17 Weeks

I can't believe this is the last week of my fourth month. It's gone by so quickly, even with the unpleasantness of morning sickness and headaches, I keep reminding myself we are nearing the halfway point.

In just a little less than three weeks we will find out the baby's gender. My mom will fly in to be here for the appointment, and I'm so excited she will get to share this with us. I miss having her here more than I can really admit without getting too teary-eyed about it, so it will be extra-special.

I'm feeling little flutters now, and it just makes this little person that much more real. It's amazing how it changes your whole perspective, really recognizing how responsible you are for the health and well-being of this tiny little guy (or girl) and how it won't ever end. I suddenly have this motivation I've never had before to be a better person, to take better care of me and us, to give this baby the best life he can possibly have.

I cannot wait to meet him (or her) in just a few weeks. I cannot wait to share with you all the name we've picked out - we did finally choose a girl's name! I can't wait to have more pictures and video. My emotions have been all over the place this last week, and it's been hard hanging on to an even keel - thank you to John for understanding the out of nowhere crying jag yesterday and for taking care of everything that needed to be taken care of while I got myself together.

We're making progress on cleaning out the baby's room, and in the next couple of weeks that should all be complete, and we can be ready for Mom, ready to see our little person, and ready to step off into the second half of this adventure.


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.


Paralysis by Analysis and Fear of Being a Copycat

So I've been pondering the whole way I want to approach this blogging thing, particularly since I'm finally starting to feel truly like myself, and not some exhausted, nauseous, coughing machine. {Sidebar: once the morning sickness got better, the allergies kicked in, and I have been Snotty McCougherson ever since.}

One of the ideas I keep coming back to is writing letters to the baby; using the blog as a way of preserving these memories and sharing with this baby what is going on in his (or her) little life in these days that are just going by too fast. {Sidebar B: I know that will change when I get farther along, just let me glory in this for a bit.}

But I wondered, will people think I'm just trying to copy dooce? How many people who read me also read dooce? How many actually read me anyway, and have not followed the blog out of pity for that poor girl who blogs in spurts and can't seem to move at much more than a snail's pace?

Once again, paralysis by analysis. My one weakness, aside from making spreadsheets for everything. And good seafood. And bread. And Nathan Fillion's wicked combination of gorgeous and hilarious. And... okay so I have lots of weaknesses. (And do I really say "wicked?" Was I inadvertently raised in Boston and then transplanted to Alabama as a small child? Seriously, when did I pick up wicked, and why do I now have the urge to call something wicked awesome?) No, I don't have ADD, thanks for asking.

At any rate, back to the dooce thing - I didn't want to be a copycat. I don't like people who just grab something from someone else's blog and make it their own. I want to be unique, I want to avoid the cookie-cutter, popular girl thing and do my own thing. But I keep coming back to this whole talking to the baby thing, and I want to do it.

So, I've made the executive decision to do it. I'm going to start writing to the baby, all these things that are going on. It might be once a week. It might be once a month. Once the baby gets here it might not be for several months. But I like the idea, and I can make it mine.

Besides, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?