Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Friday, February 8, 2013

23 Weeks....

....And still belly sleeping!  I know that is going to have to change eventually but I have high hopes I'll make it another few weeks with my pillow propped under my side so I can continue facing downward.  It is impossible to sleep on my back and I'm not much of a fan of side sleeping these days. And, after all, sleeping is very, very important.

This morning I saw an OB-GYN here in Bloemfontein.  The general practitioner I saw yesterday referred me over to this guy and I really like him. He did an extensive scan of the baby (which by the way is still a girl) and took lots of measurements.  He said everything looks very healthy so of course I am relieved.  She is measuring a few days small so maybe she's petite or maybe she'll come a little after her due date or maybe it doesn't matter at all.  I'll come back to the Dr on March 8th, and probably again around April 8.  Then on the 20th of May we plan to come here to Bloem and stay in a guest house while we wait for Ellee to make her appearance.

After my appointment with the OB, I walked to the adjacent building into the labor and delivery section.  It looks almost identical to the hospital I delivered Kyle in and their proceedures are about the same.  There is a check-in room where you go to determine if you are really in labor and if so, they'll take you into a labor and delivery room until after the baby is born. The recovery rooms make me a little nervous, as they vary from 1-2-3 patients per room depending on availability.  The nurse I spoke to today said that they were swamped at this time but hoped when I come in June, they won't be nearly as busy.  Either way, assuming everything goes normally, I'll spend about 48 hours in the hospital after delivery before being discharged.

I'm still about 7 or 8 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant.  The ridiculous morning sickness I battled for upwards of two months was quite the weight-loss program.  I've actually put about 7 or 8 pounds on since my lowest point of dehydration and malnourshipment.  And I've eaten like a hog these past couple of days because I know we are going to a village-stay for 3 weeks starting tomorrow where we will be eating very unfamiliar foods again.  So, I feel no guilt over the half of a large pizza I consumed upon arrival into Maseru on Wednesday.  Or the quarter pounder with cheese I ate yesterday at McDonalds.  Before you lecture me about the need for healthy foods, I am planning to eat a pile of grapes, yogurt and granola in about 5 minutes.  Yes, I found all the necessary components to my favorite goop here in South Africa and I am so excited to have it as a snack!! 

I don't expect to gain much weight over these next couple of weeks so I'll be surprised if I end up spending more than about 12 weeks in my maternity clothes.  Right now I am still wearing the jeans I wore when Jonathan and I got married; occasionally I have to use a hair band to loosen the button a little after I eat.  It works out nicely because most of my maternity clothes are for cold weather and the temperature is supposed to stop dropping in March.  So, if I can make it until then in my skirts and t-shirts, I'll be set for the last few months of pregnancy! 

Nevertheless, regardless of weight gain or loss, I can't really describe how thankful I am to finally be eating again.  The last meal I lost was right when we got to Kenya at 19 weeks.  Since then, although much of the food has been hard on my stomach, I have managed to keep the little I have been able to eat in my belly.  Ellee and I are both very grateful for that.

Speaking of Ellee, she is an active little thing.  During the sonogram today, it was neat to watch her and simultaneously feel her punch me.  During our many long sessions at ABO, I would find myself watching my belly jump around for entertainment.  Jonathan has felt her multiple times and can see her bouncing, too.  I don't know how much Kyle understands.  When I ask him the baby's name, he points to my belly and says "Aye" which obviously is his way of saying Ellee.  Of course, I'm the one who told him she was in there in the first place.  He hasn't felt her yet, but I don't think he would make the connection.  Nevertheless, he'll figure out soon enough that she's here to stay.  I think he will be a good brother.  After watching him with the little girl, Ruth, at ABO who was not quite a year younger than him, I am more excited to see him be a big brother.  He is a sweet boy and he was so tender towards me during all those days he watched horrified as I violently lost my meals in the bathroom.  He gladly follows instructions and I think he will be a big help to me once Ellee arrives, fetching various items for me when directed.

I brought a few white long-sleeved onesies from the US to stitch for her once we get done with our village stay.  I don't have any way to smock for her here and I don't have a sewing machine.... yet. :)  But, I'll get creative, I'm sure.  I brought all my floss so I can at least embroider plain shirts and pants or skirts for her.  Mom and I settled on a beautiful pattern for her quilt which is going to be made from these fabrics.  Having these things picked out makes it seem more real that she's coming and I'm getting excited.

It was hard to be excited about her during the first 20 weeks of this pregnancy because of how sick I felt.  But, now that it has passed and I feel so much better, I'm really looking forward to having her here.  I finally feel like I can enjoy the idea that there is a baby growing in my belly instead of dreading waking up in the mornings facing another day of miserable sickness.  I wonder if she'll look like me and what her personality will be like.  Around 17 weeks until we meet her and find out!


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