In an effort to keep our family blog, The Parker Pack, from being overrun by pregnancy photos and updates, I’ve started this blog, A Belly in Bloom, to record my voyage through these next 9 months. Check back often for belly pics, sonograms, and just general posts about Mom’s thoughts throughout this journey. Keep watching our original blog, The Parker Pack, to see videos, photos, and more from our day-to-day lives.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Maternity shopping

It's official, my belly has popped out and my pre-pregnancy clothes don't fit at all anymore. Since Aiden was a winter baby, I don't have a lot of summer pregnancy clothes, which meant a shopping trip for Mommy today! Brad had to work, so Aiden went with me. As you can imagine, he was pretty bored throughout the whole process. And I think the fuss over me being pregnant made him a bit uncomfortable--he threw quite a fit in the dressing room at one point. "Mommy, don't buy clothes for your belly! I like your old clothes. Don't buy new clothes!"

After a cuddle and a talk, he was OK with me trying on some new things, but he was pretty antsy. He kept peering underneath the stall walls, despite my scolds and pleas (luckily the woman next to me was already a mom with a small child, so she wasn't too offended). Then he spotted the maternity pillow hanging on the hook and began playing with it. (For those of you not in the know, maternity shops have dummy pillows for sizing so newly pregnant women can try on maternity clothes before they are showing.) He began swinging it around and kept whacking at the curtain in the doorway. Not wanting to be exposed to the world, I decided to show him a fun way he could use the pillow. We wrapped the Velcro strap around his forehead, attaching the pillow to the back of his head. Then I spun him around so his back was against the wall and presto, my son got to play crash test dummy while I tried on clothing. He thought it was pretty cool that he could whack his head against the wall and feel nothing! He giggled through the rest of my dressing room time.

Now, for those of you without children who are reading this and judging me, all I can say is "Just you wait...." I can almost guarantee you that the moms with kids are either laughing at my desperation or remembering some other crazy, half-hearted distraction attempt they've made to entertain an antsy little one. You'll one day be amazed at how easily you can entertain a kid--and how stupid you'll make yourself look in order to prevent a meltdown in public!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Little flutters

It is such a magical moment, feeling your baby move for the first time. It's as if the pregnancy finally feels real--it hasn't just been a 4 month stomach bug! I still remember when I first felt Aiden move. I was 17 weeks along, visiting Brad's parents, Scott & Livy, and I'd just woken up from a nap. I was lying still when suddenly I felt a distinctive bump--there was no doubt that it was the baby moving. I lay there for 30 minutes, enjoying the occasional thump in my tummy and marveling at the miracle of it all.

This time around, I got to enjoy the experience much sooner, at 15 weeks. At 14 weeks, I'd felt a few flutters that I thought might be Ms. Bean, but it was hard to be certain. But this week, as I lay in bed one morning after a Braxton-Hicks contraction woke me up, I could distinctly feel the baby moving about. Guess she didn't like the contraction, because she was thumping and bumping away for several minutes. I don't notice her movements very often, usually during a contraction or when I'm very still, but the little flutters and bumps are such a wonderful treat. It gives me hope that all of this is going to work out OK and fills me with excitement and wonder and gratitude for this miracle happening inside me. Now I just look forward to the day when I can share this fun with Brad and Aiden.

Monday, May 19, 2008

14 Week Sonogram

Today was the appointment with the high-risk OB, and although we still don't know what caused the illness in Mommy and how it is going to affect The Bean, we did get some great news. The Bean is growing right on track, is perfectly formed, and is quite active! The Bean jumped around, turned and looked at us and waved, and spent the sonogram kicking and showing off. Brad and I were so relieved to see the baby. With everything going on, our worst fear was that we'd show up for an appointment and there wouldn't be a heartbeat or baby would have severe complications. And although we're not out of the woods, this good news is exactly what I needed to help lift my spirits and get me through this wait.

We even got to learn the sex of The Bean today! Although it is still a little early to be certain, it appears that The Bean is... A GIRL!! Both the doc and the sonogram tech agree. (Mom--no rushing out to stock up on pink just yet--it is still early, so they could be wrong!)
Brad and I are ecstatic! However, we're not quite sure how Aiden is going to take the news. He has been adamant that this is a boy--"That's my brudder in there," he tells everyone. We've decided to hold off on telling Aiden the sex for now--we figure we'll wait a few more weeks until we're certain before bursting his bubble. In the meantime, we'll be trying to wear down his defenses. "You know, it could be a little girl in there..." and the like.

My cousin, Quinn, will be happy to hear that the baby is a girl. Quinn has accurately predicted the sex of 4 or 5 pregnancies now! When we were in Oklahoma for Mother's Day, he touched my belly and nonchalantly announced that it was a girl. Looks like Quinn has a gift! That's one talented kid!

We'll keep you posted as we hear more news. Keep praying that all goes well and that The Bean stays healthy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

12 Week Appointment

Monday marked the twelfth week of pregnancy, which means on Sunday, we'll officially graduate from the first trimester to the second. This appointment was pretty short and sweet. I was weighed and vitals taken. I've actually gained, then lost, 3 pounds since my last appointment, which isn't fantastic, but isn't bad either. The Bean is the perfect parasite--it'll get everything it needs from me first and just leave what's leftover for my body. My blood pressure was great at 100 over 70, so no signs of pre-eclampsia with this pregnancy so far.

We listened to The Bean's heartbeat, strong at 165 beats per minute. The doc and I talked about some strategies for regaining the weight I'd lost with this stomach bug and he recommended a few things to try, like vitamin B6 supplements and Emetrol, for the morning sickness, which is still plaguing me. But the good news is, everything looks great so far.

I'll go back at 16 weeks, in which they'll offer to do prenatal testing and schedule me for my ultrasound. Brad and I will probably decline the prenatal testing, just as we did with Aiden. The test is a simple blood test to screen for an increased likelihood of Downs Syndrome, cardiac abnormalities and neural tube defects, but it has a high incidence of false positives, which means that we'd have to either wait the remainder of the pregnancy worrying or have an amniocentesis, which carries a significant risk of miscarriage, to find out for sure whether baby has any real problems. And since Brad and I would never be able to terminate the pregnancy even if there was a problem, we wonder what would be the point of really knowing? Many people disagree with us on this, I'm sure, and others probably think we're sticking our heads in the sand, but we feel we just have to have faith in God. He won't give us more than we can handle, and no matter what this child brings to the table, we can deal with it with God's love and grace.