Monday, June 25, 2007

Patience... patience!

Well, congratulations to my old friend Lynn, who's given birth to her first baby on June 16, after 15 hours of labor. It's a healthy baby boy, and judging from the pictures, a very beautiful one at that.

"Old friend" really is a bit far fetched, though: actually we went to high school together for 8 years, were good friends back then (she lived just down the street from me and picked me up to go to school together every morning), and then completely lost touch after A-levels. I went on to waste 4 years at university, went crazy and moved to Los Angeles, became a graphic designer and came back home with the love of my life. She went on directly to become an elementary school teacher, and has been doing this ever since. She got married about 3 years ago. A bit more straight-forward, I would say. We recently met again at our 10-year-reunion. She had a HUGE baby belly, and according to her midwife was due any day now. She looked really beautiful, had changed a lot since high school. We got back to talking, and even though things were a bit awkward - as could be expected after 10 years - our pregnancies kind of helped to smooth things over a bit.

We managed to stay in touch via e-mail since the reunion, and yesterday I received the news of her baby boy, and some photos.

She suggested we meet again in a few weeks, when things have settled a bit, and I am really thrilled at the prospect. It would be nice to re-connect to someone I have shared my teenage years with, and to have babies only a few months apart will be nice, too. Maybe I am getting a bit ahead of myself, but if things go well, I can already see us sitting in the park together with our little ones playing. Or maybe I am just desperately optimistic - I really hope for friends with similarly-aged babies when Booger is here, to exchange thoughts and experiences, and to spend some time with during maternity leave. The "meeting plans" with the chicks from my babyforum aren't going so well, and by now I actually doubt that one will ever happen at all. I don't know anybody else with a newborn, or a baby on the way, and my only real hope is Bee, who is already working hard on reproducing herself.

At any rate, seeing the pictures of her newborn really reaked havoc with my whole stoic "patient" attitude towards the situation. I am usually the most impatient person on earth, you must know. 9 months of pregnancy? Unbearable for somebody who wants everything RIGHT NOW, and who gives up on trying out new things if I can't make them work after five minutes. However, for this pregnancy I was determined to enjoy every day, every stage, every change as it is happening, for it really is a very special time. But seeing this newborn... the earliest picture being the baby laying on my friend's tummy right after birth, still unwashed and full of that cheesy goo... that has blown my patience right into the wind.

It really IS hard to remain patient, aside from the pregnancy: 6 more weeks until I stop working! 1 more month until our loan goes through! 1 more month until our 2 new laptops! 2 1/2 more months until our new apartment! The suspense is killing me... I can't wait for this NEW life to finally begin. 6 more weeks for the first step...

I am counting the events weekly. One thing per week for me to look forward to, something to make time pass by faster:

6 weeks: party at my sister's, ice cream with Bern and Bee... maybe a weekend in Germany

5 weeks: traditional summer pool party on the weekend at one of my best friend's house

4 weeks: I have my sister's adorable little doggy to sit all week while she's on vacation, glucose tolerance test at the lab, lake festival with fireworks on the weekend

3 weeks: my next gyn appointment, 2 days in Graz at a yearly fistball tournament on the weekend

2 weeks: 3D ultrasound!

1 week: LAST WEEK OF WORK!!!

...then I have 4 weeks of paid vacation... featuring one day in Bratislava per ship down the Danube River... and lots of subathing and swimming with my sister. At the end of the month my pregnancy gym classes start, and on September 1 my 16 weeks of maternity leave at FULL PAY begin... and 2 weeks after that, our apartment should be ready, too...

You see, little stepping stones. Going from event to event, looking forward to each, and trying to be patient and enjoying every day as they come. Enjoying the baby kicks that are getting stronger almost by the day! Patience... patience is a virtue (I don't posess).

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Organ Screening and Updates

Last week's organ screening - I still haven't talked about. I realize it's been about a week since my last post, and even now I don't really seem to have the mind to sit down and compose something, even though I accomplished quite a few things last week! I blame it on the current heat. It makes my brain go numb, my legs swell to the size of watermelons, and my overall constitution rather weak. I have discovered the real blessing in my anti-varicose-veins compression stockings: they also keep the water out of my ankles! That alone turns them into somewhat of my best friends lately, but the problem is... with 35°C (95°F) outside even the biggest blessing turns into a curse. I refuse to wear them when the temperature reaches 30°C and above - which it has done for the majority of last week. Of course, the hotter it gets, the more water seems to accumulate in my ankles (and the more I would need my stockings), so at some point I couldn't even walk anymore at the end of the day, from all the pressure on my ankles.

In the last 3 days heavy rainstorms have unloaded over Vienna, unfortunately causing 3 deaths (from falling trees), but fortunately also dropping the temperature again under the 30°C (86°F) mark. The problem isn't so much the heat, it's the effin' humidity. During my life in Los Angeles I have lived through summers that were in the constant 90ties (Fahrenheit), and it never bothered me anything like a single day in the 90ties drags me down here. The difference is all in the humidity. Los Angeles' is a dry heat.

The news say that the heat will only get worse - not only through the course of this summer, but in the next years. France will be hit especially hard, and the whole Mediterranen will turn into an unlivable desert. Climate-refugees will be the new big thing, and all that until 2100 the latest. Should this hold true in any way, I will either pack my family and move out of the city and somewhere high up into the Alpes (which are currently said to be the future safe zone from the heat in the whole of Europe), or move somewhere to Canada, as high up North as possible. I really am a winter person, I like it cold and cosy, I like snow, I like rain, I like storms, I like snuggly winter clothes. I like skiing, damnit!

It really makes me wonder - so much change in the world for the worst in my 28 years of life already... what will my child have to see and go through during the course of his/her life? Chances are, he/she will live to see 2100 - what will Europe be like then? An endless desert in the formerly lush and rich environment? What are we doing with this world, that our children will have to deal with later? It really makes me scared for my baby and its future.

But! Back to baby, before I depress myself into stopping to write this entry entirely, and I still haven't talked about the organ screening. Needless to say, everything is perfectly alright with our Little One. Geo had it arranged so that he could join me in the hospital, which really was a special treat: he doesn't get to join me much to the ultrasound checks because of work, and this time he even got to see the high-res scan instead of the normal one. While the scan lasted, I wasn't sure if I should rather watch our child, or watch Geo watching our child. He was very taken by what he saw, and the clarity he saw it in.

I got a very good look at one leg, all the way from the hip down to the five little toesies, and they are already a bit chubby! I just wanted to nibble on that leg and love it and kiss it it, but I still have such a long wait ahead of me! It was simply amazing to see. The ultrasound technician, whom I told before that we don't want to know Baby's sex, kept himself away from the crotch (or at least he didn't linger there too much), but I am sure that he knows the sex now. It bothers me a bit that anybody in this world knows the big secret that we don't yet know ourselves, but then again I am proud of myself to still go through with it, and not to give in and ask just because I could have. But it really is getting difficult, I can tell you that! :)

Baby's heart (all four chambers!), kidneys, bladder, abdomen, spine, brain, and skeletal structure were checked, and everything was in perfect order. I was very, very happy to hear this, and in the end the technician even said: "You have a very beautiful baby."

Ha! Of course he says that to every expecting mother... but you know what??? It felt GOOD, and besides: since I WILL give birth to the most beautiful baby ever to have been born, I have to say: IN MY CASE HE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! :)

I got the most amazing photo, too. I strongly urge you to check out my ringo, this photo really is something else: a 3/4 view of the face, that shows very great detail! I was stunned when I saw it myself!

And speaking of detail: I also got myself an appointment for a 3D ultrasound scan. This has no diagnostic value whatsoever (and therefore I have to pay for it), but it'll leave me with a 3D video of my baby. I can bring my own recordable DVD, and I'll get to take it home with me to share it with everyone! Sure, it costs a lot of money, but it's a memory I would regret not to have later on, especially since we have the possibility to have it done in the first place. :)

I also signed up for birth gym class in the hospital - on time, so later on when it's time to go I have my reserved spot in there. I still need to sign up for the mommy-and-daddy preparation class, I haven't gotten a hold of anybody responsible yet. And I still need to sign up for a breastfeeding class, all of which are offered by my hospital. I still have a lot of time before any of these become relevant to me, but I rather take care of these matters now than to later discover that classes are full.

My parents came back home from their trip to Ireland last week as well, and brought their grandchild the cutest onesie as a gift! Slowly the pile of baby stuff that we are accumulating here is getting bigger... and I still have a whole 4 months to go! I love it though, it's the cutest thing, with a furry and soft teddy bear and a bunny rabbit embroidered into it, and it also comes with that same bunny rabbit as a stuffed toy. Thanks Mom and Dad! :)

Our letter project is also coming along nicely! Geo has cut them all out, I have sanded them off nicely, and gave them a white coat of paint. I have already designed some of them, and Geo has given them the right base color to put the little drawings on top later. We are still working hard, but we are having so much fun doing something so creative together for our child! I'll post a picture when we're done! :)

Okay... enough updates for one post. Have a great remainder of the weekend, everybody! Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 6th week before staying home from work for good! :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cloth Diapering and other Good Stuff - 21 weeks!

Well, I feel much better than yesterday. I completely cleaned (not to say freaking sterilized) our bathroom, done 3 weeks worth of grocery shopping, thawed, cleaned and restocked our freezer, cleaned our fridge, and done half of our laundry today.

I felt really accomplished, and was in a good mood all day. Thanks also to Dad to Be for his very sweet and kind words. :) I hope your wife doesn't put you through half of the emotional roller coaster as I put my poor husband through, I don't know how you guys can stand your pregnant wives! ;)

Anyway, today we have reached a full 21 weeks. Baby Gaga tells me that our baby now features REM sleep. Does that mean it can already have dreams? And if so... what does it dream about, I wonder? The feeling of mine and its Daddy's hand on my belly? The sound of my heart? My voice? All the love it must undoubtedly feel coming from its parents? It's such a nice thing to fantasize about... and it's such a real person thing to do, REM sleep. :)

I realize I haven't even talked about Thursdays gyn appointment yet! Of course I had another ultrasound done... I don't much care for all the other stuff he's checking (blood pressure, weight, cervix), but I feel like a little kid underneath the Christmas Tree when I am laying on that bed and he is applying the ultrasound gel to my belly. It is so wonderful and reassuring to see my little one wiggle about on the screen, and I am very happy to report that everything is very much alright. Baby measures to the day on where it "mathematically" should be - except for the tummy: that one already measures into next week. Undoubtedly its father's child! *laughs*

I only got a frontal view this time, no profile shot. I prefer the profile shots, seeing as at this stage the frontal view is still a little creepy - I am curious how cooperative baby will be on Monday, when we go into the hospital for the organ screening.

I was certain that my doctor will know the sex of our baby with the last appointment, but seeing as he knows that I don't want to know, he didn't check for himself either. I thought it was going to be obvious even for the layman at this stage, when the ultrasound catches a view of the crotch area - but I got several good and long looks at the crotch, and didn't see a thing. And that after looking at so many ultrasound pictures of the crotch area on the internet, and considering myself somewhat of a "specialist" now! LOL! I'll just have to be careful that the doctors in the hospital won't spill their beans on Monday - the ultrasound that they use is of a much higher resolution and therefore clarity!

The newest ultrasound pic is, as usual, uploaded to my ringo, for those of you on my friends list! :)

So today we took care of a very crucial matter: we went to pick up the set of cloth diapers, which we ordered last week at the Baby Expo. I feel very good with this decision. Not only did we get a € 100 voucher for cloth diapers from the city to promote the system (- from the department of trash disposal, that is - neat, huh!), but if you've ever done any research on the issue you will know that a) a child produces one ton(!) of garbage in disposable diapers until it is potty trained, and b) the savings in the family budget if you cloth-diaper amount to up to € 1.000 per child for the entire time span that diapers are needed! Amazing factoid, isn't it? I know it'll be a bit more work and effort on my part to deal with cloth diapers, but I certainly do think it is worth it! It feels like we have taken a very responsible and educated decision, and that makes me very happy. :)

We also stopped by Geo's favorite arts and crafts store, where be bought everything necessary for our newest project: baby's name cut out of wood, and painted nicely, for the nursery wall.

Now Geo is sitting and cutting out letters like a maniac. And yes, we're cutting out both the girl's AND the boy's name. Can you guess what they will be, from the letters on the paper? ;)

It feels really good doing little projects like these already. It makes Baby a very active part of our life already, and that's a great feeling if there ever was one. :)

To end today's post, I'll leave you with this astounding-beyond-words image, and corresponding story, which I have found circulating on the internet quite a bit when searching for pictures of 21 week old fetuses.

"My name is Michael Clancy and I am the photojournalist that photographed Samuel Armas reaching from his mother's womb and reacting to the touch of his surgeon at twenty-one weeks in utero during a spina bifida corrective procedure in 1999."

"Out of the corner of my eye I saw the uterus shake, but no one's hands were near it. It was shaking from within. Suddenly, an entire arm thrust out of the opening, then pulled back until just a little hand was showing. The doctor reached over and lifted the hand, which reacted and squeezed the doctor's finger. As if testing for strength, the doctor shook the tiny fist. Samuel held firm. I took the picture! Wow! It happened so fast that the nurse standing next to me asked, "What happened?" "The child reached out," I said. "Oh. They do that all the time," she responded."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mommy Blues... sorry, this will be long.

I am having another bad day today. I am not sure what brings on these mood swings, for I really have nothing to be sad about. Yet, here I am on the verge of tears. Is it anxiety? Performance angst when I think about my pending role as a mother and stay-at-home-wife?

I miss my husband like crazy - it's (another!) Friday night that he's spending at the office - uncompensated for. Yeah, it's almost 9pm. Our small apartment is a mess (- and believe me when I say that "mess" is a complete understatement), and I can't get myself to get up and clean. That, in turn, brings back my anxiety about my immediate future. I mean - I am not even able to provide Geo and I with a clean and nice place to live in - how can I possibly be ready to be a mom?!?!? And then there's cooking. I am completely helpless in the kitchen. I manage to cook pre-made food, heat up frozen pizza, and make instant-soups out of tomato powder. Yet I want to cook for my baby and not buy the processed baby food in jars - and I have no idea how to do it! And then... then there's this precious thing called "routine" and "rituals". I am dreaming of this set routine that will make my child's life nice and simple and predictable for a calmer existence, with set play time and sleep time and learning time and take-a-walk-time and whatnot, and nice going-to-bed-rituals with reading and singing and who-knows-what - yet I cannot even put my very OWN life into any kind of routine! I am chaotic, I am without a plan, and most of all I prefer lounging on the couch in front of the TV over most other things life has to offer. What kind of mom will I be?????

I am scared out of mind - especially since I know that I am aware of all these things, yet still unable to change anything about my attitude so far.

I want to be a good wife that has her baby under control, always in a fresh diaper, never hungry, well-routined and well-behaved, in a spotless and awesomely decorated apartment, who has managed to take care of baby swimming classes, a visit to the grandparents, a stroll through the park and all the day's shopping just before cooking her husband a good and well-deserved dinner when he comes home from work, that the whole family partakes in, before putting the baby to bed and then spending some nice husband-and-wife time together at night. In some fresh and nice wife-clothes, of course, with no baby puke or other mommy-stains on them.

But I am not even a good and organized person as I am. I hate the dirty dishes around me, and the carpet of cat hair on our carpet, and the dry clothes on the rack and the folded clothes on the dining table that nobody has yet bothered to put away, I HATE all that, yet I cannot get myself to get up and do anything about it. The bed is still ruffled from when we got up this morning, and all this makes me feel like complete failure before I have even started to BE this mom and stay-at-home-wife.

For the longest time, I have looked at pregnancy as my ticket out of my job. As a reminder: I love being a graphic designer, I just hate the place I currently work in. I imagined that the two years of maternity leave ahead of me will be heaven on earth, and that there couldn't be a more fulfilling and satisfying task than to care for your own baby full-time. When I got pregnant for the second time and passed the first trimester without any problems, I started to count the days I still would have to work - marking one off every day. I started at 100 days... I am down to 34 as of today. 34 work days before I take the leftover 4 weeks of my yearly vacation, right before my maternity leave kicks in for the next 2 years.

And you know what's happening now? The most unexpected thing! Instead of getting more and more excited about soon leaving this job behind, I get more and more afraid of that last day. I get scared of not making my usual paycheck anymore and providing for our little family (maternity leave money amounts to less than a third of my paycheck). I get scared of losing the ONE routine I have in my life: going to work every day. I get scared of spending my days leisurely at home, losing track of my responsibilities with the couch and the TV right there to lure me into my usual laziness. I get scared of disappointing my husband, when it turns out what a lousy wife and mother I will be.

I just don't feel cut out to be what it takes to be a good mother!!!

Yet here I sit, and feel my little angel kick its little feet against my from the inside, and wiggling around a bit, being here, being so present, being so REAL. Being the most precious thing ever to be in my life, being a little person that I love with all my heart, without even knowing her or him. Knowing nothing of my fears and worries, simply relying on me being there for it, relying on me to create a good home, a safe environment, give it all the knowledge it will need and ask for, making good memories - providing the great childhood that I remember my parents provided for me. It's just there... it's alive, it's growing, it's kicking its Mommy... and it has no clue how powerful it is, how mighty, how fear-inducing. How it reduced me to a shivering heap on the floor.

If I manage to be only half the mother that my mother was (and still is) to me, I will feel like I have done more than I ever thought I was capable of in life.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Good, no bad, and the extremely Ugly

The last days haven't exactly been emotionally very pretty for me. Maybe because of the compression-stockings news, but I don't even think so - I've been feeling pretty blue since about last weekend. It may have to do with the fact that I haven't felt my baby in several days, which is very hard to stomach after feeling the first flutters so clearly. I was convinced that something was wrong with my baby - and I cannot pinpoint why I would feel in such a horrible way.

So last Tuesday Auntie#R and I went to a medical supplies store, which brings me to the title of this post: THE UGLY. Replace "ugly" with "compression stockings", and you'll know why I started to feel even worse after I ordered 2 pairs of those. Aside from the looks - they are really not something you'd wanna wear during a hot summer, underneath your pants (and certainly not show them off with skirts or shorts, either!). They are so thick and heavy, they may as well be casts. :(

Well, I have another week to go without them, for I will have to ask my doctor for a prescription, with which I will get them cheaper by far (you don't even wanna know how much one pair of these costs!), and my next appointment is a week from today.

So I went home, feeling quite depressed, and full of (unfounded) worries over my baby. My heart-monitor turned out useless in face of my anterior placenta (all it does is amplify the sounds of the placenta, drowning out everything else), so here I was with no heart beat and no reassuring kicks, either.

I posed in my beloved babyforum about my worries, just wanting to vent a little bit - and here's where THE GOOD comes in. My new online friend (whom I mentioned here before) offered me her doppler, for me to pick up at her family's restaurant yesterday after work, for reassurance. Funny, I still haven't gotten to meet her in real life, but I already met her mom, and I am sitting at home with her doppler pressed against my tummy.

And oh, OH, how beautiful... the device picked up Baby's heartbeat in an instant! Strong and fast and regular... WITHOUT ANY DOUBT the most beautiful sound I have ever heard in all my life. It's one thing seeing the flutter on an ultrasound - but hearing it!!!

Geo came home earlier than expected, when I still stood with my pants down from listening, and before he could even take off his shoes I jumped at him and put the headphones on his ears.

We had a long and beautiful evening... Geo and I, and our little baby. :)

The reassurance and relief were immediate and extreme. I thank my online friend so much for lending me her doppler, for nobody can be quite as irrational and fear-struck as a pregnant woman.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Welcome to "How to be Properly Pregnant, Part 1".

Was I recently complaining about not having had any real symptoms and problems yet? Well, there must be a vengeful god afterall, for I was smitten immediately thereafter.

With what?

Ha! If you think you ever suffered from flatulence, try being pregnant and eating full-grain bread, because you want to pass the right nutrients down to your baby. As my general practicioner said yesterday: "How healthy can health food be, if you end up feeling miserable?" No shit, Sherlock. I have now scratched full-grain bread from my pregnancy diet altogether, for never again do I want to go through what I went through yesterday. I hope this was worse than labor will ever be (at least at this point I cannot imagine anything worse than yesterday), for if it wasn't I have just found out that my pain-threshold isn't what I thought it to be, and I'll be whimpering and begging for a PDA at my very first contraction. My stomach was so bloated that even my doc's eyes, upon examining it, widened. My diaphragm was compressed to the point that I couldn't breathe and felt extreme pressure on my heart. I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand. Moving caused me extreme pain, but so did remaining still. It was pure agony, and I just yapped at my doc to "please, HELP ME!!!!"

Thank that smiting god for modern western medicine.

Alas... not enough! During my general exam, where my doc made sure that I, in fact, had teeth in my mouth, and a functioning skeleton, and a "normal" abdomen, and 4 extremities, and an okay blood pressure, and normal-sized lymph-nodes, he also discovered that - SHOCK! - I am very prone to varicose veins, and that therefore I will have to spend this summer, fueled by the fires of hell, with my legs stuck into tight vene-compressing stockings. Until. I give. Birth.


In Summer!

Every day!

My very first real pet-pregnancy ailment. I was so shocked and horrified over the prospect of tight and thick stockings all throughout hell-summer, that not even the fact that I had to grab for C-cups instead of my normal Bs later on when I went to buy some pregnancy bras, could cheer me up anymore.

Now, look at me, here I am, rapidly approaching the sixth month of my first pregnancy, growing black hairs on my stomach, having to shave my legs practically once ever half hour, developing a nice case of lady-beard on my chin, wearing incredibly un-sexy pregnancy bras for support and to avoid any more stretch marks on my breasts than I already got, which go along greatly with the bag-like maternity pants I am wearing, squishy feet the size of watermelons, and sweating to death in my new and shiny grandma-stockings against varicose veins!

Life is just grand.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Letter to Booger, 19th Week

My love! It's been a while since my last update... shame on me and my lack of communication, even though something so important and amazing has happened to us this week! You seem to have undergone a real growing spurt, not only are people starting to comment on you expanding my belly - but I have already started to feel your flutters, and this time I am fairly certain that it's you, and not just some erratic gas bubble!

(I am so very sorry for ever having confused you with an inner fart in the first place a few weeks ago, I guess you can blame my over-eagerness and vivid imagination for this.)

It happened on the way from the after-church shindig at the winery to the reception at your Uncle Bern and your new Aunt Bee's wedding last Saturday. Hey, and despite my full intention to drink one glass of red wine, I didn't get around to do it - the anti-alcoholic fresh grape-juice was just too good and refreshing for me to even consider anything else. Besides, at this scorching heat a single glass of wine would have successfully knocked me out for the rest of the day, so it was fine.

Oh, and about church? Baby, I am very sorry to say that, despite all my good intentions, you have been prenatally exposed to one - and not just for architecture-appreciation either. Oh my, it's been years and years since I last attended any kind of church service, and needless to say I felt extremely uncomfortable in there, and not just because of the very pregnancy-unfriendly narrow wooden church bench. Oh, the sacrifices we take for our loved ones. I even had an active part in the service: I performed a reading for the couple in front of the 100 or so church attendees. Into a microphone. You can almost certainly already hear my voice - so I don't have to tell you about how horrible that must have sounded, church echo and all. Good for me, though, I could convince your Auntie Bee that my text needn't be out of the Bibble, so I felt a lot more comfortable with a nice (and quite worldly) text that I was able to pick out for them on my own (and according to my own convictions). I think I did very well in the end - but of course I had to with you right there with me for support. :)

Your Daddy? He was so exhausted from the previous night when I sent him to the pharmacy 3 times after midnight because of my allergy, that he dozed off sitting right next to me, slowly swaying back and forth with his eyes closed and mouth slightly agape, much to your grandfather's amusement, who sat across the aisle and couldn't stop silently cracking up everytime he looked over to us, instead of focusing on the wedding.

Anyway... back to you, my love. It got way too hot, and Bern and Bee have been with their photographer way too long, and since I was hot and crabby and your Dad was hot and sleep-deprived, we decided along with Auntie#R to pack up and go take a little nap in our room until the party would arrive at the reception. This was a great idea, seeing as our room was just above the reception hall, which was very convenient.

On the short drive from the winery to the hotel it happened, right in the middle of your father talking. I felt the tiniest of punches, and this time I was quite certain, because a gas bubble has never sent me jerking upright with surprise, and it never tickled in such a way, either. I squealed in delight, interrupting your father in mid-sentence, which caused several strange glances from both your Dad and your Aunt in my direction.

You haven't made another attempt until the second day after that, but ever since then I am feeling you quite regularly, and around the same times of the day. In the last days you seem to be getting active when I am sitting in the office, particularly around mid-afternoon, and then again later in the early evening. Sometimes you are gently "fluttering" against me, and ever since yesterday it feels like you are sliding something against me - I am guessing your foot, since I always feel this at the same spot, and that spot corresponds with all of the ultrasounds we have seen of you so far, which show your head on my right side, and your feet on my left.

I find all of this quite exciting, it makes you so much more present on a more constant basis, and I hope your Daddy can be a part of this soon as well. I am sure you'll grow big and strong enough soon to kick your Daddy's hand on my tummy - I really encourage you to, you have no idea how impatient he is for this ever since I told you about your first real flutters. He's so excited over you, I really cannot wait to see you in his arms. :)

And soon, too! Well, relatively, that is. Can you believe that a week from tomorrow we're halfway through our time together? Maybe it's a bit too early for this, but I am starting to feel a bit restless, I want to run out and buy everything you will need already, and more, but I am restraining myself, because I am sure we'll get many things from our friends that already have had children. It also bothers me that we still have a few months to wait for our new apartment. I am sitting at home wanting to start sorting through our things already and packing everything neatly into boxes for the move, but that's ridiculous. To at least get a little bit done, I have thrown out old clothes that I don't need anymore, along with about 10 pairs of shoes - and, as you will agree once you really get to know me - that's a very big deal for me. Thing is, I think I am just anxious to get started on your nursery. I have the urge to paint it, to pick out cute wall decorations, to furnish it, buy curtains, decorate the hell out of the room, find my own old childrens books and put them neatly into your shelf so we can read for you out of them later on, pass my favorite stuffed toys on to you, find a nice cover for the changing table and stack all kinds of diapers and diapering accessories on it, buy a baby bouncer for the living room and get the crib from my friend to put into our own bedroom. I already want to have a bottle warmer in the kitchen, and several pacifiers for you in store, and buy a ton of baby wipes and those cute little baby brushes for your silky hair. I want to have the stroller waiting outside our door, I want to go to the Spanish bookstore down the street of the office and see if they have any Spanish toddler books to buy, and if not ask your Mexican grandma to ship us some. And not to forget the rocking chair! I want the rocking chair already with the comfortable leg-rest for your room, on which I plan to breast-feed you just as any Hollywood movie mothering clichée wants me to.

Yet I have no nursery yet to furnish and decorate for you. I have to wait for the new apartment... how long, I have no idea. August? September? They don't seem to know when construction will be finished themselves, and I hate to be in such limbo, unable to make any meaningful plans. And there is so much yet to take care of, before we can really settle in our new family home. Some things of which cause me a really big headache just by thinking about them.

But none of this is of any concern to you... you just take care of your growing and your kicking, and when you are born, you will have a cute and comfortable nursery and everything your little baby-self may ever need ready and waiting for you. And most of all your loving parents.

Loving you very, very much,