Monday, July 25, 2016

35 Weeks!

Vulgar language ahead, and I'm not talking about my usual f-bomb, but I feel like it's important to write about this situation.

So today, I was getting into my car in the Target parking lot, when a car slowly rolled up behind mine and stopped. And then I heard, "Girl, wanna get your pussy licked?"

I'm not easily offended, and I am definitely not a stranger to catcalls. Walking to and from parties in college, there were always guys who would yell things at my friends and I. But this wasn't a car full of annoying teenagers or douchebag college guys. There were two, maybe three, men in the car.

Normally, in these situations, I give the guys the finger, or if I'm feeling particularly fiesty, I yell something like, "Fuck off, douchebag!" But I just continued getting into my car. I don't know why. I guess I was just shocked. I didn't expect to hear that at 11am in a crowded Target parking lot from a grown man. They drove off when I didn't respond.

I sat there for a minute regretting my inaction. What I really would have liked to do is turn and ask them why they said that to me. Like have a real, genuine conversation about what motivated them to say that. Did they think it was flattering to me? Did they say it sarcastically because they think I'm ugly? Did they just want to get a rise out of someone? Were they raised to think this was an appropriate thing to do? I am genuinely curious about why they would say something that vulgar to me, or anyone.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized they would have just laughed and driven away the second I gave them any kind of response, whether I looked their way, got angry, or tried to just talk to them. It would've been nice to put them in their place, or better yet, change their outlook on harassing women, but neither of those things would have happened. They just would've laughed and driven off, or worse, gotten angry. Not a safe situation.

The reason I am even talking about this five-second interaction between me and these men is because it happens ALL THE TIME to women, and it's not okay. This was the first time something like that has happened to me in my post-partying days, and I'm pregnant, and it was in BROAD DAYLIGHT in a fine area, and it made me feel gross and dirty. It almost made me want to cry, which I could attribute to pregnancy hormones... but it wasn't. It was because it was a really not nice thing to hear, and made me feel unsafe, and all I wanted to do was get in my car with my free Target popcorn and go hang out with my friends at Guanabanas.

So if you're a guy, and you have ever done this, or have friends who have done this, please realize: It's not funny. It's not flattering or a compliment. It's invasive and upsetting.

ANYWAY, the rest of my week was good. I went to my checkup, and the doctor was able to tell me that the baby was positioned head down right now! That could change, but hopefully it won't. He found baby's heartbeat right away, and it was the loudest thump-thump-thump it's ever been, because he knew exactly where to put the doppler to be right on baby's back. He asked how much Eric and I each weighed at birth, because he has a prediction about baby's size. I almost had a heart attack. When he heard Eric was like 10 lbs. he laughed, and said I'd be happy to know that Baby Mazz was probably going to be more around the 7lb. range. THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS!

Danielle was visiting Kristin this weekend, which was a fun spontaneous surprise! We had a game night Saturday night and went on the boat on Sunday with Cat and Zach. It's always fun catching up with people we don't see a lot, and watching Chloe and Des play together was adorable.

Oh ALSO, our Childbirth Education class was Saturday. The instructor was super cool, and I feel really good about delivering there. The rooms are really nice, and all the nurses were so friendly. We saw a new dad in the hallway on our little tour, and he stopped us to tell us that he and his wife have had a great experience there. The class was pretty good. Eric said it made him feel excited. We practiced massages that might help with pain relief during labor, which was definitely my favorite part of class, hehe. We were there with Katie and Leo, which was fun, and the other three couples there were cool, too. All of us asked about bringing alcohol into the hospital, which I thought was a VERY. LEGIT. QUESTION. The answer is yes. Also, I signed up for a prenatal dance class thing that our instructor is starting up to help moms exercise and get baby in the right position for birth. It's three nights in August, so perfect timing. Sorry, but I definitely WON'T be taking video of that experience for you all hahahahaha.

How far along?  35 weeks! HE'S THE SIZE OF A PINEAPPLE! That seems like a huge milestone.



Total weight gain/measurements: 22 lbs. so far. Still have five weeks to go, but if I keep gaining at this rate, I am right within the healthy recommended weight gain for my size. It's still a struggle to see the number on the scale, but I don't mind how my body looks, besides my swollen feet and a bit in my hands and face. I think seeing my after-baby body will be much more difficult for me.

Maternity clothes: Nope. No more. I am sticking it out with what I have for the remainder of my pregnancy and beyond.

Stretch marks: None yet.

Sleep: I finally got a whopping TEN HOURS... in the past three days, total.

Best moment this week: The whole weekend was fun! Game night, going out on the boat, even the childbirth class. All good times with good friends. :)

Miss anything? Not being swollen. It's downright painful and ugly. Ugh. Sleep would be GREAT.

Movement: Still a ton. Still looks like an alien trying to bust out of my body. Still weird and amazing at the same time.

Food cravings: DOUGHNUTS.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really. Just when I eat too much, which is a lot of the time... hehe.

Gender: Dude.

Labour signs: Not yet! He needs to stay in there and cook for another couple weeks, and then I won't mind if he wants to start trying to get out!

Symptoms: Nothing new. Sleep is getting increasingly more difficult, as is breathing, eating, walking, bending... everything! My hands and feet are also hurting even more now. Braxton Hicks are happening more often, but aren't usually painful. Every once in awhile, I'll get a terrible pain in my inner upper thigh during one, which is REALLY painful.

Belly button in or out? Out. Chloe has started yelling "BABY!" and poking it hahahaha. I want to shove it back in SO BAD.

Wedding rings on or off? Off. The doctor said not to even try putting them back on at this point if my hands are in so much pain.

Happy or moody most of the time: I'm a huge mix of emotions right now. Very overwhelmed, terrified, excited, happy... whatta wreck.

Looking forward to: Eric's family visiting this weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Glass Half Full?

I should be happy that it's Hump Day, even though I am currently funemployed AKA on maternity leave from the workforce for the forseeable future.

Alas, I am not. I have been having a rough time mentally these past few days. I've been running errands, organizing, cleaning, packing, doing little things I need to do, re-organizing what I already organized, listening to music (I have 16+ hours of music on my Birth playlist so far. Think that's enough?), doing research on preparing for natural childbirth/breastfeeding/taking care of another human life...

But sometimes, nothing works, and I just need to write. This is one of those times.

My hands hurt, I feel fat, it's hot as balls outside, and I am very overwhelmed.

BUT!

It is time to be a glass-half-full person. Here are 20 things I can't wait to experience:

1. Childbirth class on Saturday. I can't decide if it's going to be more or less amusing than watching Eric try to change an anatomically-correct-doll's diaper, which is what happened at Newborn Care class last night.

2. Seeing Eric's aunt, uncle, and cousins next weekend!

3. My mom coming down in August, and the rest of our family coming when the baby has arrived.

4. Meeting my child (and not being pregnant anymore...)!

5. Dressing my child in cute clothes.

6. Seeing his personality develop.

7. Reading and singing to him.

8. Introducing him to all our friends and family.

9. Traveling with him. We've always wanted to see a million places in the world, but now we will just tote him along. At one point, I may have thought this was a burden, but now I am just excited to teach a kid about nature, history, and different cultures.

10. Taking him to Disney! Some may say it's because they get to experience the magic again through their children's awe and wonder, but really I'm just excited for ANY excuse to go to Disney...

11. ... And dress us in matching Disney-themed outfits...

12. ... Like, we can all have Disney Villain mouse ears and shirts! I AM SO COOL.

13. Celebrating Halloween and Christmas with him! Now THAT is about the magic.

14. Seeing Eric teach him how to play the guitar, rollerblade, play hockey, and brew beer.

15. Introducing him to good music and hopefully saving him from the shit that is pop music nowadays (I sound like a crotchety, lame, embarrassing mom already! Yay!).

16. Introducing him to the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, and all my favorite books as he gets older.

17. Seeing him grow up with Nym, and hopefully lots of pets, because I am going to adopt all the animals when we move into a bigger house.

18. Cheering him on at whatever extracurriculars he decides to pursue.

19. Planning birthday parties for him, until he gets too old and cool to have birthday parties. And then I'll give him money and tell him to "go do something fun with your friends, or whatever." (Right? Is that what I'm supposed to do when he's too cool for parties? Someone help me out, please.)

20. Hearing him say, "I love you, Mom." Which he will probably get too old and cool to say at some point, but then he will get over it and start saying it again when he realizes telling people you love them is more important than being a standoffish teenager. :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

34 Week Update

I had a little scare last Thursday morning when I noticed some very, very faint spotting. If that's TMI, apologies, but you should know by now that I keep this as real as possible. I went about my day for a couple hours before calling the doctor, just to see if the baby continued to move like usual, or if the spotting got worse. He kept moving, and I didn't notice any more spotting at all, so the doctor told me to just rest, stay hydrated, and call back if anything seems unusual.

Everything has been status quo since then, but needless to say, that was the kick in the pants I needed to get my ass moving on preparations for Baby Mazz. I washed all the necessary baby things I could. I did at least three huge loads of baby stuff. Baby socks are the most adorable thing, and yet the fucking worst things to wash. You think you have trouble finding YOUR socks in the laundry? Baby socks are ten times worse. I can forsee a future where I drop, like, seven of them on my way up the steps and Nym eats them all before I realize I even lost them. Then, I'll search the house for hours, only to see Nym poop them out the next morning.

This is going to be my life, people.

I also packed my hospital bag and the diaper bag as well as I could this early in the game. Hopefully, I have another month to gather the rest of the things that will make our hospital stay somewhat bearable. Eric installed the car seat in my car, too. We are as ready as we can be at the moment.

I think Eric felt bad for me, so he took me out on Friday night to one of our favorite restaurants. We sat by the water with our drinks (Shirley Temple for me, because I'm hardcore like that), overlooking the Jupiter lighthouse. I know eventually we will find a new normal, where we bring a kid with us or find a sitter, but it will never be the same as it is now. Different isn't BAD, but it's... well, different. There will never be a time where we aren't thinking about him, loving him, or coming back home to him. So, we are trying to take advantage of our current normal, where we can go out spur of the moment without packing play-doh and diapers and snacks.

On Saturday night, we headed over to Ben and Kristin's to have a game night/baby shower with some of our friends. I just wanted a night where I got to hang out with a bunch of people before the baby is here (once again, our new normal will make this kind of event much different). Kristin went overboard, of course, and made it like a real themed shower, with Where The Wild Things Are stuff everywhere! I love that book, and I can already tell my kid is a Wild Thing. There were signs and favors and little cards to fill out guessing the baby's birth information. Jessica made little monster cake pops. People gave us very generous gifts. It was a really fun night, and we are very lucky to have such awesome people in our lives down here.

Sunday was a boat day, since Adam had come down from Orlando to hang out with us. The weather reports had called for rain all weekend, but it ended up being one of the most beautiful days. The water was super blue, and we saw lots of fish and a manatee! Chloe can swim around now, and she likes to build drippy castles on the sand, so it was a lot of fun hanging on "our beach" in the intracoastal. :)

The truth is that I am just not feeling great right now. I'm having fun with friends and feel happy a lot, but I also just feel mentally and physically blah. I don't like to just sit around and rest, even though I need to. I do feel purposeless, even though I have so much to do around the house. I can only do so much cleaning and organizing in a day before I want to jump out a window, and then what do I have to do? It's too hot for me to sit on the beach or by the pool, and even if it wasn't, that's still just "sitting around." I want to go for walks, but I can't walk Nym at this point. If she sees another dog, she will be too difficult for me to control. My feet swell up immediately if I walk in this heat anyway. I'm struggling with my body, because it doesn't feel like mine, and it's very uncomfortable.

I know some people have way worse pregnancies, but I just don't enjoy the general experience of being pregnant, I guess. I'm excited to meet my kid, but the whole process of getting there has been a true test of my mental and physical self.

How far along?  34 weeks 1 day, and Baby Mazz is the size of a quokka. What is it? I don't know. Google exists for a reason. The other app says butternut squash, which I actually think might be an accurate veggie description for once.

Total weight gain/measurements: I'll find out my next update at my appointment on Thursday, but I feel like a beached whale.

Maternity clothes: I ordered several nursing bras. It was time. I spent a bit on nice ones, because I read in reviews that these are the only ones people with my particular bra-fitting issues ended up being able to use. Sure enough, they are amazing, and I don't even feel frumpy or gross in them! If you don't know what nursing bras are, they are basically peek-a-boo bras, so you can whip your boobs out easily. Sounds sexy, but when you are leaking milk all over the place and your baby is crying from hunger, it's just practical. I also got my breast pump, which was completely covered by insurance! Woohoo!

Stretch marks: None yet.

Sleep: I'M HOT ALL THE TIME AND I HAVE WEIRD DREAMS AND I DO NOT SLEEP.

Best moment this week: The whole weekend with Eric and friends!

Miss anything? Alcohol, family, friends, bending over, breathing, sleeping, eating, walking, working, feeling good in general.

Movement: Still tons! I took a video, but I'm scared to post it. It looks like a creature is trying to fight its way out of my body. If you're interested in viewing my homemade sci-fi masterpiece, let me know.

Food cravings: I really, REALLY want Jupiter Donut Factory. I didn't get it this weekend. Wahhhhh.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nothing in particular. Just not feeling well in general.

Gender: Dude.

Labour signs: Nope.

Symptoms: All the same as before, but a new one has popped up in the past week. My hands feel like I have arthritis. It is nearly impossible to bend my fingers when I wake up, and the pain lingers throughout the day, although it is worst in the morning. I looked this up, and apparently it has to do with swelling in the wrist and hands. It can cause pain and even carpel tunnel. My hands don't look super swollen, but they definitely are a little. I can't get my rings on at all anymore. :( 

Belly button in or out? It's turning inside out more and more every week. I won't even have a belly button by the end of this pregnancy.

Wedding rings on or off? Off. My hand feels naked.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. I'm uncomfortable, and I also have zero tolerance for people's stupidity right now. Just being honest.

Looking forward to: We start hospital classes this week! Newborn Care class is tomorrow night, which I don't really need, but I think it'll be funny to watch Eric changing and bathing a doll lolllllllll. And we have an all-day Childbirth Class/Hospital Tour on Saturday, with Katie and Leo, too! I am excited for that one. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Week 33

Last weekend, the Starbucks barista made my life by giving me my latte on the house. She said I was always smiling and bubbly when I came in for my weekly dose of caffeine and deserved a free boost of energy for having to be super pregnant in the summer. It was such an unnecessary, kind gesture, and I thought about it a lot this week.

I thought about how I am still holding out hope that my son will grow up in a good world and have a good life. And then, I thought about the difficult conversations I am going to have to have with him along the way.

I have been trying for days to think of what to say about the events of the past week, but I honestly don't know what to say. I don't want my silence on social media to be seen as complicity, but I also think having conversations in "real life" counts for something, right? I've talked to friends and family about these things, and god knows I'm open and honest about my opinions on every subject matter, but I still don't know what to write about this. I just wrote a giant word-vomit post about it but deleted it.

All I can say is: It is possible to respect the lives and work of police officers while acknowledging that systemic racism exists. White privilege exists. The actions of some police officers do not represent all officers, but that doesn't mean there isn't a problem with the system in general. The actions of a few snipers in Dallas do not represent the message of an entire peaceful movement. All lives matter, but right now, it is urgent that we address the issues facing minorities in this country, which is where Black Lives Matter comes in. Acknowledging and accepting that we have different experiences based on the color of our skin is difficult, but important. I would be happy to discuss the issue with anyone.

How far along?  33 weeks, and Baby Mazz is the size of a ferret. The other app told me he is the size of celery... CELERY. Lame. I like the weird creature comparisons much better.

She wouldn't get out of the shot :P

Total weight gain/measurements: 19 lbs. total from my pre-pregnancy weight, and I have never been anywhere close to this heavy in my life. Seeing the number on the scale messed with my head a little bit, but I had also just eaten a personal pizza, Caesar salad, and truffle fries from Yard House before my appointment, so... can't complain haha. But I almost threw it all up (not on purpose), because there is NO ROOM in my belly for food anymore. He is squishing my stomach so badly that I feel extremely sick every time I eat, even if it's just a peanut butter sandwich or an apple. The doctor said he's just getting big, and to try to eat a lot of small things throughout the day. Pregnancy, man.

Maternity clothes: First, does anyone have any recommendations on where to find good nursing bras and tanks? Target had NOTHING in store, and Destination Maternity ones are all too big. Anyway, my new things have arrived from Pinkblush. The shirt I was most excited for fits fine but looks a little too billowy on me, which is a shame, but the other two will be good. I bet I can still wear them when I'm not pregnant anymore. The jean shorts FIT! THEY ARE AMAZING! I AM WAY TOO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!!! I might start ordering clothes from their non-maternity line, since pretty much everything has fit me so well, been affordable, and arrived before the estimated delivery date.

Stretch marks: Nothing major to report. I'm just using regular cheapo moisturizer a couple times a day.

Sleep: What's that?

Best moment this week: Two best moments. 

Friday night was Ben's birthday dinner and drinks. I couldn't drink of course, but man, I love sitting out by the water with friends (even if I am having hot flashes and my feet are swelling up like balloons). 

And then shopping with Eric yesterday. Sounds lame-o, but we had a really nice day together. We went to the outlets and the mall, did some shopping for him, and did some shopping for the Little Dude. We were the model parents-to-be in Carter's that were making fun of half the baby clothes, calling the raccoon onesies the "trash panda" onesies, and talking about putting our newborn in a bucket hat. Truly, we found a lot of cute things. I love seeing the stuff Eric picks out. We got some caffeine from my favorite overpriced mediocre cafe, picked up a new living room coffee table, found a new pizza place with good takeout pizza!, and went for a nice walk with Nym. She's been walking great on her harness. We visited with her dogfriend Macy, who is the dogchild of a couple who are expecting their first humanchild in October. They are from Pittsburgh and are really nice. We ended the night with a game of Dominion and a little jam sesh. I can't wait to play and sing for Baby Mazz. :)

Miss anything? Besides the usual sleep, family, friends, and alcohol, I would also say I miss breathing, eating without feeling like puking my guts up, my nice thin feet, and being able to bend over. I can barely paint my toenails or shave in the shower anymore. WAH WAH WAH let's complain some more, Lauren...

Movement: He's kicking all up in my ribs and stomach. Not pleasant, but still adorable!

Food cravings: I didn't have Jupiter Donut Factory this week. It was a problem. You better believe I will be getting a half dozen next Saturday morning.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Yeah, EVERYTHING, because nothing fits in my stomach :(

Gender: Dude

Labour signs: No, but definitely having more Braxton Hicks contractions, and they are getting more uncomfortable.

Symptoms: Shortness of breath, swelling, overheating, and difficulty eating are at the top of the list this week.

Belly button in or out? It keeps going further out, and I JUST WANT TO POP IT BACK IN ALSKDGJALSKGJ

Wedding rings on or off? Off. Not risking getting that shiz stuck on my finger.

Happy or moody most of the time: ... bored and uncomfortable? Haha.

Looking forward to: Spending time with friends and family in the near future, childbirth classes, and the hospital tour! And decorating the nursery walls! Eric spray painted some old vinyl records. I think they are going to look super cool on the wall. Here are a few:



Monday, July 4, 2016

32 Weeks!

Happy Independence Day, U.S.A.

Eric and I spent the day napping and binge watching the most recent season of Orange is the New Black. Well, he grilled hot dogs and burgers (because AMERICA) while I napped. Every few days, going to bed at 2am and waking up at 6am catches up with me. But there's just something about being up and about before everyone, even before Nym wants to go out... I don't like to sleep in, even if I can.

This morning, I ate my cereal in peace and made lists. LISTS UPON LISTS. A grocery list, a list of things we still need for the baby, a list of things I want to get done tomorrow, a comprehensive list of things I need to do before the baby comes, a list of things Eric needs to do, and a list of everything I need to pack in the hospital bags for me, Eric, and the baby.

I felt accomplished. I'll feel REALLY accomplished if I actually cross things off these lists. Hah.

The past week was a pretty good week. It was my last week of "work." Once I calmed down from my little breakdown last week, I reflected a lot on the impact that taking huge risks has had on my life. When I started writing here, Eric and I had just made the decision to move to Florida. Nearly three years later, we own a home here, have a dog, and are preparing to be parents. When I say I never thought I'd see the day, I am SERIOUS. 

I read back over a bunch of my posts from the past few years, and I am so glad I have documented my life, the good and the bad. Things haven't always been easy, but every risk that we have taken has paid off in the end. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that we are good planners (yes, even chill-as-hell Eric). We didn't just move away without having a plan, I definitely didn't just quit any of my jobs without having something else lined up, and we are both very hard workers who are motivated to succeed in whatever we choose to do. But part of our risks paying off is definitely luck. Or fate. Or whatever you want to call it. Thanks to a good friendship formed during really tough times at tough jobs, I ended up where I am right now. It feels like I am where I was always meant to be. I put "work" in quotations because the past fifteen months never felt like a job. Counseling felt like a job, despite the fact that I LOVED what I did and was good at it. Having a work fam, creating lasting bonds, being happy instead of crying myself to sickness every day, and coming to the realization that I am destined to have a kid? That is on a whole different level. That isn't a job. That is like... a year-long soul-searching expedition.

I have a feeling that my soul-searching, and my risk-taking, are far from over. This holiday weekend was a little escape from reality, but tomorrow starts the next chapter of my life. I am feeling some intense anxiety about Eric going to work tomorrow and me staying home. I don't want to feel purposeless for the next eight weeks. At least I have a shit ton of things on lists that need to get done. ;)

How far along?  32 weeks 1 day

Total weight gain/measurements: Will find out at my doctor appointment this week. I'm glad I stuck to my guns and didn't buy a scale. This whole process would be much more emotionally draining for me if I were measuring and weighing myself every week, or what would almost definitely turn into an every day obsession in my case. I'm still hungry and eating a ton of crap, but I am starting to feel very full very fast... there isn't much room inside for anything other than Baby Mazz anymore.

Maternity clothes: I am anxiously awaiting a new maternity order from Pinkblush! With only 8 weeks left to go, I wanted to kick myself for buying more things this late in the game, but I literally don't fit into 98% of my wardrobe at this point. I figured I'd invest in a pair of maternity jean shorts, which they sell in number sizes at Pinkblush, so hopefully they'll fit properly. The few shirts I bought will work well to hide my postpartum belly bump, so I should get some good use out of them! I like flowy shirts anyway, so maybe I'll be able to wear them even if I get back in shape.

Stretch marks: Still none really  

Sleep: Crazy dreams, waking up multiple times to pee and move around. Blah!

Best moment this week: Probably spending time with my work fam, honestly. And this Fourth of July Weekend has been pretty great!

Baby Leo and Baby Mazz are in there... 
... Baby Chloe didn't want to be in the picture.  Lolllll



Went to Civl Society in Abacoa and had some Non-Prophet Brewing kombucha. SO. GOOD. 
Fireworks in Abacoa. Felt like a true summer night. :)
Miss anything? Alcohol and sleep and family. Especially over Fourth of July weekend. But this will continue for the duration of this pregnancy. And then, when it's over, I will still be missing sleep and family!

Movement: All the time. LOTS of hiccups. Lots of squishing himself up high and kicking my ribs so I have trouble breathing. I pretty much need to stretch out laying on my left side at all times to breathe properly at this point. But it's still so cute when he moves.

Food cravings: Jupiter Donut Factory doughnuts... oops...



Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really!

Gender: Boy

Labour signs: Nope

Symptoms: Heartburn, indigestion, shortness of breath, Braxton Hicks contractions, swelling

Belly button in or out? Out, and I literally have dreams about popping it back in. It really bothers me!

Wedding rings on or off? Off :/ They only got stuck twice, and not that badly, but that was enough to make me freak out about them being stuck forever, or cutting the circulation off in my finger, or something. So I just kept them off after getting them off that second time. Ughhhhh

Happy or moody most of the time: Understandably emotional, but not moody. Happy.

Looking forward to: Doctor appointment this week, and GETTING SHIT DONE!