Monthly Archives: October 2010

That Sleep Thing

La Reve

La Reve by Picasso. Your art history lesson for today. You're welcome.

True Pregnancy Confession: I did not know that I would not sleep before the baby arrived.

I was warned that I should get as much sleep as I could before our little monster makes his debut, but since the start of the second trimester, sleep has become an illusive memory. Not every night is bad. Just the nights that really matter – like the night before I need to be on my toes for work meetings or need to be well rested for an exceptionally long day ahead.

The issue seems to be a mix of my anxiety and Mr. Baby Angus’s sleep patterns. It turns out he likes to host a womb dance party around 2 a.m. While I love feeling him move and have yet to get tired of the little kicks and punches, I still can’t help but desire a little more sleep and a little less Kung Fu action in the middle of the night.

Once I’m awake it’s tough to quiet my mind. I get started with  my to-do list, which leads to how far behind I feel all the time, which leads to, “Seriously, God? You gave me a baby? For realz, yo – you know me right?”

 

The other thing making it difficult is my expanding girth. Even though the belly is not out of this universe huge, it still takes quite a bit of effort to move from one side to the other. And sometimes, when I get on that recommended left side, I feel like I am crushing Baby Angus. I’ve become quite the pro pillow arranger.

And hey, pregnant mommas and used-to-be-pregnant mommas out there – how good does sleeping on your back feel?

I’m sure the Uterus Police will be on me about that, but seriously. It’s like way awesome.

 

But truly, the thing that has surprised me the most? How little sleep I actually need to function like an almost normal, waddling, front heavy woman. It has to be an evolutionary mechanism, developed in the days of the cavemen, to prepare me for the sleepless nights ahead. It HAS to be.

The First Trimester

Because we were keeping the pregnancy under wraps for as long as possible, I didn’t write about the first trimester or my experience. Before I forget  what it was like I thought I would share with you the gloriousness of the first trimester.

Weeks 4-7

I’m feeling crampy and think that the Crimson Tide should be arriving any day. We’re 3 weeks out from our wedding and my mind is consumed with the guest list, nailing the decor, and making sure everything is exactly how it should be. Travis makes a delicious weekend breakfast. I take one bite and don’t feel so hot. Not sick. Just not hungry. He makes a joke about me being pregnant. “Nah,” I say. “I’ve been feeling cramps.” The weekend carries on and I am just so damn tired. But I should be right? I’ve been planning a wedding, working out like an athlete and dealing with a demanding job.

Monday comes around. Travis heads out of town for work and I start thinking, “When was my last period?” I take my Rodney White calendar off the wall and start counting. Holy S*&#! I’m almost two weeks late. I can’t really concentrate on anything. I head to Whole Foods to get some lunch. Yuck. Nothing looks good. I spend $15 anyway.

Then it’s off to Target. I’m buying a pregnancy test for the first time in my entire life.

I get back to my office. Luckily, it’s a slow day and not many people are around. I slip into the bathroom with my Whole Foods bag and take out the pregnancy test. Did you know they come in a package of two? Me neither. Before that faint, second line shows up on the pee stick, I know. I just absolutely know that I am pregnant. After all, I’ve never felt like this before.

When I am stuffing the second pregnancy test into the Whole Foods bag I drop it on the floor. It makes a loud “KABOOM!” So much for being inconspicuous. I walk into the hall to find two male engineers staring at me. Oh, hey guys. Nothing to see here. Just a girl who found out she’s knocked up three weeks before her wedding. No big deal.

After getting back to my desk I spend the rest of the day reading BabyCenter.com. It turns out those damn pee sticks are pretty accurate.

I get home and rush to the bathroom. Time for the second test. A-ha! This is why they sell them in a package of two. Two minutes later – yep, still pregnant.

It’s time to call my fiance. He should probably know about this. I know he loves me. I know we have a strong relationship. But…

I’m about to tell him that we’re having a child.

The phone call starts out with chit chat. Then I say, “So I took two pregnancy tests today. And they are positive.”

Gulp. The tears start flowing. I have such mixed emotions. I’m a sniffling, snotty mess. I just want him to be here. I don’t want to be doing this on the phone. I don’t want to be by myself. Isn’t this moment supposed to be more like that damn iPhone commercial?

He is so calm. “Wow, this is a blessing,” says my not-so-religious fiance.

We talk on the phone forever that night. I pace the backyard, throw the ball for the dogs, walk around the kitchen, my ten year old cow dog watches me carefully trying to nuzzle my tear stained face.

The tears subside and I start to think about who this little person will be. The nervousness and scared feelings start to subside and before I know it, I’m excited. And T’s excited. And we’re having a baby.

Throughout the next few weeks the cramping continues. I had no idea about this, but honestly, it’s freaking painful. Like almost take you to your knees, can’t talk through it painful. Similar to what contractions are like (or so I hear). A couple of times we are out in public and I have to lean over and focus on breathing to get through the cramping. Once I call the doctor’s office they tell me that this is perfectly normal. It’s the uterus stretching or the egg implanting or some other type of biology happening. Huh. That’s fun. The nurse I speak to says that unless I have bleeding everything is A-OK. Relief.

I’m nauseous during this time, but I only throw up once or twice. I start keeping saltines in my purse, desk and car. I also invest in a bag of lemon drops. If I have something in my mouth most of the time I feel pretty good.

That’s what she said.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I’m mature like that.

It doesn’t take long in these first few weeks for me to be waking up constantly to pee. My boobs ache. I’m sleeping a lot.

In our 7th week we head to St. Croix to get married. I’m nervous about traveling. What if I get sick all over the plane? What if I don’t have the stamina to enjoy the trip? What if something happens to the baby?

Turns out it’s smooth sailing. I have the best time. I’m surrounded by my closest family and friends. I can’t drink, but no one notices. In fact, after our wedding my brother makes a comment about how I was “so drunk” at our wedding reception. Ha ha suckers. I fooled you all!

Weeks 8-11

Once we are on our honeymoon my body gives up. After a week and a half of entertaining 60 people, I don’t have it in me anymore. I spend most of the honeymoon sleeping. Miraculously, the nausea is completely gone by this point. I can eat like a normal person and I do. We are staying at an all-inclusive and we eat approximately 7 times a day. They had a wood-fired pizza oven open all the time!

When we get back to the real world, life starts moving way too fast. A new job opportunity presents itself. I start sharing our news with a few of our closest friends. We finally have our first doctor’s appointment at Week 10. We get to see the little monster and it brings tears to my eyes. Hearing the heartbeat is life changing. In that moment, this little baby becomes real. I realize just how much I love it already. I suddenly get my parents a little bit more.

Week 12

Week 12 is a big deal. This is the turning point. The moment when the chance of miscarriage  decreases dramatically. We had been waiting for this week for a long time. It felt like it took a long time to get here.

Week 13-14

As I’m rounding out the first trimester, the fatigue actually gets worse. I come home every night and take a nap before we eat dinner. I sleep a solid 10-12 hours every Friday night. I take a nap every Saturday and Sunday. I pee constantly. I’m not hungry and my weight has actually dropped since finding out I am pregnant. However, a lower weight does not mean smaller clothes. In fact, my regular clothes aren’t comfortable anymore so I buy my first maternity clothes.

At this point, we’re so close to the second trimester. I find out that I got the new job. I’m nervous to start telling people that I’m pregnant. After all, aren’t they tired of the Travis/Jenny train?

 

Coming soon to a blog near you…The Second Trimester.

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What would you like to name our baby?

It seems these days that the first question people ask after learning that we are expecting a boy is, “Do you have a name picked out?” ”

The short answer is kind of, but I’d like to wait to meet him before bestowing a name that will follow him his whole life.  I’d like to see his little face and eyes first. I refrain from sharing our name ideas because of people’s inability to refrain from sharing their opinions. Let’s face it. Even when they don’t intend on sharing their opinion it comes across in body language or in what they don’t say.

My mom sends me her names ideas handwritten on scraps of paper in a white envelope every few weeks. It started with a mix of boy and girl names, then only boy names, and finally full-on first middle and last combinations. I love the enthusiasm and that people care so much about this little baby already.

So now I’m asking for it! Give me your best boy names – let me have it! I’m ready for your suggestions.

What would you like to name our baby?

Please leave your suggestion(s) in the comments section. I promise that I will not publicly scorn them unless they are truly ridiculous (Angus, Tupac).

Pregnancy Acupuncture

In my first trimester, summer allergies hit and started kicking my ass. I felt a lot of pressure in my sinuses and my doc didn’t want me taking anything until I passed the 12 week mark. Sinus pressure has to be one of the most annoying allergy symptoms, especially when you can’t dive into the Benadryl or  Zyrtec.

A nurse at my doctor’s office recommended the neti pot. “Hmmp,” I scoffed in my head. “I’m not a rookie at this allergy thing.”

Neti pots are amazing. It’s like a little teapot that you fill with a salt water mixture, stick up your nose and flush out your sinuses. Kind of gross, but pretty amazing at the same time.

Acupunture during pregnancyUnfortunately, this time the neti pot was no match for my allergies. I started researching other natural options and came across acupuncture. With the approval of my doctor, I was off to get needles stuck in my face (among other places).

It turns out, in the hands of the right acupuncturist, acupuncture is a really safe, helpful way to alleviate many pregnancy ailments.  I started going for my allergies and now I go every two weeks for a little tune up. Sometimes we work on my sleep, sometimes on the aches and pains that come with a stretching tummy and growing baby. Within a few appointments the pressure I felt in my sinuses was gone.

The best part? Every two weeks I have an appointment at noon so I can take a little cat nap. In a weird way, acupuncture is more relaxing than getting a massage. After the acupuncturist inserts the needles she leaves me in a nice, dark room with that calming yoga/massage music. It’s quite nice…it may be my happy place.

A lot of people get freaked out by the needles, but honestly acupuncture is completely painless. It’s truly invigorating.

If you’re in the Reno-Tahoe area I see Dr. Brooke Hollinger at Eight Dimensions.

*I should disclose that this isn’t my first rodeo with acupuncture. In the past I saw an acupuncturist to try and balance my thyroid hormones.

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Skycatica

Everyone has words that they have a hard time pronouncing. For me my list includes linoleum, which almost always comes out lilloleum if I don’t stop and think about pronouncing it. My mom can’t pronounce mammoth. It always comes out mommeth.

Through this pregnancy I get to add another word to my list – Sciatica.

Sciatica: Pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the leg.

Oh you’d like me to use it in a sentence?

“Travis, I think I have skycatica.”

“What?”

“Skycatica. In my hip, butt and leg.”

“Jenny, you’re saying it wrong. It’s Siiighatica.”

“Scicatica. Sky-cat-ti-ca?”

“Si-at-ti-ca.”

“Sci-tat-tica.”

“No, not like sci-fi. Sigh-at-ti-ca.”

This continued on for quite some time. Kind of like this scene from Friends where Joey tries to learn French.

Anyway, this pain started at my SI joint (that’s what my acupuncturist calls it) and now my right ass cheek feels like it is on fire. The pain is annoying, but the worst part is trying to get comfortable at night. It seems to get worse at 2 a.m. or when I lay on my side, which is the recommended sleeping position for pregnant women. I’m trying to stay drug free while pregnant, but last night I gave in and went for the Tylenol PM. Didn’t do a damn thing. So this afternoon I’m off to a pre-natal massage. When the masseuse asks what I’d like to focus on I will have no problem saying, “My right ass cheek please.”

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