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