Saturday, December 11, 2010

Forgot to Mention

Happy 20 weeks (& 4 days), Baby! We're over half-way there!


Hi Baby,

Well, you are really stumping me, Little One!

Every mom that I know told me that when I started feeling you, I would immediately be able to discern that it is actually movement and not my stomach growling or gas or whatever.

Not so, it seems.

Or maybe my maternal instincts are just defective.

Here's the deal:

Between 3-4 weeks ago (that's right, about a month ago), I started experiencing what felt like muscle twitches or spasms in my stomach region. Lots of them.

I quickly wrote it off as my muscles and ligaments just stretching and expanding and such.

I even mentioned it to my midwife when she asked if I had felt any movement yet, and she agreed with me that it wasn't you.

Plus, before that, I had never experience any sort of flutters or goldfish or marbles or any of the other types of feeling that I've been told I would feel first. It was just nothing one day and gazillions of muscle twitches the next.

Fast forward 3-4 weeks (which brings us to yesterday and today).

I'm not so sure any more.

I still haven't felt any flutters, goldfish, or marbles, though I'm constantly on the lookout for them.

And the muscles twitches don't feel any stronger, more consistent, or more frequent.

But last night, your daddy and I were watching a show, and I was sort of half-reclining, and all of a sudden, I saw my stomach move. I could actually see the "muscles twitches" that I was feeling.

So I grabbed your daddy's hand and put it on my stomach, and sure enough, he was able to feel the twitches.

He's convinced that I have been feeling you move all this time and just didn't know it, but it doesn't feel anything like what I was told it would feel like.

And, I'm still less than convinced it's you, because like I said, still no flutters, and the twitches are at the same intensity level and frequency as before. Don't ask me to explain why I can see them now and I couldn't before - I'm just guessing it's because my stomach is bigger, so there's more flesh to move around than before.


Sorry for that short intermission. Right as I was typing that last sentence, my stomach started moving and twitching odd to see my stomach move without my help!

Which reminded me of another couple of reasons I'm not convinced its you: (1) sometimes the twitches will happen in two very separate places at the exact same time (i.e. the very top left corner of my stomach and the very bottom right corner of my stomach); (2) the twitches are usually in the same 6 places, rather than all over the place; (3) sometimes there will be four or five twitches at the exact same spot and then nothing; (4) sometimes there will be four or five twitches at the exact same spot and then four or five twitches in a new spot; (5) it feels nothing like what I've been told your moving would feel like (I know I've already said that one, but I felt it deserved repetition).

So there you have it. I have absolutely no idea if I'm feeling you move or not. I so wish that I knew for sure one way or another.

I'll be so disappointed if I've been wrong all this time and have just missed out on getting to enjoy feeling you move!

And I will feel as though my maternal instincts have failed me...especially after I was so excited by how powerful they were when my gut instinct about your gender was right!

Oh, Little Boy, how I wish I knew if what I am feeling is you.

Our next appointment is on Thursday, so I guess we'll get some more clarity there...hopefully!

Either way, I'm glad your dad was able to feel it - I could tell it just made him fall in love with you all over again. He just kept kissing my stomach, and he told you several times how much he loves you.

So someday, Sweet One, when you think that your daddy doesn't love you because he punished you or wouldn't let you do something you desperately wanted to do, I hope that you can remember this and know how much he does truly, deeply love you - even before ever meeting you.

And I love you, too.



ps...I love finally being able to call you by your name, talk about you by name, and pray for you by name! And I love hearing your dad pray for you, too :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Spirit

Hi Sweet Little Boy,

I’m already 19 weeks. It’s just crazy. I can’t believe how fast time has gone with you inside me! You’re just making everything seem like it’s going so much faster!

Do you like the blog color-scheme update? Christmas is my very favorite time of year. Honestly, I don’t have much of a reason for it to be, since it always meant lots of family drama for me, but I just love Christmas anyway.

I love snow.

I love cold nights with hot cups of tea or hot chocolate or coffee.

I love snuggling up under a blanket by a fireplace.

I love watching Christmas movies (yes, even the corny ones).

I love listening to (and singing along with) Christmas music.

I love making Christmas cookies and decorating the Christmas tree.

I love what the season stands for – namely, when God’s only Son, Jesus, took flesh upon himself and entered the world in order to bring us, fallen humanity, the possibility of salvation.

And I love the Christmas spirit I see all around me – people being nice to one another, buying gifts for their loved ones, just to show how much they care, and hitting the pause button on their busy lives to spend quality time with their friends and family.

I even love things about the season that most people hate. I love driving in snow (and it’s really not hard to do if you’re careful and use a bit of common sense). I love going Black Friday shopping with all the other crazies who wake up at 3 am to score that awesome deal on the blender that they so desperately need or the camera that they otherwise couldn’t afford to give to their best friend. I love the search to find the perfect gift for those who are dear to me. I even love spending money on my friends and family, as a visible way of showing them my affection (and, as you will probably learn pretty early on, I normally am not one to like spending money, so that’s saying a lot).

I just think Christmas is the most magical time of year.

And you know what? I don’t care if people think I’m crazy or get annoyed at my overzealousness. Because the Christmas season is really the only thing in the world that I still feel child-like wonder towards.

And after the lifetime’s worth of heartbreak and sorrow that I’ve experienced in these twenty-something years, I think I deserve to have ONE thing in life that I am not bitter towards or critical of or cynical about. And the Christmas season…well, that’s my ONE thing. When I had to become an adult at a very young age in every other part of my life, Christmas was (and still is) the one thing where I could still be a child.

So, anyway, I thought that the blog deserved a little Christmas spirit as well, and since I’m not very blogger-savvy, I had to choose from their templates, rather than finding or creating my own. This is the closest I could come to Christmas, so I chose it.

Well, Little Man, that’s about it on this end. I just wanted to share some of my Christmas spirit with you, because I’ve got it in spades. Someday you’ll witness it firsthand.

And, I’m sorry to tell you in advance, you ARE going to have a mom who wears all sorts of annoyingly ugly Christmas sweaters that light up and plays songs. Because THAT’S how much I love Christmas J

And as much as I love Christmas, Little One, I love you so much more.

With All My Love,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My sweet little Boy,

That's right, beautiful Baby, we found out today that you are FOR SURE a BOY!!! By the way, I'll warn you in advance that this is going to be a long post - lots and lots of updates :)

Your daddy and I have been so sure for so long that you were a boy, and we were right...and we're beyond excited, beyond thrilled to have been right.

The ultrasound was amazing.

The ultrasound technician was so sweet. She was personable, friendly, and genuinely excited for us.

First things first, she asked if we wanted to know the gender, and when we said, "Yes," she did that right away, so we wouldn't have to wait in suspense.

She got the right angle, looked at us, and just said, "Well, there you go!" It was so blatantly obvious that you're a boy that she didn't even feel the need to clarify. Your dad and I just looked at each other with this knowing smile. We had been right. You are were so obviously a boy.

Then, when the tech moved on to the measurements and such, she was such a sweetheart. She explained everything in great detail so we would know what she was looking at, what measurements she was taking, and what we were seeing. I know she wasn't technically supposed to tell us whether or not the measurements and everything looked good, but she did anyway, which I really appreciated.

The way she conducted the ultrasound, if I hadn't known any better, I would have thought that this was one of her first ultrasounds...not because she wasn't professional (she certainly was), but because she took such joy in performing the was as though, even after 14 years of doing ultrasounds, she never lost that initial joy and excitement she had her first time. Which, in my humble opinion, makes for a great technician.

She kept commenting on how beautiful you were, how perfectly formed, how adorable. I felt like a proud Momma just sitting there having her admire you.

She especially kept commenting on what "a beautiful four-chamber heart" you have. So I guess we know you don't have any heart problems!

She also gave us about eight pictures of you - she just kept on snapping those photos!

And she really took her time. The ultrasound ended up taking about 50 minutes all together, and I really think she would have gone longer if she didn't have other people to see.

She never got annoyed with my questions, and just chatted and laughed and joked with us while she took all the measurements and such.

Point is, she was exactly what we were hoping for...especially after our not-so-nice tech experience last time. I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful experience this time. We really got to truly take in every beautiful moment of looking at your perfectly-forming little body.

But back to the main point.

As wonderful as it was to find out that you are a boy, and as much as I expected that outcome, it still feels so surreal. I cannot get over the fact that I have a SON. It really makes me feel like a mother. I finally feel like a mother. This is real. This is happening to me. No one can ever, ever take away from me the fact that I have a son. No matter what happens. You will always and forever be my little boy.

Probably the most amazing thing to me was that, at one point during the scan, she paused over your face for a few minutes, so we got to see you move. You kept opening and closing your mouth - almost like you were chewing something in there!

You are quite the squirmer, too; you kept moving around and changing position, which ended up being good, because the tech was able to get all of the measurements she needed. It is so hard to believe that you could be moving around inside of me as much as you are, and I can't feel it at all!

In the end, you're measuring about a week ahead of schedule, your heartbeat was in the 160s (I think it was 167, but your dad remembers it as 164), and you weigh about 10 ounces. You're definitely growing just as you should be!

Then, about an hour later, we had our next prenatal appointment, which was also wonderful. It was our first time at the birth center, and the midwife was awesome - so sweet and patient. She also really took her time to talk through everything with us and answer all of my questions. She confirmed, as well, that your ultrasound was perfect and that you and I are both looking super healthy.

We got to listen to your heartbeat there, too, and it was about 140, which would have worried me, since it was higher only an hour earlier, but the ultrasound tech mentioned to us during the ultrasound that your heartbeat would show up as slightly higher or lower depending on your no worries!

While we were listening to your heartbeat, we kept hearing this weird static, which the midwife said was you moving around in there. It's so crazy we could actually hear you moving...and again, it's especially weird since I can't feel it at all yet!

Lastly, today I hit 140 pounds. I have never in my adult life weighed more than 135 or less than 130 - my body is actually really good at regulating my weight. But today, I hit 140. It feels like a milestone to me...a milestone that I am more than happy to embrace :)

In between the ultrasound and prenatal appointment, your dad and I did confirm your name, as well. We had chosen two boy names that we really liked, and we just needed to decide which one we were going to use for your first name and whether or not we wanted to use the other name as your middle name. But on the way to the prenatal appointment, I had to admit to your daddy that since the day that we narrowed it down to those two names, I have been referring to you in my head by one of them, and not the other. And he just said, "Okay." So, it's settled. Now we just need to decide if the other name will be your middle name, or if we are going to save it for the brother we hope to give you someday. We'll just see on that one. For now, I'm just happy to officially be able to call you by your name, especially now that my intuition was confirmed that you are a boy.

After all of these exciting events, your dad and I decided to head out and do a bit of registering. And it was so intimidating. There is so much to register for. There is so much to decide between. We spent about 2 1/2 hours there and didn't come even close to finishing the registry. We'll work on it, though, and hopefully finish it soon. But it was definitely fun to be able to look at specifically boy things, knowing that someday soon, we will have you, our precious son, in our arms.

It is so surreal to me to be able to refer to you with personal pronouns. We no longer have to talk about when "it" arrives or when "the baby" comes. We can say, "When he gets here," and even use your name when we talk about you together (of course, not with anyone else, since we're keeping your name a secret until you get here).

So, today has been quite the day: determining your gender, having our next appointment, deciding on your name for sure, registering.

What a wonderful, wonderful day.

I literally feel like I'm floating. I'm so thankful for you, Little One - so very blessed.

I love you, dear Son.

All My Heart,


ps...everyone else is so excited you're a little boy, too! And the midwife said I should for sure be feeling you by the time we have our next prenatal appointment, so I'm looking forward to getting to feel you move in the next couple weeks!!!

*Sonogram pictures to come when I finally figure out how to get them in the computer :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Ball of Nerves

Dearest Baby,

Well, it's only a few more days until we find out if you're a little boy or a little girl (Lord willing), and would you believe that I'm actually nervous?

Of course, I am impatient, too, but that's to be expected. And, quite frankly, today was the first day I became impatient, so I'm just glad that I haven't been counting down days for a month and will only be counting down the time for a few days, instead.

But I'm actually nervous, which is something I really didn't expect.

What if you're not a boy?

What if you're not a girl?

My stomach turns with both of these thoughts. I get nervous just thinking that you may not be a girl. I get nervous just thinking that you may not be a boy.

I suppose it's a good thing that I actually dread you not being either gender - that means that whether you're a boy or a girl, I'll be beyond thrilled, because I honestly can't decide which gender I would prefer.

Every time I think, "I hope it's a boy," the very next thought is "But a girl would be so wonderful." And vice versa.

I can hardly wait until Wednesday.

I'm hoping and praying that we'll find out your gender; if we don't, I will be so impatient to have another ultrasound!

So, here's hoping you reveal yourself to us :)

I love you so, so much, sweet Baby.

I can't wait to be able to call you "my daughter" or "my son." I get butterflies just thinking about it.

All My Heart,


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back to Reality

Hi Baby,

Well, we're back from our trip to visit your grandma, and it was so, so wonderful.

I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous about it.

We went to Las Vegas (not a place that I'm going to take you for quite a while...though there were an alarming number of parents with young kids around), and being Jesus-followers, I was concerned about all of the in-your-face, not-so-nice things about Vegas. I've been there a ton of times, but the last time I was there, I was 14, so I didn't remember too much about it. Mostly, I just went with what I've heard, and that kinda freaked me out.

But it was a really, really good trip.

We stayed for four nights, and our first hotel was INCREDIBLE.


We stayed in a SkyLoft suite (#72) in the MGM Grand. Now, I know that you can't do this right now, but someday, when you're reading this and you're a bit older, look it up. It was a 2-floor loft suite fully equipped with a crazy electronics system (everything from the lights and drapes, to the tv, to music was all connected with one giant remote like on Hitch), a butler (to make sure that our every whim was satisfied), and even a tv in the mirror of our bathroom (as well as one right in front of the tub...because who could survive with just one tv in their bathroom?).

(On a side note, we could NEVER afford something like this. Your grandma, though, spends a lot of time and money at the MGM Grand, so she was able to get us this room at no cost to food and pay-per-view movies, too [which means your dad finally got to see Grown Ups and I finally got to see Valentine's Day (which, consequently, wasn't as bad as the reviews made it out to be)]!)

The first night, we quickly showered (in the most amazing shower/steam room I have ever experienced...seriously, I want that bathroom in our house) and changed out of airplane clothes and went out to a nice dinner with your grandma. Everything was SO delicious! Then we spent a bit of time playing video poker with your grandma, and your daddy hit a royal flush for her for $4,000 smackeroos!

After that, we pretty much called it a night...except that, as per usual, you wanted something to eat right before bed, so we got some room service. When your dad went downstairs (that's right - we had a downstairs in our suite) to get the food, he happened to mention that his wife was pregnant, and the next day, word about my pregnancy had spread like rapid fire amongst the butlers.

We were seriously treated like royalty. Everyone who worked for the hotel would stand up upon our entrance into a room, and if we happened to be walking down a hallway with a hotel worker, they would stand against the wall until we passed so that we could have the entire width of the hallway to ourselves.

All the fuss they made over us seemed kinda silly to me, but it was fun to have so many people doting on us for a few days. They even folded our dirty clothes, shined your dad's shoes, and pressed his suit when we weren't in the room!

Anyway, the next morning, your dad woke up very early (it's three hours earlier there, and he normally gets up at 6) and sent our butler to get him some coffee from Starbucks. How convenient it is to have a butler, it turns out! When I woke up, we ordered the champagne breakfast (you and I only had a teeny, tiny sip of champagne, just to taste it).

The actual breakfast portion was very "rich-people-food." Too much crab, too little egg. But the fresh fruit, yogurt, and home-made whipped cream that came with it was awesome!

Other things we did during our stay at the MGM Grand include, but are not limited to, the following:

- we ate amazing food...whenever we wanted...for free
- we played blackjack and both of us came out ahead
- we went to the Bellagio, ate at Olives (probably my favorite meal of the trip), and watched the Bellagio fountains
- your grandma got two more royal flushes for a grand total of $16,000
- your dad experienced having a steam room in our bathroom
- we got to take a super relaxing bubble bath in the infinity tub in our bathroom
- I ran into a door and got a giant bruise on my knee and forehead.

Okay, so that last experience doesn't quite fit in with the others, but it still happened :)

Thursday, we checked out of the MGM Grand and moved on to Aria. It was certainly nice, and the view from our room was AMAZING, but it was no two-floor-loft-suite (I think we may have gotten a little spoiled at MGM).

Thursday, before dinner, we went to a couple other hotels to look around (your grandma gave us a tour of some of the more popular places), and then we went to the Titanic exhibit at Luxor. It was really neat, but so sad. It's crazy to think that the last survivor of the Titanic died only a couple years ago. It really seems like the end of an era.

That night, your dad and I went to see Cirque de Soleil's "Love," and it was awesome. Your dad really isn't into theatre like I am, and even he said that it was the highlight of the trip, so that's saying something!

The next morning, I got the most fantastic pedicure I've ever had - so relaxing!

Friday afternoon, your grandma took us to an outlet mall, and she bought me a bunch of maternity clothes - two pairs of jeans (I only had one before, so it is really nice to have some more variety in my makes laundry way less of a task), two sweaters, a tank top, and two light 3/4-length-sleeved tops. Even on clearance at an outlet mall, those clothes were not cheap, so your dad and I really would not have been able to afford getting more clothes for me if it weren't for your grandma. It meant so much to me that she would want to take me shopping and help out, and I think she enjoyed it, too!

While we were clothes shopping, the saleswoman gave me the "7-month-belly" to try on with the clothes. What a trip! It looked so realistic! And it was kinda cool to think that that will be me in just a few months - I can't wait :) I think seeing me look more pregnant with the belly really kind of shocked your dad, but he loved it, too.

After that, we went downtown to the Golden Nugget and at dinner at Hugo Cellar. You weren't too happy that night, so you and I didn't eat much, but the food looked incredible.

When we played a little downtown, I took a nice spill (it was quite graceful of me). Between that fall and my injuries from running into a door a few days early, I came home pretty battered and bruised!

That night when we got home, we took another bath, this time while we looked over the strip and enjoyed the beautiful, vibrant lights of the city and waited for our room service to arrive.

And that pretty much ended our trip. Of course, there was gambling between all of these events, but nothing too big. Just some slots while we waited for tables at restaurants and a bit of roulette and blackjack when we got home that night (before our bath, of course).

All in all, we were pretty surprised (and pleased) to come home with more money in our pockets than we left with - even with all the decadence that the trip afforded us!

It was such a wonderful trip, Baby, and your dad and I loved having that time to spend together and connect outside of our busy and hectic, work, internships, homework, and housework really wear on you after a while!

In the end, I'm feeling so blessed that your dad and I were able to have such a perfect "last trip before Baby." And we have your grandma to thank for that. She really wanted to be sure that this trip was very special for us, and it was. We got to have lots of time with her and lots of time along together, too. Everything worked out so well.

And now, your grandma's already asking when our next week off of school is, because she wants us to come visit once more before you arrive! We'd love to do it, but we'll have to see. Either way, I'm glad we got to go on this trip.

I love you lots and lots, Baby. A week from today, we find out if you are a little boy or a little girl!



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Calm Down, Deep Breaths

Dear Sweet Baby,

It has been one heck of a week.

Very, very tiring.

Very, very long.

Very, very draining.

None of this has anything to do with you, Little Shrimp; it's just other life suckiness.

It's just been a rough week.

I will say this, the beginning of the week was much worse. Thursday and Friday got better. Hopefully today will continue that trend.

I don't really have much to say; I feel like I just need to calm down and take some deep breaths.

So, instead, I'm going to share with you some lyrics that are particularly meaningful to me right now with all that I've gone through this week.

Here's hoping you don't read this until you're in your teens or so, so that you won't be shocked by my use of the word "suckiness" (which I'm not going to say around you when you're a little one, because I don't want my three-year-old to be walking around saying "suck" - probably because that's how my parents raised me) or with some of the lyrics in said melody.

Details in the Fabric - Jason Mraz:

Calm down
Deep Breaths
And get yourself dressed
Of running around
And pulling all your threads
Breaking yourself up

If it's a broken part, replace it
If it's a broken arm, then brace it
If it's a broken heart, then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything
Will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I'm doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything
Will be fine

Are the details in the fabric,
Are the things that make you panic,
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow?
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault of faulty manufacturing

Will be fine
In no time at all

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

Hold your own
(Are the details in the fabric,)
Know your name
(Are the things that make you panic,)
And go your own way
(Are your thoughts results of static cling?)

Hold your own
(Are the details in the fabric,)
Know your name
(Are the things that make you panic,)
And go your own way
(Is it Mother Nature's sewing machine?)

Hold your own
(Are the things that make you blow?)
Know your name
(Hell, no reason, go on and scream)
And go your own way
(If you're shocked it's just the fault of faulty manufacturing)

Will be fine
In no time at all
Hearts will hold

I love this song. The lyrics are so meaningful to me.

Someday you'll learn that I'm what I call a "word person." Words are very, very important to me. I will remember something nice that someone says to me for years and years; I'll also remember the not-so-nice stuff for years and years. It's my love of words, my love of language, my love of communication and self-expression, that make lyrics and literature so particularly meaningful to me.

I hope this song can be meaningful to you someday, too. Everything will be fine, Baby.

I love you so, so much.



ps...On Tuesday, we're leaving bright and early to go visit my mom (your grandma) in Nevada, so it'll probably be a little while before you hear from me again. Don't take it personally - your dad and I are using this trip as a way to spend some quality time together, away from all the craziness of life and prenatal appointments and homework and work, so I'll be spending next week just pouring into your dad and our relationship. You know how parents sometimes need to have dates away together without their children? Well, obviously you'll physically be with us, but we're taking that same sort of mindset with us on our trip...we need some "us" time. Love you, Baby!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Dear Baby,

I know that this will probably sound silly since I just only a few hours ago talked about how wonderful it was to feel energetic again. But now, suddenly, I'm scared.

I had a great night of doing lots of dishes (I finally cleared the counter for the first time in weeks!), doing laundry, and cleaning. I got a lot done without really getting tired at all.

And at first, I thought that that was awesome - a perk of the second trimester that I had been told would eventually come.

But then, as I was folding the laundry, I started getting really nervous.

I'm going to be 15 weeks tomorrow - meaning I'm only 6 days into the second trimester.

And this energy came on really suddenly.

And now I'm scared that that means there's something wrong.

I know I'm probably overreacting...and really, until now, I've been really good about keeping a positive spirit and believing the best for at least the past month or so.

But I can't help but think that something is not right.

It probably doesn't help that I recently read a story about a woman who miscarried, and the first thing she noticed that was different was that all of her energy came back suddenly.

I really wish right now that I had a doppler, so I could try to find your sweet heartbeat and calm myself down...but I never did get a doppler, because your dad talked me out of buying one.

Which was fine.

I told myself he was right. I only had a few more weeks to wait until I could start feeling you move, and then I wouldn't need a doppler to know that you were alive and well anymore.

Why spend the money for just a few weeks' peace of mind?

I'm really wishing I hadn't given up on buying one right about now...especially knowing I have another three whole weeks to wait until our next appointment when I will finally get to hear your heartbeat again.

I know that I'll probably be laughing at myself come that appointment, but right now, I'm just really, really frightened.

I've been feeling a little nervous the past few days in general, because a couple days ago, I barely drank any water throughout the day (which I know is really bad since dehydration can cause miscarriage), and the past few days, I haven't eaten as much or as well as I should.

So that has made me worry about you anyway, because I was afraid that maybe not drinking enough or not eating enough could have harmed you. And now the addition of the return of my energy is just compounding things.

I'm sure it will end up being like the whole nausea thing where I got all alarmed that something was wrong with you a couple days before our first ultrasound when my nausea suddenly disappeared...only to reappear a few days after the ultrasound.

But I wish I could know for sure.

I love you so, so much, Baby, and I'm hoping and praying that your are growing strong and healthy.

With All My Heart,



Hi Baby,

Is this some energy that I've been feeling sneaking up on me today? I hate to jinx it, but today was the first time that I noticed I wasn't feeling like I was about to fall asleep on the way home.

In fact, I actually felt pretty much ready to get home, make some dinner, do our dishes (finally!) and get some homework done!


Hopefully the energy will last...

Last night, we went to our church's fall "harvest party," which was a lot of fun!

We've been going to this church regularly for about three months now, and it's fairly small, so we're already gotten to talk with a bunch of the other members of the church. But there were still a few people we hadn't gotten to talk to, and tomorrow ended up being a really good opportunity to do that.

Everyone was really sweet, and it was great to get to know some new people!

And, of course, my favorite portion of the evening was when, for the second time, someone came up to me and pointed out that I am starting to show - it was so great!

So, it's been looking up on this end, and I'm hoping that the energy lasts :)



Thursday, October 28, 2010


Hi, Sweet Baby,

So, the tour on Tuesday at the birthing center was AMAZING!

Seriously, it is going to be a perfect fit for us.

In fact, your dad and I both liked it so much, that we scheduled our next appointments right then and there after the tour ended.

I love that the practice in general is so very personalized. They have six CNMs on staff, and only about 10-15 women give birth at the birthing center every month, so they really get to know their patients.

And their main desire is to help their patients personalize their prenatal and birthing experiences to their preferences.

Which is so great!

I love that we are going to get to have very personalized care and that we will get to decide how we want your birth to go.

And I love that whatever we decide, the CNMS will support us in.

That is just not how it would go at a hospital - even as nice a hospital as we toured last week.

So, lucky me, since we switched over our appointments, I was able to switch my ultrasound to November 24th, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, just like I was hoping for!

I can't believe that we will know your gender in less than a month!

I think scheduling the ultrasound really made your dad excited, too, because I think it will allow him to finally feel like he is a part of this pregnancy...because once we know whether you are a little boy or a little girl, we will finally get to start planning, and shopping for you, and registering, and all of those other fun things that he will get to take part in, too :)

Scheduling the ultrasound also made us realize that we have absolutely NO idea what we will name you if you turn out to be a little girl.

If you're a little boy, we're totally set. We already have two great names picked out and ready to go...all we have to decide is if we would want to use just one for you and save the other for the brother that we hope to give you someday, or if we would rather use them together as your first and middle name.

But girl names? Not so much.

We both have names that we kinda like, but nothing seems right. We still haven't found a girl name that makes either of us fall in love, much less both of us.

With the boy names, it just happened. Your dad had a name that he really liked and wanted to use, and I had a dream where we had a son with the other name. And when I woke up, I realized that I really liked that name.

And when we shared our respective "top picks" for boys' names, we both loved each other's choices, too!

Plus, our two boys' names sound great together, which just expands our options even more :)

I think part of the struggle is that we both are convinced that you're a boy, so it's much easier to think about what we would want to name a son than a daughter. Girl names seem very hypothetical right now. Boy names seem real, seem concrete.

Anyway, if you are a little girl, I'm extra glad we're going to find out your gender in less than a month, because that will give us some much needed time to name you!

Love you lots, Baby!

All My Love,


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2nd Trimester!

Hi Little One,

Today is a big day for us! Today officially marks the start of the 2nd trimester - I am exactly 14 weeks gestation today.

In some ways, it felt like this day would never come, and now that it's here, it feels like it came so fast!

I can't believe I'm in the 2nd trimester; it is such a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

I'm just feeling very, very blessed today - because of you :)

In other news, we had prenatal appointment #3 yesterday.

The doctor said that everything is looking really good, and she allowed us to listen to your heartbeat for a good long time, which was so nice.

Your heartbeat was strong and loud and sitting right at 143 bpm.

When the doctor saw your heart rate, she said, "Well, according to the old wives' tales, it looks like you're having a boy."

To which I replied, "Actually, we both think it's a boy."

And then she said, with eyebrow raised, "Oh really."

She seemed much less convinced that you are a boy after that...I guess she's just seen parents be wrong about their baby's gender one too many times to believe that the parents might be right and therefore she assumes that they're all wrong - even if that means she has to fly in the face of the conclusion of old wives' tales.

We also scheduled our ultrasound yesterday.

The practice we've been going to has a firm "you must be at LEAST 18 weeks to get an ultrasound, but we'd rather that you're even farther along than that" policy.

So, the doctor made us schedule the ultrasound for when I'll be just about 19 weeks (Nov 29).

Which is after our next prenatal appointment (Nov 24)...I'm really bummed because last time, the ultrasound technician was less than pleasant, so we were hoping to have the ultrasound a few days before our next appointment so we could talk to our doctor about it then. Now it looks like we'll have to wait a full three weeks after the ultrasound before talking with our doctor about it :(

Also, we were hoping to find out your gender before Thanksgiving.

The main reason for this is that I'm one of those crazy "get-up-at-3-am-and-wait-outside-the-store-for-two-hours-until-it-opens-at-5-am-on-Black-Friday" kinda chicks (as you will someday learn) I score amazing deals on Black Friday (actually, Black Friday is usually when I get all of my Christmas shopping done because the deals are so great). And I know that I could get some really fantastic deals on baby stuff. But we're not buying anything for you until we know your gender. And right now, we're not scheduled to find out your gender until three days after Black Friday.

"Aye, there's the rub."

It seems to me that that three days can't make that much of a difference, but what do I know?

But tonight we will be touring the birthing center that we are considering using for your birth. If we decide to go to them, we will be transferring all future appointments to their practice, so we're hoping we can convince them to let us have the ultrasound before Thanksgiving.

Anyway, so that's where we're at. Hopefully, if we do switch practices, one of the midwives will be a fellow Black Friday shopper and will understand my conundrum :)

So, happy 2nd Trimester, Little One - I love you so, so much!



Sunday, October 24, 2010

And another thing...

...You may notice a new page on this blog called "Baby Bump!"

I thought it might be fun for those of you who read this regularly to see my tummy expand...I'm sure excited to show it off :)

I'll be adding a new picture every (hopefully) every Sunday, though you will have to be patient during weeks that we're out of town or what have you.



So, for those of you who are pregnant (or can enjoy pregnancy-related jokes, articles, and comments), you should check out

Just peruse it for a bit.

The writer had me laughing so hard, my husband actually turned away from his football game to ask me what could possibly be so funny.

I must admit, the main reason I am giving the link here is so that I'll remember in the future (thank you for frying my brain, pregnancy), but you'll probably also get a kick out of it, too. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Are you having a baby?"

Hi Baby,

You must feel very special to be getting two posts in just one day!

You should feel special; you are special :)

I just had to tell you something wonderful that happened to me tonight.

Tonight, for the first time, someone could tell I was pregnant without me telling them - it was so wonderful!

Granted, it was someone I know. I'm not quite at the point where a random stranger would have the confidence in their assumption to ask me to my face if I was pregnant.

But still.

In the past, every time I told someone I am pregnant, they would immediately look at my stomach and then say, "You are?"

But tonight, someone I haven't seen in a while (and therefore haven't told yet), saw me from across the room, came up to me, pointed to my stomach and said, "Are you having a baby?"

And I'm pretty sure I just started walking on clouds right there - I mean it, I was flying!

And then I said, "Yes, I am. Thank you for noticing!"

It was so nice for someone to see recognize notice that I am carrying you inside of me.

And I love that it won't be long now before the rest of the world - even the people who don't know me - can see it, too :)

I love you a lot a lot a lot, Baby; I can't wait to hear your heartbeat again on Monday at our next appointment!

All My Love,


My Medium Shrimp

Dear Baby,

So, I've been spending some time on BabyCenter recently. At first I thought it might be kind of lame-o, but it turns out it's pretty helpful! I'm part of a this April 2011 birth board - all of the members are due in April. It's really nice to have all these other women that I can connect with who are around the same stage in their pregnancy that I am. It can be really helpful to ask things like, "Is it normal to feel lots of tingling?" or "When should I start looking for a midwife?" Especially since I'm new at this - I never got to do any of these things with your sister.

Anyway, every week on Tuesday, BabyCenter sends me an email congratulating me on being another week along in my pregnancy (13 weeks this week). That email tells me all about the things that are happening to you and to my body (your most recent development is fingerprints), as well as tips and things that can be helpful for whatever stage of pregnancy I happen to be in. Finally, there is a section where they use random objects (usually fruits or vegetables) to give me an idea of how big you are. They might say, "This week, your baby is as long as a lemon," or "This week, your baby weighs as much as a lime."

But that's not what they told me this week. Nope. This week, I found out that "...your baby is the size of a medium shrimp."

Really, BabyCenter?

A medium shrimp?

You couldn't wait for the shrimp analogy until it could be a large shrimp or, better yet, a jumbo shrimp?

So it turns out, Baby, that you are the size of a medium shrimp.

I'm sorry it's not a very exciting size to reach.

When I told your daddy about the BabyCenter shrimp analogy, he couldn't believe they used "medium shrimp" either.

Then I said, "I'm going to start calling our baby my little shrimp." I was thinking it could be one of those cute little nicknames that moms come up with for their in-utero babies before they know the gender.

But your dad said, "Not little shrimp! Medium shrimp!"

So, there you have it.

I love you, my little mid-sized shrimp :)



Sunday, October 17, 2010

I am a pregnant woman, and I wear maternity clothes

Dear Baby,

I am a pregnant woman.

Now I know what you're thinking. Obviously you're a pregnant woman - you're pregnant!

Yes, it may seem obvious to you, but as I discovered a few days ago, there is a huge difference between being just pregnant and being a pregnant woman.

When you're pregnant, you have enough hCG in you to get a BFP when you pee on a pregnancy test stick.

When you're a pregnant woman, those lovely hCG hormones (and others) make you cry at every song on the radio (yes, even the not sappy ones) and even some commercials.

When you're pregnant, your body is working hard to support a new life inside of you.

When you're a pregnant woman, all of that extra work that your body is doing makes you sleepy all the time.

When you're pregnant, you may soon find that your clothes are too tight to wear comfortably.

When you're a pregnant woman, you actually enjoy wearing your first pair of maternity pants because it means that you're making room for the new life inside of you.

When you're pregnant, all that extra work that your body is doing also makes you very hungry.

When you're a pregnant woman, you find yourself standing in front of your open fridge at 3 am shoveling food into your mouth as fast as you can open and/or unwrap it. Eating utensils not required.

Okay, that last one may have been a bit pointed.

But I realized the other night (yes, the night that I was standing in front of my open fridge at 3 am shoveling food into my mouth as fast as I could open and/or unwrap it...sans eating utensils) that I have officially crossed over.

I am no longer just pregnant.

I am now a pregnant woman.

I am one of those.

I never thought I would be one of those.

This realization came at about 3:15 am on the night in question.

There I was, shoveling food in my mouth - anything and everything within reach - when (as unladylike as this is to admit) I suddenly just let out a loud, giant fart.

And I just kept eating - no reaction whatsoever.

Until about 30 seconds later when I realized what a sight I would be if anyone was awake to witness me in all my hungry, tired, pregnant, flatulent glory.

And then I couldn't stop myself from laughing.

Honestly, there I was eating as fast as possible in front of my open fridge door, ready to collapse any second from exhaustion (hence the eating as fast as possible - I wanted to fill up before I passed out!), and farting.

I was quite the sight.

And that was when it suddenly struck me. I'm not just pregnant. I'm a pregnant woman. Lord, have mercy.

So, there you have it, little one. You have turned me into a pregnant woman. And as hormonal and tired and flatulent and emotional and hungry as that makes me, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm sorry, by the way, to be sharing with you about my flatulence...or, I should say, our flatulence, because it is really your fault that I'm having this issue - not that I'm blaming you. It has honestly been my most consistent (and least attractive) symptom of pregnancy, but I've never blogged about it. It's not exactly pleasant to talk about. It's not exactly ladylike, either (and, though I'd be hard-pressed to never admit it, being ladylike has always been pretty important to me). But this story was too good to pass up. I don't ever want to forget the moment I realized that I had transitioned from being just pregnant to being a pregnant woman.

Also, yesterday, I got my first maternity clothes.

My jeans just weren't cutting it anymore. Even in all their unbuttoned and unzipped glory, they were still too tight.

So yesterday your dad and I went maternity clothes shopping.

We actually had a lot of success shopping the clearance section!

We got a pair of maternity jeans from JC Penney (only $17 and seriously the most comfortable thing I've ever owned - yet still cute), two long-sleeved shirts ($13 each) and a cute, gray shirt-dress (about $35) from The Gap, and a pair of black leggings (to go with the aforementioned cute, gray shirt-dress) from Target for $25. All in all, I got five pieces of maternity wear for less than $100 - not bad, I'd say!

And boy, am I loving these maternity jeans. They offer support for my growing tummy without crushing you (or me!) - it's pretty awesome!

So, there you have it.

I'm a pregnant woman, and I wear maternity clothes.

'S Wonderful

Or, even better, It's delightful, It's delicious, It's de-lovely.

It's de-lovely baby; you're de-lovely :)

I love you so, so much - keep on growing!



ps...One of the women at our church had a baby boy about a week and a half ago, and we got to see him for the first time today. He is just so sweet, so tiny, so beautiful. It made me all the more anxious to have you in my arms.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not much

Hi Baby,

There's not much to report on this end. The biggest update is that yesterday, for the first time ever in my entire life, I couldn't button my jeans.

Not even close, actually.

I couldn't zip them at all, either.

I thought it was so crazy and funny to think that my body is actually changing and that my tummy is expanding, so I called your dad into the bathroom and showed him my failed attempt to fasten my jeans.

"Brady, come look at this! I can't button or zip my pants! This is so weird! I've never not been able to button or zip my pants...ever!"

And then I tried to fasten my pants again.

To which your father replied, "Stop it! You're crushing Baby!" (Your dad is such a cutie, I can't even handle it...and he's already very protective of you!)

But that's really the only update I've got for now.

Tomorrow marks 12 weeks gestation - only two more weeks until the second trimester...and I can't wait!!! Especially because that's when our next appointment is.

Also, and I don't mean to complain, but you're kinda bumming out my hips.

They've been bothering me for the past few weeks.

They constantly feel like they need to crack, but I just can't make that happen.

I actually have trouble standing up sometimes...

...which doesn't really bode well for my chances of standing up too well once I hit seven or eight or nine months!

But, Baby, I hope you know that I don't mind any of it. I don't mind it at all.

I actually think it's really neat that my pants won't button anymore - it means you're growing!

And the whole hip thing? Turns out that that's my body releasing some sort of hormone that's going to help my hips be prepared to birth you. So I suppose that's a good thing, too :)

I also have been noticing a lot of tingling sensations in my hips and stomach...which seems weird, and I'm not sure why that's happening, but, like I said about the other stuff, I don't mind it. It almost tickles sometimes, actually!

I love you so much, Baby Birk; I hope you're nice and comfortable, all snuggled inside of me.



Thursday, October 7, 2010

And we're back

Dear Baby,

I'm sorry it's been so long since I wrote to you. We've had a very busy couple of weeks!

Last Wednesday, your daddy and I headed back home to MN for the wedding of some very close friends. Your dad actually officiated the ceremony. It was his first time performing a wedding, and I may be biased, but I think he did an amazing job!

So, as you can imagine, it was pretty busy for a few days.

Plus, your dad and I were both getting over a cold. Today is the first day in almost two weeks that I can actually breathe through both nostrils, so I think the cold is losing confidence :)

It was so nice to see lots of wonderful people and dear friends. And, of course, it is always wonderful to see your dad's parents - your grandparents.

It was our first time seeing everyone since the big announcement of your existence, so it was a lot of fun, though, I have to admit, I wish I had a bit more physical evidence to show everyone.

I may notice that my tummy is starting to expand, but pretty much no one else in the world (expect your father) can tell yet.

But the next time we see everyone (for Christmas), you will definitely be more visible, and I can't wait!

I can't wait for the rest of the world to see that I'm pregnant. To see that I'm carrying a beautiful, living, growing baby inside of me.

I realized today how weird it is that I've been pregnant for nearly three months, and that the entire world is completely oblivious to that, because I'm not showing much yet.

How odd!

It's weird to think that I have no idea how many women I pass on a daily basis when I'm shopping or out to eat or going to a movie who are also pregnant, though its so early that you would never be able to tell by looking at them.

Physically, I'm still very, very fatigued pretty much all the time. But I don't mind it. I'm glad that my body is working hard to keep you healthy! Plus, my cold probably didn't help things much.

The nausea is pretty much completely gone now...and I'm not even hungry ALL the time anymore.

Or maybe I'm just getting used to how it feels to be hungry all the time :)

Recently, potatoes (in any form - baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, potato skins, cheesy potatoes, etc) have been my very favorite food. I never realized how good they were! And they're pretty wallet-friendly, so I guess if I'm going to crave a food, that's a pretty good one to pick.

I also have been REALLY liking salads. Which is so weird. Normally, salads are just okay in my books. I mean, I'll eat them, but I'm never that excited about it. But they've been SO good recently.

I guess it's good that I'm craving all these vegetables instead of sweets!

Your dad and I have also been looking into where we are going to have you; I have to call to make appointments for tours with a couple of birthing centers. We want to be sure that you enter the world in the perfect place!

But probably the most ironic and exciting portion of our journey back home came in a bit of a surprise.

We went to see a couple of our friends (who shall remain nameless [at least for now] because they haven't really told many people yet) the day after the wedding.

I had a feeling that they might have some exciting pregnancy news to share, since the last time I talked with them, they told us that they were ttc.

But I figured, especially if it was very early in their pregnancy, they may not tell us until we told them about our little miracle (they don't really keep up on FB, so they didn't find out that way like pretty much the rest of our family and friends did).

So, your dad right away said, "Well, I'm guessing since you don't really use FB that you haven't heard the news that Erin's pregnant."

They were so excited for us and, just as I expected, they told us that they are pregnant, too!

Here's the crazy part: the wife said, "Yeah, we're due April 26th!"

And your dad and I just looked at each other in shock.

"No way! So are we!"

So, there you have it, little one, our very dear friends are due to welcome a baby on the very same day that you are due to enter the world. What are the odds of that?!

They have a house for sale right next door to them, and I kid you not, we almost bought it on the spot. It would be SO nice to live next door to such a wonderful couple who will have a baby the same age as you. And, honestly, if you two do end up being born the same day, I will demand that we do purchase that home so we can all have close friends next door :)

For the record, the wife and I decided that we are in a bit of a contest to see which baby comes first...but we're only going to share the vaguest of details about the birth of our little ones with each other until both of you have been born. No need to scare the other momma about the tortures of labor! We'll just share the typical gender, size, weight, time of birth stuff until we both have our little ones in our arms...then it's a free for all!

And you should have seen the two of us chatting up a storm. The second we found out we had the same due date, there was this instant, even deeper bond that formed between us than before. We talked about pregnancy and labor and genders and all sorts of baby things the whole night. There was no off-switch!

So, my dear one, that is pretty much what happened in our lives in the past couple of weeks.

I love you so, so much, Baby!



Monday, September 27, 2010

April 26th

Dearest Baby,

Today was the second day we got to hear your beautiful, beautiful heartbeat.

Our appointment was awesome. The doctor was really helpful, and we got to figure out a lot of stuff about where we want to deliver and such.

But by far the best part was that we got to hear your heartbeat again.

It was strong and steady.

It was perfect.

You are perfect.

And it turns out that I am a few days farther along than my cycle would suggest, so they moved my due date up a few days.

You are officially due to enter this world on April 26th.

That sounds like a perfect day to welcome a baby into our family :)

That makes me 9 weeks, six days along. Ten weeks tomorrow.

And four weeks after that, we enter the second trimester.

I can't wait for that milestone.

Oh, and by the way, you are really starting to make my tummy expand; the doctor even said that I definitely have a baby bump in the making.

And I love it.

I love every minute of having you in my tummy.

I love you, Baby; keep growing strong!



Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Rainbow, My Hope

Dear Baby,

You may not realize it, but you are my rainbow.

You are my hope.

I found out not long ago that women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss will often refer to their next pregnancy - their next baby - as a rainbow baby. That baby is the rainbow after the storm that is pregnancy- and infant-loss.

You are certainly my rainbow in that sense.

But, honestly, you are my rainbow in a much deeper, more personal sense, too.

Last year was pretty rough.

There was a lot of stuff that happened that wasn't good.

And your daddy and I had a really hard time adjusting to our new stomping grounds in Boston.

We really missed home.

Well, actually, we still miss home, but we are adjusting better this year, I think.

Anyway, last year, and even the early part of this summer, brought a lot of distress, hopelessness, sadness.

I remember at one point when I was remarkably distraught, praying to God about it.

Your daddy and I had been trying to get pregnant for about 8 months, and nothing had happened.

That was making me lose hope, too.

So one night, when I felt like my world was crumbling around me, I asked God for a sign. I told him that I needed him to show me - to prove to me - that everything would be okay. I told him that we had been trying to get pregnant for 8 months, and we hadn't had any luck. And then I told him that I wanted - I needed - to get pregnant during my next cycle. If I did get pregnant, I would take it as a sign from him that everything would be okay. That your daddy and I would be fine living in Boston, that we would start a family together, that we would grow old together, and that nothing would ever be able to tear us apart. I remember saying, "God, if this is going to work out, if everything is going to be okay, allow me to get pregnant during my next cycle. If I get pregnant, I will take that as a sign, as a promise, that this too shall pass."

And, precious Baby, I did get pregnant during my next cycle - with you.

You, Little One, are that sign from God.

You are God's promise to me that everything is going to be okay.

You are my hope.

Now, with you growing in my tummy, I know that everything is going to be okay.

It won't always be easy, but it will be okay.

It will be better than okay.

So you are my rainbow, Baby - you are my rainbow in more ways than one.

I love you, love you, love you and can't wait to hear your heartbeat again in a few days at our next appointment!



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sweet Relief

Hi Baby,

You're probably amazed that I didn't write you a note the second I got back from our ultrasound on Thursday, huh?

Well, I wanted to wait to be able to include this with my note - our very first pictures of you, our precious baby, and our scanner gave me a bit of trouble the past couple of days. But your daddy figured it out this morning, so here you are, sweet Baby:

I was SO nervous (terrified, really) when we went in for the ultrasound.

After all, you little trickster, all of my morning sickness disappeared a few days beforehand, and that just seemed too early for the nausea to go away.

Quite frankly, I liked having the nausea. It was physical proof that my body was doing what it was supposed to and that you were growing inside of me.

The ultrasound technician was...well...less than
chatty. So, praise God that ultrasounds aren't too difficult to decipher.

Almost as soon as she began the ultrasound, I saw the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed in my entire life - the subtle flutter of your heartbeat.

I immediately grabbed your daddy's hand and started crying.

I cannot even express in words how deeply relieved I was.

She took all sorts of measurements of you, all
without saying a word. But at that point I couldn't care less if she explained anything to me, because I saw you, alive and well, and I saw that beautiful flickering of your heartbeat.

Eventually, she let us listen to your heartbeat (for approximately two seconds) and then explained that the flickering we saw on the screen was your heart beating.

Honestly, if I hadn't known what to look for in the ultrasound, I would have been a nervous wreck...and completely furious at the technician for explaining everything after the fact!

I truly do not understand how someone can be an ultrasound technician and be so...stoic.

But in the end, my sweet baby, it doesn't even matter, because I could tell immediately that you were safe and sound inside of me.

And I must say, I have never experienced anything quite as beautiful, exciting, exhilarating, and overwhelming as seeing you for the very first time.

The second I saw your sweet little body, I fell even more deeply in love with you than I was before...and I didn't even think that was possible.

I've been carrying your pictures around with me all over the place. When I go from one room into the next, I take your pictures with me. I even bring them to bed with me and leave them on my bedside table, just so I can look at you anytime I want, like when I wake up for the fourth time during the night to go to the bathroom. I can just look over at your picture and know that the discomfort and not-so-fun side affects will all be worth it when I get to hold you in my arms, nurse you, rock you to sleep, snuggle you, and even change your diaper.

Seeing you made this pregnancy even more real to me than it was before.

Now that I've known about you for over five weeks, being pregnant, being careful what (and how much) I eat and drink, thinking about you all the time, and planning for your arrival are just second nature.

I can't even fathom what it would be like NOT to be thinking about and planning for you.

I can't remember what it was like before you became a reality for us.

But seeing your beautiful baby body on that ultrasound screen made me realize that everything about you - even the things I don't know yet - are already decided, already exist.

I may not know your gender yet, but you have one.

I may not know what color your eyes will be, but your eye color is already determined.

I may not know how tall you will be when you're all grown up, or, for that matter, how long you will be and how much you will weigh when you are born, but all of those things are already settled.

It just hit me that I am carrying inside of me my precious baby boy or girl - our precious baby boy or girl. I literally have a little boy or a little girl within my womb. And all those other things about you are already true, too.

And Baby, I can't wait to find out more and more about you in the coming months and years.

I can't wait to find out if you are a little boy or a little girl.

I can't wait to look into your precious eyes and cut your beautiful hair.

I can't wait to stand you against our kitchen wall every year to measure your growth with a pencil. Such a tiny thing, really, that little yearly pencil mark, but it will be a way of celebrating your life, your growth, and eventually, your maturing. And, when you are all grown up and on your own, it will be a way to remember your childhood.

I can't wait to welcome you into the world, little one.

You are already an incredible blessing to your dad and I - we both love you so, so much.

My heart feels so very full right now, Baby, and you are a huge part of that.

With All My Love,


Monday, September 13, 2010

Just kidding...

Hi Baby,

So it looks like I'm taking back a good amount of what I said in my last note to you.

Turns out you ARE the reason for my clothes being tight!

Now I realize that no one else in the entire world would notice it at this point, because it's still too small, but today, for the first time, I saw it - a tiny baby-bump.

I'm a rather thin lass, so I knew that I would start showing a bit earlier than some, but I didn't think that it would start QUITE this early.

But, at the same time, at our appointment last week, the doctor made it sound like she thought I was even farther along than I thought I was (I thought 9 weeks), which would make me 10 weeks or so, possibly more, this week. So I guess the timing is about right.

My lower stomach has been feeling harder the past few days, which I guess is you growing and starting to take up pretty much all of the room available inside of me before expanding into new territory, but today, for the first time, I saw the beginnings of your expansion.

I can tell exactly where you're going to be making your first appearance.

I do understand that I know my body way better than anyone else, so I also notice these changes first, but I really don't think it's going to be much longer before those who know me well are going to be able to see your expansion, too.

I love that.

I love the fact that I can see the very beginning phases of your growth.

It's very comforting to me, too.

Especially since today was really hard for me.

Today, for the first time in a couple weeks, I started thinking about how I would break the news to my friends and family if I have a miscarriage.

Today, for the first time in a couple weeks, I started wondering how much harder a miscarriage this time around would be, now that I've had a full month to get used to the idea that I'm pregnant, to get excited about being a mommy, to fall in love with you.

I can't imagine what it would be like to feel more sadness than I felt when I had my miscarriage last time I was pregnant...but at the same time, I can't imagine what it would be like to NOT feel more sadness if I miscarried this time around.

Plus, the past two days, my worst two symptoms (the nausea and the bloating) have all but disappeared.

I still have the aversions/cravings thing.

My clothes are still tight.

I'm hoping that the lessening of my nausea is due to the B6 vitamins that my doctor put me on after my appointment and my body getting used to the increase in hormones.

But I'm actually really worried.

"What to Expect" pretty much says if your symptoms disappear, you should worry.

So, I'm worried.

What if you have stopped growing, but my progesterone supplement has not allowed my body to miscarry?

What if we go to our ultrasound appointment on Thursday and there's no heartbeat?

I'm actually more terrified for our ultrasound this Thursday than I have been during almost my entire pregnancy...even than I was before our first prenatal appointment.

I think it's because the ultrasound is so official.

If they had tried to find your heartbeat at our first appointment and couldn't, we could easily avert our fears by saying that I wasn't far enough along to hear your heartbeat.

But if, at the ultrasound, you don't measure as large as you should or if your heart isn't beating, there's no way to spin that to make it positive news.

I'm both incredibly excited and incredibly nervous for Thursday.

I have a feeling the next couple of days are going to go REALLY slowly.

I can't wait to see you for the first time, but I'm so afraid that what we see will be bad news.

In general, I've been really proud of myself for how good I've been at staying positive and confident, but today?

Well, today has been hard.

I haven't even been able to enjoy seeing the beginning of the physical proof of your existence as much as I wish I would let myself.

I love you, Baby Birk.

Please, please, please keep growing.

I don't know what I'll do if you don't.

Love Always,


Saturday, September 11, 2010

And so it begins...

Oh, Baby,

You are making me feel so giant!

Today, for the first time, I literally had trouble buttoning and zippering my jeans.

Now, I realize that this new expansion isn't because you are big enough to make my tummy big yet; I realize that it's because of bloating and fluid retention and such.

But it doesn't make it any less uncomfortable to have a hard time fitting into my jeans.

I have NEVER had to work so hard to button my jeans as I did today.

And I know it's only going to get worse...but technically better, not worse, because it'll be better when my expansion is because you're getting bigger instead of because of bloating.

I am really looking forward to seeing my tummy grow along with you :)

The weird thing, too, is that my clothes are all getting really tight, so when I went to my prenatal appointment, I assumed that that would mean that I have gained at least a few pounds.


I actually lost about five pounds.

I have absolutely NO idea how that is possible.

You daddy is constantly shoving food down my throat (lovingly, of course).

I feel like I'm eating non-stop.

I know the whole "not gaining weight" thing won't last for long, though...and honestly, I can't wait for my weight to go the opposite way.

Yet another tangible sign that you, Baby, are growing and thriving inside of me.

So don't worry about that fact that you are the reason my jeans are so tight.

I don't mind at all :)

I love you with all of my heart, Baby!



Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Appointment

Hi Baby,

So today was it. Today was our very first prenatal appointment. I can no longer say that I have never made it to a prenatal appointment.

It was wonderful...lot's of information, but a great experience.

I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get to have the appointment with my normal doctor; I guess the clinic I go to has one nurse-midwife who does all of the first prenatal appointments.

Don't get me wrong, she was very nice and did a great job...but it would have been nice to have my regular doctor.

But I will have my regular doctor for the rest of my appointments, though I may also meet with a midwife for some appointments (since we're hoping to go the midwife route with this pregnancy if possible).

I'm also a bit disappointed because she didn't even try to hear your heartbeat...and I was too much of a push-over to ask her to.

But I think she decided to wait on the heartbeat thing because she ended up making an appointment for me to get an ultrasound next week (yay!).

When we first were talking through family history, pregnancy symptoms, etc, I told her that I think that I'm farther along than my last cycle would suggest. She pretty much just blew me off and said that she didn't think so. She was sure that I was exactly as far along as my last cycle would suggest (exactly 7 weeks, 2 days, to be exact).

But when she did the physical exam, she said that my uterus is definitely larger than it should be at 7 she changed her tune a bit and said I probably am a bit farther along than my cycle would suggest.

So, she scheduled an ultrasound for next week so that they can take a look and try to get a better idea of how far along I am.

I knew I had to be farther than 7 weeks, and it looks like I'm I just can't wait until next week to meet you, Baby, and find out more specifically how far along I am!

If she hadn't scheduled me to have an ultrasound so soon, I'd probably be really disappointed that we didn't even get to try to find your heartbeat, but since it turned out this way, I think I can make it one more week to meet you.

So, all in all, everything's looking good!

You've been making me feel pretty nauseous lately, so she also gave me some ideas of some medicines to help with that, and hopefully that will also allow me to sleep better.

Anyway, Baby, I'm so excited to meet you next week - keep growing strong until then!



Monday, September 6, 2010

Hats and Cravings and Doctors, Oh My!

Dear Baby,

I'm sorry I haven't written to you in so long. When I had a shingles scare a few days ago, I honestly didn't know how to write to you. How could I write to you when I may have inadvertently exposed you to extreme danger? What could I possibly say to you?

And worse yet, what if being exposed to shingles had harmed you? What if being exposed to shingles had stopped you from growing? Had killed you? What if you were just lying lifeless in my womb, and my body simply had not realized yet that I had miscarried or the hormones they have me on were preventing me from miscarrying?

How could I write to you when you may not even be alive still?

How could I face that possibility?

I was afraid to even write to you. To even allow myself to think of you as a living being inside of me; I was so afraid of finding out that I was wrong.

But after googling for many hours, talking to a couple medical professionals, and talking with my best friend's mom about when she first starting experiencing symptoms of shingles, I'm feeling much more calm about the whole thing.

In fact, my best friend's mom told me that when she found out she had shingles, she asked her doctor if I could be in any danger from having stayed in her house for a whole week so recently (since she already knew at that point that I was pregnant), and he said not to worry. It was highly unlikely that she had had shingles when I was staying there, so I should be in the clear.

Plus, it helps that I haven't been sick at all (besides pregnancy-stomachie stuff), so that has made me feel a lot better.

All in all, Baby, I'm feeling much more confident. At the moment, at least, I have no doubts that you are healthy and growing strong.

And in just over two days from now, your dad and I will finally get to experience the joy and excitement of a first prenatal appointment.

We never got to have that experience with Leila; I'm so excited to have that experience with you.

And, hopefully, we'll get to hear your heartbeat for the very first time!

I really hope we get to have an ultrasound; I know it's probably unlikely, but I can't help it. I just want to see your beautiful little baby body.

Maybe I can convince them to give me an ultrasound so that we can determine for sure the due date, since I'm 98% convinced that I'm at least one or two weeks farther along than my doctors think I am. I know two weeks doesn't seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things (and don't worry, Baby, I fully understand and acknowledge the fact that you are going to come when you are good and ready to come regardless of what day you are "scheduled" to arrive), but if I'm two weeks farther along than they think, then that's two weeks closer to the 14 week mark.

I've never made it to that mark before.

And the three-to-five weeks until we hit that 14 week mark can't go by fast enough.

The point, my precious Baby Birk, is that I cannot wait to get to "meet" you for the first time in just a couple days - even if we don't get to see you on an ultrasound.

I have to admit, though, I will be quite disappointed if we don't get to hear your heartbeat.

But, if I'm right, I'll be 9 weeks on Thursday at my appointment, and since I'm a rather svelte lass, I think there's a good chance that we should be able to hear it.

At least, I'm hoping so!

But moving on.

Today, Baby, I finished crocheting your very first baby hat. (One thing you'll learn about your momma is that I'm an avid crocheter).

Well, it may not ultimately end up being your hat.

You see, I found this great website with dozens and dozens of baby hat crochet patterns.

But quite a few of the hats are fairly gender specific.

So, at this point, I'm just going to start crocheting all of the hats that I think are cute, and, depending on what gender you end up being, we'll just save the rest of the hats that I've made for the siblings of the opposite gender that your dad and I hope to provide you with some day.

The hat I just finished making is pretty girly.

Your dad thought I should start with a girl's hat, because he's convinced you're a girl.

I'm not completely convinced of your gender either way, but I am leaning towards girl...if only because literally every couple we know who has had a baby in the past year has had a boy.

That being the case, we figure that the universe is due for a few girls to enter the scene.

The hat is adorable, though.

It's this beautiful ocean blue with a cute yellow flower on it.

The past few days have also led to some cravings.

My food desires have really changed quite a bit since you've started growing inside of me!

I normally have a very intense sweet tooth, but since you've been inside my tummy, I practically have no desire for anything sweet and un-nutritious.

Which I suppose is a good thing.

My cravings, unfortunately, are not consistent, though.

My first intense craving was for crackers, cheese, and pickles.

I deeply enjoyed two wonderful evenings with those crackers and cheese slices and pickles.

But now, just the thought of pickles and sharp cheddar cheese makes me want to gag.


Then, I started craving Kraft macaroni and cheese and french fries (which ended up being your dad's first food run to satisfy my cravings).

But your daddy, trying to get you the nutrients you need, got the whole wheat version of mac and cheese instead of the regular version, and it's just not the same.

Now, right this second, I really, really, really want some potato skins.

Since it's 10:39 pm EPT, it is quite unlikely that I will get any potato skins anytime soon.

On a completely unrelated note, our pregnancy with you is pretty much out there in the world.

We tried to keep it fairly quiet at first, only telling close family and friends, but that didn't really end up working out so well.

Somehow, the news seemed to leak out (even though we did try to tell people that we hadn't made our pregnancy "facebook official" quite yet).

At this point, pretty much everyone knows.

At first, I was nervous about this, and, quite frankly, if anything happens to you, there is a good chance that I will be kicking myself for being so cavalier in telling so many people.

But, ultimately, I feel like being open, honest, and up-front about this pregnancy is a tangible way for me to trust God with you and with this pregnancy.

I'm not in any way saying that to suggest that those who do not choose to tell people about their pregnancies right away are inferior or wrong or untrusting or anything else like that.

But this was the right decision for us.

This was the right decision for me.

This was the right decision for you and for this pregnancy.

It was my way of showing God that I trust him with you, with your life, with our family, with this pregnancy.

We still haven't made it "facebook official" yet.

Though I see no reason to hide you from those people who are close to me and who I come into contact with on a regular basis, I did not see any reason to tell random, distant friends from middle school about you. Just for the sake of boundaries, I suppose.

But we will probably make it "facebook official" on Thursday after our prenatal appointment, if only because people have begun to write congratulations and baby notes on our facebook pages, so it won't be long before it's completely out in the open, anyhow.

So, that's pretty much the updates on this side of my tummy, Baby. I'm sorry for so much information, but I just don't want to miss telling you a thing...and there have been quite a few "things" to tell you since the last time I wrote.

I promise I won't wait so long to write to you again...even on those days when I'm not feeling quite as confident.

I love you so very much, Baby, and so does your daddy.

We can't wait to get to know you a little more on Thursday!!!

Love Always,


Saturday, August 28, 2010

So Relieved!

Precious Little One,

I am so, so, so relieved, excited, ecstatic, and about thirty other synonyms for "happy" right now!

The test results were great!

I called in yesterday afternoon, and the nurse I've been talking with (who has been really wonderful to work with, Lord bless her) asked me to wait on hold for a minute while she looked up my results.

In the past, it usually took her approximately twelve seconds to get back to me with my results.

Yesterday, I was on hold for about two minutes.

After thirty seconds or so, my stomach began twisting and turning like it does when I have a feeling something bad is going to happen.

I thought to myself, "It's probably taking her so long because my results are bad, and she's working up the strength to tell me that I'm going to have a miscarriage. She's bucking herself up to break the news to me. I shouldn't be doing this at work, especially while I'm supposed to be training someone. How am I going to tell her that I need to go home without breaking down?"

Such trajectories of thought continued for another minute and a half.

I almost decided to just hang up so I wouldn't have to hear her say it.

And then she took me off of hold and told me that she didn't have my progesterone results yet (explaining the delay) but the results for my hCG were, and I quote, "excellent."


She said I should call back in a couple of hours for the results of my progesterone.

I texted the news about my hCG to your dad and told him that we would have to wait until 4:30 for the progesterone results.

But only an hour later, she called me with the news that my progesterone results had just come in. They were, quoting again, "fantastic."


So fantastic, in fact, that they reduced my progesterone intake by 50%.

My hCG is excellent, and my progesterone is fanstatic!

I almost cried as I thanked her on the phone.

I even tearing up now, just writing about it.

Your dad called me at about 4 o'clock, wondering if I had heard anything yet.

Needless to say, he was thrilled with the news - he and I are both SO relieved and SO happy!

He even told you he loves you for the very first time last night when I got home from work. It was so sweet :)

I think he was trying not to get too attached until we got the test results, too.

Not that he wasn't attached before that (same here, for that matter), but I think the positive test results allowed him to let his guard down with you and with this pregnancy.

In fact, I think the positive test results have allowed me to let down my guard with you and this pregnancy.

We love you so much, Baby; we're so excited to welcome you into our family.

And now the week-and-a-half that we have to wait before my first prenatal appointment doesn't seem so far away - so impossible to reach - as it did before.

It actually feels like it's right around the corner!

And right around the corner from my first appointment will be my second appointment, and right around the corner from my second appointment will be the 14-week zone, and right around the corner from the 14-week zone will be the "gender appointment," and so on and so forth until you are finally in my arms - it all seems so within-reach right now.

It all seems so possible.

I feel like the world is my oyster, like I can do anything.

As long as you are safely tucked inside of me and growing away, there are no limits.

We love you, Baby; keep growing strong!

Love Always,