Thursday, September 30, 2010

He's still the man, but you see he's a "They"

As I enter the last few weeks of my first pregnancy, I am drawn to explore yet one more facet of the phenomenon of carrying a child. I cannot believe that I am almost done being pregnant. In some ways I can't believe it's almost over because I can't believe I'm old enough to have a baby...and in some ways it feels like it's been the longest 9 months ever. Either way I have loved(almost)every minute of it. However it is about to come to a close and a new page is about to be turned (cue the hopeful, upbeat music). But I do promise that I have more content in my brain other than just random and opinionated thoughts about being you can look forward to that.

One of the last and final pregnancy frontiers that I would like to cover in these last 2-3 weeks of being a knocked up member of society is the stark contrast between mixed conversations between couples that HAVE had babies and couples that have not had babies. It's a fun social experiment to be sure.

I will start by saying that I am not always a very appropriate person- but usually not on purpose. I'm surprised that my wonderful husband of 5 1/2 years has not already died of embarassment from many of the things I have said. I work in a job where I conduct sexual harassment investigations on a regular basis, so we can just leave up to your own imaginations things that I say on a daily and professional basis. With all of that being said, I have not usually had a problem talking about taboo subjects and usually that works to the chagrin of my very appropriate husband. But one thing I have noticed about pregnancy is the difference in conversations that can be had between couples that have had babies and couples that haven't- particularly dads.

All of our friends have had babies. We are one of the last to have a child with only a few couple friends who are still footloose and fancy-free, so we have heard all about how each of our non-footloose friends have dilated, each of their labors in great detail and all of the gory details that go into this miracle called childbirth. Somewhere along the way we became desensitized to words like "uterus" "mucous plug" and "colostrum". However we forget that some people haven't. Case in point, the other day we were out with a couple that has not had children and I proceeded to explain that I can't lay on my back when I sleep any more since my uterus could press onto some artery and cause certain and immediate death. The second I said the "u" word, the footloose husband's eyes got really big and his face turned a little red..and there was an awkward silence- which I broke by saying "Oops I said uterus." Nice save.

Now take a non-footloose husband. He has gone through the dr's appointments, birthing classes, the breastfeeding classes. He has watched countless child births in class and likely even been forced to watch a c-section. Gone is the taboo of calling "girly parts" by their rightful name. I saw this played out while sitting with my sister and brother-in-law who have had two children of their own. I felt no shame in asking- in front of my male brother-in-law mind you- about the art of breast feeding, engorged breasts, baby latching...and he listened like we were talking about the weather or a recipe or something. My sister even said "now what's that foremilk stuff called." To which he confidently and without embarassment replied "colostrum."

So a stark difference and just another transformation that occurs during pregnancy. So say it proudly men- Uterus! Cervix! After birth! Mucous plug!

Holla out there to all of the uber involved husbands who care enough to go with their wives through this process as engaged and proactive daddy's. You know more about all of this stuff than you ever cared to know because you care so much about a lovely little mama who is carrying a tiny miracle that you already love more than you ever thought you could. You're officially "the man".

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Ah,the joys of being pregnant. It's a magical time- both satirically and sincerely. Even before I was pregnant I knew it had to be pretty life changing- and I'm not talking about the "bringing a new life into the world" thing but the actual process of being pregnant. Women talk for years and years about stories from when they were pregnant with their children- even when their children are grown and have children of their own. If I had a nickel for every time I heard "When I was pregnant with my first baby..." So I had to know that it would be an exceptional experience, to say the least. But you never know quite how life changing something will be until you go through it yourself. Of course, you hear of all the stereotypes of what to expect- going to the bathroom a lot, craving weird things like mashed potatoes with cherries, watching your feet swell...but there are a host of things that people do NOT tell you about that make pregnancy way more unusual than what I ever expected.

It is funny because the first few months of being pregnant, I waited and waited for something stereotypically pregnant to occur. It's like I found out I was pregnant and immediately thought I would have morning sickness. I actually WANTED to puke at the sight of eggs..and the time did come, but not immediately. And as I got further and further into this miracle, more of the "traditional pregnant symptoms" occurred...but then there have been the things that I never thought would happen. The strangely odd things that I never heard about. Here are a random sampling of odd things that I have experienced while being pregnant that far from make a top 10 list of normal pregnancy symptoms:

• I have walked into men’s restrooms more times than I ever have in my life. And I really don’t know why. Possibly because I am carrying a boy and I feel that he has rights to the restroom of his choice?! I’m not sure. I’m just glad that men’s restrooms have urinals and that was the tell tale sign that I had entered the wrong room as opposed to something more offensive…
• I mismeasure my girth. This has only happened in the past few weeks. I guess I forget that I’m pregnant and think that I can squeeze into tiny places….but I am and I can’t. So I end up hitting my baby with tables, doors, chairs- pretty much anything sticking out.
• I am officially nocturnal. Sleep is one of the most precious things in my life. I love it. In fact, this was one reason that I felt as though I would make a terrible mother- I like to sleep too much. But from about week 16 until now I have not had a full nights sleep. This I chalk up to God’s miracle of easing me into sleepless nights with a crying child…but nonetheless it is strange and I would prefer to get to do all the sleeping I can before our little man arrives.
• I have a strange sense of entitlement in parking lots. I am not sure why- and it’s not because I want a front spot either. I typically like to park in the back and walk- as this is the only exercise I have been getting lately. I think it’s because people can’t see that I’m pregnant and I feel like they should know. I’m normally a pretty irritable driver as it is, but for some reason when people are whipping in and out of parking spaces now I yell things like “yeah, sure, you need the front spot more than I do” or “never mind the 8-month pregnant lady over here.” I am so mean.
• I have the strong desire to do nothing. I know in your first trimester you’re supposed to be tired and comatose like…and I know in your third trimester, you’re supposed to be so uncomfortable that you don’t want to do anything- but I thought that somewhere in there, you were supposed to nest. This urge has not hit me yet and I really want it to. My house is messy, I don’t want to cook and I don’t even want to go the grocery store- maybe this is because of my new nocturnal quality; however it has to stop. I just hope that once I’m not pregnant again, the desire to cook and maintain a clean household return to me .
• I am the official loudest person that I know. Every movement I make is done with a great deal of grunting and groaning. Used to, you drop something, you bend down and pick it up- simple. Not any more. I drop something, I have to stick my foot out to spread my legs wider, I bend down halfway, I grunt a little bit, I actually pick up the item, then I let out a huge grown as I move my body back up to a standing position. Sexy. Somebody once said that rolling over in bed when you're pregnant is like a 17-step process...and it is. It's like, before I role over to lay on my right side, I want to properly weigh the pro's and con's of such a decision because getting there will expend so much energy that it may or may not be worth it. BUT usually by the time I'm half way through my pro's and con's list, I have to go to the bathroom anyways, so then I am forced to move, which forces me to make a huge grunt as I get out of the bed- but upon my return I must choose wisely the position that I choose to assume, otherwise we'll start this whole thing over again.
• I put my clothes on backwards. This I have no reason for. I can explain a lot of things by just saying “hormones” or “because I’m pregnant with a boy.” But this one is just plain weird. I’ve only made it all the way to work with my clothes on inside out once…and I caught it with only three people having seen me. Way to save face.

I'm not sure what other odd pregnany symptoms will hit me by the time this is all done, but very few of these would actually be found in the "What to expect when you're expecting" book. And while I immensely enjoy being pregnant, I also enjoy the fact that it gives me an excuse to do and be all of these crazy things. I am just hoping that about the time that I lose my excuse for being crazy like this that all of these crazy things will stop!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A shout out to my baby daddy

There have been two things that have gotten me through this pregnancy- well, certainly more than two, but for the purposes of this blog post, I will mention two of the many factors that have gotten me through my pregnancy.

The first is what my real (and only) husband and I lovingly refer to as my “second husband.” This second husband is none other than a bright fuscia body pillow that has made it possible for me to sleep for the past 15 weeks. My real husband who is a sleepy time cuddler is jealous of my second husband because I myself am not a cuddler, yet he watches in envy every night as I break off our late night cuddling to rollover and spend quality time with my second husband for the remainder of the night’s sleep. Needless to say it has caused some jealousy and angst in our household; however I don’t think that it’s a completely hate/hate relationship between real and second husband- I have seen them cuddling a few times too, which real hubby would adamantly deny.

But props go out to my REAL husband for being husband of the year, best supporting actor and Most likely to succeed as a Daddy. It has been a long and winding road to get to this place in life. There were days when I truly never thought having a baby was in the plan for us. BUT God has a way of making new creations; whether literally as in a baby or figuratively as in grown ups. Both of us have had to undergo huge transformations as adults that have brought us where we are today. Not that either one of us is perfect or even close to it, but we are more of a WE now then we ever were before. There are days when I am not so sure how I will be at this whole “mom” thing, but I feel like I have a teammate by my side that will make the endeavor far more chewable.

So here are some things that I would like to give a shout out to my baby daddy for. There are a million more reasons why he’s amazing, but here are the ones to note:
• He has gone to all of my birthing classes with me- and even one without me- so that he can be the best birthing coach in the history of the world.
• He has painted my toenails for the past 2 months- and not just when I ask him to- he volunteers when he sees the chips.
• He went through “Chili dog craving month” with me and let me eat Chili dogs whenever I wanted to (I don’t know how much of a hardship this was for him, but none the less, it earns him a shout out)
• He painted our baby room, assembled all of our baby furniture and bedroom furniture- all without one inkling of help from me and did it while I was at work so that I would be surprised when I got home.
• He coached me through the Walmart parking lot hyperventilation when I thought my car was stolen- and then didn't get mad at me when I told him my car was just 3 aisles over. Instead he laughed and said I was cute.

But I think what make me the most grateful to him is the encouragement that he has given me throughout this whole experience. He has believed in me when I haven’t believed in myself- which might be the reason I am so drawn to the natural birthing experience because it looks at giving birth as a team effort, not just the dad sitting in the corner watching the mom bring a miracle into the world. That’s how he has approached the whole pregnancy. One night in birthing class when I was cracking up during a “relaxation practice” and he was taking everything seriously and encouraging me to focus- it hit me that that’s what we had become- a team. The fact that we have become a team has been far more related to his endurance with me than my ability to be a team for him- cause let's face it- I'm pretty much a spaz. But I'm grateul for a husband that loves me and loves our family more than I ever thought he would. I know there are late nights and big decisions and life changes and all around scarinesses ahead, but I am glad I have mon ami by my side as the two of us become the three of us.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Big wheels keep on turnin'

So I need to know what it is about me that makes people feel as though they can say what seem to me to be very socially inappropriate things. It's not like I'm Miss Manners just waiting for someone to say the wrong thing. In fact, I like to think of myself as having a sense of humor. BUT sometimes I feel that asking someone if they have ever "pee'd themselves" or telling someone that they are "huge" kind of steps over humor and takes things to a new level. Well alas, tonight I had a new and fun experience that believe it or not had nothing to do with being pregnant. Check it out- I'm at the starbucks drive through driving my car, which is and has been for 5 years a PT Cruiser. Now I realize that a PT Cruiser is no Rolls Royce; however it's my car, it's paid off and it gets me from point A to point B without having to work it Fred Flintstone style. So here's what I experience:

Starbucks Man: Would like your receipt? (normal thing for a Starbuck drivethrough man to say, right?!)
Me: No, I'm good thanks.
Starbucks Man: So can I tell you something that's just between you and me?
Me: Sure.
Starbucks Man: I hate PT Cruisers. I don't know why, I just hate them.
Me: Okay.
I wanted so badly to say "well I hate bearded men who serve me coffee." But I didn't- and do you know why I didn't? Because that would be rude. So instead of saying that I just stared at the wart on his finger and said:
Me: Well I'm sorry about that- how about I tell your manager?
to which he replied:
Starbucks Man: Oh, she hates them too.
So there you have it folks. The Starbucks man hates my car with such a passion that he feels the need to tell me about it. Whatever happened to the days where they just handed you your drink and said "have a nice day?" What is this world coming to?