October 30, 2009

TOO NORMAL FOR OUR OWN GOOD



She looks perfect.  Not a thing wrong with her.  The high-risk doctors "graduated" me to Regular Old Pregnant Lady after today's visit.

Which ends up being an interesting catch-22: We've received word that my husband might not get permission to come home for the birth unless it is a high-risk pregnancy.

Oh the irony...all we've wanted is for a healthy, normal pregnancy, and now that might mean it's not important enough to get my husband home from Afghanistan.

But we're not worrying about that today.  We're just counting fingers and toes.


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October 23, 2009

STICKER BURRS

Tonight I let the dog into the backyard.  I caught sight of him out the window and noticed he was limping.  Another sticker burr, poor fella.  I went to the door and opened it, calling to my Charlie.  He came running right to me, as if to say, "Help me, mommy," and I grabbed his foot, pulled the burr out, kissed his head, and he ran in the house.

And it was such a good feeling, to be needed like that and to be able to be the only one who could help him.  To see the look on his face as he came running to me for help.

I can't wait to be that for my child.

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October 22, 2009

ANIMATED CHARACTER CROCHETING

Despite having very little energy still, I did manage to get some joke crocheting done lately, specifically a Bender bib and an Underpants Gnome.


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October 21, 2009

PREGNANCY ADVICE

There's another pregnant Sara blogger, heh.  Congrats to her.

I started thinking about what advice I would give to another pregnant lady, and I decided to keep it generic: Listen to everyone's advice, but find your own path.

(Because I too like to invoke Chairman Mao while giving unsolicited advice.  In fact, I think he's who I turn to most for inappropriate quotes regarding pregnancy and/or graduation.)

But seriously.  An example:  Everyone I knew told me to buy under-the-belly maternity pants.  They're more modern, they have cuter styles, and they were "more comfortable."  So I did.  And they dug into me and annoyed the tar out of me.  I was always complaining about the elastic.  So one day last week, on a frustrated whim, I tried on a pair of the over-the-belly pants.  Holy cow, I was so much happier.  They don't dig in like the others.  Pants don't make me cry anymore, hooray!

I took everyone else's advice and it didn't work for me.  I'm just bummed it took me seven weeks of uncomfortable pants before I finally threw everyone else's fashion advice out the window.  I figured they knew better than I did, but it turns out they had just done what worked for them.  And apparently I am carrying way low and needed something different.

So listen to everyone and ask lots of questions, but then go with your gut.  If your gut says that you should be wearing grampa pants up to your armpits, then go for it!

And good luck.  The second trimester sucks too.

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October 15, 2009

HALFWAY THERE



I love looking pregnant.  I never want to look normal again.  You can have the aches and pains, but let me keep the tummy.  I take great delight in the fact that I crossed through hell to get here, but at least I make a cute pregnant lady.  I deserve for luck to be on my side for once, right?  I have been amazed that strangers have had the guts to ask me when my baby is due; either they are really brave or I look so obviously pregnant that they feel safe in asking.  I'd like to believe the latter. 

I am halfway there.

Whenever you call the hospital, a recording says that if you are less than 20 weeks pregnant, you should go to the ER in an emergency.  If you are more than 20 weeks, you head straight to Labor and Delivery.

Should something go wrong, I have crossed the threshold from "having a miscarriage" to "delivering a baby."  It's both a daunting and a wonderful milestone.

Most of the time, I don't worry about that.  At least not now that she's started wiggling where I can feel it.  It wasn't as wow as I expected it to be, because I guess I expected a hard kick instead of little stretches and rumbles.  But when I really think about it, it is a fun feeling.  And it's like a secret: I can be doing stuff with my mom and then say, "She's been kicking this whole time," and my mom gets this wonderful look on her face like I told her I was pregnant for the first time all over again.  That's been fun.

Still, the worry is always in the back of my mind.  Every time I buy something, I imagine it sitting in the garage collecting dust like all the other things I've bought over the years.  I bought a crib and mattress this week, and part of me just chalks it up as money wasted because I cannot really see this all working out in the end.  Surely there will never really be a baby in this house.

Sometimes I catch sight of myself in the mirror when I'm getting ready for bed, and I "discover" that I'm pregnant.  It hits me, that I have this belly and that for most people it means that they will be having a baby soon.  But I still kinda think of it as something that happens to "most people," not me.

She has a name, and yet I never use it.  She is only "the baby."

And I don't know when it will feel real.  I should tour Labor and Delivery.  I should take one of the parenting classes.  I should work on a birth plan.  I should consider a doula in case my husband doesn't get home in time.  But I do none of these things because they still seem pointless. 

It's hard to explain, that I am enjoying the pregnancy while simultaneously doubting that it will ever actually result in a living baby.

I've taken a lot of guff for being too ready to have a baby, which is why I find all this so funny: I've been ready for a theoretical baby for ten years but I am still not ready for this real one inside of me.  People get wide-eyed when I say that I bought college-themed onesies way back when my husband and I were just dating, knowing that someday a baby would root for our alma maters.  We bought a mosaic to hang on baby's wall when we were on our cruise in 2005, long before we were ever thinking of having a baby.  And I bought an art print of a mother and baby bird even before I ever met my husband.  I have been ready for this moment for as long as I can remember.  And now we have a nursery, an honest-to-goodness nursery, and all these things are in it.  But still...

When will I stop waiting for the other shoe to drop?  I just want to feel like a normal happy person instead of leaving the tags on everything "just in case."

This post turned out far more morose than I thought it would be...

And while I'm writing this, I realized that I sort of cling to this sorrow.  I think part of me is resisting being a "normal happy person."  I still carry the pain of the three lost babies, but to the stranger on the street, I look like any other pregnant Army wife.  And once I have the baby, I am just like any other mom.  But I don't feel like a regular old first-time mom.  Now that I look like everyone else in the Babies R Us, I feel like I want to wear a sign that says "Trust me, it was much harder to get to this point than you think." 

I haven't figured out yet how to separate the happiness of this baby from the sadness of the others without feeling like I am turning my back on the others and also myself.  I haven't figured out how to get over my past, and most of the time I am not really sure I want to.  I don't want to dwell on it, but I don't want to move on and forget it either.

And maybe that's why I can't cut any tags off.  It's not really that I think this baby will die, because I truthfully don't really think she will.  Or at least I don't have any reason to think she will.  Instead, I think I resist because it means accepting a new identity and shedding the old one, which is proving hard for me.  Now I am just another pregnant Army wife and will soon be just another Army wife dragging a stroller around.  My belly is a sign of great things, but it's also the end of the person I have been for the past three years.  And even though I've hated that person, I don't know how to not be her anymore.

I don't know how to move on and just be happy and just be a mom without constantly feeling like I need to explain everything.  When people ask if this is my first baby, I just need to answer Yes instead of feeling like I need to unload the whole story.  Because right now, the story's still in me and it still feels like a big part of who I am.

And I wonder when it won't...when I'll just feel like this is my baby and we are a regular family like everyone else.

I guess I have 20 more weeks to figure it out.

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October 02, 2009

ALMOST HALFWAY THERE

I had a doctor appointment today.  I thought it was just a regular appointment, but it turns out it was my Type II ultrasound.  Wow, that was the first time that a medical snafu has turned into a fun surprise instead of me wanting to set someone on fire.

I am so used to early ultrasounds, seeing a teeny blob in a big uterus.  My first reaction was how big she was.  My second was how developed she is.

She looks great.



She had the hiccups and was clapping her hands and rubbing her face.
And everything is perfect: normal heart, normal spine, normal piggy toes.

She's jammed in there so snug...why can't I feel her yet?

Posted by: Sarah at 01:29 PM | Comments (19) | Add Comment
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