Archive | gripes RSS feed for this section

Getting Uncomfortable

5 Jun

Here we are, 32 weeks and 5 days, and it seems as though Dax is growing faster than my uterus can handle! I should be gaining about a pound a week from here on out, with most of it going to my boy. It’s so exciting! But it also means that I’m officially pretty uncomfortable.

Sleeping has become a bit of a challenge. I am now limited to two positions. The first is on my left side, cuddling with a body pillow, and/or my husband. (Or both! Last night I fell asleep cuddling my body pillow with my palm on Dan’s chest. I’m sure it looked and felt pretty awkward for him, but it was nice for me.) I don’t know why this works, or why it’s more beneficial than my right side. But it’s what I’ve read in all the pregnancy books. So I’m trusting it’s the right way.

It’s true that back pain is not atypical in pregnancy. But it’s usually lower back pain. For me, though, it feels as though someone has lodged a jagged knife under my right shoulder blade. It is an intense pain that doesn’t wane, either. It is constantly hurting. (It hurts right now.) The only time I don’t feel it is when I lay on the ice pack and numb it into submission. And so, the second sleep position I can stand is face up with an ice pack wedged between the bed and my upper back. To those of you who suffer from chronic pain of any kind? I offer my sincerest condolences.

(Side note: at our childbirth class last night, I found out that Heidi, the teacher, is also a massage therapist. She took about five minutes to massage where it hurts and OH HEAVEN I NEED HER AROUND 24/7.)

When I’m not sleeping, I’m sweating. (Oh, who am I kidding? I’m sweating when I’m sleeping, too.) A born-and-raised Florida girl through and through, I’ve never been bothered by the 100-degree summers that start in April. But this year, it’s pretty brutal for me, because my internal temperature is already consistently elevated. I’m trying to freeze my poor Chicagoan husband out of our apartment. So far, though, we both still live there. He just has to utilize more blankets than he’s used to.

But, despite the persistent pain and how inconvenient it is, I can’t ignore the amazing cause of it all: my sweet little boy! And the miraculous fact that he’s growing inside my body! INSIDE MY BODY!

Dan also pointed out that this could be the only time I’m ever pregnant. I honestly had never even thought about that. So I don’t want to take any bit of it for granted; even the uncomfortable parts. This could be the only time my body works this kind of miracle, and I’ve only got about seven weeks left to enjoy it.

Cheers!

Diary of a Mad Mom-to-Be: “You don’t even look pregnant!”

10 Apr

Upon finding out I was pregnant, a very dear friend of mine sent me the book Diary of a Mad Mom-To-Be by Laura Wolf. I put off reading it for a while because I was so immersed in “real” pregnancy literature, a la What to Expect When You’re Expecting but, after a while, I got to a place where I was comfortable enough to attempt some lighthearted close-to-home chick lit.

The book, written as a diary, completely parallels my life! It centers around a woman named Amy Thomas who works as a busy PR/marketing writer (cough cough ME MUCH?) in New York City (I wish…)  and gets pregnant. The “diary” accounts everything from her struggle to find a lucrative writing job to figuring out how to conceive to stressing over turning her tiny, 600 square foot apartment (uhhh, yep) into a fit place to raise a child.

And, of course, she writes about what it means for your body to become pregnant.

I came across a section that addresses an issue I’ve been meaning to blog about but couldn’t seem to find the right words. So I’ll let Amy explain it in lieu of my writer’s block. (Chalk that up to pregnancy brain or, as Amy calls, it, “CRC — Can’t Remember Crap.”)

January 15th — 10:30 P.M.

It occurs to me that it’s been a while, a LONG while, since anyone told me how great I look. In fact, people stopped saying I looked great the minute I started to look pregnant.

So what are we really saying when we tell pregnant women that they look great?

I’m sure many people actually mean it. That the woman looks happy, or healthy, or pretty. But I’m beginning to realize that a lot of times it means that the woman doesn’t actually look pregnant. As if being heavy, and tired, and all the other things that happen to our appearance when we’re pregnant aren’t good. That it’s wonderful to have a child but not so wonderful to look the part. Stay slim and perky. Let’s marvel at how you still fit into your prepregnancy clothes.

I fully admit that I, too, was guilty of such thoughts. After all, how proud was I to look less pregnant, “better,” than that other four-month-pregnant woman at Balanced Breathing. And how often did I boast that I could still wear my jeans?

Only it isn’t natural to look the same if you’re walking around with another creature inside of you. It’d be like asking someone with a sprained ankle not to limp. Or, more to the point, asking someone who’s won the lottery not to shout for joy because it wrinkles their forehead.

Yes, most of the comments I got about looking great were inevitably followed by comments like, “You barely look pregnant.” Or “You’re so small.” Or the unabashedly straightforward, “You haven’t gained an ounce!”

Without a doubt, my weight gain has made things more difficult. And certainly I complain about it all the time. But it’s wrong to wholly begrudge it. Because unless it’s excessive or threatens my health, it’s natural. In fact, being pregnant is one of the most natural experiences the female body can have. So isn’t it our loss to deny it?

BAM.

Feelings I’m Not Allowed to Feel

2 Apr

I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten the question, “How are you feeling?” And I answer the same way all the time:

I feel awesome!

And for the most part, that’s true. Physically, this has probably been the easiest pregnancy in recorded history. I’d put money on it. I’ve had no symptoms whatsoever. Just an ever-expanding midsection and superhero-like taste buds. (Most everything tastes like magic. The few things that don’t taste great anymore aren’t good for me anyway, which is a plus.)

But emotionally, I don’t feel awesome. In fact, some days (not most, but some) I feel pretty crappy. I feel sad. I feel kind of like a failure. I feel scared. I feel like I’m going to be a bad mother. And most of all, I feel really really really really really really really fat. 

But this post isn’t about feeling crappy. (Although, yes, today is one of those days where I feel particularly fat/fail-y/sad.) This post is about how I feel like I can’t be honest about how I feel. Because as soon as I answer the question honestly as opposed to uttering the same old awesome, this is what happens:

You shouldn’t feel that way! You’re not fat, you’re pregnant!
You shouldn’t feel like a failure! It’s just hormones!

You shouldn’t feel X! Because Y!

Well, you know what? I do feel those things, whether I “should” or not.

Today? It’s fat. Majorly fat. I stepped on the scale this morning because, apparently, I hate myself. I’m three pounds up from Thursday (WHAT) totaling 18 pounds total gained so far this pregnancy. I know I normally set the bar pretty high (low? unhealthy? whatever) for myself when it comes to weight but JEEZ, three pounds in just as many days is even bad by pregnancy standards.

Here are the facts:

  • I’ve never been pregnant before so I have no idea how my body works during pregnancy.
  • I’m 23 weeks and up 18 pounds.
  • When I first got pregnant, my doctor said that I should gain 20 total. That’s it. 20 pounds. I thought that was pretty reasonable, but because I’m a prego NOOB I honestly didn’t know what to expect. She could have said 10 and I would have believed her. 40 even. Or 80. But she said 20. So 20 is that number in my head that is invading my brain like a steadily growing tumor.
  • 20. 20. 20.
  • It’s impossible for me to make it another 16 weeks only gaining two more pounds (since Dax himself only weighs about a pound and, even if the last two go straight to him, three pounds is hardly a healthy birth weight). So this means I will most definitely surpass my doctor-given “max” and now I have to figure out how to mentally cope with that and the implications that brings (mostly that I’m already failing as a mother by not following my doctor’s orders strictly enough).
  • At my doctor’s appointment on Thursday, she told me I was doing great and everything looked good. This is so hard for me to reconcile, given the number on the scale. I’M CLEARLY FAILING AT THIS, HERE, BECAUSE 20 POUNDS IS SPEEDING TOWARD ME LIKE AN ONCOMING TRAIN. Why aren’t we talking about this?!
  • Unless there’s nothing to talk about. Which I’m sure is the case. Because Dax is healthy and kicking and rolling around, and his heartbeat is at a steady 150ish bpm, and his mom (that’s me, btw) is the only one freaking out here. My doctor’s not. My husband’s not. Sweet Dax is doing everything he should be. And so is my body. (UGHHHH BUT THERE ARE SO MANY POUNDS…)
  • Stop it, self. Everything is fine.

Okay. So now that that’s all out in the open… I feel awesome, thanks for asking.

— Lindsay

18 Week Bump Update and A SUPER Emotional Day

23 Feb

Here it is! The 18-week-old bump! Look at him/her grow!

Pardon the lack of makeup, the glasses, and the droopy expression. I kind of felt like trash yesterday. In fact, yesterday was such a bad day physically and emotionally that I cried hard enough to accidentally lodge one of my contact lenses behind my freaking eye.

I’ve worn contacts for seven years now (whoa, what the heck, time?) and, while I’ve certainly heard about this urban-legend-esque phenomenon, I’ve never actually experienced it until yesterday. It’s just as terrifying and painful as it sounds.

Today is better. Mostly because of kittens on the internet and feeling Durrenbaby move when Dan talks to him/her.

Five days (hopefully!) till the gender reveal! Have you entered the gender pool yet? Lots of high fives are at stake here, people!

A Grey Area

21 Feb

The babymoon is behind us. The nursery is coming along. We’ve rearranged our entire house. I’m almost eighteen weeks pregnant. Is this real life?

Who knew I’d be such a boring pregnant woman, what with my all-but-nonexistent symptoms.  Everyone keeps asking me, “How are you feeling? Are you okay? How’s the baby? Are you craving anything weird?” And I feel really lame because I always offer up the same answer:

Fine. Yes. Fine. No.

How. Boring.

But, here’s something that isn’t boring! (Mom, you should probably sit down for this one, because it’s going to make you feel extremely old.)

Pregnancy changes hair. I’m not an exception. However, even though I’m still shedding (darn it) and my hair is relatively the same thickness it was before, it is now SUPER frizzy and dry all the time. Oh, and uh, since I’ve become pregnant, I’ve plucked out fifteen grey hairs. (Yes, I’m counting.)

EEK.

At first, I was really concerned about it. So, naturally, I Googled it to freak myself out even more. But thankfully, I found that lots of other pregnant women sprout grey hairs simply because their hormones are going cray cray. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and decided that this MUST be the case with me (as opposed to the terrifying idea that I’m actually aging at 26) because all of these nasty little buggers have been about two inches long, which would mean they’ve only been growing for about four months. And I’m four and a half months pregnant.

See? Logic rules!

(But please, if you think that I’m being completely delusional about “pregnancy-related greys” then please don’t comment about it and ruin my day. Just let me believe what I believe. When my hormones have settled down and my hair is still coming in grey, then you can call me out. But not now. Please, for the love of all things holy and sacred, not now.)

Apart from that, pregnancy is (sigh) fine. Fine fine fine! Here are some standard, kinda-boring-but-still-cool-to-me, updates for you:

  • I’ve gained eight pounds so far. And yes, I’m weighing myself everyday. A lot of women I know are baffled and concerned by this, but the reasoning is to protect myself from myself. If you don’t know, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder in 2007, so I have to be extremely careful about how I approach weight gain. I don’t want to go to the doctor and step on the scale for the first time in months and faint out of terror and swear off food while I’m  pregnant. Now is NOT the time for a relapse, people.
  • I picked up a prenatal yoga DVD and have been working out using that. It’s not an extremely challenging exercise routine (obvs) but it’s, at least, something to keep me active and strengthen muscles that are used a lot during pregnancy and labor. There are some parts about it that are a bit hokey (as is the case with most yoga videos) but, apart from that, I like it.
  • A week from today is our next ultrasound! This excites me for so many reasons. If he or she isn’t shy that day, we’ll find out the gender! But, even without that, I’m just eager to see our little baby again. Our last ultrasound was at eight weeks, so it feels like an eternity has passed since then. Little Durrenbaby was only a tiny, fluttering blob last time — now, he or she is FULLY DEVELOPED and I want to see!
  • My gut feeling has changed from boy to girl. It’s official. This is based solely on the fact that I’ve had more dreams that Durrenbaby is a girl than boy. There is no science behind this. Just dreams. So. There you go.
  • Motherhood scares the junk out of me, y’all. For real.

That’s all for now, I guess. I imagine I’ll blog more on that last point soon. But for now, I quit. Hooray!

— Lindsay

On Gaining Weight and Not Losing Pants

10 Jan

Yesterday I finally broke the news to my boss and coworkers. It feels so good to finally have this “little” secret out in the open. I don’t feel so shady anymore since, as those of you who know me can attest to, I’m a horrible liar. Even through omission. I just can’t do it. (Did I miss out on some useful lying gene or something? Hopefully Durrenbaby misses out on it, too, primarily in his or her teenage years.) So I’ve been walking around on eggshells for the past three months, afraid to talk about ANYTHING lest the news of my pregnancy accidentally fall out of my mouth. It’s only been the sole thing I think about since… well… conception.

“What’s new, Lindsay?”
“Oh, you know, nothing at all. Nothing out of the ordinary. Same old, same old. Definitely not experiencing some earth-shattering life change or anything. What’s new with you?”

So. What is new with me?

Well, I finally gained some weight. Two whole pounds! And, I have to admit — it’s difficult to be excited about it. When I saw the number on the scale this morning, I stepped off and back on THREE TIMES to make sure it was right. Unfortunately, my entire life I’ve been conditioned to cower in fear at the thought of the number on the scale climbing, so my morning started off a total drag.

“I gained two pounds,” I announced to my husband this morning.
“YAY!” he squealed in delight.

I wish I could have that same reaction. Maybe I will at some point. But as for now, I was really hoping to get out of my first trimester (which ends Thursday! Come on! SO CLOSE.) without gaining anything. But, I must remember that this is an arbitrary goal I unnecessarily set for myself and not meeting it doesn’t mean I’m already failing as a parent. Evidently, it means I’m winning as a parent. I’m supposed to gain weight when I’m pregnant.

In related news, I’m wearing my BeBand for the first time today. I’ve decided that this thing is magical. My pants aren’t buttoned or zipped but SOMEHOW they’re staying up on my body. Also, my abdomen isn’t screaming at me in pain. That’s right. I’m at work, sitting at my desk, and MY PANTS AREN’T BUTTONED OR ZIPPED. And it feels freaking awesome.

I suppose the whole point of the BeBand is so I can wear my pants unbuttoned and unzipped and no one will be the wiser. So, posting a blog about it probably wasn’t the smartest move. But it feels so good I just can’t help it.

— Lindsay

Busted

30 Dec

The pregnancy isn’t exactly public yet. All the important people know — family, really close friends, a handful of people at the church, etc. — but I still haven’t broken the news to my employer or coworkers yet (or Facebook, for that matter, and you know nothing is official till it’s on Facebook.)

Because it’s the week after Christmas and the week leading up to New Years, business has been pretty slow. Not only has my workload dramatically decreased over the past few days, but the office is quite sparsely populated as well. So, naturally, I’ve been taking it easy this week. (Read: kind of sort of maybe kind of slacking off a little bit. BUT JUST A LITTLE BIT.)

Yesterday, I finished everything on my to-do list around 4pm, which left me a good solid hour or so before I was to clock out for the day. I leaned back in my chair, turned the music up in my headphones, and started browsing Old Navy’s website for maternity clothes. (I suppose you can already see where this is going.)

About a half hour later, when my online cart was filled to the brim with tunics and full panel maternity jeans, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I snapped my head around to see our office manager standing in my cubicle with her arm extended, clutching my paystub. Behind me, my giant PC monitor displayed several rows of maternity clothing items in my size. Yikes. My face flushed. I could tell she’d been standing there a while.

“Oh thanks,” I said sheepishly as I took my stub.
“Sure, no problem,” she replied, darting her eyes all over my face and cubicle in an attempt to not focus on the screen. For a split second, I thought she didn’t notice what I was shopping for.
“Oh, um,” she stuttered, “since you’re the only one here, can you hold on to the paystubs for the rest of the people in marketing and I’M SORRY BUT ARE YOU PREGNANT?”

Busted.

My cheeks burned. For a moment, I thought about lying and saying I was doing some late Christmas shopping for a friend. But, being three weeks away from the end of my first trimester and feeling my abdomen expanding ever so slightly, I figured it wasn’t worth the trouble to lie.

“Yes, yes I am,” I finally admitted. “But I haven’t told anyone here yet since I’m only ten weeks. I want to wait until the second trimester to break the news. So you’re the only one who knows.”
“Well, your secret’s safe with me,” she promised.

I hope she’s telling the truth.

— Lindsay