Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Week 22 of the JellyBean Progression

Week 22
Hey, have I mentioned my skin has finally mostly cleared up? Hooray. My skin does not like being pregnant. I am so glad to be over that stage. Urgh.

So, 22 weeks already! I can’t believe how fast it’s going. And maybe the difference between being knocked up the first time and this time is that with Peanut, I spent most of the time on the couch in sweatpants and with JellyBean I am in the office and chasing around after a two-year-old, but I swear either this pregnancy is easier or I am just too busy to notice.

Also possibly things are easier this time around because I am not in the middle of trying to sell a condo and buy a house and driving Steve to 37 doctor’s appointments every week. Things are a little less stressful for me and that itself is probably making the biggest difference.

Once I passed the food aversion stage, which was much milder this time around, I really have had no complaints. JellyBean is being much nicer to me than her big brother was. Let us all keep our fingers crossed that this means she will be a better sleeper than Fletch.

Though there have been just as many Conversations with JellyBean as there were Conversations with Peanut, they are of much less interest because they mostly consist of JellyBean being sweet and agreeable, as opposed to gleefully evil.

For example, an early food-related conversation with Peanut went like this:
Me: *rummaging through kitchen* How about...a cracker?
Peanut: No.
Me: Hmm. Slice of ham? Toast?
Peanut: No and no.
Me: Peanut butter?
Peanut: ...
Me: Sorry. Um, how about some chees-
Peanut: GOD, no.
Me: Okay, how about this other kind of cheese?
Peanut: Yes.
Me: Oka-Really? All right! *nom nom nom*
Peanut: Just kidding!
Me: *is queasy*
Peanut: *gleefully evil cackle*
Me: Sigh.

Whereas, a similar conversation with JellyBean went like this:
Me: *stares morosely into cabinets and fridge* Meh. How about...this? *holds up random piece of food*
JellyBean: Meh. *shrugs tiny shoulders*

However, in the context of teasing Mr. Fantastic, JellyBean is just like her brother. We have this same conversation daily, in which you can replace “Peanut” with “JellyBean”:

Peanut: *twitch*
Me: Oh!
Peanut: *twitch twitch twitch*
Me: Hee!
Peanut: *twitchtwitchtwitch twitchtwitchtwitch*
Me: Heeee!
Mr. F: Really? *feels my belly*
Peanut: *crickets chirping*
Mr. F: *sad* Darn.
Me: Sorry, honey.
Peanut: *gleeful cackle*

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be able to feel JellyBean from the outside and Mr. F will get a chance to feel her. Although I hope he will still keep putting his face on my belly and talking to her because it is darn adorable.

Also adorable is when Fletch says hello or goodnight to JellyBean and kisses my belly. I don’t know how much he really gets that the baby inside will be coming outside and staying with us. But in the mean time, it’s so cute when he pats my bump and says “Baby! In dere!” in his sweet little voice. We have a couple of books about Mommy Having a Baby that are hopefully being helpful in preparing him. He also has a Little Peanut stuffed toy that is basically a little sleeping baby that goes inside a peanut shell. He calls it his “baby” and sleeps with it and so we talk a lot about how Mama has a baby in her belly just like his baby. (It is freaking adorable, let me tell you, and I plan to get the Sweet Pea version for JellyBean)

 This week JellyBean is almost a whole pound and around 11 inches long. She is working on refining things like eyelids and eyebrows and has started sprouting tiny tooth buds under her gums. Still a work in progress but if we could see her, she’d look very much like a teeny tiny newborn.

Update on Dad

Haven't talked much about my dad's been mostly babies and Steve, so I thought I'd throw a little love Dad's way. (Or, as Fletch calls him, Paw-Paw.)

 Waaay back in October '08, Dad got diagnosed with "moderately aggressive" prostate cancer. At the time he had no health insurance and so his doctor decided on a treatment course of something called Lupron, which is in short a hormone shot that turns off the production of testosterone thereby giving the cancer nothing to feed on so it can't grow. The idea was to basically hold the cancer at bay until Dad turned 65 in August '10 and started Medicare.

 A major drawback to the Lupron is that it causes menopause-like symptoms, the worst for Dad being weight gain. It's made him hungry all the time and he's gained probably 50 pounds which is really bothering him. However, the Lupron has done its job and the cancer has not progressed, so Dad had his last shot a few months ago. He recently started what I consider to be the "real" treatment - radiation and implants. In February, he got the radioactive seeds implanted, and this week he went in for the first of 25 radiation sessions. He goes five times a week at noon for the next five weeks.

We’ll find out in a couple months how it goes. He's been told side effects should be minimal, including the possibility of a sunburn-like effect on his abdomen. It’s only been a few days, but so far, so good. He’s feeling fine and I think, like me, relieved to be doing something more proactive. I know he’s happy to be done with the Lupron, although they did say it would take a while – at least 6 months or more, for it to clear his system. Hopefully once it does, he can start losing some of the weight he’s gained and will be feeling generally better.

In addition to quitting drinking in June ’08, Dad also quit smoking probably a year ago and I am so proud of him for doing both those things. I have always worried about his health and cutting out these two things is the best thing he has done for himself. And aside from the major health benefits, I feel like I have my dad back.

When he was drinking, you just never knew which Dad you were going to get. Some days would be good and I’d love spending time with him and other days I wanted nothing to do with him. Now that I have my son, and a daughter on the way, I am so thankful to have all my days with Dad be the good ones. I am so happy they will get to know their grandfather and hopefully have a lifetime of wonderful memories of him like I do with my own gramps.