Archive for March, 2008

Week 10

March 31, 2008

Week 10 per WebMD
Baby: Congratulations! Your baby is now officially called a “fetus.” It looks a little like a medium shrimp, measuring 1.25 to 1.68 inches from crown to rump, and weighing a little less than two-tenths of an ounce. You might be reassured to know that most physical malformations, when they occur, have occurred by the end of this week, so the most critical part of your baby’s development is safely behind you. But other developmental processes, such as those affecting behavior and intelligence, will continue throughout pregnancy. Eyes are covered by skin that will eventually split to form eyelids.

Mom-to-be: You still probably don’t show, but you may be wearing looser clothes. You may even be starting to eye maternity clothes, although you probably still don’t need them. You may continue to feel tired and moody, but take heart: These symptoms shouldn’t last too much longer.

So how do I stack up?

Baby: Well, at 9 weeks, 4 days the small one was 2.6 cm long (which is 1.02 inches), so it looks like things are probably right on track. 

As for the being reassured about the whole deformity thing, well, that’s like saying “don’t bother to worry about it now – if you were going to manage to totally screw this up you’ve already done so, so you might as well sit back and relax until it’s born and you get to see how much mayhem you can cause in a mere 10 weeks. Then you get 18 years to do the same damage emotionally. Happy parenting!” That being said, it totally has two arms and two legs, so at this point it seems like any major mess up could be resolved by moving to a colder climate where shoes and gloves are often required.

Me: I am definitely not showing but definitely wearing looser clothes. I haven’t gone so far as to buy maternity clothing per say, but I have been eyeing the Gap’s website and I did purchase two Bella Bands, which are basically just like a tube top-style body shaper that allows you to unbutton your fly and simultaneously keep your pants from falling down/your co-workers from thinking you are so absent-minded you don’t remember to fully redress after trips to the rest room. I plan to give these to every friend I know once they tell me they’re pregnant, as they are amazing.

As for being tired, I am definitely still exhausted. For example, this Sunday I slept in until 10 AM, took a nap from 2 PM – 4 PM, sat on the couch until 10 PM and promptly went to bed. I didn’t move beyond trips to the bathroom or the fridge from 4 PM on. I personally don’t think I’ve been moody (or any more moody than usual), but you’d have to ask my husband. I know he thinks I’ve become pickier and lazier, but I blame that on being tired, not hormonal.

It’s not just being tired, you see, it’s like completely losing the ability to focus. I know all I need to do is fold some laundry, but the effort it takes to get up and start sorting through the pile is daunting in a way I did not know was possible pre-pregnancy. Unfortunately, not being pregnant himself, my husband is understandably having difficulty with this concept as he cooks for me and I pick at the food, only to be hungry again in two hours, all while completely failing to hold up my end of the household chores. I try to tell him this is supposed to go away second trimester but he understandably dreads that it is only going to get worse.

I sure hope the double boost of it getting warmer outside and me surviving month three brings my energy back. That or I’m going to need to increase the cleaning lady to twice a week to avoid marriage counseling!

Overall rating of Week 10 so far – 6 (absolutely tolerable but not fun or exciting)

My poor, oblivious husband

March 28, 2008

My husband is an amazing man.  He cooks.  He cleans.  He is capable of some basic home improvements but knows his limits well enough to not destroy our home/cost us way too much money for something we’ll need a pro to fix anyway.  He gardens.  He has amazing taste in music.  He is funny.  He is smart.  He is loving. 

Unfortunately my husband has one very distinct handicap for dealing with a pregnant wife – he doesn’t really “believe” in illness.  He’s the sort of guy who says “bless you” the first time you sneeze and “stop it” the second time.  This does not bode well for being sympathetic to or putting up with a pregnant wife, especially when said pregnant wife is little ole hypochondriac, read-too-much-medical-stuff-for-my-own-good, general wus me. 

Symptom 1 – Morning Sickness 

So far I have been blessed with having the world’s mildest case of morning sickness.  I’ve only gotten sick twice, and my general nausea can be abated as long as I avoid vinegar (my sudden, pregnancy-related aversion that makes me ill just thinking about pickles or salads) and eat something every four hours (although every three is better).  I don’t need to eat a lot – a granola bar will buy me an extra hour, and a half sandwich gets me through a good three hours, but I absolutely need to eat or I hit no-man’s land, where I am too nauseated to eat anything, but I know the terrible discomfort won’t pass unless I get something into my stomach.  I also become pickier the longer it’s been since I’ve last eaten, as my mild aversions get magnified to closer I get to the four hour mark. 

Last night was a perfect example of testing the four hour wall.

A vendor that my husband is friendly with (we’ll call him B) stopped by for a beer after work.  No problem, especially as he brought cheese, and not just cheese but goat cheese with pepper jelly.  I dove into the cheese as subtly as I could, partly because I think goat cheese is possibly the best thing ever, and partly because I knew having a house guest meant I probably wouldn’t get to eat dinner until 8 PM, with my last snack having been a yogurt at around 4 PM.  The boucheron would buy me the hour I needed.

Unfortunately it turns out B is quite the talker.  With his wife and kids out of town for the week, he had all the time in the world to wax poetic about food sales and previous restaurant experiences and long-haired days of old (the early 90’s), all while I fidgeted knowing all too well that it was already 8:30 (8:30!) and my stomach was beginning to revolt.  With it being a “school night” and all, I knew I couldn’t sleep in to combat the next morning’s gastrointestinal chaos, so I attempted to take action.  I mentioned that I just absolutely needed to eat and was anyone else hungry and the following exchange occurred:

Hubby: What are you in the mood for?

Me: I can just grab some take out so we don’t need to cook or make a mess.  I’m kinda in the mood for Indian but I know you hate it.

Hubby: How about Basil?  I think we have their take out menu.

At which point I forage for the menu, and once I determine that it is long lost, I head up to the computer and print out their online menu.  I then return to the conversation downstairs and try for ten minutes to casually interrupt my husband to get him to pick what he wants:

Hubby: I don’t think I really want anything.

Me: Well then why did I just grab this menu – if you aren’t eating, I could have gotten Indian already. (head to kitchen to call in order)

Hubby to B: Do you feel like pizza?

Me: Wait, so are you or aren’t you hungry?

Hubby: How about you just get four things from the Indian place.

Wait, what?  Okay, you’re either hungry or not, but there is NO vacillating about food when a pregnant lady is now 45 minutes past her food witching hour.  This is war, people. Indecision kills. 

Luckily, I do get my food of choice and am chowing down by 9:30, a full hour and a half too late but better than never.  I manage to get a half plate of food down and while I know I will pay for this delay the next morning, full scale disaster has been averted.

Symptom 2 – Exhaustion

The next most popular issue of the first trimester is a kind of tiredness that sweeps over you like an avalanche.  So far this usually means I am a complete moron at work as of about 2 PM, and I now want to go to bed at 9, but try to hold off until at least 9:30 or 10.  As I was still chewing as of 10 PM last night, I was determined to go to bed the moment the last forkful of food hit my mouth.  Well, make that after I’d folded some laundry, so my body would have some time to digest the spicy food and therefore skip the heartburn I would inevitably feel for laying down moments after eating aloo gobi “crazy Indian hot” as I tend to order it. 

At this point B, the hubby and another guest are now dipping into what is likely the fifth bottle of wine for the night, which is right around the level of inebriated that leads my husband to “educate” any rookies on the nuances of burgundy.  This involves dragging said person up to the office which is strewn with maps of various french wine regions and breaking out the really bulbous stemware.  Coincidentally, it also frequently leads to my husband raiding his iTunes collections for some of his more obscure, 1920’s era music (last night he decided early Zydeco and proto-bluegrass were in order), as this will also enable him to keep on his professor’s cap when the victim’s, err guest’s interest in the Cote d’Or wains. 

Unfortunately, said office is located adjacent to our bedroom.  And our bedroom door doesn’t full close thanks to a rather full over-the-door style coat rack covered in bathrobes and belts. 

Also, Roscoe Holcomb may have the world’s most impressive ability to string together blood-curdlingly irritating notes, either as part of or inspite of his position of as the father of bluegrass.  In case you think this may be one of the many times I am prone to exaggeration, just listen to Trouble in Mind.  Sure, it’s an intense, deeply soulful and authentically Appalachian song, but OH MY GOD when he hits that note on the word “mind” and then the other one on the word “won’t” in the next phrase, I can feel the glass in the room start to tremor.  This is not something you can just tune out while trying to fall asleep – these pitches invade your joints. 

And this song, folks, This Song is the one my dear husband chooses to play after I told him the Zydeco was a little much for me to listen to through the wall. 

The poor man has no idea. 

Oh. My. God.

March 27, 2008

It has a head.  It has arms and legs, and it was moving them all, in what the hubby described as a “boggie.”  I mean, it has a body, too, but distinct arms and legs that are moving around like a… well, like a baby.  I mean, that’s what it is after all, isn’t it?

So it was our first ultrasound, a “dating” ultrasound to figure out when exactly this happened, but more importantly to figure out when it would be over, and by over I mean what the heck is my due date.  You see, in case you haven’t already figured it out, we’re pregnant (it is still odd to read that phrase).  In fact, as of today we’re 9 weeks and 6 days pregnant, a fact we now know care of our ultrasound tech. 

Well, technically speaking we’ve known about this pregnancy since February 21st (when we were apparently 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant).  And now I’m going to force you to suffer through the story, but only because I imagine I’ll be alluding to it quite often in future posts.

– how we found out –

I’ve been late before.  Heck, I’ve been on the pill for so long, I barely even get a period and usually I think nothing of it.  But this month, the circumstances were a little different. 

At my old job (and by old I mean the job I had up until I left in the end of February) I traveled a lot.  January proved to be a particularly hectic month which found me in Ohio (work), Key West (vacation) and Manhattan (work) over three consecutive weeks, all of which magically aligned with when I should have gone for my annual exam, which anyone under 40 not actively trying to conceive only schedules with the purpose of securing another year’s worth a birth control prescription.  Translation – I was out pills.  In fact, CVS had already been so kind as to extend my prescription for the month of January to float me by.  

Knowing I would be traveling SO much in the upcoming weeks, mostly sans husband, I simply decided to forgo for the month so I could start fresh the following month.  In theory, this plan should have worked.  No, seriously, I know the exact reason for the downfall and it’s not really my fault.  You see, based on my rudimentary understanding of ovulation, largely amassed while listening to countless friends working hard at getting pregnant explain, map and calculate cycles and fertility days, I knew that 1) even if you have sex the very day you ovulate, there’s only a 1 in 5 chance of getting pregnant, 2) based on when I’d last taken the pill, I should not have ovulated anywhere near the time when the hubby and I managed to sneak one in during the great travel-a-thon, and 3) many women who’ve been on the pill over 5 years (I easily fall into this category) have such a hard time getting pregnant right after stopping the pill that many experts recommend getting off the pill and switching to condoms for birth control the year (YEAR) before you begin trying for a baby.  Even so, before we did the deed, I joked with the hubby about our not being on the pill at the moment and we both laughed it off as “wouldn’t it be hilarious if we got pregnant?” 

Yeah – totally fucking hilarious.

All of which leads us to three weeks later, when I think I may be late (but am not sure, because who on the pill really pays attention to that?) and stop by dear old CVS for a pregnancy test, just to put my mind at ease.  Now you have to understand, I was not paniced at all.  This is not the first time I’ve bought a pregnancy test.  On a small handful of occasions, either because I entirely skipped a period (like when I was super fit from doing crazy amounts of bikram yoga so I’d look smokin’ for my wedding) or because I knew I’d missed a dose along the way (even camping, you need to remember to bring your pills), I made the same trip to CVS, picked up a pack of tests and would head home to the rest room to put my mind at ease.  And every time the tests came up negative, that second line failed to appear, and within two days my monthly “friend” made an appearance. 

So you see, I did not go into this thinking, “oh my god, I think I’m pregnant.”  I went into this thinking “if I just take a test and put my mind at ease, I’ll stop having these weird dreams about being pregnant, get some sleep, and ta-dah, I’ll have my period before the night is over.”  After all, I even had cramps, a sure sign that what I needed to be buying was tampons.  And my boobs hurt – in fact they were killing me, something that often happens to a lesser extend before said time of month, and I simply assumed the increased “sensitivity” was due to all the cuban coffee ice cream I devoured in Key West and the caffeine that had subsequently lodged in my body (for those who don’t know, caffeine consumption leads to increase breast tenderness around menstruation).  So I had all the symptoms of a not pregnant, PMSing me, minus the whole bleeding part.

And so I took the test.

Now this little gadget turned up two blue lines so quickly – nay, instantly, that I honestly had to look at the instructions on the box to see what two lines meant.  The way this usually goes is that you pee on the stick, and within 30 seconds or so the first line turns blue, indicating the test is working.  Then, 3 minutes later you check again to see if the second line has appeared, indicating that there’s hGC hormone in your urine which means you are preggo.  As I mentioned before, both these lines turned neon blue the instant I looked at the stick. I screamed.

Then I screamed for my husband, who came upstairs with the full expectation of my forcing him to kill a spider.  When he walked in the bedroom, I was waving the stick at him and while I don’t remember exactly what he said, it was something along the lines of “tell me you’re joking” to which I responded “do I look like I’m joking?” 

I get fuzzy about the next part, but I know it involved me peeing on another stick and it turning double-blue, and my husband insisting that because I took the two tests so close together the second results didn’t count because “it was from the same pee.”  No, he was not a science major in college.  At this point we laid on the bed and generally freaked out about the idea of being parents.  I ended up peeing on the third and final stick, because since I had it, why not, and of course we saw the same results.  We were pregnant.  We were going to be parents.  We were terrified.

So back to how this all went wrong… there’s a little but apparently very important fact I’d failed to pick up in all those discussions of cycles – the period you get while on the pill is largely cosmetic.  Since your body isn’t releasing any eggs because the hormones in the pill trick your body into thinking it’s already pregnant, the “period” you get is really more like spotting because you stop taking the pill for 7 days a month.  What does that mean – well, it means that someone on the pill doesn’t actually know what their natural cycle is, so once you stop taking the pill it just sort of picks up where it naturally would have, which in my case meant pretty much instantly.  What do I mean by instantly?  That egg must have released  three (3! not 7-14 but 3!) days after I stopped taking the pill, which is why my risk calculations were so off.  That and I had no idea how damn fertile my husband would prove to be.  (Don’t assume because someone smoked a lot of pot in his youth and stands with his crotch in front of a hot oven for several hours a day that his sperm count might be compromised – those boy were determined!)

– back to the present tense –

So now that we’ve seen the small one, and it has a heart beat, we’ve decided to tell everybody we’re pregnant.  Hubby sorta took this to the extreme, as he proceeded to tell everyone we ran into Tuesday afternoon (his Sysco sales rep, the owner of the fish shop, the counter guy at the cheese store), a la:

near stranger: How’s the restaurant business?

husband: Great.  We’re pregnant.

Yeah, we’ve been holding it in for a while now, and seeing that it did indeed have a head, and two arms and two legs (and a heartbeat) made the whole thing seem a little less surreal.