8.17.2016

We're Having a Baby!



What a relief to finally tell the world about our news! I'm not one for keeping things to myself, so it was pretty difficult for me to keep quiet that we were expecting. Of course I just had to tell my mom and our families immediately, but we wanted to make sure we got through the first trimester before we spread the news. And now it's finally here! I'm 16 weeks today and am so grateful I made it to the second trimester.

Honestly, the first three months were weirder than I bargained for. I was quite emotional at the beginning, and I'm hoping those hormones have calmed down a bit. I'm generally an emotional person, so I didn't realize quite how moody I had been, but hindsight is 20/20. My teariness ended up being our big clue that we were expecting.

Greg went on a 2-week work trip to China and my family was out of town while he was gone. Usually when I know he's going to be gone for that long, I try to pack up my schedule catching up with friends or going down to Alpine. But this time, I really wanted to finish up a quilt I had been working on. So I got all the supplies out and worked on it but I would just give up so quickly. My energy reserve drained quicker that I was used to and it was frustrating. When Greg is in China, our schedule is off by 14 hours. Which means, we can only talk in the mornings or at night- typically at inconvenient times. We both end up taking turns waking early or going to bed late so we can catch up. We aren't sure if it was a combination of his hotel or our wifi, but the service was interrupted nearly every time we spoke. Our video calls wouldn't connect and even the audio was delayed. I would try to walk around my neighborhood but our Verizon signal is so weak that I couldn't even get data. We finally realized our best option was when I was at work early in the mornings and we could get stronger service. The whole ordeal was upsetting, but I just took it to another level. Every time Greg would call I would cry and cry and tell him how much I miss him. Few things are worse than being sad and crying to someone over the phone when they can't even hear you. Ha! So it would just make me cry more. And then I would get upset and say, "Let's just try talking another time." And I would sit on the couch fuming about everything (and usually hungry, because I cook less when Greg is out of town). We realized it wasn't fun catching up if I was just going to cry and complain. Ha! When I realized that I could be pregnant, I just kept blaming my behavior on my hormones. I would apologize and say, "I'm really sorry, but I must be pregnant because this is just crazy and I can't stop crying."

When he came home, I took a pregnancy test and indeed, we were expecting! I don't know what I was more happy about: welcoming a baby or having an excuse for my behavior! (Just kidding, I really am more excited about welcoming a baby. :)

After the emotions, the next big thing that hit was the sensitivity to smells. I feel like I've always been more aware of smells than Greg is, but again, this was at an extreme level. I started opening the windows a lot when either of us was cooking. And if I considered the smell remotely annoying, I wouldn't eat whatever it was. I started avoiding the kitchen in general, especially the disposal and the trash. We're pretty good at keeping those things scent-free, but I just didn't want to risk it.

Then of course came the nausea. I didn't realize how sick I was feeling until I tried looking at Pinterest and it made me sick. Scrolling through my feed with lots of food dishes was impossible. I had to avoid the app for months because just seeing pictures of food was difficult. When you're a foodie, that's a big bummer. Food is such a big part of my life and my hobbies so I felt like I was losing a portion of my personality. I stopped reading my food blogs (and haven't been able to pick them up again), I stopped cooking, and stopped posting on my food instagram account. I had to shift my usual mentality of "live to eat" and adopt more of an "eat to live" philosophy, which is obviously not in my nature so I felt pretty sad a lot of the time. I read several articles about how to survive pregnancy as a foodie. I got lots of tips on forums about things that taste good while you're feeling sick. I got really into peanut butter toast (preferably on an English muffin) with a large, cold glass of milk. I ate a lot of ramen. Not the nice ones we make with pork belly and toppings, just the chicken flavor for 10 cents at the grocery store. Lots of saltines and popcorn. I just wanted carbs all the time. The more, the merrier! We had a few unfortunate episodes with chicken, broccoli, quinoa, and brown rice. I don't know when I'll be able to face those again but I'm sure it will be awhile. I've lost a bit of weight, but I'm sure the next few months will catch up! For now, I'm sticking to more simple vegetarian type meals when I do the cooking.

Speaking of which, I haven't been cooking much at all. Poor Greg has been such a good sport. Usually we do meal planning and grocery shopping once a week, but early on, we were wasting so much food because I would think something sounded good so we'd buy a bunch of things and then I would change my mind and so he'd eat as much of it as he could but then we'd inevitably have to toss some things. I've been getting really into Wendy's sour cream and chive baked potatoes with a side salad. It makes me feel a bit better compared to all the goldfish crackers I've been consuming.

Greg has been doing all the housework and even though he is so nice about it, I always feel so guilty. He usually is our lead on the laundry, but lately he does it all. Thinks about it, changes all the loads, folds everything, and puts it all away. Lots of times I'm just watching on the couch apologizing for being lazy. I'm just shocked at how much energy it takes to grow a human! I emptied the dishwasher the other day and sent a picture to Greg because I was so proud of myself! The best part of the second trimester has been having more energy and feeling like I'm getting my personality back. I'm more excited about food and I'm getting things accomplished after work. Slowly, but surely!

After being at work all day, I've felt like I need to just come home and take a nap to be able to get through the rest of the night. Which seems to be a downward spiral. If I come home and nap and then wake up to eat something and talk to Greg before I go back to bed, then I can't sleep through the night. So I wake up and then browse on my phone for a couple hours and go back to bed for another hour or so. It's a weird cycle. I've been avoiding the naps the past few weeks in exchange for just going to bed early and that seems to be much better.

Another perk of the second trimester change has been seeing growth in my little baby bump! I've had a pooch on my belly for the past few years, so I'm kind of used to that. It initially caused me a bit of grief because it's confusing to know whether I am really showing or if that's just the usual evidence of my post-college lifestyle. I even broke down to my doctor about it the other day. I told her that I wish I had lost more weight before getting pregnant. She is the sweetest and showed me all my stats and vitals and talked about how healthy I am and how I'm doing everything just right. So that was nice to hear and it helped me to get through some of the negative body image thoughts that had been swarming in my head. Having progress in the baby bump department has been really fun though. I'm starting to feel uncomfortable in my normal clothes and even though I am in that weird stage where my clothes don't quite fit but maternity clothes seem overkill, it's a fun place to be. My sister, Melissa, brought me all her maternity clothes and it's been such a blessing. We are the same size and have the same style in clothing and I feel like it's opened up so many more options of what I can wear and given me a lot of confidence about proudly sporting the bump. The whole thing just feels so much more real now.

Speaking of, we're just really excited about welcoming a baby into our little family. I feel like I've been preparing to be a mom my whole life and as nervous as we are, we feel like we're really ready to expand our capacities for all the hard things and the good things that parenthood will bring. I love Greg so much and he's taken such good care of me these past few months. His entry in my world has brought so much joy into my life. I can't even imagine having my heart grow even more for an additional member of our family, but I'm really grateful for the opportunity. I feel so much gratitude that it didn't take us long to get pregnant and that we're even able to take this journey together.

There's so many things to take care of and arrange for baby preparation that sometimes I forget about the reality of how much our life will change and the love that we will feel for this little one. I've only had a few experiences thus far that have made me feel connected to the baby, but they've been so sweet. There was one day when I drove up to a park near my office for lunch. We hadn't gone to the grocery store for awhile, so I had a smorgasbord of odd things packed. I ate some string cheese and then started on my chips and guacamole. I couldn't handle the smells or the textures so I just set it down next to the seat and pondered about what in the world would taste good right now. Then I had to go throw everything away to get the smell out of my car. I got back to the car and said, "Hey little one, you better appreciate this because I really don't like going without my lunch." I immediately felt like I was actually talking to someone who could hear me back. It was really neat.

Another time I felt connected was when we saw the ultrasound at our first appointment. It was thrilling to have the doctor put her wand on my belly and actually have something show up on the screen. And then a few weeks ago, we listened to the heartbeat and the nurse was saying, "Ah, it won't stop moving!" And I was thinking, "Woot, woot, that's our little babe! Energizer bunny!"

First ultrasound, 8 weeks

We've had some insurance issues the past few days that we're trying to resolve. Ah the joys of health care! But assuming we can get it all sorted out, we should know the gender in the next couple weeks and then it will get even more real. Thanks everyone for being so excited about our news. We've felt so much love and support from all the people we've told and it's nice to know that we'll have a village to help us raise our little one.

8.15.2016

Domain Purchasing

Funny little story I wanted to quickly write down...

It's difficult when you are a web designer and you don't know how many websites you should have, or how many domains you should buy and then redirect to your different online spaces. I've created several portfolio websites for myself through the years, I had a personal blog that I turned into The Woolstons blog, I have an etsy shop, and I may want to have a site that's just dedicated to freelance or other random stuff to sell that isn't design work. I have some that redirect to other sites, some are connected to a CMS system and some are just hard coded and I pay hosting. The point is... it's just consistently an area of confusion in my life and I'm constantly making new decisions about my online space.

So it's fitting that my marriage and name change was something that added to the complexity. I was reviewing my domain account several months into dating Greg. I was trying to figure out which domains to renew and then I panicked and thought, "Ah, I better grab something with my possible new last name." I called my sister and asked if I was crazy. I was worried that Greg would see the confirmation email and then be super weirded out and break up with me. But I finally decided that I would take the plunge and just risk it. I didn't want to lose the URL!

So I went ahead and bought rebeccawoolston.com, gregwoolston.com (I saw his name was available and I thought- ah what the heck?!), gregandbecca.com, and thewoolstons.com. I know it's a small thing, only cost me like $40. But it felt like the most brave thing to just boldly purchase a URL and commit to a new name. I think in my head, it also committed me to Greg. I had been grappling with the marriage decision and the large weight of that for a bit. Buying these domains was like a confirmation of "Yes, of course this is what I want." It wasn't buying a ring or anything, but for me it felt like the equivalent.

Two weeks later, he proposed. And I told him about the domains. :) He didn't think I was crazy. I can't speak for him, but I'm sure he probably appreciated that I had made my decision a few weeks prior.

This week marks two years since I bought those domains and they are set to expire. We're going to keep some and let go of a few others. It's a little sad to me that I'm losing some of them because they mark an important moment in my life. But it's all good, because now I have someone who is with me in all my domains- on the web and in my life.