Well we are back from Cleveland. My first time flying unmedicated in at least 5 years went better than I thought it would. I was able to stay calm for the baby even when I wanted to freak out every time we hit turbulence. Fortunately, we didn’t have a lot of that throughout our six flights.
I found that after a pretty nauseated flight home (resulting in my first major throw up session at the airport before take off), my nausea faded upon landing in Cleveland. I have to wonder if it was partly a mind over body situation because I was incredibly nervous about flying in the first trimester. I had been cleared by my doctor, bought compression socks, and gave myself a shot of Clexane to prevent blood clots, but I still worried about being in the air that long. I feel like I was so worried my symptoms would decrease that they did (or maybe the baby knew I had to hold it together for four days and gave me a break? Sure.). This resulted in me immediately scheduling an ultrasound at an imaging place that was reasonably priced. J thought I was losing my mind, but also realized that if I didn’t get the ultrasound done, I would freak out the entire break. We went to the place two days after landing. I’m actually so glad we did because besides easing my anxiety, we saw the baby move a TON. S/he literally flipped in my uterus, and we watched as s/he moved their little arms and kicked their little legs. It was a very active day for the baby and we both were a little in awe by it.
We hadn’t told anyone about the pregnancy since we were waiting until Christmas, but my sister was leaving two days before the holiday, so I decided to tell her ahead of time as I knew I would be telling my brothers early to have them help me with filming my parents reaction. I ended up putting one of our ultrasound pictures in a card that the baby ‘wrote’ to her and gave it to her as she was getting on the road. She was definitely pretty shocked but it was nice to be able to talk to her about the pregnancy. We decided to tell the boys that night as well. J and I went to dinner with my youngest brother and told him then. He asked why I wasn’t drinking so I just said ‘Well, because I’m pregnant’. He didn’t believe me at first but was really happy for us when he realized we were serious. We came home from dinner and I took an ultrasound picture to my other brother and asked him to look at it. He was initially like ‘why are you showing me this picture?’ until I said that he was looking at my baby. He, too, was shocked but really happy for us.
Christmas morning finally came. I waited until everyone had opened all their gifts. I tied the box for my mom on Dallas’s collar and had her give it to my mom. I ended up just handing my dad his gift and made them open them together. It was a pretty awesome experience. My mom cried and my dad was super happy for us. I’m so glad I got to experience it in person. When my grandparents came over that afternoon, we had them open their gifts in front of family. My grandma screamed, which is what I thought would happen, and my grandpa looked at me and said ‘Are you trying to make me cry?!’ before giving me a big hug. I got teary at both reveals, but I have such a special relationship with my grandparents (we’re naming the baby after my grandpa for the middle name), so it was an emotional experience. I was also so happy to have it all out in the open!
The rest of the break flew by. Mom and I went shopping for maternity clothes, which are AMAZING. Why aren’t all pants maternity pants? They’re so comfortable! I was insanely bloated being back home and those pants made life much more comfortable. About four days before leaving, I started getting really emotional. It really hit me that I wouldn’t see my family again until after I was officially a mom and that freaked me out. I’ve spent so much time wondering if I would ever get pregnant, and then hoping and praying as each week passed with this pregnancy, that I never really considered that I’d be birthing the baby without seeing any of my family for a long time or having their support. I was sad that no one would be around to experience the pregnancy. Yes, I can Skype and send them pictures, but it’s different than actually being there. They’ll never feel the baby kick. They won’t be at the hospital after s/he is born. I had some pretty intense grieving, and it’s something that I continue to grieve. There are plusses and minuses to everything. Moving abroad is giving us our greatest plus with our baby. It is also resulting in a pretty hard minus. That’s the give and take of life, I suppose (deep thoughts).
We flew out on January 3rd which was a super difficult goodbye. I’d already been crying for days, but turns out, I had plenty left (much to J’s dismay). We had a really crowded flight to Chicago and I was squished in the middle seat between two strangers (J and I weren’t sitting by each other). I felt pretty bad upon landing, but so did J. We hadn’t eaten much yet, so we went and had lunch. I was doing fine, but in the middle of the meal, I started to get really hot which is my cue these days that things are probably going to go south pretty quick. I ran off to the bathroom and threw up everything I’d eaten so far that day. Tears were streaming down my face by the time it was all said and done. I felt better afterwards, but I find it so intriguing that this happened both times we were at the airport, coming and going. The flight coming back to Europe was shorter than going, which was nice since I don’t sleep on the plane when medication isn’t involved. The food was terrible on the way back, so I didn’t eat much. When we were about an hour out, they brought around these breakfast wraps. The regular ones were bacon and egg, and as I don’t eat pork, I asked for a vegetarian wrap. I knew they had them because they were in green boxes. I was pretty set on these eggs because I had only eaten rice so far and I was starving. The stewardess came back with a small fruit cup and I was so surprised I didn’t know what to do before she ran off. I literally started crying and told J I wanted eggs and didn’t want a fruit cup. Between that and just being exhausted, I nearly had a full blown meltdown over the fruit cup. I pulled it together, but not by much. So, hormones have definitely kicked in. By the time we got to Brussels and caught a train to Antwerp, we’d been traveling for 18 or so hours and I hadn’t slept at all. I passed out as soon as we got home. My sleep is still really jacked which has made for an unfortunate start to the work week but I’m hoping going back to work will force my body to adjust quicker.
In the meantime, my nausea has grown worse as I’ve gotten closer to 12 weeks, instead of fading like all the baby apps tell you should be happening (but as I do nothing on ‘schedule’, I would expect little else from my child). We went to the phone store on Saturday to get a new SIM card for my upgraded phone. As we stood in line, I started to break out in a sweat and overheat. J kept telling me to go home but I felt bad leaving him to deal with my phone stuff. I stood outside in the cold for awhile before running next door to a Subway and puking in their bathroom. I thought I was done and came back into the store, but within five minutes, the heat waves were back. I went back outside and quickly realized this was not going to end well, ran back inside to tell J I was taking off, and ran home. I ended up having another violent upheaval of everything I’d eaten that day. I didn’t move off the couch the rest of the day or all of Sunday. I only threw up a little on Sunday, which was a stark improvement but I felt awful all day. I’ve said I would take it as long as the baby was growing, and I will, but as the nausea intensifies, it is really hard to be a functioning human right now. Again, as long as s/he is healthy and growing, so be it. I have some anti-nausea medication that didn’t work the first time I took it, but I’m desperate enough to give it another go.
Our next appointment is this Thursday and we’ll do the blood work for genetic screenings. We’re starting to narrow down some names as well, which is exciting! It’s just really exciting to be this far along. We’re so glad that all our family and friends know about the baby now (we told our Nashville crew over NYE). I still pinch myself sometimes that there is an active little child growing (and who really looks like a baby now!). Can’t wait to see the changes this week!