Sunday, January 10, 2010

ABCs of Pregnancy

I am about to post about the unthinkable.

The honest to goodness truth about pregnancy. Whether or not I have the kahunas to post this list is yet to be determined. Regardless, there is so much about this journey I want to remember and look back on that I fear not writing this post will result in the post-pregnancy amnesia all my girlfriends speak of. So here goes, spelling it out; the absolute truth about pregnancy, as it has unfolded for me.

Advice: fitting that the word "advice" begins with the first letter in the alphabet, as the phenomenon itself begins the MINUTE you even conjure up a thought about creating a little person. Generally speaking, I love advice! Who better to learn from that those who have gone before you?

As a preggo lady, you receive MORE advice than you ever dreamed possible. Apparently, as a new mommy, you receive even MORE advice than ever dreamed possible. Fabulous.

My personal rule of thumb: if the preggo lady does not explicitly ask for advice (i.e. "So tell me, what kind of birth defects typically result from the consumption of caffeine..."), do not give it. Sharing nitty gritty details is, of course, completely welcome. Bring on the nitty gritty, friends. Just don't feel like you have to remind me not to lift a 12 pack of cokes or how dangerous it is to take a hot bath.

Boobies: good heavens. As any good pregnant lady, I now have a set of boobs I would have paid at least $30,000 for several months ago.

Caffeine: allow me to be completely honest with you folks. If you are even slightly fond of the bubbly, fizzy, dark-colored drink that used to be infused with crack-cocaine itself, your fascination and addiction will only worsen as you embark upon pregnancy. Although I have switched to decaffeinated coke (thank you for your encouragement, Gidge) and decaffeinate sweet tea (thank you for your never-ending supply Husband), I still cheat. Daily. I am sure Little Bit (who is now nameless, by the way) will come out bouncing and healthy...and craving a Dr. Pepper.

Daddy: there will come a day where you glance over at your sweet spouse, become emotional and teary-eyed, and realize that he is going to be a Daddy. A father. A dad. A pop. For me, that day came early in the pregnancy when I came home with a trunk full of baby accouterments and Chris set right out to assembling things like car seats and convertible strollers. It came again as I saw him secretly reading up on Little Bit's development on the Mayo Clinic's website. It is an absolute beautiful thing, to think of the man you love most in this world, becoming a dad.

Exercise: sigh. I, the lady who ran a half marathon just a mere year ago and set out at the start of this pregnancy chanting "We shall overcome!", have ventured off the couch 1, count it, 1 time since taking that sweet home pregnancy test in August 2009. While good intentions mean well, they are not enough to sustain you in this journey. You are tired. Your legs are enormous and require great effort to move (aka: shuffle) about. You suddenly spend your spare time snoozing, eating, gagging, hiccuping, and farting rather than treadmilling, elipticalizing, or stairmastering. I am most thankful that Little Bit will be arriving in the spring, as we can tackle good health and exercise at that point. When the sun comes back out.

Farting: yes, friends. I am the queen of the "silent-but-deadly" fart. Always have been. In our marriage, I have always been the one who could clear the room without making a sound. No more. No, no. I can now rip one LOUDER than my dear husband and clear the room faster than ever before. It makes me giggle. I have been given the endearing nickname "Foghorn". And I deserve it.

Gagging: every day. Two times a day, guaranteed. Strange, it is. I go to brush the pearly whites (now yellowed from too much coke and sweet tea consumption), take one look at my purple toothbrush, and heave into the sink. It makes Chris giggle. A lot. I have done what all preggo ladies have done: switched toothpaste, changed toothbrushes, tried to brush at different times of doesn't make a bit of difference. Bleh. 2 times a day. Minimum. Our best solution, once Chris regains composure from laughing at me, he waddles into the bathroom and rubs my back throughout the remainder of the "Happy Birthday"-song long brushing routine. Somehow the distraction helps. Bleh.

Hemorrhoids: enter, ginormous fear. I read about them. I hear about them from friends. So far I have dodged that delicate bullet, but they tell me I'm not out of the woods yet. I cannot even fathom walking into Target, picking up a package of Tucks Medicated Wipes, and coming home to, ahem, take care of things. Have mercy on me Lord.

In-laws: the journey into parenthood would not be complete without those two sweet people you call "mother-in-law" and "father-in-law". Seriously. For me, announcing we were pregnant brought about a whole new level of closeness between myself and the in-laws. Blessed? I think so. Actually, I know so.

My mother-in-law, Ms. Pat, is an absolute angel. She emails me to check on her grandbaby, calls after each OB appointment, asks how the nursery is coming along, volunteers to baby sit (never too early to offer), and loves us unconditionally. She loves me so much, I feel, that she might even make that unsightly trip to Target to round up Tucks Medicated Pads for me one day.

Jelly Roll: this is the best way I know to describe my lower abdominal region for the first, oh 16-17 weeks or so. At times I felt "beer belly" to be a better descriptor, but since I was not in any position to think about beer or partake in beer, I ultimately felt that "jelly roll" best suited this transitionary period. Thankfully, with time (and boxes of jelly donuts) this phase quickly passed.

Krispy Kreme: as a preggo lady (or any kind of lady for that matter) I find myself screeching into the parking lot on 2 wheels, day or night, when that blasted sign is lit up. One night Chris took me up there and I had 2 hot glazed donuts and a coke. Soon after, I faded off into diabetic coma. Sadly we haven't been back since.

Laughing: every pregnant lady must endure some sort of pregnancy induced neurosis. Mine, laughably, is uncontrollable laughter. I am not kidding you one bit. Since becoming pregnant, I have laughed more than I can ever remember laughing. Sometimes appropriately, sometimes not. Perhaps it is uncovering new skills and talents such as foghorn farting or gagging so much you just have to laugh. It's beyond me, but I adore it.

My biggest laughing fit to date: driving home from church with hubs last Sunday. We decided to swing by Home Depot and pick up some materials to embark on a project in the nursery. The lumber was so big that I had to drive so Chris could prop up the boards as not to impel ourselves going down I-85 in our small SUV.

Chris always backs into the driveway. He is a pro at it. I tease him about it. (Does the car have to be parked in a manner that you can plan your get away without waking the neighbors???) Anyway, I knew he would want to back in to unload the lumber. I took it for the team, lied, and said "How bout I back us in so you can unload?" He looked at me with one cocked eye brow and a grin and said "Are you sure?" In all seriousness I told him, "Yes, I have been practicing (lie) and am now quite good at this!"

I pulled forward into the street, glanced in the rear view, and gunned it. We skidded, screeched to the left, crashed over the sidewalk, and landed 2 inches in front of our sweet little landscaping tree.

The uncontrollable laughter started and took at least 45 minutes to subside. 5 minutes later, we replayed the scene and I laughed so hard I peed in my pants (more to come on that as well).

Laughter is the best medicine. Enough said.

Money: you suddenly stop it spending on yourself and start spending it on a little person who is just sure to steal your heart in the peanut sized Sperry shoes you just had to buy him. For me, this has been a most refreshing change. I love loading up and heading off to Target or Gymboree to purchase pint sized items. My current favorite pastime is swinging by Babies R Us and snatching up things off my registry. My girlfriends remind me almost daily that I am not supposed to be doing this. Somehow I just can't stop. It brings me such joy!

Naming the Baby: fitting that "Nolan" and "name" both start with the letter 'N'. What seemed like such an easy task has turned into yet another laughing matter at our house. After deciding on "Nolan" at -4 weeks gestation, we (aka: I) decided we weren't too sure about the name.

The biggest reason, truthfully, is that every time we tell someone what we are going to name the baby, they say "Oh, Nolan, what a perfect baseball player name. Nolan Davis, yes he will grow up to be a baseball player". Silly as it may be, I don't like the idea of predestining your child to anything (greatness, yes...sports-related activities, no).

I thought Chris had always wanted to name his boy "Nolan" (undoubtedly out of his love for Nolan Ryan) but turns out, upon gaining enough confidence to broach the subject, sweaty armpits and all, he's not crazy about the name either.
We have several other names up our sleeves and may just have to wait to see his sweet little face before deciding which one we will go with. This is SO not like me. Being a monogram freak and all.

Optimism: my once Negative Nancy self has been overtaken by a sense of optimism that is almost unexplainable. Simply put, I feel so incredibly blessed. So incredibly loved. So incredibly happy. No amount of worrying is worth losing that feeling. So my worry wart days are a thing of the past.

Private Parts: by 20 weeks I made the shocking revelation that I could no longer see them. They no longer exist. Neither do my feet.

Queen for a Day: the feeling I get when splurging on pedicures (way too often) in order to care for the toes and feet I can no longer see. It's like heaven in a bubbly tub of sea salt and sugar scrub.

Rookie: how I feel when compared to 99% of my girlfriends who have paved the way before me. Am I wrong to love the "ignorance is bliss" phase?? As a good friend once told me "The caboose has the most fun. That's why it's painted red".

Stretch Marks: so far, so good in this department. My fear (and ultimately what I know is going to happen) is that along about 39 1/2 weeks, these little boogers will magically appear and leave their mark forever. The 9 tubes of stretch mark creme, oil, minimizer, and moisturizer can't possibly work well when kept in an unused pile under the bathroom counter. We'll just worry about that later.

Tums: although ideally these chalky, rainbow colored tablets would work wonders on the heartburn that rages through my esophagus, I can't seem to choke them down to save my life. I take approximately 47 tiny bites just to get one down. Insert additional laughing matter.

Underwear: although I am still squeezing into my pre-pregnancy skibbies for now, I feel the walk to shame to the Panty Palace coming soon. Goodbye XS anything. Hello granny panties and abdominal support drawers.

Vericose Veins: well truly spider veins, but since the letter 's' was better spent on stretch marks, I figured I could squeeze this truth in under 'v'. What better way to decorate a pair of ham hock thighs than with clusters of purple spider veins? I call them “accessories”. So much nicer than “eyesores”, don't you think?

Weight Gain: alas. What is there to say? You get pregnant. Your body is no longer your own. You see numbers on the scale never seen before. I started at 117 and now weigh in at 130. Total gain = 13 pounds in approximately 20 weeks. There it is.

X: 'x' is for "cross eyed" which is what you probably are if you are still reading this ridiculousness :)

Yearning: this little word has taken on a whole new meaning in my life since learning that we would be welcoming our very own little person into this world...sappy and embarrassing as it is, I absolute yearn for him. To hold him. To rock him. To feed him. To kiss his boo boos. To read to him. To sing him off to sleep...

Zzzz: sleeping while pregnant closely resembles a trip to the circus. You flip, you turn, you shove pillows between your legs and under your tummy, you flail, you fart, you fluff the covers to make your spouse laugh, you snore, you drool, you get up to pee 5 times a night, and somewhere in between you sleep a little bit. The advice-givers tell me "it's natures own sweet way of preparing you for motherhood". Super.

So there you have it. The honest truth. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And I honestly love every minute of it (but not as much as I love the thought of holding sweet Lil Bit in my arms at the end of this grand adventure!)


  1. Seriously, I am crying from laughing! I think your next step should be to make it into a snazzy powerpoint presentation and take this show on the road! Hilarious.

  2. Sometimes I am embarassed that I cannot post without writing a novel. Powerpoint presentation here I come!