Monday, February 27, 2006

Strange Bedfellows

So, pregnancy makes for strange bedfellows. I have had birdfeeders hanging out for the last couple of years but I have never felt the level of responsibility towards the birds that I do now.

I keep looking at the birds flitting about and thinking about how they're getting ready to nest and feeling this wired affinity towards them. I know how sleepy and hungry I always am and can't help but ponder how hard it would be if I had to fly around creation to gather my food and I had to build a new house. I totally feel for the mama birds at the moment. Of course, I do realize that they're BIRDS and I'm not even sure if they are miserable because they're actually just ovulating and I do that all the time and it's not always pleasant but was definitely not pregnancy.

In addition, I'm slowly becoming totally interested in canine reproduction. I keep wondering what my dogs (both spayed actually) would make of it if they suddenly found themselves pregnant. Do they have any inkling of what going into heat means. Do they feel pukey and miserable? How do they ever manage to take care of themselves? It seems like they would quickly be picked off as the weakest link. Do they smell different so all the other dogs "know?"

I've also been contemplating when people would have started to make the connection between missing a period and feeling crappy=a baby. I don't think it would have been that much of a challenge to figure out if you miss a whole lot of periods and get big, you get a baby but, I do wonder about if those first few months. Would the other people have just thought you were sick and shunned you? My mother said that when she got pregnant, in the late 70s, you had to miss 2 periods before they could even test for pregnancy. By then, you've already had plenty of opportunity to do all manner of mischief to the embryo and are in the home stretch of your 1st trimester. I had enough trouble waiting to take a test for 2 weeks. Of course, I also wonder if I would have trusted myself more to "tell" if I didn't know I could take a test so soon. After all, I had definitely noticed a number of indicators that I might be pregnant- I had to wear a bra, I was peeing 2 times a night, I suddenly needed 10 glasses of water a day, I got a headache just when the egg would have been fertilized, really, all I lacked was a flashing neon sign Still, I had no faith that I wasn't just imagining these things until I saw the 2 lines.

In other, non-pondering news, my husband and I will be out of town through Friday so, I will have dropped off the face of the internet but am just wandering the wild blue yonder.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Ode to My Bazongas

So, I'm fond of my boobs. They were ample in a subtle and discrete way. I could feel confidence in a low-cut top without worrying about Dolly Parton parallels. And then I got pregnant.

There are 3 body parts I'm fond of, my boobs, my eyelashes, and my fingernails. I'm really lucky that I'm past having to take those "self esteem" surveys they gave you in middle school. I would be soooo s-o-l if I had to list "3 things about my body I like." I would probably be stuck commenting on my ankles.

I have now killed my first bra. More upsetting, it was my favorite bra and I still have the matching panties. What am I going to do with the panties now? It was a lovely sky blue. I loved that bra.

I am relatively certain that this will be far from my last bra massacre. Research reveals that I can expect the girls to grow at least 3 more sizes. I don't even know what 3 more sizes puts me at beyond soviet worker chick and damn expensive.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I miss the rain in Africa

In my newest round of the weep-a-thon which is now my life, Toto's song "Africa" was a highly moving ode to rain and, perhaps, lost love. It's never good if you have to sit in your car to compose yourself before going in to meet your husband for lunch, worrying that they might play any music containing any lyrics or melodies as really, if Toto can make you misty eyed, what can't. Also, never let your newly hormonal friend watch "Say Anything." Buckets, I tell you, buckets...

In other news, it's a gummy bear! We saw the doctor on Monday and the baby and I are doing well. The heartbeat is strong and the baby looks very healthy. I was expecting to see a blob but, I got a lovely gummy bear instead. The baby was positioned nicely to allow us to see his full outline, there were 4 limb buds, a head, and a little flash of heart- what more could you ask for! Also, my due date has now been moved up a day to September 28th. This conviently explains why I always got my new symptoms on Thursday.

Also, I actually did crave pickles the other night. Nothing else though, just the pickles by their lonesome.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Damn Hormones or Making Peace with Morning Sickness

I'm reasonably certain that you could ask anyone who has ever had a passing acquaintance with me and be assured that I have never run consistently on time in my life. Unfortunately, my hormones weren't informed of this.

Every Friday morning, I get my pregnancy newsletter. As I read, I can count on my body to be precisely 1 day ahead of schedule. When I was told I might be experiencing skin breakouts or dry skin, my body upped the anty. I conveniently broke out on my chin and forehead while also experiencing a puzzling dry skin issue within MILLIMETERS of the oily patches. When did this happen? Thursday.

When my pregnancy email said that I may begin experiencing morning sickness, I had started the day before.

I decided to start looking ahead.

I noticed that the next couple of weeks were generally marked by peak morning sickness as my something levels spike during the 8th and 9th weeks (let's not even venture into the "are they talking about when you are IN your 8th week or when you've completed your 8th week" controversy). While I had noticed a definite up-tick in frantic calls to my husband for "Ginger tea- NOW, please." I really thought this was still totally do-able. I simply had to not let myself get hungry. I had a lovely, philosophical attitude toward the whole matter. Morning sickness was a marvelous evolutionary tool that would ensure that I didn't eat something that would harm myself or my baby. My heightened sense of smell would have been quite handy, pre-refrigeration. I had weathered the last 2 weeks of nausea, I could totally handle this. Notice that today is Thursday... Notice the cries of "This sucks," emanating from the house... Notice Becky contemplating pretzels with great suspicion...

I have high hopes that sometime in the next day or so I will manage to get philosophical about how clever my body is to protect me from eating rancid meat. It's clever, I tell you, clever and exceedingly enthusiastic about keeping me far, far, away from anything that may have ever had a passing acquaintance with any sort of nasty organism. It's keeping me from sensible things like any source of protein, any type of any meat cooked in any manner, fruits, vegetables, suspicious looking crackers, and some beverages, like milk! Isn't my body great!

Now, I just have to figure out how I'm ever going to finalize the menu for the 2nd, aforementioned, luncheon. Happily, it should take place well out of the range of morning sickness. I have been too afraid to look ahead to find out what wonder I may experiencing then.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mommy Training

While it is difficult to say definitively until I actually have spent time with a child of my own, I venture to say that being a puppy mommy is decent training for being a person mommy. Most notably in the area of never peeing alone.

For some reason the bathroom is a very concerning area for our dogs.

Penny was our first dog. We adopted her as a puppy from the humane society. She was my introduction to managing to use the facilities while having two warm, brown eyes locked on you. Until she was about 5 months old, Penny was not deemed reliable enough to generally be left to her own devices. As she became more reliable and I began relishing the idea of using the facilities all by my lonesome, Penny discovered that the latches for our bathroom doors were somewhat less than reliable and a nice firm scratch/head bump would allow her to check that all was well. This led to several rather interesting situations with various houseguests that failed to heed the warning to shut the door FIRMLY.

It turns out that there is something with January and adding to the family with me. Every January I seem to have a strong desire to either adopt a dog, have a baby, or, preferably, both. Thus far, my husband has reigned me in at either a dog or a baby but not both.

When January rolled around and Penny was about a year old, I decided that we would foster a dog from the local animal shelter. Enter Sydney. Sydney was a 10 month old Australian Shepard who had spent most of his puppyhood chained to a tree until the rescue group found him and placed him in our care. That was a month to remember... (he wound up being adopted by a family that actually wanted a 70 pound bundle of lap dog)

At any rate, Sydney was an even more exciting bathroom companion as he really felt quite certain that you would be sucked into an abyss if he didn't personally supervise your bathroom activities. Unfortunately, he also had a weakness for pulling the toilet paper off the roll and trying to sniff key areas of your anatomy. I never looked at multi-tasking the same way again after fielding a trip to the restroom with Sydney.

After Sydney was adopted we decided to adopt an elderly beagle who would keep Penny company without running the humans in the household ragged. Shirley was apparently attached at the hip to her previous owner. She is somewhat concerned about being in the bathroom with the door closed because of suspicions that she will be subjected to the horror of a bath. At the same time, if you leave her on the other side of the door during your abolutions, she will whine and whiper most piteously. It makes for quite the conundrum. Happily, Penny taught her how to bodycheck the bathroom door so, when I feel that chilly draft during my shower, I know that Shirley has made her rounds to be sure I haven't been eaten by the bathroom monster.

I am not clear why dogs become so conerned about the bathroom. Is it that they're concerned we're confused with the way we "flush" our markings? Do anyone else's dogs feel the need to check on them while they are in the bathroom?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Collection of Random Items..

Helpful tip: volunteering to plan 2, yes 2, luncheons while experiencing morning sickness is not actually a good plan.

I have been explaining to our 2 dogs that I'm pregnant for the last 20 minutes and they are totally failing to share my excitement. Shirley actually fell asleep! Am contemplating crying...

In other dog related news, Shirley would make an excellent pregnant lady. She seems to have no qualms about napping for hours at a time, rousing mainly to attend to her business or eat. She's also very good at listening when I'm worried about the baby. I'm considering having her ghostwrite a pregnancy book.

It is becoming increasingly vital to have at least 2 episodes of Friend's Tivo'd to save my husband's sanity. In dire cases, when Canada Dry just isn't enough, cuddling and watching Chandler and Monica (not actually a Ross/Rachel fan- scandal!) can fix anything. Last night, I stayed up past 9, which was a total mistake, and he was confronted with a completely incomprehensible me, he could make out something about how "all the other mommies get ultrasounds at 6 weeks" and that I was obviously not cut out to ever be pregnant as all I ever did was sleep and cry and he was going to divorce me imminently, I knew it. My husband is an engineer. He's steadily adapting to the idea that a hug and a sitcom beat logic any day. He's a good man...

If that wasn't proof enough, he went back to the grocery store when he forgot the chocolate mint ice cream (white, not green, with dark chocolate shavings). Of course, it doesn't hurt that mint chocolate chip is his favorite, either...

Thursday, February 09, 2006


My husband and I lived in Egypt for a couple of months this fall and we totally love the name Machmood. We don't really see naming any of our children this as we're Scotch-Irish and Methodist so, we've decided that when we waren't reffering to the embryo as "The Tad" to go with Machmood. We think it should be a particuarly fun way to torment my mother-in-law...

Edited to add: It has been pointed out to me that it's actually spelled "Mahmood."

Breast Feeding

Am I the only one who read that breastfeeding requires an additional 450 calories and day and thought "Score!"

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Weeping Machine

I have become this weeping machine. The height being when I started weeping when Sandra Bullock won "Miss Congeniality" in the movie of the same name. Also, every afternoon, sometime between 2 and 4 (when I'm not sleeping) there will be tears with absolutely no provocation.

I had to pity my husband when we were discussing doctor's appointments. He had read in a fatherhood book about one expectant father who was introduced to his wife's girly bits by the ob and thought it was really great. My husband and I are firmly of the camp that we're both more comfortable with a neck-up role for him. Unfortunately, I decided to become very distraught over the fact that while I didn't want him looking at my innards, I was also hurt that he was fine with that. He coped admirably by offering me a Canada Dry as, he has now learned, there seem to be very few things in this pregnant woman's life that can't be cured with Canada Dry, mellon, or ginger tea.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sweet Little Lies

As a pregnant woman I am all about the sweet little lies and superstitions.

The coffee pot and filter get washed in the dishwasher every night. I don't use dishcloths more than once. Laundry gets done more often. I am well aware that none of these actions will actually prevent a miscarraige but, as far as I am concerned, they are the magic tailsmans. There is actually basically nothing you can do to prevent miscarraige, outside the obvious, particuarly in the first trimester. It's all about genes. If your baby has something catastrophically wrong, you will miscarry. If your body is unable to support a pregnancy, you will miscarry. It's not, inherently, a bad thing. It was a pregnancy with catastrophic problems. At the same time, tell that to any pregnant woman, anywhere, and see how chipper she is about the whole thing.

The other night I had a recurrent dream. There was a long, black snake in the house. It was hiding under the trashcan. I was standing outside the house and trying to hold the door closed so that the snake couldn't get out and bite me but the snake was too strong. I had the dream twice. It never actually completed but, the second time I thought about it a little and decided that the snake wasn't going to bite me. It would scare me to death and stare at me but not bite me. I decided, in the bizzare way of the pregnant woman, that this meant I wouldn't have a miscarraige. The snake represented miscarraige and it would scare the bejebers out of me but, ultimately, not strike. Whether this has any basis in fact at all is beside the point. I now derive comfort from remembering a big black snake that passed me by.

Pregnant women are really wierd.