Monday, January 30, 2006


A few weeks ago I moved into almost exclusively maternity pants. I probably could have stuck it out in my old pants a little longer than 12 weeks, but the maternity pants were so comfortable that I said screw it. Anyway, even though I've been in maternity pants, my old shirts still fit.

Until this weekend! On Saturday I put on maternity jeans and a long ribbed T-shirt - one I bought last year specifically for the time between regular shirts and maternity shirts. Anyway, it had fit a few days before, but by Saturday it was too short to cover the demi panel on my pants. I have a belly!

I'll be the first to admit that I have had some body image issues most of my life. I was a super-skinny, straight-up-and-down teenager; no matter what I ate (and I love to eat), I weighed 97 pounds. When I got to college, that started to change - I was still thin, but suddenly I had breasts and hips and curves, and it made me nervous. Not to mention that I have a very fat-phobic mother and everything in our house for a while was fat-free this and low-fat that. Enough to give anyone a complex.

Anyway, you might think and introducing pregnancy into that mix would be a disaster. In fact, it was the opposite. I LOVED being pregnant - the bigger my belly got, the more I liked it. My pregnancy with Joseph was the only time in my life that I've loved my body unconditionally, and it was an amazing feeling. I was a little anxious afterward when I wanted to lose the weight, but I told myself not to obsess, and I think I did a pretty good job. (I ended up getting pregnant again at about 9 lbs over my pre-Joseph weight.)

I have a friend, C., who's about 5 weeks ahead of me, also pregnant with her second child. A mutual friend of ours told me that she saw C. a few weeks ago and said, "Oh, you're getting a belly!" and that C. seemed insulted by that. I can't imagine that. When people say to me, "Oh, you're getting a belly!" I positively beam.

(It also doesn't hurt that Andy loves my pregnant appetite and pregnant body. I remember last time, I was changing one evening in our room and his face lit up as he said, "Your behind is getting so BIG! It's GREAT!" I told him that the genuine sincerity in his voice was the only thing that kept that from being #1 on the list of things not to say to your wife.)

In other news...

- the shower is this weekend and so is the memorial at the hospital. I'm proud of myself that ever since I made my decision about the shower, I haven't given it another moment's thought. Usually I second-guess decisions to death. Maybe I'm finally learning not to care what other people might think.

- still feeling vague flutters and blips but nothing more substantial for the last few weeks. I'm guessing it will pick up over the next month or so.

- work is busy but I think we're all setting into the routine of the reorganization. We're still short staffed but things are moving more smoothly than I'd thought they would. My promotion is still in the paperwork phase (damn academia) but I found out that I'll be getting a bonus to tide me over til then. Nice!

- Our vacation is coming up; I absolutely cannot wait.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Another appointment

I realized today as I was waiting in the OB's office that I wasn't nervous. I've been a wreck before all my appointments so far, because they all involved firsts - the first ultrasound, the first time they tried the Doppler, etc - and each time, I was so afraid that what they were looking for wouldn't be there. This time, I didn't even think about it.

I heard the heartbeat again...what a great sound. I also got the results of the Early Risk Assessment - odds are 1/1205 for Down Syndrome, which they said was the same risk a 20-year-old woman has; odds are less than 1/10,000 for Trisomies 13 and 18. So, good news.

I love my doctor and especially her nurse. I was leaving the exam room when they located the genetic counselor who had my results, so the doctor and nurse were standing just outside, with the door open, while I got the results. When they were good, the nurse, who is short and perky and upbeat, practically jumped up and down with joy. She's cute.

My big ultrasound is 4 weeks from today - Valentine's Day. I'll only be 17.5 weeks, but the doctor thinks that's not too early. I'm so excited to find out the Pad's gender!

In other news, I decided not to go to SIL's baby shower. I thought a lot about it, and talked to my therapist, and talked to Andy, and finally came to the conclusion.

- I don't really believe in baby showers before the baby anymore. I don't think it's bad to want one or have one - I loved my shower and it was great to have everything we needed (even though in our case we didn't end up needing it, we will finally have a use for it this summer). But my friends who are Jewish have told me that it's a tradition with them to have showers after the baby, and I can totally understand now.

- I'm afraid I'll be too sad. Especially since the very next day, we're going to a ceremony at the hospital - they are unveiling a memorial that Joseph is going to be a part of. So many people donated to the hospital in Joseph's name that he's getting a little leaf on their memorial tree. I knew it was the same weekend as the shower, but until Andy pointed it out, I never thought about how hard it might be to go to a baby shower one day and a memorial for my dead son the next.

- What can I say - I'm still bitter. It's going to take me a long, long time to get over the fact that they started trying two weeks after Joseph's death. I wouldn't have expected them to put their lives on hold for me, but two weeks? They couldn't wait a month or two? Especially when they're 26 and hadn't even been married a year? The clock was not exactly ticking.

I'm sending a gift. I'm not interested in cutting ties to my brother or anything like that. It's just more that it's going to be a while before I trust them, or before our relationship can ever be as close as it once was. I thought being pregnant myself would help. Instead, the more time that goes by, the worse I feel about the whole thing.

Monday, January 09, 2006

blip blip

You know how I thought I might be feeling the Pad? I've been sitting here at the computer for a while this evening, and I felt that little "blip" feeling again. And then again. And again.

Suddenly I'm almost sure it's the Pad. I don't think it's gas (trust me, I have had enough experience with that these last few weeks). How amazing! Just like Joseph, if this is the Pad, he/she is much more active at night.

I love this feeling so much.

More good news

I could get used to this. :)

I had my Early Risk Assessment appointment today. They told me it would take 2 hours - ha! More like four, most of which was waiting. That kind of sucked, especially since Andy ended up having to leave before they actually called me in for the ultrasound. He was there for the boring, heard-it-all-before group meeting with the genetic counselor, and then didn't get to stay for the good part. Oh well.

The Pad is a regular little gymnast in there - it took the tech a long time to get the measurements she needed because it wouldn't stop rolling and flipping around. I could see it waving its tiny hands in front of its face and kicking its legs - so cool. (When I saw how much it was moving it made me wonder even more if that's what I've been feeling - it's not getting stronger yet, but I am still noticing it.)

Anyway, the tech got the pictures and then I had to wait some more on the table for the doctor on call (not my doc) to come in and look himself. I wasn't that crazy about him when he did show up; he was a bit unemotional and perfunctory for my taste. He did, however, say that the baby was "doing somersaults" and that the measurements were within the normal range and the baby looked healthy. I'll get the official results next week because they combine the measurements with the blood they took after the ultrasound.

Next appointment: January 17.

Next dilemma: Should I go to my SIL's baby shower or not? It's Feb. 4. Everyone understands, or says they do, but I think maybe they understand less now that I'm pregnant and it's going well. I don't know if I want to go or not. And if I don't want to, I'm not sure if it's because I'm afraid it will make me sad, or because I don't really believe in pre-birth baby showers anymore, or because I'm still sort of pissed at my brother and SIL for getting pregnant when they did. Or some combination of all three. More fodder for tomorrow's therapy appointment, I guess.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Long Trip Home

(with apologies to Cathy for the title.)

We're back from West Virginia. We got back on Tuesday evening, actually, but I've been too busy digging out at work and home to think about posting. My in-laws are without Internet access at the moment, and it was actually nice to take a break.

Brief updates:

* The trip was relaxing, except for the 14-hour drive each way, which we at least broke up by spending time with Andy's aunt and uncle in VA, since they're on the way. It was nice to see all of Andy's cousins and our friends. However, there's no getting around the fact that Beckley, WV, is a fairly depressing place, especially in the dead of winter. It's less depressing than the town the ILs lived in until this summer, which is officially The Middle of Nowhere, but there's still not a whole lot going on.

* However, we did talk a lot about how a 28-hour round-trip drive is grueling, and getting more so all the time, and how we didn't think it was going to be possible with a baby/child. We could fly, but flights to WV are inconvenient and expensive. And yet I LOVE Andy's family, and can't imagine our children growing up without knowing all of their aunts and uncles and cousins. I don't want my family to be the "real" family and Andy's family to be the people they get dragged off to see once or twice a year. We talk a lot about moving, and we've never settled on anything, but we talked about the DC area being a possibility. It's the exact halfway point between my family and his, and it's a big city with plenty of job opportunities for both of us. It's also not any more expensive than Boston, at least. I definitely want to wait until after things are resolved with the Pad (I still can't bring myself to say "when the Pad is born") because I love this new doctor and hospital and don't want to try to relocate while pregnant anyway. But after that, it's worth thinking about, I think.

* Speaking of WV, many people have asked me if we had any friends or family in or near the Sago mine accident - we don't. It's fairly far north of where we were. It's so terribly sad, though, and makes me worry a lot about my FIL, who does work in the mines and who insists on being underground doing the dangerous work a lot, even though, as the superintendent, he doesn't really have to very often.

* After three years, we finally got it together to book a vacation. I'm in shock. (My therapist will be so proud.) We're going to be spending 4 days on Big Pine Key - we've booked into a B&B and we found a flight, although we haven't booked that yet. We'll be flying into Fort Lauderdale, renting a car, and driving down the Oversea Highway - I can't wait.

* The morning sickness is getting better, although not gone completely. I have a pooch, and several pairs of pants no longer fit, while others are fine. Freshly washed jeans are out, but broken-in ones are OK. I have my nuchal translucency ultrasound and blood test for the combined screening on Monday, at 12w3d.

* I have to be imagining this, but for almost a week I've noticed intermittent, very light little pings in my lower abdomen. It doesn't feel like sort of feels like the very first few times I noticed Joseph moving. But how could that be possible when I started noticing it at 11 weeks? It's always in the same area below my navel, but it's in different places every time. I probably feel it 2-3 times a day or so. I wonder...