After returning home from our honeymoon abroad, Jason and I decided it was time to start a family. We’d been together for nearly eight years, married close to three, and it felt like the right time. This being our first, I decided to document my experience trying to conceive, what I learned along the way, and my weekly progress growing our family one finger and toe at a time. This is my pregnancy diary.
My 18th week started with what's been, undeniably, the coolest experience of my pregnancy yet: I felt our little boy's first kicks they day before week 18, and smiled every time I felt them (20+ times a day!) during the week ahead. I had been feeling the "quickening"—the swirling sensation that first distinguishes your baby's movements—since about week 16; but there's nothing like feeling those first, distinct kicks. What an amazing feeling!What was not so amazing, though, was developing pregnancy gingivitis this week. I build up tartar really easily (so quickly that I get my teeth cleaned every four months instead of six), and my dentist had warned me about pregnancy gingivitis and that I'd likely be highly susceptible to it. It's characterized by swollen gums, tooth sensitivity, and bleeding when you brush and floss. My gums were bloody every morning, flossing made them bleed, and if I drank cold drinks or ate something sugary my teeth ached.While that sounds like a simple inconvenience, studies have shown a correlation between mothers who experience pregnancy gingivitis with low birth weight and premature delivery. So I made an appointment with my dentist a few weeks out—in the meantime, I gargled with salt water daily, maintained brushing twice a day (I switched back to Sensodyne from my all-natural paste because the sensitivity is so bad), flossed after most meals, and rinsed with Listerine at night. The routine definitely helped with the bleeding, but the sensitivity remains when I drink cold liquids or chew on certain foods.
If week 18 was amazing, week 19 was downright miraculous! Just a week after feeling our baby boy's kicks inside my tummy, I felt them with my hand outside it! With just a tiny amount of pressure I could feel his little feet (or hands, or head, or rump) bumping against my hand. Watching Jason feel it was even more thrilling.Even more miraculous than feeling our boy's kicks (okay, not really, but it sure feels great!) is the fact that I stopped having to pee in the middle of the night. I could sleep through the night uninterrupted, and it was glorious!Unfortunately, the urge to pee has been replaced with nightly Charley Horses. I got two this week. You win some, you lose some.
My 20th week was exciting and busy! We got our 20-week ultrasound, confirming baby is a healthy boy; we had a garage sale to rid ourselves of unneeded stuff; we started renovating our bathroom to bring some much-needed storage/functionality to our 1950's home; and we met with a dog trainer to learn some techniques to better prepare our boys for Baby's arrival.These days, all our decisions focus on making room for Baby and our growing family. We've already converted our office to the master suite and dedicated one of our bedrooms to the nursery; we're going to finish the inside of our garage with drywall to create organized storage and a dedicated workout space for Jason; our renovations in the bathroom include a floating vanity so we can store all our baby-bath items in baskets beneath it, plus reglazing our tub (something we've used maybe twice in the more than two years we've been here) so it's ready for bath time; and we're refreshing the boys' obedience training to ensure they stay active and engaged members of our family!We're sacrificing some of the things that Mommy and Daddy want—like a new pergola over our patio, and repaving the walkway in our front yard—for things we know we'll need. Regardless, making the changes for the betterment of our family feels much more exciting.Keeping things interesting this week was the onset of pregnancy brain! So far, I've avoided the dreaded forgetfulness. But this week, I started to mix up words. I'd try to say something and couldn't get the words right, tripping over one or two of them, stopping to gather my thoughts, and starting over. It's been fun.SaveSaveSaveSaveSave