As I stepped from the shower this morning, it dawned on me that I've been pregnant for 19 weeks - almost halfway through. I marvel at how different things are now, how much my perspective has been altered as I've progressed through this pregnancy. I think of most things with a different intensity, a far more advanced attention to details and items which previously would likely have escaped me.

This current tendency to delve deep into everyday matters (read: overthink) ranges from the utterly absurd to the amazingly serious....from how it will be if I try to come sit and write in the coffee shop down the street, as I'm doing now, to how it will be if we are faced with a child that experiences any challenges or difficulties. I try to reign in the panic and fear of the unknown and focus instead of the amazing road ahead, treating the unknowns as though they are tiny little surprises waiting to be discovered.

I want so many things for our child and for our family, things that can be influenced by me and things that I will have absolutely no control over, however much I may try. I want our child to grow accustomed to hearing the laughter that constantly rings throughout our house. I want to instill in this tiny little being the notion that we have endless amounts of love and friendship and respect for each other, and that we do anything and everything we can to ensure happiness on every level imaginable. I want this baby tater to feel protected and safe from any of the potentially scary things our world may bring, while maintaining an innocence and absense of irrational fears.

In essence, I want to provide a life that is balanced and even and a semblance of being perfect even when true perfection cannot be found. I want to teach patience in the midst of frustration, adoration in the presence of flaws, strength in the existence of obstacles, and love in the places where an absence of it exists. I want it all....and I believe it can be found, since all of these things are things that have been provided to me in the span of the relationship I've had with my husband.



Aaaaaand we have movement!

I experienced several instances of feeling the squirt wiggle around this weekend - sensations I would best describe as bubbles, pops, or ripples...odd and incredible. It would stop me in my tracks instantly, as I attempted to determine if it was my imagination playing tricks on me - or, more likely, my stomach gurgling in reaction to food or lack thereof.

We have started chipping away at the long list of tasks awaiting us as we prepare for Ferris' arrival, in an attempt to get ahead. I'd much prefer to get things in order before my enormous belly overtakes me, and certainly before the warmer weather starts to present itself. We are now the proud owners of a very clean and very organized basement, as well as a very empty third bedroom which is in the midst of being transitioned from my office back into a guest room. The baby's room still has a long way to go, but somehow I find myself unable to begin the daunting task of putting it together.

I also experienced my first bout of body-related awkwardness. After I washed the blanket that we keep in the puppy's crate, I was crouched down putting it back in his crate when I got myself wedged in the crate's opening, unable to free myself due to my protruding belly. I yelled for my husband's help for several moments before he found me, where I then had to wait for him to stop laughing before he was able to help me up.

I had a few new cravings to add to the mix, some of which I indulged in and some I'm hoping will pass...black cherry soda, crab rangoons, biscuits with honey, and cole slaw. Tonight we are going to my favorite steakhouse in Nashville for the best burger I've had in this city, and I cannot wait.
I'm trying to be careful about what I eat, but I get so ravenous at times that it's difficult. Meanwhile, I'm struggling with my changing shape and the fact that when I look in the mirror, I see a rounder face and body - all for a very good reason, but all very disconcerting nonetheless.



Looking back at the things I've written since I started this process has led me to realize that I've been evaluating this pregnancy on a very surface level. I believe that it was important for me in the early stages to fully document the physical aspects since those were so foreign to me and I marveled at the changes I was experiencing.

Beyond that, I haven't really gotten into what I'm experiencing emotionally...whether it's due to a fear of sounding ungrateful for this baby, or fear of being judged, I'm not sure. But the realization has hit me that when I look back on this time, it won't be the timeline of developments I'll want to remember most - it will be the massive amounts of emotions. The fears, the insecurities, the hopes, and most certainly the expectations - these are the things I want to document.

I'll still keep up with the progress that Ferris is making, of course - but instead of peppering it with casual comments, my goal is to delve into this experience much deeper. I think the best place to start doing that is my immense fear of change.

Change is certainly inevitable as we go through our lives, and it's something I'm touch and go on. I tend to get very antsy if situations remain the same for long periods of time. However, that tendency is offset by my instinct to reject change once it presents itself. As I've gotten older, I've gotten increasingly more uncomfortable when new situations arise - and increasingly more apt to cling to my comfort zone. Quitting my job only to find out a short time later that we were expecting a baby really threw me for a loop. I had to juggle the notion that everything happens for a reason, that I had made a mistake in leaving the comforts of a secure if unfulfilling job, that I now had a purpose, that my dreams were coming true.

I still struggle occasionally with this equation - on the days that I crave the routine, the confidence in my path, the presence of people, I wonder what on earth I'm doing with myself. But on those other days, the ones where I accept that this is the road I'm on for now, and even find delight and pride in said road...those are the days where I can smile and know that although I may not have chosen this exact sequence of events, it's what's been handed to me. Like all other cards I've been dealt in my life, good or bad, I've played the hand and remained relatively unscathed.

Now that our whole worlds are going to be turned upside down in the next few months, I spend a lot of time thinking about how best to deal with the changes. I know that our relationship will be different, which scares me because I love the dynamic of our marriage. I know there won't be as much time for the little tiny moments we share, for stretches of time uninterrupted by the demands of someone totally dependent on us, and for ourselves and each other. However, I also know there will be more love, more time together as a joined force, more amazing milestones and moments that we'll never forget....which somehow makes dealing with the changes a bit easier to take.



I still haven't felt the baby move....I don't think. Hell, there are so many different sensations going on at any given moment that I have no way of differentiating what's what. I have to pee constantly, and the pressure on my bladder overwhelms me. If I'm not hungry and listening to my stomach growl, I'm too full and listening to my stomach revolt.

On a positive note, I'm sleeping. Deeply. For hours at a time. The past few nights have been met with comfortable positions and the lack of getting up to pee every hour and a half. I wake up long enough to realize how comfortable I am, reach over and touch my husband's warm shoulder, take a sip of water, and then I'm back out again.

Ferris is developing baby fat, and what has been soft cartilage is starting to turn into hard bones. Everything we say is heard, though it sounds muffled - kind of like what we hear when we are underwater.

We talk about names quite often these days. We have settled on the girl name but we are nowhere near figuring out what boy name we like. We have a few contenders, but none that have made either of us able to definitively say it's the one. We have time to figure it out...and we'll know it when that time comes.



I had a checkup this week, and all went well. The heart rate was in the 140's, which was much lower than the first time - completely normal and healthy, but leaves me wondering as to that old wives' tale regarding heart rate and gender. While we were listening to the heart, the baby moved - I could hear it, but felt nothing. My doctor assured me that in the next week, I'll be able to feel movement. The baby is about 5-6 inches long, and weighs about 4-5 ounces, about the size of a large baked potato. At our next visit in 4 weeks, we'll have another ultrasound and I can't wait to see the wee one.

Knowing that Ferris can hear sounds and recognize our voices is bizarre but fun. I catch myself talking in the direction of my stomach, humming and rubbing my belly simultaneously, and making up silly songs about cleaning the house, cooking dinner, tv shows, etc.

It's interesting to me that I can relate to the symptoms in pregnancy books and on different websites that track progress as we go along. I think it's impressive that women's bodies are so similar in the types of symptoms we experience, especially when it comes to things like nosebleeds, clogged ears, and dry eyes - all things I was certain had nothing to do with pregnancy and more to do with the weather.

Today is my husband's birthday. I reminded him that this is the last birthday he'll celebrate without having a son or daughter in his life....which then caused both of us to fall into silence. It's easy to have moments of pure panic with the realization that our lives are on the brink of such utter and complete change. Happy birthday, honey - it will only get better from here.