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!