Sometimes you just need to treasure the ponders of your heart...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Heartburn, Hiccups, and Winding Down the 2nd Trimester

25.5 Weeks - June 18, 2014
There's a baby in there!

I'm constantly more and more aware of her, this little girl who is taking on a personality already.  She is SO active!!  I absolutely love it.  My belly bounces all over the place, and I have to decide between watching it bounce or laying a hand on to touch her.  It's the coolest, most special feeling in all the world -- and I'm already (prematurely!) lamenting when it will go away.  BUT then she'll be here and I can hold and cuddle and squeeze all I want.

She's finally gotten the hiccups at least once, which is so darn cute.  Everyone keeps asking about it, and while she's active and moves a lot, it's rarely rhythmic.  Yesterday, though, it was this pattern of little "hic!"s that made me smile so big.  A few weeks ago, the skirt I was wearing in the above photo helped me actually feel her heartbeat.  It has a stretchy top, though it's not a maternity skirt, that I could either pull all the way over my belly or rest it just below (anything in between was uncomfortable!).  When sitting, it was more comfortable to have it up high.  Little One was also sitting up high that day, and suddenly I became very aware of a fast pulsing just under the skirt band.  I put my fingers on it, and sure enough, a pulse that landed somewhere in the 130's.  SO FUN.  My mind can barely contain that there are two beating hearts in me right now.

She still loves Landon's voice, which is handy, because she has unfortunately found a few places to rest and kick her feet that hurt like crazy.  They must be nice resting places for her because once she's found them, she stays and nothing I do can move her. She's daddy's girl already and when he calls to her from the other side, she tends to move towards him, giving mama's belly some much needed relief.  I really can't wait to see them interact together.

Landon says I'm giving him some training in resisting her girlish pleas, as I go to bed much earlier than him nowadays.  He hangs out with me for awhile, prays with me, and tops of my water glass...but sometimes I just don't want him to leave quite yet.  "Pleeeease stay here?" I coo with big, brown eyes.  "Just a few more minutes.  You need to sleep," he lovingly replies.  "But I looooove you!  I don't waaaant you to leeeeave!"  Maybe I do whine a little, but hey, I only see him for a few hours a day.  Resistance training or not, I still maintain that she is going to have him melting all over the place.

I've been looking all over for a rocking chair.  It seems like a motherly thing to get.  Of course, I had something very specific in mind -- one just like my mom had when I was a baby.  Impossible, right?  Wrong!  Craigslist is wonderful.  I found this beauty for $20 in almost perfect condition.

That's where I'll spend most of my mornings...and nights....and every two hours....  It's perfect.

Granted, my baby isn't the only baby who will love it.  Apparently there was a spider egg sac wedged in one of the curves, and now we're taking care of baby spiders spinning their art in various corners and spaces.  Ugh!  But I think we're winning the battle.

We are winding down the second trimester, with only 2.5 days until we hit the home stretch.  So crazy.  How did time go so quickly??  Why is it moving so slowly??  A few weeks ago, I definitely hit "freaking out about labor".  It wasn't pretty.  Too many horror stories.  Why do people think it's okay to freak out a first-time prego lady??  It's not okay.  She already has fears about the unknown and they are just not helping.  We had a doctor's appointment that week and I got to ask my fearful questions and she answered them quite satisfactorily.  I feel better. :)

Around the same time, a girl at work I barely knew came down to my desk to excitedly tell me she just found out she's pregnant.  "We're not telling anyone yet, but I know you're expecting, too, and I just wanted to come tell you!!"  She was already glowing.  I loved it.  She joins me now once a week for my lunch-time walk and we talk about babies and life.  It's fun that God put someone in my life that I could encourage so immediately after feeling discouraged and frustrated with other people and their "advice" and stories.

This last month has brought some relief from the morning sickness (finally!!), with only the occasional relapse, but it has also introduced something I've never experienced before -- heartburn.  WHAT??  I knew it was possible.  All the books and websites say it's possible.  I was just hoping it wouldn't happen to ME.  And oh, has it ever.  I find myself singing a song from the musical Wicked: "What is this feeling so sudden and new??"  According to old wives' tales, Little One is going to have a full head of hair.  I think I'd rather have a little baldy who grows hair later than all this heartburn now!  It really doesn't matter what I eat, how I sleep, what I take for's almost always present. Sigh.

With all the fear and all the pain that this pregnancy has gifted me, it has also brought a lot of joy and a ton of perspective.  I really can't stop raving about how wonderful it is to feel her so actively.  I dream of little curls and silly giggles.  I think more often and more deeply about my own childhood, my parents, and sacrifice.  Something that's kept me going through the pain and fear is "Love endures all things."  The Holy Spirit whispered it to me at the height of my "labor is going to be like what???" freakout, and it was instant comfort.  Love truly does endure all things.  I've never met this little girl, but I love her dearly, and if going through inordinate amounts of pain is what I must endure to meet her and love her and care for her, then I will endure it....somehow.  :)  I'm toying with the idea of having it posted somewhere in my delivery suite as a focal point.

Love endures all things.

Those four words bring up so many thoughts and so many tears.  The love of a mother for her children.  The love of a husband for his pregnant wife.  The love of God watching His son die.  The love of Jesus for his wandering followers.  Love endures all things...and still loves on the other side.  Love itself is the reason for enduring, the strength in endurance, and the joy that transforms pain.  How strong a force is love!!

As the second trimester winds down, I'm more and more reminded how REAL this is all getting.  Life is changing drastically.  I'm excited and terrified and in awe.  And more than a little moody. ;)  I'm grateful that we're now within the window of very good survival rates should premature birth occur.  I'm very much hoping to go up to or even past my due date (with my maternity leave plans!), but if I have learned anything throughout this year, it's that I don't control I guess we'll see!

My last little tid-bit is that we have finished our baby registry!  We decided to just go with Babies 'R' Us to make it simpler, and to take advantage of their rewards program that gives parents a gift card at the end with 5-10% "cash" back from all purchases made through the registry.  Pretty cool.  Granted, I balk at having all this "stuff" and tried to choose things that would be compact and portable for our little apartment -- but who knows!  If you feel like checking it out, you can here.  To answer a few FAQs:

- No, we're not decorating a nursery.  Little One will be sleeping in our room.  We only plan on being in this 1 bedroom apartment for a year after she's born, and then we'll deal with a nursery then.

- I'm currently obsessed with frog and monkey items...and foxes and lions.  But mostly frogs and monkeys.  Why?  I don't know, but I find them incredibly cute right now.

- Yes, I'll be breastfeeding, and planning on utilizing a pump when I go back to work, but we've also been advised to have a bit of formula on hand just in case.  I think it's good advice.

- Yes, I'm having at least one, maybe two, baby showers (which I'm not planning -- they're just telling me where and when!  And I'm not currently sure about either!) and I'm desperately missing my Va Beach friends for this special time.

- No, I'm not sure which diaper brand I'm going with; I'm a little nervous to decide without my baby here, hearing it's a lot of trial and error.  But I will never, never, never turn away diapers or wipes of any brand.

That's all I can think of right now.  I'm sure there are things I missed or "can't live without" that I have no clue about and things that I will discover later that I wish I had.  Gift cards are always handy for that, though, right??  ;)

Alright, my friends.  This post is long enough!  Until next time....!

25.5 Weeks - June 18, 2014

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