Friday, April 29, 2011

Top Fuel and Michael's Goodbye

Dear Soybean,

I was a bit surprised to notice it's going on almost two weeks since I wrote you last.  Some of it has to do with the depression I'm experiencing--I use up all my energy to make it through the day at work so that when I get home all I want to do is veg.  But that's not all--there's also been a lot else going on. 

For one, I've started looking into daycare costs, and wow, let me tell you it's not cheap.  It's about $480-$620 a month for an infant and those aren't even the "fancy-schmancy" places that allow you to keep an eye on your kid via live webcam at their daycare.  I'm still hoping that God will miraculously work things out so that I can stay home and care for you instead of having to go back to work, but even if He chooses not to work that way, I'll just have to learn to become more multi-tasking than ever.  I'm beginning to realize every mom is a wonder-woman.

Your dad has started in earnest again on his weight loss by eating well and exercising; he is lucky in that he can tell pretty quick that he's losing because the weight seems to come off of his face first.  It's always great when you can feel improvement pretty quickly; it's when you don't that you get discouraged and give up trying at all.  I told him he's going to look smoking hot in all of your delivery pics.  Between the two of you, I'll be the ugly one in all of them.  Sweating, tired, nasty--I'm going to have to have one of my galpals to attend me for the sole purpose of making sure I look my best in all of the pics... haha.

The Down's Syndrome test results came by normal... yay!   It's such a relief because when you grow up with some hard knocks in life, you somehow come to expect that the "worst" can and will be thrown your way and in the back of your mind, you have this nagging conviction that you'll be the one in a thousand to parent a special needs child.  But when you think about it, even "normal" kids can be considered as being special needs because not one of us is the same and we all think and react to things differently.  I pray God will give me the wisdom to handle whatever your special needs are while meeting my own.  Because I admit, I'm a strange bird myself and I'm blessed to have those friends who seem to understand me and appreciate me for who I am.

Being pregnant is a bit stressful because one can get worried over the smallest things.  For example, I was having a strange little pain in my abdomen to the right of my belly button and later some muscle soreness below my belly--nothing serious mind you, but just enough to make me pause.  Since that happened a couple of days ago, I haven't felt any more flutters from you moving around.  I haven't felt any cramps or experienced any bleeding, so everything tells me that I'm just fine and I'm just being silly but still I can't help but worry just a bit about whether you're okay.  It's one of those things where I just have to put you in God's hands and remind myself that you are a gift from God and that He is ultimately responsible for you--good practice on my part regardless whether I'm worried about you at that particular moment or not.  I can't help but feel my heart go out to my childhood friend Tara and her unborn child's struggle as I read Tara's blog.  Sometimes you are a bit hesitant to share your joys when you know someone is experiencing heartbreak in the same area.

Your dad and Uncle Mike got into it last weekend so that's caused some emotional white noise since.  That situation hasn't yet resolved, but I'm hoping everything will eventually work out even better than before.  I so like to see your dad happy and fulfilled--and being the peacemaker he usually is, I know this has to be weighing on him.  I've got issues of my own--next week I'll be trying to find some counseling to help improve my relationship with a family member.  Our interpersonal dynamic has made me question my ability to be a good parent (you may notice I haven't yet been able to bring myself to sign my letters "Mom") or even a good person for that matter and that's never a comfortable place to be.

People are asking more frequently if we've decided on names yet.  We have a couple of thoughts about girl names, but nothing definite for a boy.  Wish we could ask you your opinion  ;-)    Maybe it's just me, but it seems like it's more fun to name a girl because society allows you more "artistic expression" with their names; it seems like one is expected to be more traditional and "solid" when it comes to naming boys.  Chris had said we could name you Adam Vincent, but Jackie (the mother of my brother Adam who just passed) wrote me a long letter expressly begging us not to name our child Adam.  Adam loved his mom dearly and so I would like to honor her wishes as much as possible in his memory.  I loved Chris's thoughtfulness in expressing his desire to name his firstborn son in honor of my brothers Adam Webb and Stephen Vincent and dad Bruno Vincent, but Stephen will be sharing with one of your future cousins his middle name and the loss of Adam makes it a bit too painful for me at this point to pin his name on a new life, if that makes any sense.

As for current events in entertainment news, I don't know what you're able to make out from within all that fluid, but here's what's going on.  Will and Kate had their royal wedding in England today (not that I care one bit, but I did see Kate's dress and it is absolutely beautiful.)  And of course I would be remiss if I forgot to mention my favorite show The Office.  Character Michael Scott made his last appearance on the episode that aired yesterday, and silly me, I cried like a baby (no offense), not once or twice, but.... okay, who's counting??   and then my favorite American Idol contestant got the boot.  I got reflective when I heard that David Wilkerson died this week.  I remember reading his book "The Cross and the Switchblade" when I was a youngster--his real-life story has stuck with me through the years.

See what happens... I'm given a blank page and an evening with no commitments and look--I write a small novel.  :-) 

Bu if I've said it once, I've said it a million times--your daddy is so excited about you.  He kisses my belly and talks to you and swears up and down that, boy or girl, you're going to live and breathe NASCAR so that you can become a driver and he can get free seats to each race...haha.  Speaking along those lines, he wanted me to check with the OB doctor to see if it was safe for you if I were to accompany him to the top-fuel NHRA drag races this weekend.  The first return call I got from the doc's office was from a lady who had asked the physician assistant and she stated that it was fine for me to go--no problems posed to you at all.  The tone in her voice sounded very unconcerned like it was a non-issue.  Well I got a call back an hour or so later from the same lady.  She said that the topic had caused a lot of discussion in the OB office among the professionals--some people were of the opinion that since there wasn't any evidence that it would harm the baby I should go because you can't just avoid everything when you're pregnant and not live life. Others said why chance it?  She conveyed my doctor's opinion that his official recommendation was for me not to go but that it was up to my personal discretion.  I told the lady I appreciated her call very much and that with the doctor's recommendation, I would not be attending the drag races.  I'm not heartbroken--in fact, I all-too-quickly made other plans!  You and I are going to be meeting up with my friend Liz and her little growing spud for a Shakespeare play Sunday afternoon after a picnic lunch.  A much better way to spend the day than out in the burning sun walking one's legs off going from hotrod to hotrod to hotrod and inhaling toxic top-fuel clouds that roll off the track as one's body vibrates apart from the noise of dragsters barreling down the track ! (but don't tell your dad I said so, ok?  he likes to think I'm game and will be going next year, wink wink).  awww, I probably will go next year.  It makes me happy to know that some of the little concessions I make along the way can really make his day.  As it is, he is taking his long-time friend Jason (you'll probably come to know him as Uncle Jason) to the races as this is one of their annual events together; it's become something of a tradition for the two of them as I think this will be the 8th year or so that they've gone.

Speaking of your dad, it's getting late and I need to do the wifely thing of tracking him down, ha.  He was going to your Uncle Bobby's house to see Brendon who's come back from Ohio. 

I love you little Soybean.  And I think I felt some little flutters while writing this long ol' blog entry. Thank you.

~A.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'll have regular please...

Dear Soybean,

We're entering our 15th week together!  Sometimes I'll feel little tickles or "butterfly wings" within and I can't wait until I feel your movements strongly; although I don't know how much of a "beating" I can take.  It's embarrassing but I can already feel myself losing that all-too-wonderful bladder control.  Last week, I had a a sneeze... and you get the picture.  Gross, I agree, but not as gross as you swallowing the same amniotic fluid you've just practiced... eliminating (wink, wink). 

I read that you're developing your eyelashes this week and I sooo hope you have your dad's breathtaking green eyes and loooong eyelashes.  He has lashes that would be the envy of any woman.  I may have said this before, but I just "know" you're a boy.  Even your dad falls into referring to you in the masculine sense.  I had someone tell me this week that I seemed to be a boy's mom kind of person and it's true.  Although if I have to eat my words later because you turn out to be a girl, I won't be disappointed at all, I promise.  I saw THE cutest girl today at Walgreen's.  I probably would have snapped a pic of her on my camera phone had I not worried about her mom thinking I was some child predator (I know I look soo much the part).

I know that it's been a little while since I checked in with you on this blog, so I'm just assuring you that everything is okay on the home front.  The only things changing are the size of my belly and our ever-growing dreams for you.

Love,

A.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cold Turkey

Dear Soybean,

So, only two days of Prozac and then I was back to facing life cold turkey again thanks to a little scientific study we found online that stated Prozac use during pregnancy in the third trimester was linked to lung problems and premature birth.  I know I'm not in the third trimester yet, but I didn't want to get "hooked" on something just to have to come off of it in a couple of months.  There are also a lot of articles out there saying the risk is small and should be weighed against the risks of untreated maternal depression on the baby.  I just know that should there be any complications with you, I don't want it to be anything I caused or could have prevented, ya know?  What a huge weight that would be--the not-knowing whether one of your problems was caused by my happy pills.  And you can tell your dad is so relieved now I'm not taking the meds.  But I'm telling you the decision was easy to make but hard to deal with.  Hope is so powerful.  Hope that I was on the path to feeling better was healing in itself, so when your dad and I decided no more Prozac, the hope died and split my heart in two.  Each half fell to the bottom of a foot.  I know your eyelids are still fused shut so you didn't see the broken pieces but maybe you heard them as they whistled by.  ;-)  I went straight to bed after that and had a hard time getting up the next morning (yesterday). It didn't help any that I had called the counselor the OB doc had suggested and found out that my "wonderful" insurance has a history of not paying them for their services.  So a "no" there too.

There are days, though, that one wakes up with the sure feeling that someone has been praying for them.  Today was one of those days.  We took advantage of the great spring evening weather and took some pics of the belly.

Yesterday your great-grandmother Hazel celebrated a birthday.  We sang her happy birthday as she sang to the song to herself and, boy, I think everyone would agree it was the worst-sounding "happy birthday" rendition that's ever been heard coming from human lips.  :-)  It made my day when she gave me a hug as I left and told me, "It makes me happy to have grandkids like you."  Awww!!  She seemed to love the purse I bought for her as she screamed in delight while opening the gift. She's quite the character as you will discover.  :-)



Your dad and I are so excited you're coming.  I told him yesterday, "Isn't it weird, we're going to have a baby."  He had a concerned look on his face and tried to reassure me saying, "Yes, it's going to be great."  I knew he had misunderstood why I had said that so I replied, "I know that, it's just that it's only been you and me for almost ten years."  Ten years and the dynamic is about to change... for the better.  You've been a long time in coming, little one.  Welcome  :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Brown Roses and Big Feet

Dear Soybean,

Our little yellow roses aren't doing so well.  Your mama, as much as she'd like to be otherwise inclined, has a black thumb.  You haven't heard of that expression before?  Maybe that's because I just made it up--as black is the color of death.  The roses seem to be dying before they even bloom because the buds are turning brownish and shrively.  Your dad and I bought some rose food though so hopefully they'll turn around soon and be beautiful.

Last time your dad and I went to the doctor they tried to do a routine test for Down's Syndrome.  I guess some people would use this as a "screening" tool to determine whether or not they want to terminate the pregnancy, but we want you regardless.  I said ok to the test just so that in case you do have Down's Syndrome, we will be prepared to be even better parents to accomodate your special needs.  Well last time you were too short for them to do the test, so I had to go back today and I didn't mind at all because it meant more sonogram pictures!!  So they took their measurements and drew blood from me and we'll find out results... sometime.  Sometimes photos can seem to exaggerate, and your sonogram picture may have done just that because your foot looks huge!!!   lol   I told your dad you have his feet (he's a size 13).  You are so adorable though; one of the pics captured your little fist resting up against your head while you slept (or so the sonographer said). 

While at the doctor's office, I talked to Dr. Syal about my depression.  I told him I've always struggled with depression but that here lately my friends and family have noticed I'm not myself and have encouraged me to approach him about it (one good friend in particular had an intimate talk with me about it, she knows who she is...I love that woman!).  Well, he prescribed me some prozac and gave me the phone number to a counselor with a promise that we will follow up to see how I'm doing at my next visit.  I sure hope I get to feeling a bit more chirpy, little one.  I want to be experiencing the fullness of all the joy and excitement that this journey deserves.   Maybe I'll become a little less edgy and irritable with your father too; I'm sure he'd love that change.  :-)

We aren't the only mom-with-a-bun-in-the-oven duo anymore, little Soybean!  Yes, I found out that my friend Liz is pregnant too!  One of our mutual coworkers who has since moved on to greener work pastures had said several times in a prophetic, sure-thing kind of way that Liz and I would be pregnant at the same time. Sure enough!  I am so happy for her; we had both desperately wanted to get pregnant.  Liz hopes we both have girls.   She asked me today via instant messenger whether I had "felt pregnant" at first; it would be strange that she would ask that since it was only today after seeing your latest sonogram that I'm truly beginning to "feel" pregnant.  I mean that in that I feel myself beginning to walk funny, my baby bump is getting undeniably big; and the sonogram proves that you are definitely a miniature human being making a place for yourself in this crazy world. 

Love you,

~A.