Friday, April 8, 2011

A Year Ago Yesterday

After months of discussion, thinking, re-thinking, out-loud thinking, and independent thinking, Jacob and I decided that if we were to have a baby, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. As apprehensive and anxious as we were about the situation, we knew it was something we wanted to do, and only with each other.

Well, it didn't take very long; I'm pretty sure all we had to do was decide to have a baby and - BAM! - I was pregnant.

Throughout my pregnancy, I got to hear from a variety of people how much they loved being pregnant and how wonderful their experience was. Let me be perfectly frank - a woman who spends the better part of 3 and a half months parked in front of the toilet does not want to hear about how easy it is/was for someone else. Aside from the dangerous side-effects like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, edema, or anything else threatening to me or the baby, my pregnancy was pretty textbook. While some women have a few select symptoms, I had them ALL. I hated being pregnant until the bitter, one-week-overdue end.

Jacob and I decided early on that we'd find out the sex of the baby. We had considered keeping it a surprise, but ultimately I wanted to know. Since I had miscarried not long before, and since I was having such a rough start to this so-called "blessing," I felt learning the gender would help me form a bond before giving birth. It didn't quite work out that way but I don't have any regrets about finding out the sex early.

Jacob and I would have bet our left arms we were having a boy. So, naturally, we were having a girl, as we found out on April 7, 2010. This is what I wrote 2 days after finding out Zoey was not, in fact, a boy, [when my writing was a bit more private]:

I was apprehensive about the big ultrasound appointment we had on Wednesday. Not because it was the first time we’d ever have a look at the Bun, or because I was worried something might be terribly wrong (although this did cross my mind several times since I’m the crazy, obsessive woman that I am). I was mostly concerned that there would actually be nothing in there. Or that the baby would be standing up and walking around since up until now the only “showing” I’ve been doing is my cleavage which, honestly, isn’t all that grand. 

But, alas, there was a baby, in the normal position and with all of the parts human beings are supposed to have and none of the parts human being aren’t supposed to have (*heavy sigh* the tail is gone). The ultrasound tech lady pointed out all of the baby’s parts while she measured them as Jacob and I looked on, having no idea what we were actually looking at besides black and grey fuzzy blotches and maybe a huge round thing here and there. The tech quickly labeled everything and then moved on. It was interesting, and very cool, that they don’t just check out the Bun but everything that helped create and continues to aid in sustaining the Bun, like my cervix and both ovaries. Thanks, tech, lady - 3 months of constant throwing up and I know my woman parts work just fine.

I felt reassured when she moved from one baby part to the next without missing a beat; if she lingered too long it meant she was trying to determine if something wasn’t right.

We told her in the beginning that we wanted to know if it was a girl Bun or a boy Bun and she said she’s let us know when she came across it. To her, this meant after examining and measuring every inch of the baby. But when she couldn’t get a good view of what she wanted, she’s push down real hard and fast on my belly trying to get the baby to switch positions (lazy just like its mother), and each time she’d say, “Just trying to get her to move a bit.” So I lay there with, “I wonder if she says ‘her’ as the standard,” and “Oh God, what if it is a girl and she just hasn’t said anything yet,” and “But she said she’d tell us as soon as she came across the tell-tale parts.” I mean, let’s face it – it was pretty difficult to concentrate on anything else since I had no idea what I was looking at. And if something is wrong, the tech can’t tell you anyways, you just hold your breath and hope you don’t hear the, “I’ll be right back,” and then the doctor walks in.

Eventually, she got to the part she could tell us about. The baby was on its side, mooning us. The tech pointed out the Bun’s rear and the legs coming out of it and then zoomed in between the legs, which I’m pretty sure was for our benefit because in retrospect it was pretty dang obvious. She said, “Ok, what we’re looking at here are these three little lines,” and traced them with her mouse.” She said, “That means it’s a girl.” Holy crap! I hadn’t prepared myself for the Bun to be a girl. Quite honestly, though, I hadn’t really prepared myself for the baby to be anything but a demon seed brought down into the world to steal my soul. But with my own mother’s intuition (which sucks, obviously), Jacob’s feelings and the feelings of everyone around me, all I heard was boy, boy, boy.
Jacob turned to me and said, “We’re having a little girl!” I said, “I hope she has your personality!”
Its weird knowing the baby is a girl, my girl, that we made her from nothing (well, ok, there was a little something) and she’s an actual human being. We still plan on buying the Winnie the Pooh stroller and car seat and the Winnie the Pooh activity chair and high chair with Pooh mobile. Just because her mother has never seen a second of Winnie the Pooh doesn’t mean she won’t like it. And in the off-chance Jacob tricks me into getting pregnant again, boy or girl, we can use everything a second time.
After the tech was done doing her tech-thing, she gave us good shots of the baby. Like most ultrasound pictures anyone has ever seen, she was just lying there chillin’. And then the ultrasound wand-thingy moved on top of her and she didn’t seem to like that very much; all of a sudden her legs kicked up and kicked me right where the wand-thingy was pressing on my belly. Jacob laughed and said, “Did she just kick you back?” The tech said, “Maybe.” He turned to me and said, “Looks like she’s got mom’s personality already!” I hope this is a phase she will grow out of in the next few months.

After it was done, the tech did utter those awful words but they were accompanied with, “So he can check the baby’s measurements and he may want to change your due date.” Ok, stay calm, stay calm. She was gone for a few minutes and then came back doctor-less which was a slight relief. Obviously she had consulted with him and he told her it was ok to give it to me straight, he didn’t need to be there and would discuss anything with me at my next regular appointment in 2 weeks. But all she said was that the baby is measuring a bit small; instead of the 19 weeks, 4 days everyone was going by based on my last period, the baby was measuring 16 weeks, 5 days. Fucking awesome. So instead of being at the end of my 4th month, I’m back to the beginning. This is the pregnancy that will never end.
So the first thing I did was go on and announce I was leaving the August 2010 Birth Club and joining the September 2010 Birth Club (side note worth mentioning: if my doctor does change my due date it would be September 17th, 2 days before my birthday). A girl commented on my post, saying I could be a part of both groups but to let them know what the doctor said since 3 weeks is a pretty big difference.
Begin freak-out. And begin telling myself over and over that if something were wrong, the doctor would have talked to me then AND the tech said everything else looked fine. I relayed this to the girl and she said she wasn’t trying to freak me out but she knows from experience that the baby’s measurements aren’t always accurate so the doctor may keep me at my original due date. Man! Who knew pregnancy would be so complicated!! It’s never just as simple as oops, the condom broke. Or damnit, I was too drunk to remember to take my pill! Or both.
So, the doctor will see me when I have my next regular appointment in a couple of weeks. He’ll examine the Bunnette’s measurements and try to determine when exactly I got knocked up. Until then I’m flipping back and forth between being 17 weeks pregnant and being 20 weeks pregnant and wondering if it will be an entire year before we actually get to meet this little girl.
Eventually, I did grow tolerant of being pregnant (pun!). The morning sickness did gradually subside, not disappear over night like so many other women claim. And I started to find food semi-enjoyable, at least from months 5 through 7. Around 8 months is when the incessant heartburn and subsequent milk-drinking began (Jacob bought 2 gallons of milk every other day from the gas station down the street. They were running a sale on 2 gallons but when the sale ended, the cashier still gave him the discount because he told her of his giant wife's milk demands.).
Some pictures that I don't look at and think, "uuuuugggghhhhhh! I was feeling so lousy that day!" And, of course, our ultrasound pictures. Looking at them now, we should've known all along how cute Zoey would be!
This was from my first ultrasound when the doctor thought my due-date was August 28th, putting me at 19 weeks. Based on her measurements, he changed my due-date to September 16th, and she was finally born on September 24th. He ordered another ultrasound to double-check, which I don't remember the date of. The doctor also said it was hard to visually determine the sex of the baby if I was, in fact, only at 16 weeks. We looked at him, laughed, and said, "Oh no. She was on her side with her butt facing us." "Ohhhhh," he said. "Yeah, sometimes they do that, 'I'm gonna show you exactly what I am so you can go out and buy me stuff.'" It's like the doctor knew me or something......
This was taken at the 2nd ultrasound; she was on-track to be born mid-to-late September.

Jacob and I spotted her giant feet, a la her father, so the tech got closer and took the picture. After her birth, we received a plethora of comments regarding her giant feet.

Some of what I consider to be "highlights" of my pregnancy:

So beyond happy to find this in the Albertson's parking lot, until learning that my friends had known about it for years and had been parking there - sans infants or baking Buns.

I found this shirt at Wal-Mart shortly before Mother's Day. Of course, I had to have it. Unfortunately, the weekend after this picture was taken, I dropped a peanut butter bagel face-down on to my belly, leaving a large, greasy stain that is still there today. So I wear it as pj's.

The happiest day of our lives, and although we did things a bit out of order (I might have to fib to my 3rd grandmother, Florence, because I promised her I would get married THEN have a baby.), I think Zoey being there made it that much more special. My brother joked that the 20-minute ceremony was the only time I took a break from eating. He was not lying.

I just thought this outfit was really cute. :-) Would you believe that top is an extra-small?! Yeah, well, it's not anymore.

41 weeks, 1 day pregnant, and ready to reach up and yank her out myself. She absolutely refused to do anything that resembled being born. She never dropped into my pelvis, and the doctor ended up having to break my water after 30 hours of labor (it was almost right at 36 that she was finally born).
I suppose I provided a nice, slow-cooking environment for her.

At least someone enjoyed my pregnancy...

But one of the absolute major highlights was finding out she was a girl. We picked her name early on and kept it a tightly-locked secret; we wouldn't even tell the doctors when they asked while I was giving birth. If I had known her then how I know her how, I would love to be pregnant with her all of the time (just, please, not so much throwing up!)