I can't believe how long it has been since I wrote to you last...about five weeks. I'm 26 weeks today, and my last note to you was when I was 20 weeks, 4 days. It's incredible how much has happened since then.
It's been a very difficult season of time. The holidays were really hard - lots of not fun stuff going on. They were emotional and stressful and tiring and depressing. Not at all how I had hoped this Christmas would be.
But you, dear Little One, are the bright spot in all of the darkness. You are the joy in the midst of the pain. You are the hope and faith the size of a mustard seed when everything else seems to be falling apart and I'm surrounded by hopelessness and despair. Never, ever doubt that I love you. Never, ever doubt how very glad, proud, and blessed I am to be your momma.
Because of all of the not good stuff that has been going on, your dad and I decided over Christmas break that we needed to move back home to Minnesota from Boston. The decision was made very quickly, and I know it seemed rushed and unexpected to so many of our family members and friends. But, in the end, every single person we talked to about our move back, with one notable exception, was incredibly supportive and, even without knowing all of the reasoning behind our move, knew that we were making the right decision.
So, we got back from Christmas at home on January 3rd and spent the next week and a half canceling student loans for the next semester, withdrawing as students from school, getting out of our lease, getting medical records from the birth center we've been going to, packing all of our stuff, quitting our jobs, etc.
Not to mention that I got very sick the day after we got back (It's actually kind of a funny and embarrassing story. We got back from Christmas break knowing that we had absolutely zero food in the house [we had eaten pretty much everything before we left so nothing would go bad]. So, we decided to get up in the morning, go to McDonald's for breakfast [I love egg mcmuffins!], go grocery shopping, and then start working through the menagerie of tasks that needed to be completed for us to move. But we failed to remember that Boston got a lot of snow while we were gone and that our cars would be completely snowed [and plowed] in. And we don't have a shovel. So I stood at a distance while your dad manually [with his hands and feet] attempted to unbury my car for about 20 minutes. He was getting frustrated and the car was still stuck. And I was starting to feel weak from not eating and from standing in the snow for 20 minutes. So I decided to walk up the hill [a short distance, really] to one of our school's buildings, drop off my library books, and stop by the cafeteria so I could at least eat a muffin or something. By the time I made it to the end of the parking lot, I knew it was a terrible idea, but I felt too stupid to turn back. I made it only another 30 or 40 feet, maybe, when I started blacking out and got really weak, nauseous, and dizzy. I threw my school books and my purse on the ground and fell over. And then, when I was able to see clearly again and such, I had to decide what to do next. Should I call your dad and say, "Without a car, there's not much you can do to help me, but just so you know, I just blacked out on the hill and am now sitting on the ground surrounded by my library books and the contents of my purse?" Should I wait for him to get the car out of the parking lot and find me? Should I sit here for a few minutes and then try to get up and continue my journey? In the course of this mental dilemma, about 4 cars passed me by. Then, just as I was about to call your dad, a plow truck with three gentlemen pulled up. They rolled down a window and tentatively asked, "Are you okay?" To which I replied, "-ish." They jumped out of the plow truck, helped me into it, and gave me a ride up to the buildings...which really wasn't that far away. On the way, I told them what had happened and that I am pregnant. I also mentioned that about 4 cars had already passed me by. To which they replied, "When we first saw you, we thought you were praying. We probably would have passed you by, too, if it had been spring, but we figured it might be a bit too cold to be praying outside, so we should stop and make sure you were okay." Haha! I wish the reason I was horizontal on the side of the road was because I was praying! When we got to the buildings, one of the guys returned my library books for me while another escorted me into the cafeteria so I could get something to eat. Then, all of them went down to the parking lot where your dad was still working at the car to tell him what had happened. Luckily, by the time they got down there, he had gotten the car out of the parking lot, so he was able to come up and get me right away. I felt so silly and embarrassed. I really should have been able to walk farther than that. When people try to give me special treatment because I'm pregnant, I normally tell them, "Don't worry, I'm okay. I'm not fragile yet!" But I guess I'm more fragile than I thought. Anyway, I never really recovered from feeling like I was going to pass out that day...for the next 4 or 5 hours, the feeling that if I moved, I would either black out, throw up, or do some sort of combination of the two lingered on. It was a bummer, but your dad got a lot that we needed to done while I stayed home and laid on the couch.)
In the midst of all this craziness, we also, of course, were trying to see all of our friends in the area one last time, too, so I really barely had a moment where I felt like I could breathe.
Your dad flew out on the 10th, and his mom flew in a few hours later. She helped me finish packing and cleaning for the next few days. Your dad's dad was supposed to come in on the 13th, but his flight got cancelled due to a massive snow storm...really, truly the biggest storm I had ever seen in Boston. (I finally got to witness a Nor'easter!) So, he flew in on the 14th, instead. Then, on the way back from the airport, we picked up the U-Haul. When we got to the apartment, we loaded everything up (thanks to help from a few friends), finished cleaning, and started the drive back.
We made it in to MN on the 15th, unloaded the U-Haul on the 16th, and have gotten a bit more settled yesterday and today.
It's just been a whirlwind...in the midst of lots of crazy.
But, thank God, we made it home safely, and now it's on to the search for a new church, a new birthing center and/or ob-gyn clinic, an apartment, jobs, etc. As well as finishing up a couple of online courses from the fall that are still lingering around (luckily, I have until mid-March to finish them).
I don't foresee things slowing down for about a month.
And, quite frankly, I don't foresee things slowing down even then, since I'll be about 7 months pregnant at that point and probably frantically trying to prepare for your arrival, Dear One, and for all that that entails.
And then, only a couple months later, you'll be joining us, and life will never be the same again.
I feel like I just need a moment to breathe.
On a different (and more joyful) note, you are continuing to grow and develop exactly as you should. And all of those muscle spasms and twitches I was feeling were without a doubt you! So, I guess I started feeling you move around 15 weeks and didn't even know it! It honestly doesn't feel any different now. Your kicks and punches still feel like muscle twitches. Except that now they sometimes attack my organs. You really are a squirmy little guy!
You pretty much are ALWAYS moving in the morning, trying to hurry your likes-to-linger-in-bed-in-the-morning-momma to get you some food. You usually move quite a bit at night, too. Sometimes it's while I watch tv or read before bed; sometimes it's as I'm trying to fall asleep. And, of course, throughout the day, you usually have one or two active times.
I just love, love, love feeling you move!
I've also gotten to the point where I can not only feel kicks and punches, but I've been able to feel you turn over a couple of times, and I've even felt you move an arm or leg from one side of my stomach all the way across to the other side. It's such a funny feeling!
Thank you, sweet Baby, for bringing me so much joy in the midst of so much pain. Thank you for being my silver lining.
I can't wait to meet you in about 3 months, Baby; I love you so, so very much.
ps...I FINALLY updated the stomach pictures under the "Baby Bump!" section. I'm pretty sure the last picture I posted was from 17ish weeks, so there's a HUGE difference in how I look now as compared to then. Plus, I finally got your ultrasound pictures up, too!