Still Kickin’ — Literally (Foxlet 2: 31 Weeks)

Why, hello there! In what has now become sadly unsurprising, I’m back in spectacularly late fashion, I’m back with another pregnancy/life/Gretchen update. There’s been a lot going on in these parts lately, so much so that it sometimes feels I’ve barely been able to keep my head above water, let alone come back to document it all on the blog, but I’m gonna try my best to catch up (for those who may still be interested — goodness knows why, lol — and also just for posterity’s sake, heh.)

As of tomorrow I will be 31 weeks pregnant — which means I’ve got a mere 6 weeks to go ’til we get to meet Foxlet 2! (In case you aren’t aware/need a refresher, I have gestational hypertension — high blood pressure that surfaces only when I’m pregnant, so I’m being induced at around 37 weeks.) This pregnancy feels like it has FLOWN by — there really is such a marked difference between going through this all for the first time, and going through it all with a sassy, spunky, never-gonna-let-you-rest toddler along for the ride, lol.

Things were holding very steady with my blood pressure for a while there, and thus I haven’t really had too much to update on the pregnancy front (thankfully!). Unfortunately, it seems like that honeymoon period might be ending, as my BP had clocked in high again at my checkup last week (womp womp.) This may just have been a fluke (I get stressed out just getting my BP checked these days!), but it’s more likely that I’ll need to increase my blood pressure medication dosage in the coming weeks. Which, of course, isn’t a big deal, I just hope that the medication continues to keep it under control until we get to 37 weeks! With everything else that’s going on right now, an earlier delivery, or even bedrest, is not really something I think I can handle.

In the spirit of total honesty, given how early my hypertension condition surfaced (at 20 weeks), my anxiety over early delivery, potentially developing preeclampsia again, or other possible things going wrong with this pregnancy and baby had really been starting to get to me. I began to experience pretty intense anxiety attacks with physical symptoms (heart palpitations, shortness of breath, etc), so under the guidance of both my therapist and my OB, I started taking Zoloft and it’s really been helping me feel more level / less doomsday-y about everything. I definitely still have my moments, but in general I think it’s helping keep my tendency to immediately jump to the worst possible conclusion at least a little under control, so that’s good.

She was unimpressed.

Aaaaaaanyway, I had a growth ultrasound a few weeks ago to make sure that Baby F is still growing as it should be and everything looks good in there (it does!). I have also progressed to going into the OB for weekly blood pressure checks (in addition to checking at home) and NSTs (non-stress tests) where they monitor the baby’s movement, heartrate, etc. In fact, I have another appointment this afternoon!

My other symptoms have mainly just been your typical third-trimester pregnancy pains and issues — pelvic pain, heartburn, needing to pee all the time (lol), and being super-dee-duper exhausted, etc. I’m still feeling very grateful that despite my complication, this pregnancy has been a lot less severe symptom-wise than my pregnancy with Penny was, which probably has been helping me maintain a bit more of a que sera sera attitude about things lately. So hopefully that will continue to be the case even if my BP is up again today. Cross your fingers for me!

In other news, Sean, Penny, and I took a quick little mini-babymoon trip down to VA Beach a couple of weeks ago which was really nice. The weather wasn’t terribly cooperative for a beach trip (overcast and a bit rainy), but it was still just great to get out of town for a little bit and spend some quality time together.

Plus, in what should come as a surprise to no one, my little mermaid water baby absolutely loved the ocean! We, on the other hand, did not love how totally unphased and fearless she was about it — our little daredevil girl kept trying to charge riiiiiight into the tide, lol. So in reality, we actually ended up spending more time at the hotel pool than on the actual beach, but hey, at least we can check that experience off for her, lol.

We also celebrated Father’s Day last weekend with a lovely trip to the National Zoo! It was Penny’s first time at the zoo, and both of our first trip in a looooong while, and was so much fun! Penny really was into seeing the animals, and we even got to meet up with some friends who were visiting from out of town, whose daughter is just a few months younger than Penny.

Bear!

Also on the Penny front, we have unexpectedly began potty training!

I was totally not even thinking about attempting to potty train for a while still (honestly, dealing with two kids in diapers sounds so much easier than dealing with a newborn and having to deal with accidents + rushing my toddler to the bathroom every few hours), but we’re really just following Penny’s lead here. She started out telling us right after she pooped in her diaper, then progressed to telling us right before she had to poop, and now is telling us when she has peed/is peeing as well, constantly pulling on her diaper and yelling “POTTY!” at the top of her lungs.

So we’re just kinda rolling with it!

We’ve had a handful of successes, and while I’m definitely not trying to pressure her, I am trying to be as encouraging as possible. I mean, if she’s ready, she’s ready, right? We have a couple of little pottys placed around the house as well as a potty seat in the bathroom, and we’ll see how it continues to go!

Things have been going well on the work-front as well, not a whole lot new to report there since I think I already mentioned my promotion at the beginning of this quarter in a previous post. I’m just mainly trying to keep afloat with a calendar of fun and exciting events, keeping the Yelp Northern VA community engaged, and getting my ducks in a row before going out on maternity leave in August!

And then finally, we have the last piece of the insanity puzzle: our house move. Things have taken a lot longer than we initially planned to come to a head, but it looks like we are finally moving for reals next month! Because, you know, it’s not enough to be extremely pregnant and have a toddler and be planning out maternity leave and have a senior citizen dog and just, you know, deal with life in general. Nah, let’s throw a move and selling our current home in there as well! 😉

No, in all seriousness, I’m incredibly excited for the chance to move back inside the beltway and bring Penny and this new little one up in the same city I spent so much of my own childhood and youth. Plus, Falls Church just keeps getting better and better! There are lots of new developments in the works and cool new businesses constantly moving in — totally worth the traffic jam that all the construction causes, hehe.

I do think that Penny is starting to become a little bit more aware of all the change and upheaval brewing though, though whether it’s because of me being so noticeably pregnant, or because of the move, or just her toddler sixth-sense, who knows. She’s been clingy AF lately (as has Daxter, as you can see in the pic above, lol), and is definitely going through a very severe “MY MOMMY” phase. Hopefully by the time this baby actually arrives, she’ll remember how much she loves babies in general, because I don’t think her little sibling will be as tolerant of being shoved out of my lap as the dogs are, hahahaha.

And I think that pretty well catches us up! Let me know if you think I missed out on anything, or if there’s anything you’re curious about — I know this was already a lot of post to slog through, so I’m sure I skipped something. And, as always, if you’re craving more insight into my oh-so-interesting (lol) life, feel free to follow me on Instagram where I update much more frequently. See you next time!

Foxlet: Week 31

Here we are at week 31, and time definitely is NOT slowing down! 9 weeks to go… hopefully! At my last OB appointment they said I was measuring a week ahead, which I know could be accurate or could mean absolutely nothing. Even with all their measurements and technology, it’s still hard for doctors to accurately predict these things. I know the statistics all say that first time moms are faaaaar more likely to go past their due date than go into labor early, but I just can’t help my FTM paranoia and think I’m not gonna make it that far. Watch me eat these words in like 9 weeks when I’m totally overdue and absolutely miserable though, lol.

Every day I do a little bit more nesting — washing sheets or blankets, hanging stuff on walls, putting clothes on hangers. I think I just love spending time in her room, haha. Even though I know she won’t even be using the nursery for a while after we bring her home, it just feels nice to be down there. Surrounded by all “her” stuff, hehe.

Foxlet’s Size: At 31 weeks, Baby Foxlet is around 3 1/3 pounds and as big as a coconut, an American football, or one of those giant tubs of Nutella (mmmm… Nutella…)

Weight: I’ve gained more pound this week, making me almost back up to my initial weight! Huzzah!

Symptoms: Eh, you know, more of the same whining from me. Pregnancy hurts, man! Heartburn still hits me hard every night, and my SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction — basically lots o’ vag pain) has been pretty bad lately. I wear a pregnancy support belt at home (or tape up my belly with KT Tape) most days.

I’ve also still got this lingering dry cough (I suspect it may be somehow related to my heartburn, as I don’t feel sick otherwise!) and the latest new symptom is this super sharp, stabby pain that I get occasionally right over my rib, under my right boob. It feels like my rib is literally stabbing me — maybe Baby Foxlet has gotten so big she’s pushing part of my body into my rib bone or something? It usually flares up if I’m bending/leaning over or reaching forward for something, and will subside if I lay back. But yeah, not fun at all and definitely something I’ll be bringing up at my doctor’s appointment next week (if not calling about sooner. It really hurts!)

Emotions: Lol, do I even need to comment on this anymore? Still a total mess like, all the time. Sean and I watched Okja on Netflix which, having heard nothing about, I thought was gonna be a feel-good family-friendly movie but actually turned out to be a commentary on the factory farming industry. By the time the credits were rolling, I was a hot sobbing mess, loudly proclaiming through my tears all about how I was never eating meat again. (It didn’t last very long as I had chicken for dinner last night… although I’m still pretty sure I won’t be able to eat pork again for quite some time.) That said, the movie was very good! Just, you know, maybe not great to watch while pregnant and also right after having pork dumplings for dinner.

Cravings/Aversions: I’m back at the stage where I can never really decide what I want to eat, although I’m hungry like, all the time. Current favorites are still all things fruit, salads (especially with poppyseed dressing), and bagels with chive cream cheese.

Sleep: My heartburn has been making sleep more and more challenging. I basically have to prop myself somewhat upright so that the acid doesn’t burn my esophagus (something I was kind of used to doing before — I dealt with acid reflux pre-pregnancy too), but doing so a lot of pressure on my tailbone and makes that hurt. Plus, if I lay in any one position for too long, then go to change positions it hurts like hell because of my SPD. Basically, it takes me a hella long time to get comfortable and fall asleep. Probably every preggo’s problem at this stage, I know, but I’m still going to complain about it! Gahaha.

That said, I continue to be incredibly grateful that I work from home and have a flexible schedule so I can always tack on a bit more sleep in the mornings if I’ve had a bad night before. I’m also already making use of the Sleep Sheep noise machine that my friend gifted me, as it really is soothing to fall asleep to the dulcet sound of waves rippling upon the shore… She may have to fight me for it once she’s sleeping in her own room, ahahaha.

Purchases: My latest purchases have all been storage related, as I needed plastic drawers and tubs to get her clothes and toys and all her other odds and ends organized. I’m pretty happy with the system I have in place, and am planning on posting a full nursery “tour” once we really get everything finalized and in place.

Looking forward to… my registry completion discount activating at the end of this week so I can finally pick up the last remaining things that we need to prepare for this little one! It’s not a lot of “fun” stuff, mainly things like a changing pad, baby gate (or, more accurately, doggy gate), diaper stuff, mattress covers, and mommy necessities like boob pads and stuff. Super sexy.

NOT looking forward to… Getting my TDAP shot, probably at my appointment next week. I totally believe in its necessity to protect Foxlet from whooping cough (among other things), but the last time I got one (when my niece Kira was born), my arm hurt for like 3 days. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our children! 😉