Monday, May 30, 2016

27 Week Update

27 weeks. The last week of my second trimester began yesterday. The trimester everyone says you feel amazing, energetic, glowing, and love being pregnant. It's after the morning sickness, but before the swelling and physical discomfort gets bad.

That was a load of shit for me.

I am feeling pretty sad about this. I'm not ungrateful for being pregnant AT ALL, so I feel bad complaining, but it's like I always tell people who are upset: of course people might have it worse than you, but that doesn't mean what you are going through doesn't suck, too. I am just trying to be honest, and what I am honestly feeling is that I got the shaft with pregnancy. Maybe not the SHAFTIEST shaft (that's a thing, I say so), but definitely more the shaft than NOT the shaft. I was so happy when I stopped feeling sick and got some more energy, only to have it completely zapped when I got sick. And this sickness has lingered for, what, over a month now? The pain from my ribs and chest muscles started to subside a couple weeks ago, and the coughing got down to a minimum, only to come back again this morning with a vengeance. My ears itch, my sinuses are clogged, my throat hurts... I feel exactly like I did when I first got sick. I am extremely anxious about how this will affect my upcoming plane ride on Friday, not just because of my own health, but because I hate causing discomfort to those around me. No one wants to be on a plane with someone who is hacking up a lung every two seconds. Fuck, even I don't want to be on a plane with me right now.

And I want to stop coughing so I can sing to Baby Mazz. I just want to sing and talk to him without coughing, so he can hear me being all nice and lovely, not gross and loud. I feel sad for him stuck in there with me like this. I feel like I may have actually enjoyed being pregnant over the past couple months if it hadn't been for this illness.

Otherwise, I am healthy. I don't have gestational diabetes! And our new mattress has improved my back pain significantly in the past few days (a king-size mattress is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life). But I'm feeling a bit mentally off. My to-do list is as big as the mattress. I'm anxious about the future, which is nothing new, only now another helpless human will be completely dependent on me for survival. I'm sad about work ending (never thought I'd EVER say that). It is getting increasingly difficult for me to breathe and bend and lift, because my belly is getting huge. I didn't think I was that big until Eric posted this picture:

I have been taking lots of my bump pictures with my stomach showing or in a bikini, because 1. It's hot as hell in Florida, and 2. I knew it would be the best way for me to grow accustomed to and appreciate my changing body. So when I saw this picture, while my first thought was that I love it, my second thought was, "You are huge. You are the hugest you have ever been in your life."

Yeah yeah, I know I'm pregnant, not fat. That's not the point. The point is that, regardless, this is the biggest I have ever been. It's a good thing. It's for Baby Mazz. My boobs and thighs have gained some weight too, but that's all. Even if it wasn't, it would still be what my baby needed, and so be it. But I am hearing horror stories from other moms about the third trimester. Things like, "Haha, enjoy your cute belly now. You're going to blow up soon," or, "Just wait until your whole body swells. You won't even be able to get your shoes on!" or even just flat-out "Your third trimester is going to suck."

While this all might be true, I don't understand why they feel the need to say these things with such... enjoyment? I don't even know the right word to describe the tone, but it's like people are ENJOYING scaring the shit out of me. It's not supportive. It doesn't make me feel prepared. I already know what happens in terms of that stuff. I've talked to doctors and read plenty of pregnancy books about what to expect. And also, close friends tell me the gross, untalked-about symptoms of pregnancy and postpartum, which I am eternally grateful for, or else I really WOULDN'T know those things might happen.  But hearing the weight gain things said in such a not-nice way with a smirk just makes me feel fucking terrified, like I am going to turn into a huge, ugly blimp. And here's the thing: I don't feel ugly right now, but I feel like maybe I should. Right now, I feel like it's the first time in my life that I actually appreciate my body for what it is. I'm honestly mostly self-conscious about my boobs, not my belly. But maybe I should start feeling ugly soon, because that's apparently how this works for everyone in the third trimester.

I'm pretty sure no one who would read this has said any of this stuff to me, by the way, so don't freak out. You're all cool. I'm just saying, it's hard enough to be pregnant and go through all these weird changes, especially in a society that conditions us to believe that being thin and fit is the only beautiful, healthy, body type. I'm not a fan of the Kardashians, but hell, Kim Kardashian was fat-shamed WHILE SHE WAS PREGNANT. Both times. That's ridiculous. We don't need to scare the shit out of each other, okay? It's not like having been pregnant makes you part of some all-knowing, elite mean girls' club. We can empower other women, so they can at least feel good about themselves while they are pregnant, even despite all the obviously shitty pregnancy issues I have discussed over the past few months. There's a difference between sharing information and honest feelings and being malicious.

Alright, this week's rant is over. Here's an abridged bump update for those of you on bump watch.

How far along?  27 weeks. Baby Mazz is as big as a FENNEC FOX OMG THIS IS EVEN BETTER THAN A SLOW LORIS.

Total weight gain/measurements: As of last week, I was 8 lbs. above my pre-pregnancy weight.

Maternity clothes: I ordered TWO nice dresses from and THEY BOTH FIT! It's a miracle! I will be able to wear one of them postpartum as well, which is great.

Stretch marks: Still none, but according to the moms who like to scare me, I will definitely start seeing them soon, lol. But for real, I'm pretty sure I will get some. Too bad. You can all look at me in a bikini with stretch marks all over my belly.

Sleep: YESSSSSSSS IN A NEW, COMFY, SUPPORTIVE KING SIZE BED!!! But still having really weird dreams and waking up to pee at least once.

Best moment this week: Going out on the boat and hanging out with the Florida fam for MDW. My first sober MDW in a decade, and it was one of the best. :)

Symptoms: Heartburn, back pain, possibly Braxton Hicks?, stuffy nose (not my sickness, but just in general, increased mucus production is a symptom), shortness of breath, lightheadedness.

Belly button in or out? Guys, it's finally basically OUT. Wahhhhhh!

Looking forward to: The Jerz :)

Monday, May 23, 2016

26 Weeks

GUYS. I got a new pregnancy app that gives me options other than fruits and veggies for Baby Mazz's size, and this week, he is the size of a SLOW LORIS. A slow loris! THAT'S ADORABLE. I wish I had a slow loris for real, but a baby is cool too.

I never have shoes on in these pictures.
I still have a lingering cough, but my chest is just a dull ache now, which is much more bearable than a sharp, stabbing pain in my lungs that prevents me from breathing. Now that I am no longer knocking on death's door, I have been very productive over the past week.

For one, Eric and I ordered a king size mattress. It will feel better than Christmas when that mattress is delivered this week. There will be room for both of us, my belly, a pregnancy pillow, and Nym! Although we have been keeping Nym off the bed to prevent her from hurting her leg while jumping off of it, and I think we are going to continue to keep her off the bed. It kills me, but I think this is best for all of us when we have the baby. I don't want her to feel like a new creature is intruding on her territory, let alone her BED, all of a sudden. I know I get annoyed when people intrude on my sleeping territory... hence the king size bed. ;)

Here's a random picture of me playing with my cute Nym, because she wouldn't leave me alone when Eric was trying to take my bump picture. She loves her mommy. :)
We also hung up a giant new mirror, organized the majority of the house, ordered our nursery furniture, got my car fixed, and got my phone fixed (it was an expensive and annoying week... haha). Oh AND we got our bridal party attire for Rob and Lindsay's wedding! Okay, so, their wedding is October 1st, which is one month after I have the baby, assuming Baby Mazz doesn't hold on to my uterus for dear life and comes on time. I have a feeling he'll be early, even though people say first babies typically come late. I think he's going to steal Linny's birthday on the 22nd! 8/22/16 is a good date, although I prefer odd numbers. We shall see.

I've talked to a few people who have experience traveling with newborns, and I really think going to the Jerz will be doable, as long as he comes on time and I don't have a c-section or any postpartum issues. We were initially planning on driving up, but multiple people have told me I should probably just fly with him. I am super paranoid about bringing him on an airplane without being fully vaccinated, but Eric's cousin and my work fam have given me some great tips. If we take the first flight of the day, the airplane will be the cleanest. I can babywear him so that people leave him alone and he stays a little more protected from the germs. AND, since he's a newborn, he will hopefully sleep and nurse the entire time. Three hours is a short flight, but it might seem like an eternity with a baby... we'll see. I'm pretty sure two days of driving, stopping to nurse constantly, and staying in hotels would seem like even MORE of an eternity. My work fam drove all the way to Colorado with a 3-month-old, and they said it was ridiculous. They flew with both of their babies when they were 6 weeks old, and they said it was way easier, besides the hassle of packing and going through the airport with baby gear.

I am really determined to make it to this wedding. It is really important to us to be there for our friends, and on top of it, we would be able to introduce everyone to Baby Mazz when he is still little. I want nothing more than for all his aunts and uncles and cousins, blood related and not, to meet him ASAP. Now, hopefully I will fit into my bridesmaid dress. I ordered it two sizes up. I picked out a gorgeous dress, and I think it'll be flattering on my not-yet-shrunken postpartum belly and appropriate on my gigantic nursing boobs. If not, I'll just put my bouquet in front of myself in every picture. :P

Today, I had my glucose screening to test for gestational diabetes. I worry about this. From what I've been told, though, there's not much you can do to prevent it. It just happens with some pregnancies. I'm not going to lie, the sugary fruit punch liquid didn't taste as bad as everyone said it would. The bad part was letting it sit in my empty stomach for an hour. The nurse said I could chug the whole cup or sip it, but I had to finish in three minutes either way. I told her I was going full-on college style and just slammed it down. I think she was impressed. Thanks, UD, for preparing me for this moment in life.

I should have my results in the next couple days, so I'll keep you posted. Baby's heartbeat is great, and my belly is measuring fine, even though I haven't gained a ton of weight.

Besides all that, I am currently introducing Baby Mazz to Dashboard. He doesn't like them as much as Coheed. Maybe they're too emo for him. Dashboard, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin with Anthony Green, and The Early November are touring together this summer. Do you think it would be a bad idea to go to this show outdoors in Miami in late June when I am 31 weeks pregnant? Do you think maybe Adam Lazzara will take pity on me and invite me to come backstage while they play so I can sit down and stay nice and cool? He has a wife and two kids. I bet he gets it. PLEASE, ADAM.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Week 25!

How far along?  25 Weeks! In fruit/veggie lingo, Baby Mazz is as big as a... cauliflower? That's what The Bump app is telling me. That's really random. I've seen some pretty big heads of cauliflower though.

Total weight gain/measurements: Who knows. Definitely something. My bump has popped. I got my first comment from a stranger about it at the dentist office (Nym chewed my retainers... again... my fault this time though). I've been so small for so long that I was genuinely excited when someone asked me about it. Next time someone does it, I'm going to screw with them and be like, "Oh, I'm not pregnant... JUST KIDDING 25 weeks" Wahahahahaha.

Maternity clothes: Nothing new for me, BUT I DID GET BABY CLOTHES! Much more exciting than me getting #momjeans, let's be honest. There are a few Facebook groups in our area that are basically like online yard sales, but the best one is a women-only site, mostly made up of moms in our area. People sell all sorts of things, from furniture to books to clothes. A very well-priced lot of newborn boy clothes came up, so I messaged the lady. She ended up offering me first dibs on ALL her boy clothes, so I now have a ton of stuff up through 6 month size! She even threw in some extras that weren't pictured. Super cute, great condition, and nice brands. Here are my favorite things:
Constellation pjs
I want one in my size please
Peace sign tank onesie and skinny jeans? Dying. Tell me this kid won't be stylish, I dare you.
Stretch marks: Still none

Sleep: I really miss sleep. Really, really bad. My chest pain is making it REALLY hard for me to move around now, my lower back just plain hurts, and the baby is super active when it's sleepytime. This is a sign of things to come, I'm sure. The other night, I could feel him up high around my ribs, which was excruciating in my case. I have a feeling I am going to get way bigger before this guy arrives. He has no room in there right now. I need to expand...

Best moment this week: This whole weekend has been the shit honestly. 

Friday night, I worked until 8. I put Little Buddy down early because he was a (still quite adorable) crankypants, so my girl and I had a makeup party! I had always wanted a little girl so I could share my love of makeup with someone. Please don't crucify me for saying that. I'm just being honest. Don't get me wrong, I'm still super pumped to have a boy, because he will be kind and badass and talented and attractive. And probably easier than a girl, hah. And I mean, maybe my son will want to wear black eyeliner and nail polish like his parents did in middle and high school... but ya know. Not exactly the same as picking out eyeshadow at Sephora. So if anyone wants me to do makeovers with their daughter, I volunteer! I did her nails with glitter nail polish and drew a butterfly on her face with my colored eyeliners. I also bravely taught her how to do my lipstick, blush, highlight, and contour, because I needed to freshen up to go out after work. It could've been disastrous, but she actually did a great job. We met up with a child-free Ben and Kristin for drinks when I was done. Warm air, table by the water, view of the Jupiter lighthouse, and a virgin pina colada... doesn't get much better than that (unless you actually have rum in your pina colada...). 

Yesterday, I felt like total shit and slept all day while Eric helped our friends move. I'm at the point where I can barely move my left arm from the pain in my ribs. But he convinced me to go to Ben's parents at night. I was hesitant to go, because I was kind of feeling like a sick, injured whale with big boobs shoved into a bikini, but I'm glad I went. The warm pool jets were exactly what I needed, and the human interaction didn't hurt either, haha. Chloe was hilarious as usual, the food was good, and everyone had a good time. Always a good time with our Florida fam.

This morning, we got brunch at Rocco's Tacos. If you've never been to Rocco's, you're missing out. Pro tip: If you're pregnant, you will miss out on bottomless mimosas and margarita pitchers, so maybe go when you're not pregnant. But it was still so worth it, because it's pretty much the most fun atmosphere ever.

Miss anything? Sleep. Alcohol. Family. Moving without involuntarily exclaiming "OW." I feel like I am becoming very dependent on help, and I hate it. I hate having to ask Eric to do certain things, which I used to be able to just do myself. We sold our guest room furniture finally, and we got a cabinet for the kitchen to use as a pantry. Instead of being able to move everything from the kitchen closet to the pantry, I could only do some of it and had to ask Eric to clear out the rest. I couldn't reach for or move anything without pain shooting through my ribs. Ben had to come help move the cabinet and take the futon upstairs, because Pregnant Lauren is useless. It's so frustrating, because I tell everyone to stop treating me like I have a disability. I'm just pregnant! But now, I am sick and injured on top of it, and I really do need to accept the help if I don't want to make things worse. Ugh.

Movement: More and more every day! Or should I say night. But what makes me the happiest is when he moves when he hears certain songs. He likes when I listen to and sing Coheed songs. His favorites so far are The Crowing and Atlas. And he likes Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid. Hehehehehe :)

Food cravings: Sugar sugar sugar. I try to curb it with fruit. I ate a ton of watermelon and pineapple this week, in addition to my daily apple and banana. I try to fill up on other things too, like natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt, oats, etc... but it still doesn't stop Baby Mazz from wanting Oreos. I'm actually about to go make some brownies after I post this. Oh well.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Same as usual

Gender: Boy

Labour signs: Nope

Symptoms: Shortness of breath, back pain, migraines, some heartburn, feeling lightheaded and dizzy.

Belly button in or out? Still in. I think it'll be an outie by June. Meh.

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time: Even though I have felt EXTRA shitty physically this week, I was actually happy most of the time. I felt productive (even though I needed help), had fun with the kids at work, and relaxed a lot. :)

Looking forward to: Getting the house organized! It's starting to look closer to how I want it to look for baby. And looking forward to going home!

Monday, May 9, 2016

24 Week Update

After last week's hospital shenanigans, we are back to your regularly scheduled bump update.

How far along? 24 weeks 1 day

Total weight gain/measurements: I went to the doctor last Wednesday, as a follow-up after my ER visit. The baby is fine! I weighed the same as I had the week before. I don't think I had been eating as much due to being sick, and I've been drinking a TON of water to stay hydrated and clear up my lungs. But I feel like I weigh more now, five days later. Might be due to the frozen yogurt and Oreos I've been eating...

Maternity clothes: I really need to invest in more, because I am rotating through the same four maternity shirts at this point, unless I just throw on one of my old tees. Some of my old, flowy tanks fit, but they make me look like a tent. I am more into the fitted maternity clothes, because I find them to be more flattering on me. This is frustrating, because my personal style is very much flowy and boho. First world problems. BUT I bought a nice maternity dress that I got for a STEAL, and it was literally the only one in my size in the entire store!

Stretch marks? Still nothing, but my old white ones on my thighs and hips are becoming more noticeable.

Sleep: ..... lol. Besides coughing fluid out of my lungs 24/7 and my back killing me, Baby Mazz has been kicking up a storm in the wee hours of the morning. 5:30am has been my wakeup call for the past week. I'm exhausted, but feeling him move is fun!

Best moment this week: Eric coming home from Chicago! This was the longest we had been apart since I lived away from him in Baltimore, and it happened to be a really, really difficult week. Both my right AND left sides of my chest are destroyed now. Between the sickness, the pain, and being pregnant, I had a hard time doing important things. I couldn't lift my plants up when they fell over in the storm. I couldn't get the trashcan out of the shed. Nym was being very well-behaved outside, but I honestly couldn't walk her very far because it hurt to breathe too deeply. I felt like a failure. I don't like needing help, but when I saw Eric walk in the door, it was the best feeling in the whole fucking world. I wanted to cry from relief and happiness.

Miss anything? Feeling like my ribs are intact and not broken. Breathing normally. Lolllll... but for real.

Movement: Lots! You can see my belly jolt around now when he does it. I'll try to get a good video to post for next week.

Food cravings: I just want dessert ALL THE TIME. And ever since my first trimester, when that mean doctor told me I need to lay off the bagels and cream cheese and asked if I was sure I knew who the father of my child is (hence why I switched practices...), I haven't eaten another bagel. I felt guilty every time I thought about bagels, which was every day basically. But last week, I went and bought myself bagels and cream cheese, and I ATE THEM. I ate a cinnamon raisin bagel and I LOVED IT. So there.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Just the thought of grilled chicken. I don't think that aversion is going away.

Gender: Boy

Labour signs: No, but I DID feel a Braxton Hicks contraction. These are "practice contractions," for those who do not know. It was weird, but not painful.

Symptoms: The main ones I've noticed this past week are back pain and shortness of breath. I know I'm sick, but this shortness of breath is due to the baby. It comes and goes. It's not helping my chest pain situation, and it's probably the scariest symptom I've experienced. It reminds me of having a panic attack, so every time it happens, I need to calm myself down and remind myself I am not starting to have a panic attack.

Belly button in or out? In, but not for long

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time: Eh... both. I don't know. I'm sick and miserable and in pain, but I'm happy that Eric is here, and the weather has been gorgeous, and lots of fun things are happening soon.

Looking forward to: Heading home in early June! It's just for a long weekend, and I have a lot to do, but it'll be nice to be with my parents and Linny. I miss them very much.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 23

Well, Week 22 may have made me feel horrible, but Week 23 actually sent me to the hospital! And it was only the first day of the week! Hopefully it can't get much worse from here.

No one freak out. Everything is fine with le bebe. We actually had a fetal echocardiogram done last Wednesday, which I didn't tell anyone about. I didn't want to scare everyone for no reason. It was completely precautionary, because heart defects have occurred in our family. The doctor assured us that the baby's heart looked fine during the ultrasound, and sure enough, the echo showed that everything is forming and functioning properly. So, whew.

Last week was basically filled with resting, working, and coughing. My cough got worse, but I felt like I had energy, so I was fine going back to work on Wednesday. I missed the kids, and I actually felt better when I was up and moving.

Saturday was Chloe's 2nd birthday party. It was mermaid-themed and super cute. It's hard to believe that I will be planning birthday celebrations for my own kid next year. I still remember Chloe being a little chunky grumpypants baby who I had to sit with in the back seat of the car to keep from crying. Now, she is an actual kid. Like, a walking, talking human who gets excited to see me, invites me into her playhouse, and poses for pictures.

Anyway, I was all emotional about it on Saturday and happy to see everyone at Kristin's for the party. I was having fun catching up with people and eating lots of food when I started to feel kind of shitty, which I figured I deserved after eating like ten "sand dollar snickerdoodles" and a giant piece of cake. I left around 3pm to get back to Nym, and by the time I got home, I was having a pain on the right side of my chest. It honestly felt like the underwire of my bra was digging into me if I breathed in too deeply or coughed. I attributed this to my big pregnancy boobs and vowed to get new bras the next day.

Well, I took my bra off later, and it was still happening. And getting worse. And by the time I woke up on Sunday, it felt like someone was stabbing me in the right lung every time I took a breath. Coughing was excruciating.

I tried to take Nym out to use the potty three times, and she refused to leave my side to poop. It made me feel like something was really wrong. Animals know these things. After crying to my dad about how I didn't want to go to the hospital, I decided to just fucking go to the hospital. I didn't want to die in my house alone (I should mention that Eric was out of town for all this). So I drove my ass to the ER.

Now, I have never been to an ER, but I was expecting it to look like Grey's Anatomy. It did not. It was very nice and comfortable. That made me feel better.

They saw me pretty immediately, hooked me up to an IV, and checked baby's heartbeat, which was fine. The doctor ran through a bunch of information with me, the bottom line being that I could have a blood clot in my lung. Pregnancy makes you more susceptible to clotting, and since my chest doesn't hurt when you press on it, it could be a more internal problem like this. He said that I could need a CT scan, which puts the baby at a slightly elevated lifetime risk for cancer from the radiation, but if I didn't get one and actually had an undiagnosed clot, it could kill me and/or the baby. Great. If they did find a clot, I would need to be put on blood thinners, and this would become a high-risk pregnancy. Also great.

After blood tests, ultrasounds on my legs to check for clots there, a chest x-ray to make sure I didn't have pneumonia or a collapsed lung, a stupid CT scan that made me feel like I was going to pee my pants from the contrast dye, and five hours of Property Brothers on HGTV, they determined that no clotting was detected. I must just have really bad pulled muscles in my chest or a hairline rib fracture from coughing so much.

I swear to god, this damn bronchitis is the worst sickness I've ever had. I keep wishing I didn't go to the ER, because then I never would have had a CT scan. I cried about it. But what if I really did have a blood clot? The doctor said he wouldn't have recommended it if it wasn't the best option. He said I'm not in the first trimester anymore, which is good, and the scan is of my chest, so they can cover up my abdomen very, very well. One of the other ER doctors had the same exact thing happen to her when she was pregnant, including coughing, and it WAS a clot. Thank god she did the scan.

I'm feeling pretty much the same today, just getting better at managing the chest pain. Baby Mazz is moving around as much as ever, so he seems to be pretty happy in there. I can see and feel him moving on the outside now, which is super cool. :)

A lot of people don't understand why I blog about these personal things, and why I publish it for everyone and their mom to see. The reason is not because I think my life is so damn interesting. It's not. I honestly do not care if anyone reads this at all. I write so that I can look back and remember these times in my life, and because it's a good way to keep family and friends updated when I live so far away. I don't have time to call or text everyone all the time, and I know some of them read this.

I share it with the general public in the hopes that my mundane life experiences might speak to someone else. I write BECAUSE my life is not that interesting. A ton of other people go through the things I go through. Moving, career changes, getting married, being pregnant, scary things happening... I'm not alone in this, but sometimes I feel like it, so I know other people must feel that way, too. There have got to be other pregnant women who are faced with tough healthcare decisions, and they probably cry about it. Or moms who feel judged for their parenting choices, whatever they may be. Or people who feel lost, because they finally achieved their lifelong career goal and realized it's not what they want anymore. Or people who feel homesick and alone and out of place, even when they are surrounded by friendly people.

So, if you happen to be reading this and are having a hard time in life, I feel ya. And if you happen to have read some of my more joyful posts, then I hope it brought some joy to your day, or made you want to share your joy with others. We're all just floating around in the sea of life, trying to get picked up in the right current, and sometimes we need a little help. Like the sea turtles in Finding Nemo, right, dudes?!