Her NameWe found out at the end of August that the baby is a girl, and we're naming her Eleanor. I've had the name on my list of names for future kids for probably 3 or 4 years now, and Kyle liked it as well (and didn't love my other top girl name choice. But I'm not giving up and going to save it for if we have another girl), so it was easy to arrive at. I didn't have anything or anyone particular in mind when the name Eleanor came to me years ago, but obviously you think of Eleanor Roosevelt, and that is a fine association by me! The middle name is proving to be much harder. We're leaning towards something with one syllable, and I don't want her name to sound too "old," since Eleanor is a classic name itself (I saw it's in the top 10 popular girl names for 2014 so far). I joke that if we can't come up with something, we will just go with Beyoncé and call it a day. People have suggested using family names, but I'm not particularly fond of any names on either side, nor attached to any meanings (nor have any been conveyed to me by relatives), and I feel that once you start down that road you have to continue for every kid, and I have no interest in engaging in the drama that might ensue with that. Plus, you only get to name so many human beings in your life, so you should name them what you love!
I've been asked if I think she may be born and not seem like an Eleanor, if we will pick a different name, but I really think that after referring to a life by one name for so many months, it would be hard to picture her as or call her anything else, you know? I've seen her face (and spine and toes and femurs and heart beating, etc) and she's already our Eleanor.
FamilyI don't imagine we will have any family with us when Eleanor is born. I don't know that she will know her extended family well for her first 2-3 years of life, either, since everyone lives far away from us, and I doubt there will be more than one visit a year as it has been for the most part since we moved to Texas. Kyle and I certainly won't be able to travel much.
I don't think it is ideal to grow up without extended family around. I did for the most part, and when my grandparents died I didn't really feel much because I didn't know them. I learned more about my grandfather from his online obituary than I remembered hearing about my whole life. I don't want for it to be this way for Eleanor and potential future kiddos. I feel like Kyle and I get almost blamed for being far away in Texas, and staying in Texas maybe longer than originally thought, even though neither of us came here by choice, and it's unreasonable to not expect us to make a life here while it's where we are living, particularly given the nature of my work (that deeply ingrains me in the community). We would like to move back to the North eventually, but it's more difficult than packing up and leaving. It may happen in 2 or 3 years. Anyway, we have done most of our lives together without family around, so it's not going to be an adjustment and there's not any expectation of family involvement as I imagine there would be for other new parents who have family close by or even in the same part of the state or country.
Everyone seems very excited for her arrival, and I'm extremely excited for her to meet people, whenever that happens! Maybe folks might be able to visit during Spring Break.
HealthWe had our 18 week anatomy scan at the end of August, where we found out she is a she. She was also hiding a bit, so they couldn't quite get all of the measurements they want, so I was scheduled for another one about four weeks later (yesterday, at 22 weeks!). Ultimately, all of the measurements and pictures they got were marked N for Normal. They also noted my placenta was possibly low-lying, so they wanted to check for that as well. Low lying placenta may cover the cervix, therefore requiring a cesarean section, but I wasn't worried because I read that it typically moves. At the second ultrasound they noted I didn't redemonstrate low lying placenta, so that's good! Eleanor was moving all about at this scan; the tech called her "wiggle worm." I saw her moving her hand to her mouth, opening her mouth, and striking a Thinker pose. It is really the coolest thing, maybe even more since I am such an anatomy dork. I also have been feeling her move more strongly now, and it was neat to both feel and see her move at the same time. I started feeling little blips around 18 weeks, but now it's full-on, strong flutters that are unmistakable. She seem particularly active when I'm driving; maybe something to do with the motion of the vehicle and/or the music. I think she's going to be kicking and punching me a lot in the coming months. I can't wait for Kyle to be able to feel her move from the outside! Also, her due date has moved up a day to 1/22/2015.
I had heard that often women start to feel much better once they enter the second trimester. Well, I got a lot more energy back, and wasn't quite as sick, but still was struggling 2-3 days of the week, throwing up maybe 4 or 5 times in a week and usually getting bad headaches those days (like, hurts to lie down because my whole head is in pain). I have never missed work or even arrived late or left early, though, I just tough it out and allow myself to be miserable when I get home. I've definitely driven to work several days with a plastic bag in my lap, in case. At my last ob appointment I was given a prescription for Zofran to take as needed/desired to help with the sickness, so I will see how that helps things. I still weigh less than I did at my very first appointment (which was just confirming the pregnancy), though I gained back a couple pounds from the first trimester, one of which is all Eleanor as she should now weigh one lb. I am hoping to be able to work pretty much right up until I give birth, so we will see how things go.
It is looking like Kyle will be going to a training in Kentucky for a month, and I'm just a little paranoid that Eleanor will decide to be born super early when he's gone, or that something will happen. At least the only times I'll be alone is when I'm at home in Temple, where I live two minutes away from the hospital.
I'm not really sure what happens next, appointment-wise (as I never am because they never tell me...and yet every time I go in for an appointment they ask me "what brings you in today?!" and I say- "Um, you guys told me to come."). I have a next follow-up appointment from this ultrasound back at the doctors in two weeks, and I got a flyer about birthing classes that I sign up for around 28 weeks.
Baby ThingsI've really gotten into researching and looking up baby gear and items we will need. Before it was mostly overwhelming, but now it's fun for me. I've been adding things to our registry on myregistry.com, as it seemed like the easiest way to gather things from various stores and shops.
I was asked if I'm OK with pink and frilly things for our girl. Yes, but not to the extent that all of her clothes should be pink (/purple/girl), and no leopard print tutus or anything too ridiculous. Also, I pretty much hate baby clothes that say dumb things like "Daddy's Princess" or "Mommy's BFF" or "Worth the Wait," so please, none of that. :) Kyle jokes that we can dye any pink things we get green, but that's not going to happen (though good green baby items are kind of hard to find). I like variety, and in addition to fun "girly" clothing, I want to gather a bunch of neutrals, should we have a boy at some point.
There was talk of having a baby shower up in Pennsylvania in October, for my friends and family up North, but I didn't really see it happening, and I started to think it would be better to save the plane money on either a trip later when the baby is here, or just on baby things we're going to need to buy. I learned in May that being pregnant and taking quick turnaround trips does not mix well. I also don't think seeing a pregnant Sarah is generally an interesting enough reason for people to gather, but I know others would say otherwise.
As far as I know, friends down here are planning a shower for November, so that will be fun and a nice reunion, since people have been all over the place since graduation. I am generally very uncomfortable celebrating myself, but I figure after missing out on a bridal shower, honeymoon, and most typical life celebrations (I don't even have an engagement ring anymore since mine broke a while ago), I should let a baby shower happen, and hopefully Eleanor can take the spotlight, not the person carrying her (no games that involve measuring my belly). I'm excited! :)
What ElseIt's looking like Kyle and I will be moving to Waco in December, hopefully a little bit gradually through the first few weeks, so we can be somewhat settled by Christmas. I won't be much help, which I'm sure will drive me crazy, but I will just try to focus on the fun of putting together Eleanor's room and try not to be too controlling about everything else.
We have seen hints of fall here in Texas, and I don't think I've ever been more excited for fall and winter to come. It'll probably be another month until it is more consistently cooler weather, but I'll take whatever I can get!
Having a growing human inside your belly is really the weirdest thing that is actually the most normal and natural thing. It doesn't make any sense for women to have been ever viewed as a "lesser" sex.