However, there is one major flaw in this projected plan... the approaching third trimester. In the fog of my 2nd trimester blissfulness, I have been enjoying a relatively comfortable state. My belly is in its "cute stage," clearly announcing my pregnancy without making me tip over. There are a few aches and pains here or there, but I still have a lot of energy. However, from what I have heard, it won't last. For now, I will continue to enjoy every day I have left without the swollen feet, muscle cramps, back pains, GERD, and olympic-force kicks!
In the meantime, here are the highlights from the last 5 weeks:
At the end of my first trimester, I had made an initial attempt to start looking for maternity clothes. With my barely-showing baby bump, I started to make the rounds at the local stores to evaluate my options. At that point, it seemed I had jumped the gun a bit... the belly-band jeans extended up almost to my neck line and the shirts easily could have passed for dresses. Tony and I voted to hold off on the mommy clothes shopping for a bit. A couple weeks ago, the time seemed right to make the big leap into maternity fashion... my tank tops had transformed into crop tops and my jeans could no longer zip-up, let alone button. My friend, Mamie, and I made a day out of the shopping trip. It was shocking to see the same clothes I had tried on a few weeks earlier now fit like a glove. Surprisingly, some of the options even are fashionable! I have been enjoying the comforts and style of the new additions to my wardrobe
Of course, the baby belly continues to grow... at a seemingly alarming rate. I keep having to double check the dates... how am I only halfway and ALREADY this big? I can't imagine carrying twins.
Tony finally was able to break free from work to join me at a baby appointment. At our 16th week appointment, we were hopeful that he would have a chance to see the baby for the first time. Our wonderful doctor agreed that Tony should have a quick peek at the baby. It was unbelievable how much the baby had grown from the last time I had seen him. Little stick limbs now had fingers and toes. The heart no longer was just a little flutter... now it had distinctively formed chambers strongly working together. We had a quick glimpse at the face, an adorable button nose and daddy's chin. And, of course Tony was the first to point out the real secret... Baby Bean has his own little beans... a baby boy! Unfortunately, we weren't able to take home any pictures. But, it was a special moment, holding hands with my husband and making that discovery together. Call it mother's intuition, but since about Week 10 of pregnancy I had a strong feeling we would be having a little man. In all fairness, I did have a 50/50 chance of being right. But, I'll still count it as a small win!
Since the beginning of my pregnancy, my mom had anxiously been awaiting the announcement of the "first flutter." Starting at 8 weeks, she would ask, "are you feeling The Flutter yet???" Of course, Baby Bean really was bean-size at that time, making it unlikely to feel much of anything... even the most forceful of "flutters." In the time before I felt the first movements, I held over my mommy-fears with this great (and surprisingly cheap) fetal doppler. Tony also heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time using it, with us listening together through headphones
Around 16 weeks, I felt our little baby move for the first time. While drifting off to sleep, I felt the little kicks... distinctly different movements from anything I have experienced before. To me, it felt like the popping of tiny popcorn kernels. I was so excited that I woke Tony up from sleeping to let him know... in his groggy state, he nicely asked "are you sure it wasn't just gas?" At 18 weeks, he got the answer, as he too was able to feel the little kicks while we were lying down to sleep. Since then, the tiny movements have steadily been growing... and occurring at increasingly more inopportune times. Baby Bean's favorite times to announce his presence include: (1) As my bladder is reaching the bursting point (2) Right in the middle of a meal (3) While trying to finish patient notes and (4) In the dead middle of the night. I am pretty sure that this child will be the master of bad timing.
On the very exciting belly-button news front: I officially have a "no-ey." It is hard to tell if the button will make the final "pop" to the outey.
But, my birthmark is certainly continuing to migrate further and further from its home beside my once distinct iney.
Since discovering Baby Bean actually is Baby BOY Bean, we have started to think about what we need for our future son. Tony and I haven't gotten down to actually buying many things yet... but when we go into stores and see the dinosaur onsies and bright-blue sneakers, we think of our baby. A couple weeks ago, I bought the first items for Baby Bean... 3 little outfits. With the pajama set made for a 0-3 month old, two thoughts came to mind... (1) a real, live baby will be living in these in a few months and (2) how in the world am I going to carry something THAT LARGE?! I used to think baby clothes looked so tiny... that was until I had the personal responsibility of carrying said "little person."
...he seemed to approve. Hopefully Baby Bean will as well!
Arguably, one of the most difficult parts of the process of becoming parents has been choosing a name. And, as you progress through pregnancy (particularly after you know the baby's sex), it is one of the first questions that people will ask you. Before we found out the sex, we had attempted to come up with a list of boy and girl names. Of course, we had enough girl choices to name a set of octuplets... but no boy names. Tony, in particular, is extremely picky, especially for the boy names. Presently, the (extensive) list of criteria includes:
(1) A name long enough to have a good nickname, while not offering opportunities for creative middle-school minds to invent distasteful ones of their own
(2) Must not already be a name of close friend (or his/her children), living relative, or a disliked acquaintance
(3) Cannot be a "hippy name" (to include a state of the weather, some form of fruit, or an inanimate object)
(4) Cannot be a mainstream dog or cat name (nor a movie star's / superhero's name)
(5) Must have a nice ring to it, but not be too common or uncommon
(6) Must have a benign set of initials
I am very appreciative that my husband takes this important task so seriously. However, at this rate, our child will be born "Baby Bean Sidari." Despite this daunting list of criteria, we have been hard at work scouring lists of baby names... and have even tried asking the "Baby Name Genie." In the process, we have come up with one nice list... of name combinations that are definitely OFF the "real" list. These include:
(1) Hercules Americus Sidari
(2) Zion Maximus Sidari
(3) MacJesus Awesomo Sidari
(4) Manuel Noel Sidari
(5) Cesar Saladus Sidari
(6) Thor Rivers Sidari
(8) Albert Slytherin Sidari
(9) George Foreman Sidari
The name quest will likely be continued throughout the rest of this pregnancy. Thankfully, we only need to come up with one winning option.
I thought many of the pregnancy-body-transformation-secrets had been revealed to me through medical school. Coming into the second trimester, I already was pretty well versed on expectations of bloating, round ligament pain, and constipation. But, somewhere along the way, I missed the news update on this event:
When trying to get up from the couch on Week 19, I noticed a previously unseen protruding mass...
...and she uses a surgical robot to cut the growing alien baby out of her belly.
Sure enough, Tony came to the rescue and re-enlightened me on Diastasis Recti... a separation of the left and right abdominal musculature leading to a weakened point between them... very common in pregnancy. It will take a few extra exercises to strengthen after pregnancy, but is a pretty benign condition. However, it goes to show how much you really learn from first-hand experience.
One of the most exciting parts of the last few weeks was the anxiously awaited 2nd trimester ultrasound!! Tony and I imagined the great pictures we would get from the day to share with family (in addition to confirmation that he was growing well). Of course, Baby Bean had other plans. For the entire exam, he had his head thoroughly buried in the space just above my cervix... which explains the nightly tap-dancing act he plays on my bladder. We were able to get most of the anatomy shots, but were left with photos that did not help with my nightmares of alien babies!
If this is any preview, I think I will have an obstinate little baby that takes after his Aunt Kit! In the next month, I have a repeat scan so that they can finish looking at his cervical spine and some additional brain landmarks... and maybe a few improved face shots... if he is more cooperative. Hopefully, I will have some better pictures at that time to hold me over until I see him in real-life!