Thursday, December 31, 2009

18w 3d* time

I'm done trying to understand the way my weeks/days keep changing every time we see the doctor. Now we're back to Mondays being the new-week-beginning.

Yesterday's doctor appointment went well. I had hoped for more ultrasound fun, but instead we heard the heartbeat again. I need to be patient for the big picture show in two weeks. Andy agrees that it will all seem a little more real -- and will be a little easier to imagine what's coming -- when we can start thinking in terms of "he" or "she." I just hope the little peanut cooperates.

They drew blood for the second trimester screening. I should hear back within ten days if there are any red flags (she said no news is good news). My blood pressure is still low, and my weight increased by around seven or eight pounds ("Looks like you had a little growth spurt," the nurse said.). Hmm.

Now I'm waiting for the phone call to set up the big ultrasound. As soon as it comes, I'll update the calendar of events here.

The initial surprise and pleasure of feeling the baby move hasn't worn off at all. But it is still a very rare occurrence, and I look forward to a few weeks from now when it will be a more noticeable and regular event.

Christmas is behind us and the New Year is hours away... the year that our baby will be born. Sometimes it seems that time is going by so slowly, and other times I wonder what happened -- where has it gone -- how is it possible that I'm 27 and married and a mother-to-be when yesterday I was playing Barbies and Nintendo on my summer vacation? How have my parents gone so quickly from their thirties to their fifties, how did my brother go from teenager to man in a millisecond?

I know, I really know that my little one will grow very quickly. Perhaps that's why I not only imagine life with an infant, but also life with an older child. I don't feel old enough for it all to be happening to me, this new role. Mommy, mom, mother... with this new center of gravity in my universe.

Happy New Year, everyone.

From "That Particular Time" by my favorite, Alanis Morissette.
At that particular time love had challenged me to stay
At that particular moment I knew not to run away again
That particular month I was ready to investigate with you
At that particular time

Sunday, December 27, 2009

18w 1d movement

Deep within
I'm shaken by the violence
Of existing for only you
This is from "Do What You Have To Do" by Sarah McLachlan, the song I was singing along with in the car when Baby Schultz decided it was about time s/he jabbed me with a Karate-Kid-style kick.


Feeling fetal movement has been a sort of gradual series of events. A few days ago I was so cold I was shivering, and I had this weird delayed feeling down in that region, as if Baby was shivering (independently) too. Could that have been flutters?

Then today I really noticed something different. You know how your heartbeat feels in your chest when it's really pounding? What I have been noticing little by little is like a single one of those heartbeats, down near my belly button, periodically. It's also a little bit like the bass from a subwoofer.

What I felt in the car ride was just like the single heartbeat, only strong enough that it made me pause and wonder, "What was that?" And then the lightbulb came on, and my eyes watered. Happy tears.

So many happy tears in this process.

*Sigh* And to think that the baby has such good taste that it waited for the iPod to shuffle to one of the best Sarah McLachlan songs before dancing for mommy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

17w 3d hunting

Over the past week, the blog has been on Christmas-stress-hiatus. I just wanted to drop in a note to say I still haven't felt fetal movement. However, the baby is about five inches (or even bigger if you count the legs) and when I get up in the morning and look down, all I see is the belly and my toes. This is a little intimidating, as I know there is a lot more growth to go. And the new pudgy love-handles around my back are not exactly endearing me to this process.

Andy found a Nerf toy that shoots foam darts and was having a ridiculously good time hunting the cats (and me) around the house with it last night. I wish I could've snapped an impromptu picture of him crouching with the toy in his outstretched hands, aiming for Walker Kitty Ranger in the opposite bedroom.

At one point, I was about to leave the bathroom when I heard him shout, "Come out, with your hands up." Doing so, however, did not save me from the wrath of the foam darts. My life would be so empty without this guy.

I can't wait to see him with his child.

From "Flying High" by Jem:
I feel so alive
Just want to hold you
Hold you so tight
And I'm flying so high
High off the ground
When you're around
And I can feel your high
Touching me inside
And it's too much to hide

Thursday, December 17, 2009

16w 5d ornaments

I felt old today. After 15 years without the orthodontist, I was back in his reclined chair listening to him say, "Bite." Amazingly, he looks and sounds just the same as I remember. He vaguely remembered me as well. It made us both feel old that since the last time I saw him, I've gotten married and am having a baby.

I also had a chance to visit my grandmother, who was the only one left to tell the good news. We went down memory lane, and I recalled just how important she's been in my life, growing up with her caregiving and humor and instruction. I want my child to know her. I'm afraid we might not have a lot of time left.

My parents gave me an ornament tonight. I grabbed another off the tree... an illustration of the journey. Thank you, Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

16w 3d reaction

The news is completely out there now! Thank you, everyone, for all the congrats and well wishes. There's nothing better than being so surrounded by love. When the happiness and excitement are shared, they're that much better.

Mom screamed and cried, and cried some more. (If I get a chance later, I'll add the video Andy recorded to this post. If my mother doesn't kill me first.) I still feel the warmth from all the hugs I was given. What a pleasure it is to give people something to be happy about. As my Aunt said, this is shaping up to be one of the best Christmases ever.

I still keep drawing parallels between my father and me. He said something this weekend about how when you have cancer, you sometimes get a certain "look" from people when you walk into the office (or wherever). It's a little the same for me now, though it isn't a tragic look. It's more a pointed look at the belly region, or an odd tilt to the usual "good morning" smile.

In my head, I'm getting way ahead of myself. I'm starting to play out whole scenarios of "what ifs" and how I would explain things to a child who might ask, "Mommy, what's this mean?" or "Mommy, why is this...?" I mean whole scenarios. As in, by the time I stepped out of the tub this morning I couldn't actually remember any of my shower. Did I wash my hair? Twice? The only person I know who gets absorbed by scenarios in his head like that is my father. I'll blame him.

I recently read a blog post by Andy's cousin, who had her beautiful baby boy last Friday. Her post described the whole labor experience and the only part that made me wince was the episiotomy. That still freaks me out. All the preferences and decisions about labor are going to be decided when we go to the hospital for the all-day childbirth and newborn care class in March. I would avoid thinking about it until then, if I could. My overactive imagination won't let me. (When I'm not crashing on the couch at 8:30 p.m., that is. So tired!)

We're in our seventeenth week and I still don't feel any movement. What's wrong with me?

I mean, what's wrong with me besides the fact that I fell again. Stupid Pick 'N Save parking lot.

From "Fallen" by Sarah McLachlan, in honor of my pathetic-ness.
Though I've tried, I've fallen
I have sunk so low
I messed up
Better I should know
So don't come 'round here
And tell me I told you so

Saturday, December 12, 2009

16 weeks introduction

Welcome to the Baby Schultz blog! At 16 weeks pregnant, we're finally ready to share the news. If you're up for it, please click through any posts and leave comments.

We began trying to conceive at the beginning of 2009. Andy willingly took on the role of "bad guy who won't let his wife have a baby" for the rest of the year, enduring much abuse, because we wanted to surprise everyone.

August 16, 2009: It was month after month of disappointment, but we're finally pregnant!

August 20, 2009: I'm so obsessed with my unborn child that I start a blog. [click to read the post]

August 22, 2009: We had a miscarriage after only knowing about the baby for six days.

September 15, 2009: We're pregnant again! And terrified we'll lose it.

November 3, 2009: We got a look at Baby Schultz.

December 1, 2009: We heard the heartbeat.

December 8, 2009: Andy photographed the belly bump.
Stay tuned for more updates -- a couple posts go up each week. I also keep the "Upcoming Events" in the right column up-to-date with doctor appointments and more. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

15w 4d reason

Once everyone is in the "know" about Baby Schultz, we may be asked why we waited so long to go public.

The first and main answer is that we were, and still are, scared. Every day, I think about my baby and wonder if it's okay or if it's not going to make it to term. I don't know if we'll ever completely get over the abrupt end to our shortlived first pregnancy. I still, in the back of my mind, think of this baby as "Baby Schultz No. 2."

I realize this climate of fear is just beginning. They say a mother never stops worrying about her children. I guess Andy and I may simply be starting a little early in our worrying.

Our parents have been eager for grandchildren, and I imagine it would be just as painful for them as for us if something were to go wrong with the pregnancy. So we've been waiting for your own good. (There, do I sound like a parent?)

The second answer, far less significant but still a factor to me, was I didn't want to steal anyone's thunder. We aren't the only excited pregnant couple in the family. I certainly haven't been in need of a spotlight, shy as I am.

The third answer is that Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of the year. The weeks leading up to the holiday are special to me, and were made even more so the year that Andy proposed to me on Christmas Eve. Similarly, I wanted this announcement to coincide with the season.

Okay, here's the 15-week belly comparison. Remember, baby is 4.5 inches from crown to rump right about now... this isn't (just) from eating too many Christmas cookies. I think I only look this huge at night.

Unless something significant occurs in the coming days, the next post will probably be the "introduction" for the Baby Schultz blog's new audience! Wish us luck for our big announcement weekend. It feels a little like stepping out onto a big empty stage, only much more pleasant. Deep breaths...

P.S. I ate all the remaining Rice Krispie Treats in the house. Don't judge me. I'm just the vessel.

Monday, December 7, 2009

15w 2d lists

I'm feeling no fetal movement, and I'm getting very impatient for it! (So what else is new, right?)

A list of all the things I'm impatient for:
  • Feeling early fetal movement... and kicking
  • More "belly"
  • Another ultrasound look at the baby
  • Finding out the gender so I can stop thinking "it"
  • An increase in temperature
  • Finishing the baby registries, which I have (embarrassingly) already started online
  • Making the big announcement
  • Finishing the nursery
  • Seeing the baby out here in the real world
  • Seeing Andy become a father
As long as I'm making lists, here are some of my second trimester symptoms:
  • The little belly
  • About four extra pounds
  • The bad aftertaste to everything
  • Constant hunger
  • Some lingering fatigue, feels like *something* is sapping my available energy
  • Frequent potty breaks
  • Bad backaches, may or may not be baby-related
  • A little change in balance
  • A little forgetfulness/random thought pattern changes
  • Lightheadedness/breathlessness/rapid heartbeat like I'm out of shape
I don't think I've had any unusual cravings or aversions, besides the big cliche -- pickles are going down really well, and I've wanted a lot more ice cream than usual, though I'm not eating the two together.

Related to random thought patterns... I've been thinking about Biblical pregnant women. Namely, what must it have been like when Eve became pregnant for the first time? Had she observed enough of animals to instantly know what was happening to her? How did that labor go with literally only one other person on the planet to help?

Then there's Mary, the only pregnant virgin. We have some glimpses into her thoughts, but what must it have been like? Not only finding out you're impossibly pregnant and giving birth in a filthy barn next to smelly animals, but raising a child that's part you and part... God? The "Christ the Lord" series by Anne Rice gives very detailed accounts of what it may have been like for the boy/young man Jesus, but I'd like to have an even closer look at Mary than the Scriptures give. Perhaps Ms. Rice will oblige me with a prequel...

'Tis the season for a Christmas carol, I think. From "I Wonder as I Wander" as sung by Vanessa Williams.
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor ordinary people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven a starlight did fall
And the promise of ages, it then did recall

Saturday, December 5, 2009

15 weeks holidays

Our Christmas tree sparkles with a billion lights (Literally. Andy didn't think the tree in Rockefeller Center would have more than ours.). Almost all of the ornaments have been hung. There are festive knick knacks and candles and hand towels in every room. I love the holidays!

I put together the official "1st Grandparents Starter Kit" gift boxes that will be given to my parents and Andy's mom and step-dad one week from today. Diapers, bibs, burp cloths, nooks, ultrasound pictures, and more. I went overboard as usual, with the purchases and the craft work, like wedding preparations all over again. It makes me happy just to sit back and look at the gifts, dreaming about all the excitement that's coming.

I spend a lot of time daydreaming these days, trying to imagine what it will be like with a child. First because I'm so eager, and then because thinking about it may help me "prepare." Maybe. Even if it can't, I happily think everything to death in case it will.

I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas.

From "Something Beautiful" by Tracy Bonham.
That I fall upon something beautiful
Something meaningful
You still your soul, I'll risk it all
Your fearless beauty breaks your fall
Something in me knows there's something more
And it's so close I want to run, but I wait
And I wait
'Cause I'm looking for something beautiful

Thursday, December 3, 2009

14w 5d appetite

Hello, appetite! I have to stop myself from eating the entire pan of Rice Krispie Treats that I made... or the entire Family Size bag of Cheetos... I've gone through two tubs of French Onion Dip and two bags of Wavy Lays in a very short amount of time. Not the healthiest diet, eh? I think a trip to the grocery store is in order.

I'm crossing my fingers, but I think the full-on nausea is done, and in its place is a milder "woozy" feeling. I can handle that.

However, it feels like my head alone is swimming/floating in a pool, and this isn't good for my already-poor balance. My belly suddenly feels less like a part of my torso and more like an extension or appendage. My poor belly button is wondering how much more it's going to be stretched on the rack. Much more torture is in store for you, dear belly... 179 more days of growing Baby Schultz...

From "Milk" by Garbage.
I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

14w 3d* heartbeat

This post has an asterisk because my "weeks/days" label has changed again. Although the doctor says my due date is still May 31, 2010, she claims that today I am 14 weeks and 3 days pregnant. So... we'll have 15 weeks behind us on Saturday rather than Monday.

Here is the 14 weeks (and 2 days...) belly comparison:

All went well at the doctor appointment. Blood pressure is 96/48. It seems falling in pregnancy is pretty common and my body is pretty well equipped to protect Baby Schultz. I never thought I'd be so thankful for these hips and butt.

We heard the heartbeat today (you can try listening to the video below -- you'll have to turn the volume up as it is a recording of a recording). It was fast and loud and healthy. Every time I think of it, I'm reminded that this person is alive inside me. Could there be anything more exciting?

I suspect Andy thinks his new iPod Touch is more exciting, but I'll give him a break. He said he'll finally be excited (as excited as I am) about the baby when it is "out."

Does he realize that's potentially only 25 weeks away? That we're 3/8 of the way there? Every day that passes we get closer to meeting our child!

According to the doctor, we'll have the big diagnostic ultrasound during the second week in January, and that's also about when the baby will begin hearing.

Just so everyone is clear on this... We ARE finding out the gender, but we are NOT sharing it with anyone else! Please don't be angry! We just want something that's "ours," at least until Baby Schultz's big arrival.

Monday, November 30, 2009

14 weeks relief

We've entered the fifteenth week now (despite what the widget on the right says), and it seems there may have been a reason for that fall down the stairs after all...

Today is the third straight day without nausea! Yea for the second trimester! I can stop dreading mealtimes now. What a relief.

The fatigue, however, is as strong as ever. I wish I could take about five naps throughout the day in addition to a full night's sleep.

Thanksgiving night (early on the day after, actually -- 12:25 a.m.) I was lounging on my back on my in-laws' couch when I got this weird fizzy feeling -- like a "can of soda opening up inside me" (as described previously)! Maybe it was baby, maybe it was gas, I don't know. I haven't felt it since. I'm hopeful that more substantial movement is in the near future.

There has been some cramping and discomfort, especially the kind that makes it difficult to fall asleep. I suppose it's the organs being pushed around to make room for baby, who does appear to be rising up closer to my belly button, which is getting stretched a bit flat. It has become oddly difficult to cross my legs; I guess there's too much in between my hips now.

I'm so eager for tomorrow, and worried that the doctor will be busy delivering someone else (she is on call tomorrow). I would hate to have to reschedule this when it feels like I've been waiting forever! We would end up rescheduling a week or two down the road, because of Andy's odd work schedule. He's been to every doctor visit with me. I need that. I can't imagine how lonely it would be without him there to experience it too.

Something I need to ask the doctor tomorrow -- when will Baby Schultz be able to hear me? I have read differing accounts.

From "Whisper" by A Fine Frenzy:
Eager to please,
Trying to be what they need
But I'm so very tired
I've stopped trying to find
Any peace in my mind
Because it tangles the wires

But if you keep real close
Yeah, you stay real close
I will reach you

I'm down to a whisper
In a daydream on a hill
Shut down to a whisper
Can you hear me?

12:25 p.m.: Hello, nausea, nice of you to return.

Friday, November 27, 2009

13w 4d thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving post one day late...

Thank you, God, for answering my prayers with this indescribable blessing. For taking care of my loved ones, especially my father. For not abandoning me when you should.

Thank you, Andy, for keeping me on the ground when I'm flying off into insanity. For loving us both, for worrying about us both, for praying for us both. For being the person, in an entire world of strangers, who knows me best. For having the biggest and best heart of anyone I have ever met and will ever meet.

Thank you, my small family, for being huge on love. For teaching me true generosity and spoiling me in the process. For your endless dependability, good humor, openness, and encouragement. For being the perfect foundation on which I build my life.

Thank you, Andy's family, for adopting me through marriage and giving me an amazing blessing -- a place where I belong. For giving me more people to love than I thought I ever could. For making me one of you, and supporting and loving me as such.

Thank you, my few friends, for not letting time or space ever stand in the way. For forgiving me when I am a poor friend. For letting me confide honestly. For loving me when you don't have to, and sticking with me despite my faults.

Thank you employers and coworkers for voluntarily caring and being a family away from home. For being the kind of people with whom I would choose to spend -- rather than get stuck with spending -- my weekdays. For freely giving compliments, advice, and humor.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

13w 2d plea

I fell down the stairs, hard, landing on my tailbone and sliding half the way down.

The first thing I did was curl up in a ball and start crying. "Please, be okay. Please, be okay. Please, be okay." The terrible pain to my tailbone is secondary.

I called Andy at work. Would it be dumb to go to the emergency room and ask if there's anything I can take for the pain? Chances are the pain will be even worse tomorrow, and I'm having a hard time walking now.

That would serve as the logical reason to go to the emergency room, when the real reason is to check the baby. Please, be okay. Please, be okay. Please.

Andy said I shouldn't worry about it, that I should try to relax, maybe play a video game. He said everything will be fine. Will it? I can't stop crying. I don't know what to do.

So much for my promise to take good care of you, baby. I go and fall down the stairs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

13w 1d poem

under the seasons

As December waits on the doorstep
with evergreens and twinkling lights,
and the family gathers sharing love,
I will take care of you.

As January stretches its chilly fingers
bringing whisps and banks of snow,
and we huddle together for warmth,
I will take care of you.

As February blows its bitter winds
dragging on the lasting winter cold,
and we bundle our coats to endure it,
I will take care of you.

As March shines its bright, golden sun
off the crystal morning frost and dew,
and we breathe the crisp air eagerly,
I will take care of you.

As April brings the year's first flowers
budding from the cool, damp earth,
and we wake to Easter's yellow morning,
I will take care of you.

As May dawns warm, soft, and glowing,
bringing spring's color and texture to life,
and we finally hold you in our arms,
I will take care of you.

As the changing seasons change you
with darkness and pain, and love and light,
and we watch as you discover this life,
I will love you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

13 weeks disconnect

The nausea is lingering right on into the second trimester, dampening my excitement in the landmark.

It seems like the last appointment -- the last time I saw my baby -- was light years behind me, somewhere back in the vague and distant past when this whole pregnancy thing seemed much more real. Today, I'm wondering (irrationally) is it still in there? Is it still alive? Is it okay? Has it grown at all? Does it look more like a baby and less like a video game villain?

Is this all really happening, or were the last couple of months purely a dream?

I keep reminding myself of the signs that it's real: the nausea, the way none of my pants would fit, how I ate a giant dinner last night and topped it off with cream puffs and a bag of Chex Mix followed by about eleven hours of sleep...

Then there's the fact that I'm suddenly out of shape. As in, tasks like walking up stairs or even just standing long enough to wash my face wipe me out. My heart beats furiously and I can't get enough air in my lungs, which results in pressure in my chest and the need to sit down. Seriously? What is this? Luckily I spend most of my time sitting anyway, because I constantly have to pee.

Another sign? I think I heard Andy say at least twice yesterday, "Why are you crying?"

But with all of that, I'm still feeling disconnected from my baby today. I need some reassurance. An ultrasound. A picture. A heartbeat. A little nudge to tell me that, yes, it is in there doing its somersaults and stretching its legs and sucking its little thumb.

In tribute to tiredness... from "Purgatorying" by Alanis Morissette.
Don't disturb me in this state
Please leave me purgatorying
I'll be damned if I'm to wake
This is far more than I'm equipped for
I've held you up like a deity
Like you're the sole owner of wings
This unrequited tunnel vision
And I wonder why I've not been writing
Please keep me in this state
Please keep me purgatorying
Please rock me back to sleep
This love is more than I have bargained for
I'll be damned if I'm to wake
This is far more than I'm equipped for.

Friday, November 20, 2009

12w 4d movie

The lower half of my abdomen feels like a construction zone. There are a lot of unexplained noises, twinges, tugging, and tickling. I need x-ray vision. I'm perversely interested in the inner workings of the body -- I always have been into the bloody gore of it all -- it's just a shame I did so poorly in high school biology. I might have made a good surgeon or something similar.

But, alas, I'll stay at my bloody-gore-free desk.

Tonight, I go to see the movie New Moon with my sister. I have not made a secret of my love of the Twilight Saga. But I have a few things to say.

First, it's not Shakespeare. Like the Harry Potter series, the writing is such that you sink immediately into the story without noticing the words. However, for me, New Moon is the exception to this.

Let me say first that I am unlike all other Twilight Saga (the books) fans that I know. Everyone else thinks that New Moon is boring and without plot, and/or that Breaking Dawn (the fourth and final book) is the wrong ending to the series. Not me.

I think the saga is absolutely perfect. I've read it an embarrassing number of times.

Regarding New Moon, it is undoubtedly character-driven. It is also my favorite of the four. The writing is poetic, moving, unapologetic in its drifting-lost-misery. When I was broken by my miscarriage, this novel captured it perfectly and beautifully, putting words to what I thought was wordless.

Now, the movie, on the other hand...

I already know that Hollywood has created plot(s) that was/were not in the novel, as well it probably should (as painful as it is for me to admit) -- the novel wouldn't translate well to film.

So in my head I have taken the name "New Moon" off the title of the film and instead have renamed it, "The Chance To See Two Hot Actors Take Off Their Shirts, and Watch That Whiny Kristen Stewart Jump Off a Cliff." It should be good times.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

12w 2d non-instinct

The negative side effects are becoming more predictable. I will get so lightheaded while getting ready in the morning that I have to grip the bathroom sink and wait for my eyesight to return. I will feel like I need to throw up after eating anything larger than a snack. My brain will completely shut down and decide it's time to go to sleep around 2:30 every afternoon.

So that's my day, every day. It's better than being constantly lightheaded, nauseated, and/or fatigued, so I'm not complaining. Too much.

When Andy took the 12-week baby bump picture, he said, "This is weird. You look like you have an alien." Maybe we'll have to christen the baby "Ripley."

Loose-fitting clothing is a huge relief. I even went back and bought the jeans with the big elastic top, even though I won't get away with wearing them out anywhere yet, because it would be a dead giveaway.

The whole secret-keeping thing is starting to get really old. Can we just spread the news already? Thirteen days until the heartbeat appointment. Eight weeks until we find out the gender. Andy has asked me what I think, but I have absolutely no instincts about whether it's a boy or a girl. I think his cousin knew hers was a boy before the ultrasound. Is it normal to have that instinct? Is it accurate?

From "Gold Dust" by Tori Amos:
Letting names hang in the air
What color hair
Autumn knowingly stared
And the day that she came
Freezing that frame...
How did it go so fast
You'll say as we are looking back
And then we'll understand
We held gold dust in our hands

Monday, November 16, 2009

12 weeks anticipation

I now own two babydoll tops to conceal the bump and three new pairs of pants that are double my normal size (in "number" not inches). I went large so I'll have some room to grow into them. I can't help but be a tiny depressed at the number on the tag but, as Andy said, I have a reason at least.

Craving of the day: Ruffle chips with french onion dip. I feel like I could eat and eat and eat, which I'll take as a good sign that the first trimester is coming to a close. I still felt like I had a bad case of sea sickness this morning, though, so I'm not out of the water yet.

Our plans for telling the news officially to family are firming up for the weekend of December 12-13, four weekends from now. I told Andy the anticipation is killing me.

We'll be almost 16 weeks pregnant, I'll be confident by then that we're well into the safety zone, I predict the bump will be getting difficult to hide, we will have heard the heartbeat by then, and I may be feeling fetal movement. I absolutely CAN'T WAIT for all of the above. One month has never felt like such a long time.

This weekend, we went out with an old friend from high school and his wife, also expecting a baby. I feel like couples everywhere around me are expecting -- and they're all due at least a month before me, making me feel constantly like I'm behind on the excitement. I have to slow down and remember to enjoy every moment, even the discomfort and anticipation.

I had a vivid dream last night about caring for our newborn -- breastfeeding, changing diapers, trying to soothe the crying. I'm sure I have no real idea what it will be like, but the dream was so incredibly real. When I woke, I felt both bereft and sort of warm knowing that that day is coming. Ah, anticipation!

From "I Was Born Without You" by the always entertaining Tracy Bonham:
If you're no one till someone loves you
Then you're two people maybe more
'Cause it's not just how much I love you
It's how much of you I adore...
I walked these streets before I ever knew your name
And since you've been with me they'll never look the same...

2:35 p.m.: If the fatigue gets any worse, I may slip into a coma.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

11w 3d divulgence

Every time I think that the nausea is finally fading, it hits me harder than it ever has before. Of course, today it hit so hard and fast that I wound up doubled over and panting in someone else's office at work. There really was no way to hide the secret after that, not from a woman with four sons. So it's been divulged a little, and I feel a little better for it, because she really is like my mom away from home. :)

Now, to figure out how to tell everyone else...

On the plus side I was just notified that the curtains for the nursery have arrived! I'm deliriously happy. And so so so sick. Please end soon, please, before I pass out and/or vomit at work. Ugh.

We're officially under the 200 days-to-go mark. I don't know why that feels significant; it could just be the fact that the countdown widget looks different. Depending on whom you ask, we either have four days or eleven days until the second trimester. Then, 19 days from now, we'll finally hear the heartbeat.

So many milestones coming, and a lifetime of milestones to go.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11w 1d comparison

Belly photo time. I promise I'll wait a few more weeks before I subject you to any more of my scary pale skin. The stupid face I'm making at the bottom is because husband was making me laugh.

Monday, November 9, 2009

11 weeks pinch

How does early fetal movement feel?

I'll be honest -- I've been hoping I'm one of those rare women who can feel movement as early as 11 weeks. It's a possibility given my body shape, and I've been concentrating closely. What I keep reading is that you have a better chance of noticing the feeling if it isn't your first pregnancy, because you know what to look for.

What I periodically notice (in addition to gas bubbles, which I'm pretty good at recognizing) is a kind of pinching feeling, almost like a weak/dull shock. It could very well be my uterus continuing to change. I'm sure I'll have to wait a few more weeks before anything gets strong enough to be able to say, "Yes, that was the baby," but I can't help obsessively wondering about it.

I woke up alone today (Andy was on a trip to Florida). Although it was very sad being in such an empty house, there was a kind of instant happiness, a feeling I revel in periodically throughout every day. I lay my hand below my bellybutton and think, My baby is here. Impatience impossibly continues to grow, but nothing can dampen this happiness.

From "Wunderkind" by Alanis Morissette.
Most visibly brave, no apprehended gloom
First to take this foot to virgin snow
I am a magnet for all kinds of deeper wonderment
I am a wunderkind
And I lift the envelope pushed far enough to believe this
I am a princess on the way to my throne

Saturday, November 7, 2009

10w 5d mistake

If one is having one's in-laws over for a visit, one would be wise to actually go in the would-be nursery and hide one's ridiculous layout sketch so that one wouldn't be forced (when one's mother-in-law stumbles upon said sketch) to create lies and careful half-truths that insult the intelligence of one's intuitive in-laws, who undoubtedly now know or suspect that one is finally PREGNANT.

I am dumb.

Friday, November 6, 2009

10w 4d nursery

I'm overwhelmed by the desire to decorate the nursery. I actually picked out the theme(s), and the curtains have already been shipped. The nursery is going to be yellow gingham and jungle animals (specifically "Jungle Play" by NoJo. See the image at the bottom of the post.) This can't be the start of nesting already. I just have a problem.

But this did lead to the start of our Wal-Mart and Target registries. We're not even eleven weeks pregnant. I definitely have a problem.

It's going to be so wonderful, though. I'm going to make my own artwork for the walls (painting wood squares and gluing on felt cutouts of the jungle animals). I might even buy new knobs for the dressers and paint them to look like yellow gingham.

I drew up a floor plan for how to arrange the furniture in the nursery, and I left it where Andy would see it when he got home at 2 a.m. from work. He woke me up just so he could laugh at my illustrations. I think it was the fact that I actually drew and labeled things like "furnace vent" and "baby wipes." But the good news is that he agrees with the design, and he'll hang my curtain rods.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

10w 2d koopa

Yesterday, everything changed. My world shifted in an instant, shifted permanently, and I'm filled with more love than I thought a body could contain. Using the words of Stephenie Meyer in Breaking Dawn:
All the lines that held me to my life were sliced apart in swift cuts, like clipping the strings to a bunch of balloons. Everything that made me who I was... disconnected from me in that second – snip, snip, snip – and floated up into space.

I was not left drifting. A new string held me where I was.

Not one string, but a million. Not strings, but steel cables. A million steel cables all tying me to one thing – to the very center of the universe.

I could see that now – how the universe swirled around this one point. I'd never seen the symmetry of the universe before, but now it was plain.

There was nothing but good news at the doctor appointment. My blood pressure was 90/50 (higher than previous visits!), I'd lost a few pounds (thank you, nausea), and I received both the flu and swine flu vaccines.

Reading and writing about our baby's development – its size, arms, legs, hands, facial features – is a wholly different things from actually seeing our baby's face for the first time, watching the rapid beating of the heart, seeing how it moved and twisted and turned right there inside me, in real time.

I am amazed. Stunned, overwhelmed, and deeply in love.

And now it's picture time. :) The doctor gave us three pictures to take home. Here is each of them as is, plus each of them zoomed in and turned 90 degrees clockwise with captions. (title of blog... obsession...) *Please note that my illustrations are somewhat guesswork. You may see things differently.

PHOTO NO. 1 – The Face of Baby Schultz. Andy pointed out last night, as we lay in bed with our heads together holding the picture up and pointing out all the little parts, that Baby Schultz bears strong resemblance to a Koopa Troopa from Mario Bros. Andy feels that this has baby name potential. Hmm. The dark spot under the head is the heart beating.

PHOTO NO. 2 – The Profile of Baby Schultz.

PHOTO NO. 3 – Talk to the Hand. The head is tilted down and baby's right arm is sticking up. Baby is in the process of turning away, but with that little hand up (right under the right eye) it looks like it's saying, "Talk to the hand." You'll have to look close to see it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

9w 6d novel

It's the first day of NaNoWriMo, and although this year's novel is progressing well, I feel incredibly scattered, like about 289 different thoughts are vying for my attention at once. Baby Schultz remains foremost, so now I'm wondering if I should've somehow incorporated pregnancy into my novel, rather than a heroine with an almost-one-year-old. I don't have the energy to rework my entire outline, though.

A moment ago, I thought to myself, Oh no, tomorrow is Monday. But that thought was followed with, Yea, the day after Monday is Tuesday! And Tuesday is when we go to the doctor again. Thank you, Baby Schultz, for making some of the unhappy parts of life happier.

I spent the entire day in sweatpants and my favorite sweatshirt, and I haven't even stepped outside. I have candles burning and a loaf of bread baking, and life is good.


I actually just zoned out again and I have no idea where I went. This lack of focus doesn't bode well for the novel. So many thoughts coupled with so much fatigue... Must. Go. Write.
From "Where the Lines Overlap" by Paramore:

I'm not used to it
But I can learn
There's nothing to it
I've never been happier

No one is as lucky as us
We're not at the end
But we already won
No no, no one
Is as lucky as us

Friday, October 30, 2009

9w 4d curses

I realized three things yesterday.

1) Junk food does not make upset stomachs any happier. In fact, eating potato chips, a Snickers bar, cheese curds, and mini cream puffs will only make me want to curse the gods. Bad, Lindsay, bad.

2) I have the best husband ever and you can't have him. Every day he asks me how I'm feeling, and when I tell him the truth (sick enough to curse the gods), he asks, "In the bad way? Nothing is wrong, right?" He loves us both. ♥

3) Soft-smelling Partylite candles solve a problem. Namely, when certain smells induce that lovely have-to-vomit feeling (such as the smell from frying those cheese curds... eau-de-frying-oil can stick in our house for up to 48 hours), light a few candles and the stomach settles back down. Much less cursing of the gods.

Four days to the next doctor appointment!

From "All I Wanted" by the completely awesome Paramore.
I could follow you to the beginning
Just to relive the start
And maybe then we'd remember to slow down
At all of our favorite parts.
All I wanted was you...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

9w 1d whale

Ahhhhh! Are you serious? This is nine weeks pregnant, in a first pregnancy?

Granted, there's some weird driver's-license-esque shadowing going on there, but what the H? I'm blowing up!

According to the Internet (how on earth did our mothers survive their pregnancies without the Internet?), I'm probably just the most bloated I've ever been in my life and it'll be a month or two before that bubble of whatever is replaced by actual baby.

Or else I'm well on my way to looking like a beached whale come May 2010.

Quotes from maternity shirts seen online... Anyone have any other good ones?
I'm not fat, I'm pregnant
I'm a virgin... but this is an old T-shirt
I think I might be pregnant (worn on someone far along)
Touch the belly, lose the hand
Watermelon smuggler
Coming to a hospital room near you
Birth control is for wimps
I grow people. What's your superpower?
Yup... I swallowed a basketball
Don't touch me. It's contagious.

Monday, October 26, 2009

9 weeks birthday

"Happy Birthday! Twenty-seven years old... do you feel any different?"

"Yes, I feel bloated, sea-sick, starving-yet-revolted-by-food, exhausted, nervous, and happy. You?"

I'm officially older than my parents were when they had me. A couple months ago, that idea was disappointing, but being pregnant right now it just feels right. It's really happening, finally.

My naked self is... something I need to get used to. Things have re-proportioned themselves. I'm the only one who would ever notice it as drastic. To husband I'm a tad softer... and a tad overstuffed in a certain area. But, Baby, you're making your presence known to me.

You're about an inch now, I think... like a big grape with fingers and toes. A California Raisin, perhaps? I heard it through the grapevine...

It goes against reason, but I know (as in feel, acknowledge, perceive, experience, recognize) that Baby Schultz is growing. Without a doubt or plausible reason, I know that this is occurring, and it is the most comforting gift I can have at this moment.

Miscarriage used to feel inevitable, a countdown, tick tock tick tock. Now that ticking only marks my impatience to see Baby Schultz again via ultrasound, to feel Baby moving, to meet Baby out here in the world. Is it dangerous to think less about miscarriage, to stop preparing myself for the terrible fall, to finally open the door to that often unwelcome guest -- optimism? Yes, I'm setting myself up for disaster. Love will do that to you.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock

Thursday, October 22, 2009

8w 3d history

A few words on my history with babies. I have none.

I have an older brother and two older cousins (none of them parents), and that's it for my entire generation in my family. That's literally it.

Before I met my husband and became ingratiated in his wonderfully large family, the closest I'd ever come to an infant was passing one in the supermarket. Am I intimidated by my own ignorance? Of course. But I'm more scared of "being told" than of not knowing. Meaning: I can't wait to figure it all out for myself. Next summer is going to be hard and exhausting and maybe the toughest time of my life so far, but it will also be the most exciting, hopefully the most rewarding. I won't know until I get there.

Today's symptoms and their reasons:

Nosebleed. My blood vessels have expanded, as well as the volume of blood pumping through my body. Apparently the blood vessels in my nose couldn't take the pressure. Thank you, box of Puffs on my desk and boss's sage advice to "pinch."

Shortness of breath. According to the Internet, I need more oxygen when I'm pregnant, and a certain hormone is telling this to the respiratory center in my brain.

Onions. I smell them when they're not here. I want them. On everything. I also want oranges, but not with the onions.

Bad taste. There has been a constant bad aftertaste in my mouth (not related to onions), every moment of the day. As if that weren't irritating enough, it makes it so that nothing tastes right. Possible reasons are that my body is releasing toxins through the lymphatic system, or it's somehow my body's response to its increased physical demands. After the awful nausea, this is the worst symptom to deal with.

Nausea (still). Constantly feeling like I should be at home, sick, is not easy. Though it hasn't found the cause, science points to a few likely factors: the rising level of the pregnancy hormone, prenatal vitamins, or a poor diet (onions?) are possible. Then there's evidence that suggests that it's supposedly worse (hmm) when you're carrying a girl...

9:07 p.m. update: onions are overrated

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

8w 2d letter

Dear Baby:

You're one-fifth of the way done. You've started moving, though I won't feel it until December or January, and your heart flutters at 150 beats per minute. Your face is beginning to take shape, your arms and legs continue to grow, and tiny feet and hand buds have appeared. Soon, you'll be an inch long.

Just keep growing strong, Baby, and I'll take care of the rest. I can handle it.


From "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" by Sarah McLachlan.
All the fear has left me now
I'm not frightened anymore
It's my heart that pounds beneath my flesh
It's my mouth that pushes out this breath
And if I shed a tear I won't cage it
I won't fear love
And if I feel a rage I won't deny it
I won't fear love...
Peace in the struggle
To find peace
Comfort on the way
To comfort...

Monday, October 19, 2009

8 weeks creation

I was sick throughout the entire day today. I can't decide if it's worse with or without food in my stomach. Either way, it feels like my body doesn't know what it's doing anymore.

Then there's my belly. I've been thin my whole life. I guess it doesn't look too different yet... but it definitely feels different. When I complained about it, Andy said he liked my "belly dough." Ugh.

I'm using doctor appointments as milestones to try to manage my impatience. Fifteen days until the next doctor appointment. After that, Andy and I will decide for sure how long we're going to wait before announcing the news to family -- Thanksgiving or Christmas.

In my typical fashion, I've been overeager for the Christmas season to start. When my iPod shuffled to "O Holy Night," I even let it play. I do this every year around this time, but I feel even more emotional about it this year.

Periodically, I look up the progress the baby may be making now. So much change, so much growing is happening while I go through the motions of the day, acting as if there's nothing different. But I am home to a miracle, and even with everything science shows, the creation of a brand new life is unfathomable. This tiny person is as amazing to me as the creation of the world.

Rather than song lyrics, today I'm quoting scripture: Ecclesiastes 11:5.
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

7w 2d womanhood

What is the definition of "woman"? I'm not looking for the obvious, but instead I'm considering all the often-talked-about feminist ideas of womanhood and "the female experience."
As a side note, why is womanhood a thought topic much more so than manhood? It isn't so common to philosophize about what it means to be a man and explore the male experience. Is this still the feminist movement in action, caused by remnants of continued gender discrimination? At what point will the amount of female discrimination equal the amount of male discrimination (in our country, anyway)?
Well, back to the so-common-it's-blasé topic of the female experience. Certainly, there are stages in this experience, elements that added together make up the full possibilities that a theoretical woman may collect in the course of her lifetime... elements that make such a lifetime into a celebration of our gender.

Trying to come up with a list of said elements brings to mind a certain Shania Twain song that touts men's shirts, short skirts, etc.

Some elements are taboo in common conversation as they fall under the too-much-information category -- menstruation and, part of this blog's focus, miscarriage are two of them. Sorry for any men that stumble across this page, but all the (of age) women you know do bleed down there. It's a part of life, and one that (menstruation, anyway) should be understood by all and shrugged at by now.

However, that doesn't mean it's intelligent to treat topics like miscarriage and abortion on the same level as what you're having for lunch today. If you haven't already heard of the Madison-based CEO who told the world via Twitter of her relief at having a miscarriage, I'm sorry to be the one to bring it up. Truly, her story is a waste of space. As a fellow public relations person, I can say that Penelope Trunk (a name as fake as it sounds) is someone who clearly plotted out her little publicity stunt. It earned her a new business title and the kind of national coverage over which we PR people drool.

Ms. Trunk is an insult to the nearly overwhelming pain, joy, and weighty substance of the clichéd female experience. Enough about her.

This blog of mine is small and simple. It doesn't even have followers at this point, because I haven't done anything to garner it any attention. But I still hope that it is able to convey the heaviness of these female experiences -- trying to conceive, miscarriage, pregnancy, and motherhood (coming soon). At least, I hope it shows respect.

At just seven weeks pregnant, I'm still at the starting line of this element of the wondersome female experience. It feels as though my life is culminating, like this enormous change is something for which I've been waiting a long, long time.

My remarkable ignorance at what is really coming for me actually only adds to the experience. No matter how much thinking and preparing I do, having an infant is going to blow my mind. So why am I grinning?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

7w 1d* precision

The way Andy and I share this secret is so precious to me. As eager as I am to announce the news, I love that this is ours, and only ours. I've never felt closer to him than I do now.

Our second appointment with Dr. Hicks was brief and wonderful. "Yep, there it is," she said the moment she started the ultrasound. "That's the little heartbeat."

It's so tiny and so fragile, yet so alive. Andy said, "I guess I can't deny it now," and smiled. I love you.

At the moment, the due date widgets here are a little off, technically. Normally, today would be 7w 4d, but according to the ultrasound we were just at seven weeks yesterday, making my due date May 31. Of course, that's subject to change based on how Baby Schultz grows. I suppose I should've labeled my entries by date.

I told Andy I'd have to adjust all my calendars now. He was nice enough to describe me as "precise" rather than "obsessed." Thank you. My "precision" is a product of overactive thoughts due to excitement (and fear), and possibly a need to feel like I have some level of control in this situation.

When the doctor says that the chance of miscarriage goes down after 12 weeks, all I hear is that the chance of miscarriage is up right now. I want to tell my head please to stop constantly thinking thinking thinking about it before I go totally insane.

But then I sigh and smile like a silly person, just at those two little words... our baby. These are the thoughts of which I will never tire.

It's so overwhelming that it's really there. I'm scared I'll wake up from this dream. Here's the picture with the size computed -- not even half an inch yet. Grow, baby, grow!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

6w 6d development

It's official. I've gone from 32C to 32D. I thought shopping was hard before... Now the only bras out there that come in my new size are nursing bras, and even then I can only find them online. Unsurprisingly, Andy is not bothered by this development.

I'm still sick, which is also not surprising. As long as that means Baby Schultz is healthy, keep the nausea coming.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

6w 5d sickness

I am so so so sick. I can't function. Lord, help me. The second trimester can't come fast enough.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

6w 4d ultrasound

Yesterday was our first ultrasound, and the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat. I keep telling myself to calm down, that it isn't a big deal. The doctor wanted to see us again in a week, so we'll be going back for another ultrasound on Monday. In the meantime, here's the shot of the amniotic sac.

I never thought pregnancy would be easy, and I was right. The nausea has picked up. If I felt this sick normally, I wouldn't have gone in to work. Additionally, I've never understood the word fatigue until now. It's like trying to crawl out of quicksand when you really would rather just sink. I'm so dizzy it's difficult to stand up -- having a blood pressure reading of 87/44 may have something to do with that.

If I felt like this for any other reason, I'd be curled up on the couch right now. That's a little difficult to swallow. I just have to remember why I'm here, that this is all for that tiny life (whose heartbeat I WILL see next week, damn it).

I love you, baby. I'll crawl through quicksand for the rest of my life if I have to.

Andy is still in a different place from me in the pregnancy process. That seems normal, but I can't help wishing for more enthusiasm. He said he'll be excited when baby gets here, or when the time comes that the pregnancy will be obvious by looking at me. It's all very rational.

I'll just sit over here by myself and stew in my early excitement alone. That is, if I don't vomit or faint first.

From "These are the Days" by Van Morrison. Thank you, God, for my little miracle.
These are the days of the endless summer
These are the days and the time is now
There is no past, there is only future
There's only here, there's only now...

These are the days by the sparkling river
His timely grace and our treasured find
This is the love of the one great magician
Turned the water into wine.

Friday, October 2, 2009

6 weeks alien

According to the widget on the right, this week my baby looks like something out of the Aliens movies. Cool.

I took the time last night to embed videos for all the songs I've been quoting in my posts, so if anyone ever does read this blog, they'll be able to listen if they want.

Some of my daydreams of what life will be like in eight months are a little scary, as they should be. I was getting ready for work this morning in a house that was silent -- just the cats and me wandering around from bathroom to bedroom and back, so quiet. Doing as we please. What will it be like when there is this small, crying person that requires near-constant supervision and assistance with all bodily functions?

What will it be like taking care of a baby as well as two cats? Will I be able to fully train the cats to stay out of the crib? Will the cats be jealous and cause trouble? Will I be so preoccupied with the baby that I neglect the cats entirely?

A song for my little alien -- from "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble.
Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze drifting on by
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life, for me
And I'm feeling... good

Thursday, October 1, 2009

5w 6d song

Will I ever stop being afraid? The image is burned in my mind -- crouching on the bathroom floor saying over and over again, "Don't do this to me. Don't do this to me." Will the day come that I'll be crying, "Don't do this to me again."? Being back on that floor is my greatest fear.

Will God let you come this far just to take you away? I'll never stop wondering how much time we have left together, never take for granted the gift you are.

I cried listening to this Billie Holiday song, "The Very Thought of You." My dear baby, you're in everything I see and everything I do. I feel you growing inside me, and when I think of you I'm floating. Together we are simple, warm, lovely. Like a smile.

This is our song.
The very thought of you
And I forget to do
Those little ordinary things
That everyone ought to do

I'm living in a kind of daydream
I'm happy as a queen
And foolish though it may seem
To me, that's everything

The mere idea of you
The longing here for you
You'll never know
How slow the moments go
'Til I'm near to you

I see your face in every flower
Your eyes in stars above
It's just the thought of you
The very thought of you, my love

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

5w 5d dad

Why pregnant women are not sane:
  • A Dove commercial shouldn't make you cry
  • A Monsters vs. Aliens DVD commercial immediately following a Dove commercial shouldn't make you burst out laughing
  • Despite the title of the game, you shouldn't get so angry playing "Outburst" that you yell at your husband
  • Sane people don't go to the bathroom every half hour
  • A diet should not consist mainly of prenatal vitamins, fiber supplements, vanilla wafers, pickles, cheese, chocolate, Goldfish crackers, and lemonade
  • Drooling
  • Sitting in your office at 3:00 p.m., it shouldn't require every scrap of willpower to keep your head off your keyboard
On a different topic, I'm wondering a lot today about God's plans and his timing. It would seem I am not the only one in my family feeling sick and getting probed by doctors. My dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

A world without my Dad would be very empty, and so wrong. That world wouldn't make sense. That life wouldn't be anything like this life. It's like the moon without the sun. Although the cancer has been caught early and he's young and healthy and yada yada, it's only natural for my pessimism to surface and take me traveling down the road of worst case scenario. What if my baby never gets to know what an incredible man it has for a grandfather?

It's foolish to ask "Why, God?" I know that. We don't know his plans, etc. Whether it's a difficult journey ahead for my dad or a relatively easy (painless?) one, this is a burden he doesn't need or deserve, in my opinion. But the world has already begun feeling cold, off-balance, wrong.

From "The One" by Shakira. For my dad.
In a world full of strangers
You're the one I know.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

5w 4d imagination

It's a bit silly, but as you can see I added a countdown ticker above, counting to midnight on what I assume is our due date at this point, May 28. There's also a different countdown in the right column, and a somewhat creepy "baby cam" at the bottom of the page. (The blog is called "My Developing Obsession," after all.)

One thing I don't understand with these widgets is why they say that I'm in week five... five weeks have already passed. Aren't I in week six? The widget's advice that I should take a pregnancy test is almost comical at this point. It seems I'm a little ahead of the game.

If impatience is a pool, I'm in the deep end. My imagination keeps going over and over things. How we'll tell our parents... how I'll tell my coworkers... what I'm going to learn at the doctor appointment... what it will be like once I can feel Baby Schultz moving around... what it will be like when we bring baby home... who my baby will be...

From "So Pure" by Alanis Morissette.
More so than most anyone
Unapologetically alive
Knot in my stomach
And lump in my throat...

Monday, September 28, 2009

5w 3d storm

Andy and I both found ourselves unusually tired around 7:00 p.m. last night. After a half hour of sleeping on the couch, I headed upstairs with him to take a nap in a real bed. But it was here, while my husband slept beside me with deep, steady breathing, that I lay awake and thought of my baby.

We had the window open to the violent thunderstorm. It was dark as night but with an unusual, faint glow. The rushing of the rain was soothing, the thunder and lightning dramatic. I lay with my hands over my belly just thinking about what's happening now and what's coming, speaking in a way to my baby, listening to him grow.

So much is changing. To help me keep track, here's a graphic listing of symptoms.
  • My breasts are sore and have grown. *Sigh* Another cup size is the last thing my back needs.
  • The nausea continues to worsen, though nothing has come up.
  • I've never belched this much in my life.
  • Same goes for heartburn.
  • My hips and legs ache. As flexible as I am, stretching isn't helping. The return of growing pains is more than a little frustrating.
  • FATIGUE. Wow, I thought my head was going to roll off my body when we were out to dinner last night. It was not like being tired; it was like life had seeped out of me.
  • The lightheadedness isn't new, but it's definitely hitting with more frequency. I'll be interested to see where my blood pressure is now.
  • Vivid dream -- just one so far. It was a kind of nightmare that involved my cat being the baby and I couldn't get a diaper on him and there was poo everywhere. It was horrifying at the time, and now just hilarious.
  • I thought the cramps were done, but they're making a comeback today. This, in turn, has brought on a resurgence of miscarriage fears. I'm analyzing every twinge and ache and finding it difficult to resist the urge to "check."
One more week to our first doctor appointment! I need the doctor to tell me it's viable so that I can quell (or at least reduce) the fears. I think it will also be a milestone for Andy, having the doctor's word and perhaps sensory proof that we have created a baby. Every moment, it grows and we come closer to the day -- no longer proverbial -- that we will be parents!

Friday, September 25, 2009

5 weeks prose

10 Questions on the Nature of Love

Did I love you or an idea?
Could love of an idea go this deep, hurt this much?
Can love repressed ever recover fully?
Will the smiles from a world before loss return?

Why has love for the second not replaced love for the first?

Are you barely alive, or life at its most perfect and infallible state?
Do I know you or imagine only?
Can not knowing the details of your personality not stand in the way?
In what moment will you love?
How can arms feel empty that have not yet been full?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

4w 5d solitude

My brain is telling me I should be more scared of parenthood, but the dominating emotion today is impatience. I thought all that impatience would taper off once I finally got my pregnancy wish. Apparently I have a waiting disorder.

The shared medical appointment last night was nice only because it was a baby-related activity that Andy and I could do together. I didn't learn much, except that the upcoming doctor appointments will be only five to ten minutes long. Hmm. Not much time for basking.

So it appears that pregnancy, especially this first half where no one else knows, is a very solitary kind of enjoyment. Unless I want to take a prenatal class, there's no outlet for experiencing pregnancy outside of my own head (except this blog -- which, let's face it, is a complete vanity project. I'm talking to myself about myself.).

Happy dances just aren't as much fun when you're the only one dancing. I want to see my baby. I want to know how he's developing at this precise moment. I want it to be December already so I can feel him and "see" him and really experience it all -- and tell people. I want want want. It's all bound to fly by so why can't I settle down?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

4w 4d epoch

I had one pregnancy test left, so I figured I might as well use it. The line this morning was as dark and thick as is absolutely possible. What a wonderful way to end the pee-stick era.

This pregnancy officially has lasted longer than my first. Will I stop thinking constantly about miscarriage now? Can I stop wondering and worrying at every cramp? I don't have an answer to that yet.

I was thinking this morning that my life can be divided by decades. My life as a small child was in the 1980s (age 0-8), as an older child was in the 1990s (age 8-18), and as a young adult was in the 2000s (age 18-28). Now my life as the mother of a small child, a new epoch, will be in the 20-teens. I'm happy to say I'll still be 27 when the baby is born in May or June 2010. That's only a year older than my parents were when they had me.

It's like standing on the edge of a cliff with the decision to jump already made. Now I have to rock back on my heels and wait there for eight more months. It feels like a long wait from where I stand now, though I know that it will fly by. Although I can't prevent my imagination from plunging me daily into daydreams of finally having my infant, I'll enjoy life for what it is at the moment, while I still can. I'll do some writing, go to movies and out to eat, and generally enjoy being my own boss for just a little while longer, if I can.

From "It's Over" by Lisa Loeb.
Too much to ask for
May leave me feeling lonely
But too little
Leaves me nothing, nothing...
Are we still solemn and bleeding?
Are we still swimming to water that was already wet?

Monday, September 21, 2009

4w 3d disbelief

I keep telling myself, "You're having a baby!" and still I can barely believe it. I've been trying to remember back to when I was a little girl, dreaming about having a baby or being pregnant. My earliest memories are always with my old neighbor/best friend. It's surprising and warming to know that she is now the mother of two girls.

I have poor recollection of my little girl imaginings, but it's still a pleasure to think about going back in time and meeting my child-self, skinny and awkward, dark-haired and buck-toothed. I would tell her all about the pregnancy, the excitement and fear and happiness. I wonder what she would think of the woman that she has become.

I'm having a baby. I'm having a baby!

Many things need to be thought through now. Typical me -- I'm probably going to start making lists soon... A list of things we need to buy or put on the registry. Lists of our current and projected finances and spending. I'll finish the calendar of doctor appointments and milestones like when the heart starts beating (later this week!), when its major organs will be formed (Halloween!), when I'll start to show, when we'll know the gender, when I might start to feel it moving and kicking.

I'm dying to get organized and "nest" the house. I really want to set up the baby's room, but it's too early for that. For one thing, we don't have any furniture for the baby. For another, we aren't going to be telling anyone until Thanksgiving or Christmas, so it may seem suspicious to start setting up the room. So it's one more thing to wonder and dream about.

I can barely wait for our first real doctor appointment (October 5). And the next few months waiting to find out the gender are going to kill me! Last night Andy told me that it's a girl. He was just being funny, but I wonder...

Tomorrow we have a "shared medical appointment," before which I'll get my bloodwork done. I actually had fun giving the nurse my medical history on the phone today and talking about symptoms. I'm not viewing tomorrow as a real doctor appointment; it'll be a group of other first-time pregnancies talking with nurses. I'm excited, though, because it might make things seem a little more real for my husband, who doesn't have the constant bodily reminders that I have.

Fatigue and heartburn can now be added to the nausea, hunger, bloating, and lightheadedness. What a combination. Andy said last night that he doesn't understand women who don't know they're pregnant until later. It's true; if they have symptoms like I do, it's obvious.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

4w 1d poem


In this moment, the atmosphere stirs.
Rainclouds whisper, tracing the shape
of the bulbous earth, at every horizon beginning
and pressing out into the galaxy,
a glass bowl overturned.

The air moves through me.
The grass shivers and breathes beneath me.
The depth of the sky is breached
by the reach of my seeking hand as I
cull a single star to be my own.

In this moment, the atmosphere drifts.
I lay still and quiet as it moves,
folding my hands like a prayer
over my fragile, grounded star
while tomorrow stretches across the glass sky.

Friday, September 18, 2009

4 weeks glory

It's CD28, and there's no period in sight. I'm being good and waiting until tomorrow morning to use another pee stick. This morning my BBT skyrocketed to a record 98.68. I grinned all through my shower.

My body won't let me forget for very long that it's harboring my little secret. Right now, it feels like fire has been set to my guts. A shockingly strong desire to eat coexists with feeling like I'm going to vomit. It makes no sense! My hips and thighs are achy and demanding to be stretched, and I've unbuttoned my favorite pair of loose jeans because I can't take the pressure.

Happy is a weak word. I am glorious.

From "New Heights" by A Fine Frenzy.
The calm of turbulent seas, fallen to sleep
And when the troubles arise, we hold on tight
How can a body contain something so great
My shell may suddenly burst
Out will come birds

Thursday, September 17, 2009

3w 6d potency

I'm really pregnant. Yee hee!

It may not be as dark as the control line, but still... it's pretty dark compared to what I've seen. (This picture doesn't do the actual test justice!)

I have a really hard time believing that symptoms don't start until week six, and that this is all in my head. I've had major non-stop cramps all day, from my ribs down to my you-know-what. I didn't know that area could feel cramps. And with my primary dysmenorrhea, I'm an EXPERT on severe cramping. This isn't severe, just really distracting. And exciting.

And the nausea! No vomiting, although it certainly feels like a future possibility. Is it sick that I want to throw up? It would be something quantifiable, a way to say that this pregnancy has the potency that the last one didn't.

That's what today's test feels like -- evidence of potency. My baby and I have fight in us, so stay away, evil menstruation!

I'm going to be a mommy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

3w 5d fighter

I can't make it very long before I need to look again at the faint positive from this morning. My self-control in all aspects of this situation is tenuous.

I was both right and wrong about how it would feel... I thought I'd never experience pure happiness again. That's wrong, because I do feel the full extent of happiness once more. It's unbelievable. It's too much to be contained in words.

But what I predicted is also true, because the happiness isn't "pure." While it is as full and powerful as before, I was correct in thinking it would be tainted. I thought I'd be living each day with the fear of another miscarriage -- and that doesn't BEGIN to cover it.

This is the most scared I've ever been. I'm scared to move, scared to make plans, scared to dream, scared to blink in case I open my eyes and it's over. Have I been cheated? Yes, of my ignorance. I'm jealous all over again of pregnant women who can immerse themselves in the happiness with the fears being nothing more than background noise.

Will it make me tough? Yes, an unexpected side effect. I may be terrified, but I feel like a fighter, like a boxer bouncing on his toes and pounding his gloves together. The high level anxiety is matched by fierce determination.

Still, it's like a clock's incessant ticking: miscarriage... miscarriage... miscarriage... tick... tick... tick... I can't concentrate but for thoughts that's it's coming, that I have to prepare myself for it, that I'm going to have to find a way to survive it. Tick... tick... tick...

From "Loneliest Star" by Seal.
I'm free and I'm young
I'm the loneliest star from the sun
And I feel that I'm close to the one
Who will stop me from coming undone

With your love
I know that I could be the best with
With your love
I know that I can take a risk with
With your love
I could fly with your love
With your love
If anyone would try and mess with
With your love
You and I would be possessed with
With your love
I would die for your love
With your love