Okay, for those of you who have been waiting patiently, here they are. Max went with us to the ultrasound, and he was enthralled with what he called "the camera" that helped him see the baby in Mommy's tummy. He kept saying it was like "Superman's X-ray vision." Here are some of the best shots.
First, a body shot:
Next, a profile. Doesn't this look like Max's profile? Weird...
And if you haven't heard yet, it's a BOY!!!!!!! Here's the money shot:
Next, the tech switched the machine to 4D, so we got some more realistic pictures. This was very cool, but I think it freaked Max out pretty bad. He kept asking, "Why is my brother all smushy?" You can even see the little guy sucking his thumb in one pic:
Pretty cool, huh? They didn't even have this technology at my hospital (at least they didn't offer it) when Max was born, so this was the first time I had actually seen these types of pictures in person.
The best news is that he is totally healthy and appropriately developed (even a little big) for his gestational age. Just a perfect little baby.
We have no clue yet what we will name him (we can't agree on ANYTHING!), but it's nice to at least be able to stop calling him "it." It always feels so much more real once you know the baby's sex. I am thrilled to have another boy, but I am now at a loss about what to do. If he had been a girl, I would have wanted to convert the nursery to something more feminine, and I would have had lots and lots of sweet clothes to buy. However, because I already have enough "boy stuff" to last a lifetime, I find I'm just finished. No getting ready necessary. I guess I should just relax, huh? Get some sleep while I still can...
Okay, apparently 'tis the season to be pregnant (at least in my little part of the world), because seven--count 'em, SEVEN--moms in my local playgroup are expecting right now. On top of that, we're ALL due in November/December, so we're going to have quite a baby boom this winter. Obviously, I am one of the seven; and as of yesterday, all six of the others have had confirmed that they're having BOYS!
Now, I have been pretty convinced all along that I'm having another boy. But with each additional confirmation in my group, I am getting a little less sure of myself. I mean, SOMEONE has to break this streak, right? I find it extremely hard to believe that that many of us could be pregnant at once and NO ONE will have a girl. That would be really odd, right?
So place your bets now. My big ultrasound is a little over week away, on July 21st. I guess if we get a surprise and the baby IS a girl, at least she'll have lots of cute boys to chase. And if it's a boy, he'll have a built-in crew to run with from day one.
I was prompted to write this because of a comment my friend Crystal made on one of my local message boards. She is giving birth for the first time in a few months (she already has one perfect, beautiful adopted son), and she wants to try breastfeeding with this new baby. She said, “I really want to give it a shot, but from what I have heard, I should plan on it not working out.” I am really pro-breastfeeding if it’s at all possible, so this is what I told her--and I hope it might help some other moms-to-be who have the same concerns:
I think the biggest reason most people fail is because they DO go into it expecting it NOT to work. You hear so many new moms say that they just didn’t have enough milk, or that their milk dried up too fast, or that—-for whatever reason—-they just COULDN’T do it. I know there truly is a small percentage of women who just physically CAN’T, but more often than not, it’s more of an emotional decision to quit than anything else.
I don’t care what people say; breastfeeding is NOT a natural process. It’s not pretty. It sucks at first. It's hard as hell, and I TOTALLY understand why so many women give up before it starts to work for them. Put it this way--Max was over nine pounds when he was born, but it took us a good two and half weeks to get the nursing thing down, and he had lost more than TWO pounds by the time he really started eating well—that’s a lot of weight on a body that tiny! I remember many a day I would just sit on the couch crying, trying to get him to latch on, convinced I was starving my baby to death. It was scary, but luckily I had an awesome pediatrician who encouraged me to not give up. Most babies will lose some weight (and some, like Max, will lose a LOT) before they figure out what to do.
But you just have to keep telling yourself--babies survived for thousands of years before formula and bottles. They didn’t all just perish because their mothers found nursing difficult and decided to quit trying. It's a process, like lots of other tough things in life—one that both mommy and baby have to learn together. And being prepared before the baby is born is the most important thing you can do; arm yourself to the teeth with information. The biggest thing that helped prepare me: Billy and I took a breastfeeding class at our local women’s hospital before I gave birth, and that alleviated some of my nervousness and prepared Billy to help me out a lot (partner support is super-important). There’s a lot of gear out there that can make things easier, too, and that class was a godsend in educating us both. Also, I got a phone number for a good lactation consultant who lives locally and would come to my house. And, of course, LaLeche meetings help a lot of women (even though I found their members a little overzealous at times—-the mom with the kindergartner hanging off her breast was extremely unsettling, but that’s a story for another day).
One more thing I can say in favor of breastfeeding (and other than the baby's health, the BEST thing to me about bf'ing) is the financial benefit! I really think that kept me focused more than anything. We saved several THOUSAND dollars (almost five, think) by breastfeeding that first year, which Billy always claims paid for our new AC and the last big screen TV we bought. (By the way, I told Billy the money we save this time will have to go to my boob job--I am going to look like someone on a National Geographic special after this one!)
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not criticizing moms who choose not to breastfeed. It’s not for everybody, but I do want to encourage every mom-to-be to check out her resources and give it a good, solid try before giving up. It's hard, but the benefits are incredible.
and great-aunts, and godparents, and all you others who check this blog solely for news and pictures about Max. This entry's definitely dedicated to the CUTENESS!
As most of you know, we just got back from our annual vacation to Perdido Key, Florida. Thanks again to Momille for the use of her gorgeous condo and to Mimi and Pop for inviting us--as usual, we had a blast. Here are the highlights for all you photo hounds:
Grandma and Papa were kind enough to loan us their Honda Civic in which to make the trip--ten hours each way, and we only had to fill up TWICE!!! Max was an absolute angel in the car. We were so proud of him.
Max also slept in the big kids' room at Momille's this year. He really liked the bigger bed (and he didn't even use rails!).
Next, Max and I enjoy the view from Momille's sixth floor balcony:
We also shot bubble guns and water pistols from up there:
We had fun in the pool:
AND at the beach, of course. Max was really brave in the surf this year. He would run right in, and if he got knocked down, he would say, "That was FUN!"
Max flew a kite for the first time this year, and he did a really good job with it.(Isn't Billy a hot daddy?)
Of course, you get sand in your pants when you play on the beach all day (please disregard my giant butt):
During the past few days, I have begun to feel the baby move every now and then. It started Monday, I think, and I wasn't sure at first, but now I am. It's a little earlier than I felt Max, but I think that's normal the second time around. Billy still won't be able to feel it for a while, but I am very excited. It's a relief to finally be able to feel some movement, but it will also be more stressful now when I DON'T feel it for a while!
BTW, for those of you who didn't know, the results of our nuchal translucency (early Downs) test came back GREAT! The chances of any chromosomal abnormality are so low that my OB is not recommending any other testing of that sort, which is good since I'm sort of an old lady as far as pregnancy is concerned. Every time I hear someone at the doctor's office mention my AMA ("advanced maternal age"), I look around like, "HUH? Did my grandmother just walk in?" It's so weird.
One last bit of news: we have our "big" ultrasound on July 21, and that's when we will find out the baby's sex. I can't wait to stop calling it he/she or it! Start placing your bets now and stay tuned...
I'm wife to Billy (the world's best husband) and mom to Max (the world's coolest kid) and a grad student in Curriculum and Instruction at UHCL. We are currently expecting baby boy #2 in December 2008 (the result of IVF #2), so I'll keep you updated. I was a high school English teacher for nine years, I'm a SAHM right now, and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.