Springing into Action (16 Weeks w/Foxlet 2)

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.

Foxlet: Week 36

First off, I need to thank each and every one of you who has left the most thoughtful and wonderful comments on here, Facebook, and Instagram, and by messaging me directly. You really know how to make a girl (and her bebe!) feel loved and supported, and I’m so grateful for my amazing village. I actually feel a bit sheepish for making such a big deal out of all this when I know that my situation is far from worst-case.

But I mean, hey, I’m a first-time mom, and the fact that things escalated so quickly in such a short amount of time really threw me for a loop. So yes, admittedly I was a bit shaken by this most recent turn of events — finding out that my bp meds aren’t working as well anymore, being sent back to labor & delivery for more testing, and being officially scheduled for my induction (a week from today!). However, with a smidgen of time and, moreso, so many of you guys sharing your own experiences and stories with me, I am feeling a little more level-headed and optimistic.

While it’s still not fun to have the threat of preeclampsia looming over me and while, of course, I would prefer to have been able to carry out the entirety of my pregnancy without a high-risk designation, I know that the odds really are in my favor here. Provided things stay relatively stable between now and next Tuesday, Foxlet will be born at 37 weeks on the dot (give or take 24 hours, most likely), and I recognize that plenty of babies even come at 37 weeks all on their own!

And should we not quite make it to Tuesday… well, I’ve now received both of my betamethasone shots (steroids meant to aid respiratory development) and all signs continue to point to her being perfectly happy all up in my uterus. So even if I end up being sent straight to be induced after my follow-up appointment this afternoon, she should still be in pretty good shape. After all, we’ve made it this far!

Foxlet’s Size: At 36 weeks, the apps say she’s around 6 lbs and the size of a cake, papaya, or 2-liter bottle of soda. Since we have an estimate of her size from last week at 5 lbs, 13 oz, and my baby book says they put on about an ounce per day, we can guesstimate that she’s around 6 lbs 5 ounces now? With a potential 2-pound variant] in either direction, hahahahaha.

Weight: Not that I really care at this point (nothing like medical drama to finally have me stop caring about my weight!) but based on my various weighings at my various doctor’s appointments, I still seem to be fluctuating within 2 – 3 pounds of the same weight I’ve been seeing for the past few weeks. You know, up if I’m weighed after I’ve eaten, down if I’ve just gone to the bathroom, etc. I think overall I’m anywhere from 3 – 5 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight? ::shrug::

Symptoms: Oh god, the sciatica. It sent me back to the doctor’s office last week in tears, but luckily it has somewhat subsided over the past few days from the acute, knee-buckling sharpness to a general ache. I totally credit my mama for this, who had been out of town visiting my new nephew in Atlanta, but quickly put her amazing Chinese massaging hands to use once she came back and has really been helping me with my pain points.

Aside from the pain from that, my main symptoms are shortness of breath, lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions, and my newest symptom are these really intense back and neck spasms that I’ve been getting. They are really intense — almost paralyzing — and hurt but not like, in a super-sharp-pain way, but rather in a kind of everything-tightens-up-and-you-can’t-move way. I confirmed at the hospital yesterday that the spasms aren’t contraction-related, so maybe Foxlet just shifted positions and is pressing on a nerve or something… which is maybe why my sciatica is suddenly somewhat relieved but I’ve got these new fun to experience, lol.

Emotions: Highs and lows, my friends. Hiiiiiiighs and lows.

Cravings/Aversions: All the Chick-fil-A and an intense craving for crab legs that I have yet to satisfy because Sean won’t take me to Red Lobster. ::tear::

Sleep: Meh. I’ve been sleeping okay by my standards, but I seem to have lost my magical ability to instantaneously return to sleep after waking. Which isn’t super great when you’re getting up to pee every 3 hours and your husband’s alarm clock goes off at 5. But again, I just look at this as great practice for when Foxlet is actually here, so it’s cool. I think I’m gonna get reeeeeal good at napping.

Purchases: UHHH fracking Carter’s, man! They sent me a catalogue in the mail and since I’m somewhat bedridden of COURSE I flipped through it… whereupon I immediately laid eyes on THESE:

And I swear, I have never gone SO FAST from seeing to buying. So these shoes are now on their merry way to me, along with like four other absolutely unnecessary things. Y’know, ’cause even though her closet is literally overflowing with clothes thanks to the generosity of my sister’s hand-me-downs and gifts from all my awesome friends, and even though I SWORE I wasn’t gonna buy her any more clothes myself because I don’t even know how she’s gonna wear what I already have for her… I mean, c’mon. Can you really blame me?

Looking forward to… dropping off the giant jug of my own pee that I’ve had to literally squirrel away over the past 24 hours so it can be tested. And hey, you can call “TMI!” all you want, but I had absolutely noooooooo concept of what a 24-hour collection was before they handed me that bright orange jug and told me what to do so I figure if nothing else, mentioning it might at least help prepare someone in the future.

NOT looking forward to… I dunno, technically I’m not really looking forward to my induction, I guess. I mean, it’s still a little bit scary, y’know? Having to get all these meds to push me into labor, the looming threat of a C-section (which, of course, is not the worst thing in the world but again, as a concept surgery kinda freaks me out!), etc. But I also kind of am looking forward to it? Because even though it’s not what I planned on originally, once I go into the hospital, I won’t be leaving without my baby. Which is awesome. And terrifying. And wondrous. And ridiculous.

I mean, DUDE. BY THIS TIME NEXT WEEK I MIGHT BE A MOM.

… I can’t believe they’re just gonna like, let me.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Doesn’t it always seem like for each step forward, you end up taking two steps back? No? Just me? Ah, well. Given the solar eclipse happening + the fact that I seem to attract drama where’re I go (see: blizzard wedding), I guess I can’t really be all that surprised.

Since my last missive, I’ve successfully managed to negate all the previous good news regarding my high blood pressure diagnosis. Woo-hooooooo. Despite my sonogram + checkups last week indicating that the blood pressure medication and modified bedrest was working, they seem to have hit a bit of a wall. My blood pressure is climbing again, and I’ve also had a few incidents of vomiting and upper righthand quadrant pain, both of which are potentially bad signs.

The good news? Baby Foxlet herself is still doing great. She certainly seems like a content little high-blood-pressure-inducing monster, happily bumpin’ and dancin’ around in my belly while mama over here gets to suffer continual needle-pricks, cold ultrasound jelly, and peeing into ALL OF THE CUPS.

The not-so-good news comes from the fact that my blood pressure was unfortunately reading high again this weekend (getting back into the 140/90+ range), so I called my OB Sunday night and they advised me to come in the following day (my next regular appointment was scheduled for this upcoming Thursday.) Alas, it also read high at the office, so my doctor sent me back over to the hospital for to get my labs checked again, as well as do some continuous monitoring. Though not before recommending we officially schedule my induction for next Wednesday — 37 weeks on the dot — as things are clearly getting worse and not better for me.

 
I was really hoping to make it closer to 38 weeks or beyond (I mean, really I was hoping to magically have my blood pressure issues resolve and not need to be induced at all! Ha!) but I trust my doctors and know that they ultimately just want to do what’s best for both me and this little nugget. And 37 weeks is “full term,” by many doctor’s standards, or at least “early term” by the rest, which means that her odds of being practically perfect and ready to go (aka hopefully needing no NICU time) are quite high. ::crosses fingers::

However, there is still the possibility that, should my blood pressure spike up too high (160/100 is now the danger line, she said) or should I develop any of the additional signs of preeclampsia (vision changes, protein in my urine, acute headaches, additional vomiting, etc) I might need to be induced even sooner than that.

So in order to help combat any potential issues with her respiratory system that might come from prematurity, I also received a steroid shot that should help speed her lung development in the event she isn’t quiiiiite done cookin’ by the time she makes her way into this here world. And I actually have to go back to the hospital later today to get a second shot (it’s done as a series of two shots, 24 hours apart), and I’ll also get my BP, vitals, and her vitals monitored again for a bit. Le sigh.

And then it’s back to the doctor’s office on Wednesday or Thursday for another BP check and to drop off the 24-hour urine collection they’re having me do…. which is, yes, exactly what it sounds like. -_- Soooo yeah, I basically live at the doctor’s office / hospital now. It’s not so bad, really, I just wish they were schnauzer-friendly.

 
In the meantime, I’m still on bedrest which provides this not-super-awesome Catch-22 with the sciatic pain that I’ve been experiencing in my back. See, the sciatica definitely feels better when I’m able to move around and not sit or lie in one position for too long. But my blood pressure definitely goes down when I do lie around. Womp womppppp.

Anyway, not to end things on a down note — obviously I’m more than willing to do any and all the things I need to do to continue to ensure that both Foxlet and I make it to the end of this thing. It’s just kind of crazy to think that the end is officially like, uh, next week now. Unfggghghhghh just typing that makes it seem soooooooo real and sooooooo soon. WE NEED TO PICK A NAAAAAAAAME.

I’ll update you guys again once I have the latest and greatest updates from the rest of this week’s hospital/doctor’s visits, and just keep sending positive thoughts and unicorn dust our way! You know, so that we can hopefully make it these final 8-9 days without, I dunno, my blood vessels exploding or me having a stroke or whatever it is that happens when your blood pressure gets too high.