Friday, January 13, 2012

I feel like comparing pregnancies. . . again

Surprise, I'm expecing baby #4! I normally don't announce this early (I'm only 9 weeks), but I've had a hard time avoiding it this time around.  Not only have I been showing, but I've also been sick. I went back to my old blog and found this, which I found useful, as I seem to have forgotten most of what my previous pregnancies have been like.  I've updated the General's pregnancy, and added info about my current one.

Pregnancy #1: Briar Rose
On being sick . . .When I was pregnant with her, I was sick. I lost at least one meal a day, usually more, up until 20 weeks. Smells were terrible. I remember walking by the cafeteria at USU, doing everything I could not to vomit. One evening, I threw up every hour for six hours. That was a miserable night. I survived on Cream of Wheat and fruit popsicles for two days before I could keep anything else down. Oh, and milk? Forget about it!

These things have been true for all of my viable pregnancies: When I'm too hungry, I dry-heave; up until 20 weeks, my mouth tastes funny; and I have difficulty brushing my teeth well enough, because brushing my molars makes me throw up.
Things I craved . . .
  • Spaghettios, rainbow sherbet, alcoholic beverages (apple beer worked). . . .
  • Ice water. I depended on this for both my girls' pregnancies.
  • The last month, I craved dishwasher detergent (lemon scented); when my mom heard about that, she gave me this mineral drink powder that tasted like dirt (literally), and I devoured that.
May I keep complaining?

I got a few spider veins that first pregnancy. Mostly, toward the end, I had preterm labor and was put on bed rest.  My feet swelled pretty bad toward the end.

And things I appreciate. . .
These things are also true for my viable pregnancies. My hair doesn't fall out much when I wash or brush it. It will stay nice and thick up until two months after the baby's born, and then I like to leave piles of hair in the tub for the Captain to appreciate. :) My nails grow nice and strong. And of course, once I'm far enough along, I like to feel the baby moving. Before that, though, its movement isn't strong enough and only aggravates the nausea.

Pregnancy #2: Daffodil
On being sick . . .Again, I was pretty sick, but not quite as much as with my first.  I still couldn't eat cereal or milk, but I was down to losing just one meal a day. I would crave something, then after eating it, develop an aversion to it. The mere mention of meatballs or barbecue had me running to the bathroom.

I remember with this one, I had morning sickness the entire pregnancy, though I didn't throw up after 17 weeks. After 11AM, it went away.

Things I craved . . .
  • Spicy, spicy, spicy food. Lots of it.
  • Fish. Against the law, I know, but I cheated.
  • Sleep. I took a nap every day.
May I keep complaining?
By 20 weeks, I was wearing TED hose. I wore them even when I walked in the hot Virginia morning. That didn't stop the worsening of my spider veins and the development of varicose veins, and I even developed some superficial clots after having her.

And things I appreciate. . .
Same things as with my first: my hair grows like a weed, and my nails come in nice and strong. But one thing I didn't mention with her was that I love labor and delivery. It's such a fun adventure! I went natural with this one, and it was great-- my easiest so far! To me, L&D makes up for all the miseries of pregnancy.

Pregnancy #3: Ruptured EctopicI even waited nine days after it ruptured before I went in for surgery.  Yes, I'm lucky to be alive.

Pregnancy #4: MiscarriageI was six weeks along when I miscarried soon after #3. I had ignored the doctor's advice to wait until my blood volume had returned to normal (I lost a liter of blood with the ruptured ectopic pregnancy), and I'm sure my poor health was a factor in losing this pregnancy.

Pregnancy #5: the General
On being sick . . .

It was definitely an improvement from my girls' pregnancies. I could drink milk, had very little morning or evening sickness at all. Yay! I only threw up about a dozen times-- a huge improvement. I could eat cereal (only frosted mini wheats), although I remember living off of cream of wheat for a while, and I could also eat almost anything else-- even leftovers! I did have some pretty miserable evening sickness there from weeks six to 20, but after that, I felt great.

One of the most striking differences about the first trimest of this pregnancy was that I couldn't drink water. Instead, I drank a lot of juice and soda. So healthy, I know, but I was thirsty--I had to drink something! And yes, now I can drink water, which is something I've always preferred.

Things I craved . . .

  • Sour candy. . . I keep a stash on hand and call it my "anti-nausea medicine", and whenever I get a little indigestion, I eat a little candy and voila! it goes away. (This works better than Tums, believe it or not. Weird, I know.)
  • Spicy stuff. Not as much as with Daffodil.
  • Fruits. . . grapefruit, pomegranates, pineapples. Anything juicy and sour.

May I keep complaining?
My varicose veins came back with a vengeance, and they even got so big that I got stretchmarks from them.  I had a series of three surgeries to remove the varicose/incompetent veins in my legs and around my uterus. 

And things I appreciate. . .
After two miscarriages, I was grateful to be pregnant.  Here's exactly what I wrote two years ago: "I love my babies, being a mom, and having a newborn. It really is worth the difficulties. After losing my second pregnancy--something I never imagined would happen to me--I faced the possibility of never carrying another baby, never nursing again, never experiencing another labor and delivery, and I decided that even a difficult pregnancy would be worth it. And it is. Liesl's was by far the most difficult, but she is a delight to have around, and what does it matter that I was miserably sick? It passed.  And this pregnancy has been far from difficult."

Pregnancy #6: Current mystery baby
On being sick. . .
I haven't thrown up a lot, but I have been sick much of the time.  Probably the most notable difference about this pregnancy is that I've really had to regulate my blood-sugar.  I even have to have a midnight snack, so I don't wake up too nauseated.  Anytime I'm hungry, I start dry-heaving.  I spent the week between Christmas and New Years in bed, too weak to even get up.

All those food aversions I developed in my first three successful pregnancies have returned full force, which means there's almost nothing I can eat.  Not to mention that many things I've craved one day have been inedible to me the next.  I can eat plain cream of wheat, and a microwaved potato-- salt and pepper only-- with enough reliability that I've at least been able to not starve to death.  Last week, pizza made me sick. Tomatoes and its sauce bother me.  I can eat noodles with butter. I can't open my fridge for fear of retching.  That said, I've learned that I've disciplined myself to calm my tummy down before it goes into spasms.

My go-to "anti-nausea medicine" has been Jolly Ranchers.  Let the tooth-rotting begin!

Things I crave. . .
  • Steaks, rare, with crispy, juicy fat attached
  • Ground beef
  • Bland stuff with salt and maybe pepper
  • Baked (microwaved) potatoes
  • Mustard/ vinegar
  • Hot Mama sausages

May I keep complaining?
 Despite my three surgeries, I have vein pain again.  I hope it gets bad enough with this pregnancy that whatever wasn't visibly wrong after my last will be after this one, so that I can get it surgically taken care of.

Also, the Captain's being deployed to Afghanistan in March/April, so he's going to miss the best part: labor and delivery.

And things I appreciate. . .
Other than that I'm going to have a newborn baby in a few months, I'm not far enough along to be past the morning sickness part, which means I have nothing else positive report.  Sorry, but yes, I have been that miserable. 
On the gender. . .
I'll be bold and admit I want another son. . . two of each would be perfect.  If I have another girl, it's very likely we'll try again for a boy a few years from now.  I'm so glad I found my old post about my previous pregnancies, because I really have forgotten what they've been like.  With the General's pregnancy, I knew it was a boy because it was so different from my girls'. This one is not quite as easy to decode.  I'm not throwing up, as with his, but I have all the food aversions from my first two.  The Captain and I also plan on waiting until the birth to find out what it is. . . or so we've said.  I'm thinking, that with him deployed, it might be nice to know what I'm expecting.


  1. Well isn't that an exciting surprise. Congrats. So I had always heard that pregnancy got easier the more times you do it... I don't believe it though. I think my sickness has gotten worse every time. :) I'm sorry you are so ill though. I sure don't miss that part of pregnancy. Here's hoping that your sickness passes soon.

  2. I am so excited for you!! That was fun to read, thanks for sharing. I am so sorry that you have miserable pregnancies, but I love that you enjoy L an D so much and you know it is all worth it. I am also sad to hear abou J not being there for the birth. That has got to be rough on both of you. Oh, how I miss you. This post makes me feel like I am chatting in your front room.