16 Weeks

It's hard to believe it's been four months since our new little person joined us - even though we didn't know it for sure.

I'm starting to feel little flutters, and the weight of the baby is a constant thing now, not just the occasional awareness I had for a while. We talk to the baby regularly, John has been reading to him when we get a little extra time. (I say "him" mainly because we don't know yet, but I have referred to the baby as "him" from day one. My ultrasound may show a girl, but right now my gut is telling me it's a little him. Until I learn something different, I will just refer to the baby as "him" for simplicity's sake.)

One of the most amazing things to me is the way we're already acting as though he's here. At night, John rubs my stomach and I say good night and good morning. When I eat, I have started saying grace out loud so the baby can hear. I know from a scientific perspective he might not be able to hear it, but it's something I feel like I need to do.

Mother's Day is coming up Sunday. This past weekend, John gave me my Mother's Day gift - it's a necklace shaped like a white-gold heart, with a mother holding a baby forming two sides of the heart, and a smaller yellow gold heart in the middle. Engraved on the back is the phrase "I am loved." John wants to have the baby's name or initials engraved on it when the baby comes.

I really was not expecting anything, and had not brought it up. That makes it mean even more, that John thought of it, that he found the time to do a little shopping, and that it was all him. We've had so many ups and downs over the years; I've known all along how much he loved me even when things were as bad as they could be, but it's touching for me to have him do something so out of the blue just because he wants to do it.

But back to our little avocado-sized baby - I think both our hearts are wrapped around the tiny little fingers growing inside me. The day of the sonogram we're both taking the rest of the day off. My mom may come out to be there for the appointment, and John is ready to do some baby shopping once we know gender. (As an aside, it's kind of hard to find gender-neutral stuff for babies; I thought I could get a lot more shopping done, but everything I see is just a little too boyish or girlish.)

We have a lot to look forward to this month - the baby will continue to grow and develop, we will make lots more progress on the nursery, my mom (and possibly step dad) will be able to visit, and we'll finally find out whether this is a little Mario or a little Princess. Another good thing, although not in the next month, John's older daughter, my stepdaughter, will be going to a summer camp, and will get to spend a little time with us over the summer. She may also get to come for a bit at Christmas holidays. John is completely over the moon at the thought of having both his children together for this baby's first Christmas. Truth be told, it would be more than I could have wished for to have them together, and I'm praying it all works out. We so very rarely get to see her, and at her age it will probably not be as often because of her schedule, so it would be a special thing indeed.

I sort of get the feeling we will have lots of house guests this holiday season. The baby will be a bit young for the kind of road trip our family trips involve, and our work schedules are so hectic at the holidays we don't get to travel much that time of year anyway. Either way, I am looking forward to starting our baby's life off surrounded with the celebration of a loving family.