Monday, March 30, 2009

Finally, the 3D sonogram stuff!!!

I'm such a bad blogger! Our 3D ultrasound and Doc appt was last Wednesday and I am just now getting around to posting about it. So, I'm going to pretend that today is last Wednesday and I'm not a complete slacker, and everything I am writing is in the present - not past - tense. Just so I don't feel like I've been keeping you out of the loop. . . . . . .

DTB and I were a little skeptical about the 3D Ultrasound - would Bjorn look like an alien? Would they show us more down under stuff than we wanted to see? Would our plan to be surprised at birth be ruined just a few weeks before?

But it was free, and y'all know I don't pass up free!!

The Ultrasound Tech took us to the ultrasound room and before I even sat on the table, I blurted out "We don't want to know what he is. Boy or Girl. Please don't show us!"

*** Disclaimer: Once again, for all of you who think you know something that you don't, I use 'He' when talking about Bjorn because 1) it gets really tiring saying Bjorn fifteen times in a sentence just to avoid using a masculine/feminine (ex: Bjorn wouldn't show us Bjorn's face, so we tried to poke Bjorn until Bjorn would move towards the camera. See what I mean?) 2) using the word 'It' when describing my child is demeaning and entirely wrong. No baby is an it. At any age or any stage. and 3) besides ships, weather and my two cars, I find that most things go better with the masculine than the feminine; masculine words are usually more generically used than the feminine ones. So, 'he' it is. Ok, now that we have that out of the way. . . . . ***

She said that was no big deal, she would scan the things she needed to scan and stay away from that general area.

Whew! Big relief!

Bjorn wasn't entirely cooperative, but he wasn't uncooperative, either. (That explains all children everywhere, doesn't it?!) At first we couldn't get his face turned towards us, so I moved to my left side, then my right, then on over to my back again. We finally got some good pics when I was on my back, but Bjorn likes to sleep with his arm up across his face (possibly resting on his arm?) so his face was a little covered.

Then while we were videotaping (yes, we got a CD of Bjorn moving in 4D like a real movie!) he opened his mouth, yawned a little and broke into a big smile. The big ham! That proved it to me - my kids gonna be a star! The camera loves him!

I think that is my nose, DTB's lips and cheeks and -hopefully- DTB's dimples. You can't tell in any of the pics, but I did make sure and ask the US Tech if Bjorn had hair.. . . . . and, yep! Lots of it. Cross your fingers it's curly like Preggo's!

It seems wrong somehow to be able to see so much detail. Like a preview for a movie that hasn't even been filmed yet.

Bjorn is now 3 lbs 9 ounces. For those of you who watch the news, this is 5 ounces larger than the largest baby the Octo-mom had. It is over 2 lbs more than the smallest baby she had. Kinda puts it all in perspective. He measures a week longer than expected, which could mean he will be early, he will be a long kiddo or he already had his major growth spurt and will not be growing much after this.

It also puts it in perspective when Doc says "Well, you've got about 9 weeks left. Or maybe 8. . . or 7. . or 6,5,4 weeks. . . it could be anytime now!"

To which DTB and I looked at each other, looked at Bjorn and said "Stay in there!!!"

We need these last two months to get it all together.

Doc and I also had a heart-to-heart about other delivery things I had been worried about. So many Preggos have told me lately that they wanted to induce. Not because the kiddo needed to be taken out, but because it was more convenient. They could know when they needed to go to the hospital without worrying about false labor or their water breaking in the middle of church or dinner.

I have a big problem doing that myself. (Can you imagine ever telling your kiddo 'Your birthday is today because it was alot more convenient for me to have you on this day. You might not have been born for another week if I had waited for you to be ready!')

I wanted to make sure Doc and I were on the same page and - whew! - we are. He said they usually don't wait more than a week after the scheduled due date as there is no benefit to him staying in longer. He was also very honest, in that he will/will not induce depending on what I want, but we also have to watch how it is medically. In other words, he wasn't going to promise not to induce. He just let me know we were on the same page, and if everything was healthy, he wouldn't force me to induce so that he wouldn't be pulled out of bed at 2 am when I did go into labor. Which is another reason I've heard docs are starting to induce.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Winning the Lottery

How can anyone deny the existence of God when they see the intricate process that is baby-making? We are not talking about throwing together a salad, or making cookies from scratch. Anyone (except me, really, 'cause I'm still burning my cookies) can figure those out. But making a baby? That takes something much bigger than you or I to do.

It didn't really hit me when I saw the hands. I've seen alot of hands in sonograms. Feet? Same thing. That's just kind of normal. It didn't even really hit me when I could see all four sections of the heart beating. That part was pretty cool, and amazingly clear, but it wasn't entirely shocking. I knew the kiddo had to have a heart, and it just seemed like it was always there, along with his liver, kidneys and brain.

So what made me stop, think, and say a little prayer?

This kid has a thigh bone. A thigh bone that is a little over 2 inches long, to be exact. Smaller than a chicken wing. A bone.

And somehow over the last 7 months - somehow while I have been working and decorating, painting and shopping, forgetting to take my prenatals and remembering to cut down on the caffeine intake - somehow in that 7 months, I have grown another human's bones. I have taken nothing - and really done nothing - and out of that nothing has come flesh and bone.

If that doesn't convince you of the existence and power of God, I don't know what will.

Growing a child in your body is a progess, and one that we don't really understand. Sure, we have doctors who can tell you that you are right on average, right on target, going along just fine. There are doctors that can test your sugar levels, protein levels and blood pressure. But there is not a single doctor out there who can say with a 100% guarantee that something will or will not happen to you and your baby. Because they don't know.

And I am just now seeing how powerful this incubating thing is.

See, I was given the ability to create something out of nothing. By doing nothing. I know that in America we try to live our whole lives for this - to get something out of nothing. This is why we play the lottery, why we throw hundreds of hard-earned dollars on poker tables in the hopes of that one big windfall. Something for nothing.

Really, that's what a baby is. God gives us this huge something that He makes from nothing. The biggest lottery win by far.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pregnant Brain: Part Deux

On Sunday, at breakfast with the In-law family, I became a certified Preggo. It has officially gone to my brain.

My pancakes were getting dry and I needed more syrup. I picked up the syrup container and started to pour. . . . . and coffee came out. Somehow I had mistaken the large coffee urn for the very small maple syrup container.

Yes, I put coffee on my pancakes. And they were damn good, too!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I have a dream. . . . .

and it's about a baby we call Bjorn.

Which is, apparently, a big part of being pregnant. Dreams, I mean. It seems that everyone - DTB, friends, the lady in line at the grocery store - is having dreams about us and our baby. Everyone but me, that is. Until now.

I had my first dream about the little him/her.

I was walking through an airport (Wait - is this a dream or a nightmare?!?!), waving at those I know. My baby was young - three months at most - and strapped into a back carrier (thanks, Bro and SIL!), her little head lying on my shoulder, drooped forward. She was in a deep sleep. The airport was packed, and I knew alot of people, so I was waving alot. A boy, tall and thin, untangled his long, cowboy legs to stand up and greet me excitedly as I walked by. I recognized him as a boy I had baby-sat when I was younger and waved back. (That is, my dream-self recognized him. I never baby-sat for anyone, so this was all a part of my dream-self's life.)

I kept walking and then saw my (real-life) BF Kate sitting on a bench in the middle of the crowded airport. She was very intent on her book, and I didn't want to distrub her, so I started to walk past. Then I realized that this would be the first time she would meet my baby, and I didn't know when I would see her next, so I turned back to say hi.

I interrupted her reading, said hi and gestured to the awakened baby who was now peering over my shoulder.

I introduced her. "This is Lulu."

Kate cooed and ahhed like people do when they see babies or fireworks, then reached up to lift little Lulu's head so she could see her better. At that, Lulu spewed white projectile vomit all over her, the front of my shirt and everything in between.

Then I woke up.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby on a Budget

Knowing that I will not be getting a paycheck for very much longer, we are trying very hard to be Super Smart Savers. Especially when it comes to baby.

We bought our crib on Craigslist, where we will (hopefully) also find a dresser and rocker/glider. I do not want a Wipes Warmer - Bjorn can scream if he wants to, he'll just have to get used to cold wipeys. I do not want a designer diaper bag. I don't want designer baby clothes, or even tons of clothes. I want what Bjorn needs (which, granted, I really don't know what that is. . . . . )

So, today, while I was shopping in Big Overpriced Baby Mart (with my gift certificate and coupons for 15% off purchase and $4 off the item on my list), I searched for the clearance section. Which was everywhere. Red tags for all the world to see.

But I didn't buy anything. I still have two showers and lots of time.

Until I got to the Amy Coe section, which had all items priced 75% off. That's right, 75% off. I pay a 1/4 of what I would have paid last week. Sounds good to me!!

So I couldn't resist.

The wall art (that I absolutely love!!) was originally $39.99, so today it was $10. The lamp - which I also think is perfect - was originally $44.9, so it was $11.25.

I debated back and forth for a while before I realized - hey, I love these pieces! Just buy them! If you love 'em, get 'em! (Especially if they are on sale!!!)

The Desitin and the Johnsons Baby Wash were after-thoughts at the grocery store, but since they were on sale and I had coupons, I thought they were worth it.
Johnsons was $3 on sale for 1.49 and I had $1 coupon off. Paid 49 cents for it. The Desitin was $3 on sale for $1.19 and I had $1 coupon off. That only cost me 19 cents. So I might go back and load up on these. I have three more coupons for each, so for the next three days, I might go back and get one of each. Think I'll need that much?

Check out my other blog to see how I'm trying to be a super savvy coupon-er in all ways, everyday!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Completed nursery pics

Well, the nursery is done!!

Ok, ok, except for all the furniture we still need to buy to fill it. Right now Bjorn will be sleeping in a dresser drawer!!!

And here are the pictures you have been anxiously waiting for. . . . . .

Nursery Pics

I'm a joiner, not a fighter.

I've always been a joiner.

As a young child, I joined Girl Scouts - not because I had any interest in sewing, first aid or campfire cooking, but because I liked going to meetings and seeing my friends. I enjoyed having activities to go to and people to count on me.

As I grew up, I continued to join in. Sports teams, drama clubs, honor societies. I joined any and everything I could, just to be a part of it all.

In college, I joined everything but a sorority. I never have understood the necessity of being in a sorority and I don't like paying for something that I can get elsewhere for free. I may have always been a joiner, but I've also always been a cheap-ass.

So when I got pregnant, I assumed (just like And Baby Will Make 4) that I would be joining a very elite group. This would be my chance to be in a sorority-like clique; a group of women all joined together with no dues but snack-size portions of Cheerios and Goldfish and no membership fees besides the ones we tried to stave off with excessive use of Cocoa Butter. I would be part of the Mommies.

I was disallusioned pretty quickly. Apparently, making friends is harder when there are no common college Professors to bitch about and you're always trying to make it home at night to spend time with the Hubs. Making friends after graduation - even with the common denominator of bulging bellies and drippy diapers - is not as easy as I thought it would be.

But I have not lost hope. This is why I never mind when someone asks me when I am due. This is a nice opening for me to talk about being a Preggo and ask if they have any kids. Get the ball rolling and start a coversation that could turn to coffee, a movie, and eventually maybe a Mommy Happy Hour. Yes, it's kind of like dating. Find someone you connect with and roll with the punches.

I'm still waiting to find that perfect group of Mommies for me, but when I do find it, I know exactly what I will do. Put on my Girl Scout sash, grab a bottle of Wine, some Guac, and JOIN.

Are you in or are you out?

I no longer have a belly button.

Well, I mean, I guess I do have a belly button, but it is not the one that God and the Doc who snipped it at birth intended me to have.

A few days ago I noticed that my belly button was stretching flat. Maybe, just maybe, I was going to be one of those lucky Preggo's whose belly button doesn't pop out like a turkey thermometer, but instead, just stretches flat. I've heard (through the Preggo rumor mill, which really is just like the high school locker room, only with more details and less facts) that having a stretched belly button makes it easier to go back to being a real innie afterwards. Not that I've really put a whole lot of thought into my belly button besides getting it pierced, but - hey - it's the small things in life that count!

Now, though, the belly button is no longer stretching flat. (As DTB said last night "You're finally looking like a Preggo! As if the extra 40 pounds of basketball strapped to my stomach hasn't made it obvious enough yet.") That's right, I have a popper. Not completely yet, but the top flap of skin over the belly button has definetely popped, and I'm sure the rest of the innards are sure to follow. I blame Bjorn. I think it's his punching and kicking that have made this innie an outie!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I swear, I DO like surprises!

My first baby shower is today and it is taking EVERYTHING in my power not to look at my baby registry before everyone gets here.

I have to get off the computer now before I do something I will regret. . . . .

Friday, March 6, 2009

Touch the belly, lose a hand

The first time a stranger touched my pregnant belly, I was shocked.

Shocked because the first thing out of my mouth was not a sarcastic comment, and shocked because I didn't immediately put my hand on her swollen (fat) belly, too.

I was shocked because I let her touch my belly. It was a magnanimous feeling of generosity - a feeling that it takes a village to raise a child, and this stranger who was telling me 'Good luck' and patting my belly was a part of this village my child would someday need. I felt like someone who was contributing to society instead of just living in it. I was bringing someone into this world, and maybe - just maybe - this child would someday cure cancer, invent the hydro craft used as popularly as the car, or figure out the way to reverse environmental damage. I was useful. I was needed. I was loved.

This, of course, did not last long.

Soon after the first belly touch came the second. This time I was not quite to magnanimous. I didn't smile and say thank you as the congratulations poured out of a stranger's mouth. Instead I stared for a few seconds at the hand on my belly and slowly looked up into the stranger's face, one eyebrow cocked as if saying 'You're touching me. Why?'. I was now hoarding my belly the way I used to hoard my Halloween candy.

A good friend of mine saw me this week and the first thing she did was squeal 'I know I'm not supposed to, but can I touch the belly?' (Notice the wording : THE belly, not YOUR belly. It is now an object, a thing, not a part of my body.) I grimly smiled and said 'Only once, so you better make it a good one.' She took the hint and stayed away from the belly.

It's not that I don't want to share this pregnancy with others. (Otherwise I wouldn't be writing on here, obviously!) I do understand that Bjorn is important not just to me and DTB, but also to the GPTB, the ATB, UTB, all other family members and our friends. I understand that having a kiddo is important in this world, and people - even complete strangers - want to enjoy it.

What I don't understand is how they think that by touching me, they can share in this. There is no master pregnancy gene that is transferred through the belly to those lucky enough to rub it. Don't touch me, because you will get nothing but sarcasm. I am not Buddha. I am not a troll doll.