Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Doesn't Suck

Ok, it's not all bad. Here are a few things that rock about being pregnant:

1. I never have to suck my stomach in. I'm one of those people that only gains weight in her midsection. This means boobs and stomach. I'd kill for a bubble butt. And because I'm 5 feet tall, 4 pounds straight onto my stomach looks ridiculous. So I've always had to fight to keep my weight under control and to suck my stomach in. Now? I stick it OUT! I bump into thing occasionally, but who cares? I love, love, love having a big stomach that people call "cute."

2. Pregnancy nails. Did you know about this? I'd heard rumors, but hello! I used to file my nails about once every two weeks. I constantly applied nail hardener and similar things to keep the from chipping off. Now I have to cut them at least once a week to keep the suckers from growing like weeds! Oh, and chip them? Not a chance. My hands look so beautiful.

3. Pregnancy hair. You know how hair comes out in your brush, or if you have long hair a bunch falls out when you let it down? Or the little hunks that float down the shower drain after you shampoo? That doesn't happen when you're pregnant. It all stays in and holds on. If you have thin hair like me, it's the miracle you've always prayed for.

4. People are nice to you. They see the belly, and they open doors. They let you go first in any line. They smile and ask nice questions. It's a "get out of jail free" card in any situation. Oh, and everyone thinks you look beautiful and adorable, no matter how ridiculous you really look.

5. You can eat anything and no one judges you. In fact, they ENCOURAGE you! I snuck into my friend's pantry one night and started eating her salt and vinegar chips. When she walked into the kitchen and saw me I paused mid crackly bite and she said, "You should probably take those home if you like them. Or just finish them." What?! You want me to finish the food in your pantry? No problem!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hi, I'm Erin, who are you?

This post is a little more detailed than some other ones, so keep that in mind as you read if young eyes are in the room. 

Pregnancy makes your body do WEIRD stuff. I feel like every morning I get out of the shower, I look in the mirror and say, "Hi. I'm Erin. Who are you?" Obviously, my stomach is bigger. But not in the way that I always used to practice making it look pregnant in the mirror before I actually got pregnant. It does this weird "V" shape at the bottom where my hips are, so instead of being round it just sort of looks misshapen. It's not all I'd hoped for.
While we're on the subject of stomachs, did you know you grow hair on your stomach when you're pregnant? Well, you do, and someone should tell you. You grow hair. Not cute, fine, peach fuzz hair. Nasty, thick, dark hair. My girlfriends tell me this goes away once the kid pops out. It's DISGUSTING. If it doesn't go away, I'm having that portion of my stomach removed.
Oh, and the line. It's called the "linea negra." It starts down by your hoo-haw and creeps up towards your belly button like ants in line at the chicken bone someone dropped in the grocery store parking lot. How it knows to go straight up the center of your body? I do not know. But it literally looks like someone took a brown Crayola and decided to show me exactly where the middle of my body was.
We all know the boobs get bigger, but does anyone talk about what else happens to them?! First of all, whatever the nipples looked like before, they don't look like that now. I don't know whose these are, but I'd like my old ones back, please. They're entirely the wrong color. They're much the wrong size. Did someone switch them out when I wasn't looking?!
I know, I know, soon I'll start feeling the baby and everything will be beautiful and amazing. But look, I don't even know whose body this is and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to see past my stomach to shave in the very near future. I don't see how that qualifies as beautiful. Did I mention the skin discoloration on my face? Well, if I didn't, you should see it. It's beautiful.

Monday, March 29, 2010

To Stretch or not to Stretch

At 15 weeks not only was I showing, I was show-wing. Showing right out of my pants. I didn't want to give up the BeBand (which I highly recommend, by the way) because I didn't want to give up my favorite jeans. So I continued to make myself very uncomfortable so that I could continue to be very cute. I tried to overshadow the uncomfortable by smiling like I was...well, would you really call my facial expression "comfortable" here?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There's PROOF

Today I used the words "thingie", "whatdya-call-it", and "that, no to the right, with the, yes that," about 28 millions times. AND NOW THERE'S PROOF THAT MY BABY ATE MY BRAIN.

March 24, 2010

Study links elevated hormones, ‘preggo brain’

Posted: 12:02 PM ET
By Ashley Fantz writer
Elevated hormones may explain why many women complain
they experience forgetfulness during pregnancy, new research
Recalled anecdotally for years – often referred to as “preg head”
or “preggo brain” – women in their second and third trimester
report problems with their spatial memory. They say they forget
where they parked their car or left their keys.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Members Only

Fourteen weeks and it’s just like they say: “You’ll start showing at 14 weeks.” In the weeks prior to the big 1-4, my pants were tight, I was using a Belly Band, and I felt like a whale. But not until my fourteenth week did OTHER people start noticing. Suddenly people were patting and rubbing my belly. And I honestly have to say that it didn’t really bother me. It’s the one time in my life that touching my fat belly doesn’t make me feel fat.
One day, walking through the grocery store with David, I suddenly thought of something else I wanted and David jaunted off to find it. While I looked through the millions of different kinds of soup, I overheard a conversation between a mom and her daughter.
“Mom, are you going to buy that here?”
“Yeah, it’s a few aisles down.”
“Well, you know, I’ll bet if you go to WalMart you could get it cheaper than here.”
I chuckled out loud, thinking how cute it was that her daughter was so cost-conscious. I guess I chuckled out louder than I thought, because the mom laughed and put her hand on my shoulder as she walked by. I turned around and smiled at her. She stopped and said, “You know what? You’re right to acknowledge that with a chuckle! My kids pays attention to prices and that is pretty cool! High-five!” She high-fived her daughter. I smiled, thinking about how cool that moment must have been for that mom. And then, she dropped the bomb. “I’m so glad you were here to hear that. I love that I shared that with a fellow mom!”
Fellow mom? Holy crap, I’m a fellow mom! Did anyone hear that? And that mom can tell I’m a fellow mom! That was a moment I will never forget. Week 14 and it looks like I might just have joined the club. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Estrogen Poisoning

I decided to start a Pre-Natal Yoga class in my 13th week. Everyone says this is the time you should be feeling good enough to exercise again, so I signed up for 5 classes.
I walked into the first class and was CLEARLY the earliest pregnancy in the room. All these big, beautiful round bellies on their yoga mats started making me feel almost inadequate! Really? Isn’t ANYONE in their first trimester?
The instructor walked in. She’s one of those pregnant women that women love to hate: tiny, pretty little legs, strong but slender arms, beautiful hair, perfect boobs, and a pregnant belly that LITERALLY only gathered into a teeny, tiny ball in the front of her abdomen. I looked at myself in the mirror. A little fat, thighs a little wide, absolutely no waist. So far, Pre-Natal Yoga was not making me feel like a beautiful pregnant girl.
The class started with everyone announcing their month and a miracle that happened that week. “Well, I’m 24 weeks and the baby flipped over in my belly this week!” said one. “I’m 32 weeks and I learned that our little boy is just the right size for his age,” another cooed. When it was my turn, I said, “I’m 13 weeks and this week I didn’t feel like throwing up.” It didn’t get the laugh you would expect.
The class consisted of pretty typical yoga moves. That is, until we started rocking our babies. Yeah. We rocked them. In our bellies. But that’s cute, right? You’d go along with that. Then we started singing to our babies. Out loud. Singing about what a beautiful ray of light the babies were. Hmph, I thought. There was so much estrogen in that room it was suffocating. I’m all for hippy dippy, but even I was feeling like this was a little much. Then we were instructed to speak, out loud, to our babies, thanking them for choosing us to be their mothers. I followed directions, all the while thinking, “I know you chose me because you think this is all just as ridiculous as I do.” As soon as the class was over, I went to the grocery store and bought 5 cans of ravioli.
Begrudgingly, I went to the second class a few days later. I thought, if just ONE woman would walk in looking less that round and beautiful I might feel better. I realize this is a completely egotistical thing to think, but if I was going to sing to my baby that people couldn’t even tell was there, I wanted someone else to look stupid, too. Finally, a tall woman walked in just as the door closed. She looked just like me: a little bit pregnant but mostly like she’d eaten a big piece of cake. I silently rejoiced. As we went around the room announcing our month and miracle, I contemplated sharing the joy of ravioli in a can, but instead chose something about how amazing our baby’s heartbeat is or some crap like that. I also loudly proclaimed my month. “I’m 13 weeks!” I think I said it right to the other woman who looked like me and she smiled. Oh, we are connecting, we totally get each other here. I waited for it to be her turn and for her to say something like, “I’m 13 weeks and I just feel fat.” And then I would stand up and high five her and shout YOU GO GIRL! Then, of course, she stood up and said, “Hi, I’m Mindy and I’m 26 weeks.” Yep. Mindy was more than halfway through her pregnancy and she barely looked pregnant. Awesome. Pre-Natal Yoga just gets better and better.
After we rocked and sang to and thanked our babies, I went home and ate more ravioli. I called the next week before the class was to resume and told them I had a conflict. I decided to use my already-invested money in a pre-natal massage. No singing, no thanking, no rocking. Just making fat mommy feel good about herself. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Can ya hear my heartbeat?

In my 13th week I went in for my full history and first real OB exam with my new doctors. Afterward, the midwife sat while I asked every question I could think of, most of which involved whether or not I could dye my hair or use my regular facewash. You know, the important things. The best part was I got to hear my baby’s heartbeat! It sounded great, and the midwife said it was very easy to find, which made me feel like an overachiever.
I left with an appointment set for 6 weeks later. SIX WEEKS. I hadn’t gone longer than 10 days without seeing a doctor or specialist thus far into my pregnancy. How would I even know if I was still pregnant in 6 weeks?!
My aunt recommended I rent a fetal heart monitor online. I thought about it, but decided that this would just be giving in to my fears. Women spent thousands of years not knowing if they were pregnant until the baby popped out. I could make it six weeks.
The day after my first OB visit was a Friday and I went on the daily adventure with the dogs. We leashed up and I decided to walk them to the right instead of the left. They were immediately a little confused but so thrilled to be on a walk (because they hadn’t walked on leashes in nearly 24 hours) that they didn’t care. We made it about 20 yards before a truck started pulling out of a driveway. I stopped and waited and as the truck pulled out, a man got out to close a giant metal gate behind the truck. Based on Charlie’s reaction, I can only assume he was once attacked by a metal gate. He ran behind me so fast that it spooked Bella, who quickly followed him. Their two leashes wrapped perfectly around my ankles in a criss cross, yanked my arms behind me (because the leashes were attached to my wrists), and swept my legs out and away while I splatted face first onto, you guessed it, my stomach (and chest, and face). I immediately whipped around to see that both dogs were still attached to me. And in the next breath I said to myself, “Oh crap, I’m pregnant and I just landed on my stomach.” In the next second, the idiot who was standing less than 10 feet from me shouted “Ya’lright?” from the gate. He never even offered me a hand. I slowly got myself up and walked home with leash-burned wrists, sore knees, and a questionable feeling in my stomach.
After much deliberation (Am I that girl if I call? Will I look back and regret it if I don't?), I finally decided to call my doctor. The office closed about 15 minutes after I got back home, which meant that I would have to speak with an on-call doctor. I left a message with the on-call service and waited by the phone.
About 10 minutes later, James Earl Jones called. I’m not positive it was him, and I never knew he was a doctor, but I began speaking with a man whose voice was so deep it made my crystal glasses rattle. He assured me I was probably fine but that I should call my doctor on Monday to schedule an appointment. Wow. Talk about What-If Monsters all weekend long.
On Monday, the nurse at my doctor’s office assured me that I was fine but offered me an appointment to come in and listen to the baby’s heart beat. I thought for a second a politely declined. I hung up and immediately ordered a rental fetal heart monitor, which shipped in 24 hours for free. I walked straight into my room and listened to the little peanut’s heart beating away. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Jumper

Twelve weeks. Everybody breathe a big sigh of relief. Twelve weeks is when you’re out of the quote/unquote “danger zone.” It felt SO awesome to make it to this milestone. 

By this point I was almost back to my normal self when an interesting characteristic began to make itself known. It happened one day when I was putting on my jeans. It was just a little bit extra around my middle. It wasn’t enough to look pregnant. It was juuuust enough to look fat. The kind of fat that someone looks at and says, “Well, come on, she could do something about that. Lay off the oreos and ramen noodles, lady.”
I also started having more and more trouble sleeping. Not because of the constant peeing, but because of the constant anticipation of the peeing. I would wake up over and over again wondering, is this the time I wake up and finally have to give in to the pee I feel building up in my ladder? And if I do, should I try to keep my eyes closed the entire time, or just succumb to the pee and walk into the bathroom, upright, with my eyes open?
We decided upon and met our new OBGYN that week. The practice has both an OB and a midwife, which is very exciting for me. It quiets my I-should-be-in-a-hospital-when-I-give-birth-What-If Monster, but also gives the hippy dippy inside me something to cheer about.
The first thing the midwife recommended was a First Trimester Screen. This is a newer test performed in the first trimester (which isn’t technically over until 13 weeks, 4 days, ladies and gents). It’s checks for Down’s Syndrome, Trisomy-21 and -18. It also looks for other abnormalities, like cardiac disorders. It is becoming more common because it can identify risks months sooner than the old AFP tests conducted in the 2nd trimester. We opted to go for it since our insurance covered it. That, and we got to see another ultrasound!

The good news is all the tests came back normal. The tests didn’t indicate, however, what the future occupation of such an ornery little jumper might be. Any guesses?

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm Stuft

End of the 11th week, and I was pretty darned excited about eating again.
I went grocery shopping to prepare for the week. Normally, it is a rule in our house that if you can’t buy a food anywhere along the outside perimeter of the grocery store, it doesn’t come home because it’s probably not food. The rare exceptions being nuts, popcorn, canned tomatoes, and oatmeal. I pranced around the outside of the store, grabbing fruit and veggies (still no leafy greens, bleah), fresh meats and cheeses, and even eggs. When it was time to go down the canned food aisle to grab tomatoes, there was ne’r a twinge of nerves in my body. Until of course I passed the Chef Boyardee ravioli. I did a double take. What what? Ravioli in a can? I haven’t had that since I was a kid and my mom set a timer for me to finish the ravioli so the entire world wasn’t waiting on me for lunchtime to end. What was I doing passing by these cans for years and years?! It’s ravioli! In a can! Well, we must buy this. I grabbed one can, until I saw it was 4 for $8. Then I grabbed 3 more. I mean, this is lunch for 4 days!
So I wandered along and grabbed my canned tomatoes, at which time I noticed the pickles. Not just any pickles. Pickled sliced the long way. Now, I’m no pickle fan, but pickles sliced the long way looked delicious. We had some pickles sliced into rounds in our refrigerator at home, but these were much better. Pickles slicked the long way...Check.
Hello? Oreos?! I forgot about these! Oreos are the best! And what…what is THIS?! DOUBLE STUFT?? That’s not even spelled right which makes it sounds even more DELICIOUS! I’ll take a package of those, please!
Ramen noodles! Look how inexpensive these are! I could buy 6 for $3! Well, 6 it is! Look at all the flavors! It’s a perverbial rainbow of noodle choices! Where have these been all my life? Ketchup! I forgot about Ketchup! It is good on EVERYTHING! I can put this on chips! And bread! And bacon! Ooo! Bacon!
By the end of my shopping trip, I’d spent about a third the amount that I normally spend on groceries and ended up with a lot that looked like my college dorm pantry. David shook his head instead of scolding me for bringing home not-food. This was a good choice on his part because over the next few weeks, nothing would keep me and Chef Boyardee apart. Nothing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is Baby Brain?!

People kept using the term “baby brain” around me.

“Did you get the baby brain yet?”
“You know, that baby brain doesn’t go away when the baby is born.”
What the heck is baby brain? Is this just an excuse mothers use when they forget things?
During my 11th week, I started feeling pretty happy about food again. I was making late night snacks and eating almost all day long. It wasn’t because I was starving or anything. I was just excited to be hungry for food. So one evening I decided to make some popcorn. We make the stove-top kind. Buy the kernels, put oil in the pan, and shake it all together over heat until it pops. Much healthier than microwave popcorn (and much better tasting, if you ask me). My mom always used to make it that way and when David and I moved in together, he started making it that way, too. It’s a special little thing we do.
While packing for a trip we were taking down to see my family that same evening, I walked out into the living room from the bedroom to a scene out of Backdraft. I shouted an expletive and David, startled, shouted, “WHAT?!”
“I DON’T KNOW!” I replied.
The entire living room was filled with dark brown smoke. I saw both the dogs so I immediately knew not the panic, we were all okay. The house was just burning down. I started hunting for the culprit and after a few seconds I made my way into the kitchen. “Erin, what happened?! What’s going on?” The smoke detectors started screaming at the top of their lungs. “Erin?” The dogs began barking. “Erin, oh geez!”  David opened up every window and door in the house.
That’s right. I mindlessly put 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of corn kernels on the stove to make popcorn and then simply walked away to pack for a trip. Somewhere in my brain, I just sort of assumed the automated kitchen feature I asked for when buying a house had been installed between dinner and late night snack.
“I’m sorry!” I repeated over and over again. Of course, David wasn’t angry, but he wasn’t altogether thrilled. It took about an hour and a half for the smoke to drain out of the main rooms, and another week before the house no longer smelled like burnt popcorn. (And if you’ve never smelled a house that smells like burnt popcorn, you’re really missing out on a special treat.) And, to boot, I ruined a perfectly good pot. It was the oatmeal pot. Now what would we make oatmeal in??
I went to bed that night in my smoke-filled sheets with an empty tummy and hurumphy husband. As I drifted off the sleepland, it suddenly occurred to me...
Oooooh. That’s baby brain.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BIG Changes

One morning in my 10th week, I woke up, ate a little something, and started working on my computer. Suddenly, I came to a dramatic realization.
Could it be over this quickly?! Could I have dodged the “sick until 16 weeks” bullet? It didn’t seem fair after all I had been through that I suddenly feel fine. I almost felt guilty. Maybe REAL moms felt sick longer and I was just getting away with something?
While the nausea was all but gone, other symptoms started creeping in. I’ve never been a girl people thought of as “flat”. It’s not that I’m a Dolly Parton look-a-like, but there were many pictures in college taken by males at BBQs and beach days that somehow didn’t manage to include my head. So when I put on my unmentionables one morning and they NO LONGER FIT, I had a mild panic attack. How big could this baby be that it needs another size’s worth of milk? I walked into the kitchen that morning at breakfast and I think David said something along the lines of, “HOLY CRAP, WOMAN.” I decided it was time to go to Target.
Our 10-week appointment was bittersweet. It was our last appointment before going to a regular OB. The wonderful nurses and doctors began saying their goodbyes almost the moment we walked into the door. Everyone was a little bit teary. I had been at this office once, sometimes twice, sometimes even three times every week for the past 6 months! These people had become like family, helping us to grow our own family.
They gave us the big ultrasound room so that everyone could come in and see how our baby grew.  (You can hear everyone in the room commenting.) We all oooed and ahhhed at the baby’s fingers and toes and crazy little movements. It was one of the best days I can remember.
Before I left, I asked the nurse about that shooting pain I felt in my stomach the week before. This nurse, very southern, shouted, “OOOHWA! YOO MEAN SHOOTERS?” I just looked at her. “Like, shootin’ pains, riiight?”
“Yeah, right in my belly.”
“Yep. Those’re shooters! It’s just yer tendons stretchin’ to fit the baby in there! I had ‘em, too! Totally normal.” Cute name for a horrible, paralyzing pain. 
With questions answered and my last beautiful baby video at the reproductive office recorded, the nurses and doctors (literally) hummed the graduation song as David and I walked down the hall and out of the office. We smiled at each other as me made it almost all the way to the car, before I doubled over in pain.
I grimaced. “Yep.” 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby's First Snow

So I headed to the airport and hopped on a plane to see my best friend. It just so happened that weekend there was a HUGE snowstorm blowing through that part of the country. Being pregnant, I took the wiggling baby as a sign that I should go as opposed to the weather reports’ warnings not to. It was now my 9th week, and I was actually starting to feel OK for several hours everyday.
It snowed nearly 12 inches the next day. The snow was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, I couldn’t think about whether or not I was actually going to be able to get on my plane and fly home in a few days without facing certain death via snowbank. I just knew the baby wiggled and I was supposed to be there.

My friend got me a massage with this very hippy dippy, spiritual-type guy. This is right up my alley, so I ate up all of his, “Let your body breathe,” and “Love your baby and your breasts,” comments. After the massage was over, he told me that my baby was very healthy and it was going to be a beautiful pregnancy. You had BETTER believe I called my husband and immediately told him we had nothing to worry about because the hippy dippy massage therapist told me everything was OK. There was just something about him that made me think he knew what he was talking about. Later, I read somewhere that massages so early in pregnancy meant inescapable destruction for the baby. Glad I read it AFTER.

We went out to several lovely meals while I visited. During one, I ate an entire pastrami on rye sandwich. I can’t explain this, because the thought of hot meat has always made me gag. But something about that warm, spiced beef, or pork, or…wait, what IS pastrami? Anyway, I coverd it in mustard and ate the whole thing. At another meal, I drank a huge glass of lemonade, ate only the colorful vegetables out of my salad, and ordered clam linguine. What? Yes, I said clam linguine. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I liked it that night.  The next day it made me want to petition the government to have clams banned from the United States. Liking weird food one day and hating it the next day became a pattern my poor husband got used to.
On the day I was set to leave, I stood up from the couch and felt a pain so incredible in my lower abdomen that I was pretty sure my appendix ruptured or my baby was The Incredible Hulk. I didn’t want to alarm my friend’s husband, so I did the “Ooo!” noise and tried to hide my wincing by “looking out the window”. For a split second, I thought I was in deep trouble. And then, the pain went away. “Oook,” I thought, “Don’t Google this until you get home.” And I didn’t.
Erin: 1
Google: Well, who cares how many points Google has? I have ONE.

Somehow, the snow cleared up for a single day. And that one day? The day I was flying home. Nothing delayed. Nothing cancelled. But the next day the same area of the country was hit so hard the airports actually shut down. Thank you, wiggling baby. Very good advice.

Baby's First Snow

Friday, March 5, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

Week 8 wasn’t as bad as the others. Either my symptoms were starting to subside, or I was getting used to feeling like a used dishrag.  
My best friend invited me out to her end of the East Coast during my 9th week. I wasn’t sure about flying, frankly because I Googled it. (I think if you learn nothing else from this blog, it should be to ban Google from your life unless it’s to check your email or map out the quickest route to ice cream.) Can the pressure in the plane squish the baby? Is there some sort of radiation or rays or waves that float around in a plane that cause brain damage? Could the lack of oxygen cause the baby to tug on its umbilical chord in search of that oxygen mask that drops from the ceiling of my uterus? I asked my doctor who told me the only risk was me puking on a fellow passenger. This seemed almost as bad as the squishing and the tugging. I decided to do something I often do when I'm pregnant and I’m not sure what the right choice is: I leave it up to chance. I set up some ridiculous “if…then…” scenario in my brain and decide that then and ONLY then will I agree to fly. This time, I decided that if my baby didn’t wiggle during the next ultrasound, which would be almost 9 weeks, I wasn’t going to see my friend. Of course, this made perfect sense to only me, but during the first trimester there’s really no point in trying to reason with a pregnant woman. Even if you're trying to reason with yourself and you are the pregnant woman in question.
I headed to my ultrasound. You can guess whether or not I decided to go...
After seeing this, David and I walked around the house for the next week doing the "Baby Dance". It's slow, and mostly involves swaying your hips back and forth with a little smile on your face. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Go With the Flow

End of the 7th week and the nausea and exhaustion are killing me. It’s like having the flu for weeks with absolutely no medication and no relief. Whoever said that pregnancy is beautiful was a dirty liar.
I was eating whatever tasted good, which was mostly fruit. And have I mentioned the constipation? If somebody’s going to tell you, it might as well be me. Never in my life have I experienced anything like this. And with all of the fruit I was eating, I couldn’t for the life of me understand how this poop was staying in there for DAYS. I read in one of my pregnancy books that constipation could be so bad that women might actually consider utilizing breathing and muscle control techniques that are used during labor. LABOR. For poop. There’s just nothing else to say about it.
Getting up to go to the ultrasounds was the only time I ever set my alarm anymore. And it was pretty worth it every time. But this time, I was a little bummed. We were eight weeks by this ultrasound and we were hoping to see some wiggles. The doctor said a lot of times they move around at eight weeks, and you know that when my baby didn't wiggle, I focused on that and only that for the next week. :) No, not really. I did try to go on with life as usual. However, I will add for all the nurses out there, it might be a good idea to NEVER joke that the baby is in a coma. That makes "life as usual" a little more stubborn.

Monday, March 1, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Around the middle of the 7th week, David announced he was getting me a cleaning person. If you’re close to me, then you’re aware of my lack of enthusiasm for cleaning people. I’m not one of those people who cleans before the cleaning person comes, so more often than not, they walk in and tell me I don’t do a good enough job caring for my floors or cleaning my stove-top. Hello? I didn’t clean them because I KNEW I WAS PAYING YOU TO COME CLEAN THEM! Why would I hire someone to clean if I’m just going to do it myself?!
Being that I was feeling fairly emotionally unstable, I immediately took this as a personal affront to my cleaning abilities and cried. So, later that day, David decided to explain it differently. “I want to hire someone so that you don’t have to do the cleaning. You’re doing enough everyday just growing our baby. I don’t expect you to CLEAN, too!” He’s very good. So I seceded and allowed him to choose a cleaning person to come over once a week. He told me I could just go upstairs when she arrived and enjoy some quiet time with the dogs.
“Shifty”, we’ll call her, arrived about a half an hour late. She explained that the traffic was just terrible and it took her almost an hour and a half to get to the house. At that hour, about 9:30am, I had already experienced 2 hours of severe nausea and trudged through a shower so that Shifty didn’t think cleaning me was part of the job. So, I did my best to sympathize with her long drive and quickly explained that I would be upstairs with the dogs. “Go!” she said. “Go on up there and relax. Leave it all to me.” So I did. I took an hour-long nap and woke up to watch an episode of Friends while she cleaned.
I finally came down to check on her. She was in my bathroom. I asked her how things were coming.
“Oh fine. Except everything in here is broken.” She pointed to the bathtub, inside of which was the shower head, a wall hook, and a pretty silver stand-up mirror usually positioned next to my sink. “See? It all broke while I was cleaning. Seems like everything in here is falling apart.” Mind you, our house is 5 years old. And the wall hook and mirror didn’t actually come with the house, so I couldn’t imagine that things were just suddenly “falling apart.” Too nauseous from the fumes to care, I told her to leave them there and David would fix them. I should have taken it as a sign from God to send Shifty back where she came from, but my sign-reading skills were glazed over with nausea and general ickiness.
I walked into the kitchen searching for something to eat. I found some macaroni and some ketchup, which I combined in a large bowl and began to carry back upstairs with me. On my way, Shifty asked me, “Oh! By the way! Did you mean to put this table here?” She pointed to the table along the back of our couch. I considered what the hell kind of question this was for a few moments. Did I mean to put it there? No, I dropped it along with a carrot when I came home from the grocery store the other day and just left both of them there in hopes the dogs would eat them.
“Yes, I meant to put it there. Why?”
“Oh! Ok!” Shifty exclaimed. “No problem. I just thought it looked weird and you wouldn’t want it there. It would drive me crazy, personally. Do you care if I move it a little closer to the wall?”
I couldn’t believe I was having this conversation. I shook my head and continued upstairs.
I ate all my macaroni and went back to sleep for another hour. When I woke up, I prayed that she was finished. I walked about halfway downstairs before a force greater than myself stopped me in my tracks. I could not believe what I was seeing. I stood there, holding onto the handrail for several seconds. Shifty happened to walk by and see me. “Oh hey, Erin! Doesn’t it look better?”
Shifty had completely rearranged my entire living room. She didn’t just move the couch table. She moved the couch table, the coffee table, both the couches, the side table…I’m surprised she didn’t pull the TV off the wall. I was completely stunned that she would have the audacity to rearrange my living room while I was paying her by the HOUR! I wasn’t completely sure how to respond, and honestly I’m pretty sure I just shrugged my shoulders and walked into the kitchen. You can’t make this stuff up.
Shifty followed me. “Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?” You’re asking me questions about my baby now? You invade my life and insult my decorating and then ask me what I’m HAVING? I was so annoyed with this woman, I didn’t even answer. “Well, I hope you have a boy. I had boys and they’re so much better than girls.” Awesome. Thanks for that opinion. I’m a girl, by the way.
I cleaned up my lunch and walked into my room to go to the bathroom. I made it almost to the bathroom before I did one of those cartoon double takes. I turned around, slowly, and looked back at my room. Shifty shouted from the kitchen. “Oh! I did your room like my son’s room! Great, right?” She had completely rearranged our bedroom as well.
Holding my ears to keep the steam from damaging my hair, I b-lined it to the office in the front of the house and called David.
“Hey babe! How’s Shifty doing? How ya feeling?”
“David, she rearranged our house.”
“She what?”
“By herself?”
“Why did she do that?”
We discussed what Jerry Seinfeld would do in this situation. I decided I was most comfortable just letting her finish and then NEVER INVITING HER BACK.

In the kitchen, Shifty was cleaning up her things. “It’s been 4 hours and that’s my limit. I didn’t get to the mirrors or the windows because there were other things that obviously needed my attention a lot more! I’ll do them next time.” Continuing to insult me after you rearrange most of my house. Certainly there will be a next time because I can still find my SILVERWARE.