Monday, May 24, 2010

Soup, and other culinary delights...

Around week 6, I started on Progesterone, a medication usually designed to increase the fertility in women who have difficulty getting pregnant. It is also used to increase the hormone responsible for maintaining pregnancies in women who are currently pregnant.

By adding this medication to my body, I began to "feel" pregnant. And, no - not in a starry-eyed, mushy, glowing new mom kind of way. But, a everything-looks-like-it-was-previously-digested kind of way. I may have mentioned this, but Progesterone is made by the devil.

It all started with soup. Pre-progesterone, I loved soup. I loved vegetable soup. Corn soup. Baked potato soup. Gumbo. Minestrone. Lentil. Just soup. Soup is a perfect compliment to many other sides. Soup is a great quick meal. Soup can be frozen for extended periods of time and then be reheated - only to taste better than it did before!

Post-progesterone, soup and I...well, we just didn't get along. I definitely could NOT look at it. At times, I couldn't even think of it. Soup and I, we still haven't fully recovered.

So, I stay away from soup. Just in case.

Morning sickness is a myth. It doesn't just happen in the morning. In fact, it happens mid-morning, after lunch, early afternoon and in the evening. They should just call it pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting. I guess that's too long for most doctors to have to say.

I don't remember the beginning of the morning sickness. I do remember all the little tips and tricks I read and heard from other pregnant women, or women who had been pregnant. Boy, do I love all those little tips and tricks.

First, there's the "eat crackers before getting out of bed in the morning" tip. I tried that. After my attempt, I know that throwing a few half chewed crumbs into my empty stomach did NOT work. In fact, I was one of those women that didn't feel too badly getting out of bed in the morning. In fact, I usually felt worse after I ate. (Cracker crumbs not included.)

My worst nausea happened after 2 things, drinking liquid and any time after 4 pm. One afternoon, I was hungry, but couldn't imagine eating anything at all, so I went to Smoothie King and picked up a fruity smoothie. I got home and drank about 1/4 of it. Immediately, my stomach felt like it was rocking back and forth in the Gulf Stream. Well, I didn't get my money's worth out of my Smoothie that day. *wink* Lesson learned.

My morning sickness was random, as I'm sure much pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting is. Some days, I would be fine. Other days, things would set me off and there was no going back.

I work in a large building. We have approximately 300 ladies, and I use that term loosely, that all share a 4-stalled bathroom. I averaged it out, and if every lady uses the restroom 1 time a day, then each stall is used 75 times DAILY. And, that's only if we teetee once. So, I'm sure each stall is used a gross amount of times each day. We have a maintenance man employed at the school. He actually does an amazing job at keeping our bathroom clean. BUT, when our school was being planned, someone decided to put the break room next to the bathrooms. So, beginning at around 11:30am and lasting about 2 hours, the bathroom gets inundated with lunch-time smells.

I can handle bathroom smells. And, I can handle lunch-time smells. I cannot handle them combined. I have not been nauseous in about 2 weeks, and even just thinking of this combo makes my stomach turn.

And, to make matters worse. My sense of smell has improved exponentially. I had a very good sense of smell before pregnancy. Now, I can smell a combination of things and determine what forms the combination. One of my students is still laughing about the time I walked in to a room and said "oh, fish and red beans" and a student had just wrapped up their lunch of fried shrimp and red beans and rice. It's like a super-power that I just don't want!

Mike, Izzy and I were hanging out one evening, when Mike remembered he had to pick up a prescription or something from the CVS very close to our house. This was about a month ago, and Izzy was still in the final stages of potty training. Final stages meaning, poop anxiety. Her and I were upstairs, using the computer, when she doubled over and said her tummy hurt. Immediately following that statement, she started craw fishing back into the hall. I knew what was happening!! I scooped her up, and ran downstairs, praying to the potty gods that she would hold her little turtle in!

I wasn't so lucky. I managed to get her pants off, and felt the little lump in her panties. She has anxiety about pooping in the potty. I imagine she thinks she'll get sucked down there or something. Well, anxiety or not, she still really hated to use it in her Big Girl panties too. So, she's crying, and my eyes are watering, for two very different reasons. My poop intolerance hasn't gotten any better in the 2 years her and I have known each other. Mike is still gone, and I am determined to help a baby girl out, so I go for the panties. As I'm trying to take them off, I get a whiff of the surprise inside and immediately lose my lunch. Thank goodness I was near a toilet!

If you've had pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting, then you know that it ain't over til it's over.

At the start of my vomiting, Izzy's crying stopped and she came close to me and started patting my shoulder, asking "Katie, are you ok?" So, here I am, trying to console her, one arm around her waist and one arm bracing myself. At that moment, I heard the door open. Angels sung. I managed a "MIKE, I NEED HELP!" He came rushing in to the fiasco that had unraveled in the 5 minutes he was gone. What a mess! But, a funny mess, if you can picture it.

One more puke story to really get you gals itching for a baby....

Mike, Izzy and I went to eat at a local sushi restaurant very close to our house. We ate our food, drove home and walked to the park on our street. We played and tried to teach Izzy how to roll down the hill. Well, Mike did that - no rolling for this woman! It began to get dark, so we went home. I went into the bathroom with Izzy and got her ready to take a bath. Mike came in right as I was about to put Iz in the water, and something about the combination of his smells at that moment immediately made me sick. I ran out of the bathroom (???????). Then, ran straight back into it, instructing Mike to get out. So, here we go again, except now I have a naked Izzy watching. As soon as she understands what is happening, she runs to the door. Mike's on the other side, but he's too afraid to open the door. So, I'm in there, losing my dinner, and in between, I'm letting Izzy out, stopping the bath water and getting the wash cloth and towel. Talk about multi-tasking. Luckily, I've never known a toddler that minded being naked in unusual places for any reason at all. So, when I was done, Izzy marched her naked butt right back in and got in the tub. Mike didn't join us.

Needless to say, Mike felt GREAT about being the source of my little problem. But, you know when you've been sitting in the grass, and while you're there, you don't smell the grass, but after, the sour grass smell mixes with what ever laundry detergent, deodorant or work smells you have on your clothes? Anyway, I've never been a fan of the smell of grass. Now, it has a whole different quality.

As of today, the pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting are gone and Izzy is completely potty-trained as of that last day she and I had our little bonding moment in the bathroom. I'm not sure if it scared her, or she just had sympathy for her pregnant step-mom, but it worked!

Oh yeah, I wouldn't change it for the world!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Things that make you go hmmm....

My baby's daddy?

A compelling argument, once you see this...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Now, it gets interesting...

Ok, here's the stuff that some of you may not be equipped to hear. Or comprehend. Or remotely understand.

Yep, I'm talking about my personal pregnancy experience.

In the beginning, even right before I took the test, I noticed that I was exhausted. Since I have hypothyroidism, I was considering visiting my doc to see if my meds needed to be increased. I was sluggish, zombie-like and sleeping way more than usual. Now, don't get me wrong, I love to sleep. I'm not one of those people who thinks sleeping is wasting your life away. Give me my 8 hours, or give me death!

But this was different. This is more than just a need for a little nap in the afternoon. This was trying to get a little nap in and waking up 5 hours later, still on the couch, in a puddle of my own drool. Out like a light.

I was also peeing more. I pee alot anyway.

But this was different (notice the trend?). I HAD TO GO, and I HAD TO GO NOW. Since we were thinking of having a baby, I had just finished reading "You: Having a Baby" by Dr. Oz. I never remembered him saying that that was a sign of early pregnancy. I guess my body was trying to pee out the zygote?

The kicker was when I noticed breast sensitivity (cover your eyes, guys). That was the end of the line for me, and I took a pregnancy test. And, since I'm currently writing this blog, we all know how that turned out. (See post 1)

Three days after confirming my pregnancy with my brand new OB, I had a little scare and had to go to the ER. Well, all of that was just fine, but, to be on the safe side, my doc put me on Progesterone. Progesterone is the devil's medicine. It made me dizzy, flash hot/cold, and have the dreaded morning sickness. And, once that started....well.....I'll leave out those details.

Luckily for my appetite and our wallets, I only had to be on the meds until week 10. The sickness didn't totally go away, neither did the hot flashes or the dizziness really. But, we didn't have to shell out the moolah for the meds that my health insurance didn't cover. (Thanks BCBS)

In the early weeks, I was beginning to wonder if everything that could go wrong in my pregnancy, would. I thought I developed an allergic reaction to the progesterone. I was miserable. I was going in for my first ultrasound in just a few days, so I lathered myself up in cortisone creams and diaper rash ointments until the appointment. Imagine my surprise when she told me I had tinea cruris.
"I have JOCK ITCH??" My doctor snorted and looked at me, puzzled. Like, she couldn't understand why I was so emphatic in my statement.
I was mortified. I'm laying there, with my husband in the room, and I have jock itch. So now, I'm a puking, peeing, hot-flashing, dizzy pregnant woman, with jock itch. AND, I'm about to get my first ultrasound, which is done vaginally. AND I DIDN'T KNOW THAT!!! I was clueless. I might even cry. But, I held it together.

Turns out tinea cruris is relatively common in pregnancy. At that moment, I knew I had to resolve myself to the fact that if it will happen, it will happen to me.

Now, that that part is over, and the most humiliating thing I could possibly admit is on the internets for everyone to see, the rest is a piece of cake.

The rest isn't nearly as interesting. The weeks fly by. I'm still uncharacteristically tired, but other things are changing as well. My work pants are tight. My jeans are tightER. My teeth are sensitive. I have ZITS!

So, at 3.5 months, I graduated up. I put on my first pair of maternity pants. You know what? All I could think was, "Dang, I wish my butt looked this good in regular pants!" I was sold.

Now, shirts on the other hand....that's a different story.

All the books, articles and magazines I've read prepare you for some of the sensations of pregnancy. But, not really. If they told you, in detail, all of the things your body would be going through, I think we wouldn't have to teach sex ed in school. Fear would be a really great motivator.

First, there's the "round ligament pain." I discovered this one evening, sprawled on the couch. I had to sneeze, and just like every sneeze in my life before that moment, I didn't change much about my current physical arrangement. The sneeze hits and I feel this very intense pain near my inguinal area (leg meets torso). I was taken aback. I quickly tried to sit up, and the pain happened again. I immediately thought I had a hernia, since I was prone to everything going wrong in my pregnancy (see above.) Luckily, I found it was just the ligaments stabilizing my uterus. When you get up quickly, stretch out completely, lay in certain positions and cough or sneeze, you will feel your round ligaments. Joy.

Next, speaking of coughing and sneezing....there's the whole "bladder control" issue. I'm not even showing and I am experiencing things I thought I had months to prepare for! I won't go into detail here. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Also, something I was unaware of....mouth problems. Not anything painful, just inconvenient, and - yet again - embarrassing. My teeth are "dirtier" than usual. I have to brush constantly to get that sticky feeling out of my mouth. And, my teeth are more sensitive.

And, to top it off, my face begins to erupt like the surface of the sun. Huge, painful hormone pimples. I work in a building full of florescent lights. So, I look like Pizza the Hut.

But, despite some rather upsetting side effects and a very reluctant parting of ways with dairy, my pregnancy has been picture perfect! :)

My next OB visit was much less eventful, but much more profound. After waiting in the lobby for the better part of an hour and a half, I was ushered into a room and my OB's Nurse Practitioner came in with a Doppler. For those of you not in the know, a doppler machine allows you to hear the heartbeat without an ultrasound. So, you can hear baby, but not see baby. She lubes up my belly and moved the wand around til she found the heartbeat. I was laying there, holding the mic, listening to the heartbeat when I heard this swishing, swooshing sound. I asked what that was, because she was holding the wand steady.
"It's your baby moving."
I still can't think of that moment today without getting choked up. Here it was, the size of a plum, doing flips and moving around inside of me! I think that day changed alot of things for me.

Now....back to my current state.

Moods swings are at an all-time low. Which, most people should be grateful for, because I have a very powerful tongue-biting reflex. The people that I am referring to are those ladies that have been through this one or more or multiple times that feel the need to "warn" me of what is to come. You all know what I'm talking about. Those Debbie Downers that want you to be as miserable as they were in their pregnancies, passive-aggressively giving you advice and warnings and ending it with "But, I wouldn't change it for the world!"

"Oh, you think you have hot flashes now? Just wait, you'll get all sweaty 'down there'....the yeast infections are coming! But, I wouldn't change it for the world!"

"Oh, if you think you're big now, just wait. And, your back will kill you when you get big and fat and after you deliver, your stomach will look like a crumpled paper bag and you will cry because you will never look the same. But, I wouldn't change it for the world!"

"I had a horrible labor. The pain was so bad I passed out once. And, I tore all the way to my anus. Blood was everywhere. But, I wouldn't change it for the world!"

Oh. Great. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

And, one more thing: Stop rubbing my belly!

So, now I'm here, May 20th, just about 15 weeks, wearing maternity clothes and pulling my knees up to my chest any time I have to sneeze or cough, but enjoying being pregnant none-the-less. It does grant you extra attention, after all.

I wouldn't change it for the world!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Beginning....

Over the last couple of years, I have had - on and off - what is known in certain circles as baby fever. For those of you who are lucky enough to be completely unfamiliar with baby fever, here is a brief definition: "the nearly uncontrollable urge to procreate and carry a child with complete disregard to anyone and everyone else and their feelings regarding the subject." That is my definition....let's see what Webster says....well, Webster didn't say anything. So, here's Urban Dictionary's: "When a girl starts feeling a strong desire to have a baby, possibly to the point of obsession." I couldn't agree more.

Well, the fevers came and went. Sometimes the temperature was higher than others. There were tears, laughter and frustration. (all mine)

Then, I got married. The fever kind of went away. It was something else entirely. I wanted a baby, but was fearful. I was fearful that I would lose something of myself that I had always had. I was fearful that I would change, or my life would change in some irreversible way. I mean, all of that is true. When you have a baby, everything changes. Fear of the unknown. But also, fear of the known.

Some people would say I am lucky. I don't disagree. I am lucky on many levels. I have a wonderful family. I married into a wonderful family. I have a wonderful husband, and he has a wonderful daughter. We live in a home we own, and I drive a new car. Lucky, lucky, and lucky again. I think I am lucky in a way, but I also think that I'm not living a life I don't deserve. So....why would I change any of this for a baby?! Hahahha

My husband Mike has a daughter from a previous relationship. She is smart, funny, beautiful, talented and sassy. And, she's managed to be all of these things before she even has turned 3! I have known her since she was 5 months old. I was nervous at first. Spent a lot of time worrying about how this little person thought of me (boy, was I wasting a lot of time.) I worried about crossing boundaries with her father and grandparents. I worried about introducing her to my family. I worried about her when she wasn't with us. You know what I didn't really worry about? My ability to be a mother to her. It all seemed to feel natural. Now, don't get me wrong, there were some moments that didn't feel natural. And those moments usually involved poop. But, having her in my life really prepared me for motherhood. Helped me identify the type of mother I am and the type I don't want to be.
Isabella - or Izzy, as we call her - is my favorite person. And, I had something to do with that!
Well, after our marriage in October, we started talking about having our own kids. We found out we were pregnant in March! So, anyway...thinking about having, to we're having changed in a matter of months. 4 months to be exact.

I never expected it to happen so quickly. I had resigned myself to the fact that it may be a few more months til I was totally ready. So, we decided to adopt an adult Great Dane.

We drove like 15 hours to Waco, TX for Moses, a big, beautiful dog. He was sweet, laid back and huge. Not to mention, full of fleas and ticks and diarrhea. We get him home, and the next day I read a positive pregnancy test.

Holy crap. That's what I thought. When I saw Mike's face, I couldn't help but smile because he had a smile that was so big I thought his ears would pop off. Ha!

Anyway, since that day, there's been trials (an ER trip) and tribulations (giving up Moses), but all in all, it's been a very positive pregnancy. Our families are elated (of course) and Izzy is happy to become a big sister.

So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to the newest Conner, Parasiticutie.

Hi, Baby Conner!

And, I hope that the length of this blog isn't totally discouraging with the, but I'm fitting 4 months into this first post. And, I didn't even begin to discuss the general discomforts and unusual surprises of pregnancy.....I'll save that for later.