Monday, June 6, 2011

Our Pregnancy Story: The Second Trimester

Only two more days until the babies' first birthday, and I am determined to finally document our pregnancy and delivery story before I completely lose my mind, and believe me, I came close tonight as Emily fought bedtime and almost won. Today I revisit the not-so-golden days of my second trimester. Tune in tomorrow for the third trimester when Melissa grows so large she gets her own zip code.

I am slightly envious of the women who have pictures of their bumps for each week of their pregnancy. I am not one of those women. I can’t find nor do I recall taking any pictures of me prior to my second trimester. Here is one of the first “bump” pictures circa 13-14 weeks. I look like I just woke up—probably did.

Here I am engaged in my favorite pregnancy pastime--napping. I may not have been sick, but I was tired and breathless. It's a shame I couldn't bottle the sweet nectar of those naps to sip when heartburn and a ginormous stomach made sleep impossible in the third trimester.

This is a picture that doesn't tell the whole story. At first glance, I look like a happy pregnant woman enjoying her last Christmas before babies. If you look closely, though, you might be able to discern the fear and anxiety hiding behind the smile. About a week or so before Christmas, I woke up in the middle of the night to find myself covered in blood. I cried out, woke Marty up, and went to the bathroom in tears--sure I was losing the babies. We called the doctor at 3am who advised me to just wait until the office opened at 8am to come in. He doubted it was a miscarriage this late in the pregnancy, but even if it was, there was nothing they could do. I sat in the bed, frozen in fear, afraid to move for the next 4 hours.

I was convinced I was miscarrying. There was no way I could bleed so much and the babies still be okay. I think I stopped breathing when the ultrasound that morning showed two babies with strong heartbeats. The doctor couldn't find any obvious cause for the bleeding, and he advised us that the next 48 hours would be critical. I needed to rest, do as little as possible, and hope for the best when I was checked again in two days.

I did my best to sleep away the worry until the next appointment. The bleeding continued.

Another ultrasound revealed two healthy babies, and this time, the ultrasound technician picked up on a possible cause--a low-lying placenta for Baby A. It was nothing that should cause us long term issues, but in the short term, it could cause bleeding.

Regardless of what caused the bleeding, it continued off and on for five weeks. Each time it would start again, I would call the doctor in a panic. They would have me come in and hear the heartbeats for reassurance. I remember going in on Christmas Eve and thinking their heartbeats were all the Christmas present I needed.

I wish I could say the worry ended when the bleeding stopped, but honestly, I think I never truly relaxed and enjoyed my pregnancy. Every episode of spotting, every twinge or cramp, one slightly elevated blood pressure reading, two slightly raised protein levels, one failed one hour glucose test--they all seemed of such monumental importance at the time. I don't think Marty will ever let me live down buying a blood pressure cuff and taking my reading like 15 times a day. Okay, Marty. You're right. I didn't have pre-eclampsia.

It wasn't all worry and doctor's appointments. There was fun, too, like going to the Canes' games--before I became too large and breathless to walk to our seats. One of my favorite maternity shirts was this "Future Hurricanes' Fan" shirt. We were so proud of the S

Here I am right around 16 weeks, right before our big Level II ultrasound when we found out the genders. I remember thinking I was so big at the time. If only I could have envisioned my 38 week pregnancy belly...

At almost 18 weeks, we had our big Level II ultrasound. The spotting had just stopped, and I was able to be excited for a few days about finding out what we were having. My mom and sister and Marty's mom and sister joined us for the big reveal. Although I knew in my heart it was a girl and boy, it was the most exciting news ever to hear. It only got better when the doctor happily reported that both babies appeared perfectly healthy and right on track.

The next pictures prove that I will do anything for my babies, including posting embarassing pictures of myself, all in the name of recording our personal history for them. Here Marty caught me double-fisting ice cream sandwiches. I lived off ice cream, strawberry milkshakes, and Mexican food. Sweet and spicy--hmmmm...wonder which baby was to blame for which craving??

When I wasn't on bed rest, eating ice cream or napping, I was probably shopping or working on the babies' nursery. Here are some of the pictures of the "work-in-progress."

I was also lucky enough to have two great showers hosted by family and friends. How cute were these cakes?? And how big was my belly??

It just so happens that one of my favorite blogs, Things I Can't Say, is hosting a "Rockin the Bump" link-up this week. Since this post is full of bumps, I decided to play along. Who wouldn't want to show off the one time in her life when gaining a lot of weight was "cute" and wearing the same pants day after day was perfectly acceptable?

If you want to see how big the bump finally got, check out these pictures: Our Pregnancy Story: The Third Trimester.


Andrea said...

When I started bleeding in the first trimester I was shocked when the doctor told me the percentage of pregnant women it happened to. It was just so hard to believe since I was the first I heard of that wasn't actually miscarrying. I didn't take belly shots either. I wonder if it had a lot to do with how sick I was. I am assuming yes! I am loving your belly in the last!! I am sure you got miserable! Thanks so much for sharing!! You were a beautiful pregnant woman!!

Seasoned Air Force Spouse said...

I bled a lot in preg#1. Scary.
Love the ice cream scarfing shots. :-)

Galit Breen said...

I love that you wrote down the whole story complete with pics (from the inside out!). Also, I love ice cream sandwiches and naps any old time- pregnant or not! :)

Shell said...

Oh, you were so seriously cute!!!

I can't imagine the stress of having to wait to go into the doctor's office to find out about the bleeding. I would have been a mess.

Those cakes are so adorable!

Thanks for linking up! said...

I loved this and the third trimester post. The back to front WHOA shot made me gasp. Your babies are beautiful, good job carrying them all that time, mama!

Kimberly said...

I had a low lying placenta in my third pregnancy that also caused bleeding. I can relate to the fear and worry there.

You were so cute! Loved the ice cream pics!

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

Holy belly! I never got that far with either of my pregnancies...and only 29 weeks with my my belly did not expand as much as yours did...although I remember feeling huge anyway! Love looking back at all these old preggo pictures!

janice said...

Nice photos! I never got to chronicle any of my 2 previous pregnancies, and am not doing any better with this 3rd. I have a couple of pics, but I prefer to stay out of the limelight cuz I know my big belly will probably take up all the photo space anyway. hahaha

I luv ur "napping" photo! U look so well rested!

check out my rockin' the bump post @

it's my one and only pregnancy pic and I've only got 2 months left!

Renee said...

This is a great pregnancy story. I would have been a nervous wreck with all the bleeding. You looked great and hid your anxiety well.

I adore ice cream sandwiches...even when I'm not pregnant!

My name is Momma said...

Aww! I love the pics.

Jessica said...

Napping is always a great activity, even when not pregnant. You look adorable.

Anastasia said...

Mmmm ice cream sandwich. I hear you about not being able to sleep.

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