Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tell me how anybody thinks under this condition

I think I was waiting to write until I had something new to say. Something other than pre-baby hysteria or swearing at strangers under my breath or sometimes maybe not so under my breath. It seems, though, that this is where I live for now. No sense pretending it's otherwise. Every morning frustrates me with its challenge of having nothing to wear. Maternity clothes hang loose off my hips. Pre-pregnancy clothes don't fit. I'm awaiting a confrontation with The Boy over my frequent trips to Old Navy-- but it's not like I've been enjoying them, or like I have a wide variety of clothing options. And still, people don't seem to believe I'm pregnant. At work the other day, a man mistook me for somebody else. "I thought you were Kristen," he said, "but she is pregnant, and you are obviously not." When actually, I am four and a half months along. What to say?

I have always been clumsy; my mother once told me, watching as I practiced plies in the basement, that I had the gracefulness of a frog. I used to fall a lot. Not so much in recent history, thank goodness, but there are always bruises of unknown origin on my shins. Lately, though, it's even worse. Dropping everything, spilling drinks, banging elbows and other appendages into doorjambs-- you name it.

I had The Boy on speaker yesterday while I got ready for a girls' night out. I dropped makeup on my foot and swore loudly. "It's like talking to a sailor!" He remarked. While it's true that I've never been known for my patience, these days I have the shortest fuse I've ever had. I yell at drivers, think awful thoughts about shoppers in the mall, walk out of stores without what I need because it really feels like, if I have to wait in that line, I might explode. Today was not a good day, irritability wise. I made it through Pilates without much trouble, but it seemed to go downhill from there. Of course all of this new found salty talk comes at a time when my incubating child's sense of hearing is maturing. Our journal tells me, though, that the baby "might not understand everything" I say. So that's good to know.

We have argued lately over whether to have a Quad Screen-- an optional and somewhat controversial test used to screen for chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome. A positive test would not result in any type of actionable information, other to than allow for termination of the pregnancy, which we are adamantly against. "So what is the point of the test?" I asked my OB while The Boy listened.

"It's really depends on your personality, whether you think it would help you to know." I told her I'd talk to my husband about it, figuring it would be another non-issues. I wanted to get it done because I figured, if we found out something is wrong, I could begin dealing with my disappointment then and learn as much as possible to prepare. The Boy doesn't see it that way. He's afraid it would just make things worse. We cannot agree on this issue. I am unaccustomed to being so divided on something that feels so serious-- we have a long history of concurrence, or at least compromise. When something is more important to one than the other, one concedes. On the things that have seemed important, we've typically just happened to agree. We were not equipped for this type of fundamental disagreement. We are still undecided.

The big sonogram is Tuesday, the one in which we assumed we would learn the sex of the baby, but I recently realized there's more to it than that. First of all, we may not be able to tell at all. That hadn't even occurred to me until a girl at work (who had never even uttered hello to me before she knew I was pregnant) told me all about the sonogram shenanigans leading up to the birth of her little Evan. They could never tell what he was. I'm really hoping ours child is more cooperative, but it wouldn't shock me if it isn't. And more important than all of that, this sonogram is meant to detect any congenital defects-- it's not all "Hi Mommy" written on a grainy image. So I'm nervous, of course, because that seems to be the pregnancy symptom more widespread than morning sickness: worry. When I found out I had only gained 1 pound through my 16th week of pregnancy, my first thought was "hooray!" Then, without even taking a breath, I asked the nurse, "Oh no, do you think that's okay?"

At Old Navy today, clinging to my sanity when I probably shouldn't have been allowed to be around people, I bought two t-shirts. One says "It's a Boy," and one says, "It's a Girl." I'm trying to be hopeful even though lately it feels like it would be more appropriate for it to say, "It's just too many hamburgers lately" or "It's the worst and longest-running PMS of all time." Take your pick.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Second Trimester Grumblings and Adventures

As it turns out, sharing the news of a well-concealed pregnancy is rather awkward. I told my boss earlier this week, and she was excited. Mentioned nothing of leaving or returning or any of that. Bringing it up in casual conversation, after 16 weeks, is kind of strange. "Yeah, so I'm pregnant," I found myself saying to a colleague the other day. To them, apparently, I do not appear to be pregnant. People say, "You're not even showing...that much," leaving me wondering if I should say, "You're right; I'm probably not even pregnant." But the top two buttons on my pre-pregnancy capris are unbuttoned right now, and it's not just because I'm in the comfort of my own home. The top is secured with a ponytail holder, doubling as a button expander. It's not pretty. When the aforementioned coworker told me to have a great weekend, I told him it would involve buying bigger pants. That hasn't happened yet, though.

These days seem to be filled with "Really, when's the next time we're going to be able to do this?" rationalizing. The Boy is still working on the rooftop deck; after I convinced him he should take me to IHOP for breakfast, I accompanied him to Lowe's for balusters and railings instead of scouring Target and Motherhood for stretchier pants and flowier tops. He has grand plans of bathrooms and new paint and, of course, the nursery, but also all kinds of things an infant would hamper. We've been to Connecticut (a short trip involving a picnic attended leisurely by The Boy's former love. Yes, she knew we would be there. No, she did not think it would be awkward. Everyone survived.); Houston for a wedding and Galveston for a day; we're spending the rest of July at home, then we head to the Outer Banks for a week with representatives from both families (two houses); The Boy's mother is flying in for Labor Day and somewhere in between there are weekend trips and visits yet to be planned, a nursery to be painted, blue or pink to be determined (though the paint will be neutral; this house has to sell eventually).

I've started a prenatal Pilates class and have been seeing a chiropractor I'm now seriously considering dumping after he mentioned, quite harshly and not for the first time, that I would quickly be developing varicose veins on the backs of my knees. I asked him what he proposed I do about it (I've already stopped crossing my legs almost entirely) and what he thought he was accomplishing by mentioning it to a pregnant woman who has plenty of those types of changes on her mind already. He was unfazed.

"Really, don't you have a daughter?" I asked, incredulous, on my face on the table, and very near tears.

"Yes," he replied.

"And do you talk to her that way?"

"Well, no."

"Then please stop talking to me like that! You're only making me feel worse!" He went on, flustered, to tell me my red toenails looked nice, but really, if you have to reach that far to compliment a girl, no one is doing very well. I cried to Amber as I walked home. The Boy referred to him in choice words and said he doesn't want me going back there. But still.

The time has come that The Boy has finally (hesitantly) acknowledged the belly, but it doesn't always show like it should. Sometimes, because of where the pre-pregnancy clothes hit, it just looks like I'm a little chubby around the middle. Especially when I'm seated which, obviously, doesn't sit well with me. I wouldn't mind looking pregnant-- I'm four months along today-- but that's not what it looks like to me. I've taken to casually resting my hand (usually the left one) on my abdomen when in public. Unfortunately, this has led The Boy on multiple occasions and a flight attendant to ask me if I'm all right. Not quite the desired effect.

Women say that the upside of pregnancy and weight gain is larger breasts, and I wish I could agree with them. I'm finding mine impossible to contain. The Boy frequently (especially last week in Galveston at the pool) and openly stares at them. "I'm sorry baby," he says when I reprimand him, "they're just ginormous." I'm starting to feel like a circus freak, and I'm nervous because they are not even serving their purpose yet. I complained at the pool, in my tankini, that I wasn't used to the presence of the belly yet. "Don't worry," The Boy said, eyes glued to my chest, "I don't think anyone is getting that far." Excellent.

At Meg's wedding in Houston last weekend, I wore a dress that I thought mostly concealed my pregnancy just because I still could. It did not, however, conceal the rapidly growing mammaries. I asked her about a large chested bridesmaid whose dress seemed more modest than the others.

"Is Kristy's dress pinned?"

"No, it's sewn with a button inside. I told her the only boobs I wanted on display at my wedding were my own."

"In that case, I apologize." I said, flushing slightly. "I didn't mean anything by it, but since I'm pregnant they've been really hard to control."

She glanced down at them for what was obviously not the first time and said, "That's okay, you weren't up there with me and you have an excuse." Well.

And now I've got to look through my clothes, so many there, so few that still fit, to go sit with another preggo at a bar where we will drink water (I'm so over O'Doul's and don't even ask me about St. Pauli Girl NA) and compare notes and listen to her husband's band. Another activity the baby would hamper. Really, who brings a baby to a bar?
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