Did I mention how good I look?

Seriously.  But I cannot take the credit.  It is all baby’s doing.

I have the best complexion I have ever had since pre-puberty.  I could not ask for more smooth, acne-free skin.  Thanks, Baby Barie! 

All I can do is assume it is hormone related and beg, plead and pray that it remains this way post-baby hormones.  A girl can dream…

Also, I watched my belly move during 4 strong kicks this morning.  That would be the first official time I actually saw my belly move. 

Now that I have felt the strong force of a baby inside my body, I seem to have a better understanding of how durable newborns really are.  I mean, sure, they are still delicate but they are not NEARLY as breakable and delicate as I have always feared.  I think it takes feeling the strength of the baby during justation to really comprehend that.  Or maybe just a fearless nature in general….I have always been afraid of breaking a new baby, they just seem so fragile.

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23 weeks and counting…

The big excitement here in baby brewing land is that my belly is considerably larger than just a week/two weeks ago.  It is weird watching your belly grow.  It is starting to itch and feel stretched to max capacity…this probably isn’t good since I still have such a long way to go. 

Baby Barie is making a concerted effort to kick my belly button outward and although it isn’t actually working, it hurts!  I told her to stop kicking my belly button, so she kicked me even harder…it is now quite obvious that this is our kid.  She has both an attitude and mad ninja skills.

Ooh, and I went garage sale-ing today and found some clothing that looks brand new, never worn for not much monies.  Grandma bought it though, it was her first baby purchase and I think she thoroughly enjoyed it.

I will get some pics and share my goodies some other time…Meanwhile, I have to eat something. I can’t eat much these days, as there is no room, so every couple of hours I am starving.  I think that is normal, but I hope I am not too ahead of schedule for that.

Oh, one more thing…I noticed that my appendectomy scar on my low belly is looking very purple again and I hope it doesn’t get worse.  I am moisturizing like crazy, but the scar is worse for the wear.  I hope it doesn’t get too bad, it was almost not noticeable pre-belly.  Anyone have any experience in this department??

Cold cuts? Really?

So, I have been in St. Louis all week but have been extremely busy, therefore no updates.

I saw my OB yesterday and I no longer feel so “in the dark” about giving birth.  Oh, believe me, I still have questions and will continue to have from now until the day I die (no guarantees on that either, if there’s an afterlife then I will have questions, hehe).   But at least I have learned a little bit more and things are a little bit clearer for me now.

Things are done a bit differently in Hong Kong and in some ways perhaps better and some worse.  At least now I am functioning within my comfort zone of knowledge.

I have two hospitals to choose from: Missouri Baptist and St. Joseph’s Kirkwood.  I prefer Mo Bap, at least I think I do.  I am going to tour both just for the hell of it.  If anyone has and would like to share an opinion on either/both of those hospitals, I would be grateful.

I have to have the sugar test, a couple of routine blood tests that docs in Hong Kong don’t do, and and ultrasound next time I go.  This visit was more of a “getting reacquainted” with my doctor kind of visit.

I am at about 23 weeks now.  I am feeling a lot more kicking in the past week, my belly has grown in the past week and I learned that maternity underwear are pretty much just like regular underwear…except that they don’t ride up.  I may never switch back.

Chini (my dog) is loving the belly and has spent a lot of time resting her head on it.  I think she can hear the baby’s heartbeat.  Maybe.

I learned this week at my doctor app’t that I shouldn’t eat deli cold cuts unless I microwave them.  This seems odd to me and perhaps a bit paranoid.  I have had numerous SubWay sandwiches throughout the five months of this pregnancy and ate a turkey club before I read the info yesterday…oops.  I guess its been okay so far, but I suppose I won’t push my luck. Guilt is such a pain in the butt.

One last thing, I am going to look into taking a birthing class of some sort…any suggestions??

Chiropractics

I am usually not a big fan of chiropractics, as I have had a couple of bad experiences in the past.  Usually, my experience is that they cause more pain than they treat but yesterday I was desperate for back/hip pain relief that has set in again since my return to the U.S. (I have been treated for this in Hong Kong several times, most recently the week before I left).

The added weight of my growing belly is causing my right hip (and perpetual problem area) to spasm and there isn’t a whole lot I can do to avoid that happening!  So, not having a real doctor to see, I took the word of my aunt and mom that there was a good chiropractor in Excelsior Springs and went in to see him. 

Surprisingly, he didn’t hurt me and he didn’t adjust me in a manner that caused more pain later.  I feel much better, although I am not cured.  So much better, in fact, that I slept for 7 straight hours last night without even waking up to pee.  This is practically a miracle!  I haven’t slept that good in about 3-4 months.

Halfway Around the World

We made it halfway around the world together, Baby Barie!

I was so worried about you all the way here, I stopped feeling you move on the airplane.

After being at my Dad’s for a couple of days and doing what had to be done to retrieve the fuzzy kids and resting as much as possible, I still wasn’t feeling you move.  I was also having muenstral-like cramps.  I called my doctor in St. Louis and he insisted that I go the Emergency Room at the local hospital here in St. Joseph. 

The ER took me in immediately and transferred me to OB, which was a relief to me since they are more specialized in the baby department.  They found a fetal heartbeat and all was well.  The heartbeat is good and strong, so they suggested that it is likely just the baby having jetlag combined with me having jetlag.

I had to call Cybr before I went to the ER to let him know what was going on and I had to call my Dad at work to let him know…he was leaving work early for the holiday and would have been worried sick if I wasn’t home when he returned home.  They were both worried sick.  I told my Dad not to leave work, that I would call him if I needed him.  He showed up anyway, he was worried sick.  I called Cybr as soon as I could to let him know we were okay…I hope he slept after my call because I doubt he slept before I called!

We are fine.  I am starting to feel movement again.  I am feeling rested and sleeping at night.  I am still exhausted frequently, but I am getting there.

Thoughtfulness and Good-byes

Cybr and I had dinner with three ladies he works with who befriended us from the very beginning of this journey, which I have mentioned already at CatandMuse.com.

We had a lovely time and said our good-byes, but I won’t go into a lot of detail here, since you can read about it elsewhere.

Our friends showed up with two of the most thoughtful gifts:

This is a onesie from Dominique and it is very likely that we will have our babies’ first picture taken in this, as it is so appropriate!:

Here is a close-up of what it says:

And this is the coolest baby girl gift EVER! from Rebecca and Daisy:

We also received an adorable crib set (or as it is called here, a cot set) that is classic Pooh.  This was a gift from my dear friend and CCCP cohort, Kathy.

I expect we will all try to remain in touch, even from such a tremendous distance.  I will truly miss the friends that I have made here…

And we have a…

Alien?

No…a baby girl.  A very wiggly little girl.

The 20 week exam went well.  Everything looks as it should.  My blood pressure is in the normal range, albeit still higher than my normal bp.

The doc tried to get a 4D picture for us, but our little girl is so wiggly that she couldn’t get a quick still frame of her without her hands flailing in front of her face!  It was still very cool to see, even if we don’t get the keepsake.

Who knows, maybe my U.S. doc will do another 4D scan.  I have no idea what to expect from him as an OB, but I do know that as a GYN he is quite funny and easy to talk to.

IT’S A GIRL!!  Although the Chinese Birth Chart says it is a boy…

Mostly just stuff

I haven’t written much lately.  I am keeping quite busy with moving half way around the world only 5+ days away now.  There has been much to do in the past few weeks.

All is well with me and the bean.  Nothing much to tell.  Movement was the most recent milestone, which you can read about in the previous post.  Otherwise, all is much the same.  I feel good.  I am sleeping better now that my back is feeling better, not 100% but definitely better.

I just can’t believe we are leaving so soon.  You settle on a date and it is here before you know it, much like pregnancy…You find out you are pregnant and the next thing you know (in my case) *snap* and I am halfway through the pregnancy.  I expect it will slow down once I am big and uncomfortable.  That seems like the norm.

We are going in for our 20 week check-up on Thursday, so I will keep you posted on what happens then.  If I have time, I will post an updated ultrasound.

The only other thing I can think to mention is how all the grandparents are pretty excited about us coming home and having us and the soon-to-be new baby  home.  They are all pretty cute about it.  The only one who’s interest occasionally seems waning is my mother, but that is her.  She can’t wait to see me and the bump and makes a big deal about how soon will I get into St. Louis from Kansas City because she can’t wait to see me.  Then, she says…”well, if you are going to stay in KC for more than three weeks, let me know and maybe I will come up there”.  It isn’t as if she has a job or doesn’t have a free place to crash, it is just that she really doesn’t enjoy spending time with me.  Only in theory, not in reality.  So, whatever.  I would prefer to chill out at my Dad’s and relax with my fuzzy kids and not be bothered anyway.  I will have to overcome jetlag that generally lasts about 4-5 days during this pregnancy, so rest and relaxation is top priority during that time.  Not to mention spending every moment I can with my fuzzy kids before leaving the cats for however long it takes us to find a place of our own.  I am going to miss my kids.  Francois most especially, he and I are very close.

Anyway, the final days in Hong Kong are here, I am sad about that chapter ending, happy about the next ready to begin, looking forward to my exam on Thursday, and boarding a plane in less than a week…

Movement

The baby has been moving a lot for the past two days.

or I just have some serious bowel issues.

No, really, it must be the baby moving.  It is the weirdest, coolest, vibrating, tickling sensation.

It does it frequently all day and night for the past two days.

It is the coolest thing ever.

Me? A Mommy?

I never dreamed of it. Being a mom, that is.

I really didn’t. It may sound brash to say so, but it is true. I didn’t dream of being married or having children as a child, adolescent, or even an adult. I never wanted kids, I thought motherhood wasn’t for me.

Even when I played with dolls and played “house” with my little girlfriends, I would always opt to be the make-believe teacher and not the mom. It just wasn’t my thing.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. I suppose I just never had the motherly instinct in my younger years.
  2. Even as a young girl I knew that I didn’t want to pass on the genes that make all the crazy in my family. I was petrified that I may have those genes and if they were dormant, then they may rear their ugly head in my offspring. Yes, my maternal family is completely and utterly batshit crazy…so much so that I actually feared passing it along from the time a was about 5-6 years old. Good times.

Anyway, in my mid to late twenties is when it dawned on me that all the time I thought I was the anti-mom and not destined to reproduce — well, I was wrong about me. I am a mom. I have always had a motherly instinct, I simply failed to recognize it for various reasons.

I have been the care-taker in keeping track of my friends, my family, and my pets all my life. In fact, even as a child I was involved in a role-reversal with my own mother, making me more of the mother-figure to her than she to me. I knew this to some extent but I think I harbored a bit of resentment toward the whole scenario, thus choosing to overlook it.

From about the age of 25 I have known that I wanted children of my own. There have been many times that I feared it would not happen. I mean, I knew I wanted a family and not just kids..and you can’t have a family without a companion.

I knew from the first date with Cybrdad that he was the one. It just felt right. Plus, I fell asleep that night after our date and I dreamed of our child. In the dream I was holding a baby and kept asking who the baby belonged to when suddenly realizing that the baby was mine. At the moment of realization I look up and past the baby to see Cybr standing their with his “It was me (or I did good)” smile on his face. I woke up in a panic from that dream…I mean we had only gone to dinner and talked for a while over a couple of beers, I wasn’t exactly thinking of reproducing when I returned home that night.

I hope to make a family for this child like I never had. I hope our baby knows love, safety and comfort in our home.

It took a lot of years to overcome the fear of repeating the craziness of my own childhood, but I know now that things will be different in the home we will create. I know this because I am different, our relationship is different, our love is different and because I am humble enough to say I’m sorry if I ever need to…

Yet I am still simultaneously terrified and overjoyed with what is to come.

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