Jul 28, 2010

20 Weeks & Lentil Letter

Dear Lentil,

I am 20 weeks pregnant with you (on Sunday) - that means I am finally at the halfway mark of this pregnancy. I know the second half will fly by so much faster than the first, and that kind of freaks me out because I know there is still so much to do to get ready for you.

Your daddy and I have started a childbirth class that will last 10 weeks. We've been to a couple classes already and even though I haven't really learned anything new (your moma likes to do a lot of research!), it has been nice to be around other pregnant couples. There are 8 couples in the class, and one of those are due on the same day as me! Another thing that's been really nice about the class is that it's giving your dad and me a chance to connect. We get to do our "homework" for the class every night, which is really just me relaxing and him rubbing my back or my legs (or wherever I tell him to!). I look forward to this kind of homework! :)

Another big moment this past week was that your papa could finally feel you kicking. See, two weeks ago (at 18 weeks) I started feeling this little pushes in my belly. They were so faint at first that I didn't want to get my hopes up that it was you in there. Then they got a little stronger, and always seemed to happen in the same spots, down low in my pelvic area. Then at 19 weeks, I could put my hand on my belly under my belly button (which is starting to look a little weird with my belly getting bigger!) and feel your movements inside and out! Only a couple of days later I got your dad to put his hand on my belly and wait for a few minutes. Every time you'd kick I'd give him an expectant look but he would just shrug because even though I felt it inside, it wasn't strong enough for him to feel it outside.

Until you gave a big sweeping jab across my belly! It was the biggest kick I've felt from you this whole time! His eyes got all round and I knew he felt it. What a cool moment. :) I finally feel like he can connect with you in a big way. Maybe you knew he was waiting there for you and you wanted to give a first hello. Or maybe you were just stretching. No matter what, we'll never forget it.

Oh, and we also hired a doula! She'll help us during the birth, giving your dad ideas about how to help me with the pain, since we're doing a medication-free birth for you. She's a friend, and she's getting her certification to be a doula, so she offered to help us for free.

As I get closer to the birth, I feel a sense of calm come over me. I'm still worried about the pain, but I know my body can do this. After all, my body was MADE to grow and birth and nourish a baby.

Oh, and we're also picking out paint colors for your room. I want to go neutral - I'm not big on pink for girls and blue for boys. It's really tough to choose which gray will be the best gray! Some grays are too blue, some are too purple. I think I've found the perfect one though, but I need to get it tinted lighter. I want a very airy, refreshing room for you. I'm so excited to get this room ready for you! Only 5 more months, baby!

*hugs and kisses*
Your moma

Jul 23, 2010

Belly Button Weirdness

Today, after using the bathroom and hiking up my shirt to see my pants to zip, button, and belt, I noticed my belly button.

I do not usually notice my belly button.

But I did today because it looks huge. The hole of my belly button is looking really open and round. Strange. It's not usually that open, or noticeable. It makes me wonder what all my belly button is going to do in the next 5 months - pop out, stay in? I have a piercing there; will it be able to stay?

Like I said, weirdness.

Jul 22, 2010

I have a confession...

You know how you always kind of suck in your gut a little bit when you're out and about, so that you look more fit than you maybe really are?

Well, when I'm out and about, I sometimes let my belly hang out all the way so I look more pregnant than I really am.

Especially around other pregnant ladies who are definitely further along than me. I just want to waddle over to them (not that I'm waddling yet) and say, "Look at me! I'm pregnant too!"

I just can't wait for the big ol' belly. :)

Jul 20, 2010

Only 2 years?

The hubs and I have been married for two years! Yesterday, July 19th, was our 2-year anniversary. It feels like we've been married for a lot longer, because we've actually been together almost 9 years.

I feel like we are closer now than we have ever been. I think making a family, this little baby inside me, has drawn us together, so much more than ever before. Knowing this baby is coming gives us extra permission for staring at each other with googly eyes, and more hugs and belly rubs, and just knowing that we did this.

We are so much more than just me and him.

We went to Asheville to celebrate the two-year mark. We got married in the mountains, and because our hearts belong there anyway. We stayed two nights, which flew by because we stayed so busy. Already a tradition, staying in Asheville on our anniversary. Next year we will have a 7-month old with us!

Another tradition we've started is getting a small version of our wedding cake from the same bakery: carrot cake with hazelnut filling and cream cheese frosting. I forgot to take a picture of it, but here's a shot of it from our wedding day:

At the bakery, we decided to have some food. I got the most scrumptious VBLT (vegetarian BLT). I don't remember what Kevin got, but surely it wasn't as good as mine. Our ticket number was 42. Don't you know 42 is the answer to ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything?

And aren't these salt and pepper shakers just darling? I thought them appropriate for us, considering we are so different yet are so perfect together.

We walked around downtown and found art for the baby room (finally, doing a little something!) and getting caught in the rain. We saw old friends and met their new baby boy (he's a deliciously chubby baby with red hair and blue eyes). We also played Balderdash with Kevin's sister, her husband, and two others. Have you ever played Balderdash? So fun!

We stayed up late watching movies on tv and cuddling. And we left early on Monday, our anniversary, to come home. We stopped at noon on the dot, found a cute wall, and took our picture in front of it. Two years, exactly!

Last night was our first Bradley Method childbirth class. There are 8 couples in the class. One other couple is having their baby at the birth center, with our midwife! They are due one month before us. Another couple is due on our exact due date! The class has 3 other teachers, besides me, and 2 other people who work with music in some way, like Kevin.

I do a lot of research anyway, so the teacher didn't say anything new to me. But already it's helped me and Kevin get more in tune with each other, preparing for the birth of this baby. I think it will be good for him, too, to be around other new dads. I'm glad to be connecting to other pregnant moms. I haven't been able to talk to another pregnant ladies much since sharing the news after our 3-month mark.

I thought it was neat that our first childbirth class was on our anniversary. And after the class, we treated ourselves to some On The Border. Delicious black beans and rice (can we say MORE PROTEIN???).

I love you hubs!

19 Weeks: Almost Halfway

Almost halfway. I can't believe it. Just a little while ago I was jumping around in our bathroom squealing over a faint plus sign. I may already be halfway. Due dates are so off all the time anyway. The baby could come early. Who knows? In any case, I'm almost technically halfway, according to my due date.

It's surreal: in just one week, I will be halfway to holding our baby.

Halfway to sleepless nights.

Halfway to tiny toes and itty bitty fingernails.

Halfway to slobber and spitup.

Halfway to baby weight sleeping on my chest.

Halfway to seeing my husband holding our little child in his big hands.

Halfway to diaper explosions.

Halfway to feeling the most love I've ever known.

Halfway to feeling the most physical pain, ever.

Halfway to soft skin and baby-fine hair.

Halfway to wearing my baby everywhere.

Halfway to the the rest of my life.

Jul 15, 2010

Why "Little Lentil"?

Well, since I have no bigger news than I'm still feeling "The Gas" (which I really am starting to believe are baby kicks!!!) and that I've gained 10 pounds since the start of this pregnancy (midwife says I should be between 12-15, although all women are different), I guess I share why I chose Our Little Lentil as this blog's title.

Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I went onto BabyCenter's website and plugged in my due date. They started sending me weekly emails telling me what was happening with my body that week, how the baby was developing, and of course, how big the baby was. They'd compare the baby's size to a piece of food - right now, for instance, little babe is about the size of a bell pepper.

Well, at 6 weeks, when I decided to tell our families that we were expecting, our baby was the size of a lentil bean. Therefore, Our Little Lentil.

Here's the story:

We wanted to share the news in person, so it involved driving an hour for Kevin's family, and then four hours for my family.

At each visit, after hanging out with the family for a bit so they don't guess right away that we're there to share the big news everyone's been waiting for, Kevin pulls something out of his pocket and says, "Hey, look at this." He's holding a lentil bean in his hand. Of course, everyone gathers around and looks at us like we're really weird, guessing what it is, and saying things like, "O-kay?" and Kevin would explain that it was a lentil bean, and sound really excited about it!

When the time felt right (we did this little number 4 times), I'd jump in and announce, "That's the size of our baby right now!"

And then lots of jumping and awwwing and clapping and hugging would ensue. It was fantastic, and I'm so glad we told our families in person, even if it did mean a 4 hour drive. I will never forget everyone's reactions:
  • My friend Hannah, before knowing the significance, asked if she should eat the lentil bean, to which I practically screamed NO! Besides it not tasting good as an uncooked bean, I did not want her to digest the representation of my child.
  • My mother sat stunned for a few seconds until it sank in and then she started crying. My brother, three years younger than me, who already has a 4 year old, looked at me with a mix of "are you crazy?" and "awesome!"
  • My dad and stepmom jumped up and clapped and my dad said "I knew it!"
  • Kevin's family looked around at each other while laughing and hugging. I think they knew all along that's what we came to visit for.
I'd had other ideas of how to share the news, but I wanted something original... a story that would stick. I think we did pretty good! Leading up to sharing the news, I was so nervous to tell everyone. I knew our families would be really excited for us, no doubt about that, but to be the spotlight of attention always throws me off. In the end, though, it was a lot of fun, and the memories of everyone's reactions are something that I will always treasure.

Jul 14, 2010

Baby Kicks or Gas?

It first happened last Wednesday. It felt like a little bubble.

Then Thursday. And Friday. And every day since. A few times a day, even!

I can't tell for sure, but I might be feeling the baby moving around in there! This is called quickening... maybe because when you feel it for the first few times your heartbeat quickens and your breath quickens with the excitement of it all!

Hearing the heartbeat a couple of weeks ago grounded me in this pregnancy. Before then I was floating around in pregnant-but-not-really-feeling-it land. Then I heard the heartbeat (so strong and beautiful!) and then I knew for sure that the life inside me was real and really growing and becoming a person that, really, already meant so much to me.

And now I might be feeling the baby kicking and pushing against my uterus?! Amazing. I always thought it would be really weird to have a human being prodding around in there, but I was wrong. It's so awesome.

Of course, it could be gas bubbles. But it does feel different than my usual gas.... so I'm leaning more towards baby kicks! I guess I'm still kind of waiting for more reassuring bumps to know for sure!

Jul 13, 2010

Hannah & Penelope

My best friend Hannah came to visit on Saturday. She brought her almost 2.5 year old Penelope with her. It's been a while since I've seen Penelope (since they live 4 hours away), and she had really grown! She's a super cute and fun kid, very energetic and happy. It didn't take long for her to warm up to me and Kevin. She kept calling our cats her "baby cats."

Here she is with her beautiful flyaway blonde hair.

Penelope is in a Montessori program back where they live (I'm interested in Montessori in the future for our little lentil). We don't have many toys around the house, yet, so I whipped up a Montessori-inspired activity. I took some of different dried beans we had and put them in different containers, and also took a piece of cardboard that was part of the packing for our new bedframe. I showed her how to make rows of beans in the cardboard tray, sorting them. And then we moved on to using a spoon to pick up the beans.

Hannah and Penelope playing with the beans.

She LOVED those beans. That is all she played with when we were at the house Saturday and it was the first thing she went to when she woke up on Sunday morning. Such simple, natural materials, and so much possibility for fun!

We also went to the park on Sunday and took a walk. We went right up to the lake and saw some geese swimming by. When they noticed us, they swam closer and stopped right in front of us. They took a few minutes to bathe and clean their feathers, and swam on. It was so neat!

We will definitely make sure to visit more often. I definitely want to be in this little girl's life! Plus, when I have a little one of my own, just 3 years age difference, we can have play dates!

Hannah's going to try and come visit again, just herself, before I start working again. Then we'll be able to have more in depth conversations about baby and plans!

Jul 12, 2010

18 Weeks!

I don't know if it shows, but I feel like my belly is bigger this week! Some of my shirts are feeling a little tight. I'm noticing a difference in my sleeping, too. Turning over feels a little weird, I feel more comfortable on my side with a pillow in between my legs, and kind of under my belly too.

When I see my reflection in the mirror, I get excited! I don't feel weird about my body anymore, feeling like I look chubby. I actually see my little preggie belly, and that makes me so happy! I get all smiley and think it's cute! I'm really looking forward to seeing my belly grow!

Jul 9, 2010

In which I'm stressing out.

(post-it note mural in Dumbo, Brooklyn)

My mind has SO MUCH running through it right now. House projects that (don't really) NEED to get done before December, landscaping stuff that I want done, baby nursery things to consider and decide upon, tons of other baby crap that I don't even really know where to begin with that needs to be worked on/researched/done.

I'm going to sit down soon and make a major to-do list. I am a list girl anyway, but this list has just been floating around and magnifying in my mind. I need to put it on paper. Out of my head. And then each week hubs and I can circle one big item or a few small items to tackle, whether it's buying a breast pump or finish painting the house exterior.

And then I can finally start crossing some stuff off this dang list.

To think I only have 5 and a half months left until this baby gets here. And only 5 and a half weeks until school starts back, when I'll be teaching full time and babysitting a couple hours every day.

Oh, the stress.

16 Week Midwife Appointment

Dear Little Lentil,

One week ago your daddy and I went in for our 2nd appointment with the midwife. I was nervous about this appointment for a couple reasons. One, I was unsure we picked the right midwife for us, but it turns out that I was just worrying about any and everything I could (including her). She made me feel much more comfortable, at least for now, and spent over an hour talking with me and letting me ask her all sorts of questions (like, why do I get these horrible headaches every day? and when does my belly get hard?).

I was also nervous that for some reason we wouldn't be able to hear your heartbeat. One month ago at our last appointment, the doppler only picked up your heartbeat for 2 seconds or so. We were grateful that we could even hear your heartbeat at all, but it left us wanting more.

Part of me wondered if I made it up, hearing your heartbeat. Even though we had video evidence that it was not a part of my imagination, your moma tends to worry... a lot. I was just so scared that something had happened to you in the last month, or that we would hear something wrong in your heartbeat, and the midwife would turn to us and say that we needed to go get an ultrasound, stat!

But you are healthy, and strong, and your heartbeat sounded so beautiful to my ears, and to your dad's ears. I can still replay in my mind the sound and speed of your tiny heart. 153 beats per minute (that's so fast!!!). Your dad confessed that at work a few days later he set up a metronome on his phone to 153 beats per minute and drummed along to it. He couldn't get it out of his head either.

And ever since then, since there was real proof that you do exist within me, I have felt even so much more connected to you. Our spirits are entwined, little one. I love you so much, baby, and when the light changes it's probably my hands rubbing my belly, sending that love straight to you.


Jul 8, 2010

17 Weeks

[This is Skit, one baby of mine already, and 16 pounds! It's hard to imagine I'll gain nearly twice what he weighs - or more!]

Jul 1, 2010

Talking with our baby?

Two nights ago, the Hubs had a really cool dream:

He dreamt that he was lying there in bed with me lying next to him. He began hearing this voice, and starting thinking back to it, responding to it. That voice turned out to be our baby's voice, from inside the womb.

They were communicating telepathically! They had a conversation back and forth, from my belly to Kevin's mind. Kevin told me that our baby was a genius, and said that the baby's voice (or thoughts) reminded him of the baby from Family Guy... not the sound of the voice, but the way it was talking - very smart. When he told me about the dream he said that he asked our baby lots of questions, but he could only recall one of the questions afterwards.

He asked our baby if it was a boy or girl. The babe's response? It doesn't matter.

Which is so true, right? But how cool is that dream? Kevin had a hard time judging whether this dream was real or not, because he wasn't totally asleep... kind of in that halfway state where your body and mind are relaxed but still aware. And at the end of it, in the dream, I was rolling over.. but at the same time, he woke up and I was rolling over in real life... so it really confused him.

Could it be possible? I'd like to think that just as mother and baby can bond and "communicate" while the baby's in utero... that the dads can communicate as well! Maybe not telepathic conversations, but I do think it's neat to think about!