Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First Gifts

It's (almost) time for a new developmentmal video from! Almost - well, the video is actually a week ahead of my pregnancy, but I have been waiting to post the new one for a while now, and I am impatient. In the beginning, when so much was changing every week with the embryo, there were almost weekly videos, and now I have to be happy with a once-a-month one, so I hope you'll enjoy it along with me.

Amazing, isn't it? I cannot wait to see Baby again for real, my next gyn appointment is on June 14, still such a long way to go - but immediately after, on the 18th, I have to go into the hospital for the baby's organ screening. I am very excited, and anxious to see that everything is alright with our little one.

Last weekend, Tio#E's mother arrived in town from LA for a visit. I mention this, because her visit also brought us our very first gift for the baby: a fluffy white baby blanket with the word "baby" embroidered on it, and a cute white onesie with delicate blue embroidery on it - fitting a boy colorwise, and fitting a girl decorationwise. Needless to say, we were speechless - Geo especially, for whom these gifts really seemed to have driven the point home, much more actually than the ultrasound he has joined me for a few weeks ago.

He stood there with the onesie in his hands, staring at it in utter shocked amazement - more shocked than amazed, I reckon. Up until now this pregnancy has been pretty much "mine", meaning: the discomforts and changes I went through were not clear to anybody else unless I told them about it, and my belly hasn't been visible enough to make my pregnancy obvious to other people. Geo was well aware of it, but more as a theoretical concept, than something that's actually happening to him as well as to me. He later said to me that even seeing Baby move on the ultrasound monitor was still too theoretical to really grasp as something that's happening inside his wife's rather flat tummy RIGHT THEN as he was looking at it, but seeing the onesie and realizing that soon HIS CHILD will wiggle around in it was a bit too big of a reality bite for him to handle on the spot.

I thought it was immensely cute. :)

And I can't wait to actually start feeling Baby kicking me, for then it will be only a matter of time until Geo will be able to feel it too with his hand on my tummy. Unfortunately our baby monitor hasn't turned up any heart beat yet, probably due to my anterior placenta, so it will be a great tension relief to get some regular reminders of Booger's presence and liveliness. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Feed the Chap!

You see, so far my pregnancy has been progressing pretty boringly, overall. Neither was there the daily retching and heaving into the toilet, nor am I experiencing any interesting food cravings that might send any non-pregnoid retching themselves. So far, there is no big tummy going on, my feet aren't spectacularly swollen, and there was no felt baby movement yet. My skin didn't clear up, and didn't get any worse for that matter either, and my hair looks shitty as ever. There is no sudden pregnany-lush going on up there, and they don't look any worse than normal, either. If anything, I slept through most of the first three months, and unless you call that exciting, there really is nothing so far that I can blackmail my child later with, when it's misbehaving. Nothing along the lines of "All the horrors I went through in order to give YOU life, you ungrateful little devil, now eat your mashed peas, or choke on your guilt!" That sort of thing.

At least not yet. How boring!

So imagine my amusement last weekend, as Geo and I settled comfortable on the floor in our nest of blankets and pillows, watching rented movies. I felt perfectly fine, all snuggled into my husband and a pile of blankets, watching "Night at the Museum", it's nearing midnight, as suddenly - and I do mean SUDDENLY - I HAD to have some FOOD, and I mean RIGHT NOW, OR I'LL THROW A FREAKING TANTRUM LIKE AN ANGRY TODDLER!!!

Agonizing as the feeling was, it was also quite amusing for both me and Geo. I mean, here I was, perfectly content in one second, and in the next ravenous, close to death by starvation. No gradual "getting hungrier", just the sudden urge to shove something edible down my throat RIGHT NOW.

This was kind of what we always thought pregnancy was going to be like - late night hunger attacks that will have Geo out of the house in pursuit of whatever I fancy at whatever ungodly hour it may be. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed to never have felt the urge to test his devotion to his pregnant wife in such a way yet - but here I was, having my first real chance!

Devotedly enough, Geo jumped up and went through our kitchen cabinets, as the fridge didn't turn up any edible solution to my problem. I was perfectly ready to send him out to the gas station and take the time that he would take to return with my salvation in a plastic bag - alas, I never got my chance to. Geo found 2 cans of tuna and a pack of flour tortillas, which he heated up for me in a rush.

So there I was, sitting on the floor amidst a pile of pillows and blankets, madly shoveling tuna into my mouth and swallowing it down with large bites of tortillas. When Geo opened the second can of tuna for himself and grabbed a piece of tortilla, I actually growled at him, and hissed at him to "don't eat all of my food!". It would have been absolutely hilarious, hadn't I been so desperate.

Tuna has never tasted this good before, and the feeling of relief that settled over me after the last piece of tortilla had vanished into my mouth was indescribable.

Well, the following night it was pasta that Geo whipped up for me as I came barging out of the bedroom around 10PM, after I had already been asleep for a while, and stormed into the kitchen, rummaging for edibles. He just laughed, remembering last night's tuna-craziness, and gently pushed me out of the kitchen and set about boiling some noodles and heating up some tomato sauce, which 20 minutes later he served me in bed, to which I had already retreated to again.

No such outbursts in 2 days now, and I hope it'll stay this way - at least for the sake of my weight-gain. Shoveling down whatever food can be found in the house at such a late hour is never a good thing, pregnant or not.

It does - however - make me feel "properly" pregnant, though... LOL!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fifth Month, The Beginning.

I realize I haven't talked about our last doc's appointment yet. Probably because it was over so fast, and there was nothing really new to report - Baby is doing very well, it's measuring on the spot on where it should be, and my belly aches and stabs are perfectly normal, nothing to worry about. It's the ligaments, and since my uterus has already reached the size of a small ball, there's some enormous stretching and supporting going on, even if my tummy isn't quite big yet.

Here are the facts:

Baby's head diameter as of 15 weeks and 5 days: 35.14mm
abdominal diameter: 28.93mm
femur length: 19.26mm
my weight gain since the beginning of this pregnancy: 1.5kg

(fotos of baby and my belly have been uploaded to my ringo.

Another little factoid: I do have an anterior placenta, meaning: it has implanted at the front, which will make me feel Baby's movements a little later than could normally be expected, because it's like Baby is kicking into a pillow. I am a little bit upset about that, considering that I already thought I have felt a tiny little flutter about a week ago, but now have to realistically attribute that to gas, or stomach activity. When I am looking at my baby during an ultrasound, it is very hard to believe that I cannot feel anything at all, it's kicking so much, and jumping around quite a bit.

Geo finally had a chance to come with me to the doctor's office. I will never forget the look on his face - it was the first time he has seen our baby move and kick, the first time he has seen it "live" ever since it does look like a real human being. The last time he has been to an ultrasound with me was when Baby was a mere 4mm "long", so the change is quite drastic. The photos I am getting after every ultrasound really never do the "real" thing any justice, so I was very glad that he could see our child like that.

More changes are happening, too. People are commenting more and more on my baby bump, so now there is no more denying the fact that I am pregnant - not that I would, anyway. This makes me very happy, and I have kind of stopped to stand sideways before the mirror every chance I get to try to determine if my tummy still looks like a large fat roll, or already like a real pregnant belly. Sure, I am flabby, but the flab is taking on quite the characteristic shape, which I am very glad about. :)

Also, I am noticing a more drastic change within myself too. I am observing, without being able to do much about it, how I am becoming less and less interested in my "normal" friends and their whereabouts, and more and more turning towards people who understand what I am going through better. That's not only my acquaintances from my fistball team (most of which have already had children), but also my new online friends from my babyforum, which I seem to be really putting quite some effort into. We have managed to set up a real life meeting for next Sunday, and if all goes well we'll be three pregnoids (- and all of them quite exactly as far along as I am!) and two or three mothers of toddlers. I am insanely looking forward to that, and it was only my sister's flabbergasted question of "Since when are YOU meeting with strangers???" that made me realize what is going on with my social life. I hope I won't end up upsetting my "normal" friends with this, but let's be honest: even though I try to keep it to a minimum, there is only so much baby-talk a childless person can take - and I know that from own experience. I am afraid of turning into that friend-that-used-to-be-cool-but-now-only-talks-about-puke-and-diapers-anymore lamo, so currently I feel better surrounding myself with people who know.

I am putting special hope into one of the girls I have met through my forum. She's quite the youngie (at least in comparison to me), but you'd never think so talking to her. She's smart and witty and funny, and I have spent many an evening chatting with her, completely losing my sense of time, until I realize that it is midnight and that I have to go to bed. She is a few days behind me as far as her pregnancy is concerned. I never thought how the simple fact of growing a baby inside can be connecting.

Moreover, her and another girl and I are thinking of going to preggo-yoga classes together. Really looking forward to that too, but I have no up-to-date information on that yet.

All that said, I have now started my fifth month of pregnancy... my 17th week... and the halfway point is rapidly approaching, with dizzying speed, almost. Didn't I just pee on a stick here at the office? One blink and I'll go into labor, if things keep on progressing this quickly...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Heart Listeners...

Well, that was fast! :) Apparently, the girl I have bought the heart listener from mailed it off the very same day I won the auction, without even waiting for my payment to clear. Right the very next day at 8AM the mail man rang on my door and handed me my package. I guess it has certain advantages buying from an online acquaintance.

Needless to say, I was very excited and brought it right to work with me, intending to try it out once my boss was on his lunch break. Afterall, seller-girl has claimed that she got to hear her babe faintly during her 16th week already.

Now imagine me sprawled out between two chairs, my pants pulled as far down as possible, with headphones on, trying to listen equally concentrated for a heart beat as well as the approaching steps of my boss.

What can I say, I think I got to hear the heartbeat, very faintly and very briefly, then it was gone again, and I had to get back to a decebnt "I-look-like-I-am-working" position again.

I was eagerly awaiting Geo's return at night time, after another failed attempt at listening, during which I got all excited, meaning to call everybody and their mother sand tell them that I had just heard my little love's heart beat, only to realize that the device had simply amplified the sound of the neighbor hammering a nail into his wall. Together, with 2 sets of headphones, we scouted my abdomen for any sign of baby activity, for what seemed like an hour, and ended up more entertained by our own heartbeats than the digestive sounds my tummy produced. Yeah, no baby. I guess it's still a bit too small to really be picked up by the device (it ain't a doppler, after all), so all we have to do is be patient.

Very nervous/excited about my ultrasound tomorrow. It's been such a long time since I have seen baby, and it really is time for a new load of reassurance that everything is alright.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Letter to Baby, 16th week

Good morning, little love! Everything fine in there? I know the last days have been a little rough, at least on my account, and I am not really sure if you felt it too, or if these pains were completeley unrelated to you. I hope they were, though I kind of think not, since it was dead center on where you are residing right now. It's a dull ache, like an unhealthy kind of swelling, which gets worse the longer the day drags on, and the more I have to sit. Let's see how I will get through this day of sitting for eight hours nonstop in the office today. Your Daddy has done a great job massaging us last night before going to bed, and I really did start to feel better. He eventually fell asleep with his hand on you, it almost made me melt. :)

I hope it's not actually you, maybe just my constipated bowels, but the discomfort and worry is there all the same. Good thing I will finally have another doc appointment this week, for reasurrance. And to finally get to see you again, I can't wait to see how much you have grown in the last three weeks!

Well, excuse me if I seem a bit distracted right now, I am currently in the last minutes of bidding on a baby monitor for you on eBay... there are about 3 minutes left, I am currently the highest bidder, but I never was very lucky with such auctions. I really want to win this one, it's fairly cheap, and it will enable your Daddy and I to listen to your heartbeat and your acrobatics whenever we want to, and I am so paranoid about you and your well-being all the time, that I really do need the constant reassurance.


Ooooooh! I got it! I finally won an auction on eBay... see all the good things you make me do? We are now proud owners of:

...which I find extremely exciting. The seller is actually one of the girls from my new babyforum, and we are currently trying to organize a gettogether, where I will most likely meet her, too. She said the monitor started to work (meaning: her baby was loud enough to be heard) in her sixteenth week, and from there it picked up rather quickly and became more and more and more. And well, since we are in our sixteenth week now ourselves, I am positive that by the time I will receive it, we will be able to get an echo of your little heartbeat, if you are cooperative.

Please be cooperative. :)

I am so anxious to have constant reassurance of your well-being, and since I cannot feel you kicking yet, I have no way of knowing if you are doing well at all - and those doc's appointments are too far apart to really make me feel good in the time inbetween.

And speaking of getting things... we are really blessed with awesome friends all around us. Remember that I mentioned that we will probably receive nursery furniture from a friend? Well, that same friend has handed me a bag full of maternity clothes yesterday (and she has a neat clothing style, really), and asked me if I would mind accepting used stuff for the baby, for she has a stroller and an infant-car seat laying around that she doesn't need anymore. Combine that with the 2 bags of maternity clothes I have already received from another friend, and the cradle that I was offered, I think it is safe to say that we have really good friends around us - and it makes me feel extremely good, that your pending arrival in this big bad world is met with so much enthusiasm and helpfulness.

I can't wait to see you again in a few days... and hurry up growing! :)


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

TWR - again!

Back to internet-geekery: I got reviewed by The Weblog Review - again. Actually, this is the third blog o'mine that I submitted there in the course of the last 4 years, and my "ratings" seem to get better every time.

Dunno why I actually bother, it's just a matter of self-centeredness, and a need to see how I compare to all the other blogs I really don't give a shit about. Or, old habit maybe.

Anyway, thank you Wendy for your kind review. In this case, I really didn't expect to get anything above a 3, but hey! I am always up for good surprises. :)

When I read the title of Two Pink Lines, I knew exactly what type of blog I'd be reviewing. I don't have any type of personal experience with pregnancy and the ups and downs it comes with, but I am the type of blog-reader that tends to enjoy a blog that comes with intimately getting to know the author. Q, the author of Two Pink Lines, instantly draws readers in with intimate details starting when she first saw Two Pink Lines.

Q has just made it through her first trimester of this pregnancy (her second in the blog's seven month existence) and doesn't hold back when she writes. The posts, which are typically quite lengthy and full of details that almost border on the too much information line (which the author warns us!), come as frequently as Q can get in front of a computer. They're written very well, in an easy to follow and conversational manner.

I wish this blog was hosted on its own domain, as opposed to Blogspot. I'm sure the parents-to-be have more important things on their plate than worrying about setting up a domain name and working out a more original design for this blog, so points can't really be deducted for that. The standard two-column layout, featuring black print on a white background, is very clean and easy to navigate. The addition of different links and graphics in the sidebar add to the information people can glean from this site, as well as the overall appearance to it.

This is another blog that falls into an all-or-nothing category. Either readers will love following the daily and detailed experiences of Q and her family, or they won't. I can't imagine too much of a middle ground, with a reader thinking they'll only occasionally check in with Two Pink Lines. There's too much going on for readers to only check back once a month.

This site was reviewed on 2007-05-01 by Wendy.
They felt this site belonged in the Personal category.
Wendy felt that Two Pink Lines deserved a rating of 4.25.

But... TMI??? And I am trying so hard not to get too much into detail... what do you guys think? Too much is too much?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

community geek

Ah, internet drama, how have I missed the glorious days of "he said, she said" and almighty admin power to reign at will and with an iron fist... eh, keyboard.

I haven't taken the internet this seriously since the Amethyst Alliance went the way of all things mortal, back in the day when I was "VP of Administration" of a community of over 800 roleplaying geeks. Man, as third in command of an administration board of over 30 people, did lil' ol' insigificant pimply me who just went through major depression feel ever so important and powerful!

I could moderate forums! I could delete posts! I could give members the infamous "three warnings" and then delete them from the system forever, but not before mailing them a highly official letter from the AA staff, that could as well have been a death sentence in real life! I could open staff positions and conduct interviews with members to fill said openings! I could make them feel small and insignificant by pointing out all the reasons why they were not suitable enough for the positions, when they wanted so badly to be a part of the "in-crowd"! I would be part of crisis staff meetings when things got out of hand, and I would sit hours and hours coming up with rules and regulations and codes of conduct and new standard procedures! I was IMPORTANT, and a CELEBRITY among the common folk, eh regular members. My posts in the forum were awe-inspiring, just as they were from all top 10 staff members.

I took this so seriously, that I fell in cyber-love with the "big boss", and he with me, and I moved 6,000 miles around the globe to be with him outside the restrictions of the internet. Ha! How's that for overcompensating real life issues?

Anyway... most of you know how that story ended, and now I am married to the guy I met in college one day, after the "big boss" has guilelessly dropped me off there.

Well, the internet "has me back" in a way... looking back at my experience with handling a large community, I hate nothing more than admins who will not let good discussions happen, deletes topics that in any way criticize their forum, and deletes members that found themselves caught in the throes of a good old classic flame war. It's things like these that keep forums alive and interesting. I don't know how many people work hard to get a community going and fail, and this guy has a flourishing and active community at his hands, and slays it down with the mighty ax of moderation power, until it's nothing but a truncated sorry thing with more than half of the active members gone, and the rest daring to do no more than Mickey Mouse discussions about the weather their pregnancies and babies. Say one wrong word, and you are getting the smack put down on you via private message from the admin.

Yes, I am talking about the babyforum I used to frequent.

When a few days ago the admin deleted some of my very own threads without further explanations (or rather explanations that were nothing but generalized scolding over things that had nothing to do with my particular threads and I was entirely innocent of), I decided to take matters into my own hands:

I present to you: THE NEW AND IMPROVED ADMIN-FREE BABYFORUM, where moderation is non-existent, discussions are encouraged, and flame-wars a welcome entertainment for all.

Oh... you gotta speak German for it, but if I have any readers savvy of this language and are either TTC, preggers, or already parents - head on over there. You won't regret it. A lot of the nicer folk of the old forum, who collectively got bored and annoyed with the way things are handled there, switched over with me already, and I noticed how the original forum is getting less and less activity now. I partly accredit that to myself, since most of the ones who came with me were extremely regular posters there before.

So, now I am the head of a community of... eh... way less than 800, but we're growing, and I found it astounding of quickly I got back into the "thing" again, and I like it. We're becoming a tight community, unified by the "common enemy", and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if one or two real-life friendships could come from this for me. There is nothing greater than being able to exchange oneself with other pregnoids who are similarly far along as oneself... it has some potential for the future, if I do things right. :)