Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Let the Nesting Begin!

So, I have begun nesting in earnest. This last weekend I cooked a rather vast quantity of chicken with the intent of stocking the deep freeze with ready made meals for after the baby comes. We now have 5-6 meals worth of chicken nuggets, pre-seasoned and shredded chicken for quesadilas, and enough chicken soup to make me wonder if I will every actually feel like looking at a chicken again. The roomba is seeing plenty of action. I have 3 to-do lists wandering around the refrigerator and need to write at least 1 more. Baby announcement supplies have been bought (I make my own) and the ceiling fans still don't know what hit them.

I think my experience with Charlie is really shaping my behavior with the pregnancy. With Charlie, we had the whole tainted well/no water saga for the whole last 6 weeks of my pregnancy and then we didn't get water back until 36 hours before he was born. There were so many tasks that I didn't get to do that my hormonal self was aching for- food couldn't be cooked, dogs couldn't be washed, bathrooms couldn't get scrubbed. In addition, the whole element of Charlie coming right at week 37 threw everything off. While I was still thinking I had plenty of time, I soooo didn't. Who ever heard of a first baby being EARLY?

At the same time, I could be completely wrong, but I really think that there may be a purpose behind the frenzy. I struggle a lot with trusting myself when it comes to pregnancy. I knew in my heart the sex of my babies long before the ultrasounds. I strongly suspected I was pregnant with both babies long before a positive test ever appeared. In addition to "feelings," I think there is also a lot to intuition simply being your subconscious paying attention to and putting things together that your conscious mind doesn't for whatever reason. In my case, I began to suspect that I would go early with Charlie by the 33rd week. I remember suddenly realizing that my pregnancy symptoms were no longer lining up with the week I was in sometime in the 3rd trimester but instead a couple of weeks later. The clincher was when I figured out Charlie had dropped and it was only week 33. Much frantic reading confirmed that the longest that puts you away from labor is generally 4 weeks which would be... 37 weeks but I thought I simply must be mistaken. Over several days before Charlie was born, I noticed all manner of subtle changes- my joints seemed looser, I was far more irritable than previously, I kept getting these "twinges," and I had this driving urge to do tasks around the house- most notably cleaning the baseboards at 3 am with baby wipes since we still didn't have water. I continued to ignore the idea that labor was imminent up until my water actually broke.

In the same sort of vein, I feel somewhere deep down that this pregnancy is quickly moving along. Things just feel more scrunched than I would expect them to feel at this point, granted, I'm carrying this baby completely differently but still... The baby's movements feel much more cramped than I would expect and this baby is very low. I don't have the bowling ball between the legs feeling some women describe but I have been feeling pokes far below where I even though my uterus extended. My nesting urge is so very strong. I keep having to really make an effort to reign myself in. You just can't do a full deep cleaning of the kitchen if you are also expected to care for a very active toddler the next day. I haven't started to go after the baseboards yet but they are starting to call to me as are the obscure cleanings tasks that one generally doesn't think of. The air intake registers have begun to irritate me greatly and I have this insane urge to take 4 showers a day just so I can use up all the random bath products that are wandering about under my sink. Also, my underwear drawer is suddenly striking me as being ridiculously disorganized. It will be interesting to see when I actually deliver. My due date is May 17th, my early prediction was delivery on May 12th (Mother's Day) and my current goal is to have everything done by May 1st with all bets off starting then. Adding to my stress, my DH is traveling to Ireland in my 34th week. While we have an OB visit scheduled the day before he leaves to check nothing "exciting" is occurring and even I don't think I will deliver that early, there is a part of me that is very worried about the matter. Of course, with all this trepidation, preparation, and prediction, the baby will likely wind up coming sometime in early June...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Someday My Pants Will Fit

The intersection of nesting, staving off the panic of adding another person to my life, and the whole rid you life of what you don't need-ness that seems to go with the current zeitgeist has led me to my closet. I would desperately like to weed through my closet, pitching items willy-nilly. One would think it would be easy with the overflowing nature of it. However, I am stymied.

Shortly after we moved to Virginia (4 years or so ago) I noticed that I was rapidly gaining weight. I finally convinced my doctor that even a lifestyle change and move couldn't explain 20 pounds in less than 6 months. We established that I had a thyroid problem and, once properly medicated, the 20 pounds melted off. However, there was this whole period of time that I was suddenly 2 sizes larger than I had been.

As I was settling back into my normal weight, we took a trip to Hawaii. While I can understand why Hawaii is generally considered a paradise, we managed to go during a fluke hot spell in August. They don't have a/c in a lot of Hawaii because it's usually temperate and lovely but we spent most of the time being really hot. One might wonder why we didn't just hang out by the pool or go snorkeling. These foolish souls have not been properly indoctrinated to travel according to my husband. Guidebooks are poured over. Map are analyzed. Lists are made. Every point of interest will be seen and pictures taken or it just hasn't been a vacation, damn it! This meant that I spent 2 weeks mildly dehydrated and too hot to eat. 3 weeks after our return from Hawaii we left for Egypt. This caused stress and even less eating. We spent 2 months living in a dorm in Egypt and learned that cafeteria food the world over is cafeteria food. All of this led to more weight loss. In addition, since we were traveling a Muslim country, I needed to acquire clothing that allowed me to not offend the locals. My biggest goal during our visit to Egypt was to not get arrested.

Over the last 2 years I have been pregnant and/or lactating, necessitating all manner of additional clothing as well as blending in clothing from previous weight incarnations. Amazingly, at no point do any of my pants seem to properly fit. Maternity pants manage to go from a little loose/ please stay up to a bit snug/ please don't ride down in the blink of an eye. The post-partum belly is apparently not designed to actually fit anything for at least 3 months except, maybe, those maternity pants that never actually fit while you were pregnant. Your body finally wanders back to pre-baby weight but none of the weight is where it used to be so where you used to be snug you are now loose and where previously loose, you now resemble a woman of questionable virtue. I spend vast portions of my day hitching up, adjusting, and rolling cuffs (because, of course, petite women don't get pregnant).

Someday I will be done gestating, lactating, going on inadvertent deprivation diets, or having my body just go into a complete rebellion and my pants will actually fit and my closet will comfortably hold all of my clothing.

I can't wait.