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It's like this, and like that....

I started this blog in an effort to track my experiences with pregnancy and beyond. Writing is therapeutic. Kind of like talking to myself without the people in WalMart thinking I'm crazy. If you find some entertainment in this along the way, then even better!

This is one woman's journey through unfathomable hunger, vivid sex dreams and a bulging belly...from conception to birth in 9 months or less...

I spent $88 at Pier One, and I still hate the smell of my house!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So ya, another lovely pregnancy moment people tend to gloss over is that fact that you can smell EVERYTHING. Deeply, excessively and to the point of dry heaving EVERYTHING. And whether it’s the once lovely and ever so yummy smell of freshly baked bread, or that stank asshole of the brewery smell of morning after’s beer bottles (not from me, from party goers to my house) it’s intolerable. Things you used to love, things you never noticed, things you think so innocuous they could never be considered to even have a smell, suddenly have you wishing you could shove corks up your nostrils. And even if I tried, I’d never get a cork up there – my nose holes are very small. So small, my husband can’t even get his pinky up there - and he’s tried.

For me, the problem started with the fact that we moved into a new house, that’s in fact 100 years old, and bought a bunch of nice to look at but cheap furniture, which has the unfortunate side effect of reeking like the plastic it’s made from.

Anyway, the most annoying part of this super nose syndrome is that, you’re the only one who’s got it. No one else is suffering the pains of stink gone wild, and you are once again forced to act the role of a crazy person. And it’s unfair because, you really can’t help it. This is how I ended up at Pier1 one warm Saturday afternoon, when I really should have been home getting ready for a friend’s wedding shower. See, it’s so strong that your need to deal with it usurps even the most critical of social appearances.

Shortly after dropping my dear husband off at work (see I also didn’t want him to know I’d gotten THIS crazy, so I had to sneak shop for the smelly sticks), I raced through hordes of downtown traffic to find reprieve in the form of overpriced home décor.

I hit pay dirt, I found mecca!  3 entire SHELVES dedicated to de-stinking my abode. Surely this is the doing of some crazy pregnant lady who runs the company.

I stood there for awhile, completely bewildered that there would be such an offering. I must have looked stunned because the nice 17 year old sales clerk bopped over to me, and cheerfully asked me if I had any questions. I thought for a moment, and realized that blabbing to this young girl who is bursting with energy and no desire to procreate, about the perils of pregnancy nose, and how I had to find just the right smell, one that would cover the hell I was living in but which would not induce my over active gag response, was probably inappropriate. So I decided to tell her I was just looking. Yup, that’s me, looking at the smelly sticks. I could have at least said smelling.

After what must have been a month, I’d smelled them all. And I suffered the new problem of liking the ones that cost a lot, more than the ones that cost slightly less than a lot. And of course, knowing that my income will soon be down to about 45% of my current intake (which isn’t that awesome to begin with) had me leaning towards the less expensive versions. Did I mention I calculated that 4 sets of said smelly sticks were what I required? At $18 each set, plus tax, it was an investment, but surely one that would solve all my life’s problems.

In some completely amnesic type moment, I settled on 2 smells – Citrus Cilantro for upstairs and Fresh Bamboo for the other. Why am I claiming amnesia on this? Well because what idiot, trying to stop bad smells from ruining her life would choose 2 different types to trap inside her house?

This idiot.

And I chose them for stupid reasons. I chose the Citrus Cilantro for my husband, because he likes both of those things. Never mind that it smells nothing like citrus or cilantro, and that regardless he was going to think I was a total crack pot no matter what. I bought them for him. Fresh bamboo was of course chosen on the premise that at some point I’d like to get the bathroom downstairs finished, painted bright white, with a crisp white shower curtain and a bamboo plant. So of course, I had to pick the bamboo scent for that room, even though I’m pretty sure last time I checked, bamboo didn’t smell of anything other than the stagnant tepid water it sits in.

I brought them home and for a few days, it was blissful. That stinky old house smell gave way to the refreshing scents, and I stopped having to breathe through the sleeve of my hooded sweater shirt.

This lasted 3 days until they reached maximum potency and I realized that the Citrus Cilantro was almost as overwhelming as is was stupid.

So now what. I’d spent about $90 on these stupid things and they didn’t do the trick? It was either a drastic attempt to murder my sense of smell by shoving a chopstick up there and trying to avoid a full frontal lobotomy, or I had to just suck it up. Neither of which satisfied the hormonal nut ruling my body.

I settled on a shifting of the smells, moving the fresher, lighter scented bamboo smelling one into the room we’re in 90% of the time, and put it far away from where my head goes. In the end it’s slightly better but $90 and……I still hate the smell of my house. 


Thursday, September 17, 2009
So not every post can be long and drawn out, because unfortunately I still have a job and they still expect me to work, despite the fact that I’m knocked up. Go figure. It’s not like I can pay attention or remember even the simplest of details these days but, I guess they figure they’ll milk me for their monies worth until someone else starts milking me. Ok that was inappropriate, but I watched my friend breastfeed her 3 week old baby for about 2 hours on and off last night, and it really just seemed like she was being milked.

Anyway I digress. I digress from my digression. What was this about again? Oh right, the stupid things I’ve done since getting pregnant, other than those previously mentioned.

So my newest and most favourite brain dead moment occurred just over a week ago, when hubby and I, along with 6 friends and 3 dogs, headed out to our cabin. I was, as usually, putzing about in the morning, taking care of business. Yes we’re all adults but for some reason I take it upon myself to ensure that they are well fed and caffeinated, especially in the morning. Even if I cannot have any of that sweet sweet caffeine (ok I lie, I broke down at the cabin and had some real coffee…but after an hour, talked myself out of the addition of Bailey’s so I figure it's a wash), I figure they should. So, I am putting on our second pot of the day, mindlessly chatting with my lady friends, I measure out the coffee….scoop scoop, 1 heaping tablespoon per 8 oz. cup….9…10…11…12….I even managed to put the filter in. Now it’s onto the water….fill up the carafe and away we go…….

Except, I missed a crucial step. A few moments after I sat down, satisfied with my proactive second pot brewing skills, my girlfriend turns to me and says “uh sweetie, I think you forgot something”. As the coffee maker spits and coughs, steams and tries to make coffee, I realize that I have filled the carafe with water, but have neglected to add the water to the machine. Right, it’s still in the carafe, and the coffee maker it trying really hard to brew, but it just can’t.

Oh lovely morning.

I then add the water to the backside, only to have the brewer steam at me, and spit out hot water...I guess it serves me right for being so daft. 

Later that day, for about the 3rd or 4th time recently, I will frantically tear open a bag of baby carrots as if my life depends on getting one in my mouth NOW, only to have a different friend point out the easy to open, and re-sealable marvel of product packaging genius, just on the other side of the bag….I’ve proceeded to do this to a bag of pasta, a thing of grated cheese and some rice….and I'm sure there is more coming. 

Did I mention the other night I peeled and cut the crap off an onion while making soup, then proceeded to chuck the onion in the compost pail and the peels and ends in the pot? No I probably didn't, because that might be the worst one of all. 

There have been countless other stupid person moments lately, I’m just too stupid to remember them……

Leggo my Preggo, my brain is an Eggo...

Friday, September 4, 2009
Ya so, the Books tell you that it’s the hormones that do it to you. In fact, the books blame everything on the hormones, but that is beside the point. Wait, what was my point? Right, preggo brain. Also known by some as “pregnancy insanity”, it is the process by which a seemingly normal and together woman is rendered completely incompetent by the 1cm blob affixed directly inside her abdomen, that will one day be born and grow up to think you’re weird.

It’s an odd side effect of pregnancy I didn’t know a whole lot about until I found myself “with child” as one of the many euphemisms for pregnancy states.

Any way it goes something like this….

One day, you’ve got it all together. You know your work and personal schedule without the need of a blackberry or even a pen. You know when your appointments are, how long it takes to get there, what time you need to leave your house to make your morning meeting and exactly what things you do and don’t need when you enter the grocery store. You know your husband’s schedule so well, he calls you to ask when he’s got to see the dentist, and you even know that your BFF has to get a PAP done in 3 weeks, and that your mother has Spin class on Tuesdays, and TBA (that’s Thighs, Butt and Abs for those of you lucky enough not to know what that stands for) on Thursdays. You know when all your favourite shows are on, you know 3 days in advance when the dog is going to be out of food, and you know the dates of all the leftovers in your fridge. You are in essence, just any old gal with her head screwed on right.

Then you procreate and everything goes to shit. You’re suddenly the girl who not only runs out of dog food, but who forgets to feed him for 3 straight days after that, only to realize he’s following you around hoovering up crumbs to fill his little belly in case you never come to your senses again. You’re also the girl who puts her cell phone on the basket at the grocery store, walks aimlessly around for 45 mins. only to leave with a bag of Oreo’s, 6 liters of soda water and milk for the cereal you forgot to buy. Then gets home and goes to call your husband to pick up said cereal, only to realize your cell phone is still in the basket at the checkout, and you’re at home. You go to work with makeup only on one eye, you forget to pack underwear for a 4 day business trip, and worst of all, you’re so damn confused about everything all the time, you barely recognize that all these things are happening.

This is around the time your husband will start to wonder if you’re ever coming back. And what I’ve learned from a few of my already mommy friends, is that it’s not likely for a few years.

I don’t know what happens, but your brain just melts. That part of you that was once so sharp, so overly capable of retaining information, multitasking and thinking logically has been replaced but what I can only assume is something that looks like an Eggo. You know, it sort of functions. It functions enough for you to get out of bed, make yourself mildly presentable and get to where you need to go eventually, even if you’re sweaty and crying when you get there. And the reason I think it’s like an Eggo is that, I’ve always found their design tolerable at best as well. While the waffle is designed to make pockets of warm melty butter and syrup, it’s not designed to keep those pockets full. Once you try to put it to work – you know, transferring from flat on the plate to squarely in your mouth, the design all but fails. The tasty, yummy concoction of salty butter and sweet sweet syrup run out of the pockets, and either drip onto the edge of your plate, or onto your lap.

This is like my preggo brain. Things appear to sink in, just as usual. It looks like it’s going to work, that I am going to function, that this time I will be victorious over the confusion, only to, at the last minute fall apart like a sticky pile of syrup. Your brain just can’t retain what it needs. It can lay there and accept it, it can fake retention, but as soon as you put it to work, all you’re left with is frustration. Just like my morning Eggo.

And sure, they blame it on the hormones, I get it. I guess somehow, the insane amount of estrogen, HCG and progesterone that has been surging through my body the last 11 weeks, fighting it out and seeing which one could screw with me more, made these holes in my brain. The book says it, so it has to be right, doesn’t hit (ha ha ha).

What I think? Well I think that the lovely little creature that has taken up residence squarely in the centre of your body has now started to control you in each and every way. Think of it as practice for their teenage years. Like any alien force that enters a host body, the purpose is to make that host body act according to their plan. And for my little bean, this plan seems to be turning his mama whacko before she hits the tender age of 30. Sitting snug and warm, protected by the amniotic fluid that MY body had to create, this 40 week gestating creature (the only species I know of that gestates longer is an elephant, and no wonder, look at the SIZE of that thing?) has decided that it might as well start ruling now.

I don’t really mind that my fetus tells me when and what to eat, when to gag or dry heave, when to pee, and on occasion if you’re one of the lucky ones, when to poop. And I even don’t mind that it tells me when I can sleep, for how long and how well, I don’t mind any of it. I just mind the things that cause me to act like a total moron with waffles for brains. I mind the things that have me incessantly searching for my cell phone (which after 12 successful years with one has never been lost before), or driving in circles because I honestly forgot where I was going. I mind the things that make me wonder how long it will be before I am the evil mother who drives away with her baby accidentally on the roof of the car…because only someone with Eggos for brains could truly be that daft!

The story starts here....

Thursday, September 3, 2009
Ok admittedly, I stole the idea for blogging about my pregnancy from someone else. My darling husband spends his day obsessively listening to various podcasts while plowing through his work as a video game designer. One such podcast often includes Teresa Strasser – who is currently, from what I can tell by spending this last work day reading through her entire blog, around 36 weeks pregnant.

As I sat here today, using the RSS feed to read the page, so I looked deeply enthralled by the “email” I had received, and attempting to hide my laughing out loud with coughing and throat clearing, I was inspired. She is outright hilarious, but I can be witty at times. And let’s face it, my friends who have had their babies already annoyingly know all about this pregnancy thing, and don’t seem the least bit interested in hearing again how many times I’ve peed today. The others, who are either not into the kid thing, or just aren’t there yet, are too busy leading normal people lives to want to talk to me about that cramp I’ve got that just won’t go away. So why not turn to cyber-space? I mean where else can I feel vindicated, like I’m the only person to ever of suffered this process, if not by blurting out my deep dark secrets and disinterest in doing anything at all on the interwebs?

I write because I’m bored, I write because for some reason I think I’m good at it, I write because it helps me express myself, but most of all I write because it lets me indulge my need to talk incessantly without the nasty side effect of someone else trying to interject. I entertain myself, and if you’re entertained by reading it, I guess I can add that to the success column of my life. If you’re not, then what are you still doing here?

Anyway, back to me.

Here I am. 11 weeks 1 day (and the irony is, since it’s a taboo to even DISCUSS pregnancy before you hit 12 weeks, these posts won’t be seen until I past that mark). Only in pregnancy do you count things by the day. And only in pregnancy do you desperately wait for 12 weeks to pass you buy, obsessing over ever last twinge, and Googling like a mad person from any device capable of accessing the internet. Your searches include any myriad of strange bodily occurrence, followed first by the word “pregnancy” then onto the qualifier of “early pregnancy” and sometimes “miscarriage”. Most of us won’t even type the word, in case the gods of baby gestation take that as a sign or request and spontaneously cause our perfectly healthy, happy, 10 toed fetus to lose its grip on life and simply give up.

So far, I think I’ve Googled “holding pee too long back pain pregnancy”, “no nausea early pregnancy statistics” “less sore breasts in early pregnancy” and so on in a variety of ways. You see, another thing you will only ever do in early pregnancy is wish your boobs hurt more or that you were feeling more like vomiting.

Actually, I want to talk more about this elusive vomiting we’re all supposed to suffer. Now I know from at least 2 very close friends and a darling baby sister that this morning sickness is not only a very real issue for many women in early pregnancy, but a vicious one at that. But for those of us knocked up broads without that as a nasty side effect, it’s actually somewhat less a blessing than you’d think.

You see, if you’re head down in the toilet, vomiting up the jelly beans you had for breakfast and cursing the first few weeks of pregnancy as some cruel joke designed to make you truly ready for motherhood, you at least know you’re really pregnant. Not just, I took 9 home pregnancy tests and the lines came up right away pregnant, but vomiting so much I lost 3 lbs. pregnant. And that in and of itself is a very satisfying and welcome companion to the first few uncertain weeks. For those of us lucky enough not to experience the vomit fest known as the first trimester, we’ve added a whole other layer of neurotic worrying to an already onion sized ball of stress. Not only do we not LOOK pregnant yet, but we don’t FEEL it either. That can’t be good, can it?

All my life I’ve worried about what I would do when I got pregnant and finally vomited. I’m not a puker by nature, and can count on 1 hand the number of times it’s happen to me in the last 15 years. So I was plagued by this vision of myself, talking to a coworker, and randomly puking on them, because I didn’t know it was coming. And I waited for this to happen. I mean, I don’t WANT to puke my brains out, but I assumed it happened to everyone. But it didn’t. 11 weeks and 1 day into this first trimester, and so far all I’ve done is dry heave while picking up dog crap…and this is something that has been known to happen on occasion pre-spawning.

The other less than glorious side effect of the non-vomit first trimester is the lack of ability to extract sympathy from your husband or others around you. You don’t look pregnant, and even if you feel like you’ve never slept before in your entire life, and the bags under your eyes are big enough to pack your house in, no one is waiting on you hand and foot. And even if you pull the “I’m pregnant” excuse, in the absence of seeing your dinner in reverse, people have an even harder time believing it than you do.

To any pregnant ladies or mothers out there who’ve suffered morning sickness (which should really just be called pregnancy sickness, because let’s face it, it doesn’t just happen in the morning), I must sound like such an ungrateful person. I should be jumping up and down thankful I wasn’t sick, and believe me, as I near the end of the first trimester, I become more and more thankful with every passing hour. But in those first few weeks, when you’re so unsure about what is going on, inside your body and your head, some kind of verification that you really ARE hosting what one of my books called “the most effective parasite on the planet” would be welcome. Even if that verification comes in the form partially digested PB&J sandwiches, exiting your body at warp speeds in front of all your neighbours on the front lawn.