Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sometimes I feel like a bitch

Here's the thing about being a pregnant chick:  other pregnant chicks want to relate to and commiserate with you.  It's just a reality that most don't realize prior to being a pregnant chick.  And it knows no boundaries.  It's not limited to currently pregnant chicks.  It's literally everyone who has ever had a baby in the history of ever.  They all want to share their stories, which is fine, but they want you to share yours and when you don't really have any well....you become a tad boring.  At least for the people who have already had their kids.  For the currently pregnant chicks, I think you become Satan.

I'm in a situation where I have a family member who is about 14 weeks ahead of me in this human growing thing, and a family member who is about 12 weeks behind me.  The friend who is ahead of me has told me about being sick constantly at the beginning, ravenously hungry during the second trimester, and now that she's near her due date she's talking about being swollen, hot and hungry all the time.  She sort of gave me one of those "So....how are you feeling?" questions where I felt like being honest was going to be the worst thing I could do, but I also couldn't lie.  I said that at 22 weeks, I'm still wearing all of my old clothes, I'm no more hungry than normal, I have zero cravings, no issues sleeping, no problems with heartburn, never had nausea issues, no major dip in energy (with the exception of like 2 or 3 weeks at the end of the first trimester where I think I was just doing too much and not sleeping enough) and that's about it.  At work, the only people who know I'm pregnant are the ones I've told.  My clothes still sort of mask the whole baby thing.  I look sort of pudgy, but if I don't tell people, they don't seem to know.  I felt like saying all of this made me a HUGE bitch.  I couldn't fault anyone with a "normal" pregnancy for hating me because I'd friggin' hate me if I weren't me.  But what else are you supposed to say?  I can't make stuff up.  It'd be really obvious.

Even my family member who is 12 weeks behind me keeps saying "Oh, sometimes I just forget I'm pregnant, it's been that easy" but then other pieces of conversation come out that point to the contrary.  Like the fact that at 12 weeks she's had trouble sleeping and already has to sleep with a body pillow to support her frame due to nerve pain in her back and her butt.  Or the fact that at 12 weeks she's in maternity clothes.  That when she doesn't want people at work asking questions she has to "suck in her belly" when she walks past.  So, maybe she's not sick all the time, but there are things going on.  I can't even relate to that.  She started telling me about how I should get a body pillow for sleep problems and I had to say "I don't have sleeping problems.  I'm doing fine".

I feel like this is one of those situations where everyone wants to share the same misery and I can't, which I'm totally fine with and incredibly grateful for, but I think it might make other women hate me.  Possibly a lot.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thoughts on Things

Lots of thoughts swirling around about lots of things these days.  Mostly on how this whole process is a bit strange, and it makes someone like me feel more than a bit awkward sometimes.  Like, people ask to touch you when you're pregnant.  Why?  They want to feel your belly.  You didn't have permission to feel my belly when there wasn't a creature growing in it.  Why do you think I'm giving it to you now?  I suddenly feel like one of those chubby Buddha statues that people want to rub for luck.  It's so weird.  It's not even like I have much of a belly to rub anyway.  I'm still sitting over here, hanging out in my regular clothes.  I'm not sure why people want to man handle my not-that-large belly.  And it's not like there's a super polite way to say "Stop asking to touch me, it's not going to happen".  It just makes me feel awkward.

People also keep buying us stuff.  This is very sweet, don't misunderstand.  It's so nice that people want to buy us baby gifts, but I'm so awkward about accepting gifts, especially when it's not a specific gift-giving occasion.  Birthday and Christmas gifts are far less uncomfortable for me.  Just random, out of the blue, I got this for you gifts?  Those make me feel weird when accepting them because I always feel like I should be offering up a gift too or something.  So far most of our gifts have been clothing, which is always useful.  Cute things like PJs and socks.  One friend bought us an adorable sweater, which I love because it's the first non-pink article of clothing we've received and I have nightmares of my home turning into a giant Pepto-Bismol pink nightmare so it's nice to get something in another color.  Then there was the person who bought me a maternity shirt, and that made me uncomfortable.  To begin with, this is a family member I'm not exactly comfortable with receiving gifts from in the first place, because it's always awkwardly given and I have some personal hangups about somehow being seen as "owing" this person anything later for whatever I've received.  Beyond that, she bought me a maternity shirt.  I mean, really?  I get it, she's trying to be helpful, buy something for me that I might need, but clothing like that is a bit personal because it sends a couple of messages.  First is "You're looking pretty fat, better wear this", which I get is more about the baby getting bigger than it is about me being fat, but there is a certain degree of self-consciousness that comes along with hearing about having gained weight, and losing a bit of your waistline, and although I'm still able to wear all of my regular clothes even now at five and a half months into this process, I don't really love when people point out that I look "bigger".  So, maternity shirt sort of does that.  The second message it sends is that perhaps you don't realize you're kind of big now, and someone needs to buy you a shirt as a hint.  Again, I don't think this is the case with me, and I don't think that was this person's motivation, but your brain sort of goes there still and you find yourself standing there awkwardly accepting your fat-chick gift.

On the subject of gifts, and receiving several pink outfits (and being guilty of buying one ourselves), I sort of hate this whole "pink for girls" thing.  Not that I have a problem with pink.  I don't.  I just sort of hate the immediate assignment of a gender role that comes from it.  Do I sit around and look at adorable dresses online on occasion?  Yes.  Do I worry that I'm already assigning a gender role that my kid might not want or be able to accept?  Yes.  It's a slippery slope.  My husband takes a very "If you think something is cute, buy it" approach to baby clothes, because he feels like the kid is basically a ball of putty for the first couple of years and can't form opinions on what they like or don't like, so if I find a t-shirt with puppies on it in the boys section but I think it's cute, he figures we should just buy it and put it on her, because she won't care either way.  I like that approach, but it's hard to keep friends and relatives from turning your whole life pink.  We have, partially, decided to paint her room aqua.  Mostly because I can't stand the idea of a big pink room, and until she's old enough to tell me she wants it to be pink, I'm avoiding it.  I like the idea of just mixing a bunch of pastel colors together.  Aqua, lavenders, yellows, and perhaps a hint of pink here or there, but definitely not the focus color.  Of course, immediately when I said aqua, my mother replied with "You know it's a girl right?  Blue is for boys".  WHY DOES BLUE HAVE TO BE FOR BOYS?!  I just don't get it.  I'm sure she's not going to give a crap.  Gender roles get so weird.

Also, she moves around now.  Like, she moved around before, but now I can feel it sometimes.  I guess I have a situation where the placenta is in an anterior position, so it's sandwiched between my abdominal wall and the baby, which means that whole early movement thing didn't happen for me.  I kept reading about how you're supposed to feel it move as early as 16 weeks and I just sat there feeling nothing.  Given my constant concern that something was going to go wrong, that was frustrating.  When we went in for our ultrasound, they said the placenta was in the way and that was part of the problem.  Basically, even now, I can only feel her when she's got some serious kicking around going on.  Sometimes you can feel it on the outside, but it's very light.  My husband tried and kept saying "Ok was that my pulse in my hand or movement?" and I had to point it out to him when she'd move so he could tell the difference.  I'm not sure if feeling movement is more or less nerve wracking.  It's good to know she's in there doing her thing.  It's also a little stressful when one week, it seems like you feel it quite a lot, and then the next you are pretty sure she's hardly doing anything and you start to wonder if something is wrong.  So far I've convinced myself that it all depends on where she's positioned when she's flailing.  I figure if I feel her doing something at least a couple of times a day, it's probably fine.  But this whole process is full of so many unknowns that it's sometimes hard to not be a paranoid freak.  At least she doesn't keep me awake at night with kicking around.  I'll take that for as long as I can get it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thinking Pink

Yesterday we went in for our 20 week appointment where they took measurements of pretty much every body part and organ the kid has.  This time was less difficult, since it's large enough to find pretty quickly.  It's no less wiggly or uncooperative than it was last time, but finding all of the parts seemed to be a lot easier.  Getting a good view of all of the parts, less than simple since again, we're dealing with wiggly and uncooperative.  There was a lot of belly tapping to try to get it to move to the right place.  There wasn't a lot of discussion during all of the scanning, just lots of measurements and an odd question about whether I'd had any bleeding during this pregnancy, because of course nothing can be simple for us when we go in for appointments and scans.  Apparently there was some "brightness" in the bowel and that can be a soft marker for Down Syndrome, so that was a nice scare to get around 7:30 in the morning.  We were pretty sure we'd already gotten past that hurdle.  We had a scan at 12 weeks to look for genetic markers in my blood as well as fetal abnormalities in an ultrasound.  Our risk was rated 1 in 9,000, so we thought we were out of the woods.  This added a small layer of stress.  The tech told us afterward that he was going to take all of the ultrasound pictures and all of my other records over to a specialist to have them reviewed and that the specialist may be in to talk to us.  A few minutes the later the tech came back and told us that the specialist was "unimpressed" by what was found and said to send us on our way.  I am still a little freaked out, but I assume that a specialist would know what should be impressive and would have talked to us if there was anything to worry about.

Beyond all of the freaking us out parts of our visit, we also got to find out the sex of the baby.  The whole time, I sat there looking at various things on the screen prepping to hear that it was a boy.  We had been hoping for a girl, but since nothing in our world ever seems to go the way we want, I was fully prepped to hear it was a boy.  There were even a couple of moments where I was like "Oh, that might be a penis right there.  I'll bet it's a boy".  Then, casually near the end of the many measurements the tech said "So, are you ready to find out what you're having?" and we said sure, but I was anticipating that it would be more prodding for him to get a look at the right parts, but then he just casually said "It is a...girl" like he'd known for a while.  I was surprised.  I was happy, possibly for the first time in this whole process I was honestly truly happy about something.  Not nervous.  Just happy.  I said "Wait, how good are you at this?  Am I going to get a surprise penis at delivery?" and he sort of laughed and said no, so I'm coming back for him if he's wrong.  So, there it is.  A girl.  Something we wanted worked out, and it felt nice.  It makes me cautiously optimistic that maybe things will go smoothly for us from here.

Plus, now I can stop saying "It" when I make baby references and instead I can say "her".  That's sort of nice.