Monday, February 28, 2005

Ah. Mental Health Day. How I will miss thee. In the midst of my laying about on Friday, reading and watching Star Trek on Spike (yay DS9!), I finally went through 2 boxes of hand-me-down maternity clothes. These were considerably more appealing than the crap my sister had given me several months ago. It was amazing how much better I looked in maternity shirts than the increasingly too-small regular items from my closet. I guess everything is just more attractive when it's cut to fit the shape of your figure. Some of it was still way too big but some is perfect for right now. I found a cute Shohreh Aghdashloo in 24 pre-gunshot wound shirt. I sorted through it all and stashed away all the slightly ill-fitting or just not something I think is cute items. I'm calling it the Beggars Can't Be Choosers box. We'll see if I end up digging in to it by the end.

I'm definitely feeling more stomach/uterus muscle changes. My abdomen has been really sore and I'm always feeling like I'm about to pull a muscle if I turn too quickly or something. It was especially bad trying to fall asleep last night when I was restless anyway. Hopefully these growing pains won't stick around too long. Or will go away with some stretching. I guess I should hurry up and watch that prenatal yoga tape to find out if there are any specific poses that are particularly good. I've just been going off of years of dance training and various miscellaneous martial arts and yoga classes.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I'm back to not knowing if something is pregnancy related or regular. I woke up crabby this morning. I mean, Hate the World and Everything In It crabby. Do I have to deal with major hormonal mood swings now? Or did I just wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Who knows. At least when you're dealing with teenager style pissiness, little things are able to make you feel better. I have a fresh haircut (apparently pregnancy hormones do make your hair grow wicked fast). I'm taking tomorrow off just to have a mental health day. And Mr. b told me to go buy some new clothes. He remembered from his preggo-lit reading that after you have the baby you'll fit best into your 5th month clothes so now's a good time to start buying stuff. Since it'll get reused for sure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Week 18

Is there a secret handshake for pregnant ladies? Kind of like how motorcyclers always wave to other biker dudes, even if they are currently in their car. Or how black business people give each other the up-nod when they pass in the skyways. I pass other knocked up women and wonder if I need to smile or something. Then again, I'm not *quite* visibly pregnant to strangers yet.

But I guess I'm big enough for Mr. b to start talking to my stomach. The other night he put his mouth right up against my skin and, using his best Orson Welles, boomed, "Hey! This is Daddy!"

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I am so fucking sick and tired of my clothes. I have only 4 pairs of pants that even fit any more. And that number is quickly dwindling. I tried on an old pair of jeans this weekend that are not low rise and I couldn't keep them on for longer than a couple of minutes. I'm wearing the same outfits over and over and over. There was a year in high school where the Will to my Grace bet me that I couldn't wear a different outfit everyday. We defined outfit to be the combination of separate elements and not the separate elements thenselves. Anyway, with my flamboyant and rather clownish style of the time, I won that bet easily. But then it took me years to shake off that mindset. Even well into college I was trying to put my outfits together in new ways. Like my half-asleep or stoned classmates and friends would even notice. And now I'm still feeling the fashion damage. I hate that I can only fit into a handful of my tight t-shirts anymore. I hate that I keep wearing the same basic outfits week in and week out. And I'm not even that big yet! Well, at least maternity clothes will be something new (or hand-me-downed) and different. I'm just not sure at what point you're supposed to switch over from your own stuff to that stuff.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The other day Mr. b announced, "Wow. Your stomach is really hard." Which makes sense when you consider how all my guts have been pushed up and away and are now in an increasingly denser mass. I don't really like looking at the diagrams that show just how all the organs end up getting shoved aside for the uterus. It's a little creepy because that's going on inside me Right Now. But I am certainly noticing three main side effects of this migration. First, my bladder is totally smaller or feeling the pressure or something. Even when I have to go "really bad", there's not much there. Certainly nothing like one of those lengthy Austin Powers pees. Second, pooping is definitely getting harder. I knew that constipation was a standard pregnancy symptom but now I'm also understanding why hemorrhoids are as well. I had always thought they were somehow related to the hormonal state of being pregnant or relegated to extreme pushing during labor. But nope. I bet most of them are just from trying to poop with a crimped colon. And lastly, my stomach is definitely smaller. I end up feeling full after half a meal. It's just not fair. Granted there are still moments when for whatever reason I can pack it in like old times, but those are increasing rare. I'm going to end up grazing literally all day long.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Last night I read the cover story in the current issue of Newsweek. It talked about the way that women are constantly competing with each other on being Supermoms, and ruining their own sense of self-worth at the same time. A lot of elements reminded me of the book Flux, which I read a couple of years ago. In that book the author discussed how women have been told we can have it all so many times that when the reality of not having enough time to actually do everything hits us, we freak out. The magazine dealt with raising children exclusively while the book handled all the major life stages from marriage (or not) to having kids (or not) to retiring (or not). And while I certainly enjoyed both, and got a lot out of them, I am at the tail end of the generation they were discussing. I can see some familiar things but mostly, I just think, "What a bunch of wackos. There's no logic behind that kind of behavior!"

Last week morrigan commented on this very thing. She also brought up the point that these women so often define themselves only by their children. That is crazy talk. Mr. b and I have repeated, so many times that it's almost a mantra, that you should never let having kids stop you from living your life. Sure, things'll be harder and you'll have to make some sacrifices. But if you, say, convince yourself that you can't go camping anymore because you can't bring your child, then you're smoking crack.

I don't understand the need to go into perfectionist overdrive for kids. There was an episode of Desperate Housewives where Lynette ended up taking her boys' Ritalin just to help her compete with the "alpha mom". At the end of her speed addiction arc she broke down to her friends and complained about how easy they made motherhood look. The big revelation? That it wasn't. That they thought they were going to loose it. But that they kept up appearances.

This kind of keeping up of appearances has got to stop. And it's one of the reasons I'm so upset that in all the calls for more communication between moms about reality and less competition between moms about childcare, there is never any mention of the friend-desertion-during-pregnancy phenomena. How can we share our experiences when our supposedly closest friends won't even stick it out during the first stage? Yes, we can commiserate with our friends that already have kids, or Get It even if they don't have any. But from afar, those deserters are going to see a false picture of perfection because they won't be in the dialogue about how much things can suck. And then the cycle repeats itself.

I was in a lot of activities when I was a kid. I had chores to do. But I also had a lot of unstructured free time. I can't imagine trying to fill up my child's every waking second with bullshit to try to get them into college. Some people aren't cut out for college. And there is no way you can know if your infant is going to be one of them. Or your toddler. Or even your elementary school student. The quality time versus quantity time argument is as fraught with logical fallacies as the nature versus nuture argument. All I know is that I'm going to do what makes sense. Common sense people. Let's rediscover it. It makes life so much easier.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Week 17

I have gained zero pounds since my last appointment. Nurse and Doctor were unconcerned but Mr. b was a bit aghast. Well, it's not like I don't eat all the time! It's just that I'm naturally a fairly healthy eater and I didn't start out severely underweight, all anorexic and on diet pills or living off beer and cigarettes or anything. I'm simply your standard tall and broad-shouldered Scandinavian-American mutt. Doc measured my slowly growing bump from belly button to top of pubes. And we got to listen to the whale probe, I mean Junior's heartbeat again. I told Mr. b he needs to sample it. I'm going to make him bring some gear to the next appointment. At the end of the visit Doc announed, "You're perfect." As she was busy writing Routine Pregnancy on my ultrasound form she added, "This is the time in your life where you want to be boring." Alrighty then. Everything is on track. In three weeks we should know if it's a little Major Carter or a wee Captain James T.

Leaving the clinic Mr. b was all about getting me some dinner. I told him my plans to just make quesadillas from the previous night's homemade Mexican leftovers. His face fell. "But we always go out to eat after a baby appointment!" So that's our new tradition.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I'm glad Mr. b can come with me to the doctor this afternoon after all. He had originally accidentally scheduled himself to work. It's not like it's that big of a deal. These are certainly not very exciting appointments. Pee in a cup, get weighed, check my blood pressure, listen to Junior Dax's heartbeat. Not exactly a spectator event. But I need him there. I need to not be doing this alone. Even though I technically am doing this alone. But that's just because of biology. I'm glad that I'm not a knocked up single gal. I'm glad that I don't have a baby daddy who just doesn't care or Get It. Mr. b is very supportive and is excited about it all. So I'm glad that he comes with me to all the boring office visits because the reality of this situation finally hit me last night. I think I've been pretty darn realistic about pregnancy and having an infant. But last night I was suddenly overcome by a wave of fear. And it wasn't even the giving birth fear (which I keep locked up tightly because I'm not even willing to face that one yet--the Bene Gesserit would disapprove). It was the reality fear. I really will have an infant to care for before the year is out.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Apparently I have completely lost my taste for Chinese food. Or else Junior hates it. Or something. Granted I've slowly gotten pickier and pickier about it since first trying fried rice in junior high. But I've always been able to find something I like, even at the cheapest buffets that Mr. b loves so dearly. This weekend he surprised me by suggesting we go to my personal favorite Chinese buffet, way on the other side of town, near our old apartment. And I didn't even like that! Weird.

I've been putting lotion on my stomach. I know it's a total old wive's tale that you can prevent stretch marks by moisturizing but I don't care. I have ridiculously dry skin, especially in the winter, and it can't hurt.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Late yesterday afternoon I was suddenly overcome with this horrible feeling of sickness. I felt feverishly hot and wondered if I needed to run to the bathroom to puke. I was seriously concerned that I would never make it home on the bus. Thankfully I got ahold of Mr. b and he rescued me by fetching me from work. But he was extremely worried that something was wrong with the baby. I honestly felt like it was all in my guts and not girl-parts or baby related in any way. It was more like food poisoning. BP (Before Pregnancy) I very rarely got heartburn and now I seem to get it all the time. I keep a jug of Rolaids on my bedside table. So I think Mr. b nailed it: my lunch just didn't sit well with me and normally, I'd end up with a wicked case of indigestion. But pregnancy turned it to 11.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The darling older Cuban woman that also works on this floor just declared that I'm starting to show. But also that since I'm tall, I won't ever have that big of a belly. I don't know about the second part but I had definitely noticed the first part. Earlier this week I realized that I actually look pregnant now. And not just at the end of the day when my belly's full of chow. At first I thought it was mostly when I was naked, because then you can see the full silhouette of my body. Since I normally wear low-rider pants, they haven't really enhanced any belly size that I could tell. But I've also continued to wear the tightish shirts that make up most of my wardrobe and there's no denying that if you *know*, now there's obviously a pregnant belly under there.

I've been anticipating that I would mostly end up wearing hippie dresses, baby doll and empire waisted, flouncy fabric things. Especially since it'll be hot when I'm biggest. But I also don't have any need to camouflage my pregnancy. Not like my MIL who kept hers hidden from everyone and had planned to give up Mr. b's older brother for adoption. My point being, I don't think I'd go to the extreme of the current Hollywood standard of having your belly actually exposed, but I don't see any issue with continuing to wear form fitting tops. And hell, I might as well flaunt the enhanced bustline while it's there.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Week 16

I'm becoming more and more convinced that I'm actually feeling Junior move and that I'm not just hallucinating it. According to the preggo-lit (which Mr. b reads so I don't have to--good Hunny!) I shouldn't start to notice movement until the end of the fourth month. I'm in the middle of the fourth month. But I've also talked to women with more than one kid and they all say they felt movement way earlier for the second child than the first. Because they knew what to pay attention for. One co-worker described it as feeling butterflies in your stomach. Literally. And that's what I keep feeling.

Back when I first found out and was noticing other physical stomach weirdnesses, Auntie G postulated that I was hyper aware because that's the part I was freaked out about most. The having something growing inside of me bit. So I'm definitely continuing to stretch my consciousness and reach out for some sign of the life that's poaching off me. But I'm also much more used to the notion of being pregnant. Probably actually being pregnant has helped me there. So I wonder if I'm more desperate to be sure of the fetal movement because I'm desperate to feel life inside me. Because of loosing Tron.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I've sort of been making it my mission to tell other ladies about the desertion of friends thing. I had conducted a little survey of friends and co-workers to find out if they too had been abandoned by any friends. Sadly, 90% of them had. I find that appalling. We're supposed to band together sisters! Fight the power and whatnot. But as soon as someone gets knocked up and you're not ready to face your own life decisions, you turn and run? Pathetic. For instance, Auntie G was an extremely socially active chick, going out almost every night. She told me that when she got pregnant her phone stopped ringing. In fact, out of all her no-kids friends, Mr. b and I were two of three that didn't treat her differently. That is just wrong. So I've been warning the women I know that are considering trying for kids in the next year or two. Just so they have a heads up. Because I sure wish I had known about that little side-effect. Not that it wouldn't have made it feel like less of a betrayal, but at least I would have been prepared for it. But Mr. b is right, new friendships and renewals of older friendships will take their places. And that is already happening.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Week 15

People have been telling both Mr. b and I how you get this amazing burst of energy in your 2nd trimester. When the hell is mine coming?! I'm just exhausted this week. Maybe it's because this has been a particularly difficult week, both at work and with the loss of Tiny Tron. My emotions are definitely at the surface. Then again, I can't tell if the rawness of my feelings is entirely grief related or if it's pregnancy induced. Probably both. But I am definitely more emotional and it takes more effort to go back to my formerly rational self. I was previously so logical that my friend used to call me a Vulcan. How the hell do Vulcan women get through pregnancy without going nuts trying to suppress all the extreme emotions?! Well, that's certainly a storyline that won't be covered in Enterprise now that it's canceled so I'll just have to wonder.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I've been worrying that grief might hurt Junior somehow. I know it's unfounded and totally ridiculous but I'm also still not in the most sound state of mind. Yet I'm too far along to deal with loosing the pregnancy now. My sister reminded me that she was pregnant when our grandfather died. And A1 turned out just fine! I'm definitely becoming closer to my sister. I'm not entirely convinced that it has only to do with me expecting. Part of it is her own very slow maturity.

Mr. b and I did decide that we're not going to have the triple/quadruple screen blood test. There are just too many false positives from that test that would then freak us out and force us to have to undergo more intensive testing. And what could we do about it anyway? The Tron ordeal was enough for us to go through.