Place Your Bets!

August 26, 2016

img_9675-1We will be posting the gender of this little one when we find out, but for now, feel free to place your bets on whether Prim will be getting a brother or a sister come February!

1. If you have morning sickness, it’s a girl.  If you don’t, it’s a boy.
You all know that I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum with this pregnancy, aka morning sickness on steroids.  Result: GIRL

2. If you crave sweets, it’s a girl.  Craving sour/salt?  It’s a boy.
The first trimester I craved pretty much nothing because I was so sick. The random times that eating didn’t sound completely terrible I would want Mexican food. All the Mexican food.  Result: BOY

3. Use a Chinese Gender Predictor to predict the sex, based on your due date and birthday.
Based on my due date (February 20, 2017) and birthday (April 10, 1984), the Chinese predictor says it’s a girl.  (Though I should note that I tried this out with my sister’s birthday and her son’s due date and it said she was having a girl as well, so that should kind of tell you…)  Result: GIRL

4. If the baby’s heartbeat is regularly above 140 bpm, it’s a girl.  Below 140 bpm — it’s a boy.
Baby’s heart rate was routinely above 140 at each of our doctor’s appointment.  Result: GIRL

5. If you prefer sleeping on your right side, it’s a girl.  If you gravitate towards the left, it’s a boy.
I have been mostly sleeping on my left side this pregnancy.  Result: BOY

6. If you’re extra moody, it’s a girl.  If you’re even-keeled, it’s a boy.
I was pretty moody early on in this pregnancy, but it evened out faster than when I was pregnant with Prim.  Result: GIRL

7. If you’re clumsy, you’re having a boy.  Graceful as can be?  It’s a girl.
I am the most clumsy these days. It actually drives me a little nuts because I’m constantly dropping things.  Result: BOY

8. More headaches mean you’re having a boy, less means it’s a girl.
I haven’t had any change in the amount of headaches I get. I don’t get them much when I’m not pregnant and haven’t had many during this pregnancy.  Result: GIRL..?

9. If your hands are soft, it’s a girl.  If they’re dry, it’s a boy.
My hands are dry and scaly as ever (reptile hands!)  Result: BOY

10. If you’re carrying high, it’s a girl.  If your belly is low, it’s a boy.
Maybe it’s too early to tell this one, I don’t know, but I’ve been carrying on the lower side to this point.  Result: BOY

GIRL: 5 (ish) points  BOY: 5 points 

Life Abroad / weekend

This Weekend Was

August 24, 2016

KC took last Friday off work and it was raining, so we decided to take Prim to Tun Fun — a sort of Chuck E. Cheese-type place set up in an old abandoned subway station. I can see it being much more fun for a kid who is a little older — one who can run and climb things, but Prim had a great time parked in the ball pit meant for the little ones. 

She was mainly interested in throwing the balls out of the ball pit, which she was surprisingly good at. There was a solid pile of balls outside the pit by the time we headed out (sorry Tun Fun staff…) img_9632

And of course I couldn’t resist the child-in-a-cage photo op.

After Tun Fun we hopped on our bikes and rode in the rain to get some burgers for dinner. I managed to ride into one of the inlaid subway tracks in the street and almost ate it on my bike, so that was fun. Luckily Prim was on KC’s bike and not mine. Definitely not one of my better moments. (Also, the things that come out of my mouth in moments like this are so not kid-friendly.)

We also hit up this local carnival/film festival thing called Parade. It was… interesting. I thought it would be a little more kid-friendly, like carnivals in the states, but this was more geared toward adults and only had one ride (a particularly terrifying set of swings that went in a circle and had a guy who would stand and swing you around viciously as you would pass by — no thanks). img_9630 Prim had a good time wandering all around the grassy areas while we were there, at least. (Prim’s Canadian tuxedo/denim-on-denim look was my fault because I couldn’t find her other sun hat before we left the house.)

Afterward we biked to a local restaurant I had spotted the week before and got a milkshake. (Because milkshakes are my favorite thing these days.)  img_9635The rest of the weekend was spent running errands and doing other usual weekend things. Prim spent some time breaking in her new floaties and getting used to the headphones we bought her for flights. It was quite the look. img_9628 img_9627

Here’s hoping that she loves those headphones enough to sit still for at least part of the flights back to California in a couple weeks… img_9626

How was your weekend?


Pregnancy Update — August

August 22, 2016

It’s kind of crazy that I’m already in the second trimester. Even though I’ve been wildly ill for what feels like forever, this pregnancy is flying by compared to my last. I remember with Prim feeling like the first trimester took FOREVER. I was hiding my pregnancy (albeit not very well) and dying to just come out and tell people I was pregnant. This time around I could have waited another 8 weeks at least to share the news. I could have probably even made it until the baby arrived and been like, “Guess what, guys?!” Part of that is because it’s easier not to tell people when you’re overseas and most of your friends are back in California. The other part is that we told our local friends about my pregnancy super early on because I was so sick (which makes it really difficult to keep things under wraps) and because the second time around I was much more relaxed about letting people in on the secret earlier on.

weeks: 14

baby’s size: peach

i’m feeling: somewhat better. I haven’t had to take any medication in 2 weeks now, and while I still have bad days, it’s nothing compared to what I was dealing with just a few weeks ago.

food love: nothing. Right now I don’t love any food. Eating feels like an obligation at best and like a total chore at worst. I have to eat every couple of hours or I get sick, but nothing seems appealing so I’m kind of just forcing myself to eat whatever seems the least revolting.

food hate: everything. All food disgusts me to some extent these days, though I have to admit I don’t have the extreme food aversions I had with Prim (I couldn’t even look at chicken during my first trimester with her — this time around I’ve eaten it quite a bit.)

3 pros for august: 1. My hyperemesis gravidarum has started to calm down and now is in the plain-ol’ morning sickness category, I’d say. 2. We’re going on vacation to Mallorca! I can’t wait to lay by the pool and not cook for a whole week. 3. Getting a child seat put on my bike has really opened up the city for me, and riding around with KC on the weekends has been so fun!

3 cons for august: 1. I’m still throwing up regularly. I’m super stoked for that to go away. 2. Insomnia has started wayyyy earlier this pregnancy. With Prim I only had mild insomnia at the tail-end of my third trimester, this go-round it’s how I knew I was pregnant long before I even took a pregnancy test. 3. I haven’t actually gained any weight yet (mostly due to the fact that I was so sick that I lost a bunch of weight early on), but my belly is HUGE. That whole second pregnancy thing/having babies close together apparently means you look like you’re 10 weeks further along than you really are. (Or at least I feel like I do.)

currently living in: regular clothes still. One of the only upsides to the HG is that the weight loss means all my regular clothes still fit, even with this big belly.

looking forward to: vacation! Even though I’m not super stoked to stuff this belly into a swimsuit, I’m so so excited to do some swimming with a little fishy named Prim.

dreaming about: Mexican food. The Mexican food in Amsterdam is soooo terrible. SO TERRIBLE.  KC is constantly like, “It’s not that bad,” and I’m like, “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS IS LITERALLY THE WORST THING I’VE EVER TASTED HOW CAN YOU EVEN CALL YOURSELF A CALIFORNIAN.”

(Being married to me = the best.)

Life Abroad / Pregnancy

The Dutch Maternity System

August 19, 2016


Given that I’ve already experienced one pregnancy in the US, I thought I’d write a post about the Dutch maternity system. It’s pretty different from the US — much more hands-off. A friend of mine recently referred to it as “free-range pregnancy,” which I think is a pretty apt description.

When I was pregnant with Prim, here’s how the first trimester was:

  • blood test at 5 weeks to confirm pregnancy and measure HCG levels
  • blood test 2 days later to confirm HCG levels were at least doubling
  • doctor appointment and ultrasound at 6 weeks to confirm pregnancy with heartbeat
  • blood test to screen for antibodies, Rh, iron levels, etc.
  • doctor appointment at 10 weeks
  • ultrasound at 10 weeks to confirm due date
  • early glucose test due to family history of gestational diabetes
  • blood test for NT scan
  • NT scan ultrasound at 12 weeks
  • doctor appointment at 14 weeks

Here’s the first trimester in Amsterdam (omitting all the hospital crap I had to do due to the Hyperemesis Gravidarum):

  • doctor appt at 6 weeks to establish relationship with midwife
  • 6 week ultrasound to confirm pregnancy with heartbeat 
  • 10 week ultrasound to confirm due date
  • blood test for NT scan/blood test to screen for antibodies, Rh, iron levels, etc.
    • these tests are done together so you only have to go in for one blood draw
  • NT scan ultrasound at 12 weeks
  • midwife appointment at 13 weeks

The three things in italics above are things that are not customary in the Dutch system. We opted into these and paid out of pocket for them. If you went “straight Dutch” you would have two midwife appointments, the dating ultrasound and one blood test during the first trimester — that’s it!

Also, when I would go in for a routine doctor’s appointment in the US they would weigh me, have me pee in a cup, take my blood pressure, measure the height of my uterus, and listen to the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler. Here a standard midwife appointment is getting my blood pressure taken, having the midwife feel how my uterus is growing, and listening to the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler. That’s right — THEY DON’T WEIGH YOU. I’m kind of into it.

It’s also not customary to do the glucose/gestational diabetes test here. They apparently only test you if you have some sort of risk factor. And aside from the GD test (if you’re required to take it), there is no other blood work required after the single test done in the first trimester. Bananas!

I’ll fill you in on the delivery planning here on a later date, because that’s a whole other animal. But yeah, if you’re into hands-off pregnancy, maybe plan your next one to be here in the Netherlands!