Monday, September 9, 2013

Yes, I Live In Seattle, How Could You Tell?

Today, at the clinic for a routine prenatal appointment:

Me: I can't get rid of this damn headache, Tylenol does nothing and it's been almost a week and I'm not sleeping well. 

Midwife: Oh, go to Starbucks every afternoon or have a bunch of Diet Coke. Caffeine will help and not hurt the baby at all this late in the pregnancy. And if that doesn't work here's a Vicodin scrip. It'll help you sleep too if you take it before bed. 

Mocha Frappuccinos + Vicodin = Gonna be a good week <3

You can't tell me I'm overdoing it. This is a prescription! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Balance: Nonexistant. Always.

They say that during pregnancy your balance may be "a little off."

No. No, it is a LOT off.

I remember being 30-something weeks along with Lainey and attempting to cross a street. You know, where there isn't really a sidewalk but it's not REALLY jaywalking because it's at a corner? I looked down the road and saw a car coming, aways off, enough for me to make it across if I slowly jogged instead of pregnancy waddled across the street. So I took two jogging steps off the sidewalk and nearly pitched forward onto my face. It felt like someone had shoved me from behind as I flew gracelessly out into the middle of the road and thought, "This is it, I will die from being run over because I dared to move faster than a snail while pregnant." I crouched in the middle of the road for a moment, keenly aware that probably the entire neighborhood and for sure the person in the car coming towards me was staring at the idiot who couldn't cross a road properly, before I regained enough balance to finish jog-waddling across the street. The car slowed down briefly as it passed me, checking out my incompetence.

Today I stepped on something in the living room. I have a toddler, there are ALWAYS things in the middle of the living room. Plum pits. Banana peels. One Goldfish cracker that has turned into five billion tiny crumbs. Other tiny objects I manage to avoid.

I could have stereotypically slipped on the banana peel, but nothing I do can be stereotypical. Instead I managed to step on the largest damn object on the floor--Lainey's rain boots.

My ankle wobbled. I tipped backwards about 1/10th of a degree, meaning my entire center of balance flipped out on me and sent me flying onto the floor. I managed to slam into the couch and a few animal crackers on the way down as well, my butt landing directly on the hardest part of the rain boots. Of course.

Really, it wasn't a huge fall. But since I'm pregnant, for some reason it means I feel like I fell straight down a mountain. Every damn muscle hurts. To top it all off, Lainey toddled over yelling, "Uh-oh!" and pulled on my arm to help me stand back up. I am glad she is learning compassion and yadda yadda, but when you have to be helped back up by your one year know things are either bad, or you are pregnant.

Lucky for me, I am pregnant. Yay.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Honeymoon is a Lie. The (cheese) cake, however, is not.

During my last prenatal visit, the midwife helpfully scrawled on my after-visit summary printout, "Don't forget to enjoy the honeymoon of the second trimester! :)"

I like my midwife a lot, but I was filled with irrational anger. Probably because I'm in my second trimester.

I suppose the second trimester is the best trimester for me. The first trimester is filled with midnight puking (WHO thought up the term "morning sickness?) and awful headaches. The third one, at least with Lainey, was filled with leg cramps and ever-increasing hip pain. The second trimester, for me, isn't really much better than those other two, though.

All the books say that, oh, it's a wonderful trimester. You're not puking and you have a cute little baby bump people will compliment you on, you can find out the gender if you want and people start throwing you baby showers. I like free stuff so I'm totally cool with people giving me gifts. Even from strangers, I mean, if any readers out there want to send me anything.

But that middle trimester is really no better physically for me. Heartburn starts; I'm eating the tiniest meals and even if I stop eating at 7pm, I often wake up at 1am feeling like dinner is still stuck in my ribs and threatening to travel higher if I move wrong. My back aches. One cashier told me, "Oh, I just KNOW you're having a girl!" and was terribly offended when I said I was carrying a boy, like I had nothing better to do than to call her out on being completely wrong in front of her whole line. I guess other women like chatting about the miracle of pregnancy, but when someone says to me, "You MUST be so happy to be pregnant, you're absolutely glowing!" I want to reply, "Actually my face is a bright blushed color because it took me half an hour to poop earlier. My butt really hurts."

Then there's the whole I-already-have-a-kid-this-time-around thing. Unlike the first time around, where I could come home from work and collapse on the bed and sleep for 13 hours, there is no "come home from work" part of the day. I have to entertain my existing child ALL DAY LONG. And after a while you start running out of ideas.

We started cooking. Lainey finds this incredibly fun.

One tablespoon whipped cream for the cheesecake. Ten for my mouth. 

Even though the results are a little...messy. Edible, but messy. Still, when my back hurts and I'm exhausted but can't lie down, starving but can't eat, having to clean up the results of an experimental peanut butter no-bake cheesecake is daunting. You might as well have asked me to go scrub the entire exterior of a space shuttle with a sponge. While it's in space. 

A cheesecake channeling modern abstract art. Our child is just THAT talented. 

In conclusion, I believe that each trimester of pregnancy equally sucks. Each in its own special way. give me a cheesecake at any time. Mmm. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Creativity is only fun if you're not the one cleaning things up

Anyone who's raised or babysat young children know that it's very important to think out of the box. This is because toddlers are not known to have a "box" to think inside of, or if they have a box they are likely to either be eating the flaps or pooping inside of it.

Today was one of those days where it was hot, we don't have a playground or pool nearby, and while we totally have a car with lovely air conditioning I could drive somewhere, that requires me to have enough energy to get us fed, dressed, diaper bag packed with diapers and snacks and etc. in an apartment without air conditioning. Also, we already ran errands this morning and one errand run per day is about all I can handle. 

So Ms. Toddler (whom I think I shall call Lainey on this blog, because it's kind of a derivative of her nickname which is good enough for me) woke up from her nap, ate lunch, then, uh-oh--boredom started to set in. Want to draw? No. Read a book? Kind of, but sitting in Mama's lap is too hot. Play-Dough? She hates play-dough. Do you want SECOND LUNCH...? Yeah no, Mama, your desperation is starting to show. 

That's when my gaze fell on the brand new tent sitting by the door we haven't had a chance to use or even open yet. Ah-HA, think I, I can kill two birds with one stone (even though that sounds quite violent and not good behavior to model to a 1 year old) by setting up the tent so I know all the parts are there and not broken AND Lainey has something new to play with. Genius! Right? 

This is not a review for a Coleman Instant Tent. However, I will say that any tent that a pregnant person with wicked carpel tunnel can manage to mostly set up in a cramped apartment in less than fifteen minutes with a shrieking 1 year old trying to help is designed fairly well.  Of course the real test is replicating this success at an actual campsite.
Pros to this idea:
1. Lainey happily danced around for half an hour inside the tent

Cons to this idea:

1. I lost the use of my entire living room
2. Taking down the tent in a living room with no space is much harder than setting it up
3. I lost the use of my entire living room. And the rest of the apartment, really, since the damn tent blocked off all access to the kitchen, bedrooms, and bathroom. 

It doesn't help that 1 year olds have little patience, so when Lainey was done with the tent she wanted to do something else RIGHT THEN but I had to squint at the instructions and try to disassemble it as fast as possible so we could access the rest of our lives, and seriously "reverse setup steps" is kind of the least helpful disassembling instructions ever, with Lainey stamping her tiny feet in frustration and trying to crawl over me. 

Basically, the lesson I learned today was don't set up a freaking 6 person tent inside a tiny apartment living room. Sometimes creativity is overrated.

On the other hand, after the tent was put away she decided Second Lunch was a good idea after all. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Glow of Pregnancy is a lie

So I am 21 weeks pregnant. More than one site and book say something along the lines of, "You're probably feeling the glow of pregnancy now that the discomforts of the first trimester are behind you and you aren't as large as you will be in the third trimester."

Ha. Ha ha ha.

With my daughter I know I had lower back pain at this point. I remember because I stole the comfiest chair at work and was always sitting down in it, and my coworkers would give me angry glares when they thought I wasn't looking and I was like, "Glare all you want in those hard plastic chairs, ha ha ha." This time it's like REVENGE OF THE LOWER BACK PAIN. We went to Ikea this past weekend and bought a ton of furniture to furnish our new apartment, and I put a couple of 20lb boxes on the cart and thought I was going to collapse and never walk again. My back was simply all, "YEAH NO. CUT THIS IKEA STUFF OUT." It's even more lame than it sounds because before I had kids I was super into weightlifting. I could deadlift 150 lbs with very little effort. But post-kids, a 21 lb bookcase? Nearly takes me out for a week.

Never mind the flabby, stretch-mark laden tummy and wider hips and blah blah blah. I want my strength back. You'd think hauling a 25 lb toddler around would help out with that but the only "pregnancy glow" I have is a beet red face embarrassingly oozing sweat as I waddle at my top speed of 0.4 mph towards my toddler who can run 100x faster than me (150x faster when we're in a shopping mall because malls give toddlers the superpowers of speed and vanishing in the blink of an eye. This is a well-known fact). In my experience, no trimester is "better" than another one. They all suck equally. Differently, but equally.

19 more weeks to go!

(Here is a picture of one of my cats, because I'm sure I will mention them at some point. They were a lot more visible before we had a baby; now they hide 99% of the day and SURELY it is not because the toddler runs towards them screaming "A DITTY!" every time she sees them which she SURELY did not learn from me. Also the Elmo DVD is undeniable proof I have a toddler.)

Everything lies. Except me.

Hi, I'm Natalie.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was super excited. I read all the parenting books, all the baby websites, devoured each promise and reassurance about everything from how many kicks per hour I should feel to how long I'd be in labor for a first pregnancy.

They all lied.

Of course, not EVERYTHING was a total lie. "This week you are 12 weeks pregnant!"...well yeah, of course that's true. But, "Your water will most likely not break until you are in the hospital. If it breaks before that, it will be a tiny trickle"? Yeah no. It was like Old Faithful in my pants so bad my cats skidded away from me yowling (to be fair, I was also running through the apartment yowling because I had no idea what the heck was happening).

Every pregnancy is different. Every kid is different. Every site will reassure you of this, then launch into a 5 page article about how "It's okay if your 5 month old kid hasn't hit this milestone yet...BUT REALLY GO SEE A SPECIALIST TO RULE OUT DYSLEXIA, DEAFNESS, TUMORS, PARAPLEGIA, ALZHEIMER'S AND AURORA BOREALIS."

This is about all those books and sites, and me. I won't lie to you. Not much anyway.

Oh, except the stretch marks. Those weren't a lie.