Friday, December 27, 2013

O Christmas Tree: Pre-Baby Holiday Decor

"Waiting for Evie: 24 Weeks & 4 Days"
"Married!  Heather & Rachel 11-8-2013"
So I know these are totally geeky, but it's the kind of sh*t I'm into, and also you can't shop Etsy during the holidays without personalized temptation.

I was not alone, however, because my mom made and hung a stocking for Evie, four months before she enters the world and at least a year before she can understand what one is.

Stockings all hung by the fire

Not in the holiday season, I gave into temptation by ordering a personalized wedding-cake topper.

(Note that there are two brides, one with a gold ring--me-- and one with silver-- Heather-- and then a little baby lobster.)

Because I'm not really good at the whole wedding-planning thing, I forgot to bring the topper to dinner after the wedding, meaning it's never topped an actual cake, but it's sweet anyway, and maybe we'll get an anniversary cake next year, just as an excuse to use it.  And, let's not kid, as an excuse for cake.

A few weeks ago, I noted that we'd experienced a holiday miracle when Heather and I could both sense Baby's movement.  Inevitably, it took only a little while longer before I got into a holiday panic when I couldn't feel her.  I'd felt a little iffy after our company's Christmas party (who doesn't, right, ladies?), gone to bed early, then woke up feeling iffier.  I stayed home, buried in the covers, trying to figure out what felt bad.  Once I emerged, I decided food was in order and went to pick it up.  (Don't tell Midwife Amy, but it was McDonald's.  In my defense, McDonald's is my stand-by for nausea when no crackers nor toast nor Tums have ever kept my stomach in line.)  Whilst waiting on my food, I realized I couldn't remember having felt Evie move since the night before.  I texted my friend (a mom) for reassurance.

The real trick to this anxiety is that a co-worker of ours recently lost a baby at around 24 weeks, the first clue being that it had been a long time since the baby had moved.  It didn't make me more paranoid, per se, but it did put a different spin on when we could feel "safe" with the pregnancy.  I feel like I've been pregnant forever, and we've certainly made it public.  Baby has a name and a gender and, now, a stocking.  Even so, I was barely at 24 weeks.  Things can go wrong.  I've had that in the back of my mind, but still felt fundamentally confident.  My hormones are getting a little more expressive emotionally, though, and the tendency to get negative and dramatic is more pronounced, so I guess I was ripe for anxiety.

Comforting words from my friend notwithstanding, I was certain that we were going to have the most awkward Christmas ever-- that somehow the awfulness of losing a baby at the most wonderful time of the year was a temptation that the universe could not refuse.  I poked my tummy a little, nothing happened, and I texted Midwife Amy.

(Just as a side note, having a caregiver available by text and e-mail when you're pregnant and antsy is the best thing ever.  Sure, the ob/gyn had a fancier office, but there's no waiting room at Amy's, and there's no nurses' voicemail, either.)

"So I haven't felt the baby move in hours and I'm not sure when to start freaking out.  Is there something I can do to jar her awake if she's just sleeping?"

And, listen, folks, Amy is worth every goddamn out-of-network penny we've paid, because she-- well, first she told me that movement isn't an indicator of fetal health till 28 weeks-- but then, because she's totally the best, she told me to put a bag of frozen vegetables on my tummy.  Babies don't like cold, she said.  She was spot-on, too, because, dude, Evie got to squirming after about ten seconds cuddled against broccoli medley.

Just a tip from me to you, guys.

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