Wednesday, November 16, 2011

welcome, baby lulu!

it's funny how life gets all busy, and i don't blog for like a SUPER long time.

this blog first evolved after adam and i moved to the netherlands -- tired of writing really long mass emails that got sent to everyone but us, and never the same group of people twice, we began what was essentially a travel blog.

then news came that we were expecting a baby, and it became more personal -- stories of our "spruitje", written for posterity, so that our little one could someday go back and read about the time when she was just a tiny baby in her mama's womb, and the fun things she did as a baby living in holland.

then facebook came along, and it got super way mucho easy to just put everything on there. but that's not quite the same.

well, it's time to break out the old blog again. because we're expecting baby #2 in mid-may. and it hardly seems fair that miss mary grace should have all the fun stories, and poot little "baby lulu" gets nothing!

so, here goes the story of lulu:

back in august, we had what i suspect was a very early miscarriage. i was devastated. i had been on this hormone cream supplement for months, trying to prepare my body for pregnancy -- my doctor kept promising me all these miracle side-effects: shorter periods! no pms! better sleep! but i never experienced ANY of that. if anything, the stupid cream just made me MORE irritated -- probably because i was expecting all these miracles that my doctor kept swearing were coming any day now -- "we just have to change your dose," she'd say. sigh.

so, after what i believe was a miscarriage (but my doctor disagrees), i say "hey, doc. i'm going off this crap for a while." went the herbal route: chaste berry and wild yam. called an acupuncturist. got an intuitive reading. pulled out my tarot cards for the first time in FOREVER. bought pretty underwear. you know... witchy stuff.

suddenly, my period was late. "AHA!" i thought. "these herbs really work! my cycle has been balanced naturally!" and then my period STILL didn't come, so just to rule out pregnancy (cuz i was SURE i wasn't!), i peed on a stick and it came back positive. i could hardly believe it! i felt so NOT pregnant! i remember with gracie, i had been feeling slightly nauseous and EXHAUSTED for several days before i finally pieced it together. but this one was nothing like that. had the bloodwork at the midwives office not come back with hormone levels through the roof, i wouldn't have believed it at all.

well, fast forward -- i'm now over 14 weeks along. just done with my first trimester. and WOW is this pregnancy different than the one with gracie! for instance:

cravings:
gracie: tator tots, clementines, carrot juice
lulu: tator tots, bacon, pickled ginger, glasses of milk, bananas

symptoms:
gracie: none. i was all "i don't know why everyone is complaining all the time... being pregnant is SUPER easy. blah blah blah, look at me, i don't have any stretch marks, blah blah blah..." i did feel hot a lot of the time, though.
lulu: exhausted. puking. can't brush my teeth. headaches.

dreams:
gracie: babies
lulu: food

my mom says that i must be having a boy because i'm dreaming of food all the time and i want to eat biscuits and gravy morning, noon, and night. my sister says i'm having a boy because i started showing like day 2 of this whole thing, just like her. my acupuncturist says she feels boy energy. (i felt boy energy from gracie, too, and i was kind of partly right, but also kind of not...) gracie, however, says "he's a girl." so there you go. she's pretty certain lulu is going to be a sister. and kids are pretty in tune with stuff like that, so i'm going to guess she's probably right.

(and no, we won't be finding out the gender at our 20-week ultrasound. it's way more fun to keep guessing!)

gracie has had so much fun with this whole baby business. and honestly, i have no idea how she found out about "lulu" in the first place. we really weren't going to tell her until maybe the big ultrasound day, because 9 months is a long time for anyone to wait, especially a 3-year-old. but somehow, she got it. like, RIGHT away. "mom, can we name the baby lulu?"

wow.

don't ask me how she came up with that name. she's at the age where all of her stuffed animals and matchbox cars are named just like how they literally are: "froggie", "blue car", "zamboni", "yellow bear", etc. so -- lulu. that threw us for a loop. but, lulu it is, at least until baby is born and we put something different on the birth certificate.

(and, gracie tells us that after lulu is born, we can name her "batman" and then change gracie's name to "transformer." sounds reasonable to me!)

she's been SO sweet -- coming up to me to rub my back (without me asking her to!) when i'm bent over puking up this morning's breakfast. saving her old clothes and toys and shoes for lulu in a box in the garage. wondering if lulu will like to eat marshmallows and have a fire pit in the backyard too. wanting to teach lulu how to read books and do art projects. she's just so freaking amazing -- where did this all come from? it's completely intiated by her -- she just stops what she's doing and mentions something about wanting to share this with lulu when lulu is born, and then comes up to my belly to yell in there, to see if she can get lulu to kick and squirm (she usually can). it's amazing. it's adorable. it's very reassuring and sweet.

except for some mild spotting around week 7 or so, i've been feeling mostly fine. pukey and tired, but fine. my mom has been a great help, coming over and loading the dishwasher unannounced. adam has been doing daddy duty double overtime so that i can go to bed early. and, as i said already, gracie has been considerate, helpful, compassionate, and sweet.

i just wish i had more time to spend with this one. i feel like i spent so much time with gracie before she was even born -- and this child is just lucky to get 5 minutes from me at the end of the day. i often wonder if that's the reason i've been so sick during my first trimester: it's lulu's way of reminding me that she's actually in there and i need to pay attention to her!

anyway, i hope to utilize this blog much more as my pregnancy progresses and we get to know lulu better. so far i can say that she responds really well to gracie's touch and voice, likes potato chips, and has been kicking and squirming for at least the last 3 weeks. midwife appt tomorrow afternoon -- can't wait to hear her little heartbeat again! it's the prettiest sound in the world!

love you, lulu!