So – LAST WEEK – I came back from doing something I NEVER thought I’d get to do upon moving to Europe...going HOME to the USA to celebrate our baby!!!!
When moving to Europe, there were a few things I had “made peace” with, that I more than likely, would miss out on because of the distance between our two countries.
Things & important events like weddings, birthdays, Christmas, and especially, all things baby. Just as this precious baby was a beautiful surprise to my husband and I, so was the opportunity to travel to the States one final time before he/she is born.
I am now officially 22 weeks pregnant!!! AH! When did THAT happen? I still can’t believe I am more than halfway. This Monday, we get to go in and have THAT special ultrasound – yes the 3D/4D one – where you REALLY get to see your baby on the screen! We could also discover the gender ….IF we wanted to…but, more on that later!
When I traveled to the States, I was just shy of 20 weeks pregnant, which is, from what I’ve been told & researched, a PERFECT time to travel before baby. So yes, baby bump & I traveled from Brussels, to Switzerland, to NYC, to finally Syracuse, NY (and back again!) – all by ourselves!
As hard as it was, it’s even harder to imagine the next time I travel across the pond, I’ll have Baby C WITH me – meaning outside of my tummy! Thankfully, there were many kind people who allowed me to have aisle seats (hello pee trips) and extra food while on the airplane.
What was even more special about this specific trip was that my parents, who now live in Florida, were able to come up to Central NY (where we ALL are from) to also celebrate this joyous occasion and spend time with me and family.
One of the HARDEST parts of my PREGNANCY so far hasn’t been ANYTHING physical – but emotional. I MISS getting to share all of the big AND SMALL moments with my Mama. Believe me, SHE DOES TOO! As some tears fall as I type this, I am abundantly thankful for FaceTime & modern technology. NO, it’s not the same as being there with her face-to-face – but I am so happy I can share with her every photo, video & experience I am having with her first grand-baby-to-be.
While in New York, my parents and I got to spend a lot of time with our loved ones – including my amazing 92 year old Grandma, Grace. Do y’all remember her? When I started this blog, I was in New York, taking care of her and falling in love with my husband through FaceTime across 4,000 miles.
She has always been one of my best friends, and the only baby sitter I ever knew. I am so thankful I got to share a little bit of my pregnancy with her as well.
After arriving in New York on a Wednesday, that following Saturday, we got to celebrate Baby Cleyman with a Baby Shower! I didn’t know until I moved to Belgium that a baby shower is a mostly American tradition. In Belgium, the custom is to typically celebrate the baby AFTER they are born. Thankfully, I have some very open & adventurous friends here in Belgium, that want to bring that American tradition HERE and celebrate with a 2nd Baby Shower around my 32nd birthday at the end of January. (HOW PERFECT as I’ll be around 32 weeks pregnant then too!)
At my shower in New York, I got to see, celebrate and laugh with so many people who have known me and been there for me practically since my OWN birth! I loved getting to see so many from my childhood church, my mom’s lifelong friends, my nieces, my cousins, my aunts, and even some uncles. YES, we HAD MEN at my shower!
As I look through so many of these photos I am sharing with you, it’s still surreal that all of this happened. Everyone who helped & put it together – a million times THANK YOU! (A special thank you goes out to my mom, my brother, his girlfriend Kaylee and my aunt Shirley!)
Besides my shower, we all enjoyed many more beautiful moments….one of which, was getting to FEEL my baby for the first time. Perhaps even more magical was the fact it happened on the evening right before my parents left to head home to Florida. They were leaving about 3 days earlier than me, and on the night before they left, I was sitting in my Grandma’s chair, sitting in tears.
The feeling I’d been waiting for over 20 weeks had finally happened – what was undeniably NOT GAS – was the first movements of my baby. I NOW finally see why people say it feels like “Butterflies” or “popcorn” – it is so true! The moment I shared with my parents, my mom came running over to put her own hands on my belly.
Unfortunately, it was TOO early for her to feel him or her, but I am SO happy we got to experience that moment together. Now, at 22 weeks, I feel my baby all the time, and it’s the BEST feeling in the world!
Next time I go to the States will most likely be next summer – when we get to introduce Baby Cleyman to his/her crazy, awesome American family.
Until then, Kim & I are enjoying lots of cozy, reconnection time, as I experienced the deep pains of being away from my husband for 10 days. What everyone says is SO true – once you have your own family, you desire to be by them all the time. I had never ached for Kim that badly. We had spent 14 weeks apart when we were dating, and then 7 weeks AFTER we were married apart – and I think this 10 days hurt the WORST!
We are SO happy to be back together and continuing to move forward in our future – building our business, enjoying time with our special girl, Billie & prepping for BABY – what an exciting 2020 we have ahead!
Mrs. Cheyanne Cleyman