Monday, February 15, 2016

Ramblings from Trimester 1

One of the scariest parts of this pregnancy for me, other than everything, is feeling asymptomatic of actually being pregnant.  In fact, with the elimination of drinking, and the additions of eating a lot more organic, drinking a shitload of water and getting a full night of sleep every night has arguably led me to feel better than I have in a long time.  Like, since undergrad.

I know I earn very little sympathy here.  Some women are so sick they are hospitalized and here I am whining that I am not sick enough.  For me, my boobs have been somewhat sore, but I often find myself molesting them to make sure they they are still, in fact, sore so that, in turn, I can convince myself that I am still pregnant.

There have been a few times when I have felt sick, and during those few times I have thought this: "Yay, I feel sick! Validation!" Fast forward 5 minutes. "What a little dickbag, asshole child in there making me feel sick.  Cut the shit, baby."  (I have no idea at this point if my kid has a dick or not, but we throw the term dickbag around freely in this house so it seems appropriate.)

Do you want to know the second and third times I knew I wanted a baby?  The first time we saw this baby's heartbeat and two days later after I started bleeding, thinking I might be having another miscarriage.  The bleeding happened on a Saturday night and I immediately called the doctor, who told me to sit tight and call back if I started soaking more than one pad an hour.  Fantastic medical advice.  This jerk works at MGH, practically the best hospital in the world, and her advice was just to hang out.  I'd never felt less reassured.

On Monday I called back and asked when I was coming in for an ultrasound.  The nurse told me that I had just had a great checkup 4 days prior and since the bleeding had stopped (spotting really, but I like to blow things out of proportion and fear the worst) they were not going to have me some in.  So, I did what any decent lawyer would do and that was argue until I got my way.  A few hours later, I had won the round and we went in.  Thankfully Nugget was doing just fine.  This medical phenomenon was diagnosed as "sometimes these things happen" which has really done a lot for my faith in this process. They told us to have a nice day come back for our regularly scheduled 12 week ultrasound in three weeks.  Sometimes science is such baloney.

In other news, I have started to have my first food cravings and aversions.  God forbid I crave something diabetic friendly.  Vegetables are about as appealing as dog food at this point.  Instead, I have managed to discover the nutritional value in glazed donuts covered in sprinkles.  Not only is this something I now consider a superfood, my optimal time to consume them is between 3 and 7am.  As a diabetic, I have this conversation with myself 6 or 7 times an hour: "Self, don't eat that donut" Followed by, "Roger, Self, you got it.  No donut.  That would be bad for your blood sugar, and since we are a responsible Self and want to have the healthiest baby possible, we wouldn't think about eating donuts.  Or Kit Kats.  Or sugar cookies.  Or syrup.  Definitely not syrup. No way." And then I eat the donut and pray that I took enough insulin to cover all the garbage calories I just consumed for no reason.

As far as aversions, I don't cringe at one thing specifically, but I have started to dread anything for dinner that has previously been planned.  The other night I thawed chicken for chicken parm, which I normally love.  (On an unrelated note, fuck you to anyone who uses the "word" unthaw, which literally translates into "make frozen" or the exact opposite of the verb THAW.)  When it was time to make the aforementioned chicken parm it was like someone suggested I eat boogers for dinner.  Ironically, I thought that if Jeff took me to our favorite place in the North End, I could crush some chicken parm.  But hell no if I was making it for myself for dinner that night.  The same thing happened when we planned to have breakfast for dinner.  I love eggs! We have breakfast for dinner all the time. I also make Jeff take me to our favorite shithole diner every weekend for a bacon and cheese omelet and a pancake (yay syrup!).

The moral of this awesome story is, if I plan to eat it and take responsible, adult steps to begin preparing it in advance, inevitably I won't want to eat it when the time comes.  I should probably reverse logic my own ass and plan to have a dozen donuts for dinner.

And here is another story that you may think is a showing sign that I will be a semi-decent mom but should really confirm what a shit head I am.  We had planned a trip to St. Maarten in March but good old Zika virus showed up there so we cancelled the trip and rebooked to Miami.  Before anyone starts handing out proverbial pats on the back to yours truly, let me explain that I did not rebook out of fear that our baby would be born with a shrunken head and correlated complications. I rebooked out of fear that I would have to raise a child with a shrunken head and correlated complications.  See the difference?  That would affect ME, which is not in my long term plans.  I only want a gorgeous child with flawless grammar, great table manners, wonderful sleeping habits and an above average distribution of both brains and athletic prowess.  I realize that this kid is a mash up of Jeff and I so I'll be lucky to get a halfway decent speller that makes the honor roll with straight Bs and starts on the varsity lacrosse team by its senior year.  Here's to hoping.

Here are Nugget's second, third and fourth photo ops.

Holy Fuckski We Are Having a Baby (Maybe)

After I had the most pleasant experience of a D&C (said nobody ever) my biological clock straightened herself right out and we immediately began trying for another baby.  Don't ask me why.  The first time we got pregnant it was in a vodka infused, haphazard attempt to shut everyone up.  I still wasn't convinced that we shouldn't just spend our lives offering to babysit our friends' little assholes and coming home at night high fiving each other for our common sense not to reproduce.

But, like I said before, we got used to the idea of seeing a little Jeff & Suzie running around the planet, wreaking havoc on everyone while we stood back and smiled at our clever little progeny / monster.

Plus, our main weekend hobby had become an even mix of sleeping in, eating out, alcohol, naps and overall pissing money away with nothing to show for it.  We decided we really did need a lifestyle change and we were shocked over how hard we took the loss of our first baby.  Nobody in the world has ever accused me of being maternal (or nice, really) so these feelings that I never, ever thought I'd have really crept up on me and were a refreshing slap in the face.

Fast forward three months to the halftime of a New England Patriots game (thanks Monday Night Football) where I again ordered my husband to lose his pants because, based upon my Einsteinian calculations, I was maybe ovulating. Fast forward another 3 weeks and panic began to set in.  I had missed my period but otherwise I felt normal.  I half hoped I wasn't pregnant so that I didn't have to do all of the pregnant scary things that women have to do and so that Jeff and I could continue to worry solely about work, if we were going to eat dinner out, order it in or (gasp) cook, and who was going to fold the laundry. (Him. Always him because 99% of it is his.  Side note: jeans ARE NOT DIRTY until you wear them at least 15 times, and if you wear an undershirt and a collared shirt under your sweater, the sweater goes back on a hanger, too.)

So, one Sunday night after some liquid courage, I peed on a stick.  Negative.  Total head scratcher.  That had never happened before.  I was previously batting 1.000% on the "have sex, get pregnant" thing.  Obviously it was a mistake.  Good thing pregnancy tests come in sets of two.  Another beer, more urine, another negative.  Now I was perplexed and, to my surprise, SAD.  What was this unexpected emotion creeping up on me and ruining my Sunday Funday?  I crawled into bed and woke Jeff up, (because he goes to bed at the same time most toddlers do), and explained the failed science.  "We'll crush it next month babe" he said.

A week later and still no period.  Jeff manned up and managed to purchase another set of home pregnancy tests while he was out being productive one weekend morning and while I was home, laying in bed being a useless piece of shit.  As soon as I saw them in the house I got scared and hid them.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  I was like a dog that instinctively knew that this car ride was a trip to the vet and not to the park.

This is not my proudest moment, but I want to be honest here (probably to my only two readers... hi Momma Bear, hi Kel.  Because really why would anyone but my mom or my sister be reading this shitty blog?)  I peed on the stick, ran out of the bathroom, chugged a beer, ran back into the bathroom, saw the PREGNANT symbol and burst into tears.  Like, I ugly cried.  Happy? Meh, kind of.  Terrified? You betcha.  I just didn't want another dead baby.  Or any responsibility, really.  I might be the only woman in the history of the world to pee on a stick, cry, and have just one more glass of wine before reality set in.  How's that for a lowlife?

Now for some good news.  Two days later the fine folks over at MGH again ushered me into an early ultrasound.  We went in and got the most un-gratifying news of all time.  There was a yolk sac, which meant that yes I was technically pregnant, but there was no detectable heartbeat.  We were told that was normal because at 5 weeks 3 days (which was what I was measuring) a heartbeat has not yet always developed.  That afternoon we were driving down to South Carolina for Christmas and wouldn't be back for a week.  We were scheduled for another ultrasound (which I later found out was called a "viability" scan… great) for two weeks later.  No fucking worries, we'll just head on down South for the jolliest day of the year wondering if we have another miscarriage on our hands. Or, more technically, in my uterus.  Bring it on.

Thankfully, we got confirmation that Nugget had done some serious hard work right around the time Santa was jamming his fat ass down chimneys all across the lands.   Nugget measured two weeks bigger than when s/he was measured two weeks prior and had a heartbeat of 146 bpm.  There was our first proud mommy and daddy moment.  We cheered for our genius baby and congratulated it on its wherewithal to go out and gets itself a heartbeat.  Achievement unlocked.

Here is Nugget's first Glamour Shot.  I know, I know.  I was stunned by this little bueat too.

Oh You're Married? More Importantly, When Are You Going To Have A Kid?

One Sunday in May 2015 my husband and I were sitting around, drinking vodka sodas on the couch and watching golf (go Phil Mickelson) and discussing important topics like dinner and the meaning of life.  At that point I was 31 years old and he was 29 going on 45.  We had been married almost 5 years, together 9, and we were some of our last married friends without a kid.

I was sick as shit of the question "when are you going to have a baby?" that came from just about our entire universe of friends / family / acquaintances.  I used to tell my mother in law that every time she asked I was going to add a year.  By my math I would have been knocked up sometime in the next millennium.

Then, genius struck.  "Do you know how we can shut these fuckwads up, honey?" I said.  "Take your pants off.  I'm pretty sure I'm ovulating."  What better reason to bring a child into this world that you are not entirely sure you want to have other than to shut people up?  Like I said before:  pure. effing. genius.

Here comes the sad part to this story.  At that time my dad was really sick and had been in the intensive care unit for two months.  We didn't think he was going to pass away, but we knew it would be a long, hard road.  Then I got The Call from my mom, and about 5 days later we said goodbye to my beautiful Poppa Bear.

I was so distracted by his illness, our goodbye and all the bullshit in between that I totally forgot about the execution of Our Genius Fucking Plan a month prior.  I was sleeping on hospital chairs, eating Taco Bell almost exclusively and drinking my feelings away.  Being pregnant was about as close to my frontal lobe as a trip to Venus.

We got back from celebrating my dad's life on a Monday.  I had begun to do the math re: where the hell my period was.  I also wondered why my boobs were annoyed by anything that touched them.  I wondered aloud to Kellie (twin sister for any readers who may not know me) if I could be pregnant.  On Tuesday I peed on a stick, walked Vinnie (our firstborn, a puggle) and came back into our apartment to find a PREGNANT reading awaiting me.  Holyyyyyyy shit.  We had unprotected sex one freaking time.  One. On a day I thought I might be ovulating.  I mean, well played by me, but in reality it was more like: holy shitballs, commence panic attack.

I did all the things I thought I should do.  I stopped drinking, ate only rabbit food, cut out the supermajority of my caffeine intake and worked hard to control my blood sugars (type 1 diabetic here).  I remember calling my endocrinologist to make an appointment to come in and get screamed at for getting pregnant (my doctor had told me that I had a "hostile" uterus because my blood sugars were high) and I told the receptionist that I had "tested positive for pregnancy".  The guy on the other end of the phone laughed and said something to the effect of "It's supposed to be a good thing.  Don't you just mean "you're pregnant?"  Whatever, prick.

Then, the fine folks at Massachusetts General Hospital had us come in that week and confirmed a heartbeat. The doctor told us that the baby was measuring small but that sometimes things start slowly and they hoped s/he would catch up.  Jeff and I are both short so we laughed it off - totally our kid.  It was basically only a diagnosis that I had not been boinking the mailman.  They sent us packing, telling us I was 7 weeks pregnant and would see us in a month.

Fast forward a month to our next appointment where there was no heartbeat and it was confirmed that I was having a miscarriage.

Do you want to know when I knew I wanted to have a baby?  It certainly was not the day I found out we were expecting one.  It was not the first time I saw the heartbeat.  It certainly was not all the times I ordered water instead of wine at dinner.  It was the moment they told me we had lost the baby.  I was crushed.  I had just lost my dad and I was SURE he was looking over me, ready to make sure I had some kid full of piss and vinegar just like him, just like me.

Miscarriage in pregnancy is incredibly common.  I know that.  When my rational brain tells me to think rationally, I know that there was something wrong with our baby and nature took over.  When my (dominate) irrational brain takes over, a lot of self blame gets passed around.  I've done a lot of talking with my friends and family and a great friend of mine pointed out that our whole society is backwards about this baby thing.  We should announce to our friends and family the minute we pee on the stick.  Rally the troops!  That way we can celebrate healthy pregnancies together and mourn the loss of our babies together.  Otherwise, it is such an awkward conversation starter.  "How have you been?"  "Oh, I was really good for like, a month, when we thought we were having our first offspring, but the universe went and took that away from us so now I think life sucks.  How are you? Should we order the nachos to start?"

Anyway.  That's the story of the beginning of our journey.