mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter:Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. She's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom, and about 10 inches from head to heel. (For the first 20 weeks, we use measurements taken from the top of the baby's head to her bottom known as the "crown to rump" measurement. After that, we use measurements from head to toe. This is because a baby's legs are curled up against her torso during the first half of pregnancy and are very hard to measure.)

A greasy white substance called vernix caseosa coats her entire body to protect her skin during its long submersion in amniotic fluid. (This slick coating also eases the journey down the birth canal.)

Your baby is swallowing more, which is good practice for her digestive system. She's also producing meconium, a black, sticky substance that's the result of cell loss, digestive secretion, and swallowed amniotic fluid. This meconium will accumulate in her bowels, and you'll see it in her first messy diaper (although a few babies pass it in utero or during delivery).

2004.12.28. getting noticed

Tonight was the first time I felt a movement so sudden, so strong, that I jumped. Everett and Jonathan were playing a rough-and-tumble-and-hilarious tickle game in the chair nearby. I told Everett, "your little baby brother wants to come out and play with you!" He said, logically, that he didn't want the baby coming out my belly button. I don't either, honey.

2004.12.28.much.later. presidential names

I found a list of U.S. Presidents with the hope of determining a name after Jonathan talked about "Everett and Harrison." We both like Truman - his own birthday was May 8, 1884, very possibly the same birthday (year excepted, of course) as the baby. Truman did lots of cool things, most notably the "Fair Deal" which included "the expansion of Social Security, a full-employment program, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Act, and public housing and slum clearance." It means "honest man" (ummm...surprise!) and is German in origin. "Truman Thomas Hanson" has quite a ring, no? Let me know what you think...

2004.12.30. cover your eyes, oh ye sisters-in-law

I have an idea one or more of my beloved sisters-in-law wander by occasionally to hear the news. So, ladies, please cover your eyes because I'm about to bring up a subject not appropriate for family table chit-chat. eh-hem.

We're safe now, right? So, I don't know if it's my hubby's newly hot body, his uniform (and especially those dog tags), my two-month hiatus from all fleshly pleasures (well, excepting hot baths of course), or the second trimester hormones, but I am the most active sexual person I've been in, well, forever.

It's extremely nice, and Jonathan says that he's achieved his reason for going to the Army, stated to DS Patterson (quoted by him in his best hick south midwestern accent): "so my wife would have sex with me, DRILL SERGEANT!"

Ok, you guys can open your eyes again, I won't get into any more detail. Suffice it to say I'll be missing him greatly over the next few months, after which I'll be so cranky and thigh-brushing-together fat I likely won't even want to cuddle with Everett. But hey, there's always July.

2004.12.31. in which she acts like a hipster

My sweet hubby is wearing his "BCGs" (aka birth control glasses). While they're not exactly a great look, they are evidently a quite popular style in Eastern Europe, and they give him this edgy hipster I'm-so-cool-I-wanna-look-square look.

So tonight I invited him out with me for a night (did I say night? I meant hour) on the town. We left Everett at home with uncle Matt, given the promise of a fabulous meal and a free pass for later that night, and went out to a hip wine bar I've been wanting to check out for ages.

Noble Rot was every bit of hip and more, and at 6 p.m. on New Years' Eve, not at all busy. I was wearing the red silk Chinese-style top I wore the night Jonathan and I got together, with some slightly larger and more stretchy pants than said night. I bellied up to the bar (literally), which nicely hid my belly from the potentially judgmental eye of the bartender. I ordered "meat" and "cheese" plates and Jonathan picked out a Spanish wine (just one notch below Vina Ardanza, our honeymoon highlight).

I sipped (ok, skip ahead if you subscribe to the "one drop will hurt the baby" camp) a glass and a half of delicious Crianza, eating a range of amazingly perfect cheeses (keep skipping ahead, people: I didn't even ask if they all were pasteurized), oh-so-salty and rich cured meats, and big crusty bread with lots of butter. I got pleasantly buzzed on red wine and fattening goodies. And oh, it was so wonderful.

By 7 p.m., we had corked the rest of our bottle and were headed home to cook dinner for the boys. I got over my buzz by 8 and spent the rest of the night watching TV with Jonathan and Everett, with a short drive downtown so we could check out the fireworks from the moonroof.

I had just enough hipness to make me feel nice, but not enough to put me over the edge to "bad mama." What a lovely way to spend the New Year.

2005.01.01

The first day of the new year was bittersweet, with my stressed-out husband's flight leaving at 12:30 a.m. on the 2nd day, from Seattle. As I played with Everett and helped organize the laundry at some basic level, I kept having to push back tears. The house was a minor disaster, I had un-designated Christmas gifts (at various levels of completion) scattered about, and I was absolutely unsure as to whether I'd be able to deal with my loneliness over the next several weeks. My hipness of the night before had faded away, and I was feeling frumpy and fat.

Making it worse was two weeks of drunken behavior by my brother-in-law. He's great, nice, helpful, generous and thoughtful (to the extent a 24-year-old party guy can be thoughtful) when he's sober. He's a terror when he's drunk - not violent or anything, just super-sensitive, childish, with a temper that has about a 1/2-second fuse. He's always threatening to move out and slinging insults like a Georgia breakfast cook would hash. I'm very infrequently the target of his anger, of course, and when I am it's because I'm putting unreasonable restrictions on him - you know, telling him I'll take his alcohol away if he makes another graphic sex joke in front of Everett, or saying that I don't want Everett watching any more war movies.

By the end of the day I was afraid I'd never be able to deal with him by myself (even though he usually doesn't drink much when it's just he and I in the house) and was wishing I could toss him out, while at the same time acknowledging that I could never do this alone without him. I just didn't want to have my sweet loving husband go away, leaving me to depend on his baby brother. It just wasn't fair, as I cried to myself whenever no one was in the room.

I managed to get Jonathan out of the house by 6:30 for our 3-hour drive to Seattle, and Matt was actually being helpful, taking over stewardship of Everett for the evening. I'd managed to get over my internal whininess and was looking forward to several hours alone with my husband. It was a nice trip, for the most part, although my car decided to run low on oil on the way up, causing an unscheduled stop at Walmart for oil and other necessities.

It was 11 p.m. by the time we got to the SeaTac airport, and I felt a little lost as I held up my big belly and watched my hubbie check his luggage. We got tea and cheesecake at Starbucks and did a crossword puzzle as the clock slowly ticked toward boarding time.

When it was time to go, my rocked-out soldier hubby walked me to the escalator with tears in his eyes. He had to say goodbye fast because "soldiers aren't supposed to cry."

I walked into the cold, quiet parking lot, a little scared of the world. It turned out I'd gone three minutes over my hour and had to pay $7 for the privilege of leaving the man I love best alone for a long flight across the country. Which seemed extra unfair.

As I drove home with BBC on the radio and lots of tea and chocolate to keep me awake, missing my husband and my son equally, I thought about the coming months. The things that I'm most scared of, I thought, are that I couldn't ever face the total loss of my husband or my son(s). I could deal with separations, I could live through the worry when Everett has to go to bed with Uncle Matt and misses me. But I could never deal with losing any of them permanently. So that's what I prayed for, alone in the dark with the wind whistling through the not-quite-closed window. And I felt some security, that God would take care of them, that other things might go wrong but I won't lose the boys I depend upon most.

When I stopped at Shari's for my keep-awake breakfast, I was almost content. I knitted and gagged on the margarine-coated fare. I tipped my clueless waitress well and shocked her with my belly on the way out - which, I will admit, is pretty cute when it just sticks out at you like that. I made it home and slipped into bed with my chunk of a boy, hugging him as tight as my belly would allow.