All of that changed in week 20, when I saw baby move. I had felt baby move once before, at 14 weeks, but it was only that one day and then nothing for over a month. But this time, I looked down and my sight confirmed what my tummy alerted me to - my baby was wiggling inside! The next day, Alex was able to feel the baby move. We never looked back; baby has been active every single day since then.
On top of this, two days after I saw baby move, we had our midway sonogram, and I saw on live screen as my baby kicked me (and I felt it, of course!). It was so surreal to simultaneously see and feel her or him moving. Not only that, but we got a complimentary 3D sono picture, which made the baby much more believable than the standard 2D ones. I promptly plastered the image on my laptop, work PC, and phone as wallpaper. So between seeing my baby's sweet face and feeling her/him moving every day, I quickly started to bond with baby and stopped worrying.
Furthermore, since we had a major move hanging over our heads that was planned for June but fell through, that was an additional aspect that kept me very tentative in my preparations for baby. But once the move was off the table, I was able to start planning the birth, starting with switching care providers to a group of certified nurse midwives that are covered by our health insurance plan. That was a wonderful surprise, since I was prepared to pay out of pocket if need be in order to avoid an overly medicated, rushed, and clinical hospital birth.
However, I hadn't realized that there are two sides to the midwifery approach to childbirth. Namely, while it is good that they expect you to be responsible for your own health care, be knowledgeable and make informed decisions yourself, this comes at the cost of having to do more of my own legwork, not having the easy way out of just doing what the professional tells you, and ... well, being more responsible for my own health care!
A friend from church, Liz, and Alex's sister are throwing us a baby shower next month. I think there'll be another layer of reality setting in when we get all that baby stuff and then go shopping to supplement whatever else is needed. Right now, we set up a closet/dresser for baby with the things we have so far, but it's kept behind closed doors. I went out and got cloth-diaper friendly laundry detergent after a dream I had of having baby home but no washed diapers prepared! We need to prewash the new diapers of our stash 5 times, but I think I'll wait until after the baby shower for that as well, since I'll want to wash all the clothes as well.
We went back and forth for a time with nicknames for baby. One month, it was Dino (for a boy), the next month it was DeeDee (for a girl). But this month, everything got confused, and we no longer know which nickname we're on. We often just say "Baby" now. I've started to want to find out if we're having a daughter or a son, though we initially agreed to wait for a great surprise. I want to start calling baby by name, since we have both genders' names picked out and ready to go. My mom doesn't understand why we are "torturing" ourselves and her with this not-knowing, so I asked Alex how he would respond. He said that baby is a gift, and we're not supposed to peak at gifts! That attitude just melts my heart and makes me think I can wait 10 more weeks... I've waited 30 weeks already!
One thing I'm trying to keep in mind is to have a well-balanced approach to parenthood. On one hand, obviously this is something we have waited, prayed for, planned, pursued for so long, and I am ready to throw caution to the wind and just forget everything else that's going on in my life and just throw myself into the role of mother. On the other hand, I also know that this is not healthy for my relationship with my child, or for the well-being of either of us. If I am to parent/teach by example, then I have to have things going on in my life that my child can look to to model their own life after. For instance, if I want my child to value our faith, I cannot just assume it will be passed on by osmosis. I want us to be involved in our parish as a family, as much as that is possible. Granted, there are things that will have to be put on the back burner in the early months, but this won't last forever.
At any rate, I'd like to introduce our little miracle:
|3D sonogram taken at 21 weeks.|
Tomorrow, we go in for our 3D/4D ultrasound session, which will give us not only several photographs, but also a DVD of our baby. Since this may be the only time we experience pregnancy, I didn't want to spare the cost of this luxury. Plus, it's been 2 months since we last saw our baby on screen, and tomorrow's session should hold us over for these last 2.5 months!