Friday, July 30, 2010

Newest addiction...

I always have an addiction. I get it from my dad. It's part of being a high strung, Type A, slightly OCD, passionate person. I never seem to be able to just be interested in something. I have to be over the top obsessed.

My addictions have ranged from wedding planning, to interior design blogs, to upcycling old furniture, to researching baby gear, to grilled cheese sandwiches (my mom used to tell me in high school that if I ate many more, I'd turn into a grilled cheese sandwich!)

Well, right now my addiction is birth stories. I can literally spend hours upon hours reading women's birth stories, and I'm not picky. I'll read natural births, medicated births, easy births, long hard births, pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I guess real life accounts have been a preference of mine for a long time, though. I always preferred seeing real wedding pictures, and articles about real people throwing real parties. One of my favorite days of the week is Thursday because my favorite design blog Design*Sponge features before and after projects on Thursday. As awesome as it is to see pictures of fully finished projects done by professionals, there's something even more inspiring to see real process pictures of real projects done by real people. So, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I prefer real birth stories over theoretical information.

But I don't think this is the only reason I love birth stories. When Jay was deployed, a fellow Navy girl posted a link to a YouTube video of an aircraft carrier homecoming. I think I watched that video almost every day that he was gone, and on really difficult days I would watch it over and over and over again and just cry. But they weren't really tears of depression. They were tears of release, of longing, and of anticipation. Something about the video kept me going, kept me looking forward, kept reminding me that there was an end to all this. It also gave me a vision of what homecoming would look like since I'd never seen one before.

Sometimes the unknown is the most terrifying thing. When I was young, I never wanted to be a mother. My dolls would having different names every day since I never could remember what I'd named them the day before. My best friend drove me crazy because all she wanted to do was play dolls. (Now she has 4 kids of her own, and is one of the best moms I know!) It wasn't until a professor in college recommended that I read this book about childbirth in America and the OB vs. Midwife view of labor and delivery, that I finally saw myself as a mother. I truly think my fear of labor was what had me vowing and declaring I wasn't cut out to be a mother.

That single book sparked my interest in childbirth, a passion I carry to this day, and relieved my fear of the unknown. Reading about strong women who conquered the most difficult thing any woman is asked to do, inspired me. It gave me confidence that I could do that as well, and it even made me look forward to the time when I can join their ranks. Childbirth is a rite of passage, and one I am doing everything I can to prepare myself for. I know it is going to be painful and I welcome that. I know that the pain has a purpose and will result in me being able to hold my Butter Bean.

It's kind of similar to the way I feel about tattoos. Taking away the pain of a tattoo would almost diminish the feeling of pride in the work. There's something about enduring the pain that makes me feel like I've earned the right to wear the ink. I feel similarly about childbirth. I feel that through this right of passage, and through the pain, I will earn my place among thousands of generations of women. I will earn my place as a mother.

Happy Friday everyone! Hope everyone has a wonderful, restful weekend!

PS: Nothing I write on this blog is meant to be seen as a judgement of other women and how they have chosen to become mothers. Just because this is how I feel about childbirth doesn't mean it's the only way. There are many, many women who are wonderful mothers that have never given birth, some through formal adoption, others simply embody the spirit of a mother and comfort the motherless. This is also not meant to say that women who have had c-sections or utilized epidurals or other pain medications during labor have failed in any way. Childbirth (whether spiritually, emotionally, or physically) is scary and painful and all mothers should be celebrated and revered!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Welcome to week 10!

Or 11 if you ask Jay. We need to clear up with the midwife at our next appointment whether 10w 1d means we're one day into the 10th week or finished with the 10th week and 1 day into the 11th week. Details, details! But until we get clarity I'm going to follow what the emails I keep getting say.

So... welcome to the 10th week everyone! Wednesdays have become very exciting for me these days since that is the first day of a new week. It's the day my ticker resets and we get a new fruit size. It's amazing. When we first started on this journey Butter Bean was the size of a poppy seed, and now he's the size of a PRUNE! Here's what my phone app says for this week:

The tenth week marks the beginning of a critical period in your baby's development when all the vital organs have formed and are beginning to function. Your baby is also growing tiny nails on the fingers and toes as well as tiny buds for teeth.

It's amazing to see how far we have come, from a few cells to finger nails in just over two months! Actually, from here on out, Butter Bean is doing growing than forming.

So, how am I doing? Great! I'm still experiencing very little morning sickness of any kind... as long as I eat every 2 hours or less that is. Which is not an easy task for this meal-skipper! This baby just doesn't understand that I don't like to eat breakfast! Oh well! I've decided that every pregnancy test should come packaged with a pack of Lance crackers because if the test is positive, you might as well put the crackers in your purse because you'll need 'em at some point! Ice water with a straw is still my nectar of the gods. I haven't had any real food cravings or aversions yet, although if I don't eat every 2 hours or less, then all food sounds gross, and I just have to make myself eat something. I have been wanting more ice cream lately, but I'm not sure that's a pregnancy thing. ;-)

I'm trying very hard to concentrate on eating foods with as few ingredients as possible. Yesterday I succeeded with a wonderful bag of grapes at my desk. I also keep non-roasted almonds at my desk and snack on those regularly, along with trail mix. Last night Jay made spaghetti with whole wheat noodles. (Which was so sweet of him to do while I napped on the couch and watched netflix!) I'm very thankful to have found some whole wheat noodles that I like. The other's I've tried have been worse than awful!

I weighed myself this morning and was very excited to see that I have only gained one pound since I found out I was pregnant. Now before you all jump on me for not gaining weight, the doctor and all the books say that it is not necessary to gain any weight during the first trimester due to the fact that the baby is so small! Any weight gained through the first trimester is actually from over eating (or bloat a pregnant woman's constant companion I've found out) and not due to the baby. In addition, I am over weight to start with so my weight gain goal will be less than others who start out at a more healthy weight. I was afraid that after going off of weight watchers when I found out I was pregnant, I would gain back the 8 lbs I'd lost very quickly, but apparently I've been doing better than I thought. I've tried to use the ideas I learned from weight watchers (like portion control and stopping when my body is full) while not restricting my calories or ignoring hunger. It must be working! Yay!

Jay is settling more and more into this thing called expectant fatherhood. He loves to rub my belly and talk to the baby at night. He's always charging the baby to take care of me, and harping on me to eat so the baby has something to eat. He continues to include the baby when he says he loves "us". This weekend I got a chance to see him in fatherhood action... and my heart just melted!

Some good friends of ours come up from Charleston to visit us this weekend. And with them came their 4 year old son, their 3 year old daughter, and their 9 month old son who is the newest addition, and the member we'd hadn't gotten to meet yet! Jay was so wonderful with them, as he always is, and I swear I fell in love with him even more as I watched him love on those kids. It is so nice to feel completely at peace with the person I've chose to be the father of my child. He is a wonderful friend, a wonderful husband, and already a wonderful father. I am truly blessed in so many ways.

So... here's to the 10th week and finally being in double digits! We are already one quarter of the way to seeing our little one. So many exciting things have happened already, and so many are still to come. Have a great week everyone!

Friday, July 23, 2010

One of the coolest things ever...

Wednesday, something happened that can only be put in the "coolest things ever" category. My BFF from childhood posted on my Facebook wall that she and her kids had sat around the kitchen table talking about my little Butter Bean. She said the kids (four with the oldest being eleven), had thought it was so cool to know that he or she was the size of an olive. She even got out her A Child is Born book with the awesome pictures taken in the womb and went over what is happening with the baby this week. She said that she expected that would be a regular occurance over the next weeks and months and that the kids are just so excited about our new baby.

This may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but it's huge to me. A is my oldest friend. We've known each other longer than we've known our own siblings. :-) She's 9 months older than me. We grew up living across the street from each other and we were practically attached at the hip. Our mothers went through a total of 6 pregnancies together and I think they single handedly kept each other sane sometimes.

Some of my best and not-so-best childhood memories include A, like the time I got a spanking because I had been told not to run out to meet the mailman at the mail box to get the mail. Well, A didn't have the same restriction. And in my brilliant 6-8 year old mind, I figured if I walked inline with the tire on the mailman's vehicle, my dad, looking out the picture window across the street wouldn't be able to see me. Well, unfortunately, my grasp on angles and points of view wasn't very advanced. Of course he saw me, and of course he was mad that I disobeyed him and of course I had to come home and get my butt beat. Then there was the lace tights that A got to wear to the Father-Daughter dinner at church that I coveted so bad!

See! They are so uber cool! You know, I never did get a pair of those. I should get a pair now! I could totally pull it off... I'm sure of it!

Well, when we were about 9 or 10, A's family decided to move about an hour away. It was traumatic! We tried to keep in touch, but when you're 10 there is only so much you can do, and an hour away might as well be the other side of the world. Especially since this was before the days of email, text message, IM, and Facebook. (How DID we survive?!?)

Well, long story... longer... we lost touch until about a year and a half ago when we found each other on Facebook. Our lives have taken us in two completely different directions. She is as committed to the religion of our youth as ever, where as I walked away years ago. She's been married for 11ish years and has 4 kids, where I've been married, divorced, and married again and just now pregnant with my first at almost 31. She's a conservative republican and I'm a bleading heart liberal democrat. On paper, there is no way that we should be friends, but amazingly... it works for us. What's the secret? I'm not sure, but I think loads and loads of respect for the other person and her opinions and beliefs has a lot to do with it.

A is one of the best mother's I've ever know. She treats her children with dignity and respect. She delights in their accomplishments and helps them through their dissapointments. She fosters their curiosity and passions, even if that involves having a pet snake (ICK!!!), or listening to her boys pretend their carrots are some sort of exotic bug, or having to tell her boys that no matter what Bear Gylis said about worms being good protein, they cannot eat the ones she found them nuking in her microwave! She encourages her daughter's dance ambitions, while also encouraging her love of playing in the woods with her brothers. She does everything she can to pour into her children emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Who would have thought that 20 years later, my childhood BFF would be here to help me navigate this thing called pregnancy! I'm so lucky to have such an experienced and caring friend to share this with. A, thanks for being here for me. Thanks for sharing in my joy. You have no idea how much it means to me!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

9 Weeks

That's right! We are officially 9 weeks into this pregnancy! Part of me can hardly believe it, and another part of me wants to complain that it's taking so long. I'm so ready to meet my little one, and I'm looking forward to getting to the fun part of being pregnant (like the kicking and seeing the ultrasound) instead of the not-so-fun parts (like the nausea and exhaustion). But I know when I look back it will be just like Jay's 8 month deployment. It felt like it was taking forever when I was going through it, but by the end it felt like it flew by before I knew what was going on!

According to my Bump phone app the baby is the size of a large olive and:

"This week the embryonic tail disappears. The hands and feet look a lot less like paddles and have more formed fingers and toes. These changes give your baby a more human shape. Your baby's head is still larger than the rest of the body and the eyes are fully developed, but are covered by the eyelids which are fused shut for the next 16 weeks or so. Inside your baby's body the internal reproductive organs are starting to form but will not be quite distinguishable until the next couple of weeks."

The biggest milestone so far has been finding our midwife! I got a recommendation from a family friend and made an appointment for this past Monday. I was prepared with a whole list of questions, everything from how far beyond my due date I would be allowed to go without being induced, to the hospital's policy on IV's. But as soon as I got in the room, I knew that there was no need to ask them.

After a quick introduction, she asked if I had any questions. I told her that most of mine had to do with her and her practice's views on natural childbirth. Instead of bristling like my OB did, she was very relaxed and told me that their philosophy was that women have been birthing babies for many, many years without modern medicine, and that in the majority of non-high risk pregnancies, that she believes the body and the woman can birth without any interventions necessary. I told her that I didn't want to spend the next 7 months trying to convince everyone that I'm not crazy, and I can do this without interventions and pain meds. I wanted to work with someone who believes that I could do this as much or more than I did. I didn't want people looking at me like, "Oh she'll change her mind as soon as she goes into labor". She said that with the research I had done, and all the time and effort I've put into this decision over the years that she has no doubt that I'll be able to have the birth I so desire. She also said that the hospital we will deliver at is the most natural childbirth-friendly hospital in the area! Whew! So, hopefully, no nurse asking me every 5 seconds if I want my epidural yet. And it's is nice to know that I'll have a team leader who I can trust and if she says we need to start thinking about using Pitocin to speed up labor or a c-section that I know we've tried everything else! She also said that nothing will ever be done to me. All decisions and procedures will be discussed and we will come to a decision together. So!Thank!Ful!

So... we finally have our main team member! Yay!! They are going to have my records transferred from the OB's office, so hopefully I won't have to redo any of the blood work, but I will have to have the information session with the nurse again. That appointment is in 4 weeks, and afterwards we'll meet with the midwife for a check up. We should be able to hear the heart beat then! Yay!!!! She tried on Monday but it was too early. She said it was a long shot, although always worth a try. :-)

Physically, I'm doing well. I seem to have avoided the dreaded morning sickness, and I am thankful every day for that! I do however, have to eat every 2 hours (or less). If I don't, then I will get increasingly nauseous. I laugh and tell Jay that he already has this baby on his side when it comes to my bad habit of not eating! He'll pat my belly and say, "Good baby!" For a while i was having problems staying hydrated. Room temperature water (the only way I've ever liked drinking water) was turning my stomach, and I'd had so much Sprite that it was starting to be associated with nausea. Plus I didn't want to be drinking soda all day long. But after reading some posts on a message board I decided to try ice water with a straw which had apparently been the trick for a bunch of other women. And ta-da! It worked. So now I drink straight water all day long, with a soda here or there. I'm still feeling overly tired, but thankfully, have recuperated from the cold I had a couple of weeks ago, so I was at least able to get off the couch over the weekend.

Emotionally, I've been doing very well. Better than I expected actually! With my history of mood difficulties, and diagnosis of Type 2 Bi-polar Disorder, I anticipated having more problems than I am. But thankfully, my meds seem to be keeping up very well. I've noticed a few moods swings similar to PMS, but nothing more major than that, and I am easily able to identify what I'm feeling, alert Jay to it, and take the time to get more rest and not take the feelings out on anyone around me.

Jay is doing wonderfully! He loves talking to the baby and touching my stomach. He refers to both of us often. Usually saying "I love you guys!" or asking what "we" want for dinner. It's adorable and so encouraging. I love knowing that I have a fully committed partner in this adventure.

So, here's to the start of the 3rd month. Looking forward, we should be able to hear the heart beat in only 4 weeks, and then just 7 weeks later we should be able to find out if we are having a boy or a girl! So many exciting things to come!

Friday, July 16, 2010

First Budget Baby Find

I've wanted this book for years, and years, and years. Basically since I decided that I wanted to have a baby. It has the most amazing images of the baby at each stage of development. And since I'm addicted to all the counters and updates, this will permanently be on our coffee table.
Well, Amazon had it for $39ish. In town, it would have been sold for the cover price of $45. I wanted it so, but I'm trying to save as much as possible and break my addiction to shopping and instant gratification (see yesterday's post for more on that).
So, I decided to think outside the box. I found it on Amazon used for $13 including shipping! Woohoo!! It shipped today and should be here in a week or so. I'm so excited! If you come over to my house when it comes in, be ready to be forced to look at it for a long time!
Here's to the first, of hopefully many, many, great budget baby finds over the next 7+ months!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shifting Prospectives

When reading the following, please do not put me in that category of super annoying pregnant women who talk about how their priorities have shifted and in doing so make everyone else feel like their lives and interests are trivial! Any and everything I post on this blog is in reference to my life and my life alone, and should never be taken as an implied judgement of anyone else's choices or priorities!

Ok, now that that disclaimer has been made!

I have to say that over the past couple of weeks, my entire outlook on so many things has changed. It's amazing how things that use to call my name (::cough:: shoes ::cough::) have totally lost their draw. Now for some people this may seam like a trivial thing, but for me it's a huge deal.

For almost as long as I can remember, I've gone through money like it was water! I've never been a saver and have suffered greatly from an over active sense of instant gratification. Shopping was my therapy. I shopped when I was bored, when I was upset, when I was feeling out of control. When everything in my life felt like it was falling apart, going to Target and buying a new pair of flipflops or whatever else caught my fancy would help me feel less chaotic. And when I tried to deprive myself of it, the feelings would be overwhelming. I wouldn't feel sad, or disappointed, or longing, I would feel desperate, like the deprivation implied I didn't deserve to be happy. It was very deep and very powerful and like an addiction, almost impossible to deny. There have been many times that I've run my bank account into the negative out of a sense of desperation. I knew I didn't have the money. I knew I might overdraft, but it didn't matter. I NEEDED that thing (and to be honest the item itself was usually less important than the feeling of control).

Over the past few weeks, it's like this compulsion has fall by the wayside. I'll admit, the exhaustion has probably helped some. I can hardly muster the energy to THINK about going shopping on my lunch break anymore. Just sitting at my desk and watching Hulu or reading while keeping my eyes open has been a challenge. But over this time, I've realized that there are so many more important things to me right now, like saving enough money to afford for me to take maternity leave, or possibly go part time at work, or even stay home full time.

You'd think the object of my compulsion would have just shifted and that I'd now be stocking up on baby stuff instead of shoes and well shoes. ;-) But the more I think about the things that are really important to me, like spending as much time as possible with my little one once s/he gets here, baby socks and matching nursery decor and fancy matching pack n play/high chair/stroller sets just don't have the same draw. And it's AMAZING the difference this change has made in our bank account!

My little Butter Bean isn't even born yet and he's already having a calming effect on my Psyche. I'm just in awe of the miracle that this little one is and the positive thing he's being into our lives. I can only imagine where we will go from here!

Happy Thursday everyone! Tomorrow's Friday, which means the weekend is right behind it. And around my house that means SLEEP!!! I'm going to be glad when I get to the second trimester and I can do something other than sleep over the weekends!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Already so blessed!

We've only known we were pregnant for a couple of weeks now, but already we have been overrun with blessings, above and beyond the little one growing inside that is!

We have known for a long time, though, that we have some of the most amazing friends and family any two people could ask for. Because of the crazy lives we've lead, our "community" is spread out all over the country, from one coast to the other. But that doesn't stop us from being there for each other! This was never more evident than 2 1/2 years ago when we got married! The night before the wedding, as I sat at home looking over the wonderful collection of girlfriends I've accumulated over the years, I was so humbled by the effort that everyone of them had put into being there and supporting me on such an important day.

I've only been blessed with more wonderful friends in the last couple of years! And their generosity has already been overwhelming. Three friends are already talking about flying out for a baby shower later in the year. So, many people check in on me and the baby on a regular basis, and my experienced mother friends have all told me to call or text day or night if I need anything and have already been a wealth of knowledge. Others are already talking about helping host a shower.

Then the other day, my childhood BFF was talking to her younger sister. Her sister mentioned that she was getting ready to get rid of all her maternity clothes since they've decided that they are done having children. She said she wished she knew someone she could give them to that would really use them. My childhood BFF told her about my growing baby bump, and now we will probably not have to worry about purchasing many maternity clothes, if any at all!

A couple of days later, a friend of ours in California texted Jay and asked him if I could use a Medela Pump in Style breastpump? I about fell out! Jay didn't understand until I told him how much those go for new and how much they were even going for used on Criagslist.

Between that and the maternity clothes, our wonderful friends have saved us hundreds of dollars already! I'm just overwhelmed and so humbled by people generosity! We truly have the best friends and family any two people could ask for, and I feel so blessed that our baby will be born into such a supportive, generous community.

Here's to the start of the 8th week! Mama's little Butter Bean (pronounced Buttah Bean) is now the size of a large raspberry! Grow baby grow!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So many topics... so little time..

For once I have so many things to post about, it's hard to decide where to start.

Being pregnant is a lot like being engaged. There are parties and showers to attend, registries to fill, thank you notes to write, countdowns and checklists to keep up with, and planning sessions to schedule. One of the first thing a couple needs to do when they get engaged is select their team, the people who will help them put the whole shindig on. And picking a compatible team is of the utmost importance. If you have a vision for a rustic, nostalgic, hay bales and mason jars wedding, then choosing someone who specializes in ultra-glamor, urban, modern masterpieces is probably not going to be a good fit. The last thing you want is to be butting heads at every turn and milestone.

Well, the same holds true for pregnancy, and even more. You "could" fire your wedding planner/caterer/stationer/etc. and do things yourself. With childbirth... not so much!

I've been seeing an OB/GYN for yearly exams for a couple of years. I liked him. He was quick. He didn't linger in "there". He put me at ease. When I called to make an appointment to confirm the pregnancy, they told me that I didn't make an appointment with a specific doctor when it came to maternity care. I'd have to cycle through all the doctor's because I would be delivering with whomever was on call the day I went into labor.

I wasn't super happy about this. To back up a little bit, I should tell you that I'm a childbirth freak! I've been interested in childbirth since I was in college when a Women's Studies professor recommended I read Misconceptions, a book about a college professor's negative experience giving birth. I fell in love with the idea of natural childbirth, and began to read just about anything I could get my hands on.

(Note: please do not read anything I write from here on out as a judgement of how any other woman has chosen or will choose to give birth! This is a VERY personal choice! I speak only for myself and my wishes for my birth!)

A few years later, I attended a training course to become a Doula (trained labor coach). Unfortunately, though, given that I worked 8-5 M-F, I was never able to have enough flexibility to attend the birth's I needed to become a certified Doula. But the information I learned was invaluable.

Another piece of important information to know is that out of my mother's four births, three were completely natural without any pain medication or interventions. My baby brother was breach and she chose to have a c-section for him. I went to the hospital for his birth, as the decision had not be made yet, and my mom wanted me to see a birth where the woman was relaxed and in control and not scream and begging for mercy like on TV. Well, when they decided to do a c-section that changed the plans. But I was always raised in a household where childbirth was a natural thing and not something to be feared.

If I had my way, I'd birth up at the hippy commune The Farm in TN with the mother of the modern midwife movement Ina May Gaskin! But alas, I don't see myself traveling up there, staying in one of their guest hippy buses for a couple of weeks prior to the birth and then traveling back home. So, I've got to figure out how to make the best of it right here in Charlotte, NC.

At my confirmation appointment (I feel like I'm nominated to the Supreme Court), I asked the doctor about the practice's position on natural childbirth. He bristled and said that that term meant a lot of things to a lot of people. I spent the next few minutes trying to convince him that I was not a crazy hippy who wanted him to help her birth in a field of wild flowers, that I just wanted to first give my body a chance to do this thing on its own. I could tell from his response, though, that we were not going to be on the same page.

At the next appointment, while going over the awesome planner the nurse was giving me, she showed Jay and I the page for keeping all the contacts. She looked down the list, made a dismissive hand gesture and said, "You don't need to fill in like the Doula or anything". Hmm... strike two.

My next appointment is in 4 weeks. So I have until then to find a replacement team member, so that I don't have to spend time at every appointment explaining to a new doctor why I don't prefer a scheduled induction, or why I'm not hoping for a c-section, or why I'm one of those crazy women who takes drugs when they don't need them and refuse them when they do. (Not that I've taken drugs before! I promise Mom! Really!)

I've found a few nurse midwives in the area and gotten some recommendations. I've just never interviewed a doctor before. I feel very pretentious even thinking about it, but the birth of my child is the biggest event of my life, and I and the baby deserve to have the best team possible.

Here's to finding a great midwife... and convincing the insurance company to pay for it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Update... and what a big update it is!

Good morning all, and happy Monday!

Once again it has been almost a whole month since I blogged. I feel horrible about this, but when I explain why, I think you'll understand. This blog has always been about my life, first and foremost. The topics come from the things that I've been pondering. Usually the ideas roll around in my head until they can't be contained any more. Well, recently there has been one major thing on my mind, and I wanted to make sure that our friends and family found out some other way then my blog. So without further ado...


That's right. We're just shy of 8 weeks and due in late February, 2011. Now, "everyone" cautioned us to wait until we were out of the first trimester (or about 13 weeks) to make the announcements, but the news was getting out and I was tired of going to post something here on the blog or on Facebook and thinking, "oh wait! Can't hint about the baby yet!" So, as per standard for my life, I've thrown caution and tradition to the wind and decided to make the announcement anyway!


I'm sure you want to know the story.

This was a huge surprise. We certainly had not set out to get preggo, but without going into too much graphic detail, I'll just say that we knew we were playing with fire. So, I guess it was a surprise but not a shock.

I knew I was a day or two late, but that didn't concern me too much as it happens from time to time. I would say I "knew", but I've "known" many other times and was wrong. This just seemed a little different. I wasn't sick, but had some other signs and over the weekend was having a very hard time keeping my eyes open! So, on Sunday evening, I took the first home pregnancy test. Now, I've taken hundreds of these over my lifetime (see comment above about running "late" being rather normal for me) and I'm so use to them coming up negative, that I almost didn't believe it when I saw that very distinct (not faint at all) second pink line!

Now I hadn't told Jay that I was taking the test, because I knew he'd give me a hard time about getting my hopes up because he's been around for the aftermath of some of the other times I've "known" and was wrong...and devastated. So, I come out of the bathroom upstairs literally yelling his name! When I come down the stairs I realized that he was in the bathroom and tried my hardest to reassure him that I was ok.

When he came out I'm sitting at the bottom of the stairs in a state of shock, shaking, and hyperventilating. Yes, you'd think I'd be the calm one, but it was my wonderful, loving, amazing husband who I'd expected to be falling apart. We sat on the couch for a little while, soaking in the experience (and trying to catch my breath and stop shaking!). We decided we should have it confirmed right away and I promised to call the OB/GYN the next morning to make an appointment.

We made a couple of phone calls in which we swore said people to secrecy and then tried to go to sleep, which was impossible.

I was able to make an appointment with the OB for first thing Tuesday morning. Jay wasn't able to go with me, so my mom went, and I'm so glad she did. It was such a special mother/daughter moment. When the Dr came in and told us that their test had come up positive too, we hugged and cried, and he said that he sees so many people for whom finding out they are pregnant isn't a happy thing, it was nice to see people ecstatic and over joyed.

I texted Jay from the Dr's office to let him know it was official... and the journey officially began.

It has been a whirlwind ever since, what with trying to eat right, and reading more information than any one person should ever be subjected to, and researching gear and nursery decorating blogs, and ugh! But I can tell you one thing, there will be plenty of topics to cover here on the blog! I don't have any belly pictures yet, as I'm not showing. And I'd take a "before" picture, but I've had a fat bump for a while now and really don't want to put that up on the internet. I'm sure there will be plenty of belly pics to come. I do have one of the positive pregnancy test, but I promised Jay that I'd refrain from posting a picture on my blog of something I peed on. ;-)

So... here's to the biggest surprise of our life. I couldn't be happier, and more scared! Buckle up folks, it's gonna be a fun 7 months!