Monday, April 30, 2007

Checking up on The Bean

Yesterday, Jacob and I (and Dr. H) spent a good 45 minutes looking at The Bean. All is well in utero, so far. He "measures up" nicely at about 21 weeks of gestational age, has all the required limbs (I counted knuckles, five each).

He was gamely waving a fist at us (I wonder if he "feels" us staring at him, searchingly looking for imperfections and if he appreciates all the attention).
We saw his heart, which is beating at a frenetic 147 beats per minute - an athlete in my mind!
Dr. H was happy with the development of the heart ventricles, the chest cavity, the lungs, the stomach, the skull, the spine etc.

Right now The Bean is in a breech position, meaning he is right side up with his head near my bellybutton and his legs folded up toward my pubic bone, not to worry though, Doc H is telling us. Only 5 percent of all babies are still in breech position by the time of I have felt him moving around so much, that I'm convinced he just "straightened out" for the photo op as any boy of mine would.

All in all, he measures about 10 inches in length and weighs not quite two pounds (funny considering I weigh almost 20 lbs more since The Bean took root) It's not all flab though. I noted a huge placenta, which has to weigh something too!

No apparent deformities or areas of concern. Of course, we're happy about that, but even if we were to find out that The Bean has special needs that wouldn't change the outcome of this pregnancy. We are poised to welcome whomever the Lord has planned for us. To us, The Bean will be perfect, in whatever shape or form he comes in.

I've been feeling great! Active with lots of energy to burn, enjoying my new curves and the freedom that comes with being "out of shape." No need to dress to hide flaws or work to tone a flabby area, right now I excercise to feel good and to bond with The Bean (he loves it when we go on our daily jog, I swear), and I dress to show off a big bump - for all of you, who haven't been pregnant yet! This is awesome! Truly, I feel content with myself in a way, I haven't ever in my life, not even when I was in marathon shape.

Today, The Bean and I are going for a short run in the evening hours and then we'll pick up Dad and go water the tomato plants in our veggie garden - by the time The Bean joins us we should have lots of fresh produce, hopefully.

To all things that grow. Early summer is a beautifully easy season on the soul!

Friday, April 27, 2007

A first for everyone

Bean won't just be a first for us.

He'll be a first grandchild or "Grosskind" for both sets of his grandparents, Albert and Erna, and Ronnie and Cindy.
He'll be a first great-grandchild to his very excited Great-Grand Meme, Johnnie, as well as a first nephew to our siblings Leah and Dominic.

Yup, The Bean's got a lot of pressure on him but as a first-of-the-next generation myself, I can only recommend this very special spot in the family...

First off, it comes with instant benefits, like bottomless attention, gifts galore and everyone later in your life will have a story that centers on you, long before other siblings or cousins began crowding the get-togethers...

It's a precious place to be, you will be loved!

Speaking of gifts, your grandparents-to-be have been busy preparing for your entrance. My mom has been out shopping for "bodies" (that's onsie in German) and the first one that arrived in the mail, made me cry because of its diminutive size (don't worry I cry over odd things and at unpredictable times right now) how could we ever care for anything this tiny?

But because it is the first outfit we received, we'll bring The Bean home in it. I'm busy knitting the necessary accessories for it.

Also The Bean will have the possibly coolest bed of anyone by the time he arrives - one that grows with him from babyhood to adulthood, it's magic in chestnut, if you ask me. It's the generous gift of Jacob's folks....otherwise The Bean would have had to sleep in a cardboard box - the one we had in mind was luxuriously big and came with Jacob's brandnew table saw, Hitachi-fancy!

So even if your parents are still slightly underprepared and partially paralyzed in their preparations - your extended family will make sure you got it good! We are blessed with them all!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Believing in The Bean

Since I'm starting this blog as The Bean is coasting through the first half of our pregnancy, I feel it would be the right place to get the facts out of the way - so I can wax on philosophically and spiritually about The Bean.

But first what we know:
- We're really pregnant. We find this out February 28, when Dr. Hernandez confirms what the little "dip stick" predicted.
- Our Baby has a heart - and it is beating at a furious rate of 145. We find this out in March during our second check-up visit. No reason to worry, being in-vitro is tough and The Bean has to work really hard to grow and become big and strong, hence the heartbeat. Hearing it is a watershed moment for me. The first real evidence, outside of a need to eat at all times of the day and constant heartburn, that "something is underheart." I cry a happy tear when I hear the rapid beat, Jacob finds it fascinating and asks for a repeat performance from the nurse with her stetoscope. I just take confidence from this sound. It seems to say - over and over - "I want to live and I'm going to to hurry to join you. I can't wait to be a human being" Side note: If I sound uncharacteristically sappy, I'm chalking that up to pregnancy hormones, which by now are cursing through my system, demanding a strictly beige diet, an absolute ban on excercise and up to 12 hours of sleep.
- The Bean is a Boy, we found this out April 3. Our Doc Dr. Hernandez in an attempt at humor said "third leg" me, lying there trying to discern what he seemed to see to clearly, puzzpled for a split second over this - grave deformity or judgement of gender?
One look at Jacob's wide grin and the Dr. H's big smile, told the the latter was true.
A boy!
I was completely overwhelmed with happiness! Not because I wanted a boy - I, who never lack an opinion on anything, was completely and honest-to-God ambivalent as to what we should have.
But it's another part of The Bean that makes him real to me. He is growing up so quickly, I'm already thinking like a Mom.
It's a boy!

How Bean came to be

Don't worry, I won't give you the bees-and-flowers, cabbage patch or any other cutsey-type talk in this place.
We have a simple explanation for how The Bean came to be - Immaculate Conception!
Well, likely not - but the Lord's will was definitely at work, since we weren't trying, I was still surging from having finished a marathon about 10 days earlier and - we both agree on this - didn't even like each other all that much, during a hurried and chaotic move with no electricity, stuff all over the place and Christmas coming up within the week.

Needless to say it took "powerful seed" to plant The Bean - that's his father's words not mine.

I realized that something "was out of whack" in mid-January, chalked it up to the marathon, and lost sleep over it anyway. So on a snow-day at school, I surprised Jacob with a pregnancy test and we dumbly stared at it and the directions for a good while in the kitchen as the result came up about as soon as I had finished what I was told to do - I still fume at the fact that I was cheated out of the 4 minutes to contemplate our future, as the directions promised. No, we saw the line - the fateful horizontal line - come up clear as glass immediately.

I cried, I laughed. Jacob remained calm and told me to not do or say anything emotional for the day - sage advise - as I had about a million to-dos immediately appear before my mind...

It took days to sink in - the heartburn, the lack of energy, the increased appetite - there was a perfect explanation for it. It was me! and now it is us and The Bean!