Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We're having a...







Girl!

And we are so excited. When Matt and I first found out that we were having a baby, our first sense was "Maybe a boy?" After all, Matt's family is 3 for 4 in producing males and it seems like all of our friends have had girls lately. I mean, somebody needs to be around to date them all in 16 years. I've also always said that I thought it would be so much fun to raise a brood of boys--throw them in the yard with a ball for a few hours and tell them to have fun, and they will. Sounds like fun.

But, interestingly, I found my own heart changing throughout this pregnancy. My eye was drawn toward girl clothes when I'd window shop (I think we can all admit that the girl clothes are just generally so much cuter). And then I started thinking about the benefits of girls (forgive the stereotypes, but that's all I have to work with yet): they can sit with coloring books for hours! They seem to me more sort of laid back in their early years (we won't worry about the teen years yet). And when I thought about Matt being a dad to a little girl, I could see his kind heart coming to play in such a beautiful way. I was secretly wanting a girl.

I am also very excited that our first child will be joining a community of friends close to its age and gender. My sister's baby Betty will be just 6 months older than our little bean and I'm glad that they get to grow up together. And on an up-side, a certain friend has made hints that a certain Wesley Gough might be in the market for a wife in another 20 years or so. :)

To be honest, we truly would have been happy with whatever the doctor told us at our ultrasound yesterday, and I didn't particularly have a feeling of relief or special excitement when she said "girl." But it's interesting how God has been preparing my heart for this--just like He did before we got pregnant. How kind He is. I can honestly say that we are both so excited about this little girl coming into our lives.

The rest of the ultrasound went well in terms of the baby. Everything looks healthy and we got to see her kick and move around and even saw a 4-D imaging of her face (sorry folks, so far she looks like Gollum--2nd trimester is still a little alien-esque). They checked the brain, heart, kidneys, bladder, stomach, legs, arms, hands, feet, nose, mouth--it was amazing.

One area that did not go as expected is the placenta. I am lucky that it is attached to the front of the uterus--which minimizes a lot of the kicking and movement of the baby, forming a cushion between me and her. However, it is also too close for comfort to my cervix. The edge of the placenta is within two centimeters of the cervix, which puts me at risk of delivering the placenta before the baby. This is extremely dangerous and basically an automatic c-section.

Luckily the placenta is only borderline too close and I'm still only halfway through my pregnancy. As my uterus expands, the placenta could move up and out of the way. I will go back for another ultrasound in 10 weeks to look again and see if this has happened.

Matt and I are committed to a natural labor and delivery as much as possible, both for personal and financial reasons, so we would be very disappointed if we had to have a c-section. Please pray with us that the placenta will move up so that we can continue to pursue natural childbirth. Meanwhile, we are very grateful that the medical technology does exist to catch and treat these sorts of problems, should we need them. We are also choosing not to be anxious. There's nothing we can do but to pray.

Thanks for all your predictions, friends! I'm surprised so many of you predicted "boy" with my various tests saying "girl," my penchant for orange juice, my early pregnancy nausea, and my seeming to be carrying in the front. Not that I necessarily believe any of those predictors are accurate. But it was fun to see what everyone had to say about it. Thanks friends!

PS Sorry I couldn't post any pics of the bean. My scanner won't work this morning and the DVD they gave us won't work either. Maybe soon, though.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can you guess what we're having??

Ok, so later today Matt and I will be going to the hospital to have an ultrasound. While checking on all sorts of things to see that our baby's growing healthily, we will also get to find out the gender. My friend Jenny did this also, so I thought it would be fun to see if any of you can guess what gender the baby is.

Here are my symptoms and clues, if you prescribe to any of the old wives tales. Let's see who can guess correctly. Hey, at the very least, you have a 50/50 chance of guessing right.

- We conceived in April while we were living in Anacortes.
- I had significant nausea until the end of the first trimester, but I never threw up. I lived on toast, juice, and scrambled eggs. Since early July, the only time I feel nauseated is in the car.
- Our first doctor appt. measured the heart rate at 170-180 (8 weeks) and in the 150's ever since.
- I have been craving all sorts of foods, from salty to sweet, including Pho soup, smoothies,
eggplant sandwiches, Greek yogurt with honey, and fish tacos. I also have been drinking much more juice--particularly, orange juice and lemonade.
- Now that my belly has popped out a little I appear to be carrying all in the front. I'm not sure what that's worth, since I'm still so small.
-I've only gained about 5 pounds so far (20 weeks along) and nothing in my face.
- My skin has been pretty breakout-prone throughout the pregnancy.
- I've had pretty low energy and needed lots of naps, though less frequently now in the 2nd trimester.
-I started to feel the baby move at 17 weeks and most of its movements are low and to the left.
- I'm 28 years old
- Our due date is January 9.
-Some people have "a strong feeling it's a girl." Others say it's a boy. The person who predicted that Matt and I would conceive in April or May of this year (and we weren't even trying!) thinks it's a boy.

Tests:
- I tried the string test on myself and it seemed to go side to side, which means girl.
- I took 2 old wives tales tests and both came out girl.
- According to the Chinese calendar I should be having a girl due to my age and conception date

Leave your predictions in the comment section and we'll see who was right tomorrow!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Seattle Times article about Matt's work




The Seattle Times ran an article today profiling Matt's company. I think it does an excellent job explaining all the aspects of the project they are working on and the vision of Rob Smith, the founder. It's a quick read too. Enjoy!

Read the article here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The August Update

Well, it may seem like I've fallen off the face of the earth, but with Matt's job change, not one but TWO moves, two trips to Minnesota, and all the miscellaneous mayhem involved with big transitions, blog posting was neither a priority nor an inspiration. Sorry folks.

Things are finally calming down, so rather than launching into life again, I thought I'd offer an update for everyone about what's gone on so far.

.:. Matt found a job! On July 8, Matt started working for a company that we are both really excited about. Thain Boatworks is building its first passenger ferry for Lake Victoria in Africa. The founder of Thain, Rob Smith, also founded Agathos Foundation, which gives aid and creates sustainable farms to support widows and orphans of the AIDS epidemic, primarily in Uganda. Rob saw the need (70% unemployment rates!) and the opportunity for economic stimulation through resurrecting a dead transportation system. He wants to make a fleet of 10 ferries, and eventually light rail for cargo, all using non-petroleum fuels that are produced in Uganda.

Matt will be their in-house designer and he is working hard to have all the specs done for the boat that they are finishing building and shipping to Africa at the end of this month. The men Matt is working with have a committed vision for social justice and the work Matt is doing is a lot more fulfilling than what he has been exposed to before. It's a seemingly perfect fusion of his background in global and urban ministry, alternative energy engineering, construction, and yacht design. We look forward to seeing what Thain will be able to accomplish. For a press release about the project, go here.

Beers and Cigars on Wednesday nights with the guys from work. Here on Thain's first project, Annie (not the ferry Matt's working on). Rob Smith on the pilot house, pointing.

.:. After moving out of our apartment in Anacortes, we stayed in temporary housing at Northwest University (where my parents teach) for the month of July. It was a good gift to have a place of our own to stay, but moving twice in once month is not my idea of fun.

Thankfully, we found an apartment that we both love in the Edmonds area, on the north end of Seattle and a quick commute for Matt to his job in Everett. It's also very close to King's High School, where I'm still working now and then. It has an extra bedroom for the baby and a lot more space than we've had before. We moved in at the beginning of August. Pictures to come soon enough.

Our first dinner on the deck at our new place.

.:. In baby news, I am 18 weeks along and have just started to feel the baby squirming around. As you can see, I'm showing a little too. We will be able to find out the baby's gender in a few weeks and we are excited to share this with family and friends. I think it will also help a lot with settling on a name, something we are far from doing at this point.

18 week bump

.:. We had the good fortune to visit Minnesota twice in the last month or so. First for Fourth of July weekend with the Roddys and then back again last weekend for Matt's 10 year high school reunion. Despite the fact that a tornado 1) took out the power at the venue, 2) touched down nearby, and 3) cut the evening significantly short, we still had a fun time. Actually, the twister touched down right on Olivia's parents' property, a good friend of Matt's from high school who was in town that weekend, not for the reunion, but for her sister's wedding. Their reception was also a bust. Thankfully no one was hurt, but Olivia gives a nice account of the evening on her blog.

Fourth of July boat parade--we won most spirited small boat.


It was especially nice to get some time at the lake house because Bob and Maggie have put it on the market. They are looking forward to a new chapter in life and we are hopeful we'll be seeing a lot more of them in the Seattle area after baby Roddy arrives.

.:. Still cooking up a storm, now that all that 1st trimester nausea is over (thank the Lord!). Here's dinner last night: Masa crepes with rainbow chard, chiles, and cilantro. I was looking for a way to use the rainbow chard that came in my CSA box and found this recipe on The Splendid Table's website. It puts a latin twist on crepes--instead of filling with bechamel and spinach, it uses the jalepeno spiked chard with sour cream and cheese. Delicious.

I also got inspired to make a tomato, black bean, and corn salad to go with it from the fresh corn and cherry tomoatoes in my CSA box. It was deliciously sweet from the cherries and smokey from the beans--a perfect compliment to the crepes.

Carefully cooking those delicate crepes

Filling each crepe with the chard mixture and some cheese before folding and grilling



The finished product. Mexican crepe heaven.

My salad recipe:
kernels from 3 ears of corn
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 pint of sweet cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
handful cilantro, chopped
1/2 jalepeno, finely diced
juice of two limes
salt and pepper

1. put raw corn kernels in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for 3 minutes and then drain.
2. Combine all ingredients and chill.

Tonight I'm trying to use some turnips and green beans that we got this week as well. I'll post if the results are worthy.

.:. That's all for now! Thanks for your patience, everyone. Hope to be back to my bloggin' self as we're settling in.