21w4d Books for Baby Z

For the first time in my career, I can finally reap the one great benefit of my job — FREE BOOKS.  I was formerly an editor at a major children’s publishing company, and I’m currently an education producer at a public television station working on early childhood literacy issues — which means that even though I may be clueless in all other aspects of motherhood, there is one thing that I can provide to Baby Z in abundance:  BOOKS!  (And through books, hopefully a love of reading and learning.)  J and I are both avid readers, although our preferred formats differ – he prefers to do his reading online and I’m a traditional turn-the-page-down-to-mark-my-spot type of gal.  Evenings in our home are fairly quiet because they’re our mutual reading time. (Although it’s not-so-quiet lately because it’s football season *long suffering sigh*.)

I don’t have many expectations for Baby Z, but I truly hope that he will inherit his parents’ love of reading…especially since his mama has been diligently putting together his own personal library for the past ten years!  To be honest, even if I did not have to read children’s books for my job, I would probably do so anyway because I love them so much.  People tend to think that there is nothing to writing/illustrating children’s books – that anyone can write them – but they cannot be more wrong.  Think of some of your favorite classic children’s tales and you intuitively know that a good children’s book is much more than a few clever sentences or colorful scribbles on a page.  A good book transports you to new places, fuels your imagination, imparts important lessons and lingers in your mind long after the last page has been turned.  Having read many, many children’s books and met many children’s book authors in my career, I can honestly say that while it’s true – anyone can write a children’s book – not everyone should write a children’s book.  It takes a special author who has the right touch of storytelling and magic to make a story come alive.  Lord knows that I’ve tried (and failed) at it more than a few times!  Which is why those who can’t write…edit!

In any case, I digress.  I really can’t wait to start reading and sharing some of my favorite books with Baby Z, starting with Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say, a beautiful (and beautifully illustrated) story about one immigrant’s love for two countries…not unlike the story of Baby Z’s mama.

Baby Z, hurry up and come get on my lap already!


21w2d Baby Body Update

*How far along: 22 weeks!

*Gender: BOY!  (A big boy…judging from his 3D ultrasound last week, or so his Daddy wishes)

*Weight: 129.3 pounds.  Yes, I’ve gained 20+ pounds since the beginning of this journey 5 and a half months ago.

*How I’m feeling: Pretty good this week!  Headaches have subsided a little, but now I’m welcoming a whole new ache in my lower back.

*Cravings:  I’ve developed a hankering for ice cream and fruit lately.

*Emotions:  Stressed.  It’s been a pretty stressful week at work, and I have a tendency to forget to eat when I get busy so it’s been extra hard to keep reminding myself to eat something (healthy) during busy times!

*Sleep:  I realized this weekend that I need at least 8 hours of sleep a night in order to be a normal, functioning human being (esp since I’ve given up coffee for Baby Z) – how am I going to survive once Baby Z comes along and that number dwindles to, like, 8 minutes a night?!

*Belly thoughts:  I don’t think I can put off buying maternity clothes any longer.  At first I was hoping that I could get away with wearing bigger pants (since maternity pants are so expensive!), but my belly is growing way faster than my thighs (I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing, right?).  Bigger pants may fit me around the waist, but the pant legs are so wide that I look like I’m anticipating a flood, not a baby.  Time to go shopping!

*Dreams: A ton, but I can’t seem to remember any right now!  Pregnancy brain strikes again.

*Thought of the week:  Ever since the 3D ultrasound pictures, I’ve been obsessively worrying that Baby Z’s nose looks like…a baby piglet’s 😦

*Special Moments:  I am a producer at a television station, and this weekend I was roped into being an “extra” in a live national broadcast.  It was only until I got on set that I realized that I was supposed to pose as one of the teenagers in a program about high school dropout prevention.  So if you noticed a pregnant teenager waddling across your television screen this weekend, that would be me – a high school teen cautionary tale.  Lovely.

21w0d It doesn’t get any better – does it?

Your baby’s the size of a papaya!  

At 11 inches (the length of a papaya) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he’s even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. 

 If you could see inside your womb, you’d be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he’ll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

I know I say this every week, but my belly is growing exponentially – as are Baby Z’s kicks!  I can feel him constantly wiggling in there now, although I still can’t tell the difference between a punch, a kick, a head nudge or a butt bump :/  I’ve also been offered a seat by someone every single day on the subway this week.  I must really be showing.  At first, I was a little hesitant to take people up on their offer because I felt guilty taking their seats when I felt perfectly fine standing, but I got over that guilt fast!  It’s probably the only time in my life that the good people of Manhattan will give up their hard won subway seats during rush hour (trust me, I was one of them), so I may as well enjoy it while it lasts.   Plus as the week progressed, I started to discover a new ache in my lower back – and I think my feet are also getting bigger!!  Ack!  No joke, I’m typically somewhere between a 7 and a 7.5 in shoe size (7 is are usually a tad small and 7.5 is a tad too big), and I’m finding that even my 7.5 shoes are fitting me tightly.

I just looked this up, and OMG there’s a chance that I will permanently have bigger feet when this is all done.

According to this Baby Center article:

The aptly named pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens the joints around your pelvis so your baby can make his way down the birth canal, also loosens the ligaments in your feet, causing the foot bones to spread. You may notice your shoes getting a little tight as early as the second trimester, and they may continue to increase in size until late in pregnancy. While the foot swelling generally subsides within a month after delivery, any foot spreading caused by looser ligaments is permanent. 

NOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.  For once, JUST ONCE, I would like to hear something POSITIVE about pregnancy (other than Baby Z, I know, I know!).  All I have to say is that if Baby Z is the only pot of gold at the end of this whole stinking pregnancy rainbow…is it too late to return him for a refund?

(Just kidding honey, Mommy loves you.  Sort of.)

I will try to get photos up of my expanding belly (and possibly feet now too) soon, but in the meantime, check out this great time lapse pregnancy video!  There’s a lot of these videos out there, but this is definitely one of better ones that I’ve seen!