Monthly Archives: May 2015

Third Trimester Recap: Weeks 27-28

Ohhh man, a part of me can’t believe we’re in the third trimester already, and the other part of me feels like it’s going to be forever until we meet our rainbow baby. (Rainbow baby. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means a baby born following a loss. I’m not a fan of the term, but sometimes it’s the best term to use.)

Right on cue, fatigue set back in last week, at the beginning of the third trimester. I napped both days of the weekend.

Oh, and remember our kitchen remodel project? Yeah, that’s still going on. Going on six and a half months without a proper kitchen! But it’s SO going to be worth it. It’s just hard not to be able to contribute as much to its progress these days.

Floor is grouted!

Floor is grouted!

I’m feeling pretty nesty these days, and inspired by this book, I’ve been tidying up like crazy. Also, we got some fun baby items handed down to us this past week. One big haul came from the lovely Laura, who I finally got to meet in person!

Mother’s Day was two weekends ago. I’m not going to lie and say that it was any easier of a day for me than it was last year, even with my little guy kicking away all day. Last year, it was especially rough, since it came less than two weeks after we got Charlie’s diagnosis. But this year, I felt caught in the middle of feeling like those who wished me a Happy Mother’s Day were referring to the fact that I’m expecting, and not that I’m already a mom. But some sweet and thoughtful messages from friends who specifically mentioned Charlie turned my day around and then there was this amazing gift from Jen:


We also had our 28 week appointment. Baby’s heart rate was great and the doctor felt to see how he was positioned. He was head down, curled up with his backside near my belly button. He had us feel where baby’s head and butt were — it was so cool! I also had more blood drawn and scheduled my VBAC consult. Even though I had been going in for appointments every two weeks, we’re officially on that schedule now until 36 weeks, when it’ll change to weekly appointments.

Weeks 27-28 snapshot:

  • New symptoms – waking up in the middle of the night with hip pain.
  • More intense Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Started Hypnobabies class.
  • Looking forward to: my baby shower in less than one month!
  • I started kick counting. I’m hoping this provides more reassurance than anxiety. So far, it’s a toss up.
  • Most relaxing moment: an amazing prenatal massage. Deborah is a magic-maker.
  • The weirdest moment: feeling what might have been a knee or elbow sticking out of my belly.
  • The most special moment was walking with friends and family in honor of Charlie at the Faith’s Lodge Hope Walks and Rolls 5K.

Even with our kitchen progress, we’re also managing to cross things off of the baby to-do list. Next up: After not even having one name we like at all, we are really close to picking one! Also, we are meeting with our doula next week and then we can get started on (and finish) our birth plan. Lots going on!


Walking for Charlie

This past weekend, 28 humans (including five tiny ones) and two dogs came out as part of Team Charlie to walk the Hope Walks and Rolls 5K to remember Charlie and raise money for Faith’s Lodge.


It was so special to have so many people there, surrounding us! And of course, it felt extra special to be walking, 28 weeks pregnant with Charlie’s little brother.


The course was, in fact, not a 5K, but more like 3.7 miles, but we all made it — including my friend who is 38 weeks pregnant (!!!!) and my dad who just had open heart surgery not even three weeks ago. Looking forward to making this an annual event.

After the walk, the parents and J and I went out for lunch and took a quick trip to the Garden of the Sleeping Angels to hang Charlie’s memorial.


It was a special “Charlie” day I’m sure we’ll always remember.

Day in the Life: Before Baby

I thought it might be kind of fun to do one of those ‘Day in the Life’-type posts, even if just for my own amusement to compare a typical day pre-baby and post-baby. So…here it goes! (PS – my life is not at all interesting. So congrats to you if you make it through this entire post.)

5:48 a.m. – A weird pregnancy dream makes me stir, and my cat (sensing weakness that I might be slightly awake) takes the opportunity to paw at my eyelids and sit on me until I’m fully awake and get out of bed to feed her and the dog.

5:53 a.m. – Turn on the Kuerig and take the dog around the block for a quick walk. This is becoming one of my favorite parts of the day because the neighborhood is quiet and the cool, but pleasant temps help wake me up.

6:00 a.m. – I “brew” a cup of decaf, grab a coconut water from the fridge and split up the overnight oats I made the night before. I made this batch with Hint of Vanilla Honey Almondmilk that Almond Breeze sent me to try (I usually use unsweetened original Almond Breeze Almondmilk).  I pour my portion of the oats out into a bowl and leave J’s in the mason jar for him to bring to work. I go through work and personal emails while I eat. I can definitely notice a nice, subtle additional sweetness to my oats from the honey vanilla almondmilk!


6:22 a.m. – Shower and start getting ready for the day. Realizing that I need a haircut because it’s taking longer and longer to dry my hair in the mornings #thickhairproblems.

6:50 a.m. – Cut up some strawberries for my infused water, portion out some snacks for the work day and pack a lunch. Today, it’s: one brown rice tortilla, one Trader Joe’s Cowboy Quinoa Veggie Burger, some spinach (will also top with mustard at work), Plentils lentil chips, whole wheat crackers and Babybel cheese, some strawberries and blueberries and almonds.

7 a.m.  – Say goodbye to the husband. Cole (the dog) and I head out the door. He’s going to daycare today because J has a 13 mile run in the evening and then we’re going out for our monthly date night.

7:10 a.m. – Drop Cole off at daycare. The other day I realized that I get so sad when I drop him off at daycare and that I’m going to have to get used to it because soon I’ll have to drop off a human baby at daycare and I imagine that’s no walk in the park.


7:50 a.m. – Starbucks drive-thru. I’m slowly breaking this habit, but achieving gold status has been my downfall. Plus, I’m weak. I order a decaf soy misto with one pump of vanilla. #highmaintenance

8:00 a.m. – Arrive at work — and earlier than usual!

4:40 p.m. – Leave work and head home a little early to grab Cole from daycare. Looking forward to dinner because I know that soon we’re not going to have the luxury of date nights whenever we feel like it.

5:35 p.m. – Traffic was pretty terrible because of the rain. I log back onto my computer for a little while to finish up some work items.

6:05 p.m. – J arrives home from his run and hops in the shower. I feed the animals and then continue with my latest obsession — tidying. I finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in a day and then got to work. I haven’t had a large chunk of time to do my whole house at once, but I’ve been working my way through categories and I’m LOVING how my house feels.

7:20 p.m. – With dinner, J got his Pub Pass free beer and I had a turkey burger with sweet potato fries. It was super disappointing, so I didn’t even take a photo of it.

9 p.m. – We get home and out of habit, I turn on the radio to finish listening to the Minnesota Twins game, only to remember that they played earlier in the day and lost big time. We cut back our cable package a couple of weeks ago to save a little money and I’m really happy with our decision so far. It’s taken some adjusting to since I don’t watch TV except for sports, and that’s what I feel like has been missing so far. We still have Netflix and a Roku and Apple TV, so we’re going to be just fine. Or at least that’s what I keep telling J.

9:10 p.m. – J touches up a few spots where the paint looked a little thin in the kitchen. (Kitchen remodel update coming soon!) I (of course) do a little more tidying — this time tackling the vanity drawers in the bathroom.

9:30 p.m. – Run through my nightly fitness routine which includes some deep breathing, planks, light weight lifting, hip lifts, spine strengthening and stretching.

9:55 p.m. – Get ready for bed — includes taking my prenatal vitamins.

10:08 p.m. – Let the dog out one last time for the night.

10:10 p.m. – Lights out and in bed with my Snoogle, slightly later than usual. These days, I’m pretty wiped out by the time 8:30 rolls around and usually it’s lights out by 10. I realize I didn’t listen to my Hypnobabies tracks today. I was on a roll, but am too tired to do it now.

*This post was sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. I received one free 32oz of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Hint of Honey Vanilla. All opinions are my own.

Race Recap: Joe Plant Memorial 5K


I walked the Joe Plant Memorial 5K with Andrea a couple of weeks ago. We do this race every year and it was awesome to see how it just keeps growing year after year! I felt great the entire 3.1 miles, with the exception of tight calves. We finished in 51:45, which I’m pretty happy about, especially considering my Goldy’s 5K time was 51:22, just three weeks earlier.

I also realized that this could be my second to last 5K! Team Charlie! is walking the Hope Walks and Rolls 5K this weekend with some friends and family to support Faith’s Lodge. After that, who knows? I have a work client’s 5K in the middle of June that I’ll walk if I’m feeling up for it, but not registering for that one quite yet!

Cross your fingers for us for good weather on Saturday!

Second Trimester Recap

Weeks 14 – 16
I kicked off the second trimester with a weekend trip to Atlanta with Andrea to visit friends Kate, Brian and her new baby! It was a great trip, but I was still dealing with some of the fatigue from the first trimester, so we didn’t exactly hit the town in the evenings.

Starting to show. Also, biscuits made this pregnant lady very happy!

 A few days after we got back from Atlanta, I came down with the worst head cold I’d had in years. And since I couldn’t take anything for it, I spent the next full week absolutely miserable (and telling anyone who’d listen about it). I also switched doctors (again) and had a great 16 week appointment with my new, new doctor. J and I toured one hospital we were considering delivering at and I set up some appointments to interview doulas.
Sometime during week 16, I noticed that maybe I was feeling some movement. This was definitely earlier than with Charlie, but that’s common for many reasons, one being that second time moms are now familiar with what movement feels like. Since we had the early genetic testing done, the only lab I had to have done  at my 16 week appointment was an Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) draw.
We also announced the gender to some close friends and family by sending them some ol’ fashioned snail mail. They either got a scratch off card or a confetti-bomb that announced Baby Nelson is a boy! It felt good to take small steps like this one to start celebrating this pregnancy, rather than fearing it.
Weeks 17 – 19
After my cold went away, I started to realize just how amazing the second trimester can be. My energy was back and I started walking daily, which did wonders for my mood as well. I also had to set up some additional doula interviews because I the doula I chose found out she was pregnant right after we sat down for an interview.
I started feeling like it was time to start actually getting some things done in preparation for this baby, so I signed up for some childbirth education classes, including Hypnobabies. We also got the AFP results back during week 17 and everything looked good.
I also really popped at the beginning of week 17!
At the end of week 19, I chose another doula (who, thankfully, wasn’t also pregnant). Super excited to be working with her! Also at the end of week 19, was our level two ultrasound with the perinatologists. This was the time period when we found out that Charlie had a likely fatal condition, so you can imagine the anticipation for this scan this time around. I wrote more about this day here.
Following our good news, I made an announcement (of sorts) here on the blog.
Symptoms that showed up during weeks 17-19:
  • Round ligament pain. I experienced round ligament pain when I was pregnant with Charlie, and it led to me deciding to stop running around 20 weeks. This time around, it showed up a bit earlier, but so far I’ve been able to work through it since I’m only walking and not running this time around. Case in point: I walked the Point Bock Run 5 miler and was able to keep a pretty good pace throughout!
  • The fatigue noticeably decreased
Weeks 20 – 22
It didn’t happen right away, but the anxiety that hung over me constantly for the first four months of my pregnancy, started to gradually lift after we got the all clear at the anatomy scan. J got to meet my new doctor at our 20 week appointment and the doctor did something cool — he handed J the doppler and let him find the heartbeat! Just reason #2,352,855 that I’m so happy to have found this new doctor.
Following a couple of good appointments, we decided to make our first baby purchases — an ottoman and some art for the nursery. And a crib. Setting up the crib together was as exciting as I always thought it would be, but it was also bittersweet.
My parents came for a weekend visit during week 22 and they brought a glider for us to use and the dresser/changing table from when I was a baby. It’ll be fun to have that in the nursery!
Lastly, we realized that we should probably get serious finding a daycare, considering most daycares in the Cities have waiting lists, so we went on a few tours and turned in applications. Hopefully we can get a spot secured and cross that off the list!
Symptoms that showed up during weeks 20-22:
  • No new symptoms, but definitely getting bigger and feeling it!

Weeks 23 – 26

At the end of week 23, I walked Goldy’s 5K. I also started noticing more frequent (though not yet consistent) movement and kicks throughout the day.
I made an appointment with a prenatal personal trainer during week 24 — a separate post on that coming soon. We also finished our registry which felt huge to me. With the help of my good friend Jen, I had registered for some things at Babies ‘R’ Us shortly before we got Charlie’s diagnosis. I had an unpleasant conversation with a Babies ‘R’ Us employee who called to check in to see if I needed help finishing my registry and worked for months to get off of their mailing and email lists. So, I was pretty proud of us for getting our registry taken care of!
We also went away for one night for a mini-babymoon. As I was laying in bed, ready to fall asleep, I saw my first kick from the outside. That was probably one of the coolest moments of the second trimester, not to mention, this is when J also felt his first “for sure” kick.
The following week, we celebrated Jesse’s birthday at the perfect place for a pregnant lady — a sushi restaurant!
(Sarcasm. I obviously didn’t get to indulge in the good stuff.)
That night, for the first time, I experienced kicks waking me up out of a sound sleep and keeping me from falling back asleep. It might have been the only time in my life where I wasn’t seriously pissed about being woken up. That’s true love right there, because I love my sleep.
A big milestone we got past during week 25 was my gestational diabetes test. I passed and my iron levels also looked good.
I had my first official session with my new personal trainer. It was awesome and I felt great moving my body in a ways besides just walking. Lifting weights made me feel strong again. And I surprised myself with how much strength I actually hadn’t lost.
We also toured another hospital and started looking at the pros and cons of the two hospitals we’re deciding between. I can’t believe it’s almost time to need to make that decision and get pre-registered!
At the end of week 26, I ended up in the hospital because I thought I might be leaking amniotic fluid. (More on that, here.) Luckily, they were able to rule that out and I had a non-stress test done while I was there. Baby looked great — really active.
Symptoms that showed up during weeks 23-26
  • The worst cramp in my calf I’ve ever experienced. Have you ever had a Charlie horse? It was like that, but one million times worse because it just kept cramping over and over and I could feel the knots pulsing. It was awful. Two days later, I was still sore.
  • Seasonal allergies, way worse than usual
Well, that was….long. Planning to do a few regular third trimester updates, rather than one big, long one like I did for the first and second trimesters.

First Trimester Recap

Weeks 3 – 6
We had a plan. We felt ready to start trying to get pregnant again, and so after I got back from my trip to Vegas, we started trying. A few weeks later, we took a trip to my hometown to run a race with my mom and on that trip, I felt nauseated here and there and immediately, I knew I was pregnant. Once we got home from my parents’ house, I couldn’t get in the house fast enough to take a pregnancy test. And of course, it confirmed what I already knew.
I spent the first week after finding out we were pregnant, feeling surprisingly calm. I also kept having sneaking suspicions that I was pregnant with a girl (hormones do weird things to you). It was Thanksgiving weekend and I ran a turkey trot. Little did I know, those calm feelings were about to come to an end. Extreme anxiety hit me the next week — along with extreme fatigue.
Given that I had an early miscarriage the first time I was pregnant, and my heightened anxiety from just losing Charlie months prior, I was able to convince my new OBGYN practice to let me come in for some lab work to make sure that the pregnancy hormone levels in my body were increasing the way they were supposed to. After a long weekend wait, my results came back and things looked good.
Symptoms that showed up during weeks 3-6
  • By the end of week six, my nausea was getting worse and food (mostly fresh fruit and bagels) was the only cure. I also was able to get in for a very early ultrasound where they saw a heartbeat was already present.
Weeks 7 – 9
My anxiety just kept building to the point of being unbearable, so I joined a pregnancy after loss support group and started seeing my therapist again on a weekly basis. My new OB brought up the idea of going on medication, but I didn’t feel comfortable going on anything — at least in the first trimester.* I decided I’d try and manage without. I had an appointment with the nurse practitioner at my new OB’s office and had another ultrasound done. Baby was measuring right on track with a strong heartbeat, but they also noticed that I had a small subchorionic hemmorhage. This is apparently a very common occurrence, but they recommended that I not go overboard with physical activity for the rest of the first trimester. While they assured me this was nothing to worry about, it definitely added to my anxiety.
Another work holiday party spent abstaining from alcohol :) No bump yet!

Another work holiday party spent abstaining from alcohol 🙂 No bump yet!

Symptoms that showed up during weeks 7-9
  • I’ve never felt as bloated in my life as I felt during those weeks
  • Worsening nausea when I got hungry
  • Extreme fatigue
Weeks 10 – 13
Although I felt a little better after joining the support group and starting to see my therapist on a weekly basis, I still was having daily panic attacks, feeling convinced that the baby wasn’t going to live. At my first prenatal appointment, the nurse practitioner said that I should call anytime I wanted reassurance and I could come in so they could check for a heartbeat. Unfortunately, when I finally broke down and called to see if the clinic could get me in and check for fetal heart tones, they wouldn’t let me talk to the nurse and said it was too early and have to wait for my appointment the next week.
Charlie’s heart condition wasn’t genetic, but he did have a chromosomal abnormality that was found after he died. We went into this pregnancy wanting as much information as possible, so we decided to have an early genetic screening blood test called verifi done at 10 weeks. We got the results back more than one week later and everything came back negative (that’s a good thing) AND we found out we were having a boy.
Sometime during this time period, I polished off a one pound bag of gummy bears in less than 36 hours. I also was lucky enough to start blogging for the site Pregnancy After Loss Support as a Bump Day Blogger. At the end of week 12, I also finally decided to do something about being unhappy with the care I was receiving from my new OB and made an appointment with a new practice to transfer my care.
Symptoms that showed up in weeks 10-13:
  • Insomnia that set in at 4 a.m., multiple nights in a row
  • Fatigue continued and nausea became an all day thing
  • Woke up two nights in a row with night sweats
  • Slight round ligament pain at night or when I sneeze
  • The least fun symptom that showed up in weeks 10-13? The return of my migraines. And since there’s no taking any meds strong enough to make a difference, I started going for weekly acupuncture appointments which did seem to help.
 I spent most of the first trimester anxious, nauseated and tired, but kept trucking along. I owe a lot to my amazing support system that kept me going through everything. Stay tuned for a second trimester recap coming soon!
*A note to say that if I’m being completely honest, looking back, I’m not sure if I made the right decision not being on any medication to help manage my anxiety and depressive symptoms. There’s a lot of good, long-term research out there on certain medications that have been found to be safe during pregnancy and being anxious isn’t healthy for the baby (or for me, either) so I don’t feel like there’s a right answer — it really should be a decision you make with your healthcare provider and partner/spouse/etc.

Finding the Perfect Gift

This post is sponsored by UncommonGoods. I received free product in exchange for writing a review. All opinions are my own.

One of my favorite things in the entire world is buying and giving people gifts. I love the challenge of finding the “perfect” gift and I love when the recipient is just as stoked to receive it as I am to give it.

One of my favorite things to gift are “experiences,” but sometimes, it’s fun to actually be able to wrap something that someone can enjoy right away. I tend to over think gift giving (let’s be honest — I over think everything) so it’s really hard for me to just go to the store and pick something up off of the shelf. This is especially true when it comes to buying gifts for my mom — I usually start my Christmas shopping for her in October because it takes me forEVER to come up with the perfect gifts for her.

My mom is an “on-the-go” kind of lady, so I was looking for something that could complement that part of her life, as well as something that would encourage her to slow down and relax, too. She’s also pretty healthy and walks 2-5 miles almost everyday. (She walks fast, too.) I bought her a FitBit a couple of Christmases ago, so I was at a loss for what I was going to get her for Mother’s Day. Then, as luck would have it, the awesome people at Uncommon Goods reached out and asked if I’d like to review some products they were featuring for Mother’s Day! I jumped at the chance, as I’ve been super curious about UncommonGoods, but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger and ordered anything from there yet. I’ve mostly been drawn to the company because they feature really unique and hand made items and their motto is that they are “created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people.” (LOVE THAT.) About half of the items they carry are hand made and their lowest-paid seasonal worker starts at 50 percent above the minimum wage. They also support the following non-profits:

RAINN – the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

American Forests – protects and restores forests worldwide, helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit of its inhabitants.

Women for Women International – provides women survivors of war with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-suciency.

City Harvest – strives to end hunger in communities throughout New York City through food rescue, distribution, and education.

You can read more about their story and mission here.

So here’s what I picked out for my mom:

Flavor Infuser Water Bottle

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 2.52.34 PM


My mom has commented on trying to find ways to make drinking water more exciting, so this really seemed like the perfect gift. I also liked that this bottle is made from glass rather than plastic. It even came with a little booklet with fun recipes!

Luxury Herbal Slippers

My mom goes through slippers like nobody’s business so I thought a new pair would be a nice, practical gift. Then I saw these organic cotton fleece slippers — stuffed with therapeutic flax seed, grains, and fragrant herbs. And you can microwave or freeze them for even more deluxe pampering! They’re super soft and my mom literally said “ahhh” when she put them on.

The cat is very interested, too.

The cat is very interested, too.

I also gifted myself this lovely pregnancy journal:


The UncommonGoods folks asked me to review the Mother’s Day gift items specifically (click here or here to see their entire collection of gifts for mom), but I came across a TON of great guy gifts as I browsed the site. And guys can be really hard to shop for. I already bookmarked some items to come back to for future gift needs.

My parents live about six hours away, but unfortunately, I was able to give these gifts to my mom in person. Last week, I made an emergency trip to my parents’ house. My dad had a heart attack and needed quadruple bypass surgery. He’s doing really well, but it was incredibly scary — especially since this was his second heart attack. Since I was going to see her in person, I decided to bring her gifts along so I could give them to her early, rather than mail them. She loved them!