Sorry for being absent. I started my postdoc last week, and have been overwhelmed with trying to handle all my old projects and the new ones as well. I'm getting the balancing act readjusted so that I can do a good job of hydrating and eating well in a new lab situation. (Since I can't eat or drink in the lab, it takes effort to plan out how and where I can eat when I need to.)
We had an ultrasound on Friday, which was super fun. I was really nervous beforehand, even though we had heard the heartbeat a week earlier. Mostly I was nervous for the nuchal translucency test. Not because there's any elevated risk (I'm 28), but because I don't believe in taking tests when you haven't thought about what to do with that information, and I was so heartsick at the idea that we would choose to end the pregnancy if trisomy 18 were diagnosed. Waiting for almost an hour in the waiting room was particularly anxiety-provoking, because you have to have a full bladder, and that feeling definitely exacerbates the normal nervousness. But once we got in there, I was overwhelmed with joy looking at the kid. He or she looks so much more like a person! I mean, still like a space alien, but so much more like a baby : ) I'm in love. The most amazing part was as the ultrasound tech poked to try to get him/her to move into the right position for the NTT measurement, and we could watch him/her move. Completely breathtaking. My baby can move! Originally he/she had been in a typical fetal position, but as the poking went on, he/she moved the arms above the head like he/she was trying to fend off the pokes. We never managed to get the kid to straighten its neck and get the perfect measurement, but they sent us home with assurances that the "almost right" measurements they got showed no cause for concern. In the end, I was glad the kid was so contrary, because it meant we got to keep watching for what felt like hours : ) And it's definitely our kid - refused to cooperate for picture-taking (my husband to a T), and extremely contrary (totally me). Lying on my left side, emptying my bladder, none of it had any effect on getting the kid to get in the right position even for a moment. I could watch all day. It's amazing how much closer the kid feels when we can see it. The still photos don't do it justice, but are still kind of fun.
Yesterday a friend and I went shopping for maternity clothes. I was so happy that she was willing to go with me. I have to remind myself that people are all different, because I hate shopping, and doing this with me would be my idea of torture. But luckily she likes shopping and was totally into it. It made it way more fun for me to, although I wouldn't say I loved it or anything. I've been feeling pretty insecure, since all the weight I've gained during our struggle to get pregnant makes me embarrassed. I hate how I look in recent photos (pre-pregnancy). Since I got pregnant, I've actually lost a couple of pounds, but it has also redistributed. Nothing else seems smaller to me, but my belly is definitely bigger. I'm just not confident enough yet about it since I know it's almost all me, and not the kid. But at one of the stores we went to, they had a belly pillow in the dressing room, so I tried it on to see how the tops would look in several months. I'm kind of in love with that image, too. I've never been particularly belly-obsessed. My infertility nightmares were all about the fact of pregnancy that is behind the belly, but not the belly itself. So I am surprised and delighted that I'm so excited and not insecure about a big belly. I want it as soon as possible, so I can stop taking offense that I look pregnant when all the weight is my own. The 3.5 inch kid is not contributing that much, so I can't wait until he or she is. I really want to look pregnant. Even though my rational part knows it's better for my career if I look less pregnant for longer.
In all, it's been a great week. I have to work all day today, so I need to get my butt in gear and get it done. But I just wanted to share that I'm feeling happy and content. And now I have some more clothes to wear that fit, so that makes the prospect of the coming week more appealing. This shopping stuff may not be so bad after all : )