17 weeks update


DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

(Disclaimer 2: I actually turned 17 weeks on 19 Mar, but didn’t want to miss anything in the update, so I have decided my update posts will be the following Monday of the week).



                                    
Your baby is now the size of a pear. He has hiccupped before, but this is the first time you might feel it.

Baby's Weight: 4.94 oz.
Baby's Length: 5.12 oz.
Timeline:  19-25 Mar 2017

Total weight gain/loss: Unknown. I haven’t weight myself this week, but was 163 last week with 9 pounds overall weight gain..

Maternity clothes?: Yes. I wore my first pair of maternity jeans Friday and Saturday with an over the belly panel. I am now in love with all things over the panel and will be seeking to add more to the wardrobe soon.

Stretch marks?: I don’t see any new ones, but my skin has started to itch on my belly. We’ll see what happens.

Sleep: Better, but I have to elevate myself of I can’t sleep. I’m also a horrible snorer now. Poor S.

Best moment of the week: Feeling a no kidding kick after giving the baby ginger ale and traveling with the young adults

Have you told family and friends: Yes.

Miss Anything?: Not really.

What I'm loving?: The stronger movements. S. will be able to feel them soon, I hope.

What I'm not loving?: The nausea I get if I haven’t eaten often enough or quantity enough.

Movement?:
Yes.

Anything make you queasy or sick?: If I don’t eat every two hours.

Food cravings: Not really.

Food aversion: Chicken, blech!

Have you started to show yet: Yes

Gender prediction: #teamgreen. Last week I was sure it was a girl. This week, no clue.

Labor Signs:
No!

Belly Button in or out?: Still in, but stretched

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time?: Pretty happy

Preparations for baby?: None besides choosing our delivery location. I’ll blog about that later.

Looking forward to: Warmer weather so the kids and I can walk in the afternoon and S. being able to feel the baby.




Road Trippin' with the Young Adults

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing wonderful and well. Today’s word of the day is ‘I am TIED’. No, that isn’t a misprint. I wrote “tied” which is the elder folks in NC’s way of saying bone doggone tired. Ya’ll! What a weekend! This past weekend, I was honored to join an opportunity to minister with several young adults from our church’s young adult choir. Our ministry includes young adults aged 18-30 something. In the choir, we minister through song and fellowship. A wonderful opportunity came for us to sing at a couple of services in NC, one of which we’d visited last year. I’d readily agreed remembering the fun and enjoyment of last time. It was just a praise worthy experience. But, ya’ll… I wasn’t pregnant then. I wasn’t HUGE then. I wasn’t occasionally uncomfortable with body images and I didn’t have a bowling ball to sleep on. What was I thinking lol.

We left in the vans at 11:00am on a Saturday morning for a 6 hour drive with two planned stops. I have to be very honest here. I was nervous. I mean really nervous. I hoped I wouldn’t get dehydrated. I hoped the baby wouldn’t become uncomfortable in utero. I worried I would need to ask the driver to stop a couple of times. I was so worried I considered not going. I’m so glad I didn’t do that.

We had a wonderful time! From the time we got on the van(s) until the time we returned, it was a great and wonderful fellowship. I laughed so hard going down to NC that my belly hurt. What a joy it is to travel with people you love and have a genuine friendship with. I’d shared with the trip organizers that I would need to stop at least twice per my doctor’s instructions. It was no problem at all. Our first stop was for lunch at Zaxby’s.

We don’t have a Zaxby’s in our area, so most were really excited to stop here. I’m not much of a chicken eater, but I am so big on cheese curds (don’t judge me lol). So, I ordered one of those for an appetizer and a medium sweet tea. Honey! Yumminess! You hear me?! This particular spot didn’t have enough sitting space for the size of our group, so we politely piled in the van and ate in the parking lot before cleaning the vans and departing (oh and visiting the bathroom once again. I went at least three times in the hour we were there!)

Preggo girl's best friend.  Fried Cheese curds.  Mind you, I'd already indulged before I photographed lol
Lunch done, we continued on the road. I tried to get some sleep as I was exhausted, but it wasn’t that easy. Those vans are the standard 15-passenger church vans without recline or extra cushion. I managed to close my eyes for a little while, but not much. I was a bit sore when we arrived at the hotel.

Maybe not the best way to recline, but since we were stopped and no one was in the seat in front of me for the moment, I indulged a bit.
So! Let me tell you about the hotel. It was just a perfect spot to rest from the trip and prepare for the next day’s services. There was one mar that had nothing to do with the hotel and everything to do with a guest and his ignorance. As our van pulled up, an older teen/early twenty young man was walking away from the hotel. He peered into the church vans as they approached and upon seeing the brown faces proceeded to curse us and use the “N” word. That was our welcome into the town. As a testament to the beautiful hearts that I rode with, we actually laughed it off, prayed for his heart, soul, and ignorance, and continued on our day. Love my church choir!

Some of the most comfy beds ever!
Anyway, we stayed at the SpringHill Suites and seriously, the beds were some of the most comfortable I’ve slept in. This is coming from someone who used to business travel about 3 weeks out every month. The staff was so nice. The rooms were clean. The breakfast was hot and yummy. Not trying to give a review, but seriously, if you are ever in the area and need a stop in place for the evening; I recommend them.


The staff was kind enough to give us restaurant suggestions after the long ride and our group decided to go to The StingRay CafĂ© for seafood. Oh. My. Word. If this wasn’t some of the BEST seafood I’ve ever had. Oh, this is no exaggeration. I’m a crab cake and hushpuppy aficionado and I had to consciously stop myself from inhaling them! They were so yummy. I managed to stop myself to take a picture of the one remaining crabcake as I’d already eaten the other. It was so yummy and FULL of crab. Several of our group kept commenting about how great everything was. We are supposed to be coming back to the area next year. This will definitely be a repeat stop.


                                    
Okay, I'm not used to taking photos of the food.  I'll do better.  BEST crabcakes!

Following dinner, we returned home and I went to my room to watch some March Madness before calling it an evening. Sunday, we woke up with great anticipation. We would be singing two services at two separate churches. We downed a yummy breakfast, dressed, and loaded the vans, made it to the first church and sang unto the Lord. It was a great and wonderful experience. The church was kind enough to give us lunch bags with homemade pulled chicken sandwiches (delicious), homemade oatmeal raisin cookies, and a bottle of water. Seriously, it was the best gesture ever since we would not have had time to stop before our next service. The food was amazing and we felt grateful for their concern.

Fast forward to the next church and it was now much later in the afternoon. This is where my little one started acting up. The baby had wedged under my rib and even though is still pretty small, had somehow caused a wave of heartburn and nausea. I couldn’t eat and I was very uncomfortable. I went to the bathroom a couple of times just hoping to move around a bit, but nothing worked. I finally asked one of the members if I could have a pack of Tums. She found Rolaids and after I had one, I felt loads better, that and the baby moved. The second service was equally moving and our own pastor was guest speaker for the evening. He preached an amazing sermon on how even though things are difficult and may not be progressing as you would like them to, faith should be retained because God will make a way. I thought of our infertility journey and drew parallels immediately. It was such a confirmation to me and I am still so thankful for that Word.

Service over, we made sure to take group photos and change into riding clothes for the evening. Let me tell you. After I removed that African print skirt, my entire body said “thank you” lol. It had elastic, but something about maternity attire just makes things so much better lol. Oh, and the maternity shirt I wore from Motherhood Maternity was perfect!! Matched the attire of our choir and gave me room to breathe. So thankful for it.

We finally packed up and made our way home, safe and sound. I walked through the door at 12:05 a.m. Monday morning. I was in bed about ten minutes later. It was a great and wonderful weekend. I would not have traded it for anything in the world. I’m so glad I got to take the trip with everyone.

If anyone is interested in the attire for our trip or hotel or any of that information, please feel free to look below. I’m not affiliated with these companies in anyway and receive no compensation. I just think the links may be helpful for someone else. Have a blessed day, everyone.

I will talk to you again soon.





-K

Second Trimester Appointment

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.


Hi everyone. Monday was my second trimester appointment. I think it was originally planned to be a sixteen week check-up, but since I’m at 17 weeks, no biggie. I went to work before the appointment and was all too excited to go to the doctor to hear the heartbeat. I was also nervous as all get out about what would happen if I didn’t hear a heartbeat. That’s the thing with this pregnancy. It’s so different being my first IVF/ICSI. I always wonder subconsciously if everything is going to be okay. In this case, worry was not necessary. Our little one was doing quite well, albeit seriously feisty.

The doctor couldn’t really get a sustained heart beat reading because the baby kept running from the Doppler. Then, it kicked the heck out of the Doppler when it was tired of running. We heard the heartbeat several times and know the baby is having a ball, but couldn’t get it otherwise. The doctor does know from the times we were able to capture the heartbeat that the baby heartbeats per minute range is 140. I believe my son was always in the 160s, so I’m starting to think this may be a girl.

The doctor was pleased with my weight gain.  At my last appointment, I was 159 pounds.  I am 164 pounds now.  We've managed to put on about 11 pounds over all.  She wants me to gain about 30 pounds.  I'm trying very hard to hit 25 or less because the more weight I carry, the harder it is for me to breathe.  But whatever is safe for baby will be safe for me.

I completely forgot to ask about the breast pump prescription covered by my insurance (for now).  I'll have to call back and do so.  I did manage to ask permission to travel for some upcoming trips.  This weekend, I'll be traveling by church van with several of my choir members to minister in song in NC.  I'm very excited about it, but very nervous as well.  I learned the hard way that I must eat every two hours or I will get very ill and I still have to go to the bathroom a lot.  Hopefully, I won't have an issue with the transport.  The doctor says as long as we stop and I walk at least 2-2.5 hours on the journey, we should be okay.  But I'm packing snacks for days just in case.

S. and I are also planning a anniversary trip in April to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary.  I'm very excited about it and hope we can find some fun activities and just relax a while.  The doctor cleared us for travel after we assured her we would remain stateside and were not traveling to Zika-infected areas.  We're thinking of Charleston, SC or Orlando, FL.  Charleston will probably work best as we would like to drive and I can't see a 17 hour trip with stops at every 2.5 hour mark.

Satisfied with travel plans, the doctor then asked if I'd scheduled my 20 week full scan at the perionatoligst.  I told her I hadn't, but was awaiting the phone call.  The doctor's office scheduled the scan for me.  We go in on April 16th bright and early.  I'm looking forward to it and hope S. would be able to join as well.  The scan can be a bit lengthy as they will be reviewing everything--organs, circumference, length, weight, skeletal, etc.  We just have to reiterate that we are team green and don't want to know the sex of the baby.  I think that will be the absolute best part of the baby being born. Just being excited about who and what our little bean is.  So, we're scheduled and are super excited to see bean moving.

Pretty soon, it will be time to query our friends and family about their guesses to the baby's gender.

Talk to you all very soon.

-K


16 weeks update

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

(Disclaimer 2: I actually turned 16 weeks on12 Mar, but didn’t want to miss anything in the update, so I have decided my update posts will be the following Monday of the week from this point forward).
Your baby is now the size of an avocado—and she can make a fist and even suck her thumb.
Baby's Weight: 3.53oz.
Baby's Length: 4.57in.

Total weight gain/loss: 9 pounds overall. I am now 163 pounds.

Maternity clothes?: I upgraded to a maternity bra this week. Oh my word, if this isn’t the best thing EVER. OH MY!

Stretch marks?: I can’t really tell. I have some but they look like the same ones from my old pregnancy

Sleep: Horrid! I couldn’t rest at all this week. I was too hot, so I’d strip naked. There weren’t enough pillows to get me comfortable. I dreamed more than I slept. Yeah, not the best sleep week.

Best moment of the week: Wearing the maternity bra for the first time.

Have you told family and friends: Yes.

Miss Anything?: Travel fun. S. and I are planning our anniversary and family vacation weeks. We’ve had to limit several places because of Zika threats and concerns. The remaining places don’t offer a lot of things this preggo mommy can do. But I’m okay with that. This is definitely a reason to miss out on Chardonnays and roller coasters.

What I'm loving?: Feeling so tired because it lets me know our little one is still on board.

What I'm not loving?: Some of my body image issues. I walked by a mirror the other day and thought that I was way too big way too quickly. It bothered me most of the day.

Movement: Yes.

Anything make you queasy or sick: This week I was sick from a virus or allergies. Everything made me queasy.

Food cravings: Not really. If I’m watching Food Network, I usually end up wanting what they have.

Have you started to show yet: Yes

Gender prediction: #teamgreen, but I think it may be a girl. Earlier in the week, I was sure it was a boy, but after I saw my reflection…girl.

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out?: Still in

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: A mixture

Preparations for baby: None

Looking forward to: Warmer weather so the kids and I can walk in the afternoon and S. being able to feel the baby.

Lunch with the (former) Social Worker

Hi everyone.  Today has been a very special day.  Today, I was able to sit down with the woman who was instrumental in creating a forever family for my baby girl H.  Her former social worker and I were able to meet for lunch and catch up on life since we've last chatted.  H.'s social worker, Ms. B, is truly one of the most kind and gentle spirits I have ever met.  I am very thankful for her presence in our lives during some pretty amazing times in our lives.

It was awesome to sit down and converse with her.  We discussed H., her former foster parents whom we still communicate with, H.'s advancements, the new pregnancy, the baby moving and several other things.  Ms. B has a relative fighting cancer. We talked about that.  I'd only planned on being there for 30 minutes. An hour and 45 minutes later, I finally left to return to the office.  That's what talking with family is like.

It wasn't until I got back to the office that I discovered it was Social Worker month and School Social Worker week. How ironic was the timing!  And if that wasn't enough, she brought H. the cutest little spring clothes.  I love her!



I will never be able to thank Ms. B for all that she has done to assist in our journey.  Our family wouldn't be complete without our H.  She is such an important and integral member in our family.  I wouldn't know what to do if she wasn't.

Happy Social Worker's Month to all the social workers out there.  Thank you for all you do.

-K

What I wish they wouldn't say


It’s been a few days since we announced via social media the news of our pregnancy. Even before the news broke and people started noticing the bump, we started getting comments. Most are congratulatory, but several have the ‘magic wand’ effect (as I call it) included. One by one, I started receiving congratulations that sounded like this:

“You’re pregnant?!...

I knew you would get pregnant!...

Didn’t I tell you as soon as you adopted your daughter, you’d get pregnant?...

That’s what happens. It’s like your body becomes a natural incubator.

I told you that’s what would happen!”

And I stand there with a forced smile on my face, thank them for their celebration, and excuse myself as quickly as possible. Call it hormones. Call it being oversensitive, but I loathe this conversation every time it occurs. First, we didn’t adopt to get pregnant and we certainly didn’t adopt and and just “get pregnant”. It didn’t happen. It wasn’t supposed to happen. My husband and I spent time, money, tears, sweat, blood, and pain to get pregnant. My body was pumped full of hormones and all sorts of fun side effects blessed me as my body struggled to do what was asked of it. This wasn’t a “just happen” situation.

Secondly, and what bothers me the most, is the underlying insinuation that our daughter’s adoption was purely so that we could conceive biologically later. If I were a cursing woman….tons of them would erupt right here. My husband and I have always know that we would adopt. We talked about it well before we were married. I come from a family that embrace foster care and adoption. There are no adjectives in front of the names of the children who have been adopted or fostered in our family. They are simply cousins, sisters, daughters, sons, etc. There is no additional caveat needed. People say things like this in front of my daughter. She is only three, but she is very observant. I never want her to think that her birth and place in our family is diminished because she isn’t blood. UGH!

Then, there is the big one. The HUGE one that I have had to correct TWO different relatives on. Shortly after our adoption was finalized with our daughter, one of the relatives remarked that now we “could focus on having a child of our own”. I IMMEDIATELY corrected her and said “SHE IS OUR OWN” in a voice that brooked no debate. She meekly replied that of course she knew that and I knew what she meant. My response was she needed to say it better. Our daughter is our daughter and nothing else. The fact that she said it was annoying to me since she married into a family with children of her own. Of course, she should know better!

This past weekend, a relative discovered we were pregnant. I actually thought she knew, but somehow she missed the close family announcement. Anyway, she hugged me, rubbed my belly, and said that she had just been praying to God and asking Him when would He bless my husband with a child of his own because our eldest “isn’t his” and our daughter “also isn’t his”. I was purple with anger and that’s pretty hard for me to do considering I’m a woman of color. I couldn’t even rebuke. I was that upset.

I know people don’t mean it as they say it. So, I don’t need the “oh they don’t know”. Words mean things. They can hurt and they can maim. My mother and father didn’t raise me. I called my great-grandmother “Mama”. I will never forget a cousin from ‘up North’ visiting and saying that I shouldn’t call her “Mama” because I didn’t belong to her. My great-grandmother was in ear shot and solidly admonished the cousin, but I remember feeling very hurt by the comment. I knew she wasn’t my mother, but I’d never been called out about it. It bothers me sometimes even as an adult. I can’t see having my child endure the same thing.

Look. I write all of this to say be careful what you say. If you want to congratulate someone on conceiving, say so. Congratulations works fine. Don’t add to it. Don’t diminish it. Our children are ALL our children and have been loved as such from the beginning. If that isn’t your frame of mind, don’t speak.

Have a great day, everyone. I’ll write again soon.

-K



-K

Social media announced and 15 week update

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

Well, we did it.  I was sitting in bed looking at my personal Instagram feed and I decided that it was time to share the news with the rest of the world.  S. and I had already told our closest family and friends, and people were starting to ask questions about the bump.  I mean, it's definitely there. When one particularly nosy curious church elder called out to me as I walked down a crowded church hallway with a "Mrs. XXXX, are we with child?", I knew it was time to share to everyone else because she certainly would.  (How rude by the way).  So, I showed the it to S., asked if he had an issue, and  he was pretty cool with it (though he said it wasn't his favorite pic). So, I took the plunge and posted this...



I posted no words, no explanation.  I just left it here.  I waited one more day (because it was my very good friend's b-day and I didn't want anything to overshadow her day even unintentionally) and shared to FB.  There, it went crazy.

A few cousins had a bit of a hard time figuring it out, but most caught on immediately, especially the women.  I kept the announcement up for 1.5 days and have switched the profile to a picture of the kids and I.  And just that quick, the announcement was over.  S. and I are still getting congratulations and I am still so very thankful for them.  I'm also still nervous as get out that we announced.  I am praying our little one decides to stay with us.  I feel him or her on occasion.  Today, it was after I ate a nutty buddy.  I assume the baby likes sweets lol.

So, let's talk 15 week update.  

Total weight gain/loss: 6 pounds overall. I am now 160 pounds.

Maternity clothes?: Not really.  I'm still only in the one maternity blouse

Stretch marks? Not beyond the ones I had from the last pregnancy

Sleep: Not that great this week.  I've had a horrible headache and my pubic area feels tender thanks to the round ligament pain

Best moment of the week: Announcing

Have you told family and friends: Everyone knows.

Miss Anything?: Patience.  Seriously, I feel so short fused

What I'm loving?: Feeling the baby move.  S. still can't right now and the baby isn't large enough for me to always feel, so when it does, I cherish the feeling.

What I'm not loving?:  The hormone roller coaster.  I feel like the meanest person when I get home.   I'm so tired I want a couple of minutes to myself when I get in.  But there is so much to do and I find that sometimes I'm snappy and mean.  That's not me at all.

Movement: Yes.

Anything make you queasy or sick: Not eating every couple of hours.

Food cravings: Icecream

Have you started to show yet: Yes

Gender prediction: #teamgreen

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out?: Still in

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Easily irritated especially when hungry.

Preparations for baby: A coworker gave me maternity clothes.  That's about it.

Looking forward to: Not being so tired and cranky.