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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal

Week 22 ~ November 6 - 12, 2005
~ Getting To Know Charlie

Yum yum yum yum yum. Well, it's STILL a boy, and tonight we finally have a chance to celebrate the ultrasound news. I'm making a big ole' roast with enormous, heartily chopped potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms and zucchini, in a savory brown sauce with a beer base, a warm loaf of bread, and the celebratory bottle of wine we had bought in anticipation of the ultrasound. In theory, I'll be able to get said roast and veggies put together over my lunch break, and pop it in the oven so that when I get home from work, all we'll need to do is serve everything up, and then snuggle on the couch with our satellite TV. The only thing Aaron has to do to be worthy of such a feast is clean the gross dishes in the sink, and finish putting together our long incomplete TV stand. Oh yeah, AND take me back to work after lunch, AND run to the store to get mushrooms and zucchini, AND go pay some bills, AND run an errand with my dad, AND go home to put in soft veggies when roast is halfway through, AND come back to pick me up after I get off work… Ha! Poor thing! Well, that's what he gets for having a day off.

So, in case you haven't heard, it's a boy. Huh. I'm still very much not used to the idea, and have to keep reminding myself over and over. The baby is no longer "it," but "Charlie." Charlie is moving around. Charlie is hungry. Charlie's room needs to be cleaned; Charlie's crib needs to be painted. My mom called me up the other day and said, "hello mother of a little boy," and I thought she meant herself. As her "little boy" is now 21 years old, I shot back with an indignant, "no you're not!" before she reminded me, "Jennifer, I meant you." Oooh yeah… Let this be a word of warning to everyone - do NOT start calling your baby by one gender name or the other before you know for sure! The concept that my little Livvy is now my little Charlie boggles my mind! I've always, my whole life, wanted to have a little boy first, right up until I actually got pregnant and decided that he was a she. Now I'm learning to tear my eyes away from the little lacy dresses and bonnets, and embrace instead little denim overalls, shirts with bugs on them, and dump trucks. It's a completely different outlook on what the rest of my life will be like, with a son instead of a daughter, and I have to say… I have absolutely no clue how it'll turn out! I had Olivia all pegged down (she was just like me, ha), and now Charlie is such a mystery. I guess that's what makes pregnancy and having children such a special thing. You have no idea what this tiny person inside you is going to be like, yet you love them so much regardless, and the only thing you can do is wait and see…

It's interesting to see everyone's reaction to the boy news, as well. Really, if I were a filmmaker, I'd be tempted to make a boring documentary about the big gender reveal when having a child. Everyone's reaction is so different. Aaron is still triumphant, jubilant, and can't believe his good luck. Imagine, if you will, a very tall man with a very shaggy beard, shakin' his booty all over the place like it ain't no thang, hands in the air, singing "it's a boy, it's a boy, it's a boy" repetitively. That's what my life with him is like right now. My mom is also thrilled, and has easily overlooked all the dresses we had envisioned, in favour of various blue outfits with puppies on them, and matching baby hats with puppy ears. She brings Charlie up in almost any conversation she can possibly find to fit him in. Last night, I even caught my mom and Aaron gossiping excitedly about Charlie, with hushed voices, in the kitchen like a bunch of old ladies. My dad doesn't want to know at all, thus the hushed voices when we talk about the baby now. I don't think it's in any way feasible for it to be kept a secret for the entire four months we still have to go, but we'll try. I guess he'll just have to keep his eyes tightly shut any time I open a gift for the baby from now on, because you just know we'll be inundated with cute blue outfits, and the aforementioned puppies/bugs/dinosaur motifs. My aunt Jane's reaction was classic, because she didn't understand what was wrong with naming a boy Charles Jane after her, instead of Charles Daniel after my dad! Ha! Luckily, I was able to sate her with the idea of daughters yet to come named Jane, and she's still going to make the baby quilt for us without any sort of a grudge (I hope). And finally, the most common reaction that I've been getting to our news, which I actually find a little surprising but really, really funny, is when I go to pull out the ultrasound picture to show the little "I'm a boy" boy parts photo, everyone unanimously says, "You're going to show me a little penis, aren't you?!" Poor Charlie! The indignity!

I'm really looking forward to my neurologist appointment at the end of this month (is it pathetic that this is the high point of my month, going to the doctor?). My headaches now aren't nearly as frequent as they used to be a few years ago, but the problem is, with several years break between having them every other day to having them maybe once a month, I've now forgotten how it was that I used to handle them! Usually, if I catch them early enough, I can back them off with some pills and caffeine, but day after day of chasing headaches with a Coke and Advil is no way to live - not to mention completely unhealthy! Dr. Abbott thinks that there are some very mild muscle relaxants (nothing, I hope, like the pills I was prescribed in college - those suckers could knock out an elephant for 15 hours straight) that I can still take without risk to Charlie. I guess we'll just wait and see what Dr. Ewing thinks. It's very frustrating to be going through this problem all over again, after so much time and energy to reverse it, but hey, at least we're catching it early and it's covered by the insurance. And until the appointment, I still have my bi-monthly appointments with my massage therapist, Cami!

Ooh, speaking of stress, can you believe that it's the holidays already? I'm a southern girl, and if some of you don't now what that entails around the holidays, well, let me just give you a few words to accurately describe it: complete and total neurosis. Sheesh, and on top of being pregnant crazy, too… This is going to be one FUN holiday season! I'm in a panic because I can't find my address book, as it's packed away somewhere in the dismal abyss that is Charlie's bedroom. Usually, by the end of October I have already compiled my insane Christmas card list, have purchased cards, and have started addressing all the envelopes. That gives me November to fill them all out with personal notes to everyone, and then they're in the mail by early December. You see, it's a matter of pride to get my cards out before my equally holiday neurotic mother, and whoever has the first card to arrive at my grandmommy's door is the Ultimate Christmas Card Champion. Suddenly, I've moved, and everything is in mass chaos. I don't know where my address book is, I have no idea where to begin looking for it, and I haven't bought a single card because I don't know how many I'm going to be sending out without the damn address book! My mother, that scheming woman, has already rubbed her cards in my face. The next problem is that this whole Christmas card notion is completely alien to Aaron, and he just sits there watching me fret in complete amusement. Boys. Suddenly, I've got a whole mother and sisters-in-law situation to deal with, and I need to get them on my card list ASAP! I asked Aaron to please make me a list of the people he would want to send a card out to, along with their addresses, and do you know what he said? Do you? He said, "why?" Aaarrrrggghhhh!

Presents, presents, presents, too, are another area of strife. I love giving presents, I'm just not terribly good at it (more to do with lack of money than imagination!) This year won't be so bad, as I'm only getting a few presents for a small group of people - Aaron, obviously, Chelsea, and my best friends Yarrow and Eric (more a belated wedding present than a Christmas present, I'm a shameful bridesmaid.) I know exactly what I'm getting for Aaron, which is exciting because it's perfect, and I think he's going to really be surprised and love it. Very, expensive though, but I suppose he's worth it, blah blah blah… My parents know that we're constantly broke, and never want us to give them anything, so methinks I'll do what I've done in years past, and just have a night where we make them a really delicious dinner, and have them over to the house. That's always fun. I know that Charlie is getting a stroller from my parents, which is all well and good. And then they ask the impossible, what do I want for MYSELF? I'm a little taken aback! Usually, my mother has already blown her budget for me by now, without having once asked for any input - she doesn't have to, she knows me too well! And now, she actually asks for some ideas, and I don't have any! As it turns out, she's used up all her creative energy buying things for Aaron. Aaron this, Aaron that, Aaron, Aaron, Aaron. Come Christmas day, Aaron's going to have amassed a small fortune in presents from his in-laws (a good sign, surely?) I'm going to have to drag my mom out to Target one of these nights, and have a good old-fashioned shopping spree, because honestly, I've been so wrapped up in thinking about what Charlie needs that I haven't had time to think about fun things for myself. It's going to be niiiice.

Well, let's see, I suppose that I'll end with the baby today. Charlie is moving around all the time now; I can feel him throughout the day. That's a very real moment, isn't it, when they start moving around and make themselves known? It's such a strange feeling, too. No heavy kicking just yet, but a constant thumping/rolling. Aaron and I will spend entire nights sitting together on the couch, with our hands on my belly, playing with Charlie and feeling him move. I feel like I can almost determine his mood now, by his movements. When he's hungry (he likes chocolate), when he's asleep, or now, when he's restless because I've been sitting too long typing and haven't been paying enough attention to him, and he wants to go for a little walk around the office. Well, that's my cue…

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