Tuesday, December 9, 2014

9 magical months

Carrie Underwood was on The Today Show this morning.  And so was her adorable baby bump.

Blake Lively is being photographed all over NYC with her burgeoning belly.

There's speculation that Jessica Biel has something cookin' in her tummy, as well.

After experiencing the joy and excitement of my own first pregnancy last year, I get so many warm fuzzies when I hear that a friend, acquaintance, or celebrity is expecting their first little miracle.  I just want to wrap them in a big hug and encourage them to cherish
 of their pregnancy.  Of course, the main delight in a pregnancy is the wonderful gift you receive at the end--your own bundle of joy--but the journey to the delivery room is so special, too.

I found out I was pregnant shortly after my grandmother's funeral last September.  We returned home from the funeral on a Wednesday.  I returned to work on Thursday with a plan to swing by a drugstore on my way home to pick up a home pregnancy test...I was 4 days "late" by that point.  Victor had gotten home before me that night, but I didn't want to tell him that I suspected I was pregnant...I didn't want to jinx it (I'm weirdly superstitious).  I greeted him quickly and distractedly and headed upstairs to our bathroom to endure the longest 5 minutes of my life.  I distracted myself by changing into my PJs and organizing my closet while I waited for the timer to go off.  I tiptoed back into the bathroom and craned my neck over the counter.  And this is what I saw.

"Oh my gosh!" I whispered as tears welled up in my eyes.  I grabbed the "yes" stick and calmly nervously walked downstairs to tell Victor.  Without any forethought, I just shakily walked up to him and said, "I think I know why I've been so moody."  He looked up from his laptop, befuddled, and I shoved the stick in front of his face.  I was trembling like a leaf so he had to steady my hand to see what it said.

"What?" he asked, confused.
"I'm pregnant.  We're going to have a baby!"
Victor sat there a few more minutes, trying to process it all.  He certainly wasn't as enthusiastic as I was, but then again, this completely came out of left field.  We had been trying to get pregnant for a few months, but I hadn't hinted at all that I thought I might be pregnant lately (again, the superstition...didn't want to jinx it).  Once Victor was able to wrap his head around it all, we celebrated together and agreed to wait to tell our families until I visited the doctor, just to be sure.

Cue the waiting.  SO much waiting during pregnancy!  My obstetrician wouldn't see me until I was at least 6 weeks along, and by this point, I was only about 3.  4 weeks later, I visited the doctor and she confirmed the pregnancy, so I called my mom and sister and asked them what they were doing on May 25.  "Uhhh...I don't know.  Why?" my mom asked.
"Well, that's when you're going to become a grandma."
Squeals and giggles ensued.  I could hear my sister in the background shouting, "What?!  What?!" and then my mom handed her the phone.  "Shut up!" she said.  "No, really?!  You're pregnant?!"
They weren't excited at all...

We invited Victor's parents and his brother over for dinner that night to tell them.  They thought it was weird that we were inviting them over last-minute for dinner on a Monday, but after we told them our exciting news, Victor's mom said she had a hunch that's what it was.  Victor's dad told us to "slow down" and that he wouldn't get overly excited until he saw a bump (we were still in the "dangerous" first trimester).  Everyone was over the moon for the first grandbaby/niece/nephew on each side of the family.

And then we had to wait another 4 weeks for the first ultrasound.  What an amazing sight to see your sweet little nugget for the first time!  I was speechless.

  I graduated to maternity pants at around 11 weeks even though I wasn't showing yet.  Thank you, first trimester bloat!  I didn't experience much morning sickness at all.  Just some light nausea, especially if I was a passenger in the car, but it wasn't too bad.  My already-keen sense of smell reached an all-time high, and a whiff of Victor's red wine from the next room made me gag.  I was exhausted all the time and would typically come home to take a nap every day after work.  I learned that 3 of my close friends were also expecting their first babies within about a month of mine, so it was even more exciting knowing that my son or daughter would have a bunch of pals to grow up with.

I felt the baby kick for the first time on New Year's Eve 2013 in the Costco parking garage.  It was like a strong poke from inside my belly.  Such a thrilling and strange feeling!

I had just started to show
In early January, my mom and sister flew out for our gender reveal.  We had our 20 week ultrasound the morning they arrived and had both of our families over to share the news that evening.  Everyone was certain we were having a girl.

Well, they were wrong!  Our little man showed his man-bits less than a minute into the ultrasound appointment that morning!  This video still brings tears to my eyes.  Such an exciting evening.


Hooters celebration the next day and baby's first Hooters shirt
We spent the next several months buying too many clothes for our baby boy, suggesting and vetoing several names, and finding items to decorate his nautical-themed nursery.

Still obsessed with this table I found!
Victor and I attended lots of classes to prepare for our sweet boy.  I think this is a MUST for all first-time parents.  We took childbirth, infant care, breastfeeding, and Lamaze classes.  All were so informative and we left each class feeling more and more like we could do this parenting thing.

30 weeks
I relished feeling my baby boy moving inside of me every day, a sensation I miss even today.  We spent evenings reading my "What to Expect" book and getting weekly updates on babycenter.com about our baby's development.  I bought more and more maternity clothes and loved how comfortable I was all the time.  Seriously, why aren't all pants made with a soft belly panel?

I failed my first glucose test.  Then I passed the second one.  My ankles disappeared at around 34 weeks.  My fingers got so swollen I couldn't wear my engagement ring anymore.  I also had a hard time sleeping toward the end of my pregnancy...all I wanted to do was sleep on my stomach!  I didn't like it at the time, but it doesn't seem so bad when I look back on it (still can't sleep on the belly thanks to breastfeeding).

Our baby was showered at several baby showers.

Onesie cookies
First time I've ever seen a diaper 4-wheeler
This pic is reminding me that I need to update that baby book...and get my watch battery replaced!  Ha!
Proud mama, Glam-ma, and Auntie to be!
My mother-in-law decorated with Victor's baby clothes

Victor and I attended a wedding at the end of April.  It was the first wedding I've been to where I DIDN'T dance.  My feet were too swollen!

My first pregnancy was such a magical time, and as I said before, learning that other women are expecting their first child gets me so giddy and excited--I wish I could go back and experience that thrill all over again.  I know my subsequent pregnancies, while still life-changing, probably won't carry the same wonder and intrigue that the first did...there will be too much going on next time!

I leave you with this video of Garth Brooks singing "Mom" on the Ellen show.  Make sure your tissues are handy.  It's 100% spot-on.

Congratulations to all the expectant mommies out there.  Be sure to cherish every moment of this journey as you wait to meet your little baby.  There's nothing like it!

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