Little Boy Blue

So despite what 4-5 out of 9 stupid online quizzes had to say, Baker Baby #2 is apparently a little brother!

All the appropriate body parts accounted for, no visible abnormalities, healthy squirmy kiddo all the way around. Long legs that he likes to put over his head. 🙂

ultrasound

Both times, with Henry and now with “Gotham”, I’ve come away with a lot of different thoughts and feelings. One that struck me this time was that I wondered what our OB* thought of our reactions. Logically, I suppose he probably doesn’t care one way or another — I imagine people have a wide range of emotions in those moments. But I can’t help but wonder if we are reacting in a….. normal way? I have heard many stories of exaltation, tears, etc. — of big emotional reactions as the machine reveals whether the family in question will be welcoming a little boy or a little girl. And we don’t outwardly do that. I know we are feeling big emotions, but something about that environment and that moment brings out the quiet “huh!” in me. Like, “huh! that’s interesting”… I just find myself without anything to say to this guy who is basically a stranger as he prods my belly and tries to get me to decipher the between-the-legs shot for myself.

Oh, and so with Henry, it was so incredibly obvious exactly what flavor of child he was. The very first shot was right between the legs. And with “Gotham” the OB kept trying to get us say what the gender was, and we were both just like, “um, could you just say a pronoun now?” We couldn’t tell at all! So for the first day or two I think I was telling everyone “Well, according to the doctor, it’s a boy……” I never did really see it with my own eyes!

Anyway, so it turns out that “Gotham” is a boy. According to the doctor.

And I honestly thought that I had been telling people the truth when I said that I didn’t have a preference for a boy or a girl, so I was pretty surprised when I realized that that wasn’t actually the case. I had a little bit of a rough 24 hours there, and if you’ve ever had the dubious pleasure of experiencing pregnancy hormones you can just imagine what that might have looked like. The worst of it was feeling like absolute scum for feeling any sort of sadness over being pregnant with a beautiful, healthy baby of any gender — after all of the months and years of fearing I’d never have my babies, while knowing all of these people who haven’t yet, or won’t ever, have theirs.

And then I got over it and now I’m unambiguously happy and excited.

I mean, I felt a bit of a pang when I walked into the Old Navy baby section and saw clothes in the most seriously adorable pink buffalo plaid, because COME ON, pink buffalo plaid? Is there anything more amazing? Why isn’t this in my size?

pinksuit

But it’s okay, because they had the exact same adorable little suit in a blue buffalo plaid, and it came home with me.

blue buffalo plaid suit

This is Gotham’s second little warm thing for when he arrives in January. The first came from his Grandmommy, who knows exactly what a little Gotham needs:

gotham suit

I am wishing that I could find the “big brother” correspondent to this cute pair of navy-and-orange jammies:

little brother

We don’t need a ton of clothes for Gotham, since he has a very fashionable big brother, but Henry was tiny in fairly warm months and Gotham will be tiny in January/February — which is bitterly cold around here — so I’ll enjoy collecting a few little warm fuzzies for him. I do the vast majority of my baby/toddler shopping at consignment shops but couldn’t resist hitting a few Labor Day sales this weekend!

Sidenote: Now that the gender is known, people are very interested in what name(s) we might be considering. I would like to direct those folks to some of our previous thoughts. 🙂

* I am seeing a fantastic certified nurse midwife, but she shares a practice with an obstetrician who is very talented with the ultrasound machine, so he runs that aspect of things.

 

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41?! Still Waiting. Also: Monsters.

As of yesterday, I am 41 weeks pregnant… which I guess means I am now in my 42nd week of pregnancy… thanks, Douglas Adams.

41 weeks pregnant

41 weeks pregnant

I’m still feeling pretty much just fine. I’ve had a little bit more indigestion, and it’s clear that my hips/pelvis are getting a little more stretchy and a little less functional (at least, where function = walking). But I don’t feel especially uncomfortable, exhausted, miserable, anxious, depressed — none of that stuff. It’s funny what a simple conversation and an extension can do for one’s peace of mind.

It seems like my family is really much more tired of waiting than I am. I wish that I knew when it would all happen so that we could stop having this, “Now? Today? Tonight?” anxiety! It is really wearing on everyone. For me, [REDACTED] is already a physical reality; he has gotten more aggressive about his kicking games, for example. But everyone else is just having to sit around waiting to experience him, and I know they’re getting tired of waiting!

We went in for our first (hopefully last) monitoring yesterday afternoon, to make sure it was okay to keep waiting for the baby to choose his own time. We had a non-stress test and an amniotic fluid check. Interesting side note: if you leave the hyphen out of “non-stress” when typing it on an iPhone, you end up scheduling yourself for a monsters test instead.

monsters test

Anyway, we passed the monsters test with flying colors. His heart rate was strong and in the right range, although it sure did vary a lot over the course of half an hour or so!

According to the nurse, I actually had a couple of contractions while we were in there — but I didn’t even feel them. So weird. I have been operating under the assumption that contractions = pain. If that’s not the case — if you can have contractions that you don’t even feel — then have I been having contractions for the past several days? I’ve had several of what I’d identified as strong Braxton-Hicks contractions — a sense of downward pressure without any real pain — and some mild intestinal cramping that I thought was just gas. Maybe I’m not being as contraction-incompetent as I thought!

Then they did the world’s gooiest ultrasound, checking all four quadrants to make sure there was enough amniotic fluid in there. They wanted at least 8 (cubic centimeters, I assume) and I had in the neighborhood of 24.

So, yeah. I’m feeling a trifle inefficient. But other than that… all is well…

My favorite hobby this week is going to a store (or an estate sale, today) and hoping that someone asks me when I’m due, because then I get to say “Last Wednesday” — and the looks on their faces are PRICELESS. Apparently I am “holding up awfully well,” “very upbeat for being as far along as I am,” and “so tiny!” I gotta say: I could get used to being called tiny. The thing is, I fully attribute my general sense of well-being (both physical and emotional) to having some time away from work; I really do love my job, but it has been very stressful this year, and it’s exhausting any year (especially for someone who doesn’t get her “batteries charged” from human interaction).

I don’t have a great deal to say about anything, honestly. I think I am probably not going to update this site again until after the stork shows up; there’s really just not much to say. I am on Facebook, and posting fairly often over there, if you’re eager to know about my daily goings-on. 🙂

Currently…

…Baby Baker has his head down, his butt up, and his face out (posterior position). The first two things are unlikely to change; he’ll roll back-to-front-to-back though. Hopefully he’ll switch over to face my back at the appropriate time.

posterior-baby…my fundal height is 34 cm.

…I have gained thirteen pounds.

…Baby Baker still has a nose (complete with nostrils), lips (that make suckling motions), at least one arm (which he threw over his face in the latest successful effort to keep us from seeing what he looks like), and boy parts.

…I am done with once-a-month appointments and officially in biweekly mode.

…my doctor says everything looks great.

Baby’s First Snow Day

Last night, Winter Storm Gandolf (yes, spelled with an O, and yes, I’m serious) blew in over the mountains and turned out to be the White Blizzard. We — meaning every teacher in the valley, because seriously, no one loves a snow day like a stressed-out teacher — had been hoping that a miracle would happen and we’d get a snow day, but I don’t think anyone really believed it would happen.

I woke up this morning, checked my email and the local news app on my phone, and saw no closures. I put in my contacts, got dressed, did my hair and makeup… and then got The Text Message. You know the one. The one with awesome news, news so awesome that you wonder for a few minutes if it’s a prank. School was cancelled!

We waited and waited to find out if Ryan’s district would cancel school, but never heard anything. Every district and charter school in the entire valley seemed to have closed for the day, except the two big ones. Ryan was in the shower, and I’d gone out to warm up the car… and then, at the absolute eleventh hour, they cancelled school in his district too. (They waited so late that many teachers, and some kids, were already at school before the cancellation came in!)

Anyway, snow days are rare enough around here that we thought Kermie Lazerbeak Batman (will that fit on a credit card?) and I ought to commemorate the occasion.

snow day 1

snow day 2

snow day 3

(The snow was blowing down the front of my shirt in that last one! Brrrrr!)

Today, or maybe yesterday, depending on which calendar you believe, I hit 25 weeks. It is marginally (ha) difficult to imagine that the countdown clock is all the way down to 15 weeks. In less than four months, KLB will be, like, real. Really here. Wow.

Today was also our January doctor’s appointment. Because of the bad weather, they had several cancellations so we got to go in early in the afternoon instead of the last appointment of the day (our usual time slot because I can’t get out of school very easily). The nurse put me in Exam Room 7 — the one with the ultrasound machine — and because our OB likes playing with his fancy new machine, he decided to take a look even though today was supposed to be one of those ten-minute checkups. KLB still didn’t want to give us a very good look at his face, but we got to watch as he vigorously scratched his nose with his forearm, and that was pretty cool. Then he pulled one arm up as if to shield his face from a bright light, uncurled his fingers, and we got this picture:

klb1

That may not be very easy to interpret, so here it is again with labels:

klb2

See? He has fingers! And nostrils! And lips! Seriously. Wow.

Another thing that we did today was to engage in an epic quest to acquire a crib, because given a day off from work a pregnant lady’s thoughts are bound to turn toward nurseries. But I doubt that we’ll have another snow day tomorrow (here’s hoping, though!) and that’s a long story, so it’ll have to wait for now…

Baby Pictures – 20 Weeks – Gender Reveal!

Yesterday, for my birthday, I got myself a downtown photo session.

Baby Baker's head and upper torso

Baby Baker was very stubborn about positioning. Refused to turn around so we could get a good facial profile — just kept staring at my spine, butt in the air. (And trust me, the doctor tried — I thought I’d have a bruised belly after all of the poking and prodding and awkward body positions!) The picture above is the best one we could get, and it doesn’t really have any facial features. He was able to eventually find the lip and chin, from each side, and determine that there was no cleft. Ryan thinks the doctor saw both eyes, too, but I was thinking he only got a clear look at one.

The thing about that particular baby position is that, while you don’t get to see the face, you get a very clear shot of everything else that is important. For example:

the spine

(Sorry about the glare; I need a scanner or something.)

I get dreadfully disoriented with ultrasounds. Ordinarily I’m very good at three-dimensional space. I think it might be because I’m looking at it from a strange angle; if I were sitting up, looking at it straight on instead of lying down and straining to see, I think I’d do better. That being said, even looking at the still photograph I’m not entirely sure whether the pelvis is to the right (my suspicion) or the left in this picture. Is that a leg off to the right?

cross-section of the baby brain

I admit a certain amount of confusion regarding how the ultrasound can see through the skull. I also don’t really recognize anything in this cross-section of the brain, but the doctor was rattling off brain-bits that I’d heard of before, and said that everything was healthy and exactly the way it ought to be.

Although he didn’t print a picture of it, we also got a great view of the heart (four chambers, all pumping) and the bladder. Doctor also got a good look at the back of the neck, which can show indicators for Down’s Syndrome; Baby Baker’s is perfect.

hand

That’s a hand with five fingers on it. You know how you know that you picked the right doctor? When he tells you that there are five fingers, and then says that this is a good thing unless you were counting on raising a six-fingered swordsman.

The next picture is my favorite:

two tiny baby feet

I am an absolute sucker for baby feet. I have never felt the urge to touch a pregnant woman’s belly, or grab at someone’s baby — but it takes every bit of willpower that I have not to touch a baby’s foot if it presents itself. I’m nuts over baby shoes and socks and little baby tootsies curled up instead footie pajamas. I have really lucked out here; my baby will be coming complete with not one but TWO perfect little baby feet!

Anyway, to cut to the chase… it is an excellent thing that Ryan and I were not hoping for a surprise, gender-wise. Remember how I told you that the baby was positioned? Well, the first thing that the ultrasound revealed was a picture looking up (or down, I guess, since baby was upside-down) at the baby’s bottom.

gender

This particular shot is nowhere NEAR as clear as the one Ryan and I saw, immediately. I guess Ryan (who, after all, took care of a little baby boy for several months) knew instantly what he was looking at; I was pretty darned sure but wasn’t sure to trust myself because of that disorientation. (I wasn’t sure what end of the kid we were looking at!) Anyway, I guess neither one of us said anything because we weren’t sure if the other person had seen it yet. Then the doctor pointed it out…

So, yeah. Looks like we’re going to be having a little boy!

I would be lying if I said this didn’t scare me a little bit, but I’m not quite sure if it’s the fact that we’re having a boy instead of a girl, or if it’s the fact that this hypothetical genderless Possibility has abruptly turned into a pronouned Reality. In one fell swoop, I’ve gone from “I’m going to be a mom!” to “I’m going to be the mother of a son who will grow up to become a man.” And that’s a frightening prospect and a big responsibility! I don’t know the first thing about little boys, but then again, I don’t really know the first thing about babies in general. And everyone I know who has boys assures me that they’re great. (Then again, would anyone really post on Facebook, “I have boys and wish desperately that I didn’t”? LOL.)

I am excited. When I think about this baby growing up into a teenager, I remember that I really “do better” with my male students. I’m happy as a clam with my classes of ITE students (almost all male, entirely nerdy) and am pretty okay with just about anything teenage boys throw at me — but my “lose my cool” kryptonite is bratty teenage girls who roll their eyes. I always had more male friends than female. My favorite storybook characters are men and boys; my favorite toys are stereotypically male offerings. (Which, before the Mommy Warriors come after me, would have been a major presence in the household with a baby girl, too. Duh. Why would I have loved blocks and dinosaurs and ray guns if I hadn’t had them growing up in my all-girl household?) And I’ve always thought it must be a nice thing to have a big brother.

It took me about 18 hours, but I think I’ve found my footing again. Now that this has become a Reality — a HE — I suddenly feel inspired to work on getting things ready for him. (Man, it’s nice to have a pronoun!) Right now isn’t the right time to go shopping; December is never the right time for big-ticket purchases like nursery furniture. But I’m ready to start really looking, and clearing out the room, and getting irritated that I can’t paint it. 🙂