A letter to my 14-week-pregnant self

I’m sorting out my draft posts, and found this one from (evidently) my 14th week of pregnancy. It had no title, and only 6 sentences. Here is what I had to say:

Today I am 14 weeks pregnant. I wonder if there ever comes a point in pregnancy where you stop counting the weeks. I hope not. I hope it lasts long after pregnancy. I hope I will always wake up every Saturday with bubbles in my stomach, “I’ve made it another week!” Like Christmas.

Yes, 14-week-pregnant self, every Saturday morning is still like Christmas. So is every kick, every hiccup, every heartbeat, every kilogram gained, every stretch mark, every Braxton Hicks contraction. Every moment of pregnancy is a gift. You haven’t even started to experience the wonder of the perpetual Christmas morning. Don’t wish it away.

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5 for Five: Week 5

I accidentally skipped Week 4. I had exams all week, and I just got so busy that it was already Friday by the time  I realised I hadn’t done it. Oops.

But I am back, and so are my five weekly goals.

http://www.fantasticallyaverage.com

First, how I did in Week 3 (goals I achieved are in green, goals I didn’t are in red):

1. Cook dinner at least one night this week
I made enchiladas before going to work on the Wednesday. I made heaps, because there was more mince than I thought. And what’s better, a friend of Angus’s was over (not for dinner), so I looked like an especially awesome wife when I said “Help yourselves to dinner, there’s plenty there” while running out the door.

2. Spend at least half an hour a day on house work
It didn’t help that I went away on the Thursday, and that I was studying. There were days where I just never got around to it.

3. Actually fold and put away all of the clean washing 
I didn’t get it done. And I was right, my husband did decide to clean all of the dirty washing in the laundry. So now my pile is massive. Ugh.

4. Clean out the inside of my car
It helped that we took my car away (to Sistas, a women’s conference, which was awesome), so I needed to clean it out so that we could all fit in it. I was determined to keep all my junk out of it from now on. That lasted until yesterday.

5. Start studying for my exams
Only just, haha.

Three out of five. Not quite five out of five, but at least I managed to achieve some.

Here are my goals for this week:

1. Cook dinner at least three nights this week.
This time, it is totally achievable. I hope.

2. Get all of my dances finished and looking good before the dress rehearsal this weekend.
That means I’m going to have to start getting grumpy at some of my dancers, but it really needs to get done.

3. Do at least half an hour a day of housework 
This keeps being a goal of mine because it’s something I promised my husband I’d do. I really need to do it.

4. Buy new prizes for my Bible-in-Schools kids
The situation is getting pretty desperate. I have four little prizes left in my prize bag. Not exactly a great motivator to get to dig into this massive bag to choose one of four prizes.

5. Write at least one other blog post apart from this one. 
Preferably with another bump photo, because it’s grown heaps again over the past couple of days.

I hope I can achieve all of these things, because I’m not doing much else now that I’ve finished for the semester. Achieving all 5 goals will simply mean I’ve had a productive week with minimal laziness haha.

The Bump (24 weeks and 1 day)

I have to say, it is rather awkward posing for a bump photo. I’m a bit awkward about posing for photos as it is, so posing for one that was specifically to show off my body was more than a little bit weird. But I have friends and family who will never know what I looked like during my first pregnancy if I don’t start taking photos, so here it is:

I must admit, I’m feeling a bit cute with my pregnant belly. A few months before I got pregnant, I went through this stage of feeling really down about myself and the way I looked. It’s incredible how much being pregnant has changed things. I love my new body. I love looking in the mirror at my round tummy. I love discovering all the little changes that happen each day. I even love the small splattering of varicose veins on my thighs because they are just so distinctly because I’m pregnant.

I’ve been wearing maternity jeans since I was 13 weeks pregnant, because I couldn’t stand the feeling of having anything tight on my tummy. Other than that, I’m still able to wear most of my old clothes. I’m looking forward to a chance to go shopping next weekend, because I’d like to get some denim maternity shorts, a new bikini (that teeny, tiny triangle bikini just isn’t going to cover what it needs to this summer), and a few tops. I sleep in a singlet/tank top, and I’ve been waking up every morning with my puku hanging out, so I might look for a few crop tops to wear to bed, to avoid looking like a 50 year old man who has had a few too many beers in his life time.

We took almost a million photos (not really) around our lounge, trying to find the right lighting (and we don’t have a place in our lounge that is just wall, because I have too many bookcases), so here is a slightly blurry photo where my bump looks really cool:

Wild infatuation (20 weeks and 4 days)

My baby has feet!

Tiny little baby feet with baby toes, which he or she uses to kick Mummy with all day and all night.

I could stare at those little baby feet all day.

At the ultrasound today, Baby did not stop moving. The lady had to try several times almost every time to get the pictures she needed, because he or she just kept wriggling around. My little monkey. The best part was when he or she stopped to have a drink, which we got to see. It was so cute, his or her little mouth was moving up and down. My husband was particularly fascinated by the way the little stomach then filled with black, which was the liquid. It’s actually quite cool that you can see that.

I am now half-way pregnant. What a crazy feeling. In just a few short months, those tiny little baby feet will be tangible feet which I can hold in my hands. I am simultaneously excited and terrified.

I am wildly, unashamedly, unreservedly in love with my baby.  Everything about it, everything it does, is the most precious in all the world. No baby has ever been as wonderful. No baby has ever moved so well. No baby has ever had feet.

My husband finally felt his baby move. He is not patient like me, he will not lie still for hours waiting. But late at night, when baby always gets up for a somersault, I held his hand to my stomach and silently pleaded “Please, Baby, move for Daddy.” After one or two little flutters, the baby suddenly pulled the biggest stunt it ever has in it’s entire life. I have never felt it move so big. My husband couldn’t hide the awe in his voice. I know, Daddy. It’s a real baby in there.

My child’s inner voice (19 weeks)

Every Saturday morning is like Christmas. I wake up and automatically remember I’m another week further along. I feel such joy that Baby and I have made it another week.

Baby is now just under triple the size he or she was at my 12 week scan. That is crazy. 7 weeks ago we were incredulous over how big our little baby had gotten, and how he or she is bigger. And even more crazy, is that he or she is going to get even bigger still.

I’m finally starting to look pregnant, although I still feel like it’s mostly fat. People have started commenting on it, so I think maybe I’m confident enough to share some photos on here, once I get around to getting them taken. I can feel my uterus, and even cooler, my husband can now feel it without me needing it find it first. I think that Baby is sitting quite low in my uterus, and he or she spends a lot of time on my right side.

Confession time: I sing to my baby when I’m alone. Mostly I sing this song:

If you’re black, or if you’re white,
or if you’re in between
God loves you

If you’re short, or if you’re tall,
or if you’re kind or mean,
God loves you

He loves you when you’re happy
He loves you when you’re sad
He loves you when you’re very good
And when you’re very bad

No matter what you look like
No matter what you do
God loves you

I often find myself feeling sad for my little baby, that he or she may one day not know how loved and special he or she is. I pray constantly that my baby would have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and that he or she would be convinced that nothing will ever separate him or her from the love of God. I plan to tell my child this, too. That’s why I sing that song. From the very beginning, I want my baby to know that he or she is loved by the creator of the universe.

I heard a quote the other day that both inspired and challenged me:

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice”

Truthfully, being a parent does not seem challenging to me because of lack of sleep, dirty nappies, sick babies, painful labour. Those things will be hard, I’m sure. But they don’t compare to the responsibility of raising a child to be an adult. Whether or not I breastfed will not matter compared to whether or not I loved my child. The quality of my parenting will have a major influence on whether or not my adult child, in a time of trial, will thrive or fail.

Ten or twenty or thirty years from now, I want my little baby all grown up to say “I’ll call Dad, he’ll know what to do,” or “I need to go and see Mum, she’ll understand how I feel.” I want us to be those parents.

Frequently Asked Question #1: Are you making Angus sell his boat/motorbike/truck?

There are a few questions that almost everyone will ask me when talking about my pregnancy, so I thought it would be fun to answer them here. So, first up:

“Are you making Angus sell his boat/motorbike/truck?”

The answer is simply, no.

First of all, I don’t make Angus do anything. I am not his mother. He is an adult who is fully capable of making his own decisions. If I didn’t trust him to make those decisions wisely, I wouldn’t have married him.

Regarding his truck, he’s actually already sold it. It was a bit of a surprise for me. I was at a women’s conference run by my church, when he called my friend and asked to talk to me (he’d called me and I hadn’t answered, which he knew meant I didn’t have my phone on me). He said, and this is an exact quote, “Isaac’s just called (Isaac is his little brother), he’s sold his ute, so he’s coming down tonight and leaving probably in the morning. Is that okay with you?” That sentence meant as much to me as it does to you (okay, maybe a little more, considering I appreciated him asking if I minded Isaac staying the night). I really did not understand. Apparently Isaac was going to be buying Angus’s truck. I knew he wanted to buy it, but I didn’t know Angus wanted to sell it. But alas, bye bye truck.

He’s also actually already bought a new one. This one is pretty cool, more of a 4-wheel-driving specific truck. It came with a snorkel, a winch, and another set of tires. My man is loving spending his evenings in the workshop tinkering with it. I’m glad he bought a new one because, um, well, otherwise he wouldn’t have had a vehicle.

Regarding the motorbike, he’s told me that he wants to sell that and my car, and get me a newer car. I was a bit worried, because I don’t want him to feel like he has to sell his motorbike if he doesn’t want to, but he’d been talking about doing so for a while before I even got pregnant. Which may mean that he won’t, because he hasn’t yet. Or it may mean that will, and will be happy about it. He doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to do. I’m happy either way. It’s not really a big deal. It might be nice, if our kid was into motocross, for them to do it together, but then he can always buy a new bike in a few years.

Regarding our boat: Why on earth would we sell our boat? We might have a bit more money for a few weeks, but then, um, we wouldn’t have a boat. We have a kid on the way, we’re probably never going to be able to afford a boat again. At the moment, our summers look like this:

And the only thing we really want to change about that over the years is that there are more and more children in the photos.

The closest I will ever come to magic (17 weeks and 6 days)

Wow, so writing a blog post every Saturday went well…

Sorry about it being so long between blog posts. I have such bad Baby Brain that I fear I may actually be going crazy. Thank you so much to those of you in my real life who have told me, several times over the past two weeks,that you were enjoying my blog. It’s been a good reminder that I haven’t updated you all since finishing posting my pre-announcement blog posts. Please keep reminding me :)

Tomorrow I will be 18 weeks pregnant. I really wish I had photos to show you, but I don’t just get. I’m still not quite looking pregnant yet. Just recently I’ve gotten to that “Is she pregnant, or just a bit pudgy around the middle?” stage. This morning I woke up delighted to find that the fat roll that had appeared over the past two months is now firm. Yep, I’d say that’s an official baby bump!

Various sources tell me that my baby has started to develop body fat, and while he or she was previously translucent, Baby is now starting to look more substantial. Baby’s bones are now also beginning the ossifying process, which as a dance teacher fascinates me, because I usually spend my time thinking about the other side of ossification. I have felt my little baby move a few times. I think. It just feels like the tiniest of flutters. Like, maybe, an insect inside my belly? It is the most wonderful feeling. I love that it is such a tiny impact, it feels like Baby moved maybe his or her arm a bit, yet probably Baby is flipping around like crazy and is still just too little for me to feel.

It amazes me the amount of love and affection I feel towards this baby, who I haven’t even met yet. I feel like I know him or her already. My days are filled with thoughts of my little baby.

I also find myself in awe of the miracle that is happening in my womb. A child who did not exist 18 weeks ago, is now being knit together in my womb, and will soon walk on this earth. It is too amazing for me to understand.