Monday, May 31, 2010

How exciting!

I just read in the paper that Celine Dion is exactly as pregnant as we are! How neat! This is her 6th round of invitro fertilization, so articles said she’s basically been living as a pregnant person for the last few years, which I can’t even imagine… They also quote a November due date, but hers will probably be before mine, since she’s having twins. All of the articles I’ve looked at are only showing stock pictures, which is disappointing because I’d love to see how big her belly is and compare it to mine. I think I’d win. :P

On being controlling

This week my little fetus is growing his first head hairs (hoping for red!) and is covered with fuzz all over his body, which he’ll hopefully loose by the time he makes his world debut. He’s 3.5 inches tall (not including his legs!) and weighs about an ounce and a half. He already knows how to suck his thumb, pee, and breathe the amniotic fluid that he’s swimming in. I wish I could see him, because I bet he’s really amazingly cute.

This weekend I thought a lot about control. I like to be in control of my life and thoughts and activities and destiny. I’m really good at managing other people, too. I can totally see how things are to be done in the best possible way, and I’m good at directing others to do them and to feel proud of their achievements. I feel like I often know the most beneficial and efficient way to do things, and I like when I get measured results for controlled efforts. I like waking up and knowing exactly what’s going to happen today, and get uncomfortable with deviations from the plan. And I realize how much of this I’m going to have to change.

Let’s say we skip the whole pregnancy bit of it (much of which I can actually control a little bit though my actions) and let’s move onto the delivery:

I’m going to be walking into a situation that I’ve never, ever experienced before. I realize that I can read everything in the world and become the most knowledgeable pregnant person in the universe, and still, nothing can ever prepare me for what will happen. It will be a situation that is completely unknown to me, and out of my control. Being prepared will certainly help, but I realize that things can’t go exactly according to my specifications and that I have to be flexible enough to let what happens happen.

And that? That’s just a teeny, tiny little minute fraction of this whole big thing we’re taking on. Once the baby is born, I can try to get him on a good schedule as much as I want, but ultimately he has to eat and poo and sleep, and I have a feeling he’ll be doing that on his own terms. I know that I’ll get up with my own carefully crafted schedule and agenda for our day, yet I’m going to have to be open-minded to the fact that baby may have other plans, and that things may get in the way of us achieving our daily/weekly/monthly goals. Luckily I have time to think and get used to the idea, because I realize that it’s going to be one of the toughest for me to handle.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Today I don’t feel like writing.

I’m sitting at work, worrying about how germs will affect me and little baby. All I want this Friday afternoon is to get out of this stuffy bank and into my weekend.

This weekend I’m going on a road trip (well, we’re going to a wedding, but I’m pretending it’s an exciting road trip) with my loved ones – Toby and Sandwiches. We haven’t had any time away for a while, so I’m fairly excited to just get out of town. That is all.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There's nothing you can know that isn't known.

After writing yesterday, I realized what a pleasure having a “boring” pregnancy actually is. I’m more than happy to keep it this way the whole time we’re going through this!

This morning as I was leaving the house, Toby exclaimed that I looked really pregnant. He’s like, “There’s no question about it; you’re pregnant!” I thought there was no question about it when I took seven pregnancy tests or saw him in an ultrasound or heard his heartbeat; but hey! Now that there’s a tummy happening here, there’s really no question about it!

Something that I was thinking about:

Not too long ago, on the weekend that I (unknowingly) conceived this baby, I was holding another baby and talking with his mom about my desire for four babies. This other new mom, she’s not really into the whole baby thing. Sure, now that she has one she loves him very much and wouldn’t trade him for the world. But before he was around, it was kind of a “take it or leave it” thing when it came to child-rearing. She was shocked about my very really, very persistent desire to have a large family (read: four kids, two adults, two dogs, maybe an iguana or a guinea pig) and she is completely sure that she does not have enough love for all that. She thinks, “A bit goes to my spouse, some to the baby, a little to the cats, and I’m pretty much out. If I have so many kids, there just won’t be enough love for everyone.” For me, it’s the opposite. I love my spouse and my dog so, so, so much, and have nothing but room for MORE love! And if it’s just sitting there, then why not? I already love this teeny thing with little hands SO much, and I can’t see myself just running dry.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On being boring

A customer said the cutest thing the other day:

We were talking about kids and families and all that, and I was asking about how many kids he had at home. “Two sets of twins – two little boys, and two girls,” he says. “Whaaaaat?! That’s AMAZING! Do you even KNOW how lucky you are?! The chances of that are like… none! Wow!” I’m completely taken aback and fascinated by anything that had to do with either redheads or twins.
“You should buy lottery tickets with how lucky you are!” I told him.
And he says… “With the family I have, I’ve already won.”

Of course, I thought that was the cutest, sweetest thing ever and Toby gagged with the revolting tackiness of it all.

Since pregnancy is so long (250 to 280 days by simple calculations) I’m scared that I’ll run out of things to talk about here. My goal is to write every business day, but hopefully I’ll have enough things to talk about in all that time. Pregnancy-wise, exciting things don’t happen every single day! And now that I’m in kind of an in-betweeny phase, nothing is really happening. I feel physically better, more rested, have nothing exciting to report. I guess as time goes on and he starts somersaulting inside me, there will be more to talk about. For now, I’ll just continue to grow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We're growing!

This week my baby can suck its thumb and the vocal cords are already formed. So, s/he might be singing in there! It’s already a boy or a girl, but s/he’ll keep it a secret in there for at least another month. Baby is about three inches long and weighs almost an ounce. So cute! So exciting!

And the tummy grows...

This weekend I had my first ever maternity massage. I suppose it was much like a regular massage, but I didn’t love it. Upon arriving at the spa, my first thought was about the massage therapist was, “Please don’t be a man, please don’t be a man….” but I kind of shrugged that off, as it’s kind of implied that a person specializing in pregnancy massages would be a female. But of course, he wasn’t. The whole time I was on edge, and I didn’t like my inner thighs massaged by a man. Not one bit. Also, it was supposedly a pregnancy massage, yet he didn’t bother asking me how far along I was, or even when my baby was due. I wasn’t impressed with any of the process, and I left just as tense as I came in.

In fun and exciting pregnancy news: I got my first-ever maternity clothes! Oh my god, am I comfortable! Wow! First of all, everything at the store just fit SO well! The jeans, especially, looked great because the legs fit absolutely perfectly, but my tummy had room to breathe. I ended up getting two jean shorts, two pairs of jeans, one pair of work pants and two shirts. Kind of backwards, because I need jeans/shorts only twice a week, while I need business clothes five times a week! Luckily, some of my bank things are still fitting. Regardless, I love my comfy new wardrobe, and it really shows off my expanding tummy. I feel like I am finally getting past people thinking immediately, “She sure has gained a lot of weight lately,” to “Hey! Look at her pregnant tummy!” It’s actually growing a little more each day, and if I poke it a little, it feels like my uterus in there. Then again, I have no idea what my uterus feels like. Regardless, the belly makes progress!

And speaking of which… Toby has really started patting/touching/talking to my belly a lot more. I never thought he’d be the type, but, here we are. It makes me feel a bit weird, but I guess I’d better get used to it because it’s half his!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Crying, Turtles, and Weekends

A lot of things make me cry lately. I guess it’s all the hormones, or something.

Currently at our house, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is off limits. Of course, it’s a huge tragic disaster, and on heavy rotation on every single news channel. But the moment it comes on, there’s immediate yelling: “CHANGE IT, CHANGE IT, CHANGE IT!!!!!!!!!” Toby doesn’t seem to get it, but luckily he’s been complying pretty well so far. The oil spills lead me to think of all of the fish and the wildlife and inevitably my mind goes to the turtles. The poor little baby turtles. The parent turtles lay their eggs waaaay up on the beach and once they hatch, the teeny babies have to make their way into the water. But now, they cannot. Because they’ll be dead before they even hatch. This is heartbreaking and I can’t even deal with watching it these days.

Instead, I will focus on happy and trivial things.

Tomorrow I get my first pregnancy massage! I’m so thrilled! I’ve never even had a real massage before, so I’m quite excited for my first bit of pregnancy pampering. Also, it’s a long weekend that I get to spend with my loved ones. Goodbye until next week!

Of butts and babies

When I first learned about my pregnancy (two months ago tomorrow) I immediately did all the research I possibly could. Up until three years ago, I’ve always been in school, and researching new things is one of my absolutely favorite things. Obviously, this whole new world of pregnancy (and subsequently parenthood) brings a ton of new reading and research opportunities to my life, and the reading has been fantastic. I’ve read about fifteen pregnancy books so far (so many that I’ve actually moved onto parenting books) and it’s always fun to find their contradictions and clarify with the doctors. I know: they must love my pages of questions! But I’m really figuring out that it’s all a big game of differing opinions out there and what works for our pregnancy and baby might be different than what is right for other people.

Anyway, one of the first things that I decided upon was cloth diapers. Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, dioxin, and TBT. All of these are gross and dangerous chemicals, both to the environment and to my baby. Is it a coincidence that diaper rash has risen amongst babies since disposables came out? Hardly. Also, do I want this crap against my baby’s butt? All of these chemicals together can stick to babies’ butts and genitals causing allergic reactions, skin irritation, and impairing their hormonal system. I just don’t want it! Also, I’ve read that every child that wears disposables from birth until two and a half produces one ton in diaper garbage. One ton! With four kids, we’ll be solely responsible for contributing four tons of garbage, just in diapers! There’s no way.

I started looking into cloth diaper “systems,” and was a bit thrown off by the price. The cost is going to run about $500 for everything I need, and that kind of made me think twice about the whole thing, until… I calculated the cost for disposables. From birth to 2.5 the cost of disposable diapers will be… ready?! $3000! Per child! To ruin my babys’ ass and the environment! There’s no way!

Plus, cloth diapers look WAY cuter!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Red Stapler

I work in a place that is much like any office around. We have our politics, and our cliques, and our office laughing-stock. In all my years and with all my places of employment, I’ve realized that if you’ve been in one office, you’ve been in them all.

So, I work with a girl who is rather… slow. She’s sweet, very religious, and of course, a nice person. Just not… my type of person. She seems to have really taken an interest in my whole baby-having thing, and yesterday she asked if she could touch my stomach. Um. No? Like, I’m just over three months pregnant and barely starting to show. It’s not like my stomach has popped and is out there for the world to desire (many-a-time I’ve had to hold myself back from asking a pregnant woman to touch her lovely belly.) But, I’m certainly and obviously not at that point. And this was all a mere days after she asked me how much I weigh, how much I make, and how much the house I live in costs. Obviously the, *nervous laugh,* “Oh, coworker, you just don’t ask these things!” subtle way of saying “Shut the eff up” didn’t work. But believe me: if she goes on to ask who I voted for in the last election, and what my stance on abortion is, I am prepared with a quippy and clever answer!

Also on the work front:

I have the pleasure of working with three 46-year-old menopausal women. I don’t know if it’s the age, the hormones, or the working at a financial institution, but man, are these ladies ever bitchy. They all have boys who are around sixteen years old, and spend the entirety of their breaks in the lunch room complaining about their awful kids. I sit quietly in the corner reading my parenting books or pregnancy manual de jour, while they go on for their entire break about how naughty/shitty/good for nothing children are. After these tirades, they often turn to me and go, “See?! Is this what you want? Just KNOW that this is what you’ve signed up for!” Well, not really. Right now my baby is inside me, so I don’t have to tell him not to go downtown to buy drugs. Also, I’ve never told my parents that I hate them, so I’m not really anticipating my kids telling me to “fuck off” and letting me know that they hate me. I don’t know why my pregnancy is bringing out this desire in these women to “warn” me. I realize (and I realize how much I DON’T realize yet) that it’s hard and that it’ll be a daily challenge, and that I’m in for the toughest job of my life. But still… It’s like they want to suck all the joy out of it. I’m not giving birth to a bratty sixteen year old; I’m giving birth to a lovely baby. My lovely baby. And for now, that’s all that matters.

I was eating a piece of cream cheese with toast…

And I noticed how fat I’ve really gotten. I’m going to be brutally honest about it, too. From my first appointment to confirm pregnancy to my first OB appointment, I gained about ten pounds. From the first OB appointment to the second one, I gained another five pounds. So, we’re looking at a total of about fifteen pounds in the first trimester. Is this disgustingly insane? Yes. Is it absolutely the end of the world? Probably not.

Before I found out about the pregnancy I smoked pretty heavily and I drank rather often. The day I found out, both of those little habits stopped immediately. Now, these were things I’d done my entire adult life; luxuries I loved and indulged and enjoyed. But I’ve known as long as I’ve smoked that I’d quit when I had babies. In fact, anytime anyone commented/bitched about my smoking and asked when I’d quit, I would say, “When I have babies!” So, it ain’t no thing. Even at this point the doctor looks at me with a head-tilty thing and goes, “How is that going? Good for you…” and I don’t even say anything. It’s not commendable. What else am I going to do? It’s smoke, or damage my baby. There is really no choice here.

I digress. Perhaps I’m making excuses, but… I quit smoking, drinking, and everything that I’ve always considered the “norm” about my lifestyle. So, I gained fifteen pounds from slupees and fries? So be it. My liver is happy, and so are my lungs. Fat comes and goes, but babies are forever.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Chicken and Sweat

As of last week, I want nothing to do with chicken. We were tossing around dinner suggestions and “How about Butter Chicken?” was a suggestion to which I immediately recoiled. Even the thought of eating any type of chicken absolutely turned my stomach. Now, typing the word “chicken” over and over is making me feel pretty ill, too. Why are food aversions so odd? From the beginning of this pregnancy, I’ve noticed that I have no desire to eat spicy food. Now, I’m a spicy food champ. I was practically raised on Tabasco, and as I grew up I graduated to pretty much the hottest stuff there is. I’m hard-pressed to find someone who can out-spice me, yet nowadays, I’ll take bland any day.

And now to discuss my most recent and exciting symptom of pregnancy:

The sweating. Whaaaaat? This secret seems about as closely guarded as the whole constipation thing. While I’ve definitely heard of the pregnancy “glow,” never have I heard about the pregnancy STENCH. I’ve never sweated, let alone smelled before. Sure, as a habit I wear deodorant and sure, I sometimes get warm. However, these days we’re in another league entirely. After a day of work (and I sit all day long, by the way) I absolutely stink like a man. At first I thought it was my over-sensitive nose exaggerating again, but Toby confirmed: “Yup. You smell like a sweaty man.” Why is this? If it’s some hormone thing, then shouldn’t I be surging with beautiful, flowery, girly hormones? Why do I smell like a man?!

And while we’re at it: where’s my pregnancy glow?!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stuffed like a sausage

It’s been a happy pregnancy day. We started off with a mini argument (I was eating cheesecake for breakfast and the love of my life called me “piggie” in a supposedly “loving” way while I think in actuality it was in a very MEAN way), got over it, and were on our way to the clinic.

We went through all of my (negative!) test results, and I smiled and thought, “Whew, dodged a bullet…” In my young and irresponsible days, getting test results for those types of icky things was fairly nerve-racking, but now that I’m old and responsible and in love with only one person, they’re a breeze. Anyway, since I don’t have HIV or syphilis or anything, we proceeded to my plethora of questions. At the first appointment I had about twenty bullet-point questions, and this time it was only about four. Blood pressure was fine, and then we listened to the heartbeat.

We listened to the heartbeat.

My baby has a heartbeat!

Up until now, I’ve always had something to worry about. I’m young and healthy, but… I just didn’t want to love too much and too soon. All of my books mentioned something called “missed miscarriage” where the miscarriage goes undetected for weeks. Not only did this lead me to taking about a pregnancy test a week for the past eight weeks (okay, maybe I exaggerate), but also thinking and worrying and thinking and worrying. ANYWAY! After the cute little 160bpm “thumpthumpthumpthump!” the doctor assured me that the combination of being into the second trimester as well as having auditory confirmation of his little heart was a good reason to stop worrying.

And now, I will buy maternity clothes!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Covered in chocolate

This morning one of my coworkers said, “Mmmm! What are you wearing?! You smell amazing!” I told her “Nothing,” because not only had I forgotten to put on my deodorant this morning, but I’m actually a big scent-hater. Being a room that is recently aerosol-sprayed makes me feel like throwing up. Helping a customer doused in perfume is guaranteeing me a headache for the day. I’m a big proponent of scent-free environments, and actually feel a bit offended when I’m trapped in an elevator with a person who obviously has no regards to those around them and has started their day with a cheap perfume-dip.

Anyway, a few minutes after I was asked what I was wearing in terms of scent, I remembered! This morning I covered my entire body with the cocoa butter stick I just got at the Body Shop! I’m starting this pregnancy with a few stretch-marks under my belt, but I really, really don’t feel like adding anymore. So, while I’m a person with absolutely zero beauty routine, I think I’ll add this one in. The (very natural) chocolate smell doesn’t hurt, either.

One exciting pregnancy thing happened over the weekend: I reached that amazing 12-week pregnancy landmark! I’m so, so, soooo thrilled, but trying to keep it in check. I haven’t had an appointment since I was less than eight weeks along, and couldn’t a lot of things have gone wrong since then? I’m only thinking and manifesting good things, but am absolutely terrified of the worst. I feel like my doctor’s appointment will absolutely put that to rest tomorrow. Since I’m past twelve weeks, we’ll listen to the baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler, so I feel like the combo of being out of the first trimester along with hearing him/her with the Doppler will truly (finally, finally, finally!) make me feel sure, certain, and PREGNANT!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A first

This has never happened before, either in life or in pregnancy:

I just undid the top button of my pants.

I knew that I could not go on a minute longer being squeezed like a sausage. Bring on the muumuus!

Unexpected pregnancy symptom #687892

I can smell like a bloodhound. I can smell your breath from three feet away. I smell your deodorant. I smell the cigarette you had fifteen minutes ago. I smell the beer you had yesterday. I smell the little burny smell when a candle has been put out twenty feet away. Why do I smell so much? Sometimes it’s an amazing thing, like when I go, “SMELL THE MANGOLIAS! GLORIOUS!!!” or an absolutely horrifying thing, like the combo of old lady perfume mingling with urine.

Also today! Three and a half days left of first trimester!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A bloody mess

From the first doctor’s appointment that I had, I was presented with the question of whether to do any extra genetic testing for down syndrome. Without any present family history, these tests are generally utilized for people of higher risk, such as women over thirty five. However, since Toby is adopted, we know nothing about his biological history. All of the paperwork regarding the genetic testing makes a pretty big deal about the decisions you are faced with if you do receive a positive, or even a false positive. I didn’t really know which way to go, but I figure knowledge is power… so might as well know more.

I saved up all of the blood work to be done in one fell swoop, rather than doing different blood tests on different dates. What did this result in? The technician neatly stickering eight lovely plastic vials with which to hold my copious amounts of blood. Eight vials of blood. Each vial is about 10mls, so we’re talking about 80mls of blood here! That’s practically half a cup! People around me where coming in and leaving their blood tests, all the while I was still sitting there, getting drained. The whole fiasco took about took about fifteen minutes to complete, all the while Toby laughed and pretended to faint. Once the whole awful thing was finally done, I felt rather faint and teetered away, happy to finally be done with the blood portion of this pregnancy (as if).

First thing Monday morning, I get a call from the maternity clinic, advising me not to panic but asking to call them right away. So, I panic and sit on hold for about fifteen minutes with my heart beating out of my chest and bracing myself mentally for the worst. What do they say? That two of my blood vials BROKE and that I would need to come back in as soon as possible to replace the missing blood. Now, these were no flimsy vials. They were plastic, and sturdy. But according to the lab technicians, these things do “happen once in a blue moon!” Well, I guess things could be worse.

So, this morning I go in for my removal of the ninth and tenth vial of blood, and the lab guy comments on my teeny tiny veins. As I’d been having a conversation about my giant stomach just a mere minutes earlier, I shot Toby a look of “See?! I’m not a whale!” and felt pretty proud of my teeny veins. But you know what? That’s totally not something to be proud of. He prodded around on my right arm, and then the left, which was still bruised from the last test. He inquired as to my water consumption for the day, which had been minimal, and continued to prod around while I kept getting more anxious and clammy. Eventually, he decided to stick the needle on the vein on top of my hand, as it was absolutely the only option. Minutes pass. More minutes pass. Toby inquires as to the logistics and technicalities of this needle – is it just gravity, or is it vacuum? I sweat some more. Eventually, the whole ordeal concludes, and I turn around and look at my lovely crimson blood. All eighth of a vial of it. Apparently, I have no more blood to give. The tech double checks that it is indeed enough for the final test (maybe) and sends us on our way.

As I’m walking into work this morning, my phone is ringing with a call from the maternity clinic. They just got a fax stating that one of my vials of blood (not the broken one, obviously) had coagulated and was unusable. When am I able to come back in to redraw? Um, never?

Monday, May 10, 2010

And then there were two.

I’m a girl in North Vancouver, BC. I love where I live, and would never live anywhere else. In this beautiful place, I live with the loves of my life: my lovely redhead man, Toby, and my amazingly cute French Bulldog baby, Sandwiches.

Here we are, all of us embarking on this amazingly scary, unknown, and life-changing THING. We’re scared and nervous and full of nothing but questions. But we’ve got books and friends and family and a sense of humor.

We were incredibly lucky (??) to find out about this pregnancy extremely early on (a mere four weeks!) and thought we were much further along than we actually were. Now, finally at eleven weeks, I’m counting the days (hours!) until we are out of the “danger zone,” – the first trimester! A mere six days to go!

To be frank...

After I finished reading the seventh pregnancy blog (from beginning to end) I truly began to realize how important a sense of connection is when it comes to this whole pregnancy thing. Also, it’s been a delight to read/hear about the commonalities of this whole thing that are shrouded with secrecy. While I’ve never been too secretive about the fact that I’ve looked forward to being pregnant and having a baby for as far back as I can remember, I was shocked to find out some of the crazy side effects. Constipation? What?! Heart-burn that feels like daggers in my heart? Would have liked some forewarning. The intrinsic need to cry hysterically when I read about a baby whale dying near by? Well, that was actually really sad! Regardless, I’m away from so many people that are important to my life and who will be important to baby, so I wanted this to be available to be shared by all!