Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sounds of a Uterus

I had my first prenatal appointment yesterday.  They say you're supposed to have your first appointment between 10 and 12 weeks, and I just slipped in under the 12 week mark.  I wouldn't have, except that we finally got our medicaid coverage.  I figured, what will they tell me?  "You're pregnant."  Well, great.  I know that already.  But I got something so much better yesterday!

We decided to go with Mountain Midwifery Center, a birthing center that has come highly recommended by nearly all of my mom-type friends, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  We toured the facility on Monday and then got to spend nearly an hour with a certified nurse-midwife yesterday.  In sharp contrast to a regular doctor's office where your visits last 10-20 minutes and you are little more than a name on a chart, we'll get extra visits that last as long as they need to for us to feel comfortable and get to know each staff member well.

So, when we went in I was 11 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  After much thorough discussion on my health, it was finally time for the much-anticipated event: finding the heartbeat.  Aubre, the wonderful nurse-midwife who saw us, informed us that you almost never hear the heartbeat until the end of the 13th week, and don't worry if we can't hear it, everything is fine, it's just too early.  As she squirted the cold blue gel on my belly and began moving the dealie around, she commented that she'd be really surprised if we heard anything today.  We heard my heartbeat, and we heard a lot of indiscriminate whooshing, but no baby beat.  In case you were wondering, my uterus sounds like wind blowing through an empty cave.  I was considering how oddly appropriate this picture was when... it happened.

I think she was about the give up when the slightest tilt of the device moved us out of the wind, and suddenly all the whooshing gave way to a tiny, faster-than-fast heartbeat.  I recognized it immediately.  Aubre's jaw dropped in surprise, and unable to restrain myself, I made some noise of astonishment, and my stomach moved, and we lost it.  She managed to find it again for another few seconds, but I giggled and we lost it again.

Somehow, it all feels real to me now.  Obviously, I know I'm pregnant- there's no doubt about that.  After 3 separate tests, a rapidly growing appetite (and belly), and the delightful fact that I haven't touched my tampons in three months, I feel certain about it.  But something changed when I heard that heartbeat- I remember thinking, "Oh my gosh- you're really real!"  I suddenly connected with the person living inside me, and I will never, ever forget the moment I first heard my child's heartbeat.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Were You Born in a Gym?

For three months we've been debating about whether to do a home birth or go to a birthing center, since I'm not considering a hospital birth.  Much of this decision hinges on what kind of home we'll be living in in January.

You see, I'd love to do a home birth.  I've heard great things about the individualized level of care you get from a midwife.  They visit you in your home, take as much time with you as you need, and get personally involved in your life.  However, the thought of having a baby in our (not large) apartment isn't my favorite thought.  There's probably plenty of room, but I'm honestly concerned with bothering our neighbors.  Never had a baby before, but I'm under the impression that it's not exactly a quiet affair.  And as we don't know if we'll be in a house or an apartment, it's tough to decide right now.

That's why I've been leaning toward a birthing center, but I'm a little disappointed about this.

Then, I had a thought.  It happened this morning while Stephen and I were working out.  One great thing about our apartment complex is the full-service gym in the clubhouse.  There were some meat heads doing free weights when we came in, and I suddenly remembered why I never, ever, ever go to the gym without my iPod.  While I was listening to the three of them grunt and moan and breathe heavily and generally make unnecessary noises for twenty minutes, this brilliant idea occurred to me.

Why don't I just give birth in the gym?  No one would notice... because it almost always sounds like someone is pushing out a baby in our gym, anyway.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Big News!

You may remember a post a post a few months ago in which I decried Facebook's irritating advertising tactics, specifically, them deciding it was time for me to have a baby.

You see, Facebook advertising works on two principles: your demographic (age, sex, location, etc.) and what they know about you based on your bio, wall posts, etc.  So, FB knows I am a female living in Colorado between the ages of 18 and 30.  They also know what kind of music and books and movies and activities I like.  Thus, I usually get ads encouraging me to get pregnant, buy hiking boots, and go to Coldplay concerts.

What I'm saying is that, at the time of the aforementioned post, FB had no idea that Stephen and I were, in fact, very much hoping to get one of those cute little plus signs on a pee stick (but not because FB told me to).  On Mother's Day, I happily got such a result and have been celebrating ever since.  We went about personally sharing the good news with family and close friends.

My due date is set at January 12th, and both my nephews are certain that there's a girl growing in my rapidly expanding belly.  We had a great conversation with my 4 year old nephew, wherein he explained how he knew the sex of my baby:

Us: How did you know it was a girl?
Him: I just knew... I saw her.
Us: Awesome.  How did you see her?
Him: (in a 'don't be silly!' tone of voice) I had an x-ray!
Us: Wow.  Did she wave at you?
Him: No.
Us: What was she doing?
Him: Nothing.  She didn't see me... she wasn't looking at me.

Obviously, a lot of things are changing right now.  One thing that hasn't changed much is my Facebook experience.  They've been pitching pregnancy at me for at least a year.  But as soon as they found out via an announcement on my wall, the ads got worse.  Just now I logged on and on the sidebar were three ads: A gender predictor, a week-by-week pregnancy guide, and an invitation to join some mommy networking group.  Every time I log on, I'm greeted by pregnant bellies and baby pictures and blah blah blah.

So, I'm beyond thrilled that we'll soon be welcoming the newest member of our family.  I'm two weeks away from my second trimester, I feel wonderful, and I'm having a lot of fun.  But there's a little part of me, deep down inside, that can't help but feel like Facebook won.