Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Week 12: Early bumps, nesting, and 8 legged freaks

Sooo, I'm 12 weeks along and I definitely have a baby bump.

AND I have a lot of friends telling me they were about 16 weeks before they had a bump. So, this makes me a little nervous. Does this mean:
a) My next sonogram could show surprise multiple babies we didn't see the first time
b) I'm going to have a 12 pound baby
c) I am going to have a beach ball belly by month 8 with stretch marks that look like a road map instead of the cute little basketball tummy everyone keeps assuring me I'll have

Stay tuned...

In other news, I hate clutter. And I know a baby means a whole new world of clutter. Between bouncy seats, pack n plays, toys, diaper genies, and whatever else Baby's R Us can assure us we need, I have nightmares of our home swallowing us up in 6 months.

I blame my mother for my extreme aversion to hoarding. She was well trained by my Meme---to THROW AWAY NOTHING. My Meme washes tinfoil and Ziploc bags and reuses them. My mom finally cleaned out our attic after my dad passed away because I told her, if anything happened to her, I was lighting the house on fire and collecting the insurance money. You couldn't have payed me enough to venture into that labyrinth of broken record players and headless Barbies.

My husband was out of town on a business trip when I went through a major de-hoarding/ nesting binge. I kept texting him to see if I could take his stuff to the consignment store (or the garbage...) and eventually he said, 'Really busy right now, you can just make executive decisions.' Which I translated to, 'Congratulations! All of your anti-hoarding dreams have come true. You can toss anything without repercussions.'

SO I did. Like this neon fish light that has been sitting in his closet for most of our marriage....

(Admittedly, he was a little sad when he found out about that one...but hey, executive decisions mean no more neon allowed.)

So, I'm having pretty much the greatest day ever, just cleaning out our garage (it's when I say things like this I realize just how old I've become....) when all of a sudden, I am stopped dead in my tracks on the way to the trash can by this horrifying creature.

I have severe arachnophobia. And now, all of my neighbors likely know that, or they assume I've been murdered, after the blood curdling scream I let out. I swear, spiders must be afraid of Austin, because they never come out unless he's gone. I think they conspire to attack me as soon as they see his car leave.

I only have one choice. This thing has to die, or I will never walk into our garage again knowing it's lurking. So, I find Austin's shoe (clearly not killing that jungle creature with any of my shoes...), whack him, and scream some more. I eventually get up the courage to scoop his remains up with a shovel and put them in the pine straw bed.

After I am done with this truly embarrassing display of femininity, I finally start to breathe again, although my trips to the garage are pretty much over unless it's absolutely necessary

Fast forward, and it's time for one of those necessary trips. Time to go to work. I look like the bag lady. Hands full with a tumbler full of water, purse, another bag full of hair and makeup supplies, cell phones, keys, it's a juggling act. I'm about to get into my car when I feel something fall into my hair.

I. LOSE. MY. MIND...because I'm certain this is part of the spider conspiracy, and they have indeed plotted and are now carrying out their attack. Water goes everywhere, bags go everywhere, I do some kind of spider-removal maneuver violent enough to break my favorite pair of wedge heels I am wearing, nearly go into labor six months early, all to discover, there is a leaf in my hair.

But oh no, this story is not over.

I get home from work around midnight to find the garage door I closed before I left for work open and a light I am certain I turned off, on.

Again, Austin was not home. So I inventory my options.

1.Go inside armed with my best karate moves
2.Call a friend to come help me look for burglars
3.Cry, because I'm pregnant
4.Sleep in my car
5.Call the police

So I went with option 3 and 5. There was zero chance I'd be able to sleep if I didn't.

Two of North Augusta's finest roll up in two squad cars. Thankfully, dispatch sent the nicest, most understanding human beings on the payroll. They searched the whole house, guns drawn, while I'm telling them, 'In case my husband came home early, he's blonde and answers to Austin. Please don't shoot him.'

I'm certain my neighbors that were still awake were sure I'd been murdered by this point, between the spider screams and the cops.

They found nothing, and I apologized for being crazy about 12 times. As they're leaving, I close the garage door and watched in disbelief as it bounced back open. Upon further investigation, I realize my spider shovel is blocking the door from shutting.


This spider managed to single-handedly (well, I guess it took eight legs....eight-leggedly) ruin my life from 11AM until 1AM.

After this ordeal, I am sure this means I am going to have a baby boy who loves creepy crawly things. But, with my luck, he'll take after Austin, whose mom tells me, as a toddler, would not let his parents kill ANY living thing, bug or otherwise. And, let's be honest. With this face, he probably got whatever he wanted.

But, I'm just hoping, all of the spiders will at least leave me alone until that day comes. In the meantime, I'm not going in the garage.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 10: Worry? Why Worry?

I always give my Meme a hard time about being a worry wart. I never worry because I know she's probably worried enough for the both of us. When my husband and I landed from our trip to Europe a couple of months back, I called to let her know we were home. Her response was, "Oh, thank God! I'm so glad you're back. I worried every minute you were gone. Mostly about the terrorists getting you. Now hopefully you've got that out of your system and you'll stop travelling." [Keep in mind one of the worst terrorist attacks in history happened in Orlando while we were gone...not in Europe, on US soil.] Yeah, needless to say we are wired a little differently. And in three days, I'll give her another heart attack as I board another plane to visit Minneapolis and continue living my life. And so, the worry cycle continues. She always says when I have kids, I'll understand. (How many of us have heard that?)  

I guess the one thing I AM thankful for is that Meme refuses to use a computer, because Google would be the end of her. Between WebMD telling her we all have cancer when we get a headache and the conspiracy theories she could research....I can't even think about it. 

I know I have no idea the full extent of what 'worry' means quite yet, but I'm starting to get a teensy taste of it. 

We had our first ultrasound, and I have never been so glued to a computer monitor. When we didn't see the baby within the first 30 seconds, I immediately thought, great. I'm one of those crazy ladies who invented this WHOLE pregnancy in their mind, and believed it so fully that I gave myself symptoms AND a positive pregnancy test. And just when I'm about to start asking the ultrasound tech about false pregnancies....we see a little peanut. 

Then I have something else to focus my worry on, heartbeat. It takes maybe a minute (but easily feels like 15). Then, the most beautiful sound in the world. Hearing a heart beat (that isn't your own) coming from inside your own body is the most surreal/awesome thing ever. Here's the video (if you can't see it, try watching from a computer instead of mobile device).

So, from that point on, I've had plenty of things to worry about. What's going on in there? Am I eating enough vegetables? Should I take all 34656 of these birth defect tests the OBGYN has to offer? Can you die from nausea in the first trimester? I've lowered my caffeine intake to a cup of coffee every two weeks, is that enough? 

And let me tell you, Google is not helpful

Tonight, CBS aired a story on parents not heeding warnings about SIDS. Don't swaddle. Nothing in the crib. Bumper pads are death traps. Basically, just put your baby in an empty shell of a crib and watch them at all times when they sleep is pretty much what I gathered I should do. So, of course, Google will tell you all of these heartbreaking freak accident scenarios to back all of these things up. Thus, cementing these rules in your mind forever. I remember my husband looking at me after that report aired and saying, "What are we getting ourselves into?! No blankets?!' Yeah. It's getting real. 

But, worry has become a natural part of my day in my slow evolution into parenthood, and thus, one day, my Meme.

This is a brief list of things I suggest you NEVER Google before you get pregnant (and the things I know once you read this, you will likely Google): 
Stretch marks
Things kids can stick up their nose
Best cereal to eat if you're pregnant
Things not to do while pregnant
Breast engorgement
Placenta pills
Mucus plug
Baby rashes
Lotus birth
Post baby belly

That should get you going, and if you're looking for birth control for your teenager, please pass this list along. 

Now, worry and panic attacks aside, we've also all heard how much your life changes for the BETTER when you have a baby, and how thankful you become for your own mother who put up with you and didn't accidentally smother you in crib bumpers. 

I can already start to see that appreciation for my own mom, mainly because not a day goes by that I don't know how lucky I am to have been loved so fiercely my whole life by this lady. So, I will leave you with the cutest video you will see all day. *Unless you Google sneezing panda. I can't compete with that...* 

This is the moment we surprised my mom and told her she would be a grandma. (She thinks she's opening some mail that was delivered for her to our house by mistake).

And just like that, all of the worry seems to pale in comparison to the excitement. The promise and hope of a life unwritten. It's going to be a fun journey. I hope my Meme has enough Xanax. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

WEEK 8: The 'glow'

My mom always used to say she had me 'the easy way.' Adoption. I'm only 8 weeks into this thing, and now, I can tell her, she was right. Take the next few paragraphs of straight WHINING with a grain of salt, because I know there are thousands of women out there struggling with fertility issues who would give just about anything to experience pregnancy aches and pains, but ladies---if you're reading this, take a step back, and know the 'glow' of pregnancy you crave is actually perspiration from holding back vomit. 

I don't know what it is about human nature that makes us tell ourselves lies. 'Oh, not me. I know 75% of pregnant women have first trimester nausea, but surely I'll be in that 25% category?' If the flawless Duchess of Cambridge can't escape horrible morning sickness, you don't get a pass either. The nausea is real, and for all of my friends who told me they didn't really have nausea, I'm just going to take this moment to mentally poke a voodoo doll of you in your belly. 

First of all, I'm assuming a man came up with the term 'morning sickness.' A man who knows nothing of pregnancy. It should be called---'all day, every day, unless you're constantly eating crackers' sickness. At least in my case. It's torture, because I have zero appetite because I'm nauseated most of the time, but the ONLY way to curb the nausea---you guessed it---to force something into my belly. And only 10% of foods sound appetizing at any given time. (And .0001% of those are healthy foods)

Pregnancy symptoms are this giant paradox--because you are supposed to be eating so healthy so your baby doesn't grow an extra ear, but meanwhile, your body is playing food roulette: spin the wheel and hope the food it lands on doesn't make you want to vomit. I buy healthy foods and I might as well be buying dog food because my cravings change more frequently than Trump's pick for VP. But, of course there is one thing I can ALWAYS talk myself into eating, fast food. Awesome. Artery clogging Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets. Steak N Shake double cheeseburgers? Yes, please. IF you are one of those pregnant people who crave apples, or quinoa, I don't know if we can be friends right now. 

And in case you couldn't tell by this giant rant, moodiness and emotional irrationality is real too. I consider myself pretty even keeled. Not a lot ruffles my feathers. But today, I almost cried when I noticed Kroger was out of Snack Pak pudding. I didn't even want pudding, I was just upset it wasn't an option. 

And I'm worried because all of this drama is playing out inside my body and I haven't even had my first doctor's visit. Which brings me to another cruel paradox of pregnancy---apparently the first trimester is the worst for pregnancy symptoms. Which, of course, is the trimester where you are keeping this giant secret from everyone. So you are a moody wreck of nausea and strange 6 meal a day eating habits, but you aren't supposed to tell anyone. 

Thankfully, I have the most understanding husband in the world who does not seem concerned that my McDonald's intake may provide our newborn with an extra limb. And cheers for me and reminds me I make a lot of good choices when I put grapes and nuts on my salad for extra nutrition points. 

But, I hear it's worth it. Or so the human race seems to think because we're going pretty strong. I'll keep you posted---but to all the mom's out there who survived the first trimester, go get a cheeseburger. You earned it.