Monday, January 30, 2012

Will you take after Mommy or Daddy?

I want to mark this day as the day I am "outing" your intense cravings!  I have been craving things that are so EXTREMELY abnormal for me (yes, I like them, but I've never been an I need them now, or can't stop eating them kind of person).  It makes me wonder if you will take after Mommy or Daddy, when it comes to your eating habits, outside of the womb.  Some of these cravings last just a day or two and some of them seem to be ongoing!

Things I have craved at one point in time in the last almost 7 months:

Candy.  I mean, seriously.  Cinnamon hearts, Laffy Taffy (especially banana, but can't get it here), Sour candy (it's what helped the nausea), Dropjes (you better not take after your Dad and love these, like Mommy!), Jolly Ranchers, sour keys, pretty much any hard candy actually.  I have a feeling, that this started, because of nausea issues.

Fries and Gravy.  I almost puked at the smell of it, before knowing that I was pregnant.  But now, if I have fries, I HAVE TO HAVE GRAVY.  Sometimes, a poutine.  It's SO decadent and I really limit myself on this one.  I LOVED these before pregnancy too, so it's not that surprising.

SUPER SOUR PICKLES.  No other pickle can compare.  NONE.  I think this was because of the nausea stage as well.  I don't crave them so much anymore...but I sure did love them months 2-4.

KIWI. I like to have at LEAST two a day.  Usually with my breakfast.  They are so delicious and juicy.

Bagels and English Muffins.  I loved bagels at the very beginning, as they really helped me not feel so sick.  I stopped enjoying them after weeks 10/11, but in the last week, have come to LOVE English with peanut butter and a little bit of jam.

Salad.  I have to eat one almost every single day.  I love it with a little bit of dressing and as much "crunchiness" in it as possible (nuts, seeds, apples etc).

Curry.  The spicier, the better, usually.  Dad LOVES this, as he LOVES spicy curry and I usually can't handle it.  My 2nd trimester, I couldn't taste spice, so I even liked it spicier than Dad did!  Lately though, I still like the spice, just a little bit more mild. 

Water.  Honestly, I crave it like crazy.  I didn't realize it was a craving, until Dad and my Dr. brought it up in December.  I could drink oodles and oodles of it, SUPER COLD with LOTS of ice!

Milk.  I could NOT drink milk before pregnancy and it would make me REALLY sick, but since trimester 2 started, I.JUST.CAN'T.GET.ENOUGH!  I can have it in my cereal, drink it by the glass, have chocolate milk, drink another glass and another and another!  It's so strange for me!

Red Meat.  I was going to write steak, but then I couldn't stop thinking about meatballs, burgers and I'm hungry again :)

That seems to be all that I can think of.  I wonder if you will take on Dad's tastebuds or mine?  I wonder if I will like the things the way I did in pregnancy, once your born?  I wonder if I will ever like the taste/texture/smell of chicken ever again?  I wonder if I will get my "salty" snack habit back of loving potato chips?

Only 3 more months till we get to meet you!  Only another year (ish) before we get to see what foods you like yourself!  One thing I know for sure, Dad will not give up on trying to get you to eat spicy, spicy foods!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The day Daddy felt your feet!

Last night, you were moving like a mexican jumping bean (I don't know if those are real, but it's the best description that I can think of)!  Well, actually, you were like that almost ALL DAY!  I don't know what's gotten you moving so much, but I love it!  It's much more reassuring than last week, when you wouldn't move at all!

It was crazy to see you kicking SO hard, that things were bouncing off of my tummy.  You'd stop the second I put my hand on my tummy, but you'd start right up again, as soon as I moved it!  Dad came home from work and you were moving so much, he could see it- RIGHT THROUGH MY HOODIE!!!  He was so excited to feel your kicks and couldn't believe how strong they are from the outside now!  I think he *somewhat* understands now, if it's that hard on the hard my ribs are getting a beating!

We went to bed last night, and he couldn't keep his hands off of my belly.  I didn't think he could get anymore excited, until you got hiccups!  It was like 20 kicks in a row to him and he was excited, but thought it was weird.  I was laughing so much, as he has been waiting so long for you to kick and not hide from him!  I didn't think he could get anymore excited, until he put his hand near my left ribs and you kicked so hard, that he COULD FEEL YOUR FOOT!!!!!!  What a special moment!  I haven't gotten to feel it yet, as your Dad has been hogging belly space, but I hope to feel it soon.  So cute!

Keep those kicks up, little one, but I'd love it, if you moved your little bum- OUT OF MY RIBS :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keeping us on our toes!!!

Well, well, little one.  We've heard the phrase A LOT, "giving you a run for your money".  But we were hoping not to use that phrase when it came to you/us for a very long time.  Last night, however, you won the battle and we lost.  I wanted to re nickname you, "little buggar", but Dad didn't think it was very endearing.

See, Mommy has been quite busy over the last few days, visiting friends/family, doing some shopping research for you, completing a gift for Daddy and doing a lot of driving.  I have been feeling quite uncomfortable and tired, so I wasn't as "on the ball" as I usually am. 

Yesterday morning, I realized that I had not felt you moving much at all in the last day.  You have DEFINITE patterns, which surprises the midwives already (but not me, as I am a pattern kind of person) and your pattern had been off.  I had been feeling quite stretched and sore lately, so Dad just kept reassuring me that you were having a growth spurt and were extra tired.  By mid morning/early afternoon, I thought more about it and called your Dad, saying that I really hadn't felt you move since the night before.  He tried to play off that he wasn't worried and to just call the midwives, but I knew he was worried as well.  I tried EVERYTHING!  Candy, water, pop, juice, milk, food...and NOTHING would make you budge.

I called the midwives mid afternoon and they said that I should head home (was already on my way there), have some protein, juice and a glass of really cold water, lie on my left side for a half hour and call them if you moved less than 6 times or not at all.  Within 30 minutes of getting home, you didn't move.  The midwife called back, asked us to meet her colleague at the hospital, so that she could do a check.  At this point, I was quite worried, as was your Dad.  She reassured me that you could have moved, now hiding yourself behind my placenta, which is in the front, but that she wanted to make sure, as your movements were so off. 

We got to the hospital and your Dad (he thinks he super funny, even when I'm worried), tried to make a joke: "Well, at least I know how to get you here now, when you're in labour and don't want to give me directions...maybe this baby just wanted us to have our hospital tour early...OOH look, the gift shop has SUPER CUTE TOYS"!  The last part of that statement, almost had me laughing, just because it is SO typical of your Dad!

We met the midwife, she reassured us not to wait so long next time and then took us into a triage room.  See, the GREAT thing about being pregnant and having midwives we found out, is that they meet you at Labour and Delivery, you skip the ER and go straight to a room to be examined!  It's like playing Monopoly, rolling the dice and getting sent to jail without collecting the $200 at "GO" (although better than going to jail obviously!).

She sat me down, asked a few questions and then pulled out the doppler to see if we could hear your heartbeat.  You gave us an immediate "horse gallop" of a heartbeat, at a nice strong 144bpm and for the first time in over 24 hours, gave a kick!  it was a kick SO HARD, that you moved the doppler right off of my belly!  We were all VERY relieved to see and hear that, but were all shocked at the amount of movement we heard on the doppler, without having any feeling of it from the outside/inside whatsoever!

She felt my belly and let us know that you are finally moving out of your "comfy" position, laying sideways across my belly!  I wasn't too happy to know that I have bruised ribs from you digging your bum up in there, but it made me laugh, as Dad likes to stick his bum out in a comfy position when he sleeps as well!  You are now laying diagonal in my tummy, with your face under the placenta and your legs up in my right ribs.  She gave me some suggestions on how to move you OUT OF THERE, before I break a rib, so let's hope that those work!

Needless to say, baby Clarke, you are keeping us on our toes!  It'd be nice if you stopped teasing us and playing games...until you've joined us outside in this world!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fashion Accessories!!!!!

Yes, I know it might sound CRAZY, but today, Mommy spent most of the morning/some of the afternoon, researching/starting an online registry for accessories for your little bum!  Dad and I have decided to use cloth diapers, we decided this early on and for a few good reasons...

1) We will try to add to the landfill waste MINIMALLY with disposable diapers (we plan to still use these for travel/long days out).

2) They are so darn cute and come in so many different styles, colours and patterns!

3) We have some good friends that LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their cloth diapers and have been giving us very helpful, experienced and trustworthy advice (you can thank Auntie Julie and Shannon for their help when you're older!)

4) We can throw your diapers in a pail, put them in the wash and use the clothes line outside to dry them!  BONUS if the weather is sunny and warm!

5) The cost of them is large up front, but in the long run, we will save a lot of money, especially if we decide to ever have a little brother or sister for you, one day!

I am so excited to start getting some more cloth diapers for you!  The ones that I have so far, I got for very good deals, are so cute, so soft and even Daddy is excited about them, which I NEVER thought could happen :)  I can't wait to see your cute little bum in your cloth diapers in just a short time!  Now I have to make sure that I don't start ordering diapers weekly until you arrive, just so that cute stuff can arrive in the mail!

This is my favourite so far! The Kawaii moo minky!

Friday, January 13, 2012

What we'll be enjoying together!

Last night, I took a prenatal yoga class.  I was hoping that it might move you out of my ribs and turn you around a little, so I could breathe better.  Not only did this NOT work, but you seemed to be quite unhappy with certain poses that I did.  I don't know whether it was because I woke you up from a nap, compromised your space, or just because my body was being stretched in ways that you weren't used to...but you kicked AND punched me A LOT and quite ANGRILY.  Instead of feeling your normal lighter kicks or punches, I would do a stretch and get anywhere between 5-10 good jabs in a row!  It felt good to get out and try some yoga, so unfortunately, baby, you are going to have to get used to it!

On Monday, I start aquamotion.  While they don't have a prenatal class, the instructor is more than happy for me to join the 65+ year old class.  I have a feeling that this will be both hilarious and a good workout for us!  They did warn me, that there might be a lot of "grandmas" wanting to rub my belly, but hopefully we will be okay with that on occasion!  I LOVE to swim and hope it's something that we can do together once you are born!  Your Dad used to say that I was like a "fish out of water".  If water is available to be in, I would swim ALL DAY LONG!

We are now registered for prenatal classes, which I am very excited to start with your Dad, at the end of the month.  I think that it will bring us even closer and Dad will learn a lot of the things that I am trying to teach him everyday about the birthing process and what it could be like!  We met some friends that live in town, that have enrolled in the class with us.  They are also having their first baby, so we are thrilled to not be "doing this alone".  We can't wait to make new friends and hope that this will be the start of some new "Mommy and baby" friends for us!

So baby, looks like we will be keeping active and busy until you arrive!  I can't wait to tell Daddy all about what the classes are like and whether you are active in my tummy during them!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

To my unborn child, from Daddy:

You have been growing for 6 months and already you have taken mummy and daddy through the spectrum of emotions; from the “uhh…. say again?!” moment with the stick (or I should say 8 sticks!! Mummy is very efficient like that), to the denial, 3 months of anxiety, the anticipation and excitement that encapsulates the remaining 6. All in all though, frustration reigns supreme at the moment; I know you need to grow but the simple truth, is that I want to meet you and hold you today. Needless to say, I’m hoping that the remaining few months fly by.  

Today mummy is modeling a rather large belly and daddy spends his evenings trying to hunt you out, like a warship chasing a submarine. As the score stands, I’m wining 5-2 in the game of battleships; last night you lost your sub. I do have to confess; I’m cheating though. I will teach you what this means by introducing you to Uncle Scott one day. The thing is, recently you have become so big and strong that my hand doesn’t detect your movement anymore but is literally repelled from mummy’s belly every time you give her a one-two or a kick. I cheer you on; mummy put down the pom-poms when you took an interest in her ribs and bladder but she still loves to see you grow.  

It will be hard to explain to you one day what becoming a parent feels like. It is a responsibility you have to live to appreciate. We are only scratching the surface at the moment but our days are spent thinking about how you will grow, play, laugh and who you will become. I find myself standing in your room looking at the crib and thinking of what will be. In short you have become the center of our worlds and everything else seems that little bit less important and benign.  Becoming a father has opened me up and knocked down a few walls. It is not just a new chapter in life but more like different life altogether. Strong emotions develop for someone so small, so foreign, someone you don’t even know and haven’t even met yet. Your focus turns and your priorities change. As it turns out, ironically, the most selfish thing in the world is to want the joy and happiness of another.

Lots of love,

Now and always,


Monday, January 9, 2012


You're Dad thinks that I don't think that he's funny.

You're Dad thinks that I don't have a sense of humour.

You're Dad can often stick his foot in his mouth.

You're Dad can sometimes make me forget about all of these things by saying things that make my heart these:

"I miss the baby already and (s)he's not even here yet".

"I wish the baby could talk to me and tell me what's it's like inside your tummy...did (s)he just kick?" (Me, "I think (s)he's talking to you now, hun").

"I love him/her already and (s)he's not even born yet" (He never understood people telling us this before).

"Come on baby, Daddy wants to meet you and teach you and play with you and have some cuddles".

"You look beautiful pregnant, have I told you that lately?  I love you and your belly SO much"!

"Why can't the baby just be here already?  I can't wait any longer".

I think that your Dad is JUST as excited as I am to meet you in 15(ish) more weeks!  Time is really flying by and we are getting more and more excited EVERYDAY!

Friday, January 6, 2012

My body is not my own...

I realized from very early on, that my body would change and that I wouldn't have control over what changes would happen.  What I didn't realize, was how much and how quickly.

See little one, when you have a baby of your own one day (I don't want to think too much about that!), you will hear stories, read books and be given advice on what to do, how to adjust to the changes and what's "normal" or not...

The night that your Dad and I went out for dinner to celebrate, we finished the night at Chapters.  He sat there with his cappuccino, reading books on gardening (no surprise there) and I picked up the largest stack of books that I could carry, on: "How to be a good Mom", "How to eat healthy while eating for two", "What to expect...", "Belly Laughs", "Guide to Canadian Births" etc. etc. etc.  I felt already, like I wouldn't have enough time to take it all in.  I wanted to get knowledge (other than what I'd already had from working with kids and friends having kids), before I started getting advice...wanted or not (and I had been WARNED about the unwanted advice!).

It took quite awhile for your Dad to pick up any sort of pregnancy related book.  I strategically left them lying around the house, in the bathroom, beside his bed...pretty much anywhere.  I would talk to him about what I read and what I thought would NEVER happen to me, but of course did.  He would listen and laugh, or tell me I was crazy...until he physically saw my body changing.  It was around that time, that I started seeing him read a few pages here and there, or look at some birthing pictures in shock!

Things I can tell you that I expected to happen:
- My body shape would change (legs, butt, belly, arms, face, pretty much everything)
- My body would get more sore, the bigger I got
- It would get uncomfortable to sleep
- I could get stretch marks or a line down my tummy
- I would have to go to the bathroom A LOT!
- My feet might swell
- I might get itchy skin from you stretching me
- I might gain weight slowly or quickly (I expected quickly!)
- My skin/hair might change
- My eating habits might change for the better or worse
- I might have cravings or start eating a lot more than usual

Things that I didn't expect to happen, that have been:
- My belly seems to be the only thing growing (besides my chest)
- Your Dad and I talk about "going to the bathroom" more than I could have ever dreamt of (sometimes because you're growing so much, I can't remember how long it's been since I've gone, or because I have to pee ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!)
- I have started swelling earlier than I would have liked to
- My back, hips and shoulders have been causing me lack of sleep since week 15
- I hated vegetables and they made me sick from weeks 6-14!!!  Which was awful, because I love vegetables and it made me feel so sick not to be able to eat them!
- I had nausea if I didn't eat frequently and had something salty everytime I ate
- I started to love spicy food, the spicier the better!!!!!!!!!!!
- I started to hate chicken and fish and LOVE LOVE LOVE red meat!
- I occasionally lose my lack of taste.  I have to get your Dad to taste things, as I can't taste certain flavours of food!
- I have some cravings on occasion, but I also can't eat as much as I need to, as I get really full, really quickly!
- If I'm not working, I can get a nap in a few days a week, I haven't napped since I was a little kid!
- Your Dad is falling more and more in love with my belly, your kicking and the fact that I am carrying his son/daughter!  For your Dad to tell me this often, melts my heart!

I hope that one day, when you are all grown up and you have questions/worries, you'll be able to look back at this and see some things that are totally "normal", from one person to the next.  Don't let some of the books you might read scare you!  Some books are written in a way that are negative, scary and might not be the most helpful.  I had to make sure that I put those down, tried not to worry too much and find something more positive, that helped teach me how to be a good "baby grower"...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Your first few months of growing!

Month One (August 2011):
What an exciting time!  I had a feeling that I was pregnant.  Why?  You see, my FAVOURITE thing to eat as a treat, is New York Fries french fries.  I was doing some shopping for our holiday to Hawaii in September at the mall and I was hungry.  I walked towards the food court, thinking I'd treat myself and instantly ran to the bathroom when I got in line.  Weird. 

I went to Wal-Mart, picked up a test (or two, or three, or maybe a multipack box) and couldn't even make it home to see if I was pregnant...I swore I saw two lines, but it was a "squinter".  Long story short, 12 tests, two conversations with your Dad, where he said I was imagining lines, an appointment with the Doctor, who said I wasn't pregnant and some tears later, I bought a digital test, had bloodwork done and confirmed that, YES! We were having a baby!!!  Funny thing, a woman's intuition is, almost always right. 

When I finally got results that your Dad could believe, I happened to be on the phone with my Dad, your Papa.  I was SHOCKED that it was for real, rushed him off the phone, hung up and was caught in our bedroom by your Dad, staring at a test in tears!  Your Dad asked what I was doing (REALLY?) and when I showed him, he sat on the bed, completely silent.  Shows how different we are!  It wasn't something that sank in, we knew that it would take time.  But on August 26th, your Dad and I went to our favourite restaurant, The Port, to celebrate.

Month Two (September 2011):
This was a busy and exciting month!  We started to adjust to the fact that you were going to be in our lives next year.  We had a VERY hard time keeping it a secret that we were having a baby, but wanted to wait till later to tell family and friends. 

This month, we were going on a vacation to Hawaii, one that almost didn't get to happen, due to a few issues that I was having this month in our pregnancy.  It was at this time, we decided to tell Nana and Papa that they were going to be GRANDPARENTS!  We surprised them with a Grandparents card, took a video to remember the moment forever and still get emotional to this day, when we think about this amazing memory!  Nana and Papa were VERY excited and Nana and I shared some tears together.  This is one of my very favourite memories of month two, even though going to Hawaii was a great time with your Dad!

I was feeling okay during this month, although, I was extremely exhausted (I would fall asleep at 8pm in the hotel in Hawaii), despite having some thyroid and a few other issues.  I only got sick once during this month and it was on the flight back from Hawaii, after we landed in New York.  It was embarassing and I will never think the same of an airport garbage or bathroom again!

Dad and I were getting more and more excited and nervous about having a baby.  Me, more nervous than Dad for sure.  I was nervous that something might go wrong, that I would get really sick, that I would struggle with being off of my fibromyalgia medication, that I would hurt someone's feelings who wanted a baby and we were having one before them and that I wouldn't be ready for you, when you came.  Dad nicknamed you "squidgel", his name for a squirrel, when he was little, as he pictured you moving around like crazy in my belly!  He was excited to find out whether you were a boy or a girl (I didn't want to!) in a few months, to teach you things, to take you for bike rides, to be a Dad.  I was excited for all of these things and more too, but this was definetely my most nervous time in this pregnancy so far.

Month Three (September/October 2011):
There were so many highlights this month, so many, that we can't decide which one was our favourite!

1) On September 19th, we got to see you on an ultrasound!  We couldn't believe how tiny you were!  I cried the first time I saw you on the screen and I had tears, when your Dad came in the room, held my hand and we heard your little heart beating for the first time ever.  What a magical moment!

2) We asked Papa to help us announce to my Sister (and brother-in-law) and Brother (and sister-in-law), your Aunties and Uncles, that we were going to have a baby.  Your Papa said a prayer, before our early Thanksgiving meal, which ended with, "We thank you that next year, we may have an extra place at the table..."  It got a reaction of complete silence at first, followed by a "WHAT"?, from your Aunt Jenn!  It was a fun way to tell everyone and a very exciting time.

3) We told a few friends.  They were VERY supportive to us, surprised, excited and help us keep our little secret for a few more weeks!  We loved each of their reactions, all different from the other, but memories that will last a lifetime for sure!

4) We told your Grandad and Yaya (Grandma in Greek).  We had to do this at separate times, as Grandad was in Australia and Yaya was in Crete.  We also wanted to catch their reactions on video and Skype, which you can't do by having a three-way call, so we talked with each of them one at a time.  Grandad was SHOCKED, but sounded very excited!  He knew that your Yaya, would be "over the moon".  When we talked with Yaya later that day, we caught her off guard, using the same "fake story", that we told your Grandad... "We had a present that we wanted to give them for Christmas, but it would take a little while to get there, so we wanted to show them a photo of what was coming their way"!  Your Yaya cried, so happy that we were having a baby and couldn't wait!

5) We flew to England on a business trip for your Dad.  We had booked it in August, finding out that we were pregnant, the day AFTER we booked our flights.  We had dreamed that this would get to happen, but didn't think that we would actually be able to tell your Grandma, Uncle Tom, Great Auntie Sue and Great Uncle Martin IN PERSON, that we were having a baby!  We kept it a secret the whole time leading up to the trip, with everyone knowing we were coming, apart from your Grandma!  The plan was to meet everyone at a restaurant in London, for her birthday and surprise her, not only with us showing up for the meal, but to also surprise everyone and tell them that we were having a baby as well!  It worked out perfectly (amazing) and not only was Grandma thrilled and surprised to see us, the wedding album that we made her, containing your ultrasound photo, shocked her, on the last page of the book!

This truly, was a month of amazing memories.  A lot of them caught on video.  A lot of them that we can't wait to show you, or tell you about when you get older!  We know that it was hard for family and friends to keep it a secret until we got back from England, but once we got back, the news was out and everything started to feel a lot more REAL!!!!!!!

Month Four (November 2011):
We got to see you again on an ultrasound!  You were so much bigger and your heart was beating so much faster!  You're Dad only got to see a photo of you though, as this time, I took Nana with me!  She was so excited to come and loved getting to see you move, wave, suck your thumb and hear your heart beating.  It was such a special time for me to get to share with her!

I had still been so tired, during this month...but we were now in Trimester #2!!!!!!!  So much relief came, when that 13th week hit, that I took your Dad out to celebrate at our favourite Pho restaurant! 

I was starting to really "show" and was no longer able to wear any of my non-maternity pants/skirts/dresses.  I had to go out to buy maternity clothes, which was so much fun for both Dad and I!  It meant that you were growing and soon, would start moving so that I could feel it!!!  It was one of the things that we always talked about this month, dying for it to happen!  At 15 weeks, I could feel little bubbles and flutters, which was one of the COOLEST things that I could ever imagine!  Dad LOVED seeing my belly grow, he loved rubbing it, talking to you and telling me everything that he was getting excited about!

Month Five (December 2011):
Food Aversions, "cravings", kicking, DIY, boy or girl and a QUICKLY growing belly...were all things that were really memorable this month.

I can't stand chicken while pregnant.  Chicken and fish were my "go-to" meats for dinner, as I don't usually like red meat...however, I can't tolerate chicken now (it makes me sick everytime), but you seem to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when I have steak!  Yup, baby, you love when Mom eats steak and spicy food and lots of fruit and veggies for that matter.  You also seem to really enjoy it when I drink chocolate milk, something that I haven't done in YEARS.

I felt you kick inside for the first time on December 9th.  I was watching TV with your Dad and could swear that I felt something trying to kick the right side of my belly, near my kidney surgery scar.  He was jealous that I could feel it and he couldn't and was hoping that he would feel it soon enough.  It was few and far between, which our midwives said was normal, as my placenta is in the front.  They even said that I might not feel you very much, which made me so sad.  But you showed us all wrong!  I felt you kick again on December 13th and this time, I was 100% sure!  Not only did I feel you kick, but on the way to going out for ice cream, I felt you turn and flip in my belly!  That night, I got the flu which lasted for a horrible two days, but it won't erase the memory of how exciting and amazing that felt!

For the next two weeks, your Dad was DESPERATE to feel you kick on the outside.  I had felt it once on Christmas Eve, but everytime you moved and your Dad would put his hand on my belly, you would stop moving.  It made him so sad!  But December 27th, at 6 in the morning, you gave a REALLY good kick near my ribs.  I woke Dad up, told him to put his hand on my belly and be patient.  You gave him 5 good kicks to his hand in a row!  He was THRILLED!!!!!!!!!!!  It took 4 days for it to happen again, but when it did, you kicked his hand so hard during a movie at the theatre, that his hand moved off my belly!  He is desperate to feel it everyday and hopefully that will come soon enough, as you get bigger and stronger.  But I have to remind him that, some days you turn back to my back, so I can't feel you either...

This month, Dad worked SO hard on your furniture for the nursery.  We went and bought your crib in the States and came home to Dad wanting to build it IMMEDIATELY.  He was too excited to let it sit in the box!  We loved your crib once it was set up, so Dad started doing some DIY work to make your nursery beautiful!  He took an old dresser that we had been given and sanded, stained and varnished it to match your crib.  We bought a chair for nursing, rocking and reading to you and Dad put it together.  We ordered the fabric for your room, getting a friend to make it for us.  And while your room is already painted a nice, light blue, which we are happy to leave on the walls till after you're born, your Dad put a fresh coat of white paint on the trim, window and shelves.  He learned a lot along the way and worked incredibly hard.  I am so proud of him!

We had our big 20 week ultrasound this month as well, where we could have found out if you were a boy or a girl, but where we live, they refused to tell us!  I didn't think I wanted to find out, even though your Dad did, but once we got to that ultrasound, I was dying to know!  I left feeling so disappointed that we couldn't find out, your Dad trying his best to make me feel better!  Our plan was to keep it a special secret between the two of us and not tell anyone till your BIRTH DAY that you were a boy or girl.  He got to watch a lot more of the ultrasound, being so excited, as he hadn't seen you on the screen since you were 9 weeks!  That's a lot of time to grow, change and look like a much bigger baby!  You were bouncing around, kicking, sucking your thumb, giving a thumbs up and refused to give us a good look at your face, as you were facing my back!  I had to go back the next week, just because you were too stubborn to move!  Typical for a Clarke/Mosselman.

My belly has been changing rapidly this month!  I go to bed and wake up, sometimes feeling really sore/stretched and can't believe how much can change from one day to the next.  Your Dad LOVES taking photos of my growing belly, giving it kisses and saying, "WHOA" everytime he sees my bare tummy.  Christmas was a perfect time for Dad to take photos of us by the tree.  Our last Christmas just the two of us and a Christmas with you in my belly!

I don't know why, but Dad now likes to call you Gizmo.  I don't rememeber when this month it happened, but that's what he calls you now!  SO FUNNY!  I have been less tired and less hungry.  I am more excited and getting less sleep, my growing belly making my hips, back and shoulders hurt.  I have been too sore to work some days, being on my feet all day long, so this is being monitored by the midwives.  I feel you kick more and more and can at times, feel you move/flip/turn/change positions!  I keep getting told that I have what looks like a beach ball in my tummy, as I am "all belly and all baby".  I don't get too many "guesses" on whether you're a boy or a girl, but occasionally, older ladies in random stores, like to look at me, touch my belly and tell me that "it's a boy".  Too funny.  I have had dreams that you're a boy and dreams that you're a girl...

I have one more month before I start my last trimester!  I can't believe how quickly time is going by!  I lost sight of my feet weeks ago now and can only imagine that this belly of mine and you are going to get much bigger, much faster!  I have gained minimal weight, which is surprising to both Dad and I, but everyone keeps telling me that "it will come".  For now, I am happy to carry you around, my little "beach ball".

Monday, January 2, 2012

Imagining Motherhood.

I often got asked questions growing up, that were like this:

"When do you want to get married"?
"Do you want to have kids one day"?
"How many children do you want to have"?
"When do you think you'll have kids"?

It all seemed so normal at the time (although sometimes annoying), but once you really think about it, there is never a way to REALLY answer those questions.  You will be asked those questions one day, trust me, you will.

My view on motherhood has changed over time.  I used to think that having a BIG family was it.  4 kids sounded good and naively, easy.  Oh reality.  Once I started looking after kids and working in the Social Work field, that suddenly changed to... I'd rather not have kids, thank you. 

And then, when I truly fell in love, in love with your Dad, something changed my mind.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to put my finger on it, but it changed and it changed drastically.  It became an emotional subject, a subject that was put on hold for years, due to life's circumstances, health issues, it just not being the right time, or the right place.

By the time we were "ready" to consider conceiving, hiccups were thrown in our way.  They were at times realistic and at other times, heartbreaking.  They were  REAL, they were often kept within our 4 walls and they forced me into a state of denial at times.  See, you can wish, want and pray for a baby...but it doesn't always happen when you want, how you imagined or at the "right" time.  That's hard.  Everyone around you starts having kids, sometimes a second child...and you are still longing for just one.

Now that you are growing inside me, I think about what I/WE wanted, instead of what we might actually get.  We were excited for a baby to one day join our family, but we wanted to have two one day.  We wanted a boy and a girl.  We wanted to do things differently than our parents did.  We wanted to be young enough to still have fun with our baby. 

It's amazing how quickly we went from what we wanted, to what we are lucky to be blessed with.  If we only have you, we'd be very happy and very lucky.  If we have a girl or a boy, we'd be excited either way.  If we can be half the parents that our parents were, you would be lucky.  We hope that at 30 years old, starting a family, it is still "young enough", to have fun with you.

When I imagine "motherhood", I imagine many things: being caring, being a good listener, being a good teacher, cooking and baking with you,being a rule setter and breaker, teaching you the importance of family AND indepedence and watching you experience life and what curveballs it will throw you.

I think of raising you to believe in yourself, in others, in God.  I think of teaching you to have a caring heart, to learn to protect and be protected, to be a good husband/wife one day, to have a sense of humour and to be open minded.  These, along with many other things, I wish to be a part of you.

I imagine these things because of the way my own Mom, your Nana, was to me.  Because of how her mother, my Oma, your Great Grandmother, is to her.  Because of how your Dad's Mum, your Grandma, is to him.  Because of how she is to me.  Because of how your Great Grandmother's that left us a long time ago, were to everyone important in their life...oh the stories that we'll share with you about them... 

But mostly, because once we found out that you were going to be a part of our lives, I couldn't get over the fact that everything we tried, talked about, prayed about and did to hope that one day, you'd be a part of our lives, were coming were going to make me a MOTHER.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Prayer for You, baby.

Little baby on the way,
Getting bigger every day, Kicking mommy here and there, God please listen to our prayer.

Keep our baby safe and strong,
Let his time with us be long, Help us teach him right from wrong, And we shall praise thee all day long.
This little on, though not yet here,
Is loved so much, has grown quite dear. Delivery time is growing near, That's why we pray our plea you'll hear.
Please help up Lord, we pray to Thee
With thankful heart, on bended knee, To raise this child that he might be, A happy child because of me. -Tina Greenfield