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Monday, November 29, 2010

Tminus 4 days until The Ultrasound

The week is here :) On Friday we have our 20 week ultrasound, and I could not be more excited! I can't wait to see how much baby has grown in 8 weeks since our last glimpse.  I am not really feeling anxious about anything being wrong with development, but if it is I'm glad we'll have the opportunity to know now.  I'm excited for the chance to find out if this baby is a girl or a boy, to put a little more detail into the dreams I'm already creating for this first child of mine.  Of course I know that just because a baby has specific parts between its legs doesn't mean it will be a "girly girl" or "all boy" or whatever.  My little girl may want to play hockey, and my little boy may want to be a gymnast (or insert whatever other gender-specific activity here), but none of that matters to me.  I know that people say "as long as it's healthy, I don't care what it is" and to some extent that is true for me.  But I guess I would say, I hope with all my heart that my child is healthy so that he/she never has to know that pain that I see every day, and so that our family doesn't have to make the choices and certain sacrifices I see families make in order to care for their sick children, but if he/she isn't perfectly healthy, I will still love every ounce of their being, boy or girl.  That said, I really don't care if our baby is a boy or a girl, and I really do hope he/she is healthy as can be! And I hope we get confirmation of both on Friday (well, confirmation of one sex or the other, that is).

I think baby's movements are getting strong enough to feel from the outside! I spent some time on Saturday morning just me and the baby getting to know each other, and I could see little twitches every now and then ripple across my belly corresponding to the same sensations inside.  I hope that this is the week when Matt gets to feel his baby move, too.  I hope that makes it feel more real to him.  I've been the one experiencing everything, pleasant and not so, and of course it feels real to me.   But he's been an observer so far, and I think that this week might be the one that starts to turn that switch for him - seeing the baby growing and thriving on ultrasound, and hopefully feeling its first little movements for himself.   C'mon baby, kick it up!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful (19 Weeks)

             Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Today marks 19 weeks, along with the day that we Americans traditionally gather and give thanks for our family, friends, good food, a roof over our heads, and jobs we either love or hate, but still provide us with the all important bread and butter.  This year, the motions were not much different than in the recent past.  I got up this morning, had my coffee (Ok, only one small little cup this year...fine) looked through some Black Friday sales ads, and then got to work on my contribution to the Smith family feast. This year it was sweet potatoes, and I threw in an impromptu cranberry curd meringue tart for good measure.
             However, as I worked my way through the ingredients and made piles of dishes (yet to be washed) in the sink and kept looking at the clock realizing I'd waited just a little too late to start, I had in the back of my mind the notion that there was someone else along for the ride this year.  Someone who is currently causing me to tie my apron strings a little looser.  I'm nearly to the halfway marker of this pregnancy, and while it feels every bit of 19 weeks some days, there are moments when I realize it's flying by, and before I know it I will be the mother a baby in my own arms.  People ask how I'm feeling, people ask if they can touch the belly, people want to know if I can feel the baby moving or if we know the sex yet (well...most of the time people ask if we know the "gender", which bugs me the grammarian in me, because gender is really a set of characteristics that are socially constructed to distinguish male from female, and sex is the biological distinction of genetic traits which makes one physiologically male or female...but I digress).  And all of those things are fun, outward markers of the idea that I am in fact, gestating a future human being that will join the world in give or take another 20 weeks, but they don't really come close to the thoughts or feelings I have about this process or about becoming a mother.  I don't need to write those all out here, good lord there's still 4.5 months for that, but I do want to express that Thanksgiving just feels different this year. Better. Because while I've always been thankful for the things mentioned above, it's also really easy to take them for granted at times. But this year, I am truly in awe of the amazing thing happening in my own body, and knowing that in a few short months I will be the mother of my very first child.  Matt will be my baby's father.  That blows every other Thanksgiving out of the water. I'm thankful for a healthy first half of my pregnancy. I'm thankful for a job with flexible and understanding coworkers who have picked up a little slack when I just haven't been able to some days.  I'm thankful for a husband who cares deeply for me and the child we are going to bring into the world in April.  I'm thankful for my mother offering space in her home to us so that we can truly get started on the right foot after baby is here.  I'm just thankful for the opportunity to fulfill the most prominent goal in my life - becoming a mother.  I feel full of promise this Thanksgiving, like the feelings I have now will only continue to grow and multiply and expand along with my belly.







I hope you all have something special on your mind this year, however big or small.  Happy Thanksgiving, my friends and family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pregnancy Hives? Dry and yet oddly oily skin? And other pregnancy induced skin issues....

Ok fellow friends who've been down this road before...what is up with the strangeness of pregnancy skin? I know I'm more prone than your average person to develop freakishly random bouts of hives for no apparently good reason (Abby and Chrissy, you might recall a certain severe "sesame seed allergy" induced case...which may or may not have been related to extreme stats finals anxiety...).  I have been known to have other sensitive skin issues related to using new products, etc.  However...for some reason this week, my skin has hit some new peak of weirdness.  The skin from which my eyebrow hair grows is flaking - literally just peeling! And yet, I'm broken out in the space between my eyebrows! How can skin less than 1.5" apart have such vastly different degrees of moisturization? And, as I type, I've developed several randomly spaced hives on my chin, right temple, and under my neck, which I seem to get some variation of about once per week.  They always just go away on their own accord, but still odd and mostly annoying. And the itchy skin thing I've read about...it's starting. I'm trying to moisturize daily with the Palmer's cocoa butter lotion, which smells fabulous and feels great, but by midday by midsection (and the girls, sadly) are itchy all over again!

Anyway, not much more substantial to report at this moment other than my sneaking suspicion that skin conditions are dramatically impacted by pregnancy hormones.  Baby seems to be growing and stretching a lot this week, as I've noticed on and off mild crampy, tightening feelings in my uterus since Sunday (Hmmm, when I describe it like that, it sounds suspiciously like Braxton Hicks...could it really be Braxton Hicks already? I think I'm going to stay in denial of that one for a little longer).   I mean, I noticed it first while standing outside, doing nothing at all, observing my mom on the roof in case I needed to call 911 if she fell off.  Then I noticed it again this morning when I first woke up from a sound sleep, again doing nothing physical.  Nothing alarming, and certainly nothing to make me think I need to call my midwife, but I do notice something is going on in there, whether it's a bit of a growth spurt, some BH or some other random weird pregnancy thing I have yet to find an explanation for :)

2 days of the short work week down, 1 to go and then it's Turkey Time :) And 9 days until the ultrasound!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Perks

For most of this pregnancy so far, I haven't had too many experiences where I've found being pregnant to offer any particular perks (well aside from the obvious fact that I am growing my very own preshus baybeeeeeee). Several solid weeks of near-constant nausea, way more frequent than usual trips to the bathroom to empty what seems like an about to burst bladder with an embarrassingly small amount of pee, post-work naps that get in the way of things I'd rather be doing (like watching Ghost Hunters or Glee of course) and serious food aversions, which to this food lovin' girl is about the worst sentence of all! However, I'm starting to find that there are perks to this condition I'm in, starting with:

-Elastic pants for the holidays and the expectation that my waist will continue to grow each week. No further comments needed there.
-Not having to climb up on a ladder to get on the roof to hang Christmas lights. That most terrifying, vertigo inducing, mypalmsaresweatingeventhoughit'sfreezingoutside task went to my mother this year :) The view was great from the sidewalk.
-Avoiding a day of heavy lifting yesterday while my Mom and sister moved furniture to a storage unit to make room in our garage...for things currently occupying space in the house that need to move out to make room for baby stuff in the nursery!

I'm sure I'll discover that there are more perks where these came from, but in the past 24 hours I've at least learned these little lovelies. I thought you'd like to know how I'm counting my blessings this Thanksgiving week :) (Of course there are about a thousand real things I'm thankful for, and they will have their very own post later this week).

Happy Sunday! 3 work days until Thanksgiving! 11 days until The Ultrasound!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh the indignity of it all

I think I have crossed the threshold and have begun to earn my rungs on the ladder to motherhood...I have now sneeze-peed! One little unassuming sneeze, and with it went the tiniest bit of my bladder control along with a little shred of my dignity! Then of course, I laughed, which made it no better, and at that point the mad dash to the bathroom was quite a sight. At least this was at home and not at work! I know this is only the beginning, which makes all the funnier to me, because as much as I think I know what's coming I really have no clue yet all the fun things I can expect my body to do to betray me over the next 22 weeks! I will say that aside from crummy "morning sickness" (which = all day sickness in my case lately) I am really enjoying this experience for the most part, but I still have so much to learn and watch my body do all on its own. This is the first time in my life when I have been able to watch my body undergo a transformation that has nothing to do with anything I have control over...it's a little strange but for the most part I'm finding it to be pretty cool. I'm used to setting my mind to they way I want to change my body and getting to work making it happen - eating better, exercise and weights to target certain things, etc. But this entire body take-over is something of a different kind of beast, a horse of a different color, and it's weird, exciting, exhausting, and a little body dysmorphia-inducing, but still such a wonderful experience I'm lucky to be able to have.

I'm still waiting for the little movements to turn into bigger movements, but I guess I shouldn't wish that to happen too soon because I'm sure a point will come when I wish someone would stop kicking me in the ribs already! I'm just excited for the day when Matt will be able to finally feel something going on in there after all these months!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New hair for mamatots!

I went on a whim and cut my hair tonight...it was just too boring, limp and lifeless and it needed some style. I had a cut sort of in mind, and then just let Ashley go for it, and this is the result!


In other news, I am 18 weeks today. According to my updates from babycenter.com here's the approximate state of baby's development by today:
"Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and weighs almost 7 ounces. Baby's busy flexing its arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. Baby's blood vessels are visible through its thin skin, and its ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from its head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around its nerves, a process that will continue for a year after it's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound."

So with that in mind, here are some pics of the belly today to mark the occasion:


So there you have it :) 2 weeks from tomorrow we get to see your bits, littlest one! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Impromtu pic update



17w6d - taken on my friend's phone at work (with my lovely office tag behind my head), but figured some of you can't have enough pics! I'll do my usual weekly shot at home tomorrow, too.

Zumba tonight, and then off until after Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to a break but I guess I should really try to do something in between or I might be sorry! Baby's always pretty active after class, so it's fun to sit in the car on the ride home and feel baby getting its salsa moves on :) Dance, baby, dance!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Second Coming...

...of morning sickness/nausea :( I've been telling everyone who asks just how great I'm starting to feel, and then BAM! The past 2 days have been non-stop nausea with near puking close calls. I'm told that this is a sign of a healthy pregnancy, but good grief little one take it easy! I've also been told that this kind of ongoing nausea is a sure sign of a girl (everyone at the dentist's office tonight were in agreement and will be quite surprised if you turn out to be a boy, little one!) No pics tonight, as I'm looking about as green as I feel...but I do have some cute new maternity dresses to sport and will be sure you see one of them this week for my 18 week photos!

Also...16 more days until the Big ultrasound! I'm not sounding too anxious about it, am I? I guess you all know me well enough to know I'm not one for patience ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Countdown to "The BIG ultrasound"

Well friends, I'll be 17 weeks on Thursday, making today 16 weeks 5 days. Our "Big Ultrasound" is scheduled for Friday 12/3 at 1:00...if this baby cooperates we should have a determination of Boy or Girl in 3 weeks and 3 days :) I'm going to start talking to baby now to let him/her know that I'm not leaving that appointment without hearing and seeing what kind of bits it's sporting, so it better not be feeling shy on December the 3rd.

Noticeable movement has been sporadic in the past week, but I'm still feeling it here and there. Can't wait until it's more consistent and I can definitely identify what is a foot vs a booty, etc. One thing I am aware of is my now cantaloupe sized uterus...sitting with my knees up feels weird now because I am totally aware of this large organ in the way where there didn't used to be anything noticeable!

I just received my teaching schedule for Zumba winter term - my last class is scheduled for March 30, the day before my 37 week mark! If I can make it that far, I think I deserve something...not sure yet what it is I feel I should get, but I have plenty of time to think about it! I'm giggling a little bit at the thought of an almost full term pregnant me salsa-ing and merengue-ing in front of a paying audience, but at least I don't teach where there are mirrors, right?

Speaking of the roundness, for those of you wanting a physical update here you go!

Not much in the way of non-baby related news to share. I am getting into the pre-holiday spirit and looking forward to some baking and cooking and general holiday cheer with friends and family. The next 2 months are going to fly! Can't wait to see you all in the next few months!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We have movement!

Just a super quick update to say that I can feel baby moving now!! It's still very slight and I can only feel it when I'm sitting quietly, like at the computer :) He/she is saying "hello fans!" right now! I guess baby liked Zumba tonight - doing his/her own little salsa moves in there :)

We have our 16 week appt with Holly tomorrow, so I'll update more and attach new photos then. I was just too excited to wait and save it for tomorrow's post!

love, mama t

Monday, November 1, 2010

This baby likes candy

Apparently, Baby Smith is just like his/her mama, and loves some candy! Thank goodness for Halloween, and the fact that we had about half as many trick or treaters as we did candy supplies :) Plus, a recent Yale study states that eating chocolate can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia , and a Finnish study showed babies whose moms ate chocolate smiled and laughed more. They were less fearful in new situations. The babies of mothers who ate chocolate while pregnant seemed to have a more positive mood than babies whose moms didn't eat chocolate. I think that is reason enough to keep a steady supply on hand, and we're in luck!

Today I am 15w4d, and I'm hoping this week goes by quickly. We have our next appointment on Thursday and I'm anxious to hear little one's heartbeat again. I feel like things are starting to settle as far as morning sickness, but I still don't have a huge appetite (other than the above!). I'm really looking forward to the next ultrasound in a few weeks- the Big One where we'll hopefully hear it's a...boy or it's a...girl! (I'm leaning strongly towards girl at this point folks!) I wish we could have one at every visit. I just love to see how much baby has grown since the last time, and it's just incredible to see that there really is something amazing happening in there, even if it doesn't feel like much yet. I'l definitely update you all when I do for sure feel the baby move, but so far I'm just guessing and nothing has been so obviously a baby yet that I can be certain.

Tomorrow is election day, and to be honest I feel very disconnected from the political world at this point in time. I haven't researched all of the candidates much, and truthfully I have to say that I have come to feel a bit disillusioned about the difference that my vote really makes. But I do feel that my child's future depends on our freedom to vote, and the climate in which we raise our children, although much of it is shaped within our own household and the choices we make and the values we teach, is to some extent determined by the political powers that be, and voting is our means to influence that. I want to raise my child in a home of acceptance, a home where each person is free to truly become the person they are meant to be...but I don't feel so certain that outside the walls of the homes we create that each person is really free to be the person they truly are. There is so much greed and hate and a lack of acceptance of differences, and it scares me to think that despite growing up in a home with love and safety and boundaries and trust, my child will still grow up and into a world where they could be hated and harmed for the values they hold, the values we will work so hard to let them learn. And so with that in mind, I guess, I will vote tomorrow and hope that in some way, it influences our corner of the world enough...