This is old news everywhere else on Abby's social media, but, SURPRISE! We're having a baby! December 4!
We waited a super long time (longer than I think people normally wait) to talk about it, wanting to keep this secret close and celebrate just the two of us, and then with family. But once we found out we were having a baby girl, it felt safe to tell the world.
The day we went for our 20 week ultrasound, the tech had quite a time determining whether Baby Stals was a he or a she. Baby was sitting with legs crossed, so the tech tilted my bench backwards (blood rushing to my head!) and kept jabbing me with the wand to try to get Baby to move into a better position. Finally, she said, "Okay, I think I can tell." Not super reassuring, but she said, "I'm pretty sure I know." Oh well. We'll take it. But if December rolls around and we actually have a son, it will be a hilarious story.
We had the tech write the gender on a notecard and put it in an envelope with the photos, and then Dave and I went to breakfast and opened it when we were alone. A GIRL! Yay! We had both hoped it was a girl, and I had a little tiny inkling. I didn't even feel super sure, just knew that's what I hoped for.
We've settled on a name, but will keep that one secret until she's born. Someone asked me about our reasoning for that the other day, and it was kind of fun to realize why it had felt important to keep it a secret, even from our families. After you announce a pregnancy, everything about it feels so public — your belly starts to protrude, people want to touch you and talk about what you're feeling all the time, compare symptoms, buy baby clothes, talk about who she'll be and what she'll look like... A name is such a big part of who a person is, that Dave and I just want to enjoy that between the two of us for a few more months. But we're excited to know that she's a little girl, and start using her name at home. It makes everything feel more real.
I've been feeling her move around a lot more lately, which has been really fun. It doesn't really feel like butterflies at all — more like muscle twitches to me.
I've been super blessed with this pregnancy. I had almost no morning sickness in the first trimester. The only time I felt bad was when I hadn't eaten in a long time, or when I needed to take a nap. Naps and food pretty much cured anything. I was hungry ALL the time, and would get nervous when I had to be away from home (read: food) for more than an hour or two, so I packed lots of snacks and water. I didn't have any super strong cravings, except sometimes citrus-y things like lime popsicles or sparkling water with lemon or lime.
In the second trimester, my hunger has subsided, and my belly started looking more pregnant around week 21 or so (I'll be 24 weeks on Thursday). That was around the same time that I realized that what I thought was gas or muscle twitches was actually a little life moving around inside me. Whoa.
My due date is exactly a week after Thanksgiving, so I think it would be kind of fun to have a baby on Thanksgiving Day. But we'll see. I guess it's better to prepare to be a few weeks late than a few weeks early. Because I won't be able to travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas, a lot of my family will come to Seattle sometime in December, which I'm SO excited about! Baby girl is the first grandkid on both sides of our family, so I think it feels like a big deal for everyone.
The natural question that everyone asks when we tell them we're having a baby is, "Are you so excited?!" And then answer is complicated. I think culture expects you to be excited right away. A baby is a great thing! You've been married two years, so of course you've been planning for this and you can't wait!
And that's true. But it's also true that it's kind of overwhelming. It's kind of a huge life change. It's kind of something that you feel unprepared for. There are a lot of selfish, but real, things to think about — it will never be just me and Dave again. I will lose the body that I've known as an adult woman, and may never get it back the way it was before. Our finances are going to take a hit.
Besides that, at the beginning, there was apprehension about the viability of this little life, because of our previous miscarriage. That made it hard to be "excited" when we still felt like we were holding our breath.
But as time goes on, the excitement grows. I read recently that for the first half of pregnancy, the baby just wants to be left alone, to grow and develop in the peace and darkness of the womb. But after 20 weeks, she wants to be known, and she starts to make her presence felt. I've found that to be so true. For 20 weeks, I waited to "feel" pregnant. And honestly, I didn't feel that different until right around 20 weeks. Now it's like she's talking to me — "Hey Mom! I'm here! I can't wait to meet you!"
Me too, Baby Girl. Me too.