Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thems the kicks

   I do believe that God planned out pregnancy in just the right way. Just about when the excitement of being pregnant is starting to be outweighed by the impatience to have the baby outta there, it becomes exciting in an entirely new and amazing way! While there is no word for those first few flutters, the real excitement is when those kicks and nudges become strong enough that there is no mistaking them.

    For days now, me and Joel have played the game where I poke at the spot a few times after I feel him, and he'll nudge back in about the same spot.We'll do this until he tires himself out and wiggles back into his placenta bed for a nap. (Or, that's what I imagine is going on.) And a few days ago, when Aaron was feeling for another little wave or roll, he got himself a nice big kick to the fingers! (Which he didn't quite as honored about as I thought he should. Joel saved his strongest kick ever for his daddy! But really it just startled him away for awhile. I guess I can see how it would be weird for something to basically assault him from inside of my stomach.)
   Tonight Joel seemed to be having a nice time nudging, bumping. and pushing against my stomach. (I always respond to his movements by putting my hand over him and starting a conversation.). Every few minutes he would bump against my hand and I would tell him I loved him, or talk about our dinner. I could almost swear he was responding to me, the movements right after I'd push a little or talk a bit louder to him seemed a little stronger. Maybe more deliberate. But boy, when his dad put his hand on my stomach and started talking, I found it hard to doubt he was responding! Not that he kicked as enthusiastically as the other day. I could feel him press firmly and deliberately against Aaron's hand, a few seconds later when Aaron spoke up, he did it again. It was amazing. I feel like I get these miracle bonding moments with Joel all the time, and I loved seeing Aaron get to experience the same amazing moment with our baby.

   It is still so hard to really believe and grasp what is going on inside of me, and how much life will change in only a few short months. Every nudge and kick I feel seems to make Joel that much more real to me. With every movement, I can envision him that much easier and feel the bond between us, and the love I feel for him, grow so much more.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Clean freak in a cluttered space

     There's something about moving that turns you (or-turned me) into a clean freak.
     Fur, for example, used to be a simple fact of life. Having cats and dogs growing up, fur never really phased me except for after particularly intense cuddle sessions during shedding season. Simple brushing, shaking off clothes, and vacuuming would keep the fur level down to a level I was comfortable with. And lint rollers were saved for defurring myself before getting into someone else's car or home.

      Since moving a few weeks ago, I'm not sure what changed. I have the same pets, the same clothes, the same bed. And yet the fur seems so much worse! I feel like I am going crazy over it now- I simply can't handle it. To keep it slightly controlled, I've found myself brushing the animals daily, keeping a sheet over my bed with a blanket over that (and only allowing the dogs on the blanket. The sheet acts as another buffer), vacuuming and sweeping the entire apartment daily, and washing bedding every few days. All our clothes and such are kept shut in a closet, where no animals are allowed. And yet I still can't manage the amount of fur. I imagine it is moving into a new, fur free place that makes fur much more noticeable. Not to mention the animals ALL wanting to be comfy off the hardwood floors. Where they used to be content on the carpeted floor, I now have both dogs and the cats trying to use our clothing as cushions and congregating on my bed.

    On top of my (failing) attack on fur, I've realized I have picked up habits I never really had before. Things like washing the doors around the doorknobs, wiping down the counters every time I use them, washing the fridge door every afternoon. Just the random, little things that I suppose all people do to keep their homes tidy, that I am a little embarrassed to say I NEVER thought about before. Sure, I'd clean up the counters if I spilled something or noticed they looked messy, but I never thought about just wiping them down every use to keep a mess from building up. And the fridge and doors/walls only got wiped clean if I was bothered by the fingerprints.

      The thing driving me insane right now is the big pile of clutter in my living room. Moving from an apartment with 4 closets total and 2 bedrooms, into a 1 bedroom, 1 closet apartment (with less than half the counter space) has significantly hampered our storage space. I am going to have to get creative here, and fast. Most of the boxes are filled with things like my earring tree, little baskets to put things in(if I had a place to put the baskets), and other little trinkets that need a place to be put. It is hard to imagine fitting an entire other person and all his many things, especially clothes, into this apartment. We'll have to buy 2 dressers (one with drawers, one for hanging things) just for his clothes- I doubt we will be able to fit all 3 of our wardrobes into the already crowded closet we have.

   In the end, I think we will all fit quite perfectly in here. As me and Aaron rarely venture out of our living room and into the bedroom, there will be no problem turning it into Joel's nursery and using the living room as our own until we move into a bigger place. And there really is no rush- we don't even own a couch or a dinner table!

    Personally, I find the small space cozy. As furry as it may be, it's nice to have my furbabies warming my legs while I write this, watching Futurama with Aaron.

(On a side note, I have made a facebook page for this blog. Because I fancy myself a professional blogger I suppose.Or because I have WAY too much time to kill. Feel free to like )

Big brothers, Godfathers, and placentas.

    I love my big brother.

 You can tell, we loved each other from the start

    He is 5 years older than me and lives states away with his own son, and he is an awesome daddy. When I found out I was pregnant I knew instantly I wanted to ask him to be my baby's godfather. Since Aaron doesn't have brothers I was fairly certain he'd be okay with it, and of course he was.

   My brother is pretty awesome. He's a good dad and a good guy. He's responsible and mature, and just a wonderful person to have as a mentor. I'm excited to have him as my sons uncle and godfather.

    On a completely unrelated note, on Friday I got a call from my doctor about my ultrasound results. I had been dreading them calling to say something was wrong, but in the end it is just a relief that they got ahold of me and let me know my new restrictions. It turns out my placenta is over my cervix, and I believe it is low. And the restrictions they put on me (like no lifting over 10 pounds) are pretty important to know, considering the moving and the number of children I'm around often. It breaks my heart I can't pick any of them up anymore, but at least I know to stop looking for a babysitting job. 

   I of course had to google it and find out all the many risks (like bleeding out if I start to dilate and the placenta rips.) and hopefully when I get my checkup ultrasound in a few weeks it will have fixed itself. Until we know I'm taking it easy, which means resting alot more. No more crazy cleaning sprees that last for hours. 

   Things like this are just no good for me. I am a researcher by nature, and the only way to feel comfortable with something is to know everything I can read about it. In this case, that added many more worries than it relieved. I'm not necessarily afraid of having a c-section, but I am terrified of all the complications that can come with surgery and having the placenta rip during labor.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rolly Joely

   Last week I was laying in bed feeling sad (oh, hormones) when Joel finally decided to say hello. I wasn't sure at first if I was finally feeling him so I gave my stomach a few good pokes and waited. Sure enough, I got another nudge right back. It was wonderful. Subtle, and it was all I got for the night, but it was awesome to finally FEEL him move inside.

    The next night, me and Aaron were watching a movie. I happened to have my hands on my stomach and I felt the weirdest thing. I had Aaron put his hand on my stomach and he could feel it too. Joel was rolling around, and did for a few good minutes before he found his spot and got settled in. Since then I have felt him randomly wiggle or poke at me, usually at night. I can't wait for the movements to be stronger and more obvious, and much more frequent.

   Yesterday I had my 20 week ultrasound and got to watch him wiggle around quite a bit. Again I was struck with how much he moved vs how little I felt (I only felt a single nudge from him when he stretched out and arched his back.) It was great to see he is still developing on track and even count his fingers and toes. And we confirmed again he is a boy- he wouldn't let us miss it! We got quite a few good glimpses of his boy bits during the ultrasound while the technician was checking other things.

   I just can't believe that I'm halfway there! As slow as it can seem, looking back at the past 20 weeks I'm shocked at how they've flown by. (Well, 17 weeks counting from when I found out.) I can't wait to hold him in my arms, but there is still so much to do to prepare for him. (I am positively freaked out that I am halfway there and don't have a single cloth diaper or onsie.) I am starting to realize the limitations of a small 1 bedroom apartment, but I am rearranging it in my head daily to make sure Joel has the closest thing to an awesome nursery we can give to him.

   And I hope the little dude appreciates the ocean theme I plan on decking his room out in. (Everyone knows a baby NEEDS a room to be totally themed and matched for be happy.)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fathers Day

Yesterday was fathers day. Of course that made me think about my own dad. (Who I'm pretty darn glad to have as a dad.)  This fathers day though, was special for a different reason too. It had another special father on my mind.

   Though a few people don't think it counts, to us, this was Aaron's first fathers day. He is, after all, the father to a child right now.

   He was just as excited and thrilled. the first time I felt Joel move (post about that to come), and the very next day he was there to feel for himself when Joel started moving for us both. He works hard already to make sure we will be able to afford what we need for Joel, and is already talking about a college fund and how to make sure Joel is never without.

    He asks me daily how Joel is doing, makes sure to save the healthiest or yummiest of the foods in the kitchen for me, and says nothing when I plow through dinner and start eating from his plate. And he fully supports (emotionally and financially) the theory I've made him believe. "To grow a baby, you eat a LOT of chocolate."

    He's curious about cloth diapers and has developed a new phrase, "Whatever's best for Joel."

    He was there sweating with me  when we thought the baby was in trouble, and sighs with relief every time we get another confirmation that Joel is doing fine. He wants to be healthy enough to play catch and knows without a doubt that Joel is going to be an amazing person from day one.

    I'd say those are some of the main traits of a dad. He's a pretty good one, and I think that he's only going to get better.

He'll be a pretty cool dad.

   So happy fathers day Aaron! I'm sorry your fathers day eggs kind of fell apart yesterday morning, blame our sticky "non-stick" pans. You'll be awesome, and don't worry about diapers. No dad makes it to the year mark without a stomach of steal when it comes to diaper changing. And for the first 6 months, I promise I'll take the main role when it comes to blowouts.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Changes to prepare for changes

    After a week or so long hiatus here I am, ready and able to blog again. Things have been quite busy, but are finally,  sort of, settling down.

   We've moved across town to a slighty better neighborhood. The catch is that we have downgraded to a one bedroom from a two, but we'll make it work until we can afford a larger place. (I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to help us do this once I finish my classes and find a vet to work for.)

   And for hardwood floors, I am completely okay with the smaller living space.

    Besides that the only change has been myself and Joel. The boy is growing nicely! I can tell because so is my tummy.

     I've found I'm one of those annoying women who just LOVES being pregnant!! 
     With the exception of the first few weeks, I haven't been getting sick. And the early pregnancy sickness is just a distant memory. I know it can all change at any time- especially when I'm farther along- but I just love how I feel. My aches and pains are easily remedied with a back rub or leg massage from Aaron, or a soak in a warm bath. And I've never been one to complain about taking a much needed nap (which I find myself needing almost every day recently.) 

It's that stomach I tell ya. No matter what is going on, no matter what type of mood swing has grasped onto me, I can't resist my own stomach. Just knowing Joel is in there, and seeing how round it has grown, and being able to poke and rub it any time lifts my spirits. Goodness knows how I'll be when I can finally feel Joel poking back at me.

     I'm sure it won't last. With my growing belly (and honestly, my growing everything else), and doubled appetite, feeling this good is sure to fade away soon enough. I only hope it waits until after my vacation to see my mom in WI.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I see the Daddy in him

     I've heard alot about how a woman becomes a mom when she finds out she's pregnant, and a man becomes a dad when the baby is born. I don't think either of those things is true. At least, it wasn't for us.

     When we found out we were pregnant, it took awhile for it to sink in for either one of us. Of course I was instantly protective, (I must have been hilarious to watch, scared to bump into anything with my stomach, moving super slow so as not to jostle the baby, a hand constantly on my tummy as a shield. And between you and me, I was scared to use the toilet for about a month. I just knew I was going to do the impossible and pee out the baby.) but once the initial shock wore off, I found that joy, fear, shock, and something like indifference or disbelief came in waves. By that I mean, sometimes I simply didn't believe I was pregnant, and I felt sure the doctors didn't know anything.

    Growing has helped me to feel pregnant. But those ultrasounds and hearing the heartbeat have truly been what have filled me with the MOST motherly love. And even though that feeling has been a constant for months, every time I get to see or hear the baby again, a new huge wave of love crashes around me and makes me feel all those sickeningly mushy things you hear moms talk about in sappy made for tv movies. But still, I don't always feel like a mom. And saying "my son" feels wrong at times. Like I'm not allowed to call him that until he's born. Or at least kicking my bladder.

     I think the first months were the same for Aaron.
     When I brought the picture from my dating appointment at about 11 weeks to him at work, he looked at it, handed it back and said
    "I forgot you were pregnant."

   I had expected something like that, remembering men don't become dad's until the baby is born. Then he took the picture back and ran to show his coworker, and declared it "Pretty awesome" the rest of the day.
Not quite the same as the tearful emotion I had, but the excitement was there, and I was overjoyed at him wanting to look at the picture numerous times, (though not quite as often as I did.) At first I shared so much with him just to make sure he knew he was included, but not because I really thought he'd honestly care much. I expected more humoring me with fake interest, but he gives off genuine interest and shared joy in basically all things about our son.

   Unlike the saying claims, I think he is already a dad. Just because of little changes and things like suddenly looking at babies instead of ignoring them when we're shopping, seeing other dad's with babies and bringing up Joel's upcoming baby days. I can see his excitement building, I love the way he talks about teaching Joel to skateboard and play guitar. He is already certain Joel will be an amazing kid. When I look at him and see a dad, I can almost feel like a mom.

    And I think he'll make a terrific father from the start. And seeing him as Joel's dad makes me love him in a totally different, stronger way than before, right along side that old love.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fur babies

With all the excitement about our upcoming Joel, we've made it a priority to keep our furry family members part of the family. In all the baby talk, baby thoughts, and changes being made, it's easy for an animal to get forgotten. A belly rub or ear scratch pushed off a few times too many, and suddenly a dog had gone all day without a simple gesture saying
"Hey, we still love you."
I think we both realized this pretty quick, when all the talk of the baby was also bringing in all the assumptions that we would of course be getting rid of all our animals, right now.
We had discussed downsizing, finding new kitty homes (for they seemed like they would be the least upset by the change.) but decided to only do it if it was necessary. The thought of giving up any of the pets sucks. They're each a part of the family, and finding new homes would upset us as well as them. (And the thought of them being sad or confused broke both of our hearts). All the suggestions and assumptions that we find them new homes led us to make sure the pets got some extra snuggles (sometimes forced upon them), extra walks and throws of the ball. Extra brushing and cleaning up after.  All when we have the time, of course. Because where we used to have what seemed like countless hours, we now seem to have so few. I've been watching their behavior to see if they're acting off or suspicious yet.

I'm sure the dogs know something is up. Hermione steps a bit more carefully onto my stomach than she used to, and follows me everywhere I go. (I've given up peeing or bathing in private). And Kesha has been a bit distant from me, but still follows me from room to room (usually laying a few feet from me, giving me an accusing stare. She has always been obviously in love with Aaron, sometimes we wonder if she thinks they are somehow together.). I can't wait to see Joel grow up with two crazy dogs to love.
And as for the cats.. well, they're still typical cats, only coming around on their terms and sleeping anywhere they think they can fit. *Often times, they're very wrong.* . I'm not sure they'll notice Joel until he's crawling around, reaching for their tails.

Hermione is never still

Shampoo-stealer of Aaron's chair. (Ignore the paper plate. Hermione likes to play with them like they're frisbees.) 

Okie emptied out a box to lay in it. She still didn't fit.

Kesha the beaty 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Growing Joel

I love seeing my stomach grow. It just shows that inside there, my Joel is growing too.
(Oh yes, we've decided on the name Joel. His middle name is Aaron, after his daddy.
Joel Aaron. Has a nice ring to it, don't ya think?)