I'm starting to finally notice a little something different in my belly. I'm still not showing to anyone else, but when I wake up in the morning, I can tell my stomach is not totally flat anymore. And when I eat, I feel like it pops out even more. Of course, they say it's mostly bloating etc. at this point, but my uterus is the size of a grapefruit, and the baby is a little kumquat. It's neat to see a tiny change. Even if tiny. So here are some bigger-belly inspired silly shots! (I don't know what that one on the left is all about! It's called, "Do something random in the next picture, and look pensive!")
This past weekend, Mike and I go to upstate NY to visit my family for my mom's 60th "surprise" party (she knew something was up, that sneaky gal). This is the first time we see them since we found out I was pregnant.
(my wonderful grandmother and brother, Kyle, with me at brunch at a quaint restaurant on the bay in Fair Haven, NY)
Many of my mom's local friends are in attendance--70 or so. Also attending are my grandparents from NC, my aunt from the Albany area, Eric and Kate, my brother, Kyle, Marnie, Fisher and Kaia, and even Mike's parents come up for the event (overcoming a car break-down just 1/2 mile from their hotel!).
(my mom and grandfather--don't they look great for 60 and 85?)
I get my first "belly pats" at the party, even though there is not much new to pat. It feels weird because I don't feel like I have a pregnant belly. It is like someone touching my regular stomach, which is odd. I imagine that later on, when my belly is larger, it will not feel as though it belongs to me as much as it does now. It will still be a part of me, of course, but it will be more public, more of a home for a baby. But right now, my baby is the size of a grape, and my stomach feels tight to my body still, mine, not like much of a big home yet. But I guess once you're pregnant, the belly pats start coming!
(My mom's beautiful chocolate cake, made by her friend, Suzanne.)
(The awesome favors and table settings Marnie made for the party.)
Mike and I are glad to be pregnant at this point because we really do want our parents to be a part of our kids' lives. While there is temptation to wait, just because we always want to do more traveling, save more money, buy that house, etc., the ticking clock does get things going. Both of our parents are so excited to be grandparents, and we know they will be amazing! It will also be fun for us to see my brothers and sisters-in-law with their new niece or nephew. And I love my niece and nephew so much and always can't wait to see them (and miss them when I'm away), so I know how much fun it is to have a new family member. I'm glad our child will have loving, creative cousins.
Mike is an only child, so while our baby won't have any first cousins on his side of the family, he has a lot of extended family cousins whom he's very close to (and I love too!). And many of them have babies/toddlers already, so they also will provide a lot of great family bonding.
We are very lucky to have a warm loving family on both sides and happy we can bring a baby into our families!
Girls and ladies out there--have you ever come right out and asked a friend if she is pregnant before? Joking or not?
I know that I have asked girls that before. It's often done in a light-hearted manner. She talks about how she is unusually moody. Or how she is feeling sick. I say, "Are you pregnant?" in a secretive tone, eyes wide.
This is standard among women, right? I've admitted I've asked it. And I've been asked it in the past. When we are asked this, we all give the appropriate response, "No, of course not" or possibly, "I don't think so!"
That is, until we actually are pregnant...
Here are a few examples of how people have found out I'm pregnant, all by asking that magic question...
Friend 1: We are talking about a work issue that is stressing me out. It doesn't really have anything to do with me. I did nothing wrong, but I was made aware of the situation and somehow felt a part of it. I tell my friend how it made me really anxious one night last week, and it kept me up at night. She says, "That's not like you to be so upset over something like this. Why do you think you feel this way? Are you pregnant?"
Friend 2: We are talking about buying houses in this crazy market (yes, prices have lowered, but if you live in Westchester County, you know you still can't find a good house in a good school district for under $700,000). I talk about how we may just have to settle in a bad school area for now, since we can't afford otherwise. This brings us the topic of having children and for some reason, she asks," Are you having trouble conceiving?"
This is sort of a trick question, because if you say yes, then it implies you've been trying for a while with no luck, which wasn't the case with us. But if you say, no, then it basically shows that you must be pregnant (unless you have gone back on birth control). So I instantly answer her, not even thinking, "No." So the next natural question from her is, of course, "Are you pregnant??"
Friend 3 (my boss at work): I am at work, in a different room from my boss for a moment, then walk back to the desk where my bag is, and she is staring at me with a half smile and wide eyes. She comes right out and says, "Are you pregnant?"
This one shocks me the most, as there was no lead-in to that question! "Why would you ask that?" I say.
She then points at my bag, where there is a sleeve of saltines peering out. She has just had a baby herself last winter, so she knows what those classic crackers mean. She says one word. "Saltines!"
"Well, this wasn't how I was going to tell you, but..."
I say, yes to all the women to ask.
It sort of makes telling people easier in one way, since how does one bring up the fact, "Oh, by the way, I'm pregnant!" ? Especially when one doesn't even feel pregnant most of the time...
However, I must admit, I am starting to feel a bit pregnant now and then. Or at least feel symptoms of being pregnant. I have not had any mood swings still and I feel pretty good in general. But I do finally have a little nausea. It starts around 8pm and lasts through the night into the morning. It does not help my poor sleeping (no, my sleeping has not improved since my last doctor's visit as I had hoped), especially when I feel obligated to try to eat in the middle of the night to possibly help the nausea, and then feel obligated to brush my teeth, further waking myself up... It feels more like a hangover than upset stomach--a dizzy sort of nausea, where movement makes it worse.
But does this really make me feel pregnant? Or just feel like I have a hangover? When do you actually start feeling pregnant? Not just feeling symptoms that mean you're pregnant?
Mike and I have waves of the realization; we are hit with the thoughts, "Oh, my gosh! There is a baby inside!" Or "We are going to be PARENTS!"
But most of the time, we just go on with our lives, doing what we do, and it doesn't feel that different.
We have our second doctor's appointment today and Mike is able to come with me again (he is going to try to come to all of them).
We don't have to wait as long this time, which is a welcome change from last time. I pee, I get weighed, then we meet with the doctor. We go over questions I have, he checks in on how I'm doing, then he takes me to the exam room. I have another sonogram and...
It sort of looks like a baby! Or at least a shape of some sort, so I'll take it! The dot from 2 weeks ago is now a lima bean. He points out the brain area (ironically, it is the spot that looks like a black hole), and Mike and I are giddy kids again, marveling at what is alive inside of me.
The baby's heart is flickering stronger than ever, beating at 170 a minute, which is perfect. S/he is growing in the right place, my ovaries look good, everything is going exactly as it should be. He gives me a new due date of April 21, and this will remain my due date.
After the sonogram, Mike and I meet the doctor in his office where he gives me a booklet of information and goes over things such as when to take a vacation, what foods and activities to avoid etc. He seems pleased with the progress. The baby is much bigger than last time, he is able to see more, the heart beat is stronger. He tells me there is very little chance of miscarriage, and hands me the sonogram pictures. "You can put them on your fridge or on the internet or whatever it is you do," he smiles. I am glad he mentions the internet, as it now implies our news need not be a secret. Tell the whole world wide web! He is confident and I am relieved.
We leave the appointment feeling better than ever.
We are driving in the car and Mike asks me if I want to go out to eat. I look at him and smile widely.
"Yes! Yes, I'm sooo hungry!"
This is the first time I've felt hungry in weeks. I have an appetite! I feel calm. I feel tired. Let me stress this--I feel tired!
So we go to one of our favorite restaurants. It's a great sushi place near our house. Mike gets the salmon bento box and I get vegetarian rolls with no seaweed (that's my version of "sushi"--no, I won't be eating raw fish).
I eat until I am full, and notice I still feel relaxed. I do not feel jittery or wired. My body physically senses the relief from my brain. Maybe I can actually sleep tonight...
Still not much nausea. No mood swings, no fights with Mike (we did have one a few weeks ago, over taking pictures of my belly, but that was resolved, and nothing since then. I also insist I would have had that fight pregnant or not; it had nothing to do with hormones. So I say.)
I have another doctor's appointment coming up soon and I am hoping the relief from seeing the baby healthy and sound at 8 weeks will dissipate my nerves. I still don't have much of an appetite, still not sleeping well, and still feel jittery.
While we felt good at the last appointment, it was very early on, the doctor pointed out, as though to make sure we were aware something still could happen. I am putting my hope in the relief from this appointment, as I don't know how much longer I can continue on this adrenaline high.
Mike celebrates his birthday over the weekend by playing disc golf with the guys in the afternoon, then we have a barbeque for him, complete with ipod cake (Thanks, Anna and Rachel, for your help decorating it!). This is his first birthday as a father (of a womb-baby).