We’ve been jotting down some of our thoughts and feelings throughout the pregnancy.
2 Week Wait
Cindy was so convinced this time around “it” didn’t happen. She kept telling Jake it was her “woman’s intuition“. She was so sure her period would be coming. Clearly, her intuition was wrong. Jake was convinced it did happen. Although, he’s always convinced after every try so with that logic…he was bound to be right eventually.
Even though Cindy was convinced she was not pregnant, the days leading up to her projected period were still nerve-wracking. There were teeny hints that this month was a bit different from the other months– like she wasn’t breaking out, she didn’t really crave meaty foods, and her boobs stayed sore the entire time. That said, she only noticed these differences after the fact. Otherwise, she didn’t really experience any of those “early pregnancy symptoms before missed period” that you read about online.
The Day We Found Out
The day we found out was the day Cindy’s period was projected to arrive. That morning, she wore a “just in case” pad. All day long, she anticipated her period coming. She felt super bloated and had some low back pain, so she was convinced it was her classic period symptoms. Looking back, the low back pain was most likely from sitting all day!
Cindy had made plans with her friend, from Jake’s PhD program, to go take some pictures at UCLA and do some shopping afterwards. It took her mind off wondering whether her period was coming or not. But by the time 7:00pm rolled around, the thought moved from the back of her mind to the front of her mind. And slowly, she began to realize that maybe her period wasn’t coming this month.
She decided to give it more time, so she tried to not think about too much during bible study that evening (which was virtual). As soon as bible study ended, Cindy asked Jake if we could go buy a pregnancy test. Jake, being rational, thought we should wait one more day and buy a test in the morning. But by now, Cindy was eager to find out and demanded we make a trip to our 24/7 grocery store, at 10pm, to buy a pregnancy test.
When we got home, Cindy didn’t have to pee. So we had to wait for her to drink enough water to want to pee. By the time we took the test it, was almost 11:45pm. For the first time in our lives, we saw a slightly faded but very clear POSITIVE SIGN on the test stick! It was probably not a very good idea taking a pregnancy test so late at night because it was so hard trying to fall asleep after that. We
probably definitely should’ve listened to Jake and waited until the morning.
The entire moment was over in 2 seconds. The lines appeared almost immediately. Cindy gasped and yelled “OMG IT’S POSITIVE!” Jake walked over to look and asked why it’s slightly faded. And that was that. We must be the most anti-climactic people ever lol.
Jake was over-the-moon happy when he found out. He was SO EXCITED AND HAPPY at the thought of becoming a dad. He shared with Cindy, later on, that the following day he got a little emotional while sitting at his desk thinking about it all. The first thing Jake did when we found out was buy a couple of books. The first book he bought is Crib Sheet by Emily Oster. The tagline for the book reads “a data-driven guide to better, more relaxed parenting, from birth to preschool”. What a classically “Jake” book to buy lol. The second book he got is about grace-based discipline. Also a classically “Jake” book to buy. Jake’s reaction to the pregnancy was very methodical, matter-of-fact, and calm. (oh, and happy!).
Cindy was the complete opposite. She felt a rush of all kinds of emotions– a hint of excitement but panic and fear being the predominant ones. She kept wondering if we were actually really ready for this. Maybe we could have waited one more year? What was one more year of waiting? Maybe we rushed into this. Then she felt guilty for feeling these things because for the last 2 months this was all we wanted… and were sooooo sad when it didn’t happen. And this had always been our plan for the entire last year. It’s just so existential thinking about the fact that this is actually happening. Her body is about to change a lot. There’s no taking it back at all. There’s no pause or wait button. And everything about our very comfortable life is about to change. It’s not going to be just the two of us anymore and being just the two of us has been very very nice. And most of all, there is actual human life inside of you… At the same time, Cindy was so scared something could happen to this tiny little seed. Did she do anything in the past couple of weeks that could hurt it? We did have sushi…was that one 3 mile run where she was breathing a little to heavily too much…is it going to just fall right out or evaporate into thin air?!
Since then she’s calmed down a lot from the fear and panic. We’re guessing she’ll grow more excited and attached as the pregnancy progresses and as she begins to show more.
Overall, despite all the crazy emotions, we’re both feeling super blessed and grateful. The timing of the pregnancy, let alone the pregnancy itself, was an answered prayer. We know parenthood will not only change us but also grow (and hopefully sanctify) us. And through it all, our prayer is that we will trust God with all of it.
Telling Our Family
We found out on Wednesday night and were planning on keeping it a secret until we got our first ultrasound. Coincidentally, we already had plans to see each set of parents that weekend.
The plan was to NOT share the news just yet that weekend. But how can we keep such a big secret from our parents?! What if we accidentally spilled the beans and consequently ruined the way we wanted to do our “pregnancy reveal”?! Plus, Cindy was having insane insomnia from all the thoughts racing through her head– it was non-stop imagining what our parents’ reactions would be like, how we would share the news with them, etc. etc. etc.
At the very last minute, on Friday night, we decided that sharing the news with our parents that weekend was actually perfect timing. They would find out on the same weekend! Besides, if anything bad did happen to the pregnancy (like loss) we would want our parents to know anyway.
We didn’t have anything too elaborate planned. We entertained the idea of doing a charades game and acting out our big news. But in the end, we both decided that our parents would probably appreciate a more intimate and low-key surprise. We wrapped up our pregnancy test (after disinfecting it) and just told our parents we got them a gift. It was less suspicious for Cindy’s parents because we were going home to celebrate her dad’s birthday.
Needless to say, our parents were extremely surprised and extremely happy. As we were leaving Jake’s parents, Jake’s dad shared he had a feeling the night before that we were coming over to share some big news. Dad’s intuition maybe? Cindy’s parents and Jake’s mom initially thought we gifted them a thermometer lol (because the Clearblue digital test looks so different from the pregnancy tests they used). We were able to capture some of the reactions on video.
Week 4 or maybe 5 Symptoms & Feelings
Symptoms: EXTREME BLOATING AND GASSINESS. Cindy was so bloated, she could barely squeeze into her jeans. She was freaking out about that for a good chunk of the week. The bloating has since gone down a bit once we adjusted our diet. Ever since knowing Jake, Cindy has always been too embarrassed to fart around him. The only time he ever hears her fart is in her sleep lol. But now, she just lets it out. Jake misses the days when she didn’t. It was less stinky lol. JK.
Running has also been surprisingly difficult. Who knew a tiny little seed can already have this much of an effect on your body!? Cindy initially assumed she was just out of shape from not running for the past 2 weeks– due to bad air quality from the fires. But it was weird just how out of shape she felt, given it was only 2 weeks of not running. She’s gone 2 weeks without running before and got back into it without too much effort. When she’s running, it feels like there are invisible weights attached to her legs. And breathing is SO. MUCH. HARDER. Like all the blogs advise, she’s learning to adjust her expectations during runs and focus less on pace and more on effort.
Week 5 or maybe 6 Symptoms & Feelings
It’s amazing how much can change in just one week. Just the thought of running is exhausting now. Cindy can’t fathom making it to the end of the block on a run, let alone running 5 miles. How on earth did she have the energy and motivation to run last week?! Because all that energy and motivation has been drained out. No matter how much she sleeps, she’s constantly fatigued and exhausted. She just feels floppy and lazy all day long.
She’s also started experiencing queasiness, but no morning sickness (yay!). The queasiness still feels pretty terrible though. She’s completely lost her appetite and has developed an aversion to almost everything. Certain smells and foods make her gag and feel gross, but never to the point of vomiting. She can’t imagine eating a pizza, her favorite food of all time. All she can stomach now are mushy foods, crackers and breads. She was able to eat eggs a couple of days ago, but now even eggs sound gross. Our anniversary is coming up and we had plans to go out for a fancy dinner– maybe get some crab! But it’s looking like we’re going to stay home and eat the blandest food we can think of lol.
Overall, the best way to describe how Cindy’s feeling these days is to imagine feeling like you have the flu, but without the fever, cough, or sniffles. And there isn’t constant nausea, but there is a constant fear that you’ll encounter the one smell or food that will put you over the edge.
Week 6 or maybe 7 Symptoms & Feelings
By Thursday of last week, all the nausea went away! Cindy was simultaneously relieved and freaked out (did this mean the pregnancy failed?!) She was still really sensitive to smells, but was able to eat a lot more foods (like crab– for our anniversary, Chinese food, and even the new McDonald’s spicy chicken nuggets!). She even had energy to go for a 5 mile run at a decent pace!
But by Monday, she was feeling sick all over again. The nausea came back with vengeance and she threw up for the first time (it was a Tootsie Roll that put her over the edge). Cindy felt pretty good after throwing up, but an hour or two later the nausea came right back. It seems more like she experiences afternoon to evening sickness rather than morning sickness. She wakes up feeling like herself, but as the day wears on she gets more and more queasy. She joked that she would only ever do this again if someone paid her a minimum of $10 million dollars lol.
As for Jake, he’s had to take over a lot of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. It’s as if the roles have been reversed. Just a couple of months ago, he was unable to help out around the house because of his broken leg and now it’s Cindy’s turn. It is a bit of an adjustment going from sharing these duties (and a lot of times doing these tasks together) to doing it all alone. But he’s been happy to do it!
Week 7, Updates!
We finally had our first ultrasound this week!!!!!!!! And confirmed how many weeks along we are as well as our due date! (baby K is coming June 2, 2021!) Because of the pandemic, Jake wasn’t allowed to go to the appointment with Cindy. We were both really bummed and disappointed about that. We felt robbed of our “big first”– first baby, first ultrasound ever. But it is what it is. We knew when we were trying that our pregnancy journey would be different from what we had always imagined because of the pandemic.
Even though Jake couldn’t be in the room in-person with Cindy, he was able to be there virtually! (thank goodness for technology!) Cindy was able to video him in and we were able to see baby, for the first time ever, together.
Cindy didn’t think she would get too emotional at the ultrasound. But when the doctor pointed out the fluttering heart, she couldn’t help but let out a few happy tears. It’s amazing that something as small as the size of a raspberry already has a beating heart.
Jake got pretty emotional too! Being on video did make the whole experience feel disjointed. But seeing the ultrasound and the heartbeat was pretty surreal and amazing. That’s our little baby and it’s growing!
Week 8, Updates!
We rehomed our guinea pigs this week. It was a bittersweet moment when we gave them away. Cindy didn’t think she would get emotional, but when the time came she couldn’t help but cry. Jake was also pretty sad about giving them away. He really loved the guineas (probably more than Cindy). And really wanted to keep them ’till the very end. We’ve been “guinea people” for the past 3 years– it’s so weird to just not have any guineas around now.
We decided to rehome our guineas for several reasons. For one, the guinea smells were really starting to bother Cindy and make her nauseous. It was becoming unbearable just sitting in the living room. We were also thinking about how as she gets bigger, it would be harder and harder for her to help with cage cleaning. And that would be a lot of time and energy put on Jake. And finally, once baby is here, we would likely be way too busy and tired to keep up with cage cleaning.
Fortunately, we were able to find the perfect new owner for our guineas! We found her via a guinea pig adoption site. We posted a profile for our guineas and she reached out to us! The new owner already has four other guineas! Since guinea pigs are social animals, it’ll be great for our guineas to have that companionship. She is also an experienced owner. Her cage set up looks better than what we had! We’re just happy and relieved that our guinea pigs are in good hands.
For anyone curious, here was our profile page for the guineas lol.
Week 9 Symptoms & Feelings
An itty bitty teeny tiny bump is starting to show! Normal pants and leggings are starting to feel really tight and extremely uncomfortable around the belly, so Cindy went out bought her first pair of maternity leggings! At this stage, the maternity wear is more for comfort around the belly than for bump support. She’s excited!
She’s still feeling the usual nausea that sets in when late afternoon rolls around, but it hasn’t felt as bad as week 6 or 7… or maybe she’s just gotten used to it… This week she gave in and finally took the prescription medication for nausea and it is a miracle worker! Initially, she was worried the side effects would be worse than the nausea which is why it took her so long to take the meds. Now that she’s experienced its effectiveness, she’s been taking it almost everyday.
Jake tried to listen for baby’s heartbeat the other day by placing his ear against Cindy’s stomach. All he could hear were stomach gurgles lol. We know you probably can’t hear or feel baby right now.
Week 10 Symptoms & Feelings
The theme of this week is: C.O.N.S.T.I.P.A.T.I.O.N.
A bit TMI, but Cindy’s been feeling extremely backed up. It’s been very uncomfortable, to say the least.
Baby bump is starting to show a little more. Although… if you didn’t know she was pregnant, then it kind of just looks like she ate a little too much food. Also, it’s probably still a bit early, but Cindy couldn’t help herself and bought a few more maternity clothes–which she is really excited about!
As for Jake, he’s been extremely supportive and caring. He’s been doing an amazing job of keeping the house tidy and taking care of Cindy as she battles nausea.
Week 11 or Week 12 Updates
At this point, we’re a bit confused by what week we’re on. We’re pretty sure we just wrapped up Week 11– based off the timing of when Cindy’s period was expected to start (it was projected to be a longer cycle). But the doctor says she’s at 12 weeks… so who even knows.
Anyways, we had our second ultrasound this past week!!! Baby is looking more like a baby and less like a bean. Baby’s heartbeat is looking good and Cindy got to see it bouncing up and down and all around in there! We wish Jake could come to these visits.
Cindy also started spotting this week (a few days after her doctor’s visit). It was really freaky and scary to see, but we’ve read that spotting can be normal and doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the pregnancy. But we have an appointment coming up just to double check and make sure everything is okay. Until then, Cindy is on pelvic rest. Jake isn’t too happy about that lol. *wink, wink*
Week 12 Updates
We had our appointment this past week, to follow up on the spotting. And…. everything is okay. What a relief! The doctor thinks the spotting might be from broken capillaries as a result of the increased blood flow happening down there. We also got another peek at baby. It was upside down!
Cindy’s appetite is slowly coming back. She’s still vomiting almost every day, but at least she can eat more than mashed potatoes and crackers. We had to commemorate her first “healthy-ish” meal for the first time in months– a sandwich! The milestone, she was able to eat the lettuce. She hasn’t had any greens in weeks.
Other weird developments… Cindy has also started craving the pickled ginger that comes with sushi. She HATED the pickled ginger before pregnancy. But in these past 2 weeks, we’ve bought grocery store sushi 3x just so she can eat some of the ginger. Don’t worry, she’s not having any raw fish with the sushi– just California Rolls.
And finally, quick running update: no running has been happening. Funny how she was so focused on her pace and mileage just a few weeks ago. These days, she’s lucky if she has the energy for a short evening walk.
Crazy how we’re clearing the 1st Trimester! (no super obvious bump yet!)
Week 13 Updates
It was Thanksgiving this past week! Cindy was able to somewhat enjoy the food with a little help from Zofran (the anti-nausea medication).
The weird symptom of the week: excessive salivation….umm…is this normal?! She’s been getting a weird aftertaste in her mouth after eating or drinking anything, followed by excessive saliva. And then the more she thinks about the saliva, the more saliva she produces. It’s a toxic, never-ending cycle. She wishes she can be like Sleeping Beauty– just go to bed and not wake up until all this first trimester nausea/weirdness ends.
One weird craving she had this week– Hot Cheeto Fried Pickles. It looked sooo good in the YouTube video. But it tasted nasty in real life. Jake seemed to enjoy it! So he kinda benefited from the craving!
Week 14 Updates
Weird symptom of the week: dry, scabby nipples. And that’s all we’ll say about that.
In other news, it seems like the nausea is sloooowwwwly going away!! Cindy used a disinfectant wipe and spray this past week without gagging! Progress. You know that feeling when you’re running up a really steep hill and you look up and you can finally see the plateau or downhill? Fingers crossed, but it seems like Cindy is almost over the nausea hill.
And finally, the two of us went on our first run together since Jake’s broken leg & Cindy’s nausea started. It was a very slow and very short run– probably running close to 11 minute miles and only gone for about 1-2 miles. But it’s a start and it’s at least something. And, it felt really good to get some blood flowing! It’s crazy to think that this time last year, we were marathon training and running 12+ miles every weekend!
Week 15 Updates
The big highlight: Cindy can tolerate cleaning products again! Who would’ve known this was something she would get excited about. But it’s definitely a good sign the smell sensitivity and nausea is going away! On Friday, she cleaned the entire apartment, all by herself, for the first time in weeks! She’s happy because this means she can take back the cleaning chore, which she always did because she’s very particular about it. Jake has no complaints about that!
In other news, we had our second trimester appointment today! It was just a phone check-in from Cindy’s doctor. Cindy’s going in for an ultrasound this next week– not for baby though. She found a lump under her armpit a couple of weeks ago, so the doctor just wants to check it out and make sure everything is okay– especially since Cindy also shared that she has a scabby nipple… Hoping it’s nothing major.
Week 16 (possibly Week 17) Updates
We found out the gender of baby!!! AND Jake got to see baby for the first time!
A good friend of ours told us about private ultrasound centers and how they often do gender determinations– if we didn’t want to wait until the 20 week ultrasound to find out. It was all so impulsive and last minute, but we found a place near us and booked an appointment for that very same day.
It was an experience we thought we would never be able to share together, because of the pandemic. We are beyond grateful we had this opportunity. Not only were we able to find out the gender of baby together, but Jake also got to see baby for the first time ever. He was so excited! Afterwards, he shared that seeing the ultrasound made baby feel more human, more real. There’s just something about seeing the baby that makes you feel more connected to it, more bonded. Nothing can really replace that experience. We’re so happy Jake didn’t have to miss it.
Without further ado…. we’re having… a… baby girl!!
Other updates: Cindy had her armpit ultrasound and…. doctor says the lump is just excessive breast tissue…growing as a result of pregnancy. Oh joy. Still, the doctor ordered a 6 month follow up appt just in case. Cindy also threw up a couple times this past week. We were so scared the nausea was back, but read that it was likely just from a hormone surge. And finally, we went on our first hike together– just the 3 of us! Cindy’s first hike since pregnancy started and Jake’s first hike since he broke his leg. It was about 4 miles round trip and we were exhausted afterwards.
Week 17 (most likely Week 18) Updates
CINDY FELT BABY MOVE!!!!!!! Or at least she’s pretty sure she did! And it was on Christmas Eve! What a nice little surprise. She was just sitting on the couch and felt what she can only describe as something rolling in her stomach. She felt 2 distinct rolls and that was it.
She hasn’t felt anything that distinct since. But if she really concentrates and sits very still, she can kinda feel baby! Or at least she thinks she’s feeling baby. Everything online describes these movements as flutters or bubbles. But if you don’t know what you’re feeling for, then it really doesn’t make any sense. Cindy thinks the feeling is like when you have a mouth full of soda and can feel the carbonation bubbles in your mouth, except in your stomach.
We can’t wait for the movements to become more distinct and for Jake to be able to feel them!
Also, it was Christmas this past week! Here are a couple of bump/outfit pics:
Week 18 (but really Week 19) Updates
Big update of the week: we had our anatomy scan!
It was kind of an underwhelming experience… Our appointment was at 10:15pm (yep, you read that right…PM) and our ultrasound tech seemed jaded and so over it by then. We were his last appointment of the day. The scan took about 45 minutes. As we were leaving, the tech complained how he’s supposed to get off at 11:00p, but had a few more reports to write so that wasn’t happening…
On the bright side, because the appointment was so late at night and basically no one was at the hospital, Jake was able to attend! We got to experience an underwhelming ultrasound scan together. We didn’t know what we were looking at the entire time. The whole experience made us really appreciate paying for a gender reveal at the private ultrasound clinic. It was without a doubt a more joyful and exciting experience, and worth every penny.
For the anatomy scan, Cindy was told she had to arrive with a full bladder. She was instructed to drink 28oz of water, one hour before her appointment, and not use the restroom before the scan. Her bladder was so full by the time of the scan she thought she was going to explode with pee. We were curious why a full bladder was necessary and looked it up online afterwards. It turns out it probably wasn’t necessary to have THAT FULL of a bladder for the scan. We’ll keep this in mind for the future.
Week 20 Updates, Feelings, & Symptoms
The BIG update of the week: NON-STOP BABY KICKS!!!!!! Unlike before, there is no question these “flutters” were baby kicks. Cindy started feeling kicks Thursday night (1/7/2021), and now she can’t stop feeling them. Jake has even been able to feel some by putting his hand on her tummy. We even got to see a kick! That was super weird…to see someone kick you from inside…
Feelings: Everything is feeling more real now, for the both of us. Cindy’s definitely showing now. And the baby kicks have been reassuring– baby is definitely in there. It’s just hard to imagine there is a baby in there when you can’t see a bump and when you can’t feel anything. It’s nice to know that baby is doing juuuust fine.
Symptoms: For the most part, the nausea has gone away. But there is still one or two days a week where Cindy doesn’t feel good. Just the other day, she projectile vomited. It was like in one of those alien/zombie movies where all the guts and blood just come shooting out of your mouth, except for Cindy it was the chicken tortilla soup we had for dinner. New symptoms… the entire right side of her side belly feels like it’s in a constant state of being overly stretched and it’s extremely uncomfortable. It’s as if she’s in permanent side angle pose (from yoga) except without doing the pose and only on the right side… From what we’ve read online, it’s probably just because of baby’s positioning in the uterus.
Here’s a list of some of the more positive symptoms: acne has cleared up! Boobs are definitely bigger. For the first time in Cindy’s life, she has boobs (let alone cleavage)! lol and that’s about it.
Week 21 Updates
It’s probably a bit early…but we started on the nursery!! The second bedroom in our apartment is pretty large, so we’re splitting it in half– one half will be baby’s room and the other half will be Jake’s office. We bought office dividers to split the room, which arrived this past week. Jake’s office looks so “office-like” with those dividers in!! We also saw this cute pink dresser on sale and knew that was exactly we wanted! It also arrived this past week! Living in an apartment means we have to be savvy about space. We’re really happy with how we’re maximizing the use of this second bedroom!
Quick armpit lump update. The lump looked kinda questionable to Cindy (even though she had already gotten an ultrasound scan on it and the results showed that it was just excess breast tissue), so she emailed her doctor a picture of it just in case. She was worried she was being too annoying or hypochondriac-y, but Jake reassured her that it’s her health and she shouldn’t feel guilty about messaging her doctor. Anyways, the doctor seemed concerned enough to order a second ultrasound scan, just in case. Annnnd…. lump is still likely just excess breast tissue. And it looks the way it does because it’s probably engorged with milk. Cindy wondered if this was something that normally happens in pregnancy, so she did some googling and found out it’s actually a pretty rare thing– on the same level apparently as a third nipple!
These armpit lumps have been nicknamed “pitties”. For anyone interested, you can read more about them here. Cindy’s “pittie” isn’t quite as large as the one shown in the picture. And she’s hoping it doesn’t get that large either.
Throughout pregnancy, so far, she’s been both amazed at the adaptability of the female body and also shocked at how little most women know about changes that happen to your body during pregnancy until it happens… Like this whole “pittie” thing… We all know about stretch marks, morning sickness, weight gain, and cravings (the popular stuff), but all the other gory details are kind of kept secret. If we ever do make this pregnancy journal public, part of the motivating reason would be because we don’t think these details should be taboo to talk about or share.
Anyways, Cindy has been joking about how she went from having no boobs (she’s been pretty flat chested her entire life), to having three boobs lol.
Week 22 Symptoms & Feelings
The theme of the week: ravenous hunger. Cindy’s appetite has increased dramatically. We usually eat breakfast around 9:00am. And by 11:00a, she’s usually starving and ready for lunch.
Weight gain has been at a steady 1lb per week. She lost about 5lbs in the first trimester from all the vomiting. Since then, she’s gained back those 5lbs, plus an extra 9lbs. To be honest, it’s been hard to see the number on the scale go up. But she knows her weight gain is healthy and necessary. At the same time, it’s also hard to not see the number on the scale go up. She’s plateaued a bit in her weight gain this past week and is trying to not read into it too much. Everything online says it’s perfectly normal for your weight to fluctuate up and down throughout pregnancy. It seems you just can’t win with weight gain!
Finally, no stretch marks yet! She’s been religiously applying all sorts of creams and oils. She’s been using the Burt’s Bees Momma Bee Belly Butter along with Bio-Oil. And an occasional belly mask. She’s well aware there’s no preventing stretch marks, but what’s the harm. At the very least, she’s well moisturized!
Week 23 Updates
Baby Kick Patterns: Baby kicks first thing in the morning. Sometimes the kicks wake Cindy up and make it hard for her to fall back asleep. Then baby’s pretty chill until around mid-afternoon. She’ll do a few kicks here and there. We’re pretty sure she was hiccupping after lunch one of the days…Cindy felt a rhythmic twitching coming from just one side of her body…it was the day we ate a panini lol. So cute! Baby kicks again after dinner. These kicks are usually super powerful. They feel like full-on punches coming from inside! Baby ends the night kicking as Cindy applies her nightly oils. We wonder if baby can smell the oils…or maybe she likes the belly rubs.
Jake has really enjoyed being able to feel the baby kicks. It’s always exciting when he feels a “powerful” one. We feel a little weird having Jake “talk” or “read” to the baby. For us, it feels awkward to just talk to Cindy’s stomach…lol.
It’s been fun to notice baby’s kick patterns! But it also comes with a curse. If baby doesn’t kick when she’s normally supposed to, then Cindy starts to freak out. As Cindy’s friend kindly put it, “It’s just constant worrying for the rest of your life now”. lol.
Week 24 Updates
Running Update: It’s been a while since we shared a running update. Cindy’s still trying to get in a couple of runs a week; though, it is getting harder now– both mentally and physically. She goes so slow that it’s hard to get excited or motivated to get out the door for a run. She was at 8:15 pace pre-pregnancy for a 3ish mile run and now she’s at about 11:00 pace for the same run. She’s trying her best to not compare herself to other running preggos (like the ones who can still run 10ks at around the same pace as pre-pregnancy) and to just celebrate her own accomplishments.
We’re not sure how much longer Cindy can keep running. She experiences really painful round ligament pain in her groin area after runs. She wears a running belt during the run, which has helped a lot. But afterwards, it’s pretty difficult to walk normally. She’s usually fine by the next day. Cindy describes the feeling as being punched really hard in the groin area while also having done splits for hours (neither of which she’s experienced nor done before). This description she found online is also pretty accurate, “it’s a shooting, stabbing pain that happens when you’re getting up from a chair or changing positions in bed.” She’s going to try compression shorts & strength work to see if that helps! She’s just not ready to give up running yet.
We still try to go running together. Though, our runs look different than before. Jake’s leg has been getting stronger and he’s getting faster. We’re moving in opposite directions from our baseline! (from our first pregnancy/Jake’s broken leg run). Jake usually runs a few days a week without Cindy. And on the days we do run together, Jake will either run with Cindy to keep her company or we’ll drive to a nearby running loop and do laps. This way, we can go at our own pace and get our own miles in.
(super unflattering pics lol, but this was post-run and Jake captured Cindy getting off the couch & trying to walk with post-run groin pain)
Week 25 Updates
Cindy started doing pelvic floor strengthening exercises (aiming for 3x a week) paired with a pregnancy safe ab workout. It’s only been a week, but it seems to be helping! She hasn’t tried running yet, but she doesn’t get round ligament pain from walks anymore!
They say “morning sickness” goes away after the 1st Trimester…and while it has for the most part…Cindy still experiences random nausea and vomiting. Just this last week, she projectile vomited the chips and dip she had been craving. Of all the things she’s thrown up, throwing up dip is the worst taste and experience ever. The force at which the dip was thrown up caused a lot of splashes back onto her face. TMI? Gross? Yeah… Anyway, we’re sure this is all pretty normal, but will check with the doctor just in case…especially since Cindy’s also been experiencing some headaches.
We had our “Baby Planning Day“! And the crib arrived this past week! We’ve already assembled it. The nursery is coming together!
(nursery progress & bump update)
Week 26 Updates
Cindy went for her first run since starting her pelvic floor strengthening exercises…and…the exercises seem to be working! She ran 3 miles at about 11:00 pace. It’s getting harder and harder to run. She can definitely feel it in her calves. It’s as if she has weights attached to them. But no round ligament pain afterwards!
As for Jake, it’s getting easier and easier to feel baby kicks– they’re getting so strong! And it’s just as exciting every time to feel a kick. He’s also started talking to baby! He says hello and reminds her he’s her dad lol. We’ve gotten over the weirdness of talking Cindy’s stomach. Jake is really excited to meet our little girl.
Week 27 Updates
We’re nearing the end of the second trimester! Time is FLYING by now. First trimester dragged by soooo slowly (because of the nausea). It’s funny how even though it was only a few months ago, Cindy barely remembers how awful it was. Maybe that’s nature’s way of encouraging reproduction…
Also, Cindy noticed her leg and armpit hairs have recently stopped growing! One of the more positive symptoms she’s experienced. She hasn’t shaved her legs or armpits for a whole week!
Week 28 Updates
HELLOOOoooOOOooo 3rd Trimester!! Update of the week: our babymoon! Here’s a full update of our trip: Babymoon in Palm Springs!
Week 29 Updates
Updates: Cindy had her glucose test & labs done this past week. She passed her glucose test! Yay! But found out she’s anemic… Ugh. For the glucose test, Cindy was expecting the juice to taste really nasty & gross since that’s what she’s heard from everyone as well as read online. However… surprisingly…the juice was okay….maybe even…good. She didn’t want to come off as weird when the nurses asked her what she thought of the juice, so she lied and said it was “just okay”. We also got another peek at baby via ultrasound! This time, we got to see her face! Jake thinks it’s pretty amazing we can start to recognize a face now. Cindy thinks the face looks really creepy and ugly…
Symptoms & Feelings: Cindy’s tired and hungry all the time now. Her meals are basically landmarks that break up her days–she’s just always looking forward to her next meal. Baby kicks are getting very distinct now. It’s very exciting and also strange to see Cindy’s stomach warp around as the baby moves. As for Jake, he’s feeling more and more love for the baby. He’s really excited and can’t wait to meet her. Almost once a day, he’ll lean down toward Cindy’s belly and say a little “hello” to Baby R. Very cute!
Week 30 Updates
Theme of this week’s pregnancy update is: all the logistical stuff. We spent a good chunk of time figuring out Cindy’s maternity leave policy. Why does it have to be so confusing?! Now that Cindy’s learning about her policy, she’s realizing a lot of policies out there really put women at a disadvantage, compared to their male counterparts. She’s pretty fortunate her work has a generous policy, but it still almost feels like she’s being punished for having a baby… When she returns to work, she’ll have exhausted all her sick days and, if she were competing for seniority, she’d have fallen behind in rank. Jake thinks there should be a national maternity leave policy, so that neither the woman nor the company is “punished”” and labor market distortions are minimized. Anyway, Cindy got a doctor’s note officially stating the start date of her maternity leave (which is at the end of April at 36 weeks)! It’s all happening so fast now.
Also on our list of logistical stuff accomplished…Cindy’s Advanced Care Directive… When she pre-registered for her Labor & Delivery, the woman on the phone asked some “existential-esque” questions…like, “Do you have an Advanced Care Directive” and, “What religion do you identify as”. It’s scary to think about…and it’s one of Cindy fears…maternal death… And as much as she wanted to just not think about it, Jake advised her that it was better to be prepared by filling out her Directive.
And finally, Cindy started working on her sub notes. As for Jake, he’s trying to get as much of his research and papers done before the baby arrives! Like we mentioned, it’s all happening so fast now.
Week 31 Symptoms & Feelings
Just hungry. ALL. THE. TIME. It’s taking a lot of self-control and restraint to not eat everything under the sun.
Cindy’s belly is also getting larger. And it’s making it harder and harder for her to move around. It’s starting to become a struggle to paint her toenails, let alone cut them. And Jake’s been buckling in her sandals for her because it’s just too much exertion to do it herself.
It’s also getting harder and harder to breathe. Also, we’re pretty sure Cindy’s been experiencing heartburn or GERD…but she’s never experienced either before…so she’s not totally sure… She doesn’t feel any burning sensation, which is what she expected heartburn to feel like. Sometimes it just feels like there’s food or something wallowing at the bottom of her throat.
Jake has been extremely supportive throughout the pregnancy. He lets himself be a human body pillow for Cindy to lean against whenever she wants– even when we’re sleeping. Who needs to buy expensive pregnancy pillows when you have a Jake! He buckles her shoes, pulls her up from the couch, tolerates her constant farting and burping (lol), makes all the meals, unloads the dishwasher, takes the time to check whether or not a questionable dent is a forming stretch mark (even though he thinks its ridiculous), lets her know she’s beautiful, and surprises her with snacks! (he also kindly lets her know when she’s overdoing it on the snacking) And finally, one of Cindy’s favorites, he cleans up after dinner so Cindy can get her lotioning process done lol. He knows it’s important to her even though he doesn’t believe in the lotioning process. (she spends about 15 minutes every night lotioning and oiling…who knows if it’s helping with the stretch marks or not…but she hasn’t gotten any on her belly yet… so she can’t stop now) Jake has been a wonderful support– physically, mentally, emotionally– and Cindy is super grateful for him!
32 Weeks Updates
Running Update: Still running! But it’s definitely getting harder and harder. Cindy’s mileage has been reduced to about 2 miles and that includes some walking. Her calves just can’t handle 3 miles anymore. They start to burn too much.
She’s simultaneously impressed and disappointed with herself. As a runner, it’s just hard seeing your mileage and pace go down. Prior to pregnancy, she was running 7 miles easily. And now she struggles with just 2… At the same time, she’s so proud of herself for keeping up with the running. It’s really hard to get motivated to run these days, but she’s going to keep trying as long as her body allows her to!
Baby Update: Baby R’s definitely running out of room! We can feel and see her kicks so easily now. We’re pretty sure her head is near the bottom left quadrant of Cindy’s belly and her feet are at the upper right quadrant, near Cindy’s ribs. Baby R’s always jabbing into, what feels like, Cindy’s ribs.
She’s also super restless during church! Baby R is always squirming around during church service. Oh and also at the movies. We went to our first movie since the pandemic, and Baby R was moving the entire time. Maybe she’s wondering, “What’s going on out there?!”
Week 33 Updates
Jake’s been waiting for Cindy’s belly button to pop out. He just really wants to see it pop. He jokes he’s going to suction it out while Cindy’s sleeping. Cindy’s hoping her belly button can make it to the end of pregnancy without popping out. But it’s on the edge…it doesn’t look like it’s going to make it.
Cindy got her TDAP vaccine! Jake will be getting his in a couple of weeks.
Cravings: Sprinkles cupcakes (which Jake will be getting Cindy for her birthday) and MEAT (maybe because of the iron deficiency). We don’t normally eat red meats– we usually eat ground turkey. But we had ground beef almost every day this past week. Meat craving: satisfied.
(nursery & closet progress)
Week 34 Updates
We can’t believe there’s only about 6 weeks left!!! This is really happening!!!
Cindy keeps saying either the reality of it all hasn’t fully hit her yet and she’ll go into full panic mode once labor starts or she’s just surprisingly calm about all of this (pregnancy, labor, having a baby). Guess we’ll find out.
As for updates, Cindy’s belly has gotten to the point where she can no longer see her feet! It’s getting harder to roll over in bed and also get up off the bed. It’s also getting harder to paint her toenails (she might need to ask for Jake’s help soon!) She can still shave her legs though!
We’re also pretty sure Cindy has started experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. Either that or she’s just been having stomach aches because she’s so constipated. We’re like 90% sure they’re Braxton Hicks contractions…
Baby’s kicks are SUPER STRONG now. We see parts of Baby R poking around all the time and keep trying to guess what body part it is. No hand, foot, or face prints have shown through yet.
Jake is still waiting for Cindy’s belly button to pop out. At least once a day he asks Baby R, “Can you hear me!??!” He loves feeling the kicks and when he can’t feel any, he’ll poke at Cindy’s belly to get baby to move.
Jake has started reading this book (that was handed down to us) called, Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old. He’s convinced and adamant that we will be able to achieve this by following all the steps in the book. The advice we keep hearing from experienced parents is that getting a sleep schedule down makes all the difference during those first few months. Guess we’ll see how we do with baby sleep training!
Week 35 Updates
We had our maternity photoshoot this past week! We can’t wait to see how the pictures turned out. We loved the photographer we found and learned that it is sometimes worth it to splurge on things like nice pictures. Cindy didn’t really like a lot of our wedding pictures, so she was adamant about getting a nice photographer for the maternity pictures.
Another big highlight of this past week was the mini joint-baby shower with our bible study group. It was ladies only. Another woman in our group is also having a baby girl, due 2 weeks after Baby R! It was so nice to be showered jointly and to spend time with the ladies in person. Because of all the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, we decided not to have a normal baby shower with our family and friends. We weren’t sure who would feel comfortable attending in-person and aren’t fans of any of the virtual or drive-by shower options. We’re opting for a “Sip-n-See” once Baby R is here or maybe just throwing a big birthday party when she turns 1. Because we aren’t having a “normal” shower, it was super nice to have this mini one! We felt super loved on by everyone!
Week 36 Symptoms & Feelings & Updates
Lots of updates from this past week–
Symptoms: SWELLING. Cindy noticed her fingers (and maybe toes) have been bit swollen the past few days. She’s naturally a very bony person, so it’s hard to tell she’s swollen. But her wedding ring and band, which usually sit pretty loosely on her finger, have felt relatively snug the past couple of days. She’s decided to remove them just in case she swells more. Her shoes still fit! (for now…) HEMORRHOIDS. Well…just one…Cindy noticed it a couple of days ago. Don’t ask how. It doesn’t hurt or itch, so that’s good. But just knowing it exists is gross. Also, maybe this is tmi… but apparently other women have also experienced this…sometimes after a #2, she’ll wipe thoroughly then a couple hours later find that there’s still more to wipe…IT’S SO GROSS. Why do women’s bodies have to become like this!? CONSTIPATION & LOOSE STOOL. When Cindy takes her iron pills, she’s constipated. And when she doesn’t take her iron pills, her stools come out loose and watery. There is just no in-between. OUT OF BREATH, ALWAYS. She’s winded walking up the stairs. She’s winded walking from the bed to the bathroom. She’s winded from eating (it’s hard to breathe and eat at the same time). OTHER: it’s getting harder to drive because it’s physically difficult to turn and look at blind spots. Cindy gets up to pee 5x a night, literally. Oh! And Cindy’s belly button is on the edge, but hasn’t “popped” yet! Jake is still hopeful it will pop soon.
Overall, though, pregnancy hasn’t been too bad. Cindy has been doing her pelvic floor strengthening exercises and hasn’t experienced much groin/pelvic pain nor low back pain. Her weight gain has been steady and under control; although, it’s been getting harder and harder these past couple of weeks. She gained 3lbs just in this past week– she’s trying to stay diligent and disciplined through the rest of this pregnancy.
Baby Updates: Baby R’s movements are becoming more predictable and distinct. She starts kicking and moving at around 8:00am. Takes a break, and is pretty active again at around 11:00am. Then again at around 3:00pm. And then again at around 9:00pm. We’re pretty sure she’s extra active when Cindy’s hungry.
We’re 99% sure her head is towards the lower left side of Cindy’s belly, with her back running up along the right side, and her feet tucked up near Cindy’s right ribs. And it’s either her elbow, shoulder, or hand that is always jabbing out on Cindy’s left side. We call this the little nubby. Because it feels like a nub.
Running Updates: Cindy was going to stop running at 33 weeks because we didn’t want to accidentally induce early labor. Jake Advances to Candidacy next Friday (at 37 weeks) and we cannot have Baby R come before then. But after some research, we found that exercise hasn’t really been proven to induce labor. And there are a lot of benefits to exercising through to the end of pregnancy. Plus, Cindy really wants to be able to say she ran right up until delivery day. She’s ready to stop at any point if she feels like it’s too hard or too uncomfortable. But for now, she still feels pretty good. Just very slow. Right now, she can run about 2.25 miles, with a lot of walking in-between, at about 13:00 min pace.
Maternity & Paternity Leave: Cindy is officially on maternity leave!!! Today is her first day (at 36 weeks)! Her first maternity leave ever! Initially, Cindy wanted to work until about 38 weeks because she didn’t want to use up too much of her paid sick leave before the baby is even actually here. Fortunately, we are in a position where Cindy can take the time off. It’ll be nice to have this month (or maybe less, but hopefully not less) to unwind, relax, and finish up prepping for the baby. It’ll be the final calm we’ll have in a while, so we might as well enjoy it (guilt-free).
Like we mentioned earlier, Jake Advances to Candidacy next Friday. Then, he’ll go on his unofficial “paternity leave”. He’s a student so he doesn’t actually get any paternity leave. But as a student, his schedule is pretty flexible– basically, he can take it easy after next Friday and he’ll also have most of the summer off! So actually, Jake will have a pretty lengthy “paternity leave”. But until next Friday, he’ll be furiously wrapping up his proposal.
Our Feelings: Jake is feeling excited and ready! He cannot wait to meet this little girl and hold her and see what she looks like. He loves feeling her kicks and asking her if she can hear him. He’s so ready to become a dad. Cindy is also excited to meet Baby R. But currently, the dominating emotion is fear. As we get closer to the due date, she’s realizing what’s waiting for her… We’re pretty sure the reality of delivery has not fully hit her yet…
Week 37 Updates
Down to the final weeks!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!
We’ve been joking that Baby R is welcome to come any day after today (after Jake Advances to Candidacy). But we’re hoping she gives us a couple more weeks– to relax, enjoy, and prepare. We’ve been putting off watching the educational and birth videos…. we should really get on that.
Other updates, we baby-proofed this past week! We decided to get it all done now, so we don’t have to think about it or plan for it once she’s here. We secured most of the furniture, placed cabinet locks, and covered outlets. We also stocked up on some apartment supplies (like soap, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc.) so we don’t have to worry about running out or restocking amidst the tiredness and busyness of the newborn stage. We’re feeling more and more prepared and ready!
We also had our 36 week ultrasound & appt this past week! Hospitals are loosening restrictions on visitor policies, so Jake can now officially come along! It was nice to go to an appointment together. Baby R is weighing an estimated 6lbs 6oz (plus or minus 15 oz.). We asked the doctor to triple check she is indeed a girl…and she is still a girl. And we also asked to find out what the “nubby” is. Turns out, we were wrong. The “nubby” is actually her heel, and her body runs along the right side of Cindy’s body. The body part that jabs against Cindy’s ribs is actually Baby R’s little bum!
And finally, we got our maternity pictures!! Shared a few of our favorites in this blog post.
Week 38 Updates
Symptoms: Cindy’s finally reached the point where being pregnant is truly uncomfortable. Not bad considering she’s just experiencing this level of discomfort at 38 weeks! We’re pretty sure the baby has “dropped” which could be why Cindy’s been experiencing more pelvic pressure. She’s also been experiencing more Braxton Hicks contractions. It’s getting really hard to roll over in bed. And the peeing has become basically non-stop. Cindy pees like 5x a night. It’s a never-ending cycle because she also gets thirsty after peeing, so she’ll drink some water before climbing back into bed. And the cycle repeats. And finally, her belly button still hasn’t “popped”! It’s on the very very edge though.
Baby Updates: Baby R is pushing up against everything in there. Cindy keeps asking how there’s still room?! Baby R’s kicks and jabs are getting really strong and powerful. Sometimes, they knock the breath out of Cindy.
Baby R acts a lot like baby Groot (how baby Groot stops dancing every time Drax looks over). Baby R stops moving any time we ask someone if they want to feel her. And when the person leaves, she’ll immediately start kick boxing in there. She’s either really shy or pranking us…
Feelings: We’re getting more and more excited! We can’t wait to meet Baby R, and hold her, and see what she looks like. At the same time, Cindy’s also getting more and more nervous. A few people have shared their own birth experiences and how scary it was. And she’s read a few stories on the “What to Expect” forums of deliveries that have gone tragically. While we don’t believe in shielding ourselves from scary news, we don’t think it’s particularly healthy to hear or seek out these stories so close to the due date. Jake lovingly advised Cindy against watching “Pieces of a Woman” (a movie she realllllly wants to watch) until after she gives birth. And has encouraged her to stop reading the sad posts on the “What to Expect” forums.
We’re extremely grateful to the moms and friends who have offered positive support and encouragement during this time. It’s surprising how uplifting and motivating such positive encouragement can be! And we hope that we’ll, in turn, offer that same positivity and support to any first-time-moms in our future.
And finally, Cindy’s really hoping maternal instincts kick in naturally. She loves Baby R so much already. But she isn’t a super gushy person. Her friend recently asked if she’s been talking to the baby and Cindy’s response was…”Why, can’t she just hear my voice when I talk to people normally?” lol. She’s really hoping she’ll become more maternal once the baby arrives… Jake is more gushy than Cindy. He also loves Baby R sooo much already! But aside from saying “Hello in there!” and “Can you hear me in there?!” he hasn’t really been talking to the baby. Maybe we both just aren’t overly gushy people…
Other Updates: We visited Cindy’s best friend from high school, who recently moved back to California. Her friend is also pregnant!!!! (due about a month after Baby R). It’s been really nice going through pregnancy together. Here’s a then & now picture of Cindy and her friend. The then picture is from about 10 years ago, when they pretended to be pregnant with pillow babies.
Week 39 Updates
WE’VE MADE IT TO FULL TERM!!!!!! Woooo!!!!
Just a couple of weeks ago, we were asking Baby R to take her sweet time. But now, we’re telling her she can come now! Please. We’re eager to meet her. And also…don’t want to be induced…
These last couple weeks of pregnancy feel like the beginning of pregnancy all over again (the infamous 2WW). Except this time, instead of Googling signs that you’re pregnant, Cindy’s been Googling signs that labor is near. Of course, none of it is really helpful… we’re just going to have to wait and be patient.
We had an appointment this last week and the doctor confirmed that Baby R has indeed “dropped”. She’s sitting pretty low in Cindy’s pelvis.
Quick Running Update: No running has been done since about week 36. It’s just getting too difficult and becoming a bit painful, with the baby sitting so low. Instead, Cindy’s been walking, while Jake runs, and trying to keep up with her pelvic & ab exercises. She’s a bit sad because her goal was to be able to say she ran up until the day she went into labor. But she’s pretty proud of herself for making it to 36 weeks. And she’s very proud of herself for staying diligent and keeping up with exercise.
Belly Button Update: It seems Cindy’s belly button might make it through without popping! Cindy is happy. Jake is not lol.
Symptoms Update: Might be TMI, but Cindy’s been going #2 a lot– multiple times a day. She’s never pooed this much in her life. It says online that it’s a sign labor is near…but just how near does “near” mean!? She’s also probably been experiencing the nesting instinct…she’s been cleaning a lot and buying a lot of last minute things to make sure we’re set when the baby arrives.
Birth Plan Update: We don’t think we’ve shared our birth plan yet… basically our birth plan is…. to birth the baby lol. Cindy wants to try NO epidural…her mindset is “short term pain over potentially long term pain on the small chance something goes wrong with the epidural”. We know birth plans don’t always go according to plan, so we didn’t spent too much time on it. We have a rough idea of what we want, but are staying open-minded and flexible.
Well we’ll see if this is the last pregnancy update post…or if there will be a Week 40 update!
Week 40 Updates
With no signs that labor is happening any time soon. Well…Cindy has started feeling more cramping these last few days… but that’s about it.
We just got back from our 40 week appointment and have an induction date scheduled– for next Friday, June 4 @ 8:00pm. On the one hand, it’s nice to know this will all be over for sure by next Friday. On the other hand, we haven’t heard of an “easy” induction so we’re really hoping it doesn’t come to that. Jake had bet that Baby R would come on Wednesday, May 26. But that clearly didn’t happen. Cindy wagers Baby R will come on Wednesday, June 2. Jake’s new bet is that she’ll come on Monday, Memorial Day. We’ll see who wins!
Baby R is measuring an estimated 8lbs 4oz! (plus or minus 20oz). At this point, she will weigh more than we did when we were born! Jake weighed around 7lbs and Cindy weighed about 6+ lbs.
These last couple of weeks have gotten exponentially harder. It feels like all the classic pregnancy symptoms and difficulties hit all at week 39-40.
SYMPTOMS: First obvious belly stretch mark. Or at least it looks like a stretch mark… her first tiger stripe… Considering it’s her first one at 40 weeks, it’s not bad! But she’s still really sad about it. Cindy keeps saying…if only Baby R had just come out earlier, then she wouldn’t have this stretch mark! Cindy’s swelling has also gotten noticeable. She scared to even try on her wedding rings now, for fear of not being able to take them off. Her shoes have been feeling a bit snug and her normally very bony toes look like little sausages. She’s also been experiencing more joint pain– especially in her knuckles and wrist. And she’s also started experiencing intermittent groin nerve pain… only on her right side though. We’re guessing Baby R is sitting on or compressing that nerve.
FEELINGS: Time was flying by until this past week. Now, it feels like we’ve entered the opposite of the Quantum Realm (Ant-Man reference). It’s like time is moving at a doubly slow speed. The days are passing by so slowly and Cindy has been soooo bored playing the waiting game. Jake has switched his daily hellos to Baby R from “Baby R, can you hear me?!” to “Baby R, are you coming?!” Just a couple weeks ago, we were okay with Baby R taking her sweet time. Now, we are SO READY for her to come out.
OTHER UPDATES: It’s getting harder and harder for Cindy to feel motivated to do her exercises. She can feel the added weight and gets out of breath so easily. But she’s trying to keep it up. She thinks the exercises have been helping– she hasn’t really experienced any pelvic pain or pressure nor back pain and doesn’t leak pee! She’s really hoping the exercises will help make labor and delivery more bearable.
As for weight gain, Cindy’s managed to stay within the range of the recommended weight gain– weighing about 141 lbs. But the longer Baby R is in there, the more weight she keeps gaining! It’s getting harder and harder to stay disciplined and eat right. She just wants ice cream and soda every day!
These next couple of updates are a bit random, but we had chicken tortilla soup for dinner last week! And it was deeeelicious. The last time Cindy had that, she vomitted it all out. So she’s happy she was able to enjoy the meal again. Conversely, it seems she’s developed a permanent aversion to the Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbana scent multi-surface cleaner. She tried using the cleaner to wipe down the kitchen counter the other day and just couldn’t stand the smell. It’s as if the the smell transported her right back to the 1st Trimester days. She didn’t feel nauseous, but the association of the smell and the 1st Trimester experience seem to be linked together. It’s strange how powerfully smells and scents can be linked with experiences and memories. She ended up passing the cleaner on to her sister.
This is getting to be a long update…but what else is there to do but jot down all our final random thoughts. One of the things we’ve been talking about more is our game plan for sticking to the no epidural decision. Jake is finding himself in a catch-22 situation. If Cindy begs for an epidural and he tries to remind her that her true desire is to not get one, then he runs the risk of Cindy getting mad at him. But he has clear instructions that he’s not allowed to nudge or encourage Cindy if she hints that she may want one. We’ve decided, mostly as a joke, that the game plan for sticking to the no epidural decision is just to have a soundtrack of Japanese Taiko Drums playing the entire time. A little back story…when we were running the LA Marathon, we felt a rush of adrenaline when we rounded the corner and heard the Taiko drums banging. Something about those drums just get you really pumped up! No wonder they used it for going to war… So instead of breathwork guidance and calming music, Cindy’s request is to have aggressive Taiko drumming the entire time… so she’s constantly pumped! We mean this mostly as a joke…but who knows…we might actually try it out.
Jake continues to be extremely supportive. He lets Cindy know how beautiful she is almost every day. He’s started giving her foot rubs and back rubs and head scratches. At night, he helps her adjust her pillows. And he willingly goes back downstairs to get Cindy water (even though it’s annoying because why didn’t she just bring some water with her before going upstairs lol). He lovingly and patiently listens when Cindy complains about her weight gain & stretch marks. And continues to take the time to “examine” questionable marks even though he doesn’t really see the point. Overall, he’s been a wonderful and amazing support! Cindy is extremely grateful for him.
Well…those are all our thoughts…this is probably our final weekly update! The next update will be Baby R’s “Birth Story”!
We’re not really sure how “birth stories” are supposed to go… we think they’re just a story of how the labor and delivery went? Anyway, Cindy always enjoys reading about other people’s labor and delivery experiences. We thought we’d share our experience– mostly for us to look back on one day. Here’s our “Birth Story”:
In summary, Cindy labored for about 27-28 hours and pushed for 3 hours. IT WAS EXHAUSTING. For the both of us!
Cindy started feeling contractions at around 1 or 2 in the morning. She wasn’t sure if they were just Braxton Hicks or the real deal, but they seemed to slowly be getting stronger and stronger. At around 3:00am, she got up to use the restroom and… low and behold…she had her bloody show!! She let out an, “OMG”, Jake walked over, we realized it was happening, and went back to bed to try and get some rest. By around 4:00am, it was getting hard to sleep, so we got up. Cindy took a shower and tidied up the house. Jake took out the trash, so we’d have a fresh and clean home to come back to.
Then, Jake went to get some McDonald’s for breakfast. It was Cindy’s “last meal” request.
We didn’t want to go to the hospital too early (for fear of being sent back home), so we decided to pass time by binging Breaking Bad. It was a pretty good distraction! About 4 episodes in, the contractions were beginning to come more regularly and more intensely. By around 10:00am, the contractions were coming about 5-7 minutes apart and lasting for about 40 seconds to a minute each. We called Labor and Delivery and the nurse suggested it was time to come in.
We arrived at the hospital around 11:00am. And after all the checking in, Cindy got her cervix checked. She was a shocking 6cm dilated! No one believed it because she didn’t seem like she was in much pain. The doctors and nurses guessed she’d be about 2-3 cm dilated…
We were then moved to a delivery room, Cindy got hooked up to an IV, and we started our “hospital stay”. We continued to binge Breaking Bad. At around 2:00pm, the nurses came in and set up the delivery table– everyone was so sure Cindy would deliver within the day because she arrived 6cm dilated. But 4:00pm rolled around and Cindy was still 6cm dilated… Since she hadn’t progressed, the doctor suggested speeding things along with Pitocin. We were worried starting Pitocin would send us on a path that would affect the natural laboring process, so we decided to wait a few more hours and see if Cindy would make any progress. During that time, Cindy tried walking around, squatting, and moving. But it was pretty difficult doing that while hooked up to an IV. In retrospect, we wish we would have stayed home just a bit longer or that we had been adamant about not being hooked up to an IV. Being hooked to an IV is not fun.
7:00pm rolled around and Cindy got checked again…still 6cm dilated. By that point, we were both getting a little discouraged. They say labor and delivery is like a marathon. But at least with a marathon, you know you’ll be finished when you hit 26.2 miles. With labor and delivery…there is no telling when it would end. We decided to move forward with the Pitocin.
At one point, we asked the nurse if she thinks Cindy would be delivering soon. The nurse said something along the lines of, “Considering she’s still able to talk and move, I’d say no.” We would find out later what she meant by that.
Once started on the Pitocin, the contractions came on with increasing frequency and strength. Cindy labored for another 3 hours when the doctor came back in to check on her progress. And…..still 6cm dilated. The doctor started discussing next steps– artificially breaking her water or increasing the Pitocin. It was during that conversation that Cindy’s water naturally broke! It felt like she peed herself… the contractions were so strong that Cindy wasn’t sure if she lost bladder control or if her water broke. It was at that same moment that Cindy started shaking uncontrollably. Apparently, that’s a result of the adrenaline.
Everything seemed to just spiral out of control after that. The pain Cindy felt was like nothing she’s ever felt before. Up until that point, she rated her labor pains at around a level 7 or 8… This pain… this pain level was OFF THE CHARTS. A level 100. A level infinity. She made noises she never thought she’d make. She howled and moaned. And asked if she was scaring the other laboring moms in nearby rooms lol.
It didn’t take long for her to BEG for the epidural. Our “birth plan” was to try a natural delivery. We now have a new level of awe for any woman who’s ever done a natural birth. Cindy just does not understand how it is possible. In the midst of Cindy’s begging, Jake tried to remind her, per her instructions, that she really wanted to do a natural birth. But there was no reasoning with her. The pain was unbearable.
Because Cindy was shaking so much, she had to receive a narcotic via her IV in order to calm down enough to inject the needle. She instantly became loopy. All she can remember is zoning in and out and asking the anesthesiologist how many people she’s paralyzed lol. (Fortunately, none).
Cindy would say that the period from when her water broke to the moment she received the epidural was the WORST part of labor.
After receiving the epidural, she knocked out and slept. When she woke up, she felt the urge to poo/push. And just like that, she was ready to deliver. It was about 2:00am. By this point, we’d been up for almost 24 hours.
We thought this part would go quickly, but it didn’t. The first hour of pushing wasn’t bad, because we were so optimistic that the baby would come out soon. Jake helped hold Cindy’s legs and saw THE ENTIRE SHOW. It’s true what experienced moms say– you just don’t care about anything anymore when you’re in the middle of delivery. Cindy didn’t care that Jake saw everything happening down there, she didn’t care whether or not she pooped, and she didn’t care who saw her private parts. She just wanted the baby out!
By the second hour, Cindy was getting tired. And was nearly falling asleep between contractions. Jake was super supportive and gave lots of encouragement with every push. He was telling her she was making progress with each push! Even though she clearly wasn’t lol. Finally, by the third hour, the nurse suggested bringing the doctor in for an assisted delivery. The doctor kindly informed us that if the vacuum assistance failed, then the next step would be a C-Section. And that was all the motivation Cindy needed to get the baby out. Little Baby R came out in 3 pushes after that.
It was such an emotional moment. For Jake, it was amazing to see his daughter enter the world… to see her get pulled out…He got to cut the umbilical cord! For Cindy, she was overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions– relief that it was all over, shock that she now has a baby, and worry that Jake wouldn’t see her the same way anymore.
She didn’t feel an isntant bond or connection with the baby. When the baby was crowning, the doctor asked if she wanted to touch the head and she didn’t want to. But she ended up doing it. And it is one of THE WEIRDEST experiences of her life– to feel a head coming out of your down there area.
After a bit of skin to skin, the baby was placed on the warmer. We were both so exhausted, that when the baby cried, we didn’t have the energy to even care. We kinda just let the baby cry… and slept…
The first couple nights back home were HARD– not just physically (from the sleep deprivation) but also emotionally. Jake noticed Cindy was keeping the baby at an arm’s distance. She was having a hard time bonding with her… mostly because she was terrified of the crying. Jake encouraged her to actively try things to bond with the baby even if it felt unnatural or forced. It was weird and a little awkward at first, but it’s been a week since the delivery and we’re happy to say we’re both IN LOVE with little Baby R. We’re slowly settling in to our new role as parents and finding a new groove to our every day.
All in all, Cindy describes this as THE MOST INSANE experience of her life. She has a newfound appreciation for moms everywhere. As for Jake, he has a newfound understanding of what God’s love for us is like. We loved Baby R before she even existed. After she was born, we cared for her in ways she could never understand. In the same way God loved us before the beginning of time, and made sacrifices for us that we could not even fathom. It also makes us appreciate our parents!
We can’t believe we’re parents now.