Wednesday, September 23

It's decision-making time.

I have a very serious issue to discuss. My hair. More specifically, how my hair should be styled and cut.

I have been in a constant state of "short hair, no, growing it out, medium-length hair, no maybe short hair, no, how about we grow it out again" for a long time. I clearly cannot make up my mind. Most recently, I've been wanting to grow it out a bit. Nothing too dramatic, but I wanted it long enough to pull back and be low-maintenance. I imagine it won't get washed daily once the baby comes, and I don't want to look completely scummy.

But on the other hand, I remember when I had short hair and how it seemed so easy. At some point, my stylist began getting too experimental for my taste and my hair got shorter and shorter and pointier and pointier and eventually I switched stylists and decided to grow it out. But I think that original cut was quite nice.

So you see the dilemma. Continue to grow it out? Cut it short? I need your help! Which cut would look best, be easiest to maintain, and look the best?

Kristen Bell and J-lo represent my long hair look.

Long hair pros:

  • easy ponytail
  • fewer trims needed
  • can go for a couple days without shampoo
Long hair cons:
  • ends get shaggy looking
  • kind of boring
  • baby can pull on it
  • hair is not naturally straight, so could look weird
  • takes a long time to blow-dry, looks funky when air-dried
Old pictures of me represent my short hair look. The third pic is the closest I could find to how the back should look.

Short hair pros:
  • works with my wavy hair
  • very quick to dry
  • cute (?)
  • quick to style
Short hair cons:
  • been there, done that
  • sticks up when I sleep on it
  • no ponytails
  • can quickly become pointy if cut improperly

You may advise me what to do in the comments. But please be quick about it. My hair is getting cut on Saturday!

Tuesday, September 22

Ew times two

Well. Our cat, Zadie, is full of sick, and it is coming out both ends, if you know what I mean. And I'm pretty sure you know what I mean. We (Andrew) had a fun time cleaning that up this morning. That's all I'm going to say about that. You're welcome.

Monday, September 21

Five Things About My Weekend

  1. I tried unsuccessfully to buy new glasses. See, apparently pregnancy makes your eyeballs change shape, or something, and wearing my contacts means I end up with red, aching eyes. So for the next few months, glasses it is! But my current glasses tend to slip and practically fall of my face, and since I’m wearing them all the time, it’s time to fix this problem. We shopped at a handful of stores, but nothing seemed just right. Sigh.
  2. I attended the second meeting of my high school ten-year reunion planning committee. We didn’t really accomplish much, but I did get to eat a delicious cupcake while I was there.
  3. I borrowed some maternity clothes from my friend Lindsay. She had her baby last March, and I am due in March, hence, we were/will be pregnant during the same seasons. Time will tell if her clothes will fit me. Cross your fingers!
  4. I also borrowed a Doppler heartbeat thingy from Lindsay. I’m so glad she was neurotic enough to actually buy one! Last night Andrew and I sat and listened to that tiny little heartbeat for awhile, and again, it was wonderful. And not really that hard to find—or maybe we just got lucky (though I did listen to my own heartbeat for awhile with a sense of wonder, then Andrew pointed out that it should probably be beating faster than that) (Who knew you can hear your own heartbeat in your pelvic region?) So far, hearing my baby’s heart is the very best thing about being pregnant.
  5. For the last few months, I’ve been growing my hair out. Or wanting to grow it out—I had a bit of a setback when my stylist cut off a bit more than requested. But now I am thinking maybe short is the way to go, sort of how I had it last year. Any thoughts on this? Moms, would you say long or short hair is easier to deal with when caring for a baby?

Wednesday, September 16

All She Wants to Do is Read

I need your help. I have nothing to read. (Not entirely true, I just am not interested in the things I have to read.) All I've been reading for the last several weeks are pregnancy books or only mildly interesting magazines. It's time for a change.

I'm thinking fiction, for sure. Possibly something Oprah's book club-ish, possibly chick lit. Nothing too heavy (figuratively and literally, so fewer than 400 pages, please), nothing that will make me too weepy i.e. no baby tragedies. Any recommendations?

Tuesday, September 15

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh . . .

Last entry written a long time ago. This one was just a day after the previous entry, on August 27. And get ready for new, improved, up-to-date posting, because today I'm officially in the 2nd trimester, baby! Woo!

There’s no denying it. There’s definitely something alive in there. I heard the heartbeat to prove it.

Yes, my doctor’s appointment was today, and we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time. At the beginning of the appointment, my doctor told Andrew and me that sometimes you can’t hear the heartbeat, but if she couldn’t find it, she would do a sonogram to check the viability of the pregnancy. Either way, by the end of the appointment, we would know for sure that there was a baby in there, alive and well.

When I heard that I might get a sonogram, I almost wanted to not be able to hear it, because seeing that little person moving would be incredible. But now I’ll have to wait another eight weeks for that. Sigh. But of course, the extremely positive side is that I did hear the heartbeat, and it was amazing.

I didn’t have quite the reaction I had in my mind. No tears. I surprised myself a little, because I just couldn’t stop grinning. That was my baby I was hearing. That tiny little rhythmic sound is going to grow up and someday I’ll hold her or him in my arms and feel that same little heart beat next to mine. (Awwww)

The moment didn’t last long. The doctor let us listen for about fifteen seconds, then she was done. I could have listened to that sound all day.

Monday, September 14

Preparing for the Heartbeat

Written on August 26, when I was ten weeks and one day pregnant.

Tomorrow is our second prenatal doctor’s appointment. This will be one of the momentous ones because we’ll be hearing the heartbeat for the first time. I’m really excited about it.

I’ve been thinking about this moment for a long time, for much longer than the length of the actual pregnancy thus far. For me, hearing the heartbeat is one of those key moments in your life, like the moment that having a baby all becomes real. When my sister was pregnant, I was so excited to even just hear about her experience hearing the heartbeat.

I’m afraid that I’ve built it up way too much. I keep picturing the scenario—Andrew and I will be gripping each other’s hand, waiting for the big moment. As the doctor moves the wand around my belly trying to find the heartbeat, my own heart would pound in anticipation. And then . . . whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. Perhaps I’d cry. Andrew would squeeze my hand and kiss me, both of us completely overwhelmed with emotion.

But in reality, it can’t possibly be like that. It might have been, but surely reality can’t live up to my super-idealized version, can it? In reality, I imagine it will still be a great moment. We will probably hold hands, and my heart will certainly be pounding. But I don’t think I’ll cry. And can a moment I’ve imagine a hundred times still change my life?

The books tell me that at this stage, the baby is about an inch and a half long, from crown to rump. That’s fairly good sized. It’s so strange to know that there’s a real, growing person in there and I can’t feel it or know exactly where it is. Not “it,” “he or she.” I think I still say “it” because it doesn’t quite seem real yet. Maybe after I hear the heartbeat I’ll start saying “he or she” with more regularity.

Friday, September 11

9 weeks down, 31 to go

Another post, this one written on August 19. Spoiler alert: the second anti-nausea pill worked!

Today I am nine weeks and one day pregnant. And being pregnant is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Somewhere between weeks six and seven I started feeling terrible. All the time. Constant nausea, lots of vomiting, extreme fatigue… I got to where I felt like I couldn’t do anything. About five days ago, Andrew’s concern for my well-being (and Cupcake’s, obv) got him to call the doctor and I ended up getting a prescription for an anti-nausea medication. But honestly, I’m not sure it worked that well. But it did make me soooo tired. The first day I had it (Saturday, luckily) I was awake for a total of about seven hours. And I still threw up several times that morning.

So it’s been a rough road. This morning I called the doctor again because I’ve lost about 8-10 pounds in the last three weeks and I wondered if that is a major concern or just a small concern. The nurse said it wasn’t good and that I really needed to focus on my hydration. And then she prescribed another anti-nausea medication. This one might be working a little better, but it’s only day one. Who can tell?

Have you ever felt sick for four straight weeks? Felt like you have the worst hangover, and nothing makes it go away? That’s kind of what this is like. Smells are overpowering, heat and humidity make me queasy, and no food sounds appetizing (with the possible exception of macaroni and cheese, which has become a staple for me).

I took a PTO day from work today so I could get some rest. Going into work every day has been awful. I sit there at my desk, just trying to think about not feeling bad. The drive alone takes all my energy up. I’ve decided that if the new medicine doesn't work, for my health and sanity, I’m going to basically take a couple weeks off work. Maybe use a combo of PTO and VTO (voluntary time off, which means unpaid), maybe try to work from home when I can, maybe get on short-term disability. I don’t know. I haven’t been able to catch my manager to talk about it. I just know that on the days I am home, I feel better, throw up less, and am generally more relaxed. And I don’t think stress is good for Cupcake. I wonder if staying home for a couple weeks is the right thing to do. If I go unpaid, will it affect our budget later? When I have the baby, I would love love love to take the maximum maternity leave that Hallmark allows, which I understand to be six months. Of course, the majority of that time is unpaid. Andrew and I have some figuring out to do, if we can live for a few months on a single income. So if I go for a few weeks unpaid now, how would it affect us later?

I wish it were easier. I think about my sister, who had essentially no morning sickness with Austin. Yet, she wasn’t working during her pregnancy and had more flexibility anyway. I keep hearing that morning sickness equals a healthy pregnancy and blah blah blah. But there are plenty of healthy pregnancies—like Courtney’s—that have no morning sickness at all. And I know I probably sound all complainy and whiney, but you try being sick nonstop for weeks on end with no end in sight and see how you handle it. I feel like I’m at the end of my rope, but I still have to hold on. But for how much longer?

Tuesday, September 8

You may call her/him Cupcake.

This post was written on July 28. Bear with me; just a few more entries to go before we're all caught up.

Today I am six weeks pregnant. I had my first doctor’s appointment yesterday, and everything went well. Andrew and I saw a nurse practitioner instead of my regular doctor because my doctor wasn’t available for another four weeks, but the woman we met with was great. She was friendly and said all the right kind of things.

My official due date is March 23. Nerd alert: Andrew hopes Cupcake comes early on March 14 so the birthday will be pi. My next appointment will be in four weeks, and at that appointment, we’ll get to hear the heartbeat. I am very much looking forward to that. It’ll seem so much more real.

Although this pregnancy is definitely starting to feel very real, because I have been very sick. Or maybe not so sick compared to other women, I don’t know. I just don’t feel 100 percent. It’s a hard thing to describe. I’m exhausted. I’m nauseous, and don’t want to eat much, yet I’m hungry all the time. All day long I just feel off, like hollow and achy and I just want to lie down. This morning was the first day I actually threw up, and that was not fun. I threw up twice this morning, the second the kind of vomit that actually comes out your mouth and your nose. So gross. But I had to get to work, so I managed to get dressed, and I took a plastic trashcan with me in the car, and I think you can guess why that might have been necessary. But I got to work fine, and even made it through the whole day.

I haven’t been exercising as much as I want to. It’s so hard, struggling to make it through the workday. I just want to eat whatever I can put together the fastest, then lay on the couch and do nothing. I did go for a 45-minute walk after work today. It wasn’t fast, but I’m glad I got out of the house for awhile.

In the evenings, after dinner, I usually start to finally feel better, almost normal even. Except for the tiredness. But it sucks, because just when I’m starting to feel okay, it’s time for bed, and I know that when I wake up I’m going to feel terrible. Mornings are by far the worst for me. I’ve been sort of late to work practically every day, and if the throwing up continues, I don’t think that’s going to improve. I wonder if I’ll have to end up telling my manager at work that I’m pregnant before I wanted to if I end up being sick and late all the time. Plus, I’m finding it very hard to concentrate on anything, and I’m afraid my work will start to suffer.

I think this entry is awfully random. My thoughts just aren’t coming together, but I wanted to write something so I’d remember how it felt the first week and a half I knew I was pregnant. So to sum up how it feels? Nauseating, that’s how it feels.

Thursday, September 3

Oh, Baby

I wrote this post on July 18, while it was all still fresh in my mind. But for obvious reasons, I wasn't ready to tell the world. So I waited. And now that I've announced it at work, the world can know, too. Just be forewarned: this entry may have a bit of a TMI factor. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Do you ever have one of those days where everything changes, and it’s like your entire life is redefined in an instant? Today was one of those days for me. I found out this morning that I’m pregnant.

I can hardly even believe it’s true. Andrew and I have wanted this for so long. We’ve had so many conversations about baby stuff. What we’ll be like as parents, who our baby will look like, how we’ll decorate a nursery, what names we like. The list goes on. And today we had more of those conversations, except this time, they have a due date.

The back story: I went off the pill in May 2008. That’s fifteen months ago—crazy long time. Month after month of counting days, having sex on command, waiting, and ultimately being disappointed. Time after time. I can’t tell you how hard it is to want a baby, to be trying to have a baby, and have people constantly ask you when you’re planning to have a baby. “Oh, sometime,” you say. “Not yet!” And everyone sort of chuckles. Because it’s easier to act that way than to explain. Or the people who do know that you’re trying say things that are meant to be helpful, like “At least you get to have lots of trying sex.” Sure, sometimes it’s fantastic, and passionate, and wonderful. But what they don’t know is that sometimes it isn’t fun at all. Sometimes you know you’re ovulating and you know you need to do it if you want this to happen, but you’ve both had crappy days and no one feels like taking their clothes off, much less getting caught in the throes of passion. But you try anyway. And it turns out to be for nothing.

But for some reason, it finally happened. I was convinced that it wasn’t going to happen for us, at least not in an easy, natural way. I thought we were destined for fertility treatments and who knows what. I don’t know what was different about this month. Maybe we were finally more relaxed about it, consigned to our fate. Maybe it was the fertility supplements Andrew wanted to try. Maybe it was because Andrew decided to give up coffee for awhile. But whatever we did, I’m so glad it worked.

For the last few days, even the last week or two, I’ve felt different. I don’t know how to explain it. I really thought I was pregnant. My achy boobs felt different than premenstrual achy boobs. I had body aches that were…different. There’s no way to describe it. My period was supposed to start Wednesday. Today, Saturday, July 18, 2009, seemed like a reasonable time to test. Today is day 35. I’ve had cycles as long as 40 days, so it still seemed a bit risky to get my hopes up too high.

But then. Five seconds of peeing on a stick. Three minutes of waiting. Two pink lines. Amazing.

Andrew came into the bathroom with me to see the results. I had covered up the stick with tissue, so we couldn’t see the results until we were ready. When we saw it, I didn’t know how to feel. Was I supposed to be shrieking or jumping up and down? It was a little early, and I had just woken up minutes before. We just hugged each other tighter than we’ve ever hugged, and kissed. I kept repeating, “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it. We’re going to have a baby.”

I don’t really know how to feel, or how I do feel. I’m excited. I’m extremely happy. I’m completely awestruck. But I’m also a little overwhelmed. This is really going to happen. My life is changed forever. This afternoon Andrew and I went into a Babies R Us, just to wander and feel what it’s going to be like. After a few minutes of wandering around and checking out countless cribs, strollers, and pack-n-plays, I felt completely overwhelmed. I wanted to leave. I couldn’t make any decisions about what we needed yet. And obviously we weren’t there to purchase anything or even think about purchasing anything. But it was so…real. I wanted to have a few more days of “is this really happening?” before jumping into that reality.

We’ve decided to tell our families and a few close friends pretty soon. After trying for over a year, we didn’t want to wait. When we first started trying, we thought we wouldn’t even tell our parents for two months, at least. Now I’m planning to tell my parents tomorrow, the second day I even know about it. Things don’t always go the way you planned, do they?

This baby will be born in March, late March, maybe. I wanted a baby to come in the fall. But at this point, I’m just thankful to be having a baby at all. Oh my god, I’m going to have a real-live baby in the spring. Is this real? When will it feel really real? Wow. Andrew and I are going to be parents; we’re starting our own family. This is the most amazing day.