This was a blog about my adventures with Joe. Then, along came Nia. Four years later, along came Stage 3 breast cancer. Fast forward two years, and I'm now caring for my dad while he fights his own cancer battle.
Tomorrow, Christmas Day, will mark 19 weeks into my pregnancy -- nearly half way there already!My belly grew more this last week and is becoming more obvious, at least to people who know I'm pregnant. No strangers are coming up to me to comment on my pregnancy yet.
Swimming each day last week while on vacation was so nice. I loved the weightless feeling of being in the water (especially in the salty sea water!). I may look into swimming more as my pregnancy continues. Because of the flying, my ankles really swelled. I've never seen my ankles look like that! I had cavewoman feet! A bit horrifying, and uncomfortable. Fortunately they are back to looking recognizable again!
Other observations... I'm having vivid dreams. For awhile there I was having nightmares every night (not baby related). Those have eased up and I've had a few baby dreams now. Two about baby boys and one about a baby girl... On a different note, out cat, Kalli, has become so attentive to me since I've been pregnant. She stays very close to me when I'm at home, often sitting right at my feet when I'm on the couch, or following me from room to room. Sometimes she wants to be pet and paws at me to get my attention. Other times she just sits and gazes at me with such adoration in her eyes. At night she sleeps right next my belly or chest. I'm in this sleep-sandwich between Kalli, the baby and Joe. I love it!
Other changes... I can no longer sleep comfortably on my belly as I used to. Now it hurts, so I'm sleep on my side. Sleeping on my back is still ok, though not comfortable for as long as it used to. When we move back to Harbor and our king-sized bed, I'll look into getting a body pillow to make my nights more comfortable.
I felt the baby move a little over a week ago (end of week 17). It was during a quiet moment on my back during prenatal yoga. I felt two quick flutters just below my navel. It was amazing and wonderful and oh, so exciting! Since then, though, I haven't noticed any more movements. Hopefully soon. Joe keeps pressing his hand into my belly, hoping to "catch the baby unawares." :)
As for the baby, s/he is just growing, growing, growing. The little one will grow to the size of a small cantaloupe this week, about 6" long (or maybe that is a large heirloom tomato)! The lungs are developing, and the baby is "breathing" in amniotic fluid. Buds for the permanent adult teeth are forming behind the already-formed milk teeth. The baby's brain is developing to process touch, sound, smell, taste and vision.
Startling fact: If our baby is a girl, she already has 6 million eggs in her ovaries (this will decrease to 4 million by the time she is born). That means I have my grandbaby nestled within me, too. Or half a grandbaby. I feel like a Russian Nesting Doll!
We are just back from a week-long cruise through the Caribbean (Key West, Cozumel, Grand Caymen, and Jamaica) with my family, and Kyle's fiance's (!) family. (Big, big congrats to Kyle and Whitney on their engagement!) My brother and his beautiful girlfriend last winter: Now my little one has swam in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. A little world traveling grapefruit! (Actually, s/he is nearly the size of small cantaloupe now, but more on that in a different post.) Here are the first of my photos (larger versions of these will appear each day on my photoblog):
I happened to catch Garrison Keillor reading this well-timed poem this evening on the Writer's Almanac. It brought tears to my eyes...
Upon Seeing an Ultrasound Photo of an Unborn Child by Thomas Lux, from The Drowned River
Tadpole, it's not time yet to nag you
about college (though I have some thoughts
on that), baseball (ditto), or abstract
principles. Enjoy your delicious,
soupy womb-warmth, do some rolls and saults
(it'll be too crowded soon), delight in your early
dreams — which no one will attempt to analyze.
For now: may your toes blossom, your fingers
lengthen, your sexual organs grow (too soon
to tell which yet) sensitive, your teeth
form their buds in their forming jawbone, your already
booming heart expand (literally
now, metaphorically later); O your spine,
eyebrows, nape, knees, fibulae,
lungs, lips... But your soul,
dear child: I don't see it here, when
does that come in, whence? Perhaps God,
and your mother, and even I — we'll all contribute
and you'll learn yourself to coax it
from wherever: your soul, which holds your bones
together and lets you live
on earth. — Fingerling, sidecar, nubbin,
I'm waiting, it's me, Dad,
I'm out here. You already know
where Mom is. I'll see you more directly
upon arrival. You'll recognize
me — I'll be the tall-seeming, delighted
blond guy, and I'll have
This past week, I'm all about my belly. It seems like the bump emerged overnight. But Joe told me the other day it has actually been there a couple weeks -- he just felt weird pointing it out. One of my coworkers, though, didn't feel strange about it and happily shouted out today at work, "I see a baby bump!" (Good thing I'm actually pregnant!)
Joe and I had our second prenatal exam yesterday. Joe heard the little one's heart beat galloping along for the first time. He was a very proud papa and tape recorded it. Our midwife thought it was really cool and said a little message to the baby on the tape, too. What a neat thing to have! Maybe once we move back to Harbor and Joe gets his computer set up for editing music we'll be able to convert the file to something I can post on here.
So, 17 weeks. Fingernails and toenails are growing now, and our little one has a firm grip (I so can't wait to feel his/her little hand around my index finger!). The fetus is about five inches long now. Yesterday at the prenatal we got to hold a little plastic replica. The baby is almost bigger than what I can hold in my palm comfortably! Over the next four weeks, the baby will double in length to 10 inches! (That's about half the size he/she will be at birth!)
The midwife said we should be able to feel the little one kicking and zigzagging about any day now. And if Joe presses his hand into my belly, he might even be able to feel it too. We are so excited to feel the baby move -- another confirmation that something is really in there!
I won't be able to do the week 18 update because we'll be on the high seas, enjoying a Caribbean cruise, so look for the week 19 update around Christmas. We should have news about moving back to Harbor around then, too... Till then, Happy Holidays!
Weeks 15 and 16 (so far) have been a big turning point for me in this pregnancy. Suddenly I actually feel pregnant. I felt pregnant when I was having morning sickness, but that also felt familiar (in that nausea is not an unfamiliar sensation to me). The difference this week was that I was suddenly aware of my growing belly. I'm starting to look pregnant. I'm wearing more and more maternity clothes. At yoga this week, my body felt unusually heavy (though not in a horrible way, just a different way). I've also felt soreness, aches and pains as things grow and expand. Again, not in a bad way, just in a different way.
There was also a turning point in how Joe and I respond to the baby. We've started talking to him/her more, and we're reading to our little one now, too.
So, what's the baby been up to? Well, growing! S/he is suddenly the size of a grapefruit! That actually sounds huge to me, although as one book pointed out, "it could still easily nestle into a coffee cup." Everything I've read says that the baby is getting super active now that his/her limbs are fully formed, too. S/he is now swimming in about a quart of amniotic fluid. In addition to being able to hear outside noises, the baby is now able to sense light outside my belly (which is amazing). Incidentally, his/her eyes are still fused shut. They won't open for a few more weeks.
Fun fact: The baby now has his/her own unique fingerprints!