The Next Chapter…

Dave and I have been keeping a little secret for the past two-and-a-half months, but last night we decided it was time to spill the beans to the world. Well, the Facebook world at least. There are some big changes coming to the Mathew household…in the form of a tiny human. That’s right, there’s a baby on the way! It goes without saying that I’m thrilled and excited for this next chapter in our lives.

Since we started spreading the news among the family, we’ve been getting a lot of the same questions. So today, I’m going to try and answer most of the things everyone wants to know after hearing the big news!

When are you due? February 18th, 2017. Side note: the “original” due date was February 9th, 2017 but it got pushed back NINE DAYS (eek!) after the first ultrasound.

So how many weeks / months along are you? At the time of this post, I am 13 weeks + 4 days. My weeks switch on Saturdays, if that helps anyone count. That also means I’m just past month #3, but please stop asking me in months because as any woman who has been pregnant will tell you….these things are never measured in months, always weeks! 

Pregnancy TestWhen did you find out? / How long have you known? We found out in the first week of June. At the time, we thought I was 5 weeks along….but it turns out I was only between 3 and 4 weeks along.


Ok, I’m going to stop and explain the “dating issue” that will keep coming up throughout this discussion. For anyone who isn’t familiar with how pregnancies are dated….they start from the first day of the last menstrual period. That means that the first two weeks are kind of “freebies” because you haven’t even ovulated or conceived yet. The medical world likes to use 28 days, or 4 weeks, as the perfect example of a menstrual cycle, with ovulation occurring smack dab in the middle at day 14 (two weeks). Look at any textbook, and that’s how a menstrual cycle is described. Talk to real women, and the vast majority will tell you that they do not have perfectly consistent 28 day cycles. Some might be longer, some might be shorter, it might vary in length for some women….it’s all different. So when pregnancies are originally dated (like, when you call your doctor’s office after figuring out you’re pregnant), they assume you have a perfect 28 day cycle to calculate how far along you are in the pregnancy. There are several problems with this, the main one being that many women (apparently myself included) don’t ovulate on day 14. For example, someone with a 30 day cycle should ovulate somewhere around day 16 rather than day 14. For this exact reason my OBGYN’s office schedules everyone for a dating ultrasound at the 8 week mark to check and make sure the dates are all correct. We went in for my ultrasound on what should have been exactly my 8 week mark and found out the pregnancy was dating at…..6 weeks + 5 days. Honestly, it was kind of a blow. Given the length of my cycles I was expecting to be maybe 2 days behind, which wouldn’t have been a big deal, but NINE days was huge, especially at that stage in the pregnancy. That’s nine extra days of waiting to get out of the period where your miscarriage risk is high. It meant that the embryo was actually closer in size to a sweet pea than a raspberry. It meant we had to “re-live” the end of week 6 and all of week 7, because we thought we had already passed those milestones. We were told that I probably just ovulated late, but it still made us worry because being 9 days behind was some seriously late ovulation. Additionally, when I got pregnant I was still on medication for my sleep disorder. It’s a medication that hasn’t been studied much in pregnancy so there isn’t a lot of data, but there have been two case reports of women who had taken the medication during their pregnancy and experienced intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). There’s no way to tell if the medication caused the IUGR, but it’s a possibility and of course we worried that was the issue. Because of that early exposure to the medication, my OBGYN set me up for a more detailed 20 week anatomy scan with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, and when their office contacted me to set up the appointment they also offered me a first trimester screening which would also include an ultrasound. I wasn’t super concerned about everything they test for in that screening, but I jumped on the opportunity to get another ultrasound to make sure everything was growing okay. We just had that appointment last week, at 12 weeks + 5 days (based on the dating from the first ultrasound), and the tech measured it around 13 weeks….which was perfectly on track with that first ultrasound measurement. So it looks like I just have a tendency to ovulate quite a bit later in my cycle than the average woman, and we’re not nearly as concerned about IUGR anymore! Phew!


Ok, back to the Q + A:

How have you been feeling? Honestly…..not fantastic. Morning sickness hit me around week 7, in the form of unrelenting all-day nausea. I guess you could say I’ve been lucky not to vomit, but there have been some very close calls. I’ve told myself over and over that pregnancy is a blessing, that the reward at the end of this is worth this period of feeling horrible, and often that makes me feel better, but there were a few moments when I flat-out HATED being pregnant. Other than morning sickness, I’ve also been hit with some overwhelming fatigue. It’s normal to be tired in the first trimester, but I’m getting the double-whammy of having to go off my medication for my sleep disorder, which means I’ve returned to zombie-like state. My new neurologist prescribed me….sleep. I was considering going back to work shortly before I got pregnant, but that’s off the table now that I need a nap almost every day, at least 10 (preferably 12) hours of sleep each night, and generally feel like my head is full of fuzz.

One of my favorite gender-neutral finds so far!
One of my favorite gender-neutral finds so far!

Are you going to find out the gender? Ugh. I wish I had an answer to this question. Originally I had no desire to find out the gender in advance and I wanted the surprise at the time of delivery. Dave hadn’t even considered not finding out, and his preference is to find out in advance. I will admit that it is becoming more and more tempting to find out because gender neutral stuff can be tough to find and isn’t even carried by some stores…and the gender neutral nursery stuff is so GRAY. Blech. I was expecting to be able to find a bunch of green stuff, but apparently green is so last year (at least according to the retailers). I’ve been trying to get Dave to make a good argument for why we should find out the gender in advance, but so far all he’s come up with is “I don’t want to be disappointed in the delivery room if it’s a girl.” If you think that’s the worst logic ever, I agree with you. Obviously Dave is team blue. I can’t decide what I want, so I’m going to be happy either way, but right now I’m feeling like it’s a girl. But hey, who knows, right? But back to the question at hand….we’re still up in the air if we’ll find out or not. I had a blood test last week that will be checking the fetal DNA for genetic disorders and will also be able to tell us the gender, and we should get the results later this week or sometime next week. We’ll have to make a decision if we want to know the gender results at that point in time, but even if we opt to not find out then change our mind later, the results will still be in the doctor’s computer system. 


I wrote a few “bump date” posts for the past few weeks, so I’m planning on posting those “en masse” in the next day or two. After that I’ll do my best to post weekly pregnancy updates on Saturdays, but I’m not promising that they’ll get posed on time each week because we’ll be on the road several times before we even hit the 20 week mark. In fact, I can almost guarantee that the upcoming 14-week post will not be going up late! 

Until later,
Ashlen

  • Congratulations!!! So excited for you guys! Hope you start feeling better soon!!!