Saturday, January 23, 2016

Week 20- Halfway there!

We reached that beautiful milestone just yesterday.  20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go.
I would imagine a mountain and imagine that I am now on the downhill side, sliding down into the conclusion of this story, but I am not a dummy.  I have been on this trek 6 times before, and I know I am nowhere near the top of this mountain.
Baby is in there playing and growing.  I feel her bumping here and there regularly this week.  Daddy still hasn't been able to feel her yet, but I keep trying.  He has made me promise that I won't let anyone else feel her first.  I felt her kick this morning and I know  he would have felt it had his hand been there in that moment.  We will get there soon!
Everyone keeps asking if we have a name yet, and we keep saying, "No, we are working on it."  One benefit to this being a girl is that I don't have to worry about names now.  We like many girls names, but never had a boy's name we liked very well.
We had it narrowed down to two girls names before we found out she was a she.  Now, we think we have picked her name.  We are just sitting on it, pondering on it, and making sure we know for sure before we share.  We do not really care what anybody else thinks, so we don't really need any help.
I will admit that I have shared with one person, but it is the only person that I felt compelled to share with.
I am spending my evenings looking up baby accouterments, from  bedding to toys to baby carriers.  I looked up reviews on car seats and we picked the safest one.  We picked out a crib and dresser (one of those fancy cribs that changes to a toddler bed and full size bed later.  I have never actually seen anyone convert the crib, but maybe we will be the first!).  I am currently reading up on baby carriers and my mind boggles before I can ever pick which one we want.  Jason sits beside me while I search the baby stores online trying to find the perfect things for our girl and nods his head when I ask his opinion.  Haha!  I made an account at a baby registry so that I can keep up with all the things we want.  I love to look at it and imagine how it will all go together.
My new excitement is now that we have the gender, I added lavender as a new nursery color and am finding beautiful things to add to spruce things up in there.
Jason climbs into bed each night, rubs on my belly and says, "goodnight baby" and wakes up every morning by putting his hand on my belly and saying, "good morning daughter!"  He is ridiculous and beautiful all at once.
Baby is growing.  I only gained one pound last month.  My husband is over the moon with excitement.  My children are healthy and (secretly) excited for baby.  It has been a long road to get to this new adventure, and I am enjoying every moment of this happiness we have been blessed with.

Week 18 and 19- Good news comes in 3s!

We have had an exciting last two weeks.  The quad screen results came back within normal range, so that was fabulous news.  We are 18 weeks, and my belly has finally quit with all the bloat, and is just the baby.
We spent the MLK weekend, and the extra day off from work, painting the nursery.  We broke it down into days so that I wouldn't overdo things- as I tend to do.
Day 1- Primer and trim (we had repaint inside the closet and the trim for the entire room)
Day 2- Paint the base color of the walls (2 coats later... and then I painted the inside of the bedroom door and the closet shelf)
Day 3- Paint the "pop" wall with the three stripes

Our project turned out great.  The room, that we don't think had been updated since the house was built in the 1970's, is modern, and bright, and beautiful.  It is just waiting to be filled with delightful baby things.

Big sister and Mom painting the nursery on day 2

The finished product- nursery is ready to go!

As we enter week 19, I am so anxious for the ultrasound so I can see my little peanut.  I feel baby moving, but not often, and faintly, so I worry.  Jason and I busted out the fetal heart monitor that I bought a few pregnancies ago.  It wasn't very effective with twins, but Jason was able to find our baby's heartbeat quickly.  Love.
On Tuesday afternoon, I am actually anxious and agitated because I am so excited!  We have an absolutely beautiful ultrasound.  Baby has two femurs, two humeri, four chambers in a beating heart, brains, one lense (a tiny white outline) in each eye socket, a nose, and baby is swallowing with a little mouth opening and closing.  Baby kept putting hands up on head, down on thighs- oh so precious!  And, in the show-stopping moment, the ultrasound tech froze the picture between baby's little legs and said, "well..."  
I know the signs.  Three lines = girl and a penis = boy.  I am looking at three lines.  I should grasp what this means, but what I say is, "I don't see anything."  
The ultrasound tech says, "Nope."
Jason says, "Wait, I know.  I know."
And I tell her, "You have to say it."
And she says, "It's a girl."  
And Jason squeezes my hand.  And I look over at him.  And he has actually choked up and a few tears escape his eyes.  I almost cry, but in true Emily fashion, I laugh instead.  I so wished I had been able to video his response- priceless.  We have a moment.  And then we watch our little actress on the screen for a good while.  She has two kidneys, a spine, and all the other parts they are supposed to be able to find at this point.  We are so happy.
Profile of baby with her hand (and 5 fingers) up

It's a girl!
After our appointment, we put our "gender reveal" plan into action.  Katie told me earlier that we "must" have one.  So, we ordered a bunch of pink balloons, hid them in a box, and had the kids come over to open it.  To say that I was not impressed with their reaction would be an understatement.  It was terrible.  I blame it on the fact that they didn't have dinner beforehand and were super grouchy.  Add in the fact that it wasn't Jimmy.... 
On the other hand, I will never forget watching those pink balloons float up to the second story ceiling into the light.  I leave you with this video.  It is not the video I expected to film, but it is real.  This is my life, completely unfiltered.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

17 Weeks and Rockin' Along

We went for our monthly doctor visit this week.  It was about 5 minutes long. I gained six pounds (oops!) and am perfectly, normally pregnant.  Aside from the stabbing pains where my ligaments and muscles are groaning with the stretching.  I have never felt the pain this early, but my OB says, "with many pregnancies, this is normal."  Of course it is.  I can't imagine those amazing women who have 10+ pregnancies when I am complaining about 8!  Heartbeat was hard to find because baby would not stay still!  This, of course, makes my heart skip with delight.  In my mind, whether realistic or not, a moving baby is a healthy baby.  We did the quad screen blood test, and I am anxiously waiting through this week and praying and hoping I don't get a call from the OB's office since they only call with bad news.  Jason says all will be well, but really, what else could he say?  I pray to the gods and hold out hope that I will receive one last miracle out of this old womb.  

On January 1, in the wee hours of New Year's morning, I felt the baby move for the first time.  I cannot explain the joy I feel to have my baby moving and playing inside of me.  It has always been my favorite part of pregnancy.  There are not enough words to explain what this feeling is like, but it is pure magic and every time my peanut moves, I smile because my heart is bursting with joy.
My belly is growing- probably more than is necessary for one little peanut, but it is good and stretched out! 
We have our ultrasound scheduled for January 19.  We have our plan for the "gender reveal" that my kiddos want.  I am excited to have a pronoun to use to talk about baby and to be able to work on names (we love several girls names and can't find any boys names!).   Jason will either be justified in calling the baby his daughter, or Braden will be justified in calling his brother "Jimmy."  Either way it goes for Team Pink and Team Blue, I am still here holding down Team Healthy Baby.  
In the meantime, we are here, waiting for our little peanut and debating nursery colors.

The Holidays at 16 Weeks

Exciting news world!  We are 16 weeks and officially in month 4.  The baby is the size of an avacado.
Jason and I went shopping at Target and Babies'R'Us to get a feel for what is going on in the baby world these days.  We were overwhelmed with the choices and the technology (did you know they have computerized swing/bouncy seat contraptions now?).  I did enjoy the maternity parking though!
Christmas was uneventful since the kids were with their dad, but Jason did surprise me with a new pregnancy pillow.  This is going to save my back, my hips, my belly, and allow me to sleep comfortably for the next 5+ months.

The kids came home after Christmas, and my heart filled with light and love again.  We started painting different color options in the nursery (we are currently at 10!) and Katie has been helping me figure out the best way to meld the classic nursery design Jason wants, the clean and simple style I like, and the modern look Katie thinks the baby should have!
We traveled to BuyBuyBaby where we were further confounded by all of the baby choices, but took the whole family along and everyone got to play with rocking chairs (they come in recliner style now!), strollers, and car seats.  
The baby received her/his first present from Grandma and Grandpa- a tiny, soft bear.  It was my favorite present.

The holidays have been beautiful this year, with the love of my growing children and this new baby we are all preparing to embrace.  Stepping into the new year, I am filled with the joy of my children and the hope of our new child growing bigger every day.

15 Weeks and Falling in Love

I fell in love with my first baby when I had an ultrasound.  She was an unplanned pregnancy and I was miserable.  I wanted to die; I didn't want to have to live with the reality I was facing.  And then, I had an ultrasound.  I remember lying on the table and looking at the tiny screen and seeing a little bean wiggling around with a beating heart.  And I was a mother.  My heart changed in that moment and I loved that baby with my whole heart and would have done anything from that moment on to protect her.

I fell in love with my oldest son as soon as I found out he was coming.  He was the unplanned-planned pregnancy.  You know the kind, where you know having another baby isn't the best idea, but you want one anyway.  I was so excited for this child the entire time I was pregnant.  We never found out his gender, but it didn't matter.  This was my baby and I was creating siblings.

I fell in love with my youngest son before I even took the pregnancy test.  I could feel him inside me.  Well, mostly I felt the nausea and tenderness of my body telling me he was there, but I was over the moon with joy with this third, and completely planned child.

I fell in love with this baby at 15 weeks.  This was our "we-were-planning-a-baby-that-died-and-I-don't-think-I-can-handle-another-loss-so-let's-don't-try-oops!" baby.  I was miserable and sick and I didn't think I could do this.  Just when I had accepted that I was done with pregnancy, here is a little peanut.  It seems crazy to me that it took so long, as I already have a mother's heart and we wanted a child.  But then I think about all that this body and this heart have been through.  I have given the last five babies I have grown into their parents' arms as soon as they were born, and most recently, been chopped in half to get them out.  I survive post partum depression every day, and I just lost a baby in September.  This is a lot of my heart that has been given away or taken from me.  I knew that I would need time, and I knew that I would be blissfully happy about this child by the time he/she arrives, but I didn't know how long it would be.
And then, I woke up on December 19, a Saturday, and I was in love.  I am blissfully, over the moon, ecstatically happy for my little peanut.  
I have no explanation for this.  I just know that my mother's heart is alive, has room for more, and is overflowing with love.