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.