Thursday, February 28, 2008

Doctor's appointment

Another month, another doctor's appointment. As usual, this one was pretty quick and painless...other than not having a chance to pee before leaving work (and not wanting to risk having nothing left for the urine sample) and then having to wait 15 minutes before I got called in. Pregnant bladders don't like waiting!

The heart sounded good, except for the second appointment in a row, the baby moved away from the probe right after the doctor found the heartbeat. Funny to think the baby can sense the pressure of it pushing down, and has enough capacity to actually move, you know? One of these days there won't be enough room in there to move!

I got the official word that the ultrasound went well, and the baby is in the 49th percentile for size, which is just about average. My weight is fine, and I'm just about heavier than I've ever been. Or at least equal. At one point a few years ago I gained a bunch of weight from lack of working out and an abundance of bad eating and stress, and I think I was about at this weight by the time I started going to my infamous class at the gym that's been kicking my butt ever since. That class got me jump started to working out at least a couple times a week, and if nothing else it got my muscles in shape enough to up my metabolism. I lost a good 8-10 pounds at some point in the year or so that followed, and kept it off ever since. Until now.

Amazing, though, that it's taken five months of pregnancy to put all of that back on. I attribute that to eating well, avoiding the temptation to sit down with a bag of chips, carton of ice cream, or a candy bar, and continuing to work out. In fact, I have class again tonight. It's definitely getting harder and I've had to alter a few things to make it more pregnancy-friendly. No more crunches, no more laying on my stomach or flat on my back (exercise balls help a lot, and just keeping myself steady is a good butt/hamstring workout), and just not pushing myself too far. It's a fine line between not wimping out and being sensible, but I'm being careful. It'll all be worth it if/when I don't have a ton of extra weight to lose after the pregnancy. I'm a small person and weight shows up fast on my frame...and when I've got plenty of extra weight to carry around already, anything I can save myself is good for my sanity, my health and my baby.

Oh, and the strangest part of the appointment? The doctor mentioned that we have to start looking into pediatricians! She said we should have one set by about 30 weeks. Ahhh, those things that never cross your mind until someone brings them up. It's pretty crazy to think about, but yeah...assuming you go into labor early you need to be set with that stuff...makes sense. And regardless, the baby goes in for an appointment a couple days after you go home, I think (unless all those baby shows on TV just do that for show...guessing not), so you do need one right away regardless. Just one more thing to think about...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

General Update

Not much of note going on this week, so I guess I'll just go over a few odds and ends....

First, the belly button ring has officially been put to rest. I did finally put it away, so now it's officially out of sight and out of mind, I guess. It's still funny to not have it there when I'm doing my daily cocoa butter routine.

Second, a fourth woman in my office announced she's pregnant this week. She's really early along, though (too early to be telling people, in my opinion, but whatever...her choice). Must be something in the water around here! I'm still the only one on kid #1, so at least that makes me special :)

Third, it's cracking me up how different I can look day to day, depending on what I'm wearing. On a day like today, where I'm wearing a slightly oversized sweater, I just look like I've put on a few pounds...and all in a really unfortunate manner in the stomach region. I wouldn't say it looks very obviously pregnant, though. But when I pull out the maternity tops, I look a lot more pregnant. The maternity tops (or pseudo-maternity tops, the normal tops I'm making my maternity tops) are probably more flattering to my body as a whole, however, and in most cases I'd rather look pregnant than fat anyway. It's just funny having a different look from day to day, though.

I do wonder how many people in the outside world look at me and wonder, though. Particularly at the gym, since I'm only wearing oversized t-shirts now, and even those get a little snug in the belly area. I wonder if people are like, man, she really should get in here more, or if they're like, wow, kudos to her for coming in here pregnant. Not that it matters...but in this society of people afraid to ask the, "Are you pregnant?" question, or any related questions, for fear that a woman isn't, I guess I'm doomed to wonder...and so are they :)

Tomorrow is my monthly doctor's appointment, which means another of the best kind of visit to the gynecologist ever....my clothes stay on AND I get to hear the baby's heartbeat! Does it get any better than that?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Adios, old friend...


Well, I finally did it. I took out my belly button ring. I'm sure this will bring about much rejoicing from my parents, who were quite crushed when I originally got it. And while I'm not particularly bummed about its demise (I knew it was coming at some point during my first pregnancy, whenever that ended up being), I was surprised at how hard it was to do. After all, I've had it for about a quarter of my life.

I got it shortly after getting out on my own, about when I turned 22 back in 2000. While some would assume it was a bit of a rebellious act, I still don't really think it was. I thought it was something interesting and perhaps a bit out of character (which was always fun to surprise people with), but at the time, it served as a motivator to keep my stomach flat. I had seen too many heftier women with belly button rings, and that was exactly who I didn't want to be. So...I figured that if I got one, with that negative image in my head, it would keep me motivated to keep my stomach looking good. And other than a short span a few years back when my job was sucking the life and energy out of me, it worked. And even during that time I suppose it served as a bit of inspiration to get back to where I was.

So, here I am, 7-1/2 years later, taking it out. It's a farewell to the younger me...which is really ok because there isn't that much I want to hold on to from that time anyway. Most likely the hole will close up and it will be gone forever. I'll have a bit of a scar (mostly thanks to some keloid scarring back from the early days when it just wouldn't heal right), but all things considered, it's a small price to pay when you think about how much worse it could have been....say, an unwanted or overstretched tattoo. This one's less obvious and was cheaper to get rid of :)

I just thought that in the end it was funny it took me this long. It actually still wasn't showing up under my clothes on a regular basis, but I took it out yesterday because it was distracting me. I was trying on everything left in my closet so I could figure out what still fits and clear the rest out (wow, did I do a lot of laundry yesterday). The indent where my belly button is was distracting enough, let alone the little extra bump from the end of the barbell (the "earring", for those of you unfamiliar with body piercing terminology). So, since I knew the moment was coming anyway, I took it out. Of course, I didn't put it away. It's been sitting on my dresser ever since, in case I chickened out and had to put it back in. It didn't really feel any different without it, other than the weird feeling of rubbing my belly and just feeling smooth skin there. That was nice but it still felt like something was missing. But again, I suppose that's the cumulative effect of more than seven years of having something there.

Another big step in this crazy process...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Making Room for Baby...





I had a very productive day yesterday. I got up at a reasonable time, dropped off a ton of rolled change at the bank (over $200 worth...amazing how it adds up), got in a workout, rested up a bit, and then started on the project pictured above. I'd been planning on doing this for a while, but only got around to it yesterday.

Our house came equipped with a number of shelves in the basement. There's a whole workbench full of shelves, plus the wall pictured above, and two other 8 ft. long shelves in another area of the workroom, closer to the laundry area. Of all the shelves, these were the best utilized. They held all of the extra paint for our house, all of the painting tools, and other odds and ends for house upkeep. They're also the most convenient, and were generally the least nasty. Parts of the basement workroom weren't left too clean by the former owners...I can't even identify what may have been left behind on some of the shelves by the workbench. It's so gross cleaning up other people's messes...We've been in this house for nearly three years, and I've probably been putting off a version of this project for just as long. But with the baby coming, it needed to get done...not only because it never would once the baby got here and also because we can use the space.

My plan was to clean off all of the shelves (except the workbench...those are nasty and might take some heavy duty work) and put down contact paper or something. They're all basically just plywood shelves and you'd be amazed how much dirt and dust plywood picks up in a basement. I wanted to get them clean and give them a more cleanable surface for the future, and move the paint and supplies to the two shelves over by the laundry area. Once that was done, it would open up the shelves in the picture for baby stuff. I've taken to affectionately calling these shelves the BJ's Shelves because they'll be nice for storing anything we happen to buy in bulk. I'm envisioning diapers, formula, baby food, wipes...whatever...not to mention anything else BJ's sells that we happen to pick up along the way. It will ease up some congestion in my pantry, and eventually in the baby's room as well. They're nice, sturdy shelves and they just weren't being utilized efficiently.

So, over the course of about 2-1/2 hours yesterday, I wiped the shelves down (thank God for disposable Clorox wipes...I could just dispose of the nastiness) and put down some cheap contact paper from Wal-Mart. Because the shelves are just plywood, I don't know how well it will stick long term, but frankly, I don't care if I have to tack it down or superglue it at some point. At least something's there now to cover the plywood and leave a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. It was a very rewarding project and I'm glad I got it done. It looks 100% better and it makes the basement that much less icky. Now if I could just be that productive every day!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Getting bigger...

I can really tell now that my belly is getting bigger. It hasn't rounded out yet, but it's getting close. My instructor at the gym called it a "beer belly" today, and yeah, it really sort of looks like it. It's been a little tight the last couple days, which I can only assume is a result of its expansion. The skin and muscles have to adjust, I suppose, and it was a little extra sore right after my class at the gym tonight...guess all that movement didn't help matters.

I've been a devoted user of cocoa butter for the past couple months to prevent stretch marks, for when all of this major growth started. I have a couple stretch marks on my hips as souvenirs of puberty, and I don't really want to add to my collection. The clear ones (the kind I already have) are better than the purple ones that you see a lot of pregnant women with, but I really don't want any of them. The ones I have annoy me enough. I've been sticking with my workouts as much as possible to keep in shape now and make it easier on myself post-delivery. I'd hate to get back to a nice figure, only to not want to show any of it off because it's littered with stretch marks. A lot of it is genetics, though, and based on my mom I should be ok.

I did discover last week that I no longer need to work my abs. I can't remember if I mentioned the pregnant fitness instructor that visited our class last week, but she said that if you work your abs while they're split (to allow room for the belly--after 16 weeks or so) that it's harder to get them back in place after the baby. I won't miss doing crunches, but it's harder to avoid abs altogether than you'd think. I don't know if it's bad to work just the abs or if the whole core is an issue as well...but I'd think a little core strength isn't a bad thing.

Anyway, the big belly has been a lot more noticeable lately, for whatever reason...either because I'm wearing more maternity stuff and they make it more obvious, or because most of the time I see my belly it's bigger because my bladder's full, or because it's just getting undeniably bigger. I'll try to post a picture sometime soon, but honestly, right now it's still somewhere between looking grotesque without clothes and unimpressive with, so I'm not sure what to show you at this point. But I promise, sometime soon...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pregnancy...Celebrity Style

When I first got pregnant, I was actually pretty excited to see who the next celebrities would be to announce they were pregnant. After all, it's become a pretty big trend in Hollywood these days, and I thought it might be fun to see paparazzi pictures of famous people at the same stage of their pregnancy as me. I think Jessica Alba was the first one to announce, followed by Jamie Lynn Spears. Hmmm. While Jessica Alba wasn't bad, my preference was to have someone who was classy and happily married (or whatever that looks like in Hollywood). Jessica Alba is classy enough, but the baby daddy in her case was her on-again-off-again boyfriend. Not ideal, but whatever. I won't even go into Jamie Lynn Spears. At long last, Nicole Kidman announced she was pregnant, which fit my criteria pretty well. Unfortunately, I don't think I've seen one photo of her since then. Bummer.

The other day I was reading some celeb news (sorry, I get bored and it's there) on omg.yahoo.com. At the top of the page there's a menu option of hot topics, and there you can choose "Baby Bumps", which gives you the most recent celeb news and photos within that topic. I just went there, actually, and it appears that Jennifer Lopez has checked into the hospital to have her twins. Anyway...they had some updated pictures of Jessica Alba. I'm thinking she and I must be at about the same point, give or take a week or two, because she seems to have the same sort of belly thing going as me. Of course, she does look way better because she started out looking way better, but it did my heart good to see that she's got a bit of the awkward belly that I've been complaining about. If you look at the fourth photo, you can see she's got a bit of the belly button crease issue going on. Mine is still far worse, but hey...she can't be loving it either, considering how good she looked pre-pregnancy. She does look awfully comfy in those clothes...maybe she can't find many maternity clothes she likes either. Haha. Interestingly, I was just poking around more and found some articles saying that the National Enquirer is reporting that she's having twins and that the due date is June 8th. Well...if she's having twins and the due date is correct, then wow...she's looking extra good. But based on my experience and seeing the pics of her, I'm not convinced. That'll be interesting to see...

I used to think the term "baby bump" was cute. Maybe I will again as time goes on, but right now I don't feel like my belly can accurately be described as a bump. A "baby lump", maybe?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Leaving College Behind

I've always been a bit of the nostalgic type...reveling in cool things that have happened in my past. Most of it tends to go only as far back as college, or it generally has something to do with family. Family, college and working in the sports industry definitely tend to be the three top nostalgic topics for me, because, for better or for worse, they were the three things that have shaped my life the most. I've been blessed with a great family, and as traditions change and we spread across the country, sometimes nostalgia's all I've got to take me back to the old days of family gatherings...hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa on summer afternoons, Thursday lunches with the ladies, Christmas chaos...the list could go on and on. I still have a great family and I know there are many more good times to come, but those moments become more and more precious as time goes on. Working in sports is right up there too, despite all the stress it caused me over the years. Ultimately I still got to live out a dream and experience things I could scarcely dream of. It definitely had its moments, and when Craig and I are old and gray, looking back on our crazy younger days in sports, hopefully we'll forget all the bad stuff. And hey, I did get a husband out of the deal, right?

College is a bit of a different animal. It definitely impacted my life in many ways...from the usual coming-of-age stuff, to amazing friendships, to taking my faith in God to a whole new level. Those four years were really unbelievable. I'm sure many people would agree, regardless of their individual experience, and as many of us know, some people hold on to that world far too long. And if you're unaware, walk into most bars late on a weekend night and you'll probably see a few examples. Anyway, I have my college experience close for years, and for mostly good reasons. I still love sharing weekends with the girls, and the pure knowledge of how amazing my spiritual life back then was gives me something to strive for now. All of that is extremely important and isn't the stuff I'm "leaving behind", per the title of this entry.

What I am talking about is this tendency I have to slip back into a time and place far from here, and feel like it was just a couple years ago. A very simplistic example of this is how I feel every summer when the back-to-college stuff comes out. It wasn't as big of a business back when I first went to school, but the mere sight of shower totes and plastic crates brings me back to the good old days. That has faded a bit year by year, but still...even something like a warm fall or spring day takes me back to the gloriousness of walking to class in picture perfect weather.

I've come to realize that this baby is going to change a lot. It's not even here yet and already it's taken over more of my thoughts than I realize. There are things I used to think about a lot that pop up in my mind, and suddenly I realize it's been a really long time since I thought about it...whether it's remembering to get a haircut, clean the house, email someone, etc. Time just flies these days. Bringing a baby into the picture definitely creates a very real separation between who I am now and the person I was even a year or two ago, let alone 10 years ago back in college. That's not to say I won't regress periodically, but a baby is a seriously real difference...more than a job or a mortgage ever could be.

All of this really struck me this morning. I was on my way to work listening to Sixpence None the Richer, the first Christian band Mary and I went nuts for back in college. Their music (a few songs in particular) inevitably whisks me back to a certain period of time back in college, and I started thinking back to the concert that started it all. And it just sort of hit me that it was 11 years ago...that's a really long time. I'm such a different person than I was then, but yet...it seems like it could be yesterday. But in reality, I'm grown up, with a job, married, and having a baby. While nothing should take away from a great memory, I just realized that each step I take in life is one step further removed from that time. New memories will start crowding out the old ones a bit. They won't disappear, but my brain probably won't have the time or brainpower to go back to them as much.

It was a bit of a sad realization, but at the same time I realized that there's so much more to come. As enriching as those experiences were, I'm about to embark on another crazy, amazing life experience. My hope is that I still will think back to those days periodically, because they were truly life-altering...and FUN. I don't want to forget them by any means, but I think at some point I'll make peace with leaving them behind (to whatever degree) and fully embrace the life I live now for the amazing thing it is.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Surrounded by kids...

Spending the day with a bunch of kids really makes you wonder how you'll be as a parent. Today Craig and I went with Craig's brother's family to Strong National Museum of Play. For those of you who don't live in Rochester, Strong Museum is a kid-focused museum with a lot of hands-on exhibits and a major focus on toys. It's a great place for kids and adults alike. Craig's brother and his wife have four kids--5 year old twins (boy and a girl), a 21 month old, and a seven month old. Obviously with so much to see and do, sometimes it was tough steering the older kids to something new, or getting them to be patient when we had to do something else before the thing they wanted to do, but for the most part they were pretty good. The middle one is a handful because he doesn't like to sit still...if he had his way, he'd have run around the whole museum solo. The youngest is still a sweetie, though a little spit-up incident made Craig and I realize yet again that we have to somehow fortify our stomachs before our baby arrives! I'm hoping eventually we'll be as unfazed about bodily functions as our poor sister-in-law was. It was definitely tiring, but I guess when it's your own kid and you're totally into whatever they're into, something like that has to be a lot of fun regardless. We don't see them all a lot, especially in a situation like that, so it's hard to know how to steer them toward things they'll like or make it a more interactive experience for them. Again, that's something that I hope comes with experience.

As you can imagine, with it being a week of vacation and today in particular being a holiday (more parents are off), the museum was crazy busy. And with so many kids there, you really see a little of everything. There were a lot of rude kids, ones who pushed and shoved, others who stuck their nose in the middle of whatever other kids were doing, etc. We all went to school with kids like that, so why I'd think that would change, I have no idea. I guess maybe in this age of daycare you'd think kids would be better socialized, but maybe not. We saw our share of tantrums. Although you can't avoid tantrums completely, watching it all as a parent-to-be, you can't help but hope you figure out the magic formula to keep them to a minimum. And finally, another thing I kept noticing were parents that looked really haggard. I suppose dragging your cranky kid around a busy museum can do that...I just hope that's not their look on a regular basis. Probably wishful thinking, though.

I guess the whole experience gives you this full-on vision of life as a parent...but of course you have to keep in mind that a full museum is really a catalyst for a lot of crankiness. We probably saw a lot of the worst today...and of course, you never notice the good kids. After all, they're not doing anything to call attention to themselves. All those people guarantees you're going to see a little bit of everything, and I'll admit it, it was intimidating. Parenting isn't easy, and I just hope we figure it out okay despite starting from scratch.

On a happy note, I made it through the butterfly exhibit without a panic attack. It wasn't exactly enjoyable, but at least I wasn't so busy freaking out that I couldn't admit some of them were pretty. If they would have landed on me, it would have been a different story...they may be pretty, but they're still bugs. And big ones at that. Ewww.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

God's Creation

Going through the ultrasound process really reminded me once again how amazing this whole thing is. I mean, all I have to do is try to take extra good care of my body, and beyond that, the baby is forming perfectly without any help from me. It's so hard to believe that it started as a tiny little cell and has formed into this living thing with a beating heart, internal organs, bones, a brain, eyes, ears (we saw those, too!), and whatever else. The baby even has sexual organs already, and it won't be using those for many (many, many) years to come. It's just amazing that all the cells know what to do and that they all work together to "magically" form this little human. God does some truly awesome things, and baby creation is really at the top of the list. It's truly an awe-inspiring process, and I feel extra blessed that I get to have all of that going on inside me. It may not always be fun, but it's an experience that not everyone gets to have, and that I do really makes me thankful.

Since this isn't that lengthy a post, I'll leave you with an example of another of God's awesome handiwork...sunsets. Check out eternalsunset.net to see an ever-changing display of current sunsets, wherever they may be, courtesy of west-facing webcams from around the globe. Depending on when you visit, there are some truly breathtaking images to behold. I first began to appreciate sunsets back in college, because Geneseo had some doozies. We even specially picked our dorm rooms for the last three years to face west so we'd have a front row seat, looking out across the Genesee Valley. Ever since I've always kept an eye out, and now I'm fortunate enough to have an office on the 16th floor with some west facing windows that gives us a show quite frequently. It's the only bright side to early sunsets all winter--at least I'm in the office when they happen and can see some beautiful displays. But when I'm in need of a sunset fix, Eternal Sunset usually provides one, no matter what time of day it is.

I hope all of you have a nice long weekend to enjoy...our Monday will be busy (Craig's brother's family--all six of them--are in town) but hey, at least it's not work!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Baby Pictures!


Hey everyone! As I mentioned yesterday, today was our 20-week ultrasound. All went well, I guess! The baby is weighing in at 12 oz., which is right on target. As nice and simple as our last ultrasound was, this one was crazy...lots of looking around, lots of measuring, and a lot more unidentifiable blobs! I think everyone goes through many of the same issues when you're watching an ultrasound. Lots of squinting, trying to figure out what's what, lots of fake nodding when the technician says, "And this is the ______," when you're not sure you really see it, and lots of trying to ignore the fact that at times the baby shows up as a miniature skeleton. That part is especially freaky. Seeing the spine and the other bones can be pretty cool, but the head gets a little creepy when all you see is the skull. However, it's a relief we didn't have any sort of, "Hmmm..." moments from the technician, so I took that as a sign that everything looks normal.
The baby moved around a lot and kept putting its hands up by its head. It's pretty bizarre to try to figure out how the baby is in there, though. We were probably in there a good 30-45 minutes (there was a student who did the first half of it, plus I had to pee a couple times because my bladder was too full (they tell you to drink an obscene amount of water beforehand, but apparently that will no longer be necessary)), but after all that I'm still confused on how the baby's hanging out in there. I know which side the feet are on (the side I'm feeling the most kicks) and that the head is sort of curled up somewhere on that side too...but the spine view came from the way other side of the belly...so who knows!
Regardless, it's still a pretty cool experience, though hard to explain. There are moments where you hardly recognize what you're looking at, and moments later you're totally amazed by what you're seeing. It's such a crazy feeling. I'll definitely look forward to this ultrasound with baby #2 someday, because we'll find out the gender for that one and I think it will be a cool little bonus. It's amazing to think that we could know what we're having already...that we could stick with pink or blue, girls' names or boys' names...but I think this time around it's a unique experience to not find out and be surprised. Either way it'll be amazing, so it doesn't really matter what we have. Next time around it will be a little different, because we'll probably be hoping for whatever we don't have this time around. No matter what we'll love baby #2 the same, obviously, but when you're hoping for one or the other, it's probably helpful to have a little time pre-birth to adjust in case you don't get your wish. But this time around, I think the anticipation will be fun.
I think this is probably the best picture of them all from today, a nice profile shot. I don't think this one needs much explanation. Looks like a cutie to me already :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Slow Day...

Since I don't have anything to talk about today, I figured I'd share some fun pictures from our trip to Florida in December. Not that exciting, but hey, beats me talking about nothing...

This picture was taken on the safari at Animal Kingdom. It was the only ride I went on that had a warning for pregnant women. However, I read beforehand that it isn't that rough and that warning is mostly for women who could go into labor any minute. Anyway, this picture was taken with no zoom...we were that close. We were also in motion, hence the cutting off of the giraffe's head. It was pretty awesome, though.

This one was at The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot. This is a real live aquarium, and I was lucky enough to catch this shot. It's a little tough to see, but these three fish should look familiar, if you've ever seen Finding Nemo. Up top is a fish that looks like Dory, at the bottom is Nemo's dad, and sort of hiding behind the stick is Nemo. It was so cool to see these three fish just hanging out together :)

This is one of the coolest things we saw on the trip. It's Cinderella's Castle, all lit up with Christmas lights. It's supposed to look like it's covered in ice, and it was really awesome. It was even better during the fireworks display, but it was truly breathtaking!
Anyway, tomorrow should be a more interesting day...we've got our 20-week ultrasound appointment around lunchtime, so hopefully I will have a picture or two to share! Have a great day and stay out of the snow, for those of you in WNY...I can see it coming this way as I type! Yuck!


Monday, February 11, 2008

The Downfalls of Being Girly

I've never considered myself particularly girly, but relative to a lot of other people I suppose I can be. While I'm not always the most fashionable, I do try to at least look put together. Rare is the day that I don't put on makeup or do my hair...and if I'm leaving the house it's a must. Of course, I'm too lazy to keep up with makeup and stuff all day, so by the end of the day even "put together" might be a stretch, but all things considered, I try to care about what I look like on a day-to-day basis.

I've often rolled my eyes a bit at pregnant women that avoid maternity clothes like the plague. I think almost everyone knows someone like that...the woman that lived in sweats and oversized t-shirts for pretty much the entire pregnancy. My goal was to not do that. I wanted to be "cute pregnant". Some of the clothes I've bought so far have helped in that quest. I've been focusing on work clothes, mostly because I want to look presentable at work, which takes up 5 of my 7 days each week. And, honestly, work clothes were easier...I knew exactly what I was looking for: empire-waist tops made out of cheap polyester-esque material. They don't need to be ironed, which is a bonus, and they generally look nice.

Well, this weekend was the first weekend where my normal jeans were feeling pretty snug. I broke in the maternity jeans on Friday, so they have entered my rotation. However, upon trying to dress down I discovered a problem: I'd rather wear maternity jeans, but I don't have any casual maternity tops...and almost none of my normal clothes (that still fit) are long enough to cover the panel on my maternity jeans. So, I decided to do another shopping run yesterday. I ventured all the way to the other side of the county to go to the other Rochester-area Old Navy with maternity in-store and another Goodwill location. I ended up going to Kohl's (hadn't gone there yet--plan to hit up my local location this week, though) and Target as well, because you never know what other locations will have. I ended up with two dresses (not sure about the one, but the other was a steal from Goodwill--I tried on the same dress at Target a couple weeks ago, but it wasn't my size--and it was only $6!) and a shirt, so I guess the trip was worth it. However, I ended up completely frustrated because I tried on a ridiculous number of other things that looked like crap. Why is every plain, long sleeved maternity t-shirt completely unflattering? Right now anything fitted is a no-no because I am really looking lumpy...belly, belly button, roll of fat, small love handles where the maternity pants end (downfall of low-waist maternity pants, I guess), etc. I did try on full panel pants as well, and pants past my belly button might make me crazy, so I don't know if I'll be able to do those.

All in all, it was really frustrating. I have no idea what to wear these days. So, back to my point in the title of this post...the downfalls of being girly are not owning any sweatpants or oversized t-shirts to begin with, and being physically repulsed by the idea of wearing them in public even if I did. Ugh.

On the bright side, today marks the halfway point--20 weeks!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Belly Watch

I have never been one of those people whose chest gets talked to more than their face. Not that my chest isn't perfectly acceptable, but I guess it doesn't really draw attention to itself. Or at least, I've never noticed that it has. Considering how many men I used to work around at my old job, I'm not sure if I should be thankful, insulted, or worried that I'm really unobservant. In any event, the only reason I bring this up is because I'm increasingly noticing people staring at my midsection. Once they see my face enough to notice who I am, I've seen so many people's eyes dart down to my stomach to provide themselves with a progress report on my belly. It gets even better when they share that report with me ("Oooh, it's getting bigger!" "Ummm, yeah...") Just what every woman wants to hear...that their stomach is getting bigger. Pregnant or not, it still doesn't sound good to hear. It's sort of like picking on your sibling. If you do it, it's ok. If someone else does, not so ok.

Sadly, I know I've probably done that to so many pregnant women over the years. It's natural, so I really can't blame anyone. The belly is the only outward way you know someone is pregnant, and when you haven't seen them in a while, it's your only way to monitor their progress without having to directly ask about it. Working with almost all women probably makes this issue that much more obvious, because women are just more into pregnancy than men...so when every person I pass in the hall is a woman, most likely more people are looking at my belly than would in your average office.

Like I said, I can't really blame anyone for doing it, so don't worry about that if you catch yourself doing it. It's not so much that it bothers me, specifically. It just throws me off a bit. Again, I've never really caught many people giving me a once over or talking to a body part that wasn't my face, so for people to instantly check out my stomach region (an area that, let's face it, is not the favorite body part of most women) is just weird for me.

I also had my first near-touch today. Fortunately it wasn't by some random person (I might freak out on those people a bit), but still, despite the fact it sometimes seems like I have a little alien growing in there, it's still my stomach...and really, no one has touched that in a while other than Craig and maybe a doctor or two.

I know it's something every pregnant woman has to deal with at some point, and I'm sure I'll deal, too. It's just an odd experience when your stomach finally becomes its own little freak show.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

FINALLY...


So, finally, as promised, pictures! Please excuse the lack of makeup and the generally exhausted look on my face...I was really tired when we took these, after 3 hours of travel to and from Buffalo and a long night celebrating Mardi Gras at Craig's mom's fundraiser. Great time, but 12:30 is WAY past my bedtime these days. But I wanted to get a picture of day 1 in maternity clothes, just so I could post it here for posterity.

So what's with the two pictures? Well...the "Before" picture is probably closer to the truth most of the time. You can't see much hidden under that shirt, though, so I decided to enhance the view a bit. Amazing how much the stomach muscles allow me to push out these days! I don't look like the "After" normally, though...but closer to it when I've just eaten a lot or really have to pee, or just don't feel like putting forth an effort to keep anything sucked in. Tough habit to break, by the way.

But if nothing else it's a little peek into the future for all of you, in case I don't get around to posting more photos in the near future. Enjoy... :)

Wow...

Just a quickie today because I don't really have anything to talk about and I may have pictures to post later anyway. But I just read on one of the baby websites that at 19 weeks, where I am now, the baby's foot is about an inch long. That's pretty crazy to think about. It definitely gives you quite the mental picture, doesn't it? Although it seems a little big to me (the baby's barely a half a pound right now), it's still something to think about. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Life without zippers

As I mentioned yesterday, today I decided to jump head first into my pool of maternity clothes. If I am not completely exhausted and desheveled by the end of the night tonight, maybe I'll try to snap a picture or two to post, just to comemmorate this momentous occasion. Anyway...I couldn't stay awake long enough last night (recurring problem lately) to do a test run, so I had to try it out this morning. My black maternity pants are a little long and still a little big in the waist, but otherwise they're not bad. I may hem them up a little bit when I have a chance, but I can wear them with really tall shoes. I just don't want to risk dragging them, though...these have to last through months of frequent wear. They actually made me feel thinner than my regular pants because their lack of buttons, zippers, or fasteners of any kind make them less bulky around the waist. With my normal pants that bulk happens to fall right where I'm fattest right now, so that was a bit of an issue. The maternity pants are pretty comfy, and it was almost this pleasant surprise to go to the bathroom today and realize I just had to pull them down...no hooks or zippers or buttons to worry about. That was pretty cool, and I will enjoy it the next few months, but elastic waists are not something I want to let myself get used to.

My shirt, however, doesn't really make me feel thinner. It's not a maternity shirt, because I'm still not big enough for the ones I have. Real maternity shirts just sort of hang there, and without a belly to really prop them up, they're just long. So for now I'm stuck with non-maternity shirts that aren't fitted. I'm wearing one of my new ones today, one of the clearance purchases from the Macy's juniors department. Not bad, though I've always felt that shirts like this make it look like you're hiding something...namely a big belly (pregnant or otherwise) underneath. Now, if you're carrying a few extra pounds, shirts like this are better than something skin tight that shows off every roll, but I don't think they really fool anyone. So now I've got a complex about wearing shirts like this...either that a) people are going to think I'm overweight and I'm trying to hide it; or b) that everyone's now looking at me going, "Aha! She's finally made the switch over to maternity!" because this is the first time I've worn anything like this so far. Of course, I'll most likely walk in tomorrow wearing my normal clothes again, but then they'll be focused on my stomach because it MUST be bigger if I was wearing maternity clothes the previous day. Of course, now that I know how comfy maternity pants can be, I might want to wear them more...but then I have to get more long shirts because I don't own much that's long enough to cover the belly panel. Doh!

I know, I'm way overthinking this whole thing. Hardly anyone in the office sees me all day, anyway. Oh well. At least I can pretend I'm sitting here in pajama pants or something...that alone makes for a good day :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Recovering from the weekend...

Well, it's Monday...again. I actually had a pretty high quality weekend, all things considered. Craig was off on both Saturday and Sunday, which is a rarity. That won't happen again until the second weekend in March. And after that it won't happen again until May. So, you can imagine how fun that March weekend is going to be...fitting in as much as humanly possible. That weekend may be a registry weekend, maybe some painting...who knows what else? That's not to say that there won't be a day or two on weekends here and there, but this time of year I just assume he won't be around so it's a pleasant surprise when he is :)

As I mentioned in my last post, Saturday was mostly filled with shopping. While it may not have been particularly fun for Craig, it was nice to just spend time together. We watched a movie (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, if you're wondering. Not horrible, but it's nice to know we only spent $1.08 on the rental) and that was pretty much the extent of our excitement. Yesterday was all about a good nap and the Superbowl. We had a good time at the party we went to, hosted by a former Amerks co-worker and his wife. We didn't know anyone else there, but the people were all friendly and the food was great. Added bonus was that it was only about 2 minutes from our house. I ate a LOT, but I didn't feel too gross afterward...must be a nice side-effect of the pregnancy.

The belly continues to grow, but it's in hiding again today. No maternity clothes...just loose pants and a sweater that doesn't completely conform to my shape. Tomorrow I'll probably pull out the maternity clothes for the first time, just because we're off to Buffalo in the evening for Craig's mom's annual Mardi Gras fundraiser. That whole side of the family is probably getting fewer updates on this whole process (I don't know if Craig has ever forwarded this link along), so I figure I'll give them all a little bit of excitement and actually look pregnant tomorrow. Of course, I may give it a test run tonight and freak out, so no guarantees.

As far as the belly itself goes, it's not totally freaking me out yet. I sort of like that it's there (for obvious reasons), but when I really sit back and realize that my body will never be what it was, that's a bit depressing. Before it really started to grow I could think about whether or not I'd ever get back to that size, and if I did, it would be fine. Now I'm at a point where I know I'm not skinny anymore (I still look fine, I know) and if I never again get thinner than I am right now, I'll actually be pretty bummed. I'd have to get all new clothes, if nothing else, and I'm just lumpy, which would not be a good long-term look. I'll obviously do my best once this is all over to get back to my old self, but I know my body still has changes to go through that I haven't even fathomed. That is scary, but I'm trying not to think about that too much. Still, it's tough to wave goodbye to the best body you ever had. But who knows? Maybe my new one will fit in clothes better. Never hurts to think positively, right?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mini-Celebration :)

Today I made it my mission to find some maternity pants. Most of my pants are slowly but surely getting too tight. Each week when I wear them, they get progressively tighter, and eventually they're just downright uncomfortable to wear all day while sitting at my desk. And it only gets worse after I eat or when my bladder is full. So, with a couple pairs of fat pants left, plus a couple more that must have started out relatively loose, my supply of comfortable work attire has been waning. And I haven't figured out panty hose yet, so even elastic-waisted skirts are a tough one right now.

So, off to the east side of Rochester to hit up one of a couple Old Navys that carry maternity wear. Quick side rant--I've heard from a co-worker that also works at Old Navy that they're phasing that part out of their stores, taking it online only. Maybe it's just her store, but can I just say how cruel that is? As if it isn't tough enough to buy maternity clothes when you're dressing a body you don't have yet...let alone having to buy a bunch of stuff online without being able to try it on first. Even if they make returns easy, it's still a pain. Anyway...I found an awesome pair of jeans! Believe it or not, they're low-rise! They still have a bit of a panel, but that's mostly for stretchiness...it sits below the belly button, and the rest of the jeans look totally normal. Pretty close to my usual jeans, actually. That was a huge find. I can only run around with my jeans unbuttoned for so long. I also bought a pair of khaki pants for work. I don't absolutely love them, but they were cheap and they look ok, so they will work. When you're facing the dilemma of iffy pants vs. no pants, it's not a tough call.

Then we went to Target, and I found the first pair of maternity pants I tried on, the ones I loved that made me confident maternity clothes wouldn't be a nightmare, on clearance!! That was exciting. Always nice to get something 50% off.

That said, I'm really looking forward to warmer weather. It's way easier to dress in warm weather. Baby-doll shirts look way cuter with short sleeves and there's really not much out there with long sleeves to begin with, cute or not. Maternity stuff just looks happier when you don't have to be bundled up. That's still a long way away, so I'll have to make do with what I have, but as much as I don't want to rush this whole process, it's just one more thing to look forward to.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the Superbowl :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cautiously optimistic...

So I think I've finally crossed over to the point where I know it's the baby moving and not just a gas bubble. I've been feeling the same sort of stuff for a few weeks, but for all I know some of it was real movement and some of it was indeed gas. Believe me, the body does weird things during pregnancy, so gas manifests itself in different ways than usual. Anyway...today I felt it a lot, and I've been feeling it more and more the past few days. As a result, I'm getting more confident that it's actually the baby. With my belly being "out there" more and more, I figured it would come soon. Of course, I could be totally wrong, but I hope not. It's definitely a weird feeling, but it's pretty stinkin' cool. Who knows how long it will be before it's visible or able to be felt from the outside, though. In any event, I thought that was pretty cool so I figured I'd share.

By the way, this icy, crappy weather is really annoying...and even moreso when you're pregnant and deathly afraid of slipping and falling or having even the slightest fender-bender. It was fascinating to watch out the window from the 16th floor today, but geez...not so much fun when you know you'll have to go out in it. But have a safe weekend, everyone!