Shortly before my last post, we discovered that I’m pregnant! Along with the joy of that discovery, miserable pregnancy symptoms came crashing down upon me and I had nothing happy or positive to say for a few months. I also had no energy or time to go do anything fun or interesting. The first three months of my pregnancy were spent sleeping! I would wake up as late as possible, go to work, take a nap over lunch, then come home, take another nap, wake up for a can of Spaghettios, and then I’d sleep until the next morning. We couldn’t figure out why my pregnancy symptoms were so very intense; we just assumed that I was particularly unlucky. Then one morning in August, I woke up with some pretty heavy bleeding. We went straight to the ER where we were told that I was “probably” having a miscarriage and to try again in a few months. As a precautionary measure, I was sent to radiology for an ultrasound. As soon as the tech put the wand on my belly, she said, “Oh, there are two!” I asked her, “Two what?” She gleefully told me that there were two babies, both with great, strong heartbeats. We were able to get some photos of the little sea monkeys and then set out to wait until the twelve-week mark to tell our families. We would have told them immediately, but I’d already hit one bump in the road and just wanted to wait until we were comfortable sharing the news. Even after telling family, we waited until 21 weeks to tell the world. It was a good thing that we decided to tell everyone when we did, because a couple of nights later, a belly popped out overnight and it was hard to hide it from anyone! We also learned at 21 weeks that we were having a boy and a girl.
Now I am plugging along at 27 weeks. Every appointment has been filled with positive news and since I’m considered high-risk due to the twins, I get to see an ultrasound at every visit. I love looking at my babies! You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out that a) I was pregnant and b) I was having twins, but now I can’t imagine life any other way. At my last appointment, I asked my MFM to measure my fundal height and my belly was measuring at 31 weeks at 26 weeks and 2 days. I’m going to get bigger and bigger but I’m going to try and work until I pop. I start weekly monitoring in January to make sure that the babies aren’t experiencing too much stress and these tests will help my doctor determine whether or not I should go on bed rest or if I’ll have to deliver before I go into labor naturally. So now I’m going to try and wait patiently these last 13 weeks (probably just 9, truthfully) until I get to meet my babies.
I started to feel much better toward the end of my second trimester and now I feel great! My body is slowing down due to the extra weight and regular pregnancy aches and pains but I’m rarely sick anymore aside from very early in the morning and I have more energy, as well. Now it is all just trying my best to prepare. We still need a few things for the nursery but mostly we’re just waiting on the kiddos to make their arrival.
Every year, there is a Summer Festival at Ocean Expo Park in Motobu Town. There is a free concert and at the end of the evening, there is a huge fireworks show! They set off ichiman hanabi (ten thousand fireworks) and the show lasts for 20 minutes, then there is a brief intermission and the show goes on for the remainder of the hour. We decided at the last minute that we must go, especially since we missed a good Independence Day show!
We went with four of our friends to find a notoriously difficult-to-find restaurant called “Kajinho” a.k.a. Pizza in the Sky. People have been talking about this restaurant since we arrived on island. It is renowned for its amazing view of the island and once we arrived, it was easy to see why:
The menu is written on a fan and most of the menu is made up of beer and juice. You have a limited choice for pizza, you can have a small or medium pizza with pepperoni, onion, green pepper, and corn. I really liked the pizza but CJ was not as sold as I was. Too bad he was starving and ate half a pizza anyway. The drive to this place was legitimately treacherous. We were basically hugging the stone wall on a sharp curve to keep from driving off of a cliff. They are not big on “guard rails” and “safety standards” in rural Japan–go figure. We met a friend of a friend there and he led us back down to the main road via a much safer route.
After Pizza in the Sky, we decided to head to Sesoko Island instead of directly to Motobu Town. We got a taste of how crowded it was going to be when we got stuck in the traffic on the way there–all the way to Sesoko Bridge, we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It was so slow that CJ attempted to jump out of our car, run to a market to use the bathroom, and then run back. No kidding, he made it in and out of the store and back to the car before I had barely passed the store. [Side note: the Lawson mascot is apparently a squat cartoon squirrel. They had someone in the squirrel suit but the wind from Typhoon Soulik passing us by was so strong that they enlisted another employee just to hold on to the back of the squirrel suit to keep him from falling over!]
We made it to Sesoko Island about ten minutes until 20:00 (the scheduled start time for the fireworks) and took our chairs down to the beach right at sunset:
Soon after we sat down, the show began! The fireworks were unbelievable! They had fireworks I’ve never seen before and the show definitely didn’t disappoint. We are definitely going to go again next year!
Independence Day, my favorite holiday! This has been an unusual holiday for us. On 29 June, I volunteered at the USO for a program that offers free rides to Airmen who have had too much to drink. I reported at 21:00 and they were shooting off fireworks for a festival that the base put on called Rockin’ the Block. I had a *perfect* view through the front door of the USO! I had Thursday off for the actual holiday but Cliff and I did not do anything since I had to work Friday as well (though he had the day off). Yesterday we went to a concert being held at MCAS Futenma–Gary Sinise and the LT Dan Band. For some odd reason, I never put together that he was LT Dan from Forrest Gump–even though I have literally seen that movie about 40 times. They were really good! He talked a little bit about what he does for Wounded Warriors and the USO and it was really great. Col (Ret.) Jay Vargas, one of 80 living Medal of Honor recipients gave a short speech. You can read about him on his wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_R._Vargas. During the concert, we looked over to our left and we could see another fireworks display at the Chatan Sea Port Festival. We are hanging around the house today, relaxing and doing laundry. Tomorrow is my first furlough day so I guess it’s another day of lounging for me unless I decide to go out and do some exploring. This was a bit of a tame Independence Day for us, though we did enjoy it. Maybe next year will be more exciting! Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July.