Thursday, June 25, 2015

bump watch: finding out

the day we found out about skippy.
When you go through fertility treatments (that's another topic for another day), the whole process of finding out you are pregnant (or not) is completely different. There are no home pregnancy tests. It's always a blood draw in the morning followed by a phone call in the afternoon. I've received this call numerous times. All of them negative, but for some reason I had a feeling that there was going to be something different about this one on April 6, 2015...

1. I knew if it was positive, it would mean a Christmas baby. I love Christmas, but I absolutely never, ever wanted to have a baby around the holidays. In fact, in our complete naivety, Jon and I had a big, fat "don't get pregnant" clause around the weeks that would yield an extra gift from Santa. The saying goes that beggars can't be choosers, and I had a funny feeling that God's sense of humor would see fit for a Christmas baby. I love to make plans. God loves to change them. Luckily, He's always right.

2. After some hemming and hawing, I scheduled my appointment for first thing Monday morning on opening day. Baseball's opening day, that is. Part of me thought baseball would be a nice distraction either way. Boy (or girl!), was I right.

3. This was the first time I spent any amount of time thinking about how I would tell Jon. Again, this wasn't my first rodeo, but for some reason, I was inspired this time to put a little effort and planning into it. Since we would be going to the baseball game, it was an easy decision. I secretly bought a little league baseball while I was out running errands that weekend. I hadn't exactly planned how I was going to use the baseball, but I thought it could play a role in the big reveal.

4. My phone rang before 2:00 p.m. Fertility treatments come with a ridiculous amount of monitoring appointments. I think I've spent half of my life in the waiting room at Shady Grove Fertility. It's always the same. Early morning appointment, mid-to-late afternoon phone call. You get pretty good at predicting what time they will call so when my phone rang well before their average call time, my heart skipped a beat. What does an earlier phone call mean??? The conversation with my nurse Rachael went something like this.

Rachael: I have some good news. You're pregnant!
Katie: Stop it. Are you serious? Stop it.
Rachael: {Laughing} Yes.
Katie: No way. I mean, I guess this would be a really mean joke. But seriously? You're not joking?
Rachael: No, you are pregnant.
Katie: {Terrified}. Oh my gosh, this is terrifying.
Rachael: {Laughing}. Everyone says that.

When you spend so much time and energy trying to get pregnant, you reserve zero focus for what happens when you actually do get pregnant. It's also a defense mechanism. Assume the worst, hope for the best. Needless to say, I was completely unprepared.

trying to decide what to wear to the game....
I hung up the phone and immediately panicked. I knew I needed to get dressed and get to the baseball game. Jon was already there. I had all my Nats gear laid out on the bed, but I was too excited to even think about what to wear. I pulled on the two nearest tops. I grabbed my empty cup of coffee to take downstairs on my way out. Except it wasn't really empty, and in my excitement, I spilled coffee all over the stairs and wall. Oops.

I had stuffed the baseball in a drawer downstairs. I figured I would write something about a baby on it. Like I said, I was pretty unprepared. My hands were shaking so I scribbled on a piece of paper to try to get it right. But I'm too impatient so I just went for it. Thus, the ball was engraved with a very sloppy "Baby Hardin coming December 2015." I stuck it in my purse and headed for the car. Luckily, before I pulled away, I realized that I didn't have my ticket. All the way back upstairs I went.

I drove to the metro. I waited for the metro. This all felt like an eternity. I arrived at the ballpark (finally!) and then remembered they had mandated metal detectors at the entrance now. I saw the looooong line and immediately made a bee line for a smaller, less frequented gate around the corner. One perk of being a regular attender is knowing little tricks like that. The line was much shorter at that gate, but I made the mistake of getting in line behind two goths who were covered in chains. I kid you not. The dude kept setting off the detector, pulling more chains out of his pockets and setting it off all over again. This went on for a few minutes or a few hours. I had lost all concept of time.

Finally, I was in. I tracked down Jon who was grabbing a drink with our friend Betsy. I played it cool for a solid 10-15 minutes until we parted ways. I nonchalantly told Jon I wanted to take his picture before we headed to our seats. Despite the fact that Jon knew I went in for a blood test that morning, he appeared to have no idea what was about to happen.

While I'm casually pretending to take his picture, I switch to video mode, grab the ball out of my bag, and hand it to him. This is his reaction:

It is such a Jon reaction. He reacts, then remembers that I'm supposedly taking a picture so he pauses to smile for the camera and then he continues his natural reaction. Hilarious. Jon can be a little slow on the uptake.

We then made our way to our seats, sat down next to our friends who were attending the game with us, and proceeded to pretend we didn't just find out we were having a baby for the next 3+ hours. The Nationals lost the game, but it was still a pretty great day.

The End.

I lied. Not the End.

Now would be a good time to note this baby's nickname. Since this baby has a baseball history already - and will hopefully love baseball like mom and dad - we've decided he/she will be called Skipper, which some of you may know is a nickname for the manager of a baseball team. Henceforth, Skipper, Skippy and Skip will all be used as an in utero name for this little one. I promise there will be a "real" name eventually, but you probably won't get to know that until after he/she has made his/her appearance into this world.

Friday, June 19, 2015

bump watch: week 7

This is the week when I realized more than ever that I am indeed pregnant. I thought I was tired before, but I had no idea what was coming. The trip to Oklahoma for my sister's baby shower zapped every last once of energy I had. I got home late on Monday night. I didn't unpack my suitcase until Thursday evening. Normally, I can't stand an unpacked suitcase, but I just didn't have the will to do it between my many, many naps.

Thank goodness I work from home. I really have no idea how people get through the first trimester with "real" jobs. It's no joke. My diet this week mostly consisted of crackers and ginger ale. Sometimes something random will sound good to me - watermelon, strawberries, cheesesticks.

This is also the week of being a work widow...again. Jon has been gone almost non-stop for three straight weeks. He basically knocked me up and then left town. I would declare him a deadbeat dad, but he has promised me over and over again that he is going to be really nice and helpful once he gets home. I love that he works so hard for our little (growing) family - I just wish he could do it closer to home more often.

I told my family about the baby while I was in Oklahoma. They are sworn to secrecy, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell them in person. Their reaction was priceless. They were very surprised. I waited until the baby shower was over and we were taking a break from cleaning up. I presented her with one last present from me. I casually played it off as something silly. It was a Christmas-themed outfit for Abby with an extra special note to her inside that read:

p.s. I hope you don't mind that I got a matching one for your soon-to-be baby cousin coming December 2015.

There was a lot of screaming and tears after that. And I could finally tell them about how exhausted I had been all weekend! I must have really been a trooper because nobody suspected a thing. The next day, we went shopping for baby things, which is somewhat impossible when you don't know the gender (although we are all convinced it's a boy). I came home with some books, toys and a super soft gray onesie. This baby is already being spoiled.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

bump watch: week 6

If this pregnancy had a motto so far, it would be "Never hungry, always exhausted". I don't know how many times I've picked up the phone only to have people tell me I sound tired. Yes, I know. And yes, I am.

The eating thing is a catch 22. I'm grateful I'm not throwing up all the time, but I'm also never hungry. I feel better when I eat so I force myself to do it. Eating is my favorite so this is an especially upsetting side affect to me. I'd  also be happy to give up the constant feeling like I'm riding in the back of a car.

In those rare moments that I am hungry, there are basically two things that sound good to me: chicken breast sandwiches from Subway or honey nut cheerios with strawberry slices. I've also been craving Starbucks refreshers lately. The midwives have a pretty strict diet, and I'm really hoping they don't ask me about it at my first appointment. I'm pretty sure none of those items are on their approved list, but hey, this baby is not into kale and spinach these days. Sorry, I'm not sorry.

On the bright side, it's been easy to give up those things I'm not supposed to have because none of them sound good to me anyway: sushi, alcohol, etc.

Speaking of sushi, here's a little story I love. Jon has been traveling a lot lately. He was gone all last week, is only home 1 day this week, and then is gone again all next week.

Jon: Guess what I had in Houston that I haven't had in a really long time?
Me: What?
Jon: Sushi!
Me: Are you just trolling me?
Jon: [As he realizes that his pregnant wife, who he just left home alone for a week, can't eat sushi] silence.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

bump watch: week 5

You probably didn't miss me, but in case you did, I think I have a pretty good excuse for my blogging absence. Apparently growing another human being is taxing work. I spent the last 12-13 weeks intermittently sleeping and thinking about sleeping. But I've also been blogging on occasion. I'll start publishing those now starting with the oldest update from week 5 of this pregnancy. You don't have to read these (duh). I blog as much for my own journaling purposes as anything else so do with these bump updates what you will.

I think I'm pretty good at keeping secrets, but this one is killing me. By the time you will be reading this, I'll be sailing through my second trimester, but right now, it's just me, Jon and a few strangers who know. Apparently since we have decided not to tell friends and family quite yet, my only outlet is telling complete strangers. Sorry, Mom, but the A/C repairman knew before you.

I've almost let it slip with my mom, sister and friends so many times. Every time my mom calls she comments on how tired I sound. It's taken everything I have to not blurt out, "Well, yeah, because I'm pregnant!" I know it will be more fun to tell everyone in person, but the waiting is a real drag.  

I'm also still very much in denial. It doesn't quite feel real yet. I go in for my first OB ultrasound (at 6 weeks) next week. Perhaps detecting the heartbeat will make it feel a little more real. I'm sure a huge part of that is that I don't feel the least bit pregnant save the tiredness. I'm a serial napper anyway so it's not that unusual for me. Although these naps aren't optional - I literally can't keep my eyes open these days. There are no cravings or any morning sickness yet, but I also haven't had much of an appetite lately.

I just got accepted into the midwives program at George Washington Univ. Hospital. I'm so excited! It's in really high demand - people around here joke that you have to call before the urine test dries. I had a slight advantage because I found out as soon as possible through a Beta blood test. It was confirmed before most people would have even thought about buying a pregnancy test. But even with that advantage, I was nervous they would already be full for December deliveries, but they had room! I'm so excited to have the option of delivering with a low-intervention natural birth, but in a hospital setting with access to the best emergency medical care just in case it's needed.