Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Baby is measuring 0.88cm - I hear that's kind of big... must be Casey's genes!
We went to the doctor today, and much to my relief and amazement, everything is wonderful. Baby and I got a great report from the doctor - the words "low risk" and "perfectly normal" were bandied about, and, as it turns out, they are some of the most beautiful words in the world!
The best part was that Casey and I got to see Baby for the first time, which of course made me cry. Which didn't really help the doctor much, since it shook the picture, but I couldn't help it. It was by far the best, most incredible picture I've ever seen.
Even when the little stick came back with two lines, part of me was worried that this was some kind of trick on the part of my body; that it couldn't possibly be real. That it was simply too good to be true, and that I can't possibly deserve my heart's complete happiness. Nobody gets everything they want, and I have so much joy already. It seemed like a baby would just tip the balance of my happiness to a level that can't possibly be allowed to exist.
So, of course, I have been nervous and anxious to see the doctor, to have someone who knows what they are doing (and not a little stick) confirm this miracle for me.
Besides that, though, it seems crazy that anyone can just have a baby! All those pregnant 15 year olds at Adams City High School should have clued me in, but I have such a hard time reconciling the fact that I had to go through like 6 months of training just to get my driver's license, but I can get pregnant and carry a baby with no guidance whatsoever. I had to go all the way through a Masters degree before I can teach, but I can just create and care for a life any old time and no one has anything to say about that! I mean, really... So again, from that perspective, huge relief to have a professional check us out and give me the all clear.
The only down side of our visit today was that they had to draw about a gallon of blood. Blech! Casey was a saint and tried to distract me; I hate having blood drawn. I truly think I can handle everything about pregnancy except two things: the nausea (which, so far had been mostly avoidable) and all the pricking and poking and blood-working; basically, anything related to needles. Yuck. Fortunately, though, Casey's distractions worked fairly well - he was showing me the ultrasound picture of the baby - and it was over... well, not before I knew it, but eventually.
All in all, a good report, a great, emotional day, and best of all, confirmation from the doctor about our little miracle. And, our new due date - certified by the doctor - is...
March 17th, 2010
Saturday, July 25, 2009
... and already I am completely enamoured of our little blueberry.
Casey and I also decided how we are going to tell our friends and family, when we do finally decide to tell them. More to come on that later...
Friday, July 24, 2009
Yes, after a year of looking, we are blessed to have an awesome new car! We were in desperate need... the clincher was a) finding out we're pregnant, and b) the fact that when we went camping this weekend, my poor little abused VW had some major issues. For example, the control panel that holds the air systems (um, yeah, I don't know car lingo at all) hasn't worked in over a year. The blower control is stuck on the one that forces it to blow air on feet only, and the level control only works sporatically, and only on max (so your options if you want heat or cold is either no air, or max air).
While camping, though, we added another fun dimension to this disaster: now, when we turn the air on, the control has started to melt because something is malfunctioning inside the panel and making it extremely hot! Delightful! As an extra special bonus, it started to smoke for some unknown reason as we were driving up the mountain. Yeah... that was the day we decided that the time had come to find something different.
So, suffice it to say that we are absolutely delighted by our gorgeous new car! Here is a shot from the side.
My proud hubby and his new purchase.
After tons of research, we decided on a Toyota Highlander. My criteria for purchasing a car were: 1) reliable, 2) relatively low cost to maintain, 3) holds its value well, 4) practical.
Casey's criteria looked more like this: 1) reliable, 2) powerful, 3) potential for off-roading, 4) BIG.
We both agreed that we wanted a Toyota; it nicely meets the first three of both our criteria. I wanted a Rav 4 because of it's fuel efficiency - while still being great to drive in Colorado's dicey winter weather - and I thought that it would be large enough to work for our family in the long-haul. Casey wanted a 4Runner because it is more powerful, bigger, and can definitely get anywhere we could possibly want to go. In the end, though, we test-drove both, and felt a little like Goldielocks in the house of the three bears. The Rav turned out to be waaay too small to accommodate the family we would ultimately like to have. The 4Runner turned out to be a bit more than we actually need. Although it would still be a great car, our awesome Highlander is "just right"... more suited to our needs, and a nice way to meet in the middle. I am thrilled!
The back seat... perfect size to fit a car seat!
Monday, July 20, 2009
The next day, we went into Rocky Mountain National Park to explore and do a little fishing. Again, it was absolutely, amazingly beautiful. I feel very lucky to live in Colorado; I think that we are spoiled in a LOT of ways! We didn't catch any fish, but we enjoyed a very nice day with friends.
On the way back to our campsite, we stopped in Estes Park for some ice cream (because, what's camping without a little ice cream??) Jessica and I couldn't help but put our feet in the freezing cold river... actually, it felt great on a hot day!
We had a wonderful time. I love camping, and every year I hope that we will be able to do it more than we can. It's so much fun to pack up the cooler and all the gear, set up a tent and spend a few days away from our "civilized" lives. And it was SO much fun to be able to do it with our awesome friends!!!
The only thing that was difficult about the trip was the fact that we're not yet telling our BIG (b-a-b-y) news. Jessica is one of my best friends in the world, and not being able to tell her something this huge was like torture! It was particularly difficult because I didn't just have to not tell her the truth, I had to actually lie, since there was alcohol and bad foods that I can't eat. It's not that I drink so often - clearly I don't at all - but normally I probably would have had a little something alcohol-related since we didn't have to drive or go anywhere. So I had to devise a lie to cover up the fact that I couldn't have anything with alcohol in it. Saaad.
Not to mention, for the past year plus, Jessica and I have been meeting for coffee every week. We seriously have been doing this every single week since last June when she got back from her MA program in Oregon. I would guess that, in a year, we have only missed maybe three or four weeks. So again, since she knows all my normal coffee habits, that's a difficult one to hide! And I really hate lying to one of my very best friends! On top of that, this is definitely the kind of thing I would normally tell her because she would share in my joy. She of all people knows how much I have been struggling with the issue of getting pregnant, and now that there is good news instead of difficult news, I can't even tell her! It's very hard!
The good news is, we've decided that we will break the news to close family and friends after we see the doctor next week. I just want to make sure that everything looks normal and is progressing well before we let anyone else know. And, although I am thinking extremely positively and I truly believe this pregnancy will thrive, I can't bear the thought of announcing it and having something happen. Ugh, that makes me shudder just to think about. So we're letting a little bit more time pass before we spill the baby beans... and I can't wait!!!!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here are the things that made me cry this week:
... when I discovered that the milk had gone sour and I had to pour it down the drain. It just seemed abundantly wasteful!
... taking out my belly-button ring, which I have had since I was 18. As an adult, I've always had this crazy, irrational fear that the piercing would balloon up when I got pregnant and cause a giant hole in my belly.
... Casey laughing at me when I explained this irrational fear to him. To be fair, I was a little ridiculous.
... the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Although, I'm pretty sure I would have cried at the end of that movie pregnant or not.
... "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo - especially the line that says, "I see babies cry and I watch them grow." For the record, just typing it made me choke up a little.
... Home Shopping Network's Christmas in July. Don't judge me.
... every single episode of A Baby Story (although again, probably would have been true preggers or not).
... the Rice Krispies commercial where a mom is making rice krispies treats with her daughters.
... when Casey fixed soup for me and dinner for himself because I was too naseous to do it for him.
I think that's all for this week... stay tuned!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
It has been one week since your daddy and I learned about your precious little life. Over that week, there are a few things that have grown exponentially (besides you!):
First is my sheer awe, amazement and gratitude that you are in there, getting bigger and becoming the little person that we so look forward to meeting in what feels right now like many months. I know already that it is the first of many miracles you will bless our lives with.
Second is the incredible, overwhelming love I feel for you. I laugh when I tell your daddy this, because today you are probably the size of some obscure little seed, and yet you are already the center of my world. Although my life is wonderful, blessed and happy, I have felt for some time like someone was missing from our family. You come to make me better; to make us better, your daddy and me and our family. Our little gift from God.
Sometimes the awesome responsibility of caring for something so precious is a little overwhelming. I overanalyze every single thing that happens to me throughout the day, and I run to a book or a website for reassurance that whatever it is is normal. So far I have avoided calling the nurse, and hopefully Mommy will learn to balance my fears and anxieties as I discover more about how you and I share my little body. You don't take up much room yet, so it is difficult to be sure that you're safe and comfortable and have everything you need.
My darling baby, one of the most wonderful, frustrating and incredible parts of life is its uncerainty. I take such joy in imagining you; what you will look like, whose eyes I will find staring back at me, what your voice will sound like. Of course, I can't wait to find out if we will be buying ballet slippers or football cleats (that's my clever way of saying I'm anxious to find out your gender. But know that you can do anything you want to do, whether you are a boy or a girl! Play an instrument, be a painter or a swimmer or a banker - we will support and love you whatever you choose). Just be healthy, and the rest will take care of itself.
With affection and gratitude,
Monday, July 13, 2009
I was able to make my appointment for two weeks from now. That seems like a really long time to wait. In the mean time, I spoke with a nurse and as able to get a few of my (many, many!) questions answered. Among those was the "official" timeline of my pregnancy!
And, in the official pregnancy way, they estimated that I am about 5-6 weeks along! Woohoo! Based on that, they are currently estimating our due date at March 14th. Hooray! That will probably all be revised at the first doctors appointment, but I am SO excited to already be halfway through the first trimester!!
All things considered, that's probably a good thing. Today was also the first day that I have felt really exhausted. I have been on a workout routine for the past 7 or so months, and part of that includes going to an exercise class 3-4 times per week. It has been going really well, until this morning. Today I honestly thought I might pass out during my workout. Seriously! I think it was actually more difficult to get through my class today than it was the very first day I started working out last January! There was a woman in the class who is about 7 months along, and, because I am paranoid, I had to ask her if that was normal. She was so cute; she laughed and told me that the first three months of pregnancy are pretty much the worst part of the whole thing, labor included! That made me feel slightly more normal - I was really worried when I couldn't muster the energy and strength to get through the class as I normally do!!
I also wanted to take some starting pictures. Yes, I'm a belly-picture kind of gal. I can't wait to see the growth that will inevitably happen! But, before we can get anywhere close to that, I thought I'd start with a couple of "before" pics...
Forgive the bad picture, although it probably only gets worse from here!
It's a little ironic, because I've been working so hard to get skinny in order to fit into that wedding dress, and now I'm going to have to be more concerned about gaining - not loosing - weight! Anyway, before I fill (over-fill) them again, I thought I'd pause to remember what are soon to be the good ol' days when my shorts were actually too big for me. That's the weight I've lost this year! Hooray and sayonara!
Whoever imagined I would actually be delighted beyond words about gaining weight?!?
Sunday, July 12, 2009
So it is no surprise, then, that Casey and I have already selected a littany of books to read to Baby over the course of the next 9 months.
What's that, you say? Baby can't actually hear anything for approximately 20 weeks? True. But that's not really the point, is it? Technically, baby can't "hear" anything at all; mostly just sound impulses, recognizing repetition in the cadence of sounds - not the meaning of words - anyway. But I'm convinced that Baby will pick up on whatever emotions I am putting off, and reading to Baby is not only soothing to me, but also extremely magical and amazing. Baby can only benefit from that!
We selected the books we would read carefully, looking for pieces that portray some characteristic that we want and hope Baby to have in his or her life. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our literary selections for the next 9 months:
The Iliad - So that Baby will be strong and courageous throughout life. Also, we decided to start with this book right away because, in these first, sometimes perilous few months, we want Baby to be like a strong little warrior as he or she begins to grow. Grow strong, Baby Strassner!
Hamlet - Obviously in some ways not the best for families, considering the bizarre familial relationships (uncle kills father, mother marries uncle, son must avenge father). That being said, though, there are some redeeming qualities - namely, a profound sense of loyalty that we wish for our child. Not only family loyalty, but also having friends who are loyal and would do anything for Baby, as well as the importance of being worthy and deserving of such loyalty.
To Kill a Mockingbird - Because we wish, perhaps above all, that Baby will have a deep and unswerving wisdom, empathy and discernment, grounded in a strong moral center and sense of what is fair and what is right. Atticus Finch is one of my all-time favorite literary characters because he so fully and gracefully embodies all of these qualities.
Harry Potter - Partly so that Baby will be able to see the wonderful, magical possibilities in life; partly in the hopes that Baby will have a creative, problem-solving mind, enriched by just the right amount of mischeiviousness. Lastly, too, because we want Baby to always be on a path of self discovery; we hope that Baby will be true to whatever wonderful person he or she turns out to be.
Gone with the Wind - We chose this book for three reasons: First, because it is one of my all time favorite books. Also, it is a book that my mother read to me before I was born. I've always felt that - crazy as it sounds - that fact has influenced me throughout my life. Lastly, symbolically, we chose this book because we hope that baby will always know that "tomorrow is another day," so never quit, and never give up hope!
Peter Pan - Because the power and beauty of imagination is one of the greatest gifts any child - no, any person - could ever receive! I also wish for my son or daughter the kind of joy and whimsy that comes from seeing the world through the eyes of a child, and I very much hope that there will be part of him or her that never grows up.
I think these selections are solid, but we may come up with one or two more depending on how the timing goes. I am so excited! It is so amazing to know that I am already influencing and responsible for the little life inside of me! WOW!!!!!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
-Half-caf coffee. Okay, "love" might be overstating things. The past three mornings, though, Casey has made me coffee by mixing decaf (who knew we even had decaf coffee? I am so vocally against it - it doesn't really count unless it has caffeine!) and caffeinated coffee, so that I can still have one of my very favorite things, but in a "baby friendly" way. Coffee is going to be far and away the hardest thing for me to give up, but it is so helpful to have a husband who looks out for me and helps me to do the right thing!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I had been feeling kind of iffy for a few weeks, but my hormones have been really off for the past three months, so I figured it must be part of all of that. Just to be sure, I took a pregnancy test about a week ago, and it came back negative... mostly. There was only one line, but very, VERY faintly, there was the slightest ghost of another line. I decided that, if I continued feeling strange, I would wait one week and then test again. That was a long week... luckily, though, I was able to wait it out (barely) by promising myself that Wednesday morning I could test again. Well, I did, and this picture was the result!
Casey hadn't left for work yet, but I couldn't quite tell him. I was still processing the whole thing myself. Not to mention, because of the fact that I have had so many hormonal issues recently, I wasn't 100% sure yet that I was actually pregnant.
As soon as Casey left for work, I drove to the store to get another brand of pregnancy test. I could hardly wait to take the test! I had to slam down three or four glasses of water first, but , the next test was just as successful as the first one had been!
Two positive pregnancy tests - proof positive of my dream come true!!! YAAAY!
Once I was fairly sure that this wasn't some kind of elaborate hoax on the part of the pregnancy test companies, I started to get really excited. I have been struggling with my desire to be a mother. Struggling because I have felt for so long that we are in a good place to begin our family, and in my heart of hearts, I have always - ALWAYS - wanted to be a mother. As far back as I can remember, I have made my decisions based on having a family. But, practical woman that I am, I recognize that there are some inherent challenges to starting a family this year - like the fact that I am a first year teacher, perhaps...
In a perfect world, we had planned to start trying next summer, so that I could get through my first year of teaching without the added stress of pregnancy. But this feels like an overwhelming gift from God! Regardless of the timing, I can't believe I am actually pregnant!! This is what I have wanted for so long, and it is an amazing, AMAZING gift to have it come true! W-O-W! I couldn't be happier about it!
Okay, enough of my reverie and back to the story...
Now that I was fairly sure of the "occupied" status of my womb, I was quickly devising a plan to tell my husband. I ran to the store to buy "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (YAY!), and put both the book and those lovely sticks in a box, which I wrapped and bowed carefully.