Anger Management 03/29/2012
One of the not-so-nice side effects of pregnancy hormones has been my ability to go from zero to irate in 2.2 seconds. For the most part, I’ve been able to keep a lid on my volatile emotions, mainly by listening to the little voice inside me telling me that if it weren’t for the fact that I’m pregnant, I most likely wouldn’t even care about what was making me mad in the first place. I can typically rationalize my blood pressure down from the precipice and let whatever it is go without “losing my cool.”
I had had a horrid night’s sleep, followed by a day at work full of annoyances in all shapes and sizes. In addition, sitting for 8 hours in an office chair does no favors for my already incredibly achey body. The building management can’t seem to get the temperature right in our office building, so I was sticky with sweat, exhausted, in pain, and annoyed even before boarding the infamous BART train to head home. After a ride that made 38 minutes seem like forever (maybe because I spent it smushed between the wall and a man who was so large I probably should have just let him have two seats), I decided to stop at Safeway on the way home to pick up some much deserved iced tea.
I walked up to the store only to be approached by a man looking for signatures for his petition. Anyone who knows me knows that, political science nerd that I am, I’m a sucker for petitions and 95% of the time I will stand and listen to you soapbox. If I agree, I’ll sign! If I disagree, I’ll explain to you why, and I won’t sign. I’ve even been known to collect signatures for my own petitions from time to time. But yesterday was just not a good day for me to stand in the sun in my ridiculously hot outfit on my aching feet, so I politely smiled at the man and said “Not right now, I’m sorry.”
He copped an attitude and muttered “well that’s fine, I’m used to it. No one can be bothered to help anyone anymore.”
Who the hell are you?! You don’t know me! You don’t know where I’ve been for the past 8 hours, who I’ve been helping secure venture financing for their start up businesses. You don’t know the countries where I’ve travelled to help mentor children of military families, or to help teach street children, or to play with HIV positive orphans, or to build homeless children houses. You don’t know the disabled man whose family’s house I cleaned. You don’t know what mother I held while she breathed her dying breath. It’s pretty freaking obvious by my distended belly that there’s at least ONE human being I’m lending a pretty freaking HUGE helping hand to right now.
That’s a risk you take standing outside, imposing on peoples’ time, subjecting them to your opinion. That’s a risk you take picking, out of all the people walking into Safeway, the pregnant woman who is obviously walking in pain. Do you purposefully select the weakest member of the herd? If that’s how you treated everyone you approached yesterday, I’m not the least bit surprised that you were turned down so often.
How DARE you pass judgement on me like that. How dare you pass judgment on anyone like that. Shame on you.
Unfortunately, these words spewed out of my mouth only once I had returned home. Just once I wish I had the guts to say aloud what goes on in my head.
Shall we continue with the pregnancy analogies? Excellent. Pregnant women (at least this pregnant woman) are like Hobbits. Currently, I personally feel that I would be right at home in the Shire. I’m short. Left to its own devices, my hair is pretty crazy curly. I prefer to sport bare feet (that seem to be disproportionately large these days, although they aren’t fuzzy, thank GOODNESS). I am just about as wide and round as I am tall. And for heaven’s sake, I eat nonstop. First breakfast: peanut butter toast as I drive to BART at 6:35 a.m. Second breakfast: usually a bagel and coffee while I settle into my cubicle and plan my day at 7:55 a.m. Elevensies: typically occur more at 9:30 a.m. and consists of yogurt or fruit. Luncheon: whatever sounds good to Little Bug, which this week has been Chipotle’s chicken soft tacos at least three times. Shameful. Dinner: again, typically up to Little Bug, but this week we’ve been doing really well with healthful meals made from ingredients we had around the house! (Highlights include Tuscan Chicken Stew, so good we had it twice!, and Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts with Spinach Pasta. Mmmm.) Supper: bedtime snack consisting usually of cereal, although this week Bug’s been loving her some strawberries before bed. That’s fine with me!
Please enjoy this picture snapped by my ever-patient coworkers. I detest all pictures of myself right now - my face is so chubsy! But they assure me I'm not even close to resembling the infamous J Simpson, and this blog is supposed to be about the honest truth behind the pregnancy conspiracy, so pride be damned, enjoy this delightful capture of 32.5 weeks :) I'm just grateful all of me still fits in the frame!
Now that I’m solidly in my third trimester, I feel like I was expecting to feel in my second: more energy, super excited about nesting, and I feel like my hair doesn’t actually look like crap anymore. Hooray!
I Think I'm a Baby. 02/28/2012
My husband paid me a ...compliment (???)... earlier on in my pregnancy. I asked him if he thought I was being super irrationally emotional, and he told me (in his characteristically sweet way) that he thinks I'm more emotionally stable now that I'm pregnant than I was during the first six months of our marriage.
Um, thanks? And, sorry?
I think if I asked him the same question today, based on my own assessment of my moods, I think the answer might be different. The third trimester started last week (holla!), and I have definitely noticed a significant decline in my ability to control and/or predict my emotions. I have definitely been more moody, weepy, dramatic... You name it. And these breakdowns or blow-ups always seem to happen when I'm walking in the door from work at 4:53 p.m. I have a short, albeit intense, early evening meltdown in front of and directed at my husband, regardless of his innocence (and typically his knowledge of what the heck is actually going on). Poor Jay.
Or maybe I'm doing him a favor.
I wonder if pregnancy is all part of an elaborate scheme (or a genius plan) to help prepare husbands/significant others for the rigors of caring for a newborn.
But seriously - think about it. There are numerous similarities between pregnant women and infants:
1. We are predictably unpredictable.
2. We cry all the time.
3. We can't tell you why we're upset but it is for sure up to you to fix it.
4. We are fussy.
5. We are picky about what we eat.
6. We throw up a lot, especially early on.
I've recently been reading Dr. Bucknam and Mr. Ezzo's book On Becoming BabyWise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep, and today I came across a sentence that hit a little too close to home. In the chapter that discusses what to do when your infant cries, the authors assure parents that some crying is normal: "[Babies] have a fussy time at least once a day, often in the late afternoon, that is followed by a calm, relatively peaceful condition the rest of the day."
For Your Safety 01/30/2012
So... I’m pregnant. One of the most tell-tale symptoms of pregnancy, right up there with the increased olfactory sensitivity, the morning-noon-afternoon-evening-and-night sickness, and the roller-coaster hormones, is the non-stop growth that is happening. Everything is expanding. Nails shoot out and become hag-like if not clipped daily, hair grows faster than weeds (apparently this is true for every other pregnant woman other than me), feet grow for absolutely no good reason, hips widen for a reason that I’m trying not to think about just yet, and the belly balloons out creating that adorable “speaks for itself” bump that strangers feel they can come up and rub without asking. While I typically find my ever-expanding middle endearing, I have moments where I feel more like Violet Beauregarde must have felt during that infamous scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I understand that a growing belly means a growing baby, and that’s wonderful and all, but sometimes the self-conscious, figure-watching, celebrity-comparing side of me feels a little freaked out when my wonderful husband comments on the fact that I’m “getting bigger daily!”
Because I like you all, I’m going to share this little pearl of wisdom that I’ve picked up over the past 25 weeks. Pay attention, because this may save your life someday:
Never ever say anything negative about a pregnant woman’s size. Ever.
Actually, to stay on the safe side, just don’t comment on a pregnant woman’s size, period. I remember feeling self-conscious when well-meaning people told me how I didn’t look pregnant at all. I understand that this is typically intended to be a compliment, but after months of hiding the baby bloat and feeling like every intake of breath would result in the expulsion of everything I had eaten in the past 12 hours, I freaking wanted a little evidence of the miracle of life going on in my body that I barely recognized.
I would think that it should go without saying to never ever comment negatively on a pregnant woman’s size. However, after reading other blogs and forums, and sadly drawing on my own experience, I’ve come to the realization that keeping one’s mouth shut about all the growing going on in a pregnant woman’s body is not a skill that a lot of people have. People ask “are you sure you’re not having twins?”, “does gestational diabetes run in your family?”, and my favorite: “my goodness you’re growing fast... have some more pasta dear, you’re eating for two, you know.” A dear family friend recently said to me “Oh wow, if that’s how big you are at 23 weeks, then...” and then trailed off as if to let me draw my own conclusion. Then what? Then I’m going to be huge at 40 weeks? Yeah, I’m planning on it. I’m freaking growing a human in here. Thanks, by the way, because I’m not already super self-conscious about my belly.
After a recent meeting at work, I made a joke about needing to widen the doorways in the office, and my male coworker replied “I didn’t know we were allowed to joke about that.” Well, you’re not. I am. If I comment on my size in a comical way, then feel free to join in the fun while it’s happening. Don’t come up to me later and remind me of the laugh we shared over my protruding abdomen, because it might not be funny to me anymore.
I will not be held responsible for my reactions to jokes that are made at my expanse... haha.
Life is Sweet 01/27/2012
My attitude has improved significantly post my last post (ahaha I’m so clever). At 24.5 weeks pregnant, I feel like I’m finally starting to have “the glow”, and I’m finally starting to feel “bonded” or “connected” to my little girl, and I’m actually obsessed with my bump. I am so over-the-top in love with this little unborn child already, I cannot even begin to imagine how I’m going to feel once I can hold her in my arms. I love each sweet little kick and hiccup I can feel.
Speaking of sweet, today was the dreaded gestational diabetes screen... No food or drink for 12 hours, come in, get poked once, chug-a-lug a bottle of glucose (i.e. straight syrup), wait an hour, get poked again, wait another hour, get poked again. Meanwhile, try not to pass out from the lack of food and water, the intense sugar rush, and the ridiculous amount of needles and blood draws. I am terrible with needles and getting my blood drawn. My heart rate drops significantly when I’m poked, and I avoid it at all costs. Basically, I’m a baby. So I was dreading today - big time.
When it was all said and done, I had worked myself up for no reason. My phlebotomist was super sweet and incredibly gentle. Thankfully I have good veins, so I was only poked the necessary three times. The drink was nothing I would order on a girls’ night out by any means, but it wasn’t nearly as gross as I had been told to expect. The worst aspect of the experience? The painful skin irritation caused by the surgical tape that held the cotton balls down after the three pokes. Well, that and not being able to have my morning coffee until I had been awake for five hours.
Check out my delicious post-test breakfast! If I didn't have GD before, I probably have it now!
JOB UPDATE: Jay had a fabulously positive interview on Wednesday for a job at which he would truly excel and enjoy. We are of course trying not to get our hopes up, but the man really liked Jay, and told him he would get back to us as soon as possible - within the week at the latest.
Thank you all for your prayers and/or positive thoughts. We truly appreciate and love all of you!
Severe MS (Monday Sickness) 01/22/2012
The past few weeks I’ve been more emotional than the rest of my pregnancy combined. Maybe I was too exhausted during the first trimester to spend any energy on unnecessary irrational emoting. Maybe my brain was too fuzzed-out to process any cognitive thoughts other than “Wake up”, “6:55 train”, “Chipotle”, “Bed”, and the occasional “Shower?...nah”.
Recently, I’ve been feeling the weight of certain stressors more acutely, and now I have the mental capacity to process the emotions that the stressors bring. Because tomorrow is Monday, I’m dedicating tonight’s stress vent to our job situations.
Jay was recently laid off (although those exact words were not used, but let’s be honest. He had a job, now he doesn’t. And he wasn’t fired.) He pretty much has a job “in the bag” at a company (Job A) whose services are very similar to the ones offered by his last job. Great benefits, health insurance, plenty of hours. Awesome! But the guy who would be his boss is impossible to get ahold of, and keeps pushing back the “earliest time” he can speak with Jay. We’re going on month two of living off my salary alone, and trust me, with a wife in her second trimester, the grocery budget NEEDS to get bigger. Jay had a great interview at a different company (Job B) this week, and the position sounds like something he would excel at and truly enjoy. The only drawback is that it is a tiny company and it’s very new. He couldn’t be paid very much, probably no medical insurance, and no real guarantee that the company will survive. In six months he could be laid off again and we could be in the same exact position we’re in now. Except that this time we wouldn’t have my salary and we would have a three-month-old baby.
One of my deepest desires is for my husband to have a job that he truly enjoys, one that uses his talents and leaves him feeling fulfilled after a day’s work. Job B really seems like the answer. But it doesn’t solve the insecurity problem. Horrible as it is, I must admit that I would rather he take Job A and sacrifice the fulfillment and enjoyment for the security of an established company with a higher income and better benefits. I wish I could blame the desire for the income and benefits on the coming baby, but...
I have my own job issues. My main issue is that I hate my job, which is sad because in all honesty, it’s not a bad job. The work is easy (and monotonous), the pay is decent (for what they expect of me), and the benefits are supreme (okay, I do love our health insurance package). But I’m a financial researcher. FINANCE. I have my degree in political science. I skipped econ classes on purpose. I HATE MONEY. I have zero interest in finance whatsoever. I work in a department with really no room for promotion, in a field that I have zero passion for and zero interest in furthering my career, and that makes it really hard to put real effort into a day’s work. Even the knowledge that in less than four months I’m going on maternity leave really doesn’t help me get through the week. I’ve never wanted to be the person who was just getting by ‘til Friday, but alas, this job has turned me into a corporate American who endures the week for the weekend that is ahead. Insult to injury: can’t even join my coworkers for a mid-week happy hour. Well, I suppose technically I could.
Can I get another round of Shirley Temples?
Coming: Spring 2012! 01/21/2012
This blog is a long time coming, and now that I'm here, staring at a blank wall, I'm suddenly wondering if all the musings and anecdotes that I've been saving for weeks will be entertaining or enlightening for anyone other than myself.Pregnancy has been so unbelievably different that I ever expected, and this is something I'm reminded of almost daily. On one of my favorite pregnancy apps, many women begin their questions with "is it normal..." and I always want to respond with "NOTHING is normal and everything ABNORMAL is normal". The misconceptions and abnormalities associated with pregnancy have made the process bittersweet. I'm hoping that this will become a venue in which I can rant, ramble, whine, and process the many and varied emotions that have been flooding my head and heart in these past few months.
In any case, if there are any readers out there, I hope you are entertained and possibly encouraged by the ramblings of this emotion-ridden preggers. Here's to 4.5 more months!