Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 9

I had my first prenatal visit yesterday and I didn't have to get a full pelvic exam, since I had just gotten one over the summer. Win!! AND, because that left us with additional time, the NP gave me a beside ultrasound!   So I got to see the baby!! SUPER WIN!

I can't stop smiling. I came home and kept telling R how there's a baby in me. Really. I saw it! I saw it's little heart beat. It's totally laying inside me, growing and twitching around and stuff!

Other than that, lots of peeing in cups and way too much blood drawn, and setting up more appointments. I don't know. It all because kind of meaningless really, because I saw my baby!!

I have been thinking about what this means, as far as telling our close friends and family. Part of me wants to just tell them because the baby now seems so real, and even if we got disappointing news from our screening results, I think I would want to be able to talk to someone about how bad that sucks. Or if I miscarry, I think I want to some support...then I remember about how my family is and I start to rethink that.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Making A Baby: Week 8

Well, I'm 8 weeks pregnant. Not much has changed. Bigger bloat belly, a single episode of dry heaving, and some serious contemplation about sleeping on the toilet; I'm always peeing and if I slept there I might not have to wake up so many times during the night. Damn, I sound so sexy.

I never looked forward to being pregnant. I expected it would happen, but it's the end result that I thought about most. Kind of like getting married. Before I was engaged, I never considered what kind of wedding I would have. In the end, we agreed to most of what our family wanted/expected because it seemed to matter more to them (with the notable exceptions that there was no church, preacher, or female subservience oath taking). As for my pregnancy, I am trying to do what the various books say is best for me and the baby. You know, eating certain foods (though I draw the line at salmon because blech), trying to exercise, sleeping lots. Mainly I'm good at sleeping lots.

I'm pregnant and only one other person besides my husband knows. We had to tell one of our friends because he kept loudly saying things like, "You're not drinking beer. Are you pregnant??" So R took him out, had a beer, and told him our news - then swore him to secrecy. Now, this friend says things like, "Going for more water? It must be because you drank so much last night, huh?", followed by conspicuous winking. **sigh**

As I've said before, we are trying to keep the baby a secret until we've passed into the second trimester and gotten certain test results back. At that point, we'll feel more comfortable sharing our news. What that means is that I've had to verbally dodge the pregnancy question with several family members. I'm trying very hard not to lie. Basically, I've become a verbal ninja. Them: (out of nowhere) "Are you pregnant yet?"* Me:"Why do you keep asking me about my sex life?" We'll see how long this will work.

*My family has zero tact and they know that R and I are finally contemplating a family.**

**I should have never admitted that.

And that's week 8. On Monday I will have my first OB appointment. I don't know what to say about that. It makes me nervous. Also, I'm one of those rare women who dislike full pelvic exams. I know, weird.

Note to self: Do not look up images of a speculum. The images that pop up will totally erase the humor of adding a picture of the device to your blogpost. Also, you will now know what it looks like inside another woman's vagina.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Freezing Food For The Winter

This summer, I mentioned that we took our first stab at gardening this year. The results were mixed. The weather wasn't good for certain vegetables, like broccoli, but was perfect for other things, like carrots.
Here is an example of our carrot harvest:

We have perfected the octocarrot! Sure to be a huge hit. 
Here's how our mutant carrots came to be: Late this past spring, our neighbor gave me tiny carrot starts (barely the width of a thread). I popped them into the ground because I was grateful for the neighborliness, rather than planting carrots from seed...which would have actually been easier and less time consuming. And, apparently, by accepting this kindness I angered the gardening spirits who viciously twisted our carrots into monstrous orange freaks. That, or the little root filaments got twisted when I popped them into the ground. But it's probably the spirit thing.

Anywho, we learned a lot this year. It was fun and the octocarrots were both delicious and amusing. Amusing because all but one carrot was a horrible mutation...which actually made the normal carrot stand out and you could tell that all the other carrots were whispering insults behind its sad, straight little back.

We learned that we should start our garden earlier this next year. Our peppers didn't have time to change color, so they are all green. Also, because of frost, many of the tomatoes had to be picked before they were ripe. They are currently wrapped in newspaper in a cardboard box in the garage...we were told this would allow them to ripen. We'll see. I may end up with a box of moldy, green tomatoes.

In addition to our own vegetables, we have continued to frequent the two local farmer's markets. That's where we got broccoli and red/orange peppers to make up for our own incompetence. Also, we super love the farmer's market. It's local produce (read: more fresh and therefore nutrient rich) and you get to support your local economy, not to mention meeting a lot of very cool people who will tell you the amusing names of their various crops. My personal favorite, the red onion known as the Red Zeppelin.

For the past couple of months we have been preparing food for the winter. Mostly, this involves cutting up the vegetables, blanching them, and then vacuum sealing them. Here's my favorite website on the topic: http://pickyourown.org/

Octocarrots look completely normal once you chop them into bits.

Servings of green beans and carrots, sealed up and ready for the freezer.

This works out really great during the winter. It saves time - all the cleaning and chopping is already done, and it provides summer/fall fresh vegetables. Much tastier and nutritious than the options you get in the produce aisle in December! We've actually gone uber-geek this year and made a spreadsheet of what we have and how much; very helpful for meal prep and for maintaining our nerd status.

In addition to serving sizes of vegetables, we also vacuum seal soup mixes (all the vegetables for a soup - just add broth and spices) and sauce starters (usually diced, cooked tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices) that I can just add meat or additional vegetables to and toss with pasta. This works out really well for quick meals.

I know what some of you are thinking - who wants to spend all that time prepping food now for later?? Well, the husband and I have a system. We pop in a movie (one we've seen enough that it won't be too distracting) or our favorite playlist, and we work together*. In two hours, we can get through a week's worth of vegetables. Totally worth it! 

*I know what you're thinking. How romantic can you get, right? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 7

Okay, I promise that not every blogpost will be about my pregnancy...but most of them probably will, because, c'mon! I'm totally in the process of whippin' up a whole live human here! Miracle of life and all that jazz.

Our little tadpole is not particularly photogenic yet (Source)

So, 'how's it going?', you might ask (or you might not, but I'm going to talk about it anyway). Well, the truth is, I'm less fond of week 7 than the previous weeks. Truth hurts, week 7. Week 7 brought The Queasy  I know I can't complain too loudly. I'm not horking. I just keep feeling like I could. Like my stomach is sloshing around while the rest of my is firmly landlocked. I've been taking deep breaths and avoiding movement as much as possible, and that seems to be working, so far. **fingers crossed** Also, trying to eat small meals every couple hours, etc., etc., pregnancy advice.

Last week, I began my official pregnancy workout routine. Anyway, responsible working out lasted 4 whole days before The Queasy set in and I began relinquishing my nights to reading books and watching Netflix. Last night I decided to knuckle under and go slowly through the routine. Approximately 3 minutes later I was easing back into the recliner with a bottle of water, making sure to keep my chin elevated to keep the bile where it belongs. **sigh** I've promised myself I'll try again today - earlier, as The Queasy is worse early in the morning and later in the evening.

Another weird pregnancy symptom that has arisen is my food cravings for protein, specifically meat. This is odd, as I am not a big meat eater. I've stocked the house with lots of protein rich, non-meat foods (almonds, pumpkin seeds, edamame, flax seed crackers, cheese, yogurt - stuff like that), but instead I'm all, "You know what we should have for lunch?? Hamburgers!" Seriously, I almost lost my mind when we walked past the rotisserie chicken at Costco. When we got one home, I literally ate a fourth of it while waiting for dinner to finish cooking, because NO, the chicken was not for dinner, it was just for eating. Eating with my fingers, hunched over the kitchen counter, probably growling under my breath.

As that last paragraph might underscore, my appetite has not been affected by The Queasy. At least, not when delicious roasted chicken is involved...okay, I better stop talking about it. It's too early to be eating chicken. Probably.

Anyway, that's me pregnant at 7 weeks. My hubby is grinning ear-to-ear every time I mention The Queasy. His reasoning: This is just more proof that I'm pregnant. I might have to slap him around a bit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 6

Well, I'm now 6 weeks pregnant, and so far so good. Things are going about the same as last week: SO very, very tired; pee, pee, pee, - oh wait, gotta pee; bloat; and boobs that are trying to outgrow my bras.

I really can't complain. There's been some mild cramping, my libido is at an all time low because I'm way too tired for all that, and I will start to get a wicked headache if I'm not chugging water all the time. Oh yeah, I'm also sporting two big pimples at any given time. It's not an adolescent takeover of my face, just two big pimples. One goes away, another forms somewhere else. But as far as uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms go, mine seem very mild so far. The only times I've been emotionally unbalanced is when I didn't get to nap. There were tears. Honestly, I felt like an overgrown toddler who missed nap time...which isn't too far off, really.

Oh, and I was tearing up throughout all of the Sixth Sense. Funny thing about that movie is how it's a different movie each time. Time 1: Scary. Time 2: Wow, I can't believe I missed all these subtle indicators of what was really going on! Time 3: This poor child is being tortured and punished and his whole existence is SO unfair!!

Anyway, I'm happy to report that there hasn't been any serious nausea or heartburn yet. I was very concerned that I would be hovering over a toilet for months on end based on my sensitivity to birth control pills (sometimes I threw up). No vomit = happiness, I guess.

However, pregnancy has complicated things somewhat. For instance, this upcoming weekend is filled with things I would normally be excited about, but all I can think of is how tiring it will be.  We will be going to a charity event on Saturday evening; that's after we do our regular farmer's market, shopping, preparing and freezing food for the winter thing in the afternoon. Then, Sunday, we are volunteering to help with the Community Garden clean up. We volunteered last Saturday for a shorter version of the cleanup and, though I tried to take it easy, I hate to think someone else might think I'm being lazy. Therefore, I pulled sunflowers with wild abandon, demolished wilted tomato vines, and carried load and load of frost-damaged vegetation to the compost pile. I was exhausted by the end of the day, didn't get a nap, and cried miserable, pregnant tears of over-tiredness. I'm going to do my best to avoid wearing myself out this weekend. I know I could always bail, but it's for charity! And also, I had so much fun doing it last year. I just need to drink more water and rest more frequently. And get that nap at the end of the afternoon!

Oh, and if all this wasn't enough, I have started volunteering to help coach the high school drama team. My neighbor is the assistant coach and when he found out I was in drama throughout high school he started plotting and scheming to get me to help out with the team. There wasn't a lot of arm twisting because I LOVED doing it and think it was a really great activity that helped prepare me for the real world. Not that I go fully costumed to work or anything, but having the confidence to get up and speak in front of people is a really important skill. So, I agreed to do it (way back before I was pregnant) and never heard back about it. Then, when we were pretty sure that I was pregnant and I had all but forgotten about the drama team, the coach called me up and asked me to come in and help. The drama season is short in this state, and happens to perfectly coincide with my first trimester. Oh, the irony. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that nasty pregnancy side effects pass me by, and that I don't cry in front of the high schoolers while they are doing serious/dramatic pieces. I guess I just have to prevent them from doing a piece based on the Sixth Sense.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's An Embryo!

Well, thanks to pregnancy magic that allows you to count the 2 weeks before you conceived, I am unofficially 5 weeks pregnant! It's unofficial until a doctor waves a speculum over my lady parts and that won't happen for another 3 1/2 weeks.

Primarily, I am VERY sleepy. Like fall asleep with your head on your desk sleepy. Or, fall asleep in the car while your husband is filling the gas tank sleepy. Also, it was me. I farted. There, I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest. Speaking of which, whose boobs are these? If they continue growing at this rate, I will look like I'm smuggling basketballs by my third trimester.

That's pretty much it. Oh, except...well, you may recall that I have a bit of an obsessive research and prepare thing. And babies are expensive. And nine months isn't that long to prepare for such a big responsibility...
Gah, I bought some cloth diapers! I couldn't help it! They are so bitty and cute and it's really all my husband's fault for suggesting we look at them. **hangs head in embarrassed defeat**

So, our plan to keep hiding this from our friends is totally going to go great as long as they never look in the back bedroom closet. And that they keep believing I'm just dehydrated and don't feel like drinking beer. Or, R and I get really good at slight of hand and I manage to dump my beer into his glass when no one is looking.

I'm sure it will be fine.