Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's a Girl!

Saturday night at my sister’s wedding reception, we revealed that we are having a girl. Actually, she made the announcement. Since it was her reception we were high-jacking, it only seemed appropriate that she be the one to tell it. Plus, she made me tell her first anyway since she allowed us to reveal it there. :)

Prior to the announcement, my belly became a crystal ball by which random people were predicting the baby’s gender. That was ……………..interesting. Literally, a few people walked up to me, put both hands on my belly, and rubbed it while saying thoughtfully and with certainty, “It’s a boy.” According to the ultrasound, they were wrong.

Immediately following the announcement (and I mean in the next breath), people began yelling out, “What’s her name?” She doesn’t have a name yet, and my standard line for that question will be, “We will name her when she’s born.” My compromise for finding out the gender (because I really wanted a surprise) is that the name, once we choose one, will remain a secret until she is born. Dave is in agreement with this because he doesn’t want people sitting around the hospital waiting room saying, “When is (insert name here) going to be here?” I agree that would be weird, plus WE will be the first people to call her by her name.

Also, I’ve gotten a lot of, “Are you excited?” Well, duh! Of course I’m excited. I’m having a baby that we planned. I was excited before the ultrasound, and the gender of the baby didn’t change that one bit. Oh, also, the walls of the nursery will still be blue. Just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean she has to be all pinked out. At this point, I don’t know if I personally will by anything pink for her just because I know that everyone else who was desperately hoping for a girl will be buying pink. In case you were wondering, I was desperately hoping for a healthy baby, and it looks like that’s on track, too.

I’m feeling snarky today, so I’m going to tell an amusing Dave story in hopes that I don’t go off on a rant about all the things that people are saying and doing about this pregnancy that are on my last nerve. Generally, I wake up at 2 a.m. every morning to use the bathroom. This is like clockwork. Occasionally, I decide that I’m too tired to get up yet and go back to sleep for about an hour before I wake up again at three. Apparently, 3 a.m. is the time that Dave usually gets up for his snack and television show. (Don’t ask – I don’t understand his nighttime habits.) Twice in the past week, I have gotten up at three and gone to the bathroom. I always leave the light off because, hey, I’ve been using a toilet for 27 years, I can manage in the dark when I don’t want to completely wake up. Both times I’ve gotten up at three, Dave has immediately gotten up and followed me to the bathroom. Knowing that he doesn’t realize I’m awake and sitting on the toilet in the dark, I say, quietly, “I’m in here.” To which he exclaims, “OH!” This is the point that I think he wakes up. Then he goes to the other bathroom and on about his routine. This morning, since the exact same sequence of events happened for the second time in a week, I just laughed and laughed at him until I fell back to sleep. When I wake up at two, he never moves. He’s a funny nighttime person.

Back to the ultrasound… We got to see everything except her face. Every time the teck got close to her face, she covered it with her hands. The bonus about that is that I get to have another ultrasound at my next appointment so they can look at her face. All of her organs and the other things they check looked normal, and her growth is right on track for her fetal age. They gave me an adjusted due date, but my doctor says we are still calling it the first week of July. He doesn’t really believe in a due date, and I tend to agree with him. Also, she wasn’t moving around during the ultrasound, regardless of the fact that I drank a Mountain Dew on the way there to get her moving. Next time, I’m going to do anything special and maybe she’ll move more.

The ultrasound really seems to be what Dave needed to start getting excited about the baby. He has been reading my book more and he learned that she will soon be able to hear outside sounds. Now in the mornings, he sings songs to her. He has also started working on the nursery. He put up the shelves that will hold all of our kid stuff, and we put together the crib over the weekend. We still have to get a bunch of stuff out of there and rearrange the furniture, but we’ve made some progress.

That’s enough for now. I will be 20 weeks tomorrow – that’s half way.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stories from the Animal House

Animal House as in the house where animals live and funny things happen, not the wild frat party house.

As most people who read this blog know, I leave a window cracked for the cats to come and go while we are at home. This plan has worked famously for two years, even though they bring me dead things (and sometimes live ones) as presents. However, I've had to start closing the window even when we are home. Recently, I've been suspicious that a cat other than mine has visited us. There has been more than one occasion that I smelled a strange cat in my laundry room, where the cats' food and litter boxes stay. I've wondered if another cat has come into the house, but thought surely a weird cat wouldn't just wander into someone's house. (I don't know why I thought this, given the stray puppy episode that happened before we even moved in there.) Anyway, I heard some bumping around in there the other night and for some reason I thought I should check it out. I guess it didn't sound like either one of my cats jumping to the floor (I can tell which one it is by the way they hit the floor). Just as I opened the door to the laundry room, a HUGE fluffy black cat was exiting the window. I was right! We did have a strange house guest. Apparently, he has been coming inside to mark the litter boxes and, luckily, he did not figure out how to use the pet door before I figured out that he was visiting. A scrubbing of the laundry room ensued to get rid of the smell and the window was immediately closed. All is well now and the cats are adjusting to coming to the door and yelling to be let in/out.

That brings me to my next story. Since the window is closed, Jewel came to the front door making the death cry (the one she uses when she has a prize for us). I told her she could come in, but the mouse had to stay on the porch. She obliged. Once she was inside, I noticed that the mouse was still alive and seemingly only slightly injured. I decided to move it off the porch to give it a fighting chance. When I picked it up, the tiny little beast BIT ME! It did not want to let go either, so I sat it down in the mulch in the flower bed and waited for it to calm down and let go of my thumb. When I checked later, it was gone. That was my first mouse bite - which is amazing considering I've rescued a few.

I know I'm a strange woman. Most women would be screaming in a chair if there was a live mouse around, but I just can't stand to watch them kill them. It's okay if they just show up dead, but I don't need to see the process. Lizards are okay, but I rescue them too if they are fortunate enough to escape the claws. They also bite, but I've not had that pleasure yet. Don't you think I would be a good boy mom?

In baby news today, I am 19 weeks 1 day now and my Pregnancy Calendar says the baby is 8 inches long. My ultrasound is this afternoon, so we should get some idea of how big it really is. The calendar also says that my feet are going to start growing now and will probably grow at least a 1/2 size and stay that way. I have to admit, this is one pregnancy thing I hope to avoid. My feet are big enough already. I'll never be able to find cute shoes if they get bigger.

I can feel the baby moving fairly regularly now at certain times of the day. Dave tried to feel it last night and couldn't. It was kicking pretty hard, but I guess not hard enough yet. Jewel settled in for a nap on my belly. The baby kicked at her several times, but she never moved so I don't think she could feel it either. One of these days that is going to be a funny scene.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We Have Movement!

Last Wednesday, at 18 weeks exactly, I finally felt the baby move (and knew with relative certainty that it was the baby). Let me first say, it didn't feel like butterfly wings or flutters or any of that other mushy stuff people have been telling me. Perhaps it might have felt like that at some point and I missed it or just didn't have a clue, but that's not what it feels like now. It felt like someone was poking me from the inside. Then there was another movement that felt like it was flipping around in there - sort of like bubbles rising (not gas bubbles, this couldn't be mistaken for gas as I've never felt this feeling before and it was in the wrong location). There is a noise that I associate with the flippy feeling, it's "bloop bloop." Ah! I just realized what it is! Remember when you were a little kid and you pooted in the bathtub (every kid did it, so don't deny it) and you could feel the bubbles rise to the surface? THAT's what it feels like, but stronger! Another person described it as feeling like popcorn popping inside your belly, and I can concur with that description, too - but not butterfly wings. Anyway, I felt it, and it's been getting more regular since then. At first it was about once a day and now it's a couple of times a day. It still surprises me, but it's really cool. I can't wait for Dave to be able to feel it.

I pulled a tricky wife trick on Dave this weekend, and it had great results. :) Dave hasn't been super excited (maybe not even a little excited) about this whole baby thing to date because it's not very real to him yet, and it's quite overwhelming for him. He's started expressing some interest since my belly started getting bigger, and he was a little more interested when I started telling him about cool things about the baby - like that is was moving all the time, not that it's tail has disappeared. :) Anyway, I need him to be educated about fetal development, but more importantly about labor and delivery, because he's my rock and I need him to know what's going on when we get there. I have this book he gave me, called "A Child is Born," that is full of week-by-week pictures of the developing fetus (real ones taken inside the uterus) and a summary of what's happening to the baby and to the mother at that time. It's a really neat book. It also has very graphic pictures of labor and delivery - though not a very detailed explanation of the process. Well, it FINALLY occurred to me over the weekend to leave it on the back of the toilet in the bathroom. He took the bait. :) This morning, he said, "I looked at pictures of the baby in your book." I was so happy. :) Previously, he thought it looked like an alien and didn't want to see pictures. This is a step forward. He's also told me he's getting excited about the ultrasound, which is this week. I think it will be so cool for him to actually see the baby. It should make it a little more real for him. (By the way, he knows I do things like this, so I'm not giving away any secrets. The best way to get him to eat fruit is to leave grapes and pineapple in a bowl on the counter.)

I found my first stretch marks the other day, too. I'm happy to say they aren't on my belly (yet), but on my boobs. Who'd have guessed it? I would, that's who. These things have grown so fast and just keep growing. That's okay, it's nice to have cleavage for a change.

In other news, I got Georgia a new toy over the weekend, and it may be the new favorite over the frisbee. It's my favorite anyway. It's a wand that holds a tennis ball and you fling it as far as you can. I can throw one so far with that thing, and she loves it. I love it because I no longer have to pick up the slimey ball with my hands. :) We played so long that I had to make her quit before she fell out.

The cats are still acting like cats. Gypsy's behavior has improved all around since I brought home a new scratching box for her. She was starting to use the couch, and was really aggressive toward Jewel (chasing and picking fights all the time). The couch scratching has stopped, and the fighting has greatly decreased. I guess she just had pent up frustration and needed something to take it out on.