Okay. I sort of lied. I actually have been doing something as exciting as going on a proper vacation. I've been gestating. A baby. In my uterus.
That’s right. I’m PREGNANT. Again.
Nausea-inducing, barf-causing, varicose-vein-creating, labor-requiring, achy-making PREGNANT. Again.
Come late April, I'll have another BABY! And I will have to stop calling the first baby "The baby"!
I’m nearly eight weeks along, so I’m used to the idea by now, but if you’d care to hear about my thought- (and nausea-) process for the past three + weeks while we kept it a secret, read on.
Real-time posts shall recommence forthwith, now that the cat is out of the bag. Meow.
Please feel free (no, feel compelled) to leave a comment where it says “comments” below. Just don’t tell me to try ginger for my nausea. I’ve tried ginger. It’s disgusting. Much like pregnancy itself.
Copper and Sodium— Monday, August 15, 2011
This post is dated August 15 but isn’t being posted until today because—brace yourselves, people—I’m pregnant (!!!!!!!!!!!!) and didn’t want to tell everyone right away this time. And it seemed only fair that I tell my mother before I told Ye Olde Internet, so…
I actually got my IUD out back in June and was seriously bummed that I didn’t get pregnant RIGHT AWAY, even though my body was all, “Wait! Where’s that copper pipe? I miss it! I miss seriously cramping around it every month! Bring it baaaaaaack!” My body acted like my IUD was one of those annoying co-workers who prattles on about the weather and what kind of taco she’s going to get from Baja “Fresh” for lunch—and then one day she’s gone and you realize you spent so much energy growing to tolerate her that you sort of miss her. Which is to say, the cramping caused by the absence of the IUD was worse than any cramping caused by its presence.
But just as the longing for the annoying co-worker lasts like five minutes, the post-IUD cramping eventually ended. The very next month my body said, “Bring it!” and my husband’s body apparently said, “I’m all over that noise!” Neither body mentioned anything about the weather or Mexican chain food, and here I am, just over four weeks pregnant as of August 15 (which is nearly eight weeks now, for those of you not so strong on math or calendars).
Last time I was four weeks pregnant, I was arguing with my future mate about the flavor of our wedding cake. (White! The flavor had to be white!) It’s so nice to be pregnant and not be planning a wedding. Also, it’s so nice to be pregnant and not be barfing a bajillion times a day. I do not delude myself into thinking my lack of nausea is because this pregnancy will be easier, gastrointestinally speaking, than my last—I just think it’s because my nausea-making hormone levels have not yet reached “orange.” (An aside: though I’m in full support of the Department of Homeland Security revamping the terror alert system to one that’s less nonsensical, I will miss being able to write sentences like the previous and have people know what I’m talking about. I loved that our nations’ airports were in a constant, meaningless, inadvertently Dadaist state of “orange.”)
Even though my Pollyannaish husband accuses me of being a total pessimist, I’ve always considered myself (perhaps inappropriately) balanced in my positive-to-negative thinking ratio. The glass is both half full and half empty. I believe my people call themselves “realists,” but I also know that optimists—and Evangelicals—say that “realism” is just pessimism in sheep’s clothing. To which I say, Baaaa!
Every time I’ve expressed a reluctance to get pregnant a second time for fear of spending four months in a constant state of just-stepped-off-the-tilt-a-whirl-after-eating-nothing-but-funnel-cakes-and-cotton-candy and then another five months with the occasional tilt-a-whirl feeling plus the sharp, heavy, achy, agonizing pain of vulvular varicose veins, I have been told, “But every pregnancy is different!”
Likewise, every prison term is different depending on who serves it and where and when and with whom, but there are some undeniable constants. The flimsy mattress, the stinky urinal, the lumpy mashed potatoes. (See? I’m Pollyannaish, too! The worst thing I can imagine in prison is the dreadful food! Not the violence and violation and dehumanization, no!)
I want to smack each of these people for assuming they can predict my body’s reaction to the objectively nauseating experience of CREATING ANOTHER LIFE FORM. Instead I say, “Yeah, the second one could be worse than the first!” and ruin the cheerful, sunny person’s ENTIRE DAY with my dark, cynical, depressing cloud of gloom. And thus I am cheered.
It’s true, I could create a WHOLE SEPARATE LIFE FORM in my body and never toss my cookies this time around, but why not plan for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if it ends up not being that bad?
Hence my grocery list this week: Gatorade, saltines, dried apricots, sour candy, Zofran, stool softener, sturdy Ziploc baggies. If you’ve never been pregnant or are one of those annoying people for whom pregnancy so far has always been a non-queasy dream (remember, every pregnancy is different!), this list will make no sense. But if you’re one of those people for whom the mere words “first trimester” make you feel curvy-mountain-road carsick and the wildly misleading phrase “morning sickness” makes you want to poke someone’s eye out—just as soon as you’re finished throwing up in your mouth—you are my people. I salute you. I embrace you. I offer you some Zofran and if that doesn’t help, you can have one of my baggies.
I’m pregnant, people! Do you know what this means? One fine mid-spring day I might end up with a BABY. ANOTHER BABY!
Hormones — Thursday, August 18, 2011
At this point in my first pregnancy, I still hadn’t found out I was pregnant yet. I had some suspicions since my period was a week late, but since I hadn’t been trying to get pregnant (nor was I being particularly careful to not get pregnant, obviously), I wasn’t keeping that close a tab on things. It just seemed like I was probably due to start any day. Anway, since I didn’t know I was pregnant this early last time around, I shouldn’t really be comparing how I feel this time to how I felt last time, but I can’t help it.
I feel AMAZING! No barfing, no nausea, no nothing. I feel so great and normal that I have to keep taking a peak at the lines on the pregnancy stick to confirm that I really am in the family way.
That said, I do feel the tiniest bit weepy and nostalgic—the way you get watching a Super-8 film or one of those old Hallmark commercials. Just now the babysitter swung by in the café where I’m doing work to pick up our family zoo pass. She was driving her family’s gigantic Suburban, and as they drove off to see the penguins, tears sprung to my eyes because the baby looked so tiny in that giant truck, plus she’d been crying because they’d forgotten (and then returned for) Eliot, plus she was having a little excema flare-up on her cheek, plus I’m pregnant, dammit! I’m allowed to cry just because my baby looks so small and cute and helpless and sort of stunned to find herself riding in a damn Suburban.
Milestones — Friday, August 19, 2011
Just when she’d started to master crawling quickly up the stairs, the baby has decided she’d prefer to walk up them holding onto the upside-down-heart-shaped cutouts in the balusters. I know I’m supposed to be proud of this (literal) step towards independence, but the truth is, waiting for her to ascend the stairs has been driving me crazy for months. It takes forehhhhhhhhhhhver, and it’s not like there’s a lot of other things I can do simultaneously. Plus, she still requires spotting because she’s about as athletically confident as, well, me.
As she was taking her sweet time up the stairs this morning I asked her what she thinks we should name her brother- or sister-to-be. (Note: I have no intention of taking her suggestions, I’m just curious what she thinks. As if I’d name a child Wa-Wa Meowww-Meowww.) She paused thoughtfully and then said with utter conviction: Baby.
Vegetables — Monday, August 22, 2011
At this point in my last pregnancy, I was starting to feel decidedly queasy—and was celebrating my 34th birthday at a Cuban restaurant in Miami, quickly learning that the smell of fried food—of any ethnicity other than “fried chicken”—was not something my nose or stomach could tolerate.
I am keeping close track of “where I was at last time” because I’m not yet feeling queasy and am still waiting—bracing myself. So far Peanut M&Ms don’t taste like cardboard, I’m not choking indigestion-style on my saliva, and the smell of coffee doesn’t make me homicidal. I’m craving vegetables and salads like a rabbit, which is super weird since last time the thought of pretty much anything other than cheese, cereal, and the occasional hamburger—topped with cheese, of course—turned my stomach. When I’m not pregnant, I eat vegetables because they’re good for me—not because I actually want to eat them, and certainly not because I craved them.
Every day I don’t want to hurl is another day of bliss—and mild worry that something is wrong with my little sesame-seed embryo. I try to believe that the reason I feel so fine so far isn’t that something is wrong but that the wee thing is a future boy rather than the estrogen-pumping monster I carried last time.
Mostly, I’m just waiting for the nausea to hit and counting my leftover Zofran collection and making sure I have Saltines in hand at all times.
In the meantime, I must go and finish this delicious salad made up of lettuce and lettuce and more lettuce. Yum. Freaky, freaky yum.
Pregnancy myth # 1,397,231 — Monday, August 29, 2011
Am no longer not feeling nauseous, and, relatedly, am no longer craving—or even feeling able to eat—vegetables (unless, of course, they are sandwiched—literally—between a piece of bread and some slices of bacon). At the moment—10:15 in the A.M., to be precise, I am eating chips and salsa and sipping continuously from my new best friend—super cold, super watered-down iced tea. It’s not that any of these foods appeal—it’s just that constant eating interspersed with constant icy-cold-beverage-sipping is the only thing that keeps the nausea at bay, however briefly.
Who started the thing about pregnant ladies craving crazy foodstuffs—pickles dipped in ice-cream and whatnot? The truth—as I’ve experienced it and as I read on some baby-related website—is that pregnancy food aversions are way stronger and more omnipresent and insistent than any craving. If you put a cup of coffee anywhere within a block of me last time I was pregnant, I came close to dying of nausea. This time it’s peanuts. Sorry, Peanut M&Ms, I guess I won’t be having you in my mouth for three to eight more months. (Incidentally, the last time around our nickname for the baby-in-the-making was “Peanut.” Needless to say, that won’t be happening this time around. Okay—must stop saying the word “peanut” now.)
Not that you need to know this, but it’s pretty damn thrilling for me—so far, no hurling at all! Unlike last time. So very, very unlike last time. Knock on wood. Fingers crossed, etc., etc.
Also on the plus side, I’m no longer worried about the health of the pregnancy. Now that I feel pretty shitty, I trust that all is right in the universe—er—wombiverse.