Our choices are Who We Are
As people we are on a constant physical, psychological, spiritual, financial, and emotional road of Newton’s law [of motion]. Newton’s law states that for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Spend money on a candy bar = your body absorbs the calories, your wallet is 65 cents lighter, your sweet tooth craving is satisfied. You give someone an honest compliment = that person’s day is momentarily a little bit better. You let your guard down, and snap at someone you love = the harsh words expressed cause damage and can never be taken back.
For those of us who are spiritual and religious, we learn that God blessed us with the gift of choice. This gift usually ends up a curse. But this is how life goes – we live, and we learn, and we grow. We love, and we hate, we cry, and we smile. We work, we play, we sleep, we indulge, we regret.
As parents, these [seemingly] small, every day choices suddenly have a much larger ripple in the grand scheme of things. Every simple decision turns into something greater – it starts to form the next generation and their habits, hobbies, beliefs, morals, and overall lifestyles. From the moment of conception on – not for the next 18 years, but for the rest of your own life – the decisions we make shape us and those around us.
This is why I have taken my eating habits and shifted them, to my dismay. This is why every cent needs to be accounted for. This is why I am insistent on avoiding stress, sadness, and tears. This is why millions of people over the course of this earth’s lifetime have taken pregnancy so seriously – in the pursuit of a happy and healthy baby. Once that baby is here, the rest is done on the fly.
No one parent is perfect. After all, no one person is perfect. People make mistakes, and taking upon another life to love as your child is an ENORMOUS responsibility. I pray every day that I do not let Brianna down. I pray that Michael and I are her biggest supporters, her most helpful teachers, her best examples, her must trustworthy confidants. I pray that through the difficult times that we will have as a family, that our roots will outlast any anger, hurt feelings, or difficulties. And most of all, I pray. Michael and I are not perfect people, we won’t be perfect parents, and Bria will not grow up to be the perfect person (although to us she will be as close to perfect as you can get)… but to God anything is possible. He is perfect.
From now until forever every choice I make is a choice for my family: Michael and Bria. Every decision Michael and I make together is for our family: Brianna.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I receive daily, weekly, and monthly pregnancy emails, published by baby websites, that describe to me how my baby is growing. This information is useful and it’s taught me to start my work day the right way – with my mind focused on the most important, and joy-filled part of my life. This week I have learned that Bria’s bones are growing stronger and her movements will reflect that but I think Michael and I could have told you that part due to what happened to us this past weekend.
It was later in the evenings (maybe around 8:30pm) on Saturday March 19th. We had enjoyed the entire day together relaxing and enjoying each other's company. We finished eating dinner and began to watch tv/a movie/etc. Like routine I slid down into my normal evening posture (two pillows behind my shoulders, neck, and head – the rest of my body parallel to the bed), and with my right palm flat against the surface of my tummy. I sit like this every night, most of the night, until I roll over and fall asleep – for I am feeling the little kicks and pushes of little Bria. She has been letting me know that she exists for a few weeks now, at this point, and I am familiar with her sleep schedule. She wakes, and kicks, at the same times practically every day (which tells me she wakes up right when I’m going to sleep, in the middle of the night a few times, but later in the morning – so thank goodness I might actually get some sleep). And during the past few weeks I will grab Michael’s hand, press it against my skin, and wait for him to feel her. He would look at me, disappointed, and let me know that he couldn’t feel anything.
But this Saturday evening was different. She was moving, moving a lot, and moving hard. So I asked him to pause the movie and try again – I put his hand against my tummy, towards the left side where she must have been snuggled up against. We waited a moment – she kicked lightly, Michael felt nothing. We waited a few moments more – a small movement, Michael felt nothing. And then finally—POW!
He turned to me all of a sudden – his eyes wide, bright, and unbelieving.
“I felt her! Wow I felt her!” He exclaimed, his mouth hanging open. His hand pressed firmly against my tummy, waiting for her to move again.
[Yes, I cried a little. It was such a sweet moment.]
Since then her movements have grown stronger and stronger, her kicks much more detectable on the outside as they are from the inside. Now when we lay, parallel to the bed – watching tv, reading books, or talking about our days – I will often grab his hand and lay it firmly against my skin and each time Michael because a little bit more familiar with our little girl, bonding in the sweetest way.
“Kick for me, baby girl. Kick for daddy,” he’ll say. I’ll smile and we’ll laugh with each other when she fulfills his request.
Best and Worst
Okay so the best and worst thing is happening right now.
I know I have mentioned it before but this is just too awful to mention once. My doctor recommend I diet because I have gained too much weight so far into the pregnancy (grumble). SO... I haven’t snacked on a cookie/cupcake/candy bar/soda/anything besides non-fat or greatly reduced-fat. Everything from the mayo to the beef broth is reduced or non fat. Luckily fruit still exists and I have been quenching my sweet tooth by making smoothies (with 2 scoops of protein and non-fat milk).
I am currently depressed about the lack of cupcakes in my life, but I am doing this for Brianna. Time to stop the pity party (and time to start the party! I lost 7 lbs. since my last doctor’s visit a week ago). Instead I am going to find the tastiest ways to eat more protein and less fat.
Wish me luck...
Girl or Boy
Okay so the day has come and gone and I have yet to put up a written description of the biggest of the big ultrasound screenings. THUS… after many laboring hours, I have completed said description:
THE UNVEILING OF THE GENDER
[bum bum buuuummmm]
The day was a chilly, non-springlike day, Tuesday March 15th, 2011. It had been an entire month since our last doctor’s visit and those four weeks seemed to linger FOREVER (cue: Specs from The Sandlot – “For-eh-ver”). At 3:00pm that Tuesday I skipped out on work, trying to leave the unimportant stress behind. Afterall, my baby was going to go from being referred to as an “it” to being a “he” or “she”!
Michael and I drove to the hospital. We nervously sat in the beautiful waiting room, me sipping on a bottle of orange juice (old wives tale: drink orange juice before your ultrasound – this will pump the baby full of sugar and get him/her moving around, which will make it easier to see the genitals… this did not work for me…). FINALLY the nurse invites us into the dark ultrasound room. Michael sat in a chair beside my grand behemoth of a thrown. I laid down, whipped off my pants, and we got down to business.
The nurse started at the top. Skull, check. Brain, check. Neck, check. Face, check. Spinal column, check. Arms, check… and so on.
Eventually we got to the legs, then the feet… and finally it was time for the main course.
…and then twenty minutes rolled by.
My little one was holding their legs tightly together and refused to give us a peak. We bounced my belly, I changed positions, I even tried coaxing her out with promises of lots of years of lovin’… but she was not convinced.
“GIRL!”, the ultrasound nurse exclaimed.
We were all silent.
Until it sunk it and I started to beam.
“I knew it! I knew it I knew it!” I started to say, looking at Michael. He stared at the screen as the nurse typed in ”GIRL” above our little one’s labia. His face flushed, he smiled and his eyes did not blink. “Wow,” he said.
Later that night, after speaking shortly with my doctor, Michael and I went to Chili’s for a celebration dinner. We daydreamed and talked about everything to do with our little girl.
Brianna (Bria for short).
What an amazing day it was and, no the mood couldn’t even bother being dampered by “the bad news” the doctor delivered us that day. The bad news being I have gained too much weight and that I need not gain much more at all. Michael and I went grocery shopping and I vow to change my eating ways – thus I admit to the retirement of the BRATT diet. Now I’m onto an Atkins-like diet, low carb intake and all (I know… I’m crying on the inside).
BUT, never you mind that little Bria. I want you to come out healthy and if that means starving myself of cookies, cake, ice cream, cheese, potatoes, pasta, and all of the other wonderful foods God put on this planet for us… I will do it. Just for you, sweet little girl. <3
(But you best believe I am having a huge bowl of pasta and cheese followed by a brownie with ice cream dessert, as a post-pregnancy reward. Booyah!)