The nursery is ready! (And so are we!)

With baby’s arrival right around the corner, we’re thrilled to share that the nursery is ready! We are so grateful for the many people who helped to make this amazing room absolutely perfect. We are really lucky to have such awesome people in our lives who have made sure that we have everything we need to prepare for our little one. We’re so in love with the nursery and can’t wait to show it off to the baby in a few days.  ❤

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Gearing Up for Round 3

One more week and we’re in our THIRD TRIMESTER! Can you believe it? It’s pretty surreal to us that our Baby Center app told us today that we have 13 weeks to go. That feels like no time at all, and we’re definitely in the home stretch of preparations as we await the arrival of Baby Andrews-Wilson.  We’ve begun working on the nursery (we’ll be dedicating a post to that a little later on to give you all a peek inside where s/he will be hanging out early on), we have a ton of appointments with various doctors scheduled and we’re making arrangements for maternity leave…it’s all a little (no, a lot) overwhelming, but we are still SO EXCITED. It’s hard to believe that this little guy or girl is going to be here so soon! Here’s what we’ve got going on in the next few weeks:

  • November 12 – Tour of DeKalb Medical Center with our OB
  • November 20 – Meeting with a potential pediatrician
  • December 3 – Infant CPR Class
  • December 5 – Meeting with another potential pediatrician
  • December 10 – Informational Session at DeKalb Medical Center
  • January 9 – Breastfeeding Class
  • January 16 – Newborn Care Class

We’ll be really busy over the next couple of months preparing to be parents, but we are looking forward to everything we’re going to learn and for all of the great things to come.

Who’s your donor?

We know that parenting is a lot of navigating the open seas, rough waters, storms, sunny days, and rolling waves… we anticipate we’re going to do a lot of changing our minds, figuring things out as we go, and learning from our mistakes to do better the next time. We also know that one of those potential bumps we’ll encounter sometimes is that we are a “non-traditional” family. Though families that look different are becoming more and more the norm, we know we will still need to be prepared to guide our child through the questions that may come as s/he gets older. We want to share with you what’s in our heads as we think about our family and what we’ll tell our kid about where s/he comes from. Consider this our first draft – a brainstorm that will probably be scratched through, refined, and polished a hundred times.

Our biggest goal for our child is that we instill in him or her that though families look different, all of them are valuable. We want our child to understand that whether their peers live with a mom and a dad, their grandparents, or a single parent, they are all a part of an important family, they are all loved, and every family is built the exact way it’s supposed to be. Our hope is that our child will understand that although our family may be unconventional, it is filled with love and it is exactly as it is meant to be.

We plan to address early on that we were lucky to find someone who was kind and generous enough to make it possible for us to become moms. We will not refer to this person as our baby’s dad. Rather, we’ll refer to him as the donor, but it is important to us that our child knows how much we appreciate and value what this person, who we don’t know and will never meet, did to make our dreams of having a family come true.

It is also important to us that our child’s life be full of positive adults, both male and female. We are looking to you – our friends and relatives – to be the incredible people who will help us surround our kid with love. We are particularly mindful of wanting him or her to have relationships with males (not in place of a father, but as a role model), and we’re lucky that we have some incredible brothers, nephews, cousins, and friends that will fill these shoes.

We know some information about the donor that we will share with our child when the time is right. We have things like his health history and physical characteristics,  hobbies and occupation, an essay and some photos. We don’t have a set plan for when we’ll share these things with our child, but we believe we will know when the time is right. We don’t want to overwhelm him or her at a young age, but we know there will be a time when s/he becomes aware of families and relationships and starts asking questions. We won’t be sharing them with anyone else, though, as we feel that that will be something that is should stay in our little family. We’re excited, though, to be able to tell our kid so much about the person who helped grow our family. 🙂

P.S. Jessica has been feeling great lately. Everything uncomfortable now is definitely pregnancy-related. She is experiencing typical second trimester issues: aching hips, lower back pain, and heartburn. We can tell the baby is getting bigger (because her stomach keeps expanding!), and we have been spending an awful lot of time with our hands pressed against her belly waiting for those kicks and punches!

Our kid will never…

We are pleased to report that Jessica has been feeling much better as we enter week 23! The baby still looks and sounds good, and s/he is becoming really active in there (we seem to feel the most kicks just as we are going to sleep at night). We are pretty sure we have a soccer player or gymnast on the way… or maybe both! Since Jessica has been feeling better, we’ve been able to go out and do a lot more fun things. We have found ourselves much more aware of people out with their kids in public and have shared several thoughts with each other that start with “we will never let our kids do that…” or “when we’re parents, we will…” Obviously, we know that the reality is that we’ll probably do a lot of the things we’ve said we’ll never do and just pray that people forgive us when our kid kicks them in the head at Family Night at Turner Field (yeah, that happened).

All of this conversation about what kind of parents we’ll be leads us to ask you: what’s your best parenting advice? Comment below with your words of parenting wisdom!

We’re Halfway There!

This week marks 20 weeks… the halfway point to Baby Andrews-Wilson making his or her arrival!

Many of you have been asking how Jessica’s feeling in the last few weeks, so we thought we’d provide an update.

The first trimester was full of lots of morning sickness that kept her home from work quite a bit. Though she was thankful when the first trimester was wrapping up, that sickness lasted a few weeks into her second trimester. It’s been a couple of weeks with no nausea, so our fingers are crossed that we have passed that point for a while!

We suspect that it may have been the times that Jessica was violently ill that led to some of her other pain. Upper back pain and upper right abdominal pain have permeated the last several weeks. After LOTS of doctor visits, massages, ice bags, physical therapy and more, a chiropractor seems to be providing the most relief. The chiropractor has determined that several of her ribs, including those attached to her sternum, were misaligned, which could explain the upper abdominal pain and which could contribute to the vertebrae in her back being out of place (and causing pain).

Currently, she’s seeing the chiropractor 2-3 times a week, icing regularly, taking some anti-inflammatories and limiting activity to reduce the pressure/use of the right side of her body. At this point, most of the time, the pain is bearable, but we are hoping that with continued visits it will be gone completely before the baby arrives.

In the meantime, we’ve continued to monitor the baby to make sure s/he isn’t affected negatively by any of this. So far, so good. At Monday’s second trimester ultrasound, the doctor said s/he looks good. We saw hands (but not fingers as they were balled up in fists), feet and toes, legs, arms, the spine…we even caught a yawn! We were overwhelmed to see how much s/he’s grown in the last 10 weeks, and we are so excited to share the latest ultrasound photo with you.

Only 20 weeks to go…

On Choosing a Last Name

Some of you may have wondered why our blog is titled ‘The Andrews-Wilson Family Journey.” Well, it actually alludes to a huge task on our get-ready-for-baby to-do list.

We have been in the process over the last several weeks of having our last names changed to Andrews-Wilson, and we officially submitted all the final pieces of paperwork this week. Our court appearance to make it official is set for October 3rd, though we are hoping everything will get finalized before then.

We know there are a lot of ways to go about determining your family’s last name; we came to our decision through countless conversations over dinner, in the car, and before falling asleep at night. Needless to say, what may seem like an easy choice actually took months of thinking/talking/considering/etc.

We decided early on that we wanted our kid to have both of our last names. Sure, things can get complicated when he/she is an adult and is potentially considering joining names with his/her own spouse. We aren’t too worried about that and plan to encourage him/her to do whatever feels right for his/her family (just like we are), even if that means dropping one of our names (or both). A more complex decision was whether we would change our names. In the end, we really wanted to avoid the potential bureaucratic hassles of having a different last name than the baby that may arise legally or with schools or doctors. More importantly, we decided that all sharing the same last name would be our way of representing our family’s connectedness.

So, there you have it. We’ll officially be Jessica and Paula Andrews-Wilson in a matter of weeks.

Speaking of names… We’ve decided not to share potential baby names with family and friends before the baby is born. We’re compiling the names we like into a spreadsheet (y’all know we like to keep things organized), and we’ll have some of our favorites narrowed down before he/she comes. We’re really trying to not decide on a name before meeting the baby. We’ll take suggestions, though. 😉

We’re having a baby!

After several months of trying, we are so happy to announce that our family will be growing! We are expecting a tiny bundle of joy around February 10, 2014. The support of our family and friends is so important to us during this new and exciting time, and we want you share with you some details of this journey. There are so many people we love who we don’t get to talk to every day, so this will be our way to keep you in the loop with what’s going on with us as we set out to navigate the waters of new parenthood. While we won’t be over-sharing everything pregnancy-related, we do want you to be filled in on how we got here. We’ll continue to blog about this new phase of our lives together throughout the pregnancy and beyond.

Now to answer all the questions you probably have at this point:

Jessica is pregnant. This was a really easy choice for us… she volunteered. 😉 She’s just into her second trimester at 15 weeks.

We went through a local organization that coordinated services and guided us through the process. Using an anonymous sperm donor (who we will continue to refer to as the donor, not the father) through a reputable cryobank, we engaged in a process called Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). IUI is a procedure that involves using a catheter to place sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization.

You will find out if we are having a boy or girl… on or around February 10, 2014. We are looking forward to sharing this surprise with you after the baby is born. We know this isn’t really how it’s done these days and this will drive some of you crazy (and that we can expect lots of yellows and greens), but we would prefer to keep it a surprise. Throughout the course of the blog and when we see you in person, we may refer to the baby as “he” or “she.” Don’t think this means that we are having one over the other; we just plan to alternate the pronouns we use. For the record, Paula is on “team boy” and Jessica is on “team girl.”

So far, the baby looks good, and we continue to hope for a safe and healthy pregnancy. We are so excited you have joined us on this journey. We can’t wait to send you more updates along the way!