Friday, January 10, 2014

18 Weeks: Ramblings

Well, I guess it's not just the holidays. Time is starting to speed up! I don't mind for now, because our anatomy ultrasound is at the end of the month and I'm so excited to see this little baby bouncing around again!

This week was pretty boring in pregnancy-land, which is awesome. I'm definitely in the sweet spot of the second trimester. I'm starting to look just a tad pregnant, but I don't have the nausea of the first trimester and I don't yet have the assumed physical discomforts of the huge belly. I have energy to work out, I love vegetables again, and it feels GREAT. Life is good! Especially when the baby decides to throw a tiny little punch from the inside once a day or so.

Although I do have the energy and desire to workout, I've noticed myself getting much more tired overall. I've mentioned this before, I know. I didn't really have fatigue in the first trimester but it's getting to me now. The dark days don't help at all. Neither does the Arctic cold. It was -23 on Monday and I'm not even exaggerating! I've also been FREEZING cold indoors when other people seem to be okay. So of course the perinatal nurse in me assumes hypothyroidism or anemia and I'm having my labs drawn today. Even if all my levels are normal, at least my doctor takes my requests seriously. I live in fear of being one of "those patients," ya know?

Speaking of labs, I got my MSAFP drawn at my last visit and the results came back this week totally fine (although it kills me to no longer be an employee and see the hard copies of my results myself, I will take the nurses word for it). This simply mean that there seems to be a very low risk for open neural tube defects, and the placenta is chugging away like it should.

[Insert graceful subject change here] So... maternity clothes? I'm definitely only in maternity jeans or my old leggings or athletic pants these days. It's much better for my self esteem to not feel a waistband digging in! My normal shirts are getting mighty short in the front, but maternity shirts still look a tad silly. I'm sure it won't be long before I switch over to those, though. And can I just say that vanity sizing is alive and well in maternity-land? I'm bigger than ever, and wearing smaller sizes than ever at places like Gap and Old Navy, where I've been shopping for ages! So weird. And pointless. It just goes to show you that numbers are more meaningless than ever and they certainly can't define you or your self-esteem.

I'll stop rambling soon, but I guess I've been mulling over a lot of topics! This week I've been especially fascinated with pregnancy cravings. I'm starting to believe the theory that your body needs something in the food you're craving. You know, as long as it's not excessive amounts of chocolate cake or something. When my craving is for anything besides sugar, I really do try to meet it. (And I'm not trying to sound holier-than-though. I also get my daily allotment of sugar, to be sure). I'm loving green leafy veggies this week and craving kale salads, kale chips, etc. (Sadly kale chips are too expensive for something I'd eat in one sitting, so haven't satisfied that craving yet).

In my first trimester, I was craving cheese like a madwoman. I've been dairy free for almost two years, and cheese and yogurt are certainly the thing I miss most, but it hasn't been difficult to eat dairy-free day in and day out. Until pregnancy. I was literally dreaming about cheese around weeks 7 and 8. I gave in a few times, and while it tasted phenomenal, it tore up my stomach. So I started taking calcium supplements, thinking maybe there was something in the cheese I needed. Sure enough, the cravings completely disappeared. Yeah, I still looked enviously at Ross' cheesy leftovers sometimes, but I wasn't drooling over them like I had been. About two weeks ago, the cravings came back and I realized I'd run out of calcium supplements. Started taking them again last week and I'm totally fine now. So bizarre, right?

Pregnancy appetite in itself also seems like it will be a constantly changing game. I'll be fine one week, and ravenous the next. I'm finding that it's important to have the fridge and pantry adequately stocked with HEALTHY food to snack on. Last week we came home to an empty fridge and I found myself eating mindlessly because I was a little hungry, but nothing we had was filling (read: lots of sugar). It brought up a whole vortex of old eating disorder thoughts, which was surprising, but shouldn't be I guess. There's a lot of change going on physically, emotionally, and hormonally right now!

The last few days I've been famished while preparing dinner, so I'll snack on something healthy, but then not be really hungry for the dinner I just prepared. I usually eat it as well, but it doesn't taste as good as it would've if I'd waited. Aaand I realize if THIS is my biggest concern of the week, I'm thanking the good Lord. A healthy baby, and a mom who's learning more about herself. God is good.

On that note, God really is good to let all this pregnancy stuff happen slowly. It's a LOT of change to take in. As excited as I am to find out if the baby is a boy or girl, and to actually meet her or him, it might be too overwhelming if we didn't have 38-40 weeks to prepare for it!

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