On Showering

Well, internet, I survived my baby shower and didn’t even have to punch anyone in the throat for molesting my “baby dome” (as MB is now calling it).

The big party was last Saturday (and pardon my absence here but there have been piles of goodies to sort through, appointments and a lot of eating. You know, because…well…eating is EATING.) I woke up Saturday morning (at 6 am), for the first time in a long time, completely sick. And when I say sick, I mean FIRST TRIMESTER sick. I felt ravenously hungry but totally nauseated and disgusting. I felt bloated and horrible and UGLY. So, as you can imagine, I was not too thrilled to have to try and make myself presentable to see all of my nearest and dearest. But, out of this disgusting funk came one of the best, most hilarious moments of my pregnancy thus far. I don’t know if I have mentioned to you, internet, that I can no longer reach my toes. In preparation, last week, for the shower, I attempted to paint my toenails. RED. (Why? I have no idea. My toenails are always done, but they are also always done in a french manicure because…I am really good without stencils and/or a huge belly.) I’m going to cut this short and just tell you that this was the longest process of my life and I believe I may have broken a rib. So, on Saturday, I asked MB (who had offered several times before) to help me to use a glorious salt scrub on my piggies so that they a) didn’t look so heinous and b) didn’t feel like sandpaper. (I know you guys are really intrigued by the state of my feet, so I will go ahead and tell you that, no, they are not yet swelling.) I am weird about feet and people touching mine (or having to touch anyone else’s) and am extremely ticklish, so I kept maintaining that I could scrub my own feet, until the broken rib happened. So I agreed to let MB help me out. OH. MY. GOD.

I situated my gigantic ass on the side of the tub and braced myself, but I swear I started laughing hysterically before MB even touched me. And I laughed like that and squirmed around for an entire 10 minutes while my wonderful, amazing, fiance attempted to beautify the piggies. I told him later that I wished that I would have had the whole thing on video because it was exactly the kind of thing that I would want my daughter to see when I explain to her what kind of man she should pick. One that will attempt to scrub your feet, even if you are dangerously close to kicking him in the face. That, my friends, is a good man. But I digress…

The shower started at one, and despite all of my pleading with friends and family to properly RSVP, many more people showed up than anticipated which turned my mom into a raving lunatic. I, even though I felt like a total crap bag, was pleased that so many people showed up and were so ridiculously generous. My mom and sister (and even my step-dad, who painstakingly fashioned a beautiful banner welcoming Baby L) did a really cute job decorating and the food, I hear, was divine (thanks to my Uncle/Personal Chef) and mom and sister. I was disappointed that I didn’t even get to eat, partially because I was afraid that I might not be able to keep anything down and partially because the house was so crowded, I wasn’t really even able to get TO the food. (Except the cupcakes, because HELLO. CUPCAKES.) I have to say, it was pretty unlike any baby shower I have ever been to (for me) because a) there were men there, which made me feel better about the universe, and b) the only part of it that felt even remotely shower-y to me was the opening of the gifts. (Which took a really long time, but my sister was clever enough to distract guests with Bingo cards, so not only did people pay attention to the gifts, but they weren’t pissed off about having to sit there and do so for hours on end. I highly recommend…I felt less like I was the center of attention and more like I was working at the nursing home again, where I used to call Bingo for the Alzheimers patients. Not that I am comparing my guests to Alzheimers patients. Well…I mean, most of them are not at all like Alzheimers patients anyway. Either way, they didn’t really care about ME, they just wanted that bottle of wine. Can you blame them?) To be honest, though, the whole thing is kind of a blur. It was a really great day shared with really effing amazing people and I really appreciate all of the love we received (in the form of hugs and gifts and belly rubbing).

Now that I have mentioned the belly rubbing, I guess I should touch on that, since I was fairly certain that it would occur whether I liked it or not.

I have to say, I was actually surprised at the lack of belly rubbing. There were only a handful of people who actual dared to rub the dome. And to be totally honest, the people who did, did not offend me. My old friend TC, who I never get to hang out with and with the help of another of our friends, has now ousted me from the “No Babies for Me” Club, was the most belly-happy of the guests and, even though she probably knows and doesn’t care, (she’s a bad ass like that) that I didn’t want anyone touching it, she did it numerous times. And I didn’t even THINK about hitting her. It actually wasn’t as awkward as I thought it might be. But maybe it just depends on who does it. In fact, my mom has only attempted touching my belly ONE TIME. So, how the hell should I know how I am supposed to feel about it. After the shower was over, however, came the real belly extravaganza when my sister, Fish Head and her husband, Mr. Fish Head cornered me in the garage and while Mr. Fish Head attempted to rouse Baby L by singing Phil Collins songs or quoting Hitler (I think this was an attempt to really piss her off), my sister pressed her entire face to the other side of my belly. This, my friends, was a mite awkward. And really, if they hadn’t been Mr. and Mrs. Fish Head, I am pretty sure they would have been swimming with the fishes. Even that, though, really wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen. It was definitely less annoying than stretch marks. So…there you have it. Maybe I am not anti-belly-touching altogether. Who knew?

This used to be our spare bedroom. And then it exploded with baby items!

Anyway, I do want to thank all of the lovely people who came to celebrate our new addition. Sometimes, and I think this is common in people, I forget how many wonderful people I have in my life and not because I don’t appreciate you all, but because there might be distance, or our every day lives have made it hard to be together. You all just reminded me how truly lucky I am and how truly loved Baby L is already. THANK YOU. Each of you for all the love, and the loot!

 

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Third Trimester, You’re a Bastard

Today, I am 28 weeks pregnant. 

This is really awesome because this means that SOON MB and I will be welcoming Baby L into the world and we could not be more excited. (I am probably more excited than he is because I just can’t wait to have my body back! OMG.) But I can’t say there isn’t a fair amount of panic welling up inside me. You know, because I went from being a carefree, fun-loving employed and generally happy person, to essentially being two people. Complete with psychotic mood swings, ridiculous food cravings and a rapidly expanding waistline.

I feel seriously unprepared right now. Is this where the nesting thing is supposed to kick in? Because I have an intense desire to reorganize the entire house. But I scarcely have the energy to bend over and pick up the shoes that have been sitting in front of the door for two days.  I gather that this is normal? It’s really hard to have this intense drive to do something that my body doesn’t let me do.  Screw you, third trimester, you are a bastard.

Some notes:

1. The heartburn has returned. I am tempted to say that it is worse than it was in the first trimester. It never really went completely away but had gone from the every other day routine to once or twice a week in the Second Trimester to a bottle of Tums per day for over a week now.  My fiery esophagus is going to drive me insane.

2. Bending over has ceased to be an option.  When I look down at my belly, I don’t see this massive bump (and no, I am not delusional, I guess I am just getting used to it), I see my body, just grown enough to accommodate my little Baby L and I am more and more okay with that. But Jeebus forbid, I drop something on the floor and have no one near me to pick it up. I feel, sometimes, that it will be simpler to get down on all fours to pick items up from the floor than to attempt to bend down to pick things up. No good.

3. I am a narcoleptic insomniac. Explain that one. I cannot sleep when sleeping is appropriate because my belly has grown to be the single most uncomfortable sleeping partner IN. THE. UNIVERSE. I have a body pillow but cannot find a way to maneuver my belly and/or the pillow into a position where I don’t feel as though I am crushing my child’s head.  I don’t want to crush my child’s head, I just want to be comfortable, for Christ’s sake! On top of not sleeping when sleeping is appropriate, I could fall asleep in the middle of a rock concert. This is not a joke. I have adjusted my sleep schedule, due to necessity, and now allow myself to sleep when tired (meaning naps are now permitted) but I find that, it takes me hours to fall asleep, I remain asleep for 4 hours, wake up for 3, and then go back to sleep for 2 and then, around three o’clock, I am DONE. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, I might have just fallen asleep. And caffeine is a no-no (or at least the amount of caffeine I would require at this point). Feel free to shake me.

Generally, I am uncomfortable. I knew that it was only going to get worse so I can’t say that I have been caught off guard or anything, but Holy GOD people, why is pregnancy so LONG?!

 

Your Cake is My Cake

When I found out I was pregnant, I felt a little like I had to let go of my whole life. Like I would have to change anything. Like my friends wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me because no one wants to hang out with “the pregnant girl”. Because God knows, I never wanted to hang out with the pregnant girl! I would have to refrain from smoking and we couldn’t go to the dive bar down the street and listen to really bad live music or karaoke. And she would probably want to go home and go to bed at 7:30. All of these things suddenly became true of me. And I couldn’t bare to drag my free, without-parasite friends down. I did, however, find solace in the glorious dream of food. Before you are pregnant, you hear other preggos say things like, “I wouldn’t normally eat this, but the baby wants it.” or “I could never eat this much food if I weren’t pregnant.” I delighted in the idea of chili dogs and french fries and massive quantities of lasagna for dinner. And mid morning snacks of ice cream and potato chips. But there are things they don’t tell you, internet. Oh yes, there are things.

In the first trimester, I wanted to eat my weight in double cheeseburgers, as you know. The main draw of these McDoubles was that the grease factor was such that they coated my stomach and actually prevented my getting heartburn and/or vomiting my face off for several hours. Well played, McDonalds. But once that severe nausea was gone, McDoubles started to taste like the craptastic pseudofood that they actually are. This made my heart sink. For the emotional attachment I had developed for them and they comfort that they gave me could not easily be replaced.

There were also no chili dogs. Does this mean I didn’t dream of chili dogs all day long? NO. It means that chili dogs or anything containing tomato sauce (including lasagna) caused so much discomfort that I would have sooner gouged my eyes out with spoons than eaten them. I sat daily, eying my now fiance, MB, wishing that I could dip him in chili and cheese and eat him up without experiencing karmic and regular heartburn. (There is a moral here, never fantacize about eating the one you love.) But the hunger that I experienced without constant McDoubles only caused MORE heartburn and MORE nausea.

During the second trimester, I told myself that, because this would be the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy, I would eat salads and things that were not cooked in a vat of oil. This is easier said than done. Because I don’t want a salad. I want cake. I want cake right now. And I don’t care what kind of cake it is. Or who this cake belongs to. I will eat this cake lightening fast and with little to no remorse. Your cake is my cake.20120213-115958.jpg

I don’t even eat sweets, internet. I am a potato chip girl. I love the delicious, salty crunch of Ruffles. I want to dip them in buffalo cheese dip that I reserve to make for special occasions and put them between the bread of ALL sandwiches alike. But now? I can’t eat potato chips. They are too salty and they are not cake.

A misconception about the glory of eating during pregnancy was that you will have a crazy, huge appetite and can eat constantly. I was looking forward to this. Not because I have been a restricter or anything in the fast, but mostly because I really just effing love food. My Norwegian grandparents taught us to eat like we would never eat again, but along with that Norwegian tendency, I also inherited the ability to gain weight by THINKING about food. So, I was excited to be pregnant and to have an excuse. They don’t tell you, though Internet, that you will salivate over food all day long, but when you begin to eat it, ravenously hungry and close to inhaling the person who is kind and brave enough to dine with you, you will not be nearly as hungry as you think. In fact, you will take exactly three bites of that beautiful me

 

al and then realize that the baby inside you has shifted to sit on the exact place that simultaneously makes you have to pee and vomit. You are full. After dreaming of this giant plate of pasta deliciousness all day. (And you don’t even like pasta.) You will have to-go boxes from every establishment you have passed by over the course of the last three months because, let’s face it, internet. You are full now, but this will not stop you from stopping at 13 more restaurants on the way home and trying again.

 

A Comparison of Symptoms…

In my first trimester, I kept reading about how the second one is soooo much better and that I would have energy and an appetite and would feel like a million bucks in comparison to the first few months of pregnancy. I believed this hype, thinking that there is no way that the second trimester could rival the first in terms of general discomfort. I was sort of wrong, you guys. With the second trimester came a bunch more fun symptoms, and I am not sure which ones are worse.

First Trimester:

1.Okay, so there was the “morning sickness”. All of us preggos know that the term “morning sickness” is a term used to describe the extreme nausea and vomiting that come along with the first trimester changes to your body. I believe that whomever decided it was a good idea to term it “morning sickness” was an asshole (and probably a man) who wanted to trick women into thinking that this discomfort would only last for a short period of the day. Like, from the hours of 8am to 11:59am.  This is a total lie. “Morning sickness” occurs all day long. And sometimes continuously for the entire day. And sometimes, if you are really, really lucky, it lasts beyond the first trimester.

2. Effing heartburn. Holy Jeebus. I used to get heartburn once or twice a year. When it happened, it was unbearably painful and, of course, because I got it so infrequently, I was always unprepared for it and it made me want to kill myself and/or eat an entire bottle of antacids. During my first trimester, the heartburn became daily. Several times, each day. And it was excrutiating and made me not only want to kill myself, but also those around me.

3. FATNESS accompanied by insatiable hunger for really disgusting food that you would never in your life ingest in these quantities. You get fat. Period.

4. Mood swings. Okay, okay. I know. I am insane. Leave it alone.

There are a whole host of other ridiculous and horrible things that happen to your body during this time but I think we all know what we are talking about here. These were the worst for me.

SECOND TRIMESTER:

1. Morning Sickness. You are told this will end, so you begin to feel hopeful and  less suicidal. You still carry saltines in your purse. You will pretend not to need them and will sometimes have to open your car door at traffic lights and vomit outside. But you will not be discouraged. This is the second trimester! This is supposed to be UTOPIA.

2. Heartburn. WILL IT EVER END?! You have been swallowing fire for months and are starting to believe that you could be an ACTUAL fire eater! After all, you should be paid for this sort of agony.

3. FATNESS.  You will get bigger and bigger until you feel you might explode. You will see other pregnant women who seem to enjoy their “baby bumps” but in studying your own, have noticed that, not only is it not as cute on you, but that appears to have doubled in size over the last two hours.

4. THE PAIN! This is a new one. You will never, EVER be comfortable again. You cannot sleep on your back because it restricts bloodflow to the baby, you cannot sleep on your stomach because it will feel like a) you are sleeping on a grapefruit and b) you are smashing your child, you cannot sleep on your right side because your right hip cannot support the weight of your GIGANTIC belly and you cannot sleep on your left side because…well…YOU CANNOT SLEEP ON YOUR LEFT SIDE! Your back will burn from the pain of carrying another PERSON around with you all day, every day for many months. Your head will pound from the lack of sleep you have had over the last several days (weeks?) and you cannot take drugs. Did you hear me?! YOU CANNOT TAKE DRUGS!

5. Mood swings. Check! (But don’t you dare bring it up. I will cry.)

Keep in mind, I was in a fairly severe car accident six years ago wherein I tore some disks in my back, so back pain is not new.

BUT YOU CANNOT TAKE DRUGS!

Please tell me it gets better! AHHHH!

On a sidenote: EAT THESE COOKIES! Holy crap!

Unicorns? Gumdrops?

I am just days away from entering my second trimester. Everyone says that once you enter the second trimester of your pregnancy you are all filled with happiness and pure glee at the idea of having a baby because you can finally eat food without barfing five seconds later or falling asleep in your plate of spaghetti (which also, may or may not be covered with chocolate sauce. Just sayin’.) Needless to say, I was super excited to get through the first part of this experience and on to the good part where it is all unicorns and gumdrops and stuff. I desperately wanted to be able to stay awake past 7:30pm and watch an episode of “The Walking Dead” without vomiting on My Beloved. And I desperately wanted to eat something doused in tomato sauce without feeling, only minutes later, as though I had swallowed a fireball.

And I will tell you, I have definitely noticed some changes. I definitely can stay up past 7:30 now. In fact, I will stay up until 10:30. And then I will sleep for 4 hours until my bladder is on the verge of explosion (which is evidently, common) and I wake suddenly just before I get to that part in the “pee dream” where I am actually ON the toilet and starting to go, saving MB from, yet another example of how my body betrays me (and essentially, him) on a daily basis. After I have relieved my bladder, I will return to bed, where my 27 lb cat will insist on sleeping ON.MY.FACE. Because, he has decided, it appears, that he now has to be by my side (or on my face) every waking second of every day. (I think he does not trust me to gestate.) I will, for an hour, try to avoid eating my cat’s tail or being elbowed in the face by my beloved for one hour at which time, I will leave the bedroom and assume my position on the couch. Watching re-runs of “Three’s Company” at 3 in the morning. I will not fall back to sleep before work because I will be starving and making lists of things I will devour tomorrow as soon as it is an acceptable time to start devouring things. I will “wake up” at 5:30 and report to work. Where it is unacceptable to devour things. And where I will be miserable and full of hate for ten straight hours. I will accept that pregnancy takes you from normal to narcolepsy to insomnia in a matter of days and I will contemplate homicide.

I miss sleeping, internet. Does this get better again?

As for the eating. I noticed that, during the first trimester, there weren’t a whole lot of ridiculous cravings or anything. I did not eat peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, as my grandmother did. I did, however, find that McDonald’s McDoubles are the stuff that dreams are made of. (Dreams not of the pee-dream variety, mind you.) I did not, but could have easily eaten several McDoubles, several times a day and felt fine about it. Because I wouldn’t have had to kill anyone. (Note to significant others of pregnant ladies, If the lady says McDouble, FIND A McDOUBLE. For the love of GOD.) I wanted chocolate sometimes, which is unusual but, I guess not too unusual for most people. And if I said, “Sandwich!”…well, MB knew what to do. But mainly, the urgency was because being hungry is very painful when you have a parasite sucking the nutrients out of all of your meals. Seriously. This shit hurts.

Things haven’t yet changed too much. The only real difference that I am starting to notice is that I can eat things that are a little more acidey and I think I might even be able to do the hot sauce thing. I haven’t tried yet, because, I rather like to feel as though I have a normal, content esophagus, but I am gonna do it soon. I just may need a pep-talk.

In the meantime, is it weird that I feel that I might actually need to eat a bratwurst? Like, immediately?

What? Me? Hostile?

More and more, I am starting to see why pregnant women should not be allowed out into the world (at least during their first trimester). As I have said, no one at work is yet aware that I have “a bun in the oven” (read: a really pissed off alien inhabiting my abdomen) so they are not aware of the dangers they face if they continue to cross me. If you are not a pregnant woman, heed this warning:

 

DO NOT FUCK WITH A PREGNANT LADY.

 

Seriously. She will follow you to your home and set fire to your bed. This is not a joke.

 

Between the intense hunger, (seriously ladies, before your pregnancy, were you ever so hungry that you would steal food from small children or the elderly? Because I am not above it at this point. Hunger HURTS.) the mood-swings (I think I covered those here ) and the extreme vomiting (spontaneous extreme vomiting, of course. New X-Games sport? Thoughts?), how can a girl be expected to deal with stupid people all day? People whose heads are not pounding? People who aren’t gaining 17 lbs per week?  (This is, luckily, not actually happening, but it feels like it is. I exaggerate. Sue me.)

 

I, for one, cannot be expected to be nice to people at work. I can barely be expected to be nice at home, where the love of my life and my de-lovely cat reside. The other day, I was watching The Real World (guilty pleasure, I can’t help it) and I actually envisioned myself stabbing one of the cast-members in the neck. With a screwdriver. Yes, it was that specific. And I ask myself, “is it really worth it to watch a television show that causes violent fantasies surrounding narrow-minded, barely-pubescent imbiciles?”

 

I have decided that my answer is unequivocally yes.

 

Because fantacizing about killing narrow-minded, barely pubescent imbiciles, keeps me from murdering coworkers and loved ones.

Breaking the News

I think that one of the most daunting things about this whole, growing  a human-being thing, is that I will eventually, (not yet, because I am a chicken shit and am only 11 weeks after all) have to tell people that it is happening. I have told a few friends and some family and they have all been very supportive (some, ecstatic and have already started the buying of the baby things) but I am not looking forward to telling everyone else. I have a fair amount of anxiety about doing this for several reasons.

 

1. I am a very private person and have a general distaste for most people. This sounds cold, but I have my close friends and family and I love them, but do I want everyone else touching my belly? No. The idea of having to waddle around my office (full of 23 ladies) and talk constantly about diaper genies, makes me want to stick my head in an oven.  There are a couple of people in my office, in particular, that I would like to avoid talking to about my pregnancy. One of whom is a 31-year-old Mormon who has, by her own admission, never kissed a guy and talks to everyone as though we are heathens and, therefore inferior. (I have nothing against Mormons. I have a lot against really nosy, know-it-all people who are in my business all the time and will inevitably make a huge deal about how I am very vocal about not wanting kids in the first place and GASP! I am not MARRIED! Whatever.  Besides, I have someone who liked me enough to get me pregnant, who’s inferior NOW? Huh?)  I wish there were some way I could turn the baby bump off when I am around people whom I will potentially want to choke. If any of you ladies knows how to do this, please hit me up. I am getting desperate.

 

2. I am not a “kid person”. This is not a secret. I don’t understand people who, as soon as they get pregnant and/or have a baby, instantly forget how to be an actual person. It is like the baby has snatched any ounce of personality and likeability they have ever posessed and they become a walking, talking baby-obsessed freak. I am not afraid I will become that person, but I am worried that people will expect me to. Gross. (I understand that having a baby is a big deal and I don’t take it lightly, but I would like to, at least sometimes, give the illusion that I can still have an adult conversation that has nothing to do with the price of formula.)

 

3. I would like to avoid people, other than the child, calling me ‘mama’. For some reason, the instant you start showing, ‘mama’ becomes your name. Old ladies will call you ‘mama’. I am not above choking old ladies. Just sayin’.

 

I am sure that, if I thought about it more, I could come up with about 3 billion more things that will inevitably annoy the bejesus out of me once everyone knows my little secret, but I will stop here and just be glad in the fact that, currently, my secret is still just that. My tummy, however a little bigger and more annoying, is still just a tummy from what everyone else can see.