Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy – Ziggy’

September 28, 2017

Differences in Pregnancies

This pregnancy has been so amazingly different from my other two. I’ve had virtually no migraines, when that was a pretty common system with both my first two. Instead I’ve had way more morning sickness. It’s part of the reason most everyone around me guessed Z3 was a boy (spoiler, she’s a girl). My Mother in law was convinced I was carrying differently and that must be because Z3 was a boy. Alexis’ former daycare teacher was sure it was a boy because I looked like I had lost weight. I hadn’t, but I appreciate the complement.

I thought it would be fun to put together a list of how all my pregnancies differ.

Morning Sickness
1st/Zippy: No real morning sickness or food aversions to speak of. I did find myself loving sun dried tomatoes which normally I pass on.
2nd/Ziggy: Can’t eat black beans, pinto beans are the same. This is note worthy since my go-to lunch while working at Google was a burrito so I had to skip on black bean days. All else remains the same.
3rd/Z3: Food is the DEVIL. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what I can eat. It was if some invisible force was rolling the dice each and every time I tried to eat. Something I could eat yesterday would turn my stomach today. Sometimes even bread was on my no-can-do list. I could eat the flesh of a plum, but the skin makes my stomach turn. Morning sickness finally started going away around 20 weeks.

Diet (At least initally)
1st/Zippy: Cried on a five hour flight because I was hungry and all they had to eat was ham and cheese sandwhiches and that’s on the no-no list when pregnant.
2nd/Ziggy: Stuck to the no-no list reasonably well.
3rd/Z3: Forgot delimeat was a no-no item and lived off of ham & cheese sandwhiches for a week before remembering.

Prenatals
1st/Zippy: 3 months before we started trying, during the trying to conceive journey and every day pregnant.
2nd/Ziggy: Took a few off an on when we started trying to conceive. Was a lot more diligent about it after we got our pregnancy test, but I know I missed a few days here and there.
3rd/Z3: Pretty sure I last took one in the 1st trimester. At least I’m eating a lot healthier over all (now) and the carbs I was eating back then were heavily fortified with folic acid.

Migraines
1st/Zippy: Started around 10 weeks with one that lasted four days. Got worse in the second trimester and stayed bad mostly through the third.
2nd/Ziggy: I had 3-4 a week, not sure when they started. Magnesium supplements helped.
3rd/Z3: I’ve had 2 or 3 total since becoming pregnant the third time. I’ve only needed to take medication for it once.

Gestational Diabetes
1st/Zippy: Nope!
2nd/Ziggy: Nope!
3rd/Z3: Partially failed the diabetes test. I’m on the diet (hence the eating a lot healthier now) but am not technically diabetic.

Weight Gain
1st/Zippy: 10 lbs (lost a lot thanks to those pesky migraines)
2nd/Ziggy: 16 lbs
3rd/Z3: So far (28 weeks) 7lbs, but that’s including weight loss from the gestational diabetes diet.

Energy Levels
1st/Zippy: I felt pretty normal, assembled her crib at 37 weeks pregnant mostly by myself.
2nd/Ziggy: Got stuck under my desk trying to plug an Ethernet cable back in around 27 weeks.
3rd/Z3: By 20 weeks walking upstairs was too much effort, I think I’ll nap on the couch.

Sleeping
1st/Zippy: Boppy please!
2nd/Ziggy: Ugh, no boppy!
3rd/Z3: Random pillow between the knees to spare my hips.

Kids’ reactions to future pregnancies
2nd/Ziggy: Nicole would tell everyone she had a baby in her tummy too.
3rd/Z3: Both Nicole and Alexis would say they have a baby in their tummies too until I had to go on the gestational diabetes diet. Once Nicole learned I couldn’t have candy she quite adamantly determined she did NOT have a baby in her tummy.

December 4, 2014

Hello Alexis!

alexisbirth
Meeting my little girl

Alexis is here! Like her big sister, she seemed like she was going to stay in my belly forever. Labor started with Nicki just after midnight on the day I was to be induced. I was convinced Alexis would be that way too, but she was even more stubborn. When I arrived for my induction I learned I was contracting every 2 to 5 minutes, they just weren’t strong enough to do anything or for me to feel them. The induction itself took a little longer than expected, given that labor had technically already started. Alexis must have been holding onto the walls.

Domingo and I have now been joking no more kids until we can figure out how to explain to them that it’s not a contest to see who can stay in my belly the longest!

alexissleeping
At the hospital. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I cannot get over how much she looks like her big sister, right down to the same amount of hair.

I can already see a lot of similarities between the two and a lot of differences. Alexis has many of her older sister’s expressions. She’s had some phenomenal sleeping stretches (and some not so great ones.) Unlike her sister, she chooses sleeping over eating, and seems happier in the swaddle so far than Nicole ever did.

The girls had a great first meeting. Nicki kept saying “baby came out!?” while alternating pointing at Alexis and my stomach. We had been telling her for weeks that the baby would come out of my tummy soon, and then when we were going to the doctor to help the baby come out. I don’t think it was real to her until she saw Alexis in person for the first time. We gave Nicole a special Big Sister present, and Nicole enjoyed showing it to Alexis.

Nicole is having troubles pronoucing ‘Alexis’. So far we’ve had a ‘Lex’, ‘Lexus’, and (my personal favorite) ‘Necklace’. I was thinking Alexis’ nickname would be ‘Alex’, but I think ‘Lexi’ is going to win out.

November 20, 2014

Past Due

Looks like Ziggy has no more inclination to come early than Nicki did. I had my 40 week appointment today, and despite a few braxton hicks, I’ve made very little progress. Of course anything can happen, I could go into labor over night, but it’s not looking likely so we went ahead and scheduled an induction. We’re less than two weeks from meeting our newest family member!

We are ready.

This past week I got the rock n play assembled, the bouncy seat assembled, and packed my hospital bag. It’s much smaller this time around – just a shoulder bag with a change of clothes for Ziggy and myself. Home is about a 10 to 15 minute ride away so Domingo can make a quick run if we need anything, but last time we really didn’t.

My parents have also arrived. They’ll watch Nicki for us when Ziggy comes. Nicki is over the moon excited about spending time with Grandma and Grandpa, even though she saw them just a few short months ago. She has been insisting that they sit next to her at dinner, give her her bath, and read her her bed time stories. At this point I’m questioning whether she’ll even notice that Mommy and Daddy have gone to the hospital!

Speaking of Nicki, she is clearly understanding that the “baby in mommy’s belly” is going to come out soon. She points out all of the baby’s things. A couple of weeks ago when we were running late for daycare I asked her if she wanted to feed her baby doll, to keep her occupied while I got ready to go. She fetched her baby bottle and held it to my belly button to feed the baby in my belly. The last few days also been singing happy birthday. Grandma asked her whose birthday it was and Nicole pointed to my belly.

Even though we’re ready, there’s still a lot I want to do around the house before Ziggy arrives. A home is never finished I guess. I’m feeling well overall, but my energy level is low. I’m not expecting to be able to post much in the next few days or weeks.

November 15, 2014

Half Naked Maternity Photos

maternitywatercolor
Showing off the 39 week baby bump. I used the ios app Waterlogue to give it the effect of a water color painting, and to hopefully make the photo less objectionable to anyone out there who may object to half naked photos.

A little over two months ago I managed to take a pants-less maternity photo. It wasn’t intentional. I wanted to avoid the ugly full panel waste line in my photo so I opted to only wear an oversized sweater. I was using a camera tripod at the time, so I couldn’t see how I was framed before the photo, and ended up with a little bare leg. I loved it. There was something about showing a little skin that made me feel beautiful again, the kind of feeling I hadn’t really had since my last pregnancy.

39% of the maternity photos I’ve taken this time around have been sans pants.

I kept wondering what is it about being pantsless that made me feel better about my figure? If I’m pantsless you do get more of a sense of my figure. I’ve recommended form fitting clothes for maternity photography before. A while back I had read that women who gain a little weight tend to want to hide it with baggy clothes. But baggy hides all curves, which can actually give the illusion that you’re bigger than you actually are. I found that if I wore a t-shirt, it would hang off my chest or bump. You couldn’t always tell it was a baby bump under there. Coupled with baggy pants and you had no idea how big my hips and thighs were. Sometimes I just looked large. If I went sans pants in a photo, my legs looked really skinny beneath the giant belly. Or so I think, anyway.

I also found it somewhat empowering to show a little skin. I may be pregnant and have gained a bit of weight this time, but I’m still owning my figure. Confidence tends to photograph well.

The more I think about it the more it makes me a little sad that there’s such a stigma against taking even partially nude photos, even where you cannot see anything. There always seems to be the assumption that the intention is to take them for other people, to show off, or get the ‘wrong’ kind of attention. The photos I took made me feel great about myself at a time when I was otherwise self conscious. I have no intention of sharing any of them, besides the example above that has been significantly altered from it’s original form. I wouldn’t want anyone pressured out of taking a photo like this any more than I would want someone pressured into it. If your comfortable with it, and it will make you happy, go for it!

It’s finally here! November! This is the month we get to meet our little Ziggy. There is an outside chance that Ziggy could come in December, but she’d have to be extremely late – later than Nicole! I think Ziggy will be on the later side, just not that late. I still can’t believe that I’m already 37 weeks pregnant! Time has flown by.

I’m doing much better about tackling my pre-baby to-do list this time around. I think it helps that I was working, and am now on Maternity leave so I feel like I really should be doing something if I am staying home.

So far I’ve…

  • Installed Ziggy’s car seat, set up the diaper pail & changing pad, and organized all of Ziggy’s clothes.
  • Steam cleaned 2/3rds the apartment, cleaned both bathrooms and the kitchen floor & cabinets
  • Moved the bulk of my domains to a new registrar as I’ve grown disenchanted with my previous one and they were to expire *tomorrow*
  • Purchased and set up the new hard drive as I am, yet again, out of space due to being a trigger happy momtographer

I’ve been rearranging furniture so we once again look like we’re moving with stuff all over the place. At least this time should be easier and quicker getting everything put away. I do have to assemble Ziggy’s rock-n-play, but that shouldn’t take much time at all. The crib will take longer. Thankfully we’re not planning on using it for the first couple of months.

I’ve also purchased the last odds and ends we needed for Ziggy. We decided to take a different approach this time around. With Nicki we started with very little and I sent Domingo to the store to pick up anything additional we needed. It was a strategy that worked well, given we had two sets of hands and only one child. This time I am also leery of cold & flu season. Everyone has had their flu shot, but the shot isn’t perfect, and doesn’t protect against the common cold. I want to reduce possible exposure, as well as have as many helping hands home as possible. I ordered perhaps a few more sleepers and cool weather clothes than we’ll need, but I wanted to be prepared.

And of course, because it is November, I’ve been monitoring the Black Friday deals. The leapfrog 3 tablet we’re thinking of getting for Nicki is already reported to be 10% off at Walmart. Once the news came out, Amazon immediately dropped the price. I haven’t snapped one up yet. I suspect there will be a better deal before the shopping season is over.

I also suspect there will be some home goods deals we’ll be interested in. Target has a collection of the OXO pop top containers that we really like. I have a crazy suspicion it’ll be one of their deals. I haven’t seen it before, and when similar products have popped up a month or so before Black Friday there ended up being deals.

October 28, 2014

Maternity Silhouettes

In just two days I will be term, which means we’re rapidly coming to an end of the maternity photography window. Lack of free time and energy kept me away from my camera this time around, so I have fewer maternity photos, and definitely less variety. On the other hand, I’ve gotten much better with my camera. It takes me less practice shots to get some nice ones.

I really enjoyed doing silhouettes this time around, which is interesting given I was less pleased with my overall figure.

ziggysilhouette

ziggysilhouette2
Cloned out the blinds in this one.

Paying close attention to posture really helps with these. Slouching, even just a tad, made the photo look frumpy. I even started stretching as much as possible to elongate my torso and smooth out some of the *aheam* less baby related bumps.

ziggysilhouette3
A near duplicate of last week’s photo, but with less of a clubbed hand holding the remote.

The other thing I learned to pay close attention to was my metering. If I did matrix metering the camera would select the most well rounded exposure where the view out the window wasn’t getting blown out. Alas that meant I was very dark, and most of the detail, especially the detail in my face, was lost. Of course the goal is to photograph myself and my baby bump, not the traffic behind me. I started with spot exposure and increased it as necessary. (See, I am learning! Last time I just strived for over exposure, this time I didn’t sacrifice depth of field to do it!)

I wanted to do a photo like this. It strikes me as the photographic equivalent of a bump cast. Alas, I do not have barn doors lighting. I thought I could kludge together a solution using the spotlight trick. My thinking was to create a large differential in light between two rooms, then open the door just a crack to let a sliver of light spill out. So far no luck. Turns out professional photographers tend to buy expensive gear for a reason.

October 23, 2014

36/36?

36weekbump

Last pregnancy I wrote a blog post about reaching the 35/35 point – 35 weeks down, 35 days to go until the due date. If we were counting until Nicki’s arrival it would have been more like 36/36 for me. I had my today 36 week check up and my OB confirmed my suspicion: while anything can happen, the two pregnancies are not entirely independent events. I’m likely to go late again. It might be another 36/36.

Here are my thoughts for being mostly through a second pregnancy:

I know each pregnancy is different, but I am constantly surprised at the ways in which each pregnancy differs. I expected different cravings. Last time I couldn’t stand apples, this time I love them. I’ve also been more sensitive to food in general. Black beans were the coolest thing since sliced bread, pinto beans made me ill. It doesn’t matter how they were cooked, I couldn’t stand pinto beans. Wierd no? I was also prepared for different in utero personalities. Ziggy is still more of a roller than a kicker.

One of the big surprises was in how different my sleep would be. Last time I loved my boppy pregnancy pillow. I can’t remember when I started using it, but I used it every night throughout the third trimester at least. This time I haven’t had a comfortable night with it yet! I’ve tried a few times, and each time the boppy’s been thrown to the floor after just a few hours later. I sleep much better without it.

Although both pregnancies I still want to sleep on my back. It’s been hard to train myself not to.

I have no belly button! Kindda. I *think* it can still be classified as an innie, but it’s getting close. If I stretch the skin around my belly button a little it looks like a small “popped” button. I keep wondering if this means my belly button will actually pop soon. It never did with my first pregnancy. It did flatten out last time, but I think not until much closer to my due date. It does still remind me of soft spot in fruit, though.

In other changes, as of 34 weeks I barely fit into my pre pregnancy jeans, and these days not at all. I might if I was carrying higher, but I can no longer button my pants. At least I can still wear my wedding rings. It’s one of those things that doesn’t actually matter, but makes me happy.

Infant car seats are a lot easier with modern cars. Ain’t LATCH systems great?

October 7, 2014

Perfect Timing

Our initial plan (as much as these things can be planned) was to space out Nicki and Ziggy between 30 to 36 months which would have put Ziggy’s due date between January and June 2015. Then one evening while I was giving Nicki a bath I just suddenly felt so ready to have another child. Domingo and I decided the timing was right. A few weeks later Ziggy was in the making with a due date just a month and a half earlier than our initial time frame. Since then the timing has just felt so perfect. We couldn’t have planned things any better.

* There is a possibility (depending on when Ziggy comes) that between holidays, company issued paternity leave, and vacation time Domingo will be able to take off the full month of December to stay home with us. How wonderful will that be? Christmas time is our favorite time of the year, and we could get the whole month to spend together as a family of four.

* California allows for pregnancy related disability to start a four weeks before the due date. For me that means a bit before Halloween. I will be able to go to Nicki’s preschool Halloween party. That might not seem like a big deal, but I’ve been racked with guilt over my absence at the Mother’s day party. All us moms were invited for a special lunch. Out of Nicki’s class of 12 only one mom didn’t go: me. I was too new in my job, and too short of vacation days to get away. Her school posted photos on facebook. Every child was sitting in his or her mom’s lap for story time. Every child except mine, who was sitting by herself in the middle of the rug. Worse.Mom.Ever. She didn’t seem bothered by the fact that I wasn’t there, and I’m sure at this point it’s been long forgotten mother’s day just like I’m sure she won’t remember the Halloween party by this time next month. But I will remember.

* There’s a tax advantage to having a baby late in the year vs early. That’s because the dependency deduction and child tax credit are not prorated on the birth of the child. (Not that I advocate trying to plan your child around when it’s most cost effective, but if it happens to work out – hey, who am I to argue?)

* Speaking of financial benefits, we can take advantage of black friday sales to stock up on any extras we need for Ziggy. We plan to have most of the necessities purchased before she arrives, but there are some things that are hard to predict. Will Ziggy like being swaddled? Nicki didn’t. Which swaddle blankets will Ziggy prefer? We can take advantage of seasonal sales to help fill any gaps we might have.

* In the cool anecdotes column, if Ziggy comes as late as Nicki came, Ziggy and Nicki will be one day more apart than my sister and I!

September 20, 2014

Pixel Count Convert

I find myself increasingly a pixel count convert. For years I’ve been on the megapixels-don’t-count bandwagon. My old 10.2 megapixel D60 was capable of producing an image large enough to get a 20 by 30 wall print, if but just barely. More megapixels don’t necessarily translate into a better quality image, but they do add up in terms of file size. I’m already running out of space on my hard drive. Again.

But every once in a while I start wishing I had more mega pixels.

This weekend I wanted to take more maternity photos, this time with my face showing. Nicki, who is quite the little ham these days for the camera, wanted to be a part of it. She kept running in and out of frame. In most of the photos she’s weirdly cropped, or there’s a bit of motion blur. I swear toddlers must be related to the flash. Even at 1/640 seconds, with my 50mm prime she can be a blur on camera. I still love the photos with my little toddler photo bomber (what parent wouldn’t?) but they’re not something I intended to share.

Then I came across this one:

Straight out of the camera
Straight out of the camera

After some cropping.

Cropped to capture a sweet moment
Cropped to capture a sweet moment

I love it! Since it’s a 60% crop I can get a 5 by 7 high res print easily. I can even (probably) do a 8 by 12 with a little tweaking. It’s moments like these that make me grateful my current camera is 16.2 Megapixels, and even makes me wish it was a little higher!

September 7, 2014

Finding My Pretty

I haven’t been feeling as good this pregnancy than last. I’m a bit more tired, and a bit more over worked. I’m also about 5 lbs heavier at this point with Ziggy than I was with Nicki. Intellectually I know those 5 lbs are rather meaningless, especially when pregnant, but I’m rather self conscious about them. For the past few months I’ve been struggling to take maternity photos.

maternityziggy
I really like this photo, despite the lens flair.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t take the same photos I took in my first pregnancy. It’s too tempting to compare them, and then I inevitably find fault in my figure this time around. My belly button is a bit stretched out looking, and I still have the silver lines from past stretch marks. I did attempt more bare belly photos, but I ultimately decided to pass on them (for now at least) to spare my sanity. Besides, challenging myself to come up with something different from what I’ve already done will help me grow as a photographer.

I’m determined to stick with it and keep trying for more photos. Often photos I don’t like will grow on me over time. I did take some at seven weeks with what I felt was the biggest-bump-ever, but couldn’t bring myself to post them feeling I looked too fat and bloated. Now I think they’re kind of cute. Digital memory is cheap. I just don’t want to look back five years from now and regret not having some photos of my pregnancy with Ziggy like I have of my pregnancy with Nicki.


Addendum (9/13): I took some more photos this afternoon, this time with the UV filter off to reduce lens flair. I am supper happy with the way these turned out. I am starting to feel pretty again.

Here’s what helped me get some of my confidence back:

New clothes! I purchased two new (cheap) non-maternity sweater a size up from what I normally wear. There’s something comforting about fitting into a non-maternity clothes, even when your 30 weeks pregnant. The one sweater is so incredibly soft I plan on using it as an around the house sweater post-ziggy. The other one looked a bit nicer in the photos, but ended up being a bit scratchy, so it will probably be donated.

Showing a little skin! didn’t want to get that not so attractive maternity-pants-full-panel-waist-line in the photo, so I ended up doing them sans pants. I didn’t intend to show a little leg, but one of the hazards of using a tripod and not having a real photographer is never knowing exactly how you will be framed. Actually, I think it adds a little something to the photo to see a little bit of leg.

I did originally post a photo from my second session. I figured it wasn’t too risqué. After all you’d see the same amount of skin if I was wearing a swim suit cover. I guess I’m still feeling a bit self conscious because I ultimately decided to take it down. Oh well, it makes me happy to have it and that’s the important thing!

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