Pregnancy Update: The First 18 Weeks

Dan and I found out we were expecting Baby 3 while we were still camping out in the basement of some generous church friends. As God’s timing would have it, we found out we were pregnant only a few weeks after first hearing about the house that is now our home. It’s a good thing too, because I would have given up the house hunt if we had found out about Baby first! The timing was perfect, so, while the house buying process was going on, we began out hunt for a new doctor.

My last doctor was great, but she retired this summer. We called a couple of different offices and eventually chose a doctor who has turned out to be terrific. He has years of experience working with high risk and unique pregnancies, so mine was no surprise to him. At our first appointment we got our first glimpse of Baby 3 and a guess on the due date: April 20.

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The first trimester wasn’t too bad for me, apart from the stress of trying to get settled on the house. I was sick for three weeks in a row with various viruses. Maybe I was feeling sick from the pregnancy too, but if so, those symptoms were masked by the other illnesses. My most obvious pregnancy symptoms were the cravings and aversions. Cheese and pickles were favorites, with random weird and short lived cravings like rice with soy sauce and tomatoes or chicken salad. As usual during my first trimesters, I couldn’t stand lentils or broccoli.

A couple of weeks after the first appointment we were back at the office again to check on Baby and start working on a game plan. Here is Baby at 12 weeks:

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(That’s his/her head on the right side.)

There are a few things we’re going to try this time that may or may not help keep Baby from coming as early as Lydia and Abigail. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. One of those precautions is limited activity for me from 20 to 28 weeks.

Now, when you’re moving into a new house, preparing for Christmas, and anticipating another possible long NICU stay, there’s a lot to do. That’s part of what has kept us so busy lately. I’ve been working away at making some Christmas gifts a little every day. I’m happily making progress on unpacking and our goal is to be completely settled by next Tuesday. Of course Thanksgiving is coming and we’ll be hosting Dan’s family this year, but we’re keeping things simple and those present will all be pitching in to help with the meal. ๐Ÿ™‚

The bulk of my extra time has been spent cooking and freezing meals for the time after Baby is born. If Baby spends as much time in the NICU as Lydia or Abigail, we hope to have enough meals to get us through most dinners and lunches without having to take the time to cook. We have three freezers right now (our chest freezer, the one on top of our refrigerator, and an upright some friends brought over a couple of nights ago). Two are packed full and I have two weeks left to finish my cooking!

Once twenty weeks hits, everything is going to stop. No more unpacking. No more cooking and freezing meals. No more running around like crazy buying things we need for the house. I have ten days left.

Our next Baby appointment was at 14 1/2 weeks, and here’s Baby:

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S/he is bent over like someone who fell asleep in school, and his/her arms are up behind his/her head.

So that leads me to another new decision for us. We’re hoping to be surprised with this baby, instead of finding out early if it’s a boy or girl. With ultrasounds every two or three weeks, it’s likely we might unintentionally find out, but the goal is to be surprised. That said, I will be referring to Baby as “he” from now on, even though we don’t know if he is a boy or girl yet.

During November I had a small surgery done that was another one of our attempts to keep Baby from coming as early. Afterwards, I had an appointment where we confirmed that everything was well and Baby was happily staying put.

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Here’s Baby at seventeen and a half weeks:

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That’s a head-on picture with the head on the left. You can see the eyes and brain (kinda weird!), and everything looked good.
That brings us up to today. During the past few weeks I’ve felt the first little kicks and Baby is starting to take up my stomach and lung room. I have had a lot of energy, which has been great for getting all my preparations taken care of. But more recently I’ve been getting tired out more easily, so I’ve been having to take more breaks to rest, nap, or just prop my feet up.

Our next appointments are on December 5 (two weeks from tomorrow). The first will be the big 20-week ultrasound screening, and right afterwards we’ll be heading back to our doctor for another check up.

Whew! That felt like a lot. From here on our I’ll be able to update more frequently with any Baby news, pregnancy changes, and more pictures of our little Pumpkin.

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2 thoughts on “Pregnancy Update: The First 18 Weeks

  1. We are excited for you, and are praying that this new doctor, and these procedures will let you carry the baby longer, and be able to bypass the NICU!!!! Just take him home!!!! Take care….love you all.

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