Monthly Archives: January 2012

Happier Things I Have Learned From Pregnancy

That previous list was pretty depressing, wasn’t it? Like a lousy class, there’s a difference between what something will teach you and what you can learn from it.

1. It’s ok to ask for, or just get/do, something you need when you need it, even if it costs money or means somebody else has to do something for you. (This especially goes for FOOD.) For a long time – in fact, even now – I have not been comfortable either going to a place where I don’t know people, or going to a place without someone I know, just in case I start feeling lousy. Two Sundays ago something unusual happened during Mass so no, I don’t like the idea of being out for a long period of time when no one I know (and trust) is around. That has made it very difficult to grocery shop, since as of late all my friends have classes and/or work, and my husband has been working overtime – the beginning of the year is extremely busy for his company. However, we tried out Safeway delivery today (ordered last night, at my door this afternoon) and it went without a hitch – unless you count a couple things they didn’t have, but didn’t charge us for – and there was no delivery fee either. Obviously that’s not a long term solution but it worked when we needed it to. Prior to this, there was a lot of sandwich and Greek delivery, and I was feeling very badly about it. But — I HAD to eat, and I couldn’t survive on prenatal vitamins and my husband’s stash of canned stuff.

I have also been slightly more social! Yes, this is a need which needs to be expressed/obtained as well. The hubs and I went to the pre-appointment “getting to know you”, question-answering meeting with the midwife and one of her assistants, for one. Meeting her in real life – as opposed to practically memorizing the business website and reading her entire blog over a couple of days – was fantastic. I was nervous because I don’t feel like I mix well with strange women and, yes, I did crack a lot of terrible jokes and for some reason lacked the ability to follow a linear train of thought. However, she was even more impressive than on paper and it helped a lot in making this whole situation more real, more approachable, and more exciting in a good way rather than exciting in an abstract, terrifying way. I also warmed up very quickly to her assistant because we have very similar styles of relating to people and situations, even though at first, yes, I judged her by her super short hair and lack of makeup (which is extremely hypocritical of me since I almost never wear makeup either) and immediately thought I had her pegged as a head-butting situation waiting to happen. I’m glad it didn’t come through in my words or demeanor though because she seems quite lovely.

Then about a week and a half ago I had five whole friends visit me in one day! I hadn’t seen them in ages and it was fantastic not only to hang out, catch up, and reconnect, but also to have in-person human contact after weeks of no talking until my husband came home. I’ve also visited my parents a few times, which really helps with the cabin fever too.

2. Blueberry lemonade popsicles are delicious. Fruit tends to die a sad death around here, so I decided to get it in popsicle form. I’ve never had either blueberry or lemonade in a popsicle before, but it was just right. It also was a great way to satisfy that “continual ingestion” drive without snacking on terrible microwave popcorn (I’m looking at YOU, Orville Redenbacher!) as well as getting more fluids – let’s face it, after awhile, consciously drinking extra water starts to pall. I’m mildly interested in making popsicles at home because these were on sale and normally they’re pretty expensive, and I don’t want to have just sugar water. I’d make ones with strawberries and orange juice, peaches and white grape peach juice… I’d even try pears and apple juice as a joke because those are two of the “invisible” fruit juices they add to just about every fruit cocktail and fruit snack in order to make it cheap. However I don’t have any popsicle molds and they’re probably pretty expensive. Paper cups make hard to manage popsicles and ice cube trays are just too small.

For my birthday, I would like two boxes of fruit popsicles delivered every month for the remainder of this pregnancy. The pony and million dollars can wait till next year. :)

3. The most boring or unappealing things will suddenly become fascinating. I don’t mean that in the sense of knowing that they’re important so I’m forced to learn about it while remaining somewhat detached, but rather that it somehow becomes interesting in its own right and I will spend hours immersing myself in the subject matter beyond the superficial. For example, I know a lot more about normal and abnormal pregnancy symptoms, hospital birth interventions, other people’s births, birth complications and solutions, early childhood illnesses, diapers, diaper contents, and potty training strategies than I ever thought I would willingly sit down and research without direct, pressing need. I am not looking forward to researching vaccines or carseats at all. Who knows, maybe those will be the most enthralling. <— sarcasm.

4. Other people really do live very different lives, no matter how much you have in common or how parallel your circumstances are, or were, or seem. And by golly, one of them will simply not understand this until you lay it out in blunt black and white. And even then he’ll forget to take it into account. And then he’ll blame YOU for being a horrible friend, occasionally even a horrible person. Number one comes in here… I forced a week and a half of no communication, so now at least I can deal with that person better.

5. The chain of being lazy is only as heavy as I make it seem – I can always lift it if I try. Not that I always like trying… but it’s not something that controls me.

6. The most important people to me are supportive of things I never thought they would be. My dad didn’t bat an eye when I had to answer his questions about things like “so when do you have your first appointment with the doctor” honestly, which means now he knows what we’re planning for this birth. My mom is actually making me a little nervous with not discussing it; usually I can gauge her approval based on whether she offers additional support, or if she asks a few pointed questions and mulls over the answers. I thought I was going to come up against a wall created by caring and limited knowledge of old medical truisms… maybe I’ll just wind up finding it later on, or someplace else. Not that I want to.

7. My husband is the best possible person I could have possibly married. In every situation I find myself/ourselves in, he is the ideal person to have as my husband. There really isn’t anything more I can say about that.


Things Pregnancy Has Taught Me So Far

Yeah, I never did make that Taj Mahoney post. I avoided posting anything on here because I felt guilty for not making it. I’ll probably do it one of these days, but really the world has moved on. Anyway… I found out sometime between Thanksgiving and December that a baby is on the way!

1. I am strangely uncomfortable mentioning the word “pregnant” and “baby” in regards to myself. This made telling my family the news distinctly awkward and on occasion less than optimal. Telling my friends was simple because I just made a Facebook status… in my defense, I was unable to see them all in person and I didn’t have a working phone at the time so I couldn’t call. I don’t know exactly where this discomfort comes from, because it’s not like I had a repressive upbringing, and I have no problem using those words in any other context. It was just remarkably difficult to spit out the words “I’m pregnant” or “We’re having a baby.” In fact it was impossible, so I resorted to beating around the bush by renaming my relatives to their “upgraded” titles. A similar inability to express myself happened when I had to tell my parents that I had gotten engaged, but that was because I was deathly afraid of disapproval, but this is different because I’m 23, had been married for 6 months, in a stable financial situation, etc, and it’s not like my family is against babies! It might be connected to the weird issue I have with thinking that I am a real grown-up doing grown-up-y things because for the most part (unfortunately) it doesn’t seem like I do, but likewise I am hardly against becoming that full-fledged more-than-an-age “adult”, I’m just not that great at making the shift because I’m very lazy.

2. Absolutely everyone on the planet who knows where babies come from has an opinion on how to give birth. This is even true for dudes for whom the whole world of reproduction  – besides the prevention thereof – doesn’t exactly exist. Not surprisingly, general opinion in my circle (at least those who have discussed it with me – this doesn’t include everyone I know by any stretch) tends towards hospital birth with all the drugs cos birth is scary, inherently dangerous, and involves intolerable amounts of pain. I pretty much have decided not to tell anyone what I want to do unless very pressed because I don’t think anyone will support me. Of course I hope I will be wrong, and I probably will be, because once I start to feel isolated by some people, I tend to assume everyone else will act the same way when in fact certain friends have shown a remarkable ability to come through when I least expected it, but it definitely makes me timid for now.

3. The human digestive system (or at least mine) has absolutely NO IDEA how to cope with pregnancy, and may possibly be jealous that previously loafing organs are now getting more attention. It just doesn’t make biological sense to me for my stomach, now that it is of the utmost importance to eat well and eat enough, to reject nearly EVERYTHING I put into it. I could understand my body being picker about things like “oops too much sugar, must prevent gestational diabetes, HURL”, or “too greasy, too many nasty artificial ingredients, too much mercury, too bad for you in general, HURL” or regular things like “you have a stomach bug” or “you ate poison”; obviously those things are detrimental to the health of both people involved and I ought to get rid of it. But healthy stuff? Plain water? Nothing at all?? This is ridiculous, and it just seems so counter-productive.

4. There is nothing like pregnancy to dredge up nasty memories or emotional responses and force me to focus on them when I am in bed trying to sleep. Then it makes me have the weirdest, least restful, most vivid dreams ever. Then it wakes me up in the middle of the night and won’t let me fall asleep again until 8am.

5. Morning sickness? More like 24-hour sickness, and very sneaky in that the early afternoon will usually have a period of “yuck, but you know, I can probably be functional in a few hours” during which I make plans to do something productive or see people, except then the evening comes (when other people are finished with classes/work and are free to be seen) I am sitting on the bathroom floor wishing the toilet didn’t smell so bad because then maybe I could more easily convince myself not to throw up… again. I live in sweatpants and big t-shirts for three reasons: I can’t stand anything more binding unless it’s for the greater good (wearing real clothes in order to go outside and be seen by people), my jeans don’t fit anymore unless I use a ponytail holder to connect the button and button hole and leave the zipper open (necessitating long shirts), and I haven’t done laundry in over a month because bending over makes me heave. Not having clean clothes is a major stress factor, and I’ve almost dissolved myself by crying in despair and then castigating myself because I SHOULD be doing this and NO ONE is going to do it for me and it’s UNSUSTAINABLE and it’s all my lazy fault, but man, I hate throwing up so much that I can’t bring myself to do anything that will assuredly make it happen. I dread Sundays because I have to figure out what to wear, and “I didn’t have clean clothes” isn’t a valid reason to miss Mass.

6. I feel about as useful as a snot-filled tissue. This feeds into my despair that this apartment will ever be presentable or even respectably tidy, and my fear of being abandoned because I don’t “contribute” (to household chores, keeping up friendships, my schooling, finances, etc).

My mom said in an email awhile back, “Funny how women can remember labor and delivery but sometimes can’t recall the prenatal experience – unless they had a difficult experience.” So far I think it might be because unless something really awful happens which makes for a story, or unless it’s really good which also can make for a story because it’s different. it’s just a period of mundane inconveniences and annoyances. Who wants to remember that when you can forget about it and focus on the wiggly little baby instead?