Hello my virtual readers. I apologize for my extended absence from inviting you into the annals of our baby-making biopic. It wasn't for lack of wanting, it was multi-fold. One, the hard drive of our computer suffered an untimely death (insert funeral march music here). There was no way I was going to do a blog from my phone...I'd still be typing the intro! Secondly, it seems as though the days get away from me so quickly! Everyday I intend on virtually visiting with you, but before you know it, I'm ready for bed.
Now, since it has been so long since we've chatted, there are many new baby making things to discuss. So settle in for a long read. Grab some hot cocoa, your warm jammies and a blanket (unless you have the Snuggy and your blanket is your jammies) and prepare to commit a little time to the past month or two of pregnancy for the Voci's. Oh, and so we are clear...I missed you all madly...
Since my last blog left off with Heidi being all of ten weeks pregnant, I wanted to start our little novella with a picture. We have tried to take pictures of Heidi every couple of weeks to mark her ever increasing girth. Since we have been away so long, this blog should provide a pretty decent log of said growth through pictures. So, my friends, I begin our little blog with Heidi's week 10 baby pose:
Chapter 1: Fetal Gymnastics
Dateline: November 14, 2012
Not all of you know that in her pre-Lawanna life, Heidi was a gymnast. She did gymnastics for her church group and she coached gymnastics. Gymnastics was actually how I met her...she was my daughter's gymnastics coach. So, I suppose it should come as no surprise that at our ultrasound visit, we saw the most amazing thing...baby gymnastics. They were all over the place! As Dr. Welden did the ultrasound, we could see each baby, one after the other, turning and twisting, kicking and moving around! He would poke a baby and it would do a full-on body flip! It was our first time seeing so much detail in their heads, arms and legs. Even more amazing was that throughout the entire gymnastic show, Heidi felt not one thing. Now, I know that they are mere ounces, and that their little legs and arms are mere wisps at this point, but just seeing all of the movement, it was just amazing to me that the entire 2012 fall olympics were happening in Heidi's uterus and sans ultrasound, she would have no idea.
This visit is also a little bittersweet. While we had an amazing ultrasound and are literally walking on cloud nine, we also know that we are nearing the end of our time with Dr. Welden's office. Heidi is wholly aware that our time is coming to a close and with each visit, she is saddened more and more, knowing that the impending end is coming. There is something so comforting about Dr. Welden's office. They are our family. We may have taken a break from their office, but going back was the best thing we could have done...the amount of commitment from everyone there leaves me speechless. I'm sure that each person in the office will attest to the fact that I'm a pain in the ass. I'm also pretty sure they love me back. Pam and Tana are forever aunties to our babies. And Dr. Welden is forever the person who made our dreams come true. So, yea, this visit is a prelude to our inevitable, impending sadness. Bittersweet.
Chapter 2: Just say no to drugs...
My friends, during our mini-sabbatical from blogging, we reached a ridiculously exciting milestone. Drumroll, please...I have officially stopped shooting up my wife...with fertility drugs, that is. To be clear, that was the only thing I shot her up with, in the event law enforcement is crawling through cyberspace looking for criminals. I suppose to be fair, the bigger accomplishment would be for Heidi, who has been the recipient of an inordinate number of shots since August 15th. Her boom-boom-pow actually sighed a breath of relief when we announced to it that its days of receiving injections had come to an end. I would state for the record, because that's what this blog is, unofficially, our record, that at the end of our injections, Heidi's arsafarce was wrought with lumps and bruises. If you ran your hand over either cheek, you would notice two things: 1. there were walnut sized lumps covered with bruises from the progesterone injections on both cheeks...I mean, for real...you could feel the huge lump under your hand. The second thing you would notice is me glaring at you for putting your hand on my wife's ass. Seriously...take your hand off. I will fight you. I imagine for those of you who have gotten knocked up the "old fashioned" way, there is likely not a full appreciation for what Heidi's abdomen and butt have gone through to get pregnant. To prove the old adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words" is spot on, here is a little something to wrap your head around. The picture below encompasses every needle for every shot Heidi took throughout this process. Now, to be clear, it doesn't include anything given at the doctor's office or at a hospital. And, some of the needles screw on so you don't see the full syringe. They count, brothers and sisters, oh yes they do!
Chapter 3: The "glow" of pregnancy
Another milestone reached that I'm sure Heidi would have been just as happy to skip...nausea. Not morning sickness. No, no...that is a bit of a misnomer to indicate that one is only nauseous in the a.m. And because my wife is insistent on not doing anything the normal way, her little body opted to play out her morning sickness in the evening. I would say that this was probably better for her because she didn't have to muddle through work feeling like each person approaching her desk might invoke regurgitation. Instead, I got to be that person. And everything I cooked. And the smell of the dogs. And the smell of dog food. Hell, pretty much the smell of anything. I have come to believe that the "glow" one gets when pregnancy is actually little beads of perspiration that surface when your body reacts to anything that may induce a little feeling of pending "yack attack". And with her evening sickness came extreme tiredness. Perhaps her exhaustion stemmed from the fact that I could rarely get her to eat an entire dinner, thereby leaving her depleted of the energy typically derived from food sources. So each evening, we would sit down to dinner, Heidi would start to look a little green around the gills, try to eat, effectively reduce the confidence I typically felt about my culinary skills, then head off to bed. Each night, this routine ended around 7:00 p.m. After 7:00 p.m., the dogs and I were left to our own devices. Alone. Surfing the internet, watching crappy TV. One would think that this newfound alone time would have provided me with an opportunity to quietly ponder my impending new life, to exercise and prepare myself for the increased stamina I was sure to require once the babies were born, to meditate and find myself. But no. I was just lonely. I did come to realize how much I enjoy my time with Heidi. I also came to realize that my time with Heidi while she was effectively unconscious was not the same. I missed my wife.
Chapter 4: The End
Dateline: November 23, 2012
Today is our last appointment with Dr. Welden. We are both excited and sad. We could potentially find out the sex of the babies if the planets align and the universe works in our favor. Then, the flip side...our last visit. I've already lamented about how difficult this day will be for us; now it is becoming a reality. Since this is our last visit, we bring Heidi's mom and sister with us. Both have really wanted to meet Dr. Welden and since this is the last visit (sob, sob, wiping snot), they came along to officially meet the babies and the fertility family.
Now, we knew that we may be able to find out the gender at this visit. We also knew that we wanted to find that out together, just Heidi and I. There are certain milestones within our journey that we like to share with just us at first, then everyone else afterward. This was one of them. So, Nancy (Heidi's mom) and Amanda (Heidi's sister) waited in the waiting room whilst we got started on the ultrasounding. Of course, in my head, I had anticipated that mere moments after the insertion of the ultrasound wand, a prominent penis or vagina, or count my lucky stars, both, would immediately appear on screen. I mean, let's be honest. I've seen both a penis and a vagina. I feel qualified to duly designate which fetus was the owner of either of these and heaven knows I know my way around an ultrasound, so, yea, I was more than prepared to genderize our babies. And I was fully confident that today was that day. And so it began...the process of finding out what color our nursery would be. The search began and well, I was not able to immediately locate any genitalia. Hhmmm...might I have over-estimated my capabilities? What? What am I saying, doubting myself. Of course I haven't...we shall keep searching. Still looking...now we were getting quite a bit into the ultrasound. Still nothing. For one thing, we have some squirmy little boogers. They don't like to stay very still. We also seem to have some very discreet little boogers because no matter what Dr. Welden did, he could not ping on the boy/girl parts...they kept moving. Huh...
After a bit of time, we had the nurse retrieve Nancy and Amanda because we didn't want them to miss the entire ultrasound. We were a little disappointed that we had not yet received our big news, but we didn't want them to miss out on this opportunity to see the kiddies. After Nancy and Amanda walk in and we introduce them to Dr. Welden, the ultrasound continues. Before I proceed, let me take a step back and set the scene for you...darkish room, Heidi nekked from the waist down, vaginal probe inserted, well, vaginally. I'm guessing this was not the ideal scenario within which to have your mom and sister come hang out. But my girl is committed to including mom and sis so she endured. And so we continued searching, looking at babies, searching for "parts", Nancy and Dr. Welden chatting, Amanda crying (she cries as much as me, if not more). Heidi told Dr. Welden how much she appreciated all that he did for us and now she was crying. Of course, hearing her cry and express her appreciation made me a little teary eyed as well. Nancy, well, she was just trying to recite the Message in a Minute for Dr. Welden. All in all, it was bittersweet. We left the ultrasound not finding out the gender of our babies but happy that we had made it this far in our process, far enough to have to move to a new doctor. It was sad, but important. Twelve weeks was our milestone...a sad one because we had to close this chapter, but exciting because we had made it this far; we were moving on to a new doctor. This was huge for us. But...before we could finish this chapter, we still had one more good-bye...Pam and Tana. As we were walking out, it was our time to say good-bye (for now) to our girls. (You should know that I'm crying a little as I type this...). These are OUR GIRLS. They have held our hands, laughed, cried, supported, endured (which is my fancy way of saying put up with me), taught me how to shoot my wife up, answered the phone at all hours of the morning, responded to texts at all hours, joined our family for personal events, our girls. How the hell were we going to get through the rest of our pregnancy without them? While I was incredibly happy that we had reached this point, I will still so sad to be saying good-bye to them. And so it was done. We were moving on to a new doctor, the next twenty-eight weeks of our journey.
To end this chapter, here is Heidi's twelve week picture. This is a huge milestone. Twelve weeks. It's becoming so real!
And so this ends Episode 1. I know I've not completely caught up, but I promise...I shall do my best to expedite Episode 2. Until then, my friends...