Today's doctor appointment taught me something very important: I don't do math.

Here I've been tracking the progress of this pregnancy, counting days and weeks, and my doctor glanced at my chart and said "Wow - 28 weeks, 3 days!" ....obviously not the same number I've come up with. I stared at the calendar for about 20 minutes this afternoon, flipping back and forth between months, unable to wrap my brain around the notion that I've counted wrong. I mean, days don't just disappear...do they?

I did my glucose screening today - an extreme sugar rush following the chugging of the sickly sweet fruit punch flavored drink led to jittery shakes and then fatigue so extreme I could have fallen asleep standing up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my results will come back normal.

I've read several different things about weight gain at this point in the pregnancy, both mine and Ferris'. The "norm" at this stage is a weight gain of 16-22 lbs. for me - I've gained 26. Ferris should weigh anywhere between 2 1/2 and 4 lbs. To this I say screw the norm, pass the cookies. I'm overwhelmingly hungry all the time, and despite my best efforts to eat healthy, I just can't overcome the cravings for ice cream and tacos.

(Side note: a few weeks ago, when my husband and I went out to dinner, one of the people who worked at the restaurant popped by our table to ask me when I'm due, and then proceeded to gasp in shock and proclaim that she couldn't believe it, since I look like I'm about to pop. That little gem was immediately followed by her asking me if I was having a boy, because "boys always make you fat". Um...yeah. She narrowly missed being hit by a piece of bread. I have always had a rule that you should never, ever, ever say anything to a woman that even remotely implies you think she's pregnant - unless you see a baby emerging from her at that exact moment - but apparently not all people have adopted this theory.)

Earlier, our younger dog was resting his head on my belly - his favorite new position - and when Ferris kicked him squarely in the face, he cocked his head and stared at my stomach before gazing up at me with a look of confusion on his face. Oh, if he only knew what he's in for.

We've gotten the baby's room pretty much in order - the crib and bedding are in place, along with adorable curtains that my mom made and a new lamp and laundry basket. I take a moment now and then to sit in the glider rocker and stare at the scene before me, trying to imagine time a few months from now....and failing miserably. There's just no way to fathom what life will be like.



See that number up there? That number that tells me I'm now into my third trimester, that we are in the home stretch, that we aren't that far off from the number 30 which means the number 40 is also close? Yeah, I don't understand it either. It's like time keeps going, or something.

So. Third trimester. Seven months. What do we have? A belly that contains a uterus the size of a basketball (remember when it was the size of a fist?) and a baby the size of a 2 1/2 pound, 15 inch long teddy bear (remember when it was the size of a gummy bear?). A brain that contains too many questions, fears, uncertainties, anxieties, etc. A home that contains a very small portion of what it will need in order to nurture said baby.

Yes, there are a lot of things we don't have. The planner in me panics at the mere thought of being unprepared, especially when my mom calls me twice a day to make sure I haven't gone into premature labor. I know there is plenty of time to get everything we need, and when it boils down to it, as long as we have a car seat in order to legally bring the baby home, the rest of it will fall into place.

So instead of thinking about the things we don't have in a negative light, I've decided to address the things we do, such as a support system of friends and family stronger than I could ever imagine, a marriage that is solid and secure, the financial means to support us, a great home. These things, while not counted among the list of "must-haves" for a newborn, are far more crucial to this baby's well being than anything we could possibly register for. Ferris has no concept yet of the boundless amounts of love and excited anticipation we're feeling, no way of knowing how fiercely devoted and dedicated we are - to each other, certainly, but more so to the family we are in the midst of forming. I just hope that once Ferris does arrive, we're able to deliver on the promises we've made and come through with the intentions we've established.





I’ve been attempting to define who I am as a person, in an effort to correct the many flaws that may negatively impact our child…or at the very least, gain a comprehensive knowledge of those things which need improvements. The realization that we are not only responsible for the physical well-being of a person, but also their mental and emotional well-being, leaves a sense of unease in my mind since I know I’m far from perfect.

For starters, I can be incredibly bratty at times. I’m not proud of this, but it’s something I’ve come to terms with - and when I catch myself in the act of doing or saying something childish, I want to tear out my own tongue. I am the youngest of four children, and while my parents never outright spoiled me - I always had chores, never had an allowance, and got my first job when I was 15 - they were very good to me, and as a result I think I became accustomed to being treated well. In the instance of being told something I don’t want to hear, I am often inclined to pout. Unappealing at best, this trait certainly won’t get me very far in my attempts to raise a child who will not be a brat.

I’m also concerned with my patience level. This is something I’ve been working on for some time, ever since my husband and I began transforming our casual relationship into something much deeper and more serious several years ago. I can be hotheaded and temperamental, and so I know the propensity I have to snap will require a bit of effort to overcome. Fortunately, my husband is the most patient person I know, so he makes up where I’m lacking.

Another cause for concern is my fear of being judged. I worry too much about what other people think of me, and I’m too reluctant to stand up for myself and speak my mind. One of my biggest goals is to get over this trepidation, and understand that I must do what’s best for my family - critics be damned. When it comes to raising a child, I hope to trust myself enough to be confident in my decisions, despite what others may feel about them.

On a lesser scale, there are things like my love of sleep, my tendency to drink copious amounts of wine, and my desire to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. These things all represent a bit of selfishness on my part, and while I will miss them on a certain level, it’s also something I need to be able to give up - at least to a degree.

At the end of the day, I want to be the best person I can be for this child - the best mother I can be, despite my imperfections and unrealistic expectations. After all, isn’t that the only thing we can aim for?



Aaaaand we had our first encounter with the hiccups.

Let me explain something. I. Hate. Hiccups. I know it sounds bizarre, but I reserve some of my most passionate fiery hatred for the hiccups. They make me irrationally angry, and whenever I get them, I'm typically reduced to tears. In the event of champagne-induced hiccups, my husband will hide from me. So when I woke up at six this morning to the sensation of Ferris jumping, I forced myself to get a grip. I won't deny attempting to startle the baby in hopes it would make them stop, but I also didn't get nearly as angry as I may have suspected.

Lately Ferris has been waking me up at very early hours with jostles and bumps, and for whatever reason I choose those moments to talk to my husband - moments that are absent of rational thought. Therefore, the conversations are usually along the lines of reminding him to take chicken out of the freezer to thaw, asking him if the dog threw up on the floor or if I dreamed it, and attempts to describe the random dream I just had.

Ferris comes in this week at a whopping two pounds, and all I can think about are the number of other two pound things I'd like to enjoy - a two pound box of chocolates, two pounds of buffalo wings, a two pound block of cheese to go with the bread I'd make using Black & Decker's two pound breadmaker, and most certainly a 32-ounce Porterhouse steak. With a two pound twice-baked potato. Mmmm.

Speaking of foods, Ferris' taste buds are fully developed - and in fact, more finely tuned than they will ever be again. This results in swift kicks when I eat spicy foods, gentle rolls after the brownies I made the other day, and rapid rhythmic twists following a glass of lemonade.

I've reached the point of trying to mentally prepare as much as possible for what awaits us. I laid awake for hours the other night - sleep is so elusive these days - and mentally packed a bag for the hospital. Probably a tad premature, since I likely won't need it for months, but my brain takes over when I'm laying in the dark listening to the sounds of my husband breathing and I simply cannot control where it takes me.





This past weekend, we experienced the first of what I can only assume will be many panicked moments concerning Ferris. Late Saturday morning, after monitoring the cramping and pressure in my stomach, and watching the clock indicate a full 24 hours of no movement from the baby, we paged the doctor. Two hours later, having not heard back from him, we headed to the hospital to be checked out.

There was an instant as the nurse searched for the baby's heartbeat - with no result - that I began to really fear the worst. I couldn't even look at my husband at that moment, knowing that if I saw the same fear mirrored in his eyes, I would completely break down. However, she finally found the heartbeat and so we sat for about 45 minutes, with me hooked up to a fetal monitor to track what was going on. Lo and behold, Ferris began squirming within about 2 minutes of the monitor being activated. Figures, right? We determined that we have a very dramatic smartass for a child, no doubt the sum of its parts.

After I spoke to my doctor and we were given permission to go home, the reality of the situation hit me and I shakily whispered "I am so not ready for this." I've been counting weeks and I've felt pretty comfortable with the fact that we have time...time to get ready, physically and mentally. Time to spend together before we add a member to our family. Time to enjoy sleeping late, coming and going as we please, and counting animals as our sole responsibility. Saturday showed me that while we certainly may get that full window of time, we also may not. Ferris may decide to make an early appearance, and as much as I wish we could predict it, there's no one to make an appointment with - no guarantees and no certainties about exactly when we'll become parents.



Today I read about a woman that didn't find out she was pregnant until she was 6 months along. My instantaneous reaction to this is "Whaaaaaaaaaat????" - since I can't imagine having lived the past six months without knowing what was causing the changes I've experienced. On the other hand, I think this woman must have had the best and easiest pregnancy ever, to have survived the first trimester hell and myriad of pregnancy related symptoms.

I hate to judge this person's inability to be aware of such a monumentous thing, but I truly cannot comprehend it. At this stage in the game, I have endured things that I simply could not attribute to anything else - the lack of balance and coordination, the extreme fatigue at all hours of the day, a baby that kicks energetically, and most certainly a change in my figure. I'm enthralled by the notion that someone could experience a full 6 months of pregancy and not know it. I would feel so robbed, so jilted, as though someone had stolen such a precious thing from me - and yet to spend those months without the fear and anxiety of something going wrong, without the morning sickness, headaches, backaches, and more - I feel a special sort of envy for anyone who could pass through those phases virtually unfazed.

We're only two weeks away from entering the third trimester, and it's hard for me to believe that time has passed so quickly - and yet it feels like I've been pregnant for ages. Ferris is a very busy baby this week - the structure of the spine is forming, taste buds are developing, blood vessels of the lungs are multiplying, and those little tiny nostrils are opening up. Additionally, the hands are fully developed, complete with fingerprints - and Ferris has hair on that tiny head, eyelashes and eyebrows. My uterus is the size of a soccer ball, which seems appropriate as Ferris appears to be treating me like a soccer field- jumping, twisting, and kicking all over the place.

The weather has been getting a bit warmer, and it's making me crave the sunny warm days and cooler nights of spring. For the past few years, spring and early summer has been celebrated by afternoon cocktails on the patios of our neighborhood restaurants, lazy boat rides, rounds of cornhole on our back patio along with music and wine, and tending to a hot grill while sipping a cold beer. The warmer weather recently makes me yearn for those days, and I must admit I cannot wait for Ferris to be born so I can kick back with a glass of wine. My husband and I joked the other day that with my lowered tolerance for alcohol, we'll need to sell tickets to my first post-baby encounter with drinking. This weekend, we'll be moving the clocks for daylight savings, and I'm so excited that I'll get to see my husband come home while the sun is still out.



My doctor's visit is over, and with it the anxiety that kept me up all night last night. I lost a pound, which made both me and my doctor extremely happy. The heartbeat is strong and healthy, and my measurements are right on track. I told him about the Braxton-Hicks contractions and he said I have nothing to worry about. I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Ferris is about a pound and a half, coming in at about a foot long. These size increases make me stare at my belly in wonder, trying to understand how I can have something that size inside me - especially knowing how quickly the growth will escalate. I think that I should eat a footlong sub or something, in honor of Ferris.



I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and it's shocking to me that my fear of stepping on the scale has turned me into such a jittery nervous mess. It does dawn on me that this is partially due to my own issues with weight gain, no matter how justified it may be. However, I felt judged and chastised at my last visit, when my doctor questioned my eating habits and told me to lay off the sugar. The thought of repeating that conversation and feeling the slow burn in my cheeks as I hear someone tell me that my weight gain is bordering on dangerous makes me extraordinarily uncomfortable. No, I don't want to overdo it. No, I don't want to have issues losing the weight after the baby is born. I don't want gestational diabetes and I don't want to give birth to a 27 lb. baby as a result of my inability to back away from the Girl Scout Cookies. But. I also don't want to spend my pregnancy counting calories and worrying about everything that passes my lips. I don't want to spend more time focusing on the size of my ass than the size of the tiny fingers and toes I'll soon be kissing.

On another note, I've decided to address some of the frequently asked questions around these parts. If the above paragraph did nothing to indicate the level of snarkiness I'm feeling today, let me preface this by saying I'm not trying to be nasty. Ok. You've been warned...read at your own risk.

Q: What will you do about the dogs? Are you worried about how they'll react to the baby?
A: I must begin by explaining a little bit about our dogs. In essence, they are crazy. They are wild, they are hyper, they have limitless amounts of energy. They don't like cats (especially the one they share a roof with) or strangers. One of them hates to have his paws touched, the other likes to heave his 70 pound body into laps (even pregnant ones) for cuddle time. When we feed them, they behave as though they've gone weeks without a morsel of food. They run up and down our hallway, chasing each other and barking maniacally. They are quirky and stubborn, but lovable and full of a certain charm all their own. That being said, no one in my family thinks they are "good". I always feel compelled to defend them, but deep down I do have concerns about what will happen when a new member of our family threatens to take attention away from them....especially a member that will cry, make strange noises, flail and wiggle unexpectedly, smell funny, etc. So, yes. Yes. I am worried about how they'll react to the baby and how the baby will react to them. That is easily one of the biggest anxiety triggers I have about bringing this baby into our home. And yet...no. No. They will be fine. We will figure it out. I will not get rid of these dogs without first giving them every opportunity to experience this change we're bringing upon them. Sure, in the presence of a threat of physical harm, I'd be changing my tune damn fast, but until then...the dogs stay.

Q: You aren't finding out what you're having? Doesn't that drive you crazy? Don't you want to know? How do I know what to buy you if I don't know what you're having?
A: Our baby, our decision. If we wanted to know, we'd find out. At the risk of sounding bitchy, I'll put it this way: We registered. At two places. If there is nothing you can find there that suits your tastes, either wait until the baby is born or go with the ever-useful gift card and call it a day. I won't budge on my decision to find out our baby's sex based solely on your desire to know if you should get pink or blue socks.

Q: Are you going back to work after the baby is born?
A: To quote my friend Magic 8 Ball, "ask again later".

Q: Have you thought about names? If so, what are they?
A: This question is one I'm always willing to answer, even though I'm rapidly tiring of the looks I receive in response. It amazes me that people are so quick to provide their opinion on something so unrelated to them. However, we have thought about names. They are subject to change, but as of right now we've settled on Merrill Elizabeth for a girl, William (Will) for a boy - and we haven't figured out a middle name for Will yet.

(Note: If you are reading this, and you've asked me any of the above questions, please don't be offended by my answers. It's sheer repetition that has turned me into such a cranky person.)