Second Trimester

I’m now 16 weeks pregnant and several weeks into my second trimester. The anatomy scan is scheduled for April 17 and we will (hopefully!) find out the gender then. I think that knowing the gender and seeing the ultrasound where the baby looks more like a human and not a jelly bean will make the pregnancy more real. Also, I should start feeling the baby move soon as well. Right now pregnancy to me is big boobs and feeling miserable and not a lot to show for it yet. I still fit into my regular pants (which were a bit big anyway because I can’t stand remotely tight clothes). The baby now is about 5 inches long and the size of a turnip (not sure I’ve ever actually seen a turnip).

I used to be jealous of pregnant women. Not because they got a baby at the end of it, but because I thought being pregnant would be wonderful and magical. I knew, of course, about morning sickness and being extremely miserable near your due date due to your size and swelling and all that. I didn’t know babies would suck all your energy and intelligence away.

Fortunately, I have only thrown up once and that was after eating too many leftover Chili quesadillas for breakfast around my 13th week. I can no longer eat as much as I used to (or I feel like throwing up) and I feel hungry less often. So far I’ve only gained about 2 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. Pretty normal. My boobs no longer hurt, which is good, but they went up in size. I had always thought I wanted bigger boobs and now that I have them, I don’t. And I only went from a B to a C cup.

I spent most of my first trimester feeling like a slug. I didn’t want to do anything but lay on the couch and watch tv. I had (have) trouble concentrating on my work and doing anything that involves a lot of thought. The nausea is mostly gone but I’m still waiting for that energy increase that is supposed to happen.

I’m having trouble sleeping and pain in my upper right arm (sleep position related) and pain in my knees and sometimes hips. It’s uncomfortable sitting as I used to in a computer chair sometimes due to my new uterus position and expansion. My asthma is getting worse so I think I’m going to have to go back on the inhaler (was just taking Singulair). My nose is constantly congested (another pregnancy thing that I didn’t know about before hand). My sense of smell is still increased but I’ve mostly gotten used to that.

So yeah, being pregnant is not as fun as I expected.

People on the Internet

Recently, Facebook has twice suggested a sponsored post to me about a class action suit for birth defects from women who took Zoloft when pregnant. I mistakenly read the comments on there and they really pissed me off. Some people seem to feel that if you require any sort of daily medication, no matter for you, you shouldn’t even get pregnant. Or if you do get pregnant, you should immediately stop any sort of medication and not take anything at all while pregnant, despite your doctor’s okay that it’s okay to take that medication. Yes, that will be very helpful for my baby when I can’t breathe due to my asthma.

And then there were the people who said that if you have depression, you shouldn’t even have kids. Really? How about if you’re judgmental idiots, you shouldn’t have kids? What gives you the right to say who should or shouldn’t have kids?

And there were all public comments on Facebook, where anyone can see them and which were most often associated with their real name.

And then there’s the women on the due date club forums that I lurk on. Not only is there so much drama and cattiness and bitchiness, there is rampant stupidity.

People ask the same questions over and over that a Google search would be more appropriate for (or asking their doctor). Like, “can I take Tylenol”. Yes, you can. It’s the only class A drug in pregnancy. Look it up yourself. Now, I can understand questions asking for opinions or options, such as “what drug did you take for high blood pressure while pregnant”. That’s a reasonable question. And then there are questions that are just totally ridiculous like “can I eat doughnuts while pregnant” or some other food that there’s really no question is safe. Unless of course you eat like a dozen donuts yourself every day. I wouldn’t advise that.

Then there are the women there who are like “I’m not eating anything bad, taking any medication, or having even a drop of caffeine while pregnant because I love my baby and want the best for it”. Yes, way to make the rest of us who aren’t quite so fortunate to not need medication feel great. Or who enjoy still having a cup of black tea that doctors agree is completely safe to have. Or who don’t have the energy to cook healthy food all the time.

I will love my child and want the best for them, but I am still a person too and will not now or later have my whole life focused on my offspring. I will still have my own interests and own hobbies and be my own person. I will never have a username that is “mommyoftwo” or some other thing that shows my whole identity is based upon my kids. My own life is not ending just because I’m having a baby. And if my Singulair and Zyrtec allow me to breathe without tons of mucus and wheezing, then dammit I’m going to take them.

Jake’s Surgery

Last Friday, Jake, our youngest cat (about 3 years) had to have surgery on his back due to an abscess. Our other cat Draco had jumped on him and bit him a couple weeks ago and it turned into an abscess. He now has a 4-inch long row of stitches on his back and a cone around his head. He acts like nothing happened though. Friday it was like he didn’t even have surgery. He was walking around the room we have him in (he’s not supposed to jump or run for 10 days), wanting petting and making small jumps on top of storage containers. He had three days worth of pain pills to take and they were flavored. We were able to just put them on the floor and he ate them himself. We also have to give him liquid antibiotics which isn’t quite as easy. He goes back to the vet on the 14th to have his stitches removed and then the cone can come off as well.

On the 14th we’re also taking Luna along to get her vaccinations up to date. We’re taking her back at the end of the month to get her fur mats removed and her vaccinations had to be be up to date. She has some really bad mats, especially on her stomach and she hates to be held so we weren’t successful at removing them ourselves. She’ll probably have to end up with a lion’s cut. We’re going to have to try to keep up with brushing her after that so it doesn’t get that bad again. She enjoyed being brushed usually.

I’m very tired of going to the vet. It’s also been very hard on us financially and it’s wiped out all the money I had set aside to pay my taxes with. All the tests and things on Spencer were very expensive and the surgery on Jake wasn’t cheap either.

Spencer

Spencer was born in April 1998 and yesterday we had to put him to sleep. He was dying from cancer and was barely moving and not eating. He spent his final hours laying in the bed with me and occasionally eating his “snow” (crushed ice).

It was devastating. He had been with me since right after I graduated from high school. He had been my best friend. I’m going to miss him so much.

I’ll miss his “meow-chirps”. How he’d try to get me to wake up at 7 am to feed him. How he’d complain whenever Joe talked. How he used to roll over and over just for fun. And just all the little things that made him different from our other cats.

Goodbye Spencer. I love you.

First Prenatal Appointment

Last Thursday I had my first prenatal appointment and yesterday I had my first official ultrasound (they did an unofficial one at the prenatal appointment).

Everything looked good. I’m measuring exactly where I should be and the baby’s heartbeat was 189 and the baby was exactly one inch long.

I’ve been feeling pretty not great the past few weeks. Nauseated, exhausted, sinus problems. No throwing up at least but it’s really rare for me to do that anyway. Only times I have really have where when I had a kidney infection or too much alcohol. Anyway, the nausea is only bad if I don’t eat regularly. And not small snacks either, it has to be a substantial amount of food. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been very healthy food since I totally don’t feel like cooking.

I’m really anxious to get to the second trimester and start feeling better. Right now I’m 9 weeks and 2 days so that won’t be for awhile yet. I’m also very anxious to get to 20 weeks and find out the gender of the baby.

On Kids

Someone on Twitter today linked to this article about why she’s not having kids. I really liked this one part:

I think children should be brought into this world because they’re wanted, not because kids are “the next logical” step in a marriage, not because someone has been ignorant in regards to the plethora of birth control options out there, and not because a relationship is irrevocably screwed up and it’s the last chance for normalcy.

I think that’s great. Off and on I wasn’t sure I wanted kids, especially when my health was really bad. And the rest of the time, I wanted kids “someday” but it was never that day until recently. My family never asked. I have two sets of aunts and uncles and one of them doesn’t have kids. I’ve wondered sometimes why but I would never ask them. It’s just too personal. So it’s not exactly an odd thing in my family not to have kids but it is in my husband’s family and one of them asked us once. I was a little offended. And at the time I was at my heaviest weight and sickest. It’s like, really, do you think I should have a kid like this?

I completely understand people not wanting kids. Especially since in general I don’t even like babies or toddlers. Kids are such a huge responsibility though and I don’t get how so many people can take something like that so lightly. One of my friends wanted to have a baby in high school and I thought she was completely nuts. She managed to wait until a couple of years after graduation at least. Now she has three with three different fathers.

So finally, at 32, I finally felt that I truly wanted a child. I had been envious of other people being pregnant for the past few years, but it still didn’t feel like the right time earlier. Now it is.

End of 2012

At the beginning of the year, I wrote that:

I want this year to be a lot better. I want to be healthier and I want to be happier.

I will be healthier and happier.

And for the most part, that happened. 2012 was a good year for me. For the first 5 months, I ate healthier (mostly paleo) and went off most of my medications because I didn’t need them anymore. I lost about 25 lbs (although I gained about 10 back this fall…). I did do some exercise in the winter/spring, but it seems like every summer I fall off my diet/exercise plan. And along with falling off my healthy eating, my health went downhill some. I don’t get why I can’t eat healthy all the time. I know eat bad = feel bad for me, and yet I still do it.

Career-wise it was a good year, especially in the second half. I created a WordPress plugin that I put up for sale on Code Canyon in the summer. I released a new, small, free plugin on wordpress.org in the summer as well, making it my second plugin there. I also released a few new versions of my other plugin throughout the year and started work on a pro version that I plan to sell. I did some freelance work throughout the year, mainly small stuff that just fell into my lap. All sub-contracting work, I don’t want to work directly with clients really. The biggest thing career wise was leaving my job I had been at for 7 years and start working for a new company as an independent contractor, which means I work from home. It was a hard change for me, which I didn’t expect. The new company, who I love working for, is much more “professional” in it’s development practice, using version control (as you should) and actually caring about the quality of the code they produce. Not coding like it was still 1999. That was all a good change, but it was still a change. Also no hour long phone calls telling me that the color of a link needed to be changed, which was great. The hard change was working from home. I’ve worked from home before sometimes, only for a day here and there. It wasn’t really the “at home” part that was hard, it was the you don’t just clock in, put in your time, and clock out. Working at my old job, I’d work 5-6 hours a day since I was part-time. So out of say 5 hours, I’d do maybe 2-3 hours of actual coding/design. There was a ton of email to go through, tickets to read, hour long phone calls that really only needed to be 2 minutes, estimates to provide for quotes, and so on. Now, I just check out basecamp to see what’s on my to-do list and work on it. And then do actual coding for 5 hours, or however long. My brain was tired for awhile at first. It wasn’t used to working so hard.

I had wanted to clean the house more this year. That didn’t happen. I’m just not into cleaning. Not spending so much and budgeting better didn’t really happen either.

I wrote my second novel this year. And re-read my first and realized it wasn’t as awful as I thought. I spent a little bit of time working on my own websites but not much. I was more into coding plugins. I did not keep up with journal writing like I had wanted. I did keep track of what I ate and how I felt up through August. By then, I was kind of eating bad and feeling bad after again but continuing to do it anyway so I didn’t see a point in keeping that up.

And so, on to what I want for 2013.

Obviously, the first thing is for a healthy and happy baby to be born around September 2. Most everything is going to revolve around that. Cleaning and preparing the house, saving money, buying baby stuff, eating healthy and doing appropriate levels of exercise. I do hope to write more journal entries, both on paper and online about all that and about everything else in life.

Hobbie-wise, I hope to edit my books and get one prepared enough to use my NaNoWriMo free 5 paperback copies though a book printing company by June. I have books on writing I want to read and books on black/blood magic to read for research for editing my first novel. Really hoping my reading material does not influence the baby negatively… And I do hope to do some more on my personal web sites and create new layouts for some.

Career-wise, I hope to do good and interesting work for the company I work for. I hope to create more WordPress plugins to sell and some to release for free. Possibly venture into selling WordPress themes if I feel like designing. I do plan to work after the baby arrives, although I guess I’ll need something of a maternity leave probably. Not too long, because we really do need my income. I’m very fortunate in that I work from home now so that will make it easier.

Happy 2013 everyone!

A Positive Test

After years of having various medical tests come out negative, I’ve finally had a test come out positive. And this was a test I definitely wanted positive.

I went off the birth control pills in May, so it took about 6 months. I’m only about 4 weeks along and my first prenatal appointment is January 24th. I know a lot of people wait until after the first trimester to announce to people, but as you can see, I’m not. We’ve already told our families. Even if I should miscarry today, I don’t want to act like this first baby never even existed.

About a week after the baby was conceived, I had a dream. In it, I had a baby girl in my arms and, although it made no sense in the context of the dream, I said to myself, “It looks like I really am pregnant”. It was a very vivid dream. Up until the first positive test, I tried not to get my hopes up to much. After all, it seemed crazy to base my hopes on a dream. If it turns out to be a girl, well, that will just be spooky.

I’m not sure I’m excited so much as terrified. Terrified of a miscarriage, that there will be something wrong with the baby, that it will be stillborn, of labor, and of all the terrible things that could possibly happen once the baby is born and out interacting with the world. Especially with what happened at the elementary school in Connecticut recently. And I’m terrified about actually taking care of a baby. I have no experience with them, other than reading Baby-Sitters Club books (and we all know how accurate they are…). I have a niece and a nephew, but it’s been 18 years since the younger one was born and back then I wasn’t much interested in babies.

Every time I have even the slightest twinge in my abdomen (and there’s been several, as is normal), I worry that it means I will be losing the baby. I had no idea I would feel this way once I was pregnant. Before, my concern was just about getting pregnant. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to. Not for any real reason, just that with all my other medical problems I had in the past, infertility just seemed like something that I would have, with my luck.

I’m also anxious about my health. I’ve had problems in the past with high blood pressure and my resting heart rate still is too high. My blood pressure has been on the verge of being too high recently, but my diet has also not been as good as it was earlier in the year when I was able to go off the blood pressure medication. I need to start eating paleo again. After I eat up the Christmas cookies my mom gave us yesterday.

I would rather have a girl, I think, at least for a first child. I don’t know why really. I don’t think I want to give birth to more than two kids. If we ever get to be well off financially, I think I would like to look into adopting an older child (as in, not a baby or toddler) or two.

One thing I will not be doing is reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I read the reviews on Amazon on it recently. I hadn’t known it was such a horrible book, since it’s so popular. I’m already scared enough, I hate to think of how I would be if I read it.

NaNoWriMo and More

I finished NaNoWriMo on Nov. 28th, the same day I finished in 2010. It was a great relief to finish it. I was feeling so burnt out and tired of writing. Now that it’s over though I kind of miss it. I do plan on trying to edit it, and my previous novel, once I read some of my writing books (characterization, dialogue, description and setting, and general writing books).

I’ve been busy since then doing a cross-stitch for mom for Christmas. I have two smaller ones to do for her.

Joe now has a new job that he started Monday, doing help desk support for a company that does long term acute care hospitals. He finally has a regular shift, 9 am to 6 pm. This is after years of working two weeks for 7:30 am to 4 pm and 2 weeks of 1:30 pm to 10 pm, alternating. Except for the past 6 months, even his weeks of mornings have consisted of several night shifts. The health insurance is also better and will be almost half the cost of my current cobra payment to get on his insurance.

I finished the Dresden file books and read the new one (and loved it). I’m currently rereading the Pendergast books. I doubt I will finish them before the next book comes out on Tuesday. I know I won’t finish rereading Wheel of Time before the last one of that comes out.

Very oddly, I had about 6 requests for customizations/forks of one of my plugins in November. This was after only having 1 that didn’t pan out in all the years I’ve been maintaining that plugin. None have gone to the doing the actual work stage and I’m not sure if they will.

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is going pretty well for me this time. I’m at 17388 words. Last time I did this, in 2010, around this time, I was 5000 words behind. This time, I’m ahead with an expected finish date of Nov. 25th. Last time I finished on Nov. 28th.

Last time I skipped a few days and so far this time, I’ve written every day. Lots of people have said that the first week is much better than the second for them, but for me it’s reversed. The first week I’ve really had to force myself to write and so far this week, I’ve found myself actually wanting to write. But, I’ve found out today that was I suspected was true. I tried to write this morning and only got about 100 words before I hit a blank wall. So, it turns out that I just can’t write about vampires during daylight hours.

I love it when things that I didn’t plan on happen. For instance, my main character, Nola, answered her door and I was planning on it being Dan, but instead it was her sister. And another time, she was grabbed and pulled into a dark alley and it was going to be a robber but instead it was her maker. And Dan was supposed to be a brooding, Angel type vampire but instead he’s a friendly jock. And her maker was not really supposed to be a part of the story but now there’s going to be a love triangle between Dan and her maker, Julien.

I developed a system last time I did NaNo that worked well for me so I’m doing it again this time. I use Q10, which is a distraction free writing program that you can show a word count at the bottom. I write on my netbook and I open a new text file for every day I write (named 1.txt, 2.txt, so on for the date). That way, I’m not tempted to edit what I’ve written before and start with a clean slate every day. I save them in a Dropbox folder so I don’t have to worry about losing them.

Last time I did NaNo, I got a discount for Scrivener, so I had purchased that before and plan to do my editing of my books in that. I’ve been rereading Twilight as well to remind myself that no matter how bad my writing is or how flat my characters are, if I get a good storyline, I too could possibly end up a published author.