Jul 092013
 

I’ve been off bed rest for a couple of weeks now, and the one thing that has struck me is that:

1) Bed rest sucks. It’s not restful, it’s stressful.

2) It really makes you appreciate the little things that you usually take for granted, or even complain about.

Ok, so that was two things. Forgive me, apparently my brain is still “resting.”

One of the hardest things about bed rest was not being able to do the little, every day things that I usually do, like taking my daughter to school, going grocery shopping, making dinner, and simply cleaning up the house. Yes, I missed doing those little, annoying “chores” that I usually complain about. I guess, really, I missed being busy and feeling efficient about getting those things done. Once you took away my ability to do almost everything but lie in bed and watch TV, I discovered how many “little” things I accomplish every day. Most importantly, I discovered the simple pride I feel in making sure our household runs smoothly. Coming from someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy, nor is very good at, cooking, cleaning and other domestic duties, I never would have guessed the pride I feel in accomplishing these simple tasks. Hell, I have sign in my kitchen that proclaims, “The Queen Does Not Cook” if that tells you much about my domesticity.

Of course, the thing I missed most was spending quality time with my daughter. Most of the days that I was on bed rest, I shipped her off to daycare.  And, home alone by myself, the house felt eerily calm and quiet. I truly missed her noise, her commotion, her unstoppable energy. I missed carrying her around on my hip, chasing her in the grass, and playing with her on the playground.  I missed her mess. I even missed her temper tantrums. (I think I must have been hallucinating out of boredom). Yes, I missed all the things that usually wear on me after a few hours in her presence. I missed the things that usually cause me to daydream about spending a day in bed, watching TV. Instead, I laid in bed, daydreaming about her mischievous smile.

And then, after a short time in the scheme of things, I was off bed rest. I had to take it easy, of course, but I no longer was confined to a horizontal position.

The first day off bed rest, I looked at all of these daily “chores” in a whole new light.  Even though I had to take things slowly (and still do) I was thrilled to just get out of bed, make coffee and throw a load of laundry in the washing machine. I was happy to walk around the house and tidy up, take a nice long shower without rushing to get back to bed, and to finally go grocery shopping.

In the mornings, my husband and I usually take turns on waking up with my daughter and feeding her breakfast, while the other gets to sleep in a bit a later.  Normally, I look forward to my mornings “off” and that extra bit of sleep in the AM.  But the first day off of bed rest, I sprang up (gently) at the first sound she made, and the smile on her face when I came into her room to pick her up was pure magic. We read a couple of books and then chatted over frozen waffles. It was heaven. There’s no way that an extra hour of sleep could compete with that. When I picked her up out of bed and carried her into the kitchen, for the first time in a few weeks, she smiled and hugged me tightly and said, “Mommy can carry me?  Mommy not sick?!” Tears ran down my face as I squeezed her, maybe a little too hard, and said, “No honey. Mommy is not sick.”

But, much like the appreciation one has for one’s health after being sick for a few days, slowly my appreciation for the simple tasks of life has already started to slip away. I already find myself wishing for five more minutes of sleep, fretting over what to cook for dinner, and groaning about the dirty laundry that needs to be washed and the floors that need to be swept. My daily tasks are starting to become chores again.

My hope is that I can hold on to a little piece of the love for everyday life that I felt when I first came off of bed rest.  I hope I can always feel a rush of pleasure at waking up with my daughter in the morning, walking her home from school while chatting about her day, or lifting her up to put her the on monkey bars. I hope that I can remember to feel pride in keeping my household running seamlessly – ok, well maybe not “seamlessly”, but at least keeping it sputtering along. I hope that I can continue to remind myself that the little things really are the big things in life. And most of all, I hope that I can remember this every day, not simply when it has been taken away from me.

 

No cleaning allowed. Every woman's dream, right??

No cleaning allowed. Every woman’s dream, right??

 

No entry for big-haired cleaning ladies

Jun 282013
 

Hello Stranger. It’s been a while since we talked. My last post I got all personal with you, possibly even worrying you, and then I never called. I never wrote. I never even texted. For that, I am sorry. But believe me when I say that it’s not you, it’s me.

You see, my fears and frustrations were all I could think about for a while. I needed a release. I needed to talk about these fears and frustrations, and you were just the right person to listen. You were sympathetic, kind, concerned and non-judgy. But in the time following, those fears and frustrations became all I could think about.  And they occupied so much space in my brain and in my life that, after a while, I just didn’t want to give them any more space. To be honest, I was just so damn tired of talking about them. But because they occupied so much space in my brain, I didn’t have anything else to talk about. So, I stopped talking.

But now, things are good. I am off bed rest and slowly returning to normal life.  Thank you to everyone who reached out to me to show their support and concern and to share their own stories. I appreciate it more than you know. Even if I got tired of talking about it.

Stay tuned next week for more of my talking…

Jun 072013
 
Iron Wagon

I want off!!!

I love roller coasters. I love the excitement that builds as you climb the hill. I love the adrenaline that pulses through your veins as you reach the top. I love the feeling of fear as you pause at the top, looking down on the world below you. I love the feeling of absolute freedom as you explode from the top and race down the hill. And I love that then it all starts again.

But I guess what I love most about roller coasters is that the fear and the excitement are all controlled. You know what’s going to happen, and you know you will be safe. So you feel safe in feeling afraid.

Lately my life has been a roller coaster. Unfortunately it is one that I cannot control. Unfortunately I do not feel safe at all.

I am now 21 weeks pregnant, and about a month ago I began having some bleeding. Sorry if this is TMI for some of you, but I figure that if celebrities can flash their hoo-has to the world, that I can at least talk about mine for a moment. Plus… grow up. Okay?  Anyway, I began having some bleeding, so of course, I got worried. I went to see my doctor, who thought it was probably a UTI causing it. I was relieved to have an answer… until we found out it wasn’t a UTI. Fear returned.  I went back in to see the doctor. She couldn’t find the source of the bleeding, but she was pretty sure it was just some superficial bleeding due to a growth spurt, and now it was probably over. I didn’t bleed anymore, so I accepted this and was relieved. Until I wasn’t.

Two weeks later the bleeding started again. The fear escalated. I went to see the doctor, who again couldn’t find the source, but assured me everything was fine.  The next day, I went in for my 20 week ultrasound. The doctor there looked at my baby (A BOY!) and told me he was perfect. She looked at everything going on in my uterus and told me that was perfect too. I was relieved. No, I was more than relieved. I was elated. I felt like I could finally breathe for the first time in a week, maybe longer. Then I got the wind knocked out of me again.

Two hours later I started bleeding. A lot more this time. I called my doctor, who put me on immediate bed rest until she could see me the next afternoon. I am not sure if any of you have had to be on bed rest while taking care of a toddler, but I am sure you can imagine that it is no easy feat.  The only thing on par with the fear was the guilt.  Every time my daughter asked me to play with her, and I had to say no, I felt bone-breaking guilt about choosing the baby over her. And every time I shunned the bed rest to give her the little play time or cuddle she needed, I felt the same guilt about choosing Lyla over the baby. The fear and the guilt, along with the stress of pretending that everything is fine, was just too much. That night I had my first panic attack ever. A real, honest-to-goodness, can’t breathe, can’t see straight, almost vomiting, panic attack. And then it was over and I could laugh about how ridiculous I am… and then start panicking again because I had a panic attack, and that must mean I am going crazy, right? Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much.

The next day I went in to see the doctor and again she told me that it was most likely coming from the cervix, which is the best case scenario.  But again, she told me I need to be careful and rest until the bleeding stops. That was two days ago. It still hasn’t stopped. And again, the fear rises.

So here I sit on bed rest. I am lucky that I have an amazing husband who is doing his job and mine without complaints. He is working, and taking care of me, and playing with Lyla, and making dinner, and everything else that two people can barely fit in a day. I have friends who have helped immensely, by taking Lyla for play dates and offering help when I need it most. I have a daycare who can take Lyla extra days, which helps with the guilt. I am lucky, I know. But I am bed-ridden, and the fear is starting to mount again and what do I have to do but complain about a very private thing on a very public forum.

Everyone says that I should enjoy this opportunity. I know it’s true. I mean, how often do I get to lie down for a week with no cooking, cleaning, laundry or chores to do and often no daughter to take care of? I know that I should be in heaven. Some days I daydream of  just an hour of this luxury. The thing is, all of these things still need to be done, I just can’t do them. I wish I could do the laundry that is piling up. I wish that I could cook my husband a nice dinner. I wish that I could play with my daughter instead of sending her off to school to play without me. I don’t feel sick. I feel like I could do all of this, plus 45 minutes on the elliptical and maybe some weights while I am at it. I feel like I could do everything. But I can’t.

Oh yeah, and it is summertime, so there is no good tv on. Only reruns of crappy TV that I have already seen twice. So there’s that too.

Most of all, I don’t like feeling fragile. I like my muscles and am proud of my strong body. I like my stubbornness and am proud of my strong mind. But right now I feel weak. I feel like I am going to break, both in body and mind. Every move I make, I feel like I am somehow injuring the baby. I sneezed yesterday and almost peed my pants out of fear that the sneeze harmed the baby. And then I freaked out because I almost peed. Oh, did I mention that peeing freaks me out too? And don’t even get me started on #2.

This weak body of mine is weakening my mind as well. All these emotions and all this fear can’t be good for you.  I have been on the verge of tears for almost a month now.  I am losing my mind.  I know that I shouldn’t be so scared. I have been to the doctor almost every day this week and she assures me that everything is fine. But she also tells me that it is not normal, and it is certainly not good. And every time it happens, I have to go back in to check and make sure everything is still fine. So every time it happens again, I live in a constant state of fear that this will be the time that everything is NOT fine. I usually like roller coasters. But this one is literally making me sick to my stomach. I want to get off.

The one good thing is that any thoughts I had of not connecting to this baby, are gone. I am connected to this little boy. And, in true motherly fashion, I am worried sick about him already.

May 232013
 

In case you hadn’t noticed by my last slightly bitter post, I have been feeling just a wee bit self-conscious about my body lately.  I think that some people assume that as soon as you become pregnant, it is a free-for-all food fest and all body worries go out the window.  They assume that every pregnant woman eats ice cream all day, without worrying about the effect that it has on her body, both in the present and in the future. Oh, how I wish that were true. While pregnancy does change your eating habits, and let’s face it, some of us do spend the day eating ice cream, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the same body guilt, and even shame, that we felt pre-pregnancy. You eat more and crave more of certain kinds of foods while you are pregnant, not just because you are entitled to “gain all the weight you want”, but because your body is not-so-subtly demanding a double-meat, double-cheeseburger with a side of M&Ms in a way that most people are unaccustomed to. A pregnant woman’s hunger is similar to a twenty-two year old man’s sex drive:  it will not be ignored, despite all logic and good sense.

So your body is telling you one thing (ie. eat that tub of Crisco. Now!) and your mind is telling you another (ie. Control yourself and eat a salad instead, fatty!).  Sometimes you listen to your mind and sometimes you listen to your body, but even when you listen to your body, it’s tough to totally shut out the negativity of the mind.

But, as the weeks go by and my baby bump grows, so does my self-confidence.  I am finally starting to find my pregnancy groove.  The irrational hungry monster inside my head is slowly settling to a dull roar, and I am becoming able to control it. I finally have enough energy to exercise on a more consistant basis. My belly is beginning to look more like a baby bump rather than a jelly roll, so I am finally starting to pull out the tighter shirts that highlight my belly, instead of shamefully hiding it under baggy clothes like an unwed Mormon. My hips and thighs might be wider than usual, but a nice, round belly makes everything else look skinnier. My ass might be twice its usual size, but hey, so are my boobs.  Finally, I am starting to accept, if not totally appreciate, my lovely (pregnant) lady lumps.

That’s not say that I have shed my all body hang-ups just yet.  I have my good days and my bad days, just like I did pre-pregnancy. Buying a couple of new, flattering maternity outfits has helped. And on a good day, with just the right lighting and a bit of make-up and some high heels, I feel almost like myself again. Like myself with just a little something extra. So yes, maybe I am chubbier, bumpier, lumpier and cellulitier (yes, I just made that word up) than I was, but there are two of in here now… and that means two of us to answer to if you even think of asking me how much weight I have gained so far.

 

 

May 172013
 

For some odd reason, some people think that because you are pregnant they can say things to you that they would never say to a non-pregnant person.  Like growing a life inside your belly somehow makes you suddenly immune to comments on your looks, weight, parenting style or dietary choices. I mean, would you ever ask a non-pregnant person how much weight she has gained lately?  Would you ever tsk at her drinking a diet coke or eating a hamburger?  Would you ever stroke her belly??  The answer to these questions should be no. If it is not, you need to see a therapist. So if you wouldn’t say these things to a non-pregnant person, why is it suddenly ok to say them to a pregnant woman?

I have had enough invasions of privacy lately without hearing your thoughts on my body parts, thank you very much. I have peed in more cups, spread my legs more often, and had more conversations about my bodily functions than Lindsay Lohan, and quite frankly, I am tired of sharing myself.  Do I sound bitter and cranky? Because I am. I already feel enough like a human Tupperware container without people treating me like I am no longer human. So thanks, but keep your thoughts on how I look to yourself.  Unless, of course, you want to tell me how amazing my boobs look. Because right now, they are pretty amazing!

Basically, what I am saying is that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. If you are not sure if it is nice, just don’t say it. If you still need further clarification, read below for my list of things you should never, ever say to a pregnant woman. Ever. Unless, of course, you were wondering what a swollen, pregnant fist tastes like.

1)  It’s only 9 months.

Ok, first off, 40 weeks is more than 9 months. Second, YOU try feeling nauseous, ugly, angry, sad, hungry, uncomfortable, gaseous and swollen for even 9 days and tell me that it doesn’t feel like 9 years!

2)  Wow!  You are only x months pregnant??  You are huge!

Even if it is said with a smile, or followed by a compliment or a comment that I am “all belly”, the only thing I hear is “Holy shit, you are fat!” And it makes me to slap the smile off your skinny, non-pregnant face.  Sorry, there goes the bitterness again.

3)  You can’t eat that/drink that/do that!

Thank you pregnancy police.  I am well aware (waayyy too aware) of what my dietary limitations are.  This is between me and my doctor.  I assure you that I am doing everything I can to create a healthy environment for my growing child, and that may or may not include an occasional caffeine fix, piece of fish or sip of wine. I did all three during my first pregnancy, and also lifted things that weighed more than a piece of paper, highlighted my hair, and painted my nails.  My child is just fine. Why don’t you focus on your own kid, who is eating a can rubber cement right now?

4) Are you sure that you are gaining enough weight?  You need to eat more. You are exercising too much.

This is just as annoying and unhelpful as the fat comments.  Every body is different.  This is true even during pregnancy. If a woman is truly gaining too much weight or not gaining enough, rest assured that her doctor will let her know.  Just like in non-pregnant women, there’s no reason to make anyone feel guilty or uncomfortable about her body.  Ever.

5 )  You must be having a girl.  Carrying a boy makes you glow, but a girl steals your beauty while you are pregnant.

Great. So not only am I fat, but now I am ugly too? Thanks so much. (Yes, someone actually said this to me during my first pregnancy. Seriously?? Seriously.)

6)  I only gained 20 pounds when I had a baby and I lost it right away.

Good for you. Now shut the hell up and let me eat my double cheeseburger in peace.

7)  Are you sure you are not having twins?

Translation: “You are a complete whale.” Ask yourself this – Are you really worried that in this day and age a second baby could have snuck into my uterus, undetected by doctors and modern technology? I’m not buying it. Or are you just trying to think of a “nice” way to ask me why I am so huge?  There is no nice way, so keep your thoughts about my weight to yourself or you will have your heart ripped out (and likely eaten) by a hungry, hormonal pregnant woman.

8)  Can I touch your belly?

No you cannot, creeper.  I wouldn’t want you to touch my stomach while I was not pregnant, let alone when there is only a thin layer of skin between your grubby hands and my perfect baby.  Shudder.  But now you have put me in the awkward position where I either have to say no and feel like a total a-hole or let you touch me. Thanks for that.

** This question, however, is preferable to the people who actually lunge for your belly, unannounced. I would never, ever touch a stranger’s body, so while is it acceptable for strangers to touch you while you are pregnant??

9)  You don’t like being pregnant?! Wow. I loved every second of my pregnancy.

Perhaps there are a few select women who truly love being pregnant, but I can personally guarantee that no one loves every second of it. There are many incredible things about being pregnant – like the moment that you first feel the baby move inside of you. Or simply the fact that your body is capable of creating another living, breathing human. However, I think that any woman who says that they loved every second of 9 + months of discomfort, mood-swings, cravings, nausea, pain, sleeplessness, bloating, and weight-gain is either forgetting, lying or Mother Teresa.

I am sure that there are many more insane things that people say to pregnant women.  Have you ever said anything you regretted to someone or did someone say something hilariously terrible to you while pregnant?  Please share and we can mock this dumbass together…even if the dumbass is you.

 

May 022013
 
Hell yeah, I ate all the cupcakes!!

Hell yeah, I ate all the cupcakes!  And they were delicious!

5 Things I Have Eaten Recently:

1)  Queso dip, 5 layer bean dip and approximately a half pound of corn chips. As an appetizer.

2)  A smoothie made from greek yogurt, bananas, mango, pineapple and 3 different kinds of weird sprouts that made the smoothie crunchy.  All in a misguided attempt to counter-balance the bagel with cream cheese that I ate 10 minutes prior.

3)  Almost an entire box of dry Fiber One Chocolate cereal.  I will spare you the details but, please don’t ever do this!!!

4)  A cupcake.  Ok… three!!

5)  An entire jar of bread and butter pickles… which I don’t even really like.

 

5 Things I Have Cried About Recently

1)  That phone (or something) commercial where we see the little boy in all stages of his life, ending with him giving his mom a tour of his dorm room.  “It all goes so fast!! Sniffle, sniffle”

2)  Every single time I feel that my husband just “doesn’t understand me.” (ie. at least twice a week)

3)  A video of my daughter taking some of her first steps in our front yard.  She is smiling proudly as she drunkenly moves towards me on her wobbly little legs.  Her chubby fingers are laced in mine as… Oh crap… here we go again!

4)  The day I really wanted Mexican Food but Pinches Tacos was closed.  Ok, I didn’t actually cry, but I did get pretty teary-eyed.

5)  Any movie, tv show, commercial, webisode, viral video, or infomercial featuring a baby, toddler, small child, animal dressed to look like a small child, person with small features, midget or gymnast.

 

What does all of this mean????

I’m pregnant!!!!!
photo credit: FUNKYAH via photopin cc

Apr 052012
 

I was going through some of my old writing the other day and I found this short list of “Ironies of Pregnancy” that I constantly added to throughout my pregnancy.  Re-reading it made me laugh… then I remembered that at some point in time we will try to have another baby and I will have to deal with most of this again, and I STOPPED LAUGHING.

But hopefully it makes you laugh, whether it reminds you of your own pregnancy, or you are currently pregnant and going through some of this now.  If you are not pregnant, have never been pregnant, or happen to have a penis – which, lucky for you, makes you exempt from these symptoms… then read on anyway and gloat about the fact that you don’t have to deal with this… for now.

THE IRONIES OF PREGNANCY

1) I can’t drink, yet I constantly feel hung-over.

2) My boobs are suddenly stripper-big, yet they hurt so bad that no one – including my husband – is allowed to come within 7 1/2 feet of them.

3) I am completely exhausted but not allowed to drink coffee.

4) I have a constant headache but cannot take ibuprofen.

5) I am consistently nauseous but also ravenously hungry.  

6) Suddenly I have acne, but I am not allowed to use any kind of acne medication.  The only thing worse than having acne is having acne AND wrinkles.  And a giant belly.  And swollen hands and feet.  And a fat ass.

7) Pregnancy misconception:  That pregnant “glow” is actually a sheen of sweat on my face after vomiting violently.

8) When I got my bellybutton pierced at 18, my mom said I would regret it.  For nearly 15 years, I laughed at that.  Now, every time I look in the mirror, the stretched-out gaping hole of my piercing appears to be laughing at me.  Well… either laughing, yawning or screaming.

9) I was prepared to change diapers. I wasn’t prepared to have to wear them.

10) There are so many things that I need to do to prepare for the baby, yet I just can’t seem to remember what they are right now… wait… what was I saying?  Where are my keys?

11) At nine months preggers, the hardest thing to do is get out of bed, yet I have to pee every hour.  I spend 5 minutes hoisting myself out of bed (crane anyone?); 3.5 minues waddling to the bathroom; 2 minutes lowering myself down onto the toilet seat; 3 seconds actually peeing; 2 minutes cursing my bladder for constantly tricking me into thinking I have to pee, then only squeezing out a few drops; 3 minutes hoisting myself back up from toilet seat; 3.5 min waddling back to bed; 5 more min to lower myself back down into bed (seriously, Crane.  anyone?); 1 min realizing that this entire sequence will repeat itself in 35 minutes.

12) I spent my entire pregnancy eating all the right things so that my baby would grow, grow, grow.  Now, I realize that this baby has to somehow come out of my vagina … um… any recipes to get my baby to shrink, shrink, shrink?

13) A baby the size of a watermelon is about to come out of a hole the size of a grape (well now a lemon – can’t. think. about. that.) yet my biggest fear is that I am going to poop on the table.  (editor’s note:  I did NOT)

14) I haven’t even met my daughter yet – in fact, most of her interactions with me thus far have been in the form of painful kicks and jabs and an irritating push on the bladder or two – but somehow I love her more than I have loved anything.  More than I even thought possible.

Rereading this list reminds me of all of the things I hated about being pregnant… the physical discomforts, the embarrassing side effects, the frustrating lists of dos and don’ts. The truth is that I really didn’t like being pregnant at all.  But I think the most interesting part of the list is that last one. It is strange to love someone so much when you haven’t even met them yet.  That kind of love never happens except when you are waiting to meet your child (and also with Ryan Gosling.  I don’t need to meet him to love him. My husband is just lucky he met me first!)  What I couldn’t have known then was that the love I felt was just the tip of the iceberg – my love would continue to grow exponentially every single day.   That kind of love is worth every inconvenience, heartburn and heartache.  It is worth not drinking for 10 months (If you know me, you know that means a lot.)  It is even worth pooping on the delivery table in front of a room full of strangers (which, I repeat, I did NOT).  That kind of love is worth anything.