Posts Tagged ‘Aunt Brandi’

Pregnancy Week 23 and OB Visit Week 23

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Oh what a week! Not as bad as the past few have been, yet still not the starfish kisses that everyone promised second trimester would be. I liked week 23.

I had my monthly visit with my OB. And as much as I like going every four weeks and having him reassure me that there is in fact still a baby inside of my uterus, I’m going to be perfectly honest… these appointments are pointless. I’m learning that short of having a foot hanging out of my vagina, no one is going to react to anything. NO ONE WILL REACT! Which is disappointing for a person like me who, well, likes it when people react to things I say and do. He measured my belly and that was the only “test” he did. Apparently it was fine. I at least took a long list of questions with me to make it worth my while for going down there.

Whether I’m more sensitive to it or it’s just trending, I’ve been hearing a lot about pre-term deliveries lately. This completely freaks me out. And Dr. W was reassuring in telling me that they have no idea what actually causes pre-term and he can’t tell what to do or not to do to avoid it. Awesome.

I asked about the bloody noses that I wake up with every morning. He told me I’m pregnant. Awesome.

I asked about the heartburn I have that would make a dragon cry and “radiates in my knee caps,” according to Juno. Ah ha! A solution. Prevacid or Pepcid.

We spent the weekend of Christmas in Oklahoma City with Shelton’s family. We got to catch-up with friends over a very long lunch and it was as if the past two years hadn’t lapsed at all. It was one of those four-hour lunches where we left with cheeks hurting from laughing so hard. They cooed over my belly and I soaked it up! There was confusion over our baby name and they thought it was Petunia. It is definitely NOT Petunia! We also got to spend two whole days with our nieces and nephew. I absolutely am in love with those babies. My nephew, Stone, is one of these boys who charges you when he wants to hug. It’s adorable, and I’ve indulged this behavior for nearly four years, scooping him in to my arms with each charge. We both had to learn that pregnant people can’t pick-up charging 3.5-year-olds… and 3.5-year-old boys can’t charge pregnant aunts.

One of the highlights of the week was, of course, continuing to feel the baby moving. I will seriously sit here and laugh out loud (that’s normal English for “LOL”) when she gets on a roll. Each week her kicks and punches get stronger and the sessions last longer. This past week, they got so strong that I didn’t even have to touch my belly to feel her, my stomach just moved. It’s insane! Feeling her moving, rolling, punching and kicking is absolutely the highlight of my pregnancy and I think it is this that I will miss most when she’s resting in my arms.

We did two road trips this past week – one to OKC and one to Topeka to celebrate the new year. I swore off planes a few weeks ago and I’m not too far off from swearing off car trips longer than 20 minutes. We have to stop all the time for me to pee, eat something or get up and walk. There is absolutely not one comfortable position in those seats. Driving helps some, but I hate driving and Shelton hates when I drive.

Our New Year’s Eve celebration was fantastic. It not only marks the start of a new year (clearly!) but also the anniversary of when Shelton and I started dating. At midnight of 01/01/01 we kissed and we’ve been doing so every new year since. Maybe one or two other times during the year. 01/01/10 marked nine years… which means we’ve actually known each other for more than ten, and that’s astonishing to me. We spend each Eve with some of our best friends in Topeka for a stay-at-home party that is always themed. This year I was fat and when someone suggested PJ Party I said yes! So we all sported jammies and had a comfy, cozy celebration. I actually made it all the way to 12:45am… even though around 8:30pm my eyes were doing that rapid-blink thing struggling to stay open. I also had a martini glass filled with “pregnancy sangria” all night long, and while I jealously watched everyone sip bubbly at midnight, at least it wasn’t water.

As if my cousin’s long-john style PJs with the butt flap weren’t entertainment enough, my pregnant boobs took center-stage and were the topic of conversation throughout the night. Apparently I’m supposed to change the name of the site to Baby AND Bust. I’ve known they’ve gotten bigger. I mean come on, I’d have to be blind and paralyzed from the neck down not to realize the expansion project taking place in the middle of my chest. But it’s one of those things that you don’t quite realize just how big they’ve gotten until someone points it out. And people pointed, literally. It was all in good humor and I’m glad that I was able to provide such robust entertainment for the evening.

Finally, we finished the week by registering. Yay!!! I’ve been waiting to get through the holidays to do so. The next few weeks are pretty insane for us and my first shower is the end of February, so I thought we should just get it done. Shelton was really stressed about it. He thought we needed a plan or a strategy. And I was like, we’re going to scan baby wipes, what kind of strategy do we need? We went to Babies R Us and quickly realized that ALL OF THE PREGNANT PEOPLE IN WICHITA go there to register on Saturday afternoons. The BRU staff has clearly done this before and they got us set-up with a gun and on our way in a matter of minutes. It helped that I had registered online so we didn’t have to go through all of that in the store. I started crying when they handed me the gun. Just another one of those moments that I thought would never be ours. So many times I’ve walked in to BRU to buy gifts for friends and walked out of their crying each and every time. And here I was crying inside the store because I finally got to be there for us, and it felt so good! I think we did pretty well, considering we have no idea what we’re doing. When faced with 400 different varieties of baby bottles, strollers, diapers and other ESSENTIAL baby items, we typically opted for the brands we commonly see friends or family using. That was our on-the-spot research method. We were actually pretty reasonable about the whole thing, so we think, only scanning items we really needed and straying from the over-hyped plethora of YOUR BABY WILL NEVER LEARN TO WALK WITHOUT THIS SUPER TRENDY VERY EXPENSIVE HOUSEHOLD CLEANER WITH A PICTURE OF A BABY ON THE FRONT type items. Then we went to Target where my back and feet finally gave out and we spent one more hour scanning a few items. We’re just that much closer to getting her here!!!

Niece Ellie

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I finally got to meet my new niece Eleanor. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who calls her Eleanor. Everyone else calls her Ellie. She’ll be six weeks tomorrow and I’ve been dying to get that little munchkin in my arms – and that’s precisely where she sat for the past five days.


People, she is perfect in every way. She is positively gorgeous. Yes, I’m bias, a little bit. She has a gorgeous tan complexion that I will never have. Nor will my children who are bound to be transparent based on what Shelton and I have to offer for pigment. She has perfect, beautiful, stunning eyes and they are crowned by the most amazing set of eyelashes I have ever seen. I drooled over them all week. They kind of swoop up on the outside corners making her look a little like a vixen cartoon character.

She coos, grunts, whines, moves, wiggles and jerks constantly. CONSTANT! Thus her nickname fidget.

Tonight she was taken away from me. I miss her already, even though I’ll see her in two short weeks. She’ll be six years old by then.

I am so grateful that my sister Jenna took the time to travel alone with a newborn so that I could see the baby. It was fun watching my baby sister as a new mom and see how naturally she’s fallen in to the role.

It was equally bizarre to be receiving pregnancy advice from someone I used to tell was adopted and would pretend to be running away from home in front of just to make her cry. Yes, I was that older sister.

This “Aunt Brandi” gig just keeps getting sweeter!

Also, a nugget of a conversation Jenna and I had the other night re: the possibility of me having twins:

Brandi: I see your baby and raise you one.

Jenna: I fold.

He Gets It!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Let me start by saying that when the call came from Shelton’s brother last night to tell us about Tilton’s arrival, I was watching the season finale of The Mole. With no way to pause the TV when I saw his name on my caller ID, I hesitated to answer. I’m glad I chose to answer though.

After we’d hung up with Keith, I sat in Shelton’s lap just hugging him. He asked if I was doing OK. The day our nephew was born I was a wreck. But in all fairness, the day he was born we had just had our first appointment with our fertility doctor and everything was still so fresh. I had an ear-to-ear grin and told him I was fine. He asked again. I told him I was fine.

Anyone married knows that “fine” from the wife doesn’t always mean fine. So very sympathetically, Shelton asked one more time if I was handling the news OK. I told him that I couldn’t be any happier. I was thrilled to have my niece and so excited that they delivered a healthy baby girl.

Not that Shelton doesn’t get this, but the way he manages the emotions is far different than me. It meant so much that he asked, and kept asking until he knew I was alright. It also shows how much we’ve grown in this journey in the past two years.

IVF Shots Day Five

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Another day, another shot. Actually I’d be lying if I said today wasn’t pretty legendary. My sister finally had baby Eleanor. She arrived at 6:50 this morning, with a call coming in shortly after 7 from our new grandma, my mom. I’m so proud of my little sister. I’m a little devastated that I wasn’t there to celebrate with her, but I know I’ll get plenty of time to to snuggle with her later. Eleanor is 7lbs 1oz, 18” long and apparently has curly dark hair. Congratulations Jenna and Eric!

That wake-up call was probably necessary and forced Shelton and I out of bed to do this morning’s shot. Yesterday and today the shots have hurt a bit more than normal. Not sure why that is, but I’m not a fan. Shelton’s still doing a great job giving the shots.

I’m still feeling fine. I was a pinch moody today, and after snapping at Shelton I told him that I was blaming it on the Lupron whether he liked it or not. He responded OK and I told him that he really couldn’t argue with me. He agreed! It’s probably more my being tired and the excitement of the day that it was the Lupron.

We’re having a VERY laid back weekend. And by very laid back I mean lazy. I even took a nap today. It’s the first weekend we haven’t had plans in probably two months.

Shelton’s also coming around since his surgery. He’s starting to feel much better.

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On Being Aunt Branee

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

It’s been almost four years since we received a phone call that would change our lives. We were right in the middle of monitoring my basal body temperature (BBT) to learn if I was ovulating or not. So our infertility journey had begun, but not quite. One night we received a phone call from Shelton’s younger brother who informed us that he and his wife were expecting. I eeked out a discontent congratulations, tossed the phone to Shelton and collapsed on our bed sobbing. We were older than them! We’d been married longer! We wanted it more! Right? At the time it seemed completely unfair and that we were doomed to have a barren womb and barren second bedroom. Six or seven months after that call, a little guy named Stone was born. My first and still only nephew. And so with that phone call my life was changed.

I often joke that Stone is the love of my life. I like to think that he and I share a special bond, despite the MILLIONS OF MILES AWAY his parents moved (look at ANY map and you’ll clearly see that the East Coast is ONE MILLION MILES from Kansas!). He really is something special. I don’t love him “more” than my nieces, but I do love him differently. Is that being too honest? Although I can’t compare it, I imagine it’s the way you love your first child differently than the rest of your children. He’s my first. He’s the boy who added the prestigious title of “aunt” to the front of my name and coined “Branee.” While we’re not related by blood, he’s proven to me that that’s not necessary. So what if we don’t share a chromosome or two. We’ve made chicken eggs together, and that’s really all that matters.

In just a couple weeks that little boy will turn a mind-blowing three-years-old. It’s unfathomable to me that he’s turning three. What’s even more insane is that in the time it’s taken him to talk, walk, potty train and declare that Lightning McQueen might be the single best cartoon character ever, we’ve added two nieces to our brood. Stone now has a little sister, Tilton, and the other brother-in-law has a daughter, Emilee. I love them all to painful pieces. I can’t get enough of them and if you could pour them in a glass I’d just drink them with a straw.

In about eight weeks, we’re adding a third niece. Only this time, she’s mine. Little Eleanor (or Ellie) is being born to my baby sister in July. There’s a therapy session in and of itself, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not counting the days until she arrives. And it makes me consider that love thing all over again. I mean, before Stone, I didn’t know it was possible to love anyone that much. Obviously, the love I have for Shelton is impossible to explain, but it’s that “different” kind. Will I love Eleanor more or differently because she’s my sister’s? If so, it seems impossible. And to that point, what about my own kids? I already feel that I’m tapped out. I’ve reached the end of the Internet so to speak on love, I found the source stream and I’m all filled up and these babies keep finding ways to take more.

It’s a weird thing watching my sister be pregnant. I’m not nearly as painfully jealous as I expected to be. In a lot of ways I feel numb to it, yet a ridiculous kind of excitement at the same time. I’m a big crier. Always have been. And moments where I would ordinarily cry buckets, I just kind of stand back with a contented smile. I’m seeing my sister differently than I ever have before. She’s growing up (thank God!), she’s not 12 any more (clearly!), and I find myself looking forward to our conversations more than I usually do. There are six years between us, and as kids and even until recently, that six years seemed like decades. We’re as different as night and day, and so I can’t help but to think that the way in which she’ll raise Eleanor will be completely opposite of how I intend to raise my children (for no other reason than to spite me and make my hair curlier than it already is!).

One of these days, I’ll get to make that phone call to Jenna that will change her life, and make her an aunt. Will it be different because she already has a (as in singular Jenna!) child of her own? Possibly. But I will stack my auntieness against any auntie out there and promise you that I think my nieces and nephew are pretty much the raddest kids around!

When Yesterday Becomes Last Year

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Tomorrow will be New Year’s Eve. There’s always the strangest feeling in the air on the last day of the year, and the same can be said for the first day. There’s an odd sense of closure as you bid the year farewell; and an equally odd sense of unfamiliarity as you wake on the first day of a new year anxious to see what will unfold. Don’t ask me why but I vividly remember the New Year’s Eve when 1987 became 1988. I was 6.5 years old, and I stood bawling next to my mother telling her that I didn’t want 1987 to end. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever cried at midnight. This year, if there happen to be tears, they will be warm and happy. I will look back on 2008 fondly and it will be noted as one of the best I’ve ever lived. (more…)