  almost constantly, to everyone around you but especially to me. You move & squirm around a LOT, and you like to stretch out and put pressure on my spine + other key body parts way more than I remember Alex doing. Maybe it’s just that us moms quickly forget those parts of pregnancy. πŸ˜‰ Luckily I haven’t quite reached the stage of constant discomfort… yet. But I’m pretty close. I’m really glad that my job will allow me to work from home for the majority of this last trimester, as it’s much more comfortable for me. On the flip side, you give me way less heartburn than Alex did… so thanks for that!

Yesterday I had my monthly checkup, and all was well with you– heartbeat & blood pressure were great, your measurements were on track, and I only gained 1lb this month which balances out the whopping 5lb I’d gained the prior month. I talked to the doctor quite a bit about how certain types of exercise are getting difficult for me, which is tough because exercise is one of my biggest contributors to keeping weight gain in check. Although I miss jogging, I’ve recently gotten into swimming & water jogging/aerobics. It’s much lower impact while still a fantastic total body workout. I probably look pretty silly flopping around the pool with my big preggo belly while the hulked-out body builder wearing a speedo in the next lane does butterfly strokes up & down the pool at the speed of light… oh well. πŸ˜‰

Other than that, not much else is going on. I haven’t really done much more with the nursery these last couple weeks as things have been pretty busy at work, as well as all the fall/Halloween festivities going on every weekend. On top of all that Dad & I are going to begin to tackle another bathroom remodel starting this weekend… who are we kidding, really it’ll just be Dad tackling it. LOL. But I will help as much as I can! So the nursery is on the back burner a bit for now, but my goal is to have it done before Thanksgiving. That way I can relax & enjoy the holiday season without a bunch of baby-related to-do’s hanging over my head. Also coming up this weekend is a baby shower in your honor! I’m looking forward to celebrating your upcoming arrival with some of my favorite people. πŸ™‚

I think that’s about it for now… but before I go, here’s your latest bump picture:

10714251_10100495984689577_1232258876404257171_oCan you tell how exhausted I am? Haha. I haven’t been sleeping as well lately, although I think it has more to do with anxiety/stress than physical discomfort. Well scratch that, if it weren’t for having to pee ALL. THE. TIME. maybe I wouldn’t wake up so much in the middle of the night… but once I get up it’s the mental side of things that keeps me from getting back to sleep. Even though Alex is almost 2 years old, I never stopped following the mantra “sleep when the baby sleeps.” What can I say, those afternoon naps help keep me going!

Speaking of Alex, I still don’t think he really “gets it” at all as far as the pregnancy & your impending arrival goes. Right now he thinks there’s a baby in my belly as well as Dad’s belly. LOL. He does sometimes point to my stomach (or pull up my shirt, which is an issue when we’re in public!) when I ask “Where’s Baby Charlie?” and will occasionally give you kisses too. πŸ™‚ I worry a lot about how the transition to being a big brother is going to go for him, but really it’s just of those things we’ll have to deal with when the time comes. Even as an adult nothing can truly prepare you for a baby’s arrival, so I imagine that is even more so the case with young toddlers.

And with that I think I’ll wrap this up. I’m so excited to be in the home stretch of this pregnancy… Dad & I can’t wait to meet you, little guy!

All my love,
Mom

Moving & Grooving!

Dear Charlie,

Things have been insanely busy around here and the time is slipping by so quickly… which is why I’m just now writing you another letter atΒ 25 weeks! I’m sorry I haven’t written sooner, although honestly there isn’t too much to update you on except for the awesome fact that you are moving & grooving around in there. πŸ™‚ As I mentioned last time, I first felt movement around 20 weeks but now the movements are much more frequent and much stronger. Although I think they’re strong enough to be felt from the outside (sometimes) at this point, Dad hasn’t caught one yet. Every time you start moving I’ll be like “quick, put your hand on my belly!” and then the moment he does you don’t move anymore. You’re just shy I guess! Haha.

The other recent bit of news is that we had your 24 week check up a few days ago, and all was well. Your heartbeat was nice & strong, you’re measuring right on target (about 1 foot long and 1 pound– this week’s fruit is cantaloupe!), blood pressure was good, etc. My weight gain was a quite a bit for only one month at 6lbs, but I think there are a couple reasons for that… (1) I had to stop jogging a few weeks ago because I started getting pretty severe groin pain/soreness that would last for hours or even days afterward, and (2) I think you went through a huge growth spurt in there. I mean, take a look! Here’s your 22 week picture….

22 weeks

And your 25 week picture (not my best photo, but as I told Dad at this point it’s a week late, it needs to get done LOL)….

25 weeks

WHOA! Actually Dad & I have a conversation almost daily now that goes something like this:

Me (looking in mirror or down at belly): This is ridiculous! There’s NO WAY I was this huge, this early, when I was pregnant with Alex.
Dad: Yes you were, dear. It’s okay!

Oy! :-\ By the way, for your future wife’s sake go ahead & add “yes you were (and are) huge” to the list of things NOT to tell a woman while she’s pregnant. LOL. Anyway, other than that I don’t have much to report. We’re still working hard on your nursery & it’s actually almost done. We just have a few finishing touches to add & then I’m going to get all your stuff organized in there. Some friends are hosting a baby shower for you in a couple weeks, so I’ll probably finish everything up & take some pictures of it to show you shortly after that. I will say, it’s looking really good so far! πŸ™‚

And with that, I’ll go ahead & wrap this up. Until next time little guy (and who knows when that will be as I clearly suck at writing these letters lately, so sorry!), keep up that moving & growing! Dad & I are getting ever more excited to meet you. πŸ˜€

All my love,
Mom

Episode VII: Return of the Snoogle

Dear Charlie,

Coming up on 21 weeks now, over halfway through the pregnancy! You’re getting bigger and bigger with each passing day now, currently around 13 ounces & 11 inches long… the interwebs says that’s the size of a pomegranate, but I’ve never seen an 11 inch pomegranate! Haha. I’ll let the belly speak for itself (this was taken last week actually, right at 20 weeks):

1907890_10100464463722847_1901454994154649332_o

As noted in the title of this letter, I did have to break my humongous Snoogle pillow back out a couple weeks ago… it has become kind of uncomfortable to lay flat on my back for too long, plus technically it is not good for either of us to have me laying on my back after the 20 week mark anyway. Poor Dad, he (understandably) was not looking forward to the return of the Snoogle. It really is like having a third person in the bed. LOL. A necessary evil!

The other obvious indicator of your size is the fact that I can feel you moving around in there on a regular basis now. It’s not constant (yet), but I can usually depend on you to poke & flip around after a meal and/or when I’m laying in bed at night. It’s not quite at the point where Dad can feel you moving from the outside yet, although that hasn’t stopped him from trying! I suspect that will happen within the next month or so.

All other indicators are pointing to a smooth, healthy pregnancy so far as well. Every test I’ve taken up to this point has come back normal, my weight gain and blood pressure are right where they should be, and you “passed” your anatomy scan last week with flying colors! The ultrasound tech took her time to show us all your organs, bones, etc… and you almost immediately showed us “the goods” confirming (again) that you are definitely ALL BOY. Haha. And not shy about it at all! πŸ˜‰

We got a few pictures from the ultrasound, but we also got something even better this time– a video! I was so excited when the OB office told us they do this free video service now for all their patients. Here you are, in all your glory:

As fun as it is to watch you on the screen, we are getting more and more excited to meet you in person! πŸ˜€ And admittedly, a little terrified about it too. :-X You’d think with being second-time parents that would not be the case, and it’s true that many of the things we were nervous about the first time are not things we’re worrying about now… but there are things about the transition from a family of three to a family of four that Dad & I worry about. Not just how we’re going to be able to handle having a newborn & a young toddler, but more importantly the young toddler’s transition from being an only child to a big brother. I know in the long run that Alex will be a GREAT big brother to you, but I also know that he is a stage 5 “clinger” on me and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Having to divide my time between the two of you is going to be really hard on him, and honestly I feel a lot of guilt about it already. I hope & pray that we do a good job of helping him to handle it, and that he does not take it out on you too much.

Speaking of Alex, we’ve been trying to introduce the “there’s a baby in mommy’s belly” concept to him recently & I think he’s starting to pick it up a little bit! Randomly he touched my belly the other day & said “Baby sleep” out of nowhere. I was like “Yeah Baby Charlie is sleeping in there” and he goes “Charlie!” πŸ˜€ So, there’s hope for the two of you after all. LOL.

Well I’d better wrap this up– you are kicking furiously at my bladder all of a sudden so a trip to the bathroom is in order… :-X Until next time, sweet boy!

All my love,
Mom

Keeping Busy

Dear Charlie (!),

You are about 17 1/2 weeks along now, almost the size of a sweet potato. πŸ™‚ It’s been a very busy summer for us, as this time of year is for any family with kids, but I have found some time to start working on your nursery. At the same time, I’ve been working on Alex’s “big boy” room… so both projects are at an awkward, incomplete stage at the moment. Still, I’ll share with you what I’ve got so far:

IMG_20140724_144008I picked out this animal/forest themed set for your room because it is so fun & colorful! Several people have asked me if I was going to just re-use Alex’s nursery set for you, but I don’t want to. Nursery linens are relatively inexpensive, and seeing as you are your own little person with your own identity, I wanted you to have your own unique nursery. πŸ™‚ We may re-use the branch from Alex’s nursery though, but if we do I’ll jazz it up a bit to make it look different. I’m thinking your walls will be some shade of green, or possibly gray or a darker blue…. still in debate on that. I do also have curtains, which are orange. I think green, blue & orange will be the main colors we use in here. Hoping to make more progress in the next few months!

I’ve also been randomly purchasing the few little things we need for you, as I’ve had time to shop. I got a new chair for Alex’s room so that we could move the comfy recliner into your room (I imagine you & I will be spending a LOT of time in it together come January/February πŸ˜‰ ), and also purchased a couple lots of gently used newborn-sized clothes off of the yardsale sites. I discovered these online yardsales about 6 months or so ago… they’re a GREAT place to find good deals on gently used stuff, particularly baby/kid stuff. We were told not to get newborn sized clothes for Alex, and I always regretted that because, even at 8lb 3oz, he was still in newborn clothes for quite awhile. I’d say for the first month or so he just wore the size 0-3month clothes that totally swallowed him. LOL. Anyway, I suspect you’ll be around the same size as Alex & therefore I will need some newborn sized clothes. I might have gone overboard though….

IMG_20140724_140428What can I say, they were good deals! There’s about 80 outfits in this box. :-X Oh well, at least we’re prepared on that front now. Haha! The only other thing on my list is a nicer changing pad and covers for it– I never liked the thin, cheap one that came with our changing table. Other than that, I plan to start stocking up on diapers and possibly formula as we get closer to your due date.

[Yes, I said formula– I’m not planning to breastfeed for very long, if at all. It was NOT a good experience the first go-round, and although there’s a ton of pressure on mothers to breastfeed their babies these days, it is NOT something that comes naturally to me & I refuse to let the stress of it ruin those precious, fleeting days of the “newborn phase” like it did with Alex…. that is one of my biggest regrets with him. So, to me it’s not worth it, knowing that formula also does a fantastic job of nourishing babies– Alex was quite healthy & thriving on formula. If by some miracle the breastmilk overfloweth this time around I’ll certainly run with it, but I don’t want to assume or anticipate that scenario the way I stupidly did last time. As this is a public blog, I know there are moms reading this who will probably judge me for it, but I don’t care– it’s my choice. That’s all I have to say about that.]

Anywho, I haven’t posted a picture of you in quite awhile… I should have put one up in my last letter, but there was so much else going on that I just plain forgot! Here’s my “bump pic” from 15 weeks:DSC_0766

And here’s my most recent bump pic, at almost 18 weeks:

DSC_0768It’s hard to see in the pictures, but I can feel it with the increasing weight/discomfort in my midsection– you sure are growing fast in there! In fact, you are just about to embark on a major growth spurt, typical for the second trimester. Hopefully I’m at a point now where when people see me, it’s clear that I’m pregnant and not just fat. LOL. I really hate that “in-between” phase where it’s questionable. About a week or so ago, I admitted defeat and broke out my stash of maternity clothes. I forgot how comfy maternity clothes are! πŸ˜€ Plus I picked up a few more maternity things on the yardsale sites. I also got a really great deal on one of those baby fetal heart rate monitors, and Dad & I have really enjoyed listening to your heartbeat whenever we want at home. Okay, I might be addicted to those yardsales… Whoops!

That’s about all for now. I will probably wait to write again until after my next OB appointment, which is the 20 week check-up & anatomy scan. Dad & I can’t wait to get another glimpse of you! Hopefully we’ll have nothing but good news to report from that appointment. Until then, keep growing little guy!

All my love,
Mom

It’s a… (AGAIN!)

Dear Baby Pacheco,

Almost 15 weeks along already! I can’t believe we’re already approaching the 4 month mark; this pregnancy has been REALLY flying by. Still feeling really good, finally starting to get some energy back now that we’re well into second trimester. And yes, after a couple of harassing phone calls to both the doctor’s office and the lab they contract with to do the blood DNA test– we FINALLY got the results back, the week after I last wrote you. WIthout further ado….

IMG_20140724_134908You are a BOY! πŸ˜€ The test confirmed what the ultrasound tech had predicted– she said she could clearly see on the ultrasound the “frank and beans,” as it were. Once she pointed it out, Dad & I could see it too.

I’m not gonna lie, I was shocked… and a little sad. For some reason, I’d felt so sure that you were going to be a girl. I didn’t have those sorts of feelings with Alex, I honestly didn’t have any “sense” about it one way or the other. But this time…. well, the best way to describe it is that I had to mourn the baby girl I thought was growing inside me, and get accustomed to the baby boy I found to be there instead. I just needed to some time to wrap my mind around it, is all.

Not that I’m any less excited about your impending arrival, mind you! πŸ˜‰ In a lot of ways it is a bit of a relief, because we already have just about everything we need for a baby boy. I already have plenty of experience with all the special little nuances that go with little boys. Dad is insanely excited (I think the idea of a little girl makes him nervous, which of course is so silly), and proud as a peacock — when we walked out of the ultrasound, the first thing he said was “Heck yeah, this baby factory (referring to his “frank and beans,” ha) only makes BOYS!” πŸ˜‰ LMAO

Above all else, I know you & Alex are going to enjoy each other SO much. More than I think you would have, honestly, if you had been a girl. Many people have asked me why we decided to have another baby so soon after Alex. In this day & age, two years is pretty close together.. mostly because the cost of babies– daycare, etc– is so high, but also because it going to be much more demanding on us as parents (both of whom work full-time) to have two kids that are both SO young. The truth of it is that we’re really doing this because we think it is the best thing for you guys. Having that partner-in-crime, best buddy, etc. to grow up with is the one of the best gifts we can give you as parents. And so, it is my greatest hope & wish that you two cherish that. I know that you won’t always– Dad & I both had siblings that were two years older, and there were MANY times where we fought with them like cats and dogs– but all in all having a sibling so close in age was a huge blessing to us throughout our childhood, and beyond. πŸ™‚ You guys have SO much to look forward to!

Anywho, once we found out you were a boy we decided it was a good time to make our big “announcement” on the Interwebs. Because as we all know, nothing is official until you’ve posted it on Facebook. πŸ˜‰ Alex helped me with the announcement…

IMG_570655964782663As the “eviction notice” says, Dad & I decided that we’re going to name you Charles John Pacheco. We’ll call you Charlie for short. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad that we finally have something more concrete to call you, besides whatever fruit you happen to be that week (this week it’s an orange, BTW). The other great thing about knowing that you’re a boy is that I’ve been able to start working more on your nursery! But I think I’ll save that for my next letter, as I’m running short on time at the moment. Until then, my littlest love! :-*

All my love,
Mom

The Waiting Game

Dear Baby Pacheco,

I’d been waiting to write because I was hoping to have some big news to share in my letter… I was anticipating finding out at my 12 week appointment whether you’re a boy or girl. I took the blood DNA test at 10 weeks, and was told it would take up to two weeks for the results to come back. I thought surely, they’d have the results by my next appointment….

Well, that appointment came & went– it was on Tuesday, which also happened to be Dad’s birthday. It’s funny, I’m pretty sure we had this same appointment for my first pregnancy on Dad’s birthday as well. So much of this pregnancy has felt like a repeat of my last, with the due dates being almost exactly the same & it “feeling” almost exactly the same. Anyway, although the ultrasound technician had a pretty confident guess based on what she saw on the screen, the test results still weren’t back yet. And now as I write this two days later, I still haven’t heard anything. If I don’t hear something by tomorrow afternoon, I will probably call their office tomorrow & harass some people. :-XΒ Β  LOL

Despite that bit of disappointment, it was still an enjoyable visit! This was Dad’s first time getting to see you, which is always a momentous occasion as the sight of your little squirmy self on the screen always makes this whole “having a baby” thing feel so much more real. πŸ˜‰ Both the doctor and the ultrasound tech said that you are looking great, and everything is right on target with the pregnancy so far. For that, we are so grateful. Here are my favorite pictures from the ultrasound:

Baby12weeks4The “full body” shot πŸ™‚ I really liked the ultrasound tech we got this time– she took an extra few minutes to zoom in & show us every body part: the organs, limbs, etc. You are looking wonderfully healthy so far!

Baby12weeks3Five little fingers!!!

Anywho, other than that there isn’t too much to report on. As I said above, this pregnancy has been quite a bit like my first one… which is a good thing, as it means very little morning sickness. I will say that I ruined my perfect streak of no throwing up last week… but I should have known better than to eat Chinese food. For some reason I just can’t handle Chinese food while pregnant. I knew that, but ended up in a situation where I was at a Chinese restaurant last week & had little choice. For awhile I thought I would be okay, but then it hit me pretty hard a few hours later, just as I was about to leave work for the evening. Throwing up in the public bathroom at work is a less-than-pleasant experience, but thankfully no one was around as that would have made it extra mortifying. :-\ Since then (KNOCK ON WOOD, haha), I haven’t had any other issues. And hopefully I won’t from here on out, since we’re moving into second trimester now.

The other thing that’s been different is the alarming rate at which I’m growing. I took this picture a couple weeks ago, also in the bathroom at work LOL (I’ve been woefully awful about taking “official” bump pictures this time around, but quickly took this one to show a friend how there’s already a little bump going on).

IMG_20140611_163134I’ll try to remember to take another one soon. Exhaustion & “preggo brain” have hit me HARD. Unfortunately I think it has just as much to do with the pregnancy itself as with going through it while raising a young toddler. Phew!

That’s pretty much it for now…. I promise that the next time I write you, I’ll have your gender and your name ready to share! πŸ˜€ Until then, Little Plum!

All my love,
Mom

No News is Good News

Dear Baby Pacheco,

Hello little olive! That’s this week’s fruit/veggie comparison, at just over 9 weeks along now. Not much has changed, really, since my last letter. I still feel pretty tired and occasionally nauseous, but it seems to be getting better as we near the end of the first trimester. I had my monthly checkup yesterday, and everything went as well as it could have. It’s still too early to hear your heartbeat without an ultrasound, so this visit consisted basically of a blood test, a urine test, and a brief chat with the midwife.

Mostly we discussed how I’d like things to go for this pregnancy, and a couple things to expect over the next few months. One thing I’m really excited about is that this time around we’ll be able to find out if you’re a boy or a girl MUCH sooner… in just a few weeks actually! πŸ™‚ Dad & I have been talking fervently about names. To be honest, for some reason I have a feeling that you’re a girl… but I really will be happy one way or the other, for various reasons.

The other big topic of conversation was the method with which you will enter the world. Because I ended up having a c-section with Alex, things are a little less straight-forward this time around. Although I do have the option to try again for a vaginal birth, it comes with a lot of risks. The other option is to have a scheduled c-section. The one thing I DO know is that I don’t want to go through another induction of labor, if it comes to that. So although I have some thinking to do, should you need to come early for some reason I will most definitely opt for the c-section again.

Besides the checkup, not much else has been going on really. We’re taking a few subtle steps to prepare your big brother for the change, like teaching him about babies (& how to handle them!) as well as gradually moving him out of the crib & into a “big boy” bed. Of course he doesn’t understand yet what’s happening… and I doubt he truly will until you’re born. But I think he’ll be a great big brother to you. πŸ™‚

Anyway, that’s about all for now! Until next time, little one.

All my love,
Mom