Baby Davy: a 3D ultrasound of our baby at only 12 weeks! Technology is amazing...

Baby Davy: a 3D ultrasound of our baby at only 12 weeks!  Technology is amazing...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Getting Bigger...

It seems that in the past week I've really turned a corner. I'm not quite in the 3rd trimester as I have two more weeks to go, but I can't believe how big I'm getting and how I am beginning to slow down with all the things I used to be able to do quickly. Today when I was in town, 3 different women asked me when I was due!!! People are finally starting to assume that I'm pregnant and not just fat! Haha! I have to admit, I am enjoying the extra bit of attention. It is hard to believe that I still have three more months of this condition before we get to meet "Baby Davy" face to face. I am loving every minute of it however. It is a most amazing miracle to realize there is a real human being growing in there- a human being with a body, a soul, a personality, unique features, a sense of humor, likes and dislikes, and even a vocation! I often wonder: am I carrying a future priest or nun? A future mom or dad? Dan and I pray for Baby every day that he or she will grow strong and healthy and become the man or woman God is calling him/her to be! We can't wait to find out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lent and the Taking of Blood...

Today I am 25 weeks pregnant! Things are definitely starting to turn a corner as far as how I'm feeling. I'm starting to move a bit slower, my last pair of non-pregnancy pants officially don't fit anymore and sleeping is starting to become a bit uncomfortable as my options for sleeping positions diminish. (Sleeping on my stomach is out; sleeping on my back is newly out also as there is too much weight on it.)

Today is also Ash Wednesday, and as practicing Catholics, Dan and I have always observed today as a day of fasting and abstinence from meat. In other words, normally I would be joining Dan today in skipping meat and only eating one regular meal for the day. As I pregnant woman, I researched what the Church has to say about pregnant women fasting during Lent, and I found that I'm off the hook! Apparently I fall under the category of "aged or infirm" so the usual fasting rules don't apply. I was thinking of sacrificing something else or doing some extra good work today in place of it. Maybe I'll offer it up for my unborn child. :)

Yesterday Dan and I met with our midwife for another monthly appointment. This time we met her in the "Queen Mary Maternity Center" in the Dunedin Hospital where we'll go when it's time to deliver Baby. Everything still checks out well- we listened again to Baby's heartbeat (around 140 bpm), she took my usual vitals and had a chat about how things are going. Also, she measured me with a tape measure for the first time to record how big I'm getting! I thought, "Hey, am I a pregnant lady or a turkey being fitted to the pan for roasting?!" It was quite humorous. Just before we left, she noticed that my ankles are starting to swell. I had actually forgotten to tell her about that. Apparently, that's one of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia (the older generation might know it as 'toxemia'). The other symptoms are high blood pressure, headaches, and abdominal pain, but I don't have any of those. Anyway, I hate needles. I have never been good at dealing with them. Yesterday, our midwife wanted to get a blood sample to rule out pre-eclampsia but no matter how many times I was stuck with a needle, she just wasn't having any luck taking blood! She even tried taking blood from the back of my hand!!!! Let's just say I was not enjoying myself and was very unhappy. Finally, we gave up and just took a walk down to the good old Dunedin blood lab and had it done there. So easy!!!! I didn't hardly feel a thing which I did NOT complain about. Afterwards, Dan was pitying me so much that he took me out to lunch at a restaurant of my choice. I picked this Indian place we like to go to. The Lamb Vindaloo was AMAZING.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Backstory on our pregnancy

I thought today maybe I'd give you a little of a backstory on our first pregnancy since we're already more than halfway through it! We found out about our little miracle only 3 weeks after arriving in New Zealand. It was early spring (in New Zealand, that is!) and we were temporarily living in an ancient, drafty student house in Dunedin because our house-sitting opportunity on the peninsula wasn't available until October 1 and it was currently only September at the time. It was a bit of a rough landing for us in this new country and we were mostly on our own. No car, no maps, no info on neighborhoods or landmarks. We didn't even know where a grocery store was at first! In the midst of trying to get our footing and adjust to the new culture and time zone, there was also this growing awareness that I might in fact, be pregnant also. I was already in the habit of taking my temperature every morning so we could look for a pattern that would indicate pregnancy. (This is a common practice in Natural Family Planning, sometimes also called The Fertility Awareness Method.) Sure enough, after 21 days of high morning temperatures, we were pretty sure about what was going on. We became more and more excited as the days continued to tick by. We thought it would be a good idea to take a test, even though we mostly already knew. After taking the test, I came back downstairs where Dan was waiting to hear. "Dan, you're a daddy!" I said with a big grin. "I am?! Really?!" We were both so completely happy! It was a feeling not unlike the moment Dan asked me to marry him- complete joy.

In the next few days, we began reading all about pregnancy and babies. I contacted a New Zealand friend's mother who is a doctor, who gave me advice about what to do- what to eat, what not to eat, activities to avoid, how to exercise, etc. She also put me in touch with a midwife, since using a midwife is free in this country, and hardly anyone goes to an obstetrician here. In New Zealand, the general thought is, "Pregnancy is a natural function, not a disease" so medical intervention seems to be minimal here. I've decided I like that approach to pregnancy, especially in low risk cases like mine, and that sentiment has informed my thoughts about how I'd like to go through these 9 months and how I think labor and delivery ought to be. More on that some other time.

At first we kept it a secret from our families because we had a brilliant idea on how to tell them the news. We bought a ball of yarn - 1 for Dan's parents and 1 for mine. We sent each to them in a plain mailing envelope without an explanation. When our parents received the packages, we made sure we were on the phone with them to listen to them open them up. At first, they were quite confused and said, "Dan and Julie, what's this yarn for?" Our answer was, "That's for you, Grandma, so you can start knitting baby booties!" Both sets of parents were overjoyed and I think I can speak for them when I say they are so tremendously excited to be grandparents for the first time!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Preggie Belly Pictures!

Summer in Dunedin's Botanical Gardens,
January 1, 2010. I am about 18 weeks in this one.

She is the Preggie. Don't mess.
(This has been a public service announcement from Dan)

21 weeks pregnant

23 weeks

23 weeks

First Post Ever

Thank you for coming to view our baby blog! We thought that since we are all the way Down Under and unable to share this beautiful time with you, perhaps it might be a good idea to keep you posted, even in a small way, about our transition and progress to parenthood! We do miss you all dearly, and hope you'll stop by our blog often to catch up! Make sure to vote on whether you think it's a boy or girl! Scroll down to the bottom and post your best guess about what the name might be! Yes, we did find out at our 20 week scan about our baby's gender, however that's just one big secret isn't it?! We've also decided on a first and middle name, but obviously that too will be under lock and key until the big day! All I can say is that our baby's name was decided upon within the first week (one option for a boy and another for if it's a girl) after we found out I was pregnant- there was very little need for discussion. In any event, we'll be very entertained by your guesses!

Today marks the beginning of my 24th week of pregnancy. I'm feeling great and enjoying life here in New Zealand. Dan is the best husband a lady could ever ask for- with my growing need for help in carrying groceries, walking up the stairs or tying my shoes, Dan is ever insistent on making sure I am taken care of. Now that I'm only 4 weeks away from entering the 3rd trimester, I am really starting to get quite a baby bump! Thanks to my dear mom who sent a "baby band" for Christmas, I am able to still fit into a few pairs of pre-pregnancy shorts and pants. Not sure how long I'll be able to keep that up, as things are expanding at an alarming rate.