Wait. 21 weeks? THAT'S MORE THAN HALFWAY, PEOPLE. I am officially closer to having a baby than not. Try not to panic!
Easier said than done, right? I keep going through cycles of excitement, then disbelief, then anxiety and panic. How am I going to handle two kids? Some days I feel like I can barely keep up with Ellie. And now there will be two of them and one of me. Something is wrong with the math there.
Other times, I'm really excited. Newborns are just so delightfully squishy. My cousin Molly was kind and generous enough to give me a bunch of hand-me-down newborn boy clothes, and OMG THE SHOES. The shoes are the smallest shoes that have ever existed. How is it possible that human feet can be so tiny? I had forgotten how teeny tiny fresh babies really are, but now I can't wait to hold one in the nook of my arm again.
And then the rest of the time, it just doesn't seem like it's really happening. I blame a lot of that on just being busier now than I was during my pregnancy with Ellie. During my first pregnancy, I was working a nothing receptionist job, which meant that from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., five days a week, I had very little to do besides sit at a desk and look up baby stuff. Message boards, nursery planning, Pinterest, research about doulas and breastfeeding and birth plans - it was all baby, all the time. Now my days are spent chasing a toddler with far too much energy and trying to keep up with as much housework as my lazy, tired self can manage (which isn't much). I'm ashamed to say that I often forget that another week of pregnancy has passed until those weekly emails show up in my inbox, cheerfully reminding me that I forgot to check what "fruit size" my baby is this week. (For the record: he's either a carrot or a pomegranate this week, depending on the source.) I never wanted it to be that way; I swore I wouldn't be a "second time mom" and I'd be just as invested in and on top of everything with Plus One as I was with Ellie. Alas, I am already failing in my quest.
But, no matter how prepared (or not) I feel, time is marching on, and our SON will be here in just a few short months.
I already briefly recapped our anatomy scan in my "IT'S A BOY!" announcement post, but it bears mentioning again that all is looking great. Baby Boy is transverse right now (meaning he's laying across my belly, with his torso perpendicular to mine), and was a bit stubborn in refusing to give us a good look at his profile during the scan. I was disappointed, as I was hoping to compare his features (what we could make out of them) to Ellie's at this point, but alas. Instead of being bummed I will take it as a positive sign that he would prefer to sleep than jump around and pose for the camera (unlike his sister). So for now, all we got was a few shots of a rather alien-like face. A cute alien, sure, but an alien nonetheless.
The best picture we have of Plus One's face, looking right at the camera
A look at how each of my kids currently respond if you request they pose for a picture: on the left, Ellie is ALL ABOUT IT. Her motto is "always be posing." Plus One, on the other hand, is all "Mooooom, I'm taking a nap. Leave me alone already."
My appointments have all been going well. My most recent appointment was this afternoon and the only issue was that Baby Boy was so active, my midwife could hardly get him to stay still long enough to listen to his heartbeat. He even kicked the doppler at one point and the midwife was all, "You've got a wild one, here!" and my dreams of a mellow second child flew right out the window. But seriously, everything is progressing normally and smoothly thus far, which is always great to hear.
On a related note, as my previous paragraph implied, Baby Boy is moving around a lot. I thought I first felt his movements at about 15 weeks, and it felt like tiny little bubbles popping against the inside of my belly. After that first sensation, however, I didn't feel anything for a couple weeks. I mentioned it to my midwife at my 17-week appointment, and she gave me some pointers to feel him more, but said I should be feeling him regularly any day. Sure enough, literally the next day I started feeling him with ease. Now I feel him quite regularly throughout the day, especially after I eat and when I'm laying in bed after just waking up in the morning. Eric was even able to feel him for the first time during our Disney weekend. It's still at the stage where his movements feel cool and not uncomfortable, so I've been enjoying his little jabs on the sides of my belly. I feel like I'm getting to know him a little bit through his movements.
As for how I'm actually feeling: pretty good! This pregnancy brought much more relief in the second trimester than my first pregnancy did. My nausea has disappeared, I have more energy than before (as evidenced by the fact that blog posts are going up at all, rather than me using my blogging time to nap), and I'm feeling more like myself. (The only exception: I still feel like our apartment constantly smells like Ellie's grilled cheese sandwiches, and I do not enjoy that.) My belly is also big and round but not SO big and round as to be uncomfortable or excessively unwieldy (yet). So, right now, I'm feeling good. I am starting to see flashes of the discomfort to come, but for now we're focusing on the positive.
My 19-week belly picture, and a Magic Kingdom sneak preview!
On the subject of feeling great, however, I should mention that I am feeling great in between colds. I have had at least three colds this pregnancy, and frankly, I've had enough of that mess. I was only sick once during my pregnancy with Ellie, something I consider to be a true feat, given that it was winter in New York and I was riding the subway every day. But now, apparently my immune system is no match for the Germ Fest that is A Toddler. So, I do lots of sniffling and shooting death looks at non-pregnant sick people who have the luxury of Sudafed and Nyquil but don't take advantage of it. DO IT FOR THE PREGNANTS, PEOPLE. Not everyone is so lucky! Think of those less fortunate!
We've started talking to Ellie a little bit about "Baby Brother," although she doesn't really get it. She does like to lift my shirt and say, "Baby Brother in there!" but that's about it. She also informed me the other day that I have a "yucky [belly] button" (it does look a bit odd these days), and then pulled my shirt back down and said, "all done, Brother." Ha! You wish it was that easy, kid.
Another big thing on our minds right now is trying to figure out what gear we need and how to decorate the "nursery" (like last time, I use the term "nursery" loosely, as Baby Boy will really just be inhabiting a corner of our bedroom). The biggest question is whether to buy a second crib for Plus One, keeping Ellie in hers (either as a crib or converting it to a toddler bed) indefinitely. Or, should we transition Ellie to a "big girl bed" and commandeer her crib for Plus One? That is clearly the smarter financial move, so as to avoid purchasing a second crib and crib mattress, but I fear what the transition will do to Ellie's naps, and I'm not sure it's worth that potential cost.
As for the "nursery" theme, I'm working with a few different ideas and am cursing work for keeping me from spending adequate amounts of time obsessing over Pinterest for inspiration.
The other major topic of conversation around here is a name. We had a name decided on if Plus One had been a girl, but he opted to be a boy, thus causing us great name anxiety. We have a list of possibilities, but nothing is really jumping out at me. I was (and still am) in love with Ellie's name, and felt similar enthusiasm for our second chosen girl name, but I have yet to feel that same "yes, that's it!" feeling for a boy's name. It's making me anxious to not have a name for him (I am SO not a "we'll just wait till he's born and see what he looks like" kind of person), so hopefully we get some clarity soon.
Overall, as of today, I'm in an excited state. I'm eager to meet this little guy and learn all about him. I'm dying to know - will he look like me? Will he have my features? Will he be dark-haired like his dad? Will he look like Ellie did as a newborn? What about his personality? Will he be rambunctious and outgoing and energetic like Ellie and his dad, or will he be more quiet and shy like me? Will he like sports? What will he be good at? Will he be musical or creative? Will he and Ellie get along? How will they be alike, and how will they be different? So many questions, and only a few more months until I can start getting answers!