The pregnancy has gone very smoothly! During the first trimester I had about 10 days of queasiness but since then have felt wonderful. Early on I craved fruit, fruit, and more fruit. I think Robbie got tired of looking for watermelons in February and March – they are hard to find! Also early on the thought of beef was repulsive! Definitely over that now and eat anything and everything. We try to stay pretty active with lots of walks and heading to the gym every few days. I feel very fortunate to be feeling so good going into the 3rd trimester.
Annabelle is an extremely active baby. She kicks pretty much constantly sometimes kicking so hard it wakes me up in the night. We are afraid she is going to be a bit of a space hog (aka bathrooms, bedroom in her teenage years) because she will kick at anything that encroaches in her space until it moves out of her way. She kicks my seatbelt in the car, books or plates I rest on my stomach, and if I have my leg pulled up to my chest she will kick until I move. She will also kick if someone puts their hand on my stomach. Rob loves to torture her by pushing on my belly until she kicks in response. I just hope he lets her sleep when she gets here! This poor girl doesn’t know what she’s in for.
Robbie wanted a boy so badly! Since day one, I have been convinced this baby was a girl. I was just completely sure. I really didn’t care too much one way or another since we have neither right now but eventually wanted one of each. I had been told good things about having a girl first and a boy first. For myself, I felt like a girl might be an easier transition into parenthood.
My mom was looking for any signs she could that this baby was going to be a girl. At the first appointment, she wanted to know the heartbeat (140). When I told her, she said, “what does that mean?? The website says about 140 is a girl and below 140 is a boy. What does it mean if it is right at 140??”. I guessed that just meant we have a 50/50 shot like everyone else J
When the big day arrived the ultrasound tech showed us it was a girl! Didn’t even need to save the tags because she was textbook girl image on the screen. Robbie laughed and shook his head. Later, waiting for the doctor he turned to me and said, “I knew it was a girl all along. Right away when you said you were pregnant, I knew.”
My parents were able to be there for the ultrasound which was really special since we are moving away and my sister lives in Nashville, TN. My mom had never seen an ultrasound since she didn’t have one with any of the four of us. It was a nice opportunity for them to see their first grandbaby in real time. When we found out it was a girl, my mom was beaming. The tech asked her if she was happy and she said, “Yes.” The tech asked her if she had wanted a girl and she said, “Yes, I figured this way I know I will get at least two grandkids!!” Sure enough, not even 15 minutes later, again while waiting for the doctor Robbie leans over to mean and says, “You know this means we have to try again right away?” My resonse, “Oh really? It does, does it?” Something tells me with our track record so far my mom may not have to wait too long for her second grandchild...
We decided to tell our family pretty early at just 4 weeks since we happened to be seeing them in person that weekend. We drove in to Chicago the evening of February 18th and, as they so often do, his parents had a deep dish pizza waiting for us. For this to make sense I need to give a little background. In the 5 ½ years Robbie and I have been together, I have heard many, many times that Robbie’s mom wanted a nice, matching bedroom set early on in their marriage but they couldn’t afford it because they had kids. Over the years this has (I am told) been brought up time and again to Robbie and his siblings. Robbie’s dad has told her to go buy one if she wants it but still, to this day, no bedroom set. Robbie’s theory is that if the bedroom set was purchased, his mom would have nothing else to hold over their head...and it has become an inside family joke. We would have nice things but instead we had kids, etc. etc.
So on the evening of February 18th, we sit down at the counter to eat some pizza and catch up. We had just found out on Monday that Robbie had received his residency in Westlake, OH, not St. Joseph, MI. We chatted for a few minutes about the drive and then Robbie’s dad asks, “So how do you feel about going to Cleveland?” Robbie looks at me and says, “Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is I got a residency. The bad news is it looks like we won’t be getting a bedroom set.” Without a moment’s hesitation Rob’s mom jumps up and down, screaming. Rob’s dad looks surprised and Ross looks completely lost. After a minute it clicks with Rob’s dad as well and he just says, “No way!”. His parents are dancing around the kitchen and Ross is completely bewildered. “What’s going on?” he asks. Finally someone explains we are having a baby and finally the whole family is in on the secret. His family could not have been more excited and can’t wait for their second grandbaby!
On Sunday, February 20th on our way back to Iowa we stopped at my parents for dinner. It was their anniversary that week so we brought a card for them. When my mom opened it, it read: Happy Anniversary! Love, Jill, Robbie, and baby Tanzer (coming October 2011). My mom looked stunned. She was didn’t say a word and handed the card to my dad. My dad read the card, looked up at us and said, “Is this a joke?” “No dad, it’s not. We’re having a baby.” I said. My parents gave us hesitant hugs. The shock was just a bit much for them at the moment. The next day mom called me chatting up a storm telling me every pregnancy story she had thought of over the last 24 hours. Since then my parents have gotten more excited each day to meet their first grandbaby. They are anxiously planning a trip out to meet baby Annabelle as soon as she gets here!
Obviously, my pregnancy with Annabelle was a huge surprise. We both are obsessive planners in our own way and this flipped our plans for the next two years upside down. I think it took Robbie a little longer to come to terms with the fact that our plans were drastically changed. We had a lot to consider since three days after finding out we were expecting, we found out we would be moving not to St. Joseph, Michigan as we had hoped but to Cleveland, Ohio. A significant change to say the least. For a few weeks and months we attempted to sketch out a new plan and answer questions like should I work (I flew to Cleveland for interviews)? Should we buy a home (we made several trips out and spent hours looking online for a place to live)? It felt like an understatement to say this little baby was changing everything.
Just an hour after we found out, my parents, brother, and Zach (my dad’s little brother through the Big Brothers program) showed up to go out to dinner with us. My parents ordered calamari as an appetizer and as I reached for a piece Robbie kicked me under the table. Instantly the protective dad, he didn’t know what was on the “ok to eat” list. His protector instinct hasn’t stopped ever since and he is ever worried about Bella and her well-being. He lovingly refers to me as Bella’s “transporter” and each day asks, “How is Bella? Has she been kicking today?”. A dangerous combination of an over-protective dad with way too much medical knowledge. It’s fun to see him get more and more excited each day for Bella to get here.
As for me, unexpected as it was and unprepared as I felt it really is a miracle to feel life growing inside of you (don’t mean to sound like a hallmark card but it’s true!). It amazes me to read about her developments, and feel her moving (constantly!). She is already so precious to both of us and I can’t wait for her to get here!
This is the most common first question we get asked. I got the sneaking suspicion I might be expecting due to some obvious signs (and some irregularities like a new obsession with excessive amounts of potato chips!?!). I put it off for a day or two but on Friday, February 11, after a phone call with my sister, Jolie, I decided to take a test “just in case”. I took the test home, walked past Robbie watching TV on the couch and went to take it. I didn’t want to alarm him because I was sure it would come back negative and be one of those classic freak out moments married people laugh about later.
Two lines. Where are the instructions again?!? Two lines means pregnant? Hmm…good thing I bought the two pack! I figured at this point I should probably involve my husband. I walked out of the bathroom as calmly as possible and said “Robbie?”. I watched as my unsuspecting husband looked up at me with a questioning glance. “What’s up?” he responds. “I think I’m pregnant”. He looks like a deer in the headlights and after a moment of complete shock he manages to say, “Why do you think that?”. “Because the test says so.” At my very matter of fact response his face turns instantly, completely, red. A few more moments of silence. Both of us start to nervously laugh, the kind of laughter that fills silence when you are utterly unsure of what to say or do, unsure of what the other person is thinking, feeling. Robbie looks up at me and says, “That’s a really good reason. Let’s take another one.”
The second test shows the same two blue lines within seconds. A still shocked Robbie gives me a big hug and says, “I guess this means we’re having a baby!”. Yes, it sure does…