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December 31, 2009

Dear Baby,

Today is my 27th birthday and the last day of 2009. Tonight, your Daddy and I will ring in the new year together with a pizza and a bottle of sparkling cider and celebrate the beginning of  2010 — the year you will be born.

Did you hear that? The year you’re going to be BORN! I can’t tell you how excited that makes me. In a little while I will be heading off to my monthly doctor’s appointment, where I will get to listen to your heartbeat again. I can’t think of a better birthday present than that.

Last night at midnight, Daddy pulled me into a hug and wished me a happy birthday. Then he put his hands on my belly and told you he loved you. You are so lucky, Baby, to be coming into a family filled with love. It will be my mission to make you feel as loved as I do every day of your life. I don’t think that will be hard, since you’re already loved so much.

We don’t have any big plans tonight, just us, home, together. There’s supposed to be some freezing rain anyway, and who wants to be on the road with that?

Sixteen years from today you’re going to ask me if you can go to a party tonight and I will tell you no. You will probably be mad at me and roll your eyes. You’ll tell me I’m so uncool. And I will tell you exactly what your grandmother told me every year — you are my baby and I love you too much for anything to happen to you. New Years Eve is not  a safe night to be out. Not until you’re at least 18 and then only if I know where you are at all times and you’re not drinking or getting in a car.

That won’t appease you, but I’m your mother so what I say goes.

I finally really understand what my mother meant, Baby. Because you’re not even here yet and I would give my life to keep you safe.

I will show you this letter someday and hope that you understand.

Twenty-seven is the best birthday by far, I think, because of you. You are exactly 14-weeks old in there and in just 4-6 weeks we will find out if you’re a boy or a girl. That seems like an eternity, but it was just that long ago that we heard your heartbeat for the first time and that feels like just yesterday.

That perfect little heartbeat.

I love you, my little Baby. And I’m so happy that 2010 is going to be your year.

See you in six months!

Love,

Mommy

I’ve entered that weird place where my normal clothes don’t fit quite right anymore, but I’m not really big enough for maternity clothes.

It’s really frustrating.

Early in my pregnancy, my then VERY pregnant friend dragged me to Target to purchase a BellaBand. The stretchy tube-like contraption is supposed to help you get through the awkward clothes issues you face in pregnancy.

In the beginning when your pants juuuust don’t close anymore, you wear it over the top of your jeans with the button open. Your pants stay up, and the open button doesn’t poke out unsightly. When you have a big belly, it helps keep up maternity pants that tend to slip down. And then, postpartum, it helps you start squeezing back into your old pants again.

I’ve played around with it a few times over the last three months, but all of the sudden this week it became a necessity.

My pants don’t close anymore.

I think it’s also important to tell you that not only did smaller pants come ushering in with the 2nd trimester, so did a flood of emotional crying. I bet you can guess how great those two things go together.

(Side note — Things That Made Me Cry This Weekend: Watching the opening montage in Up, when Kevin gets captured and taken away from her babies in Up, when Michael left NY a day earlier than me to head home to go to work, opening a beautiful painting of the place we were married, Teen Mom on MTV.)

I know it’s something that all pregnant women go through, but I have officially hit the “I feel gross and fat, NOT pregnant” stage. I’m lucky that Michael is so comforting and reassuring that I’m beautiful, but still. When the only thing I fit in correctly is sweat pants, it’s hard to feel attractive.

I think I might have to go try on some maternity pants.

WHAT?

Case in point:

You might notice the yoga pants I have on. About three minutes before this picture was taken, I had the jeans/BellaBand combo on. And then I ate some artichoke/cheese dip and well, the jeans were too tight.

Any mommies or mommies-to-be have good recommendations on maternity pants? I’ll take all the help I can get.

(Also, This Little Baby apparently liked the dip. A lot.)

Wishing you and yours the warmest wishes of the season!

See you next week!

How are you feeling?

I feel great! Right after Thanksgiving the nausea started to disappear and I’ve now reached the point where I’m hungry, SO HUNGRY, all the time.

Are you having any cravings?

Juicy fruit, specifically oranges, clementines and pineapple. The other day my grocery store had canned pineapple on sale 10 for $10 and I swear it was like an early Christmas present. When I was feeling sick I survived on plain bagels and ginger ale. That’s it. I would try to throw in some healthy stuff when I could manage it, but man, did I love those plain bagels.

What are the most surprising symptoms you’re experiencing?

Dizziness when I stand up has been the most annoying. At this point in the pregnancy my blood runs quickly to the baby, but returns slowly back to me. Because of this, my brain doesn’t get its usual rush immediately when I stand up so I often find myself leaning on the wall for a few seconds until the dizziness passes.

Symptoms come and go as the weeks pass. In the beginning I was bone crushingly tired. I would sleep for almost 12 hours at night, wake up, nap in the early afternoon, and barely make it to 10 o’clock at night. Growing a person takes a lot of energy! I was lucky never to get crazy breast pain, but my skin did decide it would like to revisit my adolescence and break out. A lot. Only, it apparently forgot what adolescence was like and decided to make it worse this time around, with breakouts in my hairline and along my jaw. And those kind of zits? HURT. A LOT.

And since it’s not recommended you use any acne products while pregnant, the best I could do is wash my face with a mild cleanser and pout. Thank goodness for Bare Minerals.

There’s also the constant peeing — first from hormones, then from your growing uterus and later from a baby sitting on your bladder. I hear you usually get some relief from the bathroom later in the second trimester, so I’m waiting for that to happen.

And yes, friends. I’m not going to lie to you. Pregnancy = constipation and well, that’s never fun. My recommendations for anyone going through that is lots of fruit and high-fiber cereal in the morning. It makes things a lot easier, I promise.

Did it take a long time to get pregnant?

Um, no. It took six weeks.

Can I touch your belly?

Do I know you? If yes, then you may. If we’ve only just met, then, um, no. I don’t think so. Thanks anyway. And I know! It’s hard, not squishy! So weird!

Are you going to have a natural childbirth?

I’ve only just started thinking about what my birth plan will be and doing a lot of reading on different birth methods. But here’s what I know: I want to labor naturally as long as possible. If that means having a completely natural childbirth, awesome. If that means that I’m in labor for 40-something hours and I finally need some medical pain relief, that’s OK too.

I’m a firm believer that every birth is beautiful and you are no less of a woman if you need some pain relief. Yes, I know there are risks to the baby by using an epidural, and that’s why I am pro-natural birth…unless something happens. I know women who have delivered naturally, others who received the epidural from the start, and another that went into labor early and far from home, labored for hours, PUSHED for hours, and ended up with an emergency C-Section.

There are no absolutes in childbirth.

Unfortunately, I have already been judged, maybe even by some of you. Birth is such a personal experience, but it doesn’t stop people from telling you how to do it. The worst are the women who have never been pregnant, never been through childbirth, who are quick to tell you what’s best. I’m sorry, when was the last time you pushed a child out of you? Never? Then maybe you want to keep those opinions to yourself.

I am full of questions. I pick the brains of everyone I know who has given birth and see what worked for them. But in the end, it’s what’s going to work for me, and I’m confident that whatever that ends up being, will be fine.

How has Michael been?

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. He’s so happy and kept me in ginger ale and love when I was forming an intimate relationship with the inside of our toilet. He rubs my lower back and shoulders when they get sore. And the other day, when he noticed for the first time that my stomach was changing and looked at it in wonder, well, I just about cried. (Oh yeah, file that under symptoms. Emotional!)

Are you going to find out what it is?

Oh yes! In about seven weeks we’ll have an ultrasound that will determine the sex and I can’t wait. I have a feeling it’s a girl, which is strange, since for years I was convinced my first child would be a boy. My mother-in-law thinks it’s a boy, so there’s no one consensus. I will honestly be happy with whatever we have…I just want to know!

Are you going to share the name with us?

Nope, sorry! You’ll find out when it’s born.

I think for the next six months or so, Smile Friday will be Belly Friday, because I think it’s something to smile about!

The first picture is the from October 19, the day I found out I was pregnant. The quality is terrible and I’m not in my normal “photo spot” because I was just TOO DAMN EXCITED to worry about photos. Ironically, I thought I looked bloated that day. HA.

The second photo is from yesterday, exactly 12 weeks pregnant.

Internet, meet my beer, er, baby gut.

This week was the first week Michael started to notice the difference, so I won’t bother with photos from week 7  (when I started with weekly photos) through 11. They all look fairly similar to each other.

I’d also like to mention that Morning Belly and Evening Belly are two very different bellies. It has something to do with, you know, eating all day and your bowels (ick), but Evening Belly is a lot more noticable. Which is making dressing for a Christmas party this weekend…interesting. I’ll be sure to take some pictures of which outfit wins.

Unfortunately, it won’t include those very stretchy and forgiving yoga pants pictured above.

Happy weekend!

It’s going to be a little baby heavy around here for a little while since today I am 12 weeks pregnant and that means I have many, many weeks of thoughts to tell you about.

However.

I really wanted to discuss this whole leggings as pants thing. Again.

I don’t know why this is a trend that just won’t die, but COME ON. Leggings are NOT pants. When I say leggings aren’t pants, I mean if you’re wearing leggings, you must, must, must cover your butt. PLEASE. At least find a top that goes down to your upper thigh.

Why?

(Source)

That’s why.

Ladies, I don’t care if you’re a size 2 or a size 22. Everyone has a butt crack, we don’t need to see yours on display.

And if leggings make your back look like that, what do you think they’re doing to the front? Are you truly comfortable with displaying camel toe?

And why…why, oh why, would you pair this awesome look with Uggs?

Look, I don’t have a problem with the Ugg brand. And I don’t have a problem with people who wear Uggs. My personal dislike for the traditional Ugg boot stems from the fact that I think it makes everyone look like they have giant Muppet feet and I just don’t understand the appeal. Comfort be damned. I have a very comfortable pair of Rocket Dog boots that are contoured enough to not make my feet look like dinner plates.

I just don’t get it. Butt crack, camel toe, AND Muppet feet?

Am I missing something?

I have completely jumped aboard the legging train and wear them all the time, especially with my growing waistline. But my butt is always covered. Leggings…not pants.

My last thought on this is that while I’m totally pro-trends (most of the time), I’m not pro-dressing like every other person on the street. This became evident to me when we stopped at a local coffee shop located on a nearby college campus and as we waited in line I counted eight — EIGHT — girls wearing the exact same thing in varying colors.

Leggings.

Ugg boots.

Northface fleeces.

If I was stealth enough I would have taken a picture, but you’ll have to just imagine it. Can someone explain to me why this look is so in?

I don’t mean to offend. If you’re sitting at home reading this post in your leggings as pants, Ugg boots and Northface fleece, you don’t have to start gathering up the rotten tomatoes.

You can explain it to me!

(P.S. – Belly shots start tomorrow!)

I’m having a baby.

I know this to be true. At six weeks I saw it — my little lima bean with a flashing, pulsating heart. At 10 weeks, I heard that little heartbeat, wooshing away at a mile a minute.

I’m having a baby.

As much as I know it to be true, sometimes I can’t wrap my head around it. Michael and I, we created a person. A perfect little person who is growing and swimming and moving its tiny little hands at this very moment — even though I can’t feel that yet.

It started with a pee stick. Well, three pee sticks, because I didn’t believe the first two. Three pee sticks at 7 o’clock on a Monday morning in October. Three pee sticks that I left sitting in the bathroom for a week, just so I could see the proof every time I went in there.

Proof that this baby, our baby, was in there.

I’ve had a lot of proof since then. Two weeks of head-in-the-toilet dry heaving. Two more weeks of tolerable, yet still painful, nausea. One moment of projectile vomit into the bushes next to a very nice restaurant. A shopping trip for new bras.

And most recently, the very beginnings of a belly, a BABY belly, which although right now looks more like a beer-cookie combo gut, will eventually look unmistakably pregnant.

I touch my stomach all day long. Rubbing circles around where I imagine my baby to be. I have fallen deeply and passionately in love already.

I’m having a baby. WE are having a baby.

I am over the moon.

I read in a book once that you should never make dramatic decisions while pregnant like chopping off your hair. In theory, it sounds like a great idea — a new fun style when you’re maybe not feeling so hot — but in reality, the same hormones that made you think cutting off your locks on Wednesday would be a good idea, leave you sobbing in your bathroom on Thursday when your hair is six inches shorter.

I think the same theory should apply to other life decisions, like leaving your blog. When I initially made the (rash, very rash) decision, it seemed like it was absolutely the right thing to do. I needed a break and there couldn’t possibly be any other solution other than abandoning it all together. No posts here and there, no writing just when I felt like it. No. It had to be all or nothing because I feel like it and SO THERE.

And then the next day I’m sitting at my computer and I’m not blogging and huh, I want to. Like, a lot. I think I wanted to come back and tell you how I was convinced that the leggings/Ugg boots/North Face fleece uniform on college campuses had died out five years ago, but how I was apparently so very, very wrong. Yes, I pretty sure I wanted to come back and write about that.

But see, I had made this proclamation. And I even though my emotions were yelling, “IDIOT! You were WRONG!”, I figured the least I could do was stick it out and give myself the month-long blogging break, emotions and hormones be damned.

So I did. And you know what? It was the right decision. Because it gave me time to reflect on things and writing and made me realize that at least for the forseeable future, I can’t possibly give up blogging.

Not now, when there’s so much to talk about.

Specifically, This Little Baby — Due July 1, 2010.

Hello? Is anyone out there?

I hope so.

I just wanted to let you know that I AM coming back. In six days. On Monday.

And I’m really excited about it. Excited to write again, to fill you in on the happenings over the last month.

I have truly missed you.

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