Emery

Pregnancy – Week 36

Let’s get straight to the point: I feel like absolute shit right now. My hips have suddenly become soooo painful these past few days. All my joints and ligaments are loosening up in preparation for birth. Some women have this more than others … I guess I’m on the more extreme side of the spectrum. I can hardly walk anymore. I’m not even just wobbling around a little bit, I’m seriously limping and the pain shoots right through my right leg. It’s basically exactly the same as I had with Sam. Exact same timing and everything. Obviously, that makes me nervous. I don’t want the exact same scenario to repeat itself, so any similar symptoms right now tend to worry me.

I’m not planning to do anything anymore during the next two weeks. I’m lounging around the house, taking it easy. I can’t really physically do anything right now anyway. The belly is also getting huge and uncomfortable. Ehhhh. Almost there, Lisa. Almost there!

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 36 thirty six weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 36 thirty six weeks baby evolution fetus

We went to the hospital yesterday. I saw the lady professor who takes care of me now. Thank God I haven’t seen her male colleague in a while. Despite his good will and efforts, he always managed to annoy me and stress me out with his comments like “let’s not overanalyze things, everything’s fine.” Well, screw you. We will overanalyze as much as I feel like it. If things go wrong, he won’t be the one who has to bury his SECOND child. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t even lose any sleep over it. So anyway, I’m glad that his female colleague is much more proactive and doesn’t mess around with sappy speeches. No bullshit from her. She lays out the facts, offers a couple of options in terms of extra appointments, we make a decision together, and boom, done. No time wasted and no sugarcoating.

Yesterday’s appointment was insanely detailed. I definitely wasn’t expecting this. I’m so glad they are taking these last couple of weeks seriously now. We got hooked up to the baby monitor for half an hour, and then had a detailed ultrasound again. All those extras are going to cost us a fortune … we’re waiting for the bills to arrive. Oh well! She measured everything and also evaluated baby’s size and weight. It turns out that our little bitty average baby went through a growth spurt all of a sudden. I kind of had that impression since last weekend. I suddenly gained weight out of the blue, and I could just feel him taking up much more space all of a sudden. If the estimation is correct, he now already weighs 3 kilos. He’s gone up to the 57th percentile. Still two weeks to go, so I’m pretty sure he will at least equal Sam’s weight. I’m curious to see if he will end up even bigger than him.

I had already packed some super adorable newborn sized outfits for him since he was looking perfectly average at first. But after yesterday’s appointment, I decided not to take any chances and added a few bigger ones in my hospital bag, just in case.

They scheduled an extra monitoring in between this week’s appointment and next week’s. So we’ll be going in on Sunday morning to monitor baby’s heart and activity for an hour. I’m not exactly enjoying these frequent hospital trips. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right? I’m not sure if there will be one more monitoring session next week; basically a few days before I get induced. We’ll see.

I’m counting down the days like a maniac. We made one last trip to the baby store on Monday and bought that movement & breathing monitor I absolutely wanted to get before we bring our baby home. The last thing we need now is a case of sudden infant death syndrome in this house! We’ve had our fair share of tragedies these past few years, so I want to be as cautious as I can be. Now watch me become one of those crazy helicopter moms … Oy.

luvion baby movement and breathing monitor alarm safety sids sudden infant death syndrome

^^ I ended up not getting the cute Angelcare one that looked like a white winged angel. As adorable as it looked, the seller told us the Luvion brand is more sensitive and more accurate. It was the exact same price, so, we got the Luvion. It’s not as cute, but oh well!

We also finally got him his very own little blankie and another colorful soft toy. Both happen to be giraffes; which is a pure coincidence. He obviously won’t care about any of that in the beginning, but it will be nice to introduce them to him right away. There’s something sentimental about it I suppose. I honestly couldn’t bring myself to buying him any kind of cute toys or anything that wasn’t strictly “practical” up until now. Like I was going to bring us bad luck or something. It’s so stupid. I’m not even superstitious like that. I guess it was more an emotional matter than anything else.

giraffe label label stuffed soft plush toy infant baby colorful bright yellow gender neutral

giraffe print pattern baby blankie soft plush toy animal gender neutral

My hospital bag is finally ready. And I cooked a whole bunch of fresh meals these past few weeks and have stuffed our freezer with them, so that I won’t have to worry about cooking for a while now. I’m physically unable to go grocery shopping right now (that’s seriously how bad my hips are at the moment), so I’ve signed us up on our local grocery store’s website and will put an order in for next week. All Gert has to do is go pick it up. I’m worried that if I hand him a grocery list and have him look for it all through the entire store, he won’t find half of it. lol Plus, he’s got enough on his plate too right now. So this way it’s easier for us both. He’s also single handedly taking care of the daily dog walks now. Haha! Wolf wasn’t quite sure what to think of it at first, but it’s going alright :-)

Okay, a little more than 11 days left until I get to check in at the delivery ward. I’ve decided that as soon as I walk in there, I will leave all my worries at the door. They will keep an eye on the baby through a monitor during the entire time. So I know that if there’s any sign of distress, things will be handled accordingly and they won’t take any risk. So, my biggest concern right now is getting to June 28th safely and then I can let go and breathe. I’m not too concerned about labor itself. I’ve done it once, I can do it again. As long as he makes it out alive and well!

Pregnancy – Week 35

Week 35! We’re almost there! I felt like adding a few additional pictures from different angles this time around, since this is one of my last pregnancy blog posts. I can’t say I’m sad to be nearing the end. The first thing I’m looking forward to right after birth – besides meeting my baby, obviously – is drinking a nice cup of caffeinated tea. I’ve been sticking to water only for the past 9 months, and I will also be happy to be able to eat sushi and soft boiled eggs, as well as drink a martini, a glass of white wine, and a piña colada every once in a while! If this birth goes well, I’ll be enjoying a beautiful Summer at home like no other.

We had to get up early this morning to go to the hospital. I’m scheduled for a weekly follow up from now on, and they’re checking things more and more in depth (unlike the impression I got several weeks ago). I was hooked up to the baby monitor for about an hour. His heart went up and down a lot, like it should. And he was kicking those belly straps like he did last time.

Once the monitoring was done, they made us wait outside the room because the doctor wanted to see me. We waited and waited … I should specify that every baby monitoring happens at the delivery ward. So we were sitting there in the hallway facing about 10 closed doors, behind which women were in the middle of labor. Lovely … I’m guessing they had an unexpected peak this morning, because doctors were running back and forth between rooms. Within the one hour span we waited there, we heard 2 babies being born. One of which I’m assuming was premature, because the poor little one was wheeled away in an oxygenated cot within minutes after birth. The brand new dad followed anxiously. I looked at the big time and date display on the wall, and realized that in exactly 20 days from now, I’ll be in one of those rooms meeting my baby for the first time. It sure puts things into perspective; in case it still felt somewhat abstract in my head, it no longer does! I also saw one of the midwives who took care of me when Sam was born. She was the one who carried him away after we’d held him for several hours and felt it was time to say goodbye. I think she recognized me. But in this morning’s chaos, no word was said. Then one nurse came and stuck a note on the door right in front of us, which requested to call the lab and a professor to analyze the placenta from the moment the patient has given birth. I noticed every doctor who walked in there was very quiet, and didn’t say any enthusiastic “hello” like they did in the other rooms. I wondered if this was a case of stillbirth right in front of us. It was room #2 and I actually think that’s the very same room they put me in to deliver Sam. I have no idea if there was a note on my door with special instructions. But I do know that a professor and some specific staff members came in at some key moments and that everything was sent to the lab right away. Of course I could be wrong about what was going on behind that door this morning, but it caught my attention and struck me as odd. And if that wasn’t weird enough, a lady then walked by us with a 2 year old in her arms carrying the exact same brown bunny blankie we had bought for Sam, and which is still preciously kept inside his glass display here at home. I’d been looking everywhere to buy a second one, but it was completely sold out right after he was born. I never did manage to get anything similar for his future sibling. Oh well. I don’t know if those were all signs of some sort. I started wondering if I should take the bunny blankie out of Sam’s glass display, and pack it in my hospital bag for his little brother. I’m not sure how Gert would feel about it though. I looked down at my belly and realized I was wearing that silly old tshirt I had randomly grabbed this morning, and which shows angel wings right on my belly. *sigh*

Anyway, after things calmed down in the delivery ward, I finally met the one professor who supervises all my appointments. I had never met her face to face. I think she’ll be the one taking care of this delivery. As soon as we shook hands, she decided to do an ultrasound and measure everything in detail again like they did last week. I was surprised. I thought for sure they’d be like “oh, no big deal, everything looks fine but if you want to calm your nerves, we’ll quickly do an ultrasound and rush through everything just so we can tell you again that everything looks great.” Instead, she did take her time to look and measure everything meticulously. The blood flow through everything, the amniotic fluid, the placenta, baby’s brain, and his overall size … which is now apparently under the 50th percentile. This caught me off guard. She said it was fine. But what a difference with Sam. He was a big baby. I was expecting the same, or at least something similar with this one. And while I was happy to hear about him being around the 51st percentile recently, I’m now worried about him having gone below 50. They didn’t seem concerned and said those measurements can be inaccurate this late in pregnancy, and that we’ll just have to wait and see how tall and heavy he is when he’s born. But the fact alone that they have now measured this 3 times in a row makes me wonder. Was Sam too big? Is this one too small? So many questions that only hit me later on when we got home.

He’s still extremely active though and reacts to absolutely everything, so he is a very alert little boy already. I like the fact that she didn’t sugarcoat the situation and basically told me that while they can’t possibly see me every single day of the week, we will continue with weekly checkups and she wants to add an extra monitoring during next week’s appointment. She told me I’m basically the one who has to stay focused and keep an eye on everything in between appointments, and if I have any doubts or notice anything suspicious, to get in the car and come right away. I kind of appreciated to hear someone finally validating the approach I’ve been having about it all for a while now. I don’t want people to tell me that everything’s great and will be fine. Unless they have a crystal ball, there’s no way anyone could ever promise me that. So I’m glad she didn’t and is now taking these next few weeks very seriously.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 35 thirty five weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 35 thirty five weeks baby evolution fetus

Other than that, besides the fact that I am now tired all the time and have no energy to do much anymore at this point, I am feeling quite alright. No swollen feet or hands, no stomach acid, no shortness of breath, no real pain or discomfort. My hips still bother me around 5AM in the morning and basically force me out of bed earlier than I would normally get up. But once I’m up on my feet, the pain is gone. And although I waddle around like a duck, I really can’t say that it hurts. Eighteen days left until I get induced! I’m so excited!

Pregnancy – Week 34

Hello month of June! You better bring me a nice surprise before you’re over or I will hate you forever!

We went to yet another prenatal appointment yesterday. Pretty sure this was our very last ultrasound. They checked everything in detail and everything looks great. I know this should reassure me, but everything looked great with Sam too barely 3 days before he died … so yeah. Nothing more we can do though. I feel like we’re so close now. Less than 4 weeks! I can’t wait for all this to be over. I will be so relieved, you have no idea.

We didn’t get any pictures from the ultrasound. I didn’t ask either; you could hardly see his face because he’s so big and squished in there now. I was mostly concerned about his well being and wether all the measurements would turn out fine. We did get a glimpse of his profile at one point though and he was practicing feeding with his mouth (lol so cute). He’s also had the tendency of putting his hands in front of his face ever since the second trimester. We could see him touching his face all the time. We also caught him practicing breathing, with his rib cage going up and down at a regular pace. Everything looked perfect. We wondered about his size. With Sam, I knew for sure he’d be BIG. With this one, I keep going back and forth about it and I’m really not sure. From what they could measure, he’s the exact statistical average. They measure it in percentile, so between 0% and 100%, he’s 51%. Not too big, not too small. Just perfect. The clothing sizes should match nicely then!

We have finally set a date for my induction. I was hoping for Monday, June 27th, but that would technically make me 37 weeks and 6 days along. And the doctor didn’t seem keen at all on inducing before we actually hit the 38 week mark. I don’t know why though. It’s only 24 hours. Pretty sure that wouldn’t make any difference whatsoever. But alright. I agreed and told them that if I ever have any doubts or fears, I WILL show up there earlier anyway and they’ll just have to deal with it. The doctor laughed and said that’s fine. I wasn’t exactly joking … So anyway, I’m scheduled to go in on Tuesday, June 28th, at 7:30AM. I can only assume he’ll be born the next day, but who knows. If things suddenly take a scary turn, they’ll do an emergency c-section right away. If things go slower than planned, then he’ll show up on the 30th instead. So, his actual birthday still remains a surprise :-)

On a completely unrelated note: I received the floral wrap dress I bought last weekend, which I mentioned in my previous post. It’s what I plan on wearing during the day at the hospital, after the baby’s born, so I will hopefully look somewhat presentable when people come to visit. I’m not expecting the whole of Belgium to come; only a few very close family members. But still. Anyway, besides the fact that it’s labeled “made in India” and smells like curry, it’s absolutely perfect! The dress itself is so stretchy and flowy that it won’t matter too much what size I am right after birth; it will fit. And breastfeeding should work easily with it too. I’ll definitely throw it in the washing machine today though. I don’t want to smell like I bathed in chicken tikka masala. What would you expect for 19euros though, heh? It is very pretty though! So I’m very happy about that :-) And I didn’t want to spend too much on a dress that I’ll probably only wear for this one particular occasion anyway, and which has a high probability of getting stained somehow. Cheap, pretty, and easy … it ticks all the boxes.

DHL also just delivered the Fisher-Price baby sleeper that I ordered on Saturday. Amazon.com sure is fast! I mean, this came all the way from America in barely 4 business days. And I also got the electric baby nail buffer from France, which I still need to open up and test.

Other than that, I have to say, I’m feeling quite alright overall. Obviously the belly is getting big and uncomfortable at times. But I don’t have all the other annoying aches I had to deal with when I was expecting Sam. No swollen hands or feet, no stomach acid, no extreme fatigue. I hope it stays this way for the remainder of this month. *knock on wood*

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 34 thirty four weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 34 thirty four weeks baby evolution fetus

Baby is still moving just as much as usual, which is a big reassurance. The doctor asked me yesterday “do you feel your baby move well?”. I always find this such a vague question. It’s almost pointless. I said “yes”, and she proceeded with: “at least 10 times a day?”. I cringed. How are doctors still not better aware of how to track fetal movement? It’s not 10 times a day you’re supposed to count, it’s 10 kicks within a one hour span. Most pregnant women don’t count movements all day long from the moment they get up until the moment they go to sleep – I’m the only freak who does that. But what you’re supposed to do is dedicate one to two hours a day to sitting down and focusing on your baby’s movements. If you don’t get at least 10 movements within 2 hours max, then baby is basically failing the test and it’s best to have it checked out. Of course I didn’t know all that before I lost Sam, because no doctor or midwife ever mentioned it; nor do they seem to be aware of this in the first place. It’s sad, really. It took losing Sam for me to find out about www.countthekicks.org. And even just tracking once a day doesn’t feel like enough to me. I find that tracking it all day long is the way to go. I have a much clearer picture of his habits and patterns. I wouldn’t have that if I only monitored him for one or two hours only. It still doesn’t guarantee that nothing will go wrong and that we’d be able to act in time. I’m perfectly aware of that. But for now, at least, it does help me to stay somewhat serene.

Anyway, the weather has been utter crap here lately. And they’re predicting the same bad weather for another week. Pffft. Here’s the depressing view from my couch:

So yeah, we’ve entered the final month! I’m hoping for some sun soon, so that I can post sunnier updates towards the end. I had to update my countdown clock and change the deadline from June 27th to June 28th, and thus my accurate and final countdown to induction is exactly 25 days as of today! I can’t wait!

Last minute purchases

I mentioned a few days ago that I was going to get moving and start preparing more actively for this baby’s arrival, so today I sat down and made a few purchases. Finally.

New Look – Tall Grey Floral Print Tie Waist Wrap Dress - Amazon France – Zoli Buzz B electric nail buffer Etsy baby – Monhtly stickers growth milestones Amazon.com – Fisher-Price Moonlight Meadow Deluxe Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

-1- New Look – Tall Grey Floral Print Tie Waist Wrap Dress for 19.99€, here.
I was initially looking for a nightgown of some sort and a lightweight bathrobe; ideally with short sleeves. I went to several stores, including a maternity one not too far from here, and I just couldn’t find anything. So – out of utter desperation – I decided to look for a cheap dress instead. One of the absolute requirements was lightweight / short sleeved, because it’s always so ridiculously hot at the hospital. So then I found this kimono style dress. It’s a wrap dress, which shouldn’t be too impractical if breastfeeding works out. I also figured I’d like to look somewhat presentable this time around when people come to visit. Last time was obviously a nightmare, and my overall appearance reflected it. This time, hopefully, we’ll have a happy outcome and nice pictures. I also like the wide sleeves, which should make it easy when the midwife comes to measure my blood pressure. I had to roughly guess what size will fit me right after birth, which isn’t an easy thing! I took one size larger than usual and this is also a “tall” version, as I don’t want a mini dress under these particular circumstances. Hopefully it will fit. The fact that it’s a wrap dress should make any sizing quite forgiving.

-2- Amazon France – Zoli Buzz B electric nail buffer for 37.81€, here.
This should come in very handy during the first month or two. I’m scared to death of cutting paper thin newborn nails, so I’m hoping this electric nail buffer will do the job. I read many reviews that said it gets useless past a few months. I’m personally aiming at the whole newborn phase for the most part, so as long as it gets me through the Summer without injuring my baby, I’ll be happy!

-3- Etsy – Monhtly stickers for 9.22€, here.
These are meant to be put on baby’s little romper each month, to take a cute picture and mark his monthly growth. I purchased similar stickers before Sam was born, but they were a different color. They’ve been packed in his box for a year and a half now, and I had decided I could simply use them for his little brother. But then Gert didn’t seem too crazy about the idea. He told me he’d rather keep Sam’s stickers in Sam’s box and asked if I could buy a new set for this baby. I was a bit surprised, since he’s usually the cool headed, practical one. But I thought it was actually really sweet of him, so I didn’t even try to change his mind about it. I had already looked for a new set of stickers about two months ago, but couldn’t seem to find anything that I liked. Today, I decided I just needed to make up my mind and buy one. After spending an hour today going through all the baby clothes we have ready in the nursery, I figured this blue set would match nicely.

-4- Amazon.com – Fisher-Price Moonlight Meadow Deluxe Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper for $70.99, here.
This had been on my list for several months now. I FINALLY bought it. It doesn’t seem to be available in Europe, so I had to purchase it from the States. It should arrive exactly one week before he’s born lol I read some amazing reviews about it. What really convinced me is the vibrating feature, which apparently really soothes babies and even seems to help with their digestion. You can manually rock it back and forth. And the best part of it all is that it’s lightweight and collapsible, so it doesn’t take much space to store away. The storage space in our house isn’t exactly huge, and all the models I found available in Belgium (and the rest of Europe too) were super bulky and couldn’t be folded or collapsed in any way.

That’s about it for now. There are a few more items I would really love to get. One of them is the AngelCare breathing monitor:
Angelcare Baby Movement breathing Monitor
It’s supposed to trigger an alarm if it detects that baby hasn’t been breathing for 20 seconds. I know I’ll be petrified of the sudden infant death syndrome, so I really really want to get this before we bring him home.

Besides that though, I think we’re all set for the most part. Whew!

Pregnancy – Week 33

Feeling so tired right now. I’ve been feeling overall okay though since my last update, but we had to get up super early this morning for my appointment at the hospital. I went in to monitor baby’s activity for about an hour. Everything went fine. His heart rate goes up and down a lot, which is apparently a good thing. It goes up when he’s moving around, just like our pulse increases when we’re walking or running. And it also seems to go up when he hears strange noises or voices he’s not familiar with, which is kind of funny. The midwife explained that when he hears my voice, or Gert’s voice, or probably even our parents, it sounds familiar to him so he’s relaxed and his heart rate reflects it. But when he hears a stranger’s voice, he becomes more alert and his heart starts beating faster. How weird, right? She said it’s an excellent sign that indicates everything is well in there, so hopefully it will stay that way. Apparently they’d be worried if his heart rate was too consistent, with no signs of activity or reaction to anything. Now I FINALLY understand why they keep saying that a fluctuating heart beat is a good thing. It only took the right person to finally explain things properly!

The doctor came in and offered us to do an extra ultrasound for our own peace of mind. For once, we declined. We felt like it was unnecessary, and we have a very detailed ultrasound scheduled next week anyway. So it would feel like overkill at this point. I wouldn’t have that kind of confidence if I wasn’t keeping track of all his movements from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. Every.Single.Day. My agenda looks like it belongs to a crazy person …

Every blue cross marks a movement. I also write down what I eat, what I feel, when he hiccups, and when I get Braxton Hicks contractions.

Speaking of which, I experienced my very first labor scare on Monday evening. Practice contractions are a normal thing at this point in pregnancy. They’re not regular, they’re not painful, and they’re harmless. But on Monday evening, at 10PM, things got scary … it suddenly started pretty heavily with back pain and everything and they were extremely regular; exactly 2:30min apart. I thought “SHIT. My hospital bag isn’t even ready yet. It’s also too soon; his lungs aren’t fully developed yet.” I was praying they would stop, but they didn’t. So I went ahead and called the maternity ward and asked them what I needed to do. I didn’t know if I was supposed to come in or give it a bit more time or what. The answer I got was pretty useless: “If you’re worried, come in. If you wish to wait it out a bit first, that’s fine.” Basically, I was still clueless. I decided I was too panicked and stressed out to drive there right that moment, and felt like it would be better for me to lay down on the bed for about 15 min, and basically allow myself to calm down first, and also to give things an extra chance to fade. Eventually, the contractions stopped, I calmed down, and I basically fell asleep soon after. Poor Gert was clearly feeling helpless about the whole thing and was ready to drive to the hospital on a Monday night lol I’m glad I made the right decision in the end.

As for the rest: my blood pressure is low, but that’s just how I’m made. I’ve never had high blood pressure in my life, and it does easily go on the low side. This could actually explain why I’ve been feeling dizzy every now and then. They said it was excellent and that they’d rather see me with low blood pressure than high blood pressure. Personally though, I wasn’t so thrilled about it. I read an article a while ago about how they’re starting to study the correlation between low blood pressure and a higher rate of stillbirth. But, no proof just yet. There’s so little effort being made about stillbirth; it’s mind boggling.

Anyway, my sugar was perfect this time. Thank God. They had already assured me previously that it couldn’t possibly be gestational diabetes, since I passed the test about 10 weeks ago or so and the results were fine. But it still worried me a bit. I’ve been avoiding desserts like the plague ever since. Not that I indulge on a daily basis, but I do like to treat myself once or twice a week after lunch. And as far as beverages are concerned: I’ve been drinking water only for the past 9 months. It was so hard at first, but I’m so used to it now that I think I might stick to this after I’ve given birth. I’d like a cup of a tea or a glass of white wine every now and then (after he’s born, obviously), but the added bonus of water containing zero calories seems to really be helping in terms of weight. I’m still a bit annoyed at the comment I got last time when the doctor said I should stop gaining weight. Seriously?? I’m 1m75 … I’ve gained 12 kilos by now; that’s nothing extreme. I’ve only got 4.5 weeks to go. Most likely I’ll only have 3 or 4 kilos left to lose after birth, which is nothing. Another pregnant lady stepped on the scale this morning. She was about my height, and she weighed 96 kilos. I would have loved to hear that one doctor’s opinion about it! Heh. Quite frankly, I don’t know where she hid her weight though, because she didn’t even look particularly big. It’s so strange how differently people can carry weight. Goes to show that numbers are sometimes a bit meaningless.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 33 thirty three weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 33 thirty three weeks baby evolution fetus

Anyway, Baby’s doing fine. Even though his name is 90% set, I notice that we still tend to go back and forth a little bit. At this point I can’t help but laugh about the whole thing. What a saga this name picking has been so far! I’ve also been extremely laid back about any birth preparations. I still need to figure out the birth announcements and little knick-knacks. People are so focussed on that crap. It all seems so meaningless to me after everything we’ve been through. I don’t even care if they get a birth announcement one month late. I do need to get myself in gear though. This baby will be here next month and I’ve barely prepared the nursery for his arrival. Of course it’s still complete from before Sam was stillborn. But, I need to make a clear inventory of what we have and then figure out if we’re missing anything crucial. We were missing so much stuff before Sam arrived. If he had been born alive and well, there would have been a ton of emergency trips to all kinds of stores. I kind of want to avoid that now. There’s also still some of my own clutter that needs to move out of the baby’s room. It’s such a weird state of mind to be in right now. I notice Gert seems to be in the same funk. It’s like, we’re eagerly awaiting this baby’s safe arrival, yet we can’t really seem to prepare properly like he’s REALLY going to be here soon. I guess because our only experience is preparing for nothing, so now we’re sort of in this thing now where we feel like we’ll deal with it when we actually really get there. It still seems like an impossible goal right now. Yet it seems so obvious to everybody else around us that things will go well. There’s no way we will ever be that confident about it.

There have also been some more difficult moments recently. Like when we went to a maternity clothing store and the cashier asked full of enthusiasm if this was our first … Oh that damned question. There it was. Right in my face with no warning whatsoever. I quickly mumbled, no, it’s our second. And prayed to God that she wouldn’t comment any further or ask any other question. Strangely, she seemed to have picked up on the fact that something was off and she didn’t insist. I hate that question so much. People ask it so freely without ever thinking that it could break someone’s heart into a million pieces. And at the same time, I just can’t lie about it. I could NEVER pretend that this is our first. It feels so wrong.

Anyway, I’m sorry this blog is turning into a pregnancy log. I actually meant to blog more this past week, but then Gert’s dad handed me his camera so I could get a copy of all the videos he’s been filming this year so far. He loves filming! He takes his camera everywhere and films every single family occasion there is. It’s something I’d like to start doing more myself. But yeah, it does take a lot of time. I basically spent several days putting all the footage together into nice little movies with intros and some music. Not something we’d watch on a regular basis, but it’s still lovely to have. He’s been documenting their entire lives like that since the 70’s. I’m always so impressed with his collection of family movies. I’ve been doing the same for years with photographs, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be taking over the video part of it as well soon. Especially with this baby coming next month. I can’t wait to start gathering all kinds of random family footage. Fingers crossed that things go well this time though … It seems like every time I make positive plans, it ends up crashing into a big nightmare.

Alright, this blog post is becoming way too long now. I’ll stop right here. Only one more month to go!