Friday, April 19, 2013

Birth Story

What will our son look like? 
Will he look more like me or Joel? 
Either way, he's going to have big ears. Sorry kid.

It's my birthday today and the only thing my mind can seem to focus on is our son's birthday in the near future. When will he arrive? What will he look like? What will be the story I tell him the morning of his birthdays?

Following tradition, my mom called me this morning and recited the story of when I was born. She went into labor late the night before, dropped my brother & sister off, and labored all night long. The nurses were more worried about my pale-faced Dad in the corner and kept offering him food. My mom tried to postpone my delivery until her doctor could get there because she had heard horrible things about the doctor on-call. I was persistent, so her plan was ruined. I was born at 7:50am. The doctor was a middle-eastern man with a very thick accent. When I was born he kept saying "A beautiful baby girl! A beautiful baby girl!" He asked my mom what they would name me and she told him, "Emily Elizabeth." "Oh!" he exclaimed, "You've taken all of the beautiful names!" About 15 minutes later they changed my name to Sara because I needed a "stronger name." Labor was not kind to my face--it was swollen and puffy, my nose was smushed down, my lips were gigantic and my chin stuck out so far it literally cast a shadow! My parents were worried the name Emily was too dainty for this monstrosity they created. All I needed was some beauty sleep, people. My mom always ends the story telling me how alert I was from the moment I was born. She would shake her cup of ice chips and my eyes would perk up and follow her cup as she moved it side to side. "You've always been bright," she says. And, having seen it all on video tape, I'll always remember how happy my dad was that morning. I'm the third child and they already had one of each gender; nonetheless, he doted on me like I was the first and only baby to come into this world. I am blessed to have such a loving set of parents.

I appreciate my mother even more now that I am pregnant (and I haven't even been through labor yet!). This birthday I am more grateful for her than anything. I genuinely feel blessed to take part of this tradition of sacrifice that has been passed down from woman to woman, generation to generation. It is divine. I look forward to holding each of my babies the mornings of their special day and reciting all of the painful, funny, and tender details of their own birth stories. Birthdays are the best sort of memories.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weeks 19 & 20

Our baby is a BOY! We had the anatomy scan ultrasound at 19 weeks and got to see our baby from head to toe. It was such a relief to see that he's healthy and growing normally. We're so grateful. I am still on a high from seeing his little body move around inside of me. There's just no way to explain the joy I feel. Joel and I are both so happy. Our baby boy kept stretching out his arms, legs and fingers during the ultrasound. My right uterus is a little higher up than normal so his feet are already close to my ribs. He's got a lot of energy and I'm feeling him more and more each day.
We had no inkling as to whether our baby is a boy or girl, so when we found out the gender we were both shocked. The look on Joel's face was priceless. His eyes lit up and he just grinned for the rest of the appointment. He's not a jump-up-and-down-on-Oprah's-couch sort of guy, but I could tell he was ecstatic. I am amazed at how quickly I fell in love with him (I know, cliche). I get choked up just thinking about my boy, especially during conference weekend as I imagined raising a son and hoping that he will be a good man. He is so special to me already. And I am already an annoyingly adoring mother.

We did some major spring cleaning and this pregnant lady is thrilled! We cleaned out our second bedroom, organized everything into boxes, and bought plastic drawers for baby stuff. We still only have a bassinet, a pack of diapers and a few sleepers but we're ready for more!
I actually feel my stomach stretching now so I've been using a lot of oil to ease the feeling that this child is going to burst out of me. I use Mother's Special Blend--it is amazing stuff. It's extremely oily when you first put it on, but when it soaks in my skin is so soft and it completely gets rid of dry skin and itchiness. I'm not trying to avoid stretch marks--because it is genetic and inevitable for me--I just use this oil to make myself more comfortable.
I've had a bad case of baby brain ever since the stick said positive. I can't remember names or places and am constantly switching up dates. Just last month we arrived at my cousin's birthday party an entire week early. It's getting so bad that Joel has even caught the bug. Last week he went into the city for a meeting, which was actually scheduled for the next day.
I had to start sleeping with a pillow between my legs; otherwise, my hips ache so badly it keeps me up. If I sit for too long my lower back will start to hurt. Other than that, I feel awesome. I am loving the second trimester. I can't believe I'm at the halfway mark! I do not feel 5 months pregnant.

Just five minutes from our house is a beautiful beach. Sometimes I forget we live on the coast because the majority of the time we've lived here so far has been during the winter. Now that the sun has come out we've been heading down to the water more often, and I'm sure I'll be there most days this summer. Both Joel and I were beach babies (he in Brazil and me in Southern California) so it's fun that our little boy will be a beach babe, too. I can't wait to kiss that brown, chubby boy!

*picture taken at the end of week 20 and after Sunday dinner--so half of that belly is a food baby, sorry. Still not popping out too much.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Bouncing Baby

Nautical blue for our East Coast BOY!

He's healthy and just about the cutest thing we've ever seen. Look at that face! We're proud parents already.

We've been secretly hoping for a boy the past few weeks so we're on cloud nine. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Weeks 17 & 18

I can feel the baby move! Every so often my lower abdomen suddenly feels full and I feel something moving on its own in there. One time it felt like the baby did a flip, but for the most part it feels like small bubbles popping. The movements aren't huge but I can finally feel him/her.
We're getting anxious about finding out the gender of this little one. I thought I would have a preference but I honestly don't. Joel goes back and forth. We've reached the point that we just want to know! We can't wait to find out on Friday and see how much our baby has grown in 10 weeks. I have all of this energy to plan and nest, so we've harnessed that into finding deals on baby items. Seriously, one Friday night we spent at least an hour in the diaper section of Shop Rite comparing prices in the store and online. Who would've thought diaper prices would be one of the thrills we chase in our twenties?

Week 17 & 18 have been all about appearances. Since I got pregnant, it's only shown in my chest (so painful). At around 14 weeks I broke down and got a new bra that fit better and I'll probably be replacing it in few weeks. In these last 2 weeks, the rest of my body has gone from softening around the edges to "WHAT HAPPENED?!"--I actually yelled that in a dressing room. While I'm still not obviously pregnant looking, I definitely notice the difference. I'm not complaining about the weight or changes to my body--that's what I signed up for--but I am really curious. When does this happen to everyone else? Am I small, medium or big for this stage? Do things even out? Will I look pregnant in my front and my back?! (Because seriously, already having a curvy figure is not doing me any favors!) I am constantly asking about other peoples' experiences so I can make sense of my own.

The sudden awareness of my body size sent me out shopping for maternity clothes. Why did I wait so long to buy maternity jeans?! Those things are divine. My goal is to only buy maternity clothes that make me feel exceptionally great. I found some nice stuff at Kohl's and Macy's but will be spreading most of the shopping out as I grow.

Every day I take a walk down to the library and back. It's been a nice way to exercise and get some fresh air. The walk takes me through our town's Veteran's Cemetery. It's been a favorite place of mine since we've moved here. It's full of history, huge trees and a gorgeous lake. In the fall the foliage is stunning, and for Christmas the town decorates the graves with wreaths. I've decided to take the weekly photos in favorite spots of ours around Connecticut and New York. I know we'll look back on this time in our lives with fond memories of where we lived and the exciting changes that were taking place.