Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our decision.

"Hello, baby," says me, quietly sitting alone in my bedroom.

"Knock once if you're Livia, twice if you're Wyatt."

No response.

"Okay, knock once if you're really in there."

"Knock, knock, knock," says the baby.

"Wait a minute! Was that one knock for Livia and then two hello knocks, or two knocks for Wyatt and one hello knock?!" Ack! Tricky baby! You're just like you're father!


"I could make some real money charging admission to your room," said the delivery nurse. "I've never seen such a group waiting to come visit."

My husband and I laughed, holding our new baby. We had chosen early on in our pregnancy not to find out the gender, a decision that had boggled our entire families' minds for 9 months.

"How about you just have the doctor tell me?" said my mom.
"How will you buy anything in advance?" said his mom.
"You already know what it is, don't you?!" accused others.

But we didn't. For the entire pregnancy, we chose not to find out. It was horrible. The questions were tiresome. Explanations were longer. Everyone felt entitled to ask, "Why?" Even strangers on the street.

Now, I admit, it was the hardest thing I had ever had to do (thus far). At each doctor's visit, I would have an inner battle-- what if only I found out? I wouldn't tell anyone. I would even ask my doctor not to tell my husband at the next visit. Never mention it to him. It's a secret.

But each time, I would begin to feel like I was ruining some wonderful Christmas gift. Like telling your husband what his gift is, months before when you come up with the perfect idea. It would be wrong to find out. It would ruin the wonderful surprise. It would take the joy out of it. (Of course, our baby being born would have been the most joyful moment of my life anyway-- but this only sweetened the deal.)

So I would hold out. Each month. Internal turmoil aside, I would not find out the gender.

Therefore on Oct. 3, 2011, when my OBGYN walked in and said, "We're just going to break your water, Ok?" I was all smiles. 36 weeks, 5 days pregnant. 3 weeks, 2 days before my date.

"Okay," I said.

"Okay," said my husband.

By 2:00pm, we were allowed to begin pushing.

I had kidded through the entire pregnancy, "I don't care who shows up, as long as they're here before  my abdominal region explodes." Livia or Wyatt, whoever gets here first.

At 4:01, I met my baby for the very first time. It was red and wrinkly, but not mad. Maybe a tad startled. My husband, having been told that there would be swelling from the birth, thought we had a girl-- but the doctor quickly flipped the baby face up to reveal its gender. Wyatt had shown up. Wyatt was here. He had been there the entire time. It was him.

For 9 months, I talked to the baby when I was all alone, trying to coax it to tell me its gender. I would reason with a fetus. Plead with it. Promise it candy if it would only tell me.

"It's a boy!" my husband told me.

It was at that moment I finally knew.

He had knocked twice for Wyatt and once more to say, "Hello, Mommy."


Monday, October 3, 2011

9 months and 50 lbs later...

13 weeks, my first baby bump picture!

19 weeks. I remember taking this picture over and over because I felt like I looked SO FAT in each one.

22 weeks! This was just after I recovered from a stomach bug! After losing 5 lbs in 2 days, I was so proud of my baby bump.

24 weeks: my womb seems to have exploded in two weeks!

26 weeks, I didn't see much difference in my belly during 24-26 weeks, but I was seeing steady weight increases.

31 weeks-- I felt like there was no way I could get any bigger than this. I felt as though -I- was ready to explode. Side note: I went back to work this week-- last week of August for office days.

36 weeks, 4 days: I was working part-time (2-3 days/wk). On Friday, 9/30, I worked an 11 hour day. What was I thinking?! This picture was taken 10/2-- the day before baby W was born!


Friday, March 25, 2011

And then we were just pregnant.

When trying to get pregnant, women often become paranoid and overly sensitive when the calendar approaches that special week of the month.

For me, that "time of the month" just happened to coincide with my birthday. Yay. :-\

On the morning of my 24th birthday, I awoke to cramping and sore breasts. "Wonderful," I thought, "Not only am I not pregnant, but now I'm going to be not-pregnant and miserable on my birthday."

Later at lunch, I dined with two good college friends in celebration of my special day. I aired my resentment to them. "There's nothing like trying to get pregnant for months and months, and nothing happening. It's like a monthly defeat."

But by Saturday, my period still hadn't shown up.

On Sunday, I was praying for it to quickly begin, so the PMS symptoms would go away.

Then on Monday, I thought, "What the Hell? I'll take a pregnancy test to get it started. There's nothing like taking a pregnancy test to cue the universe to start your period." Ironic, I know, but it seemed to always happen during those months that I was 1-3 days late (and so excited at the prospect of being pregnant).

After grabbing a quick lunch with my husband, I stopped by the local drug store and grabbed a new box of tests.

By the time I got home, it was approaching 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I toyed with the idea of waiting to take the test in the morning, since the tests are more accurate after the urine sitting stagnant in your bladder during the night. But as I walked to the bathroom to put the tests away, I thought, "Oh, what difference does it make. It'll be negative this afternoon, and I'll take another negative one in the morning."

So I peed on the stick.
And guess what?

As I was placing the stick on the counter, the plus sign immediately appeared.

That had never happened before. Strange.

Months and months of peeing on sticks, staring at them (with no blinking) for 3-5 minutes, and always just a negative sign. Negative.

Then, all of a sudden, in a 2 second window, the blue plus sign appeared, as if it had always been there.

Since my husband of four years and I had been trying to conceive for a while, we had discussed this day many times. How we would feel, what we would be thinking, the nerves we would both be undoubtedly dealing with.  But I never stopped to think about how I would just drop the initial information.

So from 3 pm until 3:45pm, I sat still.

But, oddly enough, during this entire 45 minutes, I never ran through even one scenario.

At 3:45, my husband got home early. Showtime!

I put the test in my pocket and walked outside to meet him in the driveway.

I stared. I smiled.  I grinned like Jack Nicholson from a scene of The Shining.

Husband looked nervous. ;-)

I handed him the test.

"Are you serious, right now?" he said, looking as if I were the biggest practical joke-ster in the world. (I will forever narrate his inner thoughts at this moment as "What month is it? Is it April already? Where did the entire month of March go? It's gotta be April Fool's Day...")

It was at this point that I began to cry.

And then we were just pregnant.