My First Pregnancy

I wish I would have written about my first pregnancy sooner, like ohh 2 and a half years ago.  I definitely plan to write about my current pregnancy a little bit as it is happening.  I don’t remember a lot of little details, but I will summarize the things I do remember.

I got married September 29, 2012, and it was at that point that my husband and I decided we wouldn’t necessarily try to get pregnant, but we also wouldn’t do anything to prevent it.  October 12 came around and I was feeling SUPER exhausted.  I worked evening shift at the time, and I would have to set my alarm to wake up at 11 am.  I had a pregnancy test laying around, so I took it.  I was shocked to see a very faint second line.

First positive pregnancy test

First positive pregnancy test

I thought maybe I was seeing things, so I sent a text with a picture of the test to my sister.  She thought it was posititve, but she of course convinced me I needed to get a digital test to confirm.  On my way in to work that day, I stopped and picked up a digital.  I took it in the locker room at work and BAM…

Digital test confirmed it!

Digital test confirmed it!

At this point I was bursting with shock and excitement and nerves.  I was trying to come up with a cute way to tell the hubby my whole shift.  I stopped at Meijer on the way home and picked up a bib.  I put the bib and the digital test in the shopping bag and gave it to him.  He was of course asleep because he had to work the next morning.  He pulled the bib out and said “I don’t get it.”  I told him there was more in the bag, and that is when he found the positive test.  He was shocked too, but he seemed happy even through his sleepy eyes.  20121013_135241

I made a Dr appointment for a few days later, and they drew blood to confirm the pregnancy.  2 or so days after the appointment, the doctor’s office called and said they wanted me to have labs drawn again.  They said the lab levels were very low, so they weren’t sure I had a viable pregnancy.  I was so upset.  I cried, called in to work, and immediately went to the lab.  I stopped at my mom’s after, and I was visibly upset.  I had to tell her why I was crying.  It wasn’t exactly the way I had pictured telling her I was pregnant.  Fortunately a few days later the doctor’s office called saying that the lab had appropriately doubled.

When I was 7 weeks, I had really severe pain in my lower abdomen on one side.  I went to the ER, where they immediately wanted to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.  After the ultrasound, the Dr came in and said the pregnancy was intrauterine, and that it appeared there were two yolk sacs.  In one there was a fetal pole with a heartbeat, but there was nothing in the other.  She said I may be having twins, but only one was developed at that point, and only time would tell if the second one develop as well.  She thought the pain I was having was round ligament pain, and that I was probably experiencing it early because of the 2 yolk sacs.  By my first OB appointment, the second sac had reabsorbed.

Throughout the first trimester, I would have occasional bouts of nausea, and I vomited every time I brushed my teeth (yuck!)  I was extremely tired too.  Just when I thought the second trimester would be better, I was struck with sciatica.  My exhaustion improved a little, but I continued to get sick when brushing my teeth.  The doctor recommended physical therapy for the sciatic pain, but it continued throughout the entire pregnancy.  My leg would give out unexpectedly, and I would get stuck in sitting and lying positions occasionally.  Overall, I tried not to let my discomfort hold me back.  We went on a cruise when I was 24 weeks and had a great time!

Carribean Cruise at 24 weeks

Carribean Cruise at 24 weeks

It took a couple of attempts to find out the gender of the baby.  At my first anatomy scan, the ultrasound tech wasn’t sure, but said if she had to guess, she would guess girl.  At the next ultrasound, the tech confirmed we would be having a baby girl.



At around 28 weeks, I started having some painful cramping that would come and go.  At L&D triage, they found that I was contracting pretty regularly.  My OB put me on “modified bed rest” for 2 weeks.  I was instructed to spend most of the time sitting with my feet up, but I was allowed to take occasional short trips out of the house.  After 2 weeks, she checked me and found that I had no cervical change, so she allowed me to return to work doing 4 hour shifts instead of 8.  I continued that until the end of the pregnancy.

Savannah was a very active baby.  I felt movement constantly!  When she wouldn’t move for long periods of time, I would get concerned because that was very unusual for her.  I made several trips to triage for them to monitor her, but fortunately she was okay each time.

When I was around 36 weeks pregnant, I woke up with pain in my chest.  Whenever I took a deep breath, it felt like a knife was piercing my chest.  Even with shallow breaths I was in a lot of pain.  After talking with a nurse in triage, she recommended we go to the emergency room.  After a couple of scans and many uncomfortable hours, they diagnosed me with pleurisy.  I was offered a narcotic, which I declined.  Fortunately, the pain got a little better each day.

My doctor decided to induce me at 38 weeks because I had high blood pressure.  I was scheduled to go in on the evening of June 11.

The rest of the story will be continued when I write the post about my labor and delivery.

37 weeks pregnant

37 weeks pregnant

Baby Signing

A lot of parents-to-be say they are interested in teaching their new little one “baby sign.”  I’ve heard many parents of toddlers say “Oh, we were going to teach our baby to sign, but we forgot about it.”  I am so lucky that I am not one of those parents.  I am not in any way saying those parents are wrong or bad, but my life would be so much more frustrating if I hadn’t followed through with baby signing and encourage the other caregivers in my daughter’s life to do the same.

My almost 2-year-old has a minor speech delay.  We saw a speech therapist for an evaluation a few months ago, and she was a little behind, but she wasn’t delayed enough to qualify for speech therapy.  Like any toddler, Savannah throws her fair share of temper tantrums.  Many tantrums come from frustration.  I can tell you, if she did not know how to sign, the number of daily tantrums thrown would probably be tripled.  Savannah “says” quite a few words, but many of the words are hard to distinguish.  Approximately 75% of the words she currently says I would not understand without a sign accompanying it.

Going from the top of my head, here are the signs Savannah knows:

  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Grandma
  • Grandpa
  • Aunt
  • Baby
  • Sign
  • Horse
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Bird/Duck
  • Bear
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Please
  • Thank You
  • Sorry
  • Yes
  • All Done
  • Bubbles
  • Bike
  • Car
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Cry
  • Hat
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Cracker
  • Cereal
  • Tree
  • Leaf
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Play
  • Hot
  • Cold
  • Water
  • Dirty
  • Pretty
  • Sleep

There may be more, but that is all I can think of right now.  Most of those signs she knows really well.  There are a few that she needs a reminder before she’ll sign, like grass, car, tree, shoes and socks.

So, you want to know how we taught her to sign, right?  It really wasn’t too hard.  Baby signing is based on American Sign Language.  I had a very limited knowledge of ASL from college; really, the only thing I could remember was my alphabet.  Our success came from starting when she was young.  She was about 6 months old when I really started using certain signs consistently.  I started out with just a few that we could use everyday, like milk, mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa.  She didn’t sign them back for several months, but she got to the point that I would sign something while saying the word out loud, and she would get excited.  Once she understood those few signs, I borrowed some DVDs from the library.  The DVDs I have had the most success with have been the “Baby Signing Time” series.

This program shows the sign, says the word, and usually shows a picture of whatever the word is.  They then go on to show babies and toddlers using the signs.  Watching these DVDs with Savannah has been the key to learning sign myself.  There is lots of music in these DVDs, and she LOVES watching them.  She frequently asks to watch them.  There have been times she will pick up a sign that I do not know, and all I have to do is go back and watch the DVD with her to figure it out.  We haven’t moved on to the “Signing Time” DVDs yet, but I’m sure we will soon.

There are a few things that Savannah loves that “Baby Signing Time” doesn’t cover.  For example, she loves yogurt, cheese and grapes.  To learn those signs myself, I visited  I would then teach her the sign.  This website has an extensive dictionary.  When you find the word you are looking for, click on the word, and it will take you to a page where there is a short video showing how to sign the word, a description of how to sign the word, a picture showing the sign, the usage for the sign and links to related signs.  It uses multiple learning styles, which is really nice since we all learn in different ways!  I haven’t spent a whole lot of time on the website, but there is a shop where you can purchase different things like books, charts, flashcards, DVDs and kits.

Baby sign has saved us so much frustration.  The key to teaching your baby is repetition.  Also, it is really important that you teach other people who spend a lot of time with your child basic signs, or they will experience the same frustration you are trying to avoid!

If you have any questions about how we taught Savannah sign, please feel free to ask!

*All of the opinions about the above materials are my own.  I have no relationship with the companies, and I am not receiving any commission.  I am recommending them because I love them!