Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thoughts on a Tuesday

Well, friends, I have about a half dozen posts halfway finished that just need a little tweaking before I can publish them. But....seeing as how I want to go to bed almost immediately upon getting home from work everyday, I haven't gotten around to the tweaking. So, I think for today, we will just do one of those stream of consciousness type posts. Here's what's been on my mind lately.

I have had at least three people tell me how small I am for 18 weeks within the last week or so. So now Corey and I are totally paranoid about how much weight I am gaining and if I am in fact, the right size for how far along I am. My doctor said everything looked great at the last appointment and baby was measuring right where he/she (see how I almost slipped up there?) should be for the time. So, I would really feel a whole lot better if people would just mind their business.

For many weeks of my pregnancy I've been pretty emotional and would cry at the drop of a hat. Recently, I've been getting irrationally angry for no real reason. Not necessarily at people, but just angry at situations. For example, I pulled into my driveway the other day and the way Corey had parked left me so little room to get out of my car. Never mind the half way finished patio furniture awaiting a final coat of stain and polyurethane that has been sitting in my space inside the garage for the past two, er, three months. I was just steaming by the time I got my things out of the car at the driveway. Why couldn't it just be six tiny inches wider?!

I feel so guilty for sweet Riley who has been stuck inside for what feels like ever since it has been raining nonstop in Charlotte lately. It seems like the only time it isn't raining is when we are at work and he's stuck inside anyway by himself. Poor guy. Here's a little photo for your viewing pleasure of him snuggling the Snuggle pregnancy pillow. He does this each morning when I get in the shower.

I finally updated my phone and actually have enough memory on my new one for it to work properly. So happy to have essential apps like Yelp, Google Maps, Uber, and Joss and Main functioning again. Life really is so much easier when you have access to Google Maps.

The house that almost was (then wasn't) has also been on my mind a lot. Corey and I have looked at so many houses (dozens), bid on three, won only one bid, then lost a house three weeks before closing following its inspections. At this point, I now want to stay in our current home for all eternity. And I believe that is what we will be doing for the immediate future, at least until baby is here and we are adjusted and my emotions are more in control. What a heart-wrenching process house shopping is in this market.

I had a coffee and brunch date with some of my sorority sisters who live in town this past weekend. We try to do this every now and then but sometimes things just get busy. I have to say I am super lucky that I have two girls I was close with from my own pledge class in my own chapter at Furman who live just a couple minutes from me now. Girls brunches are just the best.

I get pictures and letters from my sweet littles at school all the time but this is my absolute favorite from work this year so far. I found it on my desk one morning recently when I got to school.

And that's all for today, friends. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Bumpdate: Weeks 14-17

How far along? 17 weeks (as of this past Saturday when the picture was taken) 

Weight gain: about 4 pounds but I sure feel like it is more. 

Cravings: I had been craving sweets way too frequently! Someone brought in hot Krispy Kremes to work a couple weeks ago and before the day was over, I believe I had eaten three. Now, it's switched back to more veggies and salads thankfully. Pizza is pretty much a constant craving as well but I prefer grandma pizzas from one specific restaurant here in Charlotte. 

Anything making me nauseas/queasy? I have been feeling pretty good. I will have random moments where I am unbelievably queasy but then it will pass after a couple minutes. 

Stretch marks: Not yet. Applying my Bio Oil and Belly Butter like it is my job. 

Maternity clothes: Belly bands are a must if I want to wear pants. I finally caved and bought a couple pairs of maternity pants but don't need tops at all yet. I'm wearing dresses every day that I can until the weather gets cooler. 

Wedding rings on/off: On. 

Sleep: It hasn't been so great recently! I am still completely, utterly exhausted. I was led to believe this would be better by now. I've also been having really bizarre, vivid dreams. Some aren't even pregnancy-related but they are exhausting. Learning to sleep on my side is hard as well. I got a snoogle, which helps me get comfy when I'm headed to bed each night but in my sleep I constantly try to get out of it. 

Movement: Not yet! 

Gender: We know but aren't announcing just yet!

Symptoms: Exhaustion, bigger boobs that are tender, some mood swings. 

Best moment this month: When we found out the gender. We just wanted a healthy baby but it is so much more real to know now. The experience of finding out was really fun because we went to a private place and they gave us so many pictures and a little video and took so much time with us to give us information about our baby.

Worst moment this month: I've been so moody the past two weeks. The other night, Riley jumped up on me while I was wearing pajama pants I've had since college and they ripped all the way down the leg. I cried for at least 30 minutes. I just could not pull myself together. I knew it was irrational but long days at work, Corey traveling, not sleeping well, and crazy hormones has put me in this state of exhausted deliriousness. 

Looking forward to: My anatomy scan in two weeks and getting started on baby's nursery or at least collecting items for it. I'm also in need of crib recommendations. Of course I am in love with one from PB Kids but don't know if it is wise to spend so much on something that will be used for just a short time. Anyone have a crib for their little one that they just love? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Backstory

I have always wanted to be a mom. It was one of my life aspirations since the days of my childhood when I carefully tucked my baby dolls in for the night. But, being the total Type A planner that I am, I had a very specific plan for how and when that would occur. I was always very adamant that I wanted to do "me" first and have girls' nights and drink lots of wine, and blow a (reasonable) amount of my money on clothes and designer shoes and travel with just my husband.

Some time around Christmas my husband got it in his head that it was time to have a baby and that he really, truly wanted one. His father had been just secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) dying for a grandchild also. I had recently gone off the pill and we'd switched to another method of birth control. My Type A self was not quite ready but decided it was time to make a schedule. And also let my hormones regulate. So I "scheduled" that we would start trying this winter and just assumed I'd be happily pregnant by February. 

Then, my plan started to get a little messy. My father in law was diagnosed with terminal cancer on March 31. The father in law who I absolutely adored and who loved babies and children and who had been yearning for a grandchild of his own to spoil rotten. So, I started to feel very guilty about my own desire to continue my wine drinking and shopping tendencies for the immediate future.

His condition deteriorated really quickly and those 12-18 months they told us suddenly became a matter of weeks and the stress level in our family was incredibly escalated. Back to Plan A. We would discuss this again in the winter.

Then I started having some trouble with my thyroid, except that not all of my symptoms were thyroid related. So, my doctor recommended that I see my gynecologist. It was about time for my yearly anyway so I made the first available appointment, which was a month wait and was in mid-May. Why is it always so hard to get in to the gynecologist anyway??

That did not go well. Another blow for my Type A planner self, who was positive we would get pregnant the exact month I wanted to with absolutely no effort. I had multiple cysts on my ovaries. 
Not enough to be classified at PCOS and the bloodwork wasn't exactly what it needed to be for that diagnosis either, but they were there. And lots of them. This explained why my periods had been crazy for the seven-ish months I'd been off birth control, sometimes five weeks apart and sometimes eight or nine with absolutely no pattern. My progesterone looked good, my doctor said so the good news was it would be possible for me to get pregnant. It would just be difficult. My doctor explained we wouldn't be able to easily calculate when to "try" and with Corey traveling two weeks a month, I was likely to miss my window when playing it by chance. She suggested we try Clomid. 

It had taken a really long time to get in for this appointment and at this point, Corey's dad was very, very sick. This was only about two weeks before he passed away. Corey was spending lots of time at the Mayo Clinic and then spending the rest of his time traveling for work. He was hardly home and everyone was stressed. I told my doctor we would see how it goes and she and I could talk about that again in the winter. Because that was my plan all along, after all.

Then suddenly, everywhere I looked were cute babies. They were all over Instagram, Facebook, the mall, my neighborhood. Everywhere. And all of a sudden, I was absolutely terrified about not being able to get pregnant. All those years of trying not to so I could do "me" and Corey could do "him" and then this thing I've wanted all my life might not be able to happen. The thought of it was making me physically sick.

Corey's dad passed away June 4th. I flew to Florida to be with our family for a week. I saw my mother in law smile when she played with and held her best friends' grandchild. It was so good for the soul. Then, a week later we drove to New Jersey for my father-in-law's memorial service. So many people were there who we hadn't seen since our wedding and we got a few of those, "Wow. Three years already! No happy news yet?" comments from family. They weren't offensive to me but I also couldn't just laugh it off with a "Nope! Not Yet!" anymore. Now, they were terrifying because I was now afraid of having to endure the really long fertility battles of so many girls I've known.

After we returned home, the very next time Corey made a comment about being ready for a baby, I said "I don't want to try but maybe we can stop preventing." I really feel like that mindset was important. In my mind, the planner that by nature I am, I was calculating that it would give us six months to just see what happened and then December would be the month I would talk to my doctor again about the Clomid. And December is in the winter, as planned. So, even if we had a little trouble, I wouldn't be totally off the master planned schedule of my life. 

So of course, that was mid-June. We got pregnant mid-June. First attempt, without really attempting at all-just the fun stuff! We were both a little shocked at first. Then we were so excited and just couldn't help but laugh! 

You know what they say...

God's timing is so much better than the timing I had planned. And I cannot even put into words how thankful I am that we were able to get pregnant the way we did without it being the battle my doctor had recommended I be prepared for. Our hearts were certainly put through the wringer this year but right now we can happily say they are very much full of joy. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

1st Trimester Bumpdate

I refuse to do a weekly bumpdate post. I can barely find time to post weekly (er, quarterly?) as it is and I can't tell you how many blogs completely lost my interest with those. So I'm thinking I'll post a little update monthly. I typed this one up at about 13 and a half weeks but am just posting now. Here's a little recap of my first trimester.
Disclaimer: sometimes I look like I have a very visible bump and other times my tummy is as flat as always. It changes throughout the day. I was looking unusual "bumpy" the day I took this photo and just had to show it off to my mother in law.

How far along? 13 Weeks

Weight gain: None. I went down a few pounds early on - 21 Day Fix Extreme! Then, gained a few back and am now right at my starting weight. 

Cravings: Right now I really only want salads with just oil and vinegar dressing and English muffins with peanut butter. And occasionally cookies with milk. 

Anything making me  nauseous/queasy? My Shakeology breakfast shake. I'm so sad about this because I could use the fresh fruits mixed in but these are nixed for the duration anyway since they discourage weight gain. Cigarette smoke will make me want to simultaneously throw up and murder the person smoking around my child. Sometimes other random things will make me nauseous, like ice cream and yogurt for a few days then salty stuff for a few days, etc. I haven't actually been sick hardly at all but I've been severely nauseous and queasy a lot.

Exercise: I'm still exercising most days. I will use that term "exercising" loosely though. At the very beginning, I was getting incredibly sick during my morning workouts and was nauseous and very lightheaded and dizzy. I switched them to later in the day and that was better until I went back to work. There are some days where I turn on a Beachbody video and my body is just like no, ma'am. So then I have to settle for a walk on the treadmill or around the neighborhood with Riley. I'm doing my best to stay as fit as possible during pregnancy but also know I have to let some things slide.  Swimsuit season will be right around the corner after childbirth. I don't anticipate being in a bikini next year but I don't want to still be carrying around 30 extra pounds.

Stretch marks: Not yet. I'm using a combo of Mama Bee belly butter by Birt's Bees and Bio Oil twice daily. 

Maternity clothes: Not yet! But I did pick up some belly bands from Target. 

Wedding rings on/off: On.

Sleep: Hit or miss. I'm exhausted pretty much every second of the day. Before I went back to school, I was napping in the afternoons for an hour or so. Some nights I'm sleeping great and others I just toss and turn forever and just as I'm out to finally settle down to go to sleep, I have to use the restroom. Adjusting to sleeping on my side is hard, too. 

Movement: Not yet. 

Gender: We don't know yet. Appointment set for October at my OB but we might end up going early.

Symptoms: I have had a lot of early pregnancy symptoms. Sore boobs, low back pain, mild cramping, some nausea, crazy mood swings. 

Best moment this month: So many happy moments in the first trimester. Finding out, telling Corey, telling our families, our first doctor's visit.

Worst moment this month: Corey and I got in a full blown argument when he wouldn't take me for ice cream for National Ice Cream Day. 

Looking forward to: finding out if Baby Walen is a boy or a girl! Cannot wait to monogram everything. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Party of Three

After three years of marriage, Corey and I are so excited to share that we are expanding our family. Baby W is set to arrive in late February/early March 2016! 

I'm so excited to share more details soon. But, since it is Five on Friday today and I haven't linked up in ages and ages, I'll share five quick little facts now.

1. We are due February 27th. And I'm just hoping Baby doesn't come on Leap Day.
2. I am currently a little over 14 weeks along and into my second trimester.
3. We aren't scheduled to find out the gender until the first week of October and I am just dying to go to a private ultrasound place and know sooner! Did anyone do this? What was your experience?
4. All grandparents are just thrilled!
5. Corey and I are super excited ourselves!! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Current Obsessions

Nude Polishes
This summer I have skipped my usual bright hues for more muted, softer ones. I'm still wearing the bright brights on my toes but my favorite summer polishes for my nails this year have been Tuck it in my Tux and Ballet Slippers (an oldie but a goodie). I also recently picked up Essie's Gel Setter topcoat and am just loving it so far. My at home manis are lasting at least 7 days without even the tiniest of chips. Sometimes, even longer. I can't wait to see what this does for my darker, fall hues.

White Kitchens

As we continue the never ending house hunt, I continue my love of white kitchens. I'm obsessed with my current kitchen that I designed when we built our home in 2013. It's making me a real estate snob. Finding a kitchen that tops ours is so much harder than I thought it would be. After viewing what feels like 1,000 houses, I can say that Charlotte has a lot of ugly kitchens and I sure do wish  more of them looked like the one above.  

Lauren James
I found this designer last fall on Instagram but didn't order anything until this spring. My absolute favorite pieces are this dress, this one, and this bikini I sported all summer. We won't talk about how much money I spent there throughout the spring but all my pieces have gotten a ton of wear and I just can't wait to see what Lauren James does for the fall.

21 Day Fix Extreme and Piyo
I cannot tell you how much these programs have changed my fitness routine...for the better. I now work out at home most days and am done in the time I used to spend traveling to and from the gym after work.  I have always loved being active but my energy level completely changed about a year ago and I just find myself totally exhausted after work. 30 minutes at home is always do-able though and the workouts are intense. I just started coaching for Beachbody after being pretty successful with the 21 Day fix and am about to start another round (my third). If anyone is up to join me, I'd love some workout buddies so we all stay motivated.