Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blah Blah Blah

It's 7:32 pm. I've had a long day so forgive the rambling to come.

Why am I tired? you ask (and thank you for your concern). I spent the morning waiting for clothes at the laundry, which were not ready. My husband and I have a wedding to attend this weekend in NYC. I had a dress altered, which was done. He needed a suit taken in and laundered, and that's what wasn't ready. He says he'll get the stuff tomorrow.

The wedding was originally scheduled for July, but the bride called Dec 10 to say she's getting married on the 30th. I am an attendant in this wedding, and finding a dress for a last minute wedding when you are pregnant is frustrating and expensive, especially when I nearly missed my ultrasound (got there 15 minutes before the office closed!) and had to put off eating for a few hours more to guarantee that I found a damned dress.

The good news is I got the dress. It's a non maternity, size 12 dress that has to be altered. So ladies, if you have a formal event while you are pregnant, you have more options than maternity wear (I looked online, and I didn't like the options I saw). You can buy a larger size dress and have that puppy altered. The problem of course is shopping too early. Your belly grows faster than you think, and not every fabric is flattering or comfortable around your belly. Try on lots of dresses*.

If I told you how much I've spent on this one dress that I was hoping I'd get two wears out of, you would cry. I'm already dreading putting this dress on Sunday, it may barely fit. I have another formal event in February, but the baby condo I'm schlepping around may be too big for this dress by then.

*But make sure that when you do go shopping it's not on the day of your baby's anatomical ultrasound. You don't get moments like that back, and I was robbed, straight up! I wish that day had been just for the three of us (oh, did I mention that was the same day as the tour of the maternity ward? Yeah...) Not that Red Lobster by the Cherry Hill mall isn't a nice celebratory dinner, but that's what we had to settle for because I was getting nauseated from not eating most of the day.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just when I think no one's reading this...

Someone noticed that I did not disclose the sex of the baby in my recent posts.

Lots of people - from co-workers to strangers on the street - have asked if I know the sex, and what it is if I know.

No one knows is the obnoxiously technical answer. A co-worker of mine was told she was having a girl based on the ultrasound. When she gave birth she found out the technician was wrong. It happens more often than you think...

I did not even want to tell our family what the sex was in the beginning of the pregnancy. I wanted to keep something for my husband and me. He wanted to share the news with the "concerned and interested." I lost that round. So our parents, siblings, and grandparents know. A special thank you to my mother, who (without my asking) said she would not share that info with anyone.

This is a dream I had a few days before the ultrasound:

The technician and a nurse start my ultrasound but say they can't finish it because the baby is asleep. So they walk me around trying to wake it up, and all the while they're calling the baby she. I'm wondering "why do they keep saying 'she'? They said they couldnt see anything?" We get back to the room after they said it should be awake, and before I get on the bed they say: "Oh, by the way, we could see the sex, and it's a girl!"

I slam my hand on the bed screaming "DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT!"
They all look at me like I'm crazy, and they ask if I'm ok. I say "Yeah, I'm fine. I'm ready." I hop on the table as though nothing happened.

Was my dream a premonition?
I could tell you, but it's so much more fun to guess!
That's my Christmas gift to you :-)

Be Prepared (Well, as much as you can be...)

I was supposed to go bowling last night, but my doula/friend (D/F) was under the weather and her daughter wasn't feeling the bowling alley. The mommies stayed home while the daddies went bowling. I got a chance to hear lots of advice from two new moms and an experienced one (my D/F's mom).

Most of the advice was about postpartum life, something I have to think about now. I'm halfway through my pregnancy, so now it's time to look forward to labor, birth, and beyond. My husband and I started a birth plan a while back, but it doesn't include what happens after the baby is born and home. Both my friends said it's really important for our family (new father, mother, and child) to have time to get to know each other before visitors come to call. And they specified: you need days, not hours, alone. My D/F urged me to make family bonding time a part of my birthing plan, and to let the extended family know ahead of time what our needs are.

As for my bithing plan, I hold the image that my labor will be peaceful and stress-free birth. Notice I did not say painless. I accept that there will be pain, and I know the pain exists for a reason, and that there is an end to it. My mother said that to this day she can put her finger on where the epidural needle went in 28 years ago. I'd rather endure the pain of childbirth than recover from cesarian surgery. If there is a medical emergency that calls for cesarian, I accept that. But it better be a true medical emergency. If the nurses and doctor are just tired of me laboring and are doing it for their convenience, they will have to wait. My doula may be short, but she's feisty, and she'll cuss somebody out in a hot minute for me, I guarantee!

Other advice from La Doula and Co:

Drink lots of water

Get lots of exercise (in addition to all the walking and stair climbing I do)


Drink Raspberry Leaf tea (my adopted mother suggested that too!)

Filter out judgmental advice (it usually comes after this or similar preface: "Oh, you're doing that, are you?")

Do your own research about everything so you can make informed decisions.

Trust your instincts.

I hope you had a wonderful Chanukah!
Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Ultrasound/Nurse Practitioner Visit

Had the ultrasound last week. The heart's beating, extremities and internal organs are in place. All is well, and it appears that I won't have to go in for another ultrasound, which is a good thing.

We took a tour of the maternity ward. It was a little disheatening. Philadelphia is closing a lot of its maternity wards (yet I see lots of pregnant ladies schlepping around this city), and the one I'm scheduled to give birth in is going under construction in January. That means fewer recovery rooms, noise, and other inconveniences of construction. The tour guide was unsure of when construction would be complete, and as of Tuesday so was the nurse practioner. She said they are having a faculty meeting so I should know in January when construction is scheduled to be over.

I don't like that. I also don't like the fact that the delivery ward gets so crowded that women are laboring in the hallway. Plus the recovery rooms are small and I will have to share. The good news is that I wouldn't have to share a delivery room except for with my husband, and there's a shower in there too. The security system is good too- the hospital issues tracking bands to the baby and parents, and the alarm goes off if anyone takes the newborn past a certain point.

Water birth is a nice dream, but it looks like it will remain that way for me. According to my nurse practioner (and several studies I've read) water birth has not been proven to be safe, and Pennsylvania has a very high malpractice rate, so hospitals do not do it. We could rent a tub and see a midwife who has much experience with water birth. We don't own our apartment, so God forbid the tub should overflow into the neighbor's apartment. Of course, I can labor a while at home in my own tub, and in the shower at the hospital...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mother Support Groups

I'll be brief today, since you'll hear from me tomorrow post doctor's visit.

If you are a first-time mother, I recommend going to a mommy support group before you give birth. I went today with a friend, who had a baby in September. Scuse my language, but these women are fucking geniuses! New mothers are an informative and underutilized wellspring of information. I learned where not to have my child in this city, where to get cloth diapers (and how ridiculously inexpensive it is to have a cloth delivery service), and what foods make the best homemade baby food just this morning! By the time you give birth you will have created a network of support outside of your family (not all of us live near our family, and not all of us have the same ideas about childrearing as our family). Plus you will want an adult person to talk to, as my friend this morning said.

Give it a try, that's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


So now that I am halfway through this pregnancy I have come to accept the fact that one day this child will leave my body. I took sex ed in middle school, my mother took out books from the library about this before I was in middle school, I knew that was true. But it was an abstract truth until now.

Women have given me lots of conflicting advice about how to deal with childbirth. From take the epidural, don't be a hero, to the pain has a purpose, don't fear it - work with it. I know women who had cesarian sections out of medical necessity, others out of convenience. I know women who gave birth vaginally. My doula danced through her labor (no, really! she did!), with no pain meds, and pulled her child from her nethers. I hate her, but that's why she's my doula:-)

I saw a 20/20 segment about waterbirth when I was in 8th grade. It looked so calm, so serene. When I saw the baby swim into the water I said to myself "That's it. That's what I want!" I have held to that mental image for a long time. So when the midwife at the OB/GYN said their practice does not perform water births I was crushed. There is not a hospital in this city that does it, I've checked. Some birthing centers will allow labor in a tub, but not delivery. Doctors want 360 degree access to the laboring mother, and many tubs are against a wall.

So I am faced with a choice: water birth at home, or hospital birth. I am not sick, I'm having a baby. I've said from the beginning I will not have a cesarian unless it is medically imperative. I'm not keen on doing it in the hospital. Unless of course I could go to a hospital in Phila where I could give birth in the water. Sadly that's not an option for me, and I'm not interested in travelling to North Jersey to give birth. I still have lots of research to do, but if I do decide to have a water birth, it might mean I'll have to switch doctors.

There are midwives in the city who have experience with water births and admitting privileges at hospitals, for emergencies, and also accept my insurance. There are companies that sell and rent birthing tubs. There are websites dedicated to promoting water birth. I am not at a loss for information, it's just going to take a lot of time to do the research.

This Ham Sandwich Tastes Like Crap

And it pains me to say that because I LOVE HAM!!! It's leftovers from Turkey Day. I think it may be the American cheese on the sandwich compromising its integrity. It's all thick and fake tasting, but it didn't taste like that on the last sandwich I had. That's the story of my life, I tell ya.

Anyhoo- the turkey is half-cooked. I am 20 weeks, 3 days along. My stomach is round, the baby is moving, and the pants I bought in the beginning of this endeavor are not fitting so well anymore.

The other thing that's happening, which I haven't shared, is that I am having dreams. Violent, morbid dreams. One dream involved me watching a documentary entitled "Great Executions of the 20th Century." Another dream was another documentary of a man who wanted his last moments to be filmed. It was like a five minute film, which started with him telling the camera a joke, and cutting to quick flashes of him dying, which was extremely painful, with a narrative running over it, and ending with dirt being thrown on the camera, I assume in what was the man's grave. No, I don't think I'm going to die during childbirth.

I told a friend about this phenomenon, who is a mother of four children, and she says it's because I am in pain. I figure it's that, or I am mentally preparing myself for the pain of childbirth. No, I'm pretty sure these types of dreams are not symptomatic of every pregnancy. But Jeesum Crow, it's unsettling.

Do I have anything happy to report, you ask? I told you the baby's moving, didn't I? Be grateful I wasn't the one committing any of the murders in these dreams, and that you weren't my victim. Enjoy those little morsels of happiness.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So many questions...

1) Are you having any cravings?
They're more like fleeting fancies. One day I really wanted red beans and rice from Popeyes. Another day I wanted spaghetti and sauce (but not with the homemade sauce I made because I'm sick of those damned tomatoes we got from the farmshare.) Popeyes was delicious as always. The spaghetti from the place down the street from us was a serious disappointment. One night I really wanted Chinese food, another day Beef Teriyaki. Unfortunately, I can't indulge these fancies as they hit because that involves money and time to get them, and we can't afford to satisfy all my whims. Now I make do with Hebrew National Beef salami sandwiches, Coco Krispies, and fruit.

2) Is it a boy or a girl? Are you gonna find out?
I don't know what it is yet, and yes we are going to find out. The ultrasound is Dec 12. Keep in mind, this is not 100% accurate, and it may decide not to be in a position where the technician can see its genitals. Once we find out, I will miss calling it "it." I realize that sounds cruel and heartless, but it's a sadistic joy of mine. Considering what I will have to go through during labor, give me this.

3) Do you have any names picked out?
My husband and I would like to have some part of this pregancy just for us, so we will go through the naming process as a couple. You'll meet the little person, name and all, when you see it. Thanks for respecting our decision.

4) Are you showing?
I'm small, and the women on the job have been saying for a while now that I am showing. I certainly can't hide it, but I'm not very big. My bellybutton is starting to pop out, and I'm getting that line down my stomach.

5) Are you feeling anything yet?
I think I am. Very quick movements, and they usually don't repeat themselves. It's not enough for you to reach out and lay your hands on my stomach expecting to get nudged. You'd be waiting a long time.

6) How are you feeling?
Overall about the pregnancy? I'm being overtaken by this alien that has made me feel like crap for months. My back hurts, I can't sleep comfortably, and you ask how I'm feeling?

Pregnancy gets romanticized waaay too often, ladies and gentleman. I'm not here to spin fairy tales for ya. The truth is I feel strange. My body is no longer mine. But I chose this, so I live with it. I'm not resentful. I don't hate the baby and I don't blame my husband for doing this to me. I just don't consider this the most rapturous thing to have happened. I'll be more excited when this part is over.

7) Are you shopping? What can we get you?
My least favorite questions. I come from a superstitious family, so I'm not shopping for anything until maybe March. As for what you can get: when the time comes friends and family will get the registry, get whatever your heart desires.

8) Are you having a shower?
Not a traditional shower. We do not want to sit in a room full of people opening gifts while you watch. We are throwing ourselves a co-ed party, with music and dancing, and no gift opening. I put it out there now so that there are no surprises.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Post Thanksgiving Wrap Up

Gobble gobble everybody!
I needed a few days to cool down after Turkey Day. Not that it was a traumatic holiday, but I just needed a few days in between to relax. There was a lot of food, and I managed to eat some without getting sick. Exception: my mom's stuffing. She thinks she's being slick by putting beef sausage or pork sausage in the stuffing. Like that's gonna hide the chunks of giblets she "snuck" in there. Nice try, lady!

Anyhoo- I did not overeat, but I was made to wait for food, which would have annoyed me even if I was not pregnant. My grandmother - mother to the giblet pusher - has me trained. If she says dinner's at 2, I'm at the table at 2, and when she says get the hell out at 7, my coat is on and I'm out the door.

So, pregnant ladies, if you know you're going to a friend's house and she says lunch is at 12, carry a snack, just in case lunch hits the table a few hours late. You need to eat, you're taking care of yourself and the growing fetus. My mom tried to wait for my sister's fiance and his family to arrive, but when 4pm came we said grace and got to grubbin'. 3pm means 3pm!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to indulge in things the pregnancy police get antsy about: sugar and red wine. I made vanilla custard ice cream and Church Punch for my mom's dinner. What's Church Punch, you ask? Anyone who went to a church with a largely African American congregation may know what I'm talking about. Powered fruit punch made according to instructions, with ginger ale and fresh squeezed lemons for that extra kick. It's sugary goodness, and I drank a lot of it on Thursday!

I also had red wine with dinner Saturday. My father in law grabbed my glass as he said "I assume you won't be having any of this." WRONG! It's the second trimester, and I am cleared for takeoff! I've had a total of 1 and a half glasses of wine since I hit this glorious milestone. The first half a glass was at a friend's birthday dinner. The second half was at my husband's grandparents house, and the third half on Saturday. I even sat at a dinner table with a huge bottle of red and had absolutely none of it. Why? Because I have self-control. Not only do I enjoy my half glass of vino when I choose to imbibe, but I wait until I've eaten what's on my plate before I do. Holy crap, I'm a responsible adult!

I have a friend who drank a can of cola a day because she wanted it. Two month old baby and his mother are alive and healthy. I drink a cup of caffeinated tea in the morning, and sometimes a cup of coffee in the afternoon. BBQ potato chips and I were great friends for a few days. But I'm quick to eat some fruit, yogurt, whole grain cereals, and for a while my husband fed me nothing but vegetables for dinner.

The moral of this Thanksgiving tale: People will scrutinize every move you make when you are with child. Your body becomes public property, and people will police every cup and morsel you put to your mouth. As long as you and your doctor know you are not harming your child, I think you're fine. All things in moderation, and don't beat yourself up about the "bad" stuff. Develop the better eating habits so the not so good ones won't be so detrimental. You're pregnant, but you're still a human being for God's sake (I say, as I sip my orange and cranberry juice).

Maybe I'll go steam some edamame and baby carrots for a snack...
See, nobody's around when you do the good stuff, are they?:-D

Friday, November 16, 2007

Full Disclosure, Again (not for everyone)

If you're not interested, just scroll down to the "17 weeks, 3 days" post. I will be talking about things that definitely fall into the "too much info" category. However, I made a promise to share, and share I must.

Seriously, I don't want to hear one word about how you didnt need to know that. I could give two shits, especially when I warned you not to read it! That's what you get, and you'll get neither sympathy nor an apology from me.

Are they gone?

Girls, three things are happening that are a little annoying.
1) My crotch hurts. It feels like I've pulled the muscles where your labia meets the thigh. It started a few weeks ago, and maybe this will not happen to you. Hopefully it won't. But it's annoying as hell, especially when I'm getting in and out of bed. I'm not sure if it's because my center of gravity has changed and I'm having difficulty turning in bed, or even getting out of bed. But whatever it is, I don't like it.

2) My crotch smells funny. Not like fish funny, or dirty, just different. This phenomenon I was warned about in the pregnancy books, but I didn't believe it. There's nothing I can do about it, and I hope no one notices this but me. I haven't noticed the discharge the books said may or may not accompany this.

3) My nipples are hurting. Not the whole boob, just the nipples.
Again, I was warned, but I was hoping it wouldn't happen. It's not so bad that I have to wear a bra to sleep. I do have to be careful when I put it on or take it off though. Oh- I'm a cup size larger WOO HOO!!!

The things no one will tell you, until you get pregnant Why is this stuff a secret anyway? It'll help you feel more normal, I say. But what the hell do I know, I've never done this.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

17 weeks, 3 days

That's how pregnant I am. Isn't science amazing?
(11/16/07 I forgot to say yesterday that the heartbeat is strong, 160 beats per minute.)

The doc took blood to screen or test for spina bifida. I won't have to give blood again for two and a half months. She also says I'm not gaining as much weight as she'd like but she's not worried about it yet. Neither am I frankly, I figure I'm doing all I can not to get sickyface all over the place, so as long as I'm keeping what I eat down, I'll be fine. I also move around a lot, either walking to and from the train station, taking the stairs at work, maybe that has something to do with it. Fear not, I am not starving myself or the little fetus.

These doctor visits are quick, which is rather annoying. It's like being in a drive-through, for God's sake. Not really, the office visit is ten minutes, and I don't think people sit in the drive-through for that long, unless you go to the drive-through of the McDonald's in my old neighborhood.

Oh- I had a freakout last night. I've been watching A Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby as a part of my morning breakfast routine, no big deal. I've seen hundreds of births on these shows, and even an anthropological movie showing everything without hurling. Last night's episode of Private Practice on ABC scared the crap out of me. Women are screaming, a doctor had to reach in and turn a breech baby, women are screaming, in between doctor's proposition each other in the hallway, of course. I started bawling "Oh my God, I can't do this!" Completely irrational response, especially since I can watch these births on TLC without batting an eye, even before I got knocked up (I like using that phrase. It tickles me!)

The moral of the story: Network TV likes to strike fear in the hearts of women and call it entertainment or quality story-telling. If you want to see what births are like, watch TLC.

Other than that, the nausea continues, my fight with water wages on...

People keep asking how my husband is doing and whether I'm driving him crazy yet. He's tired from commuting to another state for work, then coming home and doing chores, because I am either tired, in bed with a heating pad on my back, or in class. So no, I do not pull the "I'm craving jelly doughnuts from the Dunkin Donuts on the West side of Baltimore at 2:30 AM" card, because he's doing a tremendous amount of work for the both of us. I can get up and eat a bowl of instant maple and brown sugar oatmeal, which I often do.

So, "Big Up!" to the father of our child, never ever to be referred to as my baby's daddy (I had to correct a guy a few times about that)

Thursday, November 8, 2007


So, how am I doing?
It's hard to say. I thought I was over my repulsion to the Reading Terminal Market last week. I walked in with my boss and another co-worker and sat at the counter with them. When I got back to work I was feeling pretty full. I ate a bagel with mozzerella and tomato, drank a strawberry cantaloupe banana juice with a shot of wheatgress, and had half a wonton soup. This may have been too much, because I got sickyface (that's my euphemism for puking. Sickyface sounds better, doesn't it!)
So no more overeating...

My back was hurting a lot last week. The pain is less now, but I've discovered while at work that if I sit for long enough, my coxsix hurts. My right boob is itching (I do wash, thank you!), and my hands are getting drier faster. Oh- I forgot to tell you ladies, when you are early in your pregnancy your boobs hurt 24/7. Mine hurt so bad I had to sleep in tank shirts. Full disclosure.

Anyhoo, I'm not as tired as I was two weeks ago, but am still taking it slow, and I enjoy my 12-hour Saturday naps. How do I know they're so long? My personal timekeeper (aka my husband) tells me so. Do I care? Clearly not, since I continue to take said naps :-)

Now more of the co-workers are asking how I'm doing, asking am I pregnant, should I be doing that in my condition? So I answer their questions because it's just easier than telling the vast majority what they can kiss. The "in your condition" phrase is getting old, fast. I'm not going to do anything to harm either of us. To be really crass (albeit appropriate since I work in an African American cultural institution) if women on the plantations worked until labor kicked in, I think I can handle wrapping a doll and putting it in a box.

So get ready for lots of patronizing when you get pregnant. Suddenly you become weak and stupid.

And I think I will have to start walking around with a pencil to physically remove people's hands from my stomach.

More later...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Pregnant Woman's Miracle Cure(s)

I can't take credit for the title this time. My husband came up with it.

Because neither of us were particularly interested in doing work, we chatted on gmail for most of the day. (This is not unusual, FYI) I came in to work around 10pm today, which is usually when I'm waking up and microwaving water for my oatmeal. So now it's 5:00pm, and I am exhausted. I usually don't feel like I need a nap, but between waking up at 4am, getting back to sleep at 6am, then jumping out of bed at 9am, I am beat.

The worst part is that I can't nap. I would love to have a curtain on my corner cube, so I could close it, crawl under the desk and sleep. But alas, no. Nor can I just go home and sleep because I have a scene study class from 7-9, and I'm rehearsing with my partner in 20 minutes! I'm tired, my back has been hurting since Sunday, I'm just miserable all around.

Sleep as much as you can, and buy a heating pad. Both will serve you well during pregnancy. *Yawn*

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tell/Don't Tell

I attended a staff meeting yesterday, at the conclusion of which a co-worker offered a public congratulations to me on my pregnancy. My response? Not "thank you", because why would I be so gracious? I said: "Oh, whatever." She went on to explain that women are rarely congratulated on this event. The director of administration stops her and asks: "Wait, is she pregnant? Oh, are you? I didn't know." Here's me, again: "That's because I hadn't told you!"

Why am I so obnoxious? Because it's really none of your business that I am pregnant until I tell you, that's why. I work at a very small organization, and people seem to think we're a family. Some of my coworkers thinks it's written in the contract that we have to share personal information.
Example: a male co-worker insisted that I was pregnant. I looked him right in his face and said no because I wasn't ready to tell. Frankly I wasn't sleeping with him, he's not my boss, what business is it of his? Then when I couldn't hide it any more, he gloats in his omniscience, and tells me not to be mad at him because on the continent where he was raised, men love to see pregnant women. I said: "If you men had to carry babies I bet you wouldn't be so happy then, would you?" Now I was "speaking in parables", he replied and he didn't understand what I was saying.

"Shut the fuck up", unfortunately, was not the translation I could give him, since we were at work. But he definitely understood, because he doesn't talk much to me anymore LOL

People seem to think that because you look pregnant everyone deserves to know if it's true. Look at Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez. They look pregnant, but they've made no announcements, and I can't blame them. I'm not related to them, it's really none of my business.

Now I have people pulling me out of the way of dollies, not letting me perform certain duties at work that are not unsafe, all because they are concerned for my fetus' safety. I've been outed to the HR director before I'm ready to do it myself by a woman who thought she was being nice. All because I'm showing and figured there was no point in lying if I was asked anymore.

If you're not ready to tell people who are not your friends or family, don't. There's no law saying you have to divulge this info. When you do and they ask why you didn't say anything sooner, use my answer: "I figure if we're not friends, it's none of your business." Sometimes parables don't work :-D

Quick Update

The results of the Down Syndrome and Trisomy 18 screening tests are extremely low odds, which means there's a very good chance the child will have neither disease.
Someone asked me to clarify.

The children's chewable vitamins are going pretty well. Good lord they are tasty! The purple one is a little sour for my taste, and I have to remind myself they are vitamins not candy. My body thanks me for switching from that prenatal pill.

My water intake is admittedly not what it should be. I know I'm supposed to drink 8-10 glasses a day, and good for the rest of you who drink that and more. There's an awards banquet being held in your honor somewhere...

I, on the other hand, am like a camel. I can go for months without anything more than a glass a day, or every other day. I know it's "bad" for you, our bodies are 85% water, blah blah blah. But I don't like the taste of water. And I'd just like to say right now I am not asking for your advice on what I should do to make it taste better. As I write this I have a 24 oz bottle of water with lemon in it. It still doesn't taste good. It's just one of those things I will have to do. Leave me alone.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Part 1: Back from the doctor Part 2: Lady Problems

Part 1
Allo, Allo!

When I went in for the ultrasound two weeks ago I also had to give blood to determine the likelyhood of the baby having Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21) or Trisomy 18, which is more rare and potentially fatal. (It's a standard screening test for all pregnant women.) At my checkup today the doctor said the baby has a 1 in 7800 chance of being born with Down Syndrome, and a 1 in 10,000 of being born with Trisomy 18.
So if any of you play the numbers and you win, remember me ;-)

The fetus has survived to its second trimester, and we heard its heartbeat in the office without the ultrasound machine. The doc says it's a strong heartbeat. It sounds like a tap tap tap tap (it's very reassuring to know its still alive in there). I'm not gaining much weight, but I suspect there'll be plenty of time for me to blow up! If doc is not concerned, I'm cool.

Flu season is upon us. I am not a fan of needles. I think getting the flu shot is unnecessary since I'm not elderly or have a low immune system. But because I'm pregnant the doctor ordered me to get one. She also warned me that next checkup (in four weeks) I give more blood to test for spina bifida.

At this point if you're one who is uncomfortable with conversations about bodily functions, you may go now. I promised my friends I'd be honest but not graphic about the goings-on of my pregnancy. See ya :-D

Part 2
I complained about the prenatal vitamins I was prescribed today. I don't care that they're big assed pills (so if you can't swallow pills you may want to warn your OB about that, if and when the time comes).

They made it difficult to have BMs. I would feel like I had to go, only to sit for five minutes or more for these dark little pebbles to pass. (So maybe that's a little graphic, but everybody poops, and I'm about to spend the next two years looking at someone else's poo!)
It's the extra iron they put in, I guess my body needed time to adjust. That annoyed me because I didn't have that problem when I took a multi-vitamin with iron! It wasn't really constipation, but close.

Books suggest eating lots of fiber. My mom suggested drinking milk and eating applesause. None of those worked for me.

Should this difficult BM thing happen to you when you take the vitamin I would say be patient with yourself in the bathroom. Don't force anything out because the strain may cause hemroids. If it takes you ten minutes to go, then it takes you ten minutes to go. I did read in a book that you should use this opportunity to practice pushing because the difficulty making BM is not unlike pushing the baby out. So I waited until I felt like the poo was coming, bared down, and pushed steadily, not hard. Hey, you asked for the details, don't get mad at me! Thank God, no hemroids yet.

I complained once about the BMs and the doc gave me a stool softener, which I didn't take. Then as I started to get the all day sickness I couldn't take the vitamins. I had to wait a half hour before eating, or two or three hours after eating, couldn't lay down after taking the pill. General bullshit I didn't have the patience for. The doc gave me two options: restart the vitamins in one month, or take children's chewable vitamins.

Of course I bought a bottle of the chewables! I'm so excited :-D I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Seriously now, the boring stuff

I'm fine. The fetus is fine. We had the first ultrasound two weeks ago. There's a heartbeat and it was swimming around and putting its tiny hand in front of its face. I'm thirteen weeks along, took a blood test to screen for Down Syndrome two weeks ago, and no calls yet. No news is good news. And yes, it's much too early to know the sex. If it cooperates we may find out in December, but these things are never 100% accurate.

No cravings, just steady nausea, and susceptability to certain commercials, like IHOP and Dunkin Donuts. I really do have an aversion to water, but I find that if I let it get icy I can tolerate it. I get up between 4:30 and 6:00 am to eat, usually cold cereal or Cream of Wheat. I eat, watch the Simpsons, and fall back asleep. Thankfully I work part time, so I can stroll into work at noon and still put in a whopping five hour work day.

And yes, that man really did call my husband, my unborn child, and me devils. I covered the baby's earbuds though I think the amniotic fluids did a great job of shushing him out. When we got home I congratulated the little fetus on surviving its first instance of racism, in utero. Say what you want about me and my husband. We're adults. But leave our child alone
You're never too young to learn there are bullies and racists in the world, I suppose.

My "Morning" Sickness, Explained

A friend suggested I start a blog for updates about my first pregnancy. I have a feeling this post is not what she had in mind.

The pregancy bible and the old hens said that if I hadn't felt sick to my stomach by now (six or seven weeks), I wouldn't. I started feeling nauseated pretty late in the first trimester (about nine weeks), and it usually lasts all day. At first I thought that it was because I was moving too fast, or not eating enough. Even watching water swishing in a bowl I'm washing triggers a good dry heave.

Yesterday a wise man explained this late onslaught of nausea to me in one sentence: I am carrying the devil's child. Actually what he said was: "You're the devil, you're f**cking a devil, and your baby's gonna be a devil."

My husband may be insensitive at times and a whiny baby other times (love you!), but certainly not the devil. Ask anyone who knows him! (Now me, I'm Hell on Wheels and proudly admit it!)
So how does the walking Oracle of Broad and Chesnut Streets know we're devils? My husband's white, I'm black. We're a couple of demons roaming the earth in search of other souls to recruit and later devour in the final bid to win the miscegenation war.

Eureka! I've sold my uterus to Satan and inside me grows Beelzebub.
Hence the constant dry-heaving, aversion to water, and low-grade nausea. It's not the extra hormones surging through my body, I was foolish to think that was the reason. But if I am the devil my own kind can't make me sick, right? Maybe the good Negroid genes inside me are waging war to protect me from the evil Caucasoid genes in an in utero fight for good and evil.

At this point I did what any self respecting devil would do- blew the seer a deadly kiss and watched his eyes bulge and ooze from their sockets. My husband encapsulated the oozings in a silver vile he keeps on his neck. The vile's in the freezer- we must add it to the baby's first bottle, or else he will never know the sweet nectar of evil, which we devils need to survive.