Saturday, January 30, 2010


I didn't mention this before, but flatulent gas is another symptom that I, and those around me, are forced to endure because of my pregancy. No one ever mentions that one, do they? But it's right up there as one of the most common symptoms. It's got something to do with the pregnancy hormone slowing motility in the stomach, which in turn allows gas to build up and be released unexpectedly. Sounds fun doesn't it? Trust me when I say that there is nothing fun about it and although I am lucky to work alone most of the time, I do not occupy an island here.

So my own unattractive smells are bad and put me in no position to judge, but this body of mine no longer cares about fairness, so smells of all kinds have been making me sick. Just thinking about unpleasant smells as I sit here typing could make me dry-heave.

This is no joke: smells that shouldn't be greatly offensive now greatly offend me. The most obvious location is the bathroom. The smell of any bathroom, even if it's not dirty or doesn't smell bad, can make me throw up. It's like my body has decided that if it detects a bathroom then it's convenient to get sick at that moment. Which of course it's not, especially at work--where I don't want to explain throwing up in the middle of the day for 'no reason'.

But the story that kills me happened last Saturday night. My husband and I went out with another couple and had an amazing time at a fun little tapas bar down the street. When we came home and went to bed everything seemed fine, until my lovely husband let out some built up stomach gas of his own. This is a fact of (married) life: people fart. It's not pleasant but it's not the end of the world either. Except this time. I smelled his rancid flatulence and before I had time to respond I was dry heaving, then throwing up in my mouth. I quickly jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom where I proceeded to throw up all those lovely tapas I had eaten. My husband could not contain himself and laughed hysterically while I attempted to yell back "It's not funny!" in between up-chucks.

Good times.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Spreading the Word

I realize that I'm backtracking a little, but I have to comment on the initial and varied emotions that ran through me when I found out I was pregnant because they were somewhat astronomical. Of course there were feelings of disbelief when that Plus Sign appeared, followed quickly by joy and excitement. I was alone in my apartment when I peed on that stick so I really didn't know what to do with myself. Of course I had to wait until my husband came home before I could even think about telling anyone else this life changing news. When he did get home I was ridiculous: I turned off the TV and sat up all straight trying to think of a fun or clever way of telling him. Right away he knew somethings as up, "did you get a job?"

"No," I answered (for the record I got a job within a week of finding out I was pregnant).

"You're pregnant," he pronounced.

I was shocked that he had seen through me so quickly and I had lost my opportunity to tell him the news in some creative or memorable way--oh well.

We were dying to tell our families, but I convinced my husband to wait until I'd seen the doctor and we had a little more information. Every one's first questions: "What's the due date?" or "How far along are you?" So we sat on the big news for a week or so. When the doctor told me I was 8 weeks along, I was surprised and extremely excited. The general rule that women follow when it comes to announcing their pregnancy is to wait three months. This is because, as my doctor explained, one-third of healthy, normal women will miscarry for no reason during that initial 3-month period. This, to me, was a shocking statistic, and one I took to heart. But I didn't let get in the way of my enthusiasm for the growing life inside me. I was grateful that we only had to sit on the news for a month: how anyone could hold it in for three whole months is beyond me.

We told our parents and some close family members and friends--people I felt I would need to tell if things did go wrong, which thank the gods they didn't. But now I had put all these people in the position of keeping their lips sealed until I gave the go ahead. For the most part everyone really impressed me with their ability to keep quiet, but there's always one, isn't there? And in my case there were two!

My sweet, amazing father-in-law who is, all in all, a very trustworthy person, was too overwhelmed by the news that he would become a grandfather to hold it in. It's funny receiving a congratulatory email from people that you did not share top secret news with. Then my loveliest West Coast friend, whom I might add was experiencing some baby brain of her own (she was around eight months pregnant at the time), told two of her friends who I happen to know. A little awkward, but nothing that couldn't be fixed with a light scolding and a quiet pleading.

It's a funny time, those early months. There is so much going on and yet you have to stay quiet and calm for the most part. A friend was asking if I was buying baby things and getting things ready, but it's funny: at first you are so filled with excitement and energy that you probably could furnish a nursery in one day, but you're forced to bottle that energy up and keep it all in. You have to acknowledge that 1/3 pregnancies aren't going to make it to week 12. My body was going through so many changes and the feeling of being pregnant was so present in my everyday and yet most of the people I was encountering had no idea. I was full of plans, hopes, and dreams, but it was too soon to take action. It was a paradoxical time and I'm glad to be through it now.

I'm calmer now that I'm almost 14 weeks. I feel so glad that I've been able to tell almost everyone the wonderful news. I think it was worth the wait to hear people's excitement and congratulations when I told them. There has been an outpouring of love and support from friends and family that has overwhelmed me. My baby's first gift has already been received and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about that little, yellow, hand-knitted bib sitting on my dresser and waiting for a baby. I'm sure it's the hormones talking but so far this ride has been the most amazing experience of my life and I am just thankful to have amazing people to share it with.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Out the Window

So I always imagined that when I got pregnant I would be so amazing to my body: I would eat only the most healthy organic foods available; I would exercise and go to yoga; and I would do absolutely everything possible to take care of myself and the growing life inside me.

Well, I am learning quickly that all the best intentions can easily fly out the window when reality is imposed. Now, I'm not saying that all those things aren't good and in fact I do strive to live out a beautiful and well balanced pregnancy, but morning sickness is a powerful taskmaster who does not care about any of my good intentions.

Once morning sickness hit--and, as I've mentioned, for me it hit hard--I was laid up or at least laid out on the couch in front of the TV for a good three weeks. The constant feeling of nausea made the idea of going to yoga, or to the gym at all, completely out of the question. I was 'lucky' not to be working yet (how women go to work with morning sickness and keep their pregnancy quiet is beyond me).

I took full advantage of my unemployment and did nothing, except of course eat. Did I mention the cure for this nauseous sick feeling is food? How ironic. I think this whole pregnancy is a metaphor for parenthood: best intentions often fly out the window and the cure can be found in the most unlikely place. But I am getting off point: the true point is how much I ate those first few weeks I became aware of a growing life inside of me. It became carb central and I became the monster on the couch requiring regular feedings. My husband obliged me (perhaps to a fault).

I'm sure it goes without saying that I have quickly put on a healthy 10 pounds and that my pants are increasingly tight. Now I must come to terms with the new body that I am now embodying: the pregnant body. I didn't think the weight gain would bother me but I am a woman, a woman who didn't start this journey completely comfortable with her look. And you may be thinking "it's okay, you're pregnant" and that's true, but during the early days no one knows you're pregnant so, let's be honest, you just look fat. I believe that once my tummy rounds out a bit further and I have announced to my co-workers that I am expecting it will be a little easier. But for now I struggle every morning to find the perfect outfit that is not too tight and not too baggy in order to conceal my lovely emerging bump.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Symptoms of Life

I was surprised, when I finally got to see the doctor, that I was already almost two months pregnant. I felt excited but slightly robbed of the full nine months prep time that all women are entitled to. I didn't have too much time to think about that because I was so focused on nausea.

Fact: morning sickness doesn't usually set in until week 5-6, so watch out ladies.

I felt sick 24/7 and it wasn't just your run of the mill nausea--this was more like a constant hunger combined with all food being disgusting and of course if I ate the wrong thing I would throw up (only it was hard to say what the wrong thing was until it was too late). So I did what any women would do: lie on the couch and allow my husband to do absolutely everything for me. I also learned that there is more to early pregnancy then just morning sickness. If it was a possible symptom I had it.

Headaches: from the fact that my body now has double the amount of blood (crazy).

Constipation: this is a fun one that I have never in my life experienced and now have a new found respect for.

Difficulty sleeping: what isn't that supposed to come later? I have been a pro sleeper my entire life, this has been a sad turn of events.

Constant thirst/urination: again seems to soon for that.

Sore Breasts: this is pain like you wouldn't believe and of course they are also growing at a rapid rate and I can no longer fit properly into any of my bras.

Skin: I don't know about glowing skin but I broke out with major hormone zits, it was bad really really bad.

So basically as soon as I found out I was pregnant I got a constant reminder of that fact by feeling completely unwell all the time. But the worst part was that once most of the symptoms subsided I kind of missed them. They were the only way I knew that this was really happening. So now they come back on occasion to remind me, which is kind of sweet and twisted.

It's On

So I feel that I have some catching up to do. I am now 12 almost 13 weeks pregnant!

Let me start at the beginning:

My husband and I opened the door to conception last spring. We decided that we were 'ready', or as ready as anyone is to start trying to have a family. However, we didn't want to 'try' in a focused way, we decided to take an old fashioned approach and just see what happened. Naturally we were both shocked that I didn't get pregnant the first time we had sex without the aid of my magic pink pill. High school sex educators the world over may have stretched the truth about how easy it is to get pregnant. The more I read, the more I realized that this whole conception thing was a bit of a miracle and I decided the best approach was a nonchalant one. As time went by it was something that I was aware could happen but thought less and less about actually happening...after all, my period was completely aloof.

Then one day I got sick.

Now let me be clear that "morning" sickness for me was nothing like how it seems on TV. I was sick all day--it felt a lot like I had the stomach flu or maybe H1N1, but I did think I should go and take a pregnancy test and eliminate that possibility before I went for serious flu drugs. It may seem obvious to some, but for the previous seven months I had taken numerous pregnancy tests just to be sure and I was very accustomed to seeing the little negative sign. When that plus sign showed up it truly took my breath away.