The little kicks

Last night for about twenty minutes I could feel my baby kicking while I was lying on my stomach. 

I’ve been waiting for this for weeks! I thought I’d possibly felt little flutters before, but this was unmistakable.

Now baby really seems like its own person. Obviously it has been since conception, but in the early stages of pregnancy I felt like baby and I were kind of like ‘one entity’ and I assumed every feeling and thought I had was also experienced by my baby. Now I’m getting a glimpse of the individual personality it has and our bond is moving into the next phase. Very soon baby will be able to hear my heartbeat, my voice, and my husband’s voice. It’s sweet to know that when I say baby’s name as soon as it comes into this world, it will instinctively recognise my voice and feel safe.

I love being pregnant. I love the connection, sense of purpose and invincibility, mental strength, self-care and rest, how vivid my imagination has become, and how trivial other problems in my life seem now.

Meeting the midwife

I had my first meeting with a midwife at the Women’s Hospital yesterday. The midwife was a really lovely young woman who looked about my age and had a similar sense of humour to me which was comforting. She asked Jon and I about our immediate family’s medical history, how our mother’s pregnancies went, and our mental health. I had very little idea about our actual options for care throughout the pregnancy, birth and beyond. It turns out there’s a publicly-funded program through the hospital where two midwives take care of all your antenatal care, then one of them attends the birth, and they take care of you after the birth to ensure you’re going ok and that breastfeeding has been well established. They have a focus on natural birth and have the highest rate of drug-free births in the hospital. It sounded like my dream. The downside is that it has a waiting list, but the midwife said we seemed like “really nice people” and she would put in a good word for us right after the appointment. Fingers crossed. Continuity of care via the same little group of midwives seems like the ideal pregnancy experience to me. If we were willing to pay upwards of $2,000 we could bring in a private midwife to the hospital, but I’m just morally opposed to paying for a human right like healthcare. Later that evening we went home and I made dinner while Jon stitched together stuffed animals he’s been making for the baby.

I made this quick chorizo & chickpea stew with red onion, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, cherry tomatoes and parsley. Pregnancy has really changed my appetite. I only ever want meals with a big combination of flavours now. I can’t stomach a chunk of meat on its own, like a steak or a chicken breast.

I was reading a blog post this morning by a woman who’s about as far along in her pregnancy as I am, and during her first trimester experienced ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’ (severe morning sickness). It sounded absolutely horrifying. It really made me realise how fortunate I’ve been so far to have a relatively easy pregnancy. I’m convinced that part of the reason is that I’m finishing up my thesis from home and get to eat, drink, stretch, rest and nap whenever I feel like I need to. I am in awe of the women who have to work on their feet throughout their pregnancies. Before I got pregnant I was so close to accepting more teaching work, but felt in my heart that it would delay submission of my thesis and put too much stress on my body in a year when I was hoping to get pregnant and was already having all sorts of issues with my cycles. In hindsight that was a great decision because I fell pregnant a few weeks later. I’ll admit that working less has been a tough pill to swallow in a society that equates being busy with being worthy, but I see this time as a brief window where I can have some peace and quiet before commencing the 24/7 job of mothering a newborn.

17 Weeks

So in keeping with the “what size is the baby this week” photos, here we are. (In case you couldn’t tell, nugget is the size of an onion this week.):

And the side view:

And for some reason in this dress I just look REALLY pregnant. I think it’s the empire waist that makes me look like I’m much further along than I really am:

I’m getting EXTREMELY anxious for our Level II ultrasound next week. I’ve not seen the nugget since 11w6d and by the time this ultrasound happens I’ll be 18w3d. THAT’S A LONG FRICKEN TIME! I’m annoyed that my OB wouldn’t give me an ultrasound at my appointment 15w6d. It’d been 4 weeks at that point so I don’t understand the major issue there. But they just kept saying that I’d have an ultrasound three weeks later.

Why are doctors so chincy with these ultrasounds???? Do those massive ultrasound machines have a lifetime of like 100 uses on them or something? I don’t get it. And it’s an abdominal ultrasound so no one has to look at anyone’s lady parts. Makes no sense to me.

But because it’s been so long—though I did hear the nugget’s heartbeat at 15w6d, which was, thankfully, enough to ease my anxiety for a short time—I’ve grown increasingly anxious about there being something wrong. I’m in that strange in between period, too, where you desperately want to feel the baby move to reassure you and yet you can’t decipher between gas pains and possible flutters.

There have been several times that I SWORE I felt something. Little pops and whooshes, but nothing consistent. I know the little guy isn’t big enough yet for me to really feel him, but come on, nugget! I need you to kick harder!!

So the countdown till the next ultrasound begins. It can’t get here soon enough!

Pregnancy Updates
  • I am craving ice cream like nobody’s business.
  • I felt the baby move at 16 weeks and 0 days,
  • The baby rolled over yesterday, it was the strangest feeling ever.
  • We had a Down Syndrome scare but everything appears to be okay, I will know more about the baby’s condition on Thursday at the anatomy scan.
  • Marcie and I bought a few teddy bear onsies for the baby- very cute.
  • We are super anti-gender stereotypes, our child will wear all sorts of colors. Also, I kind of hate the color pink (which is funny because it was my favorite color as a child). However, I don’t hate pink as much as I hate orange. Blech! I think our sex reveal colors will be green and purple. Maybe green for a girl and purple for a boy? We haven’t decided yet.
  • Our top names right now are London for a boy and Willow Sky for a girl. These things are still being debated however.
  • The kids at my school rub my bell every day and tell me how big the baby is getting. The also sing to the baby, talk to the baby, and draw pictures for the baby. Last week, one of the classes predicted whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. More students voted for boy. We’ll see…
  • I haven’t set anything up in the room yet. Marcie started a registry and my mom dragged me to Babies R Us to pick out a crib. I think we may have chosen a set for the room.
  • I found a lawyer yesterday so that Marcie can legally adopt the child once she/he is born. This is necessary these days unfortunately, but only if we are ever in a state that does not recognize gay marriage.
  • I had AWFUL hip and back pain over the weekend. It was hard to walk.
  • I am HUGE for 17 weeks. People keep asking me if I am having twins. I HATE that question because I lost the twin.
  • I still grieve the loss of the second baby.
  • I want a girl but I want a live baby more than anything.
  • My breasts have started making colostrum which thoroughly freaks Marcie out! Ha! My breasts have also grown at least a size and a half and I am still squeezing into my old bras- not a good choice.
  • I take a bath every day to relieve hip pain. Also, that is strangely where I work best- laptop right next to the tub (also not a good choice).
  • I am procrastinating other super important things right now by making this list. ;)
  • I started a journal for the baby and I have been very open in it about the details of the pregnancy. Perhaps someday I will scan it and put it online.

🎄 merry Christmas everyone 🎄
as I’ve told nearly all my friends I can finally announce this on here… we’re so so happy to announce we’re expecting a baby on the 2nd of June 😊 I could not be more excited or happy and I’m so lucky to be surrounded by the most loving and supporting family, friends and boyfriend.

I feel a beautiful strength rising in my being. A deeper comprehension of & gratitude for existence and how we come to be.
Each day is such a blessed step of the journey; as I feel this new life growing inside of me, I know I am ready to embrace motherhood with all that I have.
I have so much love to share with you, my sweet little child, and I can’t wait to hold you in my arms, to show you that endless, undying love, and to teach you how to share it with all you meet. You are the most wonderful blessing I could ever ask for, and your papa and I are overwhelmed with a joy which cannot be expressed in words~

The husband gave me a gift

On Saturday morning, after we’d slept in with your puppy, Bella, and had a really nice breakfast with some really great (decaf!) coffee, the husband and I were sitting in our sunroom talking when he got all frazzled. He stood up and said, “I have something for you. But I’m scared you won’t like it.” He then walked out to the garage, into his car, and walked in with a gift bag and handed it to me.

“Happy Mother’s Day.”

I was shocked. I’m not really a mom yet, after all. And we’d decided not to spend money on gifts for one another since we’re currently paying off our IVF. But I opened the gift and inside was a long necklace with beautiful Murano glass beads on the very end. Then came the explanation.

“The green one is for Bella’s birth month. The clear one is for my birth month,” then he stopped. I looked at the two pink ones left on the chain and I teared up. “And the pink ones are for your birthday and the baby’s birthday in October.”

For about the fifteenth time in a month I just broke down in tears. The husband asked me if I was crying because I hated the necklace, but he knew better. In between sobs I told him, no, I love it. My tears were because I’m just so happy and feel so grateful.

The tears came all weekend. I had five friends give me mom-to-be cards, lots of texts, well wishes on Facebook, and a lovely bouquet of tulips from my friend, Amy, in Boston for Mother’s Day. I caught myself tearing up every time I’d open a card or get a text or whatever. And in church on Sunday, well, I did really well at composing myself—last year on Mother’s Day our pastor talked about moms but really focused on those who long so badly to be a mom. I couldn’t keep the tears from falling that day and, then, a year later there were just tears of joy. How much has changed.

To say it was a great weekend is an understatement—I was glowing with happiness. But I also found myself thinking all weekend about how much Mother’s Day hurt me last year and how much it hurts those longing to be pregnant or who have lost their babies. I am so incredibly happy and yet can’t stop thinking about those going through treatments or whatever it may be.

They say once you’re an infertile you’re always an infertile. Ain’t that the truth.

Second Trimester Screening

I had my second trimester screening yesterday at 17 weeks and 6 days. Everything was normal and the baby looked perfect! The baby’s heartbeat was strong and we saw both hemispheres of the brain and all four chambers of the heart. The baby was measuring right on track and growing appropriately. It was only me who lost a pound! I really need to start eating better… My mother was there and the she stepped out when the ultrasound tech told us the sex of the baby. It is a big secret until the day of our reveal party (April 7th). I will post pictures and videos later. You wouldn’t believe the quality! The baby has such a cute little button nose.

I started DHA supplements yesterday. The doctor’s office didn’t have any that were vegetarian so I had to buy them from Whole Foods. I also started taking extra folic acid.