This past weekend we took a family trip to go quartz mining in Arkansas. On our way, we stopped at Ultrasona of the Ozarks and had one final ultrasound (not going to get into my cognitive dissonance about over-using ultrasound during this pregnancy in this post, but hope to write about it someday). We found out that baby is definitely a girl! It was very obvious—we both could tell before the tech said anything.
Here is the picture of her little face. I know u/s pictures all look the same, but I think she is cute! And, we saw her yawn 🙂
Here are two cute pix of her little feet. The blob nearby is her HEAD, because she is all squished up with her feet by her head.
I’ve been going for “alive” as my primary goal during this whole pregnancy, but having a girl baby is a fun bonus 🙂 It is really important to me to be able to name her and bond with her as fully as possibly while pregnant (which I know is fully possible without ultrasounds, but for me, it has been “humanizing” to see her and think of her as a real baby and not just think, “don’t die” thoughts and “IF I have a baby” thoughts).
We stopped and took some pix overlooking the Buffalo River Gorge (Arkansas Grand Canyon):
We then went on to Mount Ida, AR and to a gem and crystal show/event that was being held (coincidentally) that weekend. The following day, we went to Wegner Crystal Mine. We packed into the back of a pickup and were bounced and jounced up to the top of a mountain where we then dug for quartz. Quartz is mined above ground. These mines are all on National Forest land and while it looks like a somewhat horrible scar/blight on the landscape, they are heavily monitored/restricted, so the actual mine can only cover so much ground, etc. We had a fabulous time and left with two buckets of quartz.
On Sunday, we took a day trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR. I burned out there very quickly and do not recommend diamond mining to anyone who is pregnant! Partially it was the futility—I knew we weren’t going to find any diamonds!—and it was really hot and there was no shade so sun was just blasting down on my head and I felt ill/off. My husband did take home two buckets of jasper and agate, which was his main reason for visiting this park, more than possibly finding any diamonds.
When I woke up on Monday morning, I had some totally unexpected and unexplained mystery spotting that almost sent us home without going to the final mine. I’ve written on my other blog about my tenuous sense of security and trust during this pregnancy and how I feel like there is no “safe” point anymore. It is really sad to me how very, very quickly my equilibrium can be thrown off and how quickly I sink into negative/depressing thoughts. As soon as I saw the blood, I thought that I was probably going to go into premature labor at a quartz mine and have to be rushed to some Arkansas hospital with a tiny baby struggling for life in an NICU. While I do still have trust in my body’s inherent wisdom, etc., etc. I do not have the same strong sense of my body as an ally anymore—I used to trust it implicitly to take care of and protect my babies. Now, I don’t know if it really knows how to do that, or not. Most of the time, I think it probably does and that it was also body wisdom (not failure) that caused my losses, but then the tiniest thing can happen and then I see that something else is lurking very close under the surface—a lack of confidence that I do know what I’m doing and that my body will look out for and protect my baby girl with its inherent wisdom and comptent design. 😦 Wah. It was a bummer. I cried and was all upset and then realized I’d probably just physiologically taxed myself at the #%&*% diamond mine the day before and this was just a little, “hey! Take care of yourself!” reminder signal, not an indicator of immediate doom. Nothing else happened the rest of the day (or since), just that confidence-shaking morning incident (I’ve NEVER had bleeding/spotting this late in a pregnancy before and have had none at all during this pregnancy).
Anyway, we finished our trip by going to Arrowhead Crystal Mine—this one we drove to ourselves and the road was hideous, but we made it to the top!
And, we found lots of good stuff:
I’m starting to spend a little more time thinking about the actual birth and what I’d like and what I’d like to make sure I do to savor and enjoy and celebrate this pregnancy and this baby before she is born. I also have been doing a LOT of thinking of what I will change/let go of after she is born and what I would like for a babymoon as well as making arrangments to take some breaks from some of my commitments so that I can fully enjoy the newborn stage and make sure I am taking really good care of myself. I was offered a class for the January session at the college where I teach—by pure coincidence I hadn’t been on the Jan. schedule at either local campus and I was glad not to have to turn them down (because I really want to do this and by “rejecting” a class offering, I don’t want that to be perceived as a lack of interest from me)—but, then I got offered one after all and then I did have to say, “no.” It is a class I’ve taught before and that I LOVE teaching—it is my favorite one—and saying no to it was hard, but duh, I couldn’t say yes (and, btw, they said that was fine and I could teach it in March instead. So, was that so hard?!). I think I will be teaching an online class during the Jan. session, but that I can handle—I will just make sure to do NOTHING else in addition to that and taking care of the new baby.
Still can’t really believe there’s a baby girl in there. I was just telling a friend about how it is difficult to field comments from others about, “hoping for a girl this time” or, “you finally got your girl” kinds of things—it makes me not want to act too excited about having a girl, because I don’t want anyone to think that I feel that way. I love my boys and wouldn’t have my family any other way—and, I would have been perfectly happy to have another boy (I thought I was going to for sure!). So, acting happy about a girl, makes me feel like I’m saying that I’m not happy with my boys. But, I’m happy about both! I’ve never, ever wished Z was a girl instead—I love having a pair of boys. It’s great. If Noah was here with us as the third member of our band of brothers I would have been pleased as pleased can be. (see my fair warning post on my other blog.) I think it’s too bad we feel like we have to clarify/specify that! And, I hope I remember forever to not ever say those kinds of things to anyone either! So, anyway. A GIRL! I’m excited 🙂