Friday, November 12, 2010

Riley Rolls Over; a catch-up entry...

At a mere seven weeks and four days old, our little Riley rolled over from her belly to her back, much to her surprise!  Usually in the mornings when she wakes up, I bring her out to the living room floor mat and we do stretching and some tummy time because she's fairly content and relaxed and quite playful.  This morning, we were moving slowly, so Tay was also awake and Tita Beth had already arrived at the house.  I placed her on her tummy on the mat to see if she'd reach for some toys we had set in front of her, and after doing a little mini-push-up and holding her head and shoulders up a while, she suddenly rolled onto her back going to the right.  She looked so surprised and we were all so surprised that we yelped with joy and laughter (which I'm sure startled the little one even more).  Anyhow, we wanted to see if it was just a mistake, so I placed her once again on her belly, and less than two seconds later, there she went, rolling immediately to her right and startling herself again and flailing on her back.  :)  We decided to let her try again, so she went on her tummy again, and with a few more grunts this time, she flipped herself right over onto her back once again.  YAY!  :)  Perhaps tomorrow morning, I can get it on video...

I feel awful that this is my first posting on Riley since she has been born, but life is much more hectic with two little girls to entertain than it was with one.  As for milestones, the rolling over one is probably the first really big milestone for her, but she has already passed many of the smaller ones.  She has been lifting her head when lying on her tummy since birth, almost...whenever I'd put her on my stomach as I lay on my back, she'd lift her head to look at my face.  She studies faces like they are the most interesting things on Earth...especially new faces.  She always turns toward the sound of her big sister...:)  She smiles and coos a lot in the morning and after every nap when she's at her happiest.  She chuckls in her sleep...which I personally find hilarious...when she's dreaming, you can actually hear her go "hm-hm-hm-hm-hm" with a huge smile on her face.  She hasn't actually done that awake yet, but I think she's going to have a great sense of humor much like her big sister.  Around five weeks, she noticed her hand for the first time and stared at it for a while before hitting herself in the eye with it.  Then, she didn't know what to do, so she got all upset and made sad faces until I picked her up.  Earlier this week, I had laid her in her little floor mat gym and she stared intently at the hanging toys for a while with her hands by her side, then suddenly, she swung her right hand up and batted one of the toys!  When she did that, her eyes got really big and both her arms and legs started flailing, but she didn't do much more coordinated hitting after that...mostly accidental batting, I think.  She smiles a lot at any face that's smiling at her, including stuffed animals and dolls. 

I have a feeling she's going to be as talkative as her big sister because she'll gurgle and coo at anyone who's talking to her, but especially her big sister.  She really enjoys the interaction and will spend quite a long time just lying on the mat as long as someone is talking to her and listening to her.  She's generally a very happy baby and also a very good sleeper.  Her hardest time is between 6 and 8pm when she's most cranky.  Our nightly routine now is she gets a bath while her big sister is getting a bath, then a nice little massage and swaddling, nursing, then put down for sleep...usually by 7:30.  Then she'll sleep until three or four in the morning!  Last night, she slept until 5:15 in the morning and woke up STARVING!  :)  She's been doing that for a couple weeks now makes my life so much easier.  :)  If by chance she doesn't get a bath, though, she definitely wakes up many more times in the night.  I think the bath relaxes her and she sleeps so much better.  Her big sister was much like that as well, and I had a good sleeper until around 4 months when she started waking up more frequently in the middle of the night...I attribute it to a growth spurt...perhaps it will be the same with this one, too. 

Speaking of growth, Riley's growing like a weed!  Her birth weight was 3.47 kgs (7lbs, 10oz), her one week weight was 3.85 kgs (8lbs, 8oz), and her one month weight was 5.2 kgs (11lbs, 7oz)!  I have her two-month appointment scheduled for the 18th, so we'll see how much she weighs then, and perhaps they'll do a length measurement, too.  She looks fairly long now, as opposed to when she was first born and she was just this tiny, curled-up bundle.  I'm thankful that I am able to breastfeed and that it is plenty for my little one because it is just so much easier than having to prepare and warm bottles and such, but I must admit, pumping is not my favorite thing in the world...

Going back to work full time in a short six weeks after delivery has been a rough adjustment.  Work has been very lenient with my pumping and feeding schedule, so I am able to go home at lunch time every day and pump twice/three times a day.  I don't really like having to pump in the bathroom - it's quite chilly and not the most comfortable environment - but luckily, my milk lets down pretty quickly and my quantity is going up since I nurse on demand when I'm home, so the routine is getting easier.  I think the first week back, I had some major tension headaches because of the stress of coming back to work and getting back into the swing of things while having to leave my little baby at home.  Luckily, the baby is not with a stranger and I know she's very well taken care of, so that part was a little easier than I thought it would be.

I can't complain about how things are going right now because it is only getting easier.  The girls are doing very well and are generally quite happy the way things are.  I'm getting accustomed to being at work again, although it's hard to focus on work when all I can think about are my babies back home.  I look forward to the holidays this year as a family of four...although it would be nice to be able to spend them with our extended family back in the States. 

How thankful I am for the life I lead...I truly cannot ask for more.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Second Labor Story

After about a week of recovery, I finally feel sane enough to right down my second labor story.  So here goes...

My mom arrived in Korea at 4:30 in the morning on the 19th of September.  Jeff went to pick her up and after they arrived home, we got cleaned up and mom, Tay, and I went to church while Jeff got caught up a bit on sleep.  The rest of that day was spent just catching up with mom and we made a run to E-Mart for some basics to fill the kitchen and prepare for after the delivery.  After the trip to E-Mart, I was exhausted, and when we got home, I felt a little cramping in my lower stomach, but nothing I thought that was worth noting or worrying about...

Later that evening, we had a nice dinner and my mom left for her sister's house because the next day, 20 September, was the anniversary of my grandmother's passing, so my aunt had rented a van to transport all the sisters down to Daejeon in the morning to visit the grave site.  Jeff and I put Tay down for the night around 8:30 and we actually went to bed around 9pm.

I was feeling a little anxious for some reason so I tossed and turned for a bit, but I eventually dozed off until I was awoken by a stronger-than-normal contraction.  I got up out of bed because I wanted to know what time it was only 9:30.  I didn't think I could fall back asleep right away, so I decided to check my email and facebook.  A short while later, I felt another one of the contractions, so I checked the time and it was 9:40.  No pain associated with the contractions, though, so I didn't think anything of it.  As I'm facebook-stalking my friends, I have another contraction...9:49.  Another one at 9:59.  Now I'm curious...could this be...early labor?  I Google early labor and continue timing the contractions.  They keep coming regularly at 9 to 10 minute intervals...still no pain.  Then they get a little closer...about 7 to 8 minutes apart.  Still no pain...but the Google findings are confirming that I am probably in early labor since the contractions are coming on regularly and getting progressively closer together and not going away when I "change positions" by walking around or sitting for a while or lying on my side.  I still haven't woken Jeff yet because I am still not convinced that I'm in labor...

Around 12:45, the contractions are coming about every five minutes now and I'm debating whether or not to wake Jeff up, so at 1am, I decide it might be time to wake up Jeff and let him know I might be in labor.  When I tell a very groggy Jeff, he almost leaps out of bed and says, "Let's go!" but I am not in a hurry because I'm still not convinced I'm really in labor.  There's still no real pain coming with the contractions, so I guess that's why I just had no sense of urgency...I hadn't gotten to the active labor part yet...perhaps.  I finally call my mom at 1:30am at my aunt's house and tell her we're probably going to head to the hospital soon to check if I am in labor and my mom says she'll meet us there...then she says she'll just come straight to our house and go with us to the hospital because I told her we were getting our bag ready to go and that it might be a bit before we actually get out of the house.  By 2am, Jeff and I are packed up and ready to go, but my mom hadn't arrived yet...and Jeff's now getting antsy, but I'm still pretty relaxed although my contractions are still coming every five minutes or so.  My mom finally arrives, we pick up Tay from her bed (who is still sleeping), we head to the hospital and arrive there at 2:30am.  On the drive over, Tay wakes up and she's wired...poor thing. 

We first walk into the Emergency Room (ER) because I'm not sure if there's anyone in Labor and Delivery (LD), but the staff in the ER direct me to LD.  We walk over to LD and there seems to be only a cleaning staff there and one of the ladies tells me to go on in (no children allowed).  We leave a wide-awake Tay with my mom and Jeff and I go in to find out what's going on with me.  When I tell them my contractions are coming about five minutes apart and not painful yet, they have me fill out a card and direct me to a tiny labor room.  They have me change and such to prep me and check me and tell Jeff to wait outside.  Disappointingly, no one is really friendly or smiling, which is bothersome since this should be a happy time...but since it was the middle of the night shift, I assumed they were just all really tired.  There were a few other women I could hear laboring, which was also a bit disturbing. 

Jeff came back in after I had changed into the hospital gown, so we waited some more for them to come and do a non-stress test and check my contractions.  Jeff went out again to check on how Tay and my mom were doing and he brought in all the bags so that my mom didn't have to watch Tay and keep an eye on our bags. 

With the monitor on, the contractions were showing that they were still coming every four to five minutes.  They checked my dilation and effacement and I was only about 30% effaced and 3cm dilated.  After about 30 minutes of the NST, they removed the contraction monitor and kept the heart rate monitor on for the baby.  By now it was past 4am and I was getting antsy and uncomfortable from just lying there.  I was also getting upset because I had wanted to tell Tay that everything would be okay and that I love her before I was stuck to a hospital bed.  I also thought she'd be able to be in the labor room with me for a bit before they had to leave, but they wouldn't let me go back out to see her because I was already dilated.  I guess that's the difference between a Korean and American hospital system...I was restricted to the bed entirely even though I still wasn't in any pain from my contractions.  Quite frustrating.  Anyhow, it was 7am now and Beth was on her way to the hospital to pick up Tay and I really missed her so I asked the nurse again if I could go see her and at least tell her good bye before she went with Beth for the day.  They finally said okay, but after their shift change!  Ugh...I was frustrated, but I said I'd wait and waited and waited and waited...until finally I called someone in it was someone new, so I knew shift change had happened (by now it was about 7:30 and Beth was already there, but I asked her to wait so I could see Tay before they left).  When I mentioned to the nurse that the previous shift nurse had told me I could go see her after shift change, the nurse said she had to check me first and that it was not recommended that I walk anywhere.  NOOOOOOOOO!!!!  I told her I HAD to go see my daughter and that I would be very very upset if I didn't get to, so when they checked me, I was still at 3cm dilated and just a bit more effaced.  So they finally said I could go see her so I got up and walked out (all of 20 yards or so) to see her in the waiting area and got to hug and kiss my sweet big girl...knowing that the next time I saw her, our relationship would change drastically...even though I would still love her all the same...::sigh::  It made me so sad to see her go...seeing her so grown up. 

After the brief meeting and farewell, Jeff took Tay and Beth home (where Tay finally fell asleep since she woke up at 2am) and Jeff went into work...for a bit.  It was about 7:45 by now. 

When I came back in, they checked my dilation once more and told me I was at 4cm now and almost 100% effaced.  A good sign!  They moved me into a "labor and delivery" room where they informed me I would be delivering there.  They also told me my labor was stalling (I was back to having contractions about every five minutes again), so they would be starting me on Pictocin to get things moving again.  I let Jeff know that they were going to start me on the drip so things may start moving quickly, so he started making his way back to the hospital.  Shortly after they started the drip, the contractions started coming back more frequently (no clock in front of my bed now, so I don't know how frequently) and I started to feel a little bit of pain along with each contraction.  I actually had to concentrate and breathe rhythmically to get through them.  Nothing worth yelling about, though.  Less than four or five of those times of contractions later, another nurse came and checked my progress and I was already 6cm dilated from the previous four!  Sweeeeeet.  Only concern was that since I had progressed that quickly, they were saying I'd probably be ready to push soon, but Jeff wasn't back yet!  Anyhow, the contractions continued to come on stronger, although I couldn't tell if they were coming on more frequently or anything.  A few more contractions later, they checked me again and I was at 8cm!  The room started to buzz with a few more nurses and they called the doctor to tell him I was almost ready so he should make his way down.  The nurse also broke my water (I think) when she last checked me to keep things moving (or else my water broke naturally while she was checking me, but whatever) and after that happened, the contractions were significantly stronger and definitely painful...but still not nearly as painful as I could recall from my first labor.  They told me to roll over on my side to help things move along (and reduce my back labor!) so when I did that, MAN, the contractions were much more painful, but still manageable with controlled breathing...and shortly after that, I felt Jeff's hand on my shoulder to tell me he was here.  I guess that was Riley's cue, too, because I had that sudden sensation that I really really needed to push really soon!  I started to say, "I need to push, I need to push!" but apparently no one understood me except Jeff and my mom...and of course, my mom runs to one of the nurses and tells her that I was ready to ENGLISH.  :)  Hehehe...not so funny at the time, but funny now that I think about it.  Anyhow, eventually they got the message that I was ready to push and they told me not to push too hard because they didn't want me to tear.  One of the nurses coached me through the breathing so I wouldn't push too hard and soon everyone was ready to receive the baby and I was ready to push her out of me.  I'll spare any further details, but after only about five or six times pushing, Shinah Riley Ryals entered the world at 9:08am.  A healthy 3.47 kgs (7 lbs, 10 oz.) little girl born at 38 weeks + 5 days and a whopping 19.5 inches...a whole inch shorter than Tay was when she was born and almost a whole pound lighter than Tay. 

As they're discussing various things about the baby and such, one of the nurses asked if I had registered for cord banking and someone responded "No" and oddly enough, I was lucid enough to speak up and say, "YES I DID!" and they came over to me and asked me if I had any paperwork, and luckily...I had all of it, including the receipt of when I paid for it all together in my hospital bag that I had packed!  HA!  If this had happened with Tay, I definitely would not have been lucid enough to catch the conversation, much less remember that I had all the paperwork in my bag.  They brought the bag over to me and I fished out the paperwork and they banked the cord blood right away.  We didn't bank Tay's cord blood, but we did decide to do it this time...just on the off chance that we may need it someday.  Hopefully not.  

Unlike when I had Tay, they wrapped the little bundle up and handed her to me to hold while the nurses were massaging my abdomen so that Riley could get familiar with my scent before they took her to the nursery to be examined, cleaned, etc...I'm not sure where Jeff and my mom went (perhaps with Riley) but the nurses covered me in a super-warm blanket after the doctor left and I was left in the dimmed room to rest and recover for a bit before they moved me to the recovery room in a whole different wing.  I also had to remind the nurses again that we wanted to room in with Riley instead of leaving her in the nursery so they would bring her up to the recovery room as soon as she was ready. 

All in all, this hospital experience was much worse than my first time around with Tay, but the labor and delivery was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much easier...and I felt lucid the entire time.  I never felt out of control and I can clearly remember the entire event with no negative feelings about it.  I have no negative feelings about my labor with Tay, but I also can't remember exactly what happened toward the end when I actually started having the stronger contractions.  I guess maybe because my body had experienced it before, it was more ready to take it on and my tolerance for pain had grown significantly.  I didn't even need to let out a yelp.  Jeff likes to remind me that I yelled at him quite a bit in Korean during my first labor.  I don't recall any of that. 

Anyhow, that is my second labor story, and it was surprisingly pleasant for me.  The recovery story will come at a later time.  :)

Welcome to our family, Shinah Riley.  :)  We're so glad to have you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 38/39 Doc Visit

Well, this morning's visit to the doctor's office was none too exciting, but it was lengthy.  I had the usual ultrasound to check the size of the baby, then had my consult, then a chest x-ray and EKG.  Riley's growing like a weed in there because she's already measuring 3.5 kgs (7.7 lbs!!!), but the doc assured me that babies usually weigh a little less than the measurement on the ultrasound.  That still means she's going to be over seven pounds, which is fine, but I still have two weeks to go according to the calendar!  How much more is she going to grow? 

At least the no-later-than date is now set - the induction is scheduled for the 29th of September if she doesn't come out on her own before that she doesn't get too big and get stuck.  I guess I need to start powerwalking everywhere to make sure she comes out before then...I'd rather try and avoid the induction this time around, but there is something nice about knowing when her ultimate due date is...I guess. 

Other than that, Riley's growing strong and running out of room in there.  I'll get the results from my x-ray and EKG next week at my next appointment.  I know most hospitals do the cervix check and such around this time to see if I'm effaced or dilated at all, but they haven't done that and doesn't look like they'll be doing that in the next week or two, so I guess it'll just be when she comes she'll come.  I do have another NST (non-stress test) scheduled for next week's appointment; I had one of those two weeks ago as well and she's definitely doing just fine.  She was asleep for the first ten minutes of the test, so they came and buzzed her so she'd move around, and she definitely didn't like that so she got active and kicked around quite a bit for the next twenty minutes.  We'll see how she does next week.

Insomnia has really been kicking my behind the past week and it doesn't seem to be getting much better.  The frequent bathroom trips don't help, but it's not the primary cause...I just have very very busy dreams where I'm just busy doing every day stuff from work to taking care of household chores to caring for Tay, so when I finally wake up, it feels like I haven't slept at all!  The constant exhaustion is really making me cranky throughout the day, which I'm sure is wearing on Jeff and how do I break this cycle?  I feel like I got no rest this weekend, and it was supposed to be relaxing!  Ah well...even taking naps during the day just don't seem to help much anymore.  Perhaps this is the way my body is trying to prepare me for having a newborn in the house again...getting my body used to the lack of good "rest?"  At least then I'll have a cuddly newborn to love on with a sweetheart of a big sister to help me out...and no work to think least for six weeks?  Maybe I should just start my maternity leave next week...::sigh::

Mom gets here on the 19th and Chuseok is on the 22nd...I'm hoping the little one comes on the 23rd.  Others are betting earlier.  I'm still hoping the 23rd.  Riley, come on the 23rd, yes?  Please?  :)

Hoping for a good next week...and a safe and happy delivery after my mom gets here!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The last month...

I now have just about one month left before our second angel joins our family.  I don't know what it is that I feel about the pregnancy right now, but a strange sense of calm and happiness has settled over me, so perhaps serenity is the best word to describe it.  For most of the pregnancy, I think I was feeling anxiety and some guilt about brining this new life into our seemingly perfect three-person family life, but now as the time draws closer to meet little Riley, I'm happy and feel ready to take on the task of mothering a newborn again with enough love to spare for my still beautiful and ever-needy-yet-independent Tay.  I feel bad for those people who always comment that Tay will become old news once the new baby is born because I think I will be even more amazed and loving toward her because of her new role as a big sister, and I fully believe that she will embrace that role with enthusiasm.  Of course, I expect the natural jealousy and moments of frustration she will feel when I, or others, have to be preoccupied because of the newborn, but I feel I will be able to help her feel loved enough for her not to feel threatened.  Not because I think I'm some super-mom or have any special skills on mothering...just because I know that Tay has an enormous heart and my love for her is so overwhelming that I can't fathom feeling any other way toward matter what.  It's a great sort of feeling that has settled over me, and I hope it carries through the rest of the time I have left being pregnant and through the birth and thereafter. 

As for my physical well-being, I can't say it's quite as happy as my mental state.  My lower back is aching all day, especially first thing in the morning when I get out of bed, and of course, by the late evening when the day's activities are wearing me down.  It feels like little Riley is starting to move down already, which puts a little more pressure on my lower nerves and of course my bladder...which results in more frequent trips to the restroom.  I don't mind those as much, but I don't like the wake-up calls in the middle of the night feeling like I'm about to wet myself if I don't hurry up and get to the bathroom.  Also, when pregnant the first time I didn't have any reccurance of nausea once my third trimester hit, but now I'm feeling that slight queasy feeling again; thankfully not as severely as the first trimester.  I am significantly more tired this trimester than I was in my second trimester, but I know it's because I'm wearing myself out trying to keep Tay busy and entertained after work.  Keeping active has also given me much more energy, though, so I think the tiredness during the day is worth having more energy in the evening to spend with her.  I have started to battle the "waddle," as my natural gait starts to widen to make room for my ever-dropping baby belly, but I think part of it has to do with the fact that I don't like the way my inner thighs rub together in this sweaty heat.  Waddling reduces the friction...ugh.  Sleeping is also a little less comfortable now because when I lie down, breathing gets to be more difficult until I get my belly situated "just-so" on one side or the other, so every time I wake up to roll over (or go to the bathroom), I have to resituate myself into a comfortable position to fall back asleep.  My insomnia seems to have passed, but I still feel like I'm losing quite a lot of sleep because of all the time spent waking up in the middle of the night with visits to the bathroom and rolling over.  And of course, I can't forget Mr. Sciatic Nerve as it continues to cramp my behind's style and Mr. Leg Cramps as it wakes me up in a jerking motion trying to get the cramp out before it really locks me up.  I don't remember being so whiney about all the physical pains of pregnancy during my first pregnancy, but just all seems so much worse this time around.  I think I just got lucky and had it super easy my first time, so I'm paying for it this time around...:P  Can't REALLY complain, though...I still have it pretty easy compared to some of my poor pregnant friends who are on bed rest or have morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy.  I feel for you guys...

Last, but not least, I've been doing a lot of reading about doulas lately and now am considering hiring one for my birth.  It seems there are quite a few options here in Korea for doulas, and although I feel a lot less anxious about this labor/delivery than the first time around, I have this feeling that I experienced my first labor/delivery sort of haphazardly.  I think after Jeff gets back from this exercise, we'll chat about it and see what he thinks and maybe we'll chat with one or two ladies to see how we feel.  Anyone have any experience with doulas here in Korea wanna share?  :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vacation, Hiccups, and a little more...

Vacationing while pregnant has its perks and its disadvantages.  The obvious disadvantages are the discomforts of travelling by any mode of transportation for any given amount of time; dietary changes that may or may not impact your digestive tract; not being able to sleep in your own bed; and just being out of sync because you're out of your routine. 

Some of the perks are pretty sweet, though.  Like...being able to eat whatever dessert you want without feeling guilty (although I still did because I knew my doc in Korea would pass out at my weight gain when I got back); no work to think about (!!!!!!); napping in the middle of the day with my big girl...every day; seeing FAMILY; catching up with friends; and I think I have to admit that jet lag on vacation is actually a perk for pregnant women because now we really have an excuse to sleep all day and sleep all night...and so much more.

Moving on...

Another part of being on vacation is that I get lazy.  I haven't decided if that's a perk or a disadvantage because part of vacation is supposed to be enjoyable because you get to be lazy...right?  Anyhow, when pregnant, you must be vigilant about certain things, like taking your prenatal vitamins, and recording special developments with the little baby growing inside of you as if she were your first.  I can't say I've been as dilligent about writing about this pregnancy as I did with Tay, but I think circumstances are a little different right now, too...I'm still working full time at the tail end of this pregnancy, I've got a toddler who's quite interesting to say the least, and some things I guess are just not as novel the second time around. 

I was going back and reading through some of my pregnancy experiences with Tay, and noticed that I recorded the very first time I felt her hiccupping inside of me and how excited I was (and how hilarious I found it) to know what it was.  Well, I can't equate the experience of my first hiccups with little Riley to Tay's first hiccups, but I did record it and it was memorable.  Riley had her first hiccups on July 14th and 4:45am and it woke me up because she was hiccupping right by my bladder.  The first thought that actually crossed my mind when I realized she was hiccuping:  "Thank goodness, she's now in the head-down position."  Is that odd?  I guess I was a little more concerned with the possibility of her being breech than I thought I was. 

I did get asked if I was carrying twins a couple times, but I decided not to get offended because some people just aren't used to seeing pregnant  At least while I was in the states, I had more people tell me that I looked small for being so far along instead of the constant "you're so huge" comments I received  here in Korea. 

Once we got back to Korea, though, the jet lag is kicking my butt since I actually have to be awake during the day because of work, but Tay doesn't want to sleep past 2am...ugh.  It's been a rough few days, but she's slowly starting to sleep a little this morning, she woke up at 3:45 instead of 2am and stayed in bed until at least 5:15...

I also had my doctor's appointment after I got back and luckily, the doctor didn't fall out of her chair when she saw my weight (although she did gasp in disgust).  Little Riley is quite healthy and developing and growing at a rapid rate.  She is still in the head-down position and looks to be stuck there for the time being.  According to the measurements, she's looking like she's already over four pounds...let's hope she doesn't double in weight between now and when she wants to come out, but if she does, then I'll just have another healthy big baby girl.  :)

I transfer over to Cha hospital now so my next visit will be with Dr. Cha on the 16th of August.  Looking forward to getting to that finish line, but am in no rush to get there.  We'll just take it one day at a time and enjoy my last couple months with Riley's ever-growing big sister Tay as an only child. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

No Phone Call Yet...

Well, so far, I've received no phone call regarding my glucose screening, which might mean good news that I am not gestationaly diebetic.  It's been almost a week, and usually they call within the week if anything is wrong.  We'll wait a few more days before the final determination. 

The doctor's visit last Tuesday went about as expected.  They told me I was gaining too much weight and told me I needed to go on a diet.  Eh.  Luckily, I am somewhat numbed to them saying it now, so it didn't have the effect it did the first few times.  :P  The baby has grown quite a bit since my last visit, too, though, so it's not just all me!  Anyhow, I'm now sitting around 27 weeks according to the size of the baby, and they said it's about time for me to start doing exercises to make the baby turn.  She's sitting in a breech position right now with her head snuggled up near my rib cage and constantly kicking my bladder.  It's so strange to have so much information this pregnancy.  I wouldn't have known if Tay was in a breech or otherwise position until at least week 36 or so...and probably wouldn't have worried about it.  Now I'm doing daily exercises already to get this little one to turn...but I think there's still too much room in there for her to stay in the head-down position.  A few times after the exercises, I'll feel her kicking up in my rib cage and think, oh, she's turned, but then later on that day, she'll be right back down by my bladder kicking away.  Maybe I should just wait a few more weeks before trying to get her the mean time, she seems to be just fine rolling around in there however she feels like rolling.

I've also tried adjusting my diet a little, mostly snacking on grape/cherry tomatoes - my latest "craving" persay.  It's hard trying to eat only healthy alternatives...for me, I think it's mostly portion control that I have issues with...and preventing myself from eating whatever is available at the time...

In other symptomatic news, I have had minor bloody noses for the past three or four days in the morning.  I think it's because our air conditioner finally works in the bedroom, so it's drying out my nasal passages, but I am sleeping a whole lot better since I'm not it worth the tradeoff?  Perhaps.  My lower back is also bothering me quite a bit, but I think that is mostly due to my sciatic nerve and carrying around Tay everywhere.  She doesn't feel heavy to me, but I can feel the ache in my lower back after I've carried her for a while and set her down. 

Another thing that has been on my mind lately is what Saint's name to give to little Riley since she will be baptized in the Catholic church shortly after she is born.  I'm hoping that she will be able to be baptized while my parents are still here visiting after her birth.  Some of my favorites with the September month association are Seraphia and Teresa, while Sophia is also one I like.  Also, who can we ask to be a God-parent for her?  Religion is increasingly important for me these days...I'm not exactly sure why...but I just feel the need for God's presence in our lives, and I want to raise our children with an awareness and understanding of God and His love for us. 

Oooo...another improvement from last week is that my crazy sweets craving has subsided, mostly, so I'm not craving chocolate every minute of every day.   :)  I am satisfied with a piece of fruit or even a cherry tomato!  Thank goodness.  Maybe I can finally get this weight under control...ha ha...

Anyway, I got my fit-to-fly memorandum for our vacation!  We fly on Saturday so I'm hoping for the best.  I never flew so far into my pregnancy last time around, so this should be interesting.  I hear I should walk a lot to prevent clots and swelling...I'll see what I can do.  Also...will they let pregnant women take snacks on board?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pregnant Beauty

Never during my first pregnancy did I ever think my pregnant body was...too fat or too ugly or too anything...except perfect.  I can't say that I didn't have any of the typical pregnancy symptoms like breakouts and fat rolls and funny skin color changes, but NEVER have I ever felt "unattractive" because I knew my body was growing a beautiful human being inside of me and that she was healthy and I was healthy.  It didn't matter that I gained weight every second I breathed and it didn't matter that I didn't stay under the recommended weight gain for a "healthy" pregnant woman...I still felt BEAUTIFUL and happy with my physical body...literally the entire pregnancy.  I might not have been emotionally stable throughout it, much like this current pregnancy, but the emotional instability was more focused on what I was going to be doing in the future, what kind of mom I was going to be, if I'd be a good mom, etc.  Not about my body image. 

This pregnancy, I think  90% of my stress is coming from how "fat" I'm getting and how much I weigh.  I stepped on the scale yesterday, to psychologically try and prepare myself for my next doctor's appointment tomorrow, and nearly fell over in shock at the number on the scale.  Honestly, I probably weighed more than that with the first pregnancy at 25/26 weeks, but all I could hear in my head was, YOU ARE GAINING TOO MUCH WEIGHT, YOU ARE OVER OBESE, YOU NEED TO STOP EATING...

I keep telling myself I'll adjust my diet, eat less, no more sweets, etc...but constantly worrying about my weight is actually making me crave the sweets and unhealthy foods that I need to be avoiding!  Why do I do this???

I don't feel "unhealthy."  I did just jog a 5K fun run in 40 minutes and 45 seconds and felt fine (my leg muscles were sore for a couple days after).  I do walk fairly frequently, although not the recommended three hours a day from my doctor.  I never charted my weight gain the first time around, but for this pregnancy, I have been keeping track, somewhat, but not religiously like my doctor recommended (to ensure I gain only 11 pounds this prengancy, ha!).  Sadly to say, I have already burst the bubble on those recommended eleven pounds, but I'm happy to report that I have been steadily gaining one to two pounds (most weeks, two pounds) throughout this second trimester.  My understanding is that is an okay weight gain for someone who was in the normal weight range before I got pregnant.  According to my current doctor, though, I started out my pregnancy as an obese person, so I was not supposed to gain the "normal" amount of weight for this pregnancy.  Blah blah I weighed more than 100 pounds when I got pregnant.  I'm not the "typical" Korean woman.  Give me a break.

This next doctor's appointment will be my last with this doctor.  I'll be transferring to the hospital where I am planning on having little Riley - the same hospital where I had Tay.  And I'll even have the same doctor if everything goes as planned.  Maybe they'll give me a break about my weight and just be happy for me that the little life growing inside of me is healthy and strong and that she will be just as lovely when she's born as my first angel was...:)

Tomorrow is my glucose screening...yay.  More to follow after the test.  Hopefully I'll have a better self-image by then...:P

Monday, June 7, 2010

There have been a lot of thinking on my part about this pregnancy, but I haven't had the time or motivation to write it all down, so here I am trying to capture some of my thoughts after about a month's hiatus. 

I am now around 24 weeks pregnant and feeling pretty good.  Mostly I am tired from lack of sleep, but usually my pregnancy sleepiness hits around 1:30 or 2 and really makes me tired so I like taking a nap around then for an hour or two (or three...if I can get away with it). 

As for some other symptoms, I have recently started having lower back pain and some of it I'm sure has to do with me carrying around Tay all the time still (she's now around 32 pounds!) but some of it is definitely sciatica pain that comes with pregnancy.  I had some of it with Tay, too, so it's a familiar kind of pain...ugh.  My hands and feet are also now constantly hot...which doesn't help at all now that the weather's also getting extremely hot, day and night.  The fact that our AC units in our new apartment aren't functioning well also doesn't help...especially when I try to sleep at night.  People have started saying that I just have this great pregnancy glow these past few days, but I think they are just mistaking my constantly sweaty skin for the "glow"...or maybe they're just trying to be nice.  I am showing significantly in my belly, of course, and there also has been quite a bit of growth in my behind and cheeks as well.  Welcome back, chipmunk cheeks.  Will there be photos?  Maybe.  I haven't decided.  I probably ought to get some taken of the belly at least for posterity.  I feel huge already, and I am not looking forward to getting even more huge as the summer progresses, but what I AM looking forward to is seeing all my family in a few weeks at Calloway Gardens!  I'm sure I'll be sweltering there, too, but at least I will just be relaxing and spending some fun time with family and friends on wonderful-looking resort grounds...:)  Another thing I'm looking forward to...finding and buying some summer maternity clothes!  There just isn't much selection here, and all my maternity clothes from when I was big with Tay are winter clothes since I had her in March! 

Ah, another big development in the pregnancy is that we have decided on this little angel's name:  Shinah Riley Ryals!  Jeff and I had been talking about possible names for her for a while, and we finally agreed on Shinah, which means "beautiful faith" in Korean, and it is like her big sister's name in that Tay's first name is Shingil, which means "a path to faith" in Korean.  Her middle name is just a name we had always both liked and we had contemplated between the names Riley and Raegan before choosing Riley.  I'm not sure if it's normal to announce the decision of a baby's name already, but we did the same with Tay, so here it is.  She will be called Shinah Riley Ryals. 

Riley is quite the active one.  We can already see her wiggling, jiggling, and kicking around in my belly...enough that you can see it from the outside.  Tay felt her kick for the first time and now she refers to my belly as "the baby."  She seems to be most active at night time right before I go to sleep, which doesn't help me fall asleep, but it's a nice way to drift off to sleep as I feel her kicking around in there.  She doesn't seem to have a regular awake and sleeping period like Tay did, though, because most of her movement is sporadically throughout the day.  She'll be really still for a bit, and then she'll be really active for about 10-15 minutes.  Sometimes her movements will go on for almost an hour, at which point it feels like my insides have become all jumbled and I get a little nauseous...:) 

My eating habits have not improved...I am trying to curb my appetite, but all I crave these days are sweets...and anything chocolate.  Disturbing.  I did have a hankering for watermelon, to which Jeff brought home a huge DELICIOUS watermelon.  We've eaten half of it (perfect for this stifling weather, too!) and I imagine I'll prep the rest of it for eating tonight.  I have also loved the taste and smell of cumin and chili powder as well as any and all kinds of salsa, so Mexican/southwestern dishes have been my foods of choice lately.  Luckily, I found a GREAT and easy recipe on for Southwestern pulled brisket, which I've already made two weeks in a row.  Guess what's for dinner tonight?  :)  What I love best about it is that the prep takes about 20-30 minutes, and then you throw it all in a slow cooker for 8-10 hours (I usually do this overnight or prep it first thing in the morning) and dinner is ready for two-three days!  The delicious smell that fills our house as it cooks is just...::sigh::...I love it...and so does the rest of the family, including Tay and Riley.  Looks like it will be a staple at my house for a while. 

My next doc appointment is scheduled for 15 June, and it will be for  my glucose screening.  Not looking forward to drinking the orange stuff, but hopefully all will be well and I will not be gestationally diebetic. 

Ah, another thing to note that I didn't mention before is that I tried Zumba for the first time a couple weeks ago!  It was a GREAT class and I felt absolutely ridiculous (mainly because I'm not super coordinated) and because gyrating hips and I don't get along so well, especially in public in front of giant mirrors...and with a giant belly. provide much amusement, though, for me and everyone else in the room, I'm sure.  :)  Definitely want to go back, but need to find a class time I can make on a regular basis...I will definitely try and make that part of my post-baby routine, though - awesome workout. 

I'm still debating whether or not I should merge this blog with the currently blog I keep for Tay...I like the separate blogs for now, and I think the entries may get too long if I merge them, but maybe in the future, I'll merge them to simplify...we'll see.  If I feel motivated, I'll post some pictures of the bump and some of the ultrasound pics. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Excitement for More Pink!

Today's doctor's appointment was much anticipated since it was the full ultrasound where they would officially tell us if the little one was going to be a girl or a boy.  Jeff even came with me this morning to ensure he heard (or saw) the same thing I did.  After the routine stuff at the beginning, we went in for the ultrasound.  Well, the start was quite...tedious, but good to hear that the baby was growing well in there.  After all the official measurements and listening to the heart beat (beating at a rapid 154 bpm), the tech ended the viewing without any comment on the gender!  Well, I casually mentioned to her that Jeff had actually come along specifically to find out the gender, so she sat me back down and we took a quick look...and she showed us...definitely girl!  :)

Jeff and I are so excited that Tay's going to have a little sister!  I'm so excited to meet the little personality growing inside me!  Half way through and half way to go...can't hardly wait.

I wonder how similar and different she will be from Tay.  Looking forward to getting to know her that I can call her my little girl...:)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

First movement!

While we were in Bali from 15-21 April, I felt the little one inside me move for the first time!  It was that sweet little fluttering sensation that was undeniably the little one making itself known.  Now that the first fetal movement has been felt, I can feel the little one kicking away and pushing to make room inside every day!  Quite an amazing feeling and makes me smile every time...:)

Monday, April 5, 2010

15 Weeks...

Well, here I am sitting at 15 weeks along, and I've got a doctor's appointment this Wednesday.  Holy week went by in a blur, and I am hoping that all those  hours singing and not sleeping hasn't taken a toll on my little one growing inside.  I have not rested as I should these past few weeks, but I think it has to do with the fact that I'm feeling much better now that I am out of the first trimester.  The "morning sickness" and the strange salivating has subsided, and although when I eat certain foods, I still get a little queasy, I feel pretty good most of the time.  I also have been so busy, I haven't had much opportunity to feel tired, except in the morning after a busy busy evening. 

My belly is definitely starting to show, and it's particularly noticeable after I eat a large meal.  At the end of the day as I'm getting Tay ready for a bath, she and I can stand next to each other and her little toddler belly and mine are quite similar...:)  Depending on what I'm wearing, it can still look like I'm just putting on some weight as opposed to actually being pregnant, but I think it's pretty obvious that I'm pregnant...and I look forward to it being more pronounced in the next few weeks. 

It's funny how different this pregnancy is from the first.  Mostly, the difference, I think, has to do with the foods I'm interested in eating.  I feel like I ate a lot of salmon (or fish, in general) and fruit when I was pregnant with Tay, but with this one, most of what I'm craving is salad and spicy foods.  I've also craved naeng-myun, made spicy with the mustard.  I can also eat and enjoy eggs (like poached eggs), whereas when I was pregnant with Tay, I couldn't even stand the sight of eggs, particularly scrambled eggs! 

As for my health, I know I was sick with a cold at the very beginning of the pregnancy with Tay, and I was also pretty sick this time around, too, but it was a much more aggressive sickness, but short-lived.  Thankfully.  I'm a little concerned now, though, because it seems after last week's over-exhaustion, I have caught another bug that's giving me quite the discomfort with nasal stuffiness, coughing, and sneezing.  I hope it doesn't progress much worse than it is now...definitely do not want to go through what I did with the first cold in the first trimester.  Ugh.

I think this go around, my stomach is just a lot more "ready" to flip inside-out as opposed to the first's strange, but even the slightest gagging sensation will result in a full-on gag session or throwing up.  It's rather unpleasant, and I'm hoping all of that is gone, but even so, I accidentally gagged myself brushing my teeth one morning and I spent about a minute gagging in the sink with nothing in my stomach but acid.  Just not pleasant...I really don't like that super-watery-mouth feeling when it thinks you're going to throw up, but you're hoping you won't, so you just breathe and pant trying to keep it down, but your mouth is just producing saliva like crazy.  Wow, that was a long sentence that probably doesn't make sense to anyone else but me...ah well...

I wonder if they'll be able to tell the gender of you at this next visit.  I really really really hope so because I really really really want to know (and I know there are many others who want to know, too), but I have a feeling they'll tell me it's too early to tell.  I don't know why I'm so very curious this time around, but it's definitely something that's in the forefront of my mind about you lately.  It's hard, I think, to really start talking to you and addressing you like my own little baby until I can picture you as a little boy or girl.  My guess flip-flops regularly, but something tells me you might be a boy.  Maybe it's because I feel like I'm getting a little hairier than I think I normally am...maybe it's because of the gender predictor kit...who knows.  No matter what, I'll love you and you've already got two other built-in people who will love you as much as I do. 

You have also got the most caring and loving little sister...if you could only see how she is around other children...and her strong belief in the need for fairness in life...her loving actions to protect those who are smaller than her...her willingness to help's beautiful and you are a luckly little one to have such a loving big sister.  I looking forward to the day you get to meet her.  :)  She will love you...very much.

I'm really looking forward to the Wednesday appointment.  Let's hope you're doing well, even though I am a bit under the weather...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gender Predictor Kit!

Well, my impatience in finding out the gender of this little one growing in my belly got so out of hand that I ordered an Intelligender Predictor Kit from  I first heard about it from my friend Sarah who had her little baby in the earliest part of this year, so I was intrigued to try it now as well.  Obviously it's not 100% accurate, but it wasn't too pricy and my curiosity won out, so I purchased one.  The test explains that you can take it from 10 weeks on, but when I hit 10 weeks, Jeff was still out of town, so I waited until now because I wanted a second opinion on the "color" of the sample.

You're supposed to use the first morning urine sample, so I happily collected that this morning (j/k) and followed their directions to include waiting 10 minutes before "reading" the color of the sample in the cup.  At 10 minutes, we both took a look at the color and I automatically said, DEFINITELY BOY, but then, Jeff had to confuse me and said there's a hint of orange in there (which could mean a girl).  So, Jeff's guessing girl and I'm guessing boy for now.

Who was fun to see what might come up anyway.  Of course, we'll not know for sure until we get the ultrasound (and of course that's not 100% either, but close enough), but for the time being, it's interesting (and a bit scary) to think I might have a little boy growing in in the world do I raise a little boy???

Part of me still thinks it's going to be a little girl...but maybe I'll be one of the 85% that the gender predictor kit predicted properly...:)

We'll see.  Just hope you're doing well in there, little one.

Week 12 down; on with week 13!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Welcome, 2nd Trimester!

Today is the day my second trimester begins, and it has started off GREAT! I got very good sleep last night and woke up relatively refreshed this morning. For the first morning in a long time, I didn't feel nauseous, and I had this new energy to get ready for the day. Tay was surprisingly cooperative this morning getting ready, so we got some snacks for the day and we headed out the door with no fuss (minus a bit of jacket battle) and we were on the road before 8am! Amazing! I don't think I've done that for at least the past two months!

This might be sign of good things to come this trimester, and I definitely look forward to getting to know the little one growing inside of me a little better this trimester...


Thursday, March 11, 2010

11/12 week Doc Appointment

Today was the 11/12 week doctor's appointment for the little one growing in my belly. It was actually quite an exciting visit because I got there about 30 minutes earlier than my scheduled appointment time by accident, so the technician decided to see me a little earlier so she could let me see the little one via sonogram/ultrasound a bit longer.

First, she did the official measurments like the Crown-rum length, which was 5.9 cm (which means the baby is approximately at 12/13 weeks gestation) and the Nuchal translucency, which was 1.0mm (a good sign because normal is less than 3mm). Then, she just showed me around in, the little one's face, arms and legs, some movement (I don't think it liked being pushed around in such a small space) and the spine. It was sitting with its head resting on its hand like the thinker, and it was sitting in a cross-legged position. :) Very cute...

And then...I got another special treat...she turned on the 3D ultrasound and showed me some amazing shots of the baby in 3D! Incredible that they could do that so early on in the pregnancy, but she didn't charge me any extra to see it! I felt so lucky...she even recorded some of the movement for me on a video clip and gave it to me on a disc, so when I figure out how to access it, I'll be sure to share...I know you all want to see. :) It's truly amazing, the capability these days. The little one's heart rate stayed pretty high at 158 beats per minute during this visit.

I keep wanting to call this little one a "she," and I think it's because I feel like it's a little girl in there, I guess we'll find out in a few more weeks, hopefully.

The doc says the baby's growing well and looking healthy, so my next visit will be another month from now. I hope between now and then, I lose the nausea and start gaining some energy, this cold and exhaustion is really...tiring! :)

It was very refreshing to see that the little one's growing so well in there, already looks pretty cramped, though, so maybe I should start wearing stretchier pants to give it more room...

I'm looking forward to the first fetal movement...:) yay...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Rough Couple of Days...

Well, I guess as the end of my first trimester is going to end with some bang because I caught a little cold and the last few days have been...let's just say...not pretty.

I remember having a cold when I was pregnant with Tay, but this cold was out of the ordinary in that for a whole day, I couldn't eat ANYTHING without it coming back out only minutes or hours later. It must have been a combination of the bug I had and morning sickness because Tay didn't have any of the "refusal of food" like I did...thank goodness for that. I mean, I couldn't eat anything - not crackers, not dried toast, not fruit, not ANYTHING. My stomach wasn't going to take it. My mom says it also might be due to some underlying stressing I'm feeling...and she may be right. Being pregnant, sick, and having a husband gone away on business is pretty stressful...I guess. At least Tay was as sweet as can be and tried her best not to stress me out...:)

Dear new little Angel,

I hope you aren't too hurt by all my sickness these past couple days...I did lose a few pounds, which my doctor might be happy about, but I can't seem to hold down any prenatal vitamins either, so I really need to eat better to ensure I'm getting you the vitamins and minerals you need! I want you to be as healthy as your big sister, you know. I look forward to seeing you in there on Thursday at our next appointment. Hope you are well...


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A turn for the better...

I think I've made a turn toward the good trimester this week concerning the nausea. Luckily, my constant nauseousness is passing and I'm feeling pretty good throughout the day. The fatigue is still sticking around, though, so I'm sleeping crazy hours at night it seems, but I am also waking every couple hours to make trips to the bathroom, so that's not helping the "rest" as a whole, I think.

I am now at 10 weeks and one day, according to the pregnancy calendar, and in less than two weeks, I'll have my next doctor's appointment. Perhaps by then, my little one will be moving around in there...

These next few weeks feel like they'll be very long with Jeff being gone to Daegu, but Tay is being sweet for the most part so it's still going smoothly. My belly already looks like I did when I was about five months pregnant with Tay, so I'm a little upset about that, but I guess that's expected of a second baby...or so they tell me. So far, I've put on 5 pounds, and according to Korean standards, that's WAY too much (over obese, apparently), but by American standards, I'm doing okay with a 3-5 pound gain in the first trimester.

So...when does my first trimester actually end, anyway? Some books and websites say at 10 weeks, and other say at 12 which is it?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

And again...the Midnight Sickness...

Ugh...I guess the midnight sickness is what is going to be the norm for this little one's pattern. I started getting that really nauseous feeling again around midnight, and I tried and tried to battle it off (I didn't eat anything, this time, though) by walking around and breathing deeply, but to no avail. I knew the only way I was going to feel better was by saying hello to the toilet, but I resisted for about 30 minutes before I reluctantly made my way over and said hello.

Since I had absolutely nothing in my stomach at the time, it was a rather unpleasant experience, albeit a little neater than the last go around; it's so unsatisfying when you feel like you need to ---- and all you end up doing is dry-heaving or spitting up stomach acid. Nasty stuff...

Exhaustion aside, I did feel better after all that, so I creeped to bed and slept until morning.

Considering I've been feeling pretty unattractive lately with the combination of not having enough time in the morning to shower before work and simply looking ragged all day, I did have a moment of feeling pretty again. I was on my way out the door after work when one of our co-workers stopped me in the hall and told me that one of our young KATUSA (Korean Augmentee to the US Army) Soldiers had a huge crush on me! She said that every day at mail delivery, he fights to get my mail so he can bring it to my desk! How cute...

Now I'm curious who it is because the delivery boy varies day by day, but who is the most frequent deliverer? I'll have to do some investigating. Hehehe...:) It's funny to be the object of someone's crush...especially as a pregnant woman. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Midnight sickness?

Well, I guess I can officially say I had my first bout of real "morning sickness" this weekend, but does it count if I got sick a bit past midnight???

We had all gone to bed, and I had my normal queasiness, but I figured it'd settle down once I went to sleep. Well, I did fall asleep, but around midnight, Tay woke up because she had to go pee-pee, so I got up with her to take her to the potty, but when I did, I felt a huge wave of nausea hit me. Luckily, I was able to hold it down, make it to the potty with her and back and laid her down to go back to sleep. After she fell back asleep, my nausea still hadn't gone away, so I decided to try and mitigate with some rice and Tabasco sauce (since it works so well during the day). Well, I got a few spoonfuls in when I felt that rush of saliva into my mouth like I was gonna ---- so I RAN to the bathroom and just made it to the toilet...and let's just say it wasn't pretty.

With a purged stomach and a burning throat from the Tabasco making its way back out, I brushed my teeth, sipped some cold water and laid back down to go to sleep. Thankfully, no more nausea that night...but let's just say, my throat was rather scratchy in the morning when I had to sing at Mass...::sigh::

I'm not sure what brought about the sudden violent nausea, but I'm glad it has passed in that short bout. I hope I don't have to do that again. I've only got a couple more weeks before my first trimester is complete...hopefully when I can say good bye to all the nausea, too. :)

Hope you're growing well in there, little one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tabasco, much?

Well, this week has been an interesting turn of events in that my craving for the spicy/salty/vinegary has seriously kicked in. It's not any food in particular, but Tabasco has become my best friend. I sprinkle a little of it on everything...everything...from rice and seaweed to fish to eggs to corn to spagetti...pretty much anything I feel like eating at the time needs a light sprinkling of the good stuff...who knew? I don't use too much because I don't want to risk the heartburn after, but I think I've controlled the amount of usage fairly well so far.

I definitely need to keep up my healthy eating, though, because today, I sort of neglected eating healthy throughout the day and by mid-afternoon, I was STRUGGLING...not only for energy, but with the nausea that comes with an uncomfortable stomach...ugh.

After a good meal for dinner, though, I feel much better now, and with a dash of Tabasco, I have quelled the nausea...yum.

Rest is now calling...after a brownie. :) Maybe Tabasco on brownie? Nah...Happy Fat Tuesday.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Doctor Visit

Yesterday, I went to my 7/8 week doc visit for a check up. I got another sonogram, but this time, instead of seeing just a little blip or the yolk sac, I could actually see the little person developing in there with a little head and even a little sprout of a leg. The tech also pointed out the umbilical cord and and again, the fluttering heart. Speaking of fluttering heart, the little one's heartrate during this visit was an extremely rapid 162 bpm!!! Does this mean that this little angel growing in my belly is bound to be another little girl??? :) Who knows! Quite possibly...

During this visit, they also drew some blood and urine for some routine testing. Something that sort of bothered me a bit was that the doctor told me I was gaining too much weight too fast already! Now, see here. I have put on maybe a pound so far...I don't think that's too much weight. And telling me I'm fat now isn't going to help me...and so the doc put me on this "low glycemic index" diet to "keep my insulin strong." They didn't tell me I was diebetic or anything, but basically told me that gaining too much weight was bad...but how do they know what's too much weight for me? Why was I not told this at all with my first pregnancy? Tay was healthy and so was I! I wasn't too thrilled with getting so big by the end, but all the weight came off pretty quickly and easily.

Now I'm stressed about my weight when I really shouldn't be, should I? I have to chart my weight every week and make sure I stay under the recommended weight or else restrict my eating??? Really???

I can't believe it.

I will adjust what I eat a bit to be in line with the recommendation, but I'm sorry...dieting will not be the focus of this pregnancy. I would rather not worry about that stress (although now it's at the forefront of my mind) of staying skinny and worry more about having a healthy pregnancy.

Anyhow, all that aside, it appears this little one is growing well and my next appointment is on 11 March. One month away. Must stay under weight...noooooooooooooo!!!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yay, more nausea...

It appears I am going to have more frequent days of nausea with this little one than I did with Tay. Today was one of those days where I just couldn't shake that queasy feeling all matter what I ate or drank, that gross feeling just stuck with me. I still didn't need to make a run to the bathroom, but it literally felt like I had motion sickness all day...rather unpleasant.

I am noticing I prefer the salty tastes to the sweet, but I did enjoy a dark chocolate cupcake (from today and it was fabulous. I also found that I can get worked up pretty easily (stressed out, that is), even when I really shouldn't. I feel like I am eating less healthy with this pregnancy than the first, but I honestly can't remember how or what I ate when I was pregnant with Tay, so I guess I can't really compare.

I'm so exhausted with this pregnancy, too. Just unbelieveably tired...I just want to take a nap all the time...just lie down and do nothing. But then...come nightfall, I can't sleep. It's like my clock's off or something. I wake up about four or five times a night just to check the time...and then when morning comes, it's so difficult to wake up and get moving.

Jeff's on a business trip this week, so it's just Tay and me...and we're doing okay, actually. I was a little worried that I might get fed up too quickly or lose my patience with her, but she's sweet as always and my patience runs deep when I'm with her's amazing what motherhood teaches and brings's truly a beautiful thing.

I'm just glad Tay went down without a fight tonight because I had a lot to get done tonight (like dishes and laundry) that I meant to do during the day (lunchtime), but I was just too exhausted that I just lay around and rested...::sigh::

Pregnancy is really kicking my butt this go around, but I am excited for my appointment on Thursday.

I think everything about pregnancy is about waiting...and waiting...and waiting...even before getting pregnant, it's waiting for that first positive pregnancy test...then it's the constant waiting for the next doc appointment, the next trimester, the first fetal movement, the wondering about the gender, the due date...etc...etc...etc...a constant state of WAITING.'s a good thing my patience my nausea...ugh.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I can't remember being quite so sleepless when I was pregnant with Tay, but I feel like I'm already losing so much sleep with this one. I wake up at least once or twice every night to go to the restroom, and at night, it's hard for me to fall asleep. But I am so exhausted all day! I think having all of these doctor's appointments in my first trimester are making this trimester just seem so much longer than before, but it is kinda nice in its own way. Like I was telling Jeff yesterday, we didn't get to hear our little Tay's heart beat or see her in a sonogram until we were 12 weeks and 3 days pregnant with her! That was our first doctor's appointment! This time, we found out we were pregnant with a sonogram! Amazing.

Another symptom of pregnancy I am having is indigestion...quite uncomfortable, I might add. I just need to be more aware of how much and what I'm eating, and to make sure I chew well so I don't feel like I have a brick sitting in my stomach for hours trying to digest. Last night, the flank steak I cooked was really good, but it sat in my stomach and just hurt for a while...ugh.

Definitely should eat more vegetables. And fruit.

I have another appointment on Thursday. I think that's when I get the first round of blood tests and hopefully will get to see the little one again to see how he/she's developing.

REALLY looking forward to hearing from my mom when she gets the Valentine's Day card...hehehehehe...

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Yesterday was a rough day for me. I think my failure to eat good food was a contributing factor, but at lunch time, I went home and laid down for a nap and woke up around 2pm feeling horribly nauseous and couldn't stand up without the room spinning. I just laid there and called in sick the rest of the day. When Jeff got home, he saw me still in my work clothes lying on my side on the couch, still nauseous and looking pale. He went to go pick up Shingil from Beth's as I still laid there...

I knew I needed to get moving or else I'd be lying there all night, so I worked up the energy to get up and start dinner. I shoved some rice crackers in my mouth to try and hold off the nausea and I made dinner for us. Luckily, once I got going, it was smooth sailing, and after eating, I felt much better.

I really should remember to eat constantly and eat healthy to keep the nausea at bay...I really never want another repeat of yesterday...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Morning Sickness...

Well, this morning was my first real bout of morning sickness, but I'm not sure it qualifies because I didn't actually have to say hello to the porceline...just a quick gag in the sink. The saliva gathering in my mouth non-stop is not helping the queasiness, but it is the same as the first. The thing is, it doesn't seem so far off, the 10-week I just have to survive.

I am definitely feeling the exhaustion, but I'm trying to keep up the good spirits to play with Tay and get things prepared for the little one's arrival. It's still a long way away, but it's nice to think about...

Maybe I should get a spit cup...ugh.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

First Real Doc Appointment

This morning was the first real doctor's appointment regarding the pregnancy.

All anxiety aside, the visit was great! I got to hear the baby's heart beat...beating at 109 bpm...which is much slower than when we heard Tay for the first time...she was beating at 156 bpm! The first thought that came to mind was that it could be a boy!

I also got to see how much larger the gestational sac had become and saw the little flickering heartbeat of the 2mm-long baby growing in there. Amazing...

Never had the chance to see Tay so it looks like this will be quite the experience. The early information adds a bit of anxiety to the whole pregnancy, though...with Tay, it was mostly just checking to see if she was growing okay and such, but in the earliest stages, I was mostly concerned with how sick I was going to get...not worrying about the clarity of the yolk sac or residual blood in my I'm worrying about those things, too!

Maybe those things are better not to know...but it's nice to see the little one already flickering in there...amazing.

Looking forward to getting to tell the family...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Patiently Waiting...

I guess the start of a pregnancy is mostly about waiting patiently...waiting for that first double line, waiting for that first doctor's appointment, waiting for the first signs and symptoms, waiting for that indicative bulge of a mother-in-waiting, waiting for that first movement...

I have been waiting a long 8 days for my real first doctor's appointment where they will tell me the viability of my little one that has attached itself in my womb. Tomorrow morning will be the check up day where they will tell me things are looking good or if I should prepare for something else. I have a good feeling about tomorrow, but there is always that little bit of anxiety, you know? With the first, I didn't get to see my little "bean" before she had already sprouted arms and legs and kicking frantically in my belly. It was the most amazing sight. I am glad that this go around, I am able to see her from her egg form stuck inside my womb like a little speck...but it does add some anxiety.

My waist has already started to expand and my clothes are already fitting tightly. This is not a good sign. The sensitivity of the nose has not gotten worse, but I do smell specific things very strongly...although it doesn't really affect me negatively. My starting weight with Tay was 140 and I almost hit 200 pounds with her, so I hope that doesn't happen again. My starting weight now is 138, so my target weight will be 170. Let's not shoot for 200 again...that was just not pleasant.

As for other symptoms, I think my hormones are definitely in flux because I have been very snappy and emotionally reactive to Jeff and Tay recently. Having Han here and all the issues going on with that have also been weighing on my mind, so that hasn't helped my emotional state. I haven't had any crying breakdowns or anything, but I am definitely getting my feelings hurt over small things...I need to relax and let it go.

It is already getting a bit harder to hold and carry Tay around. I think it's just the exhaustion that comes in early pregnancy...but man...she's around 30 pounds already, so how much longer will I be able to carry her around? I really need to read up on how to make her feel secure in our love so that she loves her soon-to-be little sibling...

I wonder if it will be a boy or a girl? I think a girl...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

First Symptom...

When we found out we were pregnant with Tay, I didn't have immediate symptoms of pregnancy...well, hardly any at all, actually, throughout the entire pregnancy. Just a couple mornings of serious nausea.

With the second angel, I've felt a bit queasy already, and when I went to choir practice today, the nausea picked up because I couldn't get this STRONG smell of jja jjang myun out of my nose, which was probably someone's dinner. I guess my sense of smell is actually going to be heightened for this pregnancy...this could be interesting.

The excitement about this pregnancy is building quickly...:) Each moment I think of you, I get a little bit happier. :) You're going to have the most wonderful big sister...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Well, well, well...we've done it again.

Over Christmas and new years, our family took a vacation to the states (VA and FL), and while on that vacation, we weren't thinking of trying for a second child...but it appears we have managed to do it again.

We got back from the states and I had been feeling a little funny because I had some spotting about three weeks after my last period, but didn't have anything more after a day or two. I had been breaking out like a teenager going through puberty again, too, which was quite annoying. I'm sure Jeff will tell you that I've been moody, too. Another indicator was that one day after a large meal, I patted my stomach and asked Shingil, "What's this?" and her immediate response was "BABY!" We had a good chuckle from that, but it didn't click then that I might remotely be pregnant. I had a scheduled appointment with an OB/GYN regarding my irregular periods in the previous months, so I went to that scheduled appointment...

When I got there, they decided to do a quick sonogram to determine where in my cycle I was since I had already spotted. Well...the technician looked at the screen for a while and then said to me, " weren't planning on being pregnant, were you?" I told her we weren't "trying" but we weren't "not trying" either and that it would be a good thing if we were pregnant. She said, "It looks like you're pregnant!" She then showed me a printout of the little egg sac in my uterus that just looked like a tiny black jellybean in a smear of grey...amazing. What she did tell me, though, was that the yolk sac (a little white spot in the black jellybean) should be more of a ring with a clear center, but mine was a little round white spot like a snowflake sitting in the egg sac. She said it wasn't anything to be concerned with, but it was something they wanted to check because it could mean that the pregnancy might be high risk...whatever that means. Well, I was excited and nervous and anxious about the whole thing, but it was like I already knew...

It's such a different feeling from when we found out we were pregnant with was just pure excitement then...whereas now, I feel more worried than excited...I worry that we may not be ready for this. Maybe Shingil is not ready to be a big sister yet...but maybe she is...maybe I'm just not ready...but I think I am. I am so happy at the possibility of being pregnant...yet I'm so nervous.

Well, while I was getting my check-up, I told Jeff to pick up some pregnancy tests, so when I got home after work that day, I took one of the tests and waited three minutes...and guess what? It was positive!!!

I was not surprised, but still very happy...and it was a strange feeling that I had already seen the little angel growing inside of me already before I even knew I was pregnant...before I ever took a pregnancy test.

I took a picture of the pregnancy test stick for good measure. I still want to treat this new little angel with as much love as I outpoured onto my little Shingil. I know it won't be the same...but I want to do this.

Jeff and I have decided to keep this a secret from our families until we see them in May. I should be quite obviously showing by then...and they will be quite shocked...will we be able to keep it a secret??? I sure hope so.

Little Angel are loved...and the worry in my heart will pass and joy will replace the anxiety. I love you.