Not My Finest Moment

I keep reading through the list of first trimester symptoms, checking some off (hunger: CHECK DOUBLE CHECK) and scratching out some others (vomiting: not yet). One of the symptoms I see mentioned time and again is mood swings or irritability. You know, like PMS, cause why not? You were missing it right?? Now that you’re pregnant you might have a nine-month pass from the actual bleeding part, but your body’s pretty sure you still want all the symptoms. For nostalgia. And shit.

Anyway, where was I… ah yes, mood swings and irritability. Over the past nine weeks, I had been scratching that off my list. True, I had the occasional moment of overblown temper (a couple of weeks ago, I was serving a very late dinner and, if looks could kill, would be in jail for murder after Luffy told me to bring him the extra veggies by adding them to my plate – I chalked it up to The Hunger when he called me on my ridiculousness), but no extended bought of moodiness or irritability. No crying jags or rage-induced silent treatments.

You see where this is going, don’t you?

Luffy’s been out of town since Monday and I’m not sure if it’s the lack of someone to talk to in the evenings (read: someone who is sympathetic and always willing to give me hugs), or the weather, or just the fact that I’m nine weeks pregnant, but irritability has reared it’s ugly head.

Last night, Jasmine started meowing at me as soon as I walked in the door. Luffy usually gives her a lunchtime snack, so of course she decided that OH NOES – NO SNACK TODAY – MAYDAY MAYDAY – AM IN GRAVE DANGER OF WASTING AWAY – and vocalized her many, many woes. She’s usually pretty good about not asking (read: pestering) us for dinner until within a half hour or so of her actual dinner time. Except for yesterday. 6:30 was clearly the new dinner time in this fatherless regime. If she could have texted him, I’m sure it would have read: HALP HALP SEND FOOD AND CHEEK SCRITCHES.

For an hour and a half she followed me from room to room to room. When I was changing out of my work clothes, she was circling my legs. When I was peeing, she had her paws on my knees, meowing at my face. When I was eating a snack, she was totes judging me and also pawing at the counter. When I settled in for a little TV, she sat on my armrest and yowled directly into my ear. When that didn’t do the trick, she walked across my lap – back and forth and back and forth. Cat butt and cat butt and cat butt and cat butt. She gets even more points for her expertise in annoying me by her inadvertent skills (though ultimately very effective and I’m sure she’s pleased with herself) at fast forwarding Hulu. (The triggers on the PS4 controller are uber sensitive and she just needs to nudge the controller to get it to start fast forwarding or rewinding.) Grawr and smash and etc.

Finally, I gave in and fed her (but not before I went and got myself dinner – bad kitty mommy!). But do you think that pleased her? No. It did not. The little spitfire had a ton of energy all of a sudden and bounded across the house, knocking over crap and biting my head (lovingly, I feel sure). She got up in front of the TV and pawed at it until I finally got up to get her down. (She’s seriously like a toddler in this regard. She knows she’s not supposed to do this and she knows I’m watching her. If I make a move to get up, but don’t actually get up, she keeps on pawing. It’s not until I fully stand up and take one little step towards her that she finally stops. It’s a lovely game.)

So did I keep my cool during all of this? Absolutely not. Now, before you get concerned for poor Jas, I never resorted to violence or shouting. But I VERY FIRMLY told her that she was annoying the crap out of me and she had better knock it off. It worked as well as you can imagine. I told her this morning that she’s lucky her father’s coming back today.

So irritability: check!

Then, this morning, after putting away a very hearty breakfast (see: The Hunger), I walked into the bathroom to finish getting ready for work. I saw my (naked) self in the mirror and nearly burst into tears. I felt so ugly and thick. Not pregnant. Fat. My reflected midsection looked remarkably similar to uncooked pizza dough and even my back (read: love handles, which I haven’t had in years, mind you) suddenly seemed to have extra padding. I could see my face redden in preparation for the tears that were sure to come. Instead, I shook my head and then got dressed so I wouldn’t have to look at myself.

(Well that took a turn for the depressing….)

I feel better now, just FYI. I reminded myself that I look the same when I’m clothed so it can’t be all that bad. True, I’ve unbuttoned my pants, but that’s mainly for comfort. I still can button them, is the point. Breathe.

So …. mood swings: check!

In the grand scheme of things though, at least these are coming now and not three or four weeks ago. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel first trimester. Just got to make it there without flaying my cat. Or husband. Or self. Definitely one of those.

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9w and zzzzzzzzzz

Fatigue. Fatigue has hit me so hard you guys. I know I’ve said it numerous times, but it’s not easing up or going away. I keep thinking that it’s getting better (for instance, on Saturday, after I taught my exercise class, I came home, showered, and then ran two whole errands – declared myself fatigue-free on our way to lunch – then promptly came home and crashed in a coma-like state for the afternoon). And then I have weekends like this past one and I realize that I’m pretty sure it just ebbs and flows. I’d petition the partners for a daily, office-wide naptime if I could come up with a legit reason. And that’s crazy talk right there because I don’t nap. If I’m napping, I’m very sick and you should probably send me to the doctor. At least, that’s what I always used to say. I guess I’ll need to amend that and say I’m either sick or pregnant, but you should probably still send me to the doctor.

As for other pregnancy related ailments, the best I can come up with is just feeling “off” or not quite right. I mean, I’m not actually puking or sleeping all the time, I’m just sort of lolling around on the couch all wimpy and whiny, clutching my nap pillow and blanket to myself. I’m starting to show, a tad, but in more of a potbelly way, especially once the evening bloat takes over. (As an aside, this has got to be my least favorite stop on the body changes train. I had so wished to skip over this, back when I was delusional and thought that a perfect diet and exercise regime could keep the pooch away. Le sigh.) I actually just bought some new exercise clothes because that’s one place where the pooch will be noticeable, as I usually wear pretty form-fitting clothing when I teach.

Another issue I’m having is with my stomach. Logically, I know, I know, that my uterus hasn’t grown all that much yet (I mean, it’s more than doubled in size by now, but it’s got a long way to go), but for some reason my stomach seems cramped for space. I keep trying to eat regular meals, but I always feel completely and uncomfortably stuffed afterwards. I have yet to find the right meal plan of enough food to stave off The Hunger, but not enough to induce the stuffed-Thanksgiving-turkey pains. Plus, I am burping like a high school boy and the gas buildup in my tummy is excruciating until I can finally burp. (Burping does not come naturally to me. I’m not a big burper. If I force it, I’m much more likely to accidentally force myself to puke, as learned from experience.) So that’s been fun.

My next prenatal appointment is next Friday – next Friday. Such a long time to wait. It’s officially been long enough since my last appointment that the reassurance has started to wear off and I can’t wait to go back. I want to see the heartbeat again, or possibly even hear the heartbeat by that time. I want to see our baby again, to reassure myself that everything’s going ok. I read stories on pregnancy communities about women who had seen heartbeats at 6 or 7 weeks and then had gone back at 9 or 10 to find empty wombs and it just breaks my heart. I can’t even imagine their pain and it terrifies me because I had been placing so much hope in the fact that we’ve already seen the heartbeat so surely everything will be ok. I try to not really think about that much, and I actually actively avoid those topics on the discussion boards because they don’t help. I’ll just be really happy when we can go back in and see our little blueberry* again.

*According to my app, the baby is now as big as a pecan! So big!

Luffy, bless his sweet heart, has been absolutely amazing through all of this. Even though I can never really tell him why I’m feeling bad** and even though I spend all my time curled up on the couch, he’s been a godsend. All I have to do is pause the constant stream of Hulu (Law & Order SVU marathon!) and he’s immediately asking what he can get me. Do I need something to eat? To drink? Can he bring me anything? He reminds me to get up and move around some, patiently taking me on short walks even when our pace slows to a crawl. He’s indulged my every whim and has been more than happy to let my stomach take over our meal plans. Yesterday, I was feeling particularly crappy. We were supposed to go eat lunch at his parents house (which involves at least 40 minutes in the car) and he basically told me flat out that we weren’t going because I was clearly not doing well. He made me lunch himself. He got me out of the house for a short walk in the afternoon. He went grocery shopping by himself and then he came back with a big container of pho from my favorite spot. (Pho is my ultimate comfort food. Like chicken soup, only better.) He didn’t even get anything for himself! He just came home and made me a salad (to get in some extra vegetables) then fixed up my pho and made himself dinner. I don’t know what I would do without him.

**I read a little quote in my pregnancy book that being pregnant is like being a toddler again – what with all the mood swings and crying and sleeping. It’s totally true! Even right here, in this example, I can no longer articulate what is wrong or why I’m feeling bad. I dunno, it just hurts. So really, if you think about it, I’m just helping prepare Luffy for fatherhood. You’re welcome, honey.

Alert the Interwebs!

At 8w1d, I’ve hit a couple of very important milestones: pants-unbuttoning and name searching.

For the first time today, I have unbuttoned the top of my work slacks. They’re just more comfortable that way, especially as I’m sitting 99% of my work day. Technically the second button (well, they’re slacks so it’s actually one of those slide-y closure things – do they have a name for that? UPDATE: Google tells me the technical term is Hook and Bar Closure – cue The More You Know rainbow) is buttoned, so I’m only gaining about an inch of freedom, but it is a crucial inch. A very comfortable inch. So yay? Or doom? Not quite sure.

Another milestone for the baby books, Luffy and I spent a very enjoyable hour or so perusing name sites today for ideas. I’m very firmly in the camp of not picking out names until we know if we’re having a boy or girl, but it’s also fun to start looking. I feel like it will feel totally different later on in the pregnancy than right now, when everything feels very hypothetical and one-day/someday (that was a lot of feels!). I still haven’t wrapped my brain around the fact that come November – as in, THIS November! – we will have a baby in the house. A baby! Our baby! That we get to keep! So I imagine that once I get better adjusted to that, picking out a name will become less of ooh! I like that and more of I can’t imagine yelling that at my trouble-making teenager. Just a hunch though.

Oddly enough, we find ourselves drawn to Japanese names. Scrolling down the lists of top US names puts me to sleep with a few exceptions. Luffy, however, keeps throwing Japanese names at me and I really do like a lot of them. And before you say that’s perfect for our little Asian baby, let me remind you that Luffy is Chinese. So. Dishonor on you. Dishonor on your family. Dishonor on your cow. And etc.

(I’m only kidding. His parents are fine with Japanese names.)

Luffy had an awesome suggestion to give them American middle names that they can switch to, should they get tired of our weirdness and want to go by Michael or Elizabeth. Snooooore. But also, you know, probably a good idea.

(Fun name fact of the day! The Chinese do not traditionally give their children middle names. The more you know! I am just a fount of knowledge over here you guys.)

Anyway, you’re free to go now. Just wanted to put an interwebs sticky note on today.

Note to self: You unbuttoned your pants today in public. Let’s not forget that important moment. Muah!

Hungry, so hungry

So I believe I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really having any – furtively glances around …. invades your personal space to whisper – morning sickness. I have light nausea at times and have solid hours where I feel distinctly unsettled, but nothing invasive and I haven’t actually vomited. (Yet, of course, always modified with a yet.)

I have some pronounced food aversions (broccoli, oddly enough, even though I typically love it in all its preparations) and am craving ALL OF THE DELICIOUS THINGS (queso and dumplings and noodles and McMuffins and PB&J’s, to name a few). Seriously, yesterday, on my drive home, I was craving a particular lunch circa my senior year in high school – a fast casual place where I always used to get a fajita burrito, large queso, and extra tortillas for dipping (ahhhh – to have an 18 year-old’s metabolism again). I haven’t had that meal in ages and yet, I wanted it so badly yesterday I could taste it.

My nose seems relatively fine, although there have been times that it seems to be particularly sensitive (a leftover stew, for instance, makes me gag every time I open the fridge). My boobs are sore, but not aching to the point of intervening. I don’t have much bloat, although I can already see my lower abs pushing outwards. I have moments of irritability and am quick to tear up during particularly music-swelly-soft-focusy moments, but I feel like I don’t have drastic mood swings. My fatigue still plagues me, but it’s generally getting better.

So basically, all of this to say that I’m actually feeling much better than I anticipated, especially during the first trimester. I planned to feel absolutely terrible, hoped that I’d feel only moderately awful, and wound up feeling fairly comfortable.

However, what I hadn’t anticipated was the hunger. The Hunger.

To combat the nausea and The Hunger, I’ve divided my lunch and added a snack. So I eat a handful of nuts at 10, a serving or two of spinach and a cheese stick at 12, some fruit at 2, and yogurt with a side of carrots at 4. That typically lasts me until I workout (which has always alleviated my appetite) or until I get home and can eat another snack before dinner. I’ve kept all of the these snacks small because – as unjust as it sounds to someone who has forever and ever heard that pregnancy = eating for two which, if you carry the one and divide by four, means eating for two = twice the food – I only need an extra 150 calories right now. 150 calories! My pregnancy book reminded me that could be satisfied by an apple and a serving of peanut butter. 150 calories is not a lot of calories, is what I’m saying.

Anyway, where was I? Oh right, my eating schedule. Basically, I have a snack every two hours to combat nausea and the aforementioned hunger. Except you guys, there are days when hunger becomes The Hunger. Yesterday was a perfect example. I kept to my schedule of a snack every two hours (and, most notably, kept to my prearranged snacks even though I so desperately wanted a mcmuffin at lunch and queso for dinner). And yet, my day ended up like this:

6:30am – wake up, take walk with Luffy
7:30am – breakfast
8:30am – HUNGRY
9:00am – oh fine, I’ll have my first snack now
10:00am – well, I am still hungry and I’m actually getting a touch nauseous so another snack I suppose
11:00am – STARVING
11:45am – “lunch” haha, yeah right, like spinach will cure this
1:00pm – a handful of nuts is totes healthy
2:00pm – YOGURT PLEASE RESCUE ME
3:15pm – another handful of nuts can only increase their healthiness
4:00pm – FAMISHED
4:30pm – carrots with mini guacamole to the rescue
5:00pm – RAVENOUS
5:15pm – I’ll just leave work a tad early to distract myself from my stomach
5:45pm – stomach reminds me of the delicious meal I had back in ’06
6:00pm – arrive home
6:00:30pm – open fridge
6:01pm – try to convince stomach that an apple is equally as delicious as queso
6:15pm – grab bag of Cheetos, try valiantly not to finish bag of Cheetos
6:18pm – does it count as “finished” if I left a couple of Cheetos at the bottom?
7:00pm – COULD-EAT-A-HORSE
7:20pm – screw this, I’ll start dinner
7:30pm – well, this chunk of cheese is clearly too small to shred, I should eat it instead so as not to waste it
8:00pm – WASTING-AWAY- at least dinner’s almost in the oven
8:24pm – remove dinner from oven
8:24:10pm – remind self that it needs a few minutes to cool
8:25pm – Luffy’s not home yet…. eyes door …. eyes phone …. 
8:26pm – text to Luffy reads: “dinner’s ready! you on your way???”
8:27pm – get go ahead from Luffy to eat dinner without him
8:27:15pm – almost burn hands in haste to get dinner out of pan
8:27:45pm – frantically fanning first bite
8:28pm – sigh in relief, ahhhhhh foooooooood
8:35pm – finish comically over sized portion of dinner, feel satiated for the first time all day
9:45pm – told to Luffy as I’m getting up from the couch: “I’m hungry, so I’m going to bed”

And yeah. That was my day. Hungry, is how I would sum it up. So hungry.

Stories from my commute

In the almost five years that I’ve lived in the DFW area, I’ve racked up my fair share of commute horror stories. From the near misses to the time it took me two and a half hours to drive my typical 45 minute commute, I’ve seen a lot out there. I’ve never actually been involved in an accident though – until today.

This morning was a fantastic commute morning, as far as traffic goes and especially for a Monday, which usually means snarled traffic as far as the eye can see. I sailed past areas that are usually deadlocked and only had to mutter curse words at one motorist (they deserved it, tbh, driving well below the speed limit in the far left lane). I was almost to work, about a mile away from my exit, when it happened. Traffic had been flowing smoothly, but was slowing down as it approached a busy area. Without warning, the car in front of me pulled up short. I, in return, also braked hard and quickly, coming to a full stop. The car behind me, however, either didn’t realize we were stopping or saw too late. She hit me, sliding her sedan underneath the bumper of my SUV.

I eased off the brakes and rolled forward, noting her car (a light colored, older model sedan) had significant damage and feared the worst for my car. I immediately put on my turn signal to start changing lanes toward the shoulder. I glanced back in my rear view mirror again, as I was moving to the side, to see that the sedan was still stopped in our lane. Once I pulled off, I took a few calming breaths and when I looked up, there was no sign of the sedan.

I couldn’t believe it. I felt sure she would follow me because her car clearly had damage (and who doesn’t want to check out their car after an accident?!), but I couldn’t see her anywhere. Motorists were slowing down because of another accident a few feet ahead of me, which had also pulled off to the side. I got out of my car to inspect the damage and was relieved to find it was minimal. A few scrapes of her paint and a newly misaligned bumper, but no real damage. Luffy reminded me to make sure my liftgate still opened (which it did) and we debated whether to call the police. We ended up not filing a report because (1) the damage to my car is minimal and we probably won’t even have it fixed, much less file a claim with our insurance and (2) I have no identifying details from her, other than a vague impression of the color and model of her car.

I’m fine, my car is fine, the blueberry is fine, as far as I know. I wish I had had the presence of mind to note her license plate, although I’m not sure it would have done any good. I guess I just put too much faith in other people, assuming that she’d pull over with me. Live and learn, I suppose, live and learn.

Cha-cha-cha-changes

I wanted to expand on something I mentioned yesterday. While the scale technically says I haven’t gained any weight, my body is already changing and it’s taken me by surprise a bit. I knew that the belly wouldn’t appear until around the second trimester mark, and while I always knew that it wouldn’t just magically pop out overnight (a sort of zero-to-sixty situation), it never really occurred to me that the process starts pretty much immediately.

Some background information first: As I’ve alluded to all over the place, I’m actually a bit of an exercise fanatic and I teach group fitness classes as a side-job/hobby. I’ve also dealt with some body issues thanks to an abusive ex and a natural pre-disposition for judging myself extra super harshly (pardon my highly technical term). But I also take a lot of pride in my body and am pleased to say that I’ve finally gotten to a point where I’m very happy with the way I look. I’ve been blessed with some good genetics, so that, with a lot of determination and will power, has left me with a very toned, athletic body. (And before you ask, yes I’m a little nervous as to what pregnancy will do to my body. I’m just hoping that being in good shape before will help me bounce back after.)

So what’s happened to that well toned body at just 6 weeks and a few days in? My lower abs have already pushed out at least an inch or so. Not so much that it’s noticeable to other people, but I can definitely tell. They’re making room for my uterus (which has almost doubled in size at this point!). Now, don’t get me wrong, I can contract my abs back the way they were and no one’s the wiser, but their new default position is just a tad out of alignment. I look oddly distended, like a pro-muscle man dude – there’s abs but there’s also distention. Strange.

Another change that I can already spot: water retention. In the morning, I look perfectly normal (save the distended abs), but by evening I have so much bloat I can hardly recognize my stomach as my own. And while it’s still flat (so again, not noticeable to anyone other than me), it’s smushy and bulgey, like I lost all definition during the day. This happens regardless of what I eat or how much I eat.

I’m curious to see what will continue to subtly change over the next six weeks.

Can we just call this entry 100?

I so wish I had planned this out better. Today is the one year anniversary of this little site and it’s almost my 100th post too. Alas, I’m only at 99 posts. Can we just pretend that it’s 100 so I can have a ONE YEAR – ONE HUNDRED POSTS EXTRAVAGANZA?? No? Oh, well then, moving right along.

Today was my first prenatal appointment with my OB/GYN. It was glorious in the fact that I finally got to answer that yes! I’m pregnant!! when he came into the examination room (he always says to me so, not pregnant yet? whenever I came in for infertility treatments). Luffy came with me for moral support and here are the highlights:

  • I officially weigh less now than at my last infertility appointment. I am shocked as I have been nothing but hungry since I got pregnant. Mind you it’s only a pound or two, but still – go me! On a related note, I talked to my mom and she said she never really dealt with any nausea or morning sickness, which calms some of my fears. If I’m truly looking at a pregnancy without morning sickness I’m elated, but also a tad worried re: THE HUNGER.
  • Luffy got to witness a pelvic exam…. sorry about that honey. But thanks for holding my pants.
  • My doctor scared me a bit because he originally quoted 5w2d to me and I was like eep! what happened to the past week!! I told him that I thought I was 6w3d. Suffice to say, there must have been some confusion/mix-up. He agreed with my count.
  • We got a sonogram! We saw our little dumpling for the first time. S/he looked remarkably similar to a blueberry. The sonogram dated the pregnancy at 5w6d.
  • We also saw a tiny flickering heartbeat during the sonogram. Which, awe, go blueberry!
  • The ultrasound tech also noticed several cysts, all of which were much larger than the baby itself. She said not to worry about them (and my doctor agreed) and that they would just keep an eye on them as the pregnancy continues.

So yeah! Fun day. Plus I went to give a half dozen vials of blood for testing. We’ll have those results soon. Otherwise, just keep being healthy and active and hope for the best! Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe I’ll go celebrate my ONE YEAR – (faux) ONE HUNDRED POSTS EXTRAVAGANZA by myself. Well, myself and Ben & Jerry. Carry on!