Thank you all so much for the kind words on our big (little) announcement. Being able to share the news has made us feel all the more excited and extremely grateful for the amazing family and friends we are blessed to have in our lives.
I feel like there is now so much I want to say! Reading pregnancy updates from blog friends over the years has been such a treat for me, and I look forward to the chance to do the same – especially now that I am feeling (relatively) more normal than I have in weeks.* I’ve loved reading about baby bumps (!!), birth plans, diapering decisions – you name it.
That said, the blog won’t become all baby all the time. Beyond the book reviews and travel recaps that have been making a consistent appearance lately, I do really want to get back to talking about food! This first trimester has been about eating what I can stomach (cheese! carbs! waffles? chicken tenders?), but as my appetite slowly returns, I am looking forward to finding new ways to nourish the three of us – yep, Bobby included. And what better time for that to happen than my favorite season? Yay, fall!
So all that is to say that I hope you’ll be hearing a lot more from me on all fronts. I’ve also created a Family page to house all pregnancy- and baby-related posts.
And now, without further ado, a few more details on Baby Bender.
*Famous last words.
Baby is the size of…
Today I am officially 13 weeks pregnant, and our baby is the size of a peach! This puts our due date at right around the first day of spring in March 2015. It makes me smile to think that he or she will be arriving at the start of a season celebrating new life.
How we found out/how I told Bobby
I found out right after the Fourth of July. I had been feeling a little off while Lauren was visiting, but didn’t want to get everyone’s hopes up (mine included). I secretly took a test that Sunday and it was negative, so I decided to wait three days before taking another one.
On Wednesday, July 9, I had to wake up early for a 5 a.m. work call. At 4:45 a.m., I decided hey, let me take a test in the dark right before I talk to these people. Not my smartest move, but definitely one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. A few minutes later, I shined my phone flashlight on the test window and there it was: a (very) faint pink line next to the test line. I did a double take and immediately thought my phone was playing tricks on me, so I grabbed the test and practically sprinted to the kitchen to get a better look using the overhead lighting.
There was no denying it – the pink line was there, and it could only mean one thing. I promptly burst into happy tears and began an endless chorus of “Oh my Gods” and “Thank yous” and “I promise I’m going to take such good care of yous.”
Then I realized it was 4:59 a.m. and I hadn’t even turned my computer on.
I logged in and joined the conference. It was by far the longest call of my life! Fortunately Bobby was still sleeping soundly, and when the call wrapped up – I can remember speaking during it but honestly couldn’t tell you anything I said – I still had enough time to set up my big reveal.
A few months prior, I bought this adorable “house divided” onesie from Annalie’s Baby Boutique.
As you may know, Bobby and I are big Vikings and Packers (and football) fans, so it seemed appropriate that I would combine two of our three favorite teams to tell him our news. I set up a hidden video camera to document his reaction. I’m so glad I did because it has been such a treat to look back on the moment and remember how shocked and excited he was!
I may or may not have proceeded to take about 10 more tests over the next two weeks…
How we told our family
I consider myself a trustworthy person, but when it comes to my own secrets, I’m no good! It was incredibly hard not to instantly tell our family and friends, but at the same time we both knew we’d feel better if we gave it a little time.
When that time finally did come, however, their reactions were the best! We told my family by giving Uncle Eric a new “Northwestern shirt,” which was actually from Etsy and not Northwestern at all beyond its purple color. It said, “Only the best brothers get promoted to UNCLE.”
Eric read the t-shirt out loud and then said, “Uncle? Wait…what?”
To which Mama Bender replied, “Really? REALLY?!” before making this amazing face. She also let out a scream that was a few octaves higher than anything I’d ever heard from her!
Papa Bender (who had briefly left the room, not knowing what was happening) was called back in by Uncle Eric, who told him that he had received a Northwestern shirt. “You’re not going to believe what it says…” A Papa Bender-worthy yell soon followed.
Just looking at these pictures puts such a huge grin on my face. We also gave my parents a couple mementos. As first-time grandparents, I thought this plaque (also from Etsy) was appropriate.
I also found a duck-themed outfit for our last name and wrote a little poem to go with it.
Soon after, it was time to tell Bobby’s side of the family! Hats off to Etsy yet again for having these awesome week-by-week food-themed announcements. We ordered a blueberry for ours, knowing that was the size our baby would be when we told them in week seven.
I should add that the tag said “Open me on Skype!” rather than just “Open me.” In fact, I think I wrote, “Wait to open me on Skype” at least five different ways when I sent them their packages, haha. Clearly I didn’t want the surprise to be spoiled.
When we told Bobby’s parents, his dad wrote down his guess as to what this big surprise might be on a sheet of paper. Wouldn’t you know that he guessed right?
Cara, Jim, Kelly and Caroline were surprised! We particularly enjoyed the girls’ name suggestions: pencil, marker and “choo-ku” courtesy of Kelly, blueberry and “lalalalapfffft” courtesy of Caroline.
And Adam and Susan were surprised, too! Claire and Molly were sleeping when we told them, but we were able to relay the news again to the ladies the next day. It was so much fun – telling people has definitely been one of my favorite parts so far!
A few more fun facts from the first weeks:
The funniest one came before I knew I was pregnant. When we walked into my family’s house during Fourth of July weekend, I was overcome with the sense that I had stepped into a fish market! I immediately asked if they were cooking seafood. They looked at me strangely and said they hadn’t even had fish in the house that day. No one else could smell any trace of it. (It turned out they’d bought some the day before and it was still lingering!)
My heightened sense of smell definitely did not go away. The top two symptoms I’ve experienced this first trimester are fatigue – prescription: daily naps – and nausea. Fortunately just nausea and nothing more – although it has been “all day sickness,” not “morning sickness.” One other strange one: my eyesight has turned into that of a camera lens trying to focus. I don’t wear glasses, but lately when I do things like read a book or look down at a golf ball the image goes in and out. That said, I have no complaints about any of it! Every day I grow this baby is a huge blessing.
Will we find out the sex?
We spent the first several weeks set on the idea that we would be surprised. I love the concept of waiting, especially for your first child. But the more we talked about it, the more we started realizing that there are a lot of benefits to finding out, too. For us, it’s a personality thing – I’ve always been a planner who likes to think about things far in advance, and Bobby thinks he’d be happier knowing, too. We both don’t have a preference – we’ll be amazingly happy whether it’s a he or a she! Right now, I have no hunches, either – although I do accidentally keep referring to the baby as “he.” Only time will tell if that’s mother’s intuition or not.
I’d like to say that I’ve been exercising daily and devouring leafy green salads, but the truth is I’m lucky to squeeze in one workout a week and vegetables have pretty much been off the table since week six. I’ve loved going on walks and finding less intense ways to get movin’ (it also helps with the “all day” sickness) and have been cutting myself some slack and simply eating what sounds good. Smoothies and pre-natal vitamins have helped me get in key nutrients, but beyond that it has been a steady diet of string cheese, apples, peanut butter, potato chips, macaroni and cheese…and pretty much anything else in the carb or cheese family. The strangest cravings I’ve had to date have been for waffles and chicken tenders (though not necessarily together).
Bobby has been absolutely amazing, cooking many of our meals and acting like it’s totally delicious to eat said macaroni and cheese multiple nights a week. I hope to repay him with many a tasty new meal in the second trimester.
Biggest surprise and best moment?
My biggest surprise so far has been how calm I feel. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t fully hit me yet how much life is going to change – or maybe it’s because after spending a lot of time around new parents, I’m already semi-aware of just how much it will! What I do know is that I’ve never felt more ready in my life – or more in the love with the guy who is going down this new road with me.
Our best moment was by far when we got to see our little peach on the ultrasound for the first time. At nine weeks, five days, he or she was technically the size of a grape. I will always remember the joy of seeing the heartbeat flickering on screen.
Becoming parents is the most terrifyingly wonderful thing we’ll ever do. There are going to be hard days and easy days, happy days and overwhelmingly emotional days, too. But I can’t wait to meet the tiny someone who will make it all worth it.