27 weeks.

A couple nights ago I had a dream that I went in for my 28 week appointment and our baby no longer had a heartbeat. It was devastating, to have to relive our loss all over again, only this time having to break the news to everyone. In my dream, I was in some sort of a school, and in each classroom were people from different areas of my life (family, college friends, people from work, etc.), and I remember just being numb as I had to go to each room and announce that we were no longer pregnant (in my dream, I had already had a D&C again by the time I told everyone, which is odd, since if I were to lose this baby now, I’d actually have to give birth this late in the game). In my dream, dealing with everyone else’s grief was one of the worst parts about the whole experience. Everyone cried and demanded to know why it had happened, and I had no answers. All I wanted to do was run away from everyone so I could actually address my own grief without feeling like I had to take care of everyone else’s feelings. I woke up and had that weird half-still-in-my-dream moment where I wasn’t sure if it had all been real or a dream. I felt the baby move, realized it had all been a dream, and then I just started sobbing. Even after I was fully awake and well-aware it wasn’t real, I just couldn’t stop crying.

On a lighter note, I had a very productive weekend working on the nursery. I bought some pegboard and painted it with a chevron pattern and hung that above the changing table, and I finished the crib mobile I started a few weeks ago. I also painted a canvas to hang on the wall with some song lyrics I love and started a few other DIY things that I’ll give an update on later. I was feeling super crafty and productive this weekend. Pretty much all we need now is a crib and a rug (and a baby, of course!). I know I keep saying this, but one of these days I am going to get around to doing a post on the nursery decor. I really am happy about how it’s coming together!

Okay, so here’s what’s happening with baby and me at 27 weeks…

Baby is about 2 lbs. and 15 inches long now. That’s almost as long as a full-term baby – now he just needs to beef up! His eyelids can now open and close (they had been fused shut since about 11 or 12 weeks), and he has all five senses developed. I’ve even read he can start developing preferences on taste, as my amniotic fluid (which he is constantly swallowing) will taste different depending on what I eat that day. Baby is is kicking up a storm and I’m still loving it. I read that now is when kicks can start getting painful, but so far they aren’t (knock on wood), though I wouln’t say they’re subtle anymore either! I wonder how much the non-painful kicking has to do with my anterior placenta. Next appointment is Friday the 15th, where I’ll take my Gestational Diabetes test. Let’s hope all the sweets I’ve been craving (and giving into) lately haven’t sent me into a diabetic state!

Mama is officially in the third trimester now! Crazy how fast time seems to be moving. The first trimester dragged on forever, but the second feels like it just flew by, and suddenly I am in the third. Wow! Countdown to baby is now just 90 days. And we still don’t have a name, thanks to D’s indecisiveness. I actually have one that I love but D didn’t initially like. We came up with about 5 others that we would both be okay with, but every time I try to talk to D about which ones I like more than others, hoping to narrow it down further, he freezes up and says he can’t make a decision, and that none of them really feel like “the one” to him. Though he did say that the one I liked most (that he initially wasn’t crazy about) might have “a slight advantage over the others” since I like it so much. I’m trying not to push him too hard to go with that name since he originally didn’t like it, but secretly I’m hoping it continues to grow on him. But honestly, I’d really be okay with any of the names we’ve narrowed it down to. I am just ready to make a decision already – or at least feel like we’re moving towards a decision. At this rate, we’ll be deciding in the hospital. Oh well — at least this way I can easily skirt the name question since we honestly don’t know. We don’t plan on sharing with anyone until after he’s here, anyway.

I’m still dealing with some pretty bad sciatic pain. Honestly, that has been my only major complaint this pregnancy. I haven’t gained too much weight (1.4 lbs this week for a total so far of 14.6 lbs.), I still have quite a bit of energy, no swelling, no stretch marks. Really, if it weren’t for this darn sciatic pain and a large belly, I’d hardly even notice that I was pregnant. I started sitting on an exercise ball at work last week, and I think that’s helping some. I’ve also booked a prenatal massage for this weekend, so hopefully that helps too. Speaking of the large belly, I’m starting to get more and more comments from strangers asking when I’m due, which for some reason always catches me off-guard. I’m still not used to the idea that other people can tell I’m pregnant, for some reason. I guess it’s because depending on the outfit, I still feel like I just look like I’ve had too many hamburgers. Plus, I’ve had numerous occasions where I’ve had to stand on the bus without anyone offering me their seat, so I do think that with my coat on, sometimes you can’t tell. Either that or people are just selfish. Although, I did notice last week that one of my jackets only covers about half of my belly. 😐 I guess I just never look at myself in the mirror after I put my coat on in the mornings, but last week I stopped in the bathroom at work before dropping my stuff off in my office, and realized it may be time to retire this particular jacket, even if I can still zip it. Not the most flattering look!

26w3dcoat

With coat…

Without coat. (Good lord, my boobs are almost the size of my head.)

Try again.

On Friday, I finally got what I had waited 68 days for: the start of my period.

It’s bittersweet, really. On the one hand, I was practically doing flips, I was so excited. FINALLY, my body was on its way to being normal again. But I also found it kind of sad, realizing that the last time I had a period (I don’t count the crazy post-miscarriage bleeding), was right before I was pregnant. I’m back to the beginning, making the time I was actually pregnant feel like a distant dream that I woke up from too soon.

Have you ever woken up from a good dream and tried so hard to fall asleep again so you could get back to it? That’s how I feel about being pregnant. And just like it’s hard to just fall asleep and go back to a dream, so far I haven’t been able to get back either. Waiting for that first period, that new cycle, has essentially been keeping me “awake.”

But now it’s here, which means we can start trying again. I’m equally excited and terrified. Excited to get back to my dream, but terrified because I know it just won’t be the same. I feel robbed of that naive excitement I had the last time we found out we were expecting. Sure, I knew things can go wrong in the first trimester, which is why we hadn’t shared our good news yet. But what I wasn’t prepared for was just how much losing our baby would hurt. I know the odds are in our favor that this next pregnancy will be healthy, but that small chance that something could go wrong again is killing me. Can I physically and emotionally handle losing another baby? I honestly don’t know. What I do know, is that the only way to get our baby is to try again.

I came across this poem a while back, and thinking about it gives me the strength to try again.

A Different Child

A different child, people notice
There’s a special glow around you.
You grow surrounded by love
Never doubting you are wanted;
Only look at the pride and joy
In your mother and father’s eyes.
And if sometimes between the smiles
There’s a trace of tears,
One day you’ll understand.
You’ll understand there was once another child.
A different child.
Who was in their hopes and dreams.
That child will never outgrow the baby clothes.
That child will never keep them up at night.
In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all…
Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
That different child.
May hope and love wrap you warmly
And may you learn the lesson forever:
How infinitely precious,
How infinitely fragile is this life on earth.
One day, as a young man or woman
You may see another mother’s tears
Another father’s silent grief
Then you, and you alone will understand
And offer the greatest comfort.
When all hope seems lost
you will tell them with great compassion:
“I know how you feel.
I’m only here because my parents tried again.”

-Author Unknown

Only in my dreams…

For the past year or so, I have been having crazy baby dreams, and almost every dream involves me not being prepared for a baby. This is incredibly ironic considering we are still several months away from even trying and I’ve already secretly started what will eventually be our baby blog, have given baby names way more thought than a sane person should at this point, and have been secretly making mental notes at baby showers of what I want to register for. Suffice to say, I will probably be overly-prepared, because that’s just the sort of Type A person I am.

But in my dreams, it’s a whole different story. In terms of not being ready, I’ve seen three recurring themes:

  1. Alcohol. In these dreams, I am happily boozing it up with friends when someone points out I should probably not be drinking. Whoops. In my dream, I had either forgotten or didn’t even know I was pregnant, even though I was clearly far enough along for friends to point it out for me. That just sounds like a really bad Lifetime movie, doesn’t it?
  2. Work. In some dreams I haven’t yet told my employer that I’ll need to take leave, so I am forced to return to work the next day. Sometimes I’m so busy with work that I’m trying to finish up something on my laptop while I’m in the hospital trying to push a person out of my person. I’ve even had dreams where I just take the baby with me to work since I hadn’t planned far enough ahead to figure out daycare arrangements.
  3. Appearance. Sometimes I don’t have any maternity clothes and I’m busting out of my regular clothes. Or sometimes it’s just the opposite and I’m really far along in my pregnancy – or even actually having the baby – yet I’m not even showing AT ALL, and I feel cheated out of the whole pregnancy experience. In these dreams I’m also worried other people will think I’m abnormal or will never believe I was actually pregnant.

I should get one of those dream interpreter people to tell me what these really mean. Otherwise I’d swear I’m a lush workaholic with body image issues. Wait… okay, so maybe that’s not so far off.

Perhaps the freakiest part of my dreams is that in each and every single one of them, I’m having a baby girl. And it’s the same baby girl in every dream. I could tell you exactly what she looks like. I half-joke that I’ve already met my future hypothetical daughter in my dreams, and as a result have pretty much convinced myself I’ll have a girl. Deep down I know this is ridiculous. It’s probably just because we know more baby girls than baby boys right now, as most of our friends/family have had girls recently. Plus, D and I both come from older-sister/younger-brother sibsets, so it would only seem natural that’s the order I’d imagine for my future hypothetical kids. Statistically, I understand we have a 50/50 chance of having a boy or a girl, yet I still sometimes can’t shake the gut feeling that’s what we’ll have.

As a very wise woman once said: as real as it may seem, it was only in my dreams.