Saturday, July 28, 2007

You Don't Say-- Really

Apparently, being pregnant is somehow like running for public office; it enables random people to ask questions and make comments that they never would ordinarily. I don't remember signing up for this...

Tips on Dealing with the Pregnant Woman

Don't touch. I guess it's one thing later on, when there's a cute basketball-belly full of baby; some people can't help themselves. But if your coworker spills the beans that she's 9 weeks pregnant, DO NOT grab her belly. Yes, someone did this to me. I had to grab her hand, push it away, and say, "That's NOT BABY, that's my belly. YOU ARE GRABBING MY BELLY FAT." I explained in graphic detail that the "baby" is at that point the size of a Lima bean, floating in a uterus the size of a grapefruit that is still tucked securely in my pelvis. Anything that is "showing" on me right now is just weight gain due to the excessive hunger and complete cessation of all physical activity. Babies don't start behind the belly button and grow out; they start wayyy down, below the pubic bone, and grow upwards.

On a similar note, how is it appropriate to make comments about someone else's body? Unless my baby is finally showing up front, there is no call for this. My growing ass and boobs are not your concern and it is tacky to mention them.

If someone you know is suffering from ongoing morning sickness, do not do any of the following:

Do not repeatedly exclaim that you never had a day's worth of being sick! Isn't it just funny how some women get sick and some don't! Well, I'm so happy for you, but it sure doesn't make me feel better right now. Misery does not love gloating. I prefer to hear about similar stories from women that are understanding, that remember clearly the relationship that develops between preggers and their toilet bowl. (Or bucket. I heart my bucket.)

Do not imply that worry, ambivalence, or unhappiness with the pregnancy is causing morning sickness. What a toxic, disgusting idea. We've been trying for the better part of a year to make this baby. Had a terrible miscarriage just a few months ago. If I were any happier about being pregnant, I would float into work instead of walking. (Dragging. Whatever.) I know I look miserable, but that's because I feel like shit, not because I'm ambivalent. DO NOT say, "Oh, I never got morning sickness, I think I was just so happy to be pregnant that it just didn't occur to me." Because if I killed you, I think I would be acquitted. Here's the thing: during early pregnancy, the female body is flooded with hormones. Some women react better to that than others; some react as though they are being poisoned by these unfamiliar chemicals that are building up in the liver and kidneys. The body's natural response is to get rid of the 'toxins' the only way it knows how, which is barf. And I'm sure that being on these hormone supplements for the last month is not helping my case. But it doesn't give anyone the right to question how I feel about being pregnant, which last time I checked wasn't even anyone else's business to begin with.

Sharing the news. I had to share my happy news at work much earlier than I intended to, because of the constant illness. Half had already guessed, because let's face it, when you see a woman going to barf several times a day for days on end, it becomes clear that it isn't a virus. But here's the thing; just because you know doesn't give you the right to share that with whomever, whenever. For example. I tell my manager about the Little Bean out of necessity, to explain a sick-day. The next day is a general announcement, congratulations, etc. OK. But why is she telling so many random people that couldn't care less? Our customers do not care. Visiting higher-ups and other managers don't care. Pregnancy only becomes interesting to strangers when it's visible and imminent. First-trimester pregnancy is boring. So please don't go, "And this is Mara, who just told us she's going to be a mother!"

Telling the people I work with every day out of necessity is a bit different than wearing a sandwich board as I walk down the street. I have no desire to share my happy news with random strangers, so could you please stop doing that? When I'm showing, that will be my sandwich board to the world. Until then, why not keep it among those who either need to know, or who care enough about me to find it interesting news?

On the same note, it's silly to ask, "Did you just find out?" No. I just told you. I've known for a month or so. How ignorant do you think I am-- to not realize that I'm pregnant for weeks and weeks? It seems I have more discretion than you realize; I can apparently decide to keep this news from you as long as I deem necessary. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but managers and coworkers are not the same thing as close friends.

Ahh, labor and birth. Why would you tell me that I'll need the drugs? Is it because you did, so you can't stand the idea of anyone else daring not to? If I heard that you were training to run a triathlon in six months, I would never pat you on the back and say, "Honey, you'll never make that. I'd look into steroids, if I were you. Everybody does it!" Obviously, I don't KNOW what labor will be like for me. Obviously, you don't either. Personally I believe that I was built to give birth, as anyone who's seen me in real life could understand... I have the HIPS, baby. But you know, I can't guarantee that I won't need pain relief, I understand that it's a possibility. I just don't understand why you would try to undermine someones desire to do that "natural thing".

How OLD are you? Are you married? Was this planned? Wow, could you be any ruder? Did you parents forget to teach you manners? Were you brought up in a barn? Sorry, I forgot that turnabout isn't fair play. I am 26 year old. Yes, I realize that I look younger than my age; five extra years so far of getting carded doesn't let me forget. Guesses tend to range from 19-24, average about 22. I know full well that if I were ten years older (or looked ten years older) you wouldn't dare to ask these impertinent questions, nor would you even care. My story is pretty boring: 26, married, very much planned. A long time trying, actually. Does that excuse your asking? No. What the HELL. If I WERE 21, single and completely surprised by this, would that justify you? Would that make it OK to ask these kinds of things? My being young (or young-looking) does not somehow give you the right to ask me questions you'd never ask a 36 year-old matronly type. I do not like seeing you prepare to judge me, and then change your mind because I have the right statistics. You have no right to judge in the first place; my answers are irrelevant.

This lesson brought to you by one grumpy-assed pregnant lady!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Sorry about the netspeak, but I just couldn't help myself...

AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! re: Deathly Hallows.

I can't say anything because I think it's too soon to spoil. I don't want to ruin anything for anybody, so if you haven't finished the book... Hurry Up! There's so much to discuss!

I just saw a button that says, "Less Bombs, More Art Supplies" and it really bugs me. Not because I disagree with the principle, but because it ought to be "Fewer Bombs, More Art Supplies"... right? It gets under my skin.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


It's all good. Embryo is alive, has a heartbeat. Looks like the Michelin Tire Man, but in a good way. It looks like I'm actually pregnant for the long haul this time...

I had to wait one day to write about it, because yesterday it would have been all gibberish and blubbering, which doesn't translate well onscreen. I cried all over the nurse as she tried to explain various part of my Little Bean as "the yolk sac" and "the arm buds". Honestly it looks just like a blob. But a living, flashing blob; very cute. So different than the dark empty spot in the last one. I called my parents last night to share the news (finally!) and (of course!) they're thrilled to death.

The sickness is getting old. I find myself calculating the statistics: throwing up between two and six times a day, mean of 3, median 2. If I had a point for every new bathroom explored, I'd have a lot of points-- who's in charge of the points, anyway? I need to talk with them. Everyone at work asks me how I feel, multiple times a day. I don't know what to say; do I tell the truth-- I feel crappy, I wish I were at home in bed with my bucket? Because that's getting old and boring. Do I lie and say I'm fine, even though they are asking genuinely? bleh.

HARRY POTTER TOMORROW. SO EXITED. Here are the theories that I'm hoping will bite the dust once and for all:

The Harry-and-Hermione-are-brother-and-sister theory. PLEASE.

The Harry-(or his scar)-is-a-Horcrux theory.

The Harry-will-die theory. (I hope, I hope, I hope...)

The Snape-and-Lily theory. Ewwww. Nuff said there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Still alive, checking in. I no longer have the energy to do things like read or write, so no blogging of late. I get sick everywhere: home, work, the grocery store. The other pregnancy was nothing like this, can I take that as a good sign? My doctor's appointment and ultrasound is tomorrow. After last time I'm scared for what we'll see. But could a nonviable fetus make me so darn sick? Update tomorrow with the results, whatever they may be.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Oy Vey!

Am in the grips of an alien occupation. No longer have control over any aspect of my own life; have been reduced to squirrel-like status of eating-sleeping-hording food, with occasional outbursts of crazy emotion.

I have to eat every couple of hours or else feel that lovely motion-sickness-like pregnancy feeling. This takes a lot of planning and strategy, as I have to actually go to work and stuff. So I have a bag of trail mix in my purse, half my lunch in the break-room fridge, and here at my work-station-- water and part of a cookie. Just to keep from feeling dizzy and nauseus...Really, like a squirrel. And not a paticularly healthy squirrel at that...

For one thing all I want is carbohydrates. Potatoes. I made latkes a few nights ago, only six months out of season. Chanukah food in the middle of summer? But they were so good.

Yesterday Don and I BOTH had the day off, something that only happens every blue moon or so. Most of the day was spent in lessons on "How to treat your pregnant wife":

DO talk to the "baby". DON'T just shout HELLO and blow raspberries on belly.
DO bring her cereal in bed. DON'T say, "here ya go, Barfy!"
DO make dinner. DON'T talk about disgusting things...

Etc. I think we're making progress.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm hungry, are you cooking?

The nasty mood lifted and the physical symptoms descended, all at the same time. I guess the hormones affect the mind before the body? I don't feel so apathetic and overwhelmed as I did; I feel more in control. For example the thought of having to do the dishes, wash some clothes and clean the kitchen does not make me want to hide under the comforter and cry as it did last week. This is progress; it is being pulled back from the brink of the nasty depression. Don's take on it: of course you're feeling psychotic, in addition to all the regular hormones you're shoving extra ones in!

But those are supposed to be filling a deficit, so it should all come out the same, right? Anyways I'm taking them with mind-numbing regularity; it's amazing how easy it is to remember the meds when it's such a life-of-death matter as opposed to getting rid of strep throat or something. Probably the first time I've ever stayed on a prescription for more than a week without missing a dose.

Friday I looked in the mirror at work and realized that I have a glow. I thought that was just a myth, and old-wives-tale. I've been worried about my belly popping out before I'm ready to tell, about my boobs giving me away, when my secret is written across my cheeks for any observant person to read. It's like a sunburn but more even and kinda shiny. And the nausea and overwhelming obsession with food have arrived on schedule.

I feel a little lonely and isolated, probably because I haven't told anyone in my family about this pregnancy yet. Wanted to hold onto the pregnancy for a few weeks first, although that makes little sense; the last one didn't end until 10 weeks along so what good is holding out a few more weeks going to do? Yesterday I decided I'd tell my mom but I completely forgot that she and my brother are travelling to Peru for a couple of weeks, doing a Boy Scout trek along the Inca Trail among other things. Some daughter/sister I am, huh? To forget about a trip like that? So she calls me from the airport a few hours before I'd planned on calling her with THE NEWS and I couldn't tell her; the timing was all wrong, we could barely here each other. They will get back shortly before my ultrasound, so maybe I'll just call after that, either way.

The ultrasound is scheduled for two and a half days before the Harry Potter release. I know that for any normal person, this would not be a conflict of interest. Have I EVER claimed normalcy? Normal is overrated. I am afraid that if it's good news (you know, there's a baby with a heartbeat and etc) it will overshadow THE BOOK. What if I can't concentrate, due to overwhelming joy/happiness? On the other hand if it's bad news, it could poison the whole HPexperience! I guess I'll just have to set the whole pregnancy aside for a bit, to read.

And, Don will be out of town on a business trip then, so he can't come with me; I'll have to call him afterwards. I couldn't have picked a worse time, but waiting even another week to know what's going on in there would kill me, which would totally defeat the purpose. Honestly, if I could just take a nap and wake up on the 18th to go to the doctor's, that would be great. Right now I need to go eat something... again.