Monthly Archives: December 2011

You know you’re a mom-to-be if…

…you are saving all sorts of money on feminine hygiene products….which is unfortunately all going to additional toilet paper.

…while your hubby is drooling over electronics, you are drooling over strollers.

…as far as others are concerned, all your personal boundaries seem to be disappearing.

…you can no longer sit or lay down in the places you used to because any little thing will throw your back and hips out of alignment.

…you are regularly told you are glowing, and still have no idea what that means.

…you are overtaken with a periodic driving need to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!

…being kicked in the gut is the best feeling in the world.

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WW: 2011 Favorites

I’ve decided to (finally) sit down and participate in Writer’s Workshop again! I chose this prompt:

1.) This year in blog posts…choose a favorite post from each month of 2011 and share.

It’s been a big year full of changes, fun to take a look back!


After 2/3 of a year working for the pet store, I wrote about the event which finally broke the camel’s back and got me out of that healing holding pattern of a minimum wage job! The store was great, but the owners were AWFUL, and I am so glad to be free of them. Reading about their crap still makes my blood boil!


My sweet hubby turned another year older in February, and I let him know how very, very much I love him. Heck, even I’m impressed with my normally absent ability to express my feelings!


The hubby and I went for an impromptu vacation to Portland and at Saturday Market discovered one of my favorite artists.


I was thinking about some of the every-day luxuries that I have, being straight, which I take for granted, and how these luxuries were brought to light for me by a small experience with my friend.


While visiting an uncle-in-law, my hubby simultaneously put his foot in his mouth and embarassed the heck out of me in a quite impressive fashion. On the upside, I now know his uncles’ rug has quite a beautiful pattern, due to some intense studying.


I had my first “enhanced” pat-down by the TSA and wrote about how being publicly groped by the TSA is in some ways worse than being publicly groped by a random stranger on the street.


An open letter to my depression was not well-received by its addressee. Though its visits have been less frequent since!


I started training for my first 5k! …of course, I then had to *stop* training a few short months later when I got pregnant and relaxin + not enough history with running + high-impact activity was already causing me back and hip problems. One thing I am really looking forward to post-baby is being able to start the Couch-to-5k program again. It is incredible!


My own contribution to the It Gets Better project for Suicide Prevention Week. SAnD means I wrote it instead of putting up a video, but there it is. Remembering how low I have been made me cry, but also reaffirmed for me that it really, really REALLY does get better. And depression is a lying bitch.


I announced why I had been largely absent from my blog for the past few months: first trimester fatigue was kicking my butt! I’m still proud of our Halloween announcement photo.


As my pregnancy progressed I contemplated how very strange it can be.


Baby started dancing in my belly, the most incredible sensation I have ever felt.

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18 weeks

I am bad about uploading photos from our camera, so this is about a week out of date, but here are me and baby at 18 weeks:

In a related note, that sweater no longer fits. Which is awesome. Grow, baby, grow!


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Bubbles and goldfish

At first I thought that when I laid down muscles or tendons in my belly were releasing as your home grew to accommodate you.

Then I started to feel something like bubbles popping in my abdomen, even when sitting up, but only when paying attention.

Then you surprised me when I was driving to work one day and wasn’t paying any attention at all.

After that I started to feel something like a little goldfish in my tummy bopping against the walls of it’s plastic baggie of water…as long as I was sitting. And then also laying down.

The bumps got stronger and stronger, until a couple nights ago your daddy could feel them, too. His eyes lit up when I asked, “Did you feel that?” and he could answer, “Yes!”

Now, baby, I can feel your dancing no matter what I am doing or what position I am in. It fills my days with joy, to have you intrude into my consciousness even when I am busy or focused on other things. Sometimes your movements feel like gentle flutters, and sometimes they feel like a full out kick. I love them all! Every movement still fills me with wonder that you are there, a separate entity growing inside of me, an individual who is part of me but distinct from me.

People tell me that when a kick in the ribs feels like a kick in the ribs I will not enjoy your exercising as much. Maybe they’re right. But I have loved carrying you so far, even with the not-so-fun parts, and I simply can’t imagine that changing.

Keep growing stronger, baby, and kick me all you need!

I love you so much,  before we’ve even met.


your mama

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These are a few of my favorite things…

Yesterday I got to hear baby’s heartbeat again. Does that ever get old? I don’t think so. Best. Sound. Ever.


Also yesterday, the student midwife went to palpate my abdomen to see how things felt and immediately said, “Hi, baby!” I was kind of surprised, and wondered if she was just commenting on the fact that my uterus is right under the skin(ish). But then after moving up to find the top of my uterus she came back to the bulk of it and said, “There! I can feel baby right here. Hi, baby!” I was so surprised! I had no idea she could already feel the outline of where baby is! She did tell me she couldn’t tell what was what, yet, because baby is still so small. But just her being able to find baby manually made it hit home a little: There’s a baby in there!!!


While I was typing this afternoon with my laptop on my lap my puppy came over, dragged himself across my arms, and fell asleep supported by them. I spent the next hour not moving my arms from my keyboard so he didn’t wake. ‘Dorable.


I’m pretty sure I’m feeling baby move. It feels like when you’re bringing a goldfish home from the store and he swims into the side of the bag. And it’s getting more frequent and stronger. So. Cool.


I switched midwife groups. My appointment yesterday was with a new midwife group. I just wasn’t happy with my old ones. I didn’t feel respected and involved in my own care….which was the whole point of going to a midwife in the first place. So I started shopping around and found a new group who, so far, I absolutely love. It’s a pair of midwives who run a much smaller practice and so are far less assembly-line. As my hubby said after our appointment yesterday, with the old midwives it felt like they were holding court. With these, it feels like they’re having a conversation with you. They are still clearly the experts, but they are so comfortable in their competence they don’t feel like they have to prove it all the time by being so authoritative. It’s wonderful.


Christmas is here in 9 days! Sweet! Wait…when did that happen???


Only 2.5 weeks until I get to see my baby on ultrasound for the first and (hopefully) only time! (Hopefully because the only reason I’d have another is if something is wrong.) Holy cow that’s only 2.5 weeks away! I CANNOT WAIT.

Baby might be willing to wait, though. He/She swam away from the doppler yesterday. Which cracked me up.

Oh, and to make it even better? My midwives gave me permission to not drink a crapton of water before showing up. I’m pulling for no tears this ultrasound! Well, except happy ones.


What are your favorite things this holiday season?

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I knew this would happen

So *I* feel like I look ridiculously pregnant. My belly is HUGE! And anyone who has known me would definitely recognize that something is up.

Today I went to work in the deaf classroom. The teacher there has been very supportive and excited about my pregnancy; she is just someone it is genuinely fun to share this with! So I wore a shirt in which my bump is OBVIOUS. It’s a pre-pregnancy shirt that is tight and clingy. But evidently, if you don’t know me, I just look fat.

Because the teacher wasn’t there. A sub was.

And when the kids went to lunch she turned to me and asked,

“So, are you from the high school?”

Yeeeeah. I can’t wait until I’m *obviously* showing. I should get some very fun looks. Maybe they’ll even try to cast me for 16 and Pregnant!


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Where little reindeer come from

My mom has a tradition that I absolutely love. When my brother and I were in elementary school we each did the requisite 3,254 holiday craft projects, which we proudly brought home to display. My mom kept some of the best, and each year at Christmastime one wall of our house is dedicated to nothing but the “art” projects of my brother and I from when we were little. It is cute and a great conversation starter as guests ask about pieces or we reminisce.

She now puts the wall up before Thanksgiving, so that when I visit it is up and I can enjoy it. This year it is behind her dining room table, and on Black Friday she and her husband and me and my husband were all sitting there, eating a casual dinner, when we started discussing the pieces.

One is a paper reindeer head, for which I cut out all the pieces and connected them, including a halter, and decorated with glitter.

This conversation ensued:

Hubby: Why does that reindeer’s nose band say “HP”?

Mom and me: *giggling*

Mom: It doesn’t say, “HP,” it says “HO”!

Me: See, when I was younger I thought it would be great if each reindeer’s nose band said “HO,” and then when they were all lined up pulling the sleigh it would look like “HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO”!

Mom and me: *more giggling*

Hubby and mom’s husband: *staring in a mixture or horror and confusion*

Me: When I picked it up to admire it the glue wasn’t dry, so the “O” dripped a little.

Mom: Her teacher tried to get her to add a second “HO” on there, but she refused, explaining that when all the reindeer were together it would look right.

Me: It would be so festive with all of them!

Mom and me: *hysterical giggling*

Every year we celebrate Christmas in my family under the watchful eyes of one of santa’s reindeer hos.

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I love being pregnant!

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

Seriously. I do.

I’ve heard so many stories of woman who hated being pregnant. Morning sickness. Feeling fat and unattractive. Back and hip pain. Stretch marks. Crazy hormones. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But honestly? I love it!

It’s not that I have been symptom-free. I did have morning sickness. I never threw up, but I was nauseous a lot. However…that mostly meant that I ate less food. And I lost some of my over-weight weight. And now I feel lean! And now my stomach has shrunk, so even though I don’t get sick anymore I am feeling full after eating healthier-sized portions.

I looked fat for a good long while. Even now my belly is kind of abnormally big and round, not a little rock in my abdomen. I’m sure many of my clients and people seeing me on the street just think I’m gaining holiday pounds. But you know what? This doesn’t bother me at all! Either I’ll keep seeing them, and they’ll realize I was pregnant that time, or I won’t, and then I don’t care what they think! I know that the changing figure is due to baby, so even if it makes me “look fat” I love it! And so does my hubby, which he regularly tells me, so that doesn’t hurt, either.

I’ve had back problems somewhat, but I get them treated. I already had monthly massages scheduled (feel free to envy me but they’re more painful than pleasant) and I’ve added in chiropractic care as needed. With that, and being careful how I move, it’s staying mostly in the background, and usually if it flares up I have an appointment to fix it already scheduled for the next few days.

I’m lucky to not really be affected by stretch marks yet. I’m getting some on my thighs (really?), but they’re not bad. And besides, even if I do develop them, I figure they’re battle scars.

And crazy pregnancy hormones? Oh, but that’s the best part. The pregnancy hormones have evened me out. I have not felt so mentally stable in years!!! The depression is there, but it is minor. I have not even threatened to go deep into depression since becoming pregnant. Which is amazing. Even my therapist has noticed, and just dropped me back to every-other-week sessions for now, because I am doing so well! It almost feels like I’m not living with that mental illness anymore. Incredible!

The only real annoying side-effect I have is acne. Seriously? Acne? I already look 16. I don’t need acne to add to that. But honestly, it’s a minor annoyance. And if it’s the worst I have to deal with, I’ll take it!

I wanted a baby (you may have noticed). And I was prepared to deal with a pregnancy full of trials. So I feel so lucky that that is not the case for me. It’s not that it hasn’t had hard parts. Always being sick and tired wasn’t necessarily fun. But none of the downsides have been enough to compete with the joy I feel at having another life inside of me! And honestly, I live chronically sick. So another type of chronic sickness was an adjustment, but not a major one. If I could I would love to live out my life feeling exactly as I do now!

Now I just can’t wait for baby to get stronger so I can feel him/her moving around in there!

16 weeks!


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Peeing and Pregnancy

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

I recently scheduled my anatomy scan (ultrasound) where I’ll get my first look at my little one! I was so excited and eager as we set it up on the phone…and then at the end, they dropped it on me:

“You need to drink a crap-ton of water and have finished by at least one hour before you check in. God willing we’ll start on time about 20 minutes after you check in. The scan will take 80 minutes. You cannot use the bathroom  for that entire 3 hour period.”

Um….hello? Can we review for a moment? I’M PREGNANT. Even if I *didn’t* drink a crap-ton of water, there is no way I could go that long without peeing! Certainly not while someone pushes directly on my bladder!

And then, as I sit there thinking how this is not going to go well, I remember the one other ultrasound I had.

You see, when I was about 15 I had a medical problem that doctors couldn’t solve (story of my life). To try to diagnose it, they sent me to get an ultrasound of my lower abdomen (same general bladder-centric region as pregnancy).

And I received the same instructions. Which, being 15 and incredibly obedient, I followed to the letter.

By the time I got in the car, on my own, to go to the hospital I’d never been to before, printed Mapquest directions in hand, I had to pee so bad I was jiggling in my seat.

I followed the directions and saw the hospital, turning the page to see where to go within the giant complex…

…and realized I left the second page at home.

And now I really had to pee. Like there’s about to be a puddle in my mom’s driver’s seat kind of IMMEDIATE NEED.

After driving around looking for a sign that said “Come here for ultrasounds!” I finally decided I better just park and ask for help on foot, because if I’m going to pee on something I’d rather it not be my mom’s car so I can pretend it never happened better. My stomach is now painful I have to pee so bad!

I pull into a parking garage, go to turn off the car…

…and the damn key is stuck in the ignition!

While the car is still running!

So. I cannot turn the car off. I cannot get the key out. If I stay here much longer my bladder is going to explode and urine is going to seep out of the hole it leaves in my stomach all over my mom’s upholstery. I still don’t know where I’m going. And I’m going to be late to my appointment.

I try to get the key out. Desperately. I’m hanging on the wheel, pushing on the pedals, doing everything I can think of to get the key out, because I certainly can’t leave the car running, unlocked, with the key in the ignition but things are getting desperate, people! I scream at the car, and some probably very friendly passersby look over in surprise and then give the running car a wide berth. Tears are running down my face because ohmygodIhavetopeeSOBADITHURTS!

Finally the stupid keys come out. I stumble out of the car, crying, and waddle to the nearest reception desk while trying not to double over in pain. I ask the woman there for directions to the OBGYN’s office. Have I mentioned that at 15 I looked about 11? She takes one look at crying, baby-faced me and says kindly she’ll just walk me there. She gets me there, settles me in a chair, and tells the receptionist I’m there. I’m mortified, but I can’t stop the tears running down my face. I’m stressed to the max and the incredible pain from my over-full bladder is not helping with the whole stopping-of-the-tears.

A nice patient in the reception area comes up and tells me it will be OK. Another comes and rubs my back. A nurse comes out from the back and tells me I can wait in a room if I want instead of the public waiting room. I accept, because I am mortified I’m crying in front of all these strangers who are obviously noticing.

She gets me in the back and sympathetically asks if there’s anything she can do to help and if I’m going to be OK. I sniffle, “Yes…I…just…have…to…pee…so…baaaaad!!!”

She abruptly stands up. “Oh. Is that all? If it’s this bad you can pee some! Just be sure you don’t fully empty your bladder.”

That woman was an angel directly from the right hand of god. I swear she glowed with a heavenly light as she gave this pronouncement.

I waddled into the bathroom and let off the pressure, being sure not to pee *too* much, because again, I’m obedient.

Feeling MUCH better I head back to the room I was waiting in, only uncomfortable instead of in killer pain.

3 minutes later my bladder is desperately, overly full again and the pain returns. All I can think is, FML.

(Icing on the cake? I realized later the place I was at for the ultrasound also did abortions and everyone thought that’s why poor little 11-year-old me was there.)

So yeah…I’m thinking I’m not going to be so super obedient this time around.

Sure, I’ll drink some water. And I’ll finish that undetermined amount sometime before I get there. And I won’t pee until the scan is over (unless I really want to).

But what happened at my last ultrasound? Is SO not happening again.

I would like to be able to see the pictures of my child. Not be blinded by the unrelenting need to PEE.

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