Monday, February 1, 2010

An Unexpected Surprise

So now we get to another reason for the January hiatus. I have been tired. Tired beyond recognition. Too tired to move. And sick. Not "vomiting" sick, but nauseous morning noon and night. On top of that, I have that class I'm teaching. And my "real job" and "real life." So blogging very much at all just seems to be out of the question. Here at the end of January I hate to tell those of you who would like me to go back to regular posts, that February looms to be more of the same.

The reason for the fatigue and the nauseousness, it turns out, is a baby. I am pregnant. Unexpectedly, surprisingly with child.

Baby's first photo - 8 weeks.
Head is down and right.

We weren't trying to get pregnant, per se. Mainly because we didn't think it was remotely possible, I guess. You see, we did try, years ago, to get pregnant. We were tested for abnormalities and none were found. We tried infertility treatments and none ever worked. So at the end of the day we gave up. And, while it's easy to write this now, in one little sentence, we moved on from that. Not overnight. Not without sadness and grieving over something we thought we wanted. But we did. We made peace with it. We really did. We moved on. And I am here to tell you I was really happy with our life and felt blessed.

Second photos - 12 weeks.
Head is on the left, legs and feet on right.

So, not to get too graphic for my male readers, when I was "late" last December, I thought nothing of it. I was DIETING, people. I was doing really well with that diet, too. And I was very, very busy at work with holiday programming. And I had certainly been late before. No biggie.

But after two weeks of being late (that part really not being that unusual) and just being sick of feeling like I had constant PMS, I decided to take a pregnancy test. The directions say to pee on the stick and then wait a number of minutes to see the results. Sister, I was so pregnant by this point it had turned positive before I could even get it out of the stream of pee. I walked out of the bathroom and told S, "I'm pregnant." He said, "Nuh-uh..." I said, "Yeah, I think so." Then I took him the test and the instructions for a second opinion. He agreed - it appeared I was pregnant.

Whoa. Geez. Really? Man. That's a lot to process.

I should say, before he shoots me, that S was pretty much excited from the get go. I am the one - the tired, nauseous one - that has had to process it a few days longer. I mean, as I said before, we processed the information about not having children over time. It wasn't like I could flip a switch back immediately! It just wasn't going to happen.

A week after the big positive test, I had a great deal of cramping and I was convinced I was miscarrying. I told S something was not right. He said I should call the doctor on call, who sent me to the hospital to get a sonogram and some blood work, since she had not seen me yet, ostensibly to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. Blood tests and sonograms later, all was well, except that I had a nasty kidney infection. They gave me a shot in the butt and some oral antibiotics and sent me home to lie in bed for a few days. We actually saw the embryo on the screen that day too, but didn't get a copy of it. At that point, it looked sort of like a seahorse.

So we decided we should wait to tell people until 12 weeks had passed. To make sure the biggest chance of miscarriage was over. And that passed this last week. So I told my boss, who, God bless him, was just very excited for me. And we told family, friends, co-workers, random acquaintances, over the last couple of days. And now I'm blogging about it.

And, before you already turn me into child protective services, I am excited about it. I am no longer feeling an affinity for the "unplanned pregnancy?" billboard on the way to work, which was really speaking to me a few weeks ago. I am getting around to being over the overwhelmed part. OK, scratch that. I am not sure I will ever be over being overwhelmed for the rest of my life. And I am not as tired as I was, thank God. But I'm still nauseous. I'm looking forward to that ending too - people keep telling me it will. So, I have hope they are more knowledgeable than I am on this topic. Generally, I'm sure I'm just being a normal pregnant person.

The excitement quotient doubled-tripled-quadrupled when I saw the sonogram during week twelve. I wasn't supposed to have one that day, actually. Just a heartbeat check. But, while she could hear the fetus moving around (bloop-bloop noises on the heart monitor) she couldn't get a lock on the heartbeat. So, they sent me in for a sonogram. As you can see above, the eight week sonogram looked a lot like a kidney bean with a heartbeat. But this time - the twelve week sonogram - it looked pretty much like a BABY. And the heartbeat was there right away. And that little thing was waving its hand around and kicking its legs, turning its head. That was so cool. Amazing, really. Totally amazing. It made it seem so much more real. And maybe a tad worth all this bother.

We are going to find out if it is a boy or a girl. But we are not doing any other genetic testing, even though I am of "advanced maternal age," a horrible phrase. We are just going to take it from here and see what we end up with! I would put my money on a girl, if I were betting. The heartbeat has been high - 165 - which generally means it's a girl. The Chinese birth calendar, which is certainly 50% right, says its a girl. We weren't trying, which, again without going into information the menfolk would rather skip, usually means it's a girl. And that would be fine. I can list pros and cons of either sex. And I'll be happy with either. The sonogram that can help determine the sex will be on March 10th. So stay tuned.

We're trying to decide if we want to move before this blessed event. Our house only has two bedrooms, which means we'll lose our guest room/office if we stay. Again, there are pros and cons of both. We could certainly stay in the house until next spring and sell then. Then we'd know more about our finances post-baby. And we'd have a better idea of what our priorities will be post-baby. And certainly we could manage without a guest room for a year. The rest of the house is quite spacious for two people and a baby. But, the equity we have in this house would help us pay off some debt and get into something with three bedrooms. There is that home buyer tax credit that could disappear next year. And interest rates are certain to rise before next year too. Our house, though, needs some TLC before listing it, and we aren't going to purchase one before selling the other one. We did that once. We're not going to repeat it. And...I don't want to be moving in my third trimester. So who knows...we'll see how far we get in the next month and take it from there.

There are lots of other things to take under consideration - childcare for one. Apparently, in the city, childcare is costly and not abundant. Waiting lists abound. I do intend to go back to work after taking 12 weeks off, however, so reliable childcare will be essential. I'll be spending a great deal of time researching options in the coming weeks and months. And, back to the "should we move" question - now we have to think about schools when we move. Not tomorrow, but one day this child will need to enroll in school. These, my friends, are things I never thought I'd be pondering. But I am now, sister. I am now!

And, coincidentally, both - not one, but BOTH - of my Texas sisters-in-law are pregnant too. Yep - a whole lot of babies by Christmas. One about 11 weeks before ours, one about 5 weeks after ours. Lots of babies. Everywhere. Goodness.

Oh, and I'm due August 8th. In the heat of the Texas summer. Yeah. I know. I know. Please, if you see me in July, be kind to me and my cankles. I told the ladies at work that I planned to buy a big pink MuMu and wear it every single blessed day. And sit at my desk with a fan underneath me. God bless. I hate the Texas summer anyway. God bless. God bless.

So there you have it. An unexpected surprise that's really - literally - growing on me. The diet is on hiatus, too, I guess. But I am proud to say I didn't gain anything during the first trimester. And all those loose pants are now coming in really handy to put off the maternity clothes shopping for just a little longer. So we have a lot to take in, a lot to do, a lot to learn, a lot of change. A new adventure.

And I'll blog when I can. See you soon.