A new nephew

Yesterday morning our nephew was born. 11 weeks early, my super star sister – in – law spent 5 weeks on bed rest in the hospital after a preterm premature rupture of membranes at just 24 weeks. Penley (how cute is that name?) is working very hard to breathe and all good wishes are welcome – direct them towards the northeast and they’ll get there.

Darwin has a new cousin!




In spite of illness we (rather, Leah) did follow through with our holiday announcement on the social media:


And Leah’s favorite blooper:


Norovirus or something like it

Not to break the holiday illness streak this year, we appear to have contracted norovirus or something like it. I’ve had food poisoning before. This thing is like the worst case of food poisoning.

We’ve enjoyed seeing all of your lovely holiday greetings and will be adding ours when we’re out of the bathroom. Stay healthy everyone!

12 weeks (a little late)

Well, weekly updates are a nice aspiration. Here’s hoping it works better as our new little boo grows!

12 week questions

Best moment of the week: The heartbeat. Hands down. I was all prepared not to hear it and then there it was! It was sort of exciting but also just… peaceful. Relaxing muscles i didn’t realize were tense.

Hardest moment of the week: The day I had the migraine and threw up twice after having thought I was done with the nausea. Or possibly the night I couldn’t sleep because of heartburn.

Nausea update: Nausea is way better. Vitamins still set it off if I don’t have enough on my stomach, and I’ve had a lot of heartburn that doesn’t respond well to antacids. Being more careful about my diet has seemed to help. Because I’m focusing on protein, I’m eating fewer simple carbs and junky stuff. I’ve also been really into vegetables again which I think helps decrease the acid in my stomach. I’m still more picky about food than I was pre-pregnancy but able to eat more varied and healthy foods.

Who has been the most excited of the people you’ve told so far? Pretty much everyone has been excited but I’m particularly enjoying sharing pregnancy with my sister who is 5 1/2 weeks ahead of me.

How does it feel to be done with the first trimester? Being done with the first trimester is amazing. I now know that there is in fact a baby in there, and as far as we can tell s/he is healthy. The risk of miscarriage is down to 1% and I’m not vomiting every day! Interestingly I seemed to have a little reprieve from the fatigue for a week or two but have started feeling it again especially in the afternoons. I’m hoping that the increased protein will help with that. I also need to get out and walk more but the weather has made that difficult. If I’m able to brave the rain and wind though, i think that might help the energy as well. Mostly I’m excited that I can even think about these things rather than just trying to get through the day.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to over the next week? Over the next week I’m excited about Christmas of course. I’m also excited about thinking of cute ways to announce my pregnancy on Facebook, and I’m even looking forward to hearing that our midwife has the right kind of test tube in for the A1C cause it means another chance to listen for the baby before our next formal prenatal appointment.

About the baby

This week we had the first prenatal with our fantastic midwife. She said everything looked great and we even had the luck to hear the little boo’s heartbeat on the doppler! 150’s with good variability. Go baby go!

Size: 2.1 inches, or the size of a clementine (very seasonally appropriate!)

Developmental fun fact: The baby can already yawn, hiccup, and swallow.

Sex: Still unknown…

A note from the other mama

This past week has been a little calmer, particularly since hearing the heartbeat. I know Leah has been anxious about it, which makes me anxious by association. There’s no sound like the steady woosh of your child’s heart. At night sometimes, when Darwin is well asleep, I’ll gently lay my ear against her chest to listen to her heart and breath. I still can hardly believe that, assuming all goes well, there will be another little person in our lives in a mere six months.

15 months

Last Thursday was the 15 month mark, making it a year since the end of the fourth trimester. What a difference a year makes! I remember thinking how big she was, but now we have a walking, talking, opinionated toddler!

The walking:
Darwin is fully mobile now. She walks everywhere, climbs up on things, can get off the bed on her own (often with a gleeful look that I can only think means “freedom!”), and particularly loves to run around outside. Everyone warned us about how hard it would be once she was moving, but overall we’re still waiting for that shoe to drop.

The talking:
Everything that comes out of our mouths is repeated. It’s not always clear, but it’s comprehensible. The other night during one of her wake ups she sat up and started saying ‘woof’!

For my own record, a non-exhaustive list of what she says: Mama, MamaLeah (still working on MamaRae), auntie, ta-da!, moon, owl, finch, Chex, Opa, baba (maybe baby, Bobbie, or Grandma), nurse, Yesh!, book, hop, bunny, papa, blueberry, bath, shower, shoe, touch, light, more-more, help, all done, and pretty. She will shake her head or say “uh uh” for no, but doesn’t say “no” much at all. She also signs milk, more, please, and thank you.

Animal sounds are hilarious and include snorting like a pig, bok-bok for chicken, whooo for owl, moo for cow, cockadoodle-doo for rooster (not well, but obviously), woof for dog, pup for otter (anytime we say otter she says pup, including asking what it says), and tweet-tweet for bird.

The body parts:
This month Darwin began to distinguish between “Darwin’s ____” and “Mama’s ____” for the body parts she knows. This include: belly, nose, toes, feet, ears, eyes (isn’t it fun when they figure this one out and want to shove their fingers into your eye?), teeth, and tongue.

Our childcare swap is one of my favorite things about our community right now. Darwin clearly enjoys spending the day with her little buddy Nelson, and in the afternoon also gets to play with her friend Annika. She is learning social skills like sharing and not biting, as well as dancing (Annika is a talented dancer), and hand-holding. Darwin has as much love for their parents as for anyone I’ve seen her with, asking for hugs when she sees them and shining her big cheesy grin at them regularly.

Darwin also enjoys seeing her little buddy from Pot and Lid, and the other day when I asked if she wanted to see him she ran to the door and became a bit distraught when he didn’t magically appear.


I’ll conclude with a short story from the other evening. Darwin went down for bed very early  – 6 pm instead of 8 pm (or 9 pm…). It was before dinner, so I suspected she might wake up hungry sometime in the night (more than for nurses). Around 9 she awoke and nursed. Then nursed some more. Then sat up and said, “CHEX!” and looked at me expectantly in the light of the lava lamp, which we use as a night light. I said “you want Chex?” and she got a huge smile on her face and started bouncing, saying “yes yes yes! Chex!” How could you ever say no to that?? She proceeded to eat half a cup of Chex before going back to sleep and sleeping for a 4 hour stretch. I think Chex may become a before bed snack if that’s what happens when she eats them!


10 Weeks

Leah is 10 weeks (plus a few days) pregnant! I’ve told her that I’ll do a weekly update throughout the process, and here is the first one.

10 Week questions

Best moment this week: Darwin learning to say baby. She says “baba,” which reminds me of Ireland and makes me happy. I know she doesn’t understand about me being pregnant, but I think it’s cute and it melts my heart to think of her interacting with this little one next summer!

Hardest moment this week: Vomiting emphatically right before my last presentation in my favorite class. Luckily I was able to make it to the bathroom in time, but it would have been nice to end the term on a less shaky, nauseated note.

Something unexpected about pregnancy: How little I’ve connected with the bean. I have tried giving it a nickname– Bábóg, which means baby doll in Irish, looking at pictures and following along with the app that tells me what is developing or changing each day, etc, but besides throwing up all too frequently, I don’t feel pregnant. I keep expecting to start my period and realize I was never pregnant, just late. (6 weeks late, but you know…)

Favorite food: This changes almost daily. I can almost always eat simple carbs, especially bread and sugary things, but lately I’ve also been really into tomatoes and other vegetables, and I like my smoothies in the morning.

Foods you can’t stand:  Eggs have been really difficult. Protein in general has been hard. Cheese is really hit-or-miss. Pizza is a huge turnoff, and the smell of pork has been vomit-inducing. The biggest problem I’ve had has been with food just not being appetizing, even if it isn’t specifically nauseating. When coupled with the fact that I’m hungry pretty much all the time, this has been an issue and has led to me consuming wayyyy more junk than I usually would, just because nothing else sounds good.

Thing you’re most looking forward to about the end of the first trimester: The thing I’m looking forward to is hearing the heartbeat. I’m really hoping it will help me connect with the little bean, and I will rest easier knowing it’s actually in there and doing what it’s supposed to. 🙂

About the baby

Size: about 1.2 inches, or the size of a kumquat

Developmental fun fact: currently the head is about half the total length of the body.

Sex: unknown. Differentiation begins around week 6, but we won’t know until the anomaly scan around 20 weeks.

A note from the other mama

This week brings with it the end of the first term of Leah’s PhD program, and marks 1/4th of the pregnancy having passed. It is amazing how fast it feels like things are moving this time around. Probably because I’m not obsessing over every ache and twinge (was that the baby or a gas bubble?).

I feel like I may be more excited this time around, perhaps because I know I won’t have to be the one recovering from a birth? Maybe because I feel like I need to be extra supportive of a very busy, stressed out spouse? Who knows. Sometimes I forget for a brief moment that it’s happening, but then it hits me over the head and I’ll get the silliest grin on my face.