Friday, September 26, 2008

Pants pants pants! Or, Peanut update.

Week 19
You may have noticed there has been a dearth of Conversations with Peanut lately. This is because Peanut chose to go on radio silence around about the time he or she stopped making me sick. This is what's called the "second trimester" and is apparently a boring time that messes with your head and makes you wonder if you just imagined being pregnant and feeling crappy for 16 weeks.

The baby hasn't started moving yet and you have no outwardly visible "baby bump," you no longer feel sick or exhausted, and in my case, your pox-ridden skin clears up. Although my boobs no longer hurt, they are still the size of Alaska, which for a few weeks has literally been the only thing reminding me that I am actually growing a human being somewhere in here. It has been the most bizarre thing and has made me question my sanity.

Most of my conversations with Peanut recently have been one-sided and very much like this:

Me: Yoo hoo...anybody at home in there? *poke*
Peanut: [silence]
Me: Hellooooo... *pokepokepopke*
Peanut: [silence]
Me: I know you're in there! It was like, just two weeks ago you were making me eat Cheetos. You can't have gone anywhere. There's nowhere for you to go. I would have noticed.
Peanut: [silence]
Me: Sigh. *pokes morosely*
Peanut: [In my imagination] Leave me alone, lady! I'm growing bones in here!

Thank goodness for my pregger peeps (my girls who are pregnant or have had kids and are sagaciously helping me keep my sanity) who have kept reminding me that it won't be long until I'm feeling Peanut move and am looking pregnant. They have also wisely reminded me that I should be prepared to one day just "pop" - meaning that I will blithely go about with my trousers unbuttoned lamenting the fact that I am never actually going to "seem" pregnant and then the next day there will suddenly be a BABY in there and no amount of pants unzipping will make me comfortable. This happened yesterday.

Mr. F and I went to pub quiz with his mom, brother and sister last night and as I got dressed, I noticed my jeans felt a bit tighter than I'm used to. I zipped them up and left them unbuttoned as per usual and put on my bella band but when I looked in the mirror, I noticed a marked difference from the day before - there was quite obviously a bump there where there had just been my flabby tummy previously. And it just got more noticeable through the evening. I was really uncomfortable, both my belly and my back - I couldn't get comfortable sitting and had to pee a billion times, and eventually ended up with the pants all the way unzipped (thank goodness for the bella band!). I took a couple of pictures when we got home. Proof that I have not imagined wee Peanut!

And despite repeated warnings from multiple people that I should have some maternity pants on hand well before I actually needed them, I did not, so Mr. Fantastic had to take me pants shopping today. I am now the proud owner of one new pair of maternity jeans from Target, which are super cute but also weren't cheap and so I will be hitting up friends and family for hand-me-downs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Open letters to Recent Television

Spoilers for recent episodes of things, so don't read if you don't want to know.

Dear Heroes: Yeah, you were losing me at the end of last year. Sars already broke up with you and I don't blame her. The new episode(s) didn't really do a lot to reel me back in. Where did Molly go? Please tell me Nathan is not going to stay a God-squadder. And the business with Claire? Not on. How could you let Sylar become unkillable? (By the way, can anybody explain what exactly Sylar did with whatever thing he pulled from Claire's brain?) Also, was Mama Petrelli's "Luke, I am your father" moment metaphorical or…seriously, Sylar's her son? Wha? And don't even get me started on the replicator currently inhabiting Mohinder's body. You are officially on notice.

Dear Sarah Connor Chronicles: Same to you, pal. You started losing me at the end of last year, too. You're also on notice, although you're much further down the shit list than Heroes. I'm glad you made John get a haircut, though. And this business with Cameron is interesting, so I'm willing to stick around for a while longer yet. Maybe you'll grow back on me.

Dear Fringe: I tried. I really, really did. If you maybe had more Pacey and his kooky dad and less annoying blonde, I could've stuck it out. Also, fewer disgusting special effects wouldn't have hurt. Don't feel bad - this isn't really a break up; we were never really together in the first place.

Dear House: Welcome back, darling! Oh, how I've missed you. Wilson breaking up with you just made you more interesting. Besides, you know it won't stick. Foreman, you rock. So do you, private investigator guy. I do have to ask about tonight's episode, are organ donor recipients allowed to do shit like Mixed Martial Arts? I always thought you sorta had to take it easy on yourself, even five years later. Anyway, kisses! See you next week.

Dear Biggest Loser, World Series of Poker, Eureka, Whatever, Martha!, Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway and America's Next Top Model: Kisses! Love you. ♥

Peanut update

Week 19

We're in week 19 and so far I'm doing great. Feeling pretty good for the most part. Have noticed a definite increase in hunger, which is great since I'm still down about 5 pounds from pre-pregnancy. I've also started feeling round ligament pain, usually right when I stand up. It's a sharp stabbing pain in my groin that goes away in a second or two and means my ligaments and bones and such are all stretching and whatnot. Also been having ocassional low back pain but that's easily helped with a heating pad.

Something interesting I learned this week: During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called Relaxin, which causes your muscles and ligaments to loosen up and stretch out. Although it's mainly to help the abdomen and pelvis accomodate the growing baby, it affects your whole body and is the reason many pregnant women get clumsy as they progress. It's also the reason why your feet get bigger, and if you don't wear form-fitting shoes during your pregnancy (many preggers live in flip-flops), your feet can stay permanently stretched out post-partum. (Note to self: keep wearing tennis shoes!)

I still feel cold all the time, although Mr. F says my skin is hot a lot of the time. The other day I went out in 85 degree weather in jeans and a sweater and felt fine! Let's see, my skin's finally back in good shape - in fact on Friday at work, one of the girls told me how great my skin looked - and she didn't know I was pregnant!

Speaking of which, it feels weird that I'm almost 5 months pregnant and you still really cannot tell when I'm wearing clothes. My pants are definitely getting tight - I don't wear any of my pants fastened now, thank goodness for the bella band. Mr. F & I can both feel my lower belly is definitely firmer and swelling a bit, but otherwise, that's really the only outward sign. I was moaning about it the other day to H3, basically that you really can't see that I'm pregnant and I'm not really feeling the baby move yet and she said her doctor told her when she was this many weeks that this is the "boring time" of pregnancy. It's true! I'm just waiting for things to happen. I should just stop being antsy and enjoy feeling so good right now.

So, I'm not sure if I've felt the baby move yet. The doctor told me not to expect it before 20 weeks, and I don't really know what I'm supposed to be feeling, so I'm not sure. But I have been feeling something almost like bubbles bursting or like a little twitch in my abdomen, so maybe that's it. One of my books said the baby is reactive to light now and that if I were to shine a flashlight against my tummy, the baby would most likely flinch away from it. I've been tempted to see if I can get the baby to move by doing that but Mr. F says it's mean and I should just be patient. Sigh.

Last week Peanut weighed about 5 ounces and was about 5.5 inches long, which by the way, is measured "crown to rump" and so doesn't include the legs. He or she also learned how to yawn last week and the nervous system came online. This week Peanut is 6 inches and 8 ounces, about the size of a large mango. (What is it with the fruit comparisons?) Also this week, cartilage throughout the body is turning into bone.

I love the picture the website has given me of what the baby looks like this week. Apparently, the kid's a yoga master. Heh.

Anxious for my next appointment on 10/8, where we will hopefully be finding out if it's a boy Peanut or a girl Peanut!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whatever, Martha

Okay, I'm watching this new show, Whatever, Martha! in which Martha Stewart's daughter Alexis and her friend Jennifer watch old clips from Martha Stewart Living and mock them. It's great fun. I love Martha Stewart, in both an ironic and a non-ironic way, so I get a huge kick out of this show.

In the first episode I watched, there's a clip where Martha's guest is a guy who has a vast and varied twine collection from all over the world. The guy is really into his twine and Alexis kind of gets it, can see where the spools of twine are beautiful and stuff. But Jennifer just keeps saying, "HE COLLECTS STRING."

And in the episode I'm watching now, there's a creepy looking dude named Peanut Butter (no, seriously!) who claims to be a clown, although he looks like no clown I've ever seen. The closest he comes is maybe a second-rate Cirque du Soleil type clown, but mostly he looks like Jambi in a pink skirt.

Anyway, two thumbs up from me.

Oh, John McCain, No.

[McCain keeps contradicting himself on the economy - strong one minute, in crisis the next]

[McCain's for regulation of industry today - but he's one of the legislators who voted for deregulation and helped bring about this mess]

[A side by side comparison of the McCain and Obama tax plans, broken down by income level]

[And McCain plans to tax employer-provided health insurance benefits. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?]

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Oh! That's your uterus!

I forgot to tell you guys when I went to see the digestive guy, Dr. Fishman - I really liked him. He was very personable and warm and somebody I would love to be friends with. Plus he was from South Africa and had an awesome accent. Anyway, so as part of the exam, I had to undo my pants and lay down so he could poke and prod at my belly.

Dr. F: (on my upper belly) *pokepokepoke*
Me: ...
Dr. F: (on my lower belly) *pokepokepoke* Hmm. *poke...poke...poke*
Me: ...
Dr. F: Hmm! ** Oh!
Me: *raised eyebrow*
Dr. F: (delightedly, poking some more at my lower belly) I was going to ask you if you're consitpated...but that's your uterus!
Me: LOL!
Dr. F: (abashed) Sorry...I don't see many pregnant women.

He was so excited to feel my uterus, it was adorable. I'm supposed to go see him again in three months and I'm looking forward to it because he was so charming.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

All's well in PeanutLand

Week 17

Had my 4-month baby visit today and got to meet my new OB, Dr. Owens. She's really great, and I'll be sticking with her for the next few months until the last trimester, then I'll rotate through the rest of the docs so I can meet them all.

Pretty routine today, talked for a while so she could get to know me and my history. Listened to the heartbeat - always goofily exciting. Plus there was all this background noise which Dr. O said was the baby moving and kicking. I can't believe there's something that big in there that I can't even feel! She said not to get too impatient because most first time moms won't feel anything until 20 weeks.

They also took some blood and are doing something called an AFP test which is routine and checks for defects. I think they told me we'd have results in like 48 hours. Am scheduled for my anataomy scan next time at the 20 week visit, which is when they look at all the parts and hopefully tell us if it's a boy or a girl, as long as Peanut is cooperating.

Dr. O also said it was okay for us to use our heated mattress pad when it gets colder, thank goodness. I was worried about that because one of my books (my least favorite and most alarming) said I should never use a heating pad or electric blanket, take a hot bath or use a hot tub. So far only the hot tub is verboten. Anyway, the doctor chuckled when I asked, saying, "Yeah, sometimes the books can be a little..." and she did this head waggle eye-rolly thing to indicate the panic-inducing, apocalyptic tone of voice some of the books take in instructing you what not to do.

So this one book I have has a section each week called HOW YOUR ACTIONS AFFECT THE BABY. And basically it tells you that every little thing you do (or do not do) can cause untold catastrophic harm to your little one. The dire warnings about everything are very disconcerting and make you worriedly think back over the past month about what you ate and did and how you slept and everything and wonder if you were doing it wrong. Oy. Also, there are warnings in practically every chapter about how my alcohol use/recreational drug use/promiscuity is BAD FOR THE BABY and I really ought to consider quitting. Last chapter was almost entirely dedicated to how to get myself out of a domestic violence situation. I mean, these are all good things to know, but I am clearly not the demographic this book was aimed at. How about you tell me to take a prenatal yoga class or get a massage or something?

My cousin has the same book, only an earlier edition. She called me a couple months ago freaked out because of the ominous section saying sleeping on your back would deprive the baby of all the vital things it needs, such as blood supply. H3 is a back sleeper and was having trouble transitioning to side sleeping and when she went to check the book became suitably alarmed. She had me check my later edition of the book which had the same dire warning against back sleeping verbatim. Right then I decided to take this book with a grain of salt and appreciate it for the excellent pictures of WHAT YOUR BABY LOOKS LIKE THIS WEEK and use my copy of What to Expect for real answers to stuff.

This week Peanut has fingernails, toenails, fingerprints and footprints. Sizewise, he's about five inches long and more than three and a half ounces, about the size of my open hand. I still can't believe there's something that big in there and I can't even tell. I'm really not looking pregnant yet, although my lower belly is getting firmer and some pants are feeling a little tight. Also, my boobs are the size of Alaska but at least they stopped hurting. Skin seems to be pretty much cleared up except for the ocassional spot, and I'm in general feeling pretty good.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Health update

Had a consultation today with the whatsits, the digestive guy my surgeon sent me to after the whole bellyache debacle in early August. He was initially very excited to see me as I am apparently an interesting case. And then when I told him I was pregnant he got all disappointed because it meant he couldn't run all the exciting tests he wanted to do. Like, he visibly deflated at the news.

However, we had a nice chat and basically he told me besides doing a bunch of tests which he didn't want to do because of the baby, he would prescribe for me the same medicines they gave me in the ER (Protonix and Sucralfate) and that he wants me to come back in three months or if things change.

The good news is that he's pretty sure what happened both in August and in late February is that it was a gall bladder issue - that I either passed a small stone or what they call "sludge" which is basically the precursor to a stone. These kinds of gall bladder problems are common in people who have lost a significant amount of weight and also with pregnancy. So, not really a surprise but I'm glad somebody had an actual definite opinion on what the problem is as opposed to everybody saying there was no discernible cause. The bad news is there is basically nothing I can do about it to prevent it happening again. Really the only thing I could do is diet related but I'm already doing all the things I'm supposed to, so he told me to keep on like I have been. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that it doesn't happen again so I can continue my Zen relationship with food.

Have an OB appointment on Wednesday, so we'll have a Peanut update then.

ALSO, I am watching John and Kate Plus 8...they're camping out in the backyard. Now I want a S'more. A real, live S'more made over a campfire. Yum. Is there a way I could conceivably make them in my kitchen? If only I had a gas stove, I'd totally roast me a marshmellow.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cheesy Poofs are Awesome

You know, it's funny - now that I've decided to go all Zen-like about my diet and just eat whatever the hell I want, whenever I want...I've been eating a lot better. Been eating more but also better quality than just Cheetos and other orange things. I still heart my Cheesy Poofs, don't get me wrong, but aside from those and chicken nuggets, I've also eaten good stuff, like yogurt and apples and chicken! I'm sure me not stressing over it anymore is also creating a better environment for Peanut, so yay me.

By the way, I quite possibly felt some movement yesterday! The books tell me I likely won't realize it when I first feel it because I'll probably think it's gas. They describe it as possibly feeling like a bubble bursting, which is what this felt like, but you know...could've just been gas. Anyway, possible yay?

Hey, another yay me - I got a $250 bonus from work today for my hard work on a very long, very huge project that wrapped up this week. Cool! And always nice to get a pat on the back like that.

Are you watching Project Runway? I adore this show and have a raging serious platonic crush on Tim Gunn and his giant vocabulary even though I don't have much interest in fashion. I've been reading the recaps at the Advocate and highly recommend them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

All hail the nugget

Some of you will be pleased to know that I have officially accepted the chicken nugget as a legitimate food source. Did you know Wendy's serves an excellent chicken nugget? And I find their honey mustard sauce delightful. Best of all, peanut likes them too.

In other news, as seen on cleolinda : What do Christian Bale and Kermit the Frog have in common? Quite a lot, it turns out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dinner of Champions!

Tonight's Dinner of Champions: Pumpkin seeds and a mini Babybel. I did manage to eat three chicken nuggets from McD's earlier, which was quite tasty. I was really hoping not to eat a bunch of crap, but at this point, I'm happy to be eating at all.

Urg. *Achoo! sniffle.* Plague time! Hooray!

Hooray, I seem to have picked up some sort of bug. Sniffling, sneezing, aching, stuffy head, fever...yeah, everything but the cough. Bleargh, I feel awful.

I'm going to have to call my OB, I think, just to find out what medicine it's okay to take. Right now all I know is Tylenol is ok.

My books tell me that it's not unusual to get sick when you're pregnant because your immune system is supressed (so as not to reject the baby.) Plus, the rampant hormones running around my body are making all of my mucous membranes get soft and such, which means it's also common for pregnant women to have the sniffling, sneezing thing going on in perpetuity. Sigh.

In other news, work is making me cranky today. Or maybe I'm already cranky due to plague and therefore it's much easier for people at work to piss me off. Either way...grr. This woman sent me something to review and approve on Friday afternoon. She is already calling and IM'ing me asking if we're done yet. No, lady, we're not done, seeing as everyone, including yourself, took off early on Friday afternoon and so nobody even looked at it until sometime today. Give us five minutes, wouldja?

ETA: Doc says Tylenol for the aches and Claritin for the sniffles. And I'm recommending a nap. We'll give that a try and see how I feel later.