To know or not to know

That is the ultimate pregnancy question. It is the first question everyone has asked me upon learning that I’m pregnant: are you going to find out?

They don’t even specifically ask about gender sex (probably because of touchy subjects like that), just “are you going to find out?” and I’m always tempted to reply “yes because I want to be prepared if I’m having a velociraptor instead of a baby.”

(You’ll be glad to know that I don’t actually say that out loud…)

I am firmly in the camp of finding out. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but knowing the baby’s sex will (I think) help me wrap my brain around the whole real-human-baby aspect of pregnancy. So yes, I want to know. I want to know as soon as I can.

So it surprised me the other day when my mom told me that she actually doesn’t want to know. She would prefer to find out the day of delivery, whether I’m having a boy or a girl. Huh. Now I’ve started to try and think of ways to accommodate her as I do love the whole surprise aspect of the grand reveal at birth. Just not enough to be surprised myself.

It seems like a rather insurmountable task. I mean, I don’t mind switching pronouns while talking with her (I do already because I don’t like referring to the baby as “it”) and I definitely wouldn’t mind avoiding the onslaught of all-pink or all-blue gifts (by not telling anyone else before the shower). The main complication that I foresee is that the best way to ensure my mom doesn’t find out is to really not tell anyone else either. Maybe Luffy’s folks, although they could still potentially spill the beans, and some close friends might also be up to the challenge. So I think, in my particular case, the real question is do we tell everyone or no one?

Phone Status

So I think I may have mentioned that I broke my phone… and that I had shipped it off to be repaired by Motorola. I told y’all last Monday (the 18th, for reference) and I was full of optimism and hope that they would have my phone fixed and back to me by Friday! Perhaps the following Monday at the latest!! Surely they can turn it around within their promised 4-5 days. I knew they received in on Tuesday (the 19th). They sent me an email saying they had received it on Wednesday (the 20th). And that was the last I heard from them.

Never worry though! They did say they would contact me if they had an issue, so maybe the lack of communication just meant that they didn’t run into any problems!! <<<<< I can be fantastically optimistic when it pleases me.

When I hadn’t heard from them by Monday (the 25th) (and I should note they are open on the weekends, although I technically don’t know if their repair center is), I called. It went about as well as can be expected (hard to understand, transferred a couple of times, miscommunication abound), but I was promised that they just had “one more test” to run and to give them “a few more hours.” They informed me that they would send me tracking information the moment it was completed.

When I hadn’t received tracking information by Wednesday (the 27th) afternoon, I called again. The best this person could do for me was mark my case as a “priority” to hopefully bump me up the line. (At which I collapsed into a puddle of frustration because what do you mean line???? you’ve had my phone for nine days!!! I should be at the front of the line already!!) He told me to call back if I didn’t have tracking information within 48 hours.

I should pause here to say that Motorola does have a super handy repair tracking function on their website. Just put in your Motorola tracking number and voila! Instant status. Except that every time I tried it, the website returned with the message “repair not found.” Um, thanks? Way to boost my confidence in you Motorola.

Anyway, back to Wednesday. A few hours after I called, I received an email that confused me to no end. It basically said they could not process my replacement, as my phone was out of stock and they did not have a comparable device. Um, thanks? Except that you were supposed to fix mine, not replace it. So does this mean my phone’s not getting fixed? I gave them what they requested (they said they were going to refund my money for the device, but I am suspicious because why would they do that???) …. and I bought a new phone.

Weekend Wrap-up

Well it was a good one. My parents made it safely into town Friday night* and I promptly poured champagne down their throats offered them a beverage of their choice. We went out for pizza and it was delicious. In fact, the whole weekend was pretty much all about eating. We had doughnuts Saturday morning and burgers for lunch and Italian for dinner. We had more doughnuts Sunday morning and Chinese food for lunch and then healthily moderated at dinner with a salad and some cookies.

Of course, all of that eating caught up with me just in time for a weigh-in Monday morning. I gained two more pounds – TWO POUNDS in TWO WEEKS! Eep! And I had already gained two at my last appointment! My doctor said my weight looked fine, but, you know, just FYI, he encourages his patients to only gain four pounds in the first twenty weeks. I ….. I am not 20 weeks along. So, zero weight gain for the next seven weeks. Dear baby Jesus, please help me to be strong.

I maintain that a lot of my four pounds is water weight and not actual weight gain (I bloat like a puffer fish right now). Plus, you have to understand, I was a very disciplined and rigid eater and kept my weight down to an acceptable (to me) level by sheer willpower. That was a little harder to do when my stomach was so urpy and iffy in the first couple of weeks. Plus plus, I never had the puking, so I’m battling an uphill battle. (If there is one upside to the puking in the first trimester, it’s that it keeps those comfort carbs from adding up. Seriously, not that I’m envious of the puking, but I read a thread this morning that was filled with tons of women who have not gained any weight at 16 or 17 weeks along and others who have actually lost weight.) I know that I’m pregnant, not just getting fat, but it’s still hard to watch the numbers climb without the accompanying baby belly. So no more cookies for me over the next seven weeks. My next appointment is in three weeks and I am really striving to weigh in with zero pounds gained.

Anyway, let’s get off that depressing topic. Moving right along: my parents and I went to Nebraska Furniture Mart here in DFW. They were looking for an entryway bench and the store is practically a destination in and of itself, so I happily tagged along. We, of course, visited the baby section (mostly because my Dad is so excited and wouldn’t let us leave the store without browsing). I had this moment, standing amidst the cribs and changing tables and bassinets. I think I was mostly in some form of denial, standing there with all the very pregnant ladies browsing for furniture, like me??? take care of an infant???? BAHAHAHA – yeah right…. I’m barely qualified to take care of myself. I looked at the cribs, but couldn’t imagine purchasing one or putting it together in our home. I think this is the real reason why it takes almost 10 months for babies to develop: momma needs some time to wrap her head around this shit. I had invited my mom to help me purchase a baby shower gift for a friend (at one of those big-box baby stores), but was too overwhelmed after the furniture to follow up on the offer.

My mom did get to sit in for the ultrasound Monday morning (Nuchal Test performed: results normal – blood test done to corroborate, results pending). The baby has grown so much since just two weeks ago, but was in a terrible position for any gender guessing to take place. Boo. Although, we did get some truly terrifying ultrasound photos out of the visit. I used them for our Facebook announcement and was truly pleased with myself (alien baby is coming for your brainz!!!). Mom teared up a bit here and there – it was fun.

And that’s all folks! Mom left me half a bottle of champagne in the fridge so now I’m off to find recipes that use champagne so I can avoid the heartache of pouring perfectly delicious champagne down the drain again.

*The actual first words my dad said to me as he walked in the door: you don’t look pregnant! Er… well I am…. I promise… those four pounds are just fluff at this point, but really important fluff.

The Wonder

Most days, my pregnancy goes relatively unnoticed, by me or anyone else really. My co-workers treat me the same. I continue to work out and go to work as usual. Jasmine continues to knead me at nights and refuses to give up her prime spot on my abdomen no matter how many times I patiently explain that IT’S ALREADY TAKEN CHILD. Oh sure, there are signs and symptoms a plenty and there is more implication behind the general “so how are you doing” questions, but it’s fairly the same as before.

And then, there are other days, like today, when I click on a bait-click article from Baby Center titled something like “What Your Baby Looks Like Now” and I am amazed. I am taken aback by wonder. That Luffy and I created this. That we did this and now you, little dumpling, there you are. And look how far you’ve come! Even in just 12 weeks. Amazing.

To think that something as common place as sex could lead to such an incredible miracle or that a human being could grow from something as small as the head of a pin. I’m always amazed whenever I think about the development of a baby – all of the things that have to go right and all of the intricate systems that form. Eyes and the nerves to interpret sight. Ears and the nerves to interpret sound. Touch. Smell. The complex organ that is the human brain. The human heart! What makes it start? What electrical impulse begins the lifelong beat? The digestive system. All the little things that make us human – arms and legs and hands and feet and nails and hair and skin! It’s incredible to me that the fertilized egg has all of the coding in place to create a full-size human without direction or intervention. It has its marching orders and sends cells off to become skin or hair or stomach or eyes or gallbladder accordingly. Just incredible.

And so little dumpling, today is not a day that you will go unnoticed. Today I will put my hand across my abdomen and I will know you are there. I will know that you are the size of a lime and closing in on the pea pod range. I will know that you have reflexes and are already responding to outside stimuli. I will imagine your movement and I will send up a thankful little prayer that you exist. And I will eagerly await your arrival.

Pregnancy Symptoms: First Trimester Edition

This post is probably all TMI, but when has that ever stopped me? First up on the first trimester agenda: peeing while pregnant is the most unsatisfying peeing ever.

Wait! Don’t leave!! Come baaaaaack!

Let me set the scene for you. Late afternoon, a cold drink on your desk. Working away, not a care in the world when you realize, quite suddenly, that your bladder is full, very full. If you’re me, you probably want to finish that last sentence, that last email. Twenty minutes later and full becomes FULL. Off you go, dashing to the bathroom. Breeze into the stall, unzip, and – aaaahhhhhhhh. Sweet, sweet release – sweet, sweet empty bladder. Glorious. You wash your hands, feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to tackle the next cup of water.

I miss that feeling. I really do. Maybe it’s the fact that my bladder is under pressure constantly, so that empty no longer reads as “empty” to my brain,  merely “less full.” Or maybe my bladder’s capacity has shrunk. I will need to urgently pee, yet I sit down and pee for like two seconds. Whelp. That was underwhelming. Alas and alack people. I never knew I would miss peeing.

In other strange symptom news, I had always heard that pregnancy does wonders for your hair and nails. No shedding of the hairz!! No breaking of the nailz!! Glory be!! I’m here to report that I have noticed decreased shedding (which yay! because I have terribly thin and fine hair and I need all of it). My nails are the same (which isn’t saying much because, and I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, I have pretty awesome nails anyway – I thank my momma for that). However, the hair on my stomach, of all places, has taken upon itself to make up for lost time apparently. I looked down the other day and was just astounded – was this a monkey’s stomach or mine???? I immediately grabbed a razor and now make sure to pay closer attention each morning in the shower.

Overall though, I think I’ve had a fairly smooth first trimester. Some nausea and queasiness, but no vomiting. Fatigue and a touch of irritability, but, again, no vomiting. And good lord, The Hunger and the bloating, but no vomiting. (Can you tell that I’m really glad I never actually vomited??) As I near the end of the first trimester, several of these symptoms have already started to subside. I no longer go from full to hungry to STARVING AND WILL PERISH WITHOUT SUSTENANCE THIS MOMENT in …. oh about two seconds. The fatigue has diminished and I can actually make it to a respectable bedtime of 10pm or so without passing out on the couch in the middle of SVU. I still get a bit of queasiness now and then – dinner time seems to bring it out the most. But overall, a smooth first trimester*.

I’m looking forward to what the second one brings.

*Except for yesterday (aka 12w2d), when I had a backache and a headache of mystery and then I started getting sharp pulling pains on my right side. After about half an hour of that nonsense I decided to head home for the day and spent the rest of my afternoon on the couch with a heating pad. I’m feeling much better today.

Lessons Learned Part II

I broke my phone over the weekend.

waaaaaaah!

I was putting it in my purse on our way out to dinner Saturday evening and didn’t quite make it. My one-month-old phone fell flat onto our kitchen floor and, though completely undamaged as far as dings or cracks, the screen no longer worked. Boo. I’ve been sorting through getting it repaired without invalidating the warranty since then. Luckily, Motorola is pretty awesome with their customer service and they’re fixing it (for a fee, of course, since the damage resulted from a drop). Still though, I should have a working phone back in about 5 business days, give or take.

In the meantime, I have Luffy’s phone and yet I feel so …. exposed? Naked? Unsure of who I am as a person??? It’s not that I would classify myself as “addicted to my phone” as I could certainly go without my apps and constant connection to social media. My main issue is that I rely on my phone as a virtual post-it note. If I have anything that I need to remember – from picking up cat food to making sure the bills are paid on time – I use my phone to do it. I set reminders for myself all the time, for everything, and I rely on them heavily. Without my phone, I’d be covered in post-its from head to toe. So right now, I constantly have the feeling that I’m forgetting something. Did I set a reminder for today? If so, what was it for? No seriously, I’m asking if you happen to know because I can’t for the life of me remember.

So yeah, hopefully nothing goes horribly un-done while I’m phone-less (I’m pretty sure I’m saving the world by pressing the button to blow up the asteroid on Thursday). Once I get my phone back, I’ll have to restart my kitten game AGAIN, but at least my pregnancy apps can be restored. I’ll miss my 12 week (!!!!!) selfie, but only by a couple of days (hopefully!). And all of my pictures were already backed up to both my SD card and Google Photos. (When I say the screen no longer worked, I meant it. Though the phone was still powered on, you could not see or do anything. All the advice I read through kept telling me to back up my data by using the Motorola app or turn off my device my selecting the power off option and I kept yelling at my computer screen that BLANK MEANS BLANK BITCHES – ahem). Anyway, always sucks when you break something valuable and fairly new through your own klutziness. At least I can get it repaired instead of buying a brand new phone.

As to the life lesson learned part: right after I broke it both Luffy and a good (phone savvy) friend of ours both told me my case was crap. Nicely of course! But still – buy a better case Belle. You see, I made the unfortunate mistake of wanting a pretty case. Pretty cases that are also protective are very hard to find. Thus I opted for a translucent aqua case that protects from scratches and maybe some low-level dings, but that’s about it. It was no match for a three foot fall onto tile. I’ve already ordered a better case (in a color that is deceptively called “rose pink” but looks more like a delightful shade of prison orange online – I’m hoping it’s better IRL) and I’m really hoping it does a better job as I’m fairly positive the odds of me dropping my phone again are high.

Moral of the story: protect your phones! Or don’t drop your phones! Or at least don’t let me handle your phone. And also go back to using post-its.

Lessons Learned

I learned an important lesson today about why you always wait to tell people the news until you’re really ready to tell everyone – even if you’re not actually telling everyone yet.

I mentioned last week that we told our friend group after the ultrasound. I’m not quite out of the first trimester yet, but everything looks good so far. I also told my fellow group fitness instructors (mainly because I needed to tell my class owner and then I told all the rest of the instructors because I was high on spilling the beans at that point). Anyway, much joy and congratulations. The following day I also told my class (again, high on spilling the beans – it’s just so freeing to be able to finally tell people). As I sat on the couch on Saturday, thumbing through the pictures I had taken of our ultrasound pics, the idea of announcing on social media crossed my mind….

And I hesitated. Not quite yet, I thought. I decided to wait until my next scan – the nuchal test scan – at 13 weeks to make it “Facebook official” as the kids say (or wait, I said that back in high school, so maybe it’s actually what the almost-thirty-year-olds say). Anyway, cue ominous music and “famous last words”…

This morning, I log onto Facebook to find that one of my fellow instructors has tagged me (and two other instructors who are also pregnant) in a Baby Center post about … I don’t know… some new utensil to make feeding a baby easier. Something like that. Not really sure as I didn’t click on the article because my very first thought was just ugh, one more piece of crap pressed on me to “simplify” my life. And then I paused a moment and realized the implications of what she had done. I’d been outed to Facebook!

dun dun DUN!

Now, I don’t really mind because (a) most of our close friends already know, (b) it’s not like the post said “OMG SO EXCITED UR KNOCKED UP” and you’d sort of have to put two and two together to even wonder if something was up, and (c) I’m announcing in a couple of weeks anyway so meh. Not a big deal. I’m not concerned at all and I didn’t reach out to her in any way. However, it does prove the point that you honestly can’t tell people until you’re really ready to share the news. The more people who know, the more chances it has of getting out in a way you don’t want or aren’t ready for. Life lessons learned and all that.

And speaking of lessons learned, or rather, of lessons not learned – I have a small confession: I did lawn work on Sunday (don’t panic! nothing too strenuous or overtaxing and it was cool and breezy outside) and my back has never been this sore in my entire life. I keep talking about how I’m sore much more often and more intensely after my usual classes, now that I’m pregnant. I’ve come to accept the fact that, for some reason, my muscles seem to be either working in a different way or just harder now (or Luffy’s thought: the baby’s taking all of the nutrients/energy that would otherwise go into repairing my muscles) and that I need to back down on the intensity level some. But for some reason, I never really applied this logic to other strenuous tasks, like lawn work for instance. To be fair to myself, I would have stopped immediately had something felt wrong or if I had gotten tired. I was worn out by the end, but in the usual just-finished-attacking-the-leaves way, you know? Nothing ever hinted at the amount of pain I would be in following the chore and I still can’t quite figure out what caused it (the bending over to pick up leaves? the trimming along the fence line?). Regardless, my entire lower back feels like it has been through the wringer. The pain radiates from my lower spine, following up and out along the bones of my hips whenever I shift or turn. Today is the first day I would describe the pain level as “moderate” and it’s Wednesday. Ouch!

Anyway, hopefully I’ve learned my lesson now as I do not want to repeat this any time soon. Now I’m off to teach class! Note to self: don’t push it. You’re pregnant, not lazy.