February 27, 2013



Tomorrow, I will be 24 weeks pregnant.  On the message boards, women who have reached this week of pregnancy would celebrate their "V-day."  I had no idea what this meant.  Not wanting to sound stupid, I just kind of waited it out until it was explained or until someone else asked.  Turns out that, when pregnancy-related, V-day means viability day. 

I did some internet research and the consensus seems to be that 24 weeks is when the pregnancy is considered viable.  One source said that, while the survival chance of a fetus delivered at 23 weeks was only 17%, that number more than doubles to 39% at 24 weeks (and continues to increase the longer the bun is in the oven).  Before 24 weeks, hospitals will not necessarily do anything possible to medically intervene and save a baby delivered early.  It's not because they're jerks...I'm sure it's because of key developments that have to happen in utero (I'm not a doctor, don't quote me on ANY of this).  

So...while I obviously want this little dude or dudette to stay warm and toasty and safe for as long as possible, it's a huge relief to know that his or her survival chances just get better and better from here on out.  God willing, we will go full term.

This milestone occurring this week made me think of some of my favorite pregnancy milestones so far.  Really only two come to mind, and the second one happened last night: finding out I was pregnant, and my husband feeling the baby kick from the outside for the first time last night.

I wish I could accurately put into words how it felt seeing the positive pregnancy test and walking in to show it to Michael...whose eyes grew to the size of dinner plates in disbelief.  Maybe one day I'll sit down and really try to type out the story: the way I felt, the way he felt, the whole hazy day of just going about our routine but occasionally staring off into the distance and smiling at each other, knowing that our lives had just changed.  I feel like, since I'm terrible at writing things down and journaling, I should do that while my memory of that day is still pretty fresh.

The baby has, just in the last few days, REALLY started kicking.  Well, s/he may have been kicking this whole time, but with the front-facing placenta (I will NEVER like that word...) I just haven't really felt it.  But WHOA do I feel it now! Strong, hard kicks...sometimes so hard that, if I'm looking down at just the right moment, I can see my stomach move a little bit.

Last night, I made Michael sit right next to me on the couch so, if Baby got active, I could quickly grab his hand.  This ornery child (gee, I wonder which parent that comes from...) would completely stop every time I put his hand on my stomach, but finally there was one hard kick right when I put his hand on my stomach.  I didn't even have to ask "Did you feel that?" because I could see his head snap towards me in my peripheral vision.  I looked over and he was smiling from ear to ear.  Baby was kind enough to kick a couple more times, so he knew he wasn't imagining things.

I have to admit, I got super choked up immediately at this milestone for Michael. I can't imagine what it's like to be the husband.  It probably doesn't start to feel real at all until your wife starts to really show (unless she's had a tough first trimester and a half, which luckily I did not), and then it must be hard to hear her talk about feeling the baby move when you can't feel it yourself.  I am so happy that I can share this pregnancy with him going forward in this small way. 

Feeling (and seeing!) these distinct movements has really brought this whole thing to a new level of reality for me, and now for Michael as well.  It's taken almost 6 months, but I finally am very aware in a brand new way that we are having a baby. That it's not just something happening that I can't feel or see, but it's real and it has a personality (I think this baby LOVES music!) and it moves around and is just growing and changing every day.

I bet you're all happy to see a cynical, whiny sourpuss like me finally really getting into this, huh?  I still hate sleeping on my side, and I want to cry when I see pictures pre-pregnancy and how close I got to my goal weight...I miss my body!  So there's that, just to make sure you know that someone else didn't hijack my blog.  :)

February 20, 2013

Hump Day Bump Day -- Celebrating all Forms

I call this look "The Pregnant Ballerina."

Did I mention that I finally caved on the Message Boards? I did.  I still stand by what I said in an earlier post about how crazy some of them get.  I'm very lucky that the board for my birth month (June 2013) is relatively awesome and drama-free.  I also try to stay out of the threads regarding potentially incendiary topics, which helps, I think.  But anywho, it's been a lot of fun at times...especially Wednesdays.

Why?  Because Wednesdays are known as Hump Day Bump Day (HDBD).  Everyone posts a photo of her current baby bump, how far along they are, whether or not they're a first time mom, height, etc.

First of all, everyone always looks adorable.  It's so fun to see the smiles growing as the bellies grow each week.  But that's not what absolutely thrills and fascinates me about these weekly threads...

What I absolutely love to the point of actually getting teary-eyed sometimes (man I'm such a hippie...) is how different yet absolutely beautiful every woman looks.  No matter her height, shape, size, outfit, hair color, skin color....it's just amazing.

Now before you blow me off as being some crazy lady who is in absolute awe at the wonder of the children growing in our expanding wombs...it's not that part that gets to me (although that's stupid awesome, too!).

What fascinates and excites me is how differently every woman shows and grows with her pregnancy (first, second, fourth...you get the idea).  Some of the moms who aren't doing this for the first time will post a side-by-side comparison picture -- this time THIS pregnancy vs. this time PAST pregnancy, and the differences can be so awesome!

Also, everyone is SO supportive of each other.  There are women who are weeks farther along than I am, and SMALLER...and women who are weeks behind where I am with bigger bumps than mine...but it's such a supportive environment!  I sure hope that anyone who thinks "I shouldn't be this big already," or "Why am I not bigger by now?!" feels as uplifted as I do after this weekly post.

It just serves to prove the "every body/woman/baby is different" that I keep hearing throughout this pregnancy...but it also proves a great lesson even minus the baby bumps.  There is so much beauty in every woman, no matter her shape, the size of her jeans, how tall she is...and these weekly posts have been a tremendous reminder of just how we are all "fearfully and wonderfully made" by our Creator with loving hands.

EDIT TO ADD: I just finally opened my daily devotional email and this was today's key verse: But Lord, You are our father. We are like clay, and You are the potter; Your hands made us all. (Isaiah 64:8).  Pretty cool and appropriate, huh? :)

February 12, 2013

Serenity vs. Pregspectations

Do you like that word? Pregspectations? I made it up last night when I was thinking about the expectations of a woman -- or at least my own expectations -- and of those around her when she is pregnant.

Word combinations. Worbinations. They're fun!


It's not news to anyone who knows me or who has been reading this blog that I've been having a bit of trouble feeling really connected to this pregnancy and this baby.  The most I've felt that it's really real was last Friday during and after our anatomy scan ultrasound. I got to see the outline of an actual developing little person inside me, which was super cool.  But, overall? I just...don't.

I pray for the baby, of course. Every single day. I think about him/her a lot, especially when I'm in the car listening to music and singing.  I wonder if s/he hears me and likes the sound of my voice. I wonder if it recognizes Carmen's barking and Michael's voice.  But that only really happens in specific moments.

I have friends who are loving every moment of being pregnant and having these serene, powerful connections to their babies. I'm happy for them, but it makes me feel...well let's just be honest.  This is a blog after all.  It makes me feel like a bad Mom already. 

I have definitely started enjoying pregnancy more, but as of this point in time I don't see myself being the kind of woman who misses being pregnant. I feel great, overall.  I'm having fun picking out outfits for myself that challenge me, finding new ways to look cute and incorporate my style into maternity wear. I'm SO GLAD to have started taking the steps necessary to get the house and the baby's room ready. I liked registering (even though each time I've very definitely hit The Wall and started getting overwhelmed).  So I'm not miserable and uncomfortable (anymore) (again, yet). 

I just really still see this as a means to an end.

Recently, several friends have given birth...and even more will before it's our turn to meet the Little One.  Those are the times I get really emotional -- when I see the first photos of the new family.  Mom crying as the baby is handed to her.  Dad struggling to keep his emotions in check as he holds his son/daughter for the first time....so maybe that's gonna be our strongest memory and emotion, too.

Maybe some people really feel like parents during the pregnancy, but for others it takes holding the baby in their arms.  I think I -- we, actually -- might be the latter. Michael and I talked about this last night as I was mulling all of this over, and I talked about this a little with a friend today, too.

Really I think I need to just let go of the worry.  The worry that something will be wrong with the baby.  The worry that something is wrong with me.  The worry about what others think/will think about my decisions and choices. My friend today asked me if I was giving anything up for Lent. I answered that I don't really observe Lent, but I'm not opposed to the idea of giving up something that I don't need...and not just until Easter Sunday. 

So here it is.  I'm giving up worry.  I'm giving up the stress that might even be keeping me from enjoying this (relatively) short process more than I could be. I'm giving up the EXPECTATIONS that I think I should feel just because someone else did/does. 

I'm accepting serenity.  I'm accepting peace and acceptance. I'm accepting that my experience is valid and it's mine.

Feel free to hold me to this, friends. Just remember to do it nicely. :)

February 8, 2013


20-week selfie

I've been wanting to post an update for SO long here on the blog, and the halfway point seemed to be a good place to come back...except that the halfway point was still a week before our ultrasound/anatomy scan and, being as superstitious and anxious as I tend to be, I decided to wait just one more week to make sure everything was a-OK before posting.

This morning was our appointment with our anatomy scan ultrasound.  I wasn't nervous about it at all until some time yesterday afternoon when I started wondering just how many things might be wrong, developmentally, with our little Junebug.  Yes...I still call it a BabyMonster most of the time, but come on, I had to have at least ONE cutesy obnoxious name for it.  I promise that's as bad as it will get, though.

Last night I prayed not only for my own peace of mind, but that the baby would be fine when we got to take our first look at it in three months.  I knew deep in my heart that, no matter what the tech saw or the doctor relayed to us, I would find peace.  I know so surely and truly that God holds us -- and this baby -- in His hands and that He is in control.

I am not in control.

My doctor has told me, my logic has told me...but it's something I need to be reminded of from time to time.  And when I do release all of this into God's hands, the peace is...peaceful.

Sonograms are incredible, wonderful gifts of technology, but they aren't always perfect and they aren't always indicative of what you're going to actually see when you deliver. I know this, and knowing this gave me lots of peace this morning...which allowed me to enjoy THIS even more:

21-week u/s picture -- check out that rootbeer belly

I mean...that's a baby.  That's a BABY that is growing and hanging out inside my body.  We made that.  Look at that profile! That's a FACE! And a TUMMY! And...I think...an arm? 

I haven't cried looking at the picture.  But the wonder I feel is...wonderful?  I'm not so good with the words today.  It's just incredible to me that there's life inside me.  No, I'm not saying that I feel like a Blessed Vessel.  I do a lot more than I did months ago in my very first post, sure, but it's just more surreal than anything else. That's inside of me. And, at some point, it's going to come out. And grow and learn and speak and discover and....okay NOW I may have something in my eye...

So on to some stats:

We are still TEAM GREEN! The sonogram technician didn't even LOOK in the pertinent area to check, so nobody knows what the sex of this baby is except for God. The only person it's driving crazy seems to be my mother-in-law, but I have a feeling she'll be pretty darn excited no matter what. :)

Some movement is happening! Finally! Over the last week or so, if all the stars are aligned (i.e., I'm laying flat, quietly, relaxing, and really concentrating on the baby) I have felt some little thumps and kicks.  For a long time I was starting to get concerned that I hadn't felt him/her move yet, but I knew that as a first-time mom it might be as late as 25 weeks before I did. Found out today (WARNING -- MEDICAL TERMS COMING UP THAT MAY BE TMI FOR YOU) that I have an "anterior placenta," which means it's in the front instead of the back.  So there's padding between the baby and my stomach.  So, he/she will have to get a little heavier before I really feel a lot of hard kicks. I'm ok with that.  Just glad to know what's up.

I'm feeling great.  Really.  The horrible gag reflex finally went away.  I've had more of an appetite (which is speeding up the weight gain some, so I need to be a little more diligent about healthy food choices and get off my [increasingly fat] butt for some exercise soon), but also more heartburn.  So no more excuses re: cravings.  RELATED: my next appointment includes the 1-hour glucose test, so the Slurpees may have to take a backseat (*sob*) for a while.

We've decided (at least 90% sure) on names.  But we aren't telling, so....sorry. :)

We're finally starting to make plans to progress on the baby's room. I guess the little babe needs a place to sleep (NOT in our bed) (and probably NOT in Carmen's bed...), so we need to get the nursery ready.  As with the registry (which is also started, but not finished), the most overwhelming part is getting started.  Once that happens this weekend, I'll feel better.

I'm starting to make a mental list which I'll eventually write down of all the to-do's we still need to do.  I'm not even sure what all needs to be done, but just making a list makes me feel better.

.........I think that's it?  I mean there's not much else to tell right now!

Second trimester is pretty fun, actually.