Newest development: I am now experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. They technically begin at 6 weeks, but aren't usually felt until mid-pregnancy. At this point, they are painless and sporadic. Describing them as uterine contractions is just about as accurate as you can get. When you are pregnant, around 20 weeks you will locate this taut "blob" in your lower abdomen (read: uterus), and at times, it will just "seize" and get ROCK HARD. For me, it is never the entire uterus, but there will be zones of my belly that I feel slowly "cramping" up into a tight muscular contraction. If you touch the area, it feels like I am smuggling a grapefruit--well, maybe not that big; perhaps a tangelo. It's strange, but I am hoping all of this practice makes labor easier (ha!).
Speaking of touching bellies, I have now been "felt up." Believe it or not, I have been aching for someone to reach toward my belly and rub it; perhaps because I still have a hard time believing I am preggo. At a recent after work happy hour (don't worry; I got water on the rocks), we began talking about pregnancy in a rather general manner. One of our new co-workers commented, "is someone pregnant?" I turned to him, and said, "I am!" When he asked how far along I was, and I told him just about 22 weeks, I think his jaw fell off into his Corona. To be fair, it was a guy making the comment (essentially the only guy in our company). In the same 10 minutes, my boss came up and asked to touch by belly. Ah! Redemption! I imagine I am in the minority, but I really don't mind the unprompted and uninvited belly rubs. Talk to me in a few weeks.
Drum roll...we ordered our first baby items!!! Hold the applause, it is actually the combined generous gift of the parental units: car seat, extra base and stroller. The initial idea was to have them help furnish a nursery, but given the fact that we will most likely rock the condo life for a bit longer, we are not going to opt for a crib at this point (and certainly have no room for additional furniture). Instead, we will get the highly acclaimed "pack n play," which is like an all-in-one jungle gym, hotel, bassinet, and changing station for babies. (Seriously, the second you get pregnant, you start throwing around words and phrases like "pack n play," "medela breast pump" and "baby bjorn" as though they were part of every American's vocabulary.) The best part is that the pack n play is a heck of a lot cheaper than a crib, highly portable, and can be quickly disassembled to store away for all of those condo showings. Although we are not solely relying on baby registries to cover all of our needs, we have started rather sad Target, Gaiam, and Babies R Us (BRU) lists. BRU is not anywhere near us, so we were hesitant to use them, but we figured that it may be helpful for shipping items. Truthfully, if you spend time doing the research, you can find far better deals on the Internet (and many times better quality) than the one stop shop with registries. Therefore, our "registry" (Linus's List as it is named), is actually an excel spreadsheet that we continually add to as we do research and find the places that have the best deals. May I also note that there are some items that they suggest not looking for the deals (I'll comment on this related to the car seat, later). For example: used cribs and car seats are generally not a good idea. For other things, my suggestion: craigslist and amazon! I highly recommend craigslist for looking for boxes of barely used baby clothing. We would be more than welcoming of reused, gently worn boxes of baby clothes. I haven't bought any, but I am sure as the time gets closer to Linus's birth, I'll be toting my preggo rear around Atlanta, buying boxes of baby clothes.
As far as the car seat and stroller, after some research, we opted for the Peg Perego brand as it is lightweight, well reviewed, and really safe. The products are from Italy, and the car seat has the SIP (side impact protection) that is now just making waves in the US market. They seem to be the best fit, too, for 3 flights of concrete condo steps as the stroller easily folds up to carry. TIP! We found the set online for sale as we are getting the 2007 fabric. In fact, we like the 2007 fabric better than the 2008 new "bubbly" fabric. I won't use the word "deal" because I don't think there are many deals in the baby consumer world, but we felt good about the quality, style and savings with the purchase. (I would also like to add, much like when I got corrective eye surgery, I don't know that I am always inclined to go for the deeply discounted offers...especially for products involved with baby safety.)
-I am grateful for the ENORMOUS box of baby clothes that were sent by Aunt T. One of her friends had a huge lot of premature and 0-3 mo baby boy clothing and kindly donated them to the Linus cause. Note: we won't need 0-3 mo old clothing! (3-6 and 6-9 is a different story) That is how much we received...onesies galore, hats, pants...all so precious and in perfect condition! I really love the concept of "reusing," especially with a baby. You'll notice that theme with the this Heintz family. There is so much waste in this world, and it is my and Eric's goal to bring Linus into the world as someone who contributes, and doesn't suck the life out of our planet (let me tell you, they make that easy with all the unnecessary baby stuff!).
EVAN, OWEN, Abe, Josef, Dylan, Griffin, Jens, Jan, Nevin, Emil, Milo, Luke, Lucas, Simon