Thursday, July 8, 2010

The times, they are a changin'

We may have experienced our first craving (does it bother you if I refer to "us" even when I'm really just talking about her?).  As Sara was getting ready for bed the other night she commented that she felt hungry and wanted a bologna sandwich with mustard.  We'll classify this as a craving for 2 reasons:
  • Sara would normally choose death over a bologna sandwich.
  • If she did choose a bologna sandwich, the last thing she'd want on it is mustard.  Mustard is an ingredient she'll cook with, but to put it on food is not something she does often, if ever.
This may have been a one time thing.  Last night, I mentioned bologna sandwiches with mustard as an option for dinner and she was pretty clear in letting me know that that no longer held any appeal.

I've been doing a lot of reading about pregnancy (I was told it was my job to be the designated researcher) and this really is an amazing process.  We were blown away that we could see the heart beat so early.  As of today our baby is almost half an inch long, and it looks like it grows about a half an inch per week from here on out.  The next doctors appointment is August 4.  I'm anticipating it, and find myself counting down days to specific points on the timeline on a pretty regular basis.

Other things that keep creeping through my head tend to be a little more selfish.  Things like watching TV without being interrupted (or just watching TV), snuggling up in the morning, making last minute plans to go out, etc. are all lifestyle things that have days which are numbered.  Sara and I have 14 years of togetherness that's about to be shaken to its core.  I'm not anticipating this in a bad way, just anxious about how big of a change it will be for two people who have not had to share themselves with anyone but each other to now have to devote a significant amount of energy and resources to another person.  That sounds a lot worse than I mean it to be (and I've tried re-writing it a dozen times.)  I guess that's why God gives us 9 months to figure it out and get used to things.

Still, I can't help feel like there are lots of positives to having waited so long to have kids as well.  Sara and I have an identity as a couple that's not bound up in other things or people..for now.  We have 14 years of just being ourselves and I feel like we've built a pretty solid foundation as far as who we are as people and as a couple.  I think some couples probably don't get to experience the relationship we have now until they finally get their kids out of the house.  That's not to say I think people who get married and have kids right away are making mistakes, I think they just experience some of life's pleasures in a different chronological order than we have.  Our feeling is that we know what's waiting on the other side of raising a family, so there won't be too many surprises when we get there.  How's that for thinking ahead? :) It's likely I'll be in my early 60's before it's back to just being the two of us.

A big challenge for me, even just 3 weeks in, is keeping this news a secret.  Each day it becomes more real for me, but the people around me have no idea.  The more Sara and I talk about things at home, the more self-censoring I find myself having to do in conversations at work, especially when planning out training sessions and other items for the next school year.  I spent yesterday morning in a planning session. I know I'm going to be taking some time off work in February/March, but it's hard to come up with reasons not to schedule training for those weeks without having a "why."  So far people haven't pushed me for the why, let's hope it stays that way for at least another 7 weeks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cat's still in the bag

We wrapped up our 4th of July successfully. Four straight days spent with close family and friends, and we managed to get through it without letting our little secret slip out. In the end, it wasn't as hard as I had thought it might be. Speaking for myself, it was mostly just watching what I said and being careful not to tip my hand, especially during conversations about "the future."

We've decided that we're going to try not telling anyone until September. The goal is to first tell our parents on Grandparents Day (September 12 for those of you who keep track of these things) and follow up with our family and friends soon after.  We'll see if we can make it. :)

We know that the reaction of most people will probably be pure shock. We'll have celebrated our 14th anniversary prior to telling people. At this point most of our friends and family have probably just assumed having kids was something we'd never do.

We've always wanted a family, the sticking point's just been getting it started. We weren't sure if we'd even be able to have our own kids, so we'd talk about adoption periodically, but we never put any plans in motion (life's what happens while you're making plans, right.) I guess we just reached a point where the desire to try outgrew the fear of trying. It's been a long road since we made that decision, and doubt has been an ever growing obstacle, so we're just as shocked as you are :)

September 12 seems like both an eternity away and like it's right around the corner. From one perspective it's 10 weeks away, over two months! That seems like a long time to wait and tell anyone. From another perspective it seem's like it's going to fly by. We have "events" taking place the next 4 weekends in a row, and my work schedule is going to keep me super busy well into the start of September. August will be here before you know it, and for me it's going to fly by (even if it is one day at a time.)

One of my worries at this point is that I'll end up missing out on some of the "doctory" stuff that will happen between now and the end of the first trimester. Starting August 9, my schedule is jam packed with training events right up until Labor Day weekend. Between now and August 9 I have a lot of work to do getting ready for that training. Sara hasn't scheduled anything with a local OBGYN yet (last trip to IVF Michigan was the day before we went on vacation) so I'll just have to wait and see when things get scheduled. They did finally hire me a co-worker to help with the work load, but he just officially started on July 1, and has minimal experience right now. We have 15 work days where we'll both be at work between now and August 9 and I've got to get him trained to the point where he can lead training on his own. Like I said, each day will probably seem long, but they are going to fly by at the same time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wouldn't it be nice...

Now that we're into "full blown acknowledgement" mode, but still in "our little secret" mode, too, we find ourselves both relishing things that will be our last "just the two of us" moments as well as thinking forward to "what will this be like with a baby?"

We're camping this weekend, the annual 4th of July camping trip we take every year, to Somerset Beach Campground, with anyone from my mom's family who can make it. If everyone came, we'd have 34 people. For various reasons we usually hold steady at about 25. What makes this year different is that there will be at least 4 new babies (God willing) eligible to make their first 4th of July camping trip next summer. Having babies at camp is nothing new, we've been through it 4 times in the past few years now. However, having OUR new baby at camp is a somewhat terrifying (pleasantly terrifying) thought.

Of course, everyone but Sara and me only knows about the "other" three babies. At times, it's been difficult keeping that secret. In the course of conversation, someone will mention the three new babies next year, and I find myself holding back a "no, four." Other times, it's hard not to bring it into the conversation. In thinking ahead to what camping will be like with a 4 month old baby, we'd like to change lots next year so that we're not so close to the nightly campfire noise, but it's hard to express that without expressing the why. Instead I probably just come across as a crotchety old fart (which, admittedly, I am becoming.)

One of the big challenges this year has been trying to avoid the "pregnant" conversations. My cousin is expecting her second later this year, and her brother's wife is expecting their first in just a few months. They have both been camping with us and my other cousin, who didn't make it this year, is expecting his first in just a few short weeks. As I've mentioned before, Sara and I have both typically shied away from the "here's what my pregnancy/delivery was like" conversations.   In a setting like this it can be kind of funny to watch and see how quickly either of us can get up and move away, without it looking too obvious, when such a conversation starts up. Bless you all for caring and sharing, but we really want to experience as much of this as possible without having any preconceived notions or expectations. We're just not at a point where hearing other people's stories (horror, funny, or otherwise) is helpful for either of us.  A time may come when it is, but just not yet.

It's been a fun four days, knowing something that everyone else doesn't know, and looking forward to a completely new experience next year. No matter what, it's is sure to be different. :)