Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pregnancy Ups and Downs*

So, no belly picture yet. But soon, I promise. I mentioned the possibility to my husband and he got really excited, like, "Let's do it right now!" And I mumbled an excuse and fled.

The truth is, I'm kind of having a hard time getting used to the whole belly thing. I know this will only be greeted with eye-rolls, but I've never had a belly before. Sure, my tummy had gotten sort of soft over the years but it didn't stick out. It does now. Suddenly, I have a belly and, though I know it contains a baby (or my poor displaced bowels because of the baby), it just makes me feel fat.

R is sure that once the belly gets bigger, and more obviously filled with baby, I will change my tune. I try to agree, but mostly the idea of a bigger belly does nothing for me. Though R is grinning ear-to-ear every time he sees my belly pushing out against my shirt...which, I admit, helps.

The insecurities I'm wrestling with because of my changing body have done absolutely nothing to reduce my libido, however. I sort of wish it did, because WOW. This lady is horny. Not like, "wink wink, nudge nudge" horny, either. More like, "I hope no neighbors were outside to hear me shouting naughty things" horny.

TMI, I know. But when it's all you think about, well, let's just say I could  be a lot more explicit and didn't. Thus, I am a role model of self-restraint. (There you go with the eye-rolling again.)

In other baby-related news, we got to hear the heartbeat on Tuesday. Then R wanted to go look for baby furniture. He's so dang eager about it, it's so cute, I could just rip his clothes off....oops, there I go again.

Okay, I need to eat lunch and get back to work. These days I am pretty much stuffing food into my mouth at all times. The work happens less frequently. It has to be scheduled around more pressing hedonistic concerns.

*P.S. If you didn't notice, the title of this post is innuendo. *swoosh* The more you know.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 13

Hello again, Internet. I hope you have been well.

I for one am doing pretty good, especially because I did not have a big needle stuck into my abdomen. Yes, that's right, the long anticipated CVS did not happen. Why? In short, because we chickened out. As I mentioned before, CVS (a DNA screening of the baby) is highly accurate but poses some risk to the fetus. After talking to the doctor, we decided to take an alternative route to testing, one that does not carry any risk to the baby. When it came down to it, knowing for sure that our baby was perfect wasn't worth the risk.

Instead, we opted to do a CFFDNA test. That stands for cell-free floating fetal DNA. Basically, my blood is drawn, a search is conducted to find which of my red blood cells has gone through the placenta, and those cells are scrubbed to get the tiny bits of the baby's DNA off them. That DNA is then tested for three chromosomal abnormalities that are the most likely to occur.

We'll also go back in at 20 weeks and have a partial Quad test done to look for neural tube issues. It's then that we'll find out the baby's sex. We are disappointed that we have to wait that long, since the CVS would have told us a whole month earlier, but that just gives my mother-in-law that much more opportunity to insist that we are having a girl - she just knows it.

BUT, while we were there, we got a 4D ultrasound and R got to see the baby and we got to hear its little heart beat! It was crazy active (as expressed by the technician who said, 'Wow, your baby is crazy!'). It shoved its hand in its mouth, yawned, did back flips  stretched, rolled over, and basically showed us that it is already super-talented. A damn genius child, I tell you! The quality of the ultrasound was amazing, and we got to see its hands, profile, kidneys and bladder (they were gray dots pointed out to us, so not readily identifiable, but still - they were there!). R kept grinning and grinning.

In mostly not-baby-related news, we went to Tacoma for Thanksgiving and stayed with friends. It was fun, even if everyone else was drinking alcohol and I was the person having to pee every 15 minutes in between staring longingly at forbidden tasty mixed drinks. While there, my friends two year old demonstrated his complete infatuation with me by insisting I pick him up and declaring his desire to give me 'smooches.' He refused to allow R or any other male besides his dadda to hold him, which made R super jealous. At one point, after R's offer to hold him had again been refused, R said, "Fine, I'll have my own baby and it will love me." [ladies, insert awwws here]

That basically sums things up since I last posted. I was planning on posting a picture of my emerging baby bump, which popped out last week, but I left my camera in Tacoma. It should arrive in the post soon, and I'll  upload a pic then. But right now I've got to go. I have another OB visit. Though they have no reason to do so, I'm hoping that they do another ultrasound.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 12

So, tomorrow is the big day. I get my CVS to screen for chromosomal abnormalities. The CVS will involve a giant needle being pushed into my abdomen. Doesn't that sound nice?

As if that doesn't make me nervous enough, I got a message Friday evening that they wanted to reschedule me for the following week. I've had this appointment for a month, my appointment was later in my 1st trimester than I had hoped for*, the day she suggested  to reschedule conflicts with other doctor appointments, many peoples' schedules were altered so R could be come with me, etc. etc. Also, don't leave this kind of message on a Friday evening and make a pregnant woman freak out all weekend long. Thankyouverymuch.

*There is research indicating that the minuscule complications to the fetus are decreased if the CVS is performed earlier. I'm not trying to be all, hey, I'm important and get me an appointment when I want because I want  it.

Anyway, I returned the call. Everything is fine. Tomorrow a big ol' needle will be punched through my stomach and into my uterus...uh, hooray, I win?

Am I nervous? Yes. I have a high pain tolerance and have many piercings; needles don't generally scare me. BUT, for some strange reason having a big needle go straight through my abdomen and into one of my organs is a little disconcerting. I don't know why. I guess you just can't plumb the depths of the human mind.

Oh, and guys, get this. Our baby is humanish now!
Look, it has eyes and a liver and everything! (source)

In non-baby news, the high school drama team that I've been volunteering with participated in Divisions on Saturday. The team did awesome and the pieces I have predominantly coached are all going on to State. That was a great feeling! Not that I can take credit for their success - the kids worked hard and pulled off great performances. But, it does make me feel like I'm not a detriment to the team, so that's nice.

The husband and I are taking off this week to Seattle to visit friends for the holiday. This means I'll be away from the computer for a while. But don't worry, I'll be back with more inane baby updates soon. Happy Thanksgiving people of the Internet. I hope you have much to be thankful for!

Friday, November 16, 2012

There Are SO Aliens!

Seriously, you guys, there are. Before you roll your eyes and leave this page, just hear me out.

There are billions of planets in our galaxy. Billions! That's a lot of zeros. And I'm only counting in our galaxy - that's not counting the untold number of galaxies in our universe, and that's completely discounting the very real possibility of multiple universes. Just look up at the sky and marvel at how many stars there are, and remember we can't even see them all! Orbiting the vast majority of those stars are planets, often multiple planets. ALSO, there are orphan planets that are just floating around, unattached to any particular fact, those wily scientists are estimating that there are billions of these nomadic planets in our own galaxy, too. Orbiting many planets - thanks to gravity - are moons, and let's not get tricked into thinking that all moons are dead rock like ours; moons are simply smaller versions of planets.

We are talking about some seriously large numbers!

Us, a piece of lint next to our sun. Our sun, a speck of dust in our galaxy. Our galaxy, a  molecule in the universe...............                                                           you get the picture.

Let's say the conditions for the emergence of life was very unlikely*. So unlikely that life could only come about in one in a hundred billion planets, that still gives us a pretty good chance that life has sprung up on one or two planets/moons in our galaxy. That pretty much guarantees that there are lots of planets with life on them in various parts of the universe. It becomes a near certainty that existence is swarming with life when you start taking into account parallel universes.

*I am not actually saying that. I'm just humoring you.

Thus, facts + logic = aliens.

I won't get into abductions, crop circles, and anal probing. The likelihood of those acts being perpetrated by regular, run-of-the-mill people is high enough that I don't think we need to bring aliens into it.  I'm just saying that the law of large numbers tells us that there are very likely aliens. They probably look nothing like us, and if we are very lucky they won't act like us either.

If aliens have come down and visited us, I'm convinced that they are masquerading as extremely religious, intolerant church leaders, allowing them to stir up bigotry in an attempt to get us to destroy each other. WHAT? That idea contains just as much truth as any Westboro Baptist sermon.

I hope I made your day a little weirder :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Holiday at a Time You Guys!

It started some time ago. We stopped in at Kohls, pre-Halloween, to shop for my youngest niece's birthday and there they were...Christmas-F*cking-Decorations! Hanging right along side the fake spider webs.
Then three different Facebook friends posted that they start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween, which, last I checked, was in October! And now all the grocery stores have Christmas candy prominently displayed. GAAHH, people! The hell?!? 


If I'm feeling particularly festive, Christmas decorations go up at the beginning of December, allowing them to be up almost a month before the actual holiday. I feel that 1/12th of a year is sufficient. Admittedly, decorations seem to go up later and later each year because my enthusiasm for the holiday wains...probably because I've been hearing crappy Christmas music for two f*cking months! By the time the 25th rolls around, the word "merry" is likely to send me into an apocalyptic fit.

I just don't get it. What is it about Christmas that makes people so ravenous for repetitive music and tinsel that they need it around for months? Is it the only thing some people look forward to in the darker months of the year? (If so, that's extra sad because January and February are WAY crappier than December) Are people so depressed that they are grasping for any shred of emotional warmth associated with the holiday? And if that is it, wouldn't it be better to make the holiday special by making it less ubiquitous? 

I know why the stores do it. I used to think that the marketing/displays/consumerism was the tidal wave that pushed the public to sail high on their plastic lawn Santas. Now, I'm not so sure. 

The only thing I'm sure of is this: I am very grateful that my neighbors haven't put out their Christmas decorations yet. I'd hate to risk our neighborhood harmony by sabotaging nativity scenes.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 11

And the libido is back! With a vengeance!!

Over the last many weeks, I've had almost no interest in sex. What can I say? Extreme fatigue, nausea  and vomiting just don't do it for me. Weird, right?

As of Thursday, I was starting to feel better. Since Friday night, I have basically been sexually harassing my husband 24-7. It's like my libido is in mega-mega rebound, fueled by all these excess hormones. R is getting noticeably concerned that this might only be the beginning. And before any of you chime in with a 'men love it all the time' type comment, let me say no, no they don't.

I know this because I normally have a very high sex drive. When I talked to my now-husband about this little quirk of mine early on in our relationship, you'd have thought he won the lotto. I like to remind him of this response every once in a while after he tells me he's too tired.

In other, less sexy news, I actually cooked food - another sign I'm feeling more like myself. I normally love to cook, but for the last month or so it sounds like one of the worst ideas ever.

So, overall, Week 11 is starting out great. I have more energy and my digestive system is no longer imitating a hurricane. Hopefully this is a sign that my second trimester grace period is going to be a long one.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 10

So far, Week 10 has been marginally better than Week 9. I'm hoping that this means that The Queasy and The Horking are tapering off for good. It's easy to say that right now because I am momentarily feeling fine. That, I tell myself, is a very good sign because I haven't felt fine in weeks. But this might just be a feeble ray of sunshine that's soon to be swallowed up by the storm clouds of nausea. (As I wrote that line, the sun was eclipsed by clouds. That seems like an ominous omen.)

Today is the first day that I am wearing a belly band. Technically, I could button this pair of jeans but it certainly isn't comfortable. So bloat, teeny-tiny baby belly, and my desire for comfort win.

In other baby related news, we have told our family about the baby. After seeing it on an ultrasound it just seemed too real to hide. Also, if anything were to happen, we decided we'd like to be able to talk about it.

The various family members reacted much as I expected. My mother-in-law called me to talk about being pregnant...and to make a number of 'helpful' suggestions, like go find pregnant friends. My mom asked me if I had already gained weight (thanks mom). My dad laughed when I admitted to having morning sickness.

Also, I have an appointment for a chorionic villus sampling in a week and a half. This type of screening will, with a high rate of accuracy, be able to tell us about a number of potential chromosomal and genetic problems that the baby might be born with. Honestly, right now, I am more concerned with the test than the outcome...probably because that whole giant needle part. Instead of the potential problems with the test itself, or the test results, I am choosing to focus on the bright side: this test will tell us the baby's sex!

We are planning on being as gender neutral as possible (read: as our family allows because I know they want to buy pink and blue ASAP) with regard to the nursery and clothes. We'd just like to know the sex because it makes the baby that much more real. And makes pronoun usage easier. Plus, NAMES! We already have a boy name we're 100% set on. We had a girl name too, but recently that first name rose from obscurity and became popular. Now we're trying to decide if that means we don't like that name anymore. Knowing the baby's sex might make that a moot point and I can happily stop fuming because that was OUR name! How dare society become aware of it!

So that's Week 10 and the official baby wrap up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Warning: Political Post

I have not shared my political feelings about this election on Facebook. Instead, I encouraged my friends, whether their candidate won or lost, to urge their representatives to work together to improve this country. I am genuinely concerned about the extremist positions being touted by US politicians these days. Even while Obama was being confirmed, the Speaker of the House was sending out tweets that he would refuse to work with the president on our country's financial concerns. That's disgusting and disgraceful. The House of Representatives has done nothing in the past several years to move our country forward, preferring instead to deadlock it - hurting millions of US citizens and causing migraine-inducing media frenzy.


That said, here's what I really want to say about our country's presidential election: WAHOO! Obama took the win and ran with both the electoral and popular vote. Thank Reason that Mitt Romney wasn't elected!

After the presidential defeat and the smack down in the Senate, I hope that the Republican party has learned a few important things. 1) Stop throwing the word rape around like it's a casual issue; 2) Stop being such bigots! Most of our country believes in equality regardless of race or sexual orientation*; 3) Money doesn't guarantee a political office.

*Dudes, gay marriage is taking the country by storm! The rest of us our happy about it. Take off your pouty pants and be happy with us! If you need some help, swing by Colorado or Washington :)

And no more of this! From either party.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Damn the Time Change!

If you couldn't tell from this post's title, I hate the time change. Strike that. I loathe the time change.

First, now that we're all on board with electricity (admittedly, the Amish aren't with us on that one, but I think majority wins on this one), the time change is completely unnecessary. You hear me time change? No one needs you. So stop messing with us and making us risk going to work at the wrong time.

Second, what about routines and circadian rhythms and dogs? Yes dogs. You see, Odin is all about his routine. His internal clock is amazingly accurate. At 6am weekdays, 7am weekends, dogs are fed and let outside. This should be followed by The Changing of The Beds - a daily ritual of great importance. The Changing of The Beds occurs when the people get out of their bed and move to another room of the house. Odin then moves from sleeping in his bed in the bedroom to sleeping in one of his other beds in another room of the house. Do not overlook the importance of this ritual. It is very important. Just ask Odin. For if the people try to stay in the bedroom it causes much angst and gnashing of teeth (read: whining).

At 1pm OTT (Odin Tummy Time), the dogs receive lunch. At 7:15pm, a dinner of the finest Iams kibble is served in gleaming* silver bowls. At 9pm, the family should start getting ready for bed. If these times are not observed, Odin gets anxious. He will repeatedly remind us of what we should be doing by whining forlornly   sitting and staring at us, and pacing, which is interrupted by throwing himself on the floor (never on one of the many dog beds, because that could be confused as getting comfortable and that's the last impression he wants to make).

Why is no one feeding me when I am clearly sitting in the kitchen and  being impatient??

*Note: the dog bowls only gleam if I have just cleaned them. And let us all be honest, that doesn't happen very often. The good news, this is not important to the dogs.

Now, let's consider how the time change influences the scheduled discussed above. Well, it totally f*cks it up! Try explaining to a dog that technically he's right, it is time to get up/eat/change beds/get ready for bed but it's not really time to do that because the clock on the wall - yes, that circular object we always look at to confirm that you're correct - it says something different today. It says you have to wait.

Commence hour long whine fest.

I imagine that this is even worse with children. However, I also imagine that children get older and eventually begin to understand. Odin is 8 1/2 and he's still not getting it.

Also, also, I have tried to incrementally move feeding times to slowly get the dogs adjusted. I have learned not to do this. It's like jumping into the pool - it's better to commit and get the discomfort out of the way all at once rather than prolong the agony and wade in slowly.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 9, Part 2

So, it's still Week 9. I have found out I like Week 9 even less than the infamous Week 7, with its Queasy. Week 9 laughed at The Queasy and has brought The Horking. If Week 9 was a tangible being, I would punch it right in its Wednesday.

Also, I'm still tired exhausted, and now I alternate between being ravenously hungry and feeling like I'm going to re-enact that nasty scene from the Exorcist. Or, to make things extra fun, I feel both at the same time. Oh, Week 9, you are such a cruel bastard.

I am trying to eat healthy, but my interest in cooking has dropped below zero. So, R is cooking. This means steaks, take-out, or whatever thing can be heated in the oven. I have alternated between being grumpy about this and happily exploring my take-out options.

Then there is the non-existent exercise routine I have going. I was doing my prenatal routine twice a week. But I stopped because The Queasy, then The Horking, and also the ever popular, "screw this I'm tired."

Thus, I feel crappy and guilty. Hooray for Week 9. Let's throw it a party and lace its cake with strychnine.

I do have other things to write about, but I'll take those on later. Right now, I'm going to try and force myself to eat some lentils.