Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just a-Kickin' and a-Spinnin'

Dear Sprout,

Week 24! Another milestone! Without sounding too morbid, this is the time in which you officially become "viable." Your lungs are developed enough to give you a shot and the hospitals would do all they could to keep you around, if you decided it was time to come out.

Don't get any ideas. I am your mother and I say "NO!" quite emphatically. We want a fully baked baby.

We've got a busy month coming up, sprout; a lot of which has to do with you. You and I will be flying back to the Louisville area to meet your new cousin. Well, you won't be able to meet him yet, but I will and I can't wait! Your dad will meet up with us towards the end of our trip and we will have parties to celebrate you and your new life.

The end of next month brings us another kind of adventure, altogether. We haven't really told many people, though it seems word has spread pretty quickly. We decided for our family and for insurance purposes and because we just are ready, we're going to go ahead and get married.

We didn't tell a lot of people because we didn't want anyone to think that you were the reason behind it. Don't get me wrong, we want to be a unified family with you and for you, but that's not the reason we decided to do this. We could love each other and love you without a piece of paper and a shared last name-- and we would have, with gusto!

We chose to do this because we already knew this was what we wanted. There are benefits to it that make good fiscal sense. Not to mention, I finally get to call your dad my husband and make myself giggle, because, really? A husband? Who would have guessed!

Your timing was a coincidence. A wonderful, beautiful, amazing coincidence. And while we would have preferred a different day or month or year, I wouldn't change this experience for anything in the world. This is perfect as it is.

So this time next month, we'll be packing and heading to Las Vegas to have a fun, simple wedding with some of the people we love most in this world. We'll have a mini-vacation before you come along and keep us super busy.

Now to see if we can get the dress to fit around the belly.

Our marriage will always come first, before anything else. That sounds wrong, I suppose, but I do think it's the greatest gift we can give you-- growing up in a family that loves without limit and works it out when it's going all wrong.

Your activity level is picking up. I was just telling your father last night how good you were. You kick, spin, twist all day and anytime I sit down or eat, you pick up the pace. You have little nap periods in there but you are just so active all day, but at night, you relax and let me sleep.

As soon as I say something, you decide that night time is the right time to be with the one you love. Last night, every time I woke up for a bathroom break or to switch positions and get comfortable (which is no less than 100 times), you would start up the spinning and flipping. Sleep last night was a real chore.

I know I should keep my mouth shut when things are going good. I will never learn.

But just like the rest, I wouldn't change this, not for one second. (I do not include morning sickness in "the rest"- that I would change.)(And the hip pain... I would change that, too.)

We love you, little Baron. We love you so much.
Your mama

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Apparently, I Am REALLY Ticklish on the Inside

Dear Sprout,

Welcome to week 23! You're bigger, I can definitely tell. My belly is, too, that's for sure. I've become a little less able to sit up in the bed in the mornings without some maneuvering. Maybe a little more waddle-y. It's slightly disconcerting.

It's okay, though, because my new favorite thing in the world is happening a lot lately.

You are doing somersaults in my tummy.

It's still a fairly light feeling, but it's definitely not gas. Your biggest movements often coincide with my finishing a meal, like you're already a food critic. So far, we know you really get moving after Thai and you give me major heartburn after Italian.

You like to stay still all day when I'm doing something and then as soon as a lay down, you like to start moving and kicking. This seems pretty appropriate and I've started to lay on my back (either your most or least favorite position of mine - who can tell with all that kicking?) just to get you to move around.

Your father finds this all amusing because I can just be sitting on the couch with him, playing games or watching TV and out of nowhere I'll start laughing. I am not a person who's ticklish - not really at all - but there is something about your twists and turn that tickle the inside of my belly so much I can't help but laugh. So all night long I'm giggling or going "Ooooh!" in shock.

Thank you! We're having a lot of fun!

Like I said, the movements are light and not yet able to be felt from the outside. Except once. It was like you knew he was waiting for you. Like you knew he'd been trying to feel you for awhile with no luck.

We were laying in bed and your daddy had his hands on my belly. He was talking to you and telling you he loved you. Without any hesitation, you gave my tummy a huge WHOMP and at the same time, both your father and I said, "There he is!"

I've had a lot of favorite moments during this pregnancy. I have to say that one? That one tops them all.

The two of you are going to make such a wonderful pair, it brings me to tears just thinking about how amazing our lives are going to be with you in it. We are getting so excited about having you on the outside. Your dad can't wait to tickle your tummy.

All of my love,
Your mama

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dancing Fetus is Dancing

Dear Sprout,

This week starts week number 22. The next three weeks, you'll be about the size of a papaya and getting up to over a pound. Something about this is unbelievable to me.

This past week has been such a wonderful one. We had our halfway through ultrasound and spent the first part of the week with your nini, setting your room up and getting you clothes, and while I am still quite nervous, I'm starting to feel prepared.

The ultrasound... I don't know if I have the words to describe what I felt that day. I had been so nervous going into it, so on edge because of all of my nightmares and doubts. When you popped up on the screen, I squeezed your father's hand and said "There's a baby in there... STILL!"

You were in there and so much bigger than the last time. You were active and wouldn't stop moving, just like last time. You are already starting to get a reputation as a mover and a shaker.

Over those 45 minutes, we got to see so many small parts of you, all the boring stuff, the bits and pieces that showed you were healthy. Your femur, your bladder, your kidneys, your arms. You were measuring just the right size for our gestation stage. The tech even showed us that your head shape is going to match mine, not your dad's. But you weren't giving up the money shot, the image on the screen that we all were waiting for with our breath held.

The ultrasound tech kept teasing us and asking us what we thought you were going to be. Eventually she told us you weren't being cooperative enough to show us a good image, but that she could see your bits and would we like to know the sex, even without the picture? Lady, be SERIOUS, of course we want to know! She laughed at us and said that she could see enough of your boy parts during your acrobatics session to think you were a boy.

And no sooner had she said it, she did another sweep of the scan wand thing, and lo and behold, there it was. Photographic evidence that you are, in fact, a little dude.

A boy.

How did that happen? We were all SO SURE you were going to be a girl.

You are already full of surprises. And I couldn't be more in love with my boy.

So now we have a son on the way. I found myself going gooey over sweater vests and plaid shorts and all of those boy clothes I couldn't even fathom before. Your closet is full of so many cute, soft, wonderful clothes. I can't help but sometimes walk in there and just touch some of the pieces. Soon, you'll be wearing these.

Lately, your father has been reading you stories at night. I think you like it. Or hate it. Either way, when he starts reading to you, you start moving like crazy. I can't wait for the two of you to be together.

My boy. Our son.

I am madly in love with you and what our family is going to be with you in it.

All of my love,
Your mama

Monday, June 6, 2011

Boy, oh, Boy, oh Boy

Dear Baron Douglas Schuster,

Well, well, well! Look who's a big, healthy boy!

Welcome to our life. It's so nice to be able to finally put a name to a fetus.

I'm a little overwhelmed today and won't write much about our day until Saturday. Our minds are blown. You are there, you are kicking and spinning and being so wonderful and normal. You are our baby, our kid, our boy, our son. Our son.

Right now your floaty, alien existence highlights our financial difficulties in a biiiiiig way, but seeing you today... you are amazing, so amazing I cannot even describe.

We will struggle, that much is true, but you are so worth it.

Last night I was lying on the couch with your father asleep in my lap and our puppy asleep on my belly. I looked at your nini and said, "Well, all I need now is another boy in my arms and this picture would be complete." Turns out, I was right.

Thank you for being healthy and sticking this thing out with us. We're going to try our best to be as awesome as you are.

We love you! We are so proud of your ass-kicking ways in utero. Someday you're going to really give me hell.

Your mama