Monday, April 26, 2010

I dream of baby

Pregnancy is known as a time for strange dreams. I've always been a vivid dreamer (zombies, anyone?) and this has only been intensified by being pregnant. I've been known to have lucid dreams when I think people are in the room with me, but really ... hiding under my pillow from Miley Cyrus? Often I wake up thinking, "What in the hell was that?"
I have had a few baby-related dreams. In these dreams, the baby has always arrived already. A pattern I'm beginning to notice here is that the baby is always a girl. It will be interested when I go in for my ultrasound in a few weeks to see if my subconscious was right. Last night I had a great baby dream. As usual, I was surprised that the baby had already arrived. I was a bit disappointed that I hadn't gotten to wear any of the cute maternity clothes I'd bought, but didn't seem to show any regret about not remembering the actual birth (if only!). The baby was beautiful and so real. I've had dreams about having a baby before, but never one like this. This one had a perfect, sweet little face and a head full of dark hair. I could almost feel and smell her! Needless to say, I woke up with a smile on my face and the thought of that beautiful baby girl has stuck with me all day. Could that be my baby? Only a few short months before I will meet her (or him) in person.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I've been meaning to write for the past week, but honestly I didn't have that much to say. Some people call the second trimester the "honeymoon phase" of pregnancy. Actually, it's downright boring. At least the early part has been. I think "Eat. Sleep. Pee." would be an accurate description. I'd love to say there are lots of exciting new developments every day, but there aren't. I'd love to be working on the baby's room and buying stuff for the baby, but we don't know what we're having yet, and garage sale season has yet to begin. I'd love to say I can feel the baby kicking up a storm in there, but all I feel are some occasional flutters that kind of feel like popcorn popping. Or maybe it's just gas. It's hard to tell.
The only other thing going on is that I feel (and look) fat. Most of the time I'm also starving. Much of my day is dedicated to eating or thinking about what I'm going to eat next. I try to eat healthy food for the most part, but can't deny that my pizza cravings (which have been going on since long before pregnancy) have gotten stronger, as has my desire to eat potato chips. I'm at that lovely stage where my clothes are pretty tight, so I'm wearing some maternity clothes, which are too big. I feel like the people at the gym are watching me and thinking, "I see her here working out all the time, but she just keeps getting fatter. What is she EATING?" I'm totally ready to just look pregnant already, and not just pudgy. Although when that happens, the belly rubs are probably going to start. I'm ready to implement my, "You rub mine, I rub yours" policy when that happens.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"We're hoping it's a pony"

One funny part of pregnancy is that you get a lot of really silly questions. I don't mind, honestly, they just make me chuckle.
One of the most common questions I've gotten so far is, "Do you know what you're having?" Now, I'm only going to be 15 weeks this Friday, and the ultrasound when we'll get to find out the sex won't be until 20 weeks. So I have no idea if we're having a boy or a girl yet. After several polite responses of "We haven't found out yet, but we plan to," I've come up with a new one: "We're hoping for a human." That reminds me of a funny maternity T-shirt I saw. It says, "We're hoping it's a pony." I want one. I also want one that says "Beer Belly."
People also ask how I've been feeling. As if they really want to hear that I've been throwing up for three months straight or that I can no longer seem to poop. Fortunately for me, I've felt pretty good (with the exception of these damn headaches) so I can give people the truth: no morning sickness, the fatigue isn't so bad ... overall I feel pretty normal. I like to throw in, "If I would have known it was going to be this easy, I might have gotten pregnant a long time ago!"
If I think these questions are kind of silly, I can't wait until later in the pregnancy when I start to show and people really start asking some doozies. I'm so excited to tell the first person who asks if I'm pregnant that no, I just like beer. I also can't wait to tell the first person who comments on the fact that I'm drinking caffeine that it's the only way I can deal with this darn hangover. Now if I can just find something clever to say at the end of the pregnancy when people start in with, "Are you still pregnant?" I have a few months to figure something out.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring storm

We had our first spring thunderstorm of the year this morning. What a joy to hear the thunder and beat of raindrops after a very long winter. If memory serves me correctly, last summer we didn't have very many thunderstorms. There was plenty of rain ... it seems like it was cool and rainy all summer long ... but there weren't many good, old-fashioned T-storms. I hope that this year will be different.

Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

The cheesy Cinderella song from the '80s has never been so true as it is in pregnancy. When you make the decision to become pregnant you know from the get-go that there are some things you'll have to forgo for the next 9 (actually 10) months. No booze. No cigarettes. No problem, right? Right. What nobody tells you is that there are a whole lot of other things you're not supposed to do, either.
First and worst are the drugs you're not supposed to take. I was about a week into knowing I was pregnant before I came down with my first sinus infection. What can you take? Nothing that's actually helpful, it turns out. Headaches have also been an issue for me. I've always gotten pretty frequent and painful headaches, sometimes even migraines. Normally I just pop a few ibuprofen or Excedrin and it clears up. Now all I can take is acetaminophen (Tylenol). Are you kidding me? You could just as well feed me sugar pills. I think of all the things I can no longer have, I miss ibuprofen the most.
One that many people don't realize is lunch meats and soft cheeses. Now, the soft cheeses aren't really a problem for me. I eat a lot of cheese, but it's all hard. Lunch meats are another story. (Most throw hot dogs into this category as well, but say hot dogs are safe if heated thoroughly. Is anyone actually NOT heating their hot dogs thoroughly? Because unless you're a dog, you shouldn't be eating uncooked hot dogs to begin with. Sorry.) We eat quite a bit of lunch meat in our house, especially during the summer. A favorite summertime evening meal is a big salad with ham and turkey. And no Subway? Seriously? Apparently there's a risk of getting listeria poisoning from lunch meat, and that's why it's not recommended. You can get around it if the meat is heated to steaming first. I've mostly just avoided lunch meat, but did cave and have a sub once. And yes, I heated the meat first.
Then there's caffeine. Some people are really strict about not consuming any caffeine during pregnancy. (Generally these are the same people who have absolutely no qualms about dyeing their hair during pregnancy, I've noticed.) I've tried to cut down on caffeine, but have not cut it out entirely. Granted, I wasn't guzzling down two pots of coffee a day to start with. From what I've read, 150-300 mg of caffeine a day is safe during pregnancy. If I drink 2 diet Dr. Peppers or Cherry Cokes a day, I'm getting about 70-80 mg a day. Add in chocolate consumption and I'm still safe. I think we all have to pick our battles and set our limits here. A bit of caffeine a day keeps me from getting even more headaches than I already do. I think that's probably better for the baby than me lying in bed for days on end in terrible pain and not being able to eat.
What am I forgetting? Ah, yes ... not laying on your back or your right side. That's a tough one as well. I understand that there are lots of reasons why you shouldn't lie flat on your back or sleep on your back. That's fine. I try not to sleep on my back, but there are times when I wake up that way and I'm not going to freak out about it. I also understand that sleeping on your left side is optimal because it increases blood flow to the placenta. I try to sleep on my left side as much as possible, but I generally am a right-side sleeper. I think I've gotten better at sleeping on my left side, but again, I'm not going to freak out if I wake up on my left side. A wise person once told me that however you can sleep during pregnancy is the best way to sleep. I think that's great advice.
Other things I've been avoiding include cleaning the litter box (no problems there ... I've always avoided cleaning the litter box) and harsh household cleaners. I'm still exercising, but I've cut down on the intensity and try to keep my heart rate from going too high, and also from overheating.
Sometimes it's overwhelming how much there is to remember. I find myself thinking about women 10, 100 or even 1,000 years ago didn't have so many strict rules to follow and many of them still had healthy babies. Every mom-to-be wants to try to do the right thing for her baby, and as long as we're doing our best to ensure that the little one gets a healthy start, that's all that we can ask of ourselves.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pregnancy fashion

Maternity clothes. I'll admit it, I love clothes. I'm a major bargain shopper so I don't spend a ton on them, but I do have a lot of them. So naturally the idea of buying a whole new wardrobe for myself was quite appealing. Except now I get to feel guilty for spending money on myself rather than on the baby. So I've had to find a happy medium.
I work so I need to have clothes that look presentable to the public. To me, that doesn't mean baggy sweatshirts and other oversized clothing. Just my personal preference, but I'd rather look pregnant than fat.
I'll admit that despite all my worries, I started buying maternity clothes at about 8 weeks. I bought some cute tops and jeans that were on sale on I picked up some capri pants and another top at Goodwill, and found some clothes on ebay. When I was at my sister's, I got some cute tops at a thrift store. More orders from Old Navy.
One weekend I asked my mom to go shopping with me in another town, because there was a sale at JCPenney. So we drove all the way there to find that this particular JCPenney did not sell maternity clothes. Dammit. We did find another maternity store in town which had some nice but frankly mostly overpriced items. Honestly, who can afford to spend $78 on ill-fitting maternity pants? Not I! I don't spend that much on regular pants. I did come home with one top, which I happened to find in the juniors section at JCPenney. Thank goodness for the trend toward empire waists. It may not last me the whole nine months, but it's a good transition piece.
The shopping trip experience led me back to ebay. I've shopped and sold on ebay in the past, but have found it increasingly difficult to do both. You've got to be careful when there are people who are trying to sell you a shirt from Old Navy for $25 that you can still get new in the store for $16.50. (I won't even get into trying to sell on ebay ... they've made it increasingly difficult to make any money so it's hardly worth trying.) But I've had some pretty good luck with the maternity clothes. I think I've got the basics for what I'll need this summer, and if I need more I can always pick up a few extras along the way. I simply cannot wait for garage sale season to start!

14 weeks and counting

That brings us to this week. The day I'd been waiting for finally arrived on Wednesday. We got to hear the heartbeat. Again, I'd read horror stories about doctors and nurses not being able to find the heartbeat and having to do an ultrasound, or whatever. Seriously kids, stay off the Internet!
My doctor found the heartbeat almost right away. What a relief. Pretty amazing feeling, really. It was another one of those surreal moments when you realize, "Hey, there's a human being in there!" Often followed by, "What the hell was I thinking again?" And then, "Holy crap, this is awesome!" Such is pregnancy.
Now that everyone pretty much knows I'm pregnant, people are starting to eye the belly area to see if I've popped yet. I haven't, except for the extra pooch I've got from my internal organs being pushed around to places they've never been and probably never wanted to go. Actually, though, I'm feeling a bit thinner over the past couple of weeks now that some of the dreadful first trimester bloat has gone away. Still, I'm fully expecting to wake up one morning looking truly pregnant. It could happen anytime. It's funny because it's one of those things that is different for everyone but everyone seems to know when it will happen to you. One person will be shocked that you're not showing yet, while the next person will tell you that you'll be wearing your regular pants for a long time yet. I'll pop when I feel like it, mmm-kay?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Worry Wart

This has been a relatively easy pregnancy so far. I've had no morning sickness. The fatigue everyone talks about makes me laugh—you people want fatigue? Try having thyroid disorder sometime and then we'll talk fatigue! I kept up my exercise routine with a few adjustments, tried to add more fruits and veggies into my diet, and kept on living life.
The worst part has been the worry. I'm a terrible worrier. I think I inherited it from my father. In the past, my inclination to worry about any and everything has caused me to be an insomniac. I'm pretty much over that now, but I still worry. Ask me to carry a tiny human inside of me and you're asking for trouble. Add to it that all over the Internet are people talking about what can go wrong, and the first trimester can be a pretty miserable time. I kept waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me. My husband, unlike yours truly, is the eternal optimist. He felt from the start that everything was going to be great; or at least that's what he let on. He was excited to start sharing our news with others immediately and I was poised to wait until at least the 12-week mark, when the chance of miscarriage is greatly reduced.
Two weeks after my first doctor's appointment we had an ultrasound to see our little peanut. There it was, heartbeat and all. A part of me breathed a huge sigh of relief. I'd read about so many blighted ovums and missed miscarriages that I had convinced myself that this was not going to be okay. Good things don't happen to me!
I agreed that since the ultrasound was so good, we could tell our parents. They were just a tiny bit excited. I don't think people expected us to have kids at this point, 10 years into our marriage. Not that it was anyone's damn business. Frankly, I'm not sure we expected ourselves to give in. But as they say ... if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Our parents agreed not to tell anyone until we gave the word. There were just so many people we wanted to tell ourselves, and we didn't want them to be hurt that they heard it from someone else.
We kept it quiet for another two weeks and then decided to tell our sisters. I was still nervous since I was only 10 weeks at the time, but finally gave in. The following weekend, we told close friends. When I finally hit the 12-week mark, I told my boss and co-workers.
It all seems like it went so fast now, but oh, how those weeks dragged on. Each week new worries plagued me, as each twinge set my nerves on edge. I knew that I wouldn't feel we were out of the woods until we heard the heartbeat. Sure, we saw it at almost 8 weeks, but things can happen, you know? At my 10-week appointment, my doctor wanted to wait to try to hear the heartbeat. It was a little too soon, he said, and he didn't want to cause anyone undue worry (HA!). I agreed, although I was a little bummed. We'd have to wait another four weeks.

How is babby formed?

Oh, fledgling blog, how I have neglected thee. I'm dreadfully sorry. But I've been busy, you see. Doing what? Answering the age-old question, How is Babby Formed? ( for those not familiar. It cracks me up every time.) So yes, I've been engaging in babby-making, and have ignored this blog. As if anyone cared. And now I'm back.
It's been an interesting, if uneventful, ride so far. We got our first positive test on January 24. It was a very faint positive, but positive nonetheless. I took tests every day that week, and each one became darker. Soon it began to appear that we'd actually done this thing. Whose idea was this anyway?
A little over a week later I finally worked up the nerve to call a doctor and schedule an appointment. As usual, I made a complete idiot of myself, asking stupid questions and coming off as your basic, everyday moron. Luckily for me the people at the doctor's office were very nice and scheduled an appointment for the next week. Now, when I'm interested in something I tend to read about it on the Internet. A lot. And most of what I'd read were complaints from women whose doctors wouldn't see them before a certain time (eight weeks, 10 weeks, etc.). So I was thrilled to be seen at just six weeks. I wanted confirmation that this was not all just in my head.
The first appointment was not too exciting. I had your basic exam, was told to keep taking my prenatals and keep exercising, drained of a few vials of blood, and sent on my merry way. It all seemed rather anti-climactic. Weren't they going to alert the presses? Call an ambulance to take me home? Alert the National Guard? Nope. I was just another pregnant chick. It seems some miracles happen everyday.