Category Archives: Baby’s Growth

The day after the day after tomorrow

This is the way we think now.

It’s the 10th of February, which means tomorrow is the 11th of February and tomorrow, our daughter would have been 19 months old. And I bet she would have been excited about meeting her baby brother.

With her, this adventure would have been so different. Our yearning for a second child would be different, certainly. But our anticipation, the excitement of possibly completing our family, the boy-girl duo that would most certainly have been best friends and trouble makers for life… well, all that would have been awfully different if Hudson’s life hadn’t been so tragically short.

But without her, this adventure has been just that – an adventure. Not better or worse, but its own special thing. Bullet’s arrival the day after the day after tomorrow is an important event, regardless of his sister’s legacy. You might say we wanted him more because his sister left so soon, and you might say we’ve better appreciated this pregnancy because we know how tragically a pregnancy can end, but bottom line:

Bullet gets his own fanfare.

With just 2 full days left to face before his arrival, I have so many competing emotions that it is physically depleting. Or maybe that’s just 38 weeks and change of pregnancy making me so exhausted.

The day after the day after tomorrow, we will meet our son and begin getting to know him all over again, his life outside of the womb so much different than the life inside. We’ll see who he looks like. We’ll discover his quirks, and see first hand the expressions that accompany his vigorous movements. We’ll be aware of his presence in such a different way – kicks and squirms inside of me becoming cries and gurgles on the outside.

We’ll raise him to be the best of both of us, and we’ll celebrate him in ways big and small over the course of his lifetime. We’ll see new sides of each other – and we’ll fall in love with all these aspects of each other just as we’ve fallen in love over and over again in the time since we’ve known each other.

The adventure doesn’t stop at arrival, I know. There will be a day that I feel guilty for wanting to a break from Bullet. There will be tears of frustration and tears of joy and probably a few barn-burner fights between the Hubs and I. It won’t be all sunshine and roses and kittens. There will be poop.

Lots and lots of poop.

But the day after the day after tomorrow, “Life as we Know It” gives way to “Life as it Will Be with Bullet”, and I cannot wait for that life to begin.

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3, 2, 1… FUN!

Tomorrow marks 3 days to Bullet’s arrival. This is our last weekend of freedom, right?

We have wanted this for so long that it seems silly to talk about being child-free as anything close to “freedom”.

Every morning I wake up and I say to my husband, “Only XX more days!” or more recently, “This is our last Sunday without our baby!” to which the Hubs will respond “Basically only X more days” because of course today doesn’t count, it’s practically over.

This was our last weekend before Bullet, though, and there was (and is) much to do.

I packed my fabulous new Kate Spade diaper bag (thanks Hubby) with Baby’s necessities – a few outfits, socks, pjs, hats, those little gloves that protect them from clawing their faces.

I did one last load of baby laundry.

I did one last load of grown up laundry (way less cute).

We made an epic meal for Shiz Family Night and had my siblings over for dinner.

We got car seats installed in both of our vehicles.

We celebrated my niece’s 11th birthday.

I made whole wheat chocolate chip cookies.

We did one last trip to the grocery store, careful not to stock up on too many perishables.

And the highlight of my last weekend of baby-free-ness was a snowy maternity shoot with the lovely and talented Melissa McFadden. You may recall her excellent work from our first pregnancy, when she captured our eager anticipation of Baby Dub aka Big Sister Hudson in the glorious summer sunshine at Rooks Park. We’ve had almost a foot of snow in the past three days, so the boots we sported for this photoshoot were of the waterproof variety. But the fun was the same. The fun was soooo fun.

So much is the same as we face the last days before baby’s arrival. We are so excited to meet our son that we can hardly handle the tedium of these last child-free days. But we are a little more patient, too.

Only a little bit more patient though.

I do say, at least once a day, directed at my belly, “Come on out, baby!”

In 3, 2, 1…

 

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Hiccups

This is a new phenomenon, folks. From time to time, I’ll notice that Bullet has a wicked case of the hiccups.

It’s not a new phenomenon as far as the pregnancies of the masses are concerned, but this is new for me. Hudson never had the hiccups – or if she did have them, it was early and before I could really tell what was going on in there.

Bullet, on the other hand, gets them at least a few times a week. And they are hilarious.

You can tell he’s not a fan of the hiccups. Rhythmic nudges in my belly signal that the bout has begun. Then Bullet will adjust his position, trying to allay himself of the discomfort. There is a break in the rhythm, like maybe he’s beaten them. He settles down. Then BAM. Hiccup.

I wonder if I can scare the hiccups out of him, but how are you supposed to scare a baby en utero? An enthusiastic “BOO!” doesn’t seem to do the trick, I feel weird about shoving at him, and there isn’t much I can introduce to his environment in the way of a surprise. Maybe I can jump in the air?

I should not be so amused by what is clearly a discomfort for my unborn son, but I just love any little development that gives me a sneak peek at his personality. He is clearly a man who enjoys his comforts and is irritated by interruptions to his peace and quiet. He takes after his father in this regard.

This pregnancy has been so similar to my pregnancy with Hudson that I’ve been really latching on to any differences I can identify. The disdain for cheese early on. The more aggressive movements (especially directed at my internal organs). And now, the hiccups.

As we enter the realm of the “single digits to Bullet” countdown, I’m certainly not taking for granted these bonding moments with my son. But I really can’t wait to see his facial expression the first time he’s fighting a case of the hiccups outside of me.

I’ll try to scare the hiccups out of him then.

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As the countdown enters the teens…

We have 18 days until Bullet is set to arrive on the scene. For the first time in this pregnancy, thinking to the big day, February 13, makes me think “Man, that’s coming up soon!”

I still have a lot to do!

A baby room to finish up. A house to clean. A bag to pack. A car seat to install. A book to publish.

We are READY in many ways. I mean, if my water broke today, we’d have all the necessities to bring Bullet home – a crib and diapers are the only real necessities, right? At 36 weeks pregnant and some change, Bullet’s parts should be pretty well in place and developed, though he might need a little extra monitoring and he might be a little bit skinny if he came today. The hiring of a house-cleaner last year has me feeling okay about the state of the domicile, though I’d like to have things a little more organized before the big arrival.

And then there’s the READY that I am emotionally. I cannot wait to meet this guy. I can’t wait to hold him, to see his first smiles, to hear his cries and giggles and coos and gurgles. I eagerly anticipate the perfect perspective that life gives you when the most important Thing in the world is your child. I’m ready for all of that.

Towards the end of our pregnancy with Hudson, we started getting asked “Are you ready to be done?” And of course, the answer at the time was “Yes and No.” I felt like pregnancy was mastered, and parenting a newborn was unknown, so how could I be READY?

This time is different. I am ready to be done, people. I’m big, I’m tired, I’m uncomfortable. But I am so in love with this little man that it seems trivial to complain. I just want to get my hands on the Bullet.

There are bad days when I cheer myself up by imagining the moment I meet Bullet for the first time, when they place my bleary eyed, blinking, disoriented newborn on my chest. I get clenched up thinking about it.

And it’s going to happen in 18 days.

Ready or not.

 

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This just happened

Every 5 weeks or so, I update the white erase calendar in my kitchen. And today, This happened.

photo 1 photo 2

Our little man will be born in a mere 25 days. Not that anybody’s keeping track!

As we head into the home stretch, there are so many things to look forward to in the coming days. As you can see!

A hair cut and color in a few days. A couple of doctor’s appointments. A tailgate themed baby shower being put on my sweet sister the night before the Super Bowl.

And don’t let me fail to mention that my Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. Say WHA?!

Me and my current favorite Seahawks fan, my nephew C!

Me and my current favorite Seahawks fan, my nephew C!

It’s been a wonderful day. There are 25 wonderful days until we get to meet our guy. And that will be the most wonderful day of all.

 

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Strong

When Hudson was growing inside of me, we described her as strong. Strong heartbeat at those doctor’s appointments, strong kicks and movements, strong personality without even seeing her yet.

When Hudson was fighting for her life at the NICU in Spokane, she fought strong. She held on for three days, gave us hope, made us a family. She was the strongest person to ever weigh in at just 7 lb. 14 oz.

When Hudson died, and we began our life without her, other people described us as strong. You’d be amazed at how strong you are when you have no choice but to be strong.

The Hubs and my love for each other is strong… was strong and grew stronger in the time we had to cope with after the loss of our beautiful, strong daughter. I saw the very best in my husband when I watched him love Hudson. He is the strongest man I know.

In the After Hudson, I worked on making my body strong. I wanted to be ready for the next child, for Baby Dub Dos, who would later be known as Bullet.

And we all know that Bullet is strong. He’s a little, growing, constantly in action He-Man, astonishing me sometimes with the strength of his movements. And just like big sis, he’s got a strong personality.

I am so grateful for the many displays of super-human strength I’ve been privileged to witness in my life. I am grateful for the strength of our son as he fattens up through the last weeks of this pregnancy. I am grateful for a strong spouse who can bench press over 200 pounds and comfort his crying wife. I am grateful for a strong bond to family, for strong friendships, and for strong legs to lug my expanding self up and down flights of stairs without needing to take a break.

Strength. A desired trait, whether it’s increased physical strength, strength of will, emotional strength. We get stronger with training, with practice. We become stronger through the trials we face in life. We draw strength from the people around us, and we become a stronger couple, a stronger family, and a stronger community when we come together to face life.

And I cannot wait to see how we come together and become stronger with the arrival of Bullet in February.

 

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Getting Ready for the Bullet – 2013 in review

The 2013 holiday season was distinctly different from 2012. Instead of feeling so much LACK, the significant ABSENCE of our precious daughter driven home with every Christmas moment, this year we were able to focus on the very tangible presence of our son. We could more easily keep the attention on what we have, and what we have to look forward to.

‘Twas the season of matching father-son attire.

We made seasons bright with tiny baby Nikes.

The halls were decked with an extra stocking for the Bullet, right next to Big Sis Hudson’s.

If I went into labor today, we would have all the essentials needed to bring Bullet home. A crib, a changing table, a car seat, plenty of diapers and onesies. We even have a “Rockin’ Ridin’ Bull” – Bullet’s first Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa Dub. Plus, a recliner for the baby room is being delivered this week. Essentials.

The better part of 2013 was spent feeling happy and warm and eager and wonderful knowing that Bullet was on the way. Starting on June 13, our HeartsFullofHudson made room for Baby Bro. Nearly 18 months removed from her birth and death, our hearts are still full of Hudson, but the sharpest edges of our pain have been dulled. There are still bad days, and hard memories, and sad reminders. Missing Hudson will be a very real part of my life until the day I die. But missing her doesn’t hurt as bad. It’s as if somehow, my heart has room for only the beautiful parts of our life together, and is little by little shoving out the hurt and bitterness and anger. Thanks, Heart.

The pieces of Hudson that are forever a part of me have been hard at work in 2013.

The Year 2013 was more than just the Year of the Bullet. It was marked with personal successes and milestones, career changes, and other assorted adventures.

Highlights: My 30th birthday trip to Maui. The purchase of The Bullet (our camp trailer). The wedding of one of my best friends. Hudson’s 1st birthday. Winning my first golf tournament. The arrivals of my Niece CMW and my Nephew CLS.

Lowlights: The Hubs’ summer in Yakima.

As always, I start the new year full of ambition, bursting with ideas of all the things I’ll do in the next 365. I spent a bit of time yesterday setting my New Year’s Resolutions, using some creativity to make a poster to hang on the wall by my bed as a daily reminder of what I’m aiming to accomplish in 2014. I go for a balanced approach, with goals in various aspects of my life – family, relationships, health, career, finances, household, personal development, etc. I already knew 2014 was going to be the best year of my life, but I’ve got a road map now for all the ways HOW.

And of course, the highlight of 2014, the primary focus and the Light of my Life, will be Bullet.

According to the Doctor, Bullet weighs about 3.7 oz and his feet are seriously large in comparison with the length of his body. He’ll be gaining between 0.5-1 pounds per week from now until delivery. Which means I’ll be gaining that much, too. Happy New Year!

This boy is active, people. Like his big sister, he’s MOST active at night, when he puts on a show for Mommy and Daddy by wiggling his butt around in circles and making my belly do weird exorcist-type stuff. However, I do not recall Hudson putting such a hurt on my internal organs. It’s as if Bullet sees my bladder and says, “What a nice pillow, let me just punch it down a bit!”

The Bullet will also be quite stylish. His wardrobe is bursting with tiny Carhartt, camo Uggs, track suits and overalls and those cute onesies that have bowties and suspenders on them (thanks SIL!).

We’re convinced he’ll be at least as big as his sister. With a nickname like Bullet (which Grandpa Dub has shortened to Bull), he had better be.

He’s got his own unique personality, but he is his father’s child.

Yes, 2013 was defined by Bullet Anticipation. And 2014 will be defined by his arrival. Discovering what this perfect human boy looks like, watching his personality continue to develop, experiencing so many parenting adventures with the Hubs… the next 6 weeks can’t go fast enough.

 

 

 

 

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Bullet Bump Progress

AKA Fat Pictures! I just looked through my belly bump pictures which are butted right up against our Hawaii vacation pictures. I’m glad I have photo documentation of what my body is supposed to look like… you know, when I’m not growing a human.

I’ve diligently taken a picture every week as my gut protrudes further and further. I blame 100% of my weight gain this holiday season on Bullet, by the way.

Enjoy!

10 Weeks Pregnant

10 Weeks
Also, apparently, very tired.

11 Weeks Still rockin' short-shorts

11 Weeks
Still rockin’ short-shorts

12 Weeks And evidently very proud of myself

12 Weeks
And evidently very proud of myself

13 Weeks and workin' on my fitness!

13 Weeks
and workin’ on my fitness!

Where’s 14 weeks? I was running the Hood to Coast relay at 14 weeks and somehow missed the picture. I probably need to write a post about this epic adventure. But in the meantime, here’s an awesome picture where I look super buff and fit.

14 Weeks  and running 13.2 miles. No big.

14 Weeks
and running 13.2 miles. No big.

15 Weeks And thinking khaki shorts are a good idea...

15 Weeks
And thinking khaki shorts are a good idea…

16 Weeks and yes those ARE white leggings

16 Weeks
and yes those ARE white leggings

17 Weeks and a hot sweaty mess

17 Weeks
and a hot sweaty mess

18 Weeks  and getting this done during the day for once?

18 Weeks
and getting this done during the day for once?

19 Weeks Grinning like a real idiot

19 Weeks
Grinning like a real idiot

20 Weeks  and I just got my hair did!

20 Weeks
and I just got my hair did!

21 Weeks and I love sweatpants

21 Weeks
and I love sweatpants

22 Weeks and I think it's HILARIOUS!

22 Weeks
and I think it’s HILARIOUS!

23 Weeks  and this is evidently where I explode.

23 Weeks
and this is evidently where I explode.

24 Weeks  Six Months say WHA?!

24 Weeks
Six Months say WHA?!

25 Weeks  and I need to wash my hair

25 Weeks
and I need to wash my hair

26 Weeks and who needs to be in focus?

26 Weeks
and who needs to be in focus?

What have we learned?

I pop… okay, I explode around 22-23 weeks. Seriously. Go back and look at my belly pics from Hudson.

Also, we’ve learned that the Hubs, while functional in many many ways, is not a professional photographer.

We’re learning as we look at these pictures that it is time to shop for some new bras.

We’re also learning that your belly is not the only part of you that grows. Look at my arms! The chins! I am officially pregnant in my face.

Best of all, we are learning that the joy of growing a human being is carried all over. It’s in my gut, yes. But it’s in my eyes and my smile and my heart which is about to burst out of my chest in every shot (no, that’s not just my growing boobies!).

Just 13 weeks to go.

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Explosive News

I have to apologize for the prolonged silence. I forgot that prolonged silence has a precedent set on this blog and that it isn’t a good one.

All is well.

All is wonderful.

The ultrasound was wonderful – well worth the anticipation.

For the longest time, before we were pregnant with the Bullet, I was convinced that I didn’t want to find out the gender this time around. I was worried that I’d be overly emotional if it were a girl and disappointed if it were a boy.

Then, we were pregnant with the Bullet, and I already knew it was a boy, so shoot, I might as well find out for sure so we could start planning.

But these days, it’s all about the surprise gender reveals. The colorful cakes. The box of balloons and confetti. I even have friends who went to the ultrasound with two pairs of shoes – a boy pair and a girl pair – and had the ultrasound tech put the proper gender shoes in a bag for them. Then they went out to the place they first met and videoed the opening of the bag.

The Bullet deserved some kind of epic gender reveal, it was determined.

So we didn’t find out the gender in the ultrasound. We wanted to find out with the rest of our friends and family, in  true celebratory style.

The ultrasound tech of course had to turn the screen right off, because baby’s legs were WIDE OPEN. She did a great job not giving any clues or indications, despite some leading questions from me. “That looks like a masculine profile, right?” “Those are some awfully big muscles.” And so on and so forth.

All of baby’s parts are there, and baby is healthy and strong and right on track for growth. Baby is active and a bit of a peek-a-boo player, with hands up in the defensive position from time to time. We got a perfect profile picture, plus another one that looks like Ghostrider (and is eerily similar to one from Hudson’s first ultrasound), a whole handful of take-home gifts to show off later that night and tide us over until the big reveal the next day.

Our baby was conceived in a trailer park. The nickname is “The Bullet”. We announced our pregnancy with bottles of beer. So it was only fitting that we’d find out the gender with a shooting competition out at the Dub Family Farm.

That’s right. A shooting competition.

Enjoy.

My super SIL helped with some of the decor ideas!

My super SIL helped with some of the decor ideas!

Boy and Girl votes

Boy and Girl votes

More gambling - who will hit the target, how many shots it will take...

More gambling – who will hit the target, how many shots it will take…

Grandpa Dub set up the target and was the keeper of The Secret

Grandpa Dub set up the target and was the keeper of The Secret

Because I'm classy like that.

Because I’m classy like that.

Lining up the shot - I got to go first.

Lining up the shot – I got to go first.

One shot. One kill.

One shot. One kill.

Called it.

Called it.

Kissing

Me & the Hubs taking it in.

Me & the Hubs taking it in.

A couple of badasses. Plus one on the way.

A couple of badasses. Plus one on the way.

Grandma Shiz is too crafty. And a little too graphic. "Shoot out" ? Eww...

Grandma Shiz is too crafty. And a little too graphic. “Shoot out” ? Eww…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ultrasound anticipation

Why did I have a dream the night before last about carrying around a bag full of kittens?

How come last night my dreams featured the Hubs and me chasing down a creeper who abducted a little boy on the golf course?

You might say this is due to the ultra vivid dreams that plague the pregnant folk. But I am tempted to believe it is because I’m in full “protect my baby” mode and full of anticipation for the 20 week ultrasound we have scheduled for 3 pm today.

I remember what this is like.

IMG_0882That’s me and the hubs at our 20 week ultrasound with Hudson… well, right before it.

I imagine that the blog will feature a similar picture come tomorrow’s post.

What am I hoping for?

Healthy. Human. Baby.

I used to think that I’d be disappointed if this baby wasn’t a girl. Today, I could care less (and also, I’m sure it’s a boy). I used to think that every milestone would be met with measured enthusiasm. Today, I’m so excited I can’t go back to sleep like I usually would after sending my hubby off to work with 3 hours before I have to be anywhere!

Last night Bullet was particularly active, giving me some hearty kicks and even showing off once for Daddy. Like he knew that we needed a little extra movement the night before a big appointment. Thanks, Bullet.

A good friend of mine is pregnant with a baby girl, and after she gave me the big news she added “Baby straight up gave us a thumbs up on the ultrasound screen. She knew I needed that!” Other friends recently posted a picture of their daughter’s ultrasound and I’m not joking, that girl is throwing up some “Rock on” horns! Last night, Hubs and I were joking about the Bullet giving me double barrels with his six-shooters.

Now THAT would be an ultrasound picture worth sharing here.

This is a wild journey, but MAN is it fun! I am so excited for 3 o’clock today. I’m so in love with this genderless (but it’s a boy) little banana-sized being that we created. I know, I’m gross. And while our anticipation will have to continue for about 24 more hours as we wait to get the gender news along with the rest of the Dub and Shiz clan, the thought of seeing my baby on that ultrasound screen today has me pretty stoked.

Come on, Bullet. Give us the six-shooters.

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