On Having a Son {22 Weeks}

We are having a son. :) I literally cannot say that out loud or even think it in my mind without a silly grin taking over my entire face. The first few days of knowing, I'd actually laugh out loud to myself with this weird, giddy excitement that can only be explained by this deep, unpenetrable joy I feel when I think about him.

His name will be Owen. I have a quite a list of girl names I love, but years ago I told Ryan that if we were to have a baby boy some day, I'd like to name him Owen. It has one fault, and that is its recent popularity. But you know what? We don't already have a son named Owen, which means in our family, it is not a popular name. It's new. And cute. And manly. It's cute on babies and it's cute on old men, which is important to us because we aren't so much into modern names. I like old names. My tastes have changed in basically every other area of my life--including girl names--but it was impossible for us to come up with a boy name that I love as much as this one. We've joked that if we ever have another son, his name will be Owen II because of my distaste for almost every male name. ha!

Owen means "young warrior" or "young fighter." I like that. My husband's name means "little king," and I am already so in love with my family of 3...my "little king" and "young warrior." I'm going to be honest: every time I've ever seen or heard any mom talk about how in love she is with her children, I see nothing but giant red flags waving across my mind. It bothers me when I see moms place their kids before their husbands, and as a society we seem to struggle with idolizing our children. I have never been able to reconcile how it would be for me--how I would juggle and prioritize my love for my husband with my love for my children, but I'm starting to get it. All sides of it. Part of the problem is that it is rare that we see it done this way. Nonetheless, I've been very open about my thankfulness for the four years that Ryan and I have been married without children. It has allowed us to build a foundation together, to learn how to be together and how to love each other. I feel ready to add our baby boy to our family, and I have no fear of neglecting one for the other. Something about seeing my son's face at our ultrasound just ignited this crazy, intense love for him that I hadn't yet felt. Of course I've been excited about our baby since day one and thought I was already completely in love with him, but I was wrong. Those feelings pale in comparison to the feelings I have now. The best part: I am already experiencing what it is like to be completely, madly in love with two men at the same time. ;) I'm realizing it is two completely different types of love, though equal in intensity.

As soon as we discovered that we are having a boy, I exclaimed "AHHH Dr. Allison, how will I know what to do with a boy??!!" She laughed and reassured me by saying "the good news is he arrives as a little baby boy, and you just take it one day at a time from then on." She's right. I don't have to have it all figured out or know anything about raising a son. It is going to be so fun, and I want him to be in my arms rightthissecond.

My final thought: my husband is an incredible man. I truly admire him from the depths of my being, and it's no secret that I think he hung the moon. I'm definitely not his only admirer. I cannot tell you how many times I hear "I want ____ to marry a man like Ryan!" I hear it all the time, even from people who haven't met him but know about him from the things I tell them. We see his patients in public and they come toward us, shouting his name in excitement and immediately embracing him. Seriously? When was the last time you (and your kid, in this case) got excited about seeing your pharmacist in public and gave him a hug? Exactly. He's a special man. He's a perfect picture of quiet strength, as opposed to my mother-bear like tendencies. He's steady, gentle, and although he's always right about everything, he would never act like it or even tell you that because he's humble to a fault. He doesn't even try to correct people who have false ideas about him, his work, etc. He is the man who has to caution me not to think less of other men just because they aren't like him. I respect him with every ounce of my being. And this has taken me about 5 seconds to type because it's all true. It's easy for me to say. So my main thought immediately after finding out we are having a son?  Thank God my son will have a man like him for a dad. This world needs men like Ryan to have sons; sons need to have men like him for a dad. 

...closely followed by "and I'm still the queen of the castle! Heck yeah!" :-)


21 Weeks

Weeks: 21
Baby: Baby weighs about 12 ounces and resembles a fully developed human, but he/she could still fit in the palm of my hand. :-) The baby hiccups and practices breathing, and swallows amniotic fluid to practice eating. If baby is a girl, she already has a fully developed reproductive system, including 6-7 million eggs!
Total weight gain: I'm confident that I've gained, and I'll know for sure on Wednesday!
Maternity clothes? Nope. I've worn a couple of things because they're cute, but not necessary yet.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Sleeping well.
Favorite moment of the week:  Getting into the single digits on our find-out-the-gender countdown! Not pregnancy related, we got to spend a couple of days in Fayetteville catching up with several of our friends...which of course led to a meltdown on Sunday when we were back home. I can't blame pregnancy because that happens every time! Ha
Miss anything? Not particularly.
Movement: Yes! It isn't constant, and I worry a lot when I don't feel the baby, but I do feel the little babe quite a bit.
Cravings? Not really
Anything make you queasy or sick? Nothing in particular
Gender prediction: This is my last chance to predict on my blog before finding out for sure! I really have no idea, but I know that's boring, so I'll say this: I have thought boy for the majority of my pregnancy, and so has everyone else. But the past two weeks I have been saying girl, so that's my final guess. I honestly don't care either way!
Labor signs: None, but I have had lots of growing pains! 
Symptoms: I had a fairly normal week, so that's exciting! I do feel like my skin is about to rip open, which isn't exactly a comfortable feeling.
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: Normal
Looking forward to: Ultrasound on Wednesday! :-)
Freak-out moment of the week: I freak out when I don't feel the baby move for a day or two at a time.
Thankful for: So thankful my appointment is in two days. Seriously, I'm about to go crazy without seeing my little baby! I'm thankful I have good friends who are pregnant at the same time I am and are a few weeks ahead of me; they've been such an encouragement to me this entire time!


20 Down, 20 to Go!

Weeks: 20!! Halfway! 
Baby: Baby is about 10 inches long--the size of a carrot or a banana. The baby's anatomy can be clearly seen at this point, and the little tot is moving around and making baby-like movements.
Total weight gain: Hopefully some by now. I'll know November 20th. 
Maternity clothes? Loving my Be-Band with my regular pants. Some of my shirts are getting too short to wear with my belly. Ha. I've worn a couple of maternity shirts that I probably won't be able to wear later in pregnancy.
Stretch marks? None
Sleep:  Sleeping great, and requiring less sleep than I was.
Favorite moment of the week: I've caught several women staring at my bump. I love it. Really my favorite moment might be when we were standing at church yesterday, I looked down and couldn't exactly see my feet. It's partially just the way I was standing, but it's impossible for me to look down at my bump and not smile. Impossible. 
Miss anything? Nope!
Movement: I had a couple of days of feeling nothing, but yesterday our little babe was definitely getting his/her exercise on!
Cravings? Subway and Reese's Pieces.
Anything make you queasy or sick? Nothing specific... I did throw up this week. Maybe I'll never get past that!
Gender prediction: Girl. No, boy. Girl. ??? (9 more days!)
Labor signs: Um, no.
Symptoms: Stretching pains, and everything else that randomly comes and goes.
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: Good
Looking forward to: Ultrasound on the 20th! I've got my tabs open on Safari and am ready to purchase what is in my cart depending on the gender of our babe. ha! I've only purchased two items so far, and that was because I was at a craft show and knew I couldn't just get them later. I am proud of myself. Like, ridiculously so. 
Freak-out moment of the week: I don't think I had one. Sorry. :-)
Thankful for: So much. I'm thankful I'm pregnant and that my husband is obsessed with me being pregnant. I know some men love when their wives are pregnant and some don't. Can't blame them there, but I am thankful every single day that he lavishes me with compliments even when things are changing so much!


19 Weeks

I have a favorite moment from this week that deserves a little more spotlight than my little survey can give. :) Ryan and I were talking about our baby's personality, characteristics, mannerisms, etc. that we wonder about and wish for. I love day-dreaming about those things. It was a sweet conversation, and we determined we have different hopes for our child depending on which gender he/she is. Of course we hope our child is kind, polite, etc. That's not what we're talking about, so don't get yourself in a tizzy here.

 If this precious baby is a girl, I mostly pray that she is strong-willed and confident. I had a difficult time articulating my hopes and prayers for a son, but Ryan was a big help because he knows what boys go through better than I do! We mainly pray that he will have confidence, but also that he will be manly, yet gentle. In our families and the city in which we hope to live, it is going to be really easy for our little one to get swallowed up in others' expectations and desires for his/her life. I told Ryan my main prayer is that our child will be strong-willed enough to know he/she doesn't need to listen to anybody. He sweetly smiled, and I'm sure he was caught off guard because that doesn't sound anything like me at all. ;) I mean it, though. I really do. Besides loving Jesus, that is extremely important to me for our children. I will work really hard to teach him/her those things!

Weeks: 19
Baby: Baby is the size of a softball, weighs half a pound, can frown and smile, has unique fingerprints, and I'm d-y-i-n-g to hold him/her. I told Ryan I wish I could take the baby out of my body, love on him/her for a little bit, then put him/her back to grow some more. Ha
Total weight gain: I'm down a couple of pounds from my first appointment 11 weeks ago. See "symptoms" for more info. 
Maternity clothes? Nope. I've worn a couple of things because they're cute, but not necessary yet.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Sleeping well, and sleeping lots.
Favorite moment of the week:  Hearing baby's heartbeat at my appointment Wednesday! It was 147 bpm, and was a little difficult to hear over all the kicking and movement! I also really enjoyed going to Target with my mom to look at baby gear, and Babies-R-Us with Ryan!
Miss anything? I miss feeling like a normal, healthy human.
Movement: Yes! I know I'll feel it more strongly and frequently as time goes on, but for now it's a real treat. I can feel baby the most when I'm laying down, which has happened a lot lately. 
Cravings? Subway. All day everyday. 9 grain honey oat bread with ham and turkey, American cheese (extra cheese, please), lettuce, tomato, lots of mustard. Mmmmmm.
Anything make you queasy or sick? Riding in a vehicle, I think.
Gender prediction: This week I said girl, but normally I think boy. Our appointment is on Wednesday, November 20th, but you'll have to wait til the next week (pending my self-control). ;)
Labor signs: None, but I have had lots of growing pains! 
Symptoms: "Dear Lord, please keep me and baby alive" has been my literal prayer these past few days (really off and on for the 8 days or so). I have had a few days of feeling like I could pass out at any second, followed by pretty intense fatigue. It's happened when I've been starving, but it's also happened on a full stomach, which always throws me for a loop. I've had a couple of days where I've been able to do nothing but lay down and sleep, and I get really, really frustrated. After a series of a few dramatic events, I talked with my doctor today. I thought the problem might be an iron deficiency, but she thinks it's a combination of my blood pressure ("always on the low side," she said) and my "low weight." The fainting feeling is because of low blood pressure, and the fatigue is because of low weight.  I've been upset about the weight part because I don't feel like I can eat any more than I already do. She gave me some advice to follow to help with both problems. Basically I've been told twice in one week now to eat and drink more than I do. I'm trying! I've been miserable.
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: Good
Looking forward to: 21 week ultrasound!
Freak-out moment of the week: I freaked out Saturday and almost went to the hospital because I thought I was dying. I know that sounds dramatic, but I honestly did! 
Thankful for: I'm thankful I haven't gotten "pizza face" (yet) like I always thought I would. I'm thankful for Ryan and my mom and their ability to magically calm me down.