It's good to be back home! I had a great time in the States visiting family and doing my research trip, but 5 weeks is a long time to be away from home. I got back last Thursday--it was so lovely to see the snow-covered fields around the airport, with real Yorkshire sheep in them. Sometimes when you're traveling, every place just blends together in a blur of airports and freeways, but the fields around Leeds-Bradford Airport give me the same feeling I always had seeing Puget Sound from the air when landing at Sea-Tac--you know you're home when you see the dry stone walls and sheep!
We've been busy since I got back--on Friday I worked a shift at the international office, then on Saturday we visited Richard's dad, on Sunday we were back at church for the first time since before Christmas, and this week I'm organizing my research images and working on my book revisions. I've got an article due on 1 March, too, so I want to get as much done as possible while I'm still feeling good. Even though my book writing deadline is technically June, I'm not going to assume that I'll feel great in May, either!
Everything's going well with Baby Bettie--I felt a lot of movement on the road trip, but I haven't been feeling movements regularly yet. I'm recovering from my naughty food habits in the States now, eating porridge oats with fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch, fruit and nuts for snacks and healthy dinner. Tonight we're having fish pie, which was listed in the NHS' "Start4Life" booklet as a good source of lean protein and calcium. I've gotten back to exercising every day now, too, and I'm feeling much better.
Next Monday is our 20-week anomaly scan. I hate it when people call it the "gender scan"--that's not what it's for, it's for identifying anomalies, and besides, it's "sex", not "gender"! We're really hoping that we don't accidentally see anything that would give it away at the scan. We genuinely want both a boy and a girl, we love both names we've picked and we're excited about the prospect of either one. Some women argue that knowing the sex helped them bond with the baby, because they could use "he" or "she" and the baby's name, and they could picture it better. I feel bonded already, and I use both names--actually I've been using both names since before I got pregnant, when I prayed for the baby. I also don't think that knowing the sex helps to picture the baby--all newborns look the same, like disgruntled little old men! Some people say that it's a surprise whether you find out at 20-weeks or at birth, but I still think having that surprise to look forward to might help get me through the last month or so of being uncomfortable. With the second kid, we might change our minds--we may want to know that time just to see if we're having another of the same sex or one of each, but we'll see.
Will update with scan pictures next Monday!