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.