Friday, March 28, 2014

17 Weeks

Baby Boy Stanley is growing! At his ultrasound on Wednesday, he weighed in around 8 ounces, about half a pound.

He didn't pose for a profile shot, but did get a lot of good anatomy information. He has long legs and a big head, like his daddy. He's measuring about four days ahead of his due date, and his head length is even about a week ahead. 

And he's definitely a boy! (Of course he showed this to us and not his face...) 

I love that we're getting so much reassurance that he's growing and healthy. His spina bifida test came back negative this week, too. 

Our last ultrasound with Maternal-Fetal Care is at twenty weeks, to check his heart and other organs when he's about a pound.

Eighteen weeks tomorrow (Saturday)! We're quickly approaching the halfway mark!  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

On Feeling Invalidated

I've been noticing in the last couple of weeks that there seems to be a culture of "you have no idea what you're doing until you're in it" among parents. No one's said anything directly to me to cause me to think this, so I may be reading into things, but if you look around in the media, books, and sometimes what people say, it's there. It bothers me.

It makes me feel like my opinions about my child and how I want to raise him don't matter until I've already done it. Like having a game plan is a bad thing.

I became a mom when I had Penny. She may have only been with us for a few days, and she may have spent most of her life in the care of nurses, but she made me a mom. This boy growing in my belly is my second child. I may not have any children at home, but I've been a mom since November of 2012.

I see lots of complaints about how people without kids have no idea how much their life will change when they become parents. Their lives are not their own, their time is not their own, and so on. I know this. I've been a full-time nanny since August of 2012. I'm quite familiar with the struggle of keeping a house clean, of having fair and effective discipline, of transitions, of safety, of spending all day on what THEY want and THEY need, of not being able to hardly use the bathroom without interruption, of feeding the gospel into them on a daily basis, and so on. In those situations, I feel like I've had enough experience to merit an opinion on those things.

I know I don't know everything. I don't pretend I do. I'm a nanny 9-5 on weekdays, so I don't know what it's like to have a bedtime routine. I don't know what it's like when your child wakes up sick in the middle of the night. I don't know how it changes and challenges a marriage. I don't know what the sleeplessness of midnight feedings is like. I don't know the financial burdens. I don't know what it's like to coordinate holidays between in-laws. There are so many things I don't know that I can't count them, or anticipate them all. I know that. So I don't comment on them, except to repeat what experienced mothers have told me. I do listen where wisdom is to be gained.

Having a plan isn't a bad thing. Having experience isn't a bad thing. When you start a new job, it's expected that you'll have experience as well as learn on the job. It feels like parenting is one of the few areas where previous experience can be totally negated. "Oh, but it won't be the same when it's your own kids. Just you wait." Maybe. I do expect it will be emotionally very different when I'm taking care of my own children. But that doesn't mean that I won't be drawing from my past experience of taking care of this other family of boys I love.

Maybe I am being naive. Maybe everything I know about taking care of children is wrong. Maybe my entire outlook on child-rearing and family life will change the moment that I change my baby's first diaper. But I doubt it. Yes, things will be different, and yes, I expect things to evolve as we go along. But that doesn't mean my opinions and experience now don't count.


Sorry for the rant. On the upside, I have my next ultrasound this Wednesday. Here are some stats:
He is now seventeen weeks along.
He is approximately the size of a turnip (about 5 inches long, crown to rump).
Mommy has been starting to go to the gym again. We want to gain healthy pounds!
Mommy and Daddy haven't decided on a name yet.
About twenty-three weeks to go, about 120 days down.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Comfy Cat

I've been crocheting a rug for Baby Boy Stanley's room for a while. I thought I'd share how Helo likes to help.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Baby Has Fingerprints

What can be more identifying as a person than fingerprints? At thirteen weeks pregnant, my baby already had them.

I read that little development tidbit the morning my child reached the 13-week mark. My reaction was to think about all the little ones who are being aborted at this stage. A bit morbid, yes, but that's where my mind went.

My baby, and all healthy babies at the cusp of the second trimester, have ten fingers and ten toes with fingernails attached. They have eyes, and eyelids, and mouths that practice breathing into their tiny lungs. They have growing, learning brains and beating hearts. Their organs are nearly all present, forming and moving into position. Their arms and legs move, and they have periods of wakefulness and sleepiness. And they have fingerprints.

When I told a good friend of mine I was pregnant again, I showed her the 9-week ultrasound image I had saved on my phone. Even she voiced surprise at how much my baby already looked like a person, at only two months gestation. 

That same morning my husband, along with many other members of our church, took part in the Walk for Life put on by Cornerstone Pregnancy Center. The center is for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. They offer pregnancy testing, counseling, and now ultrasounds. Statistically, seeing their own baby living and moving makes parents much more likely to carry their child to term. I think it shows them that a real person is growing in there.

As I found out in my last pregnancy, when abortion was offered as an option for "solving" the "problem" of Penny's abnormality, it is legal in Florida for a mother to abort her baby up to twenty four weeks of pregnancy. The average pregnancy is forty weeks. A woman can choose to destroy her child who is more than halfway finished developing in her womb. More than half. There are healthy, growing children who we're born as micro preemies around that gestational age. 

And they had fingerprints. 

My baby has fingerprints. My baby has an identity. My baby is more than a mass of cells which is less than human until labor or a c-section produces a person. My baby has always been a person. From blastocyst to birth and beyond, my baby is a loved person.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Coming in 2014

We're expecting a little addition on August 30th, 2014!
Nine weeks along!

We're so excited that God has blessed us with this little healthy bundle of joy!
Twelve weeks!

Because of the complications of our last pregnancy, we were lucky enough to have been offered early testing for our child, and fortunately everything looks normal and healthy. Specifically, they did a Panorama test for trisomy 13, 18, and 21, and monosomy X.

And since they were looking at the XY chromosomes anyway... they could tell what gender he is.

We're having a BOY!

Knowing this is such a blessing, because I do hope to continue my nannying job after my boy is born. Since I already take care of three boys, he'll fit right in! The two oldest boys will be in school (Kindergarten and Preschool) by then, so I'm praying God will continue to work it out. Also, the mom I work for has said that we're welcome to most of the clothes and some of the toys and swings that their baby will be done with by then. Score! I'm hoping my boy will get the experience of having three older "brothers" during the week and we can avoid some of the stereotypical oldest child tendencies. 

There's still tons to figure out, from names and nursery to parenting styles and more, but right now we're just excited that this little boy is growing and healthy!

Some stats:  He is fifteen weeks along today.
He should be about the size of an apple
I have been in maternity pants for about three weeks now... so I figure he'll be a big boy (like his dad). :)