My second trimester looked a whole lot different than my first, but that's not a bad thing. A lot of exciting (and interesting) things have been happening.
Now that we are officially in the third trimester, the second one seems a bit like a blur. It has flown by! I can't help but think "9 months doesn't seem all that long!!" (Except I may not be echoing that same sentiment come August) This whole year has quickly disappeared into memories (is it really June already?!!). Makes me realize the baby will be here in no time at all.
You spent the month of March traveling on planes from one coast to another. We entered the 2nd trimester together while in San Francisco, then headed to Bahamas for a nice little getaway. I thought my bump as so large then. (If I had only known....) It wasn't so much of a bump you were forming, more just rounding me out, making this momma feel and look extra plump. Your grandpa liked to joke that my belly could easily be mistaken for a beer belly - but I think the fact that I was continually touching it made it more obvious that you were growing inside of there.
I'd respond, "how is it NOT obvious!" I digress. Looking back, it wasn't that obvious. A stranger asked me when I was due at the end of March, and my face just lite up! I replied "September 7th" in the proudest way, then reported to your dad the news... "Finally! I just don't look like I ate too many burritos and can't go the bathroom!" He responded, "not quite, you could still pass as just really needing to poop."
Today was the big day. I didn't know it, but your father was as nervous as could be. He hid it very well.
Today was the fetal survey. The big ultrasound where we get to see all of the ins and outs. 10 toes, check, 10 fingers, check. The doctor measured your fingers, toes, heart, spine, body length, brain, organs...all of it. With each new angle and screenshot, your dad crept closer and closer to the screen, making sure you had all four heart valves and every other small intricacy. (Sometimes it's possible to know too much). He gave multiple smiles and sighs of relief with each minute that passed. I sat in utter amazement, squeezing your dad's hand and exclaiming, "wowwww" about every five seconds. You looked so cozy in there, but you are certainly a squirmer!
Then the chance came to see if you were a boy or a girl- and we COVERED OUR EYES!! We kept smirking at one another from behind our hands, "should we look," "no, don't do it!"... "wait, maybe we do want to know!"
The day of your birth will be full of surprises. Your sex, your name, and if you happened to get my "twin toes" or not. (The ultrasound was not able to conclude one way or the other since your little foot was smashed against my uterus wall.)
We were in the exact same room, same bed, viewing the same television, as we were when we learned the news that we had lost your sibling. Last year, I had nightmares about this exact scenario. It was incredibly bittersweet, and yet redeeming. To see where we were to where we are now, God knew this entire story and how it would play out.
The following verse kept running through my mind as I laid on the table in awe of the picture displayed on the dark wall in front of me:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-16)
You are wonderfully, fearfully made. You're already known. Every single part of you is being knit together in my womb.
Sometimes there are just no words.
Baby VK says HELLOOO :)
I drove from our ultrasound appointment to the airport, another work trip was calling my name to Washington DC. I spent the week cooped up in a hotel, waiting for the moment to get outside and enjoy the cherry blossoms and sunshine. Just to feel that warm, fresh air and taste the arrival of Spring- completely rejuvenating and worth another week of feeling ill while traveling. I'm hoping you enjoy traveling much more outside of the womb than you have inside of it.
Your dad also has a new nickname for you. For the past week, you have been called "Ricardo." I wish I could give you a rhyme or reason but it's just your nickname. And it has stuck. I'm sorry.
(and just for good measure, sometimes in "Ricardarina" in case you're a girl) Again, I'm so sorry.
At 19 weeks, I am loving this bump you are giving me. I am no longer looking super chubby, but instead, I popped. I thought I had "popped" a long time ago, but now I get it when people use that term. It's taken a bit to get used to, this ever-growing thing. This stomach-is-starting-to-get-in-the-way thing.
We've had a few other 'bumps' along the road the past few weeks. Apparently one can develop allergic reactions while pregnant- which I had the opportunity to experience...all.over.my.body. That's right, you and I spent yet another Sunday afternoon in the ER after my airway began to close. Neighbor Jim drove us to the hospital (I think he is just about as excited for your arrival as we are!) I told your dad it was our way of getting to spend some quality time with him while he was on call. Lovely dinner from the hospital cafeteria and all. Praise God all is well, you are healthy, I'm healthy and steroids served to keep me from catching my eyeballs out of my head.
Safe to say we learn something new everyday.
Today, we celebrated your dad's birthday, hitting the halfway mark in our pregnancy, 7 years since we began dating, and Easter! It was one of those days I will never forget. There is so much to celebrate on a day like today. All of these life celebrations that bring smiles to our faces and warmness to our hearts are anchored in the story of what Easter represents to us - the single reason we are able to celebrate LIFE. What a beautiful day. My heart is overflowing.
A few weeks ago, all of the new furniture arrived at our home that you would soon be yours. All of the nursery furniture looked so beautiful, I got teary-eyed just looking at it. Although we haven't had time to rearrange the furniture or put your crib together, just seeing the gorgeous white pieces sitting in your soon-to-be nursery makes everything very real. Today, I found Maizy sitting in the dead center of the room, looking around. She is trying to figure out who exactly all of this fancy stuff is for.
Today is 23 weeks, I started to feel your flutter. OH. MY. GOSH.
At first I thought it was my digestive track. Nope, it was definitely you. You are moving and a groovin' in there. All times of day, you are punching and kicking and stretching out. Sometimes I'm not really sure what you are doing, except just saying "hello, I'm hereeee guys." I've been attempting to eat sugar right before your dad gets home, so that you would be a bit more lively in order that he could feel you. It may be a wivestale, because it hasn't worked for a week...until....
This evening, we were laying in bed and I started to feel you kick on the outside. I grabbed your dad's hand, put in on my belly and whispered, "just wait." He lite up like the forth of July.
In other news, I'm learning how to roll myself off of the couch, how much I love the body pillow, and how difficult shaving my legs is going to be in the months to come. My belly is protruding enough that Maizy is none to thrilled with getting her spot taken up by this stomach during snuggle time. Her solution? To put half her body on my belly and half off, complete with the head and paw spread across my belly like it's suddenly a comfy pillow of sorts. She's say hello to you.
You already have a built-in buddy! This isn't new news, but you got to "meet" him.
Cousin Elichia and I grew up very close. From weekends on the lake, driving the train around the lawn, playing teacher, snowmobiling up north, jetsking in the bay, playing soccer together and multiple vacations (one in which we had crab every.single.night for an entire week on the east coast and another where climbed Diamond Head in Hawaii..)...we have lots of memories from childhood. Amazingly enough, we were both pregnant at the family Christmas party and didn't know it.
You are going to have a baby cousin, a boy, who is expected to arrive two weeks before you. I hope that our labor and delivery will be as amazing as hers have been (take after your cousins child!).
My feet are beginning to disappear.
This being pregnant thing is awfully limiting. Apparently growing a human can put some restraints on what you can and cannot do. I know you're having a ball in there, but out here it's taking some adjusting. I'm not sure if it's called denial or being completely naive, but the past week I've become shocked at what I can no longer do. It's a frustrating experience knowing that lifting a bag of mulch will prove to be a painful for days to follow. This body is just not my own right now...it's your home and I'll try to make it as warm and cozy in there as possible (even if that means no longer moving drywall down the basement stairs)
Aunt Jessica came to visit this week and cried when she saw the belly bump that you have formed. She talked and talked to you and even felt your kick! Together, we finished our landscaping- because that's what our family has been doing for months- stepping in and helping like crazy. I'd like to say that you will be spoiled, but the reality is we have been too. As I try to care for you, each of them has cared for us. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but goodness, I'd say it has taken one to prepare for you!
Mom and dad put your crib together today. We rearranged the furniture in your nursery, tested out the rocking chair numerous times (it's comfy) and began to fill the drawers. I pass your room and peak inside. It takes my breathe away thinking that a little one will be occupying that crib by the end of summer. Sometimes it's those very small, seemingly insignificant moments that remind me that our entire life is about to change. We are both frightened beyond belief and excited beyond belief. It's safe to say that this Fall will be a rather long period of trial and error for us three (Four, if you include Maizy, your bestie)
On another note, your father's reaction to my growing belly is quite entertaining. Neither one of us can fathom how much it changes every single week! About once a week, I catch him just looking at it in disbelief. I asked him if it's weird to see me like this and we both agree that it is...by the time we get used to it you'll be in our arms. Lately, he will kiss me on the forehead when he leaves in the early morning, while I'm still half asleep, and then kiss my belly and tell you he loves you. There's nothing better.
It's a gorgeous, sunny day and you and I are entering the last trimester of this journey. Your growth has been stretching the round ligament pain to new levels, I'm feeling a bit more tired than normal and the feet...oh the glorious feet - sweet mother of swelling.
I suppose if that's all I have to complain about, I certainly can't complain at all. I'll treasure those times you kicked so hard my entire stomach moved like jello, and the constant need to always know where the nearest bathroom is (oh please never let me get stuck without a restroom in site!).
Keep the swelling, bloat and "please don't let me pee my pants" pleas coming. It's the only time in life where those things are ridiculously beautiful.