Friday, February 27, 2009


According to one of my fave pregnancy sites,, the baby is roughly the size of an avocado now! We've been having way too much fun with the track-the baby-by-fruit-size aspect of that site. It was a naval orange last week.
Along with being avocado-sized, the baby is now more proportionate. His/her legs have now grown to be longer than the arms — which I'm grateful to hear! (These facts are from my other fave pregnancy site:
And apparently the baby is wriggling and swimming up a storm in there. The swimming should be good practice for its future forays into that sport! Can't let my child miss out on the joys of morning swim practice and Speedos.
I can't feel anything yet, but I guess the first kicks could be felt anytime in the next few weeks. I'm very psyched for that!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sappy, but I love it

I actually teared-up while driving to the gym this morning.
No, it wasn't just the dread of 4 miles on the treadmill. And, yes, it was probably partly due to my crazy hormones.
I heard a song that I love on the radio. It's a new one by Darius Rucker — formerly of Hootie, blech! But I love this new country song he did called "It won't be like this for long." It's all about a couple adjusting to life with a new baby girl, and it walks through stages like the baby crying all night and then heading off to preschool, etc.
The chorus after he talks about being awake all night is what gets me:
"It won't be like this for long
One day soon we'll look back laugh'n
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It won't be like this for long"
It always makes me feel bad about the complaining I do! I really do feel amazingly lucky to be having this baby.
I know that there are going to be some trying times ahead of us, but I hope Brian and I can support each other and remind ourselves to cherish every moment.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cautious v. Over-the-top

There's certainly no shortage of warnings during pregnancy.
Don't eat lunch meat or too much fish. Don't take pain relievers, except the occasional Tylenol. Don't sleep on your back (past a certain point in the pregnancy). Don't do abdominal exercises... darn.
I consider myself a fairly well-informed person. Or maybe I should rephrase. I considered myself a fairly well-informed person before I started reading about what was happening inside my body and what I need to watch out for.
I definitely did not know lunch meat can carry listeria, or that it's a major risk for pregnant women. But I haven't visited Jimmy Johns or Subway since I found out. (Though I expect Brian to deliver a Beach Club to me the day after the baby is born!)
I'm trying to listen to the advice as I learn it. Obviously I want to have a healthy baby and for it to have all the advantages in the world. But I'm wondering how far I should go in being cautious during pregnancy?
Do I avoid standing near microwaves, as one source suggested? Not that I'm spending a lot of time hanging around microwaves. But can I stand by the one at work during the two minutes my lunch is heating up?
Do I avoid artificial sweeteners and diet pop? What about the small amounts of caffeine I'm having (not even every day!)... Is that something I'll regret down the road?
Honestly I try not to stress about this stuff too much. But I can't help wondering if I'm doing the right things and avoiding enough of the wrong ones.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm... happy/sad/mad?

While I feel sane most of the times these days, there are definitely moments where I step back and think "whoa!" I know that my hormones are going crazy, but that doesn't mean that I realize when they're taking control. There have been many nights that I've laid in bed with Brian and simply said, "Sorry if I was a little nuts earlier." I figure it's a safe bet and better to cover my bases :)
The most frustrating thing with my mood swings is that I don't realize it's happening until it's too late. I'll already be yelling about something or broken down in tears by the time I can step outside myself for a moment and ask, "what the heck is going on?!"
Is the fact that we couldn't agree on a movie to watch really the end of the world? Did the dogs deserve to get screamed at because I didn't wipe their paws off well enough to avoid getting black paw prints all over the dining room carpet?
Apparently so, according to pregnant Dorothy.
I'm hoping the more I talk about the mood swings the more I'll be able to recognize them or even (dare I say it?) ... control them. If not, I'm grateful Brian is such an understanding husband. And to everyone else, my apologies in advance!

Monday, February 23, 2009


I'm signed up to run a half marathon in about seven weeks. Not because I'm a glutton for punishment, but because I'd already signed up for it before finding out I was pregnant. I usually do a couple each year and was psyched to participate in the inaugural Illinois Marathon (at U of I Champaign-Urbana).
I checked with the doctor at my first appointment and she said it was fine for me to do as long as I didn't run the whole thing. So I've been training for it and, so far, have been able to stick with most of my program. I'm doing a good mix of running and walking. And even my "running" pace is pretty slow!
The biggest challenges so far have been tiredness and hip/leg pain. In early January it was tough to even go a couple miles because I was so tired, even on the days I'd get 12 hours of sleep! But I'd also find that I felt better after working out. It definitely helped work out some of my kinks and got my system going :)
Now that I have more energy, the working out part is easier but I'm finding a whole new set of pains. The most frustrating is the pain in my right groin. It's apparently just caused by the ligaments stretching as baby grows. So I'm not worried, just uncomfortable. And the need to empty my bladder every 20 minutes or so isn't helping, either!
I've still got plenty of training left to do. I've only worked up to a five-mile long-run... which took almost an hour. A month from now I'll be run/walking nine or 10 miles, which may take me a whole morning.
But I'm going to keep training unless something other than discomfort gets in my way. I think it will be a great accomplishment to run the race with the baby on board. Brian is running the half, too, (along with my younger brother and older sister) so it will be quite the family affair!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bagels and ice cream

I'm not eating them together, but separately bagels and ice cream have been making me very happy these past few weeks.
Now that I'm not feeling nauseous anymore, eating is no longer painful. And I'm embracing the fact that I have to eat extra calories each day. My two favorite sources are toasted bagels (yes, those big ones with hundreds of calories) in the morning and a bowl of ice cream each night! When else am I gonna feel like I have permission to induldge like this?!
Having never gotten my tonsils out when I was younger, I always secretly wanted a reason to eat ice cream day after day. Well, this baby seems to need a lot of calcium, and there's only so much yogurt and cheese I can work into my daily diet. Right?
I think it's going to be tough going back to normal eating after this baby is born!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The big surprise

Even before I got pregnant, I knew that I wanted to be surprised at delivery by the sex of the baby. (Hopefully not surprised in a bad way, but just get the news then about whether it's a boy or a girl!) I'm excited about the idea of that moment where the doctor (or the dad) gets to announce: "It's a boy" — or, "It's a girl"...
Brian was not on board with this idea at the start. And, being the generally impatient person he is, still wants to find out the gender at our ultrasound coming up. But luckily he's agreed to go along with the surprise idea! I think it helps that two of our friends recently had babies and waited to find out the sex. So we know not to listen to the criticism of "it's too hard to plan" or "you won't get many shower gifts" if you don't know the sex of the baby.
Yes, we'll have to keep the nursery decor and pre-purchased baby clothes somewhat neutral. But we're OK with that. And I'm really looking forward to that delivery room moment!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peeing and other weird stuff

I am so sick of going to the bathroom. I swear at work this afternoon I've have had to go pee four times — and I haven't even been here four hours yet! I thought the frequent urination was supposed to subside in the second trimester, but I feel like it's been worse for me. Maybe I haven't seen anything yet. (that's scary!!)
And I was reminded today of all the random, weird stuff that comes with being pregnant. I was just walking through the dining room this morning when I was suddenly hit with a severe need to puke! I ran to the kitchen sink and luckily avoided tossing my cookies, but it felt awful. And then it was gone. Minutes later I was eating a bowl of Crispix. Definitely weird.
I also have random cramps and pains in my abdomen. I'm trying not to be one of those crazy-worried pregnant ladies (despite what Brian may think of my stress levels!!) so I have been assuming the pangs are normal. But they're still weird.
I also have been getting numbness in my hips while I sleep; lovely acne across my forehead; and headaches whenever I stand up too quickly. Good times.
Well, gotta go visit the ladies room again...

Money stress

YES, we know that there's never a "good" time financially to have a baby. Brian and I have been laughed at plenty of times when we brought up the idea of saving up before we took the baby plunge. Everyone told us that money will always be tight, no matter how much you plan.
Boy were they right. After looking at our income and spending habits last night, I'm a bit stressed about how we're going to cover the additional bills that baby will bring to us. We don't have a lot of wiggle room right now, and I don't think we're livin' large. But I'm trying to adopt Brian's attitude that "it will all work out." Still not sure of the how, but I'm keeping the faith. And we're trying to take some proactive steps, too. After adding up how much we've spent going out for food and drinks in past months, we decided to take some steps to curtail that spending. We're limiting ourselves to two lunches out and maybe one dinner each month. We'll see how this works out, but I'm hopeful that it will help.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The belly

While I admittedly still have plenty of growing to do, I definitely am showing some baby bump already!
The belly sort of popped out last week, seemingly overnight, and it's starting to look more baby-like. Before, I think I just looked like I'd packed on some post-holiday pounds.
The whole weight gain/changing body part of the pregnancy has been tough for me to handle. It's just been a tough reality for me to realize that I will and should gain some weight over the next six months. I feel like my entire life (well, at least since puberty) has been spent trying to lose weight, so this new reality runs a bit counter.
I've only gained about 3-4 pounds so far in the pregnancy, which my doctor is happy with. I always feared and joked with friends that I would be one of those huge pregnant women — not one of the cute ones that just develops a little belly. I suppose the verdict is still out on that! I understand from reading my books that the weight will start packing on faster now.
But Brian keeps telling me that the pregnancy body changes will be fine. He and most others I've gotten advice from tell me the weight will come off after the baby is born, and I'm starting to believe it.
Of course, I'm sure it will be worth it no matter what the scale says in month 9. It's all about the baby :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hearing the heartbeat

Wow. We rushed to the doctor's appointment at lunchtime today and I got what I'd desperately been waiting for. We got to hear our little baby's heartbeat for the first time.
It took a minute or so for the doctor to find it and I was nervous as we waited. At one point I heard something and the doctor said it was the baby moving. A few seconds later we heard a steady "whump, whump, whump." Brian reached up and squeezed my toe. I held my breath. It was amazing.
The doctor said the heartbeat was strong. We got to hear it for about 10 seconds before the baby moved and it went away. The doctor's response was that the baby was being "a turd."
On the way out of the office, I gave Brian a big hug. Since then I haven't been able to stop smiling.
And speaking of smiling, Brian and I have nicknamed the baby "our peach." We found a Web site that tracks the baby's growth based on what size fruit it is each week. For week 13, I've got a little peach in there. I guess the name may change next week as it changes to another fruit size, but the baby will always be my little peach.
I am so happy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Here goes...

While I write for a living, I don't always get to write what I want. And as a journalist I don't put my own views into what I write, unless it's in a column or first-person article.
So I guess I'm hoping this blog/online journal will give me a chance to express some stuff while I go through this crazy pregnancy thing.
A bit about myself... I'm 27, a Rockford, Ill.-native, and reporter for the Lafayette, Ind. Journal & Courier. My husband, Brian, and I moved here a couple years ago after living on the East Coast for several years. Brian was a reporter at the paper here with me until the start of this year. Now he works as a research writer at Purdue University.
We have two dogs — Radar and Muzzy — and live in a house that seems to have stuff break often. I consider us pretty active people, though we'd like to get more involved in volunteering. We run, ski, read, watch shows on Tivo, cook and like to take mini-adventures.
And, as mentioned above, we're expecting our first child this year. I'm due in August and am just starting to show some baby bump.
I think I know as much about pregnancy as I do about blogging, so we'll see how both these ventures go.