Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Kicker

Feeling a baby kick inside of me is so weird. I appreciate the assurance that my fetus is alive and well, but... dude. Something, a human entity I've not met yet, is poking me from inside my body.

I have a real love of children. I want a family. I enjoy being female. And the most feminine of womanly things you can do (use your uterus to make life) ain't coming naturally. I mean, it is. It's all working without my input or continuing participation. I don't will my pregnancy to fruition each day. It sorta handles itself. But whereas some women rejoice in every kick and flutter, I'm like, "Huh? The heck? Oh. Right."

Thoughts of the future are pretty much taking over my thoughts these days. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for an infant, attempting to visualize how I'll manage, the way I'll spend my days. For awhile babies poop every time they nurse. And they nurse every two to three hours. Think of that. Think of the poop.

I wonder sometimes at the ability to bond with a fetus. I want to be pregnant, I'm pleased about it, but other women go gung ho and are over the moon about their unborn. I'm not. I know nothing about him or her. I don't think I'm capable of real love without interaction. I'm 17 weeks along in two days. That's not even halfway there. It's mind-boggling for me to consider.

I'm thinking of what it will be like to see my baby for the first time, to see a first smile and hear a first word and listen to baby giggles. Those thoughts soothe me when I think of the poop.

Something that's getting me is the hormonal sobbing fits. I've been crying over things like my mother, or even Smokey. And then for good measure, I get weepy over old episodes of the Gilmore Girls or especially sentimental commercials. I'm not irritable at all. Just overly emotional about memories, people, feelings and ideas. Basically life.

I wish I wasn't doing this alone. Women are getting pregnant and giving birth all around me, except in my actual life. I could use a friend at the same stage of life, someone to whom this isn't foreign or far behind them. Maybe at prenatal class I'll meet someone I connect with.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I'm back from my trip to see my family in Vancouver. And just like that, it's done. I can't believe I'm home. When I'm with them, it's like old times. A large part of the visit is always revisiting the past. We experienced so much joy together and went through so much sadness. And I have a deep emotional need to discuss these things and remember and reminisce, and only with them can I truly do that. With everyone else, I'm telling stories.

It was hard to say goodbye. With my cousins, they saw me off earlier, but with my aunt it was at the airport and the finality hung in the air. I was going and I didn't know when I was coming back. My aunt looked sad and I lingered at the security gate and waved. "It's not forever," I said. But it kind of felt like it might be.

My aunt is sick. And I think she's likely to get sicker still if she doesn't retire and care for herself. But she said she's lonely. Work offers companionship, contact with other people. All her old friends who love her are back here in Ontario. I can see how this problem would contribute to her poor health.

My cousin is planning on parenthood in the very near future and I think having a grandchild would transform my aunt's life for the better. The social life at work wouldn't be equal to the joy of being a grandmother. She's a big believer in people changing. Maybe that would be the change of life that would get her to slow down and get better. I don't want to consider life without her. She's so far away, but I would feel the loss terribly.

My cousin has a lovely co-op apartment that she's recently moved into. It's gorgeous, well-maintained, . The co-ops in this city are old, crumbing or in poor areas. The few charming ones have closed wait lists. There is a real rental crisis going on in this place. They could take lessons from the Vancouver area. Not in the homebuying market, no, but with rentals at least there seem to be good options.

My other cousin was doing well. He's such a charming and anxious sort of person. It's hard for anxiety to be sweet and pleasing, but he manages it with a great sense of humour. Sensitive soul, he is. His sister is the practical one, the planner, reliable and always thinking forward. I like the idea of us both being pregnant at the same time, which is very likely to happen.

I felt the baby move for the first time while in Victoria. We spent the weekend there touring around, taking it easy and while resting in the hotel room, there it was. Boop. Boop. And I knew what it was. It was the first non-painful, rather pleasant sensation of pregnancy I've had thus far. It was nicer than the ultrasound, which flared up my heartburn and forced me to hold back bile from escaping. It was sweet.

My abdomen has grown and I'm obviously and noticeably pregnant at only 16 weeks. I really want to enjoy this. I do. I've quit trying, but I'm still holding out hope it'll start to feel positive soon. It kind of reminds me of one giant IBS attack. Maybe if it stopped feeling like that, I'd enjoy myself more.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This sucks, and that's okay with me

3:00 a.m. and all is well. I'm getting on a plane in 13.5 hours to go to Vancouver to see my family (w00t!) And no, I'm not asleep in bed. Can't sleep, Clown'll eat me. Colour me an insomniac, an insomniac who hasn't packed. A scatterbrain.

So, I'm not a hesitant packer. I have a toiletry bag and I'm not picky about what I choose to bring with me anywhere, my laundry is mostly all clean and available, so I'm not concerned. But I could forget things. I do that sometimes. I forgot my wallet when I was 21 when I took a solo trip to the UK for three weeks. That was an adventure. You'd think I'd be super vigilant now and planning ahead and such.


I did, however, make time today to get my hair done. After nearly four months of looking like ass, I'm cute again and my head looks presentable. Priorities.

It was fun talking to the salon ladies about my pregnancy. They were happy for me and found my offhand complaints about it funny. I enjoy making a well-worded complaint. It's very satisfying to laugh at your irritations and acknowledge them with jokes rather than putting on a fake smile and trying to behave the way you're expected to.

I know maybe not everybody would enjoy my distaste for pregnancy. People like glowing, happy pregnant women flush with excitement over new life, feeling connected to their babies. But dude, that just ain't me. It's not going to happen. I thought it would. I hoped I'd feel differently, but I accept now I simply prefer if I am the only entity occupying my body. And that is totally okay.

Some women might feel a little movement and get emotional, wondering if it's the quickening. I feel flutters in my lower abdomen and I think, "That's either my kid or a fart collecting momentum. If it's a fart, I better not be in public this time."

At the ultrasound, seeing the fetus for the first time, an excited mother-to-be might marvel over her baby and feel a wave of love. Me? I cursed my heartburn while watching my baby flip around, thinking it resembled a frog.

I've describe the sensation of the ligaments in my womb stretching as "My uterus is elbowing me." Because it totally feels like that. My midwife assured me it was natural and healthy. I was like, "Yeah, that's good. What a pain in the ass." It doesn't hurt exactly, but it always surprises me. I could be sitting around anywhere and then ZAP. POKE.

(The Face. Awesome YouTube video.)
Come on, uterus. That's not cricket.

I dunno, somehow by embracing the fact this sucks, I'm starting to dig the whole thing a bit more. I think the key is not being concerned about how other people feel. It's my experience and I'm completely allowed to think it blows, say so, and make jokes at my own expense, if that makes me feel better. And it does. I love dark humour. It makes my world go round.

There are "anti-brides" out there who march to the beat of their own drum. I'm the anti-preggo. Imma eatin' sushi. I'm gonna colour my hair. I will plan a natural home birth and research cloth diapers, and nuts to anyone who tries to talk me out of these things. I shall kvetch and moan about my warped and mangled body and crazy symptoms and laugh at the indignity of making life. I will develop a yelp for when people touch my belly without asking permission. I will follow my midwifes' information and my own judgement over other people's hysteria or misinformation about what I can and cannot do.

And in these ways, I'm reclaiming my body. Oh, I'll still share it, willingly and without reservation. Roughly 25 more weeks of sharing left. Have at it, you little avocado. Enjoy my calcium. But I don't have to follow anyone else's script about who I should be, what I should feel or what I should say while I'm doing it. I'm doing pregnancy the way it feels right to me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Preggo sick

I have a cold, a cold I can't treat with plentiful amounts of over-the-counter offerings. I want so badly to take things that would offer me some refuge from this. I can honestly say that a pregnancy cold is something more insidious than your non-preggo cold. You're already more tired and achy than normal, so throwing cold symptoms on top of it without the ability to take whatever drugs you want for it, you're in for a bad time.

I don't normally get sick, but pregnancy does lower your immune system, which is to protect your fetus from being attacked as an intruding force. And that sorta makes sense. "Hey you! Yeah, buddy, you who's feeding off the organs there! Knock it off! Pew-pew!" A lazier immune system that'll give this foreign body a pass is something of a must. Too bad getting sick fast and hard goes along with it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I'm 14 1/2 weeks pregnant. I have started to transition from being thick to popping out, but if I eat or drink anything, my abdomen explodes into massive proportions and I look like I'm five months along. The only time this works out is if I'm about to take the bus. Looking pregnant on the bus tends to get you a guaranteed seat. At least so far.

God, it's so bizarre to be with child. I mean, I always thought I'd like it. It was a life experience I looked forward to. But I think I had rose-coloured glasses on. I'm excited at the thought of my own child, but I don't love being pregnant. Mostly, I don't relish the constant fatigue I'm experiencing. In six months I'll be busy and encumbered by responsibility and now is the time to get out and enjoy my freedom. But I'm too dang sleepy.

The Dude has started clearing out his unnecessary junk and has begun selling off things we don't need, all to make room. It's step one to baby prep. I enjoy the growing sparseness. I know we'll be bringing things back into the house (crib, stroller, high chair, etc.) but I really want to keep things simple. I don't want to over-do it. Any time I've walked into someone's house and it's been taken over by children's things, I shudder. Not in my house.

My mom had all our toys out of the living room. Most of my stuff was in my bedroom, and a couple things in the rec room. There was sanctioned adult space and that's what I hope to create in my own home. Obviously with a baby, you have to be relaxed about things, but I can ban battery-operated noise-and-lights toys from my house, at least. Actually, that reminds me of another rule my mom had: no toys that require batteries. 

(Actually, there was one exception: my Gameboy. Mom got super good at Dr. Mario. God, I miss her.)

I keep thinking ahead to the first few months of breastfeeding, waking up at night, changing diapers and doing lots of laundry and developing a routine and trying to get some sleep. It's going to be a wild ride. I really hope I won't have to do it alone. This is where I try not to think about my mom too much, because I know she'd come down for two weeks and stay with me. It's better not to focus too much on what you've lost. You can drive yourself crazy that way.

Monday, September 10, 2012


So, cat's out of the bag. I'm "out" about my pregnancy. Keeping it on the down low was a challenge. I found it hard to write anything because many aspects of my day related to my symptoms, which were taking over my life.

I'm feeling better now. I'm at 14 weeks and I'm no longer sick to my stomach and hating most foods, so I'm no longer suffering. But damn, I am tired. And when I'm not tired, any physical exertion makes it happen at a shocking pace.

The Dude and I went out for sushi with my cousin and his girlfriend, new to Toronto. We had a lovely meal, and then suddenly I was exhausted. I had to go home because I wanted/needed to spend the rest of the evening lying down and resting.

We had brunch with Buddy B and his girlfriend, and had a nice afternoon, walking around the neighbourhood, and whammo. I needed a nap, and wound up taking one that lasted nearly three hours.

Despite this recent social activity, I am actually seeing my friends less. I've become lame. My energy levels are at a minimum and though everyone assures me they understand ("You're making life. Of course you're tired!"), I can't help but feel like a wet blanket. I make fewer calls and I get fewer calls. I'm too worn out most of the time to initiate plans and I think everyone believes me too tired to join in the fun now, which has thus far been the case many times.

I keep waiting for the fog to lift, so to speak, but the fatigue remains. I get lonely sometimes. And then I go take a nap.

I can't help but feel too that if my mom were here, I'd really be enjoying my pregnancy a lot more. It seems on top of the physical symptoms there's a world of "Pregnancy: you're doing it wrong" advice out there that is souring my experience. I think a big part of the picture I'm missing is my mom's excitement and good vibes.

Frankly, I've been looking forward to and dreading this time in my life since she died. I knew doing this without her would be painful. And it is. It's an isolating sense of loneliness because no matter how many other people are happy for you, if your mother is gone, the person (other than your partner) that you need most and who would be the most involved is missing. You feel it. Sometimes it feels like a gaping hole.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First Trimester Chronicles

I'm pregnant. I'm 13 weeks up the pole. I've told my family, friends all know, my boss is informed and now that I'm out of higher-risk miscarriage territory, I can share my news. I was going to wait till later to tell everyone, but screw it. This is kind of big stuff for me.

And I've catalogued my first trimester in secret, which I will now publish.

I'm writing this in sections, as I'm not "out" about my pregnancy yet and I'll publish this in its entirety when I begin my second trimester.

Thursday, July 19

Pregnancy sucks. I'm six weeks along and I'm tired. I can't really sleep that well, but I'm tired. And I'm hungry, but I have food aversions and I can't figure out what I want. Currently, the only acceptable foods are butter chicken and chicken caesar salad. I was on an avocado kick until suddenly the thought of one made me want to die. I'm nauseas. I'm thirsty. My breasts? Sore. A little bigger, but who cares because they're aching and untouchable. My moon time feels like it's going to start any minute; these cramps have been haunting me for two weeks.

The Dude is onboard with me. He's making me foods I can eat, rubbing my back and generally giving me a little extra TLC. I appreciate the support. At first he thought maybe I was milking it, but a thorough explanation of my symptoms with the qualifier, "And I can't take a break," helped him understand.

I knew I was pregnant about a week before I missed my period. I just knew. I got dizzy at the gym and was so hungry all the time and I could feel twinges in my uterus, which for the first time ever was doin' stuff. The Dude didn't believe me at all and balked at my buying a pregnancy test, convinced that I couldn't know so soon. The movies and TV, after all, always show a woman vomiting and missing her period before realizing she's knocked up. Well, turns out that ain't the way she always flies. I was convinced and I was right.

We decided to try almost in a passive way. A sort of we're ready but we're not going to be all proactive about it. It'll happen when it happens. And it happened instantly. Like right away. I'm excited and happy, but Jebus.

I currently have an abstract idea about a baby. I wonder if it's a girl or a boy (We think it's a girl) and what he or she will be like. Will I have a fussy baby? A quiet baby? A needy baby? A cheerful baby?

But I haven't 100% adjusted to the fact I'll be an honest-to-god mother yet. Give me time, say 30+ more weeks. I'll get there.

Saturday, July 28

So, I'm almost eight weeks and I'm always thirsty. I'm peeing twice a night. I'm nauseas. And holy Moses, I am bloated as heck. I actually look pregnant, despite being too early to show properly.

I'm experiencing food aversions, and to things I usually love like hamburgers and avocados. I have to think long and hard about what I can eat that won't make me throw up. I haven't thrown up, but I feel like I could very easily. I need naps. I'm in a mental fog and right now making progress on my novel is too damn difficult. Blargh.

Thursday, August 2

A little over eight weeks, enjoying some nightly heartburn and daily constipation. My nausea is easing up a little bit, which is great. Food is still iffy, though not as monumentally awful as it's been. My nutrition has been crap.

I saw the midwife for the first time on Tuesday and signed up for care. She was great. I felt comfortable and I got a 45-minute appointment. She took some blood, and I requested all the genetic testing and doodads. I was reassured about food and some travel plans to Vancouver.

Honestly, it's really weird to be pregnant. I'm onboard and everything, and a part of me thinks I'm insane for bringing a child into this world. I want a child. But actually making a new person really makes you question the future.

Friday, August 10

Finishing up week nine and I'm kinda fazed how quickly this is going already. I haven't even told the family yet and I feel like I've been pregnant forever. Probably because it's tiring and I'm always hungry or tired or feeling twinges and aches in my uterus. So bizarre. It's like period cramps... but not. My waist is already 2 inches thicker. No one else would be able to tell I'm knocked up, but I sure can. I couldn't zip up three of the dresses I tried on today. I'll be honest, I was sad.

At least my boobs look awesome.

Saturday, August 18

I'm almost at 11 weeks. I'm a bit away from my ultrasound, about 9 days or so. I'll see the heartbeat and affirm that, yes, I am gestating. I can sense the changes, but without the belly yet, I kind of just feel under the weather.

I'm feeling better these days, though. I have to tell you, 24/7 nausea and constant heartburn really is no way to go through life. For the life of me I have no idea why so many women are encouraged to do this. I mean, if you want to, you'll do it. The drive to procreate can be strong, after all. But if not, if pregnancy and motherhood is not desired, what a damn burden it would be to endure this. Hell, I feel irritated about it and I really want to be a mom.

I'm only partially looking forward to sharing the news. I feel deeply uncomfortable when people fuss over me. I learned this from my wedding. I like support and good vibes, but otherwise I like to be treated normally. Except from the Dude. He may fuss all over me as much as he wants. Heh.

Friday, August 24

I am Bloat Master J. I've quit trying to hide it. My belly pokes out and I look super pregnant, and since I actually am, why not fly with it, even if I'm deceptively less pregnant than I appear. I mean, it's sort of freeing in a way. IBS expands me on a regular basis, but now I can just let it hang out. People are looking at my belly and seeing pregnancy and not gas. I've gotten offers to sit on the TTC (Always middle-aged women, actually, which is interesting). I feel like I'm cheating because I'm not even in my second trimester yet. But hells bells, knocked up is knocked up and my belly is nonsense big.

I bought maternity clothes a few days ago, just so when I outgrew my generous dresses, I'd still be able to leave the house. I tried them on over a strap-on belly at the store and nearly shat myself. The belly took up my entire torso, my torso being short to begin with. And despite this startling image, I was still looking into a much more adorable version of pregnant me than is going to happen. My breasts small, my face thin, my legs not swollen. The end result is likely going to be a lot more frightening.

My first ultrasound is in a few days. I'll be 12 weeks on the mark. Dude.

Wednesday, August 29

My first ultrasound went well. And the Dude's family knows about the pregnancy. The jig was up when I saw them at the lake over the long weekend. My fatigue and apparently my boobs gave me away. I'm waiting to tell my family till I can see them in person. It's hard not to talk about it, you know, since it's pretty much taking over my whole life.

But back to the ultrasound, things looked good. The fetus was flipping around and doin' stuff. I had heartburn and the whole thing was rather uncomfortable. But it was wild. I had half a mind that maybe I wasn't pregnant somehow. Well, that thought is out the window. I am most certainly gestating.

Too bad being preggo is turning me into a wet blanket. Constant fatigue sucks.
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