October 31st 2017. A date that has been on my mind since we found out I was pregnant. My official due date. And it’s finally here! Yay! You know what’s not here yet? The baby. That’s right. That little dude is staying put. So I think it’s safe to say that our baby boy will be a November baby – unless we have a sprint labor and delivery situation coming our way later today…
And since we’re still playing the waiting game and this mommy to be is pretty much getting bored out of her mind, I thought it would be nice to do a pregnancy recap. As always, mostly for our own archives, but maybe it might help or interest others too.
Trying To Conceive
If you’re a mom or you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ve probably heard of the term TTC, which means: trying to conceive. Well, I certainly hadn’t heard of it before we decided to try our luck at making a baby. I stopped using birth control after we got married, and man, we didn’t know sh*t. Yes, of course we knew about the birds and the bees, but it never really occurred to me that you basically only have one chance each month to actually get pregnant. You know, you need to be ovulating and all. Yes, super naive I know. We did know however that it takes the average couple around a year to get pregnant.
We made the decision to be very open and transparent about the fact that we were TTC because it really bothers me that it’s such a taboo to talk about these things. Like we’re all just getting pregnant in the first try, and that’s that. Nobody really talks about the struggle and everyone expects it to go super smooth and easy. You wouldn’t believe how many people asked us if I was pregnant yet. We were even asked if we were getting a dog because we couldn’t get pregnant. Seriously. After a few “rounds” we decided to try our luck with ovulation tests. And I kid you not, there were remarks being made about it not being romantic or natural that way. For real. Well, you know what? When you’re ready to have kids and you know these tests might help you get pregnant, why shouldn’t you use them?
After a few months it really started to bother me that I had to answer “yes, I still drink wine” at every social gathering, and basically the lack of sensitivity some people would address the issue with was getting to me. Even though it was our own decision to be open about it. Not the fact that I wasn’t pregnant yet was hard on us, because we both knew it could take a year. But that other people were expecting us to be expecting so soon was really hard. It might had to do with the fact that I was also building up to a pretty heavy burnout so I was feeling a lot of pressure on multiple aspects of my life (read my burnout story here).
So after 8 months of trying we decided to take a break. If you also read my post about Canada (and the above mentioned burnout blog) it was during that trip that I realized we needed to take the pressure off. We had also booked a trip to Curacao for October and since that little Caribbean paradise island is struggling with the Zika virus we knew we had to halt the baby-making process until at least 3 months after our return. Turns out this was the best decision ever since I could work on tackling the burnout and my back injury. And also, the pressure of trying to please people with baby news was gone. And you know what? The first “round” after we got back in the game I got pregnant. No ovulation test (I just kept a good eye on my cycle). Just a wonderful winter weekend away ♡.
I know there are a lot of couples out there struggling with conception and I hope by reading this people will take a moment and think before making a “funny” remark. This will only make the couple feel uncomfortable and sad, and it will definitely NOT help with breaking the taboo about trying to conceive. If you’re really interested show that by asking a sincere question instead of making jokes about it. I didn’t mind talking about it, in fact I wanted to talk about it, but in a respectful way and without all the prejudice. Just some food for thought for ya…
The First Trimester: Projectile Vomiting
If you follow me on Instagram (@littlelarey) you probably know that I have had a very rough first trimester. 75% of pregnant women struggle with what is commonly known as morning sickness, although I can assure you it has nothing to do with a time of day. I was feeling so, so, oh so very, sick pretty much all day everyday for the first 16 weeks (!) of my pregnancy. I’m not sure if it was the combination with the burnout, but I was basically on survival mode. It started at around 6 weeks, just when we went on our trip to California and Hawaii.
Most people will tell you, it will all get better somewhere between week 10-12, but I had to soldier on till week 16. And even though it might sound like it: I wasn’t complaining. I was so freaking happy that I was pregnant, that there was actually growing new life inside of me, and that’s what makes it all worthwhile. If I was able to eat something it would be a plain bagel with cream cheese, a Brabants worstenbroodje, rice crackers, bread sticks, and thank god – fresh fruit. I was munching on fresh watermelon, pineapple and strawberries everyday, and I think that’s what kept me healthy. Also: I’ve been taking two prenatal vitamins and two prenatal fish oil pills every day, and I can highly recommend Essential Organics (much better to handle than Solgar) and Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil.
The Second Trimester: The Golden Weeks
The funny thing was that as soon as I reached week 16 I almost instantly felt better. I got my energy back, my appetite was hugely improving, and I finally had that pregnancy glow (hello bigger curls!). I was ready to get moving again so I started with prenatal yoga and I got back in the weight room with my physiotherapist aka the best personal trainer ever. It was so amazing to feel so good again, while also taking good care of myself and the little one inside my belly.
We went on a few trips during my second trimester: we had a lovely weekend in the woods with our little puppy, we went to Moscow with our friends, and we did some island-hopping on the Azores Islands. We had a lot of get-togethers with friends and family, and we hosted a baby party on pretty much the hottest day of the year.
We had a lot of ultrasounds at our amazing midwives at Femme Amsterdam so we got to see our little one a lot. It’s because we decided to go for their extra care package which means an ultrasound at every appointment, prenatal massages and acupuncture sessions – among other services. (Just to clarify: yes, we know that it’s not for everybody to have that extra care but since we’ve experienced in our own close circle that extra ultrasounds can much better predict how your baby is growing and can even be crucial to notice if there are any problems we really felt like it was worth it.) Oh right, and I also sort of finally kicked that burnout in the ass and decided to quit my job. Yep, it was an exciting trimester, that second one.
The Third Trimester: Getting Ready for Baby
And then you’re suddenly in the final stretch of pregnancy. Wait, what?! It’s so funny how those first few weeks seem to creep by so freaking slowly (especially if you feel like crap), and then before you know it you’re closing in on the finish line.
In this final trimester we focused on getting ready for the baby. Which may seem silly, because hello, didn’t we realize pregnancy means baby? Well, to be honest, we were so preoccupied with the pregnancy itself, me being as healthy and zen as I could be, the husband taking amazingly good care of us, that we sort of “forgot” the little dude still has to come out at some point. Yeah, no sh*t Sherlock. So we enrolled in a hypnobirthing class and finished up our crazy cool adventure inspired nursery (see photos here). And we decided to do a maternity session with the amazing Silvia Falcomer which I can highly recommend.
We also celebrated our two year wedding anniversary on an active but relaxing babymoon to the gorgeous island of Hvar. I tried to stay active for as long as possible, and until week 36 I was still kicking ass at the gym, going to yoga class, and walking the dog every day, but in these last few weeks I’ve started to get into cocoon mode. We’ve really enjoyed these last weekends together and we had a lot of date nights at our favorite restaurants, we went to the opera, and we had plenty of romantic nights at home.
October 31st 2017. Due date. So now we wait. It might be tonight, it might be tomorrow, it might be next week. Jeez, it might even be the week after that. And although we’re slowly getting just a little impatient, we don’t complain because I’m still feeling perfectly fine, we can both stock up on some sleep, and our house has never been cleaner. We just hope that the little dude will be making his way into this world on his own terms, and that he doesn’t have to be evicted from his current home in two weeks!
Obviously I will let you know when our bambino has decided he’s ready to meet his parents, but I can tell you in advance that the face of our little bundle of joy (and poop) will not be a regular on my blog or my Instagram. Naturally, I will share things about our life as a new family and he will show up in photos – but never with his face. We’ve also asked our friends and family to respect our wishes about not sharing any images of him online. I don’t want to judge people who do share a lot of photos of their kids, because it’s a very personal decision, but this is just something we feel very strongly about. If you want to see our baby boy, you’re more than welcome to stop by! Uh, please call ahead ;).