Monday, July 30, 2007

star wars in a onesie

I had my first Ob/Gyn appointment today. I was nervous as crap for it all weekend long, thinking they’d listen to my belly with some strangely formed device, make a Very Concerned Face followed by a Very Concerned Noise and we’d be whisked off to some other not so brightly lit office where they tell us that This is Very Serious and We Are Very Concerned (in case you couldn’t already tell by the looks on our faces). I was so keyed up, in fact, that I had a harder night’s sleep than normal (Which is hard to believe because the sleep? NOT SO GOOD THESE DAYS.). I woke up around 3am (in addition to the pee breaks at 12:30 and 2:00) with a horrendous stomach ache – the kind usually aided by a nice glug of Pepto. Instead I just lay in bed, suffering in silence, telling my gut that it was just nerves! That everything would be fine!

Fast forward to this morning, with Chip and I working in tandem to get our butts to the doctor by the appropriate time (we did it!). The office is beautiful and mauve – everyone is smiling. The receptionist is extremely nice and helpful (And here’s where you’ll go to give us a urine sample – you’ll do this every office visit, honey.). The nurse is also a paragon of sweet. She answers our questions. She takes lots of notes. She is excited for us! She congratulates us a dozen times! She tells us our approximate due date (March 10). She hands Chip countless pamphlets, books, and brochures. She tells us how my appointment schedule will work. She takes my blood pressure and pulse and tells me to get undressed (Completely, honey – you wouldn’t believe how many people misunderstand that statement.) and pull on the very soft and often washed smock (Chip is particularly impressed that the smock is so soft – Him to me: We should get you one of these. You look a like a female Obi Wan Kenobi.). The doctor comes in. We chat with her for a while about episiotomies, caesarians, my jacked-up back. We ask her a funny question that will NOT be mentioned here, but it results in the Best Response of the Day from Doctor: “Well, the breasts, they change a lot through pregnancy. They actually get smaller after breast feeding but they are, uh, considerably, uh, deflated.” We are given advice about eating sensibly and healthily. She tells me that the key is moderation in all things. Chip asks if drinking Vitamin Water is safe (yes). She does a lot of Examining, including the hateful cervical exam, but she’s very gentle. She pulls out this little briefcase-sized ultrasound machine (This is just our small hand-held one for me to get a look.). She says we may not be able to see much – but oh, yes, there it is. There’s definitely something there… Here, I’ll show you. And then she’s showing us this grainy image of a white background with a black triangle shape in the middle (the triangle part is the egg sac where the baby is) – and then this solid white blob sitting at the bottom – there’s the baby. Can you see? And then Chip is there, and he’s squeezing my hand and saying – THERE’S THE FRIJOLE! How soon until I can speak Spanish to her belly? And this: If we were having twins, you’d be able to tell, right? (YES. And thankfully, NO, YOU’RE NOT HAVING TWINS.)

Before I know it, she has turned the screen back to herself and is looking for the heartbeat (It’s still early – but oh, yes, I think I can see a tiny little flutter.). And then it is over. I am given a little pile of orders for blood work and little tubes in a baggy and told to go to the lab. I have blood drawn while the tech asks if this is our first baby – she has two. And in response to a question I ask Chip, she assures me that it doesn’t ever stop being surreal, the having kids stuff.

And then Chip and I are walking to the car, strangely silent and giddy. I ask him if it feels more real… he says yes, but also no. I know exactly what he means.

Friday, July 27, 2007

call him spitty

I’m sorry that so many of my thoughts revolve around the bathroom these days. I suppose it’s because I spend so much time there. I have become intimately aware of my surroundings in these places – some good, some nasty, some even pleasingly pleasant. I think I’ll save a post sometime later for my Ode to All the Gorgeous (and not-so-gorgeous) Bathrooms in Seattle.

But for now, I have to tell you about one bathroom in particular: Workplace bathroom. I’m lucky that it’s a largish affair with more than three stalls – I can only imagine just how horrifying such a place would be because there’s simply NO ANONOMITY in a place that small, let alone – GASP – the kind where it’s just you, a toilet, sink, and a door shielding you from the outside world and the next waiting user. So – Workplace bathroom size is fine. Cleanliness? Check. There are even times when I’m in there alone – me and the 10 stalls – having some quiet time. My issue with Workplace bathroom is this one particular stall’s, uh, facility (i.e. TOILET). I don’t know how I do it, but I get this one all the freaking time. I have this weird issue with not using the first or last stall in a bathroom – so I’m always aiming somewhere in the middle. I probably should just embrace my OCD and count the stalls so I know which one to absolutely avoid. The toilet in the Bad Stall is just… contrary. It doesn’t flush when you want it to, or how you want it to. All the others are nice and sensitive to the foot on the handle (Chip and his germ phobia have taught me well). But this one… not so much. The only thing you can do, when flushing, is to actually HOVER OVER THE BOWL as you jangle the handle until it finally whisks the contents into the lovely sanitation system. The main problem with this, besides bringing me a little too close to Contents, is that the toilet is … let’s just call him Spitty. This is not the polite brand of Spitty (is there a polite brand?) – but rather, Uber Spitty, the Aggressive Fountain Toilet, the Perky Toilet that Longs to be a Bidet. Inevitably, I’m in the stall, holding the handle down (jangling helpfully), and then dodging the wickedly spewing toilet water bits lest they hit me in the forehead (as has happened) – or even worse, on the LIPS.

*Chip, I just pray you aren’t reading this because you’ll never hug me after work again.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

the weepies

I've had a particularly weepy two days - just about anything makes me cry: Chip not smiling when he comes home from work, running out of My (Current) Favorite Juice, the garbage not getting picked up, a kind gesture from a co-worker (Kristy brought me flowers! For no reason!), Chip asking me to talk to Hairy Next Door Neighbor to see if his garbage was picked up, waking up at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep (they never told me this pregnancy thing would also cause simultaneous INSOMNIA and TEETH ACHING EXHAUSTION), the stupid song from That Swedish Band that keeps rumbling through my head (it's not sad in the least bit - I cry because I CAN'T GET THE DARN THING OUT OF MY HEAD), the insipid contents of the lunch bag I packed this morning, an expense reconciliation program at Workplace that is not working correctly and just makes me so mad, the currently disgusting and messy state of our bedroom, the fact that my pants chafe and BOTHER THE BELLY (and these are the GOOD ones), the Skin Situation I have going on - dry, nasty, pimply skin!, the number of times I get up to pee, the fact that I feel bad about all this pregnancy-related stuff because I'm going to give birth and isn't that a WONDERFUL thing?, the sheer unadulterated pleasure that Chip can be and how he makes me laugh by doing the goofiest things like sending me emails from Fergus (including spelling and typing mistakes - because, you know, he's a cat), and Melissa's amazing email from today - giving me hope, helping me to see the light in every person. I'm lucky. So very lucky. (Also a weepy mess - but a darn LUCKY weepy mess.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

let's dispense with the introduction

Two days ago I tried the "rubber band through the button-hole" trick for continuing to wear non-pregnancy pants during pregnancy. For the uninitiated, they say this is a way to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy pants. It's difficult to explain, but even if you are very early in the pregnancy, and even if you haven't gained any weight yet (hard to believe, but not yet), you will find that your stomach just...pooches out. And anything that confines the pooching stomach is simply NOT TOLERATED. I tried to test this, in week 5, by wearing some cute black pants that had previously fit me just right. By the end of the day, I was so unhappy with The Pinching! The Straining! Anything Touching My Poor Belly! I nearly ripped the cute little things OFF. I haven't worn them since. And have, in fact, confined myself to the following: a linen summer dress that has a very high waist and therefore - causes no chafing; a pair of black pants that are 1 1/2 sizes too big for me and even with the extra pooching, still have to be hiked up throughout the day; an identical pair of dark khaki pants; and a pair of light khaki cargo things that, while may not be 1 1/2 sizes too big - are still pretty roomy. So - whereas pre-pregnancy I had a plethora of bottoms choices - I could swim in my ocean of choices - I'm now down to 4. I'm not even remotely close to wearing maternity stuff. I'm only 8 weeks. And until someone comes up with the Almost Pregnant line of clothing, I'm stuck in limbo land with nothing to wear. In my desperation this morning, my desire to expand my wardrobe choices took over, and I decided on The Alternative. The Alternative, of course, is the little area called "jerry rigging your clothes". Hence, the rubber-band hooked through the button hole and then slung across the button trick. I attempted this with my jeans - my lovely jeans that I have heretofore adored. They have made my none-too-thin thighs actually LOOK thinner. They have made a cute sun dress that is maybe a tad on the short side PERFECT when worn underneath said sundress. They have been my lifesaver when everything in my closet felt frumpy and old. MY JEANS. I figured, if the button hold trick is ever going to work, it's going to work with these babies, right?


Uh, wrong. What they never tell you about the button-hole trick is that you are left with this gaping wide MAW from the zipper. If you zip up, your whole need for the rubber band is sort of ...moot... and also: ineffective. If you DON'T zip, you've got all this extra ...fabric. And especially when sitting, it's just there, popping up and looking weird. If anyone could see what's going on under my sassy sundress, they would be sorely unimpressed. Let's not go into too much detail about this next flaw, but suffice it to say that I've discovered there are other ...areas... that are also being chafed by the pants that have NOTHING to do with the waistband. I had forgotten what it felt like to wear jeans.

I don't know if I'll be using this "trick" again. And this is not to impugn anyone for whom this trick has worked. I'm sure it's a real crowd-pleaser. I just ...hate this time. I'd rather just get with it and start showing, start wearing the weird belly panels and HUGE bras. (Saying all of this, of course, doesn't mean I won't start complaining in 8 weeks about how TIRED I am of the maternity wear. I will be changeable, yes I will!)