Week 19: Anatomy Scans & Babymoons

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

So, week 19! I'd been looking forward to this week for a while because we had a doctor's appointment for an anatomy scan, which is basically an ultrasound where they look at all of baby's body parts and organs to make sure everything is developing correctly. It's a time when a lot of preggos choose to find out the sex of their baby, although as I wrote before, we're choosing to be surprised.

Luckily the scan went great and everything is looking good! Unfortunately we weren't able to get a closeup look (or any look, really) at Bean's face because it was being a shy little bugger. The tech did take what she called a "skeletal shot" of the face, which is all she was able to get, and it looks really creepy, actually! Other than that, we got a cute shot of the bottoms of the feet, and another with part of the rib cage and an arm. Bean was not messing around; it was NOT feeling the invasion of privacy!

Week 19 photo

I also found out my placenta is in the front, which means it acts as a cushion between me and the baby, so I may not feel it kick for a bit longer. I'm so excited to feel those first kicks!

Nesting has officially kicked in, and I've been reorganizing everything from the spice drawer to the master closet. This weekend we will start on the nursery. My dilemma right now is I want to buy a used dresser on Craigslist and refurbish it, instead of buying a cheapo thing from Ikea (not that there's anything wrong with that--I heart Ikea). But we don't have a car large enough to haul assembled furniture in, so I'm thinking it will be a million times more convenient to just do the Ikea thing.

In other news, we finally booked our babymoon, which will be a quick weekend road trip to South Padre Island, Texas's closest thing to a tropical resort town. That description is definitely stretching it a bit; it's more known as a spring break party place. I've never been, but it supposedly has the nicest beaches on the Texas coast. We were originally hoping to go to Hawaii, but after some minor financial setbacks last month, we decided to stay closer to home. I'm still really pumped to lay beachside or poolside and catch up on my reading!

Here's what I'm reading at the moment:

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. This one's for my book club, and it's touted as a "non-fiction novel." It's about the '60s acid scene in San Francisco, and mostly about the leader of it all, Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Honestly, I always thought I would have loved to have been a hippy, but this book has me rolling my eyes so hard at these "heads." And the author's overly stylized, gimmicky way of writing. But at least it's informative.

The Little Book by Selden Edwards. An aging rocker living in the '80s wakes up in Vienna in the late 1800s with no idea how he got there. I'm about a third of the way through and loving it.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. The fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. If you like the HBO series Game of Thrones, which is based on these books, then you'll love the books.

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck. Young adult fantasy about a girl and a tiger from India who develop an interesting relationship. I'm not very far yet, but I'm liking it!

I'm hoping to catch up on a lot of the books I've been meaning to read before Bean gets here. My list is getting longer by the day!

Eighteen Weeks

Monday, June 11, 2012

I haven't been doing the greatest job of documenting this pregnancy so far. Basically from about week five through week eleven I felt like complete ass and didn't do much besides the bare minimum of work and lots of lying around feeling sorry for myself. And confusing the hell out of the Dude, who had no idea what to cook for me since I hated everything.

Now that I'm starting to get a bump (and I'm feeling much much better), I've been trying to take my weekly photos, more for the sake of posterity than because I think anyone out there reading this blog is really that interested in the minute details of my pregnancy. But anyway, here's a week 18 photo for you all.

I feel like the bump has exploded over the past couple of weeks! Not to mention my ever-increasing cup size, which many people would find a great bonus of pregnancy. I just find it incredibly annoying, as I was quite used to and happy with my little B cups before all of this nonsense. Basically I've been wearing a couple pairs of maternity leggings from Old Navy (the kind that go under the bump, not the paneled ones) and a bunch of lightweight dresses and tanks I got at H&M. (Their store at the Galleria in Dallas has a teeny tiny minuscule maternity section. More like a sliver of wall.) I'm just lucky I can dress for comfort and don't have to worry about looking professional since I work from home.

We've got our anatomy scan on Wednesday, so here's to hoping that we get to see our little Bean and that everything is developing correctly. (And that Bean doesn't flash us the goods, as we are staying firm on not wanting to know the sex.)

Last night we went to see Prometheus, which I found pretty entertaining, but practically everyone I went with hated it. Without giving away too much of a spoiler, there was one scene that I feel might make some pregnant women uncomfortable. Overall the movie was pretty icky in some parts, but I guess I enjoy that sort of thing? Noomi Rapace was a badass (even though her character was annoying at times) and Logan Marshall-Green was like a younger, dreamier version of Keanu Reeves. So cute. Summer movies are so hit and miss. But I'm excited about the new Wes Anderson!

Sex, Gender, and Having Babies

Friday, June 1, 2012

After debating over and over for the past couple of months, the Dude and I have decided not to find out the sex* of our baby ahead of time. I should say that it was really more of a big deal to me; the Dude wanted to know but ultimately decided I cared more about it so is nice enough to go along with me on this.

The impetus for this decision was my interest in raising our baby with as few gender expectations as possible. It's very important to me (and to the Dude) that we raise a kid who is not expected to conform to certain roles or behaviors or interests because of their sex. I know that a lot of people get really into the idea of lacy frilly pink things for little girls and blue sporty masculine things for little boys. If you're into that, great. No judgment. But I'm not, and I wanted to avoid, as much as possible, getting these types of gifts for our baby from well meaning people who just don't know our preference or don't understand it.

I've found that it's difficult to explain this preference to people with children who have never really thought about gender roles before. It makes me feel like they think I'm judging them for the way they raise their kids, and that is not my intention at all. It's a personal preference and it just happens to be one that is very important to me.

I can't explain it, but I am already so proud of my baby, just for existing. She hasn't even done anything yet, other than grow from a seed into an embryo into a fetus. But I just want Bean to know that whatever she does I will be proud of her. (Totally just picked a random pronoun there. Why doesn't English have a gender neutral pronoun that is meant to reference people? I feel wrong calling my baby "it." So frustrating.) As long as she grows into a happy, well adjusted, and self-sufficient adult, I will be ecstatic and proud.

Gender roles in our society are so pervasive that it is impossible, even as a person who is extremely conscious of them, to avoid them at all costs. So the way I see it, the more time we get of not knowing either way, the better. I get to avoid, for the remainder of my pregnancy, any preconceived notions about what my child is like/will be like.

We toyed with the idea of finding out the sex ourselves, and just telling people that we weren't finding out. But I'm glad we decided not to go that route because I am a terrible liar and an over-sharer, so I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have worked out the way we wanted it to. And I want to avoid hurting people's feelings, so that probably wouldn't have been the best way to go. The Dude suggested that he could find out only and keep it a secret from me, but I know myself too well and I would've had it out of him by the end of the day. So that was a no-go as well.

I'm happy with our decision. It's the right one for us, and I really hope that our friends and family respect it and are not offended by it in any way, even if not everyone completely understands why we feel this way.

*I use the term "sex" exclusively to talk about whether our baby will have male or female sex organs. I use the term "gender" to talk about roles, behaviors, interests, etc. that are traditionally associated with males or females in modern society. Don't want to get on my soapbox, but sex does not equal gender and vice versa.