12-Week / First Trimester Update

Holy moly, its been quite some time since I last posted.  I’ve got QUITE a few things queued up but between the end of the school year and work being an absolute ZOO the past few weeks, I just haven’t had time to finish them up and hit “publish”.

Much writing.  Such productive.

In the next few weeks I’ll make an effort to wrap those up and get them out.  We’ve got some food, some makeup stuff, some general stuff, essentially a little bit of everything that I wanted to hit on the content make-up of this blog.  Woohoo!  I also do have a quick update on my SneakPeek test (a follow-up, and results! however in/accurate they may wind up being) and a few other baby-gender things while we wait to find out what the Nugget is, definitively.

But for now, I’m just going to do a quick first-trimester overview: how I’ve been feeling, how Baby’s been doing, and generally my experiences with pregnancy so far since this is my first go!  I just hit the 12-week mark today according to Nugget’s first measurement, though according to yesterday’s ultrasound the Nugget is measuring 12 and 4.  Close enough.  They’re keeping my due date January 10 since the difference is so close, so it looks like one way or another we’ll have an early January baby – which is what I was hoping for all along!  Everyone I’ve ever met who has a birthday as close to Christmas as we were originally tracking (December 29/30) has absolutely hated their birthday, so having a due date decidedly after the holiday is a-ok with me.

(Baby is also apparently the size of an apricot, hence the header for today’s post.)

Speaking of ultrasounds, we had our first-trimester scan yesterday and HO BOY is that a wiggly baby in there.  My doctors’ office told me to be sure I ate before I came in so that Baby’d be moving around and they could see everything.

Baby apparently took that and RAN WITH IT.

The ultrasound tech had us in there for a full hour just trying to get good measurements on the few things she definitely needed to get.  I have to go back in next week for a follow-up because she wasn’t happy with what she got.  Nugget would sit like they were going to cooperate, and then…nope.  Flip over.  Hands in front of face.  Karate chop. When I talked to the office to reschedule, the woman on the phone said “well, I hope Baby is willing to move around for us next week!”  Lady, you apparently haven’t heard.  I have the wiggliest worm of a baby that ever was.  Lack of movement is NOT the issue here.

I’m still taking Diclegis religiously to get through days puke-free because otherwise, I am a nauseous wreck.  I’ve lost just about 10 lbs since before getting pregnant, which my doctor is obviously not thrilled about because I’m on the skinny side to begin with, but hopefully the nausea should be winding down this week or next.  (Fingers crossed.)  Fatigue is…ha.   I can barely stay up past 11 if I force it, which my husband is just…so in love with.  It certainly doesn’t help that I’ve been run ragged on both ends, but again, that should be wrapping up as I finish out the 1st trimester so…we’ll see.

Overall, I guess I’m not feeling too terrible.  Decidedly not great, but it no longer feels like I have a constant hangover – just a periodic one.  I’m excited to clear the first trimester and see if things actually improve, because so far I’ve just felt so blah for this entire pregnancy.  I’m exhausted and the heat doesn’t help in the least.  I think that’s the biggest thing I’d like to get back, is just any semblence of real energy rather than just feeling drained all the time.

Hell, I know it’ll all be worth it, but still.  I can’t take constant naps, much as Baby seems to wish I could!


My SneakPeek Experience (Part I)

I’m going to take a leap and say I’m not, by a long shot, in the minority of Expecting Women (TM) in that I would like to know the baby’s gender as soon as possible.  This is partly for practical reasons, but largely because I have my own hopes and expectations and I’d like to just set myself up accordingly.

I’ll be doing a separate post on various old wives’ tales and what they’ve predicted as far as gender is concerned, but for today I want to talk about SneakPeek., which is an early-prediction blood test that claims to be able to detect male chromosomes in your blood (indicative of having a boy) as early as 9 weeks from your LMP.  Sounds pretty neat, probably too good to be true, but I figured “what the hey” and ordered my kit a few weeks back.

The Deal: SneakPeek offers two kit options: the basic $79 kit, and the $149 “SneakPeek FastTrack”…which is essentially you paying a premium for overnight shipping to and from the SneakPeak facility.  Your kit will include 3 lancets, 3 alcohol pads, 3 bandaids, a “tourniquet”, a vial for blood collection, and your packaging/return materials.  Essentially you wash up and wipe down the area you’re going to be testing in order to get rid of any contaminating “boy cooties”, really, and then prick your finger to fill up the vial to the line marked on the outside.

Since I don’t have a lot of faith in this anyway and didn’t want to spring for the shipping, I got the $79 kit and waited patiently.  The kit arrived last week and I just got back from dropping it off in a mailbox – I’m about 10 weeks based on my LMP but baby is measuring a week behind my estimate, so I waited until today (9 weeks based on baby size) to test just to be safe.

The Test: I will say this, the instructions were clear and seemed pretty hard to mess up.  I did all my prep, drank a bunch of water, cleaned up where I was going to be testing and was all set to go.

Everything was straight downhill from there.

I like to think I’m a good bleeder – I donate blood frequently and am usually done before anyone else who started at the same time.  I have good veins and good bloodflow.  But filling up the test tube they provided to the line they marked was actually 100% impossible.  I’ve sent back about half as much blood as they wanted and they’re just going to have to deal with that, because short of cutting open an actual vein, there was no way I was filling that tube from a fingerprick.  I’ve been doing a bit of research on this – apparently older versions of the test required far less blood, and even the amount they collected then was actually “too much” or at the very least more than they needed to do what they claimed.  So why have they upped the amount, and so drastically…?

But I digress.  Save for the mess (I wound up getting blood in places I didn’t even remember having touched while doing this) and the fact that their blood quantities are impossible, I suppose it was an easy enough test.

I’ve heard mixed things about the results – anecdotal internet evidence would probably put their accuracy rating closer to 50/50, rather than the 99% that they claim.  I don’t know that I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get the result I want on this test, knowing how frequently they’ve been wrong.  But I suppose we’ll see!  I have 5-7 business days to wait until the test arrives at SneakPeek, and then another 24 hours (provided they don’t immediately reject my sample for being too small!!).

Mother’s Day

Hey look, my first post!  I figure this is a timely and appropriate way to start out.

Mother’s Day is a weird holiday for me.  I’m guessing a lot of steppeople feel the same way about both Mother’s and Father’s Days.  On the one hand, I have always had a wonderfully supportive family, both my immediate and that of my husband, who has gone above and beyond to make me feel included in a day that typically stepmothers are kept out of.  My husband always gets me flowers along with both of our mothers, and over the 4 years I’ve been in their lives, the boys have made me feel *special* or included with cards and trinkets they made at school, though I’m not positive that’s not just because they made them in class on a Wednesday or Thursday and they know that saying “I’m saving this for mommy” would wound me.

I know my husband’s getting me flowers again this year.  My mom has already been sending me a whole host of “Mother’s Day isn’t just about biological children, it’s about the ones you raise as if they were”.  I got a card from my sister-in-law yesterday.  On the conscious level I get that it’s ok for me to have some stake in this day, I get that from Sunday night to Monday night I am “mom”, no prefix, and I’m allowed to let people celebrate the fact that I do put in that work.  But I still can’t shake the feeling that I don’t deserve it.

This year…I feel even weirder about it.  Because I’m expecting, I’m almost in two worlds, and neither one of them truly fits with “Mother’s Day”, to me.  I’m only 7 weeks, so it’s not like the nugget actually feels like anything more than an occasional crampy nuisance.  I don’t truly “feel” pregnant, so I don’t really feel like a “true mom” yet – all I’ve done is the easy part, and it doesn’t feel right celebrating this holiday as a mom-to-be when I haven’t done the hard part of mothering a child, yet.

I have a coworker who’s due in September, and her viewpoint on this is very clear: she has told her husband point blank that he had better be coming home Sunday with roses, or else she’s kicking him back out to go get them.  I personally think that’s a little presumptuous (not to mention a shitty way to treat your husband).  I understand celebrating the day, but I don’t think I can endorse making all the fuss of FIRST MOTHER’S DAY EVER because…it isn’t, if you ask me.  It’s my First Mom-To-Be’s Day, and hers, and next year we’ll hopefully be celebrating our first true Mothers’ Days with our LOs, but that’s a thing to be sharing with our children next year when we have them to love.

I’m not writing this post with any sort of answer in mind; these are just my thoughts.  I don’t know if I’d be happier with a Stepmother’s Day, or an Expecting Mothers Day, or a Puppy Mothers Day, or however other ways you can put it – but having now filled all of those categories without expressly ticking the “Mother” box, I still don’t feel as if it’s right for me to be included because I haven’t yet achieved the “prerequisite”, so to speak.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m way overthinking this and should just let people celebrate my contributions as I see fit.

Thoughts, friends?

xx, E