Category: Uncategorized

A day in the life

One of my favorite blog posts to read are “Day in the life” posts. I love seeing what other family’s typical days look like, especially if their family is similar to mine. I work full-time, 42.5 hours a week if you include lunch. I’m a project manager, so sometimes those hours get stretched out even more but recently I’ve been sticking to a 42.5 hour schedule because I feel like that’s so much to begin with. My husband is a Certified Financial Planner, and while it differs week to week and month to month, he has a pretty grueling schedule and always works a few extra hours over the weekend. We have 3 year old Lily, and 8 month old Maggie, and our childcare situation is a bit unusual so I’ve done each day separately.

Monday

My alarm goes off at 5:15am, and I look at my phone until 5:18-5:20. I go downstairs to make coffee and kick myself for not doing delay brew (again). I make my, Lily, and now Maggie’s lunch while I drink my coffee. I used to try to make lunches in the evening, but the girls have been sick and Maggie has been sleeping terribly for what seems like 4 months now, so after I get Lily into bed at night I go to bed.

I’m supposed to run at 5:45am, but not doing delay brew and having to make lunches means that I run at 6am instead. If it’s above 20 degrees and not the middle of a snowstorm, I run outside. Otherwise, I run on the tredmill and watch a show.

6:30/6:40am: I get back from my run. I look at what lights are on as I come up the driveway to try to gauge who’s awake. Sometimes it’s no one, sometimes it’s everyone, and sometimes it’s just Ryan and one of the girls. Whatever the situation is, I try to get into the shower before the girls see me if they’re awake or they’ll get upset.

6:55-7am: I get back downstairs and make the girls breakfast (it’s usually me), get my pump parts together, and finish making lunches if I haven’t already. After Lily finishes her breakfast she watches a show until we’re ready to leave. I/we (depending on if Ryan decides to run or not) brush Lily’s teeth and hair (the worst–I am thisclose to her first haircut), and get her dressed. Mondays are great because I don’t have to get Maggie dressed which is a struggle.

7:35am: My mom arrives to watch Maggie. This is really helpful because I can get last minute things together and deal with getting Lily ready.

7:50-8am: I always seem to be late getting out the door. I drive Lily to preschool and drop her off.

8:30am-5pm: Work!

sleepy-maggie

Maggie, lulled to sleep by snow falling outside the window and the ultra-calming environment created by Grandma.

5:25-5:30pm: I pick Lily up. We talk about her day on the 5 minute drive home.

5:45pm-ish: I get home and my mom is making dinner, or already has it made. We chat, I put whatever I can away, and Lily helps set the table or plays.

6:15ish: We eat dinner. My dad often comes too, along with their little dog.

6:50pm: If I’m giving Maggie a bath, I take her up to do that while Lily hangs out with my dad and my mom clears up dinner. After Maggie’s bath I read her a few stories, nurse her, and have her in bed by 7:15.

7:15pm: I go back downstairs. When my parents leave, I give Lily a bath or play with her (we do baths every other day)

7:50pm: I read stories to Lily. Sometimes Ryan gets home and says goodnight, but other times he’s not home until 8 or 8:30pm.

8:03pm: I’m out of Lily’s room. Sometimes she reads to herself for a while, or has to pee again. Sometimes I’ll do a few things to clean up downstairs, and other times I’ll just get ready for bed immediately. I like to be in bed by 8:45 because it usually takes at least 20 minutes of reading for me to fall asleep, and with Maggie waking up a few times each night I have to be in bed for at least 8 hours to get anywhere near a full nights sleep.

9:30pm: If it gets this late and I’m awake, I panic! Otherwise, I’m already asleep.

Tuesday

My morning routine is the same as Monday. The only difference is Tuesday is technically Ryan’s morning, and his mom comes over to watch both girls. I’m supposed to leave at 7:30am so I can leave work early that or a different day, but it’s usually more like 7:50am. That’s okay because I work 5 minutes away on Tuesdays!

8am-5pm: Work!

5pm: I leave work to either go home to the girls and make dinner, or go to my MIL’s to get them and have dinner. When we do this, we typically stay until 7pm and then I go home and put Maggie to bed right away while Lily watches a show on the iPad. The nightly routine is the same after this.

Wednesday

We’re still figuring this one out, because my MIL doesn’t come to our house until 8am, and Ryan has to leave around 7am. This is too late, so I starting next week I will have to get both girls ready, bring Maggie to my MIL house, and bring Lily to preschool, leaving by 7:20-7:30. Maggie isn’t awake yet half the time, and sometimes Lily isn’t either. I am panicking just thinking about it.

8:30am-5Pm: Work

5pm: Sometimes I run after work on Wednesdays because the mornings are hard. I always skip one day a week running, so it should probably be Wednesdays. That just means getting up really early on Thursdays!

Ryan is supposed to make dinner on Wednesdays, but he gets home at 5:45-6 half the time so this doesn’t always happen. Regardless, Wednesdays are always easy dinners, and having him home in the evening to help clean up and to keep Lily occupied while I get Maggie to bed is a HUGE help. Last night Ryan and I were both tickling Maggie on our new foam mattress as it finished expanding, and she was laughing but also looked kind of confused and Ryan said, “She’s like, ‘Why am I getting all of this attention?'” It was spot on, because most of the time we operate under divide-and-conquer. I’m really guilty of using anytime Ryan is around to get chores done, and I’m trying to be better about letting things go and spending time all together instead. It’s hard when I haven’t cleaned the bathtubs or dusted in 3 months, and there are 5 loads of laundry that need to be put away though.

Thursday

Here is what Thursday should look like (and what it did before Daylight Savings Time and Maggie not sleeping):

4:45am: My alarm goes off. I did delay brew the night before, so I get up right away and start drinking coffee while prepping lunches and doing other chores really quietly.

5:15am: Run.

5:45am: Return from a run. Maggie often wakes to be fed. I’m in the shower by 6am, and Ryan is out the door by 6:15am. Both girls tend to wake up early on Thursdays. Murphy’s Law. This isn’t a problem because my mom watches them both at our house, so the morning is better no matter what!

messy-lily

“Frankie didn’t know any better!” Typical Thursday morning before my mom started watching the kids. Lily decided to cover herself in “washable” ink and blame it on being a dog.

8:30am-5pm: Work. The evening looks the same as Mondays, minus having to pick up Lily.

Friday

5:15am: Alarm goes off and I get up. The morning is the same as other mornings in terms of prepping lunches and running. I leave by 7:30am, and Ryan drops the girls off. This is Maggie’s one day a week at daycare, and it’s the same one Lily goes to.

7:30am-4:30pm: Work. This is a long day because there’s usually a half hour I need to make up for somewhere else. I’m Exempt, and I used to feel like I needed to work over 40 hours every week. With the new labor law changes, our work day was expanded by 30 minutes so I don’t work extra anymore.

5pm: It’s Ryan’s day to pick up, but I love picking the girls up from daycare/preschool so I’ll often offer to do it. There’s nothing like that running hug! We eat dinner as a family on Fridays, but it’s again something casual like homemade pizza or burritos. After dinner is a combo of playing and getting Maggie ready for bed. This is again so much easier with Ryan home! We’ll sometimes stay up until 10(!) on a Friday, maybe watching a movie.

Looking at this, our schedules are all over the place, and it feels that way a lot of the time too. Two things that make my life so much easier are delay brew, and making lunches at night. Like I said, Maggie wakes up so much so I’m so exhausted that I just don’t feel like doing this in the evening. It’s really time for us to sleep train her, especially now that she’s been on an antibiotic and is feeling better. In the summer, evenings look very different. We always play outside in the evening in the summer, and often take a walk or go to the playground before or after dinner. When I have my act together in the morning, sometimes we’re able to get outside before it’s time for me to leave.

Is your schedule as messy as this? How do you deal with mornings?

 

#3: It’s not cheating

When I was pregnant, I was adamant about doing everything naturally.  A natural delivery was only part of this plan.  We were going to swaddle!  No Boppy Pillow on this girl’s registry!  Our baby would be toted in a sling!  Cloth diapers only for this munchkin!  After all, old school mommies are the best mommies.  Guess how many of those we accomplished?

Zero.

As I watched my intentions vanish into the distance while my life became simultaneously easier, I felt as though I were cheating.  If mothers had been doing these things for centuries, why couldn’t I?  Giving in and using modern developments like the Halo and baby carriers meant I just wasn’t trying hard enough.

Eventually I realized I was.  I tried to deliver naturally.  I tried to swaddle my baby.  None of these things worked.  Recently I received a Summer Infant Swaddleme from another mom.  I commented on how I couldn’t have enough of these because Lily spits up on them at night.  Her response?  “I felt like I was cheating, but these are great.”  Hallelujah!  Guess what?  She had tried swaddling first, too.  We weren’t cheating.  We were doing what was best for our babies.  Cheating is scheduling a C-section without medical reason, or bringing a nanny along on your lunch dates.  So here’s my bit on how I realized that “giving up” on each of these things I felt so strongly about really wasn’t giving up at all.

#1:  Cloth diapering: We were all stocked up on Best Bottoms.  They were supposed to be easy to use, even for the reluctant caregiver or family member.  And they are.  However, they are simply too big for even hefty newborns like my own.  She was swimming in them when we tried at about 2 weeks. Thankfully my sister in law anticipated this and had gifted us an Honest Company diaper cake.  We used those for about 3 weeks, but now we are all cloth, all the time.

 Image

I make pooping in your pants look adorbs.

#2:  Swaddling:  Around month 7 of my pregnancy, Ryan and I watched a video on swaddling (the baby whisperer one).  We were really into this concept, and excited we were going to do the right thing–the thing everyone in every non-Western culture knew was best–and swaddle our baby.  We would not be using that Halo sleep sack the hospital gave us!  Guess what I’m using all those expensive Aiden and Anais swaddle blankets for?  Burp cloths.  I ripped into that sleep sack before even leaving the hospital.  She just likes to flail her arms around and breaks out of a swaddle.  Plus her hands keep her entertained when she’s awake at night, and sometimes she can stick them in her mouth.

#3:  Boppy Pillow:  Pre-nursing, I thought Boppy Pillows were a sign of weakness.  Now I know they’re the same as the regular bed pillows our fore-mothers used, just shaped differently.  Side note:  I have a Mobo, which is a less expensive Boppy and it has a vibrating thing inside.

#4:  Slings:  I had visions of myself walking with Lily in a sling through parks and down village streets, catching the approving and jealous eyes of onlookers.  Riiiiight.  Lily hated the sling.  You know what she loves?  Carriers.  She screamed when I stuck her in the sling, and fell right asleep in the carrier.

#5:  Natural Deliveries:  Ryan and I planned on having an epidural-free delivery.  His aunt did Lamaze classes with us.  I listened to hypnosis apps (that’s a lie–I never made it all the way through without falling asleep).  Simply having been an athlete and running through pain made me feel prepared.  We discussed my plans to take Nubain if I felt I needed it.  I didn’t make a rigid birth plan because I wanted to make sure that after the fact I could love on my baby and not be hung up on my delivery not going exactly my way.  I got induced and a few hours later things started picking up pretty quickly.  I decided to get Nubain at 5pm, when I was 3cm dilated.  The Nubain didn’t touch the pain or help me relax, but it did make me dilate 4cm in two hours.  My contractions were abnormally long with extended peaks, and I had less than a 10 second break between each one.  Two contractions after I saw fear spread across my notoriously calm husband’s face, I asked for an epidural.  My nurse, who had been very supportive of me not getting an IV or extensive pain meds, agreed it was time.  When my nurse from the previous night came in afterwards, she said “This is what epidurals are for.  They’re not for those women who come in and have two contractions and give up.”  She was referring to the fact that the Pitocin had made my delivery completely “unnatural”.  This helped me realize that having a natural birth in very unnatural circumstances isn’t necessarily realistic.  Would I have an epidural again?  Probably not.  But that’s because I don’t plan on getting induced ever again.

Image

Can’t feel my legs, but I can feel that little girl.

#2: Keep the tags on

Sound like a boring topic?  Okay, maybe it is, but knowing this is SUPER useful.  This is for two reasons:

1.  You may get too many of the same type of outfit (or, if you’re like me, 3 of the same outfit all in the same size)

2.  If you’re like me, your friends and loved ones will only buy your baby 3 month clothes.

At first I was mad because literally no one gave me gift receipts* and I had all of this stuff that just wasn’t what I needed.  I had anticipated needing to exchange a few items, but when it turned out to be nearly half the adorable wardrobe I received I nearly had a panic attack.  What were people thinking?!  What was I supposed to do with this huge pile of 3 month clothing when my 2 month old started outgrowing it and I still hadn’t gotten out of the house (a totally unfounded fear)?!Image

But there are those people who will get you adorable baby leisure suits like this one.

Then my mother in law told me you could bring anything back to Carters as long as it had a tag on, even without a receipt.  And it turns out you have an entire year to do so.  Gold.  Mine. In the Buffalo area, everyone buys their baby clothes at Carters (and for good reason–more on this in another post).  Now here is the bit of advice I wish I myself had followed: If you’re having more than one shower, wait until after the second one to exchange all of the things.  My second shower was held back home where there are literally no baby stores.  As such, the baby clothes I received came from various places so I was stuck with most of the stuff I got.

On a side note, I wish there were some really polite way to ask people not to get you newborn clothing if, like me, you know you are going to birth a toddler (Lily was actually only 8lbs 7.7 oz but she inherited her dad’s absurdly long torso).  One of my aunts gave me soooo much newborn clothing all pinned to a clothes line which was then placed inside a basket–best shower idea ever–and I felt terrible because I couldn’t use any of it (not even the hats).

Image

Clothes are overrated anyway.

*Note to all readers: Please provide your mommy friends with gift receipts.  Receiving one more item they can’t use while they still need a lot of other stuff they just might have included on their registries might be the thing that sends them over the edge.

#1: You are NOT going bald (at least not because you just had a baby)

Today’s post is dedicated to the topic that prompted me to change the direction of this blog: post-natal hair loss.  I’m sure a lot of readers out there were completely prepared for this, having been forewarned by mommy friends or what to expect, or could put two and two together and realize all that extra volume their locks gained during pregnancy was going to disappear at some point.  This latter crew has nannies.  Two and two is not a concept newborns can grasp, therefor those of us without nannies cannot come to this conclusion.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about: you are going to lose that nice voluminous bounce your hair took on during pregnancy.  In other words:

ALL OF THE HAIR WILL FALL OUT.

Image

What?!!

After clogging our tub and littering all surfaces of the house (including our baby’s butt) with shedded strands of hair, I was on the verge of Googling what this phenomena could mean (after all, that’s how I figured out I was pregnant).  Did I have Lupus?  Some illness I could be passing on through my breast milk?  Then when I was nursing thesweetestbabyintheworld, I happened to pick up Baby magazine.  I didn’t purchase this—my mom brought it home from the hospital waiting room.  I vowed never to buy certain publications after reading the following in Parents magazine, which is supposed to be a good solution when your toddler gets upset that you tried to put the straw in her juice box instead of letting her do it:

“Stomp the ground and say ‘Mommy moved the straw and Zoe got mad.  Big mad!’  Reassure her you won’t do it again.  Then grab some tape—seriously.  Tape works wonders on all kinds of things that go wrong…From your toddler’s perspective, you acknowledged a problem and made way for a do-over.”

A DO OVER?!  There are no do-overs!  This is real life, tiny munchkins, and it isn’t always going to go your way.  My problem with this solution is that it was offered as a first line of defense, instead of a last-straw-your-wee-one-got-up-at-3-am-and-didn’t-nap kind of solution.  (Also, “big mad”?  Come on, mommies.)

Anyway.

So I was reading Baby and lo and behold, they address hair loss like it is something everyone knows is going to happen.  After getting over my initial relief I was annoyed that no one had mentioned this to me. Like, say, my DOCTOR.  I would have had to have read every issue of every pregnancy/baby/parenting magazine from the past decade to stumble upon that–you know it’s bad when it isn’t even mentioned in What to Expect.  Thus came the inspiration for this blog.  Simple posts revealing some pregnancy-, labor-, or parenting-related phenomena either so obscure or so blatantly obvious you’ve never even considered it.  Yes, I know some readers will see some topics and think I am a neglectful parent for not being more informed, but I’m pretty sure you’ll find something in here that will make you glad you looked.

Image

Like photos of this cute baby.

Things no one told you

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are so many things they NEVER tell you about being pregnant.  People and books are full of advice, but it’s typically of the general sort.  As in, “You’ll be tired” rather than, “You’ll be so exhausted that you might fall asleep sitting up in the middle of a presentation by a potential new faculty member.”  I feel I benefit most from real-life examples, which is probably why I simply thrived in organic chemistry.  I think a lot of women feel it’s better to give that general advice as just because they had a certain experience doesn’t mean anyone else will.  The way I take it, though, is that if it happened to you, something along those lines could happen to me, too.  So here is my ever expanding list of things I wish I had known might happen while in the throes of pregnancy:

  1. Nausea.  Everyone knows to expect nausea and possibly vomiting during the first trimester (and beyond if you’re Kate Middleton).  However, I wouldn’t exactly characterize this sensation as nausea.  For me it started as upper epigastric pain (bloating, which I’ll get to, contributed to this too).  That was the first day of my stomachy symptoms, and by the next day it was straight up nausea. The only other day I could straightforwardly identify my stomachy feelings on was when I was at my parents and I just felt downright queasy (my mom said I was green).  The rest of the time I experienced something completely new every day.  I couldn’t say if it was nausea or queasiness–it was like a whole new realm of stomach upset.  Even though I never actually threw up, I think I really struggled with this part of being pregnant because I have rarely had stomach bugs.  Even as a kid, when I got the rare stomach bug I would bargain to have it switch over to strep throat because that was so much more bearable.
  2. Fatigue.  Fatigue is another symptom everyone knows to expect. After all, there is a future human inside of you who is currently forming all of his vital parts.  I had no idea that I would literally just fall asleep with no warning.  I wasn’t working yet my first I think week and a half of being pregnant and I don’t know how women who are working do it without tipping their coworkers off because I would hit a certain point of the day and just have to go to bed.  I was barely functional because of the nausea, and then on top of it I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I didn’t know how bad it was until I started work and fell asleep sitting up.  Three times.  Once during a presentation by a potential new faculty member.  And it’s this whole new kind of exhaustion where if you need to be paying attention to something you just go completely cross-eyed and start bobbing and swaying uncontrollably.  I would try and shift around a lot if I was in a meeting to keep from taking a nose dive (literally–if I stayed in one position for more than a few seconds my head would start to take a nose dive).  But for real, I would love to know what all you working women did do hide this from your bosses.
  3. Running.  I expected running would be difficult after I was huge.  I also expected it would be difficult due to exhaustion for a bit during the first trimester.  However, I never really thought about how being dizzy would effect it.  I had a few runs on which I really felt like I might fall over.  Worse though was, through week eight, the stomach issues.  I was “nauseous” 24-7, and running made this so much worse.  It would make me incredibly bloated and caused not pain (because I would have stopped right there) but rather a great deal of discomfort.  I stopped running for a while because for the rest of the afternoon or evening I just couldn’t do anything but pray I would fall asleep so I didn’t have to feel this anymore.  All this stomach stuff was exhausting in itself–it literally makes you tired.  Also, I had a lot of trouble breathing on my runs the first few weeks.  I have mild asthma so always use an inhaler before running, so I’m not sure if this had something to do with it but it is a lot better now.  I started feeling better on my runs around week ten, and now I can go for 45 minutes with no problem (I would go longer but I don’t have time).
  4. Constipation.  Okay, you probably don’t want to read about this, but if there was anything I wish I had been more prepared for it would have been constipation.  I did read in some book or online that it can make you tired (like everything else in pregnancy), so I expected that.  What I did not expect was how incredibly uncomfortable this would be.  You’re giving up your daily coffee, and all of your organs are trying to shift around to accommodate your expanding uterus, so obviously there are going to be some disturbances.  However, I was completely unprepared to clog my future in-laws’ toilet.  Let’s just say I take no bowel movement for granted these days.
  5. Bloating.  I kind of mentioned it before, but bloating has been pretty problematic for me.  I used to be super thin but after college gained some weight (bringing me up to a still completely normal BMI of 18-19) so my pants were already kind of small.  With the bloating, however, I couldn’t even look at a pair of jeans.  I got a lot of upper abdominal bloating which is pretty uncomfortable and also looked so bizarre because it went right up to under my boobs.  I really don’t know how I could have prevented this because I wasn’t exactly eating a lot at the time.
  6. Eating.  Speaking of eating, it was really weird to realize that though eating was the last thing I wanted to do when “nauseous,” it was the only thing that helped to alleviate the problem.  Also, while ginger ale and saltines were incredibly helpful the first week I knew I was pregnant, just typing those words right now makes me gag.  Into the second week grapefruit juice helped.  Now I can’t drink that either.  While I used to be a strictly water or coffee drinker, I’ve had to reconcile that drinking juice–which I would never have touched before–is going to have to be okay because I need to get some sort of hydration and water is no longer appetizing.  Also, early on in pregnancy I could only eat little bits at a time, much like what occurs late in pregnancy when your baby takes up all the space into which your stomach used to be able to expand.  And lastly, I used to be obsessed with ice cream.  Now, I can’t even think about it.  For the most part, sweets are completely unappetizing where before I couldn’t skip dessert after dinner.  There are still a number of things that were staples in my diet that I just can’t touch anymore (including hummus wraps).
  7. Belly button.  I just want to end on a good note.  I didn’t know your belly button could start popping out as early as week twelve.  Because a lot of my symptoms had subsided, I was worried that my fetus wasn’t doing so hot in there.  When I noticed my belly button had started to push out, this so helped alleviate my fears.  I thought I might have been imagining or exaggerating how much different it was, but then I showed Ryan, his mom, and his sister and they all said the same thing–“WOAH!”
  8. My butt.  Oh, and one last thing.  I grew a butt.

And then I became a statistic

I’ve basically been wanting to start this blog since the day I found out I was pregnant, which was a whopping 5 weeks after conception.  Actually, that’s a lie.  The day I found out I was pregnant, all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and not wake up until my first trimester was over.  This had nothing to do with the whole being in grad school, closing on a house, planning a wedding, and just having had an interview for my first real job thing, and everything to do with the fact that every single smell made me want to wretch, and I had all day sickness.  Enough with the morning sickness shenanigans, btw.  All.  Day.  Sickness.  Get used to it.  PS I never even threw up.  I just got to experience a different kind of nausea or stomach upset every day for like three weeks.  The best part was realizing I had a sober 5 when my future mother in law stopped by one day after I had just spent like four hours in bed, but that this time instead of pretending not to be drunk I was pretending not to have an embryo swimming around inside of me.

Anyway.

I really wanted to start a blog because NO ONE TELLS YOU THE TRUTH ABOUT BEING PREGNANT.  I am going to give way too much TMI on her, so if you hate the idea of pregnant women or just want to keep thinking all they do is get fat and glow, just stop reading.

Okay, I’m going to start at the beginning.  As in when I was 14.  I had to start taking birth control because I was way too skinny and it messed up all my hormonal stuff (you know what I mean).  Fast forward 8 years and my primary care physician(s) and OB/GYN had no idea what was going on because I weighed enough.  They outright told me I would have to use fertility drugs to get pregnant (yeah right–there are plenty of babies needing adopting out there and I wasn’t about to put on 50 pounds while jabbing myself in the butt with a needle every day for years).  Also, I decided to get an IUD because they’re the best ever.

When I was in Colorado, I made an appointment with an endocrinologist on the recommendation of my primary back home.  She had no idea what was going on with me and said I probably had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  I had every single symptom except for being obese.  When I was getting an ultrasound so they could check for what would look like a string of pearls around my ovaries, they discovered only a few “pearls” (so potentially no PCOS) and that my IUD had slipped back so I just needed to get a new one.  My endocrinologist said I should think about adoption (which both my then-boyfriend-now-fiance and I had established would be fine), and that I might have a pituitary tumor.  WTF.

Fast forward a few months and I got my IUD replaced (by this ridiculous OB/GYN who decided I needed three different local anisthetics when they pulled the thing out and put a new one in, while meanwhile the first one I got placed felt like nothing–seriously, it’s not painful and if you think it is you are a baby.  Oh, also, she forgot to tell me that one of them was a freaking lidocaine-epi cocktail.  Just imagine having a giant needle all up in your business when you discover for the first time that you don’t exactly react well to these drugs.)  So I was back in business with a brand new IUD (and a boyfriend who lived across the country) and then…I became a woman.  No but for real, all of a sudden I was a totally normal menstruating (ew) human.  This was October.

I moved home (yay NY!) just in time for Christmas.  We had our engagement party January 19th, I said yes to the dress February 2nd, we found an awesome new house we’ll eventually get to move into a few weeks later, and then…I almost passed out.  I’ve always had orthostatic hypo-tension (when you stand up and you’re dizzy for a sec), but this one morning I had already been out of bed and all of a sudden I was like crap, I’m going to hit the floor (actually I said “I’m going to fall” so Ryan just held me up). I had a terrible run that day, but ate a steak salad for lunch and figured I was all set.  Then a week later I got what I thought was that norovirus that was helping everyone lose that extra five pounds.  I never get stomach bugs but was pretty sure I was going to start projectile vomiting a-la Christmas 2010 and Ryan said he felt sick, too.  Also, everything smelled.  We were staying at Ryan’s grandparent’s with his cousin, and all her food made me want to wretch (I had stopped cooking altogether but I’m pretty sure my cooking would have sent me running too).  At this point I was slathering my hands in lotion and using them to cover my nose at all times while sprinting across the house.

So the day after I thought I had the norovirus I woke up and realized there was no way in hell I could face my two giant cups of morning coffee upon which I relied (PS I now hate coffee.  The thought of it is almost as bad as the smell.).  After Ryan left for work I realized I really felt like shit.  I was dizzy, everything smelled, I was tired, my stomach was so distended it felt like a rock (that is no baby bump your first trimester of pregnancy–it’s called being bloated).  I had this nagging feeling I could be pregnant, and after Googling my symptoms endlessly and getting nowhere with my public health informatics paper I decided I wasn’t going to empty my now incredibly full bladder but rather rush out and buy a pregnancy test.  I knew–knew–there was no way in hell I was pregnant, but like I had several times before figured the test was worth the piece of mind (btw, there is no way to know if you’re pregnant if you never get your period so I visited more than one random pharmacy off of 17 when I was in college).   Of course the Rite AId in East Aurora was full of girls within a few years of my age so I ran out of there and drove all the way to another Rite Aid like 15 minutes away and bought the most expensive test on the shelf (which was only like $16–this must have been a ghetto Rite Aid).  I barely made it to the bathroom when I got home, ripped that thing out of the package, and set my watch for 3 minutes.  I had gotten one of those digital ones because I didn’t want to deal with any “you might be pregnant” kind of blue lines or whatever, so when I looked at it and it said “PREGNANT” I was in complete shock.  I dropped about 50 f-bombs before calling my best friend who I have sat on the phone with while she peed on a stick.  She was like “Heyyy, no big deal.  You guys’ll be fine.  Go pee on another stick.” and stayed on the phone with me while the second “PREGNANT” appeared.  She’s basically awesome.  Then I called my mom.  I was basically terrified and for no good reason because she was just like “Don’t worry! You’ll be fine!  No one will think you’re a social pariah and hate you for getting pregnant with their Catholic son/grandson/nephew’s child!  And grandma isn’t uptight anymore so she’ll take it just fine.  Now go get that IUD taken out.”

Everything online is like “If you have an IUD and you get pregnant you will die.”  All this stuff about ectopic pregnancies and such.  So I decided to see what real live people said and they were all “I got pregnant with an IUD and my doctor said I would most likely miscarry but now I have a beautiful 3 year old!”  So I felt better but was of course TERRIFIED to tell Ryan.  I made an appointment with a doctor for that Monday (it was Friday) and insisted he come home that night instead of staying with friends in Rochester.  I insisted there was something I couldn’t tell him on the phone, so he of course thought someone died (okay, so you might be thinking I could have waited until the next day to tell him, but there is no way I would have been able to sleep.  The night before he proposed I knew it was coming, and I slept all of like 2 hours.  It was like Christmas Eve times a thousand).  So of course he came home all “Who died” and I started crying because I was all pregnant but when I finally got it out he just had this huge grin on his face and tackled me with a giant hug.  And ever since then he has been the cutest ever.  I won’t embarrass him any more than that.

We were obviously in utter disbelief as I had just become a statistic.  I had 2 failed IUDs, got pregnant with one of them, and somehow managed to hatch an egg after being told I would never get pregnant without fertility treatments and “being a woman” for four whole months.  At the doctor on Monday they took out the IUD and said I had a high chance of miscarriage and oh, by the way, we don’t see a fetal pole on the ultrasound so it’s probably not a viable pregnancy.  My mom, who was an OB nurse, had no idea what a fetal pole was, and come to find out you can’t see one until like week 8.  When they scheduled another ultrasound for a week later (which would put me at like 6.5 weeks, which is way too early to see jack), I decided it was time to get a new OB/GYN.  Fast forward a few weeks and Ryan and I get to see our little guy up there on the ultrasound monitor (actually it was projected on a big screen TV because my doctors are apparently awesome).

There are a lot of things about being pregnant that I was never prepared for and that you don’t read about in any books, but I’m going to save those for next time because this is the longest post ever.  I decided to start writing though because I’m now in my second trimester and got to hear the heartbeat yesterday (170bpm–I’m banking on a girl).  I’m just going to say that I was completely unprepared to be so anxious (in the full-of-anxiety sense of the word) about what was going on in there.  Until you can feel it moving, you have no idea if your fetus is still alive.  This is the most terrifying thing ever.  At least now I have my increasingly protruding navel to help alleviate my fears.

Here are some professional baby-bump glamour shots.

Image

Image

I look gorgeous first thing in the morning, ob-v.  Also, I know I’m facing different directions–I seem to have forgotten my right side is my good side in that first one.

Disclaimer: I am a staunch supporter of IUDs.  IUDs are the most effective form of birth control (please don’t give me any of that abstinence nonsense), and the Paraguard doesn’t contain any hormones.  Honestly, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t get an IUD.  It’s cheap (mine cost $100…for 10 years of protection.  That’s what 10 months of birth control cost me before, and I had excellent health insurance), and you don’t have to think about it.  Also, if you’re scared it’s going to hurt when they put it in, I repeat my former sentiment: you are a baby.