Friday, May 24, 2013

Pregnancy Summary: 20-Week Ultrasound

People say 20 weeks is halfway through, but since I didn't even have symptoms until closer to 8 weeks, I don't celebrate the halfway mark until 24 weeks. :)
I do, however, get ridiculously excited and lose sleep in anticipation over the 20-week ultrasound. I am a visual person, I guess, because I feel much more bonded to my babies after seeing them.

Matthieu, Alexandra and I went to the appointment on the way to the airport on January 25th, 2012--Alexandra and I flew to Utah for a week to go to the temple with my baby bro--not so baby--he's 19. I was afraid to have my bladder squished by the ultrasound wand, so I didn't drink quite enough water for the best view, apparently. And Baby was sleeping, head down, legs crossed most of the time. Not a great show, but there is blurry evidence of cuteness, at least that I can see:

And there was evidence of other stuff, too:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Big Sister of the Baby in Belly

I'm not sure what Alexandra thinks about being a big sister. We didn't talk about the baby much with her until later in pregnancy, when I had a noticeable belly and we started getting things ready. She isn't very interested, but she has felt my belly a few times.

My belly button went flat around 20 weeks, and popped out around 30 weeks. Alexandra thinks it is hilarious! If she sees my bare belly, or if she lifts up my shirt to check it out, she declares "Sun napa on väärinpäin!" [Your belly button is inside out!] and laughs.
Here she is doing just that while I'm taking belly pics at around 21 weeks: 

Before the facebook/general announcement, we sent this picture text to our family in Finland:

She colored on a "Big Sister" crown. It also says June 2013.

At 35 weeks, the baby was protruding limbs and rolling around like usual, so I asked her what she thought the baby was doing. She said he had a toy in there. haha

She has been oddly threatened by one-year-olds lately. She makes out-of-nowhere proclamations that babies can't take her books, or particular toys. She also says that babies are not allowed to hit her. Maybe the young nursery kids swat at her sometimes? This anxiety about her things being taken away does not apply to immobile babies or her peers.

She has had some regressive behaviors like refusing to use the potty and wanting to be carried, but those might just be a developmental phase, and not necessarily linked to the coming sibling.

When we went through her clothes and baby toys in storage, she wanted all of it. She somehow got a newborn-size onesie on! She didn't know what the teething toys are, but she tried to find ways to play with them.

I figure I've been tired and cranky for months, so having the baby out-of-belly won't be a huge adjustment for her. I think she'll think he's as cute as the dolls she likes to play with, and that she'll want to "help" sometimes. At least for a couple of months. We'll see...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What to Say to Get A Pregnant Lady to Punch You In The Face

Since 32 weeks, strangers have stopped dead in their tracks to gawk at me. Like, stare, mouth open, in disbelief, to comment on the shape and size of my body and ask questions about my unborn baby.
My thoughts are in italics.

Outside a movie theater on a cool day in April:
Old Lady: "What does your baby think of this weather?"
Me: "He wishes it were summer!" My uterus is fairly climate-controlled, and he has no concept of weather.
Old Lady: "He must be coming out soon!"
Me: "Not until June. I wish it were summer, too."
Old Lady: "You carry [stretching her arms in front of her belly] OUT."
Me: "Yeah." Good thing she included the gesture, or I wouldn't have understood the way my belly protruded.
[insert conversation about quantity of my children, and the genders and quantity of her own children]

In a Lowe's:
Old Lady, who stopped suddenly and whipped around after passing me: "WOW. You must be due any day now."
"Nope, I've got 8 weeks left." Am I supposed to small-talk with the woman staring at me?
[insert conversation about the gender of my baby, quantity of my children, and how she didn't know the  genders of her children until they were born, and the quantity of her own children]

At a cash register in IKEA: 
Old man who walked past me, then turned around and walked back to me: "You're gonna have that baby on the drive home!"
Me: "Yep!" I guess you never know when a woman will start pre-term labor and deliver in her car on a 35-minute drive.
Me to cashier after man left: "I'm not due for 6 weeks, actually."
The cashier smiled sympathetically: "$4.50."

After a conversation like one of the above occurred 6 times, I vowed to punch in the face the next person to say, "Any day now, hu?" But in the moment, I'm too stunned to do anything but smile weakly and try to remember exactly what they say so that I can elicit either pity or laughs from my friends/family later.

Pregnancy Summary: First Belly Shots and Symptoms

10 Weeks
17 Weeks, 3 Days

I'm grateful to have had a low-symptom, complication-free pregnancy so far. The nausea was not so bad and lasted only through the first trimester, and other discomforts along the way have been minor (nausea, sore breasts, tired back, cramping, occasional insomnia, slightly elevated anxiety, blah blah blah.) The hormonal fluctuations are hard. The biggest challenge is FATIGUE. It has persisted through the whole pregnancy (6 weeks to 36 weeks with no end in sight--though it seemed to lift for a few weeks in the second trimester). Some days, I wake up and I can barely get myself from the bed to the sofa. Other days, I feel energetic and cheerful. How much I sleep or what I eat has little effect on how I'll feel the next day. Dang hormones!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pregnancy Summary: Two Pink Lines

I'm 36 weeks (tomorrow) gestation, so I figured it's about time to write about my pregnancy.
Matthieu and I decided to try for #2 for two or three months, then decided it was unwise and paused for a few months, and then tried again. No backing out after that try! When we found out, we felt thrilled and optimistic about how the issues up in the air (jobs, etc.) would work out.

I actually had a false negative the first time I tested (I had two false negative pregnancy tests with Alexandra). I felt "off" and had some symptoms of pregnancy, but they were the some of the same symptoms I experienced with imbalanced estrogen last summer. I was worried about imbalance again, so on the evening of October 8th, 2012, I tested again to definitively rule out pregnancy, and...ta da! Two lines! I wanted to surprise Matthieu with the news in a fun way, so after our nightly sit-com viewing, I fake-casually asked if he wanted to play a quick game of Scrabble. He doesn't like Scrabble, but he agreed. We took a few turns, and I played terribly, trying to get the tiles to spell PREGNANT. Finally, I just cheated and spelled it out on the board. After a couple seconds of confusion, he said, "Wait, really??" A smile burst across his face and we hugged and kissed.

For the next few weeks, I celebrated by eating the food that was used to describe the size of the baby that week. We told our parents, who were, of course, so excited! I posted the picture compilation of the food-size baby on facebook at around 11 weeks.

My mom was in town the week of Halloween, so she and Alexandra and I went to the doctor on October 31st to "verify" the pregnancy. I requested an sonogram, claiming I didn't know when the conception was. Good calculation was a week and a half ahead of the sonogram measurement. I was bummed, but it's better to find out at the beginning than the end. And I was relieved that everything appeared healthy. One of those white blurbs is my 7-weeks-2-days-old fetus: