Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Halfway to Reality

This week I am 20 weeks pregnant, halfway there! I can't believe it! The first half of this pregnancy has been nothing short of wonderful. Sure I had some nausea, some trouble sleeping, and I've missed many a funny movie quote thanks to my 300th trip to the bathroom, but none of that compares to living this miracle.

Not long ago, I had begun to question if motherhood would ever happen for me. I spent so long on the exhausting journey to get here that I couldn't imagine any other way of life. I felt like a hamster stuck in a wheel that was doomed to go around and around but never reach my destination. To actually see the progress of each day and to reach this amazing milestone feels like a true miracle. And this week has provided many amazing milestones for me,
Chad and Snow Pea.

About 4 weeks ago I began feeling the first flutters of Snow Pea moving around in my tummy. At first I thought I might be imagining things or making them up because I was so anxious to feel something, but when another friend described what he
r flutters felt like, I knew it was exactly what I felt too. I was amazed and excited. I spent many free moments sitting as still as possible to see if I could feel it again. For the past week or so though, sitting still has stopped being necessary. I no longer feel little flutters but all out baby flips! She is so so crazy active, I jump in surprise regularly when I feel her thump me from inside.

Feeling such distinct movement is all at once amazing and bizarre. I feel so much more connected to her when she makes herself known like that, she feels so much more real and alive. But it also is a little freaky when she whacks me out of nowhere and I am sometimes reminded of a certain famous scene from "Alien". Honestly though, I love it
and have been anxious for the day when Chad could feel her move too. I researched the time line of when that usually happens and was sad to read it's typically another month before the baby can be felt from the outside. This past Sunday though she was moving so fiercely, I thought there was no way he wouldn't be able to feel it. So I lay in bed and pressed his hand to my tummy, and shortly after she thumped, hard. I turned to Chad and his eyes were huge and beyond excited. He felt her too! It was incredible. Feeling her move was wonderful enough but it feels even better to be able to share it with him.

The next day we were excited to be able to see our precious S
now Pea again at the 20 week anatomy scan. Some of you may already know there was some drama surrounding this particular ultrasound and whether my insurance would cover it. My OB's office warned me that they have never received a payout on this claim because my company deems it unnecessary unless it is a high risk pregnancy. Chad and I spent days researching the policy, the claim history at the hospital, and the uses of this particular scan. We still are not 100% sure if our claim will be paid, but after talking it over we agreed that we had come much too far and fought much too hard to take any chances now. This is the ultrasound that can potentially find any heart defects or other abnormalities and if there is a problem, knowing about in advance can potentially save our baby's life. Once we realized that, there was no question about what we would do. (Of course I reserve the right to blog an angry rant if our insurance does deny our claim)

The scan itself went well. Snow Pea stayed true to her behavior the previous day and moved around like crazy. She literally did somersaults and flipped position many times, starting out head down and then quickly moving into the exact opposite position and then moving into a completely different spot after that. The poor tech had a lot of troub
le getting some of the pictures she needed, particularly of the heart. The good news is, Snow Pea finally did stay still long enough to get those important images, and she gave Chad and I some extra time to watch her on screen.

Since the tech doesn't do the interpretation, we won't have a
ny official reports until my OB appointment next week, but from what I gathered Snow Pea is doing well. She is still a she and measuring pretty much right on target. She is about 14 ounces now and the size of a cantaloupe! The coolest part of the scan was seeing her move on screen and feeling it at the exact same time. I teared up a bit at that moment, it was just such an incredible connection. This isn't just some picture on the screen, this is a baby, my baby, my daughter and she is living and growing inside me. Despite my difficulty believing it, this is real, I am no longer living in the hamster wheel. Every day things progress more and more and I am one day closer to reaching my destination, one step closer to being a mom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's the Great Blog Catch Up!

Wow have I been a bad blogger or what? I have never been away for so long and it's definitely not for a lack of things to write about. There is so much to catch up on! But since it's my fault I've been away so long and not yours, I will spare you the long version of the past 3 weeks and instead give you the fun, quick version along with pictures!

As you may remember, October was Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness month and having experienced pregnancy loss myself earlier this year as w
ell as having so many close friends who have also miscarried or lost their little ones, it was important to both Chad and I to honor those precious lives. On October 23rd, we participated in the OC Walk to Remember, a 5k walk to take the steps our babies never got to take.We walked for Sprout and for every other Angel baby. We really wanted to support other parents who had suffered a loss, especially our neighbors, who you may remember lost their little girl earlier this year. It made for a special morning to walk side by side with them and remember their beautiful daughter.
Later that same day, I put my pregnant body through even more physical demands and danced "Thriller" as part of the annual event, "Thrill the World", in which people all over the world dance at the same exact time in an effort to set new world records. (here is Thrill The World's website if you want more info on the dance and the event.) I danced last year and had a blast, so I decided to make it an annual tradition. The dance is surprisingly fun and easy to learn. This year I struggled a bit more as this was also the week I started showing and as such had some trouble with some of the moves, especially the ones that require bending at the waist. Nevertheless, I had fun with my zombie pals and can't wait to do it again next year, this time with Snow Pea there to watch!
Of course if that's all just one day's worth of fun news, you know there is plenty more! Just a few days later, Chad and I boarded a plane for the East coast to enjoy almost two full weeks catching up with our family and friends in Florida. It was an amazin
g trip. We were all over the place but it was worth it to spend time with the people we love, especially our families. My sister in law was a true hero and took Chad and me to Babies R Us to help us register. It would have been SO overwhelming without her help! I even got the opportunity to have lunch with two of my favorite twitter/blog girls, Katie at From IF to When and Erin at Our Heart's Desire. Both of these ladies have been such amazing and supportive friends and it was wonderful to sit and chat with them. Erin even made me and Snow Pea a sweet and beautiful gift, a handmade bib and matching burp cloth.

While we were home, we also got to celebrate Halloween with some of
our best friends and as always it was so much fun to dress up! Chad was a mad scientist while Snow Pea and I were his monster creation. It was so amazing to incorporate our sweet miracle into Halloween this year and have a little fun with it.
We had so much fun with our visit, but spending quality time with my mom was at the top of my list and I am so glad we got to share some special moments together this week. She even got to spoil her first grandchild with the first big purchase for the nursery, the bedding set. It was also my mom who inadvertently discovered it for me, in a book she gave as a gift when I arrived to her house. Of course after I fell in love with the design, I found out it was discontinued. But not to be dissuaded, I scoured the internet and found a full set for sale on craigslist there in town!
So now that I have shown you the bedding we selected some of you may be trying to guess Snow Pea's sex based on the design and colors, so I will tell you what we told our family while we were home visiting last week:

Precious Baby Snow Pea has ten tiny fingers and ten little toes,
A perfect little mouth and a sweet baby nose,
There's two arms and two legs, a head, a tummy and ears,
But according to the doctor the picture definitely shows...
That sweet baby Snow Pea does NOT have one of those!

That's right, Snow Pea is a GIRL! I wanted to tell you all right away believe me, but we wanted to be sure to be able to really surprise our families with the news in person so that meant waiting to post anything online until after the reveal. We didn't even tell anyone that we were having an ultrasound, just in case Snow Pea didn't cooperate. Dr Casual was really great when we told him we were going out of town and agreed to get us in the day before our trip. He did a quick check of Snow Pea's little heart and tried to get a peek between the legs. He said our little one was quite the wiggler and I thought he hadn't been able to see what he needed to, but he smiled and assured me that he saw just everything clearly and that this was news we could shop on!

I am already so in love with this little girl. I know I sound like a broken record but I still feel so incredibly blessed to be at this point, sharing this news. There were so many times when I truly believed I may never experience any of these things and I often still can't believe it's real.
We have definitely had a wonderful past few weeks and I am grateful for every second.