Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Thirties

It's a bit belated, but we hit a major milestone last week -- 30 weeks!  In fact, I hit 31 weeks yesterday (Saturday) which is another milestone in that we are now in a single digit weekly countdown to baby time.  I find myself forgetting to be afraid of all the looming threats of which I have spent the majority of this pregnancy living in fear.  This doesn't mean I'm feeling fearless, because that could not be further from the truth.  I guess, finally, I've started to believe in this pregnancy.  In my body.  That this, after all, might be one thing that it's really good at.  We'll see I guess.  I still try not to get too far ahead of myself!

A week ago Thursday we had an ultrasound/follow-up appointment.  I was 29 weeks 5 days and Nerdlet was measuring at about 30 weeks and in the 53rd percentile.  This was excellent news as there still seems to be some skepticism with regard to my gestational diabetes diagnosis (or lack thereof) so it was extremely gratifying to find Nerdlet is growing at a normal rate.  Nerdlet was also practicing breathing - which was really neat to see.  Apparently this means that the lungs are functional now, and Nerdlet is preparing for the real world.  We also got to see some tiny toe curls as Nerdlet flexed his/her toes at us.  Aside from that very first ultrasound where we got to see Nerdlet for the very first time (and he/she looked like a teeny tiny jumping bean that took my breath away), this was my favorite ultrasound so far. 

We got a really clear look at Nerdlet's face.  The picture (below) doesn't do it justice -- probably in the split second before the tech captured the image, it was a crystal clear image of a perfect little face.  A long shot from the one we got at 19w5d.  I do believe we have outgrown the unfortunate  "cheesy mango" phase.  For those curious about what Nerdlet has graduated too, he/she is approximately the size of a pineapple now. 

Todd finally got to feel a kick this past week.  Apparently it felt like a gas bubble to him, which makes me a little bit concerned about the kind of gas he apparently experiences cuz that was one swift kick to slightly below my rib cage, and it felt nothing like a gas bubble to me!

This week will kick off a series of weeks filled with fun and exciting things.  My friend - whose visit first prompted me to take a pregnancy test - is flying in on Thursday for a long weekend, and my first baby shower is on Sunday.  Between the baby festivities and impending holidays -- these last 9 (NINE!!!!) weeks are going to fly by!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

May 8, 2012

There will likely be another update this week as I have my next appointment and ultrasound on Thursday.  Hopes and prayers for lots of good news then.  For now -- I am going to take a step backwards and try to capture the moment that we found out we were expecting.  Someone asked me recently, "what is the appropriate age to tell your child that you were so excited to find out he or she was coming that you ate your own pee?!"  Well - I guess the answer to that will be when our child is old enough to read this blog.  And now that I've piqued your interest -- here's the story.

The spring of this year was an...interesting time for me.  In late April we spent a hefty chunk of change to put our information in the "Waiting Families" book at Lutheran Social Services.  This was a hugely exciting step for us - one we'd been waiting months to take.  We were one step closer to growing our family and it literally could have happened at any moment. 

At the same time, I was really struggling.  I don't know what was in the water around here, but suddenly it seemed like everyone was pregnant.  Not just everyone - but people who had struggled. People, like us, who thought that maybe this wasn't in the cards for them.  So - while our lives were heading full steam ahead on the path that felt like the right path, I was hurting a lot.  It was hard for me to stay excited.  I was frustrated with my body, frustrated with the hand I was dealt, and of course constantly afraid that all of our efforts were for nothing.  That none of this was going to pan out -- that I needed to make peace with the fact that maybe all our babies were meant to be furry. 

It was in the middle of a pity party I was throwing myself one evening that I first felt "weird."  Todd was out with friends, so I was home by myself, and I'd had a particularly cathartic cry that evening and as I lay there, watching some fluffy chick flicks and curled up with my fur babies, something just felt different. 

During that time we were preparing for one of my dearest friends to come visit us from North Carolina.  We were in the middle of intense house cleaning, and I still didn't feel quite right.  At one point, in between vacuuming and scrubbing the toilet, I was hit with a wave of exhaustion so intense that I just had to lay down.  I flopped down in bed and rested for about 15 minutes before I could get back up.  Later that evening, my stomach felt upset so we fended for ourselves for dinner that night.  Todd made himself a fried egg sandwich and accompanied that with some cheddar Sun Chips.  The smell of the frying eggs made my stomach turn, but far more interestingly -- I could smell the cheddar Sun Chips from across the room , and they smelled heavenly.  It was at that point that I asked Todd if he would go pick up a pregnancy test for me.  I didn't honestly believe I was pregnant, but I knew that with my friend in town there would likely be drinking and that something was going on with my body -- so it wouldn't hurt to rule out pregnancy.

Todd, bless his heart, did run out and buy me a pregnancy test.  He actually came home with a pregnancy test, and two packages of meat sticks.  I'm sure the cashier got a kick out of that combination.  I waited to take the test.  I DREADED taking the test.  I have taken more negative pregnancy tests than I even care to remember. I waited until the morning that my friend was supposed to fly in to take the test.  It was 5 a.m., and with a heavy sigh I decided I really needed to figure out what was going on, so I finally took the test.

Before I even set the test on the counter it was reading positive. 

I had no idea what to make of that.  It was like a cartoon character reaction as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and did a double take.  I ran to grab the box to confirm that what I thought was positive was actually positive -- it was.  So, at just after 5 a.m. on May 8, 2012 -- I went running into our bedroom and woke Todd up by waving a used pee stick in his face chanting "OMG.  WTF is this?  WhAT IS THIS?  WHAT DOES IT MEAN?  It's probably a false positive..."  We each spent our pre-work time googling false positives (and finding out that they're pretty rare). 

This was an interesting situation for us because that was going to be the last time Todd and I would be alone together until late that evening.  We decided not to tell anybody.  To maybe take another test later.  That lasted...a couple hours?  This was news that I could not keep to myself.  I eventually emailed the news to my sister, expressing my doubts, telling her not to get excited cuz it was probably not true.  She recommended a different brand of test, and told me to take one of those and let her know. 

I did that.  On my way to pick up my friend from the Minneapolis airport, I stopped at the Wal Mart, grabbed a pregnancy test, went through self check-out, and then slipped into the Wal Mart bathroom to take my pregnancy test - just like all the classy ladies do.  The situation in the Wal Mart bathroom was a little cramped.  I took the second test and noticed, again, that the test showed positive before I even set it down.  At this point I pretty much freaked out.  I had too many things for too few hands and as I tried to shuffle things around, I shoved the instructions in my mouth only to find out that -- there was pee on the instructions.  And it was now in my mouth. 

My text to my sister from the Wal Mart bathroom (staying classy!) was a picture of the positive pregnancy test with the accompanying message "OMG!  I JUST GOT PEE IN MY MOUTH!"

It should be noted that this wasn't the last test I took.  It wasn't even the last big box store bathroom that I took a test in.  Todd called it my pee tour around Rochester.  The final total wound up being 6 positive pregnancy tests before I finally had that first ultrasound that confirmed, without a doubt, that there was a baby in there. 

I'll forget these details someday.  I'll forget that feeling -- of holding that positive pregnancy test in my hand with utter disbelief because I had long ago come to understand that this was just something my body was never going to do for me.  It's a funny story because it captures how completely unprepared and disbelieving I was, but it also captures for me the memories of those first few days and weeks.  I cried a lot (for different reasons than I cry a lot these days).  Even now I have moments when I can't believe it's really real. I struggle to write about it without some kind of "evidence" (like the latest ultrasound shoing that everything is looking okay in there) -- even though as I type this I'm getting all kinds of kicks and nudges, as though Nerdlet knows I'm talking about him/her. 

So, dear Nerdlet, I'm sorry that the story of you involves a chapter in which I eat my own pee.  But please know that A) it wasn't intentional and B) I was never more happy to accidentally eat my own pee in my entire life.  You have always been totally worth it.