Monday, April 30, 2012

What It's Like To Feel The Baby Kick

This week was a huge landmark for this pregnancy - I finally felt the baby kick! I have actually been starting to worry that I might never feel it (yes, I know I am a drama queen!), because I was almost 22 weeks along. I had heard that it could start as early as 15 weeks, so I was growing impatient.

Wednesday night at midnight after one of my many trips to the bathroom, I was settling back into bed to try to fall asleep, when I finally felt it. At first, I had no idea what it was...but then, I KNEW! It felt like static charged butterly kisses behind my belly button.

I was so excited that I woke up my sweet slumbering husband, who didn't mind at all. He just smiled, and kissed me, and then, put his hand over my belly and said "Hello, little one...we've been waiting to hear from you!" It was a very sweet moment, and definitely worth the wait!

Since then, the baby has been moving and grooving - especially yesterday in church. It was "Music Sunday" at Riverchase United Methodist, and they had performances from a special orchestra, handbell choir, children's choir and the sanctuary choir. Each time the music cranked up, our little one started kicking along. I think he or she might be a musician in the making!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Two Tricks That ALWAYS Work To Make Me Feel Better

A few years ago, when I was at a low spot and needed "something" to make me feel better, I learned two tricks that could change my attitude around pretty quickly. The first I have shared on this blog pretty regularly: the gratitude list. It's hard to feel badly for myself when I have a list before me, in black and white, of many of the blessings in my life. It's become so second nature for me to compose gratitude lists that I often find myself doing it, mentally, in the crappiest of circumstances.

I have a bad history with cars. For some reason, I seem to buy cars that are cursed and/or lemons. This week, I increased my track record by one more notch by blowing a head gasket. I don't know a lot about cars, but I know it's bad when all of the little gauges on the dashboard start pegging in the red and the little warning lights all pop on. As I pulled over to the side of the road to let my car cool down, I found myself mentally making this list - I am grateful for: being able to safely pull over on the side of a busy highway without panicking, finding a safe spot to be able to make some phone calls to start fixing the situation, listening to TJ when he recommended I buy the extended warranty (because cheapskate me didn't want to "waste" the money), being only a few miles from the shop where I was going to need to take my car when the head gasket actually blew, having the money in the bank in an emergency fund to cover the deductible of my extended warranty, the fact that my extended warranty covers a rental car for me to be able to continue to get around for the next week, etc.

Despite it being a really unfortunate situation, I actually didn't end up feeling that badly about it because of the practice that I have been in of finding reasons to be grateful under all circumstances. Inconvenient? Absolutely! End of the world? Not even close....

My other "go to" trick to help turn my attitude around is designed to change how I feel about ME, not my circumstances. My gratitude list shows me that things aren't that bad, in spite of what my brain is trying to tell me. My other trick is to write myself a fan letter. When I find myself feeling like I can't do anything right or that no one notices when I do...or even worse, that they notice, but don't like me enough to bother to mention it, this is a tool I can use to acknowledge to MYSELF the things that I am doing well. The instructions are simple: write yourself a letter as if you were the world's biggest fan of yourself, and don't use the word "but" at all. A compliment isn't very effective if it's couched with a "but" in it: i.e. "I really like your outfit, but it's not something that most people would feel comfortable wearing." The things you are impressed with about yourself don't have to be big deals, like finding the solution for world hunger; they just need to be things you are impressed with about yourself right now.

To be honest, I haven't used the fan letter in a while because most days, I don't feel like I really need to - but this week, I have been in a funk. Maybe it's pregnancy related, maybe it's just one of weeks, maybe it's time to go back to therapy (which I have scheduled for Tuesday evening...), but whatever the case, I am in a funk I just can't seem to shake this week, so it's time to pull out the big guns.

Dear Jeannine,

I am writing today because I am huge fan of yours, and I wanted to give you specific examples of why I think you are so awesome.
1. You handled the blown head gasket like a totally cool headed adult. Not only did you stay calm and pleasant with everyone you had to deal with, you had the foresight to take TJ's advice and get the extended warranty AND you have an emergency fund so you can pay for things like this when they come up.
2. You walked on the treadmill or outside 5 out of 7 days this week, despite stiffness and soreness, which is awesome for your health and for the baby's.
3. You remembered several people's birthdays, before they happened, and remembered to order their presents before it was too late.
4. You did 7 loads of laundry.
5. You potted some beautiful flowers in the planters out on the back porch, which makes the whole area look more pretty and inviting.
6. You made a meal for a friend that just had surgery, so she wouldn't have to cook for her family while she was recovering.
7. You were helpful and creative during a meeting for work this week.
8. You scheduled a new therapy appointment.
9. You paid your bills, on time.
10. You made people laugh by sharing your new underwear with them.
11. You made time to catch up with some old friends via email, text and phone calls.
12. You recycled - a LOT. You even brought stuff home from work and a meeting you went to so that you could recycle it at home instead of throwing it out in the office.
13. You were sweet to your husband more than you were cranky, even when your inside feelings didn't match your outside behavior.
14. You went to work every day, and put in a whole day's work.
15. You admitted a mistake you made at work quickly, and corrected it as quickly as you could.

I could probably go on, Jeannine - you've had a really good week. Even though you haven't felt like a rock star, you have been doing a great job this week of "acting as if", and moving forward anyway. I am super proud of you, and in case no one else tells you today, I think you are just awesome.

Love, Jeannine

I do feel a little bit better now that I did that. I feel almost a little silly sharing some of these things with you - like they aren't "good enough" to go on a fan letter - but that's the whole point of doing this exercise: to give myself credit for the things big AND small that I did well this week. So, if you find yourself kind of feeling like I have been this week - crummy, cranky, unnoticed and unappreciated - I hope that you'll find a few minutes to try writing yourself a fan letter...because quite frankly, you ROCK, and if no one else tells you today, I am super proud of you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My "bump" at 21 weeks in

I am 21 weeks into this crazy adventure - and this little one inside of me is making some serious room. Check out this "bump"!  As of now, he or she weighs about a pound and is 8 inches long.  I still haven't felt any movement - but the doctor says that's normal.  When we saw the ultrasound, he or she was moving and grooving, so it's only a matter of time until I can feel the movements! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

One of the changes I wasn't ready for

I knew that becoming a mom would change EVERYTHING in my life.  I thought I was ready for all of the changes it would bring...but nothing prepared me for this:

On the left, my "new" underwear - on the right, my old underwear.  The sad part is that I used to wear the ones on the right as my comfy drawers.  Now, they cut off my circulation. 

I've shared this with a few of my friends - and the ones that are already moms have assured me that I will probably never want to go back to the ones on the right...that even when the body is willing, the spirit will still opt for the fuller coverage of the ones on the left. 

S cracked up last night when he walked in on me taking a photo of my underwear - but I knew that a description in words wouldn't be sufficient.  Seeing is believing, in this case....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Funny Stuff from Pinterest

I spent way too much time on Pinterest today - and our intern, Evan, and I got into a contest trying to make each other laugh with what we found.  These were my favorites:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Latest Ultrasound Pictures

Yesterday, we went for our latest ultrasound - the one where we COULD have learned the gender of the baby - and it was just incredible.  The first thing I said to the woman conducting the ultrasound was "We aren't going to find out!", and she just smiled and said, "Well, then, at some points, I am going to have to ask you to turn your head!"  No problem!

Our little one's heartbeat is going strong, and he or she is quite the mover and shaker.  It took quite a while to get the images we did because Baby does NOT like laying still (kind of like me!).  It looked like he or she was waving at us a few times (maybe that was wishful thinking...), and all of his or her little arms, legs, toes, fingers are working full force. 

I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen - it really is just surreal to think that the images on the screen were OUR baby, inside of ME.  I still don't feel anything yet - but they promised me that I would in the next few weeks.  I can't wait! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Guidelines for Interactions with Pregnant Women

My friend Mary is also pregnant - and this morning, when I logged onto to Facebook, she had posted the following as her status - some of these cracked me UP, so I wanted to share.  Can you relate to any of these??  Any that you want to add??  

I hope you find these guidelines helpful in your interactions with pregnant women, as failing to follow them may result in serious physical harm.

1. The appropriate response to a couple telling you they are having a baby is Congratulations! with enthusiasm. Any other response makes you a jerk.

2. Through the wonders of science, we now know that babies are made ONLY by the mother and father - not grandparents. Unless the baby is in your uterus or you are the man that helped put it there, you may not ever use the phrase my baby.

3. On the same note, unless you made the baby as defined in 2, the pregnancy, birth, and raising of the child are not about you. You do not have input. No one wants to hear your opinion unless they ask for it. 

4.The body of a pregnant woman should be treated the same as any other body. You would not randomly touch someones stomach if they were not pregnant, nor would you inquire into the condition of their uterus, cervix, or how they plan to use their breasts. Pregnancy does not remove all traces of privacy from a woman.

5. Likewise, no woman wants to hear comments on her weight ever. A pregnant woman does not find it flattering that you think she is about is pop, must be having twins, looks swollen or has gained weight in her face. Telling her she looks too small only makes her worry that she is somehow starving her baby. Making such comments invite her to critique your physical appearance and you may not act offended. The only acceptable comment on appearance is You look fabulous!.

6. By the time we are 20-30 years old, most of us have picked up on the fact that the summer is hot. We are hot every summer when we are not pregnant. We don't need you to point out that we will be miserably hot before the baby comes. Nor do we need to know how badly you will feel for us because we will be pregnant during the summer and how glad you are that YOU will not be pregnant this coming summer.

7. There is a reason that tickets to Labor& Delivery are not yet sold on Ticketmaster. Childbirth is actually not a public event. It may sound crazy, but some women really do not relish the idea of their mother, MIL, or a host of other family members seeing their bare butt and genitals. Also, some people simply feel like the birth of their child is a private and emotional moment to be shared only by the parents. You weren't invited to be there when the baby was created, you probably wont be invited to be there when it comes out either.

8. Like everything else in life, unless you receive an invitation, you are NOT invited. This includes doctor appointments, ultrasounds, labor, delivery, the hospital, and the parents home. You do not decide if you will be there for the birth or if you will move in with the new parents to help out. If your assistance is desired, rest assured that you will be asked for it.

9. If you are asked to help after the birth, this means you should clean up the house, help with cooking meals, and generally stay out of the way. Holding the baby more than the parents, interfering with breastfeeding and sleeping schedules, and making a woman who is still leaking fluid from multiple locations lift a finger in housework is not helping.

10. The only people entitled to time with the baby are the parents. Whether they choose to have you at the hospital for the birth or ask for you to wait three weeks to visit, appreciate that you are being given the privilege of seeing their child. Complaining or showing disappointment only encourages the parents to include you less.

Sincerely,All the Pregnant Women in the World
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