Monthly Archives: June 2012

Awkwardly Contained Excitement

I’ve been monitoring my weight since I found out I was pregnant to make sure I don’t gain too much weight. Before I found out, I was working out 4 times a week. I was steadily losing weight and toning muscles. I have to admit… I look good! I haven’t worked out since because I have been sick with a really bad cold, and I just don’t have time. I’ve been working 11 hour days and am too exhausted by the time I get home.

 

When I was a senior in high school, my metabolism slowed to a stop, while my appetite for greasy food increased. My high school dance teacher left mid-year and was “replaced” by a series of substitute teachers who took roll call and read a magazine. Between the middle of my senior year and the middle of my freshman year of college, I gained at least 60 pounds. I’m below that weight now, but just barely. I remember my sister coming to me after church one day saying “I’ve been asked “Are congratulations are in order or if I should keep my mouth shut?”” I was completely confused. She gently told me people assumed the weight gain meant I was pregnant. I was offended and shocked at the same time. I knew my weight had gotten the better of me, but to hear that people were asking about me was a different thing altogether.

When I got engaged, I swore I would drop the weight before the engagement. We had a two year engagement, which came and went, and I hadn’t lost any weight at all. I was mad at myself for not trying to lose it. I was mad at myself for not sticking to a promise I had made. It wasn’t until I moved out of California and away from the “fast food on every corner” mentality. I did little things while back in California: switched from white to wheat, and from 2% to non-fat milk. I drink a lot of milk by myself. About a gallon a week, sometimes more. Switching to non-fat was hard at first, but I was able to do it and now 2% tastes like cream to me.

Since living in Minnesota, we’ve cooked so many more meals at home, At first they weren’t the healthiest, but they were a great deal healthier than fast food. We have slowly started to make more and more meals from scratch, adding a lot of protein to each meal with chicken, pork, or beans. A close friend of mine is a vegetarian, so she has opened my eyes to healthier ways to eat without meat.

 

I’m not at my ideal weight, and I’m not all that close either. I intend to lose an additional 40 pounds or so. A couple of months ago, I went clothes shopping with my husband. I preferred to shop at one store for jeans because they fit me right, but they were really pricey for one pair. So we stopped at Old Navy because they were having a really good sale. I tried on my “size”, and they were big on me. By “size” I mean the number on the jeans matched the number I was wearing at the time. I tried on a smaller pair, same problem. Another. And another. Same problem; they were all too big on me. I finally found a pair that fit and the number was WAY off. I looked at Chris, who said that I had lost a lot of weight. He wasn’t surprised that I would drop that many sizes since we hadn’t been shopping in a long time.

When I found out I got the new office job I interviewed for, I asked my good friend “Chrissie” to go shopping with me. Her answer was, of course, yes. I found that the size I found at Old Navy didn’t fit me at different stores. I was very upset. Had I gained the weight back? Had I deluded myself into thinking I had lost weight and dropped clothing sizes? I decided then and there that the number doesn’t matter. It only matters how the clothes look and fit. I found several pairs of pants that fit well and chose a couple to purchase. To be honest with you, I couldn’t tell you what size they are.

 

When I found out I was pregnant, weight crossed my mind. I know that if I do it right, I shouldn’t gain any more than necessary, and I can lose it all, plus more when the baby is born. This, of course, hinges all on doing it right. That means no gorging on greasy burgers – even though I’m craving them 24/7 – but instead, eating something healitier (a piece of fruit, a rice cake, etc) when a craving hits. As long as I get the proper nutrtion for me and the baby, all should be well. I’m not too worried about it.

 

Chrissie is pregnant and due in late October. I love to go shopping with her, so we decided to hit the annual neighborhood yard sale around the corner from my apartment complex. We were looking specifically for baby things for her, because at the time I wasn’t pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. We took “Rory” with us. She is Chrissie’s boyfriend’s daughter. Frickin’ cute kid, too – cuz ya know, that’s totally relevant.

Something you should know: Chrissie is half-black, her boyfriend “Bri” and his daughter Rory are white. *Shrug* No biggie. Chrissie is more of Rory’s mom than I will ever be. That’s because Chrissie and Bri are planning to be married next year. So, literally, Chrissie will be Rory’s step-mom. People automatically assume Rory is mine. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I giggle a little when they ask me how old she is, and Chrissie responds. People either assume I’m Rory’s mom, or that we both are.

While yard sale shopping, we had Rory with us in a stroller, looking at baby clothes and toys. We both tend to mother her. And by that, I mean we take turns saying “no” or giving her this or that. It’s an easy mistake to assume we’re both Rory’s moms, or be confused as to who her real mom is. While Chrissie was looking at something for sale (an item that was already on her registry), the little old lady who selling the item was chatting me up, talking about Rory and the baby on it’s way. At the time, Chrissie wasn’t showing yet. This woman automatically assumed I was the pregnant one because of my belly. She kept moving her eye contact from my eyes to my tummy. (You know, the one part that is the hardest to get rid of when losing weight…) I kind of exclaimed “Oh! I’m not pregnant, she is!” pointing at Chrissie. The woman didn’t bat an eye and looked at Chrissie and said “Well, congratulations!” I wasn’t sure if I should be offended, or if I needed to be more careful about what I choose what to wear.

 

There are very few people at work who know I’m pregnant.

  • The gal next to me does; she’s not on my team, and doesn’t talk to anyone on my team.
  • Another gal a few cubicles away knows, again not on my team.
  • My boss knows. It was kind of pertinent to tell him when trying to explain why I am stressing out and really don’t want to be stressing out. He totally understood. We had a great conversation and should have a great working relationship from here on out.

In the break room yesterday, I was preparing my lunch and a woman was pouring herself a cup of coffee. I’ve only seen her once or twice, but I know she’s been with the company for a while. She just has that air about her. She looks me up and down and says “So when are you due?” A non-pregnant woman’s response would be “huh?” My response, without even looking up, was “February 17th.” The second it was out of my mouth, I realized what had just happened. I looked at what I was wearing. I was wearing a form fitting ribbed tank top under my blouse to “hold in” my belly. I was fairly certain I had a decently flat tummy with the outfit I was wearing (it’s one of the things I strive for every morning when choosing my outfit), so I’m not sure how she knew. Maybe I was glowing. Maybe I just had that smile on my face. I had thought I was containing my excitement perfectly. Apparently not. We talked a little about the pregnancy so far, she was suprised at herself for knowing when I’m just barely 7 weeks pregnant.

 

At work, I sit nowhere near my team, so Googling baby items on my lunch break isn’t a problem. I tend to squirm a little when I am reminded that I’m pregnant, I’m going to have a baby, I’m going to be a mommy. How am I supposed to contain that excitement? How am I supposed to focus when all I can think of is furniture, baby sheets, onsies, and stuffed bears?

Week 6

Not a whole lot to report on this past week. Besides having my second BETA numbers come back and a bit of cramping on Saturday, there’s nothing to constantly remind me that I’m pregnant. Sure, I’ve got my daily shots (yes, still) and my surrogate support group, but I’ve had those since before the transfer(s). I’m not gaining weight yet, I’m not showing, I don’t have morning sickness (thank goodness!) and my face is relatively clear of acne (or, rather, it’s the same as it always is). It’s easy to forget for a while that I’m actually pregnant.

I created a page where I will update my weight and belly-inch changes since those don’t warrant a blog post of their own.

My cramping on Saturday seemed a bit odd; cramping after IVF is common, but this was at 5 weeks! I haven’t had any  cramping since the transfer 3 weeks ago, so it kinda freaked me out a bit. I did what I’ve been told: stay off my feet and drink lots of water. Kinda hard to drink more  water than I already do, but I made sure to keep water on me at all times. And I did a pretty good job of staying off my feet at home and at the retirement party I attended that afternoon/evening. By Sunday morning: no cramps. Not quite sure what that was, but I’m glad it’s past. Cramping while pregnant is scary, regardless of how many people tell you it’s normal.

By this time next week I should know just how many buns are baking in my oven. My first ultrasound (the fertility office called it a “pregnancy scan”) is on July 3rd, just one day shy of my being 7 weeks pregnant! I’m bummed the boys can’t be there, but I’ll be taking pictures and sending them emails as soon as the pictures upload! And, of course, I’ll update here as soon as I know the boys have received their emails/text messages from me.

Wait a second… I’m WHAT?!

I’m still debating how much detail I should go into here. Probably not much. Not sure everybody wants to know that much about me. :)

So, two weeks ago today was a Saturday. (Comment added during proof-read: This post was started on a Saturday. Hence why “today” would be Saturday.) I noticed I was feeling differently, physically and emotionally. I looked slightly different, so I decided to take a random pregnancy test. (I’ve found that as a married woman, it can be handy to have a pregnancy test on hand for the couple of days where I start to worry and wonder.) I can’t say I was worried about the results, more anxious than anything. Maybe a little scared, too. While I waited the two minutes for the results, I didn’t bother to get dressed yet. I just paced back and forth in the bathroom. My husband, Christopher, was already up in the living room watching sports on the big TV (and quite possibly on his laptop as well). Once I had the results, I sort of stood there, staring at the stick.

I was 100% pregnant. Either that or I had cancer. <~ That’s a reference from the movie Saved! with Jena Malone & Mandy Moore.

Announcer on TV: Coming up on Lifetime: Valerie Bertinelli stars in Bitter Harvest, a sensitive portrayal of one woman’s struggle with cancer.

Lillian:Oh, this looks good.

[many minutes later]

Valerie Bertinelli:There was a feeling of twilight in the air. All honeydew and lilac. God wasn’t just smiling down on me; he was…jumping up and cheering! And then, well…I thought I was pregnant. I’d been throwing up every morning and I hadn’t had my period in two months, so I took a home pregnancy test.

Woman, off-camera:What happened?

Valerie Bertinelli:…found out I wasn’t pregnant. It was the cancer.

Mary: She found all that out from a home pregnancy test?

I have always wanted to be a mom. My biggest, life-time fear was that I wouldn’t be able to have children of my own (if that happened, I had already thought a lot about adoption of a child, not necessarily a baby). A lot of people don’t know that. My “hero” or the person I looked up to most as a kid was always my mom. She did such a great job raising my sister and me (and even some of my friends), and I wanted to be just like her when I was kid (yes, Daddy was a great dad as well, but I remember a lot more with Mom because Daddy traveled a lot for work). I sat down on the closed toilet with the test in my hands. (Yes, I washed it!) My husband and I weren’t planning on a baby, but we weren’t exactly “careful” either. I just never thought it would happen the first time. I have heard of perfectly healthy women who have never been on birth control and it takes them several months of trying to become pregnant. And then I’ve heard of plenty of perfectly healthy women who get pregnant the first try. I just assumed I’d fall somewhere in the middle.

I had a million and one thoughts rushing through my head:

  • There goes the idea of getting a puppy.
  • Should I get a job?
  • We can afford life perfectly well with just the two of us, will we be able to afford a baby?
  • What is Christopher going to say?
  • Crap, I have to stop taking my meds. (More on that in a little bit…)
  • Good thing I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins since the wedding! (Does wonders for my hair and nails!)
  • Hmm…. My sister is pregnant.
  • Are people going to think I’m just being a copy cat again like I was when I was a child?
  • Is my sister going to be angry if I take her spot light away?
  • I wonder if I’ll have a boy or a girl.
  • I really want a girl.
  • I really want a girl for me, but I also know Sherry (Christopher’s grandma) really wants a granddaughter.
  • I kind of want a boy.
  • I’ve never had a baby boy in my life except for my nephews that I didn’t get to see enough and except for Tyke. I’ve had boy toddlers and young boys in my life (church families and Riley), but not a baby, infant, or toddler.
  • I wonder if Christopher really wants a boy as much as he says he does.
  • I wonder how he would be with a daughter.
  • What’s Daddy going to say?

I really could go on, but I’ll stop for now.

I didn’t know how to tell Chris. Would he be upset? I know he wants kids, but he wants to be more “financially stable” than we are now. Then I thought about a girlfriend of mine (and her boyfriend – who is also a good friend) who is currently pregnant. She is due in October. Completely unexpected (not the irresponsible way, though), but they seem to be affording the doctor’s visits and all the baby stuff just fine. So, back to “how do I tell Chris?”

I’m just going to say this before I explain how I told my amazing husband that he was going to be a father: Each couple is different. They have different dynamics, different inside jokes, and different ways of reacting to certain things.

I took the (clean and dried) test into the living room. He was looking at his computer, and saw me out of the corner of his eye. I called “catch!” and tossed the test at him. I knew this would work because he has such amazing reflexes, he would catch anything I threw him before he even bothered to look at what it is. As soon as it left my hand, I left the room. I went to the bedroom to put on my weekend clothes so I could lounge on the couch. I hear him mute the television and call to me “Does this say what I think it says?” By the time I’ve found my clothes, he is standing in the doorway of the bedroom with this worried smile on his face. I’m so afraid he’s going to be angry at me. (Comment added during proof-read: Why would he be mad at me? He loves me, and he’s not the type of person to get mad at a situation like this. He’s a wonderful person and husband.) I reply with “Yes, I’m pregnant. Are you mad at me?” He laughs and asks why he should be mad at me. Overall, he’s happy, but wants me to confirm it with another test soon. Since I didn’t have another test, and we weren’t going shopping anytime soon, that was going to have to wait.

So what’s the first thing I do?

I texted my best friend. I told her my fears of shadowing my sister (which she confirmed were unfounded). She was ridiculously and deliriously happy. She is my “sister from another mister” who during a text conversation typo became my “sister from another mustache” since we both find mustaches “interesting”. She has a son (who calls me “Aunt Micki”) and can’t wait to be an auntie, give advice where needed, go shopping (if possible), and meet Baby Allbee, whom she will spoil rotten I’m fairly certain.

I then sent a picture of the test to my sister and my mom within the same text message. I assumed they were both at church waiting for church to begin. I found out Mom and Dad were camping and Michelle was indeed at church. Apparently Dad had Mom’s phone because he asked if the picture was an electric toothbrush (!!). I asked him to give the phone to Mom because she would know what the picture was. Michelle and I just laughed and sat there in disbelief at Dad’s question. Sharing the good news with my sister and mom was the highlight of that day. They were both extremely excited for me and wanted to talk more, but each had places to be: Mom a meeting, and Sister was at church.

After I told my family, Christopher and I sat down and talked about everything. I called my psychiatrist and left a voicemail telling him I was pregnant and wanted to verify if I should stop taking my medication. (He called back on Monday confirming that.) At the time I was on two different anti-depressants that were really helping the situation. I’ve been diagnosed as clinically depressed, bi-polar II, with adult ADHD. — I don’t mind talking about it, because I think more people need to be aware of the symptoms of untreated depression and bi-polar II. (Basically, I’ve been told the difference between bi-polar and bi-polar II is how quickly it affects the person. Before treatment, I would be in the best place of my life (thinking I knew the answers to everything, nothing could upset me, I could get things done faster than fast, etc) one day, and the next day or week I could be ready to commit suicide and hating my life. Someone who is bi-polar will have the same effects, but spread out over a longer time frame. – At least, that was my understanding of what my doctor told me – I’m not an expert!) So not only am I expected to have hormonal mood swings, now I’m going to be going through withdrawals of my medications and the effects of not being on my medication.

About a week later, we made the phone call to my in-laws. We wanted to be 100% sure that we were pregnant. This might seem a little weird — waiting to call my mother in law, but my mom, sister and I are extremely close. If the test was a fluke, I knew they would be the ones to help me through that, and I didn’t see any reason to unnecessarily upset my in-laws. They were all very excited. I think my favorite phone call made was to Chris’s grandma, Sherry. She squeals when she giggles when she is super excited, and it just makes me giggle and gives me a smile that just won’t stop.

Everyday since, I’m smiling and very happy. Yes, I can feel the lack of medications which normally act as “mood stabilizers.” But honestly, one thought of me being pregnant is a mood lifter all on its own! I had a conversation with my sister the other day, and just thinking about it makes me smile:

Sister: Do you forget sometimes that you’re pregnant?

Me: Nope.

Me: Every time I look in the mirror: “Man, my face is broken out. Stupid hormones” or “Man, I’m skinny… Not for long!”

Me: Every time I move and I feel back or boob pain: “Stupid expanding uterus.” or “Stupid growing boobs.”

Me: Every time I pee: “Geez, I have to drink a lot of water.”

Me: Every time I’m walking and I look at my toes: “Well, soon enough, I won’t be able to see you at all!”

Me: Every time, every time, every time… I’m always reminded. Maybe because it was such a surprise and I still haven’t gotten over the excitement of being a first-time preggo and a first-time mom-to-be.