Tag Archive | 2nd trimester

Sooooo Happy

The other day, while playing and laughing with my daughter, Cupcake stopped and looked at me. “Mama sooooo happy!” she exclaimed as she clapped her hands together.

And I am. I really am. I’m happy.

It does not seem so long ago when I wondered if I would ever be happy, truly undeniably happy, again. I hurt so much. Every bone ached with the longing for another child. Every beat of my heart was the thump of grief for the one I’d lost.

But finally, I’m not a slave to my pain. I am joyful and I am free. Don’t get me wrong…I have not forgotten.  I think of our Teddy Graham often. I pray for each of you still in the trenches every day. I’ve been damaged and scarred on this journey. And I am never far from the fear of losing this baby, too. But this pregnancy, and my Skittle, have brought me immense healing.

No longer does the weight of a future and dream that seemed so impossible sit upon my shoulders all day long. No longer does Cupcake feel the need to pat my hand as I weep and say “Mama sad.” She can declare my happiness instead. I can declare my happiness.

I am happy.

This mama is happy.

At long last.

 

Odds ‘n’ Ends: Crocheting, Preparing, Baby Showers, and More

** Yep — another pregnancy post **

I have a few things to briefly talk about — the sort of things that aren’t big enough to warrant a post of their own, but seem to at least deserve a mention. Let’s do it bullet-point style:

  • My friend Lillian has taught me how to crochet and I’ve started making a baby blanket for Skittle. I’m excited! I tried to self-teach during my brief pregnancy with Teddy Graham and failed miserably (just as the pregnancy failed miserably), but I’m glad to be back at it and to create something for this baby we waited so long for. It won’t be a perfect piece of work, but Skittle won’t notice, will she?
  • We have successfully converted our Great Room into my office and craft room, so now my former office can become Cupcake’s new room. We are making great progress on it and it should be complete by the end of the month. Cupcake will finally be moving to a big girl bed and, while it’s bittersweet to watch my little girl grow up (even though I’m so happy she’s doing so), I’m taking comfort in knowing that I’ll have another baby to enjoy in 18 weeks or so.
  • My mom was here over Memorial Day weekend and we accomplished a lot of baby tasks. We sorted through all of Cupcake’s tiny baby clothes and I now have a huge pink and purple wardrobe to fill the closet in the nursery. We also started two small registries (one at Target, one at Babies ‘R’ Us) for the few items that I need and/or want for Skittle. And we went on a major (as in, I’m almost embarrassed by how major it was) shopping spree at a local baby boutique. I have been dying to do that for ages and through all the months of TTC, I saved every penny I could and told myself that, should we ever conceive again, my reward would be to go shopping at this beautiful boutique. I felt a little guilty for spending so much money on some items that were so frivolous (but so cute), but it also felt incredibly good to finally be there, shopping for our baby, instead of dreaming of it.
  • My mama was able to feel Skittle move for the first time on the day she arrived. 🙂  But poor Honey has yet to do so, since Skittle always decides to stop kicking the minute her daddy puts his hand on my belly. 😦
  • I think the size or position of my uterus has changed in the last week or two. I haven’t had to get up to pee even once during the last five or six nights AND I’m now feeling kicks (or punches?) from Skittle way up high, when they used to only be at my belly button or below.
  • My friends Lillian and Leigh are planning to throw a baby shower for me and another friend (who is due in July) at the end of this month or the beginning of next. The problem? They haven’t set a date yet. I’m starting to feel a little nervous for how this is all going to come together for them, as I’m the type of person who sends out invitations to these kind of things at least a month in advance. I had a lot of heavy input into the shower that my mom threw for me in my first pregnancy, so to step back and just let two friends take control is a little daunting. But still…I’m delighted to be at a point where I can even have a shower, and to have friends who care enough about me to throw me one.

That’s the current update in the Dash home. It seems we’re all about Baby and all about Cupcake these days. Totally submerged, but I guess that’s normal. It’s finally sunny here in our Pacific Northwest neighborhood and so maybe I’ll find something to do this week that isn’t totally focused on preparing our home for another baby invasion. I hope everyone is having a good weekend, and staying safe and cool from the wild weather that’s playing out around our country! xo

The Worries Continue…

Over the last week or two, I’ve felt moments of panic again. My mom said to me, with a bit of exasperation I think, that she had expected me to start feeling more confident at some point as this pregnancy progressed. And indeed, you would think, at 22 weeks, that I might finally be past all the worry and uncertainty.

Not so.

In fact, as this pregnancy continues and Skittle gets bigger, I seem to be fretting more. Because if there is one thing scarier to me than a miscarriage, it is a stillbirth. To lose a baby whom I have celebrated, seen on ultrasound (multiple times!), heard her heartbeat, felt her kicks…I can’t imagine anything much worse.

And now that I do feel Skittle move daily, I have something new to obsess over. Instead of constantly bringing out the doppler to analyze the sound of her heartbeat, I instead agonize over how frequent her kicks are, and how strong. There were times over the holiday weekend when she was very quiet and I felt like I couldn’t relax, could hardly even breathe, until I felt her move. And when I did, the relief that washed over me was, I imagine, akin to crashing in a commercial plane and walking away from it without so much as a scratch. Yes, I am a little crazy.

Thankfully, I had a prenatal appointment on Tuesday and was able to talk to the nurse practitioner about my concerns. She told me, at this stage, it’s perfectly normal to feel a baby move a lot one day and very little the next. Skittle is still small and can hide away in places where her movements may seem muffled — or may not be felt at all. However, by 24 weeks, I should be able to do kick counts. If at any point, I don’t feel her move as much as I think I should, I can drink a glass of water and a glass of OJ and wait for 6-10 movements within the next 1-2 hours. I love that! Unlike in my first pregnancy when I was told that I would learn Cupcake’s patterns and would “just know” if she wasn’t moving often enough, this gives me a solid standard by which to judge Skittle’s movements. Which is exactly what I have been looking for. I will try so hard not to do constant kick counts, all day long, but now I know what to look for if I start to feel panicky and that in itself is enough to give me some peace of mind. I like having a plan.

In the last few days, though, I have not had to worry (or use the doppler) at all because Skittle has been a jumping bean. Which I am perfectly fine with.

In other news, remember my friend Lillian who conceived around the same time as I did in January and then proceeded to miscarry just a few weeks later? Well, she’s pregnant again. She got a positive at 10dpo and told me the next day. I am ever so hopeful for her, but am asking that if you’re so inclined, please send all sorts of prayers and good thoughts to God and the Universe. I want this to work out for her so much. Thanks, friends. xo

On Having Another Baby Girl

Aw, thanks so much to all of you for your kind and congratulatory comments on my last post. I had wondered if the style of it might be too silly or too much, but I’m glad everyone seemed to enjoy it. You guys know how to make a girl feel good. 🙂 And it will be something so nice to return to in the years ahead, when I long to remember the joy and magic in that day. I’m glad I was able to successfully capture it and share it with every one of you.

And I’m not even sure I can adequately express what it means to me to learn that we have another little girl on the way. I am completely over-the-moon.I am ashamed to admit that I had hoped Skittle is a girl, ashamed because I know so many of you would give anything to have any child, regardless of gender (just as I would have). And ashamed because I feel that after trying so hard, I don’t have the right to hope for Skittle to be anything than exactly what God meant for this baby to be. And I do want Skittle to be exactly who she is, even if that person is someone who is more boy than any boy I might one day have.

But alas, I guess I am only human. Regardless of my infertile ovaries, I have plans for the future still, dreams of what shape our family will take. And while I do truly know that any shape will be beautiful, I have always wanted a house full of little girls. A house full of princess paraphernalia, pink party dresses, stuffed animals and baby dolls. A house full of giggles and laughter, of pigtails and headbands, of hugs and kisses for my husband from Daddy’s Little Girls. I want a sister for Cupcake, someone whom she can grow up with and bond with and understand.  I hope they can share all the moments that I missed out on as a child because I had no siblings and I hope that they can be there for each other as sisters and best friends after Honey and I are both gone (a long, long time from now). Being Cupcake’s mommy, too, has inspired me to want more girls because I have so loved mothering this beautiful child. Over the weeks and months, there has been some grief in seeing my little girl grow up and wondering if I will ever get the joy of raising another girl from infancy, and now I know that I will. I’m such a girly girl myself and feel so comfortable being the mommy of girls, this just felt like the safer choice. And speaking strictly in practical terms, I am glad that I won’t have to fork over a lot of money for another baby wardrobe. We have nearly every one of Cupcake’s outfits that she has ever worn and, while I certainly will not be able to resist buying a few special items for Skittle, it is nice to know that we have all our bases covered and need only buy what we want to and what we can afford.

In a nutshell, that is why I wanted another girl — and why I am beside myself with joy after learning that Skittle is indeed a she. My husband, too, was hoping for this (he was even on Team Pink!), but his glee over our news has been a bit more subdued. The day after our party, we traveled three hours to attend my niece’s baptism and I was still on a high after seeing that pink cake less than 24 hours before. On the drive, I could not stop myself from bouncing in my seat and giggling and saying to him, “We’re going to have another girl.”  He would always give me a small, quiet smile when I said that and one time, I asked him, “Why aren’t you more excited?!” His response: “Well, having a little girl doesn’t change my level of excitement for the pregnancy.” I loved him for saying that, but it got me thinking… Was I more excited because Skittle is a girl and not a boy? Would I have been disappointed if our cake was blue? I started to feel some guilt over that, some sort of worry that maybe my love for this baby is purely conditional. Sometimes, I still feel that way, even though I have since decided that it’s truly a non-issue.  I know that, had our Big Reveal gone the other way and the inside of that cake was blue instead of pink, I would have been just as thrilled, but in a different way. Raising a little boy is different than raising a girl — everyone tells me so — and so are the emotions that are tied to that. And that’s okay.

And I do still hope that, one day, we will have a boy in this family. A sweet, rambunctious, bouncing baby boy that his sisters can dote on. I have always thought I’d have a son — and I have a small collection of baby boy clothes that I have purchased over the years (including while I was in London last October) to prove it. But for now, I am so, so happy that Skittle is a girl. I will admit to this, though: I feel an even bigger sense of responsibility now that I know that she is. I am a fan of Dr. Phil and he always says that the same sex parent is a child’s biggest influence. For my two little girls, that parent is me. And while I do believe that I am a good and decent human being who is always respectful to others, and works hard, and never forgets to send a thank you note, and gives so much of herself to those she loves, and is generous and independent, I think there is still a lot of work I have to do. I’m shy. I’m timid. I don’t often stand up for myself or speak my mind. I have a pathetic body image. I am so insecure. And I do not want my daughters to learn any of that from me. I want them to be strong. I want them to have the confidence and self-worth that I never have. I guess this is why parents always say that their children have made them into better people, because we are all trying to be the parents that we think our kids deserve to have.

In the end, I believe it will all work out in the best possible way. Our family will take the exact shape that it should. I, as a mother, will do the very best that I can, which will have to be enough. And our daughters, and any other children God decides to give to us, will become exactly who they are meant to be, and they will each be incredible in their own beautiful and special ways. Maybe this is too Polyanna optimistic, but such a belief system has not led me astray yet, and so I will hold onto it.

I do also want to add this: I still think of all of you. Whether you are still in the trenches, hoping and praying for a(nother) BFP, or somewhere in the middle of a pregnancy or the parenting of your first child, I think of you. I know I am incredibly lucky to be expecting a second child. That is, in fact, the feeling that has been overwhelming me over the last week: gratitude for my blessings. To have a second baby girl on the way feels as though I have won the lottery and it never escapes me that so many of you are still hoping for your first. And even if you’re holding that first child in your arms right now as you read this, I expect it is never far from your thoughts that this may be your one and only chance. You may not get another. I remember what that is like, and how and scary and sad and lonely it can be, the sort of sorrow it can evoke. You are not forgotten. And I can only hope and pray that, one day, each of you will see your family take the very shape that you hope for, too. xo

A Virtual Gender Reveal Party

** Please note: If you want the experience of a real gender reveal party, take your time reading this. And don’t scroll down! The surprise is towards the bottom. 🙂

On Saturday, we celebrated Skittle by throwing a Gender Reveal Party. And what a party it was! I have been so lucky to have experienced many wonderful, beautiful moments in my life (as well as many sad and difficult ones), but May 18, 2013 is definitely in the Top 10. It was an absolutely perfect day. I have imagined and dreamed of this party for months, long before Skittle was ever conceived. On those days when we were TTC and I felt hopeful, I allowed  myself to picture this day when we would be surrounded by people we loved and we’d cut into a pretty cake and get the sweetest surprise of all. And much to my wonder, that’s exactly how our party went. Nothing went wrong. Everyone was a perfect addition to the party dynamic. Cupcake didn’t have any meltdowns or scream at the people she didn’t know well. There was no lull in the conversation. It could not have gone any better, not even by one bit, and that makes me so extraordinarily happy.

And do you remember this post, when I was planning my daughter’s birthday party and was disappointed to learn that so many people wouldn’t be coming? I was so hurt and I felt rejected and unloved. Well, this weekend, I am happy to report that there was not even a smidgen of that. Of the thirteen individuals/families, we invited, only three did not come. We had a house full of fifteen adults, one toddler, two newborns, and two dogs (only one of which was ours, thanks to my in-laws who insisted on bringing their gigantic pooch along, too). Included in our guests were my dear friends Lillian and Leigh, my mom and her two best friends (whom I have known since I was a toddler), my in-laws, one of my aunts, one of my cousins and her family, Honey’s best bud (who was the only one to bring a gift — and it was amazing!), and my sister and her mom. So many people were there to celebrate with us, and that meant more to me than anything else possibly could have. I felt so loved, so valued, and I think Skittle did too for all the kicking s/he did!

And so today, friends, I invite you to a Virtual Gender Reveal Party in our own little corner of the ALI blogosphere… Won’t you join us? No RSVP needed!

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Come in, come in! A white board by the front door is adorned with one of Skittle’s recent ultrasound photos and the sign reads: Almost time to see, which will it be? A bouncing baby he or a pretty little she? We’re so excited you’ll be here as we learn the Big News! If you’re in a hurry, feel free to rush through the party and see the big revealing NOW…but we do hope you’ll take your time, sit for a while, and celebrate all the joys that a party like this can bring. Please leave your shoes at the door.

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Your hosts are wearing:

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The dress was an Easter gift from my mom and you may remember the necklace from this post. I can’t wait to add an October (or September?) birthstone this fall! I also wore a pregnancy loss remembrance bracelet, in memory of our Teddy Graham. He has not been forgotten. And in the spirit of the cute owls that helped to inspire our party theme, Cupcake is wearing this for our party:

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Isn’t she cute? And no detail has been forgotten, friends, right down to the matching Mama & Daughter toenail polish:

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Would you like something to eat? To drink? There’s plenty and I don’t want you going hungry! Perhaps you’d like some pita chips to eat with our delicious feta dip? Or some crackers, cheese, and nitrate-free deli meat? Or do you care for the Trader Joe’s chocolates, which are my personal favorite? And we have punch and spa water to quench your thirst! Please help yourself and make yourselves at home. Our home is crowded, but there are plenty of places to sit. Get comfortable! All the fun will begin soon.

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In case you haven’t noticed, we have gone with a pink and blue color theme for this party. It may not be original, but it sure was easy. When you’re pregnant and have a toddler at home, you have to simplify somewhere! But there are other decorations you may want to notice, too. Photos from our six ultrasounds are hung on the wall. And this posterboard, too:

There are thirteen Old Wives' Tales listed here...7 point to GIRL, and 6 point to BOY. Not much help, are they?

There are thirteen Old Wives’ Tales listed here…7 point to GIRL, and 6 point to BOY. Not much help, are they?

My husband also bought some flowers from a market in the city. He thought he was buying pink and blue flowers, but when he arrived home, I informed him they are pink and purple. Oh, well. Aren’t they beautiful? I especially love the calla lily.

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And of course, there’s the cake table (the crowning glory of our party), setting here to build the anticipation and intrigue. Or perhaps is it here to anticipate us all? I may not have been the one to bake and decorate the cake (we went to a professional) or even the one to design it (I have Pinterest to thank for that!), but it’s still my pride and joy because it was exactly what I wanted. I am completely tickled with how perfect it is! What do all of you think?

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If you have a moment in between bites and sips of our refreshments, we hope you’ll take some time to participate in the activities we’ve planned:

Please offer your best name AND worst name suggestions! We'll read them aloud and have some fun.

Please offer your best name AND worst name suggestions! We’ll read them aloud and have some fun.

And here's a silly little game...give us your best guess for how many pink candies in the jar and how many blue. Prizes for the two winners!

And here’s a silly little game…give us your best guess for how many pink candies are in the jar and how many blue. Prizes for the two winners!

There’s also a voting board! Please cast your vote and wear your sticker with pride, though don’t be surprised if Cupcake tries to steal it from you…

A little peek at our REAL names. Can you guess who's who?

A little peek at our REAL names. Can you guess who’s who?

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There’s still a little time before the cake cutting, so let’s play! Last call to add names to the suggestion basket… (And if any of you really do have names you’d like to contribute, please leave them in the comments. We’re still open to any and all ideas!) A few of the best BOY names that are given: Jarrett, Hayden, Ryan, Nicholas. And a few of the worst: Horace, Bubba, Fred, Billy Bob, Saddam, Gunther (even though that one makes me think of Friends!), Oscar, Aiden, Elmer, Hugo. And a few of the best GIRL names: Isabella, Olivia, Madison, Hope, Quinn, Charlotte, Roxy. And a few of the worst ones: Beulah, Henrietta, Macaroon, Rhino, Hermione, Olive, Seven, Sapphire, Griselda. I’m so thankful for all of these suggestions…they’ve given me a lot to think about!

And on to the candy count…we have two winners! There are 318 pink candies and 283 blue candies in that jar and we are proud to announce that the winners are my friend Leigh and my mama respectively, even though neither of them were really that close. A $10 Starbucks gift card as a prize for each!

Our house is crowded, our living room is full, the food is half-eaten and dirty plates litter our counter….but there is laughter in this room. Warmth. Smiles. Loud conversation. My mom is holding my cousin’s little guy, just six weeks old. My 10-week old niece is asleep in her carseat in the corner. I can hear our little dog scratching in the back of the house, because we’ve locked her into the bathroom for a couple hours and she can smell the food. My sister and cousin are discussing their recent adventures in new mommyhood. Honey’s buddy is giving my mom a hard time about hating the name Oscar.  Lillian is giving me all the details about her recent trip to the coast and Leigh is reading a story to Cupcake, who has finally decided that all the people here are her new best friends. I do ask that you please ignore the constant chatter of my mother-in-law, who has a way of interrupting every conversation. And if my father-in-law starts to tickle Cupcake into a frenzy of shrieking laughter, I have earplugs I can hand out.  But can you tell that everyone is having a great time? I almost hate to interrupt all the fun, but there is a little business to get to…

Please, won’t you all gather ’round the table? It’s the moment we have all waited for! The anticipation is killing me. I can’t stop myself from clapping my hands and bouncing on my tippy-toes as I wait for everyone to drop what they’re doing and join us in the kitchen…  But alas, it is time to cut the cake!

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Can you feel the suspense? With Honey and Cupcake beside me, I saw (literally) through the tough fondant and feel my heart clench as I catch a glimpse of the color. There are cheers when I bring up the cake cutter to make a second cut and colored crumbs come into sight.

And it’s a….

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…..drumroll please….

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GIRL!!!!!!!!

A girl, you guys. Skittle is a she! (I’ve posted the proof on our Skittle page.) I have a post planned to explain all the ins and outs of how I feel about this, but suffice it to say, I am on Cloud 9. Truly! I could not be happier and, in that magical moment when we learn a little bit more about our newest family member, the emotion in the room is palpable. There were tears in my eyes as I hug Honey.

The photo may be blurry, but I think it says it all.

The photo may be blurry, but I think it says it all.

I am over-the-moon with our news and can think nothing more than of the little baby girl kicking away in my womb, but before all of you leave and this party comes to an end, there are a few more things to get out of the way…

Team Blue (a.k.a. The Losing Team), would you please put your names in one basket? And Team Pink (The Winning Team!), would you please put yours in the other? A name will be drawn from both and there are prizes involved!

First, Team Blue (of which there are eight players, plus Cupcake and myself, who don’t really count)…

One of my mom's closest friends wins the jar of delicious artificially-flavored candies!

One of my mom’s closest friends wins the jar of delicious artificially-flavored candies!

It was my husband's idea to use a Prego jar for this!

It was my husband’s idea to use a Prego jar for this!

And for Team Pink (just five players, plus Honey)…

My lovely Lillian is the one to win this fantastic prize -- a basket of tons of goodies, including chocolate, organic hand lotion, a picture frame, a bottle of Starbucks, and a $20 gift card to Target!

My lovely Lillian is the one to win this fantastic prize — a basket of goodies, including chocolate, organic hand lotion, some of my favorite teas, a picture frame, a bottle of Starbucks, and a $20 gift card to Target!

I hate for parties to end, and this one was so fun! Thank you all for coming, for celebrating with us, for sharing in our joy. Forever and ever, you all will have been part of one of the sweetest moments in my life.

I feel a little sorrow now that the day is over and the party has passed, now that this long-anticipated event has come and gone. I can’t help but be filled with melancholy, knowing that unlike with Christmas (which also makes me a little desperately sad afterwards), things like this don’t come once a year. Really, I don’t suspect that I will ever have another party like this in my lifetime. That’s a little hard to think about.

And yet, there are other things to look forward to. Other good memories that will follow. So much awaits us right now!

In fact, I believe the best is yet to come.

Anatomy Scan

Today was our anatomy scan and I’m almost afraid to say it, but everything went…well. No, as far as I know, it went perfectly.

The ultrasound tech isn’t supposed to say too much, but here’s what I know:

  • Cervix is long (and closed I assume).
  • Amniotic fluid level is fine.
  • Baby looks “beautiful” and has a “perfect” heart.
  • The heartrate was a fabulous 152.
  • The tech was able to see Skittle’s genitals and I was able to take our Top Secret Envelope to the cake baker afterwards.
  • Skittle is laying transverse across my belly right now, head on the left and tush on the right (with legs kicking every which way).
  • No placenta previa! (yay! yay! yay!) In fact, the placenta is about as far away from the cervix as it can get.
  • Skittle is still measuring ahead…by about 8 days. The tech says this is still within their normal range, but it makes me wonder if I’m going to have a gigantic baby or if I just might go into labor early. The good news is that the one body part that is measuring smaller than everything else (but still ahead by three days) is the head. I love the thought of a smallish head passing through my vagina. Cupcake had a small head, too, and I only had 15-20 minutes of pushing. Not bad!
  • Skittle was very active during the scan…probably thanks to all the OJ I drank beforehand.

So all of this is pretty wonderful stuff. The sonographer didn’t tell me that I have nothing to worry about at all, but I haven’t yet heard from my OB…so I’m assuming no news is good news??? Dear God, please let that be so.

It is almost impossible for me to imagine a world like this, one where everything goes so beautifully and there are no snafus, no bumps in the road, no catastrophes. I am waiting. Always waiting for the other side of the coin, for the bad news. But right now, there seems to be none. Skittle is okay and so am I. I can feel him/her moving right now. Soon I will know if it’s a him or her. And hopefully, in another twenty weeks or so, I will hold this sweet baby in my arms. I’ve made it halfway. I can do this. I. Can. Do. This.

And for those who are interested, a couple of Skittle pics from today have just been posted.

The Tale of Two Pregnancies

In many ways, though I have a darling daughter playing right beside me as I type this, I feel as if this pregnancy — with Skittle growing and kicking inside me — is my very first one. I say that because this pregnancy has been so immensely different from my first one, the one that gave me Cupcake. (My second pregnancy, the one that ended with the loss of Teddy Graham, was so short and symptom-less that we won’t even make it part of the equation.)

So let’s examine the differences:

  • Exhibit A: Morning sickness. In pregnancy #1, I was horribly nauseous from six weeks until 13 weeks, practically every day and all day long. I threw up a total of four times In this pregnancy, I felt fleeting waves of nausea on occasion from about five weeks until 9 or 10 weeks. These waves lasted anywhere from ten seconds to two hours, came mostly when my stomach was empty, were so mild that they did not disrupt my day, and did not lead to any meet-and-greets with the porcelain god.
  • Exhibit B: Fatigue. In my first pregnancy, I didn’t struggle with the common symptom of exhaustion…though that could have been because I was sleeping so much already, thanks to the nausea. In this pregnancy, I had no energy whatsoever from about 6 or 7 weeks until about 16 weeks…though that could have been because I have a toddler at home who does not let me rest except when she does.
  • Exhibit C: Bathroom habits. With #1, I was a great pooper. They were soft and came regularly (as in, daily). With this one, I toggle between constipation and diarrhea and, if I poop once every three days, I celebrate. Not to mention, I had no urine leakage while pregnant with Cupcake and, with Skittle, I’m pretty sure I have. Several times. (See this post for more on that!) Of course, perhaps this leakage is only the result of a weakened urethra/bladder caused by carrying my first pregnancy to term.
  • Exhibit D: My skin and body. While pregnant with Cupcake, my skin was glowing, but I was a chub. Every part of me (but especially my boobs, face, and belly) got a whole lot rounder. I went up four cup sizes and lost my cheekbones. Being pregnant with Skittle has caused constant facial acne, and I started showing way earlier, but so far most of my weight has remained in my belly. My boobs are only slightly bigger (much to Honey’s disappointment) and my face appears to be practically the same…except for all those lovely blemishes, of course.
  • Exhibit E: Fetal movement. I did not feel Cupcake move in earnest until I was 20-22 weeks. But I easily felt Skittle move by fifteen weeks, and maybe as early as 10-12 weeks.
  • Exhibit F: Cravings and aversions. With Cupcake, I craved cheese, bread, and citrus fruits. I loathed all sweet treats (even my greatest pre-pregnancy indulgences, chocolate and ice cream), gum, and coffee…until the very end of my pregnancy and beyond. With Skittle, I have craved pickles (how very original, huh?), jalapenos, and sour fruits and candies. I have not despised much except coffee, and still am able to enjoy my favorite sugary snacks.

This may have been a little tedious (i.e. boring) for you to read, but I have outlined it all to make a point: I think I am having a boy. Yes, I know I am probably reading into everything waaaaaaay too much. And yes, I have known women who had completely opposite pregnancies only to have two babies of the same gender. I also have friends who are convinced Skittle is a girl because she was conceived five days after the last time Honey and I got intimate…and apparently female sperm are hardier than male ones. And in full disclosure, my gender-guessing record is pretty dismal. I was convinced Cupcake was a boy, but lo and behold…she is all girl.

But still, I vote for boy.

Our anatomy scan is this Thursday. I’m a little nervous for it. I just want everything to go extraordinarily well. It was at this scan while pregnant with Cupcake that I learned about my placenta previa, which caused me such grief for the last twenty weeks of my pregnancy. More than anything, I just want a healthy baby, a healthy level of amniotic fluid, and a healthy placenta. But, if it’s not too much to ask, I would really like Skittle to be a cooperative baby and spread his/her legs wide so that I don’t have to cancel our party this weekend.

And if all is well on Thursday, I will deliver a secret envelope to our cake baker that afternoon and, on Saturday, we will welcome fourteen guests, two newborns, and one giant old dog into our home to celebrate our beloved and longed-for Skittle, and to get one of the greatest surprises of our lives. I’m excited, anxious, hopeful, and afraid…a whole wide spectrum of emotions and feelings, as has been for the course since my BFP in January.

A virtual gender reveal party (as Elizabeth at Bebe Suisse calls it) will then commence on Monday…and you’re all invited!  Hope to see you there. 🙂