Monday, September 14, 2009

Second Trimester High

Tonight I had my 16 week appointment with my midwife. Actually, it was more like 15w5d, but who's counting?

Besides me.

Anyway, it was a great visit. I love my midwife SO much. My prenatal care did a complete 180 from when I was pregnant in Miami last year. Then, I was going to an OB in a practice with 5 other doctors. At my first appointment, I showed up all excited for my very first baby-doctor visit, only to be told, quite rudely by the way, that they had lost my appointment and wouldn't be able to see me until the next week. I should have known then to just find another place.

After that, we only had two appointments there before we lost the baby. Both of those times we had to wait at least 45 minutes, if not more, to see our doctor. When we did get in there, we were rushed through blood work, told what we were going to get done (screenings, testing, etc) and handed a pregnancy brochure as we were rushed out the door before we had a chance to ask any of the 500 questions we had.

Weeks later, after the perinatologist at the testing office noticed there was something wrong on the ultrasound we were a wreck while we waited for more testing. At our next regular appointment, we asked our Dr about it and were told, "Yeah, I saw something about that, I'm sure it's nothing, you'll be fine."

A week later, we lost Baby Z. We needed to get genetic testing done on it and the results were sent back to our Doctor's office. We spent almost a month playing phone tag, trying to get someone on the phone who could give us results. When we finally did, I was terrified, mad and beyond frustrated. I vowed, if I ever got pregnant again, I would find someone who treated me like a human being and not just another number on their list of crazy pregnant ladies they have to deal with everyday.

After doing a lot of research, I decided that the midwifery approach was right for me. I knew J would never go for a non-hospital birth and while I greatly admire people who do it, I honestly have no desire to birth in my home. So we made a compromise and found a wonderful midwife who has her own private practice but delivers in a local hospital.

My care with her so far has been amazing. She is compassionate, caring, hilarious and calm. She is also VERY accessible by phone or email. The best is that she is not some totally out there, hippy-dippy midwife, but very down-to-earth and filled with common sense. She is a complete advocate of natural childbirth, but at the same time, knows that sometimes there are things that are out of your control. Therefore, she is completely willing to create a birth plan that includes pain relief if needed without making you feel like some sort of failure to womankind. Midwives aren't for everyone, but for us, it's the perfect balance. We get the medical side if we need it (she works with backup doctors and perinatologists), the advocacy for natural childbirth that I want, and the coddling and reassurance that two terrified, baby-burned parents need from a caregiver.

So, Jeremy is in Amsterdam right now (I know, WITHOUT me! Can you believe it?!?!?) so he had to miss our appointment tonight. He was pretty bummed about not hearing the baby's heartbeat on the doppler (after all we've been through, we live for this moment every couple of weeks). Anyway, he asked me to call him during the appointment so he could hear the heartbeat.

So, here I am, laying on the table. My midwife has the doppler on my stomach and I'm all,

"Hang on, gotta call Amsterdam real quick."

Instead of getting impatient, she was cracking up and playing along. While we had him on speakerphone, she made some comment about it being her "first international consultation."

Love her.

Anyway, everything was great. The heartbeat was fine and if everything goes well, we have our next ultrasound appointment scheduled in a month. I had some more random spotting issues (sorry guys...) a few weeks back that actually lasted two full weeks, but she got us in to hear the heartbeat and said it was to be expected with everything we had been through. It wasn't as scary and gorey as it had been, so I just dealt with it. And after two weeks it stopped. I am happy to say that today it has been one whole week of NO blood!!! Woo-hooo! (Knock on wood). It's been nice to have a somewhat stress-free week for once.

Other that that, I have to say, so far the second tri has been everything people said it would be. My nausea has improved by about 85% and I'm feeling sooooo much better. I still get tired really easily, but compared to how I felt a month ago, I feel like a new woman.

And while I have felt completely bloated for the past 16 weeks, I'm just now actually starting to feel my stomach getting bigger. Normally, if I press on my stomach, it just squishes down. Now, it feels like a small balloon is growing in there. It's very odd. I am proud to say though, that at almost 16 weeks I am still wearing all my normal clothes. However, I know that wont last very long. Getting bigger is a scary thought, but one I am ready for.

That is really the only "complaint" I have right now which I'm not really complaining about. I'll take it any day over the excitement of my first trimester, which included, but was not limited to:

abnormal bleeding
round-the-clock nausea
insatiable need to gag
excessive salivation
overly sensitive sense to smell (had to change deodorant and laundry detergent to unscented)
food aversions (to everything but Lucky Charms, orange peanut butter crackers, chocolate milk and pickles)
all day dizziness
disgusting taste in my mouth all day and night
total exhaustion
dry skin
gas that had me doubled over in pain

Yes. pregnancy is sexy.

P.S. My pics will be back in about a week. Somehow I exceeded my bandwith. I'm too lazy to repost every picture on here, so I will just wait until my account resets itself.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Sorry it's been so long...again. After a week or two of no activity I get a couple of FB messages asking if I'm ok (much appreciated). I'm perfectly fine, and so is Butterbean as far as I know. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I just recently got internet back.

First off, before I forget, I just want to say thank you all so much for all your encouraging words from my last two posts. When I wrote that first post, I wasn't sure if anyone would even come back to read it, since I'd been gone so long. I was shocked to see that an hour after I had published it, I already had 14 comments. Sometimes I can't believe the outpouring of support in the online running community. :) And trust me, with all the stress we have been under for the past few months, it truly means a lot. But I do have some wonderful news to report (finally), which is the reason I have been MIA for the past couple of weeks.

Two weeks ago, Jeremy and I had the pleasure of closing on our very first house!!! YAY!!!!

The process has been a total roller coaster and something we never thought we would see happen, but it finally did and we are beyond thrilled.

We started looking for a place to live in Miami a few years ago. Unfortunately, at the time, the homes we would afford (condos with high association fees) were all ridiculously overpriced. But little did we know, our disappointment was a blessing in disguise. Had we bought one of those condos two years ago, we would have lost SO much money last year.

Then we thought for a few months we were going to move to Sarasota, FL (where my parents live). Jeremy had a job opportunity there and for a couple of months, we looked for houses again. But that job opportunity unexpectedly fell through at the last minute and so did our quest for a home.

Here in Philly, we decided it was a good idea to rent for a year while we tried to figure out where we wanted to live. We knew it was a good time to look again once we heard about the first-time homebuyers credit. We figured out that we would qualify for the full $8,000 and we knew we could get a decent place for almost the same amount we were paying in rent. So we set up a time to go out with our realtor who helped us with our rental (he's the best) in late March to start looking.

But the Sunday we were set to go look with him was the same weekend I had the miscarriage. Jeremy offered to cancel, but since the worse of it was over, I insisted on going (stubborn much?). I needed something to look forward to and focus on besides the baby. So off we went.

We spent the next two months looking at properties with our incredibly patient realtor, Michael Steele (I love saying his name, it sounds like a superhero). In total, we saw over 70 properties. We fell in love with one house, saw it twice, then decided the neighborhood was too far from the city and we wanted to be on a train line. Then we fell for another house with a great backyard, deck and view of the city. We saw it twice, but we realize it needed too much work and the upstairs was too small.

The third house we fell in love with was a total rehab, huge, close to a train line and in a great part of the city we wanted to live in. We didn't totally, LOVE it, but we liked it and were at the point where we figured we would never have that "feeling" everyone talks about when they walk into a place and know "it's the one". We were so sick of looking at that point that we decided we liked it enough to put in an offer. We negotiated back and forth with a shady realtor and seller, but finally settled on a price. We were thrilled.

But on the day of the inspection, I had the strangest feeling I couldn't explain. Everything inside of me was telling me not to get this house. I don't normally get feelings like that, or think much about them, but this one was overwhelming. The inspector found a ton of things wrong with the place. It was nothing that couldn't necessarily be fixed, but it was way too much for us to be comfortable with on our first home and it would have cost a LOT of money. We left the inspection totally confused and scared we were about to make a horrible mistake. As we left the house, we drove by another place that had just come up on the market the week we agreed on the last house. As we drove by it, I remember thinking how cute it was and if we were still looking, I would love to see it. After two days we decided we didn't want to renegotiate and pulled out of the deal.

The next night I broke out in a horrible case of hives. HIVES!!! I have never had hives in my LIFE! I was so stressed out from looking for a house, and the agony of a bad inspection and deciding whether or not to take that bloody house, my body reacted by turning into a giant red, itchy MESS. It was so awful.

So the next week, we dusted ourselves off for another Saturday tour of homes with Michael Steele. We had 7 houses on the list. The cute house was number two.

As soon as we pulled up to the house and stepped out of the car, I knew this was where I wanted to live. It was a gorgeous, 1920's, tudor-style rowhome surrounded by huge mature trees on a wide, beautiful street. It was also four doors away from one of the best running trails in the city.

As soon as we stepped through the arched doorway and entered the home, I had "the feeling". It was the best feeling ever.

While we had to compromise on a few things with this home (mainly square footage), it had a lot of the things we were looking for (a ton of character, huge trees, close to our favorite park and train line, renovated, but not in cheap, shady, flipping the house sort of way). We decided we could size down a bit if the house had everything else we wanted, and this one did. We were in love. The best part is, the sellers were not some shady flippers looking to make a buck, but a nice family who loved the home and planned on being here a long time. The husband is a contractor and carpenter and renovated everything, so it's all done beautifully. It's a great feeling to buy a place and feel confident with the purchase, not scared that the master bathroom is literally going to fall off the back of the house (just one of the many concerns with the last house).

We negotiated back and forth, went through (and paid for, ugh) another inspection, got the house appraised, renegotiated again and after three months of waiting on this house, we FINALLY closed two weeks ago. We have been waiting for this moment for so long, that as I sit here and write this in my very own living room, I still can't believe it. I am at a single moment in my life where I feel totally blessed.

The past few weeks have been spent moving, painting, sewing, unpacking, shopping etc. It's been exhausting and wonderful all at once.

There is so much more I want to write about it, but I'll save it for another post (probably with pics). Until then...







design by