Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s…me!

My husband and I recently finished watching the first season of the television series “Heroes” on DVD. We have found that renting TV series and watching them after the kids go to bed is really the only way to enjoy them. There are very few prime time shows that are suitable for children, and “Heroes” is definitely unsuitable. While we found the premise and storyline both interesting and entertaining, we were disappointed at how graphically violent the show can be. It was also overtly sexual at times. I find it shocking and amazing what they can show on network television at 8:00 at night. But that’s another discussion for another time, and at all not where I’m going with this post.

The story of “Heroes” involves ordinary people who discover they have extraordinary abilities, such as being able to spontaneously heal yourself, being able to hear things that are happening 40 miles away, even being able to fly. It got me to thinking about some of the extraordinary things that happen to ordinary women during pregnancy.

Besides the occasional uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach and the frequent exhaustion, there are some beneficial things happening to me as well. I may not be able to hear what is happening in the next county, but I can smell things that others cannot. Sometimes that can be pretty cool. Other times, especially when combined with that previously mentioned “uncomfortable feeling”, it can be nauseating. Either way, it’s extraordinary. And while I may not be able to instantly heal any injuries I may sustain, studies have shown that there may be an increase in immunity during pregnancy. A healthy baby needs a healthy environment in which to develop, so that stronger immune system helps keep mama from getting sick. Extraordinary! In addition, Miss M is amazed by my fingernails lately. I have never really had fingernails. They grow very slowly and weakly (and usually just get chewed off during a tense episode of “Heroes”.) However, they have been growing longer and stronger every day. Miss M and I both find this extraordinary.

I realize that a good sniffer, long nails and a heightened resistance to the common cold are not going to help me save the world. But I think that any woman who grows another person within her body is a hero. Not that I want to complain, but it does take a bit of work to make sure that little person is safe and strong in there. There are restrictions on certain foods, drinks and activities that would not otherwise exist. There's the weight gain, the heartburn, the mood swings, etc. (Don't you want to call and thank your mother?) Many women endure months of morning sickness, fatigue and even bed rest to make sure their babies have the best possible beginnings. If that’s not heroic, I’m not sure what is.

Now, if only I could get that flying thing to work.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bike Rides, Soccer, and Peanut Butter

A lot has happened since my last post. I guess that’s what happens when you wait so long to write. I went to Columbia with three of my sisters-in-law for the MS Bike Ride. I was not allowed to ride per the doctor’s instructions, but I decided to go along and volunteer at one of the rest stops along the way. It wasn’t the same as riding, and I was WAY jealous of my three companions who did get to ride, but I am very glad that I went nonetheless. Thanks to all of you who donated to support me and my team. And for those who haven’t yet, there’s still time to make a difference! Donate to Team Reddy here.

When I returned from Columbia I was able to celebrate my birthday with my family (and YES, my husband did get me presents). I was also able to watch Big D play in a soccer game for the first time. It was actually quite exciting. He was the goalie for the first half and he was pretty good too! His team didn’t win, but Big D had so much fun playing. And, of course, that’s the important thing.

On Tuesday of last week, our old dog Scully passed away. She had been getting progressively sicker over the past month and a half. She had lost the use of one of her back legs and the other wasn’t far behind. If she managed to get herself down the stairs, she had to be carried back up. She was vomiting almost constantly and wetting on the living room carpet as well. After she passed I got the comforting feeling that she could now run again in doggy heaven, that she was no longer in pain, and that maybe she’d see her old pal, Kenobi – our first dog. It was her time.

We had already been thinking of adding another dog to the family before Scully passed away (preparing for her inevitable departure). There was one dog in particular at the Humane Society that we were interested in. We went to meet her and decided she was a good fit for the Zoo. She reminded us a lot of our first dog, Kenobi. She has the same eyes and some of the same markings on her face. She is two years old and housetrained (Alleluia!) She’s still very playful, and big enough that she knocks the kids over sometimes without meaning to. She’s a real sweetheart, although she seems to be protective of her new house, since she barks at people and other dogs that go by. The kids named her Peanut Butter.

It helped with the loss of our old dog to have Peanut Butter around. Because our previous dogs were both older by the time children came along, our kids have never had a dog that would actually play with them. They are having as much fun with her as she is with them.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

It’s Really There!

I’m still here, in case you were wondering. I know it’s been a while since I posted our awesome news, and now I feel the need to elaborate a bit. The disbelief has finally worn off. There were 3 or 4 days between the time we took the pregnancy tests and the time that I actually spoke with the OB. Those were four days where my husband and I had a little secret – one that we weren’t even sure was true. After I was finally able to speak to the nurse practitioner at the OB’s office, I was only slightly assured by her confidence that I was pregnant. I still had nearly two weeks to wait in between talking to her and actually seeing the doctor. We began telling our family and friends a little over a week ago, thinking it would make the pregnancy seem more real, but a part of me kept wondering if I would have to tell all of these people it was all a mistake.

On Tuesday, we not only went in for a doctor visit, but also for an ultrasound. It was then that we were able to see the living proof:

Believe it or not, that fuzzy little peanut shaped object is our baby at a little over 7 weeks gestation. He/She measures 1.2 centimeters from “head to rump”, roughly the size of a pinto bean. The baby’s little heart was beating strong at 150 bpm. We even got to hear it on the monitor. At that point, I must admit, I was finally and thoroughly convinced that I was pregnant.

I guess I should consider myself lucky that I needed all that convincing. Because it means that I have not been experiencing some of the more common (and unpleasant) side effects of pregnancy, like morning sickness. I didn’t feel any nausea at all with Miss M and so far there has been very little with this baby, unless I go too long without eating. I have had days where I am completely exhausted, but that happens to me occasionally anyway – I have four kids, remember?

Today is my birthday, which I mention only because of how it relates to this whole pregnancy thing. You see, several people have mentioned what a wonderful birthday gift this baby is. While I agree that it is wonderful and it is a gift, I do not agree with the implication that my husband is exempt from getting me a birthday gift. Nice try, honey. Now, you’d better get to the store!!