Cristina’s Pregnancy Update

Just as I was entering my final ten weeks of pregnancy, the Lord blessed me with a lighter teaching load for the second semester of the school year.  My English Department Head Teacher told me that he had decided to cancel my English class for second semester, which was supposed to be a small group of students taking Speech and Debate.  He figured that it would be easier to put all the students into other established classes for second semester than try to supervise and train a substitute teacher to take over the final half of the semester when I would go on maternity leave.

So, my rushed exit from my home, to arrive at a 9:30am English class each day, was suddenly out of the picture.  A couple weeks after he told me of this development, the registrar’s office informed me that there were no high school students who needed to take the sixth period keyboarding class that I had been teaching directly after lunch.  Therefore, my teaching load went down from four classes to two.  Since then, I met with the director to talk about some projects I can work on to keep me on the same funding as before and he gave me a video project to work on that I hope to finish before I go on maternity leave.

I have felt significantly less stress this past month as I have been teaching only my two middle school Computer 8 classes for four days out of the week.  This is a good thing as my body seems to be slowing down a little more with each passing week and as my belly continues to inflate. 

By tomorrow, I will be officially 34 weeks pregnant.  I am excited that God did provide the money for my mom to come and stay with me for three weeks in April.  She is set to arrive on April 4…just four days before my due date and will stay until the end of April. 

I also had my third trimester and final sonogram today, February 24, and the doctor was able to confirm that the baby still looks like a girl.  He scared me for a while saying he wasn’t sure, but would check again before he finished the sonogram.

From this point on, I begin weekly visits to the doctor.  He is predicting that I will make it full term, but start thinking in terms of giving birth sometime between the last two weeks of March or the first week of April.

I am looking forward to taking my final blood tests this weekend.  Also, some of the ladies at the school are planning a baby shower for me to take place next Thursday, March 3.

So far, everything is progressing as normal.  The only concern my doctor had with me is that my thyroid is still working too hard and he has told me to take a higher dose of the thyroid medication that was prescribed for me. 

I am planning on teaching until my due date on April 8 or until Grace Erin is born…whichever comes first!

Cristina can still pick up both her boys at 33 weeks of long as they don't get in the way of her belly.


My First Christmas Present

The schedule of ultrasounds has changed since I gave birth to Jared.  Or at least, that is how my obstetrician tells me.  With both Jared and Luke, the first important ultrasound did not take place any earlier than 16 weeks into the pregnancy.  Now, my doctor tells me that the crucial time to do the first thorough ultrasound is between 11 to 13 weeks.  He insisted that this is the important window in discovering any possible early defects in the development of the baby.  However, it is also too early to find out the gender of the baby.

My doctor also insists that it is important to have an ultrasound for each trimester.  So, I was going to have to wait until the second trimester ultrasound to find out if I was having a girl or a boy.  During my November check up, my doctor said that we should probably go ahead and schedule the second trimester ultrasound for sometime in December. 

“Maybe the middle of December sometime…what do you think?”

I looked up at him sheepishly and said, “Well, my husband is going to be in the U.S. during the first week of December.  It would be nice, if he could return with specific clothes for a baby boy or a baby girl.  But doing the ultrasound then would be too early, right?”

The doctor scratched his head for a minute or two and looked at his calendar.  He starting thinking out loud about how many weeks pregnant I would be at that time.  By the end of the first week of December, I was going to be 22 weeks pregnant. 

Finally, he said, “Alright, how about the first day of December?  Then, you can call Stephen in the U.S. and tell him what to bring back down.”

I was completely thrilled to hear the news and began to count down the days to my next ultrasound.  The weekend before December 1, Stephen and I put up the Christmas tree and pulled out our Christmas music and our Christmas decorations.  So, I really felt like I was in the Christmas mood when I went to see my doctor for the ultrasound.

I tried not to act too antsy or impatient as he went through the routine process of checking the baby’s head, face, legs, arms and vital organs before checking the area of gender discovery. 

“So, what do you think it is?” he asked me as I looked at the screen of a squirming little body with its legs spread wide open. 

I wasn’t sure what to assume.  It didn’t exactly look the same as Jared and Luke, but I was afraid to get too excited. 

“It’s not a boy?” I asked lamely.

“It’s a girl!” he told me confidently and then typed “xx” on the screen.

I could hardly believe it was true.  “Are you sure?” I asked him. 

He pointed to the screen to show me where obvious male organs were missing and where you could clearly see that the child was a female.  My heart leapt. 

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love both of my sons very much and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  But I had felt for many years that God was going to bring a daughter into my life and that I was to name her Grace.

And there she was on the screen.  She will be our little “GEM” because her initials (Grace Erin Meier) spell that word.  Jared and Luke already refer to her as baby Grace.  I don’t know if Luke really understands much of what is going on, but I think he will be a wonderful big brother when our little GEM comes into the world in another three months or so. 

As my doctor finished the ultrasound, he said what a pleasure it was to do my ultrasound and that everything was “immaculate” with the baby’s progress and growth.  I felt double blessed.  Not only am I expecting a daughter, but she is healthy, as well.

Cristina poses at 25 weeks of pregnancy on Christmas eve.