This Time it’s Different

I never put much stock in those words, “this time it’s different.” Pregnancy is pregnancy, right? Not so, but for many more reasons.

1. I’m 4 years older. I thought being a healthy individual would be enough, but my doctor and Mother Nature remind me that there are more aches and pains as we age. You learn to deal with it, or whine a little as necessary.

2. You carry the baby lower. I thought this was a falsehood, but no I am already panicking as I pull out my slightly too-short-to-look-cute maternity pants, because let’s face it, my regular ones aren’t meant for this um… girth.

3. Cravings differ. Yes, I still have an aversion to alcohol and coffee, just like last time. But I am not craving juicy fruits, my “queasy” stage lasted a two weeks longer (AWESOME). I would be mid meal and I would have to walk away. This is not as familiar as I expected.

4. We’ll get there. The baby’s room is still very much a “storage” space from when we moved (8 years ago) and from our recent master bedroom repaint (the guest bed is a perfect space for pictures and random clothing). I feel like I have all the time in the world to get organized to tackle the closet of Moving Shame (8-year-old box fort anyone?) It has a domino effect, can’t do much with the baby’s room until we clear the shelving downstairs to move books and tchotckies. Can’t do much with those items until we get frames and hang things up on the walls. Can’t get to that part of the living room until we get the toys downstairs into the new “creepy” playroom (I hate this idea). Can’t start the playroom “repaint/remodel” until we undo the “storage” it has become.

5. I know what is at stake. Last time my pregnancy was very much an abstract concept. A little sea monkey was developing and using my various innards as a springboard of fun. I wasn’t attached to the idea of motherhood. The ultrasound was an abstract experience (is that my uterus we are exploring?) I had lost my dad only 2 months prior so much of my pregnancy was shrouded in grief. I was afraid to expect a baby in the end since I could lose it just like I had lost my dad. Yes, I never thought past the pregnancy. So, Motherhood and all it entails, came as a loud, jarring alarm clock. This time, I know there is a tiny person growing, I know he or she is nudging around and reminding me to eat well and keep us healthy and safe. It’s depending on me for this. That’s a huge difference. I am its home, its safe keeper, its nutritionist and its story reader (thank Henry for his vast interest in books at night.)

It’s simple that huge.

I have a feeling that this Thursday afternoon I will cry like a baby when I see the little shape wiggling on the screen during the ultrasound, while Henry meets him or her for the first time. He will likely ask many questions over and over again, and it will be a special moment to share with him. He will likely bring up the experience for many months to come.

So if anyone asks me, is the next pregnancy different? I can answer with certainty that it is.

Clothing Roulette

It’s been interesting so far. I can’t complain too much about those pesky pregnancy symptoms, I’ve had very few. Some constant nausea for the first 8 weeks (weeks 5 – 13 for those playing at home.) And other than the constant hunger and growth spurts in the stomach region I have little negativity to dwell on. This morning I had to slap off my alarm clock which my numb hands. It was somewhat amusing, smack, smack, smack…radio is still on, smack, smack. “Damn it!” Whack. “YES!” Success, Fetus and I can get up now.

I’m a knocking at the door of 24 weeks – though 6 months sounds more impressive. More than halfway there. I can still remember myself with a waistline and yet, when I dream I only see myself with my new “bulbous” shape. The bulbous shape is there when I wake up each and every morning. I miss my waistline, it allowed me to bend and paint my toenails or adjust the strappy heels I want to wear.

Each morning I feel like I am playing Russian Roulette with my wardrobe… I climb out of the shower and make my way back to my bedroom closet which I am not only challenged with forgetting to do laundry – depleting my fashion options but also tempting the fashion gods by not buying a ton of pants with secret belly panels in them. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that the fashion industry cannot fathom someone over 5’ 10” pregnant and so all of their pants in stores are too short. I am reliving my middle school nightmare where all pants hit at the ankle and that is NOT, I repeat NOT the fashionable thing to do. Oh sure, order online… but that means no trying on and repeated shipping costs – awesome. Thanks.

Every morning I repeat the same ritual, I find a pair that I hope still works (jeans or business pants – it doesn’t matter), I step into each pant leg with care and then I yank the two material tubes up my legs praying we don’t stop short this time around. Let’s face it I’m on borrowed time here, pulling, gasping, and repeating, “I think I can, I think I can.” So far I make it to their sky-high destination, I find my trusty tube sock and slide it into place so my pants don’t travel back down in public – I’ve seen this happen and I don’t recommend it. I am ready for another day, out of breath, but ready nonetheless.

One day soon I will come up short in my pant endeavors and I do hope my company won’t bat an eye at a “pants-free” Tuesday.

Taking a Peek at Wee Ramseyer

I have to say that so far this whole pregnancy thing has been pretty good. The nausea has left (thank you week 13), the appetite is escalating (hello empty fridge), I still fit into most of my clothes (not for long) and most of the time I look “full” not pregnant. (I have one ddm co-worker to thank for that precious comment.) Granted, all this will change, I will eventually join the ranks of women who don’t sleep through the night, who will have to find *gasp* “panel” pants that are long enough and survive some uninvited Buddah belly rubs. I will take it in stride and swat away hands as necessary.

Today was an important day in this pregnancy journey. Today Admo and I found ourselves together at our first official ultrasound. Depending on the shyness of our wee Ramseyer we would learn if we were having a baby linebacker or a baby frilly pretty pink princess.

As we’ve seen in many movies, we found ourselves in a small exam room, ultrasound machine and stomach goo all cued up for the big reveal. Our moment to shine.

Politely the tech asked if we wanted to learn if we were having a boy or a girl. We said, yes, however, we wanted to be like those annoying romantic comedies where the couple has the results written down on a piece of paper, stuffed into an opaque envelope, put under lock and key and saved for a special date in the future. Our magical reveal date is Wednesday, May 25th barely over 24 hours from the ultrasound.

So the exam went on without a hitch, we learned our child has a good looking brain (who knew brains could be so darn good looking.) We learned our child is digesting (yay for stomachs and healthy appetites), we noticed our child comes equipped with a pair of hands and a pair of feet. Both complete with phalanges. Another good sign. Two sides to the heart, check. Strong heartbeat, check, eye sockets, 2 of them, check. Spine, yes! Got one of those and it’s looking good. The checklist was worked through and we learned that we are the future parental owners of a large/tall baby. Not shocking, somewhat expected.

And baby complied, it was a “flasher” as our tech remarked, clearly taking after Adam’s secure, in-front-of-people-on-stage-performer personality. Without shame or shyness it showed the tech what she needed for a gender confirmation. It was promptly written on a picture and put int our little envelope. Sealed and transferred directly to Adam’s pocket (he didn’t trust me… I don’t blame him.)

All in all I rate the experience pretty high up in the out-of-body-this-cannot-be-happening-to-me experiences. We were watching our child squirm and stretch on screen and yet it felt like we were watching a movie, starring someone who happens to have our profile and our unique mix of genes. We left smiling armed with a row of wallet-sized scans of various baby parts, waving hands, alien baby face, rump, spine, the works – proof that this child is ours. They don’t let you leave with another family’s ultrasounds.

We may not be mushy, gushy, tears-welling-up-special-moment type people, but we are thoroughly looking forward to finding out who is lurking in my uterus. And we are definitely enjoying this experience day by day and week by week. In case you were wondering, I believe we are having a boy, the Chinese gender chart and 9 of 10 prediction quizzes simply cannot be wrong. But we will see after work on Wednesday, May 25th.

Stay tuned, we just might share with you.

Mother Nature’s Sense of Humor and My Impending Motherhood.

Before I proceed, having a child was never going to be an accidental occurrence for us. We plan for things way too thoroughly to allow for life to give us any true surprises. By now most of our married friends have children, some have multiples, few of their kids are old enough to go to school and string together meaningful sentences. We, on the other hand, have a dog, and we have a cat. And it’s been like this for a while now. But when we get comfortable we begin to rethink our lives and figure out a way to shift the balance. You know… change things up a bit. And so last spring we started to say the “B” word. Yes, Baby. As in Baby Ramseyer. And so these discussions, nay debates, lasted for months. “Can we afford a child?” “What will we do about your death mobile truck, Adam?” “Will we ever go out once we have a child?” “Will we ever go on a vacation once this Blessed Being joins our lives?” With time our hearts warmed to the idea and we thought, “now is a good a time as any.”

Let me preface this with a quick reminder that I am an only child, and my expectations are such that results need to be instant. “Because I want one now!” (insert stomping feet.) As far I as I was concerned, we would have a summer baby in 2011. So we better get results by early fall. No pressure, none whatsoever.

One month went by. Nothing. “No problem, we’re just getting warmed up.”

Two months went by. Nothing. “Okay okay this isn’t as easy.”

Three months went by. Nothing. “Okay where can I buy those ovulation pee sticks? It will give me something to do.”

Four months went by. Nothing. “Merry ugh. Christmas. What is wrong with us?! Are we barren? Does Mother Nature think I will be incapable of being a loving mother? Will I?! Will I?!!?!?!”

January rolls around and my patience snaps. “I’m done with this,” I state. “I am done trying. Why are we rushing clearly this isn’t the right time. Let’s pick things back up in the summer, maybe a 2012 baby is the right thing.” This changed to, “Why are we thinking about this?! Let’s plan a trip to the Netherlands this year!” (Don’t laugh I actually proposed this.) We then downgraded it to planning for a vacation to Seattle – closer and our passports expired four years ago. Busy planning, no time for kids. Busy busy busy!

January also brought on Quarterlies, which equate to long hours at work, working weekends and hardly seeing my better half for at least two or three weeks. January was also the month we partied hard. We went out, we stayed out late. I was embracing my youth, which I almost allowed to slip away by getting pregnant. Go to a concert, stand close to a speaker? Sure, why not.

February slid in on January’s icy heels and things began to feel “off”. We went to a family dinner party, I barely ate, I didn’t feel right. Went to a Super Bowl Party, had a half a glass of wine, felt “off” again, there’s that word, “off”. When you aren’t feeling like yourself and can’t figure out why. I waited a week before I would investigate my physical state. Because I can’t be pregnant.

Cue Friday morning at 6:00 a.m.

Bleary-eyed I stumble into the bathroom. I grab the sacred pregnancy pee stick. I had prepared myself for inconclusive.  I had prepared myself for no, since that has been the result for the past five months. I had not, however prepared myself for a distinct, unmistakable YES. There it was staring at me. Two DISTINCT blue lines. “How in the hell?!” I barely saw him last month! Oh God, I’m pregnant?!

Proceed with the telling of the spouse:

ME: Adam, Adam, wake up I need your expert eyes.

Adam: If you are about to ask me about an opinion over a piece of jewelry, don’t bother.

ME: No, I need you to look at something.

Adam: Why? I am trying to sleep.

ME: (click on the lamp which results in Adam turning away.) Look at this.

Adam: Look at what? (cracks open one obliging eyeball and looks at the magical pee stick.) Oh, OH. Wait, wait a minute, does that mean? Wait, so you’re pregnant? Is that what this means?! (squinting at pee stick, the lines don’t lie.)

ME: I think so. I think I need more tests. And we need a second opinion.

Later that night, Adam came home proudly showing me a box of three tests. I proceeded to test all of them over the course of Saturday morning, Sunday night and Monday morning. Double blue lines each time. Tuesday we went to see my doctor, where the nurse practitioner cheerfully responded with, “Well now you officially know, what you’ve already known for a while. Congratulations. Would you like to keep the test for your scrapbook?” “Um, no, no thank you, we have a few others like it at home.”

So there you have it. We planned and yet we were still SHOCKED. We are expecting a baby Ramseyer on October 14th, 2011. Since then I have gone in and had an ultrasound that confirmed that I am not under any circumstances carrying twins. Which is good, I know Mother Nature has a sense of humor and still rendered us shocked, but she isn’t stupid. Two babies for Caroline would spell disaster… twice.