29 October 2013

22 Weeks: Things That Go Bump in the Night

We felt our little one kick on the outside of my belly for the first time early this morning. I had a pretty rough sleep, since my hips devolve into excruciating pain at night, so I was tossing and turning. I checked my alarm, and I had only 10 minutes to go before it was time to get up (6:50am...*whimper*). I ended up in a weird position and was rubbing my belly when I felt "POW!" I was startled, and kept my hand there. Sure enough, kick-kick, nudge, sliiide! I shook Danny's arm..."hey sweets, are you awake?" Snorts and shuffling and a muffled, "I am now." "I can feel the baby on the outside, wanna feel?!" And he put his hand out to be met by nada (of course). So I shifted around a bit and he tried again. This time, he got to feel two or three solid kicks. It put a smile on my face all day and my hand kept finding its way to my belly to see if I'd get lucky and feel it again.

I'm laughing at myself now, because I realized that I had been feeling strong kicks and movement for about three or four weeks, but I'd assumed it was my digestive organs in their new places. The kicks were so much stronger than the flutters and pops and tickles I'd been feeling, so I just didn't recognize them when they started. Now I know our baby is moving a lot!

It might sound weird, but I really feel more pregnant this week than before. I don't know if it's because of how tight my belly feels, or my new waddle (you should see me trying to get out of a car; it's comedy gold), or realizing there aren't many of my pre-pregnancy clothes I can wear now, but something just feels different and I like it a lot. The first few months are just so much guesswork and feeling sick, but now I feel like I can settle in and really enjoy the process.

Our good friends just had a beautiful little baby girl, and when I took her in my arms this week, I nearly started crying, because it made me think that in just a few months, it would be our turn to hold our own. Danny even took a turn and handled his first newborn-holding like a pro. It's been nice to see him get more and more excited, and offering to hold our friends' babies when we're together (there are a lot of them!) He's going to be such a good dad. I can't think about it or I cry (I cry about pretty much everything though nowadays!) Apparently impending parenthood turns people into total mush, because Danny and I are the biggest sap-bags now.

A little part of me keeps thinking, "but what if it really is a boy and we're wrong?" I guess we'll only know 100% for sure in a few months! For now, I'm dreaming of our little girl and all of the things we'll do together. It is so exciting to be building our own family!

Also...as nice as it was to feel early-morning kicks, we really need a new mattress so we can both sleep and I'll stop being in pain. Send up some prayers and happy thoughts that we will be able to get a new one! It would sure make our nights a whole lot more comfortable. :)

27 October 2013

And Also, the Toque.

22 weeks, and things are going well other than the terrible hip pain I get at night (seriously, the "what to expect" type websites really don't do it justice). I can't really complain other than that - I think I've been fortunate to have a pretty good pregnancy so far.

I think we will get some pictures taken of us around January. I wasn't going to, but it would be nice to have a few photos as keepsakes where I don't look like I've been trampled by a herd of shoppers on Black Friday. I seriously don't know when I'm gonna get my "pregnancy glow" but it sure hasn't showed up yet!

Also, this toque. Because, seriously, just look at it:

19 October 2013

21 Weeks: Bump Etiquette

I think my baby-bump has finally popped out enough that most people notice it. I never thought I'd be such a skinny mama, but Shrimpy has sucked the fat off these bones like crazy, though I'm eating all the time and not minding calories. Even with the doctor's reassurance, I still worry about it, because even if I gain 1lb a week now until birth, that's not the 25lb minimum that they recommend a mama gain.

Speaking of pregnant women and size, let me offer a word of advice to onlookers: we don't really like comments about our size that much, unless it's in admiration. For those of us who are struggling to keep weight on, we worry that we are not providing enough nourishment for our babies or getting enough ourselves, so comments like "are you sure you're even pregnant?" or "what belly? I look like that after supper" or "oh, not showing yet, hmm?" or "you must not be very far along," all of those are upsetting. We are already comparing ourselves to friends and other women on the internet, and feel bad mentioning we're worried because we think no other women will want to hear anything about how we're nervous about being too thin. I know people are just looking for something to say, but something like, "you look great" or "congratulations" or "when are you due?" are all easy conversation fillers.

On the flip side, I have friends who have gained more weight than anticipated, and I know they don't appreciate comments like, "wow, you're HUGE!" either. Just because we're pregnant, it doesn't mean we're not sensitive about our size. We're probably more so, because we're keenly aware that the health of our baby is directly tied to our health. And be aware that every woman carries her babies differently, so no two women will look alike at each stage of pregnancy. So just keep that in mind when talking to us hormone-riddled mamas. We need love and support more now than ever.

Okay, enough chiding. Here are my favourite pictures so far (from last night):

Mom's all dressed up for a friend's wedding! And she's wearing the
most ridiculous piece of clothing ever...maternity nylons!

Look at that handsome daddy!
Baby girl is going to be a knockout with genes like that. :)

16 October 2013

"Ohhhhh, we're halfway there..."

Yup, 20 weeks! This pregnancy has had its highs and lows, but things are going pretty well for baby and Shrimp Mama. I feel good most of the time now, which is a welcome change. A lot of the pregnancy-related anxiety of the first/early second trimester has ebbed off and I feel excited and positive. It might sound odd, but I actually feel very calm about everything, even delivery. I always thought I'd be afraid and dreading it, but I'm looking forward to every stage of this, even the painful parts, because it's beautiful in its own way. Knowing that my body is doing this incredible thing makes me feel powerful and capable of handling anything.

Shrimpy and mama's 20 week selfie.
I got back from my 20 week checkup a few hours ago, and we're doing great! My baby-sac (okay, that doesn't sound better than "uterus") was measuring perfectly for this stage, and the results from the measurements taken during the ultrasound were great as well. I asked my doctor about my weight gain concerns (I've gained only 1.5 lb since becoming pregnant, and all of that in the last month) and she said I had nothing to worry about; that it was normal (there is a very wide range of normal weight gain!) So I actually feel pretty worry-free at this point, and am just enjoying the ride.

Baby is moving a lot now; I feel her wiggling around a few times a day (sometimes it feels like a finger dragging along the inside of my skin, or like flutters, or a *pop!*). The doctor was laughing because Shrimpy kept swimming away when she was trying to measure her heartbeat. That's my squirmy kid! Just like her dad! Things like the ultrasound and feeling movement really helped make me feel more connected to my little shrimp (the first stages are so much guessing and mystery).

This week, the week that I am on stay-cation, is naturally the week that the fire restoration people fiiiiinally came in to do all the carpentry and painting after weeks of waiting. This hasn't helped the life-stress levels much, nor aided in me relaxing, but at least it is going to be done. We've been promised that they will be out of our hair (and house) by the end of the month. Tomorrow wouldn't be soon enough, but an approximate end-date is somewhat reassuring at this point. We're just so eager to get our house put back together and to be able to get to our nursery to start setting it up. If you look past me in the photo, you can see what a mess our living room is. That's all of the stuff displaced by the painting/carpentry/plastering project going on in our bathroom and main walkway. Sigh.

A little update on the Salvation Army stranger: she showed up at our house with the bassinet (it's really nice), a change table topper, a manly-coloured Moby wrap (which I have been wanting!), and even some soft blankies. I thanked her profusely, of course. We just feel so taken care of and surrounded by love. Just how I would want to feel while building our little family.

09 October 2013

Paying It Forward

I have said it a few times now, but I can't believe the sheer amount of generosity that has been shown to me and Danny in the past few months. 

Today after picking up some maternity clothes given to me by a friend, my friend Nancy commented that it was kind of cool how prego-mamas and moms of young kids all seemed to be a part of some underground network of sharing and helping each other. Literally a half hour later, we were standing in line at Sally Ann, and a mom approached me and said, "I noticed you're pregnant...do you need a bassinet? I have a beautiful one and I didn't want to give it to just anybody. I also have a change table topper! You're welcome to both!"

It really puts a smile on my face knowing that there is kindness like that out there. It makes me want to give too! I can't wait to pass along some of these things to someone else when the time comes. I've already been able to pass along maternity clothes, and it made me feel happy!

06 October 2013

19 Weeks, and a Whole Weekend Off!

Our ultrasound on Friday was awesome! I was so happy that Danny could be there this time around; I enjoyed watching his face while he got a first look at our baby on the screen. This ultrasound was so much more relaxed than my first one in the E.R. Shrimpy has grown so much in five weeks! It's a really intense experience watching the tech measuring your baby's head and little bones and belly, seeing the thin arms and legs moving all over the place (she could hardly get what she needed because Shrimpy was literally spinning around at one point). As far as we could tell (the tech isn't allowed to comment), everything looked normal - she said the weight was right where they would expect (just 9 oz of baby right now!)

Here's a little sneak peek!

Shrimpy's first picture day!
I used to inwardly roll my eyes a little at people who talked about the beauty of pregnancy and childbirth. I figured, "big deal, people do it every day." Buuut, once you are expecting a baby yourself, everything about your life changes. Way before the little one arrives, you already begin to factor a tiny dependent into every decision and thought for the future.This protective instinct rises up in you that you never knew you had, and you know you'd do anything to protect and provide for your baby.

And then there are the hormones. I just spent ten minutes crying while reading parents' birth stories on a local doula website (okay, I'm still leaking a little from the eyes). Just thinking about delivering and holding and nursing this baby makes me well up. Or thinking about what a great daddy Danny will be and how much he already loves our little one...gah. Tear City. I have always been a sensitive person, but this is a whole new thing for me!

Tonight we will be telling everyone the gender of our little one at a Gender Reveal Party hosted by some of our close friends. We are excited to share this part of the journey with so many of our near and dear. I'll post some pictures soon!

As for me, I am really looking forward to a scheduled week off of work starting with next weekend! I could really use a few days to digest everything and enjoy a bit of down time.

03 October 2013

What a Blur

It seems that the latter part of the summer and the fall have just blown by, and I haven't been able to just stop and relax into being a prego-mama. A part of the fire cleanup included an ozone machine in the apartment downstairs, which sucks oxygen (and smoke odour) out of the air. This also affected our apartment, so we stayed with a friend for about a week. Getting back into our apartment wasn't much of a relief; since our carpets and walls needed to be cleaned, we had to move half of our belongings into a guest room and leave many things packed. It's been a bit stressful, to say the least.

I've been wondering why I haven't gained any weight yet, and it just dawned on me that the reason is probably in the paragraph above. Stress, insomnia, and a busy schedule might be the culprit! The doctor wasn't concerned at my last appointment, but if I have still not gained anything by my next appointment, Operation: Chub Up will have to commence!

Our scheduled ultrasound is tomorrow morning, and we're really excited to see our little Shrimpy! I'm especially happy that Danny will be a part of it this time.  If Shrimpy is not feeling modest, we'll have the technician check for gender and seal the results to find out with our friends at a gender reveal party this Sunday. Two of our friends will get the results tomorrow and plan a little party around the results. Fun!

17 week belly!

18 week belly is about the same!