Another Non-Interesting Pregnancy Post

This week I've had some "ok" days and some horrible days.  "Ok" days are defined as still being too nauseated to shower (any and all contact with water is horrible to me when I'm nauseated), but just stable enough to actually leave the house and interact with people other than my immediate family members.

Horrible days are horrible.  I gag whenever I walk if I'm lucky.  I throw up when I'm not lucky.  I sit very still and try to distract myself from everything.

Poor little Spencer is a champ.  He is really growing up, partly, I think as a natural function of time but partly because of our little adventure called "Mommy's first pregnancy while already a mommy."

The unsung heroes of it all are my family.  Oh. My. Gosh.  There would have had to be strong psychiatric drugs administered long ago if it were not for my parents and my sisters.  Seriously.

And there truly could be an entire blog devoted only to all the ways in which Jonathan actively, consistently, and unselfishly shows how much he loves Spencer and me on a daily (typically hourly) basis.

This is not for the faint of heart.  That's why I can't figure out why I'm doing it.  Ha!  I remember being much sicker with Spencer--more vomiting, MUCH more sleeping, more breadsticks--but I don't remember wanting "out."  It was new.  It was an achievement to be pregnant.  It was an unknown as far as duration and degree of sickness.  I don't argue that made it better, but it's almost like I'm reliving it, and thinking, "Yeah, this is the same.  I still hate it.  I think I'd like to be finished now, please."  In today's popular slogan, "I'm over it."

Unfortunately, I'm stuck.  FORTUNATELY, I have a mom and a host of others to remind me that I'm not treading water, I'm making progress.  I am.  On days I feel horrible--making progress.  On days I throw up before I can get Spencer a cup of milk--progress.  On days I manage to get our hard-earned money out of our Netflix account for our TODDLER to watch all day--Oh, what's that?  Yes, it's PROGRESS!  Every day is one step closer to getting our little baby strong enough to get out of me where I can be a decent mother again.  'Cause you gotta hear me when I say that even as a sophisticated incubator, I ain't great.  Sure, I'm "ideal."  And, ok, yeah, there's no other way for a baby this young to survive.  I get it.  But the nutrients (or lack there of) are probably less than those my toddler gets in his daily waffles (which he prefers for breakfast and dinner these days).

So, anyway, if everything could just be regular I could get on with being a good mom.  Now who sounds like a toddler?

I know.  That's not how life works.

Thanks goodness for after bedtime Gilmore Girls viewings.  Outta this life.  Comfortable enough to lull me to sleep.  Entertaining enough to distract a bit from the nausea and allergy symptoms.

Good night.


The Flickering Light at the End of the Tunnel

Yesterday, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I felt some relief from the "gagg-y" part of the nausea, the part that feels acute as opposed to chronic.  I started thinking it was only a matter of weeks before I'd be able to do what moms do every day.

And, then, somehow, the part of my brain that exists to flood my body with hormones to ensure a healthy pregnancy got word that the rest of my brain (and GI tract) wasn't feeling tortured beyond belief, and it kicked it into high gear.  By the time nine o'clock rolled around, I was laying down while adding to the obsene amount of carbs I'd consumed since 3 p.m. in a desperate attempt to get enough relief to fall asleep.

The plus side, if there is one, was that I was able to sleep until 4 a.m. before waking up to go to the bathroom instead of getting up at midnight and 2 and 4 and 6.  As I noticed with my previous pregnancy, when the nausea hormones are at some of the most intolerable levels, it usually brings some nice exhaustion along with it.

This morning I hardly made it to the bathroom before I threw up uncontrollably for a few minutes (I don't know when or if you ever actually throw up in a controlled fashion, it just seemed like an appropriate adjective for what was going on--you'll have to trust me unless you'd like to watch).  Then, I stumbled into the living room, and Spencer grinned, and said, "Mommy!  Mommy!"

That's supposed to make this worth it.  And I suppose it does.


Blocks and Dogs

If we threw out all of his other possessions, these toys would probably suffice.  There'd remain the problem of what to climb, knock over, flip, and tear apart; but Spencer pretty much utilizes his parent's furniture to fill those needs.

Above is a picture of what I thought was Spencer's first time to build the block tower by himself.  This "feeling like crap" is going to do wonders for his independence--whether he likes it or not, bless his heart.  This particular morning, he asked for me to play blocks with him and I told him, "No, Spencer do it."  We talked about it for probably ten minutes.  He fussed and flopped and I remained as still as I could on the sofa.  I can't lean over or sit on the floor and do blocks in the morning.  I just can't.  I'm saving my strength for necessary actions--life-saving measures, libation-securing, and diaper changing.  Every now and then, I change out the dvd.  

As I determined to remain resolute, I noticed that the two bottom-most blocks have been torn up (surprise, surprise!), making it so that the smaller block does slip over the bigger block sometimes.  That's confusing to the two-year old who has learned that if the block slips over the top of the block under it, rearranging is in order.  So, I realized he was sitting there, going back and forth over which block should be the bottom block.  I felt really bad for him.  I couldn't help but fix the two bottom blocks for him.  BUT that little bit of leaning over sealed the deal--I would not be doing that again any time in the near future.  So, I told him again, "Now, Spencer do it."  

I closed my eyes, he fussed, and I ignored him.  I attempted to slip into some sort of Nirvana state where I'd transcended the nausea.  I can do this for short periods of time when everything is quiet, and still, and dark, and I'm perfectly comfortable where I'm laying.  So, basically never.  But, I digress.

The next thing I knew, he was saying something that my suppressed consciousness felt needed to be attended to, so I gave up my search for transcendence and looked over where he was.  I was SHOCKED to see the entire block tower, built perfectly right next to him.  SHOCKED.  I have been "helping" him do these blocks for a year and a half.  I bought them for him two Christmases ago, when he'd just turned one.  Jonathan had just mentioned a month or so ago that it seemed like Spencer should have mastered these by now based on how long he'd had them.  I went on to explain to him my never-humble and typically only partially informed reasons for why it's still perfectly in the range of normal for a kid Spencer's age not to be able to stack ten progressively sized blocks perfectly by himself.  I had myself convinced.

It was such a big deal in my mind, that I took a picture (as you can see).  And THAT, my friend, involved getting off of the couch!  So, again, I was impressed.  When Jonathan got home from work that day, I finally had something to tell him besides my puke stats and how many times HIS son pooped for his gagging mom to change that day.  Spencer had stacked the blocks by himself!  (Except that broken bottom one that makes him mad / confused)!  Jonathan was all casual, like, "Yeah, he's done that with me lots of times."  Hmph.  That's what happens when you ignore your kid for two months.  They learn stuff.  Maybe even from their father!  

I jokingly told my mom and sister that there really are blessing in disguise going on during this time for our family.  For example, if I did not feel so puny, Spencer would probably be ten and still insisting that his mom help him stack up his blocks.  And I would probably help him, sure that if he could do it himself, he wouldn't want me to do it.  Where's the fun in that?  What kid would knowingly rather manipulate and control his parents into doing what he wants them to do than get lost in the world of building block towers and knocking them down?  Affirming the fallenness of man seems to bring little to no insight into things like this, until it cannot be denied.  And, for the most part, that's ok.  Moms are moms for a reason.  They think good of their kid.  But woe be to the one who withholds tough love when the time is due.  After all, a kids gotta learn to stack the blocks!  Or, better, a kids gotta learn that eventually his mom will find out that he knows how to stack his own blocks!  

Now, on to a less theologically charged topic (please note my use of tongue-in-cheek throughout my blog or you will terribly misunderstand me!), this little cutie loves dogs.  Still.  I'm steeling my heart and nerves for the conversations that I know will persist throughout his childhood.  "No, we cannot get a dog.  Mommy is allergic to dogs.  I know so and so's mom told you that their dog is hypo-allergenic but she doesn't know what she's talking about.  All dogs make mommy sick.  Very sick.  No, we cannot get a dog.  No.  No.  No.  No.  No."

Please don't let me let my kid get a dog.  He'll gain a pet and lose a mother.  Surely that's a poor trade off.  

This picture makes this pregnancy all the more worthwhile in my tiny little selfish, easily depressed, and easily wavered mind.  This morning, Spencer had a specific breakfast arrangement in mind.  I was still "asleep" (in bed), and Jonathan started asking me where the camera was.  I'm so glad he did.

Spencer didn't want to eat  breakfast alone at his big, oblong table.  He wanted his doggies to join him.  Who wants to dine alone?  

He put the two smaller dogs up in the chairs by himself, but Jonathan had to help him put his St. Bernard in the chair.  The St. Bernard is still about twice the size of Spencer.  I love this little boy, and he loves his doggies.

Please don't let me get him a dog.


Fear of the Unknown (And Perfume)

[Disclaimer:  If you don't care for vulnerable, open (aka: whiney, repetitive) pregnant-woman posts, you need not read on.]

We got out of the house today with Gigi's help, and mentally, that was good for all of us.  The fresh air was refreshing (original, I know).  And the perfume-stink at the mall was still as horrible as it always is.  Seriously, why retailers feel the need to scent their merchandise is beyond me.  It makes me nauseated and gives me a headache even when I'm not pregnant.  I sound like I'm doing well mentally, don't I?  Ha.

Just to clarify, the mall is not typically my choice as a fun outing location, especially since I have a wonderful two-year old side kick.  But he'd outgrown his almost new pair of tennis shoes, and the kid's foot is so wide that he gets the fancy shoes.  Gigi actually wanted to get him the shoes this time, and I didn't even fight her on it.  I just said "Thank you" a lot.  At the end of the experience we both concluded that neither of us could have successfully completed today's assignment alone.  Apparently it was worth getting off the sofa for a few hours.

But now, this evening is punishing me for having the gall to attempt to act like I felt "normal" today.  I almost lost my dinner making my way from the sofa to my bed, and I haven't done that at all with this pregnancy.  Yet.  Apparently I should say be saying "yet," because things just got a little too close for comfort.

Throwing up first thing in the morning is one thing.  I mean, it's gross, and horrible, and I hate it.  But there's not any food involved.  Throwing up in the evening.  Well, surely I don't have to explain that in detail.  And to be honest, throwing up for "the first trimester" is gross and horrible, but it sounds like a WONDERFUL alternative to how things went when I was pregnant with Spencer.  You see, you have to understand unending nausea for what it is.  A mind game.  An annoying, ever-present cloud.  But you've got no meteorologist.  You can't say, "Only two more weeks."  I tried that last time.  It didn't work.  I suppose you can say the ever-annoying (but nonetheless true) "Every pregnancy is different," phrase.  But that's not true for all people.  No, it's not.  Ask around.  If you have trouble finding some witnesses, ask me, I've got references.

Admittedly, this pregnancy has been different than my pregnancy with Spencer.  Mainly in degree.  And, when it became obvious that it was going a bit "better" than the one before it, I got a little optimistic that all this nausea nonsense would be over in no time.  Enter, the mind game called nausea.  If you feel a little better than last time, you should be doing more with your kid.  If you got out of the house today, you should get out of the house tomorrow.  If you'd take some medicine not created, intended, nor tested for pregnant women or fetuses you'd feel better.

You can see I have way too much time to think about it all.  Mostly thanks to the loving devotion of my sweet family members who rescue me on a daily, nigh hourly, basis.  Don't even get me started on how much time I have to think about the seventy plus pounds I gained with Spencer.  With every fork, spoon, and cupful of refined sugar and flour I waver between fighting the nausea and fighting the amazing propensity towards massive weight gain.

Please know I've been to infertility doctors.  I've had "trouble" getting pregnant.  I'm elated that God has chosen to bless us by entrusting children to our care.  But also know that doesn't make pregnancy any easier.  Truth be told, it just heaps on a little more guilt.  You can't just whine openly or share how you're really feeling because you know it could be heard or perceived incorrectly (not that that piece of rhetoric stops me much lately).

Every time we weren't pregnant with Spencer, I was really disappointed.  As there were more and more times that we weren't pregnant with Spencer, I worried it would never happen for us.  Each time we weren't pregnant this time around, I was relieved.  I know that is horrible to hear for lots of people.  I felt horrible feeling it.  Ha!  Talk about conflicted.  When we found out we were pregnant, I was excited and terrified.  And thankfully, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it was going to be.  But that's just because what I had to compare it to was pretty close to the worst case scenario.  (To put it in perspective, I was never hospitalized for dehydration when I was pregnant with Spencer mostly thanks to my mom (a nurse) who came over daily to force fluids and remind me of what would happen if I couldn't keep some down).

So, to sum up, if you have any pull with national retailers, tell them some people prefer the neutral smell of clean to some nasty perfume all over their textiles.  And being nauseated stinks--you can never trust the current trend.  You can have an "ok" day followed by "the worst day yet."  You never know when (or, in my case IF) it's going to end.  Or, even more unsettling, if it's going to come back.


Embarrassingly Poor Writing

Do not tell the husband of a pregnant woman there is no wait at your restaurant when in fact there is a 35 minute wait.  Crazy people.

When you're nauseated constantly for months at a time, it's really a mental battle.  And mentally, I'm weak. Truly.  I don't have a lot of mental "endurance."

Spencer brought me a chopstick the other day.  It was black, not cheap and platick-y.  I have NO idea from whence it came.  What in the world?

I've been throwing up less, but feeling just as bad.  I'm trying to see this as progress.  I'm hoping this pregnancy will be more "textbook" with the nausea ending with the first trimester.

My parents are graciously hosting Spencer as their overnight guest this evening.  Jonathan was going to get some things done at the house while I soaked in the silence and the luxury of being COMPLETELY still.  Instead, we held our friends' new born baby and then got dinner.  We're on fire.

You forget how precious newborns are.  They are just a warm, cuddly little bundle of goodness.  They should be for all the nonsense it takes to get one here.

The only time I care anything about real ice cream is when I'm pregnant.  I usually (and honestly) prefers Breyer's low carb chocolate "dairy dessert."  Right now it's Blue Bell's Banana Split.

Even when your entire family chips in to do all the things that you're supposed to be doing but can't because you feel so crummy, no one can make up for the fact that you aren't able to be Spencer's best mommy.  No one can make you feel better.

For some reason, I'm more curious regarding the gender of this baby.  I'm also seriously reconsidering any plans for future pregnancies.

I was pregnant with Spencer the summer that Kung Fu Panda came out in theaters, and I started calling "the baby" "Skadoosh."  I think it's funny that Kung Fu Panda II is coming out this summer.  That's not really funny to you?  Humor me, ok?  I'm pregnant and cranky.

I DID manage to take a shower today, and I took it a GIANT step further by blow drying my hair about an hour later.  I was pretty spent after the shower, I had to regroup.  It does look much better.  Now, if only I could start caring.

This may be the only writing I'm capable of until our next child is one year old.  Perhaps your comments-to-come will help make things interesting.


March Favorites: Ketchup, Ice, and Guitars

Only-Slightly-Little-Anymore Spencer,

It's cold and rainy.  And Elmo is about to be over for the day.  WHY Netflix won't include Elmo in their streaming options is quite a sore spot for me.   We need to cancel our "1 month trial" subscription anyway. It's been four months now.  

This particular morning, you have an uncharacteristically snotty little nose, and you're determined to be in my face.  However, you've been so sweet to play and talk and bounce solo quite a lot this past month and a half that I really shouldn't complain.  You're either really growing up or currently being emotionally damaged for life.  I know some children who I fear are being emotionally damaged for life, though, and your plight has very little in common with their own.  So, I'm hoping you're just well on your way to understanding what being a big brother and a part of a family is all about.

You refuse that you're hungry 98% of the time you're asked.  You currently LOUDLY and VIGOROUSLY protest having your diaper changed.  Wrestling my two year old to the ground to wipe his pooped bottom while trying not to throw up everywhere is killin' me, kid--and between Daddy, Gigi, and Natalie, I don't even have to do it that often.  I have the perfect solution--go in the potty!  You don't mind giving it a try every now and then, but you end up playing and wanting to run your hands all over the toilet seat, etc.  It's just disgusting.  Clearly, I've got a lot of maturing (or disinfecting) to do before we formally potty train you.  I'm thinking we pick a warm week this summer and just live outside.  I'm hoping we do that anyway based on the rate at which you can make the house look like a tornado hit.

You're persisting on the "Cutest Kid I've Known In My Life" list, and many others--related or not-- are quick to agree.  It really works for you.  As I type you are pulling all of our silverware out of the silverware drawer.  The drawer DOES have a child-lock on it.  And the child-lock is locked.  You just slide the utensils out of the small opening that occurs because of how we had to install the lock.  Money. Down. The. Drain.  

You fell about six weeks ago right on your face.  You weren't being rough or crazy or anything.  You just slipped.  You fell directly onto your two front teeth.  They were not loose, but they are rapidly turning grey.  Honestly, they look pretty gross.  I'm sure in a year or two you'll be proud.  They definitely "man" up your "look."

Your daddy came home last night and asked if you wanted to go play "Get you Get you" (tickling/wrestling/etc.) in your room.  You heartily agreed, and as you ran out of the living room, you looked straight at your Gigi who had come over to help out that afternoon and said, "Bye bye!!!"  She and I laughed and laughed.   Your tone seemed to suggest, "See you later, suckers!  And don't follow us--we don't want to hear your 'be careful' gasps the whole time!"  You're lovin' your daddy!

You have finally settled down enough to "dine out."  And while no one would watch and call taking you out "easy," it is certainly a complete turn around from the past two years.  As soon as we sit down, you start asking for ketchup, and you spend most of the evening eating ice.  Quirky child.  You have twice thrown your crayon halfway across the restaurant.  Here's an idea--how 'bout we stop handing you one.  It takes us a while to catch on.  You'll have to forgive your mother who cannot imagine that you don't have a secret, if latent, desire to draw and color. 

You went to your buddy Benjamin's 3rd Birthday Party on Saturday and had a grand old time.  You got to play outside, eat cake (exclusively), and narrate (in your own little way) as Ben opened his presents--you probably remembered him helping with yours in December and just wanted to return the favor.  You latched on to the guitar that Mr. Todd got Benjamin, and I do think I see one in your future.  It's the least I can do after hiding and consuming your M&M's party favor. 

I'm certainly not over-documenting these first few months of 2011.  I'm hoping Spring brings new, refreshing, non-nauseating feelings for me and lots of fun and outside adventures for you.