I am aware that it won't be long before I can feel Ferris move. I've read it typically happens around weeks 15 or 16....and that I'll know it when I feel it. One of my best friends is also pregnant (she's 2 weeks behind me - what are the odds of that?) and since it's her second child, she knows exactly what it feels like and tries to describe it to me.

I've been overcome with exhuastion the past few days. I'm sleeping deeper than I have since I found out I was pregnant, which is glorious. I've made it entire nights without being awoken to the sounds of my husband snoring, and the past two nights I've been able to enjoy hours of sleep uninterrupted by the need to get up and use the bathroom. Of course, with that deeper sleep comes bizarre dreams...and I have had my first dreams about the baby coming home. In one, we had a little girl with tons of dark hair, and I realized that we had nothing in our home required to care for a baby - no diapers, no bottles, no clothes, no crib. In another, a boy with wispy blond hair was walking within days...and in yet another, when I turned around to look in the backseat on the way home from the hospital, we had not one but two infants crammed into a single carseat.

I've been craving peanut butter, popcorn, fruit, and lemonade. I'm doing my best to eat balanced meals, although I don't give in to the temptation of guilt when I eat a soft pretzel for lunch. I haven't been too hungry throughout the day, but once night comes I could eat for hours on end, stopping only to moan about the heartburn and feeling of being stuffed. Since my body is holding on to everything I eat in order to extract all possible nutrients, digestion is slowed and some meals have me lying on the floor in a vain attempt to find a comfortable position.

My emotions are all over the board. My husband walked in the bathroom a few days ago to find me drying my hair and sobbing uncontrollably. I alternate between fear over everything that's changing, adoration over my husband and the fact that he chose me, amusement at my ever-growing shape, frustration with the fact that our dryer chose the week of Christmas (and the week I planned on doing all the laundry) to stop working, and raw affection towards our dogs for being so well-behaved lately.

This Christmas, in essence, is no different than what I've experienced the past few years....trying to arrange our schedules to make sure we spend enough time with both of our families, ensuring all of the gifts have been purchased and wrapped, and reflecting on the year as it comes to a close. This year, however, we are overjoyed to be adding to our family, the gifts under the tree aren't nearly as important as the one we've been given, and when I think about the past year, I'm filled with a sense of pure wonder about how far we've come - and how far we've yet to go.



Goodbye, first trimester!

Although different sources give different size comparisons for the stage we're currently at, I prefer to go with the one that says the baby is the size of a tennis ball - simply because I like the thought of Ferris bouncing around. I'd give anything to get a little glimpse, because this week the baby will be getting cheeks (I want plump ones!) and a longer neck (I want a strong one to hold up those plump cheeks!). Arms and legs are starting to grow and even out in proportion to the head.

It's been pretty interesting to me to read all of the old wives' tales about how to tell what you're having, since we aren't going to find out but I'm not immune to the curiosity. For instance, a high heart rate (higher than 140) indicates a girl - at our last appointment, we had a rate of 170. Heartburn means the baby will be born with lots of hair (given the thick hair my husband and I both have combined with my burning esophagus, we should be good to go). As things progress, we'll be able to consider things like how high I'm carrying. I don't take too much stock in these things, but it's fun nonetheless.

Last night was the Christmas party at my husband's office - the office where I also worked for three years before leaving back in August. We were shocked to find out that there were still many people who didn't know I was pregnant - given the sheer force with which gossip normally travels those halls. Then again, we were already living together when the majority of people learned we'd been dating - so maybe we're just better at keeping our business to ourselves.

There are more and more moments now where I almost forget I'm pregnant - in the beginning, it was all I could think about and I usually spent my days in a fog, trying to wrap my mind around the concept. I do find myself subconsciously rubbing my belly, and when I'm out in public I seem to take notice of other pregnant women and babies a bit more than usual. All in all though, I'm settling in and feeling much more comfortable with how much things are changing - probably due primarily to the absence of nausea and food aversions.

Tomorrow begins the first of our four different Christmas celebrations with various members of our family...and as much as I love spending time with our families, I'm eager for the chaos to be behind us.



As we hit the middle of week 13, I am hit with the notion that the past 8 weeks or so have passed with rapid speed, yet it also feels like time is crawling and we should be much further along than we are at this point.

The baby is now about 3 inches long, about the size of the Nutter Butter cookies I loved so much when I was a kid. He/she also has the ability to make a fist and suck those tiny little thumbs, and at this point is developing vocal cords and a larynx in preparation for those adorable coos (and not-so-adorable 3am wails). Bones are hardening, and eyebrows and fingerprints are forming. All in all, the baby looks like a baby.

As for me, I'm feeling much better. The nausea has all but disappeared, and aside from some fatigue, I am enjoying the sentiment that I'm returning to the land of the living. It's perfect timing, since I'm at the point of having to cram all of my preparation for Christmas into one week. I'll be dragging Ferris all over town to do Christmas shopping, then we'll come home to wrap presents, make candy and treats, and steel ourselves for the onslaught of family and travel.



I have a confession to make: I never thought I'd be a mother.

Sure, when I was little, I'd play with dolls and pretend to be their mommy...and always just assumed I'd have kids - because that's what you do, right? It wasn't until I became an adult and really started to consider the issue that I realized I probably wouldn't experience motherhood. I just didn't see it for myself. I love kids, always have, but the thought of having my own just sort of...baffled me.

Obviously, that has all changed - but the most interesting part to me is why it changed. After my first date with my husband, I knew he would be the father of my children. Even more importantly, I wanted him to be. As we continued dating, eventually moving in together, buying our house together, and getting married, I saw more and more reasons that we were meant to have a family.

First and foremost, he's going to be an amazing father. He's patient, and funny, and fun-loving...he's honest and brilliant and he's experienced some amazing things in his life - things that just beg to be shared with a child. He's strong, both physically and emotionally. He loves his family, his friends and his career. He has the ability to enter a room and change the dynamic within it immediately. He's supportive and warm and loving and brave....and everything he possesses is what I want our child to possess.

Beyond that, though, it's what he's done to me and for me that makes me know I'm meant to be a mother. He taught me how to love. He showed me that I take myself too seriously, and it's ok to let go sometimes. He has made me a more patient person (and continues to do so every day). He thinks I'm beautiful, even when I know I am far from it. He spoils me and seems happy to do it. He listens to me talk in circles, and he helps me make sense of myself. He makes me want to be better at everything I do, yet he has helped me to accept that if I'm not perfect, it's not the end of the world.

Maybe this is how it happens for everyone - maybe it's always the process of meeting that person to help us understand our purpose in life. Maybe not - but for me, I didn't know who or what I was supposed to be until he came into my world and turned it upside down.



Yesterday's doctor's appointment resulted in yet another milestone for us - we got to hear the heartbeat. I was anxious, having had a nightmare the night before in which the heartbeat couldn't be found - but the instant my doctor placed the doppler on my stomach, the rapid beat could be heard. I had a feeling it would be overwhelming, but I was truly not prepared for the emotion that hit me the second I heard the sound of our baby's heart beating. Somehow, it makes this all feel very real - more than it has so far.

In the time immediately following a checkup, I am enveloped by a feeling of calm and a sense of ease, knowing that we've been given good results and that things are progressing as they should be. As the next appointment approaches, I typically begin to experience increased nerves and an advanced level of anxiety about what's to come.

Our next appointment is scheduled for the first week of January, and I have hopes that the holidays will serve as a sort of distraction. That checkup includes the option for the triple screen - which would give us an indicator as to whether or not the baby could have any abnormalities. It's not a definitive test, but rather a determination regarding potential risk. We discussed it last night, and after a rather quick conversation we decided not to do the test. There are several sides to my opinion on the matter, but in the end, it came down to this - if our child has any sort of abnormality, it's not going to change anything in my mind. This is our baby, and we'll play with whatever hand we are dealt. Yes, we could prepare ourselves in that instance, but I'd prefer to not spend 6 months knowing there may nor may not be something wrong if a test came back with results on that end of the spectrum.

It dawns on me that this is the first of what will be many choices we must make regarding our baby, and I'm appreciative that we can discuss things and share in these decisions together. We will always do the best we can to choose the right path for our family. I understand that our choices may not be in line with what others feel, and we are potentially opening ourselves up to be judged for what we do or don't do - but the most important thing we can do is maintain confidence in our decisions and solidarity with one another.



When I quit my job 4 months ago, I just knew it would be the best decision of my life. I had lost the passion behind what I was doing, and it was wearing me down to dedicate time to something that brought me no true fulfillment at the end of the day. I was filled with notions of taking some time off, lending the opportunity to figure out what I really wanted to do - and in my mind, it would be so easy.

Fast forward to where I'm sitting now - in a completely different situation than what I imagined, trying to adjust and failing miserably on some days. I feel so isolated and removed from the world I used to know, lonely from the lack of constant human interaction and inept at my lack of contribution. There is no one calling me to ask me a question, no one depending on me to get the job done, and no paycheck being deposited into my bank account.

On the flip side (because of course there's a flip side), how can I feel inept when I'm contributing to our family? How can I think there is no one depending on me right now? I'm in the process of something I can't even fathom, something that is so surreal to me and so amazing, and while it's not the "something new" I thought I'd end up finding when I left my job, it is most certainly something new.

I am of the opinion that everything happens for a reason - even if we may not recognize it at the time. I got pregnant at a time when I was attempting to change my life by embarking on a new career - and I can't ignore the irony lying beneath that statement. There is a part of me that wishes I'd figured out the career part first, but that's neither here nor there at this point - because this is where I'm heading, and it's going to be the best job I've ever had.



We spent the weekend in Indiana with my husband's family, relaxing at the farm where we got married and enjoying an early Thanksgiving. Saturday night, we went to a Todd Snider concert in Indianapolis, and even though I know that Ferris won't be able to hear sounds until after the second trimester, I imagined our tiny little nugget enjoying the music coming from the stage.

At this point, Ferris is approaching the size of a small lime, and has the ability to hiccup and stretch. Granted, the thought of this little wee one hiccuping is enough to send me into hysterics, given my pure hatred towards the hiccups - but I am still happy to count this among the developments.

On Sunday, my mother-in-law cooked an incredible Thanksgiving lunch, and Ferris got to enjoy what will be the first of many family holidays. I ate heartily, knowing that I was passing on delicious food and nutrients to a growing baby.

On our drive home, we talked about the things we want our baby to learn and experience. Conversations like these have me alternating between excitement and fear - knowing that someone depends on us to provide them with the knowledge and opportunities to carry them through, hoping that we will be great parents, and realizing how huge this really is.



Week 10 has come upon me and brought with it the same level of excitement I felt on my 10th birthday - entering the age of double digits felt so monumental, while leaving the single digit ages behind was symbolic of how far I'd come.

The changes are almost imperceptible, and I'm the only one that can really sense them. The morning nausea has improved drastically, and I'm becoming more and more able to space out the feedings I so heavily required early on. I've entered into a world of tear-jerking commercials, emotional reruns of Desperate Housewives, and weepy conversations with my husband about how much I love him, the cat, the glass of water I'm drinking, and strawberries. I laugh hysterically about the stupidest things - and I get riled up over nothing. Basically, my emotions are running rampant and taking hostage over me.

Week 10 is also a blaring indicator that we have 30 weeks to go - that what feels like an eternity so far has really only just begun, and it will be months before I can eat sushi accompanied by a glass of wine...

In Ferris' world, things are humming right along. Measuring in at a little over an inch, growing fingers and toes, continuing on the path of rapid-fire brain development (we're talking an astounding 25,000 neurons each minute!), all the while developing ears and eyelids.

The size comparisons have been one of the more enjoyable aspects for us. Each week, my husband asks "What do we have this week?" and I'm able to give an analogy based on everything I've read. We went from grain of rice to jelly bean to gummy bear, straight into martini olive and now on to a large Brazil nut.

By the end of next week, the baby will have transformed from embryo to fetus, which means "little one". We are so lucky to have this little one in our lives.



We have arms and legs!

Tuesday's appointment was so much fun - we got to see Ferris again, including the brain, arms, legs, and a very healthy heartbeat. It's too early to be able to hear the heartbeat, but I go back in three weeks so we should be able to hear it then. I realize how truly lucky we are to have had the chance to see Ferris this soon - typically wouldn't be able to for many more weeks - and although the circumstances behind it weren't ideal, it all turned out ok.

It's becoming real to me - the notion that this is actually happening. At first, it seemed like we were playing pretend - and I was filled with anticipation that at any given moment, someone would tell me it was just a dream. I discussed that with my friend Jessi, while staring at her beautiful 5-month old, and she said that even now - with a baby at home - she still feels inclined to think her pregnancy wasn't real.

I lay awake at night, thinking about what life will be like over the next 7 months - and beyond. I visualize the sitting room next to our bedroom, which will become the nursery - and I try to decide what on earth we'll do with the enormous chair that we have in there currently. I worry about how the dogs will react to Ferris.

On Tuesday after I left the doctor's office, I met my mom and sister for lunch, and then mom and I went and had pedicures. That night, as my husband played with my toes, he began singing "This little piggy" - which led us to make up what we believed to be hysterical songs about Ferris' newest developments: This little piggy went to market, this little piggy went home...this little piggy had roast beef - and this little piggy had ARMS! This little piggy liked tequila, this little piggy tapped kegs...this little piggy drank vodka, and this little piggy has LEGS! This little piggy is crazy, this little piggy's insane...this little piggy's a cuckoo, and this little piggy has a BRAIN!

Anyone else frightened that we are going to be parents?



I always fantasized about having a fabulous pregnancy. I guess it's the result of too many movies, or seeing celebrities that manage to look absolutely amazing at every turn...but I always dreamed of it being fun, and glorious - where I'd feel incredible and look adorable. So far, we have the fun part down - but that's about where it ends.

Since I'm not working right now, I have a free pass to spend the entire day in pajamas, with my hair piled on top of my head. When I do leave the house, I change clothes an average of four times before settling on something I can live with. I'm not really showing yet, but my clothes definitely fit differently - and as of now, I simply feel like I've gained weight as a result of too much junk food and not enough time on the elliptical.

However, I prefer to focus on the fun part. I'm so lucky to have a husband that makes me laugh constantly, and gets me like no one else ever has. We can have conversations without saying a word, and simple glances are an acceptable form of communication. We laugh our asses off at the most idiotic things, and our favorite comedic topic as of late is the notion of becoming parents. We joke about having an enormous baby, thanks to him being 6'3" (disclaimer: I laugh, while squirming uncomfortably at the mere thought). We talk about the combination of features this child will have and hope for the best of each of us. We make up absurd baby names based on NFL players and product names from cheesy commercials.

In addition to the good humor he brings to our situation, he provides me with anything I could ever want. Jelly beans? Check. Socks? He's on it. Compliments abound, with me actually believing his opinion that I've never looked cuter to him. In essence, he was sent from heaven and I am lucky enough to have nabbed him.

As far as symptoms go, we're still on track. I've added the constant need to pee to the list, as well as dreams that make me feel as though I've begun ingesting hallucinogenic drugs before bed. I wake up several times throughout the night, looking around me and trying to clear the confusion.

My mom had a dream that we had a daughter and named her Ferris Mutherford - so we've taken to calling the baby "Ferris". This is simply due to my refusal to call the baby "it" - and since we aren't going to learn the sex, we've got a long road ahead of us to not have an adequate reference.

Ferris, we are so excited about you - and tomorrow, at our next doctor's appointment, we'll get to see you again.



I'd like to say I've been waiting to begin writing until I reached the 8-week mark, as some means of symbolism, but it's just been my overwhelmed state that's rendered me unable to accurately put the past few weeks into words.

When I saw the two lines pop up on the home pregnancy test several weeks back, I was in shock. Not for any reason as scandalous as not knowing who the father would be (I'm happily married) or how it could have happened (we stopped taking birth control months earlier), but for the simple fact that once I saw that, I knew our lives would never be the same.

One week later, we were sitting in a darkened room, undergoing an ultrasound to ensure that the cramps and spotting I'd been experiencing were nothing to worry about. My nerves quickly gave way to fear as I listened to the technician tell us there was no embryo, no heartbeat. I felt as though I were floating inches above my body, watching this moment happen to someone else. My doctor gently told me it didn't look good - but taking blood to be sure would be a good measure.

My blood work showed positive news, in the form of heightened hormone levels. At these levels, we should have seen a heartbeat...but there have been instances where it's just too early and it was possible - possible - that the ultrasound could be repeated in a week with different results.

A week. A week where we didn't sleep. A week where we alternately mourned the loss of something we'd only just begun to grasp, while praying for good news and hoping against hope that we hadn't lost this chance to become parents. A week where there was nothing to talk about, no words to adequately express how difficult it was to wait for an answer - one way or the other. We accepted it even as we hoped we were wrong, we dealt with it even as we didn't want to believe it, and we thought about trying again even as we wished we wouldn't have to.

Once again, in a darkened room, waiting for the news that would bring an end to the waiting...and possibly, an end to the hope. I kept my eyes tightly shut, squeezing my husband's hand just as tightly. When the technician said "There's the heartbeat", I began sobbing - which quickly turned to laughter as I looked at the screen and saw the tiny quiver of movement.

Apparently we still aren't out of the woods. There was something present on the ultrasound that concerned the doctor, something that is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. We go back to the doctor next week for a follow up, and while I still have fear buried deep in the corners of my mind, I'm encouraged by the symptoms.

The nausea begins the moment I open my eyes in the morning, and doesn't wane until I close my eyes at night...and is only subsided by eating every few hours. The heartburn as a result of the frequent eating is fiery and intense. The exhaustion during the day knocks me on my ass, yet I try to refrain from napping since sleeping well at night seems to have escaped me.

It's glorious. I wouldn't have it any other way.