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Friday, January 28, 2011

A Womb with a View

From the 14 week ultrasound:

In 3D! Dancing with little arms around the head.

Baby Darth Vader (front view of skull, body, arm):

I love this one because it's a view I've never seen before. Looking up at baby from...I guess where its feet would be?...so big white circle in lower right is body, and just above that very shadow-y is the face. Then you can see the two arms and hands - looking a bit like, um, huh, look at that...they look like crab pinchers...hopefully that's ok - on either side. TINY BABY THUMBS ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH YOUR CUTENESS?  You can also say a big hello to my placenta on the left side! Or is it the baby's placenta?  Psh. I grew it. It's mine. (That's weird. I GREW a PLACENTA. Also a BABY.)

These next pictures are from yesterday's at 16 weeks. The baby was moving around SO much that we got very few good shots and no classic profile pictures. Seriously, the thing was on amniotic fluid speed or something.  At one point it got itself into this position and the tech couldn't get a picture of it because she was laughing so hard:

And then minutes later it was doing this (seriously):

Complete with leg warmers, I like to imagine.

However, as you guessed, those aren't my actual baby pictures. As far as I know, I will not be birthing a full grown adult aerobics instructor from 1983.

This one is real. Upside down baby spine. Face kissing the placenta in thankfulness for all the delightful goodness it provides.  Also I'm fairly sure the baby actually has limbs in real life.

Also real. BABY FEET! Swoon.

And. I might know what the baby is. I mean, I know it's a baby (though for the first couple of months it could have just as easily been a gestating gecko for what the pictures looked like). So baby for sure. But I might just know if it will pee standing up sitting down.  Still not telling anyone until 20 or so weeks.  However, feel free to try to change my mind with bribes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Holy Shit.

To mark 16 weeks today, we went and bought ourselves a pack 'n play.

It's not officially to mark the 16 week milestone; more "Um, wow, that's 50% off and it looks pretty nice and we were planning on having the baby in our room the first few months in a pack 'n play anyway, and all the used ones we've seen online are like $50 anyway, so it's probably a great deal to spend an extra $30 for a brand new one, right??"

My brother works at Target, so he nabbed it for us and is dropping it off tonight. I'll put it together tonight and make sure it is what I think it is (my brother was on the phone trying to explain it to me while I was on the website looking for the online listing, and I THINK we got it right, but who knows??). Then I'll immediately disassemble it and put it back in the box and pretend it's not there and try to forget about baby anything.

Which will be hard, because sometime in the next couple of weeks we're going to be getting a crib.  One of my, like, total BFFs (I can't write BFF without reverting to valley girl, sorry) transitioned her son into his big boy bed, and, since they're a one-and-done family,  they offered it to us. And of course I said hell yes to a free crib.  I'm scouring Craigslist for used dressers or changing tables and gliders to finish the main nursery furniture.  So soon this beauty will be hanging out in the house, and will be much harder to ignore than a boxed-up pack 'n play:

I've also (gulp) started filling in our cloth diaper collection very slowly but surely. That's right, folks: we are going to have a poopy washer and dryer. Not really, but apparently that is the first thought in everyone's mind. People: yes, poop will be going in the washer. But it won't be a lot. Babies who nurse have water-soluble poop, so it literally just dissolves. Once the baby starts solids, you plop the solid poops in the toilet. What you're left with is minimal. And honestly: do you REALLY think the only things that will get poop on them are diapers? Um, no. You will get poop on you. Your clothes will get poop on them. Your baby's clothes will get poop on them. Your baby's bedding and blankets will get poop on them. Your couch will get poop on it. Your dog will get poop on it. Essentially your whole entire house will be covered in baby poop. So the inside of the washer will see poop action, regardless of whether you use disposables or not.  Yay for babies!

This is one of the newborn cloth diapers I got. I can't explain to you how tiny and adorable it is. If I wasn't already pregnant, I swear I would have spontaneously concieved just touching this thing. It's gender neutral, in case anyone was thinking wrongly this was a hint as to the sex of the baby.

Chris is pretty on board with the whole cloth diapering thing, and last night I gave my family a tutorial to get them on board and make sure they understood, since I don't plan on changing any diapers for as long as possible. "Oh, my c-section scar is a little tender right now...would you mind??" is what any visitor to my house will hear for about the first year. Fair warning.

So the house is very slowly filling up with baby things.  And it's pretty downright terrifying. But I feel strangely confident in this baby coming home with us.  At my last appointment my cervix measured nice and long - the cerclage is doing it's job and then some! I still have ultrasound pics from that appointment to share at some point. My next appointment is this Thursday, so you'll probably get a 14 and 16 week peek inside the Casa d'Baby Hanlon in one big picture blowout.

BLOWOUT, GET IT? LIKE POOP? It all comes back to poop.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Sad Day to Hit 14 Weeks

Today was my cousin's funeral. The last week has been really rough, but we're so lucky to have lots and lots of extremely close family to support each other, and while the overall situation obviously sucks, it's been good to see everyone together.  It's also been funny because my grandma is SO concerned about me - she wouldn't let me move a chair (enlisting another cousin to do it), carry my backpack to my car (making yet another cousin take it), scrape my own windows (asked my brother to do it for me), and kicked me out of the gathering at 10:00pm to go home and sleep.   I feel so fragile and delicate around her; it's kind of nice.

We also hit 14 weeks today. I think it was at about 15 or 16 weeks last time that I started to feel authentically pregnant - not that I had different symptoms or was any bigger, just that it sounds really pregnant. As opposed to 12 or 14 weeks, which doesn't really sound that pregnant at all.  I'm hoping to know what it's like to say that I'm 30 weeks or 36 weeks pregnant. Now THAT really sounds pregnant.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Already, 2011?

2011. It is supposed to be the GOOD year. It is supposed to be the year of happy endings and amazing firsts.

So why did it start out by giving my family a big "Fuck you"?

My 13 year year old cousin died today. She hung herself. Her 12-year-old brother, my godson, found her.

I can't even process this. It's too fucked up to even think about. She is - was - actually my cousin's daughter, but in my family we're all so close we never really differentiated. There's not a big gap between the youngest cousin and her - only a year or so, if that - so everyone was just "the cousins." I talked to her mom today to see if she wanted me to come get my godson, and it was absolutely the most heartbreaking thing I've ever done. The raw grief...I've lost a child, but this was completely different. I could hear her heart breaking over and over.

Fuck this. Seriously.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Emotional Limbo

I'm not sure where this post belongs, on this blog or on my loss blog.  But I think here, because while it has more to do with Caleb and my feelings about him, it also is about this pregnancy, and I promised no baby talk on my other blog.   So far I've been told that, "This is awesome! Since you're pregnant again, everything's better, right?" Um, no. This does not in any way take away the pain that was caused by losing our first baby.  That'd be a mighty big order for a baby who is thus far the size of a plum. That'd be a mighty big order for a newborn, for a toddler, a high-schooler, an adult. No one should have to carry that burden. This baby is a different baby.  This baby is a baby who would have been here someday and is just arriving a couple years earlier than I would have liked. This isn't our oldest or only baby.  This is Caleb's little brother or sister - a separate, different baby. One that doesn't replace our first baby.  One that doesn't mitigate the pain I felt the moment I realized I was going to lose Caleb, an instant in time that I remember as clearly as I do this morning's breakfast. 

I've also been puzzled by people's reactions. So many people are responding like this is our first pregnancy. I honestly don't know what I expected, but maybe an acknowledgment that this is a scary road? Or maybe like my cousin, who said, "Congrats!! I'm so happy for you, and you already have an angel in your corner!" I'm probably asking too much of people, though. They don't know what to say, or whether to say anything, or what it's like.  If I wasn't in this position, I'd probably respond the wrong way too. And actually I take that back. It's not the wrong way. No one (ok, the person who said it was all better, but other than that) has said anything wrong. It's just that so few people have said what I at times need to hear, which is just a recognition of what I've already gone through. And a totally irrational thought? I hate hearing that because I had morning sickness with this pregnancy or because I'm not bleeding with this pregnancy that it's a better pregnancy. It makes me feel so immensely guilty that I failed Caleb last time because I wasn't able to throw up or keep him safe and makes me feel like they're saying Caleb was doomed from the start.

It's a terrifying, scary, bumpy road that you're sure is going to come crashing down on you any moment. I know every pregnant women is nervous about losing her baby, but for most of them, that fear greatly diminishes in the second trimester. That fear is going to increase for me, and it's a fear I know very few people can relate to. I'm so, so glad I have friends like Maggie and Jen and a few others who aren't "out" yet so I won't mention, but they are all on this same road with me and understand literally every single emotion that this journey brings with it.

And my hope for 2011 is that we all have healthy babies. And my other hope for 2011 is that Courtney and the other families (all my TTCAL ladies) who are trying so hard to get a ride on this scary road are able to jump on (I take that back...claw their way on. I *wish* it were as easy as just jumping on).

Here's to a new year, hopefully filled with happier endings than 2010.