Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Latest Bump

It's growing! I think belly and boobs are about even right now in how far they stick out. I guess that's good. I'm amazed at how I keep gaining a pound a week, without fail, even when I feel like I haven't been eating much. And the extra pound always seems to show up on Tuesday mornings, even though I weigh myself every morning. Very strange.

We also had a very lovely Thanksgiving, five days ago now, I guess. We had 18 people there, and only 4 were Americans (well, 6 if you count the one-year-old and 10-year-old who were born here to foreign parents). The rest were Australian, Colombian, Mexican, and Thai. Quite the mix. And 4 of them were unexpected due to a slight failure to rsvp, though we were thrilled they were able to join us. I had actually been a bit upset when I went to pick up the turkey I had ordered and discovered it was 16.5 pounds! I had ordered one in the 12-16 pound range but was very much hoping for a 12-13-pounder, which makes for pretty easy brining and turning and carrying. But I guess God must have known we were going to have a few surprise guests, because the 16-pounder turned out to be just about right (with the right amount of leftovers--I would have been upset if I hadn't had any leftovers). I'm just thankful I had some strong men around to help me carry it and pull it out of the oven.

We spent the rest of the weekend busy with a bunch of other social events--a birthday party, watching Harry Potter, watching college football games with friends, having friends over for dinner, Christmas shopping (I think I'm mostly done!), etc.

I was also asked to be one of three women who lit the Hope candle (the first Advent candle) during church on Sunday. Two of us are expecting our first child and the third had just had her first, so we were supposed to have special insight into waiting and hoping, and Mary's experience being pregnant and waiting for Jesus to be born, etc. I felt a bit conflicted about it, knowing how this one element would probably ruin a few people's days who were attending the service. But Pete keeps challenging me that I need to let go of this reticence to let others know that I'm joyful (or, in this case, hopeful) about being pregnant. Sensitivity is good, but at a certain point it becomes about me--protecting my image, or trying to get back at fertile people, or whatever--and not about others and the pain they're going through. So I'm working on that.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Beginning a Registry

I just set up and started a Target baby registry yesterday. I know I'm probably doing this way earlier than most women, but I know myself, and I know it will take me a long time to get a registry I'm happy with. I spent months and months on our wedding registry. I tend to agonize a bit in making sure I'm making the most efficient use of money, and getting exactly the products I want, and making sure there's no overlap in the products, etc.

Adding to my frustration is the fact that you still can't really do this all from home if you have people who will go to stores and shop. I chose to register at Target because they have a lot of stores around us (and probably everywhere else in the country), and I want to make buying me a gift off my registry as convenient as possible for anyone attending my shower (which I'm guessing will be thrown for me sometime in the February time frame). I know that if people can't find something off my registry at their local Target easily, they'll probably just pick something else cute and get it. So, the frustration comes in with the fact that most of Target's online merchandise is not sold in stores. If I want what's available in stores, I have to go filtering through all the possibilities to find the one that is carried in stores...and then what if I don't want that one? Ugh. I expect I'll be doing lots of returning and exchanging in the months after my shower. I am also a little obsessive about not holding onto things that I don't really need or won't use, or simply don't have the space for (we are working with very limited space here--and lots of traveling).

I know, I really can't complain, and I'm really not complaining. I'm so blessed to have friends who will throw me a shower and buy me gifts, really. And it's way more fun to open real gifts at a shower than gift cards!


In other news, this Thursday is Thanksgiving, in case you didn't know. We're celebrating Thanksgiving with some of the same friends as last year. We'll have 10 of us around the table, and 6 of those are Aussies, some of whom will be experiencing their first American Thanksgiving (and pumpkin pie). Because none of the others have any experience or confidence in turkey roasting, I have become the turkey lady. I'm excited about it this year--I'm going to branch out from the traditional gravy (I've done it four times already--it's getting boring) and do an apple-maple glaze and sauce. I also went back and forth on dry brining vs. wet brining and have decided to stick with my wet brining. From what I can tell, the people who came up with dry brining did it out of a desire for convenience. I don't find wet brining that inconvenient when it's only a 12-14 pound turkey, so I'll stick with it. I'm also doing the stuffing (which will actually be dressing because I don't like actually stuffing the bird), a roasted pear salad, and a pumpkin pecan-praline pie (if you couldn't tell, I tend not to like to make the same dish in the same way twice, so I had to spice up the pumpkin pie somehow).

Last year, as we went around and shared what we were thankful for, I was unable to share the one thing that came to mind first--the fact that I had just ovulated naturally for the first time in over six years. Not something most people needed to know :). This year, I have a very active little boy in my belly, for whom I am overwhelmingly, astoundingly grateful. However, one of the other couples joining us has been struggling to get pregnant for two years, so I will definitely be toning down my emphasis on that aspect, for their sakes.


A final note. Thanks to those of you who suggested on my last post that I keep my due date where it is. I haven't heard from my OB yet on whether she wants to change it, but I am going to push to keep it on April 10, the official 40-week mark. Like Nico said, I don't want to be pushed into inducing earlier than I need to. And I also know how hard every day becomes psychologically once you go past your due date! Now my parents are just left with the dilemma of how to purchase plane tickets for coming to visit. They'd like to be here for the actual delivery, but they also don't want to risk spending half their trip with us before I go into labor. We'll see what they decide.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Can You Guess? (Beware Ultrasound Shots)

I've been waiting to update my blog, knowing I would have news to share this week. We had our big anatomy scan on Monday and discovered two very important pieces of information about our baby. First, the baby seems to have all major organs, all chambers of the heart, all brain hemispheres, etc, etc, that can be detected by ultrasound. Really, I had no idea how much they could see on these things, especially since we didn't get the NT scan.


There's the flagrant butt/private parts shot, which makes it pretty obvious that we're having a boy!

Of course we would have been thrilled to no end at a girl--of course. But we're super excited about a boy. I've had three reasons for wanting a boy, which I've been trying not to think about too much until now. First, I had a younger brother, and I always wished he was older. I think older brothers tend to be nicer to younger sisters because they have some innate desire to protect them (younger brothers...not so much). Second, my in-laws already have a granddaughter, so it's fun to at least have the first of something on that side. And third, we hope to adopt a kid or two in China down the road, and I hear that girls are much easier to come by over there for adoptive parents. So I'm not too concerned that we won't end up with any girls.

A couple more...

We did get the ever-popular thumb-sucking shot:

Though, you may be interested to know that, according to our very experienced and knowledgeable ultrasound tech (who was like a very chatty textbook on fetuses), fetuses are never really sucking their thumbs. It just looks like that. They may be trying to figure out how to get mouths over their hands, but I guess they don't succeed.

If you're extremely experienced in ultrasound interpretation, you may also be able to tell that my placenta is very much on the top wall of my uterus and nowhere near the cervix. It's that smooth, long, gray blob hovering over Peebs's body. The tech said there was no way I ever had a low-lying placenta with it being so high up now, and she was very confused about what my OB was seeing when she said that. So that's good news, though it leaves the bleeding/spotting I had from week 14 to about week 16 unexplained.

One more tidbit. Apparently, our little Peebs is measuring about 5 days ahead. The u/s tech recommended that my due date be changed from April 10 to April 5. I'm waiting to hear from OB to see if she wants to make that official. I'm totally happy to have it moved up, but it seems a bit odd how it all works. What if the baby were measuring ahead at 30 weeks--would they adjust it again? They can't keep adjusting based on measurements. And, more than that, I do know with very little doubt when I ovulated. So April 10 will technically be 40 weeks from, well, two weeks before I ovulated (which was not the first day of my last period). Not that the due date means a whole lot, but my parents will be purchasing plane tickets based loosely around the day, and it would be nice to know whether I should consider myself 19w3d or 20w1d....

Monday, November 1, 2010

16 Weeks On My Birthday

My parents were out visiting this past week from the Southeast. It was the first time I'd seen them in about a year, since they've been out of the country this past year some. So it was very lovely to spend some relaxed time together. They stayed 10 days, but they are very easy guests. They brought lots of their own stuff to do, so Pete and I could go to work as usual and they could take care of themselves.

I also celebrated my birthday last Sunday with them. We realized it was the first time we've been together for my birthday since I turned 18! For some reason the symmetry of being exactly 16 weeks pregnant on the 24th, my birthday, made me happy. I'm not into math at all, but it's hard to ignore such perfectly even numbers :).

My mom made dinner, Pete baked the lovely cake you see in the picture below, and my dad washed the dishes. Pete also gave me 3 very cute handpainted pictures from Etsy that will go in the baby's room once we can find suitable frames.

This picture makes me laugh. My mom was trying to take it with the self-timer on her camera but had lots of trouble getting it to work. So she ended up running back just in time to peep her face in, but it looks a little silly hiding back there.


In other news, I'm posting my first belly shot where I actually look a bit pregnant below. This was taken this weekend, at 17 weeks. I know it's still not much, but there's at least a little something there!
Please ignore my crazy hair. I'd been wearing a hat in the shape of a cherry all day to go along with my ice cream sundae costume. Also ignore the huge boobs. They're humongous. I'm missing my 32Cs very, very much these days. Pete says he thinks I'll really look obviously pregnant once my belly protrudes farther than my boobs, but I think it's got a ways to go to get there.