Our babe is now ~10.5 inches long... similar to that of a ping pong paddle! For the second half of the pregnancy, our sources measure the fetus from head to toe rather than head to rump (hence the sudden 4-inch increase in length). She's got working taste buds and her digestive system is getting ready for life outside the womb and everything!
I have had some emotional highs and lows over the past couple weeks, but let's start with a big ol high (cuz that's way more fun)...
1. CARLYNNE AND DAN ARE EXPECTING A BABY!! 7 weeks after us (due June 6, 2013)! Carlynne presented me with these onesies in Hawaii as a "belated 30th birthday present". EEEEEEEEEE!!!!
I am definitely the larger and in charger one, as you can plainly see. At one point on the beach, Daniel turned to me with a smile and said, "I can't help but notice your size, Julie. You are only 7 weeks ahead of Carlynne... will my wife look like this in 7 weeks?" Haha! And no. She will probably look like this in 6 months. She still has washboard abs, that girl... she has a long way to go before reaching MY status!
Dan can actually make himself look more pregnant than Carlynne at the moment, so we couldn't resist a nice 12-week Hawaiian silhouette shot...
It's been a lifelong dream of ours to have babies at the same time, and I can't even describe how much joy it fills me with that it's actually happening. I go back and forth between giggling with glee and crying tears of happiness (responses exaggerated by pregnancy hormones I'm SURE). The only thing that would make this better is if we were both expecting TWINS. Haha. Or lived in the same city. But YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA!
2. Now for the low. After my last ultrasound, I thought everything was peachy as it all looked great to MY untrained eye. However, I found out that things weren't so perfect at my follow-up appointment this past week.
For starters, the baby has a spot on the left side of the heart which nearly triples his/her chance of having Down's Syndrome. Basically, a healthy 30-year old woman has a 1 in 966 chance of giving birth to a Down's baby, and my odds just jumped to 1 in 345. A significant jump... but I keep telling myself that it IS just a numbers game and chances remain pretty low. Still though... very scary. My doctor is amazing, by the way, and made me feel the best she could. She explained that she hated that she was legally obliged to even TELL me about it because it likely causes unnecessary worry and stress. I held it together at the appointment, but bawled like a baby as soon as I got to the car. My medical family has done a wonderfully successful job of reassuring me, however, so I'm thinking more logically and less emotionally now (for the most part). My Dad, for example, told me that in his baby delivering career, he saw about 20 women with ultrasounds like mine, and NONE of them had babies with Down's. 0%. Now THAT'S a stat I can get on board with!
Oh but that's not all... remember that lovely cyst that's hangin out with the babe in my uterus? Well, it more than doubled in size since my last ultrasound. WHOA! This week I'll see a specialist to see how to proceed from here... so I'll keep y'all posted. To be honest, I'm not as worried about this one. I think I've already mentioned that Kylie had a large cyst removed while preggs with Ty, and my Mom had her APPENDIX REMOVED while EIGHT MONTHS pregnant with TWINS! So I can deal.
I have appreciated all the prayers and messages of support thus far, and if you're the praying type... it can't hurt to toss some extra prayers up to the Big Guy Upstairs! :)
3. My wonderful (albeit slightly evil) cousin, Ava, just returned home from a trip to New Zealand, and brought me back three king-sized kiwi fruit chocolate bars... my absolute favourite. I ate 2 of them in 2 days... OOPS! I had planned to save some for Marc & Kylie when they come home for Christmas (as they also fell in love with the kiwi fruit chocolate in NZ), but I don't know guys. I wouldn't count on it!
Lowell has decided that our tiny fetus child shall now be referred to as "Kiwi", and I agree. "Star" didn't really stick (and also seemed kind of like a stripper name), so in keeping with the chocolatey theme of Hazelnut (which was Fraser's fetal name following a Nutella binge (for you newbies)), this babe shall now be referred to as Kiwi! We can do that right? Switch horses midstream? Yes I think so.
4. This past week, our mom's group (from church) went Christmas caroling in tacky Christmas sweaters. Epic experience. It was a nicky nicky nine doors version of caroling. We took a decorated bus to various neighbourhoods, knocked on several doors at a time, then congregated on the road and sang our hearts out. Of course I needed to create a pregnancy-friendly tacky sweater, so I hit up Value Village and lucked out with a sparkly green turtle neck sweater. I then picked up a few items from the Dollar Store along with some crap from my drawer, and this tacky snowman sweater creation was born (after 2 hours of my life was lost). I think a lot of the tackiness comes in the fact that it's really poorly done (close-up), and also that it smells like an 85-year old perfumed-up woman AT Value Village. Awkward.
And that Santa is the extent of our Christmas decorating this year. I'd LOVE to have an awesomely decorative house, but a) I can't seem to muster up the energy to set it up, and b) Fraser would suddenly become a lot more high maintenance. My parents' house, however, is DELIGHTFULLY festive, and let's be honest... we'll probably be spending most of our time there anyway. That's where the family, the decor, and the EGGNOG LATTES are!
5. We have a stellar girl name picked out, but lately I've really been stressing out about boy names. We just couldn't seem to agree on one that met our criteria and matched the awesomeness of Fraser's name (in our minds). I was prepared to name a boy 'Lowell' (even though Lowell and our families have vetoed it) because it was the only name that was equal to Fraser (in my opinion). My friend, Carianne, knew of my baby name stress and did a little research for us. She visited a site where you put your 'inspiration' name in and they pump out results that fit the same sort of criteria. Guess what came up? LOWELL! I KNEW it!!
Anyhoo, we stayed up late (i.e, 10pm... that's late for us, okay?) the other night, re-visiting old lists and doing some research, and I believe we've landed on a gem of a name. I'm now equally excited to have a boy. Actually, I sort of wish we were having quadruplets (3 girls and 1 boy) so we could use all our top notch names. We'd have a whole lot of other issues on our hands, but hey... at least all of our lovely names would be used!
Adios until week 22...