Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On Matchbox Cars and My First Interaction With My Child

Tuesday, October 11th was a big day for our family. On that date, Stefanie and I found out that we are having a boy - at least that's what the doctor told us. Consistent with the type of tomfoolery I can only imagine that my child is plotting against his mother and I, our child proceeded to stubbornly sit Indian-Style during the appointment where we were to find out whether it was a he or a she. Is that politically correct? Our child sat cross-legged.

With my armpits starting to get damp and my brow starting to glisten with perspiration, I sat next to Stefanie, who was laying on the table with a magic doppler wand on her stomach. As our doctor made measurements of the size of our child's head, counted limbs and digits, and looked at its spine and heart, our child sat giggling to itself, I'm sure. While our doctor tried to get a shot of the "goods" and I waited impatiently to hear if I should start looking under "boy" or "girl" in the baby names book, our child was thinking to himself, "Just wait, Pops, this is just the beginning of a long series of events that I will orchestrate to frustrate the heck out of you." I'm sure I deserve it. It's the universe's way of paying me back for all the times I used to hide from my mother in the clothing racks at JC Penny's while she called my name and I laughed to myself. Soak it up now, mom.

It didn't matter to me whether we were having a boy or a girl, as long as it is healthy. What is it about certain people who have kids of their own that makes them tell a person who is expecting their first child all the things that could go wrong with a newborn? I wasn't really nervous about the health of our child, but now I am. Thank you. Mission accomplished.

To be honest, now that it's somewhat likely we're having a boy, I'm kind of relieved. Matchbox cars are so much more fun than Barbies. But because our child was playing a joke on Stef and I, our doctor said she's only 80% sure we're having a boy. She'll check again at Stef's next appointment. So, for right now, I'm still trying to refer to our child with gender-neutral terms.

So far, this has been the extent of my interaction with my child. I hear Stef talking about how our kid is kicking her in the gut. I see Stef growing to support the new life in her. I even get to see my child once a month on a tiny TV in an exam room that has a life-sized plastic model of the female reproductive system. Stef has made me watch her stomach when she feels our child tap dancing on her bladder. As soon as I start watching, our kid gets gun shy and stops.

Last night, I climbed into our bed for the evening after Stef had been asleep for just about an hour. For some reason, I decided to lay next to Stefanie, who was sleeping on her back, and gently put my hand just below her belly button. At first, there was nothing. 30 seconds...60 seconds...then, BAM! Right in the palm of my hand. And then again, right in the same spot! As our child kept kicking or hitting me in the palm of my hand, I tried to stifle my laughs as I pictured the Alien scene in the movie Spaceballs. Despite my best efforts, Stefanie woke up and indicated that what I was feeling may in fact have been *ahem* stomach problems. But, no sooner as those words came out of her mouth, my child kicked my hand again twice more for good measure.

I know it's pretty small, but up until this point, I had felt a little like a Doubting Thomas. Sure, I believed that my wife was pregnant - seeing our child on a TV monitor is pretty fail-safe. But, up until this point, I had been experiencing this whole child thing from the sidelines. It was good to get in the game for a little while.

*Note: Sorry for the length of the post. When I don't contribute to this site for a month, these are the types of posts you can expect.

Friday, October 14, 2011

20 weeks - the halfway point.

I had to take my own picture in the mirror since Jon isn't home. I'm not very good at it - sorry!
I just found this weekly update on another blog and thought I would share it with everyone each week. Hopefully there is some variety to it so it's not completely boring. :)

Sex of baby: Pretty sure it's a boy!
Size of baby: He's the size of a cantaloupe! 10 inches long from head to foot, 6.5 inches long from head to rump (so this is the cantaloupe part).

Total Weight Gained: 10 pounds - I'll admit it was a little scary to see the scale creep up that much, but I am right on track.

Maternity Clothes: I'm still pretty much in my regular clothes. I have to wear my belly band with a couple of pairs of pants and I've stopped wearing some shirts that are getting too tight though. I just realized today that a pair of jeans I thought were still fitting me really well are not the ones I've actually been wearing. I have 2 pairs that are the same but are different sizes. I put one pair on today and apparently they are the smaller ones because they were tight. I'm still wearing them with the band though. Also, the gray longer shirt I am wearing in my picture is a maternity shirt and it's the first time I have worn it. It's still kinda big on me though so I wore a cardigan over it to cover up the extra fabric!

Movement: If I am sitting still, then he is moving around!

Sleep: I've never been a great sleeper, and pregnancy has just made it worse. I always have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom or find myself waking up because I am uncomfortable or hot. So, I am still pretty tired after work and throughout the rest of the night.

What I miss: I don't necessarily miss alcohol, but I do miss drinking an Oktoberfest or Woodchuck cider while watching the Browns games.

Cravings: I haven't really had cravings that are unusual, but a few weeks ago I found myself craving chips when I don't normally eat them. I also find that I have to put more salt on my food than I used to.

Aversions: Nothing really.

Symptoms: Besides being tired and constantly going to the restroom, I have been getting heartburn more frequently. I got heartburn a lot before I was pregnant though.

Best Moment this week: Finding out the sex! That will be a separate post hopefully sometime soon.

- S

Monday, October 3, 2011

On Seeing The Baby Move...

I still don't have much of a baby bump, even though I am willing it to appear. I have definitely gained weight in my stomach, as evidenced by my shirts getting slightly tighter and the scale creeping slightly higher, but not enough to make my belly look pregnant. However, some pretty cool things are happening during this pregnancy!

I started to feel the baby move a couple of weeks ago and at first I wasn't sure if it was actually the baby or *ahem* my digestive tract. The movements have become more distinct in the past week so I'm 99% sure baby is moving around in there. Today I was laying on the couch playing Words with Friends online (yes, I am now addicted) and I felt the baby start to move. I lifted my shirt and saw my stomach jut out quickly. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me so I waited and then saw it again...and again. It was definitely the baby kicking and it was the coolest thing ever. I really thought I would have to wait a few weeks to see the kicking!

Currently: 18 weeks 3 days.

- S

*Note from Jon: Since this happened while I was at work, Stef is determined to get me to see this. Therefore, she is spending the night thus far staring at her bare stomach waiting on our child to kick her. Someone should tell her that in the next 5 months of her pregnancy, it will probably happen more than once.