Monday, September 29, 2008

This we know for sure...

We might be torturing ourselves by not finding out the baby's gender, and we might be making you crazy by not telling you the names we have picked out. We might not know if the baby will be born with the same Illini orange and blue blood that Jason and I and the rest of our families were born with, and we may not solve the debate about whether it will be a Cubs fan (woo-hoo!!) or a Cardinals fan (boo-hoo) until the baby is old enough to tell us itself; but one thing we do know for sure... the baby is a Bears Fan! :)

Last night, Jason and I watched the Bears win a great game! The whole time, the baby was flipping around and doing what I can only imagine were cheers in there; flailing it's little arms and legs around to encourage its one clear choice of sports team to victory! In fact, the movement became so big, that even Jason could feel him/her move for the first time! I could see the stars in Jason's eyes... dreaming of one day taking his son or daughter to the game, tossing an arm around him/her and saying, "You know, the first time I ever felt you move, was during a game much like this..."

Who are we kidding, Jason's not that sentimental. Unless being a dad really brings it out in him, it will probably be more like me smothering my children, much to their embarrassment, spilling their ball park hot dog in the process, telling them between tears how their dad felt them kicking for the first time during the Bears vs. Eagles game of '08. Then they'll wiggle out from under my arm, Jason will pass me a tissue for my tears and tell me that he loves me but to watch the game, just as this little miracle growing inside me now, asks me for $10 to buy a pretzel.

But still, I'm sure I'll tell the story. And I'll love it. We're already making memories. :)
Bear Down!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

19 1/2 weeks with a view!

Jason and I love the Golden Gate Bridge. We got engaged at a picnic spot overlooking the bridge 5 years ago. It is for this reason that it was so fun to be back this weekend, pregnant!
My friend Hannah got married in Sonoma last Saturday, and Jason and I took a few extra days to enjoy Sonoma, Sausalito and the bridge! On Monday, we went back to the spot where we had our picnic and snapped this belly shot for the 19 1/2 week mark. We can't wait to be back with the baby someday!

When we returned, we had another doctor's appointment. We were glad to learn that the baby and I are still growing just as we should be.
Another really exciting thing, is that I have begun to feel the baby move! It feels really strange, actually. I have been telling people that it feels just like a heart murmur, but in your stomach, but apparently not too many people have had heart murmurs, because when I say that I get a lot of blank stares. :) My sister-in-law Holly, said that it feels like a goldfish swimming around in there. That's a good way to describe it, and one that more people can visualize than a heart murmur, apparently. :) I think it's going to be a swimmer, because it is doing a lot of flutter kicking in there. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. :)
I'm excited for the moving that Jason can feel. I think that will be the neatest part. Of course, that is also the part that they say keeps you up at night, so maybe I'll change my tune on that one near the end.
I'm 20 weeks tomorrow, so I'm officially half way there. It's hard to believe that this little flutter kicker will be here in about 4 months and a few weeks! Where is the time going? I definitely should probably already have more done! Looks like I'm in for busy winter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More great news... the best kind

Today we had our ultrasound. I have actually had a few before due to the different scares that we have had, but it was fun to have one scheduled for a change. Luckily, they have all resulted in good news, and today was no exception.

It looks like I am actually measuring at 20 weeks along, instead of 19. But, since the first baby is often born after the due date, she still wanted to keep my due date at the 12th of February. Although, they said it looked like it could come as early as the 2nd.

The ultrasound was completely thrilling! At one point it moved its hand across the screen and I swear it looked like it was waving at us. I just couldn't believe it was moving around in there and looked so much like a baby! Gone are the days of "the blob".

We still held out and didn't find out if it was a boy or a girl. Although I will say, it was tempting knowing that there was someone standing right there who had the power to tell us! We saw the babies hands and feet and arms and legs and spine and lips and (giant) head. We saw its eye sockets and nose. We saw its beating heart and the heart's 4 chambers. We saw the blood being pumped to the heart. It was totally and completely amazing. We got six printed pictures and Jason said that he could have stared at them all day. I couldn't agree more.

I can't wait to meet the baby in person! Hard to believe that we are just about half way there now!

Parenting Practice...

I think I've had a variety of experiences to prepare me for parenthood. I have a brother who is quite a bit younger than I; I have had a lot of overnight babysitting experience- some for weeks at a time and for children with special needs; I was a nanny for two families after college for a few months before I began my permanent job; and this past weekend I stood in the pouring rain for two hours with a 4 year old.

My cousin, Nicki, was in town to run the Chicago 1/2 Marathon and much to my delight she brought her oldest daughter (my goddaughter), Skylar, with her. We had a blast. We had a "sleepover" on Saturday night complete with pizza and sleeping bag, and on Sunday we headed out to watch Skylar's mommy complete the 1/2 marathon. There was just one caveat. It was raining so hard and had been for so many days, that weather service issued a flood warning. Full streets were closed and people were literally canoeing out of their homes. And we were standing on Lake Shore Drive in head to toe rain gear yelling, "Go Mommy, Go!"

Skylar was a complete champ! We got her all geared up and loaded her with donuts for extra energy (we had to wake up at 5:30am). She started out the morning begging to dance in the rain without her hood, and wanting to play hide and seek from Jason, but ended the day on a bit of a soggier tune.

We came up with many cheers both for her mommy and for the other runners, and explained how when mommy ran by, we could only wave and cheer to show her we were proud of her, but that mommy wasn't going to be able to actually come over to us and give us hugs and kisses. (there were 16,000 people running the race.) We made it past the "yes you must wear your hood" conversation and the "it's important that we stand behind this white line" conversation. And other than the 5 total seconds when we actually saw Nicki run by we played lots of fun games including "I spy". Skylar is completely hilarious and purely entertaining and I love every word that comes out of her mouth and every second that I have the privilege of spending with her. If my child is as fun as she, I will be overjoyed.

About half way through the race my other cousin (and Nicki's sister), Amy, came with her husband, Ryan, and their two children, Avery and Anthony. We laughed a lot and took pictures of who would actually do this with a 5 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old. Although we were completely soaked head to toe, we had a good time and were very proud of our runners, Nicki, and my friend Molly also ran the race for charity. And, we were very proud of the littlest cheerleaders. They were all so great!

At one point at about the 1 3/4 hour mark Skylar said to me, "Johanna, I just can't take it one more second. I need to be dry!" My sentiments exactly, Skylar. Luckily Skylar had an extra change of dry warm clothes in the car so we were able to get her changed while we waited for Nicki to meet us after the race. And, after warm showers we all enjoyed a barbecue back and Jason and my place. It was a great day, and a ton of fun. And definitely one for the practice books. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

17 1/2 Weeks!

Baby is growing and so am I! Here is a recent picture from 17 1/2 weeks. I'm looking more and more pregnant now, and it is pretty strange, but fun. As I get bigger it becomes more and more "real" that the baby is coming, and my bond with the little guy (or girl) becomes deeper.

I am feeling so much better! Don't ever underestimate your energy. :) I think Jason secretly misses lazy Johanna, but she's for the birds! She was so terribly boring! I get sick very infrequently now, and when I do, I'm so used to it that I just do it and move on. Bizarre, yes. Uncommon, probably not.

I've been swimming a lot and riding my bike. I guess I'm not really supposed to ride my bike, but I feel totally comfortable on it still, and my doctor didn't tell me I couldn't, so I'm going with it. Soon, I probably won't be able to ride at all since I'm only going to get bigger! Swimming I can do until literally the day I deliver, since it is low impact (although I better get a bigger suit!). I am going to sign up for Prenatal yoga soon. Deep cleansing breath in.....

I'm still craving fruits and vegetables by the fist full. And hot wings, of all strange things. I have never been a wing girl, so this must be Jason's influence on the baby. ;) I had a tuna melt the other day and it tasted so good you would have thought I was eating a lobster that I caught with my own hands 2 hours ago. It seemed like the best sandwich I ever had! I know what you're saying; A tuna melt? Yep. That's all it was. And I probably can count on half of a hand the number of times I've ordered that before in my whole life.

What can I say? Pregnancy is definitely a strange thing, but with (hopefully) a wonderful outcome! I'm just taking it all in.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day Made!

My friend Erica just sent me great news that I had to share! There was an article in Forbes recently that named Evanston Northwestern Hospital (where my doctor is and where I'll deliver) as one of America's safest hospitals! In fact, it was the only Chicago hospital listed in the top 10!

That just made my day.