Tuesday, February 5, 2013

20 weeks, 4 days

A lot has happened in the past two weeks since I've updated! I'll get right down to the good baby stuff and then fill in the rest.

We had our big 20 week ultrasound yesterday! We had struggled with the "should we find out the sex of the baby" question for about 19 weeks. Seriously, I must have gone back and forth about it 100 times. And in my uncertainty, I got so much unsolicited, kind of forceful advice on what to do from every person who asked about it. Some people INSISTED that we find out the sex. Others would smugly talk about the thrill of the surprise on the day of birth (there is little I hate more than smugness) and demand that we wait for the surprise. I felt especially torn because Champ and his whole family were on the "surprise" boat and my whole family was on the "find out" train, so as a people pleaser, I felt a lot of pressure and had a hard time figuring out what it was that I wanted. For me and Champ and our baby.

After many long conversations with Champ, and several detailed pro/con lists, I decided I wanted to find out. Champ was on board, as he dutifully said he would support whatever I wanted to do (even though he had a slight preference to maintain the surprise). In the end, I think it was just the fact of making it feel more real and helping me to bond with the baby. During my year and a half in the IF world, I learned to set myself up for disappointment, to never get too attached to a potential follicle or promising EWCM. To some degree, I've been doing the same thing with this pregnancy, not REALLY believing it was actually going to happen. So I thought maybe learning the sex might help to start realizing this baby's identity, that's it's a real tiny person in there.

And I was right - just in the past less-than-24-hours, I am starting to visualize a nursery, registering for baby stuff, thinking about little outfits. And this comes after a couple months of un-nesting. Maybe I would feel more attached anyway, because the ultrasound is so crazy detailed and the baby actually LOOKS like a baby now.

Anyway, that's a lot of background info to tell you - we're having a girl!

And I'm especially glad now that we found out early because Champ is FREAKING OUT. Somehow he really really expected it to be a boy and was not mentally prepared at all for a girl. I'm glad he has the next 4 1/2 months to get used to the idea. I think he's the tiniest bit disappointed because we both are fully aware that this little gal is likely our only child (though I don't think I'll ever be on a birth-control plan again. We will happily accept another babe at any time) and he has always wanted a boy. I'm sure he'll be an amazing father either way, but this is going to take some getting used-to for him!

In other news, Baby Girl is checking out as very normal and very healthy. She's measuring right exactly on schedule, within one day of my due date for everything except for length of the femur - baby's got long legs! Not a surprise, since Champ and I are both on the taller side. The ultrasound was amazing and they gave us a CD with the video to take home to show family - which I learned today from friends is not the norm. I've been really happy with my practice and now both of the doctors I've seen.

Tonight, Champ and I are going to sit down and decide which child birth / baby safety / breastfeeding classes we want to sign up for and also when we're going to tour our hospital. Now I feel ready to start prepping our house a little bit more and getting everything ready for our little gal.

We had some bad news yesterday, too, however. My sister-in-law is having a miscarriage. She just announced her pregnancy to the family a couple weeks ago (at 9 1/2 weeks). I was taken aback that they had gotten pregnant so soon after me (they started trying a few days after we announced our pregnancy and got pregnant literally the day they decided to start trying), but very happy that our little one would have a cousin so close in age (I never had close cousins!).

The whole situation is a little weird because she went in for her first prenatal appointment at 9 1/2 weeks and they couldn't find the heartbeat on the doppler. They told her she probably had an tilted uterus and she left without an ultrasound. They told her she'd get one at her next appointment. That would have been a huge red flag to me and I would have never left without immediate plans to make sure the baby was okay. However, she is younger and probably a little more naive and much less cynical than I and just took the doctor's word on it. For the past several weeks, the baby has not been growing and she started spotting this weekend. They found out yesterday that they lost it and my brother called to tell me this as I was driving to my big 20 week ultrasound. What a rollercoaster of emotions. Lots of sad, devastated tears and lots of happy, celebratory tears, all within an hour. And such irony that for the past year and a half they have been worried about saying the wrong thing to me, worried about my infertility issues, and now I am halfway through my pregnancy and worrying about them, and saying the wrong thing to them. The real kick in the nuts is that her sister has had four miscarriages. I can only imagine the thoughts racing through her head today on whether losing this pregnancy is a fluke or if she will be in for the same long journey as her sister.

I think the next few weeks will be really hard - I know being around me will be hard for them, because I've got a very visible baby bump. Of course I will want to be sensitive and not talk about Baby Girl too much, but I also want to be careful not to shut them out on the topic. It might warrant a quick conversation with my brother, after they've had some time to grieve, to see what I can do to make it easier to be around me. The last thing I want to do is to make this any more difficult or painful for them!

So as you can see, there's been some really amazing news and really terrible news in the past... day. I feel awful for my sister in law and brother but also I am trying to not let that take anything away from the joy I feel about our healthy babe.