To Viability and Beyond! (Foxlet 2: 23.5 Weeks)

Howdy neighbors! Hope everyone is having a great… day? Week? Month? Season? Whichever you choose, I hope things are going well for you! My own isn’t shaping up to be too terrible, though it certainly does keep throwing a few curveballs my way to keep things fresh.

Penny is 20 months old and has firmly entered her bull in a china shop phase — she is a full-blown clumsy toddler, complete with spills and tumbles and our little family’s first real kid accident. As we were walking home from the playground the weekend before last, Penny tripped over her own two feet and landed literally face-first on the sidewalk. Pregnant or not, I don’t think I’ve ever moved so quickly before in my life. I scooped her up and ran her back inside, cleaned up her scratches, and continued to bawl for like 15 minutes (me, not her, of course. My tough girl stopped crying after like, 45 seconds, lol.)

She bumped her forehead in addition to scratching up her right cheek, but thankfully it was nothing worse than that. She didn’t really even mess with it as it was healing. It’s been a little over a week since then, and her face is almost totally healed up. And alas, I’m sure it’s just the first of many injuries for my wild girl — she is absolutely a march-to-her-own-beat kinda lady, always charging off on her own and wanting (well, demanding, really) to do everything herself. And she already got herself a brand new skinned knee (very lightly — phew!) yesterday, lol, sob, cry.

We also celebrated our Harry’s FIFTEENTH birthday a week or so ago! He definitely has been showing his age lately (::tear::), but also still has his moments where you see he’s still got some of that puppy-like spirit. They say that mini schnauzers retain some of their youthfulness right until the very end, and given how our ailing, arthritic old man still has his random bursts of energy, I believe it. We love you, old man!

On the work front, things have been great. As I mentioned in my last post, I was promoted at the beginning of April, and my coworkers & I got to film something for a fun national campaign Yelp is coming out with later this year!

Filming in the city was really fun, but super exhausting — I am totally already at that point in my pregnancy where I’m slowing wayyyy down. I’ll be 24 weeks on Friday, which is kinda exciting because that gestational age is often when the baby is considered officially “viable.” Which I think essentially means that if I were to go into premature labor or need to delivery crazy early due to my gestational hypertension (or if it were to progress into severe preeclampsia — knock on wood!), there’s a reasonable chance that the baby would survive.

Obviously I am hoping, praying, and taking every precaution to ensure that DOESN’T happen and this little bean continues to bake as long as it needs, but I did have a little bit of a scare last weekend with an all-day headache (one of the signs they told me to keep my eye on with regard to preeclampsia), feeling “off,” and even further elevated blood pressure, so I can’t take anything for granted.

Thankfully, everything is fine. My results are still negative for pre-e, baby looks great, and my blood pressure came back down after a couple hours in the hospital. I know it’s way better to be safe than sorry, but it probably goes without saying that I did not miss being sent to the hospital for this kinda thing. -_-

My next OB checkup is next week, and I’m hoping things remain stable and that I’ll get the go-ahead to be able to travel out to the Oregon Coast with my family next month, as my dad’s been planning a little family reunion with my relatives in Oregon for a while, and right now my ability to join is a bit up in the air.

Aside from all of that, things seem to be progressing pretty normally with my pregnancy. I’ve got some pretty bad tailbone pain and every time I sneeze or cough too hard there’s like an 75% chance I either pee a little or throw up in my mouth (PREGNANCY IS A BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS TIME), but I really can’t complain too much because at this point with my first pregnancy I’m pretty sure I still felt like total crap. I have been experiencing some anxiety over all of the “unknown” stuff in my life right now — how my pregnancy will progress, our moving situation, work changes, etc — but I’ve been continuing to see my therapist throughout all of these big transitions and it’s been really helpful just to have that additional outlet to talk through everything.

Anyway, that’s where everything is at right now! Cheers!

Halfway There! (Foxlet 2: 20 Weeks)

Well whaddya know, just like that *Thanos snap* another month has come and gone, so I guess that means it’s time for my now-monthly blog updates (::sob::). I swear, I really do want to be posting more frequently but life is an insane mess these days and my personal blogging has fallen so far off the priority list that it actually depresses me. But hey, instead of dwelling in the doldrums about it, let’s dive right into all that aforementioned insanity, shall we?

LIFE

Jenny and the kiddos came up to visit during Mia’s Spring Break, so we got to spend lots of family time together and even braved the ridonkulous tourist traffic to go see the cherry blossoms in DC! Nothing like having visitors to finally get you to take advantage of the cool stuff that exists in your backyard that you totally ignore on a daily basis, lol.

We also celebrated my birthday a bit early while they were still in town with a giant dual-family dinner… which honestly ended up being kind of a disaster hahahaha.

I don’t know why I thought that 11 adults, 2 kids, 2 toddlers, and a baby out at a restaurant was a good idea in the first place, but I was already skating on thin ice with the entire idea… and then Penny ended up barely napping that day and thus was a total clingy overtired NIGHTMARE the entire time (save for the first 15 minutes when we took these photos lololol).

She only wanted to sit on (not with, ON) me, wanted to run amuck the whole time, was continuously melting down into a puddle of tears and tantrums, and even ended up shimmying out of her diaper right there in the restaurant partway through. I even spilled an entirely full glass of iced tea all over myself trying to wrangle her at one point, lol. At least we were in a semi-private area and at the restaurant really early so it wasn’t too terrible for other diners, but it was… not the best. But hey, I tried! And I learned a valuable lesson too, which is that dinner celebrations like this will either A) take place at home or B) involve a babysitter in the future.

Things went much smoother on my actual birthday the following week, where Sean surprised me by taking me out to one of my favorite sushi spots, Penny was muuuuch better behaved, and our waitress was in complete love with her so it made for a very pleasant evening all in all. And it was a great day in general because I also caught a movie and had lunch with my parents and mother-in-law (who actually shares the same birthday with me!) earlier that day.

Not a bad way to ring in my 31st year!

MOVING

We are still deep in the throes of packing up our stuff, preparing our house to be listed, and moving. Things slowed down a wee bit on that front for a little while, but we’re back on the train and things are starting to chug along again. Just trying to go through all of our crap, living amongst stacks of boxes and piles of stuff, figuring out what to pack up first, what to sell, what to keep but keep accessible, etc, has been one of the biggest things affecting my stress and anxiety lately (let alone getting to the point of actually listing and selling this place, lol) but I’m trying to keep everything in perspective. Trying being the operative word, of course, but just like the process of moving in general, I am a work in progress, heh.

WORK

Things are continuing to chug along at work, too. I actually received a promotion a few weeks ago, so you’re now looking at the Senior Community Director of Yelp here in Northern VA! The parameters of my job aren’t changing much, which is great because I love what I do and want to continue doing exactly that, but it does come with a few added opportunities, responsibilities, and perks so that’s a definite plus. We’ve got a lot of exciting initiatives, campaigns, and fun stuff coming down the pipeline, so now the trick is figuring out the balance between keeping work a top priority, and also not letting it get me even more stressed out given everything else I’ve got going on, haha. (And also starting the painstaking process of planning for my maternity leave!)

PENNY

Penny continues to be just the absolute light of my life. She is 100% a full-blown TODDLER now (see above story about my early birthday dinner, lol), but she’s also got so much personality (she’s FUNNY!), is starting to show imagination and creativity, is starting to actually sit through full books being read to her, reacts to scenes happening in movies (“Oh no!” “Uh oh!!” “Yayyyyy!!”), cheese for the camera, and is just the biggest joy.

She’s still a pretty good eater, although admittedly is starting to get a little pickier. She primarily alternates between great days (she had salad last night!) and good days, with the occasional yogurt-and-chicken-nuggets-only day thrown in there. Her favorite foods are eggs, cherry tomatoes, bananas, yogurt melts, and whatever Mommy is trying to eat.

She’ll be 20 months (!!) in a short 12 days, and I continue to be simply flabbergasted at how the time is flying by. She’s wearing 24 month/2T clothing, weighs around 28 pounds, and is a little over 34″ tall (maybe 34.5? Haven’t measured here since her 18 month appointment but I do think she’s sprouted up a bit since then.) We love our giant girl!

BABY FOXLET

And finally, an update on how Baby Foxlet #2 is doing — which is great! We had our anatomy scan on Monday and everything looks normal, which is the best word you can hear when you’re lying on the table and they’re scrutinizing every little artery and bone and body part. Sean is still holding fast to not wanting to find out the sex of the baby, so we’re still keeping it hush-hush, although I just couldn’t hold out myself (shocking, lol), so I do know myself. Hopefully Sean will crack sooner rather than later so I can announce it though! Any guesses?

Alas, while our little bean’s checkup went hunky-dory, my own 20 week checkup was a bit less golden. I clocked in some high blood pressure, which isn’t great. Some of you may remember my preeclampsia diagnosis with my first pregnancy which involved several blood pressure spikes, being sent to the hospital a couple times, then eventually being put on bedrest and being induced at 37 weeks on the dot.

My doctor prepared me that previous preeclampsia might mean I have an increased chance of getting it again, so while I can’t say I’m surprised that this could potentially be a sign of that, I am just a little worried about it presenting itself so much earlier this time. I know everything happens sooner in subsequent pregnancies than in your first (hello my belly!), but given that I’m 21 weeks tomorrow, it’s just a much longer time to try and manage my blood pressure (if that’s what this is.)

However, there is a chance that it’s just stress-related, or maybe even just a bit of a fluke reading (I swear that just getting my blood pressure checked makes my blood pressure go up because I get so nervous about it now!). And “just” having high blood pressure doesn’t necessarily mean I have or are going to develop pre-e again (gestational hypertension is a thing in and of itself), but they have started me on blood pressure medication and I’m going back next week for another check. Fingers crossed!

And that just about catches us up, I think! Today my goal is to get as much done as I can while also trying to reduce my stress and anxiety levels. I got a pretty good night’s sleep last night for the first time in a loooong time, I have a massage scheduled for later (woot!!), and I’m working guided meditations with my Calm app back into my routine (I was doing really well with that for a while, but it kind of slipped off my radar).

As I’ve been feeling a bit better lately sickness- and energy-wise, I’m trying to work more regular exercise back into my life again as well. I did a yoga class (highly modified, lol) on Tuesday and it was great (though humbling, since folding forward and scrunching my body up isn’t the easiest thing these days), and I’m going on lots more walks outside with Penny since the weather has been so lovely lately. Hopefully it’ll all pay off with lowered (or at least maintained) blood pressure and feeling better in general!

Springing into Action (Foxlet 2: 16 Weeks)

Whoosh! And just like that, it’s basically Spring! Feels like it happened quicker than a snap of Thanos’ fingers, but there’s no denying it: it’s mid-March, I’m 16 weeks pregnant (today!), and it’s time to start makin’ some big moves in our life (both figuratively and literally!) But first, a recap of what’s been a-going on over the past few weeks.

Penny and I just returned from another fantastic trip down to the Atlanta area to see my sister and her littles, and we had so much fun! We went to this exhibit called Candytopia, which is as great as it sounds: a giant museum/love letter to candy.

There was free candy in every room, lots of very cool, very impressive candy scultures and art installations, and had super fun, Instagrammable photo opps galore. We had an awesome time!

Candytopia travels from city to city, so right now I think it’s in Atlanta and Minneapolis, and is opening in Dallas soon. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in one of those places!

Outside of our candy-coated field trip, there was just a lot of general fun times spent with my sister, bro-in-law, nieces, and nephew. You know that getting Penny together with her cousin Alex (just three weeks older than her!) is like my whole reason for being, ahaha. “A-leh” is literally one of her favorite words, she says it like 8 times a day.

We’re always sad to have to say goodbye at the end of a trip, but luckily this one will be (particularly) short-lived, as my sister is bravely coming up here with all three kiddos during Mia’s Spring Break in just a couple weeks!

Penny also had her 18-month checkup at the pediatrician just before we left on our trip, and is doing great.

She’s around 27 lbs (got weighed on the big kid scale for the first time!) and 34″ tall, which puts her in the 92nd and 97th percentiles, respectively! At this rate she’ll end up even taller than me when she’s fully grown! (I’m 5’10” and Sean is 6’1″ if anyone was curious.)

And I guess that brings us to our update on how the other little Foxlet is doing, eh? As I mentioned above, I’m 16 weeks pregnant today, and I’m actually (shockingly!) feeling pretty okay! I finally feel like I’ve almost gotten over the string of terrible colds and sinus infections that have plagued since literally Day 1 of this pregnancy (watch, I’m totally gonna wake up sick again tomorrow now that I’ve said that, lol.), and I’m hanging in there.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, my bad pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting have been much less severe this time around (thank GOODNESS), and though I have still been nauseous it seems to have eased up in particular just this past week or so. Huzzah! Food is still kind of hit or miss with me (I have not gained any weight yet), but in general I’m happy not to have spent as much time feeling truly miserable.

I’ve got a bit of heartburn and am still trying to make piece with the skin issues this pregnancy has brought me, but the biggest obstacles I’ve been battling this time are exhaustion and sleep disruption. Which, I know, you’d think that dealing with the former would mean I’d be sleeping better since I’m so tired, right? But sadly, it doesn’t seem that my body understand that, haha. But I’m rallying through and while I maintain my stance that pregnancy is not exactly the best time ever, I remain very grateful that things have been generally more mild this time around.

I think I’ve already felt a few little bubbles and bursts from Foxlet 2 — those first little movements — but it’s nothing super significant yet. I go in for my 16 week checkup on Tuesday, which I normally would be looking forward to but they are monitoring me very closely for preeclampsia this pregnancy (since I developed it late in my pregnancy with Penny), so I have to do one of those super glamorous 24-hour urine collection tests (I’ll do another one later in my pregnancy so they can compare) and get a whole bunch of extra blood drawn. Wheeeee!

At least the weather has been frickin’ beautiful these past couple of days! I’ve been really enjoying getting to spend a bit of time in the sunshine with my little bean. It’s helping me manage my stress levels which are admittedly at a bit of an all-time high as I’m dealing with the last bit of exciting-slash-terrifying news that’s been piling on as of late: we’re moving!

Not far, though. We are in the process of packing up our little house to put on the market, and purchasing my parents’ house in Falls Church! We’ll be living in my old family home, literally half a mile from my brother and sis-in-law (Penny and Marnie will be able to go to the same school!!), while my parents will be downsizing into a condo.

We’re really excited about being able to have more space for our growing family, as well feeling super fortunate to be able to move back to Falls Church City, but of course, there’s the simple fact that moving is a huge PITA even when you’re not pregnant and have a toddler, lol. I just keep looking around and thinking, how do we have so much STUFF?! The timeline feels impending as well since we want to be able to list our house during the prime selling timeframe (which is late April/early May), so I’m already feeling the crunch.

Anyway, I think that pretty much brings us up to date on the major things (and boy, do they feel major!) that have been happening lately. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and I’ll try to get back in here with another update before another entire month goes by, heh. Cheers!

Plot Twist!

Oh, hey there!

So I know that I’ve been lacking in the blogging department lately… just haven’t really had a whole lot of energy for tackling the whole write-about-my-life-thing, and it turns out there’s a good reason for that.

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Yep, that’s right, Baby Foxlet #2 is making his or her debut this August! Funnily enough, my due date is Penny’s actual birthday — can’t make this stuff up. Happy birthday, kid! You got one year of solo celebrating and THAT’S IT.

Those of you who followed my pregnancy journey the first time around might remember that it wasn’t exactly a joyful, magical, glowing experience for me. In fact, I was plagued with intense morning sickness (actually all day long) for the first 21 weeks, which then sidled right into debilitating pelvic girdle pain and sciatica, culminating with me developing preeclampsia and having to be induced early at 37 weeks. Fun ride, right?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d do it all over again, exactly the same way, a hundred times over for my wonderful baby girl, but I’m extremely happy to be able to report that so far (knock on wood), my symptoms have been considerably less severe than last time. I’ve still been pretty nauseous all day, but it’s been much more manageable, I’ve been puking far less, and I’ve only lost about 6 pounds as opposed to the 15 I lost in my first trimester last time, haha.

New symptoms unfortunately include having TERRIBLE skin issues this time around, and just being way, way, way more exhausted than last time (hmm, wonder why that could be?)

I have to admit that this blessed event did end up coming as a bit of a surprise, but now that we’ve had some time to wrap our heads around it and not freak out about the logistics of what having a toddler and a newborn will be like, I’m starting to get pretty jazzed. It’s most exciting when I start thinking about Penny as a big sister — I know you can’t really predict these things, but I really do think she’s going to be a good one!

Big sister training is definitely already underway — we got her a baby doll and she’s OBSESSED with it, she carries it around and sits it up in her old Bumbo chair, tries to change its diaper and feed it pizza and flush it down the toilet… okay, so we still have some work to do there.

I’ve been trying to express to her that there’s a baby in mommy’s tummy although every time I tell her that, she just tries to plunge her hand deep into my belly button while yelling “BABY BABY BABY” at the top of her lungs so I’m not quite sure she gets it.

Whether or not she cognitively understands what’s happening, both Penny and Daxter definitely seem to know that something’s changing on a emotional level. Both toddler and doggo have been clingy AF lately, which is not in either of their personalities, lol.

Anyway, that pretty much covers the big news in our lives right now! Lots more big changes are still to come, but after a couple of initial big freakouts in the first few weeks since we found out, I’m trying to remain optimistic about things from here on out. After all, we’ve already managed to successfully keep one tiny human alive for this long, what’s one more? Right? RIGHT?? Heh… oh boy. Words of wisdom and encouragement are DEFINITELY welcome here. But thank you to all of you who already offered your congratulations on social media, y’all are the best. <3

Foxlet: Week 37 (Almost)

Okay, so technically Baby Foxlet and I are at 36 weeks and 6 days (or 7 days, depending on how you count) gestation today. But since by this time tomorrow I’ll be deep in the throes of actually, y’know, giving birth to this little girl (!), I figured I’d go ahead and take care of my FINAL (!!) weekly update a day early.

To update you on how I’ve been doing since last week’s update, things have been pretty okay. I had my final prenatal checkup at the OB yesterday and, unfortunately, the results of my 24-hour urine collection did show protein in my urine which means I’ve gone from having gestational hypertension to being officially diagnosed with preeclampsia.

Now, this is what my doctors were thinking could potentially happen ever since my blood pressure first starting registering high at my 34 week appointment, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise, per se. I’m also not super surprised since I have been getting more headaches and had a little bit more swelling lately (both of which are signs of preeclampsia, but haven’t progressed to being very severe.) That said, it’s still not exactly super awesome to have the official diagnosis under my belt. The “good news,” however, is that it really doesn’t change anything, since we had already scheduled my induction for 37 weeks on the dot. It really just confirms that this is indeed the correct plan of action to take.

So yeah! This ish is happening! Tonight I’ll go check into the hospital, they’ll start me on some medication that’ll help to dilate and efface my cervix, and then I’ll be induced tomorrow morning! Obviously both Baby Foxlet and I appreciate any positive thoughts and vibes you wanna send our way — my hope is that my body responds well to the various medications, that complications are held to a minimum, and most importantly, that she’s nice and healthy on the other side of this.

I still can’t really believe that by the next time I update you guys, I’ll be doing so having given birth to an ACTUAL HUMAN BABY. WHAT IS THIS CRAZINESS.

Foxlet’s Size: At 37 weeks, baby is the size of a winter melon, half a medium pizza, or Zack Morris’s cell phone. The doctor said they can gain about half a pound per week at this point, so I’m hopeful she’ll be somewhere in the 6 1/2 – 7 pound range even though she’s coming early. Guess we’ll see very soon!

Weight: Looks like I’ll be going into the hospital at pretty much exactly the weight that I started my pregnancy at. So, I guess all things considered that’s a #plussizepregnancy win? In the grand scheme of everything that’s been happening, my pregnancy weight gain really has taken a backseat in my mind, which will hopefully carry over to the whole post-baby body stuff too since it’s admittedly been really nice to genuinely not fixate on the scale or be too concerned about my weight over the past 9 months!

Symptoms: Thankfully my sciatic pain has improved a lot over the past week as Baby Foxlet must have shifted into a more favorable position for my back pain. Thaaaaaank goodness! The main symptoms bugging me lately are shortness of breath and just this kind of racing heart feeling that I get occasionally. Suddenly I’ll just be able to feel my pulse in like, my ears and all over my body and feel kind of anxious and have heart palpitations. It’s not a great feeling, but my doctors said that and the shortness of breath thing are both very normal for pregnancy and not related to preeclampsia.

Emotions: I’m both so, so, so excited about finally getting to meet Baby Foxlet, and super anxious and nervous about the actual process of being induced and, y’know, giving birth. So my emotions definitely are being pulled in both directions, with a pretty heavy emphasis on the nervous side right now. But the closer we get, the more excited I get as well — I can’t wait to meet my tiny human!

Cravings/Aversions: Thanks to my awesome sister-in-law, Molly, I was able to satisfy my crab leg craving last week, so really all I’m missing now is raw sushi + oysters this week. Thankfully, this won’t be an issue for much longer… (Hallelujah!)

Sleep: I’ve actually managed to get a much better amount of solid sleep over the past few nights thanks to my back pain subsiding (and my SPD hasn’t been too terrible these past few nights either, which makes turning over and getting comfortable in bed soooo much easier.) However, I am a little bit concerned about how well I’ll be able to sleep in the hospital tonight. Everything I’ve read says that you should try to sleep as well as possible before an induction so you’ll be rested and strong and stuff, but I don’t do super well sleeping in new settings, let alone with all the stuff that’ll be going on around me at the hospital. Sean’ll be with me though, and in a far less comfortable sleeping situation (I imagine the sleeper sofas in the room are even less comfortable than the hospital beds, lol) so at least I’ll be in good company, hehe.

Purchases: No more purchases from me, although I’ve been the recipient of some very kind surprise baby gifts from friends and family this week, not to mention a beautiful, sunny flower delivery from some of my colleagues at Yelp that I wasn’t expecting. I’m a lucky gal!

 
Looking forward to… meeting my baby, of course! Ahhhhh, it’s really happening… still so surreal… eep!

Not looking forward to… the actual induction process + just the continued lingering fear of THE UNKNOWN. But, of course, I do recognize that fear would exist regardless of me having preeclampsia or getting induced, because there’s just so much about childbirth (and motherhood!) that you simply cannot predict or even really prepare for. So I’m going in with as optimistic an outlook as I can muster, and as open a mindset as I can manage with regard to what’s to come.