Tag Archives: pregnancy

What not to say to a pregnant lady (or any lady for that matter)

I’m going to try really hard not to rant. We’ll see how it goes.

I will be 34 weeks pregnant tomorrow. THIRTY FOUR. My mom gave birth to my two older sisters — both perfectly healthy with no preemie complications — around 36 weeks. When I think about that, it kind of blows my mind.

As uncomfortable and huge as I feel, the possibility that I could have this baby in 2-3 weeks sort of makes me panic. I’d be happy if he came in about a month. I’m sure I won’t be any more prepared in an extra two weeks, but right now, that sounds reasonable.

That said, I’m not looking forward to another month or two of pregnancy.

It seems the baby and my belly have undergone a pretty extreme growth spurt in the past few weeks. Suddenly, everyone feels compelled to comment on my size. And can I tell you? NOT COOL.

I’m already lumbering around feeling like I have a 20-pound medicine ball under my shirt. I’m uncomfortable. My mid-section and lower back ache constantly from the strain on my muscles. I’m crabby, and I’m not getting any sleep because I toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position for the aforementioned medicine ball strapped to my stomach.

The number on the scale is way higher than it’s ever been in my life, and my body image is at an all-time low. I think every pregnant woman goes through a period where she sees pictures of herself pre-pregnancy and feels compelled to weep in mourning of her formerly fabulous body (no matter how unhappy she was with her body before pregnancy).

So guess what I DON’T need to hear right now? The following comments:

“Wow. SEVEN weeks left? I don’t believe it. Please tell me there’s more than one baby in there.”

“I don’t think it’s possible for you to get any bigger.”

“You look like you’re ready to pop.”

“THAT looks uncomfortable.”

I have actually heard every single one of those comments in the past few weeks from strangers and even well meaning friends and family.

Depending on my mood, who the commenter is, and my level of crabbiness, I’m usually able to muster a reasonably polite response. The CVS cashier who insisted I must be having twins because I’m WAY too huge to be carrying one baby received a bit of a sassy retort. (“No. So nice of you to say that, though.” *death stare*)

Honestly, though. I know I’m not the first person to say this, but what in the world makes people think it’s okay to comment on a pregnant woman’s size? When is it EVER polite to comment on someone’s size? Answer: never. Never ever ever.

While I’m on the topic, guess what else is not okay? Groping a person’s stomach. Unless you’ve been given direct permission, keep your hands off. It may look like a beach ball, but it is a part of my anatomy, and I’d rather you didn’t man handle me.

The bigger I get, the more personal space I require. Unfortunately, there is an inverse relationship between my size and the amount of personal space the general public is willing to allot to me.

I guess I couldn’t resist the urge to rant a little after all. But seriously. Keep your hands off my belly, and shut your trap about how enormous I look. Thank you.

Photo by cglatz

Happy place

Thank you so much for your encouragement yesterday. Sometimes I just need a reminder of how worthwhile all of the obstacles will be.

I’ll be spending the rest of the weekend dreaming of cool, clean autumn air, and reminding myself that this year I’ll finally get to experience the Indiana fall I’ve missed so much for the past three years. (Bonus: I’ll be much closer to my due date.)

I think it’s safe to blame the hormones

Vivid dreams are a side effect of pregnancy for which I wasn’t prepared. Most of the time, they’re wacky (like the other night when I dreamed that Michael Phelps towed my sinking cruise ship to shore, rescuing everyone on board). But last night, it was bittersweet.

In the dream, it was fall. Crisp, cool air replaced the stagnant, wet heat outside right now. Tony and I were going on a trip somewhere exciting. It was sunny and beautiful, and I felt well. I felt light and cheery and good in a way that my body hasn’t felt for, oh, about 5 months now.

When I woke up, it was a bitter reminder of the stark contrast between how my body feels now, and how I used to feel when my biggest complaint in the morning was that I didn’t feel like going to the gym. What I wouldn’t give to put in 3 miles on a treadmill now, but I feel too heavy, too sick, too exhausted all. the. time.

It’s not that nobody warned me. I witnessed my sisters as they endured 9+ months of discomfort during pregnancy. I knew I’d likely face the same fate. But I don’t think it’s possible to fully understand what will happen to you during pregnancy until you’ve experienced it yourself. I know I wasn’t prepared.

And yes, I know, I know, it’s all worth it. Unfortunately, when you’re pregnant for the first time, there’s no real frame of reference. Like pregnancy, parenthood is something that’s impossible to understand or grasp until you experience it. So for now, I’m feeling a whole lot of discomfort with only a vague understanding of what awaits at the finish line.

I am completely aware of how lucky I am. That’s why I’ve tried really hard to keep my complaining to myself. We decided we’d like to have a baby, and a month later I was pregnant. That alone is a feat considering how many people struggle for months and even years with infertility. So far, the baby is healthy and thriving despite my discomfort. I quit my full-time job pretty early in the pregnancy to begin a freelance career, so I won’t have to worry about returning to an office after the baby is born. And Tony is about as patient and forgiving as a husband can be, even when I don’t deserve it (especially when I don’t deserve it). He cooks and cleans and takes care of me on the days when I’m too sick to get up (and yes, I’m still having those days, even at 22 weeks).

I’m fully aware that I’m lucky, which is why I choose not to write most days instead of writing what I’m feeling. But the truth is, I struggle to feel grateful. I know I have much to be thankful for, but I’m human, and it’s hard to feel grateful after 5 months of what feels like stomach flu. It’s hard to feel grateful as I swell to twice my previous size. It’s hard to feel grateful as I struggle to sleep at night and concentrate during the day. I know it’s not supposed to be easy, but somehow the inability to feel grateful is the hardest part.

And then I feel guilty about it. I remind myself of how lucky I am, and I feel guilty because it’s so hard for me to appreciate it right now. It’s a vicious cycle, and I suspect that it will continue at least until the baby is born (and likely beyond).

Despite the guilt, I have to admit — I hate being pregnant. I know how sad this will seem to the many women who enjoy the whole process, but I am not one of them. It has been a roller coaster ride with fewer ups than downs, and although I’m barely halfway through it, I’m already counting down the days until it’s over.

I am miserable most of the time. I don’t feel like myself. I snap at my husband over the stupidest things. I shout at my dog for annoying me when all he’s trying to do is comfort me the only way he knows how. Lifting myself from bed in the morning feels like running a marathon; I feel so heavy, and my muscles and joints are so stiff. I’m constantly overheated. I’m depressed. And then there’s the continued nausea and constant pain, of course.

I can’t help but feel like I’m having some sort of allergic reaction to my unborn child. Thankfully, he seems to be doing fine, despite the fact that my body is rejecting his presence so violently.

So. Why don’t you tell me your favorite thing about having kids? Because I sure could use a reminder of why this will all be worth it in the end.

Photo by cglatz

17 weeks and nothing to say

I know it’s been quiet here. Quieter than normal. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m really struggling to find the motivation to do much of anything, even something as simple as writing a blog post. This is one of many things that I hope will pass — and soon.

Unfortunately, not much has changed since my last pregnancy post, so I’ll spare you the complaining. I’m still tired, still sick, still popping Tums like candy for the constant heartburn, still waiting to feel better. I’m starting to think I might never feel healthy again.

We’ve scheduled an ultrasound, though, and we’ll find out whether we’re having a boy or a girl on July 15. I’m looking forward to that date for a couple reasons: I could really use the good baby vibes that come with finding out the sex. After that, I’ll be able to start some of the fun parts of pregnancy, like shopping for lots of tiny baby things and setting up the nursery. It’ll also mark my 19th week of pregnancy, which means I’ll officially be halfway to full term.

And now, because Kacie will kill me if I don’t post one soon, here’s my first official bump picture.

13 weeks

If you’ve noticed my absence (or my complaining when I do post), then you already know that the first trimester has been challenging for me. Between constant nausea, extreme fatigue, and a long list of other completely normal but annoying symptoms, I’ll be happy to say goodbye to the first trimester next week.

After watching all three of my sisters go through difficult pregnancies, I should have been prepared for the worst when it comes to symptoms. We have a long history of rough pregnancies. Despite my discomfort, I take comfort in the fact that all of my symptoms are normal, and all of them are indicative of a strong, healthy baby in there.

I think one of the most surprising things for me so far has been how completely pregnancy has overtaken my life. I guess I always imagined it being something in the background, especially for the first few months before you start growing. But nope. Even without the nausea (which has rendered me pretty much useless on some days), I’m surprised at how much this baby has already changed my life.

For starters, my motivation seems to have taken a permanent vacation. I used to work 50 hours a week and maintain this blog, and I still had time for personal projects and housekeeping. These days, I barely have the energy to get up and get dressed, let alone tackle a mile long to do list.

The most surprising pregnancy side effect so far? Spelling. I don’t use spell checkers. I’m the person everyone asks when they need to spell a word. But the pregnancy has somehow overtaken the part of my brain devoted to spelling and left it useless. The other day, I genuinely forgot how to spell the word “tomorrow.” After typing “tommorrow” and “tommorow” I stared at it for five minutes before I finally gave up and asked Tony how to spell it. He looked at me like I was a pod person.

I’m also having trouble with the part of my brain that manages any information that isn’t necessary to my immediate survival. Facts, trivia, and even current events that used to be easy for me to remember have disappeared.

I’m hoping the baby brain is a temporary side effect.

I also wasn’t expecting to start showing this early, but I’ve already got a bump. That runs in my family, too. I think it’s a combination of short torsos and the way we carry babies. I just hope that showing early doesn’t mean I’ll get ridiculously huge.

I’ve almost made it through the first trimester, though, so that’s something to celebrate! I had my second prenatal appointment yesterday, and I heard a strong, healthy heartbeat at 150 bpm. The doctor had no trouble finding it, but she did struggle to count the beats, because my baby won’t stay still. She said that’s another sign that he or she is strong and healthy.

In the beginning I had a strong premonition that I was going to have a boy. Now as the pregnancy goes on, I feel any certainty I had about that fading. At this point, I have no strong feelings one way or the other. So I’m definitely looking forward to finding out sometime in July.

To my pregnant readers, or those of you who’ve been pregnant before, am I crazy to blame my spelling problems on the pregnancy? What kind of crazy things has pregnancy done to your brain?

How to save money on maternity clothes

This is a guest post from Kacie at Sense To Save. Her son is 16 months old and she’s due with baby #2 in December, right around the time that my first baby is due.

When you discover you’re pregnant with your first child, your mind probably fills with all the cute things you’ll buy your baby. Set aside some of that baby budget to create a comfortable, stylish maternity wardrobe that will leave you feeling confident as your body changes over the coming months.

While it can be hard for frugal-minded mamas to justify spending much money on a wardrobe they will only need for a short time, remember that you don’t have to sacrifice your baby’s college fund to round out your wardrobe.

  • Start with the “rubber band trick” to get a few more wears out of pants. Take a small rubber band and loop it through your pants’ buttonhole to give you an extra inch or so in the waistline. Be sure to wear a longer shirt to cover it.
  • Consider a Bella Band. Some moms swear by these tube-top-esque articles of clothing; others don’t care for them much. I liked mine to wear during my third trimester to hold up my full-panel maternity jeans. They’re also handy post-partum. Borrow or buy one and then add more if you like them.
  • Go through your current wardrobe to see what can double-up as maternity wear. Things like flowy shirts, drawstring or elastic skirts, loose dresses and cardigans can last through your second trimester and sometimes to your due date. Wear cardigans unbuttoned so you won’t stretch them out.
  • Borrow from friends! Surely you know someone who has had a child in the last few years. See if you can borrow some of their maternity clothes. Take a detailed inventory (with photos or words) so you can be sure the owner gets her clothes back.
  • Before shopping, create a list of the types of items you’re seeking. If you’re working in a professional workplace until your due date, then naturally you’ll need a more professional wardrobe.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. If you read Karen’s blog, then you probably are money-conscious, so I don’t think I need to elaborate on this.
  • Try good thrift and consignment stores. I’ve been able to find some pretty cute maternity shirts for $1 or so at my favorite thrift store. You have to visit second-hand shops often since the merchandise changes fast, but if it means you’re getting an item for a fraction of retail price, isn’t that worth it?
  • Ebay and Craigslist can be a goldmine for specific items, as well as buying in bulk.
  • Clearance racks are an obvious destination. I’ve found plenty of good items on the Old Navy clearance rack, and Target is also a good choice for budget-minded mamas. Remember to think several months ahead – don’t buy a lot of summery items if you’re due in December.
  • Since you’ll be pregnant for three full seasons (and sometimes a little bit more!) it makes sense to try to keep some of your wardrobe season-neutral. Think about pieces that will layer well. In addition, try to stick with a color palate that suits your coloring and that can easily mix-and-match.
  • Last time, I spent way too much time trying to find a great pair of maternity jeans. I found some that were OK, but I think I would have been happier if I wore skirts and dresses more often since they are a little more forgiving.
  • Don’t buy your wardrobe all at once. Plan to buy more items in your third trimester.
  • Remember, you’ll be able to wear most of these clothes for future pregnancies and you can loan these clothes out, as well as resell them when you’re all finished.

A big announcement before our big trip

We’re finally taking off tonight for two weeks in Europe after almost two years of saving and planning! I’ve got a few great guest posts lined up from some of my favorite bloggers, so things won’t be quite as quiet here as they have been, but my Internet access will be very limited until we return at the end of the month. I promise I’ll be back to a regular posting schedule by June 1st.

Before I go, I have some big news to share. Tony and I are expecting our first baby sometime in December! According to my calculations I’m about 9 weeks, but the OB’s measurements put me around 10 weeks. I’m due anywhere between December 5 and December 14, but of course when the baby actually arrives will be up to him or her.

And here’s my very first baby picture:

Cute, right?

I’ll be back in two weeks!