At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily. (www.babycenter.com)
|Me at 22 weeks!|
My bump is clearly visible and I’m feeling our baby kick tons more, which really is such a cool feeling. I have noticed I’m going to the bathroom a lot more. My lower region just feels heavier, if that makes sense? I feel like the baby either sits on my left side, which feels like my skin is being painfully stretched or I feel like he/she sits on my bladder, adding lots of pressure down there.
My first shower invites have been sent out (and they are CUTE!). Super excited to hear that some of my greatest friends and awesome family will be coming (and I even missed some of these friends/family's showers!). I have the greatest support system, I swear. Anyway, I can’t wait. I have a total of three showers planned. All three are currently happening before baby is born. I’m totally okay with that. But a few people have voiced their opinion that I need to have a shower after the baby is born so I get better stuff since we aren’t finding out baby’s gender. ??? But to me, it's just mainly about getting cuter clothes...right?
But my thinking is what if we have a girl and she doesn’t like pink? Or what if we have a boy and he gets sick of all blue? And aren’t there items that are a little more important than clothes?? I just went for non-gender specific items and I love all the stuff we registered for. We are planning on having more than one, so the best advice I received was "get neutral colors when it comes to the bigger items like car seat, crib, stroller, pack n play, etc., because you never know what baby number two will be". It seems like babies grow out of the clothes so quickly… I think I’m going to stick to the three showers before.
I know everyone wants to meet baby (and they will!), but I also hear mom is pretty tired those first four weeks and the last thing I’ll want to do is get ready for a shower when I'm leaking, tired, nursing and bleeding. Plus, there’s going the be announcements to get out and the baptism to get ready for too! A shower after means organizing the nursery even more when more stuff comes in, and when I'm totally exhausted. Seems like more work to me...I don’t know?
My next battle is day care. More people voiced their opinion that I need to get my act together and get going. Hard to do when I’m not even holding our precious little bundle and it really makes me sick thinking about handing off our baby to someone even before he/she is born. Jeez! But if all goes well and baby is on time, April 16 will be the day I go on maternity leave. I plan on taking 12 weeks. That means I go back to my lovely job July 9.
|Side view at 22 weeks!|
The one day care I do trust is attached to our church. Since I worked at our church for four years when I first moved to Minnesota, I really became familiar with the Early Learning Center and the staff. I know they are awesome. I know they can be trusted. They are ranked super high and offer great values and tons of love. However, it’s not the most ideal location for us (meaning we have to cross the dreaded 169 Bloomington Ferry Bridge, which is usually backed up for miles) and it is VERY expensive. Like we’re talking another mortgage payment. How on earth do people afford day care???In the meantime, I joined a Bible Study at my church and met this wonderful new friend. She has three beautiful children and I just felt like I needed to know her more. Soon we became friends on Facebook and she mentioned something about being a stay-at-home mom and loving life. I jokingly asked if she’d like to take on one more. And well… a nice little friendship was born! We met for hot chocolate and tea last night and she was super open and honest about motherhood and all the changes and even brought her youngest. I felt an instant connection with her and her strength and vision for life and her kids blew me away. She reminded me it's OK to have crazy thoughts right now. Sometimes I'll be at my desk at work and wonder what the heck I'm doing. Can I do this?
She also gets that kids need structure, consistency and discipline - something my mom keeps reminding me is very important. Soon we were talking about day care. She said she would love to watch our little one, but there was no pressure to go with her or to come up with an answer. All I know is I left feeling really good. Like God was working behind the scenes there. I swear such great things have come out of our church. So we’ll see!!!
And again, I get unsolicited advice in this area too...with people telling me their views on in-home versus a center. People will try to scare the daylights out of you. I already have HUGE trust issues from what happened to my best friend's baby. But I know I can't stop trusting everyone I come in contact with - life would be pretty hard then. Bottom line: there are pros and cons for both and everyone has different needs and wants and ideas on what they'd like their family structure to be. And I say, they can make their own decision on that. And I'm going to go with my gut on this one.
Just really loving life! Oh, and I really need to get on those Christmas cards...