Sunday, December 28, 2014

19 Week Ultrasound

I am now about halfway through week 21, over the halfway-to-actual-baby hump, and about the middle of the second trimester. Things are getting a little more real all the time, and also getting a little more scary. A good scary.

A day before officially hitting 19 weeks, hubby and I went in for the fetal assessment ultrasound. This is the one where they do all the measuring and check the baby from all angles to make sure everything is moving along as it should. This is also where most people find out the gender, which we already knew from the Panorama test. Still, it was nice to have visual confirmation. Our little Cinnabon was quite cooperative.

The technician was very friendly and chatty, telling us everything she was measuring, and marking some of the pictures with funny phrases, like "Flexin'" when it looked like Cinnabon was flexing a bicep for the camera. We got lots of pictures, both in regular and 3D formats (which was a surprise).

I posted the ones that (I thought) did not have obvious clues to the baby's gender, as I was planning on a gender reveal at the baby shower. One of my friends is going to make a special cake for it. But apparently one or two people were able to tell from the photos, and posted their congratulations as such, so I ended up taking the whole thing down so as not to ruin the surprise.

This still doesn't stop people from making guesses when they see the picture of my 20-week baby bump. Alas, social media is not something to keep secrets on. This prompted me to switch gears and plan a small gender announcement photo shoot with a smaller cake, which will be happening next weekend, rather than the reveal at the baby shower. What with the constant requests for gender prior to purchasing or making gifts, and the fact that most of my family and friends in the lower 48 do not get to witness the glory that is my growing belly, I figured it was best that I succumb to the inevitable and get the gender announcement done soon.

However, there are two much more important things than the gender reveal issues: the baby is healthy and still measuring a day ahead of schedule, as was shown in the 10-week ultrasound, and I am extremely grateful for all the interest, well wishes, and desires to shower my baby with attention and gifts. I am a deeply thankful mom-to-be.

In other news, I utterly failed Nanowrimo again, but this was not a surprise in the least. I simply no longer want to write in the word-dumping fashion required to get a certain amount done in a certain amount of time. I end up hating it all and chucking the whole thing, regardless of whether it was a good idea or not. I am one of those people that needs the whole story planned out ahead of time (leaving it open to surprises along the way), and needs to be able to go back and fix the things that are not working before I get so deep in the hole I dug, I can't see to get out. Doing short stories has changed the way I do things so much, Nanowrimo is no longer conducive to getting things done for me.

I do it every year because I love the camaraderie, I love the memories of snow falling outside the windows as my fellow writers and I tap madly on our keyboards with cups of hot chocolate by our computers, I love trying out fresh, new ideas (if I have them in time for November). But I no longer worry about whether I make 50k by the end.

Most years seem to have things that get in the way of crossing that Nano finish line as well. This year it was my participation in VPA's "The Story of the Velveteen Rabbit." The show opened the week of Thanksgiving and closed the weekend before Christmas. Even though I had a small part, it still sucked up a lot of my time and a good portion of the energy leftover from growing a baby. I had a lot of fun and frustration mixed up with this one. Granted, I normally wouldn't have agreed to this show, as it was a small part in a musical I wasn't familiar with, and half the cast was comprised of kids. Also, I don't like performing during the holidays, even though we don't have family here to celebrate with.

But with the discovery of my pregnancy, I realized it was very likely this would be my last show in many years. If I waited for "South Pacific," I would find myself eight months pregnant, close to nine months, by the time the show opened. Not exactly a safe proposition. And I knew I'd be even more exhausted than I was for this show.

I got to meet several newcomers to the theatre scene and help get them started on the path to local entertainment (with the warning that once the theatre has you, it doesn't let go easily, especially for guys!) I got sing to my baby every night, which I will continue to do each day. I got to see the evidence of my growing belly as my first act costume got tighter and tighter, and the waistline of the skirt rose toward my bust. (This in particular was a source of amusement for all us adults.)

Perhaps it wasn't the farewell performance I'd dreamed of. But maybe the child will catch the theatre bug someday and we'll make a debut together.

And now the year is drawing to a close. I'm rapidly filling up a baby registry, which is taking up most of my time right now. I have to do a lot of research on things because there hasn't been a baby in the family since I was fourteen or fifteen years old, and I have never taken care of babies. I can count on one hand how many times I've even held a baby. So I read as much as I can (reading "You: Having a Baby" right now), exercise, eat right (always a struggle during the holidays), and ask a lot of opinions on Facebook.

Around week 17, I started feeling the first popcorn pokes of my baby with the certainty that it wasn't just gas. I feel movement every single day now, getting stronger and stronger. The little Cinnabon is wiggling as I type this, for movement is most noticeable when I'm sitting still. I admit, as much as it delights me, it creeps me out a little too. It's just so strange and different!

After the gender reveal photos are posted, I will post my registry as well and actively start planning for the baby shower that two of my theatre friends have generously offered to throw.

Thinking of all the theatre people that will be invited, I think this may go down as an epic shindig. ;)