Friday, October 22, 2010

the whole "it's a boy" thing...

Yes, I know I'm kind of a jerk for whining about it. Plenty of people desperately want to get pregnant and can't, or get pregnant but miscarry, or have a baby with fatal birth defects, or something like that. I really do know how blessed I am that we have never had any problem bringing children into the world. I do. And I feel bad that I feel bad about the gender. But all that logic isn't changing my disappointment, so I just need to get this off my chest and hopefully that'll help me get over it. If you are someone who has struggled with any of those real problems (as opposed to my non-problem), please just skip this post so you don't hate me.

***Quick Note: I started writing this on Friday I believe, 3 days after the ultrasound. Today is Sunday, 2 days later, and I'm definitely feeling a lot better already. Just thought I should finish this up and put it out there.***

So, I have never gone to an ultrasound wanting it to be a boy. If I'd had a few girls I might've eventually wanted a boy, but I never got that opportunity! With #1 I wanted a girl mostly for the the-clothes-are-so-much-cuter kind of reasons (hey, I was only 19 at the time!). And because I grew up in a family with 4 girls and 1 boy, I just assumed I'd have mostly girls as well (I realize the flaw in the logic there...). I was disappointed that it was a boy, and I cried about it, but not much. With #2 I hoped for a girl, but I was pretty easily okay with having them both be boys so they could be buddies. When we found out #3 was a girl, I was ecstatic! It was SO FUN to buy pink things after having to deny myself that pleasure in the past.

When we went in for ultrasound #4 I was pretty confident (I told Dan 75-80%) it was a girl. Why? My pregnancies with David & Ryan barely phased me. I wasn't nauseous very much or very long into the pregnancy, I had plenty of energy, and the different hormone balance made my emotions more level than normal. With Katy I was really tired, actually got sick, was nauseous several weeks longer, and struggled with my emotions . This pregnancy has been a lot more like my previous girl pregnancy than previous boy pregnancies - I have been absolutely exhausted, overly emotional, and only within the last couple weeks (I'm almost 19 weeks now) has the nausea subsided somewhat (still hasn't completely gone away). No, I never did actually throw up, but I spent several hours every day for all of August and September just laying on the couch, waiting for the yuckiness to pass. And when I was feeling so miserable, I thought "At least this means it's probably a girl, I'm going through this so I can get another girl, it's definitely worth it."

Nope, apparently my pregnancies are just getting harder (so NO I will not reconsider having another baby to try for another girl!). I've been more nauseous, and it's a boy anyway. Rip off!

I have to say that I have been the most sad about the gender diagnosis this time than ever before. The reason this time is harder comes down to two things. First of all, we're going to be done after this one, so I can't just think "Next time it'll be a girl." Second, we've experienced both genders, and we've really enjoyed the pink one!

It's probably not fair to compare our experience with David as young, new parents with our experience with Katy as seasoned veterans. I know that there are many factors besides gender coming into play here. By the time we had our girl, we'd learned lots of tricks for taking care of babies (loud white noise, "super hold," etc.) . I'd learned how to nurse, and how to survive with a demanding little one (you sure learn to use those nap times!). So maybe it wasn't gender influenced AT ALL, but we definitely enjoyed our girl's babyhood a LOT more than our boys'.

Here's a tacky, superficial reason for wanting another girl: our girl was far cuter than our boys. Even as a newborn. Here's all three of them at 2 days old:

The boys both had the awkward, mushed, newborn look, Katy was already a beautiful baby. Yes, they grew cuter as they aged...and so did she. I still get comments all the time about how cute she is. Yes, it's a horrible & stupid reason to prefer having another girl, but our girl has been just absolutely adorable.

Also, our girl has been far sweeter & more cuddly than the boys. She still asks "Can we snuggle for a little while?" Could be just personality and not gender related at all, but from our small sample size, that's been our experience.

Here's another superficial one - I LOVE the cute girly things. I love Katy's pink bedroom with pink curtains and flowers on the wall, her love of skirts (If you see her wearing pants, either I need to do laundry or I fought hard because it's cold outside!), princess dress up clothes, and her sparkly shoes. I love how she loves dancing, how she picks flowers any chance she gets, and how much cuter her toys are than the boys'!

So I have plenty of dumb reasons for wanting this baby to have been a girl. But I really do have some practical reasons too!

Practical Reason #1 - bedroom situation
We have 3 bedrooms - one for mom & dad, one for David & Ryan, one for Katy & the baby. Katy can share her room with a boy for a couple years, but not forever. They will be 4 years apart, so Katy will probably start caring about changing in private when the baby is only a couple years old. We can have her change in the bathroom for a while, but I really think they should be separated by the time they're 8 & 4, probably even a year or two earlier.

Semi-Practical Reason #1b - bedroom decor
So, Katy will be sharing her bedroom with a boy for at least a few years. Does that mean poor Katy has to have her pink bedroom redone more neutrally? Or that Baby Boy has to spend a few years of his life with a pink room? Neither option appeals to me, but it has to be one or the other!

Practical Reason #2 - baby clothes
When David came along, we were poor college students working part time for ridiculously low pay. The majority of his clothes were hand-me-downs or purchased at DI, garage sales, lots on ebay, or maybe at a lowish quality store if we were lucky. Then David & Ryan both wore them, and neither were exactly easy on them. They're all in my parents' shed, so I haven't had a chance to look through them, but if I remember right we're going to end up either dressing this boy in trashed old clothes or having to buy new ones.

By the time we were expecting our Katy girl we'd both graduated and Dan had a good full-time job. And I'd discovered and started shopping regularly at the outlet stores near my parents' house - mostly Carter's and Children's Place. So Katy had lots of new, good quality clothes, and only she has worn them. Nevermind that they're cuter than the boy clothes, they're in MUCH better condition! Well, lucky for new baby Sidney, she can have an entire wardrobe of gently used clothes!

Another Semi-Practical Reason - pink baby gear
We bought a pink bouncy chair when Katy was a baby (the one we'd had for the boys had vibrated itself to death). And we got a pink bumbo in a raffle last spring. It doesn't really matter, but if I'm going to have a boy, I don't really want him sitting in a pink bouncy chair or bumbo.

And one of the biggest reasons that made me cry in the first shock wave of finding out - having another boy dooms us to many, many more years of scouting! I've been in cub scouts since last March, and I've never been very happy about it. David turns 8 next month, with Ryan following 20 months later. So I'll at least HAVE a cub for just shy of 5 years, hopefully I won't be IN cubs that whole time. Then 3 years after that, Baby Boy will turn 8 and it'll start all over again. And cubs isn't the end of it, that's just the only part I have experience with at the moment. They'll be involved until they're out of Young Men's, right? So we're going to have someone in scouts from next month until this baby goes away to college. Sigh...

Yes, I'm very whiny. I don't know if helps anyone to have all my reasons here in one place. I really AM getting used to it. I don't know that I'll ever be able to say I'm glad it's a boy instead of a girl, at least not until teenage hormones turn Katy into a she-devil. But I'm rapidly getting over the disappointment that I don't get my perfect little 2 boys & 2 girls. And now I'll always have the special mommy-daughter relationship with only my sweet Katy. Uh-oh, this sure isn't going to keep her from getting spoiled...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ultrasound Pictures!

I have decided that there are 5 main milestones in pregnancy - getting the positive test, hearing the heartbeat, feeling the baby move (although that one is a bit vague, I always have a couple weeks of "Was that it?"), getting the ultrasound, and, finally, having the baby. And next to actually having the baby, I think I get the most excited about the ultrasound. It's so cool to actually see a little person (at 18 weeks the baby is 5 1/2 inches, head to rump) growing inside you! I mean, you know it's there, but it's so neat to have proof!

David, Ryan, and Katy were all delivered by the same doctor, Dr. Peterson in Orem, UT. With him, at my check up around 20 weeks, he'd call the ultrasound place and have me schedule an appointment for sometime within the next week or so. I don't know if the difference is doctor to doctor or regional, but Dr. David here in Vancouver told me 4 weeks ago to go ahead and schedule my ultrasound for any time on or after 18 weeks. So the anticipation for the date was so much worse, knowing the actual day for almost a month in advance!

So Dan took Tuesday off of work, and he, Katy, and I headed in to see our little one. We were very excited!

Side note - I'm pretty sure we were emailed copies of Katy's ultrasound pictures. 4 years later, this place only gives printed pics. And of course our scanner isn't set up, so we'll make do with pictures of pictures.

Here's the baby! Really, it looks like every other ultrasound picture you've ever seen. But it's the baby growing in MY belly, so we shall oo and ah.

Here's another shot of the cute little profile.

And here's the face. These pictures always look kind of creepy to me, but we'll throw it on here anyway.

I don't know why they always take so long to get to checking the gender. The tech started at the head and moved down the body, taking lots of measurements of everything - head, heart, stomach, etc. Meanwhile, I'm dying to know if my strong suspicion of it being a girl is correct!

So she finally gets near the area, and says "I think I see boy parts." But then looks at something else for a long long time (probably 10 min or less) while I sit there hoping she was wrong. Then she finally gets around to pointing it out to me - nope, she wasn't wrong. And I guess she was worried about me being in denial, so she printed out 3 different pictures to prove it to me (out of 7 total). Yup, there's no doubt about it. That's boy parts.

I'll need to do a whole separate post about the gender thing. I know it's stupid to be upset about the gender when I've been so incredibly blessed to not have to deal with any pregnancy related problem - infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, whatever. And I don't want this baby growing up with a complex because Mommy wanted him to be a girl. Well, like I said, I'll do another post about it soon. Maybe that'll help me process it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Katy's first day of Preschool!

My baby started preschool (two weeks ago, of course, apparently I can't blog about anything until it's been a few weeks). I cannot believe she is that old! The boys seemed much older to me when they started preschool. Probably because they weren't the baby anymore by that point.

So, the boys got to go to an official, money-costing preschool. Katy is not so lucky. For one thing, she doesn't need it (David needed it to learn to sit still...we're still working on that with him...). For another, we're trying to cut costs at the moment (oh yeah, we bought a new car...I guess we could blog about that, too...). So Katy gets to do a once a week preschool with 3 friends from church, rotating houses monthly. Which works really well with me being unavailable in March and for a couple months afterwards. She's gone twice so far, and she loves it!

(I forgot to rotate this picture before uploading it, and blogger did it automatically. How did it know?)

Awww. I just love that girl!

When we showed up at the end, they were reading a story. It was Ten Apples up on Top, to go with the A theme. They also painted a picture of an apple tree (brave Teresa!) and colored a letter A worksheet. Katy showed me the things on her paper that start with A - apple, alligator, and rat. That's an armadillo, Honey. :-)

I'm doing the month of October, so I get to teach about the letter C tomorrow (or, rather, today...I have this set up to post tomorrow so you won't miss my beautiful frog post!). Should be fun!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One frog I am NOT willing to kiss!

Two weeks ago we had some pretty big rain storms. We're very used to rain around here, but it's usually the drizzly, don't see the sun for days kind of rain. This was brief (less than half an hour) periods of heavy rain, several times over a few days. And apparently it was too much for the local froggies, because we saw several over those days. Most were hanging out just outside the front door, one was sitting on the front door (perched above the window), and one was just INside the front door:

He was cute, so I took his picture, then took him back outside.

Apparently he had brought a friend inside with him.

I found him yesterday under my kitchen sink.

Now, I have no proof that this frog has only been there for two weeks, and it seems pretty weird that it would shrivel up so quickly. But it was fairly close to the front, and showed up when I was just putting the cleaning wipes away. So it wasn't like I was doing some deep cleaning that would unearth things that had been in there a long time. And maybe shriveling up happens really rapidly to amphibians?

I'm going to choose to believe that it was only there for two weeks. And that only 2 frogs made it inside, both of which have already been found. Because I don't have the energy to do the cleaning I would have to do if I thought there might be more of these lurking in my cupboards!