Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Breast Pumping - a tiny memoir

At your baby's birth a nurse comes in,
chanting the mantra "breast is best"
and before you know it, she's got your baby
and pushing his face toward your chest.

He huffs and puffs, breathes in, breathes out.
Frantically looking for his food source
and the nurse's cold hand is on your boob -
something natural, she's trying to force.

You get the latch, there's a suck or two
then baby says "I'm done with this"
But you know he wasn't fed enough -
from "cradle" to "football" you try to switch.

You take him home and begin to plead,
harness your chi, say some curses,
"To hell with this!", you finally say.
No wonder the Tudors had wet nurses.

You invest in a pump to measure your goods,
finding comfort in each milliliter
and all of a sudden your finicky boy
has turned into quite the eater.

You may think "nipple confusion" is just a myth
but your newborn is no fool.
"The boob," he says, "is too much work,
but this bottle she's got is pretty cool".

So you resign to pump exclusively,
which once you accept, brings peace of mind.
You can see your output, plan ahead, and
some solace you start to find.

BUT the pump is not all peaches!
You're at the mercy of this machine
and between the cups, the tubes, the pumps,
the Mandela Freestyle is cruel and mean.

You put your nipples in a vice,
not once a day and more than twice.
Pulled and stretched, the milk "plunks" down
to the rhythmic sounds of the device.

Expelling the food from your knockers
like a million tiny mammograms
You begin to question your sanity,
putting your bosoms in such a jam.

You watch your supply collect.
Two ounces, three, four and growing
and even though your tatas hate you,
there is comfort in knowing

your giving baby what he needs,
enough to keep his tummy round and full
so you wake up at night, lift up your shirt,
and give your nips a little pull.

Austin's Christmas Gift to his Grandparents 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Venturing Out

Once you get home from the hospital, you will spend your first few days in a "rot spot". Whether this spot be on your couch, in a favorite chair, or in your bed - you will be at the beck and call of your baby, especially if you are breast feeding. You will also have little reason to brush your hair, put on anything but sweat pants, or look presentable in any other way. Clearly, your "downstairs" will still be pissed off at you for various reasons and your movements will be limited so, at first, this sedentary life style will work; however if you are like me, it will also wear off quickly.

After a week or so you will start to look for reasons to put on pants and leave the house.You may even resent your husband as he goes about his day, goes to the gym, and has happy nether-regions. This is not good. Find some place to go - even if its just for a half hour.
Austin's first outing was to Target with my mom and me. It was good for both of us to get some air, break in our over priced stroller, and move. You will still protect your baby from onlookers who want to peer over the stroller and gawk at your baby. You don't want him to get infected by anything and you are convinced everyone has something to contaminate him with.

You are also supposed to wait 6 weeks before exercising but I am vane and shallow and didn't want to wait that long. By November 9th, I got my butt into the garage and created some hybrid heavy bag/kettlebell/ tae-bo work out. I was pleasantly surprised with my performance and became a much better person to be around in the house. Clearly use your judgment and listen to your body as you work out, but if you are like me - endorphins are a wonderful thing. Since then, I have increased my workouts and yesterday I was able to run 6 miles at a decent clip  and my uterus didn't fall out. (sshh - don't tell Dr. B)

This leads me to my next mini-rant.
I chose not to gain 80 pounds during my pregnancy. I gained 22 - 7 1/2 were baby and about 8 were miscellaneous fluids and gunk. This left me about 7 pounds to lose once I got home. Good news! Maybe I could have cheated more - I never did get the carrot-cheesecake muffin I promised myself at the 7th month mark - but I chose not to because I am shallow and didn't want to be a fat mess. This said, I'm sorry Jessica Simpson got huge but that was her decision. I don't need to see her and all these other celebrities all over the place with their post-baby bodies. If you exercise during your pregnancy, make smart choices, and work your ass off afterwards (literally), you can wear your pre-pregnancy clothes home from the hospital. I was able to do it without a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a Weight Watchers endorsement, or paparazzi.
There is more I can say on this topic, but I am going to move on.

Once you know you can put on your pants, you will want to go out and socialize with the world. My first adult outing was bridesmaids dress shopping. This was an excellent idea as well as a not so excellent idea. The morning of the 10th, I was so excited to blow dry my hair, put on make up, and not talk in 3rd person. As I drove up the Garden State Parkway, I felt like Thelma or Louise, minus the cliff. I love my son dearly, but there is something to be said about adult conversation and applying foundation. It was so nice to see my friends, feel clean, talk about something other than poop, and look at bridesmaid dresses with one of my absolute favorite people in the world.

I was resigned to just offering my opinion and not trying anything on since some of my parts were still soft and others were still angry; however when a bride-to-be finds a dress she loves, a dutiful bridesmaid tries it on. The dress was beautiful but the lighting in the dressing room was not. It's also not easy when one of the bridesmaids is a fabulous 5'9 and itty bitty and another is my height, but also itty-bitty. Even though I was back in my jeans, somewhere between hormones, the industrial sized pad in my undies, and my extra cushion, I was not the bridesmaid goddess I had hoped to be. At this point, I started to feel sad. Mommy-guilt started to kick in and it was time to go home. In hindsight, I took on a little too much too soon and should have started with a lunch or a walk and waited before trying on clothes and getting measured. Lesson learned.

First Thanksgiving! 

Bringing Baby Home

I intended to write this a week after Austin's birth - then a week turned into two - and now its been over a month BUT here I am with a few minutes to spare for an update. There are a few things I want to cover in this post so it may be broken into a few sections - starting with the first nights home, maternity leave, venturing out, and a few little firsts.

At the hospital, as much as the nurses come and go - your baby also seems to sleep more often and less fitfully. Then they release him to his parents, who naively expect this sleep pattern to continue at home, and he becomes bionic in his baby strength, baby arm-flailing, and baby lungs. One thinks babies cry because they are hungry or dirty, but at bedtime there is a whole arsenal of sounds they can pull from. There is the wimper, the grunt, the fart, the fart-wimper, the pre-cry, and the full fledged breakdown - among others. If you can catch him at the pre-cry, you may have a shot at soothing him in a reasonable amount of time and putting him back down in about a half hour but if you miss that opportunity and don't respond in time, you could find yourself shushing, feeding, bouncing, and pleading for 90 minutes. I don't know how the nurses do it in the hospital, but the joke is on you when you get home and think you can just put your baby to bed.

The hospital pediatrician suggested we sleep with Austin in our room for the first 6 months. 6 months!! Long story short, this lasted 2 weeks. When your baby is in your room, you hear every single sound - most of which mean nothing but still have you out of bed checking on him. Then, when he isn't making a sound you assume he isn't breathing so you are out of bed again to make sure he is still breathing. Between the sounds and non-sounds, you clearly aren't sleeping. Also, we do not live on the salary of a pediatrician therefore its not like Austin is in one wing and we are in another. His room is 10 feet from ours so monitor or not, we can still hear all the things we need to and everyone is much happier about life.

DJ and I found solace in swaddling or "taking away his arm privileges"  as we called it. Babies tend to wave their limbs erratically in their sleep, often waking them from the slumber you worked so hard to achieve. Don't undo your hard work and swaddle the heck out of your little one. He will look like a silly little burrito person, but that's ok! Its definitely worth it. Also, you have to put a little muscle into it, since you have to pin your babies arms down at his side - but remember this could equal an extra hour of sleep. Priceless.

Also! At the hospital, allow the nurses to take your baby for a few hours. These will be your last nights of sleep for a few months and relish in them. Plus, as the mommy, you have so much other stuff going on between your hormones, your boobs, and your angry girl parts - not having the extra worry while you are trying to take a pee is worth it. DJ and I didn't know any better so we had Austin with us 90% of the time - which was beautiful and loving of us, but  again - blissfully ignorant.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy had been described as the Perfect Storm, Frankenstorm, or Storm-a-geddon. She was the 2nd largest hurricane on record and the 2nd costliest, losing to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She also decided to hit the mid-Atlantic on October 29th, the day after Austin was born.

The Casino Pier Roller Coaster at Seaside Heights, NJ 
Like Hurricane Irene last year, I probably didn't take the storm seriously enough but once I was admitted to the hospital, home maintenance went out the window. Our room was facing the inside courtyard/roof of the hospital so we were incredibly secure and probably safer there than anywhere else. For this reason, we couldn't see much of the storm from our window.

Monday night the hospital lost power and switched to generators. All things considered, this wasn't a big deal for our new family recovering in Labor and Delivery, but selfishly - we lost TV reception. Sleep deprived and limited to activities, space, and entertainment - things got very boring very quickly. Try as we might to dose off in between feedings and crying, it proved near impossible since we were constantly getting interrupted by the hospital staff for one reason or another - food delivery, blood pressure checks, hearing checks for Austin, introducing the new nursing staff, paperwork, etc. I'm glad we were in good hands, but I didn't need a formal introduction and life bio of everyone that walked into the room. We felt the need to be nice to everyone because we are nice people, but this resulted in way too much conversation, fake laughs, and a lot of "no, thank you - we are really ok.".

Flooded parking lot of taxis
Meanwhile, DJ's parents had come up Sunday night to meet Austin and stayed at our house while we were in the hospital. As the storm came Monday, we were told by the staff that only First Responders and Hospital Staff were allowed in and out of New Brunswick, so no visitors allowed. This was nice because it allowed the three of us to spend the day as a family, but again - with no TV - it wasn't super thrilling.

Monday evening we were told there may have been water issues, so the hospital staff came in and filled a bucket with water so the toilet would flush. Then Tuesday we were told the hot water was being turned off at 11:30am so I took a quick shower, along with every other able bodied patient in the hospital so it wasn't exactly warm. Oh well. At this point we were so ready to get home it didnt matter whether I was clean or dirty.

Meanwhile, at home we had lost power and a branch was on the roof. I'm still not entirely sure of the damage, but I know our gutter is messed up and there is a tarp on the roof. We may have lost a shingle and there may be some damage to the siding. DJ's parents held down the fort which was much appreciated and we came home to a secure home.

Powerless, DJ and I spent Wednesday and Thursday shuffling back and forth between our house and my parents. Compared to other parts of the area, we were certainly lucky, but it is hard coming home with a new baby and feeling displaced. We also didn't want any one set of grandparents to feel neglected so we did our best to split time evenly. It was certainly doable but stressful.

Power came back Thursday afternoon (yay!) but now the gas situation is out of control. Lines can be up to three hours long with a 10 gallon limit on purchases. Last I heard, cars with odd number plates could receive service on odd days and even number days for even plates. DJ was able to skip the line and fill up as a first responder at a nearby gas station, but a lot of people are rationing their gas.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Labor Remix

All of the birthing lists suggested bringing things to distract you during labor and pass the time. Well, we didn't have time but had a kick-ass labor mix planned for Austin's arrival. So our hard work doesn't go to waste, this was our playlist:

Ausitn and Me - Day 8 
1. Push It - Salt & Peppa
2. Bad to the Bone - George Thorogood and the Destroyers
3. 1812 Overture
4. Push - Matchbox 20
5. I'm Coming Out - Diana Ross
6. Pressure - Billy Joel
7. Under Pressure - Queen
8. You can do it, Put your back into it - Ice Cube
9. Hips don't Lie - Shakira
10. Breathe In, Breathe Out - Machine Head
11. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
12. I Wanna Be Sedated - Ramones
13. I want a new drug - Huey Lewis and the News
14. Don't Stand So Close to Me - The Police
15. Got to Get you Into My Life - Beatles
16. Born to be my Baby - Bon Jovi
17. Baby Got Back - Sir Mix A Lot
18. Born to Run - Bruce Springstein
19. Ice, Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
Cool list Mom! 
20. Your Momma Don't Dance - Poison (even though she really loves it!) 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bearing Down for Sandy, Bearing down for Baby!

As the mid-Atlantic beared down in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, DJ and I went into labor.

My first "contraction" came at 4:35 am, although at the time I didn't know it was a contraction. I had trouble falling back to sleep so I took a minute to update my Fantasy Football Team, trading Brandon Bolden of the Patriots for Steven Jackson of the Rams. The trade would later prove to be lame with Jackson only earning me 5 points, but I still won the match.
Anyway, thats not important.

After my trade, I went back to sleep, waking up now and then with a "kind of pain, but not really" until 6:30. That last "contraction" had a little something special to it. An extra kick, if you will so I stayed awake and hung out in the bathroom since I couldn't think of a better place to go.

Close to 7:00am, DJ was up with me and we started timing things. The spacing was so erratic and I still wasn't sure if we were in labor so we just toughed it out. All breathing techniques went out the window and I resorted to some kind of hyperventilation breathing and writhing in the fetal position.

Near 9:00 am we called Dr. Beim and were connected with his dispatch service where DJ had to get a little sassy with his receptionist. Was this an emergency? Well, maybe? My wife isn't suffering from stab wounds to the chest, but she may be in labor. By this time, I was thinking there is no way I can do this for 16 hours - I will need drugs.
Beim told us to call back in a few hours if contractions become more intense. Sometimes the pains will subside and it will all be a false alarm.

It felt like as soon as DJ hung up the phone, the contractions went from 7 minutes to 3 minutes to 2 minutes - although, I admit it was hard to tell. The intensity  would subside, but it never really went away so I was just guessing when one ended and a new one started at this point. DJ told me that after the 4th "big one", he would call Beim again. In the meantime he was singing the few bars of "Afternoon Delight" that he knew - which was actually quite enjoyable.

At 9:45 I made the call to home and told my Dad we were on our way to the hospital . I really wanted to wear my lucky Giants shirt, that I had worn to all Petry's major appointments, but I was so hot that long sleeves were out of the question. I wore a pink Old Navy tank instead and the cold air felt delicious as I hobbled my way to DJ's truck. To the outside world, I was probably inappropriately dressed but if anyone told me that, I might have ripped their head off.

Some might say, "shit got real" on the way to the hopsital and thank GOD! St. Peter's is only 15 minutes away and there was no one on the road this early on a Sunday. I couldn't get comfortable and was probably stopping circulation in DJ's hand as we made our way down Route 1. The one traffic light we hit was a fate worse then death as I thought my insides were going to rupture out of my body. At this point, I was really hoping this was labor because if it wasn't I was in some serious trouble.

We got to the hospital and DJ got me a wheel chair. Leaving his truck, he took me up to labor and delivery. Things get a little foggy here, but I remember someone asking if we were doing cord blood, DJ having to run back down stairs, move his truck, get our things, and me telling the nurse (Carissa) that I was scared. I also asked if I could keep my sports bra on because I didn't want to be like one of the ladies in the birthing DVD that have their boobs exposed. I was told no, but my gown was securely tied in the back.

We beat Dr. Beim to the hospital so a tall Indian Dr. Patel asked if I wanted an epidural. He had a little pony tail which I thought was interesting.
Me - "How far am I?"
Dr. P - "9 cm"
Me - "What number do I have to get to?"
Dr. P. - "10 so you really won't have time for an epidural anyway"
Me - "Oh...."(exasperated sigh)..Can I get anything?"
Even if I had time,  I was also nervous about getting a needle in my spine since I couldn't sit still and didn't want to be paralyzed. Instead I got something that began with an N put into my IV that was supposed to ease the pain. They might  have completely lied to me, but just knowing or thinking there was potential relief worked for me. Then another doctor with a beard came in and poked around, said I was doing well and then left.

In  the movies it looks like the actress does four or five good pushes and out comes baby.
Not so much - pushing is long, exhausting, and intimate.
My mom had joined the room as Carissa held one leg, DJ the other, and Dr. Beim stared intellectually into my girl parts. He was so calm and collected - but I guess that's his job.
I couldn't seem to differentiate pushing and screaming so every time I was asked to push, I also screamed. I thought the baby would just come flying out since I had dilated the required amount, but I was a fool. So I pushed on my back, I pushed on my side, I pushed during contractions, and I pushed during things that weren't contraction but urged me to push. Somewhere along the way I got ice chips and a cold compress.

Pushing is also frustrating because, lets say for every 3 pushes, the baby gets sucked back inside a little when you are done with that round so you are always taking a small step back. At one point I swear his head was out and I was in the clear, but who the heck knows. I saw DJ take a peak and I remember thinking that was a bold move. He can never unsee what he just saw. Who knows what things looked like down there. I also heard my mom ooo-ing and eesh-ing  in the background, pacing with her hands clasped at her chest.

So we pushed on and at some point I got the go ahead to scoot down and put my feet in stirrups. I guess this was the big moment. Again, things are unclear but I remember feeling something down there coming out and not getting sucked back in. I'm sure instructions were given but I was so focused on pushing, I'm not sure what was said. I remember giving one last grunt, feeling a pull, and then something squiggly, skinny, and slimy coming out. I am guessing this was the legs and umbilical cord.

Austin David Lathroum entered the world on October 28th at 12:03pm weighing 7 lbs, 6 oz. and 19 3/4 inches long.

He was placed on my chest and I said "Happy Birthday" in an excited  but exhausted whisper. I didn't cry yet, but looked up at DJ and said "we did it!".

He was then whisked away for the appropriate measuring and cleaning while I was cleaned and stitched up. There is something disheartening about seeing a man with a medical grade needle and thread down by your chatchki. You are convinced it will never be the same and, like it or not, Austin will be an only child. I don't remember too much of this part either, but I know I was insanely thirsty. Fortunately my mom was there to feed me ice chips, which were delicious, and life was good while DJ went off to do first-time dad things with the nurses.

After 6 hours of labor and, statistically, a smooth delivery, Austin, Daddy. and Mommy were set up in our room in time to watch the Giants beat the Cowbys 29-24. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dear Recumbent Bike

Dear Recumbent Bike,

I owe you an apology.

In college, I referred to you as the "hang over bike". The piece of cardio equipment used by my peers and I when we were walking zombies but felt a trip to the gym was necessary to discount our mid-night meatball sub beer munchies or to sweat out one vodka cranberry too many.

I saw people study their biology notes on you in preparation for their final exams or read Grapes of Wrath for the umpteenth time for their English class. Those people weren't really working out. They were doing homework and moving their legs in a circular motion. That doesn't count.

I teased your existence. I considered you fake.

Now, however, I respect you entirely. You aren't just for geriatrics, hung over college students, or physical therapy patients - you are also for pregnant people who are just too damn stubborn to give up a day at the gym. You are challenging as your seat reclines at an awkward angle and, at 5'3", I seem to fall right in between two adjustment slots at your base.

Unlike the other stationary and speed bikes, your seat is comfortable and you offer two options as handle bars which comes in handy as one adjusts speed and resistances. You do not cause cramping, pinched nerves, bizarre fetal movement, or lower back pain as do the other cardio machines. You are pregnancy friendly. You are glorious!

37 weeks
So yes - it is true that once my baby arrives, I will visit you less. I will not watch Rachel Ray and learn to make pesto sauce or The Doctors and learn the warning signs of meningitis, but I will respect you and your purpose. I will honor your unbiased approach to fitness and your understanding of people regardless of age, fitness level, trimester, or ability. And I will most certainly thank you for making physical fitness possible, albeit minimal and light, during the last weeks of my pregnancy.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When ignorance is bliss

Sunday the 9th DJ and I attended our birth/parenting class and I kind of wish we didn't and just winged the whole labor and delivery portion of pregnancy.

The class opened with a clip of Bill Cosby doing stand up where he talks about "Natural Child Birth". If you haven't seen it, it is certainly worth looking up.
Anyway, we thought the class would have an element of humor, be a little light hearted, and teach us the ins and outs of labor. It seemed we were the only couple in the class with any sense of humor so from 9 to 4pm we suffered through ridiculous breathing exercises, poses, and posters laughing only to ourselves because everyone else was lame.

The poses we learned were to help the woman get comfortable as labor progressed. Unless you have the inability to move, I feel as though these are things one could figure out of her own. The same goes for the breathing exercises that will more than likely go out the window when "shit hits the fan", as they say. Oddly enough noone found it funny as we breathed our way through fake labor, asked for belly and back massages, or positioned ourselves to best ease the weight of our contracting uterus. Meanwhile, DJ and I are laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all. Clearly we were getting an "F".

The day progressed with a video where we witnessed the miracle of birth. DJ decided to close his eyes during this part of our day, but I decided since its my body, I should know what happens down there. It was a bad idea. The video was from 1972 and these women looked miserable, sloppy, and sweaty. For some reason there was a lot of boob exposure as well, which made it awkward, and then spouses or "labor partners" looked creepy and annoying.

One man said his wife found his coaching was most successful when he got "three inches away from her face and made encouraging remarks". Are you kidding me! If you are three inches from my face, you are going to get slapped.
One woman said when she was tired and about to give up, her baby started crowning and she reached down between her legs and touched the top of his head. Aside from being incredibly awkward to watch, it made me cringe as the camera zoomed in on her hoo-ha. My body decided to phyiscally react to the scene by recoiling in my folding chair while the rest of the women seemed to lean forward eagerly, excited to excrete a fuzzy topped watermelon out of their girl parts.

This video was followed by another award winner regarding pain management options- none of which were appealling. We also saw the little suction cup thing that goes on the babies head if he or she gets stuck on the way out.

The class ended with procedures and practices once our fetus enters the world and becomes a baby. We covered car seats, pediatrician hunting, and breast feeding. St. Peter's is obviously a Catholic hospital so breast feeding is STRONGLY encouraged to a point that when I asked what would happen if a woman could not produce enough milk, our teacher looked at me as if I committed a deadly sin. She danced around the answer until I asked if my child would be left to starve. She ended with an "if all else fails, then I guess we will give your baby a bottle" response. Well gee, thanks lady!

Apparently failure to breast feed means you are a bad parent. So does going back to work as our teacher had a naive answer when asked about the use of breast pumps - "well you won't need a breast pump if you aren't going back to work since you will also have access to your baby". Last time I checked it was 2012 and most couples, partnerships, or mothers in general do not have that luxury. Many of us will have to spend those weeks off eeking by on our 60% salary with every intention of returning to the work world.

We did leave with a few useful tips like how often to feed your baby during the first weeks, how to time the feedings so you get a longer stint of sleep at night, what things might look weird on your baby when he/she first arrives but are actually normal, and how long labor may or may not be. The tour of the hospital was also really helpful and the fact that we will get our own rooms was certainly appealing. If I one day have the opportunity to teach a birthing class, I will certainly make it much more open mined, fun, and audience interactive.

PS. Even if you mean it as a thoughtful, endearing compliment to a pregnant woman, do not tell a woman her "face looks fuller" at 7 1/2 months. She doesn't hear that. She hears "you're fat" and dwells on it all day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pregnancy Won The Day

After moving from the first trimester to the second, I have been more or less able to maintain the daily life and functions of a non-pregnant person but it seems like overnight the third trimester kicked in and yesterday - it kicked my butt.

For no scientific reason whatsoever, I blame the pertussis and flu shots I got on Monday. Between lethargy, pregnancy brain (I lost my keys and then found them in a bush), lack of sleep, and general aches, I just couldn't get it together yesterday. I was up at 4:00am and found myself watching Looney Toons and the Batman animated series until the Today Show at 7. An afternoon nap was kind of a bust and I spent most of the day laying around in a pathetic, groggy state. Petry won the day.

I find that if I get up, start my day, and have purpose I am far better equipped to bet the 3rd Trimester Sleepies. As paradoxical as it is, exercise helps a lot - even though actually getting to the gym can be a challenge. Until recently, I was able to run between 8 and 12 miles per week, but now with the constant need to pee its a little bit more of a challenge. Either way I still try until I am defeated and resign myself to a walk, the elliptical, or stationary bike. Exercise is also a comforting way to rationalize my insatiable hunger. Despite my unorthodox wake up time yesterday, I already downed 3 mini-meals before lunch and then 3 1/2 more by bedtime. This is also new since I hadn't been extra hungry at all during my 2nd trimester. (I may have been during my first or I was just using pregnancy as an excuse to eat more).

Lori's Birthday - DJ, Me, Lori - 30 wks.
Petry is also a very active baby which is fantastic and she/he always surpasses the goals of a morning and evening kick count. I have high hopes for a sports scholarship as, according to Mint.com, we will need to have $215,000 saved by 2030 for her/him to attend an out-of-state, public college or university. This incredibly intimidating number already has us discussing a savings plans, opening a 529, and working with a financial advisor. Babies are expensive. Of course this conversation took place AFTER I spent a chunk of change of Giants v. Cowboys tickets for DJ's 30th birthday. This said, Operation Saving for Petry starts today!

Friends and family have also been super fabulous during these last few weeks. Amy not only gave me an entire wardrobe, but hooked us up with a car seat, baby swing, toys, and other misc. baby stuff. Jen and Jamie are helping me out with baby walkers and exersaucers (which I thought were the same thing), and The Stanley's and Brad got us the City Mini Stroller. Lori got us a diaper tower with 90 diapers and her sister made us the cute little dessert below! We were able to save the little babies. Who the heck needs a shower! Not this girl! And friends - you can thank me since you now have one Sunday back in your life where you don't have to play baby word searches, match games, or fetus trivia.
This list has yet to include grandparents - of which, Petry won the lottery. Not only having the four best, but being the first grandchild of two only children. Set. For. Life. :)



PS. I am still Facebook free but today I heard/read two interesting things about social media. 1) According to a study shared on Q104.3, people hate when other people post too many pictures of their food, their kids, and public displays of affection and 2) This article was on Yahoo! News today - Do you need a Social Media Diet too? Click here to find out!
PSS. There as been a West Nile outbreak in certain parts of the country this week. Its mostly been in Texas, but cases have also popped up in Brooklyn. DJ told me last night they are also spraying "the other side of town" in Metuchen. Our town is only 3 square miles so I don't find that very comforting. As of today, there have been 1,118 cases across 38 states resulting in 41 deaths. Be wary!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thank your body, Thank your baby

28 1/2 weeks!*

Since May I have been aiming to make it to the gym at least 5 days a week and during those trips run at least 8 miles a week. As mentioned in an earlier post, I have a stellar new route that allows me to pass two bathrooms (one being my own) and a water fountain. This has proved incredibly wonderful as my belly gets bigger and there is more pressure on my bladder. My mile pace ranges between 10 and 10 1/2 minute miles, which isn’t too shabby, especially because my loop is a little hilly. Hills that feel like mountains on some days.

On other days, Petry is clearly not up for a workout and would prefer that I sit on my but and veg. Fortunately the Olympics have been on the past two weeks and watching women run 26.2 miles in 2:22 has been particularly inspirational. Nur Suryani Mohamed of Malaysia was 8 months pregnant at the games. Granted she was an air rifle-ist, which I am not certain is even a sport per se, but she is still an Olympian. More on her here:Pregnant-Olympian-Malaysian-shooter-shrugs-off-criticism

No matter the day or the mood Petry is in, I have to say despite the struggles of actually getting pregnant, the pregnancy part has been relatively easy and for that reason, I daily thank my body and my baby. Of course I could do without the indigestion and the trouble sleeping, but unlike many, many, many women pregnancy has actually been a blessing to my digestive system. It is glorious. Each day is a new surprise whether it be hot flashes, excessive kicking (which is actually a good thing) or heart burn but I could have swollen ankles, veins, back pain, or - worst of all - bed rest.

The other day was my glucose tolerance test and the results came back "excellent" according to Dr. B. For those in the know, you have to fast before the blood work and its a two hour commitment so make appointments early in the AM. Where I go, LabCorp, they also take walk-ins so I was worried I would get screwed as the day wore on and the waiting room filled; however I guess the test is time sensitive enough that we, pregnant ladies, can just walk to the back every hour, grab a phlebotomist, and get our blood drawn without a hassle. This is HUGE since by 10:30, you are ready to gnaw someone's arm off. It's too a point the juice they gave me after my first blood draw seemed delicious since I was so hungry. It hindsight, it wasn't too bad - just super, sugary Hawaiin Punch.

*Disclaimer: I know I said there would be no sideways pictures in my life and, alas, you see one on this post. I have since decided to print out all of my pages and put them into a little binder for Petry once he/she exists and thought they should have a slight frame of reference regarding their mother's growth. I am still Facebook free and there are no "look at me, I'm pregnant" pictures on other social media sites as I still hold true to the belief that if you want to see me, you can ask. Don't hate.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Skinny on Skin

Last week was Petry's 24 week visit and he/she is moving along and growing steadily. My placenta also moved out of the way so I can move full steam ahead into my 3rd trimester. August 3rd will be the official 3 months-to-go point.

I had thought I had lucked out and beaten a majority of the pregnancy side effects, but my skin decided to join in the fun this week while I was at the beach it became super sensitive. It started as an itch on my chest which I attributed to sun burn, but eventually it attacked my arms. By the time I left the beach, I was all red, but not from the sun - from the constant scratching. I did find relief in the ocean so, because I was too stubborn to call it a day and head back to the house, I continuously went in and out of it.
Avalon, NJ - 26 weeks
Sensitive skin during pregnancy is another body change caused by insane hormones. It can come out of nowhere and range from skin irritation to heat rash (in my case) to the stretching of skin in the belly, hips, thighs, and butt (always a cool place to scratch).  Irritation can be sparked by lotions, detergents, heat, and even foods, but the good news is they will pass after pregnancy. In my case, as soon as I was out of the sun/heat, my skin relaxed and felt back to normal.

I am more of less over the break out/acne stage that comes with pregnancy, but I attribute part of that to a good sun tan. So far, knock on wood, I have also beaten spider or varicose veins cause by increased blood flow. These squiggley little capillaries pop out on the surface of the skin and may not go away on their own. According to my parents I have "my dad's legs" which is good and may spare me from this little side effect.

Friday, August 8th is my glucose tolerance test which should be pretty lame. This test determines if I/Petry suffer from gestational diabetes or glucose intolerance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Things I have learned from IVF and Pregnancy

Going into the whole IVF process, I really didn't have too many people to go to for advice. Obviously I had my doctor, my nurse, and the internet, but for the most part we were really just winging the physical, emotional, and stress related stuff. On the other hand, when you get pregnant people can't say enough about their own pregnancies. They have advice, nightmare stories, mom-to-be tips, book suggestions, articles, and opinions. It's really insane.

I felt the same kind of influx of advice when I got married. Everyone wants to put in their 2 cents and to that I say "nay!". The only piece of wedding advice I will give unsolicited is if you get married on a Saturday, leave for your honeymoon on Monday. You will want Sunday to relax, open gifts, eat a cheesey meatball sub (since you don't have to fit into a wedding dress anymore), and enjoy your first day of married life.

So I decided to document the lessons I learned and if you want to read them, feel free or if you are adviced out or think I am a fool to give advice - this is a blog post you can certainly skip. No harm; no foul.

IVF Tips:
1. You are much more kick ass than you think. 
As mentioned in the beginning of this whole saga, I was anti-shot. At 28 years old, my mom literally had to bribe me to get a flu shot and I had to hold my dad's hand as it was being administered. Now, I have learned you have to do what you have to do and tummy shots in a Marriot bathroom or nightly progesterone shots in the rear can be done because they have to be done for the greater good.
2.  Its okay to wallow but don't make a habit of it.
Learning you have infertility issues stinks, especially when it is the last thing you expect to hear from your beloved gyno. So it is okay to mope for an afternoon or for a day, BUT then be proactive and move on. I am not a religious person, but if you need to spend sometime in church - go for it. I chose lying in bed in the dark. Either way, embrace the funk and then move on.
3. Its okay to flip out. 
Flipping out is different than wallowing and unfortunately it comes on more than once during the IVF process. Of course you have a fabulous support team, but no one can really tell you how you are feeling because they may not get it. You are also being pumped with hormones that make you crazy. Should you flip out unnecessarily, make sure you apologize - you can blame progesterone. I would say I had one good flip out a month, but you may be a nicer, more controlled person and have less.
4. Thank your support group 
This probably goes without saying but they are more than likely the ones you are flipping out at/to. They are also the ones that have seen you wallow, are taking you to doctor appointments, are giving you shots, and just have to be around you in general.
5. Congratulate yourself
In A League of their Own, Tom Hanks' character is talking to Geena Davis' character right after she quits the Rockford Peaches because its "too hard". To this he replies "If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great".
IVF isn't great but it is hard. On bad days, remind yourself of the greater good and how far you have come. Yes, day one of progesterone shots is just as annoying as day 72 BUT you are moving forward each day and that is excellent!
6. Invest in Pedailite
Should your ovaries be overstimulated, you will find yourself bloated and constipated. Jen, my nurse, recommended Gatorade or Pedialite. Go for the Pedialite (the mixed fruit or citrus kind if available). If you dilute it with water, it doesn't taste too bad and has much fewer calories than Gatorade.
7. Delete Social Media 
You don't need it. It will make you crazy, narcissistic, or angry. I initially deleted it back in November or December and although IVF has been a smooth sailing and positive process, I still think it is totally unnecessary and unhealthy. As of today I am about 7 months "sober".
8. Write things down
You don't necessarilly need to blog but you will want to chronicle this process. My dad wrote the entire story of my birth and it is an awesome read. When your kid is old enough to appreciate you as a parent, they will also appreciate the hard work that went into creating him or her.
9. Don't bring children, especially babies, to an infertility clinic 
Obviously if you had a successful pregnancy that resulted in a happy and healthy baby, that is fantastic but try your best to find a sitter if you are making a trip to your local infertility specialist. These places are filled with emotionally unstable women in a frustrating, shocking, expensive, and/or sad situations pumped with so many hormones they tear up during an episode of Cold Case (not that that ever happened to me :) ). Even if your first was an IVF success and you are prepping for your second, there are several women in that waiting room on a 2nd or 3rd round of IVF and there is a good chance they may experience some emotion between jealousy and rage at the sight of you.

Pregnancy Tips:
1. Make sure you are prepared. 
Obviously a baby should be planned and a conversation should be had by you and your partner about babies. You will want to make sure you have the funds, the space, and so on to bring a new little person into the world but also make sure you are physically prepared. I wasn't. I don't embraces the pregnant woman in a two piece look, I don't love having my stomach all out there, and as you saw I had a very hard time in the first trimester adjusting to the physical changes. This changes overtime, but it does take time. Be patient with yourself, try to embrace it, and if you can't - its only 9 months.
2. Don't be too proud for hand-me-downs. 
Pregnancy clothes will, hopefully, not be a lifetime staple in your wardrobe so don't be afraid to ask friends if they have any they want to get rid of. My friend Amy hooked me up with tons of great stuff and so far I have only bought a maternity tee shirt, a sun dress, a belly band, and running shorts and I am 23 weeks in.
3. Buy a belly band
You can get away with wearing your old pants a lot longer than you might think. I have yet to break into a pair of maternity pants because of it.
4. Buy empire waist dresses 
23 weeks preg in NY& Co dress
If you have a formal event to go to and don't want to buy a nice maternity dress, get one in an empire way that fits the pregnant you and the normal you (see right). This way you aren't spending money on a dress you will only wear once. Also no one will be like "didn't you just wear that an so-and-so's wedding?" because you are pregnant and hormonal and you might slap them.
5. Recognize your hormones
Like PMS, pregnancy may cause you to be angry, sad,  insane, or tired out of nowhere. Should your significant other, parent, or friend be at the wrong end of this wrath it can cause a raucous. If you go into a hormone induced rage, follow IVF Tip #3 and say sorry.
6. Watch your cravings
You are not eating for two. You are eating for 1.2. During pregnancy you are only suppose to eat an extra 100-300 calories per day, a little more if you exercise. Yes, there are days when you will have an insatiable appetite and find yourself on your 3rd bowl of Special K at 9:00 at night but try to choose something healthy and not a Kitchen Sink Sundae at your local ice cream joint.
Includes 3 sliced bananas, 8 scoops of ice creams,
8 toppings, whipped cream, and cherries. 
Also sometimes an unhealthy craving can easily be replaced by something more manageable -make English Muffin pizzas if you are craving a large pie, try chocolate milk in place of ice cream (you really just want the calcium), or try POP chips in place of Ruffles. 
7. Give into your cravings on occasion. 
Sometimes you are drinking milk and your body is thinking "what the hell is this nonsense?!" and still needs ice cream. Then, G-D-it!, go have some ice cream woman! 
8. People will have their comments
Between the annoying "when are you due" askers, the tummy touchers, and those that give all the credit to the male partner and his super sperm, people are going to say and do dumb and annoying things. Clearly people say dumb things everyday, but it seems pregnant women are more of a target to their commentary. The other day I was at the gym and some old man was like "looks like your husband didn't waste any time!" (insert cheesy old man laugh here). What the heck is that supposed to mean! And you don't know anything about anything! 
9. Pregnancy may not be awesome, but its awesome. 
No, pregnancy isn't comparable to the awesome weekend in Las Vegas you had with your girlfriends, the awesome time you had on your honeymoon, or the awesome deal you just got at TJ Maxx, but it awesome in the biblical sense. The first 2 definitions of "awesome" according to Webster, are 1) expression of awe; wonder that is inspired by the sacred or sublime and 2) an inspiring awe. Pregnancy is that kind of awesome. 

Pregnancy and Exercise
1. Even if it is the last thing you feel like doing - move!
This is hard to do in your first trimester because you are exhausted all the time and I'm sure during your third because you are quite large BUT the benefits of exercise during pregnancy are incredible for both you and your baby. 
2. Go outside
If you are fortunate enough to be pregnant during warm weather, exercise outside. It feels so much better and you can dazzle your neighbors by your athletic prowess and fab pregnant body. 
Even better: don't wear headphones! It helps to feed your ego when someone whispers "she looks fabulous" to her girlfriend as you jog past them (that actually happened today - win!!)
3. Invest in good sneakers
For every pound you lose, that is four pounds of pressure off your knees when running; therefore when you are gaining weigh you are putting more pounds of pressure on your knees. Make sure you have the proper foot and ankle support - it will go a long way.
4. Preplan your route and know where there are bathrooms. 
If you are at the gym, it is easy to jump of the treadmill, elliptical, or what have you and go pee. Not so easy if you are on the road, so find a route where you can take pit stops as needed along the way. My new route is kind of around my block so I continuously run past my house as well as the bathrooms/water fountain in the park.
6. Stay hydrated and watch your body temperature
Those are no brainers but in general: listen to your body. This may be tricky because your body is up to a lot of different things. You have gas, constipation, you may or may not have to pee, you may have a cramp or your baby may be kicking you in the bladder. Either way, pay attention to this signs and make decisions accordingly. 
7. Mix it up!
Look at that Intensity! 
Like any exercise regiment, you can't do the same thing every day. Lift weights (I hate lifting weights but I do it) as they will strengthen your arms and prepare you for carrying baby around, your back which will help later in pregnancy, and other part of your body. We also have a heavy bag in the garage which make for an interesting tae-bo hybrid that I mix with kettle bell work. Friends have also recommended swimming, prenatal yoga, and Pilates.
9. Stretch.
This may not be the case with anyone else but me but pregnancy has given me some wicked restless legs. At night i prop them on pillows, I stretch them, I curl up, but every 15 minutes or so I am moving around and readjusting and just cannot get comfortable. I usually "forget" to stretch or just don't really care, but I think that it will help my current leg situation if I would just spend the extra few minutes doing a little something after a workout.
10. Do your Kegal Exercises
Peeing in your pants when laughing, coughing, sneezing, or doing just about anything else loses its cool real fast!

Sorry - this was a little lengthy

PS. I saw a toupee on the street when I was running today
PSS. Our neighbors have human-sized Alvin & the Chipmunks characters in the garage. Weird.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ode to my Knees

I bet you thought when that line turned blue
that my running days were through,
but alas, my friends,  it was a tease
and there was no rest for you, my Knees.

First trimester, you got lucky
as morning sickness made things yucky
but as the pregnancy progressed,
the running waters, I would test.

We started slow, 11 miles per hour
when I felt a kick of power
We upped the speed just some clicks
And from 5.5, we went to 6.

Of course you felt it, I gained weight
and from 118 and I hit 128
And just as you were feeling the hits,
I went and Googled the benefits.

Running helps me maintain
the weight by body needs to gain
but most importantly during baby creation,
running helps with constipation.

The cardio increases blood flow,
and makes babies smarter, studies show.
It helps with posture and varicose veins,
and greatly reduces other aches and pains.

"You bitch!" you shout as we hit the road,
carrying my extra load
but to you I say, we must move on
because the pros outweigh the cons.

And when we're home and you've been nice
I'll treat you to a pack of ice,
a hamstring stretch, a flex, a bend
to help you get back on the mend.

Clearly as we grow in size,
I'll also get flack from my Thighs
and my Calves, my Neck, my Back,
and then my sneakers, away we'll pack

and limit things to the elliptical
where I'll be forced to fulfill
the happiness that is a run
through the town and in the sun.

But! Come November, minus child
when a day is warm and mild
we'll lace up the Ascis and enjoy the breeze,
On the road with my favorite Knees.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pintrest - IVF

So today I was bored and just randomly typed IVF into Pintrest.
Aside from the fact that you can get IVF baby onsies (my personal favorite: http://www.cafepress.com/ivfbaby.73800403), posters, books, IVF vacations, movies,religious opinions, and film adaptations, you can also find some of the following cartoons:

IVF babies :)
Pinned Image
www.bfpgear.com  adoption and IVF onsies.  Adorable !!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Celebrity IVF Club

I never would have thought that I would have something in common with one of the K. Kardashians, but as luck would have it - I do. 

I was at Stop & Shop the other day and found myself face to face with Khole Kardashian and the US Weekly headline that Khloe and Lamar are preparing to undergo IVF treatments. Sources say "With Kim Kardashian by her side for moral support, Khloe gave up some blood so the docs could evaluate her hormone levels.  She’s waiting for the results, and will then get a stylized treatment program." 

Well I don't know how "stylized" her treatment program will be or how fashionable she can make nightly injections look, but I'm sure where the rest of us common folk get sticker shock by the cost and apply for financial aid through Fertility Lifelines, this will just be a drop in the bucket for Khloe and Lamar. *sigh*. I'm also fairly certain we will be able to follow her step-by-step process on her reality show. Yay! (barf). 

Similar to Khloe, I can also understand how seeing those around you get pregnant no problem can stir up a wide range of emotions from sadness to just plain ill-willed. I don't follow them to closely, but I know her sister is pregnant with or just had her second kid. When pregnancy and birth overlap with someone else's infertility and frustration, it is enough to make you crazy. I wonder if she will give up Facebook too. 

Other famous IVFers are Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives), Jane Seymour, Emma Thompson, Celine Dion, Courtney Cox, and Brooke Shields.

Petry's first 5K

In other news, I ran what will probably be my last 5K until 2013. Sunday was the NY Giants Run of Champions at Metlife Stadium. I didn't really have many expectations, but finishing in less than 30 minutes would have been nice. The race was pretty awesome because the finish line was the Giant's end zone. When else will I have the opportunity to make a 100 yard run on Giant's turf. 
Finish Line -
done in 29:30

My friend Allie, from the gym,ran with me and if you were fast enough to register, you could meet with former Giants before and after the race. I did see Amani Toomer while we were wandering around and getting registered, only I didn't recognize him. He was extra skinny from training for and running the ING NYC Marathon. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Placenta praevia

DJ and I just got back from our 20 week visit and as with most things there is never a dull moment. Petry is clocking in at 11 inches and 11 ounces (the size of a very large banana) and mommy is weighing in at 130 pounds - up 10 lbs from her original weight.

Today we learned I had Placenta Previa, "an obstetric complication in which the placenta is attached to the uterine wall close to or covering the cervix". (see picture below). It can sometimes occur in the later part of the first trimester, but usually during the second or third. It affects approximately 0.5% of all labors and is common in women who 1) have several children, 2) are over 35, 3) have had uterine surgery, 4) had prior c-sections, 5) are carrying multiples, 6) smoke, or 7) conceived through IVF (ding!). The annoying thing is all these categories of women (smokers discounted) have gone though enough crap already to get pregnant. Now life decides, "hey, I didn't think you were stressed enough - here is some praevia to go with that".

Placenta Previa

The doctor doesn't seem overly concerned and said there is a 99% chance this isn't anything at all, but as with everything it is better to be safe than sorry. We go back July 23rd for our 24 week visit and another chance to see Petry in utero. 

There are three types of placenta praevia. 
Complete Previa: the cervical opening is completely covered
Partial Previa: a portion of the cervix is covered by the placenta
Marginal Previa: the placenta extends just to the edge of the cervix. 
Previa often corrects itself by the end of the pregnancy . The placenta itself doesn't actually move but as the uterus stretches it is not as close to the cerivx as it was earlier in the pregnancy. Of course like everything from morning sickness to leg cramps, the cause is unknown but "can be blamed on several factors". Did someone have to go to medical school to tell you that? Thanks doc. 

All of these words: complication, hemorrhage, bleeding - make the issue sound a lot worse than it is, but it is something that should be taken seriously. The doctor today said there is a very good chance the placenta will move, opening the baby's exit through the cervix or, if it doesn’t, I can just have a C-Section and all will be good. This occurs in 1 in 250 births so when you think about it, it’s not that uncommon.

For some perspective you have a:

11,5000 to 1 chance of bowling a perfect game

5000 to 1 chance of getting a hole in one

3623 to 1 chance of sustaining an injury from mowing the lawn

2232 to 1 chance of slipping in the bath or shower

563 to 1 chance of catching a ball at a major league baseball game

250 to 1 chance of having a baby genius

175 to 1 chance of being audited by the IRS

and (I think this one is kind of scary)

117 to 1 chance of being on a place with a drunken pilot.

We are also at the halfway point of the pregnancy and at this stage Petry can hear sounds and recognize my voice, and can react to loud sounds from inside the womb. There is also some movement in there which I can feel from the inside out, but DJ has yet to feel anything from the outside in. Taste, hearing, smell, sight, and touch are also beginning to develop so I hope Petry likes oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter, and 80's music.

Petry on head. (I don't know how to rotate the image)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Vernix

Petry is well into his/her 19th week of development and we are almost at the half way point of gestation. Yay!

At six inches long and about eight ounces, Petry is the size of a large mango. In comparison, I have gained somewhere between 6 and 8 pounds depending on the day and how much I indulge the night before. In the morning, when I get up for the gym and off to work, there is a little pooch near my belly button BUT as the day goes on, it swells and after dinner I have a whole different look going on. Between the full stomach, indigestion, and muscles movement the pooch expands dramatically in the evening and the deflates overnight. Its very weird.

Fetal Development Week 19As of today Petry's arms and legs are in proportion, neurons are connecting the brain and the muscles, and cartilage is turning to bone. I am also told that women can start feeling the baby move at this time but it may feel like a gas cramp, which since I am usually gassy has been difficult to differentiate.

Petry is also covered in a protective substance called vernix caseosa (translated in Latin, this means "vanish cheese" - yum). This greasy, white substance is made up of lanugo (a downy hair), oil from the baby's glands, and dead skin cells. The vernix protects the baby's skin from the amniotic fluid . This prevents the baby from looking very wrinkled at birth. 

On my end, other than indigestion which really only occurs after dinner and before bed, I seem to have developed restless leg syndrome and leg cramps. 

At night my legs take on a life of their own and it takes me about 20 minutes of trial and error to figure out what position they would like to be in. Sometimes they want to be elevated on pillows, other times curled in a ball, or even dangling off the side of the bed. These positions satisfy my legs for about an hour and then we have to start all over again in an effort to accommodate them. 
If RLS isn't the issue, then my legs decide to cramp. I have never had a Charlie Horse, so I am not sure if the pain is similar but a jolt of pain will radiate down the back of my thigh down to my calf for no apparent reason. It ususally doesn't last long, but depending on the timing - it can make for some very awkward stretching in public places. 
As with most pregnancy symptoms, one can blame hormones or "the unknown". Cramping falls into the "unknown" but some think it could be my leg muscles are more fatigued than usual or that the blood vessels that carry blood to and from my legs are compressed by the growing uterus. Either way, both RLS and leg cramping seem to be nothing compared to some of the other pregnancy troubles women face and can be calmed with a little stretching and patience. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

They grow up so fast

As a parent, I will support my child in whatever he or she decides to pursue whether it be sports, the arts, academics, or some other arena of life that I am familiar or unfamiliar with. This said, there is a short list of professions and hobbies, I would rather not see my child participate in, although I will still support them should these be the avenues they take.

1. Cheerleader - no offense to those out there, even at the caliber of "Bring It On", but I just don't get it. I will be a parent, I will be your cheerleader - get on the field and play a sport! Unless said sport is:

2 A Boxer - As a future parent, I think it would be incredibly difficult to watch my son or daughter beat the crap out of or get the crap beaten out of them (this also includes UFC fighter, but does not include WWE wrestler because maybe he/she could introduce me to The Rock)

Danny - The Shining
3. A child actor in a scary movie. - I think I would have a hard time looking at my kid the same if they were the REDRUM kid in The Shining or Linda Blair from the Exorcist. An exception to this is Hailey Joel Osmund in The 6th Sense - yes, it was a horror movie but he was cute, not creepy.

4. An Alaskan King Crab Fisherman - With a show titled The Deadliest Catch following those with this profession, I don't think I need to say much more.

5. A clown - See #3. No exceptions.

6. A cast member of a reality TV show with the exception of 1) The Amazing Race (that would actually be my dream), 2) a game show that doesn't involve roommates or "7 strangers", or 3) a home improvement show.

7. A gamer. I have nothing against a video game here and there, but once I see them inside on a beautiful day or speaking in World of Warcraft tongues, changes need to be made ASAP!

8. A pro athlete for a Philadelphia sports team

9. A porn star, stripper, "escort", exotic dancer, or any other euphemism for that line of work.

10. An acoustic guitar player - Now if this hobby keeps your kid off the streets or leads to a multi-platinum record, then its cool with me but if my child is the kid at the party that takes out his/her guitar and struggles through "Freebird" in someone's basement with a bunch of stoner friends, I would rather not hear about it. I think those people are so cheesey and its an awkward buzz kill for everyone who could care less about you and your guitar.

11. An Abercrombie & Fitch Employee (added 5.28.13) - Aside from the flagrant douche baggery associated with the clothing chain, recent comments made by the CEO have turned me off to the store entirely and all associated with it. Not a looker himself, I was disgusted to read  this comment made by Mike Jeffries: "In every school there are cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids...We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of finds. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes] and they can't belong."

PS. Today I am 18 weeks pregnant.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Birth of Athena

No, we aren't naming our first born Athena, but here is a little history:

 Athena was named as the favorite daughter of Zeus, born fully armed from his forehead. The most common story of her birth occured when Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom. Eventually Zeus experienced an enormous headach and one of his sons cleaved Zeus's head with the double-headed axe. Athena leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown and armed. She went on to become the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill

Although Zeus himself wasn't pregnant, or maybe he was, headaches are not uncommon during pregnancy and mine seems to be riddled with them. Usually I have two or three nights a week when I have to turn in early because it feels like a steam engine is pushing against my right eyebrow with avengence.

According to  WomensHealthCareTopics.com, Migraine headaches during pregnancy are an often unwanted but sometimes common side effect of pregnancy. If you experienced migraines prior to pregnancy, you will find your condition either drastically improves or possibly gets worse during pregnancy. Fantastic.
A migraine headache is typically characterized by a dull aching that eventually worsens until the patient feels a strong, pulsating pain usually on one side of the head or temples. Migraines are often accompanied by vomiting, nausea and in some cases an aura. 
As with other pregnancy drama, raging pregnancy hormones are to blame but that are also paired with changes in nerve pathways, an imbalance of brain chemicals (including serotonin, which helps regulate pain in your nervous system), and altered blood flow to the brain.

In elementary school I had migraines pretty regularly and knew they were caused by smells. I remember one time I had been swimming in an indoor pool at a resort and while my mom dug threw her bag our hotel room key, I ran down the hall to puke in a trash can by the vending machines. They also came after horseback riding lessons, sometimes after my tap classes at Cindy Smith Dance Studio, or after spending too many times in one of those potpourri scented country shops.

The worst I, to date, that I can remember was after our road trip to Georgia. DJ and I had spent about 10 hours in the car and towards the end of our drive, I felt one brewing. Back at the house, I thought my head was going to explode and could not put enough pressure on my head to make it go away. Ugh, it was the pits. I can't remember, but I think I ended up throwing up and feeling 110% better immediately.

Migraines are such a funny thing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Whomp! There it is!

Thursday I wasn't showing and then I woke up Friday and there it was!
In the morning, Petrie is a little pooch in my abdomen and rounds up to just above my belly button but then depending on how much I eat or how much water I drink throughout the day, he/she can double in size and bloat to amazing proportions.

At 15 weeks, Petrie is practicing breathing, sucking, and swallowing so when he/she breaks out into the world, he/she will have the basic survival tools. Also, according to WhattoExpect.com, the "fetus is holding daily aerobics classes — kicking, curling toes, and moving those little arms and legs".
Bathing suits have long been put away as well as anything fitted. Most of my work clothes have also been shoved to be back of my closet with the exception of a few pairs of pants and flowy shirts. After work today I am going to check out Target to see if they have some in-between sizes. The maternity pants Amy passed down to me will be great once I get a little bigger, but now I need something to hold me over until then. My cousin suggested Belly Bands. She said they are a must have and are advertised to do the following:

  • tummy sleeves are a staple of your maternity wardrobe!
  • a versatile basic works before, during, and after pregnancy
  • smooths lines from unbuttoned jeans or pants
  • wear folded down or in a single layer for more coverage
  • offers extra tummy coverage when lifting top for nursing
  • size 0 will fit sizes small through large

  • Also since "coming out" the other day, I reread parts of my blog and a few points of note:
    1. the typos are out of control and I do apologize for them
    2. I realize I was a little obsessive about the exercise debacle and I'm sure some of you were thinking "ok, we get it - get over yourself" since I did the same thing when I was rereading it. Sorry about that. I am going to make an effort to be less whiny.
    3. I am still not on Facebook but DJ did make the most cryptic announcement the other day in celebration of Mother's Day. It might have been too cryptic.