Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back When the Bun Was Still Baking

With Zoey's first birthday just around the corner (2 months!!), I've started to feel a little nostalgic and reminiscent about events that took place last year. Or - in the case of comparison between the 2 years - the serious lack of events that took place last year. From the moment we brought Zoey home from the hospital, our lives were changed in an instant; no longer would we be able to even think about planning for the coming seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks. Our lives were completely in her tiny, shriveled hands. But first we had to get there.

As anyone who was around me during my pregnancy will attest, I didn't resemble a pregnant woman until close to month number seven. I was horribly sick starting on the day I "turned" 8-weeks pregnant, which also happened to immediately follow the H1N1 vaccine. I doubt that had much to do with it, though, since I was steadily praying to the porcelain gods until the fifth month.

Long past is the anniversary of first learning I was pregnant, but here is [a slightly edited version of] how it all went down:

So there I was…..
Wandering aimlessly through Wal-Mart, greedily snatching items of crap I didn’t really need and avoiding the aisle I was sure I didn’t need but considered going down anyway; just to ease my own mind. After I successfully remembered everything I needed to get – which I considered, even then, to be a great feat – I decided I’d better just bite the bullet, find out for sure and then continue planning my wedding like usual.
I didn’t bother to wait for Jacob this time. After all, it was just to confirm what I already suspected….
About two months earlier I found myself in the same boat. Only this time, hoping, planning, doodle-coding my day-planner (heart for when I believe we conceived, exclamation point for the day I took the test, etc.). So Jacob and I took the test together (well, as much togetherness as peeing on a single stick will allow) and the pink line made an appearance rather quickly. We basked in our love-glow for about a week until the awful happened. I could read and talk and listen but you never quite let go of thinking you could have done something better. Or more.
I read all there was on the subject so I knew to expect ‘ole Auntie in 4-6 weeks but, in some cases, your flow can take up to 3 months to reappear. So after hitting the 6 week mark, with only my slightly aching top-half to some-what guide me, but otherwise feeling completely dead between my neck and knees, I found myself in the aisle of uncertain futures.
I placed my less-than 20 items on the mini-counter and realized, “Huh. This is the first time I’m buying a pregnancy test while wearing an engagement ring.”
I was completely calm as I drove home, even forgetting I had it. I was completely calm as I peed in the cup (I had little energy to deal with cutting out the middle man and just using the toilet. Plus I had never tried this method before), as was I when I stuck the stick in there for 5 seconds. The hour-glass blinked for about a minute. I walked over, took a look and – huh – would you look at that. I’m not sure why, but I picked up and started reading the instructions. Like somewhere there would be big, bold words that said, “JUST KIDDING!” Or give me some advice on what to do now. We had just gotten engaged (and the celebration is probably what made this happen) and were thisclose to picking a date. So now we had (and still have) to decide: wait or no wait.
In hindsight it was a good thing I read the pamphlet. I learned I was supposed to stick the stick in the cup for 20 seconds, not 5. Oh, maybe this will make me un-pregnant. Clearly, this Clear Blue Something or Other was a great deal smarter than me. And, in case you’re wondering, yes it read the p-word again (I decided to leave operator error to a minimum and get the digital read-out test).
When I told Jacob, we both sat in a stunned silence while I relived every moment of feeling lousy and thought, “Ohhhhhh.” All I can say, is I KNEW I didn’t drink that much at the office Christmas party (but the result was that I was sick for most of the following day).
I covertly asked my soon-to-be sister-in-law for her doctor’s number, claiming I was in need of a good, general hoo-ha doctor. I sat there in the waiting room, holding a cup of my own pee, feeling like time had stood still, especially when the very pregnant appointment ahead of mine made me wish I was that far along so I would know everything was ok.
The nurse led me back to an exam room and told me it would be approximately 3 minutes. I flipped through Pregnancy magazine, completely unrelating to everything my eyes glanced over, and knowing the nurse was in the “back” with the same Clear Blue Easy I shakily gripped just a week ago. She came in and said, “Well, it’s positive,” with a big, braces-laden grin. I must have been stone-faced because she asked, “Is this the news you were hoping for?” I said, “Oh sure, of course. But I would have been happy either way.” I felt bad destroying her jubilation but this wasn’t exactly breaking news. It was, however, encouraging to hear it from a professional instead of trying to figure things out for myself. *Pause for a pee-break*
She didn’t have a handy-dandy wheel so we couldn’t determine my due-date, so I went to and found out for myself. I like when professionals tell me things – it makes me feel less like I’m figuring things out for myself. I went back to reception to make a first appointment with the doc for when I’m 8 weeks – this coming Monday.
Jacob and I are thrilled, probably him more so, mainly because I have a hard time not worrying and just letting things happen. If possible, I am too in-tune with my body, freaking out over every tweak instead of remembering that my body isn’t my own anymore. And, of course, I feel the need to freak out even when nothing is wrong. As I sat in bed last night, near tears because I felt good and slightly normal, slowly eating Chinese food, the words of What to Expect When You’re Expecting kept making laps in my brain: “[you should be concerned] if your pregnancy symptoms all of a sudden disappear.” Total awesomeness. So not only am I worried when I feel something, but I freak out when I feel nothing. I hear psychotherapy calling my name….
But for now I live in fear of going to the bathroom……
(In the end, I ditched What to Expect When You're Expecting because, while informative, just created pregnancy paranoia. So I read Pregnancy Sucks: When Your Miracle Makes You Miserable instead.)
In the end, of course, nothing extreme happened and a beautiful new baby was brought into the world 8 months later. And this is what was going down this time last year:
How far along: 34 weeks, 5 days.
Maternity Clothes: Yup, all I wear now. Although some are starting to get a little snug….And why they don’t make designer jeans with elastic waistbands anyways is beyond me.
Stretch Marks: Got more on my boobs. I think I have a little one on the underside of my belly. Jacob fears a possibility in post-baby bitching about stretch marks so he likes to rub olive oil on my tummy. As if I don’t already look like an uncooked turkey.
Sleep: I hear it’s going to start getting bad soon. But I had horrible sleeping problems pre-pregnancy so, I figured, since I’m using up more energy by simply standing than a non-pregnant person uses to hike a mountain (per Pregnancy Sucks), sleep should be pretty good. And it has been. Knock on wood.
Best Moment This Week: Baby started moving a lot more. Usually I could count on shortly after dinner and then between 3 and 4am. Now it’s pretty much after anything I shove in my face. And milk works on her like an espresso works on adults.
Worst Moment: I still throw up in the morning, albeit not every morning and it’s always just mucus yucky that I inadvertently swallow when I’m sleeping.
Cravings: Throughout this pregnancy, my cravings have backfired on me, either igniting a fireball in my chest, making me vomit, or both. I’ve found, though, that all I’ve really wanted/craved were things that already existed in nature: fruits, vegetables, juice, milk, eggs, cow, chicken, turkey and the like.
Gender: Still a girl.
Labor Signs: None. But I definitely feel a change. As do my dogs, apparently, since one of them is watching me at all times and Durbin has taken to sleeping on my side of the bed.
Belly Button: I mistakenly thought I would just be eating lunch one day and BLOOP! Out would pop my belly button. But, no, my turkey timer is slowly starting to protrude.
What I Miss: Everything normal – sex, a normal relationship with food, being sad about something in particular instead of everything particular, enjoying the taste of water, chocolate, candy, the occasional fast-food meal, being able to stay up past 10pm, and not freaking out during all waking hours about childbirth and the subsequent child rearing.
Weekly Wisdom: None. Pregnancy brain has taken care of any sort of wisdom I might have had. And for what it hasn’t, well, I forgot.
Baby’s Size: About 5 pounds, the equivalent of a cantaloupe. I love cantaloupe.

This was originally written August 10th and re-reading it makes me laugh; I had such an attitude when I was pregnant.  And looking back at the pictures almost makes me wish I was pregnant again. Almost.

I didn't just bitch about my pregnancy and everything (and everyone) that came with it, I allowed myself to have some fun too.

 At the end of June, it was entirely too difficult to get in and out of my Cobalt, so we traded her in for our Baby Buggy Jeep. She was a good car, taking me across the country and back and a handful of other places. I hope she found a loving home with the 76,000 miles I alone put on her (well, minus the 5 already on it when I left the dealer). Meanwhile, we're enjoying our Jeep, our suburban, family vehicle. This was our first road-trip in the Jeep, to Wyoming to visit the soon-to-be Grandparents.

 Stopping for the fur babies.

 Our trip was short but sweet. One of the best places to go while visiting Pinehole (also known by it's actual name, Pinedale) is Fremont Lake, one of the deepest (and coldest) natural bodies of water. But with the sun reflecting off the water and my own personal space heater growing in my belly, I was pretty toasty warm. There is a place on the lake that serves good lunch, a place my parents routinely take Pinehole visitors (when not at the Cowboy Bar. Just kidding).

 The soon-to-be Grandma. I think she was more excited for Zoey to be born than I was (understatement of the century).

 My Dad's caption for this photograph: "Who is pregnant?" The only difference being that my belly is a human being, and I was able to rid myself of it within a matter of hours.

If nothing else, the dogs loved the Jeep. Louis spent the entire 7-hour drive there and back looking out each window of the car, making Durbin get up and move each time. This was taken as we were about to head home. Durbin was so worn out that he had very little patience for Louis's antics; after one failed attempt at getting in the car before Louis on a potty stop, Durbin barked at Louis to get off of his bed and then stayed there for the duration of the trip. Now - at home - Durbin spends his nights on Louis's bed.

 You don't have to drive through Yellowstone National Park to get from Wyoming to Montana, although I can't understand why someone would opt not to. Mama and baby wild buffalo.

Grizzly Bears fishing.

This was only in July - and I wasn't due until September - but people were skeptical I'd reach my due-date. I think she did it as her first official act of defiance, that just because everyone thought she was going to be born early she would show them! She would come a week late to really prove her point.

I wasn't the only one expecting!! She sat on her nest in the rocks outside my office building. The maintenance man even made sure to keep it clean and relatively untouched for her (and kept that dish next to her). I did get to see the babies when they hatched; she, apparently, was not over due like I ended up being. But she quickly took her babies somewhere else.

Time has seemed to speed up since Zoey was born, but in a good way. It's all