Archives for the month of: March, 2012

We can’t seem to find the perfect name, and it isn’t for lack of trying.  We have a few ideas, but nothing that we both agree is the one.  It actually gets on my nerves sometimes when people press me about it, because I consider her name such a personal decision that really is between Chris and me… yet at the same time, it’s fun to hear others’ suggestions and play around with it.

I feel I am the connoisseur of names, while Chris is not quite the expert.  I am trying to teach him the ropes, by sending him articles that speak to my viewpoint.  For example, I stumbled across an article called the Seven Deadly Sins of Naming or something like that, and it discussed in detail current trends that have gone overboard and expressed my sentiments exactly!

Our baby needs a name that will stand the test of time.  I’d hate for her or I to regret her name down the road.  I’m trying to choose something that is us and that I would have loved 10 years ago and will love just as much 10 years from now.  That means not being victim to whims or trends.  But it’s hard.  It’s hard to choose something unusual and classic, meaningful and fun.  It also has to work with the last name Cobb.

We’ll get it eventually.  When we do, we probably won’t announce it until her birth.

Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments section!

I’m pretty sure our baby will be born in June, since she’s due June 22 and our doctor won’t let us go more than one week overdue without inducing. She will either be a Gemini or a Cancer.  I was curious what her birthstone would be.  There are several acceptable birthstones for June babies, so she can have her pick.  According to this poem,

Who comes with summer to this earth

And owes to June her hour of birth,

With rings of agate on her hand

Can health, wealth, and long life command.

But according to modern standards, her birthstones are alexandrite, pearl, and moonstone.  I want to get her a little pearl baby bracelet.  My nieces Bella and Abby both started wearing bracelets and bows as newborns, so by now they’re used to them.  Abby won’t even leave the house without her accessories, and Bella doesn’t seem to notice her soft stretchy headbands with flowers as she pushes her toys all around the house.  Like ladies should be, they seem totally at ease with feminine adornment.  Meanwhile, I’m always worried about clutter, or trying too hard.  I think embracing accessories is fun!  But I can’t seem to fight my minimalist nature.  There’s something so perfect about a naked baby.  Do you hear my internal struggle?

Happy 27 Weeks, and Happy Third Trimester!  We are now entering the ZONE.  The THIRD ZONE.  The one where suddenly the smugness is wiped right off my face as I attempt my rubberband trick for the last time.  These jeans aren’t coming together.  I wish I had a mumu.  This does’t feel cute anymore.

My pregnancy has indeed played out like clockwork, each symptom falling perfectly into place when my doctor said it might.  Morning sickness?  Subsided around 15 weeks.  Kicking? Began at 12:01am 18 weeks on the dot.  Me feeling like a clumsy, moaning whale?  Why, it started this week – just in time for the third trimester!

As I reflect on the previous two trimesters, I arrive at a few conclusions about them.

The first trimester.  I’m speaking for myself, but I can only assume others have felt the same way.  When you first find out you’re pregnant (assuming this is a happy discovery, planned or not) you are filled with amazement that this miracle, this epitome of being a woman, is happening to you!  Yes, you actually can get pregnant, and now you are officially a mother.  It’s an amazing feeling.  But you are also somewhat numb.  The news is way too big for you to comprehend, so you spend the first trimester keeping it a secret from most people while you struggle to believe it.  You expect it to be taken away. The possibility of miscarriage is real.  You’re basking in the newness of your news, while being protected from the enormity of what it will mean for your life by a merciful cocoon of…shock.  If you’re like me, you eventually experience morning sickness that feels like it will never, ever end and you think “pregnancy is miserable and no one ever told me.”  Meanwhile, you steal secret moments in a warm bath with your hands on your (still flat) belly thinking of the life inside.  You temporarily forget your nausea in baby stores where itty bitty dresses and onsies put a big smile on your face.  You long for the second trimester and wonder if it could possibly be the honeymoon everyone says it is.

The second trimester.  It is a honeymoon!  In the second trimester, you no longer feel amazed and in shock that you were able to get pregnant.  You’ve accepted that and you’re kind of over that part.  But, you no longer need that amazed, numb state to get you through the morning sickness and anxiety because you’re feeling better physically and mentally.  This is happening. Your ducks are in a row (kind of), your belly is starting to show, and you want the world to know.  Not to mention, there are so many fun firsts that happen during the second trimester.  Besides the amazement of watching your belly grow, you get to feel the first kicks – probably the best part about being pregnant.  Your ultrasound reveals something that actually looks like a baby (not a gummy bear), and you get to find out if you’re having a girl or boy!  You register, you start buying a few things, and you think about names.  You do all this while feeling energetic and very much like yourself, except that you have a small (read: still cute) belly as evidence you’re expecting.  For Chris and I, amid all this bliss we grew closer and our relationship grew stronger than it has ever been.

My honeymoon period (2nd tri) ended so abruptly, with a fight and a horrible bug that felt more like the flu– how cruel!  I hope this isn’t a premonition of the next three months.  We will have to wait and see!  For now, here’s the 27-week rundown.  Welcome to the Third Trimester!

Baby’s size: a Chinese cabbage, or, 14.8 inches long and 2.25 lbs!

Symptoms: heartburn, charlie horses in my calves and feet, a growing belly that won’t fit into my clothes, and a little more tired this week but that could be due to the cold I had.

What I miss: summer. the beach. Luckily warm weather has arrived! But I’m wondering how I’ll handle being cooped inside come June, when by now I am itching to get out!

Best moment of the week: Hmm. It wasn’t a good week overall but I will say one of the better moments was when I couldn’t get to sleep and Chris brought me cough syrup and tums and tucked me into bed with instructions not to use all the covers because I’d get too hot, and not to wash the tums down with water because I’d ruin their effectiveness, making for the first night of decent sleep I had all week.

 

ImageSo this morning I saw the above and I guess I have what is called the “linea nigra,” or that little line that runs down the middle of your belly when you’re pregnant.  It fades after pregnancy.  I was wondering if maybe I just wouldn’t get it.  But here it appears to be, faintly.

Baby’s Size:  She’s a Chinese Cabbage.  Or, according to Baby Bump, 14 inches and 1.75 lbs.  And I can see she (and I) are getting bigger.

Symptoms:  Oh boy.  Okay, one unfortunate symptom I realized I’ve been forgetting to tell you about is the red rash/breakout? that appeared on my cheeks when I got pregnant and then never went away no matter how faithful I am about washing my face at night.

Also, I’ve started to get heartburn and have a little trouble sleeping, worrying about staying on my side at night.

I wake up during the night with cramps up and down my legs and feet so I have to get out of bed, stand up, and flex to get rid of them (then they come back later).

And the rubber band trick no longer works (though I do have one pair of jeans that fits so very comfortably sans even a rubberband – so there!).  I was forced to buy a belly band which i hate.  I need to go through my spring clothes and see what I’m working with.

What I miss:  Nothing too much.  Sometimes I get scared about the permanence of this big responsibility – yet I can’t say that I miss not having that responsibility looming, and the good far outweighs the bad at this point.

Best moments of the week:  Easy.


And staying up late to make these with my gorgeous, thoughtful, smart sister-in-law Kate and her sister-in-law Jami while running our mouths as girls do.

And coming in from our long day of travel to find a big pile of presents for the baby waiting for us.  Plus cooking with Kate (we share a lot in common) every night for the guys.  Taking Bella on wagon rides and looking back to see her smiling and holding on tight to her big stuffed Smurfette.  Going for runs down by the lake they live on.  One particular moment with Bella when she gave me this certain look with her head tilted that totally won me over!

Worst moment(s) of the week:  Unfortunately,  this week there is a worst moment or two.  Chris and I having about three fights, our first in a long, long time.  If I’m not supposed to talk about that stuff on my blog, too bad, because I hate those blogs that make life seem so perfect and don’t mention anything bad that happens.  That’s just not reality and I want you to know that when I say life is good I mean it, so I’ll tell you when it isn’t all roses too so you know you can trust me to be real with you.

Other “worst moment.”  The very day we left Nevada I got nailed with a nasty virus.  The kind where you run a fever and feel achy all over and horribly sore throat, painful cough, etc.  In fact – I threw up – on Chris – ON THE PLANE.  Perhaps this was the perfect payback for our fights?  Listen, I normally love turbulence, but the nausea from my virus did not love it.

After which, we arrive home in Atlanta and I go to bed with the knowledge that I must wake up in the morning and make the decision of whether or not to go to work.

What??, you say.  Why would you go to work so obviously sick?  Because I’ve told you before about how this job is new, and I’m trying to make sure it lasts because I love it, and after being gone for an entire week from a job I just started, I was scared to stay home yet another day.  I dragged myself out of bed, freezing and sweating, throat aching, and went to work.  Yeah, I worried about getting others sick!  But I was more concerned about keeping my job at this critical time in my life than I was getting others sick, to be blunt.

But this story has a happy ending!  I ended up making it through the day just fine.  In fact – I was happy to be back.  That’s a good job, people.  And it turns out I had nothing to worry about, because they told me if I was sick I can work from home, no big deal.  So tomorrow if I’m still feeling this way that’s what I’ll do.  I love my job.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to settle down on the couch in my pjs with a bowl of the vegetable soup I made myself tonight.  Sans Chris (he’s in New York for a couple days for work) and Meeks (he’s still with my parents after our trip).

Just my baby and me.

Baby’s Size: 13.5 inches.  Anybody ever seen a rutabaga over a foot long?  Yeah, me neither.  She weighs around 1.5 lbs now.

Symptoms: Sleeping is getting a little more particular. Meaning it no longer feels right to sleep on my back, because I can literally feel (or at least I imagine I feel) the baby’s weight and I worry it’s pressing down on other organs or arteries.  So then I have to sleep on my side, but then I either tip too far forward and feel like I’m crushing her (she actually starts kicking) or I tip back onto my back.  Remember that huge blue pregnancy pillow I bought?  It’s so worthless.  My solution?  I put a pillow between my legs, and I use Chris as my back support.  It works perfectly.  But often ends on me scooting against him throughout the night until he ends up hanging off the edge of the bed and I’m in the middle.

What I Miss: I dunno, I guess sometimes I’d like to be super thin and wear a short dress and go to a festival and drink a margarita.  It will come in time.  I don’t see myself as a frumpy momma.  I feel young.

Best Moment of the Week:  Wednesday, I drove down to Mary and Zach’s for the night.  I always love seeing my niece and nephew.  I got to have a good little conversation with Abby while she took her bath.  She must have just learned from someone how to tell stories in chronological order and create suspense.  So, using modifiers like “then” and “next” she told me the very deliberate story of how she put on her clothes, went outside, walked down the steps…and FELL!!! about 6 times. At 3, she’s getting smarter and smarter and she seems to “get things” in her own little way.  She’s a funny little personality and I love her to bits.

Nolan helps build my confidence about taking care of our own baby.  He’s such a sweet baby!  He is so easy to make smile.  But just like any baby, he gets frustrated at times and screams and screams!  I am usually able to snatch him up, cuddle him and sooth him until he quiets down right away and looks up at me with his big expressive blue eyes.  There is something about a crying baby that makes me go running to make them feel better.  I just can’t control myself.

I’m Looking Forward to:  So many things!  Tomorrow, Chris and I leave for Nevada to visit his brother and sister-in-law (so, really my brother-in-law and sister-in-law) Steve and Kate, and our one-year-old niece Isabella.  The last time we saw Bella in person she was 6 months old, and the time before that she was a newborn.  I’m so excited to see her, play with her, and get to know her more.  Her personality at 6 months old was very confident, chill, sweet, and just fun.  Kate says her personality has come out even more since then.  I have been able to watch her grow up in a way, thanks to Facebook.  But we’re really looking forward to snuggling with her and spending time with everyone.

Kate and I plan to spend lots of girl time cooking, shopping, running, etc. while the brothers spend some quality time together skiing.  Steve is a TOTAL daredevil so I have already prepped Chris to not let Steve put him in any life-threatening situations like last time.  I highly doubt he will listen to me though.  Anyway, we’ll be there an entire week and we’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time!

What else I’m looking forward to:  Lately I’ve been giving some thought to the actual day at the hospital when we meet our daughter.  I’ve thought about the people I’d love to have around me during the process and after.  For the actual delivery, I want it to be a sacred moment that only Chris and I share.  For labor though, which can be a long process, I have no problem with my mom, Chris’s stepmom Margaret, my sisters Mary and Laurie, and my sister-in-law Kate being there.  In fact, from where I’m standing now the idea seems pretty awesome.  Of course, you never know how labor will go.  It could be short, or horribly long and painful, or I could have a c-section.  I’m trying to prepare for anything.

After our daughter is born, I do know that I want a little time just Chris and I to absorb the moment privately and stare at our new family member.  Then, the more the merrier!  I want everyone to hold her (after they wash their hands of course) so she can begin getting used to her wonderful new family right away.

There’s one special person in particular I have in mind.  I really want Abby to be there and sit on my hospital bed with me and hold her new cousin.  Abby, at 3 years old, was in a sense my first “baby.”  She’s the one who first taught me that having kids might be a good idea after all.  It may sound silly to say this about a 3 year old, but I really can’t imagine her not being there for that moment when it comes!

Chris and I have such a small place, I feel sorry for anyone who offers to come stay with us and help out.  Yet, I really hope they will.  I’m a little scared.  But excited.

Baby’s size:  At 22 weeks she was a spaghetti squash.  At 23 weeks she was mango.  At 24 weeks she is an ear of corn. Is she shrinking?  Let’s go with measurements: supposedly she’s about 13 inches long.  I’ve seen pictures of 24-week old babies in the baby intensive care unit where my sister works.  They’re tiny, obviously, but they’re a decent size.  They look like babies.  Very small, fragile babies.  So I know that my girl looks like a real baby now, which is truly incomprehensible when I think that all that separates me from her is a layer of skin…

Wait a second, what am I saying?  Nothing separates me from her.  She’s inside of me.  She kind of is me.  And Chris, which means I’m carrying a living being inside me that is literally made out of Chris and me.  How come no matter how many women over the course of man’s time on earth have reproduced, it still feels so special and miraculous when it happens to you?

Symptoms:  None, really.  I am full of energy and have no odd food cravings or aversions.  I feel 100% like myself except that my belly is definitely getting bigger and my baby is getting stronger.  Her kicks are getting more visible and powerful by the day.  I try to record the insane movements my belly makes but as soon as I turn on the camera, naturally she stops!  So you’ll just have to trust me.  My belly looks like something out of the movie The Exorcist.

Weight gain:  Again, I’m at 9 lbs and holding.  Still using the rubberband trick for my jeans.  It seems to work just fine.  I think I’ll be able to get away without buying much specifically “maternity” stuff since spring and summer are just around the corner.  I can’t wait to wear cute flowy dresses and wedges.  Maybe that’s the optimistic second trimester-er speaking, who hasn’t yet had to deal with swollen ankles…? We’ll see.

Random Thoughts on Pregnancy:  Something I find odd is how people ask me constantly how I’m doing.  First trimester, I guess I didn’t find this so odd since I constantly complained about how bad I felt.  Now, I may as well not be pregnant except for this gut I’m carrying around.  So when people ask how I’m doing, I really want to deflect the question because it makes me feel like someone who should be pitied when really I just want to be treated like a normal person.  That’s one of the things I’ve noticed about being pregnant – I fear being discriminated against or treated differently.  I don’t want to be viewed as someone who has a handicap and I don’t want to be excluded from anything.  I don’t know if this actually happens, but I fear it anyway, especially at work.  I definitely get stared at a lot anywhere I go.  When I order a short skim cappuccino (that’s one shot of espresso people – much less caffeine than a small cup of coffee, I might add, which I am allowed according to my doctor and scientific evidence) from Starbucks, I get the “You want that decaf?” question.

Heck no I don’t want it decaf!  If I wanted something without caffeine I’d drink water, not decaffeinated coffee.  I do feel worried when I drink the coffee but, well, I drink it anyway, because it makes my day SO much more pleasant and productive.  So, this has been my vice during pregnancy.   I don’t know that I’m right or wrong to do it.

What I miss:  Not much.  I can’t imagine much I’d trade for the excitement of waiting for my daughter’s arrival and how much closer this experience has brought Chris and me.  I recognize this as one of the best times in my life, period.  But I can say something cool to look forward to is getting back in excellent physical shape.  And that brings me to the next question.

What I’m looking forward to:  Here’re two things.  1) Giving birth.  Not the process so much as the moment we meet her.  I just can’t even imagine.  2) Making her my running partner.  Oh, I hope she takes to running!  I would love for her to be my partner in crime.  Best case scenario, she just can’t get enough of the running stroller, and can stick with me through 14-milers.  That’d be so awesome.

Okay, that’s about all I can manage for tonight. Sooo tired.

Work got SUPER busy, and here I am 24 weeks pregnant and I never did a 23-week update.  Oh well.  The past couple of weeks have been awesome.  Between a starting a new job I truly love, turning 30 surrounded by my amazing family, coming home every night to Chris, and knowing that all the while our daughter is growing inside me… I am truly taking in these precious moments every single day, and making sure they get more of my attention that the inevitable stressors life presents alongside them.

I feel there are so many unknowns, (and they are so impossibly unknown), that there’s no use trying to predict the future and I ought to just enjoy the moments, even if I am, as I said before, a blissful little sitting duck.

Highights from the Week…

Radiohead

Last night, Chris took me to the Radiohead concert. Now, I love Radiohead, but Chris loves them more than me; they’re his favorite band.  When I say he has good taste, this is one thing that comes to mind.  When we listen to the haunting Pyramid Song at home or in the car together, I feel like we’re sharing a moment.

Even though I felt a little out of place being pregnant, I was surprised at how much I loved the concert.  I stood there with Chris’s arms around me and my eyes closed and my arms around my belly soaking in the slow, hypnotizing music and feeling our daughter kick.  It was a wonderful, relaxing experience.  And our daughter has now been to her first Radiohead concert!

Work

There’s nothing like calmly engrossing yourself in work that is actually fulfilling.  Granted – I’m talking about email blasts and case studies and pitch presentations here – not exactly “important” in the grand scheme of things.  But it’s writing, which I love.  And the clients are right up my alley; they’re very “food” related.  The agency is a good size for me, around 300 people total across 3 cities, one of which is Bogata, so I’m surrounded by Spanish speakers which I love!  The pace is perfect, there are slow days when I can catch my breath, and fast-paced days when I feel like my brain is going to explode but it’s kind of a thrill!

I’ve only been here two weeks, so we will see how everything works out. In the meantime, I do hope my co-workers don’t see my baby bump as a “handicap” or sign I should be handled with kid gloves.  I want in on as many opportunities as possible while I’m here.  I don’t know how I’ll feel come June 22, so I want to enjoy this right now.

Birthday

About turning 30, I feel sort of an acceptance. That’s the best way I can think to describe it.  I did all the fun things a girl should want to get out of her system while in my 20s, including making lots of mistakes!  No one wants to say goodbye to their 20s, but I do want to say hello to a wiser, slightly different version of myself who is about to be married with a baby.  I also know there’s not a damn thing I can do about turning 30, so why in the world would I bother to lament it?

My family went above and beyond to make my 30th birthday so, so special.  Chris took me to a delicious dinner Thursday, then we spent the weekend with my family.  To my surprise, they’d all pitched in to create a scrapbook full of their best memories with me through my first 30 years.  Reading through the book was incredibly touching and it’s something I’m going to treasure forever.  They also caught me off guard by one by one toasting me and saying something they loved about me.  I bawled.  It was so special though.  I have replayed some of the things they said in my head since, just because they were so wonderful.  I can’t remember a better birthday.

So as not to overwhelm you with too much content in one post, I’m breaking this update into two.