Friday, August 28, 2009

Mean things embryos and fetuses do to their moms

The day before my positive test, I found myself unable to eat the salami sandwich Kenny had made or me for lunch. I felt like I was just being a brat and wasteful, but I had to go to Jimmy John’s to get something that sounded nice and calm instead. I confessed my betrayal to Kenny minutes after the positive test.

As I mentioned earlier, the nausea* kicked into gear about two days after I found out I was pregnant. Kenny was a little excited when it began because it was further assurance I was in fact pregnant. That, and he hates me.

It took some time to figure out how to handle the whole eating thing. Eating hurt but not eating hurt more. Sometimes eating was impossible. I would try to think of the one thing that sounded like a good idea. One night, I asked Kenny to make fried rice. Fried rice seemed fairly bland and it would still have some veggies and protein in it. We were almost out of soy sauce. I suggested he use some fish sauce to supplement---which was of course a completely terrible idea. While standing about 6 feet away from it, I smelled it and knew that I absolutely could not eat that meal. So Kenny made a wonderful meal I ASKED FOR, and when he added an ingredient I SUGGESTED, I could no longer eat the meal. Poor Kenny. This happened a few more times. One night I was sure I could eat fajitas. We went to a Mexican restaurant a block away. The fajitas seemed really expensive so I ordered enchiladas. After my first bite, I discovered that innocent seeming chicken was a terrible, terrible thing. Soon after, it was agreed that the word chicken would no longer be spoken in our household and if Kenny felt the need to use the word, he would replace it with the word rainbow.

All of the books suggested eating some dry toast in bed before getting up. But really, who wants to eat dry toast? We tried an English muffin with butter. I did not get to keep that. I tried crackers, but ugh, first thing in the morning? We finally discovered the magic food that I could eat: Lender’s bagels with cream cheese. I get one delivered to me every morning in bed because Kenny loves me. Leroy throws a fit because he wants to steal my bagel. I do not let him steal my bagel. Bagels are also the food that I get when I fail to keep a meal. Bagels are wonderful and glorious and I’m fairly certain that the baby will come out covered in cream cheese and lightly toasted.

Overall, meat (except for pork—Fetus does not keep kosher, loves bacon) and vegetables were the most difficult to eat. For a few weeks there, I’m pretty sure my diet was 75% bread product + cheese flavored product. I could eat almost anything my 8-year-old self would have eaten. That’s not a huge list of items. It includes PB&J, fried bologna, Kraft macaroni, hotdogs, and chocolate milk.

For the past 2 weeks I have been feeling soooo much better and eating soooo much better. Except for a few relapses here and there (designed to keep me humble I’m sure) there is sunshine and nourishment once more.

*I shall call it nausea for morning sickness is a terrible name for suffering that lasts all day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The many stages of pregnancy acceptance

Weeks before I had the positive test and hours before I took the first negative test, it was very difficult to figure out how to feel. I was a wee bit giddy at the possibility of being pregnant. Could my body be harboring the beginnings of a whole other little person? These wonderings were tempered by my firm belief that I would have a difficult time conceiving. It had taken fertility drugs and several years for my parents to conceive my older brother. It seemed like most people I knew did not have an easy time and who gets pregnant the first month? I was also afraid. A good friend had been trying unsuccessfully for several months to conceive and that would be so mean and not cool if I got pregnant right away. If I had thought it would be so easy, I might not have tried because it would be too mean. I also had this worry of jinxing myself. I didn’t feel like I could really allow myself to think that it was a possibility. I took the test that night when we got home from work. It was negative, and I don’t think I was happy or sad. I just felt confirmed—of course it wouldn’t be positive. I was further confirmed a week later when I took a second test and it was also negative. In fact, I felt pretty silly for taking that second test in the first place. Lesson learned: negative pregnancy tests do not mean that you are not pregnant. They just mean that you are not pregnant enough yet and that you should stay tuned for further updates.

So, as you can imagine, I was totally unprepared when I got the positive test. I felt like I needed to read a million books right away—to study up on this whole thing. I had to figure out which foods and medicines and such I couldn’t have. Just a few weeks earlier I had switched a few of my allergy medications to baby-growing-safe versions just in case. I thought the switches were a bit premature—who knew? I got a big Ziploc bag and put all the not-safe-for-pregnancy medicine cabinet items in it. That left me with some lotion and a bottle of Tylenol really. Breaking up with Excedrin was the hardest. Oh how I miss Excedrin.

Even after the positive test, it was still hard to let myself fully believe and accept that I was going to have a baby. I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to have them dashed with a miscarriage. Also, since I was pukey and feeling like crap, it was hard to embrace the whole thing. I was just trying to make it through the day without puking in front of coworkers. I was cautiously excited, worried and nauseous for a good many weeks.

My first days of really unbridled joy and giddiness over the matter coincided with my first days of having some energy again and being able to eat adventurous things that consisted of more than cheese and bread.

I plan to stop writing in so much past tense soon. I just want to sort of get this all down while I remember it. I think next I'll have to thoroughly cover the puking issue--oh what a read that will be ;-).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Slight of Hand

So, we weren’t really prepared to tell Kenny’s parents about the whole me being pregnant thing on the same day we found out ourselves. As I mentioned, we were in quite a bit of disbelief. I felt like I needed to go to doctor first, get further confirmation, and make sure it was human and in the right spot and all.

Not telling the in-laws should be easy enough, yes? We could just, you know, not say anything, right? That was not the case. A weekend with my in-laws is usually a bit of a workout for the ole liver. We often have an afternoon-watching-the-game drink, a before dinner drink, during dinner drinks, and after dinner drinks. If I didn’t drink, they would know. I knew my mother-in-law watched like a hawk for these sorts of things. When we had visited them a few months earlier I remember her frowning a bit when I accepted her offer of a glass of wine. So Kenny and I developed a plan. He went to pick them up from the train station. I poured a little wine into a glass so that I could pretend I had already been drinking. That would take care of Friday night. For the afternoon drinks, Kenny would make me virgin versions of the cocktails he made for his mom. The difficult part to cover up would be the during meal wine. The solution? Kenny drank for two. It was much like a sitcom. We sat across from each other and put our glasses close to each other. He would casually drink from both. I would put one to my lips every now and then. He seized on opportunities like the arrival of our food to switch the glasses entirely or take giant gulps out of mine. “We” drank on our porch a few times as well. I would carry my glass inside a few times and Kenny would come in and dispose of some (sure I could have poured some out, but we’re not alcohol wasters). Basically, Kenny was drunk all weekend.

I was sure my mother-in-law was suspicious. She commented on how I hadn’t finished one of my drinks and I was sure she was catching on that no alcohol was really going down my throat. To top it off, she brought up the subject of children and parenting a few times. She even talked about how quickly she told people when she found out she was pregnant. Apparently, after she got the results she even told a stranger in the stairway on the way to tell my father-in-law.

Of course the nausea also showed up right away. I had my first puking on Sunday when I saw/smelled Kenny preparing a large slab of raw beef. Luckily, that happened while Kenny’s parents were on a walk with the pups so crisis was once more averted.

We found out later they had no clue. They did have fun figuring out all the signs they had missed later.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More than you ever wanted to know about things I've peed on

Two months and two days ago I had a dream that I was pregnant. I’ve always had dreams about being pregnant or about my friend, Megan, being pregnant. Not sure why, but if I were to name a recurring dream it would be that. This time, I decided that the dream was good enough reason to take a pregnancy test. Why was this time different you ask? Well, my period was 3 weeks late. I was fairly certain I was just having an off month because I had already taken 2 tests and had negative results both times. I felt silly for taking the third test. If you know Kenny, and if you read this blog, you probably do—you know that he is awfully cheap. He thought I was wasting money when I peed on the second stick so I didn’t tell him I was peeing on the third. Hehe. I had just rolled out of bed and didn’t quite have my eyes open all the way when I thought that I was perhaps seeing a plus sign. I rubbed my eyes like a cartoon character might do in a similar situation and looked again. I picked up the stick and ran into the bedroom where Kenny was wrestling with Leroy. I’m not sure I was making real words at this point or just concerned noises when I put it in front of his eyes.

I remember the episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy tells Ricky she’s pregnant by sneaking a song request to him for, “We’re Having a Baby.” He goes around the audience and tries to figure out who made the request. He almost passes over her but she nods yes and he realizes it is her that is pregnant and he gets ridiculously excited. I’d always imagined that when I told my husband I was pregnant, it would play out in a similar fashion.

Kenny’s reaction was more of disbelief. He was sure that this couldn’t be right what with the other two tests and how, how could this be? We agreed I’d get a test on the way to work and see what a second test said. There was no point really celebrating or discussing—or worrying about those drinks I’d had the other night because really—this was probably just a wrong test. After all, his parents were coming to town that night and how would we handle that?

When I had originally tried to buy a pregnancy test I failed. I looked around Walgreens for 10 minutes and gave up when I couldn’t find it—made Kenny stop and get one. This time, I tried for 10 minutes again to find one. I finally gave up and asked the pharmacist who did not know and had to ask somebody else. Apparently, at the Walgreens near me they keep pregnancy tests behind the makeup counter—because those are two things that go together, right? I got to work, went straight to the ladies’ room and tried this again. For a moment I thought it was negative because of course on this test the positive symbol looked much like the negative symbol on the test I had taken earlier.

I called Kenny and told him of the confirmation. We both went on to freak out and get zero work done that day as we had to keep asking the interweb questions and hatch a plan for keeping this from his parents for the weekend. When I got home he greeted me with flowers.

Though I’m 27 years old, married, and was certainly sort of trying to get pregnant—I still totally felt like I’d gotten knocked up and was going to be kicked off the cheerleading squad or something.

More catching up to come, but I think this post is already ridiculously long.