Tuesday, October 30, 2007

adoption vs. birthing

I've been forming a lot of thoughts since July. I've been scolded and comforted for being negative about pregnancy. As the date of ultrasound draws closer and the baby is becoming more "real" in the belly, I thought it time to express more thoughts.

The most obvious problem with growing a life is that it's all me. Doug has no idea what's going on, Doug's body isn't changing, and Doug isn't finding it challenging to do normal everyday things. He is a great support, but still - it's me. Many women like this, gives them a feeling of superiority I think - that's what I take out of their discussions. However, adoption was so much better. The ups and downs, the reactions to news, the celebrations and frustrations... experienced together. Equally. I'd still rather get on a plane to Moscow (twice!) than have to give birth.

The growth of a baby inside my belly is odd. It's at both times amazing in a miracle-from-God kind of way, and quite disgusting in an Alien-out-of-the-stomach kind of way. There is a living being (on a good day) or creature (on a bad day) growing inside my body. I'm still just not sure if that's really cool or not. Or maybe I just want it to be March.

For some reason I've been comparing myself in my brain to elephants. Baggy maternity clothes (along with other saggy body parts) led me to tell Doug in tears the other day that I felt like the saggy, baggy elephant. In some ways I think, this is no different than what all other kinds of mammals do. This is nothing special. I'm just like an elephant. I suppose I could compare myself to a lioness, but elephant seems to work.

I don't like it when people tell me about adoption, "it was wonderful that you did that." Well, we wanted a family and that was the way to do it. But there is a bit of "hero quality" to it, once you see the conditions the children are living in. Not only do I love Roman with all my heart & soul, I am also grateful every day that we were able to get him out of his situation and to a better quality life. When I watch him work or play and he's not bothering me for a few minutes, I think about the orphanage, and the village he was from, and what he'd be like if he had stayed in Russia. And I can't believe the beauty of adoption to not only lead us to him, but allow him to grow up with so many more opportunities.

What's so special about birthing? I was kind of happy to not be in that club. The outsider, I guess, but knowing that Doug and I experienced something so much more powerful through adoption. My sister-in-law assures me that birthing at the hospital, or taking home from an orphanage, is both great in its own way. I trust her, being that she had the same feelings I do about getting pregnant. I just... don't want it to be equal to adoption. I don't want to be a mammal like everyone else on earth. We had been planning our second adoption, and I'm kind of mad it's being denied. Now, I suppose God's plan is probably better than our own plan. Let's just hope everything is healthy and normal on Friday morning, and I'll work on getting okay with God's plan.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

high school football

It's not often that Doug's high school and my high school interact. Ever. Except for football, and that's only in the playoffs. Occasionally.

Well, they met Friday night on the football field in St. Joseph. St. Joe Bears (Amy) won, but GR Christian High Eagles (Doug) put up a heck of a fight. Here's hoping St. Joe gets to play here at Ford Field Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

5:35pm... time to cry.

I'm pregnant. I know this to be true if only because of my hormones. I have zits where a person shouldn't have zits (my neck?! Come on!). I am definitely beginning to have odder cravings (for lunch? Spinach & feta omelet with a side of fries, please. Thank goodness for Coney Island restaurants). And as mentioned before, the fact that I am crying... all the time. If I go a day without having a good 5-10 minute bawl, I mark it as an extraordinary day. Last week, I cried when Doug changed the channel to the Weather Channel. Yesterday, Doug and I were catching up with each other and reading the newspaper while Roman played. I just started crying. No reason, really. Doug asked what was going on, and I just pointed to the clock. Apparently, because it was 5:35pm, and time to cry.

Doug is a superstar husband. He's researched all the chemical and hormonal changes my body is going through and is most understanding. He commends me for not being as "crazy" as he expected me to be (I tell him there's another 5 months to go). Four out of 7 nights, Doug is doing the cooking (with at least one of those others being fast-food, and another being leftovers). He does the laundry most weeks now, too, with me helping now & then. He lets me sleep in on weekends and take naps when I need to. He goes out with Roman when I begin to act overwhelmed (hard to believe, isn't it, with him doing all the work?). He's just been awesome.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The taste of Mountain Fresh Dial

Roman. Roman, Roman, Roman. Stubborn, wants to be in control, doesn't follow directions, Roman.

Roman thought he'd have some quiet fun by repeating the word "penis" over and over to his friend Ethan, to make him laugh during Circle Time. He was caught and told it was a word that shouldn't be used at that time, and to stop. He kept doing it. He was told to stop again. He finally did.

When I asked him about what happened, he lied. He said he never said that word. When I kept pushing, he finally admitted it. When I then asked him about saying it even though his teacher said to stop, he lied again. I finally did get him to admit the truth. But the damage was done ~ not the first time he hasn't done what a teacher has told him (the third in as many weeks, I believe), but this time he lied to me twice. So a firm consequence was in order.

After talking it over with Daddy (who was going to be TOO firm, in my opinion) and my own ideas (too lenient, in Doug's opinion), Rebekka finally suggested soap in the mouth. And that made Doug and I both happy. Well happy... not really. But a good consequence.

So Roman got to taste Mountain Fresh Dial this evening. He kicked, screamed, pursed his mouth shut, and it took both Doug and I to hold him down and get it in his mouth. Terrible, really, the way I'm describing it. But the boy has been cruising for a smush-down for quite a few days, really. And he went to bed early and was asleep by 7:00pm... think that has anything to do with it?!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The onion has moved!

I am 17-1/2 weeks currently (actually, I'll flip to "18 weeks" on Monday). According to babycenter.com, my current Internet bible, Skippy/ette is the size of a large onion. Like Doug says, "we're not talking red onion, we're talking Spanish onion." Anyway, for the last couple weeks we've read that women at my weekage can feel the baby move if they lay real still on their backs ~ that it would feel like a "flutter" or "bubbles." Well, a couple times I thought I felt it but couldn't be sure, so figured nah, it will come eventually.

Well, eventually was this morning. We were riding in the car to Kalamazoo to cheer on the Broncos at Homecoming (unfortunately they lost), and I was just thinking about whether I was hungry or thirsty or just bored, when I had the weirdest sensation - like butterflies in my bladder. I thought about it, and then it happened again, like the chills you get when someone runs their finger up/down your spine, except in my intestinal region. And then I realized - it's the flutter! I told Doug what I had just felt, and he knew immediately that it was Skippy/ette. It did happen a couple more times, which was just neat.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Politics & Babies

I believe I am secretly a Libertarian. My school has a mix of Republicans, Democrats, and "who cares" so political talk at lunch is always interesting. A liberal coworker sent the following link to a few of us, which if you take the time to answer and adjust your priority scale, will help find the presidential candidate that has beliefs similar to yourself. And here are my results...


100% Theoretical, nonexistent candidate
63% Alan Keyes, African-American Republican
60% John Edwards, Democrat
60% John McCain, very moderate Republican
57% Barack Obama, Democrat
56% Tom Tancredo, Republican
54% Hillary Clinton, Democrat
54% Joseph Biden, Democrat
53% Rudolph Giuliani, Republican
53% Al Gore, Democrat (not announced)

I keep telling anyone who listens that if they can find a qualified black candidate of the Republican persuasion, they will take the White House. Apparently Alan Keyes isn't that guy, since I haven't heard much about him. So apparently my choice is between John Edwards and John McCain. So I think I'll vote for Obama.

As for babies, a midwife at church recommended the Chinese conception calendar to find out gender of Skippy. She swears it is 95% accurate. And the Chinese believe I will have....


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Things to be happy about

Yesterday and today were just one happy "yay" things after another. So I thought I would list them.
Friday: Aztek retrieved from shop and rattle is fixed. Issue with rental car has been made to go away with no cost to us. Green bean casserole, which used to be the bane of my dinner-existence as a child, was not only good on Thursday, it was good as leftovers! We went to a football game to see one of my former students play. Roman was awesome. So good, we stayed until the end. Roman couldn't wait to meet his first football player. We got to go out on the field and everything, which thrilled Roman to run into the end zone with his Daddy. Roman remained a sweet boy all night.

Saturday: Even though I was "on duty" to get up with Roman (6:30am!) Doug did anyway. I took Rebekka to a meeting at a mall and Roman and I wandered for an hour. He was sweet, again. While gone, the carpet cleaners came and cleaned our entire house. Got home, had lunch. Rebekka and I went out and about for Halloween decor and to my haircut. Roman slept for 2-1/2 hours. Doug even slept. Rebekka got an hour to herself in town while I got my haircut. I got a new color.... went back to my brown roots, so to speak. Roman agreed to not one, but TWO different "art" projects (painting and putting together a foamie haunted house). After all that, Doug still agreed to go out to dinner tonight to Outback as I was craving steak. Again. Rebekka went to work, Roman went to bed sweetly yet again.

So many little things that add up to a very great couple days.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Attack of the letter P

This morning, Roman was watching "Curious George" on PBS. It was an episode about the meaning of picture-signs, and that the big red circle/slash means "no." George, at the end, made a "no dinosaurs" sign to put on his bedroom door. Roman thought this was a great idea, and wants to make a "no monsters" sign for his bedroom.

As we were driving down our street this morning after discussing signs, Roman saw the "no parking" signs - a big P with the red circle/slash. He was very excited. "Look, Mommy, no Ps! I want that sign! So, when a P tries to get in my room, we can stop it and not let it in!"

I wanted to laugh so hard, and so loud, but I just chuckled and said I hadn't seen any letter Ps in the neighborhood. Then we went back to discussing other signs.

Baby news: I'm officially 16 weeks, so I will write to those who don't check the blog and give them an "I'm fine" update. Nov. 2 is our scheduled ultrasound. Belly is actually starting to harden in the uterine area, which people at work tell me will happen. So now I can figure out where my fat ends, and Skippy begins.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

"..and how are you feeling?"

Ack! I get this question a lot nowadays. I told my mom the truthful answer the other day and I don't know whether she found it funny or was hoping for a better answer. "Regular," is my answer. As in poop. Personally, I enjoyed my slightly-constipated existence pre-pregnancy, and the fact that I poop 2x a day now is rather irritating. Besides that, I'm very thirsty. Since about last Wednesday I've been struggling with dizziness, light-headedness, and downright vertigo at times. I tried all kinds of things - more sleep, more food, less sugar, and skipping Coke altogether (all that did was make me dizzy with a headache). I finally figured it out - water. I need lots, and lots, and LOTS of water. So I borrowed Roman's "Fun at the Fair" sippy cup that holds about 16 oz. and have drank down 2 of those (including ice) today. Even at church, I was sucking on that thing. Besides not being near as hungry, my vertigo has definitely lessened. So, water it is.

But, when people ask how I'm feeling, I usually say "just fine." Which is true, too. Cramps and such have gone away, so physically I'm fine. Mentally I actually don't think about Skippy too much during the day. Except for when I'm getting dressed, of course. Speaking of which, I bought 2 pairs of pants & 2 shirts from maternity-JCP and am in bliss. I now have 3 whole comfortable outfits to wear. Plus one dress, and a couple skirts. So I'm actually doing okay now.

There are many small things which remind the household I'm pregnant, however. One of these days I must write an "Ode to My Husband" because Doug has become an outstanding runner of the household. Often I am bursting into tears over small things - today it was because Doug commented on the smell of my fart (see beginning of post). Normally I take it with a smile or laugh... today I cried. Not sure why, just started crying. At school I was encouraged to watch a trailer for a movie called The Singing Revolution, based on the fight for democratization in the country of Estonia. I cried so hard watching the trailer that snot was running from my nose. I was caught by another teacher, who luckily just had twins this past April. She totally understood. (You can watch the trailer yourself at this link.)

Otherwise, we're remaining busy here. We'll be getting the Halloween decorations out tomorrow evening and Roman also wants to make ghosts to hang up around the house. Rebekka is planning to rent a bunch of scary movies and spend Halloween night in the basement (by herself, since neither Doug or I watch those anymore). This coming weekend is looking like a visit to the pumpkin patch, and maybe a cider mill. If only the weather would act like October instead of August, it'd be perfect.