Coming soon to a planet near you:
Yes, that’s right! We’re having a baby!
And just to save us all the trouble, here are the answers to the top questions I get asked when sharing the news:
Hold the phone! I thought you didn’t want kids. Was this planned?
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we pulled the goalie back in July. Turns out our “not trying but not not trying” worked better than I expected.
How far along are you?
When is your due date?
May 12th, 2014.
How are you feeling?
My sincerest apologies to those ladies who struggle with feeling like they’ve been on one too many Disney World tea cup rides for either the 1st trimester or the entire 9 months: I honestly haven’t been feeling that much different than when I wasn’t pregnant. I haven’t had any nausea – just brief stints of feeling “icky” – and am instead hungry all the time. I tire a little easier than I did before, although my napping schedule hasn’t changed. I’m sleeping just fine (although I’m guessing that may change once I’m really large and in charge) and I don’t really have to go to the bathroom all that often (again, that probably will change once there’s a 6-lb baby pressing on my bladder). I hate to say it for fear I might jinx my luck: it’s almost been too easy.
Are you craving anything weird?
No specific cravings. I do have very strong opinions on what sounds appetizing and what sounds like eating a rodent carcass left in the sun to bake. Pizza and salad almost always sound good, while Jim’s suggestions of pork chops or Chinese food make me gag. My preferences are also fleeting – it’s never safe to assume that just because I was craving something an hour ago doesn’t mean I’ll decide that exact same thing sounds wretched now.
Is Jim excited?
Don’t all men feel some sort of pride in knowing their little soldiers can swim? Judging by the face he made when I told him, I’d say he’s pretty thrilled:
He’s also been very sweetly studying up on dad duties by reading The Expectant Father.
Are you going to find out if its a boy or a girl?
We already know: IT’S A GIRL! Normally we wouldn’t find out the gender until a few more weeks, however we lucked out with the power of science. We elected for a first trimester screening, which tests risk levels for chromosomal defects like trisomy 18 and 21 (Down Syndrome). My screening came back elevated for carrying a baby with Down Syndrome, so I qualified for a relatively new-to-the-market fetal DNA test. From a simple blood draw, they were able to extract the baby’s DNA from my blood, map all her chromosomes and tell us with 99.9% certainty if there were any issues. Everything came back normal (can’t even begin to describe the relief I felt when I got that call!) and as part of the chromosome mapping they were also able to see that she has two X chromosomes! Science is a very, very cool thing my friends.
Do you have a name picked out?
We had easily decided on a boy name, but are still searching for the perfect lady moniker.
Where are you going to deliver?
My OB’s office is affiliated with Abbott Northwestern and Fairview Southdale hospitals. Even though Fairview Southdale is just spitting distance from our house, we’ve elected to deliver at the brand spankin’ new Mother Baby Center at Abbott. The MBC opened just last year and in addition to some pretty sweet labor and delivery digs (rooms with wood floors, anyone?), they feature the largest and the most advanced neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the upper Midwest. At the moment, we have no reason to think that we’ll need to see that part of the Center, but it gives us great peace of mind that if something were to happen, it’s right across the hall.
Have you started wearing maternity clothes?
Since the majority of my pants were pretty well tailored to fit my body (I only had a few pairs suited for those “feeling fat days”), I started wearing maternity pants at around 14 weeks, as trying to stuff myself into my regular ones created more spillover than Perkins mammoth muffins. Tops are hit or miss. Some of my more flowy stuff still works with my expanding waste line, while others have gotten a little too snug in the chest area. I’ve tried to do some shopping for maternity wear, although at first blush I’m not impressed. What I’ve found is that many of the garments are (disappointingly):
- Printed in ugly colors or patterns – like horizontal STRIPES! Isn’t it fashion sense #101 that horizontal stripes will make you look larger? I’m all for showing off the cute bump, but I’m pretty sure it’s not on any pregnant woman’s agenda to accentuate an already wider load.
- Made of cheap, cheap fabric – such as clingy jersey knit – and if you’re a woman with more than a few fat cells you know that this is NOT flattering
- Somehow incredibly expensive despite point #2.
- Tailored to be long enough to cover a growing belly and therefore then hitting at the hip which for curvy women like myself (whose hips are the widest part of her body) is again not flattering.
Jim keeps threatening to buy me a few mumus, but honestly, that option is starting to look more and more appealing.
Have you felt her move?
Not yet…I don’t think. I have no idea what I should be paying attention to. I haven’t felt anything like what other pregnant woman have described, “butterflies, flutter bubbles, a water balloon, popcorn popping, tumbling motions, etc., etc., etc.” I’ve heard that it can take up to even 24 weeks before a first time pregnant mom can truly feel the baby move.
Are you planning on…
- …having an epidural?
- …cloth diapering?
- …doing “this thing that I’ve tried and swear works the best?”
Honestly, I’ve had no interest in reading any parenting books or making any firm decisions on ANYTHING. For every piece of advice there is some expert preaching the contrary. Example: in one of the free “Welcome Baby” booklets provided by Jim’s insurance company, I read that frequently eating peanut butter while pregnant increases your child’s risk for asthma. Well guess what I eat every morning on my English muffin? I stupidly turned to Google for more information and whadda know…there are conflicting results: one says it does increase your child’s risk for asthma yet another says it reduces his or her risk for a nut allergy.
Therefore, my only PLAN is to go with the flow and take it all as it comes. If labor pains are more than I can handle, I’ll request an epidural. I’ll attempt to breastfeed, but if it’s making all of us miserable and leaving my baby hungry, I’ll switch to formula. I’d prefer to use cloth diapers, but if for some reason she has some health issue that requires more care and concern about other things besides doing the laundry, I’ll use disposables. And I’ll keep telling myself that there is no guilt in any of these decisions because I’m committed to doing what works best for my baby – even if it causes judgement from others. I’m hoping I can stay strong in this mindset!
Other questions? Let me know in the comments!
Obviously, we’re very excited to meet our little girl in May and begin enjoying our life as a family of four (ChaCha will always be my first canine baby girl!).