Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I never planned on being pregnant.

Certainly not this time, but more importantly not ever.
Don’t get me wrong, for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted children,
just not biologically.
The idea of ‘being pregnant’ was never remotely appealing,
the magic of it all was lost on me.
To me a child has always been a child
and family didn't necessarily mean blood.
This attitude was slightly bizarre but for whatever reason,
sharing the prenatal bond with my child was never that important to me.
My dreams involved travel, adventure, an artistic career
and eventually adopting a child sometime in my mid-thirties.
But God, or Fate, or Jameson’s,
whichever you prefer,
had a different plan and two weeks before my 24th birthday
I found out I was 7 weeks pregnant.
A lot flashed through my head in the moments that followed the arrival of the second pink line,
mostly expletives that I won’t share
but somewhere in there I made a decision to keep this baby
and from that moment forward everything changed.
Many of the things that scared me about pregnancy
have turned out to be frighteningly accurate
but there have also been those fears that
have turned out to be exceptionally beautiful.
And ironically, the few benefits I associated with pregnancy
have ended up falling short.
Allow me first to elaborate on what I call “the frighteningly accurate”

o Hemorrhoids – a very real and alarming fear,

I have actually stood butt naked with one leg propped up on the toilet,
checking my booty in the mirror to see if the agony between my cheeks
was as horrifying as the results of my Google image search.
  *I've yet to confirm their existence but the discomfort is there*

o Morning sickness – I've yet to miss alcohol
and I mostly attribute this to the 4 month long hangover
that welcomed me into my pregnancy journey.
During these nausea laden months I actually got to experience
throwing up in a bush while biking to work,
as well as on the side of the highway and finally into my own lap.

o Hormones – It’s frustrating to question everything that you feel
and to constantly wonder if all your emotions can
or should be attributed to changes in your hormones.

Some honorable mentions include:
o Leaky breasts – I’ll never forget that moment
when I realized what the “drool stains” in my bra actually were.

o Food aversions – A previous favorite food, French Fries,
became a source of contention for a solid 5 months.

o Exhaustion –To this day, if I manage to put on mascara and a clean shirt,
 I consider the day a success.

Of the few things I declared “benefits of pregnancy”, the following have fallen short:

o The Glow – Although I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid stretch marks,
and although there have been several comments on my being “adorable”
I feel completely unattractive. All. The. Time.

o Registering – A decided bonus of pregnancy,
I found registering daunting, time consuming, overwhelming and exhausting.
I preferred to nap and let people, who knew better than me,
buy what they deemed appropriate and necessary.
Amazingly enough I ended up with quite the well rounded selection of loot.

Alright, enough with the negativity,
I will admit that previously the thought of something,
other than Taco Bell,squirming inside of me, freaked me out--horrified me would even be appropriate.
But alas, I live for those gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) kicks, jabs and nudges.
I also can’t get enough of the ultrasound photos or, in fact, any photo or video of a newborn.
Pregnancy has improved my time management skills and redirected my priorities for the better. I’m more focused and less concerned with petty bull-crap, it’s funny how huge life events can really put things into perspective.Over the last few months (I’m currently 34 weeks) I've had a handful of hysterical breakdowns,
experienced my fair share of alarming and fascinating bodily changes and I've mourned the loss of a life I wasn't ready to part with. But as I near the end of this unexpected journey, I can honestly (and humbly) say
that I’m grateful to have been blessed with the experience of pregnancy, and all its frightening surprises.

Friday, December 7, 2012

and then Graco made me lose my mind

it was going really well
the whole day
I managed to shower this morning
I wasn't overly grumpy at work
and I finally got the carseat
it's been quite the process
an ongoing debate between me, myself and I
travel system? convertible that lasts longer? infant seat without stroller?
ultimately I decided on what I knew I would all along...a travel system
it made the most sense 
and it was easy on all fronts -- pushing, breaking down, putting up
the carseat/carrier doesn't weigh too much,
the stroller itself is surprisingly compact -- a pleasant surprise
and it's Graco -- 
the only label I could name, if I ever found myself being asked about popular baby brands
...probably on a game show
but I digress
the set up of the stroller started out so simple and straightforward
that should have been my first clue
40 minutes later I found myself beating my forehead into one of the wheels
cursing Graco, God and anything within 3-ft of me
it's just one little screw,
the last little screw,
once it's in I've got myself an assembled travel system
but alas, the stroller is in the back bedroom, unassembled
and my thumb and pointer finger are badly bruised from trying to push this stupid pin into it's place
I managed to pull myself out of my hormonal rage long enough to focus on a new project
taking inventory of what I have and making a list of what I need
this was quickly derailed when the infamous pug darted under my bed
eliciting a Hulk-like anger inside me
there I was, lying on the floor beside my bed
risking rage-induced pre-term labor
and then I sneezed
blood saturated snot
(a lovely side effect of pregnancy)
all over my face 
and shoulder 
and sweater's been quite a night
and I've decided to blame Graco

Thursday, November 29, 2012

timeline of {an unexpected} tuesday

{10:20a} the start of what should have been a regular Ob-Gyn appointment

weight gain=normal     blood pressure=low       belly measuring=average

{10:45a} doctor asks if baby has been moving normally

"I haven't felt her move since I woke up at 5a...this last week I've been having menstrual-like cramping...should I be concerned?  

{11:00a} doctor issues non-stress test to monitor baby's heart rate and test for any signs of contractions

{11:20a} nurse comes in to tell me that the doctor is concerned because baby's heart rate dropped suddenly   
and didn't recover for several minutes. She wants me to get an ultrasound this afternoon at 2p

baby's heart rate drops a second time, nurse leaves room, returns several minutes later, "the doctor is going to have you admitted to Labor & Delivery so they can monitor you there, the ultrasound tech will meet you there to check the baby"

{11:45a} call my mom to tell her I've been admitted me into Labor & Delivery, she's on her way 

{12:00p} they hook me up to same devices used during non-stress test, explain that they will be monitoring 
 me and that the ultrasound tech will be in shortly. Mom arrives at same time.

{12:30p} ultrasound tech shows up and shows me my beautiful baby, who now has the perfect chubby cheeks, belly and lips...she's sucking on her hands.

{2:00p} doctor and nurse come in to tell me that baby got 8/8 on the ultrasound and after 10 more minutes of monitoring I can go home.

{2:30p} nurse comes in to tell me that baby's heart rate has dropped unexpectedly again, which buys me two more hours of monitoring.

{3:00p} I start complaining of terrible back pain, presumably from the awkward position I've been laying in for 3 hours, mom tries to help me get comfortable to no avail. Nurse enters and says that she's contacted the doctor.

{3:15p} Nurse returns and says that my back pain is actually contractions, which are currently coming minutes apart...they'll be giving me an IV to help stop the contractions, as well as performing a series of tests that would indicate I've gone into pre-term labor.

{3:30p} Nurse blows vein out in my hand while trying to hook up IV...only important because it was painful and my hand is now visibly bruised.

{5:00p} All tests come back negative (woohoo) but my contractions are still coming every 2 minutes and I'm extremely cranky and uncomfortable.

{7:00p} On-call doctor issues a urine test to rule out UTI as possible cause of "uterine activity"

{8:00p} Urine test comes back clean, no signs of UTI, on-call doctor is contacted and says that he would like to come in and be "hands on" to figure out what's causing the contractions. 

{9:30p} I haven't had a contraction in over an hour, on-call doctor still hasn't arrived, my awesome mother tells nurse that if the baby is fine, I'm fine and there's no risk of pre-term labor, we'd really like to go home because I haven't eaten and I need to sleep.

{10:00p} Nurse removes IV and goes over any symptoms that would warrant my return...I look down to discover that I've bled through my IV bandage and am dripping blood allover the floor. Nurse cleans me up and (finally) lets me go home.

This may not be exactly spot on as far as timing is concerned but it's the end they ruled that dehydration was causing me to contract. And now I have a gray, plastic pitcher that I have to drink two of a day (filled with water only, of course). All in all Tuesday was scary and exhausting and frustrating and stressful but I'm grateful for the baby that is still in my womb (where she belongs for 8 more weeks) and for a mom that will advocate for me and I'm praying that next time I'm in Labor & Delivery baby will be full term and I'll be (at least a little) more prepared.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

dear Santa

shooting stars...11:11...wish bones...
I'm trying it all...
but not for these...these are too simple
for such extreme measures

these days

 are filled with snoozing...
 and growing...
 and renovating...
 and late night filing
and cravings

Saturday, November 17, 2012

if you want the truth

The truth is
I don’t feel like I look good
Like the pregnancy is treating me well
Every inch of my over stretched skin is fiercely itchy
My back aches
My neck aches
 My head aches
It hurts when I sit
It hurts when I stand
Sleeping is a whole other issue
Everything bothers me
Absolutely everything
And I know it’s hormonal
So I tell myself I’m being irrational
And that only makes it worse
I hate lacking any control over my body
I hate that I can’t eat more than a few bites without raging heartburn
And I’m hungry
So hungry
There’s a foot,
Maybe two,
Lodged in my ribs
And when I move
She bears down on my pelvis
The only thing that keeps me going
Are those gentle nudges behind my belly button

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ready and waiting

here it is,
half baby, half momma
ready and waiting for her to arrive

operation baby book

short & sweet,
very, very sweet

once the inside is done,
I promise I'll share those pages too.

Showered with love

it was spectacular,
they went above and beyond and I'm so grateful. 
The support and love in that room was overwhelming
there have been ups and downs 
and I'm sure there will be more
but this was an up
an up to remember when there's a down

 {momma + daughter}
 {shana - aka my boss, friend, party planner}

 {crazy, elaborate, delicious treats}

 {handmade baby blanket coordinated to the nursery}

{post shower girlfriend date}

Monday, November 12, 2012

home, sweet home

this time of year the air has the special aroma that is distinctly "home"
it always hits me like a ton of bricks.
this morning as I was letting Zoey do her morning business,
I stood huddled in the door frame, with groggy eyes,
shivering to keep warm
and there it was. clean, fragrant, cold November air.
I can hardly describe it, let alone do it adequate justice
but its fantastic and familiar
and makes me grateful to be here in this place,
at this time, smelling the air. 

Friday, November 9, 2012


 the journey has begun,
not as smoothly as I had hoped, as I had planned.
But as smoothly as expected.
The scenery is beautiful.
With that perfect sunlight [you know the kind]
 that pours through windows and turns everything it touches into magic.
We took a taxi to the train station.
A detour saw us boarding a bus that took us to another train station, to reconnect.
We arrived twenty minutes prior to departure,
just enough time for chaos to turn to crisis before coming full circle for a brilliant finale.
That final embrace was rushed, too rushed for tears, which was perhaps for the best,
but I had planned on something more lingering.
Best laid plans…could be the name of this entire journey.
The last train was bigger, unfamiliar.
Sweating, stumbling, struggling,
I made it to a seat, my seat, at last…
I arrive just in time, to miss my connection.
4Euro – that was the cost of my connection ticket
Thirty minutes and several attempts at broken Deutsch later
I found myself in the nicest hotel I’d ever stayed in.
Perhaps it was my aching limbs
coupled with the anxiety coursing through my veins,
but I still believe it was a very nice hotel.
The bedding was all white, an aesthetic I’m particularly fond of
There was German television, an oversized bath and room service
Glorious, overpriced room service that didn’t taste nearly as good as I had planned
The next morning, afternoon and night was a blur.
How long have you been here?
Do you have a visa?
Frankfurt --> Detroit --> Seattle
9a German time --> 8p Detroit time --> 12a Seattle time
Bag check, security, boarding, flight,
baggage claim, customs, bag check, security, boarding, flight,
ginger ale mit ice bitte…breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, taco bell, sandwich, yuck - throwaway sandwich, snack, ginger ale mit—errr, with ice please, excuse me I have to use the restroom, I hate to bother you again but I’m pregnant and…zzzzzzzzzz
home, sweet, home – I can see it there in the corner
carry on in hand, hurry, hurry, feet on ground, faster, faster
hear name
no it can’t be
it is, it absolutely is.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

back, again

I’ve been contemplating sharing the realities of my pregnancy via blogging since I first found out. I’ve jotted down ideas, kept a journal of what I’ve been feeling and stared at my untouched blog for hours.  Friends have consistently encouraged me to share my thoughts and feelings, but still it hasn’t happened, until now. Bear with me as I post a backlog of things I’ve already written. Some of which could be as much as 5 months old. I left Germany at 16 weeks and now I’m 28 weeks…there’s been a lot of emotion and challenges and a couple (just two) meltdowns. Friends, be prepared, there will be many times that I may be too real, too gross, and too graphic but writing has always proved to be therapeutic and that requires unapologetic honesty, on my part. Bear with me, please. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

{god grant me this}

I’m ready.
Bags are packed, tickets bought, hotel booked. There’s a plan in place that may or may not work out but I’m praying and wishing and hoping
and putting more weight than I should into the universe pulling through for me.
Please, please, please universe – I plead pathetically
Three options
 {three whole options}
And I just need one
One - to pull through for me
Just one

Friday, August 3, 2012

{post 2}

There’s a plan, a faint inkling of one, but a plan nonetheless.
And it’s getting closer to fruition every day.
These last few weeks have been an exercise in patience,
an area where I admittedly need work.
But I’m almost there,
it’s almost here
The excitement and nerves have started,
As have the fanatical list-making and over planning.
The thought of seeing my parents and my pug makes me tear up.
And I’m absolutely over the moon excited for the silliest things
Like grocery shopping at Central Market and Trader Joe’s
 and buying dairy free cream cheese and brown rice cakes and edamame
I cannot wait to take my dog for long walks along the bay,
And to bike to the bakery for maple bars and chai tea lattes
To wax my eyebrows, and eat mom’s cooking and grab Mexican food with my girlfriends
It’s funny what you miss when you’re gone for awhile.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

{post 1}

There it was, plain as day, leaving no room for second guessing or even outright denial. Two pink lines, filled with life and all that that implies. My immediate reaction was disbelief, followed by panic and (admittedly) a long string of expletives. I wish that I had a different story for you. That I could tell you that this was planned, expected, hoped for. I wish that I could tell you that I was overcome with joy and immediately filled with a greater purpose in life. But, in reality, I spent the next 10 minutes jumping up and down chanting “get out, get out”, as if I were performing an exorcism.
Ten days later, sitting in stirrups in the office of a German gynecologist, I saw a life growing within me. A small life, the size of a blueberry with a faint but visible heartbeat, and that changed everything.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

starting over

same dreams but everything else is new.
life moves forward unexpectedly at times
and move with it, we must.
this wasn't part of the plan,
at least not now,
at least not this way. 
But God,
or fate,
has a way of stepping in when we most need to be saved
and suddenly everything changes...
and there's magic in that.
I feel myself again for the first time in months.
I've withdrawn back into the caverns of my soul,
where I belong,
where I'm needed to linger, to meditate, to reevaluate
it feels good to be back
and terrifying,
at the same time
but that's for the best
Fear is an incredibly powerful motivator.