Thursday, January 31, 2008

Quick update...

Hey everyone...Just wanted to let you know that today's doctor's appointment went fine. I'm up three pounds since last time (still less than the average pound per week, but they didn't seem concerned so I'm ok if they are) and the baby's heart sounded good. I swear I could listen to it all day. Of course, that sneaky baby moved while we were listening so the doctor had to move around to find it again. I'm still not big enough to measure, I guess, because I saw the tape measure on the desk but she didn't use it. Next time, I guess.

I just saw a picture of Jessica Alba on the front of a magazine at the grocery store. She's pretty big already, and she came out with her news just a little before we did. Only reason I remember is because we were in Florida when she did it. So either she's a bit further along than me, or I'm just incredibly lucky to stay as small as I have so far. I'm just happy there are a couple other cool celebs pregnant right now, like Nicole Kidman and Gwen Stefani. It's just fun to see famous people with their baby bellies, although they'll obviously be much better dressed than me throughout :) Oh well...hopefully off to Old Navy this weekend to rectify that. I feel like I'm buying a lot of stuff, but when you go from a big closet to this handful of wearable stuff, it's a little scary. I'll settle in eventually.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Juno

So we got to watch "Juno" the other night. Interesting movie if you haven't seen it yet. And if you haven't heard about it, it's about a 16 year old that gets pregnant after some experimentation with her best friend and decides to give the baby up for adoption. Overall I liked it, but there was one plot twist I didn't enjoy very much. Some of the writing was fantastic, with some really funny zingers, but I will say that some of it brought to mind the criticisms of Dawson's Creek way back in the day...that the characters were a little too intense and intelligent to be believable high schoolers. I got a bit of that in "Juno" as well, but then again, it was about a topic that is really beyond high school maturity level anyway...or at least, it should be. To be honest, I couldn't even fathom being pregnant at sixteen. High school was such a hyper-emotional time anyway, and that was just about annoying first-love type stuff. Not that that stuff wasn't traumatic, because it was, but compared to having a baby? Yikes.

Some stuff in the movie was perhaps a little more flippant than I figure it would be in most real life situations (like her parents handled it REALLY well), but seeing a movie like that while pregnant myself added another dimension to it. The ultrasound scene made me smile, and I couldn't help but laugh at the revelation that babies have fingernails, that Juno was made aware of outside the women's clinic before she went in to "procure a hasty abortion." The fingernail thing reminded me of all these emails I get each week about the baby's development...all the minute details about what's forming this week, etc. This week the baby is the size of a bell pepper, by the way. I suppose stuff like fingernails does make a baby seem a lot more real, doesn't it?

I also saw "Knocked Up" when I was pregnant, albeit early on. There were a couple things that stuck in my head from that one (still trying to get the delivery sequence out)--the original ultrasound and when they tried to have sex when she was 5 or 6 months along. The original ultrasound was misleading, at least in our case. We were convinced when we went for ours that we were about 8 weeks, which is what she was in the movie, and all she saw was a blob. As evidenced by our ultrasound, which was actually at 10 weeks, there was way more than a blob. As for the sex thing, I'll be honest...it freaked me out a little to see a woman with a baby belly trying to have sex. Considering I'm rapidly developing a baby belly, I'm going to have to get past that (and hopefully Craig was fine with it from the beginning!). It's not that she didn't look good or anything, but let's just say there's a reason why most forms of mainstream sexual media don't focus on pregnant women. It's just...odd. Beautiful in its own way, but odd nonetheless.

That said, not all pregnancy movies give me a complex. I'm very much hoping to stumble upon "Look Who's Talking" playing on cable sometime soon...I think I'd appreciate Mikey's in-womb commentary that much more :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not a thing to wear...

I'm still struggling with my figure and how to dress it. It seems like every day my stomach is getting a little bigger, but it's still not round enough to look like I'm actually pregnant. I still just look like I've put on some weight, all in my stomach. I still contend that the difference between looking fat and looking pregnant is a distinct horizontal crease in the belly button region. It's from the natural separation of my rolls of fat when I sit (dating back pre-pregnancy). Right now I still have that crease. Once the baby pushes its way up, it should fill it in.

Depending on what I'm wearing, the belly is still not that noticeable. However, tight things are pretty much a no-no at this point if I'm not wearing pants that camouflage the chub and provide a nice transition for my shirt. For example, I'm wearing a fitted shirt today, but because of where my pants fall, you can't really see much belly...except that the pouch below the waistline is bigger than it used to be. But really, I suppose I just look average now.

Last night I was at the gym, and I brought my loosest tank top with me. It's still a little fitted, but compared to the stuff I used to wear, it's pretty loose. Again, it wasn't bad, but I felt like I fit right in with the folks who are still getting into their new year's resolution trips to the gym. Guess I'm stuck with baggy t-shirts now, particularly when I go to class and look in a mirror for the entire hour.

I'm slowly but surely running out of pants that fit, and I think I need to go get some new panty hose. I still don't think I'm big enough for my one pair of maternity pants, but I do need to try them on again. For now I'm stuck with a couple pairs that just fit, a couple pants from my heavier days that are still a little big, and any elastic waist skirts (assuming I get the bigger panty hose). Shirts I can make work here and there, but I did go out over the weekend and buy a bunch of regular tops (all on clearance) with empire waists and flowing bottom halves so I didn't feel like my only other option was maternity wear. Even still, it's a big step to take. Almost like, once you go there, you can't go back. I know that's not the case, but it's just odd. Getting up every day and trying to figure out what to wear is torture...and I thought it was bad before when I was just sick of everything in my closet. Ugh.

And I know that one of these days when I try to wear normal clothes, I'm going to run into the obstacle I've been waiting for...my belly will be out enough that my belly button ring will be visible. Right now it's still hiding in the belly button crease, but when that's pushed out farther, I'll have to finally make the call to take it out. I'm ok with it, but hey, it's been part of me for over 7 years now...another big step. I'm sure that will be a whole post in and of itself...so stay tuned :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Playing around...

I wanted to check out the photo features of this blog so I knew what the heck I was doing once I had something real to post. I'm getting close to a belly shot at some point, but honestly, right now I still look like I've just been eating too many cheeseburgers. No one needs to see that...and really, I can still hide it pretty well. I'll post something when there's something to see.

However, in the meantime, I figured I'd test out the photo features by uploading the "official" first baby picture, from way back at 10 weeks. We get a new one in another three weeks or so, the one that determines (if we were finding out) what the baby's sex is. As of now, we're still not, so you don't have to worry about asking :)

In the meantime, here's a "before" picture of me from our trip to Florida in December. See, I'm still a kid at heart :) I know you can't see much detail, but rest assured my stomach was pretty flat...so consider that the starting point.


I guess that's all I've got for today. Have a great weekend if I don't get around to posting...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Concerns...

I hope the blog title didn't freak anyone out...everything's fine. My brain, however, has fast-forwarded a few months and is starting to think about some of the less fun parts of parenthood. It's mostly the result of the two blogs I read everyday, the ones that I originally mentioned sparked this creation. Both women who write them had kids a while back, and it's interesting to read some of the things they're going through, knowing that it'll be me in the coming months. They've both had their share of issues (one got that nasty MRSA while in the hospital (the one that's already a cancer survivor, no less) and the other is a single mom), but everything seems much better everytime they post pictures of their cute little boys...both are adorable. And isn't that what it's all about anyway?

Well, lately there have been a couple things that have come up on the blogs that already had me worried in the back of my mind. The first is marital difficulties after the baby is born. The thing is, Craig and I have a great marriage...we're genuinely happy and have a great time together. Sure, Craig's job gets in the way a lot, but maybe that makes the time we do have that much better because we know it's limited. And anyway, if he never had that job, we wouldn't be together. But you hear periodically about marriages that crap out right after kids because of the added stress. Despite the strength of our marriage currently, every time I hear stuff like that I cringe a little. No one goes into parenthood expecting it will make them hate each other, right? We'll obviously do all we can to avoid being a statistic...but it's still such a scary, unknown world. My fear has always been that I'll be left to do the vast majority of the child care because my work schedule is shorter and more normal. Craig has to work games, go on the road, etc., and that means a lot of nights and weekends of solo parenting. I can see how that could get frustrating and exhausting. I know he will do everything in his power to devote as much time as possible to our new little family, so on that front I'm not that worried. But then when I read in this one blog that some major life changes (a new baby, new house and new NYC commute) were causing some marital strife (she hasn't elaborated beyond that yet), it was a little scary. After all, this was a relationship that survived cancer. Yikes. Maybe it's not that serious, but it still gets you thinking. Hopefully Craig and I will remain blissfully in love no matter what parenthood throws at us, but there's no denying that big changes are ahead and we need to get ready for the challenge!

My second issue is day care. This is a big one on a number of fronts, from fears about the staggering costs (which I keep hearing about from all over) to how horrible it's going to be to drop off our six week old newborn and then sit at work for 8-9 hours a day...then come home, spend a few measley hours with the baby before it (and we) fall asleep. It all just seems so sad.

While we haven't done major calculations as far as daycare, we know we can't afford to have one of us not working. But however the budgeting goes, we'll just have to make it work. It seems horrible to not have kids just because you can't budget around daycare, you know? What happens when there's more than one to pay for, I have no idea. Hopefully we'll be in a different situation by that point and it will be less of an issue by then.

Picking a daycare scares the crap out of me...just too many stories on the news about psychos working at them or running them. We might have a bit of an "in" for one, but we haven't even gotten close to looking into it yet to know if it's a good one.

So overall there are a lot of scary things coming up...and while I know we'll have to confront them one of these days, right now I just want to stay calm and enjoy our relative sanity while we still have it...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nothing new...

I don't really have anything to report today, but I've decided that even if I don't have anything to post, I'm going to make an effort to somehow reward those that decide to visit with something. So...

If you want to go back to your childhood (for some of us young folk), here are two great sites:

http://www.thuletrail.com/ - This is a modernized online version of the old Oregon Trail computer game. It's really goofy but I couldn't help but laugh thinking about all the ways people used to get sick and die in the original game. "Zeke has dysentery." (Oh, and I just looked up what dysentery is...ewwww.)

http://www.virtualnes.com/ - Click on the letters at the top of the screen to be whisked away to a magical land where your original Nintendo console still works! This site has recreated a ridiculous number of original Nintendo games for online play, and it is amazing. I'm a huge Super Mario freak and all three are on this site. It's amazingly close to the real thing. The only thing I've noticed is that you can't make Mario duck and slide at the same time like you can in the original. But other than that, the site is truly awesome. Sorry, no Duck Hunt, though.

Enjoy...maybe I'll have something better to report tomorrow :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Waiting for movement...

Now that we're into week 17 (the baby is the same weight as a turnip this week, by the way...they must have run out of fruits and vegetables that are comparable in size), I'm getting a little anxious to start feeling the baby move. They say it's usually anywhere between 16 and 22 weeks, so I may still have a decent wait. I'm thinking I'll be sort of in the middle because I'm thin (which means that I should feel things earlier) but this is also my first baby (which means that the muscles are firmer and I'll feel less early on).

I've had feelings somewhere in my belly periodically in the last few weeks, but honestly, it's so hard to know if it's just gas bubbles or actual movement. Supposedly they feel the same until you get used to the feeling. I've been trying to figure it all out based on the location of the fluttering feeling...it actually sort of feels like a muscle spasm, like when your eye gets a twitch or something. The optimist in me wants to believe it's actual movement, but the pessimist in me thinks back to an evening back in the summer where an area of my stomach visibly twitched on and off for about 20 minutes...but obviously that was either gas or a muscle issue. The feeling I've had lately is really similar but not as freakishly visible as it was that evening. But that just proves that one can masquerade as the other.

Even though I have fears that the movement is going to keep me up at night (more than, say, trying to stay on my side or 5am bathroom trips already do), I'm eager to know for sure someone's in there and at least have a clue that all is well. I really think that has to be where the bonding starts, when the baby really makes its presence known without hiding behind other devices like morning sickness, exhaustion, or cravings (none of those yet, in case you were wondering...at least, nothing beyond what I experienced in my pre-pregnant life). Knowing that you're feeling something and it's actually the baby, not just caused by the baby, has to be pretty stinkin' cool. And I'm getting tired of waiting for doctor appointments to have that sort of direct connection, you know?

In any event, I'll let you know when it happens :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Baby Steps

I was totally planning on posting this past weekend to make up for my lack of posting late last week, but alas, it never happened. It turned out to be a pretty busy weekend, after all. Much of the weekend was focused on more early planning stuff for the baby. Some went well, others...not so much.

Friday night I went shopping with my cousin Lori for more maternity clothes. I wanted to check out Goodwill and see if they had anything, since you really can't beat paying a couple bucks for something you might only wear for a few months. It seemed like something more fun to do with someone else, as well, so it worked out perfectly that Lori came along. I managed to find three shirts (one that I can't wear in the presence of my mom, because it's tight--it's just a plain, purple, long-sleeved t-shirt that I figure might work well under stuff, or just around the house--but I know my mom's feelings on tight maternity clothes!) and a pair of workout shorts. Grand total for all four pieces: $8.00. Nice. We then moved on to Target and I managed to find two more shirts on clearance (my favorite ones so far). I also got a pair of black pants. They weren't on sale but Lori offered up a $5 off coupon (thanks, Lori!!) so I figured that was a good time to buy them and keep them on hand for the day I realize nothing else fits. Overall it was a successful trip.

Saturday I spent a good chunk of the day putting together our new desk. The desk is coming into the office to replace my old desk and our old computer cart. Based on the future setup of the room once it becomes the office/guest room, my old desk wouldn't work and the computer cart didn't have enough storage. The desk actually works perfectly in the area it's in (an L-shaped corner...one side of the desk extends out farther than the other), and assembly went well right up until I put the drawers in and nothing lined up. Crooked drawers, mis-aligned sides. Ugh. We finally got it looking ok after much angst, but now I'm extra concerned about putting together baby furniture, despite so many successful IKEA assemblies in the past. But the desk fits everything we needed it to fit, so at the end of the day, all is well.

Sunday we took a little trip out to the Waterloo outlets to make an exchange at the Nike store and check a couple other places, namely the Motherhood Maternity outlet. That didn't go so well. They had a lot of cute stuff for spring (I'm trying to get winter stuff right now because if I don't find stuff before it's out of the stores for the season, I might be spending March and April a little chilly), but clearance was a bit more hit and miss. I did try on a couple pairs of pants (no on both) and even messed around with the belly pad they have in the fitting room to simulate later stages of pregnancy...but that just ended up being a little scary and I gave up for the day. Neither Old Navy or the Gap had any maternity stuff, which was a bit of a bummer. Online shopping at both places provides a lot of decent options, but considering how tough it is to buy clothes when I can try them on, online scares the crap out of me. I might not have a choice, though.

Overall it was a good weekend of baby steps for our planning, but we still have so much to do. Thankfully I have weekends off now so I have some time, but I know how quickly they can pass. It's already heading toward the end of January, after all...and our six month cushion is rapidly turning into five months. Wow...time flies!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Keeping positive

I've been realizing lately that I've been keeping a pretty positive attitude about this whole pregnancy thing. Despite all of the less-than-fun stuff that goes on during pregnancy, overall I'm feeling pretty good about this experience so far. I was always worried that something would totally freak me out and make me completely miserable for the duration, but so far that hasn't happened (knock on wood...).

It probably seems like I've been doing a lot of complaining on this blog, but that's really only because having something to complain about spawns more thoughts than sheer joy, and those thoughts generally end up on here for lack of anything better to discuss. Sure, it wasn't fun to feel nauseous for a month, or to have my digestive system turned upside down, or to be tired a lot of the time (still), or to be banned from certain foods and beverages...but I know it's all worth it. And, I guess that's what's important. I know that I have some tough months ahead of me as well, but for now I can still enjoy all of this. There's a lot to look forward to, and even some of the less fun stuff (like my expanding waist line) has its own mystique despite the negatives that might come along with it.

I think I've definitely benefitted from being around a lot of people that enjoy parenting and the pregnancy experience. I haven't heard many horror stories, and most people have had a good sense of humor about some of the crazy things that happened to them while they were pregnant. That definitely helps. And it helps even more when people are like, "Yeah, it's the best thing you'll ever do," without sounding fake or overly enthusiastic. The people I believe the most are the ones that have this peaceful, appreciative tone...like they know that what they've experienced with their kids, for better or worse, is one of the true wonders of this world. People that sound too flowery make it seem like they're sugarcoating things for my benefit...or they've been so traumatized by parenthood that they've tried to ignore all the bad stuff and and are overcompensating. But the good stories and genuinely fulfilled people around me make this experience that much more positive.

Long story short, I'm going to have bad days...like all this week when I had trouble dragging my butt off the couch in the evenings. But as long as there still seems to be this aura of happiness beneath it all, I can't complain. I'm pretty blessed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not sure I should keep reading...

Reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting" has been an interesting experience. I read a bunch the last couple days and am caught up to where I currently am in the pregnancy...somewhere in the middle of the 4th month. While all of the information is probably good stuff to know, for this pregnancy or future ones, there isn't a ton of stuff that I wasn't somewhat aware of before. As I had imagined, the web houses a lot of the same stuff. Anyway, there are two issues I'm having as a result of reading: 1) I've found out about potential problems that I never knew existed; and 2) I'm feeling a little disgruntled about the stuff they consider "normal".

For point #1, I'm not about to lose my mind. It's just a little scary knowing these disorders exist. There was one that talked about some metabolic disorder that only makes itself known after birth. The moment that baby starts eating, it's putting its life at risk. Yikes. I know better than to assume that this will happen to our baby, but still...I probably would have been happier not knowing that. There's also pregnancy complications in there, and I'm sure there are more to come as things only get dicier from here on out. It's good to know about these things just in case symptoms start popping up...in the unlikely event that they do. However, even for the stuff that usually takes place earlier than the point I'm at now, it's this scary little thing in the back of your mind for the next time around. Ugh.

And for point #2...They give you a bunch of generalizations, like where your appetite should be, or how bad the nausea should be, or what things might be concerning you emotionally. The big annoying one right now is the fact that my trips to the bathroom should be decreasing at this point. Apparently they're supposed to be worse early on because of increased fluids, as well as the placement of the uterus within the pelvis. At the point I'm at now, the uterus is supposed to be moving higher in the pelvis and giving some relief to the bladder. The usual stereotype of the pregnant woman having to pee constantly is usually an image from later on, when the baby is taking up a lot of room and pressing on the bladder once again. Well, I swear I've had to go more this week than I have at any point thus far. Yeah, it's a little thing, but in the middle of the workday when you have to stop working and walk by the same receptionist every time you have to go, it's annoying.

Let's just leave it at this....when you're on this end of things, generalizations are bad. They're handy when you're in the majority, but otherwise...ugh.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bring on the belly...

I'll probably kick myself in a few weeks for saying this, but I think I'm ready to start showing. I know I should be happy that I still look thin, and I am (though without clothes to camouflage things, it's a slightly different story). I should be holding on to every last minute of thinness while I still can, before I have months of a baby belly and months beyond of stubborn post-baby belly. But here's my thing...I feel funny doing "pregnant" things without looking pregnant. It makes me feel like I look a little too eager. Over the weekend I finally bought "What to Expect When You're Expecting". At the same time Craig bought this book, "So You're Going to be a Dad". That's more of a comedy book and he thought it might be fun to read. Anyway, it just felt silly buying those books, for some reason. Like the clerk is looking at us going, "Pregnant, ha! They must just have found out and they're running here to get some literature!" Or when we went to look at the nursery decor, it just felt funny to do it without a belly as proof.

When I tell people I'm 16 weeks along (baby's an avocado this week, by the way!), they look at me quizically, like, "Where?" And again, while I can appreciate that to some extent, eventually it's just going to get awkward if I don't pop sometime soon. Of course, then I'll probably have to go through that awkward phase where I just look fat. At least right now I can still pull off "thin"...but I know there will be that phase where it's not quite obvious it's a baby belly...but I'm no longer thin, either. Thank goodness for bulky winter clothes, I guess.

This feeling even extends to the gym, where I feel like a total wuss. I have to keep my heart rate down, so I end up doing a lot of slow elliptical and treadmill work. Just like I've looked with disgust for years at skinny girls doing 15 min. of work at half the speed I'm at, people are probably like, "Why's she even bothering?" But with a baby belly I turn into a hero..."Wow, look at that girl, pregnant and all, and she's still here working out!" At least, that's what I think when I see pregnant women working out.

So, as much as I'm dreading the day I wake up and poof!...I have a gut bigger than any I've ever experienced, being able to feel a little pregnant (in a good way) will hopefully come soon...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Monday!

Hey there...Not much to report today. It's a dreary Monday and it's trying to snow here in Rochester. Everyone seems tired today, me included. Still have to drag my butt to the gym later, though.

No more maternity shopping over the weekend, though Craig and I did take our first look into the world of nursery decor. I must say, I'm a bit cranky. Almost everything out there is gender specific. And even if it's supposed to be neutral, it's not. There isn't much green or yellow out there that isn't paired with predominantly pink or blue. Safari animals are way overdone, and any animals in general just tend to be slanted toward one gender or another. Fortunately, we think we're leaning toward Baby Snoopy stuff, or more specifically Snoopy & Family. Not only are the colors good for both sides, but it includes Snoopy's sister, Belle, to girl it up a bit. The stuff is really cute...the only thing is, I haven't seen it in stores lately. I haven't really looked hard, but our Burlington didn't have it and the last time I was at Babies 'R' Us, I didn't see anything there either. But honestly, it's the only thing I've seen that I really like, and fortunately, the Snoopy thing is perfect for us, for those of you aware of Craig's (and now my) obsession with all things Peanuts. But I must say, I'm disappointed that there isn't more plain stuff...no animals or themes, just colors and patterns that don't lean one way or another. In this day and age where there's something out there for everyone, it really seems like those of us who aren't finding out really get the shaft.

On the other side of things, allow me to say that I'm relieved that my wedding planning days are over. I spent some of my lunch today looking through bridesmaid dresses online for my friend Lois' wedding (Hi Lois!). Obviously it's not my ultimate choice, but since we can't physically go out and shop together right now, I offered up my services to take a look around and see what's out there. There's a lot of dresses and many of them are beautiful, but it took me back to those days five years ago when I was trying to find a dress that would work on all the girls, be within a reasonable price range, and fit the look I wanted. It's a tough call and I'm glad those days are over. There are just too many strapless dresses out there for my liking. Makes it tougher to find good strapped ones. I'm so excited for the wedding (and extremely happy that I'll have two months to lose the baby weight before it), but wow...it's going to be a tough decision for Lois! Hopefully my feedback will help!

Have a good day...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Milestone or false hope?

So...I just bought my first maternity clothes. I didn't go out intending to buy them, but I hadn't been shopping in a while so I figured I'd look around a little bit, even just at normal clothes, to see if there were any styles that might work for this in between time. I went to Target to look at a couple things, and figured I'd stroll through the clearance racks. I'm well aware of their Liz Lange maternity line, because half the time I'd pull something cute off the clearance racks, I'd look at the tag and realize it was maternity. Disappointing, because seriously, that stuff was cute! The last time I browsed the racks I was pregnant, but it was so early that I couldn't bring myself to buy any of the cool stuff I found.

Today I felt "legal", so I figured I'd give it another shot. I found a pair of pants, a couple really cute dressy tops, and a dress to try on. The dress was a no-go (but it was less than $7!), but everything else had promise. I was ready to buy the other three pieces, but then realized the pants were not clearance priced (though I swear I've seen them on the clearance racks before, and I didn't see them in the regular maternity clothes...but they scanned full price). The pants were a size 2 (nice to know that transfers to maternity clothes) and were a little loose in the belly (duh), but overall, they fit pretty well. I'll hold off for now, though. I can keep checking and find other pants some other day. They do have the cutest pair of cargo pants there, though :) The two tops were less than $6 each, and again, despite not knowing what my body's going to do in the next few months, I think the fit was good enough to risk it. I have 90 days to change my mind and take them back, so I think that's reasonable.

Let me just say, it's really tough to dress a body you don't actually have yet! As ok as things seemed to fit today, I have no idea what my body (all of it, not just the belly) is going to do in the next couple months, so who knows? However, the clothes that are out there are pretty cute, and I'm probably the least afraid of maternity wear than I've ever been, so this is good timing. Nice to know that there are some clothes out there that will potentially fit me when the time comes, and I haven't even tried the thrift store route yet. Crazy, but I'm cool with it so far!

Have a good weekend, and go Knighthawks!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Let's Limbo!

A while back I mentioned how timing is such a major element of this whole process. Limbo is another. Obviously this whole experience puts your life in a bit of limbo, merely because you have no idea what your life is going to be like once that baby is born. Vacations, big purchases, your will to even leave the house...like the commercial says, "Having a baby changes everything." But you really can't worry about the long term stuff. When certain things feel right again, you'll know, I guess.

Right now it's the little things that are getting to me. Originally it was living this "double life", where we had this major secret but weren't telling anyone. "What's new?", they ask. "Oh, nothing," we reply...but inside it was like, "Holy crap, you won't believe what we just saw on the ultrasound!", etc. Most of that awkwardness is done now, since almost everyone knows. Best friends have finally been told, word is trickling around work, and random people are finding out from sources even we're not sure of. It's just wondering if they've heard or not when you walk up to someone you haven't seen in a while. Easy in comparison.

Even before the pregnancy, I was feeling sort of funny about shopping for clothes. Why buy something if you have no clue if it will fit you by the next time that season comes around? That issue is still with me now. I could probably go out and buy some nice flowy tops and stuff, but then I have to look at all the "normal" clothes, too. Pants and skirts are what's really getting to me. My pants still technically fit, but by mid-afternoon when I've been sitting at my desk and the gas bubbles from lunch start cropping up (I know, that's gross...but seriously, that's pregnancy), those pants are feeling a tad tight. And yet, I'm not at the point of maternity pants. And really, I'm not letting myself enter the world of non-maternity elastic waist pants. I just don't want them around as my safety net afterward. I probably need to pull out my fat pants from about 10 pounds ago and see if they feel better, but the whole thing is just weird...really takes what little fun there was out of shopping. That will get better soon, though, I hope. I will have a whole wardobe to replenish!

The other tough thing is the baby prep stuff. It still feels too early to run out and buy a baby name book, or even start looking up sites online. What about the baby's room? As I mentioned, we're trying to figure out the best way to rearrange our office to include at least one twin bed, but at what point do we actually make the switch? I don't know if it's a superstition thing, or not wanting to look too eager, or what. I'll admit that I've always wondered about people who lose a baby late in pregnancy or as a newborn to SIDS, and what that empty nursery must do to them. It's got to be torture. And not that I think that'll happen to us, but week 15 of 40 seems too early for a lot of that stuff. However, my fear is that things will get busy--Craig is now working weekends even more with the start of lacrosse season tomorrow, eventually I'll start getting less mobile--and suddenly we'll be a month or so out and have a million things to do. Good thing the Amerks probably won't make the playoffs, eh?

Still, I'm just trying to enjoy every moment. It's not always easy, but we've got some exciting months ahead of us!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Time Check

I had a scary realization last night while enjoying the lovely weather (seriously, I'm not being saracstic...it was in the 60s the last two days...of course today we have 60mph wind gusts instead). I was thinking how nice it was to walk out of the grocery store and not shiver while loading my bags, and came to the sad conclusion that I might not experience that again until at least April, but maybe as late as May. And by then, I'll probably be waddling out of Wegmans, big as a house. Yikes. A good "yikes", but a "yikes" nonetheless.

As I thought about it further, I started thinking about Easter. It's early this year, and even though winters here tend to drag on, I have this feeling that it'll be here before we know it. It's only 2-1/2 months away. And then, imagine my shock as I realized that only three months after that, we'll have a baby! Whew. I know it will be like anything else. Time will fly sometimes, and other times, we'll wonder why it's going so slow. We were on a similar timeline back when we got married--our 5th anniversary is two days before the due date. I remember back then that that last month dragged quite a bit...but in retrospect, those 10-11 months of planning went so fast! I'm sure here it will be the same thing. That last month (when I'm huge and it's hot) will probably drag, but my hope is that we'll be busy enough getting things ready that it'll speed it up a bit. Another thing I remember from our wedding is that when we got back from our honeymoon at the end of the first week of July, it didn't seem possible that the 4th of July (the peak of summer in my mind) had passed and summer was already on its downswing. I'm sure the same thing will happen this year...all of the hubbub surrounding the birth and getting settled, and all of a sudden it'll be heading toward the end of July and we'll be saying, "Where has summer gone?" Wishing away the days all through June does that!

My only solace in that is that I will be off on maternity leave for a good chunk of the summer, so I should have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the weather. Lots of walks, relaxing outside (baby in the shade, of course)...it's something I've wanted to do since I started working full time...and now I'll get to do it...for the best reason possible!

But thank goodness we still have about six months left...we have a LOT to do! Issue #1 - Figuring out how to fit the contents of our guest bedroom into our office...without taking much out of the office. Hmmm...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pregnancy in the Internet Age

It's been occurring to me a lot lately that being pregnant now is so much different than it was, say, when I was born. Ultrasounds (and the resulting effect of knowing your baby's gender) weren't around back then, and I'm sure there are thousands of products out there now that cater to pregnant women and their various wants and needs. And sometimes I wonder how registries ever worked back in the day, before bar code scanners and self-serve kiosks. Heck, were there even registries for baby showers back then?

Obviously one of the more important inventions since my birth is the Internet. And more and more I'm realizing how it makes pregnancy in this day and age different. Take this blog, for example. Back in the day you had to talk to people on the phone or mail them letters and photos if you wanted to keep them up to date. Now I just post on here and voila! I've reached however many people, and done it all for free. And yes, I will get around to posting photos when there's something to show, I promise.

Then there's the book, What to Expect When You're Expecting. I've been pondering buying it with a Barnes and Noble gift card I have, but I'm not sure I need it considering the vast amount of pregnancy info on the net. I may still pick it up as an easy reference, or just as another (official) source, but with so many sites out there, I'd have to think it's ubiquity amongst pregnant women has gone down a bit. With or without it, it's nice to know I can hop on Yahoo Answers or any number of pregnancy sites' community forums and look up whatever questions I have. Even if they're not official answers, you tend to get enough "My doctor said..." or general experience answers to figure out what tends to be the trend.

One element I've been enjoying so far is the weekly email that I get from one site. Each week it tells me what the fetus is doing this week, whether it's getting taste buds or seeing light or growing like a weed. It also gives you a common object to compare your baby's size to. Last week it was a lemon, this week it's an apple. Always makes me wonder what the next week will bring? Will week 16 be a grapefruit? Or will we graduate from fruit to some other genre? It's quite entertaining and something to look forward to every week.

I'm sure there are more, but that's enough for now. Pretty crazy to think about, but let me tell you...there's one invention I'm glad exists now, and it has nothing to do with the Internet...two words....disposable diapers!

P.S. - I found out today that two other women in my office are also pregnant. They're sisters, and both have already been through this before, but we're all due within a month or so of each other, so this could get interesting :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

A good old fashioned update

No philosophical thoughts today, so I'll just give you a basic update. We're nearing 15 weeks, and I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. All is well, heartbeat is good, and the baby moved a lot while we were listening in, so that makes me wonder what it will actually be like when I can feel all that movement! My ribs and bladder are already bracing for kicks!

To the casual observer, I'm not showing yet, but I think I've officially decided that the little bulge below my belly button isn't just the result of eating freely (compared to my normal eating habits, anyway). While eating may have contributed a bit to its size, it seems pretty solid so I'm thinking that's got to have a baby behind it somewhere. Eventually the bulge will head north, to right behind the belly button, but in the meantime I'll probably just look fat for a while. It'll stay hidden ok behind clothes for a bit, I think, but based on how I think it's changed in just the last week or so, I'm wondering how long even that will last.

I keep noticing even this little belly getting in the way periodically, like when bending over during my exercise class, or when I lay at certain angles trying to fall asleep. I can technically still lay on my stomach, but it's more comfortable if I'm slightly angled to the side. But I can only imagine what the real belly will be like. It's a little scary, but hey, when else can you watch your body do something so bizarre and know it's actually a GOOD thing?

But so far so good...and thank God for that!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

"Is This Good for the Baby?"

Have you ever seen the movie "Office Space"? You know how the Bobs come into the office to evaluate employees and find ways to cut costs? They put up this banner that says, "Is This Good for the Company?" to remind workers to rethink their decisions and make sure they're doing their best to contribute to a healthy bottom line. Well, having a baby is a lot like that...there might as well be a banner strung across me somewhere saying, "Is This Good for the Baby?" Not that I need it, mind you...but that thought, in those words or not, goes through my head dozens of times a day. From the things I eat and drink to how I'm laying on the couch, it's never far from my mind.

Most people think it's just giving up alcohol and smoking, but that's just the beginning. Did you know pregnant women aren't supposed to eat cold cuts? You can if you cook them, but some bacteria in the cold version isn't good. So...no turkey subs at Subway for a while. Caffeine and artificial sweeteners are ok in moderation...which has been the hardest part for me. I used to drink a lot of diet soda...no calories, after all. Well, now I've had to alter my beverage selection. I still allow myself one serving of diet soda per day, to keep my sanity. I drink water during the day at work, but I get sick of it by the time I'm home. So...now I dilute juice or have milk, generally mixed with either Hershey's Syrup or Strawberry NesQuik. They're obviously more calories, but I'm allowed a few extra these days...and milk is obviously a good use of those calories thanks to the calcium and vitamins. There's questions about nuts now, too. The doctor says they're good for the baby, but research came out recently that they could lead to peanut allergies, just as if you gave peanuts to your baby outside the womb. And I thought I felt guilty eating a Snickers bar before. Fortunately, I have been pretty content snacking on carrots and clementines, so that's been nice. But don't get me started on how pricey some of the nutritional supplements are...oy.

I'm deathly afraid of getting sick, not just because of the effects on the baby, but because I won't be able to take anything to ease my symptoms. Pregnant women aren't supposed to lay on their backs for long periods of time because the weight of the baby cuts off blood flow to certain things, so now I have to learn to sleep on my side and find alternate ways of doing ab exercises. Doing cardio is a whole other issue, with having to keep my heart rate down below 140. Not always easy, especially as I watch my waist expand (not sure it's actually baby yet...doh!) and I realize there isn't much I can do to stop it. Even when I'm sitting at work I hope that the way my pants fit on my waist isn't constricting anything.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not worrying about this stuff constantly, even though it does pass through my mind a lot. I still freak out a little bit every time I get the least bit of discomfort, hoping that everything's ok...but generally it seems to be. (Honestly, most of it ends up to be cleverly disguised gas pains...did I mention the digestive system gets cranky while you're pregnant?) It's just a new way of life, and I'm happy to do it because I know the end result is worth it. In the meantime, that silly banner in "Office Space" will make me laugh for more reasons than one :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I've think I've grown up...

First and foremost, since I was a slacker and didn't post for a couple days, Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a nice holiday and that you're settling back into work, etc. I've been a little all over the place all morning, though I'm sure the hour-long chat that evolved from my sit-down with my bosses to give them the good news didn't help. All went well, mind you...we just turned into a group of women and chatted about randomness for an hour :) It was fun, but obviously not helpful for getting back in the groove!

Anyway...back to my original topic...I'm sure I still have much more growing to do, but I had this realization on Sunday night that in many ways, I've grown up a lot in the past few years.

I went to the Amerks game because I hadn't been to one in a while, and I figured Sunday was a good pick because I didn't have to go to work on Monday. Despite the loss, it was fun...of course word is starting to get around about the pregnancy, so there were congratulations coming from everywhere...even from people who we have no idea how they found out. After the game, we went out for a bit, mostly to grab dinner and keep an eye on the postgame party (Craig's client was the host). We sat with a group of staff, all younger than us but a good group of people. Listening to the talk of partying, getting drunk, doing shots, etc., I started feeling really old. It was funny, because 1) I'm not that far removed from all of that; and 2) Feeling old wasn't a bad thing. I guess pregnancy has a way of making you realize alcohol isn't necessarily the pinnacle of fun. It's fine--I don't look down on anyone for drinking it, but when your entire purpose is to get wasted for no particular reason, that's where I start getting lost. Outside of a couple isolated experiences, I've never been like that. But for some reason the insanity of it hit me even more that night.

Later on, a few of the hockey players came over to say hi. The ones that knew our news congratulated us as well (including one that said something to the effect of, "Congratulations! I'd buy you a drink, but, well...you know..."). We sat there for a bit chatting and listening in on conversations the players were having with another part of the group, and I couldn't help but laugh at some of the machismo and flirting that were going on. On the way home I realized a couple things: First, the Amerks are a very young team, practically devoid of married guys, let alone guys with kids. As a result, they probably don't deal with pregnant chicks too often. Even if someone in their family falls into that category, they don't live near home enough to really appreciate it all. Even though I look young, I wondered if they looked at me as "old", or some version of it. Second, I look at these guys as the kids they are...they're in their early 20s (if that), and honestly, they act like it. Nothing wrong with that. But it was quite a switch from even a few years ago where it was sort of cool to have the players come over and chat. Hockey players are interesting personalities, and even though I've been happily married for years, being in the players' presence was always a little extra interesting. But now, these guys barely register on my radar...they're kids!

I don't know if I'm explaining this quite right, but in the end it was just a crazy realization that mentally I've just moved on to another place in life. That's not to say I won't regress once in a while...but so much of who I am now is vastly different from who I was even a few years ago. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm sure I'm heading into another fun phase in life. "Fun" may have a different definition, but as the commercial says, "Having a baby changes everything."