As I am writing this I am almost
The short update would be this pregnancy is kicking my butt! Yowza! And it hasn't been a walk in the park for Jake either. He has had to take care of me and Linnea since I've been on the struggle bus for most of this pregnancy.
The longer update follows (or you can skim down and look at pictures if you don't want all the details):
We tried for about a year to get pregnant and then decided to do a frozen embryo transfer since we had a few embryos left from our first IVF cycle in May 2014. We weren't sure if the first transfer would take but it did. We did the transfer on May 18th, 2017 and found out we were pregnant on May 31st (the day before we flew back tot he US for a visit in June)! I wish I could tell you a cute story about how I told Jake I was pregnant but I don't have one. For the first time ever Jake remembered when I was supposed to take a test so shortly after I came out of the bathroom that morning he asked if I took a test and what it said. We were both in shock. Apparently, my body prefers IVF transfers and for that I'm thankful for modern medicine and the ability to do IVF.
A few of you might have questions about IVF and frozen embryo transfers so I'll tell you a little about it but if you want to know more send me a message. I'm pretty much an open book! I've always thought I'd write a longer post about it for anyone who is curious but obviously from my lack of posting that probably isn't going to happen right now. Here is the Our Journey to Parenthood that I wrote in January 2015.
Our first cycle of IVF was free in Stockholm. You can do 3 full cycles (stimulation and egg retrieval) plus several frozen transfers for free if you've been trying for more than a year and you are under the age of 40. We had no idea about this until we moved here the first time. There is a wait list but we only had to wait for 3 months. With Linnea we did one full cycle of IVF and did a fresh transfer which didn't stick. A few months later we did a frozen transfer and that one turned into Linnea!
This second time we had to pay for the frozen embryo transfer but it is significantly less than in the US. We paid 16000 kr which is about $1900. We did one ultrasound to check when I would naturally ovulate and then
Pizza Roll Thawed . . .
Since this embryo was from the same batch of embryos as Linnea it is technically the same age. One of our friends called them "freeze-ternal" twins ;).
The shot to make me ovulate.
Right after the transfer.
We have a similar picture after the transfer with Linnea. This is right outside the clinic hopeful that the baby would stick and it did!
Two minutes after we touched down in Stockholm after our 9 hour flight I ran to the airplane bathroom and threw up. I DO NOT throw up. I will do anything to prevent myself from throwing up. I threw up about 2 hours after Linnea was born but the time before that was when there was an MTV marathon of Newlyweds on if that tells you anything. I don't throw up or I should say I didn't until this pregnancy. During this pregnancy, I threw up everyday from week 7-14. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. It was awful especially while taking care of a 2 year old. I tried to hide it from her but eventually she picked up on it and said "Mama cough in toilet". I slept during every single one of her naps because sleeping was the only time I wasn't nauseous. It was awful.
A very smart and beautiful friend of ours, Dr. Erin McGonigle, visited us when I was 10-12 weeks along and she suggested I take my medication before getting out of bed instead of getting out of bed, eating breakfast, throwing up and then taking it. She's brilliant. It actually worked!
I started taking meds around 8 weeks. They helped me be able to function but I still struggled a LOT. The pill had caffeine in it which my body doesn't always tolerate so I tried getting the pill without caffeine. The doctor told me I wasn't allowed to take the pill without caffeine if I was home alone with my daughter because it would knock me out. I didn't believe him but I listened to him. It turns out he was correct. About 45 minutes after taking the pill I was loopy and asleep shortly after that. I stopped taking those since they seemed pretty pointless. Jake and Erin got some good laughs though watching me before I finally would give up and go to bed.
Our family of 3.33 :). Jake wore Linnea in a carrier to climb to the top and I carried Pizza Roll. That seemed to keep us about equal. Thankfully I felt really good this morning and wasn't nauseous at all!
I continued to throw up about once a week from week 14-20 which was a pain but still manageable. Food wasn't so difficult to eat and I was able to function a bit more (which was good because I also started teaching again during this time).
Jake felt Pizza Roll move on Aug 27th when I was 17 weeks pregnant. Linnea could also feel the baby move which was so fun. One of my friends in Stockholm was also pregnant with her second child and Linnea felt him move in her belly so she knew what it would feel like in my belly. It was helpful for her to see Alyssa's belly grow before mine started growing so she could put the pieces together.
We announced the pregnancy around week 17 or 18 which is pretty late but it was fun telling friends and family either way!
Pizza Roll at 18.5 Weeks for the Anatomy Scan
20 Weeks! Halfway there!
One other main factor that contributed to this pregnancy kicking my butt was I wasn't in a good workout routine before I got pregnant. With Linnea, I was working out 4 days a week (up until the day before she was born) so when I got pregnant I just kept it up even when I was nauseous. I did not have a routine with this pregnancy and the nausea was so much worse I couldn't just power through and go. So I pretty much haven't worked out at all this pregnancy and I hate that. I feel like a lot of my aches and pains are my fault by not being in shape. I wore a support belt for a while especially when walking and taking care of Linnea and that definitely helped!
I went to a physical therapist for my round ligament pain and did a few prenatal massages and that helped everything calm down. I finally started feeling like I could pick up Linnea, sit on the floor and get back up and function like a normal person around week 28-29. Now at almost 34 weeks, I'm still feeling pretty good considering how rough the rest of the pregnancy has been.
27 WeeksTwo weekends ago (at 32 weeks) I ended up going to the hospital because I was having Braxton Hicks contractions every 5 minutes lasting 30 seconds each on a Saturday night. The next morning they started up again every 3-4 minutes lasting 30 seconds. Considering I never had ANY regular contractions with Linnea even in active labor I was a bit freaked out. I had an internal sonogram to check my cervix and everything was fine so I went on my merry way. Hopefully these Braxton Hicks contractions means I won't be in labor for 37 hours like last time. I'd like to be in it long enough to get an epidural and then have a baby once that kicks in. Ha! #becauselaboralwaysgoesaccordingtoplans
Linnea on the Left, Pizza Roll on the Right both at 29 Weeks in the same shirt.
With Linnea she was more spread out in my belly. I could feel her on my sides and in my ribs. Pizza Roll is definitely more out front and lower. He/She still hasn't found my ribs which wasn't the case with Linnea. Again, this pregnancy has been SO different. The baby's head is down and I usually feel kicks on the right or left side of my belly but not at the same time. Linnea was more spread eagle and this baby seems to lay on his or her side and kick on one side of me at a time. Pizza Roll is also more spastic in movements whereas Linnea had more sweeping motions. Pizza Roll also gets hiccups once or twice a day which can be annoying if I'm sitting and working.
I can't wait to see Linnea as a big sister. She says that she is already a big sister and I'd have to agree. She is careful with my belly, talks to her sister/brother and likes to feel the baby kick. She is convinced that she also has a baby in her belly that kicks. I can't wait to see the two of them together!
I think we have a girls name nailed down (which we aren't sharing) but I will be shocked if this is a girl. Everything about this pregnancy has been different. So if this is a girl we are going to need to have a chat about how unnecessary it was to put me through this pregnancy when Linnea didn't make life so hard for 9 months. Ha! We don't have any boy name frontrunners. Ugh! Good thing we have 3 months after the baby is born to name him/her :).
So this is the one and only bumpdate that will happen for this pregnancy. I'm so thankful to be pregnant and sometimes it feels like this pregnancy is flying by because I'm preoccupied with Linnea and in other ways it is DRAGGING on. I'm looking forward to getting my body back (as much as nursing a newborn makes my body my own, ha) and hopefully regaining my strength and ability to function like a normal person (a normal person with a newborn and a toddler . . . ).
I should add, Jake has been amazing throughout this pregnancy. He has done way more than his fair share of taking care of Linnea, making meals I won't eat, putting her to bed, and listening to me tell him I'm hungry but that I don't want to eat anything (this happens almost daily). He is the best teammate I could ever ask for. I'm excited to see him with a newborn again!
I will start my parental leave when I'm 38 weeks along and be off for a little over a year. (Not going to lie, I'm a little worried about being a stay at home mom again. I have LOVED being back in the classroom and now I'm taking off again. I know once the baby gets here that I'll want to stay home but it is just hard feeling like I got my teaching groove back only to put it on hold again.) Then Jake will hopefully be able to take off for 6 months or so. I am SO thankful for the Swedish systems that are in place to allow both of us to take off work and be equal parents. I used to always feel like the "default parent" and now I feel like we can equally share the workload. It is so refreshing!
I can't wait to hold this baby on my chest and to hold Linnea on my chest as well without this huge belly in the way ;). She recently said "I can sit on Daddy's lap. He not have a baby in his belly like Mama."