Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"You're Starting to Show"

Today I got my very first, "You're starting to show" comments from someone besides my hubby (and for the record he's only made that comment once after I grilled him on whether I looked any fatter or not).  It left me glowing for the rest of the day because it was said by a co-worker I consider to be a friend and not by some random stranger (that would freak me out).

I know a lot of pregnant women who love to have people comment on their bellies and take great satisfaction out of random store clerks and waiters commenting on their impending bundle of joy, but frankly I'm not one of them.  If I don't know you or if I know you, but not your last name, then don't even think about making a comment about my tummy.  It ain't any of your business and it's kinda creepy (unless the other person is pregnant because all pregnant women get cut some slack in my book and we're all in the same club together).

I like my privacy.  I like people not knowing everything about me, which is why I have enjoyed not looking pregnant for so long.  As that is changing because my belly obviously doesn't feel the same sacred need for amenity as I do, I'm dreading the future comments.  Let's just hope that store clerks, acquaintances and waiters keep their mouths shut because I'm more than willing to say the hormones made me do it if I happen to be found strangling some mouthy stranger.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Finally Feel Pregnant

I am 23 weeks along today and let me tell you, I finally feel pregnant.  I'm not so sure if that is good thing.

Although I am overjoyed at being pregnant, I could do without the sickness, the heartburn, the inability to sleep due to the constant kicking of the baby and the feeling of being fat.  I have never once before had heartburn.  I freaked out the first time I experienced it, telling Mark that I thought I was dying because my heart felt so funny.  Being a pro at heartburn, Mark informed me that I was in fact not dying, but simply had a case of heartburn.  Simply my butt - that stuff hurts!  Although the sickness has diminished in intensity (in fact I have stopped losing weight and gained a pound and a half at my last appointment), I still have a few days a week where I'm just wiped out by nauseous.  And yes I know that I wasn't the thinnest before I got pregnant, but I feel extra fat now.  I just feel larger as my stomach is expanding (Mark commented yesterday, "You actually kinda are starting to look pregnant"). 

As if all of that isn't enough, my now already exhausted being is being kept up all night by my little whippersnapper.  I know they say that babies are more active at night because the constant movement during the day rocks the baby to sleep, but I think our baby is just a night owl.  It seems like our child is turning out more and more like Mark with every passing day.  I guess God figures that if I could handle one of him, I should be able to handle another one like him.  I think God puts too much faith in me.

Despite all of these minor annoyances, I can't express enough how happy I am to be pregnant.  Whenever I am feeling especially bad I just think back to how awful I felt after a miscarriage.  There is nothing that can compare to that, so bring on the sleepless nights, the heartburn, the sickness, as all of that is better than having none of it.

The Explosion of the Hormones

Everyone always talks about the out of whack hormones that pregnant women experience.  I thought this was limited to the random bouts of crying that I had been experiencing.  I mean honestly who breaks into full out sobbing when the song "Knee Deep" by the Zac Brown Band comes on?  But, then again this is coming from the girl who breaks into full on sobs when even mentioning the movie Menace to Society.  I mean honestly the guy was just trying to save the little boy who was riding his Big Wheels and he gets killed anyways.  And yes, I am bawling like a baby right now.  Damn Mark for making me watch that movie!

Besides these random crying spells, I haven't been too haunted by the rage of the hormones or at least that is what I thought until Mark made the big mistake of questioning my choice of crib bedding.

On Saturday, we went to Babies R Us because I have been begging him to go for quite some time now.  We need to get the nursery painted soon and in order to do that we need to choose a bedding set, so we can coordinate the colors accordingly.  I had been diligently searching the web for the last three months looking for the perfect bedding set.  Let me tell you, that was quite a chore as it seems they don't really make neutral bedding choices.  But, after spending over forty hours looking for the perfect set, I had finally found the one that I liked the best at Babies R Us.  I wanted Mark to see it in person, (I had shown it to him before three times on the website), before buying it because I wanted him to be involved in this process. 

Well, we get to the bedding section and I proudly show him the bed set that I had spent grueling hours searching for.  His response, "What the hell is that?  Can you get anymore dull and boring?"  Although the steam was building up inside of me, I tried to keep it at bay and asked him which bed set he liked better.  He pointed to a dark blue set with a huge giraffe on it.  "That one is nice.  I mean shouldn't it have animals on it or something cool to look at?"  For the record, the set I choose had a super cute giraffe mobile set that went with it.  I told him that I thought his choice was a little too boy.  Mark's response, "Well that could help increase our chances right?"  I was done.  The steam was exploding out my head and I'm sure I looked just like one of those cartoon characters with their heads half way off their body and steam poring out of the deficit. 

I turned on my heels and hightailed it out of that store faster than you can say, "Pissed off Mama."  Mark, who has a quick fuse and is a yeller, followed me, yelling at me for being overly sensitive and unable to take his suggestions.  I kept on marching out of that store, tears blurring my way, sunglasses lowered over my eyes and an angry pep to my step.  Mark followed like a puppy dog, yapping away.  The ride home was not a PG-13 event, so I will bypass that.  Let's just say that I now understood what hormones people were talking about and I'm sure Mark did too.

You may wonder what bed set we ended up going with. The answer is mine of course.  I went out Sunday morning and bought it first thing.  I also found the paint color that coordinates perfectly with it.  Although I normally would never get something that Mark didn't agree with, let's just say the hormones made me do it. 

You Seriously Have to Drink This?

Those were my exact words to the poor little male tech sitting behind the lab counter.  I don't think he was quite ready for that remark at 8am, but honestly I wasn't ready to down that glass of nasty looking orange stuff.  It looked like a poison concoction created on a mad scientist show with its unnatural orange color, sickly sweet scent and granules of sugar just floating around.  Honestly, they could have put it in a colored cup instead of a clear one, but I guess they wanted to make sure you knew how disgusting the drink looked before consuming it.  Thanks for the concern (can you hear the sarcasm?).

The tech quickly told me to just gulp the drink down as fast as I could and do so within five minutes. As my face began to turn green from the churning of my stomach at the mere thought of ingesting that goo, he smartly added in, "If you throw it up, you'll have to come back and take the test all over again another day."  Although I didn't want to hear that, I'm glad that he told me because I'm pretty sure I would have tossed my cookies otherwise.

I gave him my best version of a half-way smile, grudgingly grabbed the cup and made my way over to some seats across from the counter.  I sat down, took a deep breath and chugged that thing faster than I have ever chugged anything before.  If I had been in a beer shotgun contest, I would have smoked my competition (For the record, I have never shotgunned a beer although that is on my bucket list).  The sugar evaded my taste buds and I began dry heaving right there in the waiting room.  The person sitting a seat away from me backed up to the farthest regions of their chair and several people gave me that "Oh my God - don't let her puke" look.  I took several deep breathes and as the people around me relaxed their worried expressions, I knew that my puking reflex had begun to subside.  I leaned back in the chair, closed my eyes and chanted, "Don't let me puke, don't let me puke" over and over again for the next hour until they called my number to go get my blood drawn.

As soon as my number was called, I hurried back to the lab.  Thankfully, I got an experienced blood sucker as he took one look at my veins and immediately got the little butterfly needle thing (I usually have to endure several pokes before they resort to using this).  I'm not sure if my veins gave this away or my queasy looking face and labored breathing did, but either way, he took my blood and sent me on my merry way.  I made it to the parking lot before I threw up the nastiness, but I held out till after the test.  I think I deserve a cookie for that one.

A Day from H - E - Double Hockey Sticks

On Thursday, August 11th, we had our 21 week appointment.  This also so happened to be a day from hell.

It was my first day back to work for preservice.  On my way to work, I was involved in a hit and run accident.  Some jerk behind me wasn't paying attention to what they were doing, so when I stopped at a red light, they didn't.  It seems they missed the two big red lights in front of them.  Thankfully, they didn't hit me hard as it already slow moving traffic, but I definitely felt the car get tapped.  Next thing I know the car swerves around me and runs the red light.  I didn't want to get out to inspect the damage at a busy intersection, so I waited till the light turned green and then pulled off onto a side street. There was a little dent on my bumper - nothing big, but definitely a ding in my otherwise dent less vehicle.  Since I was now running late to my first day of work, I quickly jumped back into my car and continued on my merry way.  My nerves however did not follow suit and I spent the rest of the day with a knot in my stomach (you know the kind where you can literally feel the anxiety and anxiousness twisting itself up into a thousands little knots?).  All I can say is thank God the baby was okay (I made the doctor check me out real good at my appointment later in the day).

On a positive note, I told my coworkers about my pregnancy.  Up until this point I had only told the director, assistant director and administrative assistant.  I really did not want to tell everyone else as I firmly believe in the power of keeping home and work separate, but I also felt as though the kids in my group and their parents had the right to know that their teacher would not be there for the entire year.  So, I told the fellow staff of my room and by the end of the day a majority of the entire center knew (things spread like wildfire in a workplace comprised of only women).  Although it was nice to hear everyone's congratulations and well wishes, it is also made me a little sad because pretty soon the career that I love would be coming to an end.  Mark and I had talked about enrolling the baby in the program, so I could keep working and also be right next door to the baby.  However, the school is not bending on the six units of Solano classes required for employment.  I had thought they had changed this, but I found out the day before from a frantic call from the director that they had indeed not changed this rule and I needed to enroll myself in classes ASAP.  Thus, I think my working days at the Children's Programs are coming to an end unless they offer me full time employment.  While staying at home with the baby sounds like a magnificent idea, a part of me feels guilty for leaving behind the work I was doing with children who desperately needed extra help.  I know my child will grow up just fine, but I'm not so sure of that about a lot of children in my class.  How do you justify putting the needs of one over the needs of many?  I guess that is where my dilemma of being a stay at home mama comes from.

By 1:30pm, I was done for the day and rushed home to pick up Mark.  He was still sleeping as he was coming off of a night shift, but he woke up and we drove over the doctors.  (I can't tell you how convenient it is to have the doctor's office and hospital less than five minutes away.  If it wasn't, we would be late quite a few times).  I went through all of the usual stuff - check-in, weigh in, blood pressure, pulse, temperature and the usual questions (have I had any pain?  any bleeding?  any sudden loss of fluids?).  The doctor came in, asked a few more questions and had me sit down on the exam table.  She then proceeded to hear the baby's heartbeat (She checked it twice since I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong due to the hit and run earlier).  The heartbeat was a steady 147 to 150.  She then used a paper measuring tape to get the fundal height.  I had been waiting for her to do this since all the pregnancy books say that the doctor does this every visit, but this was the first time.  (The military doesn't do a lot of extra stuff, which I'm thankful for because I don't have to pee in a cup every visit.  They only do stuff when it is important to do so.)  My uterus was measuring a little larger than it should be and with the 85% percentile the baby measured at with the ultrasound, she told me to get my glucose test done in the next week to test for gestiantional diabetes.  I said I would go on Monday since that was my last day off before work officially started.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A View of Our Little Spitfire

Baby's Face

Today was our 20 week ultrasound.  For a lot of parents this is the big moment when they find out whether they are having a boy or a girl, but since we are opting to wait till birth to find out our baby's sex, this was just a great opportunity for us to see our beautiful baby and to make sure it was healthy.  I do have to say that we got mad props from the second ultrasound tech for deciding to wait to find out the sex.  It really made me feel good because so many people have responded negatively to our decision, whether it's just a simple questioning of our intentions to a full on lecture, so it was really nice to have a bit of positive reinforcement. 

Once again I had to go through the torture of drinking water and then holding it.  You would think that with all of the millions of women who have been pregnant, that by now we would have all banded together to come up with a different approach to the ultrasound - one that didn't include torture of the mother.  But, we haven't and so I had to endure the torture.

Mark had worked the night shift, so I woke him up after three hours of sleep to go to the appointment with me.  Also our niece came with us, although there is only one other person allowed in the exam room at a time, so she had to wait in the waiting room.  We got to the appointment just in time and were quickly called into the exam room.  The tech got right to business and after he took the shots he needed to with the full bladder, he let me go use the restroom.  All I can say is thank God.  If he had made me wait any longer with all that pushing on my stomach with the probe thing, I was going to pee all over the exam table.

For the next hour, I laid on the table while he jabbed, poked and prodded my stomach with the probe thing.  Occasionally, I would have an idea of what I was looking at, but most of the time, I had no idea.  I was able to pick up the head, spine and hands, but the rest was foreign to me.  Mark had an even harder time figuring out what he was looking at, but at least he was brave enough to ask what he was looking at.  I really enjoyed hearing the baby's heartbeat, which is so unique and distinct.  It was beating at 145 beats per minute and had a "nice, even rhythm."  The baby is in the 87th percentile for growth - holy mole!  We are going to have one BIG baby.  Mark's response to this, "Good thing you have childbearing hips."  Gosh I hope I've got good hips because I'm going to need all the help I can get.

After an hour, the tech printed out some pictures for us and went to run the images by the doctor.  He came back with a few images he needed to recapture for better clarity.  Just as he was getting started, another tech came in to call him away to another procedure.  She took his spot and I spent the next hour and 15 minutes getting poked, prodded and pinched some more, as well as having to contort my body in weird positions to get the baby to move.  For example, I had to lay on my side with my legs drawn to my chest or had to lay on my back with my knees pushed against my chest to cramp the baby's space, so it would be forced to move.

However, the baby didn't move.  No matter how much she made me move around or no matter how many times she poked my stomach, the baby stayed in the same spot.  I have bruises forming on my stomach from how hard she was poking it, but it didn't seem to phase the baby one bit.  All I can say is our child is going to be a spitfire.

Thus, our original 45 minute appointment turned into a 2 hour and 15 minute ordeal that taught me two things.  One, we have a healthy, normal developing baby.  Two, our child is going to be an awful lot like Mark.  God help me.