Sunday, June 3, 2012

Playing Catchup With The First Trimester

Now that the cat's out of the bag on baby #2 this post plays catch-up on the first trimester. 

Cravings: Water and fruit. Specifically oranges and orange juice - which I normally don't have an affinity for. 

Aversions: Korean food and smells. Just the thought of it makes me feel sick. And if you live or have ever lived in Korea you know that the smell follows you so it's near impossible to get away from.  

Symptoms: Extreme fatigue from 2 weeks to 8 weeks. At 9 weeks I started having vision issues - I've heard of this but didn't experience any issues with Cooper. I'm blessed to not have morning sickness per say but during this pregnancy I do usually wakeup feeling a little sick to my stomach. The only thing that ever comes of it is periodic, violent dry heaving when I brush my teeth. 

How I feel: In general I feel great - happy to be (literally) growing our family. But there are some differences: in particular having a baby in Korea is extremely different (details below) and knowing that I won't have my mom and sister here (in particular) is very hard. Here, I don't get to choose by OB/GYN and actually I'm not authorized to even see an OB/GYN until I actually deliver, I hate this but we keep reminding ourselves that we made the decision to have a baby in Korea.

Week by Week:

Week 4
On April 20 I suspected I was pregnant but didn’t have a HPT so I used a good excuse to go to the store first thing on Saturday morning. I took the test and there it was: PREGNANT! Now the last time I found out I was pregnant I told Owen right away but always wished I’d waited until a special moment. So, this time I did. We went to Lotte World and I had to hold in the news for hours. I originally wanted to do it in the hot air balloon rides but the wait was too long so instead I waited until we got to the Cinderalla-like castle. I asked Owen and Cooper to pose and then told them right before I snapped the series of 5 shots that capture his emotions perfectly – disbelief, skepticism, wonder, acknowlegdement, excitement.

Week 5
I hate keeping secrets  - I’m crummy at it and being a SAHM right now makes it worse! And, I’m tired, so unbelievably tired.

Week 6
Was scheduled to meet with Mrs. Chon today but my babysitter had to cancel at the last minute. When I was pregnant with Cooper our first appointment was at 4 weeks to confirm the pregnancy, then we had one at 6 weeks to hear the heartbeat and I have no idea when I’ll get my first appointment here so I’ve been fighting back tears all day.

Wed: Mrs. Chon was gracious enough to reschedule the briefing just for me today in her office. I’m very excited to start the process and learn how having a baby here in Korea will go as there are about 5 different stories I’ve heard so far.

So, this is the deal-io. Because I’m NOT a high-risk pregnancy I have to see just the regular flight doctor here until 39 weeks. Then I have to stay in a specific ‘hotel’ called Stork’s Nest at the Army base in Seoul for the last week to alleviate the chance of having the baby at our emergency room. And ultrasounds – yeah, I only get 1 – the entire pregnancy. At this point I had to remind myself to breathe and that we made the choice to have a baby in Korea. 

Week 7
This weekend I went with my good friend Aimee for a girl’s weekend in Seoul. First time to be away from Cooper but we were going to be so busy that I would hardly get a chance to be sad about it. And busy we were – the first day was a 13 hour shopping day. But before the shopping (or even the driving to Seoul) began I had to tell Aimee the big news – such a relief to tell a friend!

That evening I severely aggravated my knee injury – the pain that night was almost unbearable, up there in the top 3 of my life and I actually was worried if the reaction to the pain in my body would be harmful to the baby. I also refused to take pain meds but finally after icepacking I fell asleep at 3am and woke up sore, but fine. So, naturally we did more shopping! Growing a baby and power shopping is exhausting - I could have came home and slept for 3 days straight.

Week 8
By this time the last pregnancy we had gotten 3 ultrasounds and heard the heartbeat so we were ancy. So, I figured out how we could buy an ultrasound off-base. It did take some help of our squadron’s awesome Korean secretary – Jinny to figure out the details of how to get there, what the procedure was, etc. So we decided to go the very next morning to the walk-in Bom OB Clinic only a couple miles outside of the gate. We found out on this trip that Koreans take lunch from 1-2 (note to self) so at 2 we were third in line and didn’t wait longer than 20 minutes.

So, they called us back and we first talked to the Korean doctor in his office for a few minutes about how far along we were, what we were getting done, etc. He spoke a little English and spelled a lot of things that we weren’t understanding which was helpful.

Right next door was a small, dimly lit room (much more comfortable then our stark white, fluorescent rooms) where they had me lay down to do the tummy ultrasound. At this point Cooper starting flipping out – so much so that Owen had to leave the room because he was screaming for me. At this point the ultrasound is on-screen and the doc is saying something but between a screaming baby, an anxious mommy, and very broken English I didn’t know what. What I did understand was the doc circling the area where a baby should be and saying clearly “no baby, no baby, no baby.” So for 15 seconds I wasn’t in a happy place.

Finally he pointed to the other ultrasound mechanism and I understood what he needed to do to see the baby. Phew! After some discreet preparations by the lady nurse we finally got to the see the baby and hear the heartbeat. And the doctor explained what we were seeing mostly by spelling “Here. g-e-s-t-a-t-i-o-n-a-l / s-a-c.” or “Here. “f-e-t-u-s.” Here. Fetus. Is a good thing, much better than “no baby.” 

Here’s a clip of just what we saw and heard.

Next we talked to the doctor a little longer about when to come back and when we could know the gender. Via a traditional ultrasound we’ll be able to know the gender around 16 weeks or July 15. I just did that calculation… perhaps we’ll wait until my birthday on July 23 to find out!

Week 9
This week was a breeze. The exhaustion got a bit better and what I thought was “morning” sickeness all weekend turned out to be what I think was a bad stomach bug. 

Week 10
This is the week we decided to tell everyone our big news! First Owen announced it to his squadron at his promotion party and then we posted to Facebook on Sunday evening. 


  1. Congrats!! Very excited for you -- thankfully you won't be super prego until this winter when it will have cooled down again in Korea....and will cover up some of the smells too. :) It sure is different being pregnant overseas, huh!?! Hopefully someday I will get to experience it in America.

  2. Thanks Laura! I am thankful that I won't be 9 months along in July too! And, yes it is very different being pregnant here - just hoping everything goes as smoothly as it did with Cooper. Thanks again for the read :)

  3. I'm going to Bom OB clinic today, thanks to coming across your post..Can't wait! Thanks so much for all of your info! Congrats to you!

  4. I'm so glad Brittany! Hope you had a great appointment and best of luck in your pregnancy.

  5. Just catching up on your blog and, ahem, today is July 15. When will you know? Two Coopers or a little boy and girl - either would be perfect! So happy for you guys, and very interested in following your experience and comparisons between having baby #1 and baby #2!