Wednesday, August 30, 2006

over the hump

We've made it past twenty weeks, past the halfway point. And boy, does it feel good. Today we went in for our level II ultrasound and it might well be one of the happiest and most amazing times of my life. For the first time, going into this ultrasound, I really had no fears. I knew that what is growing inside is perfect and complete. Of course the u/s confirmed this for me, and now we are the proud owners of 16 beautiful shots of our beautiful daughter (which of course we will share with the grandparents).

I didn't expect to cry in the sonographer's office, but as I stared at our lovely little one, I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement that I couldn't help but let the silent tears come. God is so good to give us this perfect gift. Our sonographer found out that my hubby is a pastor and she revealed she, too, is a believer. Throughout the u/s she kept saying how "beautiful" and "perfect" our baby is, and "what a gift" and "blessing" she will be to us. Near the end, she made us promise to bring the baby back to visit. At the end of the hour, I gave her a big hug without even thinking about it. She who had been a perfect stranger at 9am became an intimate friend by 10.

The creation of a human being is something I cannot comprehend as mere science. No, her body is a perfect miracle, of such detail and intricate design that it boggles the mind. Her strong, beating heart with an opening in the aortic septum that closes at birth. A placenta that delivers and screens and filters all necessary nutrients she needs for 40 weeks. A brain with clearly distinguishable hemispheres. Little, soft mouth that opens and closes and drinks in amniotic fluid. Stomach, kidneys, liver, bladder--all in working order. Unbelievable. Don't even get me started on her daddy's turned up nose and gorgeous profile. I can't stop bragging and she's not even here!

I don't know how we can possibly wait 20 more weeks to meet her.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

more dreams

It was inevitable. Every pregnant blogger I follow (and believe me, there's lots) at some point has written about their whacko dreams. So far my nighttime meanderings have been extremely complex and also very memorable. I've had some very sweet and wonderful dreams, and also some strange ones that play off my most extreme fears and insecurities.But the past few nights I got into the just plain weird.

I won't bore you with the details of my bizarre dreams, other than to say that two nights ago my baby was the size of a small hampster and last night's dream involved a deformed newborn who talked and disappeared bit by bit with each wipe of her breastmilk poop-covered tooshie. It was the type of dream where midway through, my conscious mind said to my unconscious mind, "I know this is just a freaky pregnancy dream. Real babies might be born with physical deformities, but they don't talk or disappear when you wipe their booties."

The rest of the dream my conscious and unconscious minds played tennis, volleying back and forth between somewhat real and completely surreal. The poop was definitely "real"--yellow, seedy and all over the place. Finally finishing cleaning up the poop and putting a diaper the size of a band-aid on my now itsy-bitsy baby: not real. Actually, after I put the band-aid on, my baby turned into one of those old school, paper punch-out, dress-up dolls, the kind where the clothes wrapped around the flat, skinny lady with little white tabs. Freaky.

But there were real elements of the dream as well. At one point I distinctly said to my talking newborn, who had just asked about me the extent of her deformities, "I love you just the way you are." And I really meant it.

That part of the dream is probably the most significant. If you look at what most first-time moms worry about, it's that something will be wrong with their child. Will I make it through the first trimester? Is the nuchal fold okay? What will the blood tests say? 20-week ultrasound normal? Growing at the same rate as other babies? 10 fingers and 10 toes? The fears and worries are nearly constant, and I know from my friends who are moms that the worrying never stops. But what it always comes down to is that no matter what, I do and I will love this baby more than ever possibly imagined. You cannot put a limit on a mother's love, no matter what the outcome. Very rarely do we have "perfect" children. As a matter of fact, I have yet to meet a perfect child.

So I say, bring it on dreams. Let my conscious mind put the unconscious in its place. This baby was loved well before she anything more than a clump of cells growing and dividing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

dreaming of you

Dear Little One,

Last night I dreamt of you. The dream began with the realization that you were crying in an upstairs room. When I reached you, your head and neck were wet with tears and frustration. I picked you up and you nuzzled into my neck and chest, calming immediately with what can only be described as familiarity. I knew instinctly that you recognized my smell, my heartbeat, the sound of my voice and the shape of my body.

It was the first time I held you, and once you were still I couldn't keep from admiring every piece of your perfect, beautiful face. You had wispy brown hair that curled away from your face, almond shaped newborn-grey eyes, the sweetest button nose and full, kissable lips. Maybe it's vain, but you looked like me, and I know because I was specifically checking to see whether your dad's or my features found their way to your tiny face.

I kissed your face and your lips over and over, letting you suck on my lower lips and "kiss" me back, laughing at your hungry innocence. As I carried you down the stairs, your dad came to meet us and we couldn't believe how blessed we were to have you in that moment. Every wish, every dream fulfilled in a tiny, perfect, precious little baby.Our baby. Our friends were all gathered around, waiting to see you and welcome you home.

The dream ended as I made my way to a comfy chair to nurse you for the first time. I couldn't wait to hold you to my skin and provide you with the nourishment you sought, rooting around at your hand and my face as we approached the chair. Your father walked carefully beside us, moving things out of the way, clearing the chair, and smiling the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face.

It was the sweetest dream I've ever had the pleasure of dreaming, and when I woke to my own bed I wasn't sad the dream had ended. I cupped my hand around your small shape in my belly and fell back asleep, dreaming of the wonderful days ahead.



Thursday, August 03, 2006

is it a him or a her, a ma'am or a sir?

At our 16 week appointment yesterday we got to hear the baby's heartbeat again. According to our doctor, it's "perfect!" I started to giggle and the heartbeat got all covered up by spasmodic static. :)

After answering a few questions, my doctor (the best ever) said "how about we take a look and see what we can see in there?" I about jumped off the table into his arms I was so happy! He told us to wait while he checked into the availability of an ultrasound room and the hubby and I danced around the room, so thrilled to see our little peanut again and *maybe* find out the sex.

I had wanted to ask about the possibility of an ultrasound, but just recently the staff hung posters ALL OVER the office saying that they offer one ultrasound to confirm pregnancy in the first trimester and the next u/s happens at 20 weeks with the perinatalogist. I figured they must have been getting lots of requests for ultrasounds in order to place these posters up everywhere. So the fact that Dr. W offered, well we were just beside ourselves with joy!

First of all, let me just say how nice it is to leave the transvaginal probe behind and move onto the more commonly recognized transducer wand which is placed on the OUTSIDE of the belly. Happy part number one.

The baby was so active the entire time, moving arms and legs and turning and dancing around in there. We weren't sure we'd get to see anything because little peanut had its legs firmly pressed together for most of the ultrasound, as in "there's nothing to see here, folks, move along." Our doctor tapped the u/s transducer around on my belly a few times to try and get those legs separated...and for a split moment, they opened.

Based on the doctor's short glimpse, we think it's a....GIRL! But we're not sure, so he told me to just come in again next week and have another look. Is my doctor not the most wonderful and amazing OB there is?

I could have stayed on that table all day, just watching with awe as the little one darted around and moved all her appendages for us to see. I can see why rich people (like Tom and Katie) buy their own sonogram machine, because you could seriously get addicted to watching the baby flit and flutter about. At least I could. I can't wait to go back.