Letters to a daughter from her parents, starting from before she was born

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Great expectations

Dear Baby,

First of all, although I've been conspicuously absent from this blog so far, I promise I'll be very present in your life once you've been born. Just thinking of all the anxious, sleepless nights and diaper changes in store for us over the next couple of years is enough to make me cry (with...joy?).

You were a surprise, but one we had been fervently hoping for. So far, your arrival has mostly resulted in your mom and I staring at each other in excited disbelief asking "What do we do now?!", some extra visits to doctors and midwives, research and reading, some changes in your mom's moods and the food, medicines, and vitamins she can take, and apparently her body is rearranging itself to make room for you and prepare for your emergence into the world.

I know you're there, but for the most part, you're a concept for me at this point; an idea that is becoming a reality, one that will drastically change our lives in ways we cannot even imagine yet. Sometimes, I get glimpses of you; feeling the hard, round ball you're growing in beneath your mom's belly, or when we go to the midwife and get to hear your fast little heartbeat.

We've had two sonograms of you so far, and another one coming up soon. In the first one, you were almost imperceptible; a tiny grain of rice with a life of its own. In the second, you were amazingly human - arms and legs, jumping around in response to the poking of the technician, sucking your thumb and even waving at us from the womb. It was sobering, to see how real the idea of you was becoming.

We'll know soon if you're a boy or a girl. At least, we hope to know soon, since we've got  a party scheduled this weekend to tell all our friends. It'll be a little embarrassing if we have to admit we don't know, so please do us a favor and cooperate with the technician to show us your bits, ok?

You've been the subject of much thought and conversation already, and you're only halfway towards being born. What will the rest of your life consist of? How will you affect the lives of others? What legacy will you leave behind?

We hope to influence that, but only you can control it.

No pressure or anything.



Friday, August 23, 2013

18 week journal (and a non-selfie picture!)

Hey baby!
You're starting to get big in there!  I realized the other day that we're aaaalmost to the half way point.  Crazy how far we've come!  Next week is the big...reveal! What are you? A boy...a girl...or a puppy? Really, I think a puppy would be rad, but I'd rather a baby.  

This party should be awesome fun especially if we can get organized in time. Anyone want to come help move furniture?  

How Far Along: 18 weeks

Size of baby: Sweet potato Average size: 5.6 inches, 6.7 oz
Okay SWEET POTATO? Sweet potatoes can be HUGE.  This is a ridiculous comparison....the one in this picture looks anemic and shriveled though.  
I'd prefer a baby over a sweet potato...just sayin'.
picture courtesy of thebump.com 

Gender: 6 days until we find out!!

Movement:  Maybe little bubbles, but nothing really definitive

How I'm Changing: I'm getting fatter...does that count? The belly is definitely growing.   

Total Weight Gain/Loss: No idea, but I'm feeling rather tubby, so I think we're doing well.  

Maternity Clothes: Ugh I need more.  I have like one 'nice' outfit. 

How I'm Feeling: A little overwhelmed with feeling like my ENTIRE HOUSE needs to be moved around, but I'm not as cripplingly tired as I have been.  

Sleep: I actually slept for 6 hours straight last night...that was lovely. This isn't my sleep, but Newton has slept a lot of time on me lately. I wonder if he's just sad that Molly moved out and he can't rub on all her stuff.  He's obsessed with the afghan my aunt made me when I was little, and would spend all day on it, on me, curled up against my baby belly. I think I'm his portable heat pad. Poor kid only has 22 weeks of being king of the castle left, so he can sleep where ever the heck he wants! 

What I miss: My house being clean

What I'm Eating: umm..anything not nailed down.

Cravings: Meh...I generally just want what I see or think about, but nothing crazy unless you count my eating goldfish and gummies together.  I like sweet and sour together.  Yesterday I had banana chips and goldfish together. 

Best Moment this week: This is a hard one. I had lots of fun making a journal with my friend, and having her take my picture. I'm also really excited about our upcoming party, but got very overwhelmed yesterday with the idea of getting everything done in person.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

17 week journal and musings

Okay, I'm actually 18 weeks today, but I was a slacker and didn't post last week. Here's the catching up!


I have to admit, it's been a rough week.  I was supposed to babysit for a friend, and after having a week of utter exhaustion and recurrent nausea, coupled with kids with runny noses, we ended up cancelling.   I've been struggling with feeling 'down' lately, and trying really hard to not become antisocial, knowing that that will make any depression worse. I've been praying a lot lately, and certain phrases just keep going through my head, like this beautiful Hidden Word.
O SON OF JUSTICE! Whither can a lover go but to the land of his beloved? and what seeker findeth rest away from his heart’s desire? To the true lover reunion is life, and separation is death. His breast is void of patience and his heart hath no peace. A myriad lives he would forsake to hasten to the abode of his beloved.
I know it's all allegorical for a relationship with God, but I am constantly thinking of my relationship with your dad, and how fulfilling it is to both of us, and what I would do without him.  I'm so wholly blessed to have such a wonderful man in my life, and you're so lucky to have him as a father.

So without further ado, here is the journal, and a picture.

How Far Along: 17 weeks

Size of baby: an onion apparently.  I really think they want me to crave guacamole.

Gender: We don't know yet. We find out in 10 days though, and the party is in 12.

Movement:  Nope, but darn I keep hoping and waiting!

How I'm Changing: My belly is getting bigger/rounder/harder.  My hips and lower back are sore.  My breasts are massive.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I dare not step on a scale.

Maternity Clothes: Finally.  I'm living in my two pairs of sweats, and one pair of jeans.  I also dug up some really big leggings that look nice under a long shirt I bought. I really can't believe how short my t-shirts are getting.

How I'm Feeling: Truthfully, I'm exhausted and lately a bit depressed.  I feel alone a lot of the time, even when there is no reason to (like after spending a weekend with friends), and I feel like these hormones are playing tricks on me.  I'm still having a hard time finding good/healthy foods that I want to eat, and suffered from a stomach ache all of last week.

Sleep: Not too bad. I get up 1-2x/night. If I use the bathroom right before I fall asleep, I can usually make it 5-6 hrs.  I did find myself sitting on the toilet, saying out loud to myself, 'where does all the pee come from?!'

What I miss: feeling in control.  Control of my body, how I feel, the energy I have, etc.  I miss that exhilaration I felt when I lost weight and fit into smaller clothing.  I miss feeling productive.

What I'm Eating: Too much crap. This weekend was filled with brownies and steak, not healthy foods.

Cravings: umm..chocolate.

Best Moment this week: probably peach picking on a gloomy Sunday morning. We wanted around 20 peaches and came home with 20 POUNDS because they were so beautiful and juicy.  I'm also loving laying on my side and feeling how hard and round my belly is getting.  Also...I got to hold my friend's 5 week old. She's beautiful and adorable, and makes the most precious noises.

Please don't judge this awful picture.  I'm usually in big t-shirts and sweats when dad is home, so he never takes pictures of me.  This bathroom mirror obviously needs to be cleaned too :-/


Monday, August 12, 2013

What's your blood type? Are you still puking?

Hello Baby,

When we went to the midwives last week, I pointed out that I had O- blood and was pretty sure Dad was O+.  He wasn't sure until I asked him, "wait...don't you still have your dog tags? It will be listed on there!" Sure enough...his blood type is listed on his dog tags, and I'll have to get the shot.  The midwife just told him to photocopy his dog tags and bring them in next time, to put in my file. Even though I already knew my blood type (through testing it in high school, and donating blood) they still needed it 'officially' on record, so they took more blood.

I expected the blood letting experience to be awful. The first time they took blood, when I was at my first OB appointment, the lady couldn't get blood out of one arm, and had to stick my other arm. Oh yes, and it hurt.  The time I was talking to the woman and just grimaced when the needle went in. It wasn't bad at all. Not that I want to have my blood taken frequently, but if someone is going to do it, this lady can!

So babe...you're going to be a universal donor. Congratulations!  I'd just suggest not giving the Red Cross your phone number, or they'll harass you until you change your phone number like I had to.  Something about low blood pressure and giving blood mysteriously left me sick for days afterwards.

I'm excited to find all of these other ladies expecting around the same time as I am! It makes me feel like we're part of this special little clique.  I do however need to come up with some witty answer other than 'tired' when people constantly ask how I'm feeling.  I go between 'tired' and 'pregnant,' and that seems to be enough for people.

The second most common question was how sick I was the first trimester.  Let's get that out here.  It sucked. I HATED almost every moment of feeling like death warmed over.  I went from exercising and cooking daily, to not being able to move most days, and eating take out every day. I gained 10 lbs, and none of my clothing fit.  I wanted to throw up most of the time, but never did.  The first trimester sucked, and everything after that pales in comparison.  Even though the end of this pregnancy is going to be difficult and sucky, I will have had time to adjust to the idea of my body being taken over, and changed by this little parasite (that's you kid) growing inside of me.  It was a real psychological battle for me, that first trimester. I had gone from feeling good about my body, and what I was doing to become stronger and healthier...and all that got thrown on it's head.  I did what I promised I'd never do, I started resenting the timing of this pregnancy.  It took a little while...I had to get over that defense mechanism of detachment that I formed in case we lost the pregnancy; but I have grown to love you and finally be excited.  I know our lives are going to be turned upside down, but I'm looking forward to it.

That's about all for now.  We're really excited about our gender reveal party on the 31st.  I haven't figured out exactly what we'll do it yet...but I think that it will just be fabulous to have people over to eat, drink and merry. Also, cake is a huge plus.


Friday, August 9, 2013

16 week journal

Dear baby,

You're about to go through a growth spurt!  I've finally passed the terrified time of pregnancy, and entered the super excited stage.  16 weeks...we've made it for 4 months.  Congrats little one.

How Far Along: 16 weeks, 5 days

Size of baby: An avocado.  Aaron and I decided that this week would be a good week for guacamole!

Gender:  Guesses?  Most seem to be for a boy, but I'm still holding out for a girl (sorry babe if you are a boy, I'll still love you!)

Movement: I had fun laying very still, then poking my belly and seeing if I felt anything.

How I'm Changing: I'm feeling/looking more pregnant.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: ~15lbs

Maternity Clothes: FINALLY.  My friend dragged me to a maternity store yesterday, and I bought some jeans (*yey*), and like 4-5 shirts.  I like that the shirts are so much longer, because my t-shirts and such are getting too short.

How I'm Feeling: not bad.  I am more in tuned with my body lately, realizing exactly when I get super tired, or have a headache because I haven't drank enough water.  I'm also feeling more at peace with gaining weight, since I'm able to move more, and feel more in control.

Sleep: I love sleep:)

What I miss: not being so sloooooooww. I walk more slowly, wake more slowly, work more slowly. I just feel so slow.

What I'm Eating: Everything!

Cravings: currently...fruit loops.

Best Moment this week: Probably buying maternity clothing with my fabulous friend.

And...because I finally got around to it, here is a picture...where I think I actually look pregnant.
Hello awkward bathroom shot!
I really should get your father to take pictures, but oh well.  At least I cut the toilet out of it!

My awesome maternity shirt says 'geek inside' and can be found on Think Geek. Dad claims that my being pregnant makes him want to buy me presents, and since I really like presents, I'm not protesting. He bought me this shirt when I was 5 weeks pregnant though. I waited awhile to wear them. Now I love them both.



p.s. 20 days until we find out if you're a boy or a girl. I can't wait, but I really need to think of a fun, creative, way to tell the world. Dad doesn't seem to care much.  He is thinking of everything that comes after you're born. I'm living in the moment though:).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week 16 midwife visit

Hey baby,

We went to the midwives this morning for my check up. I only have to go every 5-6 weeks, which makes me it easier than every 4 weeks, since dad insists on being at every visit!

We showed up exactly at 11am, and I signed in.  Since they usually want me to pee in a cup (which I have a serious problem doing. I always miss) I was holding my bladder...20 minutes later with no sign of getting called up, I was dying and went up to the front desk to ask. Yeah, it turns out the receptionist had NEVER SEEN US sitting there, and thought we were a no show.  Luckily I go to pee, and we were immediately sent back with our favorite (okay, she's the only one we've seen but we really like her) midwife.

This time she had no trouble at all finding your heartbeat, although you kept kicking the doppler, and I was having a really hard time not laughing.  Your heart rate was 140, and the top of my uterus is almost at my belly button. I measured (well my uterus did) 14cm I think. She said it was all normal/good etc.

It turns out my old OB never sent the paperwork over. It's been 6 weeks, and no paperwork.  If I hadn't gone through the trouble of finding out how to, and printing out all of my test results that they made available online, I would have been screwed.  Today they did some more STD testing (b/c that wasn't showing on the paperwork), and blood testing (even though I knew my blood type).  I believe RH is going to be an issue since I'm negative and almost positive (hehe) that Aaron is positive.

I was happy to discover that I gained 2lbs in the last 3 weeks, and although it was around 7lbs for the last 6 weeks, it slowed a lot when I was able to start walking more without feeling disgusting.
When I found out that I was pregnant, even though I'd wanted this for so long, I was utterly terrified.  I still am on some level.  But on Sunday we went to a BBQ at a friend's house, and had the opportunity to hold and snuggle a beautiful 2 week old girl.  I had no fear or trepidation holding her, which, with all the experience I've had holding newborn shouldn't surprise me.  But it seemed like the universe was telling me...it's time to be excited, and happy, and elated and the time for fear was in the past.

Dad enjoyed holding the baby too, although he seemed to want to lay her across his chest, and she seemed to like to wiggle for him.  So adorable.  I told the baby's mom that I can't wait to get a picture of dad holding in a carrier while playing video games. I can see it now!

So baby...I'm so incredibly excited. Our lives are going to be turned upside down, and we're going to love it and love you.  In 22 days we find out if you're a girl or a boy.  We can guess before then, I mean we've got a 50% chance of being right!

I'm off to buy cat food, since I don't fancy them nibbling on my toes.